I’m a complete sucker for art and photography books (and am very proud of the Bruce Weber ‘Branded Youth’ book I received for my birthday from D – total gobsmacking surprise) but have been wondering why no-one’s done a book celebrating stylists? In my ideal book there would be a profile on my favourite stylists (Venetia Scott, Joe McKenna, Lucinda Chambers, Caroline Baker), alongside pictures of their work, maybe an interview with them and I’d love, love, love to see what their house looks like (although you can see Venetia Scott’s in the current UK Vogue, and very nice it is too).
Well, some of this has been addressed in Sarah Mower’s book, Stylists: The Interpreters of Fashion which comes out on 30th October. Featured stylists include Paul Cavaco, Grace Coddington, Carine Roitfeld, Venetia Scott (yay!) so it should be a goodun.
Another book that is reportedly in the pipeline is one by Alex Michon who was the unsung heroine responsible for The Clash’s styling and quite possibly the person to thank for our unending passion for all things military and punk. Not safety-pins-through-noses punk, but the heartbreaking androgyny of army surplus, boilersuits, overcoats, berets and the like. Michon is apparently working on a book about her time with The Clash and I am hoping to interview her for this blog in the not-too-distant future.
On the subject of biker chic, I was rather taken by these cotton fleece and denim biker jackets at the London Fashion Week exhibition. They are both by My Lovely Jean, a new label from the same stable as American Retro and Zoes Tees. No London stockists as yet but as they’re not due instore til February 08, I’ll do some detective work and report back nearer the time.
Update! My Lovely Jean will be stocked by Asos.com for ss08!
I must say, I felt terribly pleased with myself a few months ago when I unearthed a barely-worn pair of (ahem) Hobbs biker boots circa 2003 from the forgotten depths of my wardrobe. It made a welcome change from the Converse-and-jeans rut I’d unwittingly got myself into. When you spend your days haring around London from one appointment to another in all sorts of weather you can’t really cut it in 4-inch Chloe heels.
Biker boots feel fantastically practical and protective, yet rebelliously cool at the same time. What I have noticed is I’ve been turning up my (straight-legged Nudie) jeans oh-so-slightly in order to show off the buckle, as without that essential detail I could be wearing any old generic work boot. Which makes me wonder, as the biker girl look takes off – witness all the leather jackets and biker boots in magazines and stores from Gap to Burberry –will we see a return to turn-up jeans? Last time we had the turn-up trend it was all about showing off the selvedge seam on your limited edition, uber-rare Japanese denim jeans, and the time before that it was the eighties-copies-the-fifties look channelling Marlon Brando in The Wild One.
As someone who will always champion the androgynous look over anything overtly sexy, I reckon this one’s a goer. After the boyfriend jeans and the high-waisted flare, let’s welcome back the straight-leg turn-up. Keep the turn-up small to elongate the leg and as with any masculine-inspired look, remember to factor in loose, flowy hair, a generous application of eyeliner and a good swipe of lipgloss.
I’ve only just managed to start trawling through the hundreds of catwalk pictures on Vogue.com from the recent spring-summer 08 shows and…what’s this…good-taste clothes from D & G? The show presents a decidedly cool summer student look, all layered sweatshirts with pushed-up sleeves, seventies denim, ethereal dresses and gladiator sandals, a far cry from the usual in-ya-face racy fare we expect from Vicky Beckham’s favourite Latin twosome. Combined with the minimalist make-up and straight good-girl hair, this collection could almost have come from the wholesome runway of Chloe in the Phobe Philo days.
Could the end of seasonal dressing be nigh? Recent reports suggest that US designers and retailers have been consulting climatologists to decide whether in the future we will still be wearing coats in November and shorts in July.
This has been a long time coming. Who doesn’t roll their eyes at the end of each season when retailers yet again bemoan poor sales in coats due to a mild winter or swimwear due to a washout summer? The problem is that global warming has resulted in spring starting earlier and autumn starting later which means that the majority of the year simply isn’t particularly hot or cold. But the fashion industry relies on seasonal change, if only to get us in the spending mood. We’re used to thinking that August means getting ready for an entirely new change of wardrobe, trends n all, even though in these days of layering there’s no reason why our summer clothes can’t be reconfigured for winter too (just add tights – nice thick grey ones – and boots).
The question is what do we do about it? Designers are already in on the act with their pre-fall and pre-spring collections. They give us something new to buy every few months so we feel like we’re updating our wardrobes even if it’s not a proper seasonal change. And savvy designers like Giorgio Armani, Theory and Tory Burch are using lightweight knits, cotton-wool mixes and synthetics like microfibre all year round. In any case, the instant gratification of the internet also means that catwalk shows have less influence over fashion than they used to. Streetstyle blogs are the new trendsetters and they don’t rely on seasons as much as personal interpretation.
I say stick with the layering. Layering means you can be more creative and mix things up, and you can wear your favourite things longer instead of packing them away for months at a time. Plus winter clothes are damn tiring. Enough with the coats, jumpers and padded jackets, just the thought of the weight of them makes me want to pack myself away for the entire season.
…a few pics of Kate Moss’s Christmas collection for TopShop have found their way on to the Daily Mail website. The collection is previewed in the latest issue of ID which also features Moss on its cover. It’s all fairly predictable stuff apart from the lace capelet in the cover shot which is rather tasty but probably not by Miss Moss. Interestingly, the snaps are styled with sheer black stockings. While I think the collection looks uninspiring, I am feeling a return to sheer hosiery and stockings in the not-too-distant future. (PS, the platinum hair is a wig.)
I know it’s only October but the November issues of all the mags are out and that’s making me feel prematurely Christmassy. Which of course brings me to the news that Charlotte Gainsbourg is to guest edit the December issue of French Vogue. Oh joy! After the delight that was the Sofia Coppola issue (which was what, three years ago?) followed by the disapppointments of the subsequent Kate Moss and John Galliano issues, I’m practically gagging for this to be good. But how could it not be? Charlotte Gainsbourg has the same effortless finesse and youthful chic possessed by La Coppola and a similar understated taste. Maybe, just maybe she’ll get Jane Birkin and Lou Doillon on board and make it a family affair?
Yipeddy doo dah, Harvey Nichols has finally gone online! My question? What took ya so long guys? With competition fierce between the high street and online retailers like Asos.com, it makes sense in this digital age for all stores to have a transactional online presence. The luxury sector took this on board long ago with big buck brands like Dior (www.diorboutique.com) and Louis Vuitton (www.louisvuitton.com) racking up huge sales of their status-symbol sunglasses, bags and small leather goods. Burberry goes a step further selling clothing from its covetable Prorsum collection alongside its smaller wares and I’m sure I don’t even need to mention Net-a-Porter.com, which has been selling high-end designer fare to international customers for a good seven years.
Why are some brands lagging behind? New Look’s transactional website (complete with editorial content) was pencilled in for an August launch but precious little seems to be on the horizon. And Liberty is rumoured to be launching its transactional website sometime this year – could we even dare to imagine buying those delicious vintage Hermes belts and Erotikritos knits online some time soon? And sorry to be pernickety but a small request to those in charge, would it be too much to ask that we could have the entire stock available to us a la TopShop.com? If you’re going to get us all excited about your online store please don’t tease us with a few token items (yes, that’s you Houseoffraser.com), it’s 2007, we want the whole shebang or nothing at all.
With the launch of Indian Vogue, a new Wes Anderson film, The Darjeeling Limited and numberous festivities celebrating 60 years of Indian independence, India is in focus right now. What’s to bet that autumn/winter 08 will be heavily influenced by all things South Asian? To whet your appetite, London College of Fashion is running State Of Independenz, a guest speaker programme during October and November featuring fashion designers Osman Yousefzada, Ashish and Manish Arora, alongside a host of photographers, artists and writers of Indian descent. To book a place at one of these talks, visit www.londoncollegeoffashion.wikispaces.com/State+of+Independenz
Photo:Manish Arora from www.vogue.co.uk
If like me you’ve not yet had your fill of New York nightlife photography from the 70s, Bob Colacello’s Out will be of interest to you. Featuring candid snapshots from the sixties and seventies that journalist Colacello took for his “Out” column in Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, this new coffee table book is overflowing with the likes of Mick Jagger, Arnold Swarzenegger and Bianca Jagger in clubby yet intimate settings.
Colacello got his lucky break when, following a favourable review he’d written of Warhol’s film ‘Trash’, he was invited to become Interview’s diary writer. As he reveals to the Telegraph, ‘I learned working for Andy that there isn’t really the separation people think there is between society, the art world, the corporate elite, the European aristocracy. As you go higher up the social scale, they all kind of merge.’