Bam! That’s the sound of London Fashion Week going off with a bang. Well it did for me, because my first show was London College of Fashion’s MA show – its first as part of LFW. The show was edited to the ten strongest collections, of which my favourite was from Na Di, a menswear graduate whose punchy printed tailoring mashed up traditional references with hiphop attitude. Continue reading
…Or maybe that’s just me. I certainly love Raf Simons’ passionate and considered approach to everything he does. Example: his latest collaboration with Fred Perry. Launching on 22nd Feb in all Fred Perry Laurel Wreath collection stores and online, it’s an ode to collage, juxtaposing “very different materials, prints and colours, therefore giving the wearer a possibility to combine the garments in different ways,” says Simons. Continue reading
Well who’d have thunk it? Six years ago today, I started a fashion blog. This very one, in fact, albeit on a Blogspot platform with a slightly clunky white-text-on-black-background layout. If you scroll back far enough, you can see my early posts; embarrassing though they are, I’ve not deleted them as it’s good to remember the journey.
My six year anniversary coincides with a pithy New York Times T Magazine story by Suzy Menkes lamenting the blog mob and the changes in fashion media and critiquing. Do read it, it’s certainly thought provoking. Alas, Menkes does come across as slightly jaded in her disapproval. Flagging up the common practice of ‘bloggers’ (read: the Fashion Week style blogger elite) who get photographed in next season’s looks, often gifted by designers in exchange for coverage, she reminds us that real reporters don’t play the gifting game (or ‘bribery’ as she puts it). It’s a funny one I admit. On the one hand, why not help give young designers exposure by wearing their clothes, if it will give them a leg-up and boost your visual presence as well? On the other hand, when the pre- and post-show peacocking starts to get more attention than the shows themselves, then that clearly signals a change in how things are working. Is it dumbing down though? or is it just an evolution in how fashion is seen and consumed now?
Six years ago, no-one even considered any of this stuff. As a phenomenon, it simply didn’t exist yet. Instagram didn’t exist, Vine didn’t exist, Twitter was in its infancy and Anna Dello Russo was just another jobbing fashion editor. How would fashion have weathered the recessions were it not for fashion blogs, Fashion Week street style and the powerful role they played in opening up the fashion industry to the masses? More pertinent still; where will fashion, blogging and the street style strutters be in another six years time? I guess that’s for us to witness, while documenting the process…
Thanks for the last six years of support!
Image: Stefania Yarhi/Textstyles – NYT
Twitter has been all aflutter this morning at the announcement by WWD of a Dries van Noten fragrance coming this month. Digging further, the fragrance is an ‘olfactory portrait’ of Dries van Noten, as opposed to a brand fragrance and is created by Frédéric Malle’s Editions de Parfums. The notes are a concoction of citron, sandalwood, guaiac wood, saffron, Spanish jasmine, tonka beans, Cashmeran/blonde woods, vanilla and musk. Something tells me it will be a bit of a unisex scent.
This is what the bottle looks like…
I think this is going to be another addition to my ‘fragrance library’, alongside the Marni, Tom Ford Noir, Chanel Jersey and Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir currently on rotation. It will be available on February 15th.
UPDATE 27th Feb: It’s been spotted in Liberty so I’ll be heading down there for a sniff. In the meantime, here’s a video of Frederic Malle and Dries van Noten talking about the collaboration…
Pre-tail site, M’oda ‘Operandi has been going for quite a while now and even though I’m still a novice online shopper when it comes to fashion (honestly, I can count my total clothing purchases on two hands), I do think it’s a clever concept.
For me it works as a research tool. It bridges the gap between seeing things on the runway (styled to the hilt as per the designer’s vision) and seeing them on a rail in store. We get to see clothes ahead of season styled in a more wearable way, including those by some of the lesser known designers. This week’s ‘trunk shows’ (the M’O name for its limited-time pre-order sales) includes Bouchra Jarrar’s winter couture collection (a designer I love, who was shortlisted for the Balenciaga gig and M’oda ‘Operandi’s first ‘couture’ designer) and J.W. Anderson pre-fall.
But like a lot of start-ups, it seems the plan is to develop the concept beyond its original, well, moda operandi. Since December, the site has also offered conventional, in-season etail in its ‘Boutique’, giving the M’O consumer the option to buy their favorite pieces and wear them the next day. As CEO Aslaug Magnusdottir says, “We want to better serve our current customers and reach a new customer base. We’ve been able to establish a name in various pockets of the world and we want to take advantage of our positioning and build our market share quickly.”
You can pre-order Bouchra Jarrar’s winter couture collection until 5th Feb and J.W. Anderson Pre-Fall 2013 until 4th Feb. Happy shopping!
We saw mutated versions of it at Raf Simons’ debut Dior couture show last July, and now Bruno Frisoni has updated the original in silver mirror leather and pink mink for Roger Vivier’s Rendez-Vous collection AW13. The iconic ‘Comma’ shoe, designed by Vivier in the 1950s was a precursor to the stiletto. As shoe designer for Dior, his creations set the benchmark in footwear design for years to come, and the bent, squat ‘Comma’ was one of his best.
Fast forward to 2013 and we’re seeing more versions of those inwards- and outwards-curved heels, both from the house of Dior and from the house of Vivier and in short and tall versions. For Dior RTW SS13 they’re tall, slightly flared and bent inwards, while at yesterday’s Dior couture show they were super-slender and came in bright metallics and chalky shades. Let’s see if the ‘Comma”s influence spreads further…
Original Roger Vivier ‘Comma’ heel 1957
This season I’m doing my LFW ticket requests super-early. I’m looking forward to Nicole Farhi (first season with Jo Sykes at the design helm), Topshop Unique (I wasn’t bowled over with the last collection), Marques’Almeida, Ostwald Helgason, Lucas Nascimento and Thomas Tait. Plus my new favourite, Claire Barrow, who is showing again as part of Fashion East. Here’s her SS13 collection of illustrative ‘punk pisshead’ separates inspired by enigmatic rebels. Note the casting, styling, hair and make-up too – all outstanding. (P.S. she just emailed me to say ‘there’s an online store coming soon’….)
Today, the second day of London Collections: Men, saw the release of Mrporter.com’s commercial collaboration to support independent British designers. Katie Eary, Sibling, Richard Nicoll and Matthew Miller each created three exclusive pieces for Mr Porter and every one of them is a thing of beauty. Continue reading
One name kept cropping up last New York Fashion Week that I’d not heard of before. In fact, Ostwald Helgason (Susanne Ostwald and Ingvar Helgason) have been designing for a few years but only now have stepped up a gear. The London-based duo switched strategy and chose to show in New York for AW12 and SS13 and lo, suddenly they’re on everyone’s radar. Continue reading
I was so bowled over by the styling in the Dries Van Noten show, I thought I’d break it down in a blog post. Taken separately, each piece of the Dries collection is a beautiful, timeless workhorse. Weightless tea dresses, wrap jackets, sheer plaid shirts and patterned pants. Nothing new there. Put them together just so, with complementary hair, make-up and hands-in-pocket attitude and you have a bucketload of reasons why everyone (including me) will be referencing DVN this season, consciously or not. Continue reading