Did I mention my love of outlet shopping? Not just any old outlet but one with a good mix of the classic brands that I wear on a regular basis. Like, you know, Gap,Lacoste, Joseph, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren… And oh look, here they all are at Cheshire Oaks! AKA one of the vast McArthurGlen designer outlets and one I’ve never been to – until now.
McArthurGlen invited me up one sunny Saturday to discover the outlet and work on a video edit of my seasonal fashion picks. Continue reading
Who doesn’t love a bit of Net-a-Porter newness? New to the site is Sacai (above) and Studio Nicholson. If you’re not au fait with Studio Nicholson, read up on the brand in this post from 2012. It’s rooted in a menswear sensibility with easy pieces for fuss-free living. Cultish Japanese brand Sacai is known for its subverted classics; think deconstructed biker jackets, frill-edged shirts and bomber jacket-dresses. And if you’re just looking for a spring colour injection, you’ll find it at Smythson, Sophie Hulme and Stella McCartney, new in at Net-a-Porter.
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Sorry PRs but my big highlight of Paris Fashion Week wasn’t the shows or the parties but the new exhibition, Dries Van Noten: Inspirations. Showing at the Arts Decoratifs Museum until 31st August, Dries Van Noten and curator Pamela Golbin have coincidentally created an assemblage of exhibits that encompasses a number of my own favourite themes.
Downstairs is big on the foppish overlaps of masculinity and femininity, the romance of youth subcultures and a fascination with British monarchy and society. As you enter the exhibition through Azuma Makoto’s giant floral fantasia, you’re greeted by a room wallpapered with pop culture references. From camp Divine posters to Interview magazine covers, these are easily recognisable to anyone who grew up in the 80s. Dries Van Noten’s early designs from his student days at the Antwerp Royal Academy (his 1981 sun motif coat looks especially contemporary) sit alongside influential pieces by Kenzo, Mugler, Versace and Worlds End-era Westwood, culled from the museum’s own archive.
The subsequent vitrines are grouped in themes such as ‘Iconclast’, ‘Graphic’ and ‘Butterflies’ and display seemingly disparate items – a film clip, artwork or ancient textile piece – alongside examples from a chosen Dries Van Noten collection, to demonstrate his creative through process. It’s funny to think this is the first time a designer exhibition (it’s not billed as a retrospective) has been presented this way because it really makes a lot of sense in revealing the common passions and aesthetics of the brand and the man. Continue reading
Aaand here we go in phase one of the Ghesquiere-ification of Vuitton! Charlotte Gainsbourg wore Louis Vuitton AW14 to the the Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 screening in New York last night. Continue reading
Why have a show? That’s the 64 million dollar question that continues to circulate fashion week season after season. The answer is still elusive – is it an industry insider event or a public spectacle? – but I think if you’re going to have a show, make it a show. Make some element of it surprising, delightful, emotional, weird or thought provoking. It’s not like there isn’t a ton of options at your disposal. There’s the set, the music, the choreography. Or the casting, styling, make up…take your pick.
Carven’s Paris show was staged at the elegant Galerie Des Gobelins – a collection of youthful tailoring with collage-y placements and crystal embroidery that nodded to the art of Man Ray and Blumenfeld. Continue reading
“People get this very romantic vision of a fashion designer who in one night makes 25 sketches and in the morning throws them on the table and there are a lot of women in white aprons with the pins on the lapel and they start to grab the sketches and… It’s not like that. Forget it! It’s lists, it’s computers, it’s meetings, it’s planning, it’s organising. It’s all these things.”
Dries Van Noten, The Telegraph
I can’t wait to see Dries Van Noten: Inspiration at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris this weekend!
[Image: The Guardian]
The final day of London Fashion Week was all about youthful ideals and teen romance, kicking off at 9am with Marques’Almeida. This duo has slowly and steadily built an appealing aesthetic that riffs on tattered-edged insousiance of a bygone kind. While earlier collections were rooted in nineties grunge, AW14 takes its essence from New York’s Chelsea Hotel and its famous 1970s inhabitants. The models’ Patti Smith-style bird’s nest hair matched the fuzzy furry stoles and shoes, while the colour palette was surprisingly upbeat – complemented by primary-coloured MAC paint ringing the eyes. Continue reading
Day four is when things properly take shape at LFW with the heavy hitters showing the fruits of their labour. Alongside the international heavyweights Burberry Prorsum and Tom Ford, we had two newbies on the schedule. Blue Farrier made her debut as creative director of Issa London, while Maia Norman’s Mother Of Pearl presented at the ICA. Continue reading
Two days into London Fashion Week and, as with New York, the arctic temperatures are having a definite impact. Not just in what the guests have been wearing at Somerset House (rain ponchos and fur trims outstrip open toes), but on the runway itself. Continue reading
New York Fashion Week is in full swing and London editors are gearing up for LFW which is three days away. With IMG and various New York designers rethinking their blogger strategy, the conversation continues to rage around the current and future role of fashion weeks and their associated ‘circus’.
I took part in a panel discussion on this very subject a couple of weeks ago with WGSN. We did it as a live Google Hangout and the panel also included Quynh Mai, founder of digital agency Moving Image & Content, WGSN’s senior arts editor Elle Hankinson, Fashionista’s editor-in-chief Lauren Indvik, and was hosted by WGSN’s senior digital media editor, Rachel Arthur. Continue reading