Designers

Roberto’s ‘up yours’ to the recession




Politically correct or no, I’m loving all the latest reports of credit crunch defying antics. From Balmain’s now infamous sell-out £1000 jeans to Christian Louboutin’s Lesage-embroidered tart’s shoes… it means I can live vicariously through those who aren’t suffering as much as me. Personally, I’m still trying to spend a wee bit to keep the economy afloat. What I do is on the days that I’m working from home I have Heinz tomato soup (not the organic one though – too expensive) or beans on toast for lunch, so the tenner-a-day lunch budget saved goes on a Wagamama/Busaba/Harvey Nicks lunch on the days I’m out and about. (Back in the days when I had an office job I was laughed at for my lavish takeaway lunches but I’m sorry, I don’t do sandwiches – too depressing – plus I need a hot meal and lunchtime is the highlight of my day!)

Anyway I digress. Roberto Cavalli has collaborated with Mastercard on a super-swanky credit card. Here’s the blurb:
‘Created for those who thrive upon excellence, elegance and quality, “The Cavalli Card” promises cardholders a host of premium benefits – each specifically tailored to their needs and lifestyle. Dedicated VIP services at every Cavalli boutique across the world; access to special sales, both in Cavalli retail outlets and online; exclusive invitations to prestigious events, fashion shows and trunk shows: these are just some of the many “deluxe” services offered to the carholders.’

Sigh. See anything wrong with this picture? My problem isn’t the at-odds-with-the-times flashiness but with the brand itself. I’d love all those benefits, just not with Cavalli. However if Acne, APC, Margaret Howell or Chloe decided to do the same, I’d sign up straight away.



Millinery madness



Milliners are like buses, nothing for ages then a whole procession of them arrive at once. Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy were for a long time the only hatters worth knowing. Philip Treacy’s fashion shows were a huge fanfare with fabulous models like Susie Bick and Grace Jones cavorting on the catwalk, dynamic music and an overall party-party atmosphere. Meanwhile Stephen Jones has been busying himself for years, nay decades, without quite so much pomp, yet fashioning hats season after season for Galliano, Dior, Comme and a fleet of other designers to boot. This month he is curating his two-years-in-the-making exhibition, Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones and there is certainly a buzz around it. But there’s also a buzz around millinery in general.

When I saw Grace Jones at the Roundhouse last week it was an all-round gobsmacking experience. From the people-watching (Judy Blame wearing a bra…on his face) to the music (I literally swooned during La Vie En Rose) to the showmanship, but the star attraction was the Philip Treacy hat-fest – a different one for each outfit change. But the end of the noughties has coralled in a whole new generation of bonce-beautifiers…

Justin Smith Esquire is an ex-hairdresser whose star is on the rise. His vintage-referenced hats have more than a touch of English eccentricity about them – how special are these bespoke numbers?

I love the theatrical grandeur of Louis Mariette’s fanciful adornments. Not only does he make hats but also jewellery, belts…even eyepatches dammit!





Piers Atkinson makes sometimes-macabre-sometimes-cartoony hats. Last season he did a Mickey Mouse ears theme including a neon headpiece in collaboration with Darren West. This season I’m loving his brilliantly bonkers stuffed-toy hat. I’d wear one! Atkinson tells me he has two hats in the V&A exhibition and is currently working on the hats for the Ashish show so I’m hoping for colour and maybe a bit of sparkle.


Finally, my favourite. Soren Bach is another hairdresser-slash-hatter (how many more are there I wonder). I saw these amazing multi-coloured fur hats a few seasons ago at London Fashion Week and have never forgotten them. I think they were from his RCA graduate collection but I’d love to see more from him.



Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones opens on 24th February at the V&A



On Helmut, Jil, Joseph, Juergen, Corrine, Kirsten and Stella










As Jen at Mahalo fashion bemoans, every drop of interest has been squeezed out of the ’70s so what’s next on the retro rehash front? I hate to say it but the fact cannot be ignored, it’s time for the nineties revival proper. It’s had a couple of false starts, the latest being nu-rave, but I think we can start looking at the 90s revival from a grown-up point of view. As Fashionista reports that 1990s finest alterna-models Kirsten Owen and Stella Tennant are rumoured to be the faces of Marc Jacobs’ fall campaign, I’m thinking the following will start looking fresh now:

Skinny black suit trousers and pointy black ankle boots -very Helmut Lang/Jil Sander, very Alison Mosshart

Spiky kitten heels – Remember when Dolce & Gabbana did these? I can totally see Vicky Beckham working a kitten heel and sheath dress combo

Non-trashy silver: Who can forget Jean Colonna’s silver jeans, silver leather jackets, silver-sprayed Cons?

McQueen’s ‘ugly’ aesthetic – think edgy tailoring, angry walks, intricate details, elaborate shows

Tom Ford for Gucci’s smoky eye and liquid jersey dresses with punky patent boots (wow, was that really 10 years ago?)

Isaac Mizrahi’s AW04 ballskirt and tee combo – legendary!

Joseph – when did it all go wrong with Joseph? I used to lust after those big black slouchy knits like a junior fashionista possessed, not to mention the boyish trouser suits, luxe hoodies and flat-front trousers with trademark stripe up the side

Patrick Cox loafers – I’m still regretting that I could never afford the gold ones. With news that Patrick Cox has been bought by Eddie Davenport, may I suggest they revive these pretty sharpish?

Camel: AW 94/95 = Camel suits at Calvin Klein (complete with chignons and 60s eyeliner), camel Crombie-style coats at Helmut Lang, camel dresses at MaxMara and Ann Demeulemeester (with aforementioned black ankleboots)

1990s models – Supermodels aside, who doesn’t miss the golden greats: Emma Balfour, Bridget Hall, Lorraine Pascale, Kiara, Veronica Webb, Kirsty Hume, Cecelia Chancellor …

1990s photographers: Ellen von Unwerth, David Sims, Juergen Teller, Corinne Day

CK Jeans: That iconic ad is imprinted on my brain!

Agnes B garconne look – admittedly I never stopped rocking this look but I reckon it’s time for it to resurface. Agnes B has been under-the-radar for most of this decade so let’s hear it for the stripy tee, Black picot-edge cardi and beatnik sunnies. PS, old Agnes is opening up shop in Spitalfields Market soon too.

Pics:
CK One
CK One
Emma Balfour in iD
Juergen Teller for Katharine Hamnett Denim
iD cover with Lorraine Pascale
Milla Jovovich wears Alberto Biani in iD photographed by Bob Richardson
Elle