News for January 2011

Last Chance to see – Future Beauty

Today I popped down to the Barbican to (finally) see the Future Beauty: 30 years of Japanese Fashion exhibition.

I’ve been meaning to go for a while, as has Tilly who came with me this afternoon, and we’re both pleased we managed to see it before it closes next weekend.

I’m ashamed to say I don’t (or didn’t) actually know that much about the much feted Yohji Yamamoto or the Comme des Garcons designers Rei Kawakubo and Junya Watanabe so this exhibition was a great introduction into their backgrounds and influence in the Western fashion world.  Kate Bush, Head of Art Galleries at Barbican says:

“The great Japanese designers – Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto – changed fashion forever in the 1980s.  The tight silhouettes of Western couture were jettisoned for new fluid shapes.  Out went the magnificent ornament and extravagent techniques of the post-war tradition and in came a stark, monochrome palette and an entirely new decorative language – holes, rips, frays and tears – emerging from the stuff of fabric itself.”

We loved the extravagant perforated, draped and contoured designs.  (This bad boy above is actually my ideal vision of my wedding dress. Oh yes.)

Plus, the film on the ground floor by Wim Wenders gave an interesting insight into the workings of Yohji Yamamoto’s studio and catwalk successes.

Other designers on show included Jun Takahashi, Tao Kurihara, Matohu and Mintdesigns.

There’s a week left (until 6th Feb). Get yourself down there pronto.

Images courtesy of Lyndon Douglas.

Prada and Chanel do videos

Welcome to a new era of fashion promotion.

Chanel : Robots from Jonathan Experton on Vimeo.

Prada SS11 Campaign Film from F.TAPE on Vimeo.

I absolutely adore these short films.  It’s not only the visuals but the way they’ve both used a kind of disjointed affect/stop animation.  Plus the music is so funky.  (In Prada, the music is Ratatat’s song ‘Mirando’)

I can’t help but smile!

January Lust-Haves

  • Katie Rowland Smokey Quartz Knuckleduster – so pretty and tough. The inspiration for this piece speaks to me – 1960s jet set glamour and St Tropez (I can only dare to dream of this kind of life) and I’m sure this ring would glamorise even the grimiest thrown-together outfit. £265.00 at Liberty.

  • Lulu Guinness Black Scallop Shell Mini Frame Purse – this piece is quite unusual for Lulu Guinness I think. I like its subtlety and the fact that it reminds me of the beach without going into the conventional (read: boring) nautical colour scheme. £37.00 in the sale.

  • Kate Sheridan Mustard Waxed Cotton Brogued Tote – January is all about the hunt for a new bag, and while this one isn’t flashy, I love the contrast of the colours and fabrics.  Plus you can’t beat its size (46 x 33cm). £42.50 in the sale.

  • Costume National bag – this will only ever be a lust-after kind of item. Not only because it’s now sold out on Yoox but for two other reasons.  1. I couldn’t afford it (I think it was about £300) and 2. I would have invariably gotten blue biro on its beautiful white leather.  But phwoar, what a bag.

  • Georgina Goodman Clayton Shoes – these ankle boots with Cuban-inspired heel (chunky, masculine, perfection) are everything I’m looking for in a pair of boots.  I’m envisaging these beauties with skinny black trousers and skirts alike.  Sigh.  Now £160 in the sale.

  • Anya Hindmarch Black Camera Pouch – at the moment my cheapie digital camera lives in a cheapie camera case bought in Saturn (Berlin’s version of HMV meets Curry’s).  This camera case is a bit indulgent but actually a very affordable Anya Hindmarch purchase.  £75 at The Gift Library.

  • Olive Leaf Blown Vase at The Conran Shop – I’ve had my eye on this vase for quite a while but I’ve not bought it as yet as I got a vase for my birthday in November (a gorgeous turquoise one with a peacock detail on the side from Habitat) and I’m drastically running out of surface area in my flat.  (Also the boyfriend would massively chastise me for spending money on non-essential items..) There’s something about the simplicity of this vase though that appeals to me.  It would be so gorgeous seeing the stems of the flowers through the leaf design.  Maybe I’ll start dropping hints to boyf in time for Valentine’s day.. £35 at The Conran Shop

  • Ilcsi Sour Cherry Gel Mask – as with most beauty buys (mainly face products) I’ve become obsessed about this one, certain that this one item is the missing link in my beauty regime that will fulfil all its promises and provide me with flawless skin.  Truth be told, I’m not sure any product could do that for me but I’m sure the sour cherry smell would bring back welcome memories of a trip to Budapest if nothing else! £25 from Cult Beauty (though unfortunately sold out for the moment).

  • Nanni Mesh Belt – a Matches sale buy, this belt will stand the test of time as it would work with military, boho and tribal looks – which, let’s face it, are always in fashion every few years.  I never really bother to spend out on belts as I don’t wear them that often but I think my wardrobe really needs this bad boy.  £75 in the Matches sale.

  • Anna Sui Knitted Top with Illustration – 70’s look?  Check.  Quirky?  Check.  Winter chic?  Check.  I must have it!  Approx £75 in the sale.

Anna Selezneva, b 1990 Russia

Queuing for Fashion

Last night I went to another rather lovely instalment of the Oh My Blog workshops run by Bitchbuzz Editor Cate Sevilla. It was a fab night and I learnt a lot but I’m feeling kind of bad this morning…

Once the actual workshop was done we all decamped to the pub (natch) and got chatting and networking. Then I realised that I had a deadline (midnight to be precise) for Company’s High Street Edit competition. They were asking for writers to enter the competition by writing a 750-800 word comment piece on ‘Queuing for Fashion’ and I had a few things left to tweak. So I pulled my laptop out and started editing.

I really hope I didn’t come across as a pretentious Mac-lover workaholic stressnut! Oh and while we’re on the topic: big shout out to helper #1 Siobhan (future sub-editor extraordinaire!) and helper #2 Joe from Stonehenge. I couldn’t have finished it without you guys. (And apologies for the glut of brackets littering this blog post……)

Here, the finished piece.


Barbarella (1968)

Camp, comedic, sarcastic, sexy and brilliant.

Jane Fonda is BARBARELLA

Anita Pallenberg as the Great Tyrant.

God I love a bit of sci fi.

Posted: January 16th, 2011
Categories: Film
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Caroline Sieber, b Austria

Austrian-born, London-based, Sieber is a stylist (most famously for Emma Watson), Chanel ambassador and all-round girl about town.

She knows what works for her – mini dresses (I mean you would live in mini dresses if you had those legs, non?), fabulous boots and heels, all with a dash of pretty punk – and is enviably and effortlessly chic.

If you want to read more about her, see here

Posted: January 15th, 2011
Categories: Fashion, People, Stylists
Tags: , , , ,
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Funny Face (1957)

I have just got in from a fantastic cheap night out at the BFI.

Funny Face (1957) starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire is an interesting portrayal of the world of modelling and the fashion industry.  It doesn’t matter that it’s hardly a plausible portrayal (the way the fashion editors storm into (Hepburn’s character) Jo Stockton’s bookshop is ludicrous and brilliant), it’s an extremely comical movie with some great dance performances. That said the BFI’s fact sheet notes that ‘photographer Richard Avedon, whose marriage to one of his models provided the basis for the story, served as visual consultant on the film’ and that ‘Audrey’s collaboration with designer Givenchy reaches its apex [in this film]‘.  At the very least this film is Hepburn and Astaire at their best, but I see it as piece of cinematic entertainment that strikes the balance between insight and escapism.

If you haven’t seen it before, I urge you to check it out.  Until then, here’s one of my favourite dance scenes…

Posted: January 13th, 2011
Categories: Fashion, Film, People
Tags: , , , , , , ,
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Daiane Conterato, b 1990 Brazil

That 70’s Show: SS11 Trend Report

Don’t you just love it when the fashion planets align and your personal style inspiration becomes the must-have look?  Well, SS11 is my season: a 1970’s revival in all its glory.

Getting Shirty
There’s nothing more au courant than a shirt.  At Proenza Schoulder oversized blouses paired with low-slung flares injected a heady rock vibe.  Meanwhile the Mulleavy sisters, aka Rodarte presented a thoroughly modern incarnation of both the 70’s and the shirt.  Cropped, cut-out and high-necked.  Take note.

Colour Pop

Delicious colour blocking and psychedelic clashing certainly pack a punch after AW10’s austere minimalism.  Violet and orange, fuchsia and lobster – it’s a veritable fashion feast.  Flying the flag for colour was Jil Sander but this trend is everywhere.  Quite possibly the juiciest trend of the season.

The Long and Short of It

What could be more summery than a diaphanous ankle-skimming dress?  Be it boho (epitomized by Girl of the Moment Freja’s opening look for Emilio Pucci) or elegant à la Lanvin, the maxi is here to stay.

Les Fleurs du mal
Ok, flower power isn’t new for Spring, but this season it’s got an edge.  Less girly, more womanly, floral is championed by the likes of bouquet master Erdem, London designer Charles Anastase and my personal fave Dries Van Noten, whose painterly fleurs fade into a chalky slither of white fabric.

White Out
Talking of which, a white out was seen on every catwalk from Alexander Wang in NYC to Charles Anastase in London to Dolce and Gabbana in Milan.  Crisp and cool, head-to-toe white is a surefire summer hit.

Studio 54
The spirit of Yves Saint Laurent lives on!  (Perhaps the rumours are true and his retrospective at Paris’s Petit Palais did inspire a whole host of designers this season…)  Channel your inner Bianca Jagger in daringly wide-legged trousers, white blazers and Gucci’s lamé separates.  It’s Saturday Night Fever for 2011.