a digital park bench….

•January 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

An interesting and cool point of view from the ever-so-endearing Scott Schumann (the man behind the The Satorialist) explained in a wonderful short film (see below) about him and his intriguing visual life.

So why the park bench metaphor? Because with sites like The Satorialist you can log on, follow and do that thing which everyone loves to do: park yourself, get comfy and people watch. But the great thing about people watching in this way is that you can comment on what you see and thus spark and contribute to a vibrant global conversation. You can complement, criticise or even berate, and of course it is relatively safe to do so. The perennial pleasure of watching the world go by has hitherto never been so rich and absorbing.

This is, according to Schumann, why his (and other similar blogs) are so important not only now, but in the future as a means of recording culture and how those living within that culture interpret and perceive said culture. When you look at it like this, The Satorialist is so much more than just a fashion photography blog; perhaps it can be regarded as a digital time capsule, containing fragments of what was once considered to be cool and relevant within a certain time.

Anyway, here is the video. Enjoy…

pink lady….

•January 19, 2011 • 2 Comments

Firstly I would like to apologise for my prolonged absence here, four months is far too long to neglect anything, least of all one’s blog. So I offer my sincere apologies along with a promise-perhaps a new year’s resolution as it were-to try to post more regularly.

So with that out the way we can get down to business. Pink. Yes, pretty pastel pink. I want some. Yes I do. Why? Because I have spent the last three and a half months wrapped up in black leather leggings, a selection of silk blouses-all hailing from a muted palette-black wedge heeled boots and a black cashmere cocoon coat (all which I adore, don’t get me wrong) so I think it may be time to prettify a little.

So the pretty shade of pink, heavy with traditional notions of femininity, it is a hue which can evoke strange behaviours. I think as we continue to hurtle through the noughties (I know it’s a shit, awful term, but bear with me) pink is perhaps no longer the go-to shade for innocent, doe-eyed, daddy’s girls, but rather it seems to now be le couleur du jour for every tawdry, tacky type we have the misfortune to set eyes upon. Case in point, that awful Jordan creature. It seems she has attempted to claim this shade as her own-stamping it upon everything within her own little skewed domain- in order to apply some ill-thought through, ‘ironic’, innocent girly twist on her apparent guttural lifestyle. Simply dreadful.

So I want to make it quite clear that when I suggest that I may be taking the rouge route this spring, I will definitely not be stopping at Jordan Junction. Rather, I plan on emulating this divine creature above (originally seen here). Just look at that outfit, it is every kind of right and yes that ever there was. And I know why, it is the pink, that oh-so-pretty pinch of pink done the cool-girl way, like-let’s face it-only a Parisian can.

So I think you can guess what is at the top of my springtime wish list? Yup, pink cigarette pants. Oh, just to this very phrase is so, so chic! Cigarette pants have recently enjoyed a touch of resurgence (hang on, perhaps they were never really off-trend?) in recent years due to every young bonnie lass declaring that she loves Audrey Hepburn and thus trying to work a little Audrey, circa Funny Face. This is no bad thing as every street needs a touch of Audrey’s emblematic chic, so this is truly tres bien. So whilst finding elegant, timeless black cigarette pants is an effortless undertaking, sourcing her pink counterpart is perhaps a little more arduous. That is until now…

Recently, I discovered little-known Singaporean label Raoul, and my springtime fashion dreams were answered. This season they have designed the chicest pair of pastel pink cigarette pants, and I for one am gonna get me some! I am afraid that you will just have to take my word on this, as I have searched the internet high and low for an image of these aforementioned beauties, but to no avail. However I can say, hand on my heart, they are showcased in the Raoul SS11 print lookbook, so I have not lost my mind and am just making this all up!

I discovered Raoul a few months ago when their AW10 collection was delivered to Matches, and I was instantly seduced by the strong, solid colours, sumptuous fabrics, clean lines, simple styling and effortless aesthetic which suggested to me (when done right) could add up to an European-chic, Bond-girl esque kinda cool.

Admittedly, some of the pieces are rather wet, made to look better than they actually are by the fact that they are modelled by ultra-fit girls who have that French, couldn’t give a shit kinda cool thing off to a tee. But, that said, by and large this is an undeniably elegant label which one can dip-in and out of, securing pretty, versatile pieces as she goes. And they offer pink cigarette pants! What’s not to love? Now, just to source the perfect complementary camel cashmere sweater. I think I saw a Balenciaga one just the other day which would be oh-so perfect….

feel like a woman, wear a dress

•August 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

 

Diane Von Furstenberg, the timeless, feminine oligarch of fashion delivers, yet again, this season on promises of femininity, classic, ageless, sex appeal, wearability and contemporary cool. The world-famous DVF brand is this season’s perfect go-to label for sexy, classic pieces which can be styled in a multitude of different ways.

Point in case? This smouldering beauty..

Okay, it is not exactly appropriate office attire, but if the desired effect is to raise heartbeats and to have men falling at your feet, then this is the dress for you.  The Arita dress is SEX, quite simply. A  little bit Pulp Fiction, a little bit David Lynch, a whole lot seductive sophistication.  With its combination of 3/4 length sleeves and sexy scoop back, this piece plays an exciting game of peek-a-boo. It would be stunning teamed with some Wolford, black, Velvet De luxe tights and a pair of Acne platform pumps. A little vintage Chanel bag swinging from your shoulder would be the perfect full stop to this classic style statement.

Get a little more mileage from this wonderful dress, by leaving the Wolfords at home, and rocking long, lean, bare legs instead. Swap the Acne pumps for these eye-popping, Yves Saint Laurent beauties, and your look will take on a whole new, sartorial slant.

This shoe’s high-octane, electric blue hue will clash beautifully with the dress’ dramatic sahde of red, creating an ensemble which will truly trailblaze in the style stakes. Of course you can always make like Miss Alexa Chung and stick with the bare legs, but instead of pumps; make these divine, Laura Bohnic majesties your footwear of choice:

Their left bank cool is matched only by their powerful beauty and utterly exquisite craftmanship. They would beautifully offset the classic femininity of the Arita dress producing a look which is simply, red-hot.

chilly, baby…

•August 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So here we are, and this is it. As we all desperately try to stare down- and will into submission- the tail end of a once again far too short British Summer, there is a factor within this rather depressing set of circumstances which could possibly brighten your mood: Trans-Seasonal Dressing.

Met with a grimace by some, and with a warm embrace by others, Trans- Seasonal Dressing (TSD, as it shall be refered to from herein) is perhaps the best time in the year to actualise what stylists, fashion mags and the like refer to as: ‘mixing things up’.  So, in theory, TSD allows you to pull off a look which can be as schizophrenic as the weather. And it’s all good! Of course, TSD can be done the lazy girl way by simply layering a leather biker jacket over a floaty Summer dress or, with a little injection of French cool, it can be truly chicer-than-chic. Enter the mighty APC

Unlike most brands, APC does not have only offer two yearly collections- Spring/Sumer and Autumn/Winter- but effectively offers four: Spring, High Summer, Fall and Winter. Therefore, it is the perfect go-to brand when it comes to nailing that sometimes arduous ‘in-between-seasons’ look. The Fall 2010 Women’s Collection boasts a plethora of key pieces which you can wear to your heart’s content whilst you are trying to squeeze that last little bit out of the summer, then, with a little bit of style savvy, will see you through those notoriously tricky months until it gets bitterly cold once again. This little beauty is a perfect case in point:

Seriously, over the next few months, this can be worn to death. Wear it now- whilst the temperature is still mildly pleasant- with black, flat, strappy sandals, and then when it starts to get really blustery and the inevitable downpours- A.K.A “showers”- ensue, team it with a timeless Mac (Burberry or Aquascutum, or course), black 40 deniers, black, patent ballet pumps and an oh-so-terribly cool and elegant Fox umberella. Yes, it will snow, yes it will get C.O.L.D  but fear not, this baby will see you through it all with style. So when the temperature really takes a nose dive, swap your 40 deniers for Wolford Merinos, and your ballet pumps for some cool, Acne Chelsea boots. Leave the Mac at home, and wrap up in a Saint James Pea Coat. Easy.

Another little treat from the current collection, to further illustrate my point:

Okay, so it’s a floral, long sleeved, short shift. Whats the big deal? I  know it looks simple enough, but APC pieces are so well made that the most simplest of designs are actually really special. Like Biba pieces, APC treasures like this, will be in your wardrobe for a long time to come. Again, perfect for TSD: at the minute, make like Miss Chung and team it with black ballets, chelseas and strappys (all coupled with bare, tanned legs, obviously), and then play swaps with your mac, pea coat, etc.. when it gets a tad nippy/absolutely freezing. You know the drill, right?

Interestingly, I think this little baby would look particularly lovely with this season’s ‘It’ jacket- the shearling aviator.. Now, what was it I said about layering leather jackets over summer dresses?.. I  take it all back…

It ain’t no 60′s thang, fool….

•August 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

At the minute Leonardo DiCaprio fever is sweeping the nation due to the new Chris Nolan joint, Inception. I haven’t  yet got round to watching this movie, but I have been warming up for this pursuit with a reprise of all which is great and good from the utterly brilliant Leo DiCaprio. 

So, I recently enjoyed a re-encounter with The Aviator, which did not only manage to strengthen my belief that DiCaprio is the finest actor ever, but it also make me sit up and take notice, once again, how beautifully styled Cate Blanchett’s character- the disgusting, but divine Katherine Hepburn- is in this fantastic film. She really does fly the flag for Hollywood, Art Deco Glamour which was, after all, the prevalent ‘look’ of the 1930′s. Anyway, this re-encounter got me thinking….

In a previous post I discussed the very exciting news that Biba and House of Fraser have joined forces, and together they are set to offer us lucky British women treats galore this coming Autumn. This post touched upon the notion that it is perhaps widely mis-thought that the Biba retrospective predominantly speaks of the 1960′s era, and also the 1970′s towards the end of the label’s life. It then went on to suggest that what is perhaps closer to the truth is that, in actual fact, Biba designs bear all the classic, Art Deco hallmarks of the heady 1930′s. They are glamorous, confident, over the top and exude a real subtle, but strong, chicness. This Autumn’s collection does not depart from this design signature, pieces are expected to be sexy, opulent and are guaranteed to softly say a great deal about those who adorn themselves with such treasures.

My recent re-encounter with The Aviator cemented my belief that Biba’s creative origin lies in the 30′s. The Aviator, of course, documents the hoof marks Howard Hughes left upon the 1930′s cultural terrain, focussing upon, amongst other things, his love affair with Hollywood screen legend, Katherine Hepburn. Cate Blanchett’s wardrobe in this movie not only contributes to the accurate depiction of this legend; but it also suggests that the Biba styling is very much in line with 1930′s fashions.

Judging by the pictures at the top of this post, it is clear that the dress Blancett is sporting is very reminiscent of Hepburn’s 30′s style, and is also so very, very Biba. The colour, the cut, the fluid lines, the shape, the flayboyant- but never gaudy- detailing..everything! Just look at it, it looks as if it could have been one of Hulanicki’s originals, made in the 60′s; but with the 30′s in mind! Also, I think you will agree, it is simply stunning.

Below are some more stills from the movie, all demonstrating that Blancett’s 1930′s Katherine Hepburn wardrobe could have been plucked from the hallowed Biba archive..

 

 

mama love…

•July 21, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I started today with the intention of blogging to my heart’s content. However, unfortunately, this intended blogging session got relegated due to me having too many other things to do, which I guess you could class as “priorities”.

However, that said, a cheeky little Twitter break revealed something which I simply couldn’t let slip through my fingers.

The beauty above is from the upcoming Stella McCartney AW10 collection. Now, you may think that it is nice enough; but perhaps it is not so special that it deserves a post all of its own, let alone me breaking my new ‘better time management regime’.  However, by coming to this conclusion, unfortunately you will be quite wrong.

What makes this top so special is the print, it is a print of a photograph which Stella’s mum took before she died. Now, I like horses, I like t-shirts, and I like Stella McCartney’s designs; but none of these three elements have ever caused me to feel a little choked up. However, this Stella McCartney horse printed t-shirt did just that. Of course, this is not due to the t-shirt itself; but the emotionality connected with it.

I liked Linda McCartney; I always imagined that she was a warm, sensitive and kind women. I think this gesture by McCartney junior is a little reminder of this. This simple printed t-shirt reminds us that Linda saw the natural world as something which was beyond beautiful, moreover she managed to capture this beauty- through her photography- in a way which reflected her own natural sensitivity, and her innate artistic sensibility.

I really admire this move, on Stella’s part. This is something which I think I would  want to do if I wanted to honour my mother’s memory. I really want one of these t-shirts because in a strange way I feel  by wearing it I, too, will be saying: I love my mama. She is amazing.

orderly que, please….

•July 15, 2010 • 2 Comments

The Row is back with a collection for AW10 which simply does not disappoint.

Adhering to the key principle of immaculately designed key basics, which will build into an incredibly special capsule wardrobe, Mary- Kate and Ashley Olsen deliver on minimalism, sexiness and modern-day Parisian style. Each piece this season is, of course, hallmarked with the Hollywood Twins’ unmistakable effortless chic which affords the wearer at once easy, go-to dressing; but also a level of luxury which is simply unsurpassed.

Of course, this level of luxury does not come cheap; the label’s signature piece- skinner that skinny motorcycle pants- are available in super sexy suede and butter soft leather, and both cost mega bucks: around £1,115 a pair. However, despite these covetable pieces being around since only 2007, they already belong in the fashion canon sitting alongside classics such as the Chanel suit. They now belong to that revered collection of pieces which are often desired for a long time, and are seldom acquired, but by a lucky few. Once you own timeless pieces like these you rely upon them time and time again, endlessly reinventing them. Therefore, a pair of these beauties are cheap at the price:

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen have an undeniable formulaic approach to design which, surprisingly, never seems to bore their avid fans. They rely upon a minimalistic colour pallete of gothic black, charcoal grey, pure white and befuddled nude. Very occasionally they cause a flutter by producing a piece in danger red, or shocking blue. The girls favour cuts and lines which are both simple and immaculate, taking their cue from slick tailoring; hence the title- The Row- after the world-famous, London tailoring street, Saville Row. The Olsens, themselves, are often spotted sporting their own designs, styling them in a way which they have made all their own: using fine accessories as colour accents, and referencing a unique gothic beauty through the jewelry and make up they both wear. Their simple; but fascinating, unignorable style has been much copied the world over. 

It is the sexy, luxe appeal of this label which seduces me. All the pieces are designed with the most incredibly fine fabrics in mind; the twins really seem to understand and respect these materials. Ironically, there is nothing complicated about the collections, on the contrary they are perhaps some of the most simple designs around, but the twins’ wear these pieces in a way which evokes a sense of mystery which is very chic. For me, I have always admired the capsule collection notion which seems to be central to the label; theoretically you can buy one or two pieces a season, working and reworking with each new seasonal buy, creating a slick, cohesive, signature look which is imbued with a high wattage of modern sexiness.

This wonderful promo video beautifully explains this intelligent fashion sensibility:

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