As my birthday week comes to an end, I’ve been thinking more and more about the glory years. You know, those ages when your Mum and Dad asked you what you wanted for your birthday and you actually got it and they’d sometimes even throw in an extra wildcard. Those days are now long gone but I do remember a couple of the wildcard presents my Mum got me when I was little. One was a pair of really pretty sandals that were known as my Cinderella slippers and we’d often argue as I’d always want to wear them to bed. In fact, I’d normally agree to take them off, then when she thought I was sleeping, I’d put them back on again and fall asleep only to wake up with them not on as she’d have come in and taken them off. Another one of those presents was a Sleeping Beauty dress that only came out at special occasions – I loved it but luckily for my Mum, appreciated that it was not suitable sleeping gear. If I had turned ten rather than twenty-something this week, my list would’ve featured as many items from Stella McCartney’s 70-piece line for Gap kids as possible.
The size of the range runs from newborn baby up to kids aged 12 and hits Gap stores next month. Stella has kept in line with her beliefs and ethos for this range and just like her main line, none of the shoes are made from leather. She’s used fabrics such as organic cotton and denim, cashmere and wool – all the good stuff! Stella is the mother of three kids so she knows what kids want to wear and as a mother understands what kids need from their clothing. This shows through in the fun designs and attention to detail. There are even a few pieces that are borrowed from her Autumn/Winter 2009 main line collection, such as the grey jumper dress with a tiger print and skinny jeans with zips at the bottom.
Being the oldest of two and not old enough (in my opinion anyway) to have kids yet, it makes me sad that I can not enhance any child’s life with these clothes. My faves are the military style jacket… I can imagine Mums will have to sew a name label into that little gem so it doesn’t get stolen in the playground and also the tutu. The styling of the ad is great as well, these are instant outfits for style-savvy Mums to dress their kids in. I hope its not a one off and that Stella will still be doing something affordable for kids when I’m ready to play dress-up with mine! Failing that, I might take a trip down to Gap kids next month and see what I can squeeze into. After all I am the same height as a lot of 12-year olds!
It’s my birthday this week so I’ve set myself the task of finding a birthday dress to celebrate the occasion in true style. The reality of these credit crunch times is that I won’t be buying anything new as I have a number of items in my wardrobe with the tags still on. A girl can still dream so I got to thinking about what my ideal birthday party dress would be (if I had a limitless budget).
Every girl needs a good little black dress and I’d happily take this one from Acne. Especially if it comes with those shoes! Simple, understated yet sexy. The shoes really make this outfit.
You can’t go wrong with a Marc Jacobs dress. I’m loving the colour of this dress and I can imagine having a good old boogie in it.
This sparkly Balmain number is the perfect dress to ensure that all eyes are on me. Another good dress for dancing!
Erdem knows how to make dresses that women want to wear and I want to wear this! I love the simple make up on this too, the red lips look great. Simple, girly and not too understated.
Whilst I don’t think the styling in this image is the greatest, this Peter Pilotto number would be my number one choice, with black opaque tights and killer heels. It’s a little bit statement and a little bit look at me and that’s the whole point – my birthday only comes around once a year. Maybe if I start saving up now I can afford to buy it for next year’s birthday!
I’ve taken my head out of the clouds and gone shopping in my wardrobe. I’ve settled on a floral print number from H&M’s Divided Exclusive collection. Someone get me to the bar!
I am of the view that actors should stick to acting, models to modeling, designers to designing and so forth. It is characteristic of our times that this is not the case, even though we know that it is for the greater good. Think – Lindsay Lohan’s recent butchering of Emmanual Ungaro’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection as a result of her new role as Artistic Adviser. However, I have one exception to this rule – the Olsen twins. Mary-Kate and Ashley have managed to seamlessly go from successful child actresses to renowned and well respected fashion designers. They have two main lines under their belt – Elizabeth and James and The Row, both of which are successful womenswear lines stocked in stores such as Harvey Nichols and Selfridges and online at net-a-porter and Shopbop. It also helps that the clothes are very wearable.
Elizabeth and James is named after the twins’ younger sister and older brother and for Autumn/Winter 2009 or Fall as the Americans refer to it has kindly offered up a collection for the guys.
The clothes are simple and classic. There is nothing like a well-groomed man and it seems that Mary-Kate and Ashley agree.
This weekend, I’ve been revisiting images from last month’s Spring/Summer 2010 shows – there was a lot to take in and I’m pretty sure that I missed a fair bit. Looking at all the shows, especially the ones from the more well known designer, one thing stood out – the American model, Chanel Iman. Her omnipresence at shows from House of Holland and Blumarine, to Gucci and DKNY is a testament to Chanel’s exotic looks. She has the chameleon-like ability to transform into anything a designer desires, she is a true blank canvas yet her beauty and versatility manages to shine through.
Chanel’s exoticism comes from her mixed heritage – African American and Korean. But what I really love about her is that she knows how to work any look she is given, whether it is on a catwalk or on a shoot for a magazine spread. Chanel is my model of the season and I’m not ashamed to say that I have a big girl crush on her. She is beautiful!
Chanel is on the November cover of Teen Vogue with fellow model Jourdan Dunn. Both Chanel and Jourdan are a breath of fresh air in an industry that is known for lacking in diversity.
Clemens en August is a brand on tour. Not a band but a brand. Every season Clemens en August travels to international cities selling their mens and womens collections in contemporary spaces for only three days at a time. Essentially, this is the original pop-up shop. The limited availability of the clothes keeps costs down and exclusivity high.
The concept is pretty cool and the clothes aren’t too bad either. Simple shapes and colours are the foundation of their Autumn/Winter 2009 collection.
London is currently playing host to the tour until October 17 at 36 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 8BQ. Get it while you can!
There is no obvious link between fashion and climate change. Though it is true that fashion encapsulates all that is consumer-driven and disposable about society these days. In recent times, there has been a surge in eco-friendly designers and brands, or even just familiar brands trying to do things with the environment in mind. Think H&M’s organic cotton range and the emergence of brands such as Edun and Leju. As we are faced with news and images of man-made destruction to the environment, it is becoming more and more evident that people in fashion do have a conscience.
One such lady is Ada Zanditon. She recently showcased her Spring/Summer 2010 collection as part of Vauxhall Fashion Scout,the UK’s largest event for emerging designers, that forms part of London Fashion Week. Zanditon uses a range of organic cotton and natural fabrics with innovative waste reducing and energy conscious solutions. The thing that I love about Zanditon is that despite being really concerned about the environment, her designs are amazing. The detailing in her garments is exquisite and gives them a real architectural look. There is no doubt she is very talented, so much so that she was recognised as one of Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s ‘Ones To Watch’.
It’s Blog Action Day today and I’m doing my bit to raise awareness about climate change. All you fashionistas out there who think that you can’t love fashion and do your part for the environment, you are wrong! Check out sustainyourstyle.com for ethical and environmentally friendly clothes and accessories from all over the world.
For more information about Blog Action Day 2009, check out blogactionday.org.
So the size debate has been ignited again by none other than Karl Lagerfeld this week. Just when we thought this round of the debate had been laid to rest after Mark Fast’s London Fashion Week PR stunt with the reams of coverage and a collection for TopShop secured, Lagerfeld has piped up with an almighty cry that should have Chanel aficionados stopping in their tracks.
Recently, Germany’s most popular women’s magazine, Brigitte, announced that they would be banning professional models from their pages, in favour of images of “real life women”. Lagerfeld described the magazine’s decision as absurd and said it had fallen victim to overweight women, adding, “Nobody wants to see a curvy woman.” He told Focus Magazine, “You’ve got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly.” He also added that haute couture’s main preoccupation was “with dreams and illusions, and no one wants to see round women”.
I must stress, Karl Lagerfeld is a reformed fatty. He lost 92lbs in 13 months and then did what everyone does when they lose a bit if weight, wrote a book – The Karl Lagerfeld Diet. However, this does not by any means give him authority to talk about size in this way. The weight debate in fashion is a very sensitive issue, not to be taken lightly, after all, size has taken the lives of models in recent years. I understand fashion is about dreams and illusions but the reality is that we do not live in a dream world and when we splash our cash in the stores, we are real women buying clothes for our very real bodies. As the creative driving force behind such an iconic label, Lagerfeld would have done better to keep his thoughts to himself.
I’m not sure why it is that when someone dies, we remember how they great they were in a way that is never done when they’re alive. I guess that’s just the way the world works. Last week, Irving Penn, a famous American photographer died aged 92. His unique style of fashion photography used natural light rather than all the expensive studio lighting, favouring a simple black or white background to bring out specific features of his subjects. He championed black and white photography and focused on the composition of the photograph, placing his subjects in the frame in a way that resembled still life images.
Penn started off at Vogue in 1943 as an art director but when he couldn’t get the results he wanted from the photographers, he tried his hand behind the camera. His first picture appeared on the front cover of the October issue of Vogue.
Penn went on to do more Vogue shoots, including still life photographs of accessories and worked on personal projects as well as advertorials for famous brands such as Clinique. He even had two exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art under his belt. He was also famous for photographing celebrities from Miles Davies and Pablo Picasso to Gisele and Nicole Kidman.
I sometimes think that we underestimate the importance of photography in fashion. It is the single most important expression of a moment and is one of the most important channels of communication for a designer to show off their creations. Irving Penn played a significant role in the evolution of fashion photography and I’m sure his legacy will live on.
If I was a fashion designer, this week would be the week that I packed it in. On Tuesday evening, Alexander McQueen streamed his Spring/Summer 2010 collection live online at SHOWstudio, though in true Fashion Week style it ran late. Nevertheless, Alexander introduced us to Plato’s Atlantis. The delicate prints, the structures and angles of the clothing, the details – the collection seemed to mirror Plato’s description of the lost city of Atlantis. The pieces were futuristic yet primeval, reptilian yet alien-like and left me wanting more.
Forget the sissy Louis Vuitton bunny ears. Alexander McQueen’s magnificently sculpted hair designs have put an end to them. They are dead. I dare Madonna to try these!
What about the references to Alien the movie. Who knew extra-terrestrial could be so beautiful?
As the saying goes, ‘no pain, no gain’ and that really applies to the shoes that were sent down the runway. There was even a point in the show when one of the models almost took a tumble.
These are my picks. There is no doubt the whole collection is stunning but my two favourite pieces are the shoes and clutch below. The shoes are simply breathtaking, managing to be hard yet soft and those colours are perfect. The bag is sensational and probably the most wearable accessory from the collection. I want it now!
Alexander McQueen does not even compare to the other collections this season. It is forward-thinking, futuristic, primal and beautiful, far from a lot of the safe that recession-driven stuff that has been shown. He is more than on top his game.
Plato said, “a hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand men.” Plato was talking about Alexander McQueen.