Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Website safe and well and just arrived goodies!

Hello dear '99ians/iennes :)

The website issue has been sorted so feel free to browse it fearlessly, though really you will end up here where all the action happens (well apart from in the salon itself of course) ;)!

Please enjoy some of these newly arrived goodies, so much to see and such fab designers. Let me run you through them!

I absolutely love Antonio Berardi. From the early 2000s till now his work is fresh, detailed, immaculately constructed using fantastic fabrics and always embodies an innate sex appeal and sexiness without vulgarity. A perfect example is this dress/top/jacket/cardigan/concoction. The minute I saw this I knew it was gold. Its light, it drapes beautifully, the lace is so intricately constructed. It really is a piece for when everything is last minute, you simply slip into it, whack on a red lip, a black pump and clutch and its off into the taxi for a fabulous night out!

Dolce & Gabbana, 30 years in fashion and at the top of their game! This jacket is just, just. And by that I mean its the epitome of chic. The gold buttons, the lightly puffed sleeves and the double cuffs and collar are the kinds of details that lift it to the next level; everything is considered, precise and makes perfect sense. Of course open it up and you have the unmistakable Dolce leopard print lining and signature gold logo drop chain, and the beauty of it is that only you know about them.SOLD

Raf Simons' spring 2008 collection for Jil Sander was just stunning. Pink, white, blue and orange in the most intense of tones were given restraint with perfect cutting, minute details and plenty of wispy and billowing tulle. This one of a kind sample from the collection is made from a crinkly wrinkly crepe and lined with flesh coloured silk organza. It literally floats around the wearer as the fabrics have so much body and dimension. The slim cut lapel echoes both the narrow positioning of the buttons and the severity of the arms. For best results, combine with long flowing black gown, or white shirt, jeans and boots for two looks that will make you stand out of the crowd, and that's what we all want right? :)SOLD

You all know Luca Luca is one of my favourite labels, and here is just another reason why! This jacket is almost like a cape, it swings out at the back, closes only at the neck with a hook and eye and falls beautifully around the body. The fabric too is divine, a 3D square check in brown and pink, with an almost boucle layer mixed in as well. There is a dress to match, a simple shift with button details on the neck in the shame shade of pink. That was a clever styling move, as two garments in this same fabric would create an almost hallucinogenic effect to those observing, and we should never be too garish I say!

Marc Jacobs is a fashion force. Though of course I understand it from a business point of view, all his diffusion lines and trinkets are not why I love him. The top line collection however, is another story. Take this jacket. On appearance and touch I'm almost certain its silk taffeta, but I am mistaken. It is made from cotton/polyester, though I'm sure the polyester is somewhat like a film which gives it its silky appearance. It even sounds like silk, with a discernible scroop (what a fabulous word haha). The little details like the press stud closure hidden by a rosette and the bow tie on the back waist make it just that little bit more sweet. Its a bit like a candy cane in clothing form actually. And the inside is delicately padded for extra warmth, but you'd never know, its light and fun and perfect for a lift on a gloomy day!

Clearly I have a shoulder fascination as whether its jackets, dress or like this, little tops, the shoulder is always getting a little puff treatment. This little Balenciaga top keeps it interesting with its almost seersucker-like fabric. It is silk, but there is definitely a spring in the step of the vertical 'ribs' of the fabric. Ghesquiere has used the fabric to its full potential, utilising all directions; the flounce is cut on the bias, the neck-tie on the off grain, and this creates extra movement and beautiful lines around the piece. I see it worn with a slightly flounced skirt and almost non existent shoes, or over jeans with a black cotton jacket for ease. Tell me what you think.

I just love abstract prints, prints that look kooky but aren't actually anything. Stains, smears, strange shapes, love it. So of course this putty coloured Jil Sander number is right up my alley. Made from simple but luminous cotton poplin it sits just at the knees and button blind (invisible buttons). I think blind  buttoning is very clever as it makes it seem as though the garment and the wearer are one, and that may be a slightly bizarre concept but I like it :). So then the print. Its as if the dress was folded in places as the printing happened, and areas were left cracked and smudged. It fits right in with that slightly broken beauty that Raf Simons achieved in his time at the label, and coming into Autumn its the perfect time for this dress.

Chloe jeans, what more to say. These have a really nice fit around the thighs and then they flare out ever so slightly. Not boot, not straight, somewhere in between. You must of course have long long legs, but then again, getting jeans taken up is very easy indeed :).

I just love this Thakoon cotton skirt with ribbon trim details. It actually almost looks as if it has been stitched over with celluloid, or movie film (though of course a textile version). The crinkled cotton feels like it has been waxed which gives the skirt a real 3D feel, it pretty much stands up on its own. With a simple tank and long jacket its still the focus of your outfit, without dominating you!

Who doesn't love an easy 'go-to' top to throw on with jeans, tailored pants, skirts, jackets, the whole she-bang! This Chloe silk ruffled sleeveless top is certainly the one. Its light, breezy and works dressed up, dressed down, taking the kids to and from school, light lunch, fancy dinner (with a jacket and voluminous skirt), layer necklaces all over it with a pencil skirt, just so many options!!

I have mentioned to you Sari Gueron before, the young New Yorker. Well this is another of her gorgeous things. Think 1920s, 1960s, cabaret lounge fabulousness. It is silk, sits slightly off the shoulders and is framed by the velvet strip. The polka dots are devoreed velvet and all down the front are beaded silk rosettes decorated with blue/green tinged feathers. It is just delightful, and needs a fascinator and a small glass vodka bottle as an accessory. Love it!

To change it up here is the amazing construction detail first. The seams have been faggoted together with the crochet in between (and yes, faggoting is indeed the technique)! The use of a non solid piece in what is the actual shaping of the jacket and for it to sit so flat could only really be achieved by the workrooms of Italy. The shoulders have a beautiful shape, and the front closure is actually 22 sturdy hooks and eyes; this is not a quick off and into bed jacket, but it will absolutely get you to the stage just before bed! Enjoy!SOLD

xx :)

Monday, 27 February 2012

Website attacked by virus, apologies!

Dear Paris '99ers,
My website has been struck down by a terrible virus! :(
The virus has been sending spam emails and I apologise profusely if you have been a victim.
As such, I have suspended the website until the issue is under control.
Do not despair, I will be posting blogs and updating on Facebook and Twitter.
All will be sorted soon I'm sure!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

'Tis Oscar time, lets reminisce!

Hello dear Paris '99ers!
Wow it was an absolutely scorching! weekend as summer decided to make a late entry, next week is autumn, hmmm, and well, as we speak, its Oscar time! Red Carpet extravaganza to be sure :).

Image take from pictures.directnews.co.uk

I thought seeing as I enjoy looking at what has come before it would be a nice idea to reminisce about some beautiful fashion moments on the biggest Red Carpet in the world!

Starting exactly 10 years ago with a certain Alexander McQueen look on Gwyneth Paltrow.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Alexander McQueen, 2002 Oscars. Image taken from www.celebbuzz.com thanks :)

Now I actually think that this is a really beautiful skirt, the detail in the pleating is stunning, and as it opens out into that softly billowed taffeta train, yum! And the top, well you know, its McQueen, and even though it was perhaps not as Oscars as we'd seen her in (cue tissues for that frothy pink Ralph Lauren gown when she won), I thought she looked great.

Another interesting but totally fitting choice was Bjork, in support of her film 'Dancer in the Dark' in 2001. Of course how could we forget the 'Swan' by Marjan Pejoski, her stylist and a designer in his own right. Of course Bjork has worn all the 'odd and interesting' designers; Junya Watanabe, Hussein Chalayan, so really, what's the difference being adorned as a swan!

Of course Cher must get a mention for her role in Oscar fashion antics. When she won in 1988 for Moonstruck she rocked none other than a sparkle king Bob Mackie beaded dress which apart from a wink to modesty was completely sheer, and looked fabulous doing it!

Now I've always been a fan of Hilary Swank. In 2000 when she first won for Boys Don't Cry, she wore a green strapless gown by American designer Randolph Duke, very nice. But really, her dress in 2004, for Million Dollar Baby was an outright stunner. Designed by Herve Leger (under the pseudonym Herve L. Leroux) while he was actually designer at another fabulous Parisian house Guy Laroche (yes, internalise that for a minute...), it was my favourite style of dress, guess what, an 'exit'.
In the darkest of blues, with a high neck, cross draped waist, long sleeves and to the floor, with a completely open back (and of course her's was looking great after all the boxing training) and a cascading train. I thought it epitomised Swank's glamourous but a little left bank chic. Enjoy.

Another off-beat favourite of mine (and maybe everybody's...) is of course Tilda. She who can do no wrong.
What better way to dress to the Oscars than in a majestic sack dress. No ordinary sack dress of course, but a washed silk, asymmetric sack from the as yet to be shown Lanvin winter 2009 collection. I as a lover of unusual drape loved the weight of the right side as contrasted to the simple shift idea of the left. And of course when she lifted her golden man into the air Alber Elbaz's creation took on new life and it was as if she was a porcelain phoenix rising into the air on its wing!

Now its time for an Oscar classic. Not only was it the first year that both lead acting roles were won by African American actors (good intro sentence with absolutely no relevance to fashion I realise ;P), but a Lebanese fashion king was immortalised into Oscar history, and his brand exploded in the West. I have been to the flagship Paris boutique and let me tell you, it is opulence at its finest. I speak of course of Elie Saab, and Halle Berry's dress when she won for Monster's Ball. Everything has been said about this dress, so Ill just show it and let you all remember it in all its glory for yourselves. Don't cry too much now though.

Another regular hitter on the Oscars circuit is Cate Blanchett, perhaps my favourite 'fashiony' celebrity (if you're reading this Cate, do come and visit ;)). In 2011 she wore a beautiful Givenchy Haute Couture gown with a circular cut back and yellow beading, perhaps a precursor to the yellow madness that was to hit runways soon after. I love Cate's ability to slide between Armani powersuits, Dries Van Noten demure dresses and all the way to proper couture gowns. This dress falls somewhere in the middle of the last two categories.

As you can see I appreciate people doing it differently at the Oscars, and in 2001 Angelina Jolie certainly did when she wore a simple white Dolce and Gabbana suit. The previous year she won Best Supporting Actress for Girl, Interrupted wearing a long black dress widely touted as her worst look over (a bit harsh but one can see why). Ever a fashion chameleon, Angelina shifted into light, white and minimal with this look.

As a parting note on what we have seen till now, we must congratulate Ann Hathaway, and of course Rachel Zoe, who 'died' as much a cat at last years Oscars. My stand outs are the Tom Ford, Armani Prive and that fabulous Red Carpet red opener by Valentino.

Enjoy! xx

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Fashion World Of Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition Book! OMG!

Well hello dear Paris '99ers!
As promised here is my post about my new favourite book 'The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier', published to accompany the exhibition from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition is currently travelling the world, and I am ecstatic to say that I will be lucky enough to see it in San Francisco when I visit the USA in June! Counting down already!

Well, if any of you have seen the book, you will know it is absolutely colossal. It certainly weighs close to 3kg and comes, as seen above and in my preview post, inside a striped plastic cover in the most classic of Gaultier patterns, the nautical stripe.

But lo, as I slid the book out from the cover everything changed!
Spoiler Alert!!

The cover is actually made up of two different images, a portait of Jean Paul's well known haircut, and as below, an image from the 'Virgins' Spring 2007 haute couture collection shot by Miles Aldridge. It as an absolutely off kilter, exciting and Gaultier moment with which to begin the journey of this fabulous book.

A piece of both spliced up images.

Right from the beginning the visuals are incredible. Iconic Gaultier images and new images which will surely become iconic come flying left, right and centre. Each aspect of Gaultier's own label career is examined, with interviews from him and from people around him at each point in time. Madonna, former assistant and icon himself Martin Margiela, Dita Von Teese, fashion historian Valerie Steele and a plethora of others have their say about the effect Gaultier has had on them and fashion in general.

Original corset from Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' tour 1990. Of course there are numerous images of the tour in action, and sketches too!

Of course Gaultier is known for his highly collectible mesh pieces, and each season brings a new interpretation of the human anatomy. Different colours, different muscles, tendons and veins abound. Sometimes the print is negative, sometimes sinews are juxtaposed with a print of a garment, of buttons, of animals, its somewhat unsettling, macabre but always artful and beautiful. This is the print for the 2010-2011 collection.

I have always had a soft spot for this collection, ironically because it is featured in the film 'Unzipped', about a different designer altogether, New Yorker Isaac Mizrahi. I just love the dramatic scene where its found out that the Nanouk of the North, Eskimo inspiration was part of a Zeitgeist for Winter 1994. This collection is also featured in Robert Altman's classic, Pret-a-Porter, a fashion must see, and I would assume you have all seen it already! Here is Bjork on the runway, she was always into fashion, see :)

A stunning display of technique using feathers, this haute couture dress was also worn by Dana International when she won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998. Let us say it is no surprise Gaultier was supportive of the transsexual singer, and hello, the publicity of Eurovision. But there was controversy, as the dress was worn during the dress rehearsal but not in the actual performance. According to Israeli media it was considered too over the top. Luckily she did win, and wore the dress again when performing the song as the winner, such drama!

 Image taken from www.escireland.com

Gaultier's love of world culture is explored in the chapter 'Urban Jungle. His collections have taken us far far away, to China, Russia, Africa, North America and several times to India. This wedding dress above is the perfect representation of a well travelled 'Hussar' bride.

I love this shot of legendary fashion editor Polly Mellen in the ball skirt made from recycled denim. Funnily at this point, in 1985, Martin Margiela was working for Gaultier, and one of his most influential contributions to fashion were long reworked denim skirts. Interesting indeed ;).

I had never seen this photo, but of course it is by esteemed rock photographer Anton Corbijn for 'Details' magazine in 1993 when Nirvana were at the peak of their unfortunately short-lived career.

Another of Gaultier's most recognisable signatures, anything nautical goes! A selection of a highly recurring theme in his work. My favourite is the last dress in the second row, where the stripes gradate down to a torn chiffon explosion!

Just had to put this one in for its most stunning construction, the wedding dress from the aptly titled 'Cages' collection of 2008.

Kylie Minogue peers from underneath this lace number and appears regularly in the book. Gaultier designed the costumes for her most recent tour, and she has worn his clothes throughout her career.

Of course no one is more 'connected' to Gaultier than Madonna. He costumed both 'Blonde Ambition' and 'Confessions' tours and she has appeared in dress after stunning dress of his time and time again. Madonna's section in the book is the largest dedicated to a single person, and that says something. Of course no other public appearance is more revealing than that below, where the wardrobe malfunction was self created.

Dita Von Teese, a modern muse of Gaultier, has appeared in numerous runway shows and wears many of the designer's incredibly made corsets.

The same dress as shot on model Jade Parfitt from later in the chapter entitled 'The Boudoir' which as you might imagine focusses on Gaultier's passion for corsetry, lingerie and lace.

The first chapter is called Gaultier's Paris, and it clear why. Taking inspiration from the clubs, the cancan girls and the building themselves, Gaultier has dedicated entire collections to the city which has made an indelible mark on him.

An entire book could be devoted just to the ubiquitous Gaultier trench. A master of the garment, he reinterprets, recontextualises and rediscovers the trench in every collection. The way the trench is transformed from its rigid origins to this cascading drape on Charlotte Rampling is simply extraordinary.

The label attached to anything Gaultier Paris, the haute couture line. I am lucky enough to own a piece (or three) of Gaultier Paris, so do come on by, try them on and say that you too have worn couture!

What a fabulous way to finish off this post, the ultimate show of the man's love affair with his city!

Do yourselves a favour and go and buy this book, or at least come to the salon and we can perouse it together. Its 420 pages of all things Gaultier and I've shown you what, 20? And you know how much I enjoy the company :)
Enjoy and till next time!