Wednesday, 21 March 2012

'Tis beginning to look a lot like winter...Greens and reds and greys :)

Hello my dears,

Thought I'd keep you in the loop about some new and exciting things that are hanging around nonchalantly around the salon. Please enjoy, and come and visit as we slowly but surely head towards autumn! (And judging by this post, its all red and green with a bit of grey, but its not like Christmas don't worry).

Bottega Veneta mock tortoiseshell glasses. These a very wide and have a clear frame with the brown grid lines, lovely.

The case, though indeed a case, is actually a really beautiful clutch! It is padded, and fits an iPhone, credit cards, and some diamonds, what else does one need? :)

Donna Karan Collection shirred soft jacket blouse concoction with external binding details. You know I love garments that don't really fit into one discernible category. And this is made in Italy, while now dear Ms Karan produces predominantly in China. SOLD

Le back... ALSO SOLD

 Please excuse my iPhone's inability to capture colours correctly. This absolutely gorgeous Gianni Versace jacket is a real loden green (think Bavarian jacket!). It has the skinniest arms and padding in the hips as well as padded lining, so masc/fem, and military is a real mood for next winter, so why not have it before everyone else does haha!

Love the details all over.

And another Gianni, shocking pink mink collared coat. This is a wool, mohair and angora mix, but feels like a cashmere. The pockets are still stitched up, and I promise that if you are not afraid of the colour you will put it on and it will never come off, just stunning! I also like the old school mink, with the bristly hairs left in, it has such an edge!

Aforementioned old school mink :)

Belted back :)

Wow, how 'how' are these pants from Kenzo?, just so 'how'! (Horrendous grammar intended...) These are like totally Japanese warrior/ forgettable 90s 'rapper', though on this I am not the expert. The Prince of Wales check takes these to a warped take on tailoring level, and with a teeny tiny black jacket and murderous pumps (loving the word murderous all of a sudden hmm), you would just own. Own what? Who cares!

 Nice detail once more!

Deceivingly simple, this Michael Kors collection skirt is a silk shantung in the most vibrant of coral tones, melon even, loving it with thick tights and a heavy coat for winter. Yum, melon :).

One of my perennial favourites, Narciso Rodriguez. Same thing as above, simple line, gorgeous fabric. This is beaded boucled (I don't think I made that up) cotton mesh net. Look at the close-up. Finished with a self bind, amazing.

Can you see the whole thing is made of mesh with interwoven yarns and beads? If not, come and see in person haha!

Narciso again. Trust me, one cannot go wrong with a pair of crisp cotton drill tapering pants in forest. That is all...

Michael Kors again, he cuts a great skirt, what can I say? Well I can say that he cuts a great skirt! Simple shape, beautiful use of shimmering fabric paint in the print, the light does wonders to what you see. :)

Viktor & Rolf, Holland's enfants terribles, well, naughty jongen (my Dutch is all but lost now friends...). Love the silhouette of this jacket. It holds its shape and you look like a circle on top. Big shoes necessary indeed. :)

Le back...

Finally for today, the master of East meets West, Yohji Yamamoto. This double breasted pea-style coat is made from sturdy wool gaberdine, and the contrast top-stitch reveals the construction and also creates strange 3D ridges in the jacket, making seem more structured and somewhat more armour like. Not for the faint hearted, and Yohji never is.

See, ridges, I told you!

Enjoy, and see you soon for more!

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Back & Side View at LMFF.

Dear Paris '99ers,
On Monday evening last week I had the pleasure of attending LMFF Ready to Wear 4 as sponsored by Vogue, featuring Australia's mostly-no-longer-independent-but-haven't-quite-reached-full-maturity crop of designers including Dion Lee, Ellery, Magdalena Valevska, Josh Goot and the just gone winner of the Tiffany's award, Christopher Esber. Sydney's hottest talents in other words ;).

I was actually just at the Docklands in the daytime having a wonder wardrobe re-do, throwing things out, donating pieces and just reinvigorating items that needed to see the light of day in a new way. I donned my Lanvin jacket from the collection by Alber Elbaz just before Lucas Ossendrijver took the reins (and decorated it with a piece of the softest creamy raw edged leather) and my Jean Paul Gaultier croc emboss leather bag with amber perspex closure and jumped in the cab! And yes, there were certainly pants and shoes too...
The ladies at the media desk were lovely, and I was even told that I could come back the next day and they'd be able to find me a space to sit and do my photos, updates and all the rest.
The lady who was to take me to my seat was a different ballgame altogether.
To her it was as if I didn't exist. She eyed me up and down and walked off with someone else, leaving me standing in the middle of the runway as people took their seats left right and centre. When I seemingly imposed on her return journey to politely enquire as to my seating arrangement, the up and down look again and a disinterested questioning of where I was from, she lead me to the furthest seat in the top top row. Great start you might say.
Well, ultimately it was a blessing in disguise, and let me explain why.
As the lights went down I scooted independently, yes naughty me, to the little crevice in the stairs at the end of the second row and huddled close to person in the last seat so as to make it look like I was supposed to be there. (Confessions of a fashion gatecrasher!)
This actually lent me an unobstructed view of the very front of the runway, the gigantic video screens, the photographers' pit, generally not a bad place to be. But given the angle was so great it also meant that I was essentially relegated to be able to only see a side view of each and every look that came down the runway.
And the show started: Celine, Givenchy, Christopher Kane, Marios Schwab, Comme des Garcons Comme des Garcons (the second line of you guessed it, Comme des Garcons), fabulous collections indeed.
Oh wait, no, hang on, mint green, bright purple, digital prints, fused raw edged leather, gold lame (accent added). All very lovely, but I somehow got the feeling I'd seen it all before. I'm not a hater, I just like it when designers really put themselves and their work out there for the world to see. Mistakes are allowed, not one collection is ever perfect but that's where one learns.
Everything I saw was so easy, so wearable, well, Ellery's stiff golden bodices, skirts and dresses are questionably wearable, but then they're not 'designed' enough for me to see where she was coming from. Perhaps its my fault and I'm missing it.
I come back to the title of this particular post, why the back and side view?
Little tidbit, models seem to like to naturally turn left (unless they walk down in tandem and then it would be weird if there were two left turners). Sitting on the right hand side of the runway gave me a whole host of backs to look at, and photograph as you will see further down.
As an avid reader of witty yet gritty fashion journalism I am a great fan (aren't we all) of Tim Blanks, who has for decades written and commented on fashion, with a voice that excites and conjures up strong, vivid visuals. He speaks his mind, and clearly loves fashion so much that his critiques can be harsh but ultimately for the best. In his reviews during Paris Fashion Week Fall 2012/2013 starting with the Roland Mouret show, he mentions the focus on the backs of the outfits, but these are not depicted in the accompanying slide show.
Later in the week, when reviewing the Comme des Garcons collection where Rei Kawakubo literally flattened her silhouettes as a perhaps too obvious comment on the flattening of fashion (into a computer screen), he mentions Li Edelkoort's opinion on the matter of fashion's reduction to a front on portrait. In this case a back view was not entirely necessary.
It got me thinking about the same idea. At 'fashion school' we were endlessly told to consider the body in 3D, design a harmonious front, back and side of a garment so as to have it encircle the body, lift away from it , or simply make a basic design more visually interesting. This notion has stayed with me up till now (and no doubt still will). Its important to differentiate your work by considering all sides, angles and details, outside and in of course. At this show I felt there really not enough of an emphasis on this; everything was just too front-centric. Perhaps this is why the photography pit, alive and flashing as the models came down the runway, was silent and flashless as they turned and walked back up it. Perhaps photographers just don't sell enough back shots to warrant a waste of space on a memory card to fill it with back views.
This is all a little bit sad isn't it. Fashion should be uplifting and exciting, not mopey and depressing ,like this article it seems... :s
But wait, not all hope is lost. A.F Vandevorst's Fall 11/12 collection did not appear on until a day after it was shown. This is certainly professional suicide (or homicide rather), and as such I believe, without any proof of course, that the website's compensation was to include the back shots of the entire show. Luckily, there was a strong focus on the back in this collection, that although had the somewhat standard 34 looks, was now 68 images in the slideshow. I am rather happy to see that up till today it has not been edited and all back can still be seen. (The following season it was back to normal, though undoubtedly the backs were interesting for Spring 12 too).
Enjoy my side/back, and some front shots of LMFF 4 and definitely check out the Comme des Garcons Fall 12/13 show and A.F Vandevorst Fall 11/12 show on

You may see, while scrolling down quickly, that some of the models are not wearing their shoes. Word on the grapevine blogosphere was that this was some kind of silent protest as to the heights of shoes and the rights of models. I love my model friends, they are very sweet girls, but I'm a staunch believer in professional conduct and for better or worse its a part of the job. A friend of mine has told me that models have no union, ankles get snapped, lifelong injuries occur, but we agreed to disagree. After all, Naomi Campbell still walks around in murderous vicious heels, and her fall at Vivienne Westwood was epic (Google the picture, or even better, maybe YouTube the video!)

Coming soon, my top three (3) shows from each of the four (4) fashion weeks!