Sunday, 27 March 2016

A Romantic Getaway

Autumn/Winter 2016

Wishing you all a very happy Easter.
Hope you and your loved ones are having a lovely weekend.

I miss the romanticism of Ann Demeulemeester since Meunier took over, but thankfully Aganovich more than make up for the loss. This collection is beautiful.


Thursday, 4 February 2016

The Boy, The Woman, and The Cardinal

Aganovich & The Colour of Opium
Spring/Summer 2015
Photographer: Erik Madigan Heck
Model: Guinevere Van Seenus

Nana Aganovich and Brooke Taylor's Spring/Summer 2015 collection was based on interpretations, from the religious to the profane, of the word 'icon'. The cardinal reds and burnished golds were at once sacred and luxurious, providing a beautiful addition to the black or white garments that otherwise made up the collection (there were also a few red and silver stippled pattern garments that were stunning). Their tailoring really is second to none, but the catwalk also saw the introduction of drapery, which was taken even further with the layered and tiered looks in their Autumn/Winter 2015 collection. Front-on catwalk images are obviously limited in their ability to show a garment in terms of movement and flow. This is especially the case where drapery is concerned, because it is so inherently connected to the shape of the body and the dynamic between skin and fabric in movement. 

So I always enjoy seeing editorials and photoshoots where the photographer seeks to capture some sense of movement, allowing the clothing to really come to life. I really do love the way Erik Madigan Heck uses colour in his photography, creating bold images that feel almost painterly in their composition (a lazy metaphor I know, but think more acrylic than oil). The strokes of colour are deliberate and the lighting is usually incredibly strong, allowing for a clear separation between planes (especially with his studio work). Even in this outdoor setting where there is natural light to play with, he uses it to create very dramatic shadows and allows the red to really pop against relatively solid backgrounds - black, white or a subtle shaded grey. I love high contrast work...which probably explains the wardrobe full of black and white clothes.


Friday, 22 January 2016

A Fluid Progression

Autumn/Winter 2016

I am not entirely sure why I never paid more attention to Margaret Howell's work in the past, but the last few collections really have gone from strength to strength and her latest show was my favourite from London Fashion Week. Regular readers will know how I love designers who continually refine their own aesthetic, and indeed, without feeling the need to somehow bring a new story to her latest collection, Howell presented a nice continuation of her Spring/Summer 2016 collection. Here however the trousers were unbelted and cropped higher, which to my eye allowed them to fall in a far more pleasing fashion, especially where it was paired with a slightly slouchier top block. To be honest there was something wonderfully awkward about the fit of the trousers that I really enjoyed, and I am looking forward to hopefully trying them on once the collection hits the stores. They look like they should be fun to walk around it and I am curious to see how they feel in movement. I almost always have my trousers rolled up or cuffed, so trying on more cropped pairs, with their streamline ending, should also be interesting.

The styling with the scarves also made me smile because it felt so familiar - I owned so many silk and pashmina shawls and scarves growing up, that tying one over a shirt and cardigan seems perfectly natural. I prefer the deeper, richer tones to the lighter blues and beiges, and it would be a good way of introducing a little more colour into my wardrobe, as I do with most of my accessories. Call it the Haider effect, but I have been wanting to add some deeper jewel tones to pair with my all black for a while now. That being said, I would happily wear any of these looks as is, and do indeed wear variations of them quite regularly. I think I definitely need to try on more of Howell's work and see how it feels. Even from the perspective of the viewer I feel that the clothes look invitingly comfortable, and it is that feeling I primarily tend to look for in clothes. Oh, and call me vain, but I do enjoy seeing curly haired models on the catwalk.  


Thursday, 14 January 2016

Black and white and red all over

Spring/Summer 2008

Spring/Summer 2014

Autumn/Winter 2015

Spring/Summer 2016

Spring/Summer 2016

Spring/Summer 2013

These days, with the exception of a grey wool Yohji sweater, my wardrobe consists of solid white and solid black garments. With those garments I have been focusing on cut and texture over colour or patterning. My thought has been that if I can remove as many additional elements as possible, then perhaps I can come closer to some better understanding of the basics of the garment. It is also, paradoxically I admit, a quieter way of dressing - it blends into the background, but at the same time that all-black can be quite jarring in a room full of colour. Fashion and dress are however full of paradoxes, so I suppose more important is intention, or more accurately, perceived intention (as much as we like to think our clothes "say" something about us, we have no control over what others "hear"). Dress forms our social skin, so to not consider how we are perceived is to ignore the very essence of dress culture and fashion. I love colour, I just love wearing black and white more.

Pattern currently only comes into play in my wardrobe where accessories are concerned - Liberty print floral handkerchiefs and a few pairs of patterned socks (including a grey and red leopard print pair that I am rather fond of). But I have been thinking of introducing pattern in some manner into my clothing, and rather than looking to subtler prints, I find myself drawn to something bolder, without straying from the interplay of black and white. To my mind stripes are one of the most universal patterns there are, allowing you to cut a bold figure with thicker stripes, or blend into a formal setting with subtle pinstripes. If I am to introduce pattern back into my wardrobe, why not go for the most basic? Of course again the garment has to be worth consideration before the stripes come into play, after all no amount of colour or patterning can disguise a poorly cut or fabricated garment.

A striped jacket or pair of trousers would be a bold step, for most people including myself, so I think the easiest way to start thinking about stripes is to look to t-shirts and sweaters. I always find the easiest way to introduce a new colour to your wardrobe is to try a basic t-shirt in that colour - straight away you will be able to see how it works with your complexion, and it is the easiest way to incorporate that colour into your outfit, aside from splashes of that colour where accessories may be concerned. In much the same way I think that it is my avenue for introducing stripes, and of course it also lends itself well to playing around with layering and considering it alongside other black or white garments. Call it a childhood spent watching too many cartoons, but black and white stripes immediately make me think of a robber with a swag bag, so I will be interested to see how I feel wearing those stripes. Then again, when it came to playing cops and robbers, the robbers were always a lot more fun, so maybe I just need a decent swag bag to go with.  


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

A Family Affair

I first came across Egg a few years ago in Dover Street Market on a particularly grey and rainy day. It had been a day of aimless wandering under a thoroughly overcast sky where it felt like dusk even in the middle of the day. I found myself unconsciously following my usual window shopping path (fashion is always on the brain I suppose), and walking up Dover Street I thought I would go into DSM for a leisurely look through all the collections on display. At the beginning of each season I tend to have a proper browse to get my initial thoughts in order, but whenever I have the time I always like to revisit and look again - you would be surprised how your feelings change over the course of the season as you re-approach pieces, and there will inevitably be things you missed as was evidently the case here.

I remember walking in through the glass doors and leaving my umbrella in the right hand corner, but instead of going down to the basement and working my way up as I usually do, I thought I would go straight up and work my way back down. I had assumed that the Comme Comme would be the highlight on the uppermost floor, before swiftly moving downstairs, but instead I found myself standing there for what seemed an eternity running my hands over each and every Egg piece on display. There were only a handful of pieces, but I remember just standing there in silence stroking the fabrics - here was something special. The cuts were fascinating, the colours muted, the fabrics wonderful in hand, and there was a pervading sense of comfort that I could not shake. Not necessarily comfort in a literal sense, although the fabrics were thoroughly inviting, but more in the sense of welcoming, like a hug in clothing form. On the hanger the clothing looked simple enough, but I could tell they were hiding their true beauty, waiting for a body upon which to flower into life.

Fashion (not to mention the world) gets louder and noisier, and in that sensorial storm I inevitably find myself drawn to the quieter beauty of life. And, as so often seems to happen, that whispered beauty demands an even greater respect and attention than that which shouts, and I think that is what I felt when I first encountered Egg. Whenever I get tired of the relentless cycle of fashion, it is always a comfort to remember that clothing like this exists and that my path leads me in this direction.