15 April 2011

Memories Of Veronique

Fall/Winter 2011

In the process of building my wardrobe I am continually on the search for good basics - foundational pieces upon which my more individual tastes may flourish.  Whilst the high street is perhaps the first port of call for most, for me it tends to sit a little uneasily.  Without trying to open that whole can of worms, let us just say that as someone who tries to buy only Fairtrade food, I find it a little odd not to continue that type of priority into other areas of my life.  Call it ethically-conscious shopping if you will.

Personally I feel that fashion goes beyond aesthetics alone, it is about finding designers and labels whose philosophy and ideas you can relate to, or that at least reflect something you find to be beautiful.  Of course one could argue that the philosophy of a designer and their aesthetic is inextricably linked, and I would definitely agree with that.  In this instance I suppose I mean that I search for that connection when deciding where to place my own money, but more importantly, when deciding what I choose to cover my body with.  It may not be readily apparent to others, who see just aesthetic alone, but it is not meant to be, because it is a personal connection.          

For the past few years the Scandinavian aesthetic has really developed into a well-defined exportable package all of its own.  No longer simply super-tight jeans and a baggy t-shirt ("If a Scandinavian tells you your jeans are too tight, they are TOO TIGHT"), there are designers and labels that really seem to have the basics covered.  Of course individual build quality and fabrics varies hugely, but from an aesthetic point of view it is certainly alluring, and that is perhaps the best place to start.  When I first saw images of the Fall/Winter 2011 collection from Carin Wester, I immediately smiled.  Good looking basics at a reasonable price.  But more than that, the collection triggered memories of a designer whose work I admire hugely - Veronique Branquinho.

The menswear looked to me like an up-to-date version of Veronique's Spring/Summer 2007 menswear collection, and although many may call this Carin Wester collection expected, in terms of what has been coming out of Scandinavia as of late, for me it was a pleasant surprise.  The whites and pale seafoam greens in particular reminded me of that Spring/Summer collection, as did the general minimalist direction of the collection - although admittedly with a more Nordic and less Miami vibe.  Veronique's last menswear collection also happened to have a clear Nordic inspiration, and so parallels between that and this collection are equally brought to mind. 

Of course it is dangerous to view the work of one designer through the lens of another, but for the me the connection is something I happen to see regardless.  It may not perhaps be the case for others, but then we all approach collections in an individual way, especially in terms of the work we compare recent collections against.  Inevitably as one's fashion vocabulary expands such references become more commonplace, however I do not think it detracts from commentary, on the contrary, I think it allows for a more well-rounded and considered view.  I am always struck by the relative short-sighted nature of much fashion journalism.  One example that sits at the forefront of recent memory was a Vogue UK article on Raf Simons where the journalist was amazed to see a disconnect between Raf and his work at Jil Sander, as if she had never seen or heard of his decade's worth of work on his own line before he started at Jil. 

To get the weaker aspects of this collection immediately out of the way - the footwear and accessories really were not my cup of tea.  I would have preferred something far cleaner and minimalist, but then I doubt I would buy footwear from this type of label anyway (for the price point you could better invest elsewhere in decent quality classics).  However what I did enjoy were the trousers, knitwear pieces and the outerwear.  I really liked the cut of the trousers in this collection, they were like a sleeker version of Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair.  Whilst I shall always have the space in my wardrobe for a pair of skinny black jeans (Acne Hex Cash if you please), I have found myself wishing for trousers more and more as of late - a good pair of casual slim trousers that will work as well on some classic tennis shoes as they would with a pair of tobacco brown monkstrap shoes and rumpled cotton blazer.  Indeed the versatility of the pieces in this collection were for me its main selling point, and one that I really do appreciate.



  1. So love those first 2 sweaters! So easy going ..

  2. Really, some beautiful style in this.

  3. i wish clothes actually hung on me like this, it just doesn't seem to work. im not skinny but im not muscly so i dunno, it doesn't seem to work. maybe i need to experiment with fabrics more. fine cotton doesn't agree with my hair chest.

    ha well if they tell you yeah, your jeans ARE too tight. i very much agree with the slim trousers thing, i love wearing my wool trousers with beige converse or even my vans with a nice turn up. feels fresh and i like the movement when you walk too

  4. All the knitwear totally smacked of Branquinho for me. I find a silhouettes a little bit... adolescent but think the colors seem very well developed.

    Good basics are so hard to find and while I enjoy the aesthetics of most of Scandinavian fashion, I still find the quality a little lacking.

    P.S. In regard to fragrances — I flirted with Gypsy Water for a while, but in the end I found it a bit too muted. I think I fell in love with the name at the time. I still have a bottle lying around if you're interested! As in, a gift.

  5. If my husband wore knits like these... I'd be all over him! Love them, especially the cardigans.