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In Rome, poetry in motion and couture as sculpture from Valentino and Azzedine Alaïa, Fashion

In Rome, poetry in motion and couture as sculpture from Valentino and Azzedine Alaïa

The moon hit your eye like a big pizza pie, as they say, at the Villa Aurelia in Rome. It wasn’t amore though, it was Valentino. They were throwing a post-show, post-watershed shindig to celebrate their autumn/winter 2015 haute couture collection, which they’d uprooted from Paris to present in the Italian capital of alta moda. Why? Why not?

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Monday, 13 July 2015 at 12:10 am

Nightclubbing and the search for a new individuality. Or maybe just fun, at Miu Miu, Fashion

Nightclubbing and the search for a new individuality. Or maybe just fun, at Miu Miu

Identity is important in fashion – especially today, when there are so many clothes that all seem to look the same. The important thing for designers is distinguishing themselves and their wares from the rest of the flock.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Sunday, 5 July 2015 at 9:59 am

Donna Karan leaves Donna Karan, but DKNY soldiers on, Fashion

Donna Karan leaves Donna Karan, but DKNY soldiers on

So, no more Donna Karan. The company announced, via a press release on Tuesday night, that Karan herself would be leaving her current role as Chief Designer of the LVMH-operated brand that bears her full name, rather than just her initials. There will be no replacement: Donna Karan International will suspend its collections and catwalk shows (though not licenses). Who will fill Karan’s gaping slot on the calendar of New York Fashion Week? Well, someone already has, by default – there are about three simultaneous shows an hour on that sprawling schedule.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 1:25 am

Couture, Kardashians and touching leather: Hermes and Givenchy, in Paris, Fashion

Couture, Kardashians and touching leather: Hermes and Givenchy, in Paris

It’s fascinating that two of the most successful houses in contemporary men’s luxury are, possible, two of the most opposing: Givenchy and Hermes. There are similarities: neither are eager to change much, sticking to their established formulas and turning out collections that tick boxes, please the punters and rake in new devotees. But the latter has pitched itself as the epitome of luxury, appealing to a market so niche it’s barely a nick in the bedpost of modern menswear; whereas the former has the rag-bag quality of the mass. It’s like comparing a glass of Chateau d’Yquem 1789 to a glug from a bottle of the popular (and populist) British sparkling perry brand Lambrini. They’re different beasts, they appeal to different customers, but in the end they both just get you drunk.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Saturday, 27 June 2015 at 11:41 pm

In Paris, teenage kicks from Raf Simons and Rick Owens, Fashion

In Paris, teenage kicks from Raf Simons and Rick Owens

Raf Simons is often eerily prescient. He couldn’t have known that truculent protestors would derail half the British press travelling to Paris on the day of his spring/summer 2016 show, by setting a fire at the French mouth of the Eurostar tunnel. Yet somehow, it fits. Simons clothes are about unrest. I don’t mean they’re physically uncomfortable, but they do have a sense of unease about them, even if its just in the watching. For spring, trousers swamped skinny legs with excess fabric, bodies were smothered in oversized coats peppered with buckshots of eyelets, and faces all but concealed by hoods tugged tight, pulled all the way down, in the fashion banned by many suburban shopping centres to avoid anti-social behaviour.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Friday, 26 June 2015 at 1:07 am

London Collections Men Spring/Summer 2016: Cash, confidence, and a plaintive S.O.S., Fashion

London Collections Men Spring/Summer 2016: Cash, confidence, and a plaintive S.O.S.

There’s still an odd, lingering Anglo Saxon puritanism, in Britain, where menswear is concerned. I couldn’t help but also notice the gangly unease with which the models in Topman Unique – the opening show of the four day London Collections Men calendar – gamboled down the catwalk, sinewy legs drowned in wide baggy trousers or sticking out of painfully abbreviated running shorts. They seemed a bit reticent, embarrassed even – which is sometimes the case with the menswear shows as a whole, lacking the confident swagger of the Milanese collections, for instance, which are set to begin on Saturday.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Monday, 15 June 2015 at 10:47 pm

The bother of the other: Dior, Louis Vuitton and Gucci Cruise along for 2016, Fashion

The bother of the other: Dior, Louis Vuitton and Gucci Cruise along for 2016

You know what I like about the pre-collections? Not the travelling (I’m lazy), nor the dinners (I’m anti-social), definitely not the jet-lag, frequently not the clothes – they’re often simple-minded, and, generally most aren’t any good from a critical standpoint. What I like though is the time. The time to look at said clothes, to ponder them, frequently to turn them inside out. The fact you get to step off the increasingly frenzied fashion treadmill and actually spent a chunk of your day thinking about what you’ve seen, rather than rushing to the next.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Monday, 8 June 2015 at 6:15 pm

Pre-spring, in Palm Springs, with Louis Vuitton, Fashion

Pre-spring, in Palm Springs, with Louis Vuitton

I’m never a fan of fashion journalism that talks more about the show than the clothes. It smacks of a writer reticent to offer an opinion, lest it offend (or perhaps, just unsure of what they really think, or what to really say). But, with the newly-minted Around The World In Eighty Looks format of pre-collection presentation, it’s unavoidable. Fashion houses want journalists to be awed by the financial might that can shift an entire industry across the world on a creative whim. Moreover, they want them to communicate that to their readers, reinforcing the strength of the designer and, perhaps most importantly, the security of the brand as a whole. That not only sells clothes – it also drives the share price up.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Thursday, 7 May 2015 at 4:33 pm

The Met Gala 2015: China in their brands, Fashion

The Met Gala 2015: China in their brands

Despite a 5.30am alarm for a flight to Palm Springs Tuesday morning to see Nicolas Ghesquiere’s latest Louis Vuitton Cruise show (at the Bob and Dolores Hope Estate and inspired, in part, by The Hunger, apparently), I spent most of Monday late night engrossed in documenting and dissecting the fashion of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala. As with many things, the primary arena for this is Twitter – a pithy 140 character rant about a like or, more often, a dislike, accompanied by a picture. Then onto the next. It’s become something of a yearly tradition in the fashion fraternity.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Wednesday, 6 May 2015 at 7:07 am

Dior and I: an artful argument for a new couture, Fashion

Dior and I: an artful argument for a new couture

It’s really difficult to get fashion on film right – because it means so much to the people who love it, and is worthless to those who loathe it. Nothing will change those points of view – not extolling the hours of work poured into intricate clothes, not bandying about awe-inspiring figures about fashion house turnovers, not filming seamstresses weeping with emotion as their work is showcased, or possibly ripped to pieces. I personally fall into the former camp, so no matter how much you question the worth versus the cost or roll your eyes with puritan disgust at the vanity of it all, I won’t be swayed.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Monday, 23 March 2015 at 7:22 pm

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