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.
In India, the iconic Bajaj auto rickshaws or tuk-tuks cost around Rs200,000 or £2,000, Two nights ago, twenty were sold for up to £100,000 each in brightly coloured designs at a wildlife charity auction hosted in Lancaster House by Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
There was a London taxi lookalike, a bamboo [...]
I have been watering my plot for nearly an hour, first thing in the morning or late in the evening, just before it gets too dark to see my way back to the allotment gate, to prevent this heat destroying my months of hard work. My vegetables and fruit bushes are teeming with crops now, [...]
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have recently rediscovered one of my favourite films from childhood, Jean de Florette. It is one of the greatest-ever in the French language. Directed by Claude Berri, from the original Marcel Pagnol film and novel, about Provencal farmers and a tussle over land and water. A peasant farmer who wants to grow carnations has [...]
I found myself down at Plot 35a this week at 10pm, with just enough light left to see what I was watering. My plot neighbour was also there, catching up on some weeding. We chatted about how the June evenings give us the gift of allotment time, which is just as well as we are [...]
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.
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