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Creativity, commerce, and choking tradition: Dior Homme, Hermes, Loewe, Thom Browne in Paris, Fashion

Creativity, commerce, and choking tradition: Dior Homme, Hermes, Loewe, Thom Browne in Paris

If you ascend Paris’ Eiffel tower – say, during a free moment during the spring/summer 2015 menswear shows – you can look out on a vista relatively unchanged from the first day the tower was opened in 1889, of Baron Haussmann’s neoclassical façades and wide avenues. French law ensures that: Second Empire plans are in many cases more or less followed, with “alignement” law still in place to regulates a building’s height according to the width of the streets it borders. It’s fabulous for a sight-seer who gets to step back in time, almost. But many argue it’s choking the development of the city as a whole. Personally, I see a parallel with much of Paris fashion, where tradition can often choke creativity.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Monday, 30 June 2014 at 1:32 am

Her Outdoors: Chateau Merrers, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Chateau Merrers

A silly label, I know. I don’t really have a Chateau with a vineyard, but I do have a grapevine and it is one of my life’s ambitions to make my own wine. When I was first offered an allotment in April last year, there were three choices of plot. Only one was completely overgrown [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 28 June 2014 at 7:46 pm

Standing to attention: at Raf Simons, clothes worth a closer look, Fashion

Standing to attention: at Raf Simons, clothes worth a closer look

The coupling of great clothes and a great show, where neither one outshines the other, is very rare. It’s all the more remarkable, then, that Raf Simons’ formula for his eponymous label seems such a sure-fire hit. I tried to think back to a Simons show that hasn’t worked, gloriously. Then I realised this was his business’ twentieth anniversary. I couldn’t think of a single instance.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Thursday, 26 June 2014 at 1:23 am

Ultramarathon Man: From Perth to Sydney in 13 weeks – on foot!, Notebook

Ultramarathon Man: From Perth to Sydney in 13 weeks – on foot!

Follow Kevin Carr’s extraordinary ultramarathon as he runs the Australian Nullarbor Plain

By | Notebook | Tuesday, 24 June 2014 at 11:15 am

Still waters run deep: Prada bores, but intentionally so, Fashion

Still waters run deep: Prada bores, but intentionally so

Given that shows, by and large, have scaled back from the flashy theatrics and set pieces of past fashion spectaculars, the quarterly reinvention of the Prada show space on Via Foggazarro is hotly anticipated by the fashion world. That’s because everything Miuccia Prada does about, around, before and after a collection is rabidly unpicked, scoured for hidden meaning. This season, Rem Koolhaas’ AMO created a space reminiscent of either a grand ocean liner or a suburban leisure centre, with a suspiciously cobalt-blue pool shimmering bedside thick, chocolate-brown shag carpeting and around the central pillars that are the only constant (they’re supporting, presumably).

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Sunday, 22 June 2014 at 10:21 pm

In Milan, shallow waters, designer islands, and the world of Donatella Versace, Fashion

In Milan, shallow waters, designer islands, and the world of Donatella Versace

Donatella Versace wanted her show to be a celebration of the Versace World. Sounds like a grand statement, but you got it. Versace’s Cuban-tinged collezioni not only felt like a distinct entity from Dolce and Gabbana’s Caprice Espagnole, Neil Barrett’s slick sportswear tinged with Roman classicism, or Stefano Pilati’s serene Ermenegildo Zegna show: it felt a world apart, as did they.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Sunday, 22 June 2014 at 10:46 am

Her Outdoors: Where there is despair, let there be blueberries, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Where there is despair, let there be blueberries

My Dad, who is also an allotmenteer, said to me the other week: “The thing is about plants, they want to live.” I had been staring downcast at my asparagus beds, in their first season, where nothing was growing. It was the end of May, a time when asparagus – even in the first season [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 21 June 2014 at 7:34 pm

The (pre-)spring in JW Anderson’s leap to Loewe, Fashion

The (pre-)spring in JW Anderson’s leap to Loewe

JW Anderson’s pre-collections always bear further examination. That’s because he puts so much into them, these interim collections that have often been confined to pure commerce but which have recently expanded into fully-fledged designer statements. he puts a lot in, and reaps the rewards.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Friday, 20 June 2014 at 11:19 pm

Fashioning freedom and ignoring the hyperbole: Craig Green, Sibling, Burberry Prorsum and Nasir Mazhar menswear, in London, Fashion

Fashioning freedom and ignoring the hyperbole: Craig Green, Sibling, Burberry Prorsum and Nasir Mazhar menswear, in London

A lot of patriotic conjecture gets thrown around about British fashion. That’s probably because middle England, as a whole, doesn’t really like it, and hence fashion folk seem desperately keen to emphasise just how incredibly important it all is. It is important, of course. Fashion is the second largest employer in the United Kingdom. It’s an industry similar in size to the food and beverages or telecommunications industries, and is bigger than automotives and advertising. Burberry is one of the UK’s most valuable brands, according to the FTSE 100. It rubs shoulders with Barclays and BP.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Wednesday, 18 June 2014 at 3:34 pm

The Joy of Spuds – why austerity cooking needs to be on the school menu, Notebook

The Joy of Spuds – why austerity cooking needs to be on the school menu

Schools need to teach austerity cooking and turn out a generation who can make good choices in the supermarket, create affordable, decent meals and keep themselves and their own families in good health. God knows, we can’t afford the medical bill otherwise.

By | Notebook, Opinion | Tuesday, 17 June 2014 at 11:24 am

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