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Marc Jacobs gives us Vreeland, with pizzaz, Fashion

Marc Jacobs gives us Vreeland, with pizzaz

I couldn’t watch the autumn/winter 2015 Marc Jacobs show – theoretically, I was on an early flight back to London to attend the memorial of Professor Louise Wilson. In actual fact, I wound up sat in the airport watching it unfold on a computer screen, departure delayed.

It was a great show. The kind you regret not seeing.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Saturday, 21 February 2015 at 2:39 am

New York Fashion Week Winter 2015: The meaty stuff, at Proenza Schouler, Thom Browne and Rodarte, Fashion

New York Fashion Week Winter 2015: The meaty stuff, at Proenza Schouler, Thom Browne and Rodarte

You sometimes get the feeling New York makes a meal out of its fashion week – a super-sized meal, in the grand American tradition. The city stages 300 shows, twice a year, in a week which crawls on for longer than Paris. Which in itself wouldn’t be a problem, only you question how much of it anyone really needs to see.

There hasn’t been much meat to get your teeth into this New York, but there’s been some gristle, the sort of stuff that catches in your gums and makes you pause mid chow-down.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Thursday, 19 February 2015 at 6:49 pm

A baton politely passed, at Oscar de la Renta, Fashion

A baton politely passed, at Oscar de la Renta

Peter Copping wrote a heartfelt note included on every seat at his first Oscar de la Renta show on Tuesday night. That’s a fashionable thing to do, especially when you’re taking over a label: Nicolas Ghesquiere did the same a year ago, at his debut for Louis Vuitton. Of course, Copping’s circumstances were somewhat different: as he terms it, “things did not go according to plan.” Oscar de la Renta – the man – passed away before Copping had time to work alongside him.

However, Oscar de la Renta – the brand – lives on, with Copping at the helm. His autumn/winter 2015 debut was assured, if a little predictable. Then again, the latter was not just expected, but demanded.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Wednesday, 18 February 2015 at 3:59 am

New York Fashion Week Winter 2015: Growing up is hard to do, at Altuzarra, Alexander Wang and Jason Wu, Fashion

New York Fashion Week Winter 2015: Growing up is hard to do, at Altuzarra, Alexander Wang and Jason Wu

Growing pains. How’s that for a take-away from the opening leg of the New York Fashion Week shows? On the one hand, it’s a decidedly positive thing. At least there’s fresh talent gestating here. Alexander Wang’s business was founded a decade ago this year; Altuzarra launched his first handbag, an obvious development to emerge since the designer sold a minority stake to Kering in 2013. Oh, and Jason Wu had fine jewellery (he’s done the bag stuff before), as he also bagged a major investor last year via equity firm Interluxe. He’s scouting real estate for his first Manhattan store.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Tuesday, 17 February 2015 at 1:01 am

Her Outdoors: Herb Outdoors special: Making a mint, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Herb Outdoors special: Making a mint

When I bought my first flat in London in 2004, I fell in love with the garden more than the actual property. It was a one-bed flat in Stockwell and was pretty small – smaller, in fact, than the garden. There was gravel and raised beds shaped into a maze created by the previous owners, [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 10 February 2015 at 9:32 am

Her Outdoors: Are brassicas just a waste of space?, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Are brassicas just a waste of space?

My Dad, a veteran of 30 years allotmenteering and who tends three plots in Liverpool, came to 35a the other day for a critical midwinter assessment. We stared at the patch where purple sprouting broccoli is supposed to be cropping in the next few weeks, and where there are a couple of very small cauliflower [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 4 February 2015 at 9:10 pm

Her Outdoors: You say potato, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: You say potato

As we’re having a proper winter this year (it actually snowed a little in London this morning – though it didn’t stick), the indoor gardening campaign continues – and the list of things to do in January is long. And as it’s February tomorrow, on my allotment there will soon be crocuses and, hopefully, some [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 31 January 2015 at 7:54 pm

Making love and wrapping up – the end of haute couture, at Gaultier, Viktor and Rolf, Valentino and Armani, Fashion

Making love and wrapping up – the end of haute couture, at Gaultier, Viktor and Rolf, Valentino and Armani

The couture is over. Long live the couture. Or something. Do we really think couture is going to live forever? Yes, probably. There is enough financial muscle, enough press still clapping (I hope not sporadically), and enough clients to spuriously justify that there are women who demand dresses entirely made out of pieces of ribbon or microscopic feather flowers. And the clothes, at their best, are extraordinary.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Friday, 30 January 2015 at 1:25 pm

Sex, sugar, pins and needles – Versace, Schiaparelli, Giambattista Valli, and a little from Dior and Chanel at the spring couture, Fashion

Sex, sugar, pins and needles – Versace, Schiaparelli, Giambattista Valli, and a little from Dior and Chanel at the spring couture

As I was walking out of Sunday night’s Atelier Versace show – the official start to the spring/summer 2015 haute couture collections – I overheard an exchange between a couture client and one of the house os Versace’s aides. Well, I overheard one part of the exchange. I presume said aide asked said client what she thought of the collection. “That see-through beaded shit,” she barked. “Sexy as fuck!”

That’s not something you hear much at the haute couture.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Tuesday, 27 January 2015 at 11:57 am

Paris Menswear Autumn/Winter 2015: Studious design lessons from Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Loewe, Thom Browne, Hermes, Fashion

Paris Menswear Autumn/Winter 2015: Studious design lessons from Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Loewe, Thom Browne, Hermes

Perhaps it’s all the uniforms cropping up all over the place, or maybe it was Raf Simons’ opening gambit, glorifying his own university years on Wednesday evening, but there’s been a back-to-school feeling at the Paris menswear shows. Many editors share said feeling – bleary-eyed and pale under recently-acquired holiday tans, with shell-shocked expression as they launched into a fully-fledged fashion month barely a week into the new year. Amongst designers, generally, there’s a studious earnestness, to see ideas through, to cross t’s and dot i’s. But, alas, there hasn’t been much deep and meaningful.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Sunday, 25 January 2015 at 10:23 pm

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