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Visibility and viability: Rihanna does Comme des Garçons, Céline challenges superficially and Chloe clumps along, Fashion

Visibility and viability: Rihanna does Comme des Garçons, Céline challenges superficially and Chloe clumps along

Rihanna was sat front-row at Comme des Garçons on Saturday afternoon. I’m uncertain why she was there – it isn’t something I would normally mention, but the incongruity of such a high-profile attendee at Comme des Garçons, hitherto the bastion of intellectualism, of substance over mere style, bears comment. What did Rihanna make of it all? I didn’t ask because, frankly, I don’t care. Comme des Garçons isn’t about the flashy, slightly trashy circus of celebrity dressing. Hence, perhaps Rihanna’s presence was some form of artistic statement, a kind of installation or performance piece? I wondered if someone, somewhere was laughing at her. Or maybe, if even Comme counts the column inches. Visibility, in today’s fashion game, seems next to godliness.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Monday, 3 March 2014 at 5:33 pm

Her Outdoors: The sweet smell of spring, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: The sweet smell of spring

Yes, it’s March! It may be chilly but the sky is still light at nearly 6pm and shoots in the garden and allotment are getting taller. Birds are singing louder and building nests. I always feel a sense of excitement that the real gardening season is upon us now, mixed with a mild panic that [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Sunday, 2 March 2014 at 6:05 pm

Parisian provocations: At Dior, Raf Simons suits, Fashion

Parisian provocations: At Dior, Raf Simons suits

We think of Dior as a house built on evening wear – the French call that flou, which, as the name implies, denotes garments with a sense of fluidity and lightness. Even if a Dior ball gown was anything else. But Dior’s most famous fashion image is of la Tailleur Bar. It’s one of those house codes that Raf Simons has been fixated on since he began redesigning Dior in 2012. Hence the fact the Bar suit’s jacket, the nip-waisted, thrust-hipped silhouette originally cut in tussore silk by Pierre Cardin (a tailor at Dior before setting up under his own steam) appears again and again, insistently, in his collections, cut in everything from grain de poudre to denim.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Sunday, 2 March 2014 at 2:43 pm

Paris when it fizzles: Balenciaga, Rochas, Dries Van Noten and Jean Paul Gaultier, Fashion

Paris when it fizzles: Balenciaga, Rochas, Dries Van Noten and Jean Paul Gaultier

Paris fashion week is the great consolidator, the grounder of the fashion season. It rounds off the ideas we’ve seen emerging in the other three fashion capitals, adds a few more of its own and a distinctly Gallic flourish, and ties the whole thing up in a fancy, florid Frenchy bow. It adds the punctuation. It makes the whole thing make sense. It does usually at least. This season, however, Paris seems, somehow, subdued. It’s throwing up questions rather than answers, and bucking the trends. It’s an intriguing turn of events.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Sunday, 2 March 2014 at 11:23 am

Her Outdoors: Step changes, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Step changes

No sooner than we impatient gardeners, spurred on by a bit of sunshine and buds on the trees, get ready for the growing season outside – rather than fiddle with propagators and potting on indoors – than there is snow forecast this weekend. With our capricious British weather, the absurd timing is perfect, coinciding with [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Thursday, 27 February 2014 at 10:38 pm

Children’s book blog: February reads – Weasels, Oliver and the Seawigs and In Bloom, Arts

Children’s book blog: February reads – Weasels, Oliver and the Seawigs and In Bloom

My recommendations for February are Weasels by Elys Dolan, Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre and In Bloom by Matthew Crow.

By | Arts, Notebook | Wednesday, 26 February 2014 at 11:15 pm

Made in Italy: From Milan, a closing look at Fendi, Ferragamo and Dolce and Gabbana, Fashion

Made in Italy: From Milan, a closing look at Fendi, Ferragamo and Dolce and Gabbana

Following their occupation of Paris in 1940, the Nazis tried to move the couture industry lock, stock and stays to Berlin. The then-head of the Chambre Syndicale, the couturier Lucien Lelong, declared “You can impose what you will by force, but Paris’ haute couture is not transferrable… It exists in Paris or it does not exist at all.”

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 5:04 pm

Ibet: Galatasary and Chelsea: Game Could Be Tight In Turkey, Notebook

Ibet: Galatasary and Chelsea: Game Could Be Tight In Turkey

Galatasary have kept four clean sheets in their last five games, and at home have only conceded two goals in their last seven games.

By | Notebook, Sport | Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 12:00 am

Her Outdoors: Tomato catch-up, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Tomato catch-up

Whether you’re intending to grow tomatoes in a greenhouse or outdoors (like me), it is a good idea to start planning the sowing of this wonderful crop that can, if you get it right, keep you going until Christmas.
There are some gardening wimps out there who say you can’t grow tomatoes outdoors in Britain, firstly [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Monday, 24 February 2014 at 9:00 am

Fast fashion, lazy luxury and tenderness: From Milan, Moschino, Bottega Veneta, Versace and Jil Sander, Fashion

Fast fashion, lazy luxury and tenderness: From Milan, Moschino, Bottega Veneta, Versace and Jil Sander

Milan fashion week is sometimes a little bit like groundhog day. The same shows are staged in the same showrooms, at the same time, to the same audience. It’s all rather predictable.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Saturday, 22 February 2014 at 4:21 pm

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