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Top four: London Fashion Exhibits

29 May

As much as I wish, hope and pray for good weather, I know that British Bank Holidays are always a wash out. This week looks like a prime example, I’m sitting in bed looking out at grey skies and feeling a cool breeze through the open window. Thoughts of lazing around in the park or having an impromptu BBQ are suddenly out of the window and I’m left wondering what the options are for fun indoor options. Luckily I live a stone’s throw from London, so there are always some great exhibits on. Here are my top four fashion exhibits in London, which are either on or upcoming. Let me know if you’ve been and what you thought!


The Enchanted Palace at Kensington Palace.
On now until Feb 28 2011

 Kensington Palace has been totally transformed into the Enchanted Palace in a quest to tell the secrets and stories of the seven princesses who once called the Palace home. Their lives have been bought to life by installations which share their secrets, including those of a princess who ran away from an arranged marriage for true love. Visitors must use their eyes and ears to work out clues to the princess’ identities and are helped along the way with their own enchanted map and palace guardians. There are also fashion installations from the likes of Vivienne Westwood, William Tempest, Stephen Jones and Aminaka Wilmont.


Grace Kelly at the V&A
On now until 26 September 2010.

The V&A is one of my favourite museums, they always put on amazing fashion exhibits. I’ve heard such great things about the Grace Kelly exhibit. Arguably one of he most popular actresses of the 1950s, the exhibit examines her amazing wardrobe and her lasting legacy as a fashion icon. The exhibit features dresses from her movies as well as the gown she wore to accept her Oscar in 1955. With a wardrobe which features haute couture gowns by Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent, this exhibit is a must see.


Maison Martin Margiela ’20’ at Somerset House
3 June until 5 September 2010

Somerset House is hosting an exhibition to celebrate 20 years of one of the most enigmatic designers of recent years, Martin Margiela. Although 20 years makes Maison Martin Margiela a relative newcomer to the industry, the design house has had a radical impact due to it’s groundbreaking aesthetic and vision. The multi layered exhibition features garments, installations, photography and film to explore it’s history and innovation.
Browns: 40 years of fashion innovation at Regent Penthouses and Lofts

2010 marks the 40th birthday of a very special store in London. Browns has built up a reputation for supporting new talent from the beginning. It was the first store to import international collections by the likes of Ralph Lauren and Comme Des Garcons back in the 70s and 80s, as well as showcasing graduate collections by Galliano, McQueen and Chalayan. The exhibition highlights designers who have been supported by Browns as well as highlights of it’s fashion history. The exhibition features 40 portraits of designers, models, actors and artists photographed by Paolo Roversi in one of the specially selected 40th anniversary looks as well as archive pieces and 3D catwalk films.

Sick of the snow!

7 Jan

This is truely a sign of getting old, I am sick of the snow. Not just that, I’m sick of not feeling my toes, of slipping when walking anywhere and sick of not being able to drive/get the train. I miss summer and sunshine, I’ve forgotten what sunshine feels like on my skin. I want to be able to wear what I want, without having to add so many layers I resemble the Mitchelin man! Two cardigans today, two tops and tights yesterday.I keep dreaming about hot weather…and Margiela shredded jeans. See, I really do dream in fashion! I searched and search but couldn’t find a good alternative. Hey, maybe I can rip up a pair of old jeans whilst I’m snowed in?!

* Source Jak & Jil, Chictopia, Book of Joe

Haute Couture Spring 2009 part une

29 Jan

The first part of my Haute Couture Spring 2009 round up.

Chanel

For Chanel’s outstanding Spring Haute Couture collection, Monsieur Lagerfeld was inspired by plain white paper. This new less-is-more approach is a marked departure from the more-is-more approach for his ostentatiously bling Russian-inspired satellite show in December. A much welcome change, and more suitable for current economic climates: subtle-luxe rather than super-luxe. Even the set design reflected this change, gone are the mega-installations, replaced with columns covered in flowers, 6,700 assorted species to be exact.

Daywear consisted of impeccably clean lines and tailored structure. Strong shoulders, cropped jackets with fabulous necklines, crisp a-line skirts and the odd shiny black trim. Eveningwear consisted of a delicate mixture of beautiful ethereal dresses and sharper dresses with the same clean lines seen in the daywear looks.

White can be boring and plain, but not in the hands of Karl Lagerfeld, who used little details of genius to create an incredibly polished collection. To borrow a line from one of my friends, who occasionally writes for avntgrdemag.com, ‘the devil is in the detail’. Crisp white with the odd shiny black trim, wisps of chiffon and lace, shimmering beads, paillettes and sequins…the devil sure was in the detail. Every piece has that covetability factor, and if possible, I’m more in awe of Lagerfeld’s genius than ever.


Martin Margiela Artisanal

Also influenced by the recession but in a very different way, long-time recycling advocate Martin Margiela produced a very whimsical and quirky collection for his Artisanal line. Constructed from materials such as paper towels, shredded denim and shoelaces, it had a surprising appeal. My favourite pieces are the white shoelace dress, black plasticy puffy bolero and the shredded denim one-legged jumpsuit.


Christian Lacroix

Christian Lacroix, by contrast, didn’t seem bothered about economic times at all. He created a collection of gasp-worthy pieces as usual. The show, entitled ‘The designs of her Nature’ included notes on the mood for various pieces – caught, wavering, elated, poised. I think that this insight was necessary, the extravagant designs were typical Lacriox fashion, but for the collection as a whole there didn’t seem to be a coherent concept connecting the collection (gosh, try repeating that quickly!). I think it is important to have a connecting concept, otherwise its just a bunch of clothes as opposed to a collection.

Saying that, I did like what I saw – structural, ornate, patterned, paradise brights with plenty corsages and blooms, it was graphic yet romantic. Daywear was very strong, with almost Russian-esque military jackets with gold detailing, flouncy chiffon detailing and mannish trouser shapes. For eveningwear, Lacroix stuck to what he does best: stunning dresses. A white swan-like dress with a flower embroidered jacket was one of my favourites, along with a structured heavily embroidered bodice partnered with a smudged watercolour pouffy skirt. A special mention to the outstanding legwear, the tights were absolutely fantastic.





Givenchy

Having read a great article on Riccardo Tisci (whom I now have a great respect for) in Vogue’s February issue, I was greatly anticipating his couture collection for Givenchy. WWD compared his collection those of Chanel and Dior and were fairly critical, stating ‘[He is] a good designer who has yet to fully deliver on his early promise’ and ‘it’s a different kind of couture than that which sets the standard’. Yes, his collection was not as strong as those created by Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano, but they are masters of couture and it’s terribly unfair to compare anyone to them, in my opinion.

I think it was a soft and feminine collection – Seductive nude palette, contrasting sheer and fabric panels, sleek tailoring round shoulders, beautiful draping. Day and eveningwear were equally stunning; with suits toned down with willowy, elegant curves and beautifully languid draped evening gowns with sheer details. That said, he did not lose the sexy edge he’s known for, and even managed to incorporate bondage elements to his pretty dresses.



* Source WWD

L’Incognito

11 Jun
I love sunglasses. They’re a good fashion accessory yada yada, but the real reason is no one bothers me when I’m wearing them. It’s like having an invisibility cloak, which is sooo the best superpower to have. I’ve got huge Prada sunglasses which I’ve been happy with for a couple of years…well I was happy until I spied the Maison Martin Margiela L’incognito shades on their SS ’08 catwalk. It stated off with a little niggling feeling, but now it’s developed into an all out crush. Cooler than stupid Aviators or Wayfarers, these have worked their way to the top of my wishlist. Now does anyone know where I can buy them?!

* Source Aquire Mag