London Fashion Week: Sibling A/W15

Saturday’s Sibling show was an assault on the senses. It may have been a gloomy day outside, but this runway show was far from dull and grey.

Neon orange and pink came strutting down the runway, to Blondie’s Call Me, on models sporting Albert Einstein/Cruella de Vil style wigs. Think Stephen Sprouse meets Debbie Harry meets Chanel on acid.

The Chanel element came from the tweed two pieces that had been given a punk edge. Prim and proper is no longer fun. Embellished broaches and badges were fastened to most looks, and skinny scarves were tossed over the shoulder. From fur, cobweb knits, sequins, fringing and latex, this collection urged you to get up out of your seats and stroke it all.

If it wasn’t obvious enough already that the Sibling trio, Joe Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery, were inspired by Blondie, the band’s lyrics were plastered on shirts and sweaters.

(Image: Own)

(Image: Own)

(Image: Annie Lunnon)

(Image: Annie Lunnon)

(Image: Own)

(Image: Own)

Sat front row was prolific fashion journalist Suzy Menkes, blogger Susie Bubble, US Vogue contributing editor Sarah Mower and Net-A-Porter/Porter magazine founder Natalie Massenet. Side note: Massenet is completely gorgeous and has an almost Princess Diana aura about her #LifeGoals

(Image: Annie Lunnon)

(Image: Annie Lunnon)

Sibling knits are the knits to stock up on for a rebellious and warm AW/15.

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Happily Ever After is No More

(Image: fastcocreate.com)

(Image: fastcocreate.com)

It’s time to say goodbye to Disney’s fairy tale romances as we know them. The perfect, mushy, happily ever after endings will now be replaced with a truer to life depiction of love and romance in future books and films.

Disney, along with the Nicholas Sparks style novels that have been made into films, is partly to blame for our unrealistic expectations of what love is. Us girls thought that if we lost our shoe, then a prince would search the land to find us and return it. In reality, if we’ve lost a shoe then it’s probably because we were drunk the night before. In which case, we won’t ever get that back. Sorry.

The newly released film Into The Woods, adapted from the Sondhiem musical, sees the start of this transition. In the version of the Cinderella story contained within this film, Cinders and Prince Charming end up getting a divorce. Cue the sound of little hearts shattering all over the world. Some day my prince will come…and go a few years later. However, there are more children with separated parents now than ever before. Perhaps it’s a healthy thing to move away from the conventional fairy tale and replace it with something more relatable.

But the whole point of these fairy tales is to give us something to dream and fantasize about. They aren’t supposed to be taken literally. And as Cinderella once sang, in dreams you will lose your heartache.

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Mirren, Mirren On The Wall…

(Image: popsugar.co.uk)

(Image: popsugar.co.uk)

This week L’Oreal revealed Dame Helen Mirren’s first campaign as their leading lady. Mirren joins Jane Fonda as the new mature poster girl for the French beauty brand.

Casting the 69 year old in the campaign makes complete sense. With countless films under her belt, her most notable is Calendar Girls in which the Dame and her co-stars stripped off baring all. The film enforced the idea that older women are still attractive regardless of wrinkles and bingo wings. There is hope for us all.

On being awarded the L’Oreal campaign, Mirren said, “I hope I can inspire other women towards greater confidence by making the most of their natural good looks.” Ageing and Hollywood aren’t words often uttered in the same sentence. You would be hard pushed to find a woman, or man for that matter, in the L.A. area who hasn’t been nipped, tucked or poked in the face with a needle. There was even speculation about Mirren herself in 2012 after being seen with a blue scarf wrapped around her head and what appeared to be a white bandage underneath it. If she has been tweaked, at least she doesn’t possess the ‘wind tunnel’ look.

Many brands are cottoning on to the idea that ageing isn’t something to shy away from anymore. Marc Jacobs, Gap and Nars all used women over the age of 50 to front their campaigns this year.

Let’s just hope the more mature woman isn’t simply a token gesture.

Watch the Ad here

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Let Me Tell Ya All ‘Bout The Birds and The Bees

(Image:disneyrollergirl.net)

(Image:disneyrollergirl.net)

The fashion industry was all a buzz for Burberry Prorsum’s S/S15 show that paid homage to the marvels of the physical world, entitled The Birds and The Bees.

The weather was on Christopher Bailey’s side as the sun shone through the glass roof of the no expense spared, custom-built show space located in London’s Kensington Gardens. Nature was all around, both outside and inside of the show. Christopher Bailey focused the collection on the natural and the free drawing inspiration from the strong and the fragile creatures that live in the wild.

1,500 guests congregated in the tent situated in Hyde Park; one of the most beautiful parts of London. Sat front row was Paloma Faith, Olivia Palermo, the two faces of the My Burberry fragrance campaign Kate Moss and Cara Delevigne, Mario Testino and of course, Anna Wintour who was sporting a long-line cerulean blue suede jacket similar to the ones featured in the show. Cue The Devil Wears Prada monologue.

(Image: zimbo.com)

(Image: zimbo.com)

The runway itself was covered in hand painted insects and plants on a background of red, yellow and green, which was duplicated on the roof, making it look like a stained glass window.

Colours of the rainbow glided down the runway as models flaunted ice-cream hued tulle dresses, suede and denim jackets, – think B*witched in the 90s but without the Irish jig – sheer bows that created wasp waistlines, iridescent sequined skirts and butterfly printed satin. As Burberry is one of the oldest British fashion houses around, Bailey delved into the archives and kept the traditional Burberry trench as a key piece, which had been given a makeover, covered in the words ‘sun’ ‘flower’ and ‘insects’ for the summer months. The models donned bold red lips and also wore the My Burberry fragrance. Because everyone could smell that, couldn’t they?

(Image: wonderlandmagazine.com)

(Image: wonderlandmagazine.com)

James Bay was the live musical accompaniment for the 15 minute long presentation. Models walked down the runway to the aptly named Clocks Go Forward, representing the start of summer and new beginnings. The Brighton-based musician had already been featured on the Burberry Prorsum S/S14 show soundtrack with his song When We Were On Fire. For Bailey to use the same artist two years running, we’re guessing he’s a fan.

Burberry, being the tech-orientated brand that it is, didn’t disappoint with its newest digital innovation. In-Tweet Purchasing allowed US customers to buy a limited number of S/S15 nail polish colours as soon as they emerged on the catwalk via a tweet. Nifty. The brand also introduced Runway Made to Order on Burberry.com, giving customers the opportunity to own outerwear and bags from the collection long before they were placed on the store shelves. Technology is transforming fashion in this modern age. Bailey has managed to turn what was once a falling empire into a corporate success with his digital strategies.

This collection will make you float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

This collection will make you float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

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Trendy Tech

(Image: fashionista.com)

(Image: fashionista.com)

According to social media, 2014 was the year of wearable technology….or so they said. With the year over, we assess whether we have embraced or been disgraced by the trend.

Rami Banna, engineer, product champion and technology evangelist said in his Ted Talk, “Mobiles are so last year, wearable’s are hot right now.” We consumers don’t want to stick with the same electronics forever for fear of being left behind. Brands have cottoned on to our insecurities and are using them to their advantage.

Fashion designers are jumping onto the wearable tech bandwagon and creating technologically advanced items of clothing. Ralph Lauren is the first luxury brand to offer ‘smart’ clothing after pairing up with wearable tech corporation OMsignal to create Polo Tech shirts. The shirts measure the wearer’s heart rate, breathing rate and level of activity. All the information is synced to an app on your smartphone or tablet via a small snap on ‘tech box’. The black nylon compression shirts were tried and tested on the ball boys at the US Open. They are washable – one would hope so – but the only thing is, you have to remember to remove the tech box first. Not suitable for those without a helpful reminder app.

Rebecca Minkoff teamed up with Casemate and launched two bracelets at New York Fashion Week this past September. Both bangles are functional and fashionable; elements that other brands have struggled to marry together successfully. “I think in time technology will get smaller so as to be able to fit into smaller objects/shapes and therefore be able to fit into more aesthetically pleasing items,” says tech aficionado Kate Martin. Minkoff’s notification bracelet syncs with your smartphone via Bluetooth to alert you of texts and phone calls from your contacts of choice. You can keep your phone in your bag and still remain connected. The lightning cable bracelet, for iPhone 5, 5S and 5 C, connects to a USB cord and charges your device on the go. The downside is that you still have to carry a USB cord with you. And remember to charge the bracelet.

Stylist Alex Stedman loves the idea of wearable tech that you can use in conjunction with your phone, “As someone with a highly social media based job, I would love something I could wear that would also charge my phone!” She also thinks that wearable tech is still quite niche but has a hunch that it will get bigger. “Just look at the rise of the Moschino iPhone cases – the ultimate fashion meets function.”

The smart watch is attempting to unite style and practicality. Apple’s debut wearable tech, the iWatch, will be released in early 2015. The gadget receives messages and app notifications, removing the need to check our phones repetitively. Basically, it’s a mini iPhone with hands free portability. Gemma Bond from the blog That Belfast Girl isn’t a fan of Apple’s offering, “I don’t think the iWatch is as attractive as the Minkoff ranges. I think if iWatch did a collaboration with a high-end designer it would be more likely to appeal to the fashionable audience.”

The latest innovation in wearable technology comes from WonderRing. This made to measure service provides you with an accessory of your choice that controls your household appliances. Gone are the days of panicking about whether you’ve left the straighteners on or not. A touch of a button will confirm if your house is going up in flames or whether your clothes will be in tact when you get home. Still in the prototype stage, there is no word on colour variations. However, WonderRing promises that their products will fit the requirements of the trendsetters.

High-street brands have entered into their own world of wearable technology in the form of thermal tech, coming up with different ways to rework thermal fabrics into everyday clothing. Uniqlo have developed HEATTECH, a specialist material that fights the cold. Their thermal garments are as thin as 0.55mm meaning no more thick, itchy jumpers in dodgy colours that make you look the size of a house. Result. Marks and Spencer’s Heatgen range for men and women contains more of the traditional thermal items such as vests, underwear and long johns/leggings. Good news for those who are interested in just being toasty, not trendy.

Twenty fourteen might have just eased us into the wearable tech stratosphere. We’ve got a feeling 2015 is going to throw some pretty outlandish inventions at us. Should old technology be forgot and never brought to mind? Watch this space.

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Joni Mitchell for Saint Laurent

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2015/01/img_1243.jpg

2015/01/img_1244.jpg

Today, Saint Laurent Paris published these photographs captured of the legendary singer Joni Mitchell. They were shot by Hedi Slimane himself at Mitchell’s home in Bel Air, California for the brand’s January Music Project. Perfection.

The 71 year old beauty who became a recluse due to mental health problems no longer sings as a result of smoking for so many years, damaging her voice.

Songs such as Big Yellow Taxi and Woodstock defined an era and became part of the soundtrack for a generation. Her album Blue, which includes A Case of You, was rated the 30th best album ever made in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Mitchell’s distinctive voice evokes such genuine feeling and emotion, a rare quality found in only a select few artists today.

Of course, that famous scene in Love Actually in which Emma Thompson puts on Both Sides Now and cries alone in her room is utterly brilliant and arguably the best bit. “Joni Mitchell taught your cold English wife how to feel.” Joni taught many people how to feel.

Slimane, you did good.

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Music vs. Performance

(Image: vegasseven.com)

(Image: vegasseven.com)

MTV aired its first music video in the August of 1981. The video was for The Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star. They knew what the future held.

When an artist announces the release of a new single, we expect a music video to follow suit. When they announce a new album, we eagerly await the news of tour dates. The music alone no longer satisfies our needs and we, as an audience, are looking to other platforms of entertainment.

According to statisticbrain.com, the human population has an average attention span of 8 seconds – 1 second less than a goldfish. External stimulation has lead to our attention spans decreasing over the past few years and as a result, more and more of us require some sort of visual in order to keep us fully occupied. Technologically advanced methods of obtaining music have taken over. Sixty Four per cent of teenagers listen to music through YouTube, a predominantly visual site, than through any other source.

Music videos are more PVC than PC. The world’s most influential artists are using sex for sales. Activist and cultural theorist Jean Kilbourne stated in a recent Ted Talk that, “The problem isn’t sex; it’s the culture’s pornographic attitude towards sex, the trivialization of sex.” In Beyoncé’s Partition video, over 20 seconds is dedicated to going back and forth between her performing various moves on a phallic looking object and her on the floor in a embellished bikini. Since when was using your body as an object to keep audiences entertained empowering? This is a woman who also champions female empowerment in Flawless but sings the lyrics ‘bow down bitches’ in the very same song.

Joe Boyd, singer/songwriter and founder of Agony & Ecstasy Records, observes, “With music videos I think it is easy for viewers to be more entertained by the visual aspect because of the increasing numbers of adult themes appearing in them. The shock value is a sure way of getting the videos viewed and talked about.”

Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines video features Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I. fully clothed whilst their female extras spend the duration of the video in very little to no clothes. It seems as though, in the music industry, women are only interesting when they are in a bra and knickers.

Backtrack 15 years to Chris Issak’s Wicked Game from 1989. The black and white video, directed by Herb Ritts, stars supermodel Helena Christensen cavorting on a Hawaiian beach with Issak. The pair was topless throughout the footage but Christensen’s nudity was concealed by crafty camera angles. The video won several awards including Best Male Video, Best Cinematography and Best Video from a Film at the MTV Music Awards. It was also ranked 4th on VH1’s 50 Sexiest Video Moments and 13th on VH1’s 100 Greatest Videos. Perhaps without the video the song wouldn’t have done so well. In this case, *tasteful* sex sells and also wins awards.

Acoustic performer Erin Witton says, “There is obviously a huge commercial sector that relies on the video and touring industry, and while I believe that the loss of live concerts would be devastating to the industry, I daresay that it would be far better off without music videos and their often dubious or irrelevant content.” Ceasing to make such videos would force us to listen to the creative process come to life rather than just focus on the visual.

It’s not just music videos that are getting more elaborate by the day. Concerts are turning into freak shows. Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz tour saw her riding a suspended hotdog, slide down a giant tongue and touch herself repeatedly all whilst wearing next to nothing. It was an assault on all the senses. But concerts tours are where the real money is nowadays. None of the earnings from concerts go to the record label, so it makes sense for the artists to put on a good show to ensure they make as much money as possible.

When you see artists perform live, the show they put on often takes away from the actual singing. So much so, that, in some cases it means that the singer has to mime because the routines render them breathless. “Take the live shows of artists such as Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga as examples,” Witton suggests. “Their shows are much less an opportunity to showcase their music than an exercise in theatricality.” She also adds, “I think it may have a lot to do with the rise of celebrity, and musicians no longer having such an emotional connection to their songs, having not written them alone.” This isn’t an invalid point. Freddie Mercury wrote Bohemian Rhapsody singlehandedly. It took 6 writers and 4 producers to come up with Beyoncé’s Run The World (Girls); a song that repeats the same 13 lines 4 times over.

60s music enthusiast Jane Smith recalls, “In the 60s it was a big thing to go to a concert. You couldn’t buy DVDs or videos to see the concert, so when you were able to get tickets it was really exciting. Now it seems like everything is a shambles.”

However, Fleetwood Mac are a band that prove you don’t have to have a fancy set design and a million dollar music video to still capture the attention of the public. With Christine McVie choosing to re-join the band after a 16-year break, making the decision to do a world tour was an easy one. When tickets went on sale for the UK leg of the tour this past November, they sold out within minutes. No almost-nude girl humping giant teddy bears, no dancers, no foam squirting out of enormous whipped cream cans attached to boobs, just a group of 5 over 60’s standing behind their instruments singing the songs that they believe in.

Younger generations have been brought up in a visual age. Reverting back to how it was before MTV and the Internet is only but a dream. As The Buggles sang, we can’t rewind we’ve gone too far.

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Céline X Joan Didion

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Céline revealed today that their newest face of the brand is none other than Joan Didion.

Didion is an iconic American novelist and journalist. Her novels and essays focus on the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos.

Phoebe Philo has completely nailed this one on the head. She chose an intellectual to depict the brand’s feminine ideal. Philo enlisted someone who isn’t a model, who hasn’t got the ‘fashion body’ and is an older woman at the grand old age of 80.

Phoebe, women around the world salute you.

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Music Industry’s Lost, Fashion Industry’s Gain…We Think.

(image: iconichipster.com)

(image: iconichipster.com)

Rumours have been circulating that Kanye West may be leaving the music scene to inject his creative juices into fashion design. West has already worked alongside some of fashion’s royalty including Margiela, who created his tour wardrobe for Yeezus.

“After his next [collaboration] with Paul McCartney comes out, he’s going to step away from music and concentrate on clothing,” a source told Page Six. “He got a $15 million signing bonus from Adidas, but his line has been pushed back four times because he hasn’t had enough time to work on it.” He was offered a deal with Nike, but refused the offer for rival Adidas.

We all know he made Kim K a ‘fashion icon’ if you can even bare to let that phrase cross your lips in regards to her. But is West’s latest venture the result of too much money mixed with too much power?

Everyone wants their eggs in lots of different baskets these days, sacrificing quality for quantity in some cases. Being an expert in one chosen field is no longer satisfactory.

Whether it’s a hit or a miss, there’s one thing that is for certain; That s**t cray.

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Disco Future

(Images: style.com)

(Images: style.com)

From Tom Ford to Samuji, some of fashion’s elite are dancing to the same Donna Summer tune as they were in 1977, as designers glance back at 1970s disco for Spring/Summer 2015 inspiration.

The style of dressing that previously glided across the floors of Studio 54 moulded to the bodies of the club’s star-studded party goers has been revived and taken to the runway. Let your inner Liza Minnelli be set free.

At Saint Laurent we were teleported back to an era where minimalism was not in the vocabulary of the movers and shakers. Slimane offered up a deluge of embellished dresses and jackets. Platform heels encasing the models dancing instruments carried them along the catwalk in a reverse moonwalk. The higher the heel, the closer to the disco ball. Bowler hats and playsuits with plunging halter necklines also graced his mirrored stage. Floral motifs on select pieces and short shorts were the only things pointing towards a Spring/Summer collection.

Helsinki based house Samuji showed lightweight metallic sliver jackets, shiny shorts and silk flares whilst Matthew Williamson opted for 70s shapes with an oriental vibe.

Tom Ford also shimmied his way towards 70s disco, incorporating sheer panelling and cut-outs for an edgier feel. Leather, silk, black and emerald green went against the stereotypical aesthetic of summer attire. Wide velvet flares were given a metallic thread face-lift and what was once a basic long sleeve top is now adorned with sequins. Fuss-free fastenings by way of the occasional button or zip make for easy removal after a long night on the town. Unfortunately, we still have to take our make-up off ladies. Panda eyes fo’ sho’ aren’t cute. To ensure this doesn’t happen, invest in Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover to wipe away the most stubborn of mascara.

Off the runway, a new documentary entitled The Devil in the Disco is scheduled to be released in 2015. This George Butler film focuses on the untold story of Bernard Fevre, whose 70s creations inspired Aphex Twin and The Chemical Brothers.

Hop on a flight to L.A. and get yourself down to Giorgio’s in West Hollywood. Here, Saturday nights are dedicated to going back in time and giving you the best disco experience of your life. For the less adventurous types, transport a piece of the party into your home with Areaware’s Reality Roller Stop roller-skate doorstop to ensure your doors don’t dance off into the night.

So, keep your pastels hung in your wardrobe this Spring/Summer 15 and get down with disco. Can you dig it?

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