Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sales & Sizes

     On Thursday I finally had the chance to pop up to London. Firstly to catch up with some friends and secondly to invest in some last-minute SALE shopping. 


       Now often when you go shopping there will be stuff you which you want and stuff which you need and, whilst I may have wanted a pair of Jil Sander trousers, I needed a suit. I needed a suit and I needed one bad, so I decided to peruse the likes of Regent Street, Oxford Street and the King's Road in the hope that I would find a beautiful high-quality suit at a beautifully discounted price.
     For those of you who know me well, follow me on Twitter or have read this blog since its humble beginnings you will know that I am an adamant fan of the Kooples. From it's skinny fitting trousers to it's unique detailed accessories, the brand is something of a muse for my style and whilst I can rarely afford it's full price pieces I can often invest in some of its on sale items.
       So come Thursday afternoon I decided to hit the King's Road store in the expectation that I would find the suit of my dreams and consequently, live happily ever after. Well, of course, I did find the suit of my dreams and it was in the sale, yet, it being three days before the sale came to a close meant that they did not have this perfect grey suit in my size. 


       ...I told you it was perfect. The trousers fitted, even if they were a little tight around the waist; but that worked for me anyway because the skinny fit of a 44 suits my legs better than that of a 46 and the material does stretch or, if need be, it can be let out. However, it was the idea of me attempting to wear it's complimenting jacket that made me squirm in self-pity. It was too small - the sleeves were too short, the fit was too restraining and that was that.
       However, subsequently, I did manage to purchase a wonderful pair of on sale olive chinos there (in a 44), amongst Topman accessories, a River Island t-shirt and then indeed a skinny suit, which happens to be a lovely Ben Sherman one but still, it was that Kooples suit, which I wanted and it was the Kooples suit, which I wasn't able to get. Sad times.
        With sales you have to be ruthless, in the summer they start mid-June and it is then if not early July that you should tend to them, otherwise disappointment is inevitable and disappointed I was. You can play with sizing sometimes but you can't play with sizing always...looking as though you're wearing a suit of your parent's or child's is not attractive. Suss out your sizes, stick to them and all will work out well.
        I did not get the suit, which I wanted but I did learn a valuable lesson and looking at the new Kooples campaign, it looks as though there are plenty of other perfect suits for me to purchase next time a Sale should happen, only this time - I'll get there on time and hopefully, you will too.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

#theawkwardmomentwhen

   Right now, we find ourselves in the midst of #theawkwardmomentwhen fashion finds itself balancing between the collections of AW and SS.


    The weather is, or at least should be, that of SS right now and we want to wear SS clothes - simples. However, as we flick through magazines and  fashion blogs alike, we find ourselves gazing upon this year's set of AW collections and all the trends they behold - not so simples.
     Thus, whilst most of us are still hoping to make last minute purchases on on-sale SS items, we are simultaneously caught up in the excitement of what AW has to offer. The conundrum as to whether we should splash out on a pair of SS D&G shorts now or save up for something more on-trend in the season to come suddenly arises, and it's a tough one. The shorts are so nice, the discount price is so incredible and you're going on holiday...yet, will you still be wearing them come September? - No.
      This is only made more awkward by the fact that the Paris and Milan SS 2012 men's shows have already happened - models have walked, designs have been displayed and photos have been uploaded. There's more  for us to look at and there's more for us to save up for. Whether it's sumptuous shoes at Costume National Homme or made-for-magazine mac's at Dries Van Noten, the season is filled with classics - timeless, quirky classics...the only trouble is we've got the best part of a year until we can buy them - awkward.


    However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. As a society we've become accustomed to awkward situations, we're not scared of them, in fact most of us seem to have some sort of perverse fetish for them. Who doesn't love a good awkward turtle, palm tree, giraffe, paws, birth (this one's particularly fun, seeing as you actually imitate giving birth during the awkward moment)? - the list goes on.
    We may find ourselves in the midst of confusion as trends of midi-skirts, jewel tones and sixties vibes become mixed in with our now well practised colour-blocking, whites and of course stripes but who doesn't love a good trend-blend? We can now buy the items this season, which we know will translate into the next.
      Androgyny, on the one hand, is set to continue it's well-deserved hype, as we've seen it step up a gear at the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Michael Kors and the glamour trend seems to be going nowhere as Roberto Cavalli's new suits have undoubtedly proved. Even tangerine has persevered in places, just look at Hermès, not to mention Burberry.


      Yes, this time can become a bit of a kerfuffle because there is so much going on but who doesn't love a kerfuffle, particularly when it's fashion filled? Right now, there is an overflow of fashion - fact. However, whether you're drowning in it or swimming, you are drowning or swimming in fashion and in all honesty, what else would you want to do?

Sunday, 24 July 2011

In light of recent events...

         No-one could have predicted the last few days; death can be so sudden . 
        Whether it is in the form of terrorist attacks in Norway, a train crash in China or the premature loss of a  talented 27 year old, it hits us and it hits us hard. The majority of us, will not be directly affected by any of these deaths but will sympathise with those who are because we're human; my condolences go out to all those affected.
        However, luckily for, me and the majority of the world, we don't know people, who have died in the attacks or been killed in the train crash; we can move on. Yet with Winehouse, the situation is different. We did know her, not personally, but we knew her music - Back to Black, her unique style - the infamous Beehive, and caught glimpses of her personality in live performances and interviews alike - her Valerie intros. 
         Her death isn't any more important than anyone else's, just closer to us because we all knew her and we all knew of the addictions which she had.


* * *
        Last night I was finally able to see the Anne Fontaine directed Chanel biopic 'Coco Avant Chanel', and being a fashion-geek, I enjoyed it immensely. Audrey Tautou plays Chanel flawlessly from her expressions to her posture, and the costumes and intriguing nature of Chanel's life make the film a must-see.


    Chanel like Winehouse, was a remarkable woman. Neither were perfect but both shared a great level of integrity; throughout their lives they always stayed true to themselves. Winehouse, although plagued by addiction, never changed her musical style in order to suit what was popular at the time. In fact, it was her unique soulful, jazz, pop genre that started the sixties music revival. She didn't follow trends but created them.


      As for Chanel, she remains one of the most influential women ever to have lived on account of her individuality. Whilst she grew up and lived in a world where fashion was frivolity, she opposed the trend and created minimalistic dresses, hats and even trousers which focused on detail. Her infamous quote to always remove the last accessory you put on, was so pertinent in her time because people really did attempt to wear every accessory they owned at once.
      And, of course, Chanel's, legacy lives on. She was the independent woman so many girls aspire to become. She built a global business and it is now kept going under the talented hands of Karl Lagerfeld. Her unique image lives on, whether in beautiful ready-to-wear collections or divine couture, as we can tell from the most recent show. The dresses are extravagant but the silhouette is simple.


      It is in this way that Winehouse will live on because, just as Chanel's style continues to prosper, Winehouse's music will continue to be listened to. It is brilliant, as was she and whilst we mourn the losses in Norway and elsewhere, we will mourn the loss of her, in Lagerfeld's own words 'Britain's own Bridget Bardot'.
     

R.I.P. 
Amy Winehouse and all those killed in recent events.
May your souls rest in peace and your legacies live on.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Back To Life...Back To Reality

      Firstly I must apologise for my recent lack of blogging; I have just been in Uganda for two weeks with no internet access.
     For those of you who regularly read my blog, this trip may seem random in that Uganda is possibly the most homophobic country in Africa, it's not a fashion capital and it is hardly renowned for its holiday potential. However, whilst, I did not go there to lap up the sun or attempt to enjoy a spiritual-cultural-political-exchange on my Gap Yah, I went with a group of school friends in order to visit our link school, which we've been raising money for over the past four years. 


    And as cliché as it sounds the experience was brilliant, whether it involved African dancing, above, or teaching in the primary and secondary schools, it was both educational and enjoyable. Whilst it has not really changed me as a person, it has made more appreciative of the liberal life I lead and the access to fashion, which we in the western world have - it was worthwhile.
      However, two weeks is a long time.
     14 days may seem short on paper and it is when you are on a holiday but a lot can happen in 14 days; a lot has happened, whilst I have been away. 
    Primarily, there is the newborn Harper Beckham and I must become one of the umpteenth bloggers to congratulate the Beckhams on their first baby girl. The photographs are gorgeous, as expected, and they suggest that David and Victoria will be equally good at raising a girl as they are doing their boys - just think of the future wardrobe Harper will have!

  

    Then of course there has been the Rupert Murdoch scandal, Armani's announcement that Rihanna will become its new lingerie model and the final film instalment of Harry Potter. Perhaps most excitingly in the fashion world though, was Anja Rubik's wish-you-were-there Majorcan wedding, in which she wore a design of friend and employer, Emilio Pucci's Peter Dundas. 
     Rubik looked every bit the model she is, in the young yet extravagant dress, which both complimented her beautiful skin tone and showed off her gorgeous legs, whilst, her dashing husband - Sasha Knezevic, looked every bit the perfect man he is, in a simple, yet sharp, tuxedo. The wedding like that of Kate Moss' was picture perfect and its photos suggest that the couple will have a long and prosperous marriage.

 

    However, a lot more has happened than these few things, Pixie Lott has just been signed to Select Model Management and there are still plenty of menswear shows for me to check out. And so, whilst I fall back into my regular blogging routine I am going to try and be a little more adventurous. 
     My magazine variation may increase and my show searching might expand because I live in a country, in which this is easy and the fact that I love it makes it even more so. 

Friday, 1 July 2011

U Got The Look

     It’s been done - Beyoncé has performed at Glastonbury and, despite much cynicism, her 2-hour set list was well received by crowds and critics alike. The infamous popstress really did channel her inner Janis Joplin and thus successfully promoted her now-number-one-on-iTunes album ‘4’ to a new scene of people. She was, quite simply, brilliant (bar her pronunciation of the town Glastonbury).


    It’s strange though, ten years ago Beyoncé wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near Glastonbury – the festival is a home of authentic rock, folk and indie music not pitch-perfect pre-practiced pop. Yet pop is not what the festival has become, nor is it really what Beyoncé sung - she set her songs and covers to alternate backings and got her growl on, creating a new form of pop - a new style.


        And, in all honesty, it's refreshing to hear something new and individual. The fact that it's original makes it current and it's this originality, which is becoming more and more appreciated in all forms of style. Ladies such as Beyoncé, Adele and Laura Marling own the musical world on account of their unique genres, whilst the likes of Clemence Poesy and Theo Hutchcraft continually grace the pages of magazines and blogs alike due to their individual fashion senses. 
     Poesy's look, although undoubtedly French, is influenced by both British and American styles as a result of her position in both European and American media. The result is a wardrobe both original and enviable - not to mention expensive due to her short stint on Gossip Girl. She is a transatlantic actress with a transatlantic style and consequently her style translates to all, as she combines looks from both sides of the pond to suit her.

 

     Similarly Hutchcraft's look works on account of its individuality; whilst he plays with vintage trends, such as tie pins and slicked-back hair, he refrains from ever directly mimicking the Mad Men 60s style of yesteryear. He updates the look with the modern twist of a skinny fit trouser or the extra addition of piping on a pinstripe suit. The result is marvellous and it manages to express him in the same manner as his music.


      Trends and styles are no longer mutually exclusive; they can and should mix. You needn't solely focus on one statement style but focus on yours. I, myself, having been bought up a Polo boy was never quite suited to being overtly preppy. So since my early teens I have attempted to find and now feel that I have my own style - not my mother's.
      However I could not ditch the preppiness altogether, so I now integrate my preppy pieces into the indie pieces of my more recent wardrobe - the result can be described as indie-prep but in reality it's more than that; its my look - the look for me. The question is have you got the look - the look for you?