Royal Wedding – Make Up

 In case you’re not sick of all the Royal Wedding style news already, today Bobbi  Brown released three make-up briefs for the Middleton clan. Bobbi Borwn narrates:

Bride

1. Start with clean, fresh skin. Even out skin tone with Corrector, Concealer and Foundation.
2. Sweep Ivory Eye Shadow all over the lid.
3. Apply Rockstar Metallic Eye Shadow on the lower lid.
4. Blend Slate Eye Shadow into the crease.
5. Line upper and lower lash lines with Black Ink Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, making sure that the top line is thicker than the bottom.
6. Brush on two coats of Black No Smudge Mascara.
7. Smile and sweep Pale Pink Blush on the apples of the cheeks.
8. Dust Pink Quartz Shimmer Brick high on the cheekbones.
9. Apply Sandwash Pink Lip Color on lips, followed by Crystal Gloss.

Maid of Honor

  1. Begin by applying Corrector, Concealer and a little bit of Foundation for beautifully even skin.
  2. Warm up the face with a skin-tone-correct Bronzer.
  3. Sweep Bone Eye Shadow across the entire lid.
  4. Apply Long Wear Cream Shadow in Ash on the lower lid only.
  5. Perfectly define the eyes with Long Wear Gel Eye Liner in Black Ink on the top and bottom lash lines.
  6. Open and curl the lashes with two coats of Lash Glamour Extreme Lengthening Mascara.
  7. Play up the cheeks with Blush in Sand Pink.
  8. Softly brush a Highlighter Pen high onto the cheek bones for added definition and shimmer.
  9. Apply Blondie Pink Lip Color on the lips, followed by Confetti Lip Gloss.

Mother of the Bride

  1. Start by giving the skin a clean, natural glow with Corrector, Concealer and Foundation.
  2. Apply Bone Shadow from brow to lash line.
  3. Keep the eyes beautifully natural by sweeping Long Wear Cream Shadow in Cement across the lower lid.
  4. Define the upper lash line with Long Wear Gel Eye Liner in Caviar.
  5. Finish the eyes with two coats of No Smudge Mascara in Black.
  6. For the perfect pop of color on the cheeks, try Blush in a fresh shade like Apricot.
  7. Lips are kept soft and natural with a swipe of Brownie Lip Color.

Caleche

My parents’ bedroom is always full of treasure. I discovered father’s porn when I was in primary school. I went to afternoon classes then, and both of my parents had to work. Nobody would notice when I sneaked up to my parents’ bedroom during lunchtime: my nanna would be downstairs in the kitchen, preparing lunch. I’d lock the door, silence the TV, and enjoy about fifteen minutes of raw human pleasure.

The porn back then was different to what the internet offers now. It wasn’t entirely based on the male vision.  The woman wore beautiful clothing. A be-bowed silk blouse and a camel a-line skirt. Hair glued sleekly to her skull. Red lips. Demure white heels. She would throw her head back, and looked thoroughly unaware of being filmed. It was sensual, real, and if the film was a perfume, it would have smelt of sex and passion. The porn nowadays would just smell of plastic. Cheap, mass produced plastic. Father’s porn was the sexual education I never received. I’m glad it was good education.

Next door to father’s VCRs were mother’s perfume collection. I toyed with the perfume more openly. Almost a hundred viles, bottles and tubes were housed in a delicate plastic drawer inside the cupboard.

Mother forbade me from spraying the perfume. So I always headed to the cupboard, picked out the bottle which stood out most prominently and quickly uncapped it and spritzed.

It was a tall one. It looked like a pillar in Roman architecture. It was gold capped with amber liquid inside. I loved the tangy smell. It was a deep, deep orange. It smelt as if somebody’s just eaten an orange inside the interiors of a vintage Rolls Royce. I remember I felt incredibly sophisticated.

With Pierre Aulas encouraging me to buy that “bottle” I have been thinking about for weeks now. (“You smell it once, put it away and literally don’t go back and smell it until at least a month later. If you’re still thinking about that, go back and try it again. If it evokes the same emotion as it did a month ago, go for it.”) I ran out the door to buy a Mitsouko parfum today. I showed it to my mother.

Mother brought out a box (she stowed away the entire perfume collection a while ago, I have no idea why), and there it was, the Caleche. Almost twenty years on, I finally know that the tangy perfume I’ve been secretly spraying myself with, is the legendary Hermes Caleche.

I immediately sprayed some of the amber elixir on my wrist. I lament that the top note has evaporated and I can no longer smell that familiar orangy scent. Nevertheless, it feels good to be reunited with something I’ve missed for so long. Caleche still makes me feel sophisticated. Aulas is right.

Fast Fashion, so long.

After seven years in exile, the reality has finally dawned on me that Hong Kong is now home. My royal possessions have been residing in their ten cardboard boxes for over a month, and I didn’t have the heart to release them from their prisons. I knew there’d be tears once I knifed open the duct tapes. The inevitable would be: some elements that once glowed with an aura in the store, spoke to me on the shelves, and with whom I since had a loving relationship for years…

I knew I’d have to call time on some of them.

This afternoon I finally did the unimaginable. Out came the vintage Bally shoes. Out came to 50s circle skirt. Many of the purchases that reflected craftmanship, history and good taste went straight to the display cabinet. Out came the Primark top. I remembered the day: in the Hammersmith branch of the store, the princessy hue of this T-shirt drew me towards it. It had two ribbons sewn across the T-shirt. Vertical to the ribbons, some fringed threads fell freely from the “eyelids”. And the T-shirt was a very romantic face. Pink face, long, seductive eyes. It reminded me of the face of a cabaret dancer.

Today it doesn’t look so seductive. One button has fallen off from a row on the back. The long lashes are disorientated. At best, the cabaret dancer’s face looks like a failed and forgotten artist, whose battle with drugs has always been futile.

I have to let it go. Our times were good.

What I can’t believe is, after three hours of unpacking, half of the boxes actually ended up in the bin. There are H&M purchases that no longer fit. There are Zara shirts that I don’t even remember existed. There are shoes that I bought because they looked “cool”. There are items that were uncomfortable, wrong, disgraceful.

“Why did I buy them in the first place?” I pondered.  And what Lily Cole said in a Guardian interview suddenly dawned on me. “BUY LESS, PAY MORE”.

Ever since I got back to Hong Kong, it is amazing how little I have purchased for the past year. Of the several items I bought, they were so BLOODY expensive that I had no choice but to really care for them. I know I will love them to no end no matter which corner of the earth my wild soul takes me to. Without knowing what I was doing, Lily Cole has summed it up for me.

I now think I deserve the best. Not the half arse stitches that exploited workers in India toiled away their days and nights to sew. Not the bargain fabrics that Primark, or Giordano’s minuscule budget allowed. My wardrobes only have room for love, and not grotty items that have child labour written all over them.

Patricia Field

 

I had the pleasure of meeting with the styling queen of HBO a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I wasn’t articulate enough, or maybe she has already said it all with the gazillion interviews she has done with other media outlets. Nothing was worthy of reporting other than this:

1. What do you think of Santa’s outfit?

It’s a good colour.

2. Do you ever see Santa being an inspiration for the catwalk?

Jeremy Scott. His designs have been comedic.

Patricia Field, if you just youtube her, talks as if she has a swollen tongue and drags her words as if the keeeyyboooarrd isss stiicckkkyy anddd theee syylllabbllleess aarree long.

Which leads me to leave you on this note:

I am desperately in need of a large nose to suck in more juicy ideas into my already shrinking head because of the lack of stimulation (in the city).

Rant Rant

Firstly, I have abandoned this for a while. But it was Adam Philips, a lad who graphic designs for McDonald’s who asked: “You created Kiwibiwi.com? My mate from the UK showed it to me and no wonder why I thought you looked familiar the first time I met you. It was you and the woman who wore a cherry on her head I saw!”

“Oh my god I can’t believe people actually read my blog, that’s why I have half abandoned it.”

“Well, I’m guessing they do. Don’t abandon it. You can say whatever the fuck you want to say there.”

I remember why I got into fashion in the first place. It was its creativity and its constant evolution. Nothing is more fun being in London during fashion week: there are these junkies who’d put a negligee and a pair of military boots together and you’d think it is an outfit pulled out of a hat. Somehow, weirdly, it does look aesthetically pleasing.

Fashion in London is a two-way affair. While the catwalks massively influence what will be seen on the high streets, the fashion show goers in their own way affect what will be seen on the catwalk for the next season too. So it’s a good cycle: fashion lovers become fashion perpetrators. And those who feast on what’s available on the street without a question, well, they are perceived as followers. They are scavengers of the London style scene.

It’s completely different here. People get excited about something because they are made by Hermes (uck), Louis Vuitton (double uck) and Ed Hardy (uck to the power n).

A printed silk scarf from Hermes (note: for those who don’t know, the art of printing was invented in China THOUSANDS of years ago. Silk existed as a writing instrument WAY before paper surfaced), a Louis Vuitton monogram patent leather handbag (let me see, the last time I saw a patent leather handbag was 2 seconds ago, when I looked in my wardrobe and there were five)… So? These “news”, aren’t exactly “news” by any standard.

There’s no individual style here per se. Money, rather than the people at the receiving end of fashion, seems to be the perpetrator of “trends”. The media goes at length to dig their heads in the sand (even fill their heads with it) in order to convince themselves a $200 plastic watch can’t be cool because it’s made of petroleum derivative, not of endangered animal or rare metal that money approves of.

Take the example of Juicy Couture. What’s the difference between a pair of cotton stretchy pants and a pair of cotton stretchy pants? They are the same until the first pair was sold at Times Square at an elevated price of one wozillian dollars, while the second was at an outlet somewhere in Wanchai. So does the Juicy Couture store opening at Time Square deserves a mention? You tell me. I am only a lowly inexperienced journalist who has no idea what style means in Hong Kong. (Refer to paragraph six)

Now I might appear I despise money. I don’t despise it, nor do I worship it that my eyes are blinded by the aura of God. There are ways to earn money without ripping apart your integrity. There are ways to spend money without perpetuating a vicious circle (rich conglomerates get free press, newspaper runs out of space to cover a collection by a fresh grad, talented designer becomes visual merchandiser).

I’ll leave you on the note of what Elli Hakami (director of programme development at Discovery Channel USA, also a former BBC employee) has to say about attitudes towards creativity in the UK and in the USA (capitalism model which Hong Kong thrives on)

“In the UK we talk about the most innovative programme we have come up with in the past year. In the US, we talk about what your end of year results were.”

Exclusive Interview with Anna Dello Russo

She emerged from a bustling room, behind a dense crowd of shoveling assistants and stylists. What I first saw was a giant pair of cherries, and then her toned arms, and then her face. I thought she was involved in a photoshoot — afterall, a rigid lace corset which is barely enough to cover your derriere isn’t exactly your average 3pm outfit. But Anna Dello Russo isn’t your average woman. She is the number one stylist in the world, one of the most recognisable faces in fashion, proud owner of 6000 pair of shoes which require an apartment to display.

“I am wearing Dolce & Gabbana today,” Anna speaks slowly and clearly in English, with a slight Italian twang, “and the shoes are Manolo.” Last time we checked, she had 6000 pairs, mostly heels, but there was a pair of white glitter mary jane flat too. How far has her shoe wardrobe advanced since then? She hesitates, and says, “I have lost count. But I am a collector of fashion you know. Everything in my apartment is archived and catalogued. I display my shoes.”

Anna says she doesn’t collect any vintage pieces, but rather she documents the fashion from our living memory. And since she styles many catwalks and adverts for the world’s biggest fashion brands, does it mean that she gets her collector’s items for free?

And then her friend Sarah Rutson, Lane Crawford’s fashion director of 15 years, a face that is commonly seen on blogs such as Chictopia and Sartorialist, appears at the door and Anna shrieks elegantly, “where are those shoes?” She is referring to the pair of black Yves Saint Laurent suede heels. She had tried them on earlier and she needs to buy them. “It’s a pair of 7 and a half. 7 and a half.”

Sarah told us that during fashion week, Anna told her that “I am envious of your job. I only ever do photoshoots and I’d really love to style some customers. Maybe we can trade positions one day!” And here is Anna. She is here for two days, giving styling advice for some private customers (first a banker mum from Credit Suisse; then a Beijing client dressed in Pucci and carried a Hermes Birkin, who flew down especially for the session) at Lane Crawford’s Platinum Suite, overlooking the Victoria Harbour.

Anna styled while she answered my questions, “when I am not busy, throw a question at me!” She taught the banker mum how to wear this season’s chicest look — a round neck knitted jumper on a wool A-line skirt. The lady emerged from the fitting room, and stared at her reflection. Her expression was quizzical. Afterall, bankers are a conservative lot. A jumper is perhaps too Alexander Wang for a Chanel kind of girl. And such is the difference between styling a shoot and styling real people. The functionality associated with clothes isn’t an element at the top of Anna’s equation.

Anna went into her fitting room, came back out and asked, “Where’s the thin belt?” Her voice sent assistants scrambling around the room, “Never lose a moment! Fashion is a moment!” And indeed it is, fashion is ephemeral according to Karl Lagerfeld, and one has to constantly evolve with fashion in order to stay on top. Anna takes this concept to the extreme — she wears clothes off the catwalk. Soon after a look has stormed down the runway, it will be Anna’s next outfit.

When the lady tries on the clothes and Anna has a free moment, I ask Anna to explain what does she mean when she writes on her blog, “I don’t want to be cool, I want to be fashion”?

“You know, people don’t dress up nowadays. Everybody tries to be cool. For example, Kate Moss. She is an adorable girl. She is cool. She wears t-shirts and jeans. But I am born fashion. I love fashion, I love clothes, I love brands. There’s nothing vulgar about it.” Anna is unapologetic about dressing up. And indeed why should she? She has impeccable taste, her style influences millions worldwide. She has got the figure to flaunt it, so why not?

Anna keeps fit by swimming and practising yoga everyday. “If I work in Milan then I walk my dog, Cicciolina.” How about her makeup routine? “I have a flexible body. My body is really good for clothes. But I never wear makeup because I have an androgynous face. If I wear make up I look like a tranvestite. For skincare I use La Mer, and nail varnish YSL.”

Indeed her body is perfect. She looks much fitter than on photographs — she somehow looks thinner in real life, but she is definitely not a waif. She looks healthy. Her proportion is perfect. Although she hunches when she stands, her shoulders are straight and her legs are firm and toned. She has a befreckled back, perhaps evidence of a lot of sunning in Portofino?

“I used to holiday with him every year. But this year we only spent a couple of weekends together.” Anna is referring to Stefano Gabbana, whom she says without a hint of hesitation that he is her best friend in fashion. Is it any wonder? Earlier this year, Stefano twitted Anna’s photo via his account. It was the back of Anna descending some steps in the background of an azzaro sea. And most of the time Anna can be spotted in Dolce & Gabbana outfits, two seasons ahead of time. Does she style the boys’ show as well?

“I never speak about the shows I styled. The designers should be given the right spotlight. I used to style many many shows, but now I am more selective. Maybe only once or twice a season.”

Anna says her proudest moment in fashion is during fashion week because “it is like the Olympics. You prepare for it before. You get into shape. And during fashion week you see the results of what you have worked so hard for. And you know September is the most important week in fashion, and it is also the best issue for my magazine, Japan Vogue.”

The creative director and consultant for Vogue Japan works from Milan, and travels to Japan twice a year. According to Vogue Japan’s fashion market director Saori Masuda, “Anna creates the look for the Vogue girl, and is in charge of the whole feel of the magazine. Anna follows the photoshoot for Vogue Japan in Milan.” Saori is writing an article about Anna for Vogue Japan, which will be out in late November. “Anna is very friendly. She is very direct with what she wants. She is very inspirational.”

It has been rumoured that Anna puts fashion before men. The fact that she is never snapped with any straight male companion has fueled the rumour. So what is her view on men? “I can only say that don’t overdress when you go out with men. They don’t like it. They don’t like excessive. But of course I love men. I think gay men with fashion, [she makes a perfetto gesture], but straight men… But I love men, of course.”

Ten Fashion Essentials

I used to impugn her for wearing only catwalk looks. Only recently (shameful) did I find out that she styled those looks.  So whatever she wears off the catwalk, she owns that style. Undeniably one of the greatest stylists of our time, here are her ten fashion essentials. Well said indeed.

THE TEN ESSENTIALS

Anna Dello Russo, editor-at-large, creative consultant, Vogue Nippon

“My life is not basic, it is fashionable!”

1. My collection of jewelry
It’s the only personal touch of my style because I just wear catwalk outfits. Flashy jewels personalize your style.

2. My 4000 pair of shoes
Accessories lift spirits. When you don’t feel like getting dressedit means that you are depressed. You need a fashion shower!

3. My YSL nail polish
La laque, vernis à ongles, longue tenue. Number 1 RED, laque chinois for spring. Number 2 RED, intense blood for winter. Number 9 RED-ORANGE, ‘70 for summer.

4. My head pieces
Because nothing succeeds like excess!

5. My swim-kit of Speedo/Comme des Garçons bathing suit,
Speedo/Comme des Garçons cap and mirrored plastic goggles

I swim everyday. Diving in the water means lot to me – to refresh my thoughts,
wash my paranoia, translate my jump into the void, quash my fears.
I love to jump into new experiences with humbleness and devotion.

6. My mattress for Ashtanga yoga
Yoga is my philosophy of life. What do fashion and yoga have in common?
They both are the language of the unconscious.

7. My country house called Villa Villa Colle
I grow bio-organic food, drink fresh water, and live a sunny upbringing…
Perfect to start my endless summer!

8. My Blackberry for twittering everyday
During the fashion weeks, share your love for the shows on Twitter as much as you can.

9. My favorite book “A Wonderful Life” by Slims Aarons
A visionary heaven to live!

10. My love Cucciolina!

– From Self Service Magazine

Anna Dello Russo’s blog here.

The MBT Conundrum

Hello all, not sure if I’m missed at all… It’s been too long and I’m guessing you know I’ve been busy with work. Fashion used to mean the world to me and now with responsibility to write about Travel, Food and what not, this little indulgent space has been eaten up just slightly. OK, don’t tut. I vow not to neglect Kiwibiwi anymore.

So, I am in the Far East, writing for a cool little magazine known as Time Out (yes yes, chill on the applause). Unfortunately the Kiwibiwi name is yet to suffice for a creation of a little column on the magazine yet, but when that happens, you have my word, I’ll let the world know.

Anyway, I’ll cut out the Bryanboy style self-promotion crap and cut straight into fashion instead. MBT. MBT. Have you not heard of it? Well they are pretty big here on our tiny island. If I call them the sandal companion of the Ugg, maybe you’ll get the gist of it?

Well first, UGG had no medicinal purpose. At best it is only a pair of snug, warm, comfortable and friendly thingy migjig to wear below sub-zero. I personally detest cold, sweaty feet. And so naturally I’ll opt for a pair of Ugly. Yes, fashion is for life, but not for taking my life you know. Cold feet kills.

Here, you have got this gorgeous pair of hydrocarbon by-product which looks like a pair of synthetic soles for the amputated. It is an anti-christ of ugly. It’s fugly.

I try to keep an open mind. I mean, I love Chanel’s clogs. But wait, it doesn’t mean I also love Louis Vuitton’s minging version. So: just that I can lower my standard to love Ugg, doesn’t mean I have to love Fug.

So when you are faced with this Fug every other minute on the street where temperature hits 35 (celcius, not the stupid system the Americans use), how can my blood not boil?

I don’t understand how a pair of shoes which makes you look injured can go centre stage. I don’t understand how an elegant top from Maison Margiela can be teinted with such fugliness. I set out to find a culprit. Who’s this fashion dementor who’s made my street so uninhabitable? Well, unfortunately, the fashion crime mastermind turns out to be a person that I actually like.

Voila, the fashionista who thinks out of the box (for a start, “thinking” isn’t a behaviour known for homo sapiens in Hong Kong. So for her to “think” out of the box is something pretty Bill-Gates-Foundation-extraordinary. PS, Susie Bubble is an exception to this rule for she’s not really a Hong Konger anymore. Don’t protest darling I know your permanant address ends with a postcode).

Her name is Tsui Ho-ying, more narrowly known as Hilary Tsui, owner of the fashion store ‘Liger’.

She schoepentoetered MBT onto the fashion forefront in Hong Kong. And for what reason I don’t know. But she deserves a gold star for fashion thinking. Although you can safely say her style (questo season anyway), is defined by four things and four things only: 1. shoulder pads 2. harem trousers 3. leather leg warmers (in the summer!?) 4. celine (bags, clogs you name it), you must seriously give her a round of applause for 1. creating a fashion brand totally detached from the norm norm in the mass production haven 2. being an independent working mum (unfazed by the pocket money and a tai-tai lifestyle she might get from husband Eason Chan, a creme de la creme pop star in the asia pacific) 3. for propelling such ugliness onto a regional stage (god forBID this MBT business for going global, but if it did, I’ll still be happy for Hilary and I seriously need to rethink my tone of writing)

Hilary’s blog: http://www.ligerstore.com/blog/?p=HILARY&s=1

Liger Store, 1/F, No. 11 Pak Sha Road, Causeway Bay. (Occupational Hazard. If you read Time Out, you know what I’m talking about)

Fragrance – a scent or a dream

There are tonnes of fragrance brands out there. Many send in generous samples to my work place, in the hope of getting some free press. The no-return policy of cosmetics also applies here. Results? The beauty sale!

Today I bagged an unreleased fragrance (French, an ex-designer who now owns only a perfume line. Clued up enough to guess?), and many haute make-up: 18 pieces from the best fragrance or make-up makers, tallied up a grand total of £19. I probably have over £200 worth of merchandise in that black little bag!

Call me skanky, but who doesn’t love a bargain? And indeed, the fond memories of today will be sealed in the molecules that make me smell a million. So, don’t underestimate the efficacity of scents. Malodourous or aromatic – they can evoke the strongest memories.

It took me sometime to get over Davidoff’s Cool Water per homme: and Boss by Hugo Boss will forever be about the summer spent in Holland Park. I’m sure many out there have similar experience.

Even miasma can transport you out of the current space-time continuum. If you had witnessed a dear somebody on their sick bed. You’ll know.

But the intangible liquid isn’t just about the past. It’s about the presence. The je ne sais quoi of a presence. Tamara Mellon, in a 2006 interview with the ES Magazine, said that as clothes are becoming more casual, it is down to the accessories that add the glam factor. She revealed that she wanted to dress all the accessories on a woman. Shoes, Bags, Sunglasses, Swimwear – and, last but not least – perfume. The easiest entry to the haute lifestyle. A spray of Chanel No.5 makes one feels as if there’s some cosmic connection between thy and the legendary couturier.

Perfume – the ultimate weapon to convey pleasantry, sophistication, elegance and most importantly, mystique. Jacque Polge, the perfumier of Chanel, says, “when a woman disappears, the only thing that is left of her, is her fragrance”. And indeed, the importance is so significant, that a perfume is more than just meets the eye. Guerlain’s retired perfumier, Jean Paul Guerlain, had it so right,”if the perfume smells disgusting, it’ll be a disaster when you turn on the light.”

A perfume is a lifestyle item too. It was said that Elizabeth Taylor’s toilet is full of Chanel’s toiletries. And the significant smell of Chanel’s ubiquitous No. 5 is quite a tough scent to forget. It’s not musky. It’s not flowery. It’s not feminine. Nor is it masculine either. It goes on to say that a woman who wears Chanel No.5 is quite an undefined figure. She is a business woman. She is a housewife. She is 40. She is 20.

This is not the 20s anymore, unfortunately. Perfumes are everywhere. Even Jordan, the tasteless glamour model, can lend her name to something which is traditionally perceived as an item of class and style. To the contrary of popular belief though, a cheap perfume doesn’t necessarily equate a nasty smelling fragrance, as Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, both scent connoiseur with Luca being on the forefront of olfactory science, suggested on a Guardian article.

So what’s to take away from this article? The time has changed, as the old perfume aged, the new wave of scent will challenge the old-school point of view. You may not like Jordan’s lifestyle, but her perfume could potentially be a very unobnoxious smell.

What are you wearing to the Royal Ascot?

These just came through my mailbox and they’re absolutely wonderful. The PR has associated Suzannah’s dresses with SATC2. So not true. I think they are more demure and classy than the typical Patricia Field outfits (not that I have anything against her, in fact, I love her. I just find it bizzare that somebody will associate classic and elegant designs with four sexually charged women. Not that I have anything against SATC either but hey… I’m gonna go on correcting myself so let’s just focus on the clothes eh? LASTLY, while I’m on the topic, why don’t I let you know that Sex andthe City 2 is just around the corner? The exclusive screening is set on the 24th May at the Soho Hotel in London, dressed up and be seen!)

At the first glance, I can immediately associate part of them with Lanvin. Fluid and frivolous, yet totally cocktail classed, not to mention the glossy finish and the exceptional tailoring. Most of the fabric comes from Italy as detailed on Suzannah‘s website. Majority of the dresses are made in the UK. Definitely penned in the UK though!

Suzannah – whose boutique and studio is based in Bristol Gardens in London – has been working in the fashion industry as a stylist, a trend forecaster and not to mention the fifteen years spent as a designer. Her clothes draw reference from vintage glamour, Parisian as well as Upper East Side chic. Her lovely dresses have been featured from Grazia to Easy Living. But I say no matter what magazine features her work, one fact that cannot be denied is that the dresses, from greek goddesses to audrey hepburn inspired frocks,  are all extremely flattering and confidence boosting.

My favourites are definitely her heavily vintage influenced tea-dresses. Colourful prints and playful fabric, wonderful for a summer picnic, sipping Champagne and eating cheese and biscuit on a velvety blanket. Here are a few that I’ll definitely get, should my employer decides that my words are worth more benjamins than they already do! And if you’re going to the Royal Ascot, these are the no-fuss choices for the day? Minimal accessories required, all you need is a nice hairdo and a good lipstick!

The prices for these tea dresses start from £210, and are all available from Suzannah.com. You have a fitting period of 14 days and you may return them if they don’t fit. But the website is kind enough to give you a size guide. And I guarantee you once you put them on, there’ll not be a desire to take them off?

It may be too late for those out there who are enarmoured by these dresses now, but don’t say I haven’t told you that Suzannah’s press day is held today at the Grosvenor Hotel on Park Lane, W1. Lo and behold, this shopping event also grants you exclusive discounts for these well-tailored, girly and elegant dresses too! And then we come to the more flamboyant, still very very vintage and Dita Von Teese-esque 50’s dresses. They are tailored like a dream and a pair of vintage Bally mid-heel and a pair of arm length white gloves are all you need.

From the past to the presence, how thrill are we that we are in a position to show off our sexy kitten boudoir dresses, courtesy of Mr. Galliano who’s made garter belts, bustiers once again acceptable in the style scruntiners’ eyes. Some of us are daunted by the sheer and nude colours, laced and overtly exposing dresses that are on the market. Fret not, for there are some very colourful and dignified choices!

And for the girl who needs to work for her diamonds, there are office-friendly designs that set you apart from the high-street gang!

What I love about them is the care that’s taken into draping and folding a very simple silhouette. The seams are seamless, the look is perfect. But beware, if you’re not the every bit perfect perfectionista, maybe more care has to be taken in doing up your hair (lots of hairspray to fix that Beehive as well as the precise application of lipstick!)

Gang Orient

This Monday saw the Hong Kong singer-songwriter Eason Chan performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London. His energetic rhythms and quirky lyrics attract a cult of trendy youth followers. The 5000 seats at the home of Proms were at capacity. The spotlight tho, also points to the well-dressed crowd. The Oriental tribe’s anglomania dress sense deserves a round of attention and not least, applause!

The Quirk Factor

You may almost mistake this lady as Tavi Gavinson. The hair is certainly eye catching, but the funky headphones and the frog purse is no less. And where are those sandals from? Don’t they look Marni to me?

One of my most favourite outfits of the day. This gent is from Italy and the gentlemanly green jacket has diffused the shock value of the patchwork cropped chinos. You have to give it to the Italians. Check out the shoes and the crocodile skin bag!

The Reserved Trendiness

What have caught my eyes are the lady-like velvet pencil skirt and the mohair jumper. A cashmere motif-ed scarf? Checked. A Roger Vivier Miss Viv (or Carla, whatever your prefer) handbag? Checked!

Not a Miss Viv, but 1o times more brilliant!

The Imperfectionist

That casual demeanour, the relaxed posture and the look as if it was put together last minute. Nah. The calculated colour blocking and the precise length of the jersey trousers. This man has perfected the imperfect.

Get Up and Go

When trees start to re-dress themselves, we know that the long gloomy winter is finally over. Finally there are clothes to match the relaxed mode of vivre and the floral summer milleu. Under cherry blossom, on a pale gingham blanket sits chartreuse and pink macaroons; this paints a reflective picture of how our new spring-summer wardrobe should look like.

And now, those sequins, strong shoulders and fierceness must make way for the spring zen. This time around, rather than dressing to please anybody else, we for the first time, can dress for comfort and to please ourselves. Let dedcadence goes into override. Pour as much double cream onto your strawberries as you wish. The flattering shapes of the 50s wraps and flairs. In simpler terms,  A circle-skirt disguses the most stubborn food baby. A boned bustier shapes a woman’s most important asset. Free-will rides this season’s fashion tide. Here’s also a toast to the nonchalant and ‘me’ look… Take cue from these 50s women. Not the most liberal women of any generation, as the idea feminism was yet to be conceived. But with swaying fabrics and a cinched waist that accentuate a woman’s curve, it is easy for confidence to seep from subtlety.

I have been a long advocate of the New Look. I’m so glad I can stove my sewing machine, for there are plenty of high street offerings to satisfy our insatiable need for circle skirts, wrapped dresses, and styles that are inspired by nonetheother, Grace Kelly herself.

This time around, no accessorising needed. If you must, a choker of pearl. Wear minimal make up, look as natural as you can. Carry a basket and pretend to be a strawberry picker. Look nonchalant, and if the weather allows, definitely some Audrey Hepburn RayBan sunglasses.

Lipsy, the online retail store has a £38 white tutu on offer. Cue Grace Kelly’s infamous outfit from the Rear Window, top with a decollete neckline top, widely available from the highstreet. Namely, I have spotted a cotton dress with such a neckline in Primark for £4.

A Lipsy £38 tulle tutu.

And then the type of cutsey little flair dresses that we all begged mummy to buy. It’s pink, it has polka dots on it and an immaculately tied bow! What more can a girl asked for? And I know it’s not gingham, I know. But the palette is so SS10 Christopher Kane that I couldn’t help but fell in love with it. The photo does the dress no justice. As the fabric is soft to touch but its the kind of structured fabric that gives the dress rigidity and its frivolous summery touch. It’s £40, and it’s New Look’s Limited Edition.

£40 from New Look’s Limited Edition

What’s more… the back is heart shaped! This really deviates from what people normally expect from New Look – fast fashion, cheap tailoring, dodgy seams. No… the dress is complete with an under dress!

And it is an open heart back!

And now, it goes without saying that the 50s was all about florals too. The granny’s pattern? Not so much anymore. This season, they’re everywhere. And they’re pretty and subtle:

A 50s woman in florals.

Another floral offering from Lipsy. £35. And the floral sleeveless dress at the top, from Dorothy Perkins, £32.

On this note, I’ll leave you to your macaroons and your cherry blossom. Happy spring! 🙂

What defines a fashion fanatic?

Do I care what you think about my dress sense? The powerful and sensible British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman.

I spoke to a beautiful, glamourous and without a doubt stylish colleague at the newspaper office. In her eyes, Alexandra Shulman is undeserved of being the British Vogue’s editor. She isn’t a fashion fanatic, doesn’t feel the urge to dress remarkably and fashion week is more a duty for her than joy, ‘you can tell from her deadpan expression’.

Vogue Nippon's Anna Dello Russo during Paris Fashion Week 2010, dressing somewhat toned-down from her usual 'off the runway' look.

On the other hand, Franca Sozzani’s ex-colleague Anna Dello Russo, the Vogue Nippon’s stylist is someone to look up to. That she lives and breathes fashion. That she owns an apartment solely for the purpose of archiving her 6000 pairs of shoes.
What has been omitted from the conversation is the talent shared between these two women. Shulman, while not a fashion fanatic, takes a career in publishing. If her sucess is judged by subscription and advertising, Shulman hasn’t done a bad job at all. Dello Russo, has been so successful that she was alleged to be earning ‘obscene amount of money that made the tax man suspicious’. She has styled and polished models and major fashion shows.
Both in fashion, both have talent. Aesthetically they present themselves differently. That’s all.

There’s this question circling me lately: ‘what are you going to wear?’ The full story is, I’m due to commence work at a regional publication based on High Street Ken. Working in the features and fashion desk almost immediately incites the aforementioned question.
‘I’m just gonna wear myself. After all I might be running around town from shop A to shop Z to collect deliveries like Emily’. But I can’t help and think what could be expected of me? A part of me is glad that I’m more worried about my performance than the clothes. Hettie emailed and said ‘make sure you come with lots of ideas and know the magazine well’. The pressure is on, and I’m gonna inhale every single copy I own as treasure.

At the same time, all these questions related to external grooming has led me to think if fashion or indeed impression has become too important? We digest a week’s news a 500 words column, decided the fate of Ashley Cole because the media has forced us to… Do we spend time to try and understand a situation anymore? Has face value become more important than what’s inside?

This is in no way contradictory to my last editorial, which I didn’t give a vote to Donna Karan for her CFDA award because she is more concerned with emancipating women. When it comes to a fashion oscars, having the heart is not enough. Its like a good script with bad directing and photography will not win best picture.

It all comes back to the lack of heart and the full of shit modern society. Why has Terry Richardson been tolerated till today? Why has Anna Wintour become so fearsome? Why is the Guardian allowed to be sued for publishing a eugenicist’s comment word for word without editing (YSL’s stefano pilati)? Why is there only a few brands that matter? Why did McQueen kill himself? (One speculation was that he has become disillusioned with the Yes world. All the sucking up was too much to bear etc)

Terry Richardsoon poses naked with Jackass star. It has emerged that he asks vulnerable models who want to cut it in the fashion world to pose naked while touching themselves. And taking pictures of them fellating him.

Coupled with all the feminist documentaries and articles I have watched and lately, the question has left me pondering the definition of fashion. Do we dress to please the unwritten rules in fashion?
I love fashion, but the fact that I don’t dress like Lada Gay Gay day in day out, spend all my allowance on Céline or Chloe doesn’t mean that I don’t deserve to be in fashion.
Hilary Alexander said she doesn’t follow the catwalk slavishly. And yet it doesn’t mean that she is not aware of the trends – she enthusiastically attends all major fashion shows. She is still widely regarded as the fashion journalist of britain. THE fashion journalist of britain, and adored by everyone from Galliano to Gabbana.

So what seems to be the problem here? There’s no problem. People should just believe in themselves and understand that they are as good as everybody else. Sprinkle a bit of originality, enthusiasm and diligence.

Who will get the most votes in the CFDA Womenswear Designer category?

Another CFDA awards? No more please! I’ve already got 9 at home!

To Marc Jacobs’ dismay, he is on the nominees’ list again. The creative director of Louis Vuitton never really wants to be at any CFDA award ceremonies. “I only go to the CFDAs because if I don’t go, Anna Wintour calls up and says, ‘You have to go’”. To be fair, he has nine CFDA gongs at home already. People get bored. We understand.

The second contender is another fashion hall of fame – Donna Karan – the fashion libber whose design ethos goes against the multi-billion pound industry: ‘Fashion is really about sensuality; how a woman feels on the inside’. Oops.

Donna Karan on the left hones her inner zen by practising yoga. The fashion libber’s designs aim to emancipate women from uncomfortable clothing.

Last but certainly not least, we get a choice with a lot more enthusiasm. After scooping $200,000 by winning the Anna Wintour Award for New Tale… No, the CFDA award for Emerging Talent – formally known as the Swarovski Award for Womenswear, Alexander Wang becomes the hotly tipped winner for the award.

Is it any wonder? And what has the 25 year-old got that the others haven’t?

Alexander Wang’s SS10 sportswear inspired collection is one of the best I have seen in years. Creating a wearable new silhouette in the 21st century takes a genius to make it work.

Since his grungy rock and roll styling sowed the seeds for the $15 million brand, Wang has certainly enjoyed an organic growth on all possible fronts – from slouchy tops to off-the-wall suit tailoring; from a crowd of cult, street-chic followers to becoming the best-seller at Barneys. His spring/summer 10 double layer zip detail boot has been so over-exposed that an editor at a prominent fashion magazine has to ban it from appearing in any more photo shoots. So what’s with the hype?

The very boot that got banned. The doubled-up top line and the zippy open toe has become the season’s most wanted.

The paparazzi have created this urban fantasy of effortless Hollywood glamour. Frizzy haired and in a jogger, the A-listers are off in their gas-guzzler for a Starbucks and a photographic opportunity. Alexander Wang has fitted his clothes into this bubble. The ideal of being able to just roll out of bed, brush one’s teeth with brandy, casually throw something on and be mistaken for a superstar. Being a rich-and-famous has never been so easy.

Before the age of papparazzi, we only see the rich and famous in their most glamourous and best dresed. Celebrities’ roll out of bed style becomes the IT look of the 21st century.

Essential for any star of CCTV, Wang creates eloquent items with a hint of lethargy and nonchalance. His languid cutting banished the old meaning of edginess. Add to his success is that everyone can look very much the Alexander Wang girl, such as Rihanna, Blake Lively, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld or Freja Beha, for under $100 by facilitating his cheaper diffusion line, T by Alexander Wang.

Freja Beha Erichsen is ‘always in an Alexander Wang t-shirt and Acne jeans’ according to the New York Times.

In this age of fast-fashion, the prolific designer churns out 4 collections every year. And unlike Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan, he’s not linked to LVMH. For this, Wang surely does deserve a fashion Oscars merely on merit that he has cut it alone.

Alexander Wang at work in his office in the Tribeca area of New York

Some Girls Overdo The Fashion Thing

Last Sunday, I received the best newspaper supplement of the year. It was the Sunday Times Style Magazine. This time it came oversized – 120 pages and easily dwarfs a Hello.

I am shocked by the sheer quality of it. The layout is fresh, youthful and jaunty. The writing is good, of course, it is after all, a part of the Times. The best about it is that it doesn’t feel pretentious.

Good writing that punches, with a tint of acidity that is just right. It is the kind of publication that isn’t deluded by the hype of fashion. It tells it like it is. The welcome letter penned by Tiffanie Darke and Claudia Croft reads, “We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: trends are dead, individual style rules. And that, we hope, is what you’ll take away from our spring fashion issue.” Damn right, I like how you pitch it!
Inside, several pages were dedicated to personalised look. Two of shinjuku girls; 4 of how celebs wear it (the celeb in question is not Alex Curran – they are Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley… You get the picture); an editorial dedicated to Alexa Chung (if you’re a fan…); a highly inspirational look book, 5 styles, 30 combinations that aren’t patronising like those in Look.
And check this – I say the best bit – an opportunity for Victoria Beckham to dissect her own collection – in her own words – with absolutely amazing results.
Finally, I will leave you with an article that resonate deeply. Have a good read!

“Some girls overdo the fashion thing” – Tom, 39, Stylist

I am not good with relationships, but I am au fait with style and fashion. I therefore feel entitled to point out that some girls overdo the fashion thing. One in particular. She was my type – leggy, brunette and fashionable. A well turned-out wiman is something I admire. Except that she was obsessed with wearing peculiar – sorry, cutting-edge – outfits. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for pushing the boat out a bit, but she was paddling herself right out into the middle of Lake Windermere.
She had a good wardrobe – some nice dresses, some sexy shoes – but she always prioritised fashion over flattery. Maybe she thought being fashion-savvy was attractive? Fine, but it didn’t cut it when her jersey harem pants made her look like she had an inflatable bum, or when her clumpy ‘asylum chic’ shoes made her look like she was receiving orthopaedic treatment.
And then there was straight-up embarrassing: it’s fun to be noticed, sure, but it was as if she was trying to attract the attention of social services. Casual outfits for pub liasons included an Ashish tracksuit with a to-scale sequined skeleton; a tiny Miu Miu fur jacket better suited to attracting silver gorillas; and leather leg straps that resembled Victorian callipers. I orchestrated a wholesome picnic on Hamstead Heath for us, and she arrived in a Walter Van Beirendonck full skirted dress with surgical truss-like accoutrements. She looked like a hospitalised Widow Twankey. People in the car park tittered. One man’s dog wouldn’t stop barking at us.
Perhaps this was a feminisit position – not to wear anything for anyone but herself. The problem was that it created an insurmountable obstacle between herself and the outside world. I squared with her. Why deliberately attract comedic attention, I asked. ‘I hate being a high-street girl,’ she retorted.
What’s wrong with a nice bit of Berardi or Mouret? Why wear shoes so precarious, you move like an AT-AT walker from Star Wars? I blame Topshop for delivering directional fashion for all. It was curtains for us – in fact, she’s probably wearing them now.

A Trip Down Etsy

Nobody has ever felt so unspecial since the Industrial Revolution. Every pair of jeans you wear is shared by hundreds of thousands of other people on planet earth. The very artwork you display on your wall has been re-printed at least 1,000,000 times.

Mass production becomes the way of living. Chains are eradicating all independent stores on the high street, this tornado of consumer monopoly will eventually take its toll on everyone. Landfills will explode with cheap products without any meaning…

Consumer monopoly also means that the number of people employed in the creative industry will greatly decrease. For those fair few who might be designing for big companies, their creative freedom may be limited by the firms wanting to make products more ‘marketable’, with ‘street appeal’ and bankable qualities. Will everyone eventually have the same tastes? Dictate by shareholders’ bank balance? Will our children lose all ability to be creative?

Most of you know about Etsy already. Some of you are probably addicts. Etsy is similar to eBay, but sells only stuff made by crafts lovers. Buyers like you and me directly purchase from the hundreds of thousands of craftsmakers registered on the site. The site has a real sense of community and an honest feeling about it. It is always a joy having a stroll around the arty online shopping mall. Paintings, scultures, clothes, shoes, accessories… you name it!

Could Etsy be the salvation of our civilisation?

***

I have given myself 30 minutes to see what’s on offer. By how much will I be out of pocket after this time? Time starts… now!

11.21: saw a few paintings by Marisol Spoon… Poised and subtle, they make me wonder if they’ve stories about them. Porcelain skin, beautifully done hair…

$32.00

$285.00

$32.00

11.31 Saw these brooches in a teacup by lupin! Will look sooo good on a rustic wood table by the window, dried flowers in a vintage vase… Brightens up any writing days!

$12.75 each

$12.75

$12.00 each, not brooch, but moustache ‘disguise’ as Lupin calls it. I reckon you can wear it as a necklace / as an alice band…

11.41 A Nintendo laptop case! YES!! By SplashingKoi

  $56.99

11.45 WOAH!!!! A pair of McQueen mutant heels for Blythe dolls!! Sold by TSANFW

$40.00

11.51 A of Clarks for babies. For my newphew. By Pliumbum

$30.00

 

Fashion Hostility – The Systematic Flaw of Fashion Reporting

What’s with the grumpy mood lately?

Firstly Nicolas Ghesquiere got lairy with Carine Roitfeld with no apparent reason – even the legendary editor is a bit clueless as to why Balenciaga has pulled all advertisements from the french edition of Vogue as well as not lending any clothes for shoots in the near future.

An aide of Anna Wintour... Carine Roitfeld... not so much? Fashion packs are siding with Carine, but most of us want to see the feud ends asap.

WWD had Carine to elaborate on the matter, “We’re blacklisted. It’s too bad, it’s a beautiful house and it’s French. I hope that it’s not forever.”

The true reason behind the banning of the Vogue Paris team is beyond many, especially when the house declined to comment. The fact that Vogue French does not run review-type editorials nor commentary columns, the root of the problem could be down to business.

The lovely Carine Roitfeld. Who is a styling genius, also very friendly and down to earth. She has no clue why Nicolas picked a fight.

One plausible speculation, according to the fashion community, is that Vogue Paris has been giving excessive exposure to Balenciaga’s rival – Balmain – and not enough photo editorials were dedicated to Balenciaga outfits. It is notable that Balenciaga was not featured at all in the Feburary issue.

I remember Jo Elvin, the editor of Conde Nast’s British Glamour, mildly resented the fact that she spends most of her time negotiating with advertisers and listening to complaints about the magazine not having featured enough of their advertisers’ products.

The furious house of Balenciaga is extending its blockade to Vogue Paris personnels. David Sims, a long term photographer for Balenciaga’s campaign, has been replaced by Steven Meisel who is traditionally associated with Vogue Italia.

David Sims, a photographer for Balenciaga's campaign up to S/S 09, has been replaced with Steven Meisel.

Vendetta like this is not a first in the fashion industry. In 2008, Cathy Horyn of the New York Times was banned from Armani as a consequence of her unnecessary sarcastic comments against the designer Giorgio Armani and his family, as well as writing a ‘less than satisfactory’ review for his previous show.

Robert Triefus emailed Cathy Horyn in 2008 to say that Armani has sent a letter to request her absence at their A/W 2008 show.

And today WWD reports that Stefano Pilati is suing the Guardian for printing a comment he made to the Washington Post: ‘You can’t find [black models] that are beautiful and with the right proportions’.

Stefano also told Washington post that ‘To me, it is a matter of proportions and the bodies I choose. My fit model was a black model. When I wanted to translate what I put on her, it was a disaster. It would need 13 times more work in the atelier to modify it to put on a more Caucasian anatomy’.

Is Naomi too black to do fittings for your collections, Stefano? Or is this a comment encouraged by the Guardian article and hence you'll sue me too? (Please don't, I'm penniless.)

Stefano’s comment sent ripples through the blogosphere and has since been branded as a ‘modern eugeneticist’. Nonetheless, house of Yves Saint Laurent and its creative directors filed a lawsuit against the Guardian of ‘criminal and civil defamation’, seeking damages of 150,000Euros each.

The Observer, where the article was originally printed, has already removed the controversial piece from its website. Leaving behind a readers’ response:

‘Paul Harris’s article (“America’s new vogue for black fashion is all due to Michelle, Focus, last week) was wonderful. I am only 30, but all my life, black women have been portrayed as the ugliest things on earth in the media, particularly the fashion media. Your article was a breath of fresh air and it was all the more refreshing to read such common-sense writing from someone who is so obviously not a black woman!
Miranda Grell
London E10′

I might have always been a fan of the centre-left newspaper, and therefore my stance sways towards them. But Stefano Pilati has never denied having said those words. The comments were already printed word for word in the Washington Post. And why single out the Guardian this time? He claims that the Guardian has taken his comment out of context…

Oh well, all will be revealed when the case hits the court in June.

***

The ramifications of all of these is: journalists often tread a fine line between being objective and being disrepectful to the brands that advertise in their publication.

So when a collection is unfavourable, like the one that Nicolas Ghesquiere produced a season ago (and debatably this one too) that could potentially make Cristobal Balenciaga himself turns in his grave, how do fashion journalists express their disappointment with the designs without ‘picking a fight’? And this is suspiciously the exact line that Carine Roitfeld has managed to cross.

It is this conflict of interest that makes the fashion world a ‘yes’ world. ‘Yes your designs look great’ even if the fur trims pop up at the wrong place and for the wrong reason.

And so there, journalists are forced to rave about something they themselves don’t even believe in. How do they live with their conscience. Ok, it is all just ‘show business’ – that it is how fashion publishing works. Is this necessary? And by doing so, are they dumbing down their readers?

How do we solve this problem? It’s indeed a good question. Without advertising revenue a publication cannot survive. But what other ways can a magazine fund itself?

The Guardian’s subsidiary Soulmate site reportedly generates millions of pounds each year. They are also the proprietor of AutoTrader, another branch that brings in all the zeros every year.

To be free from the garters and restrains from your advertisers, maybe we have to revolutionalise how fashion publishing works. Start with being less interlocked to the brands we write about?

It is always a long and hard battle to rebel against the deeply-ingrained system. This is not unlike trying to shake up the financial system that has caused us so much grieve lately. Until the systematic flaw has been eradicated, we still risk making opinions that could be as corrupt as Mugabe’s aides’ positive comments about the totalitarian dictator.

Paris Fashion Week Day Deux

Paris Fashion Week has opened to a rather mundane beginning. While techniques such as digital print and laser cut plus a mish-mash of ideas dominated the runways of London and Milan; Paris’ offerings have been focussing on utility so far.

When Rochas cranked up the early 60s influence – it did what it said on the tin – 60s’ silouettes and palettes. Behives, straight cut dresses, flaired trousers, velvet suits and Grease shirts. The collection makes wonder why Rochas fans will custom the designer rather than vintage stores?

Dries van Outen offered luxurious safari inspired threads: leopard print jackets (faux furs?), leafy and palm tree printed dresses and jackets in organza – which are not drastically remote from Erdem’s classics. A weekend hunting in the safari is far off from this collection, but more like the rich sipping champagne in a 4×4, glancing out to the giraffes and lions at a distance. The metallic jackets and dresses however, could jeopradise their lives in an open-top vehicle.

The only high point of the day was Gareth Pugh, front-rowed by P.Diddy and Rihanna. The audience were treated to a show of space-warrior strong women and some soft, metrosexual male clothing. Women were tucked and bound into leather boots and highly structured cheveron padded jackets.

Another British crown jewel – Giles Deacon – is showing in Paris. According to reports in British newspapers, the designer is struggling to produce the same resonance he was able to command in England. Nevertheless the clever businessman has crafted another girlie collection – tutu dresses and underwear as outerwear (grey sheepskin bathrobe with huge pockets!) . Giles continued to exact the subtle decorations in his designs, this time cloud like edges – laser cut of course.  Enough about the clothes! It has to be the bags! Fluffy and furry tote not unlike Totoro’s soot monsters with ginormous eyes, bear handbags…

Giles

Tortoro’s Soot Ball

* * * * * * 6

Skip to the bags! From spiders, dinosaurs to Tortoro’s soot ball! The bag gets Susie Lau of SusieBubble so sqeamish! And who won’t get excited with this cute number? The clothes are classic Giles palette, girly and candy-flossed. Mildly 60s influenced and many bra top tu-tu dresses. Karoline Kurkova opened the show.

Rochas

Grease and Cheesy

* * 2

Dries van Outen

Mild New Look Influence on Safari Wear

* * * 3

Simply branding the collection as utility safari wear is admittedly an understatement. The modified New Look coupled with a boyfriend jacket; combat trousers top with a sleeveless suit jacket etc etc. Dries van Outen is bringing androgyny to a new level. However the mish mash doesn’t work out as well as it wished to be, the collection looked a bit disorientated and in need of direction.

Gareth Pugh

Bullet-proof space warriors

* * * * * * * 7

This show reverses the traditional social perception of men and women. The Pugh woman this time is the tough soldier, uncompromising and cold. Cheverons all point to the face with the models wearing deadpan expressions and a dark aura above the brows. The men are vulnerable with barely there or soft clothing. Pugh style make-up and Tom Ford-esque sleek hairstyle. Talk about metrosexuality. The show culminated in a floor length dress decorated with 20s slinkies that are arranged in an old philosopher’s silver hair. A show for thoughts.