While I was sorting the lookbooks in the fashion cupboard, a little catalogue fell from the shelf. It was as if god wanted me to read it. The clothes were striking, very strong and sexy. They are a combination of rock and roll and curiously, serenity. It helps when you’ve got a model who has an enviable body, a very expressive face and a palpable attitude. The eye-catching clothes – strong and soft at the same time – have schoepentoetered my curiosity.
But try to sequester information about the brand. Aside from the little bits and bobs on variuos blogs that are ripped off from the French brand’s website, not much at all. This is deliberate. Guilty Brotherhood’s designer, a young Parisian called Kevork Kiledjian, created the label 2 years ago. The designer has lived in New York for a few years in the 1990, hanging out with Cypress Hill. He was travelling a lot during this time – New York, LA and Asia – and it was around this time when he created his first label called Triiad, selling chic streetware, in Paris.
Every bit the rebel he is, the glamourous creations are crafted by a man who has never attended formal art school. But the design juice runs in the family blood – Kevork’s father was a couturier for Lanvin in the 1950s. As a designer, Kevork draws references from architecture, films and the urban lifestyle.
The clothes – hard-edged, with an undercurrent of elegance; one can possibly draw reference to Yves Saint Laurent’s masculine tailoring, Balmain’s reinvented man-eater style as well as DVF’s Upper East Side casual chic. So is it any wonder that it has already accumulated a celebrity following? Kate Moss, Nicolas Roberts and Doutzen Kroes were spotted in Guilty Brotherhood. The brand boasts Abbey Lee Kershaw on their Spring Summer 2010 campaign. Not to mention the numerous coverage in Vogue Paris, V magazine, Numéro… Not bad for a brand which is only two years old, and hasn’t even had their a first catwalk yet! But fret not, more glamour is to come, Guilty Brotherhood has already put a catwalk on their agenda and it is likely to be in October this year.
Whether or not this catwalk will happen in Paris – the brand’s birthplace; or New York – where the company’s headquarters locates, remains to be seen. Although it is likely and wise for Guilty Brotherhood to debut in the fashion capital of Europe.
Expect some serious world domination by Guilty Brotherhood. From day one, Kevork Kiledjian has been planning and treading a carefully planned route for the brand to expand. The lack of online and offline information originally has built some intense mysteriousness about the brand. When Guilty Brotherhood’s website launched in August in 2009, the site looked so professional, glamourous and grown up that it is hard to believe the clothes were only available at carefully selected locations. Initially, to get your mitts on these clothes you have only 5 stores to choose from. These privileged places include the USA (Los Angeles for celebrity following and New York for some serious big spenders), France (Paris and Rodez) and Hong Kong. The fleet of stockists now extend to South America in Domenican Republic and Australia. Now the brand is the Arctic and the Antarctica short of collecting their presence across seven continents.
Guilty Brotherhood’s flagship store is expected to open in 2011 in Paris on Rue Saint Honore. Anything less than spectacular will not be associated with the label. Hence the multistorey store is designed by – none the other – Jean Nouvel, whose bulky and impressive portfolio has led him to an architecture Oscar, the ‘Pritzker Prize’
So much for the intro. Indeed with such a meteroric rise of a label in such a short time span does not happen everyday, a bit of a rambling is needed to emphasise the bravura of all this. So, so much for the clothes eh? But to put it in Kevork’s own words, they want people to ‘see the clothes for themselves’. If the tactic of hush-hushing their press/online presence was to limit any damage bad critics may cause, the tactic may just as well not exist in the first place. Because the clothes do speak for themselves. And without further ado, I’ll let you see them. From AW09/10 to current season SS10.
Choose a word to describe the new millennium, it will have to be materialism. The age when repairment is costlier than a replacement; it only makes it all too easy to let go of something you think you’d cherish.
One of the worries I had when Prada, Bottega Venetta and Louis Vuitton put 50s dresses on their runways for AW/10 was that they’ll make the golden age of fashion not so polished anymore. While 50s’ glamour dressing has always somewhat received an exclusive following from retro enthusiasts, once high fashion jumps on this bandwagon, the high street will soon follow suit.
Everybody knows that the high street conglomerates such as Topshop and H&M no longer operates in a two-season rota. I wonder how many weeks can the 50s glamour sustains on the track of fast fashion, before the “trend” becomes an tired old cow like the sequins schoepentoetered by Christoph Decarnin a season ago?
The thought of some fervent Heat magazine believers donning throw-away circle dresses from Primark sends shivers down my spine, and not in a good way. What happens when the cheap fashion rota turns? Will the public discard and dismiss the whole post-war glamour as they would with sequin leggings and bodycon dresses?
My cup seems half full here. But my worry has basis. Trends come and go, however, regarding the 50s style as a “trend” is a grave sacrilege. It was an era which gave birth to the best designers the world has ever seen – Cristobal Balenciaga, Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior… Such was an era when the creation of the new look laid the foundation to what we nowadays perceive as “beautiful”. The well-defined waist, the lengthy legs, the demure busts and the elegant and bourgeois demeanour. Tell me which Miss England hasn’t got legs up to there and an hour glass figure?
After preaching about the importance and grandeur of the 50s, I hope you have come to realising the deference you must possess when it comes to dressing The age with a capital T. So instead of being overly patronising and depressive, maybe I can highlight a few dresses that are worth investing this season, as well as finding you the best accessories to go with this style (or trend if you’re not a firm believer)? (Note: Trend, is ephermeral while style can stand the test of time)
The bang on trend dresses are sepia, like a faded and rust-spotted photograph. Choose in the palette of mustard, milk chocolate, off-white and faded navy blue.
Hobbs have many 50s housewife dresses on offer – from sepia to classic polka dots – prices start from £125. They even have a dress not dissimilar to the £4500 Bottega Venetta one that was worn by everyone and featured on every photoshoot. Carey Mulligey as well as Rosamund Pike posed in the mustard/beige raffia dress. The bond girl modelled for a Guardian 50s style shoot in honour of the late Princess consort of Monaco, Grace Kelly.
Accessories on the other hand, require chunky necklaces, almost chokers like, flamboyantly decorated with large gems and thick ribbons.
Without a pair of round-ish, thick rimmed glasses in brown, green or ivory, your trendy outfit is incomplete.
When it comes to shoes, the blockier the wedges the better they are. Choose those with demure buckles and minimal décor, in maroon, grey and sepia. Oliver Goldsmith does a range of mixed coloured, nicely crystalised thick rimmed glasses.
Clarks has a good flat wedge in grey patent leather that is reminescent of Marni’s wedgy flats circa 2008.
Bags should be as simple as they can. Ted Baker has a cross shoulder bag in white patent leather for £56 in absolutely minimum decor. To push out the boat, look no further than Céline where they have lots of immaculately made mimimalist handbags.
50s dressing should be fun. So much to be said on the subject but so little time and space. I’ll let you do your own research. Google “50s Trend”, you’ll be amazed how much knowledge is to be learnt on the said style!
You’re given enough warning: last Feburary, all types of above-the-ankle shorts sprung up on runways from Milan to New York. They have given you a year to slim those tree trunks, wax your legs and save up for those heels. Did you take cue?
Thank you for the underwear as outerwear trend that Lady Gaga triggered, now women around the globes are left with no choice, but to wear mini-shorts that threaten to be as revolutionary as the 60s minis. Start from the shortest granny pants, to bloomers; and we have the cycling pants and eventually, the most wearable of them all, culottes. I blame no one but Prada and Marc Jacobs. They set the catwalks ablaze with all types of imaginable shrunken trousers. And the other named offenders are Stella McCartney, Alexander Wang, Louis Vuitton, Chloé…
Well, to be absolutely honest with you, I don’t see granny pants as ever being a practical enough outfit to be worn daily. Do you see yourself queuing in Tesco for that pint of milk, and not attracting any unwanted attention? How about in the office, and not being sent home for ‘more appropriate officewear?’. No. So fair enough, leave the granny pants to Rihanna, Sienna Miller and Lady Gaga alike. Who actually have the guts/the admirable pins to work the impossible.
But if you’re ever so inclined to lead the trend. Don’t just get a pair of black Triumps Sloggi pants. Topshop has some pretty awkward offerings of sequined and floral pants. Promise me: 1) you won’t wear it during the day. Or you’ll truly give the strolling pensioners a heartattack. 2) Do these exercises daily and trim the legs! 3) Sky-scraper heels and finally… the golden rule of fashion 4) Legs or boobs. Not both!
Then cometh the bloomers category. Children’s nappy pants. Alexander Wang has done it so brilliantly that you don’t even feel that pricklish feeling when you look at these pictures (below left). It’s just sports. And while with Dolce&Gabanna’s interpretation, you may treat it as another dominant trend of Lolita. A lot of florals, a lot of blings, a lot of lace…
To work these off the runway. You’ll need a statement sporty tee-shirt. Baggy and cropped above the navel. Ones with hoods are better as they look more hocky-ish or rugby-esque. If you’re genuinely a public school snob: a navel blue/white stripped Ralph Lauren shirt will do the trick just fine. A short parka will work too. Then you need a warm jumper, grey is the season’s first. If the shoulders are pleated, they are the better as the whole world is still gripped by the Marc Jacobs sporty jumper frenzy… Not to mention the Burberry raincoat, pleated on the shoulder aussí.
Or, if you’re more demure, take cue from Stella McCartney. Take the sandy palette, head to Zara. Grab yourself a hip-lengthed blazer and a pair of mustard bloomer/culoutte. Cinch with a brown leather belt with a plain buckle.
For the Dolce&Gabanna type Lolita floral bloomers. Next does the best imitation with a lace hemline. It’s only £25! Also Topshop does a less boudoir version made of cotton.
Here are the catwalk interpretations:
Cycling shorts are more tricky. Even ASOS and net-a-porter can only come up with a full length t-shirt over cycle shorts. But let’s face it – ain’t that a bit unimaginative? Well, let me capture a few best of the best editorials for you…
Lastly, ASOS satisfies all your insatiable shorts needs this season:
On this note, I’ll leave you to do your exercises! How about shopping in heels?
Seen on the runway, the lovingly missed 60s has seen return on the streets already. The sepia palette is embraced by street strutters world wide. Trousers are loosely fitted and are cropped slightly above the ankle.
Waistlines are worn high, cinched by colourful belts to add a Teenies’ touch. Hair are best worn ginger; lips gothic brown. The Queen’s silk scarves work as accessories; a simple knot round the neck or as a turban to break off the wind.
Zara took cue and mannequins in maroon, chocolate and dark beige are already posing on their shop windows. Clogs are unmissable this season, a trend started by Vivienne Westwood, Chanel… The clogs have since repeatedly seen on catwalks such as Marco de Vincenzo etc. Another excuse to visit Holland then? A nice tone-down touch if going full out on clog is too out there – a pair of leather Birkenstock or suede open-toe wedges. LoveClogs.co.uk does a lovely array of comfortable clogs in a variety of colours and fabrics from £36.
To quote Dita Von Teese, you have to live and breathe your style. Just looking 60s will not suffice. Try to learn from the 60s secreteriats. Light a fag, sprinkle with 21st century’s attitude, blow the smoke in your boss’s face. Tell him ‘I’m not retyping the document, my Olivetti is running out of ink’. Go to the kitchen, make a cup of tea with the hot water from a steel thermos, drink with jade coloured china.
Clock out at the machine, look at your Tissot watch with brown leather strap. Time for a Whisky. You throw on your cashmere cardigan, put down your black rimmed plastic spectacles. You strut out of the door in a pair of 1-inch Bally court shoes. You turn and airkiss your boss, delicatedly announce with your gothic brown lips, ‘see you next Monday.’
East Meets West
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Huge pea coat plus kimonos mantle was almost reminiscent of the Axis. Veronica Etro has abolished the heavy tribal reference and paisley motif in favour of the oriental glamour – cheongsam tops and beautiful multicoloured furs. Etro also ventured into digital print silk – demure quality unlike the fashion forward Katrantzou or Basso and Brooke.
Stir-fry of Lavin and Chanel
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Manageress or design exexcutive (read Samantha Cameron) will fall over their heels for Aquilano and Rimondi’s business friendly frivolity. A continuum of unfinished trimmings from the SS11 trend, tweed hems are raw and frayed. Despite what the tag-line wrote, this is nonetheless a very bankable collection. Ostrich feathers and swarovski crystal finish makes a nice diversion from the standard dark 2-piece suit. Key item? The thin bow belt in yellow and green.
Marco de Vincenzo
70s Faded Photographs
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Printed (?) wintry landscapes of balding twigs and a setting sun against a grey and bitterly cold background enlightens a set of wool cardigans, jumpers, wrap dresses and flair trousers. 70s sepia feel run through the (almost) entire catwalk albeit mini-skirts, the noughties’ uniform, are cinched to the waist with a layer contour belt. Padded jackets and a clingy metallic number refused to be categorised by the tagline.
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Secretaries tapping away on typewriters. Catch Me If You Can style women in beehives held in chunky knit headbands. Lots of aran knit jumpers that will make an Irish man proud – except the feminised thin red bow belt. Comical exaggeration of boobs – buttons or blunt version of Madonna’s conical bra. Use of plus size model also.
Upper East Side Fetish
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Buckles, straps, bras, cut-out brassiere dresses. Shiny turquoise, crimson, sangria. Body-cons, finely pleated tutus and biker jackets will get daddy’s credit cards working. As Christopher Kane puts it – ‘Ballet crosses fetish’. Models look like 2 year old babies in flaming lips.
Dolce & Gabbana
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Showered with Maria shaped gold pendants on florals, lace… Call it cheesy, but the Don’s wife sees the collection and draws a cross on her chest. Some Dolce & Gabbana classics sneak in between sheer or lacey stretchy tunics. Bazillions of tailored jackets.
I have never been an advocate of the LV monogram. Like a slacked rubberband, the symbolism the wearer bears is trite and tired. Nothing screams ‘wealth! wealth!’ in a more demeaning way (sorry friends and family). If a few cherries don’t do, a fuchia paint brush won’t either. You think it was the end-of when cartoonists take the piss. But no, there are always people who up the game…
It could be a counterfeit bin bag. Maybe LVMH should divert their ammunition from eBay and focus on the manufacturer of this deeply criminal product.
But after seeing this… I’m not too convinced the above was a pirate product afterall. Marc Jacobs’ new invention, the £1000 Rainbow Besace bag (Ladies, next time the liners run out, get your fellas to pop down tesco for a roll of ‘Rainbow Besace’. Cool slang, eh?) He famously told the Times last year that ‘”there’s this huge cult following of almost crazy people at Vuitton who just want whatever they buy to be exclusive.” And no, the refuse sack isn’t the last joke Mr Jacobs plays with the devout fans of Louis Vuitton.
What the fuck is this? Inspired by Slumdog Millionaire, Marc Jacobs present you with a Junk Fest. Dial tone telephone cords. Fabrics from the filthiest tramp’s swing skirt. Rotten fettucine from the Italian deli. If you look really closely, you can see mini tarzan swinging from tree to tree. E volia, for £26,000 you can be the butt of Marc’s joke.
The question is – who is laughing now? Maybe the revenue officier at LVMH and… every sane person?
London is always at the forefront of the fashion world. It is no surprise that it is the first fashion capital to come up with an eco-clothing agenda.Estethica supports designers whose design ethos are as creative as ethical.
The idea of ethical does not stop at organic cotton. The production of raw material, the biodegradablity and the conditions of the dress makers are all part of the equation.
Some people may think that eco-clothing are as dull as a vegan’s diet. It is not. From Ada Zanditon’s colour coded origami top to Stamo’s hand pleated silk fabric. They are as creative and beautiful as non-ethical fashion.
Ada Zanditon is a first class graduate from London College of Fashion. She went on to show her collection at Vauxhall Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week.
Unfortunately Stamo didn’t win any awards in Estethica. She should have. Her pieces are theatrical and intricate. Apart from focussing on sustainability, Stamo also tries to preserve the forgotten craft techniques such as head pleating – which is featured in her SS10 collection.
Out of many examples in the past where designer/high street collaboration comes to a crash, Lanvin/Acne certainly doesn’t dissapoint. Alber Elbaz’s designs for Acne launches today, pieces are available from Acne’s Lavin site starting today. Adorable pieces, absolutely a pleasure to look at, if not a Christmas treat. Designs have retained the subtle elaboration look executed in simple and precise cut. The latern sleeves that Alber popularised in his SS09 collection is also available for you to take home at £475. Unfortunately for most items you will not be able to choose size. I guess it is a risk a die heart fan is willing to take. Pieces start from £220 (a plain denim shirt). And as I am writing this, more and more pieces have “out of stock” slashed over its picture. Go quick!
I’d say this is my favourite piece so far. Retained that Lavin’s little black dress glamour with top notch Acne denim fabric. It looks great on, has great cut and only a fraction of the proper Lanvin price. At £440. Also comes in white
I adapted the style to my mood. I tucked in a low cut tank top into a pair of black velvet Marlene Birger high waisted slouchy. The tank was low cut enough to show off my cleavage, and on my neck a vulgar and conspicuous gold necklace. I wore an oversize dirty green silk shirt open buttoned, and tucked the front into my trousers as if I am one of the Backstreet Boys. I put so much gel on my hair that I look right out of the shower. That wet look Agyness Deyn channelled for Armani eyewear.
I have to say I don’t feel superb in the outfit. What I felt is an air of arrogance around me that says, “I have that spare £4 to buy fashion magazines.”
The collaboration consists of accessories (shoes, bracelets etc) and clothing for women and men. It is still very much what you’ll expect from Jimmy Choo – rock and roll glam; zebra skin cladded accessories, scintillating blings encrusted with crystals. An item that caught my eye from the women’s line is the over the knee boot – it is a real pair expensive footwear – 100% leather, including the soles! The H&M website is even nice enough to advice us that “if you want your pair to last, replace the soles and the heels before you use the shoes”. For £179.99, it’s worth it if I just put the pair in a display cabinet to worship them.
The women’s clothing collection consists of a lot of suede/leather trousers or skirts. Also studded body con dresses that are red hot this season. To be honest the one shouldered suede dress is another catchy tune that Jimmy Choo plays with H&M this time around, the dress costs £149.99.
If I’ll have to be perfectly honest, majority of the Jimmy Choo collection shoes for H&M has lacked the glam factor I’ve been looking forward to. Plasticky shoes that don’t look comfortable walking in; simple cut out shoes and basketsy heels… The shoe below is one of the most exciting ones, £79.99. I can imagine Carrie Bradshaw picking a size that doesn’t fit just for the sake of owning it.
What people go for Jimmy Choo though, apart from the design, is largely the leather smell and the pride that comes with it. Well, when you look at the Jimmy Choo’s signature tote, it’s a rather plain design that lacks thoughts: how the bag connects to the strap? How should the bag shape? Where do the pockets go? I guess £179.99 is what you pay for the material, not any intricate ideas that go behind it.
All in all, there are pieces that excite and and make sure you get to the shops early on the 14th November. This event will definitely get your adrenalin pumping.
So this dress was not tudor inspired, but the architecture pretty much sums up the essence of William’s show-stopping structured dress. At a massive savings of over £600 pounds, this £18 is a bargain and is available from your nearest Asda.
Browsing the Asda website returned this fabulous dense leopard print body-con dress as well:
Also by George for Asda, £18.
While we’re on the supermarket invading the fashion market matter, look at this gorgeous sleevless trench coat by Tesco, all for £30, easily beating those old shapes we’re so accustomed to with Burberry and Aquascutum… You know, the £30 alternative doesn’t look half bad, the quality is supereme, the tailoring is well done. Without the F&F logo on the top right, I can be easily convinced that this is a Burberry’s SS10 campaign…
1. Ripped denim high waisted skirt with zip detail, Topshop, £35; 2. Lace blouse, River Island, £29.99; 3. 30mm thick shoulder pad, sewessential.co.uk, £2.11 for a pair; 4. Diamante and studded silver metal wrist bracelet, Peacocks, £12; 5. Suede studded ankle heels with half inch platform, Blanco, €35.99; 6. Gold plated metal stud ring, Peacocks, £5; 7. Feather tote with metal chain, River Island, £49.99
A bit of ruching or gather on the shoulders or upper arms translates the exaggerated shoulder catwalk trend into acceptable high street chic.
Louis Vuitton 2009 Ready to Wear exaggerated gather shoulder.
Miss Selfridge top, £14
Why splash out £32 in American Apparel when you can buy a pair of leggings for £3 and cut your leggings into any shapes you want?
From high waisted denim shorts to granny sequined underpants – shorts are getting hotter and…shorter. Remember the rule – boobs/legs. Otherwise you’d look like a you know what.
Stick to neo-rock or 1950s classics.
If you ever wonder where does this season and next season’s trend come from? All the sequin embroideries, big shoulders and jumpsuits…take inspirations from the 40s…