Monday, 19 March 2012

King of Clichés...I mean Fashion.

Even constant controversy and wild horses can't knock Chanel superstar Karl Lagerfeld off the top spot. A self-portrait by the designer is featured on the cover of this month's royalty issue of i-D. Expressionless as ever, Karl has done the traditional i-D 'wink' in his own way, covering one eye with (what else?!) an eye patch. 'All Hail King Karl!' exclaims the magazine, dubbing him, alongside countless others, as the 'ultimate iconic fashion designer.'

It's amusing to me how a man can be so highly praised in a respectable magazine such as i-D and be the object of so much slating in lowly gossip magazines like heat (thanks to the Adele controversy). Regardless, it keeps everybody talking, and keeps Karl in the spotlight.

Currently on i-D's website there is a small virtual shrine to Lagerfeld, including content from Chanel's recent show in Paris. The designer described his inspirations as a  'mix of minerals and raw crystals', and indeed it is a sparkly collection. Geometric shards of glass adorn the classic suits, and my personal favourite is the crystal-encrusted eyebrows. Definitely a high-maintenance look. Check it out here

You have to hand it to Kaiser Karl, he knows how to get everyone all worked up about him. I can't help but wonder just what it is about him that divides opinions so drastically. My theory is that he simply doesn't seem human. With his stiff collars, sunglasses and ponytail, (and cold demeanor, and ridiculous work ethic...I could go on) he reminds me more of a cartoon villain. What do you think of King Karl and his cover for i-D?

The new issue of i-D hits shelves March 22nd, and celebrates the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

The Filth and the Fury

Recently I had to research 1970's Britain and the punk era for uni, and I came across this amazing documentary, well worth a look!

Outfit ramble

I'm going to start doing regular outfit posts, but I don't look my best today so this is a bit of an oldie. I will hopefully post some of my housemates looks too, who are infinitely more stylish that me! Here I am freezing in the snow.

Black fur collar, ASOS
Pale yellow top, Second-hand
Belt, Primark
Red skirt, Urban Outfitters
Black suede wedges, Topshop

Pastel picks of the season

Anyone who doesn't live under a rock and has been into Topshop in the last month or two will have no doubt noticed the pastels trend. Girly hues are everywhere, but the 'hook' is icy shades, not candy-sweet pinks. And designers such as Phillip Lim showed loose-fitting trousers and blazers in New York to dodge the twee bullet (see Luella circa Spring/Summer '09) and give something of a modern edge. I love a tea-party as much as the next English person, but thank god. Jonathan Saunders also did a glorious job, by keeping it colourful and the silhouette laid-back and slouchy. I love the large, shapeless skirts, although I'm not sure how flattering they would look on anyone who isn't Daphne Groeneveld. Saunders also loses brownie points in my book for all that paisley-a trend I will never understand, I can't imagine feeling good about myself in what looks like some second-hand curtains. But I digress.

Lanvin was also lovely (although is it just me or did the models look particularly emaciated?), presenting a predominantly all-black collection, with a few splashes of pastel and camel tones in that kind of ultra silky, flowing fabric that looks like liquid.

So, if you want to dip your toes into icy shades, I've done a quick bit of browsing and found some cheap and cheerful equivalents. (Or students, if like me, your bank balance is in the red, you can't go wrong with Primark.)

Topshop, £25

Zara, Blazer £89.99, Trousers, £49.99 

Topshop, £40

Miss Selfridge, £35.00

And you can start right away on ASOS here!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Fashion's Grandmother

Vivienne Westwood epitomises the meaning of cool Britannia. Her name represents a certain iconography within the fashion world; rebellious, yet traditional. Throughout her long and thriving career Westwood has long challenged what it means to be British, including placing a safety pin through the lip of the Queen and combining the punk attitude with a old-school British sensibility. It was this controversy that caught everyone’s attention. The punk movement was crucial in allowing Westwood’s career to take off, it was her talent and knack for embracing the Zeitgeist that allowed her to strive even after punk was long dead. Once quoted as saying, ‘It grew exhausting…I am sure that anti-establishment is what feeds the establishment,’ Westwood grew up and showed the world her versatility. Taking inspiration from art history, her clothes became tailored, romantic and elegant in the eighties and nineties. In this way her rebellious streak became more subtle, instead of ripped clothing, she expressed herself by parodying the upper-class, breathing life into country wear and school uniform.


My losing battle agaisnt minimalism

                 John Galliano a/w 2009                               Celine s/s 2010

There are many things I love about the fashion industry, but I really struggle with other things. What I like is art-fashion, the conceptual, the pure escapist thrill of a Galliano or Viktor&Rolf show that lifts the imagination. Basically, unwearable, totally impractical clothing.

The sacking of Galliano and Phoebe Philo's takeover at Celine, amongst many other things, meant the fashion world went minimalist mad. I moaned about it for a long time, and now I have reached a point where resistence seems futile. I have long since bagged up my eccentric, second-hand wardrobe and have replaced mismatching granny cardigans with denim. (I tried out a slinky grey blazer for a while but I felt like I was betraying myself. ) And now, although my 'style' sense is still a haphazard mess, I can appreciate simplicity.

I remember how my love for costume design spurred me to take GCSE Textiles, and how niche and alternative I felt, designing bright green corsets and enormous skirts while the rest of the class worked on deadpan LBDs. I decided then that simple, well-made, flattering clothes were boring. Even when I failed the class I didn't take the hint.

Coming to a fashion university, I realised the style stakes were high, and wearing shoulder-pads and bright coloured tights would just make me look a bit silly. I suppose I've grown up. I still secretly wish everyone could dress in couture, and minimalist designers could charge FAR less for their clothes, but I can also understand why we can't all go around wearing pieces of art. Even Gareth Pugh's stuff is looking pretty commercial these days. It would appear that Celine and Calvin Klein are the second fashion coming; saving us from unwearable clothes, just as Chanel and Vionnet saved us from corsets and Edwardian rags back in the 1920's. And I shall simply have to put up with that.