Monday, March 29, 2010

J'adore Lanvin

Pieces from Lanvin Spring/Summer 2010

Just in case no one has noticed, I have a faint (ha, yeah right) obsession with all that is Lanvin. Alber Elbaz is pure genius. Season after season of serving up magnificently refined ways of dressing, he reassures us all that it's okay to dress as women in this world many still believe is a man's. I don't think it'd be too far from the truth in saying he's got that softly tailored thing down to a fine science. He himself hit the nail on the head when referring to the inspiration behind his latest fall collection: "Women ask for masculine tailoring, but they want to feel feminine." Bingo. Women are a bunch of contractions aren't they Alber?!

Prior to 2001, and Elbaz's appointment as artistic director, the French house had yet to establish a 'personal identity' for itself, to use marketing speak. What a turnaround. Since his very first collection for Autumn/Winter 2002, drapery, flattering silhouettes, refined details, perfect degrees of embellishment- all that is woman-friendly- has become synonymous with the label.

It's all in the deatils: SS '10

All of Lanvin's collections since the first under Elbaz's creative direction have been heralded with the same taglines: "an impressive degree of respect for real women" (SS '02), "a personal gift to the modern Lanvin woman" (AW '06) and "clothes that make women reel over in desire" (SS '07). Misguided that he strolls down the austere path of banal, stopping occasionally on his way to boredom? Don't be. He himself noted that he is not an optimist, or a pessimist; but a realist. And what's wrong with that? Realism is not banal. Or austere. It is real. Frustratingly gorgeous, simple but daring, powerful yet feminine; loose and soft but sculpted and moulded and chic. Take Spring/Summer 2010 for example; what started out as a slew of black draping, ruffles and asymmetry burst into a silken dream filled with jewelled pinks and blues and beads. His work is the perfect example of the masculine versus feminine debate; with the right amount of pleating, pinching, ruffling, draping and beading; a piece of suit fabric is reworked into a modern-day, womanly, miracle. Creating confidence and beauty for women, while giving direction to this house once known for its beautifully tailored men’s' suits. Ironic, no?

My favourite, and most spot on in terms of Elbaz's goal, was Sarah Mower's review of his 2006 Spring/Summer collection: "He is one of the few designers who remembers we are still earthlings who serve in offices and quite like (past the age of 25) to get out at night in something other than a baby doll." (This was back when the movement of baby-doll dresses was upon us, favourably endorsed by nearly every celebrity creature- thank YOU Lindsay Lohan. Not.) Even though I am not quite at the milestone Mower referred to (being the ripe old age of 20), I'd like to think once I graduate past the age of body-con, there's something else out there. With a Lanvin label, no less.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Desert Days: Comtesse Natasha

What could be a better combination than Natasha Poly and Paris Vogue? Not too much at all (well, perhaps looking like her...) The Russian supermodel features on the latest cover and spread that was shot by Inez van Lambsweerde and Vinoodeh Matadin somewhere in the dunes of the African desert.

I looove the styling of this shoot, and how many of the trends of the past few seasons have been interpreted in a way that so perfectly fits the location. I especially love all the draping- but not in the way I usually do- all the colour, the clash of prints and embellishments is just gorgeous. Dohti pants, while fashionable now, did- and still do- serve as staple basic for desert travelers... everywhere. The heavily beaded neck pieces and stacks of jumbled bracelets aren't too far removed from what you might imagine adorning the local women of Cairo's market bazaars. Although I'm not too sure how often you'd see couture wandering the desert paths, I love that these contradictions exist at the same time as all the similarities. Oh, and I'm loving Isabel Marant's "Dana" fringe canvas boot from her spring collection- a follow on from the freakish success of her original "Ottway" studded ankle booties. Favourite look? The overtly-embellished Lanvin romper tucked into the aforementioned Marants. Not sure if it was intentional, but featuring Moroccan born, Israeli-raised Elbaz's creation in this ethnically inspired shoot? Genius.

Too bad I'm no longer in Paris otherwise I would've strolled down the Rue de Sevres just off St Germain de Prés, to my local marchand de journaux, and picked up a copy for my morning perusal. Until then, there's always airmail... and inflation.

I first stumbled upon this spread on the blog of super-stylist Monica Rose - definitely worth a look over. She's amazing.

Photos from

More-bidly obsessed with: Chanel Particulière.

Chanel's Le Vernis (translation= the varnish) has been an industry cult favourite for years. So I'm gonna keep it short n' sweet (just like your nails should be when you're wearing this stuff): Particulière, get it, NOW.

It the shade that's not quite grey, not quite brown; maybe some would say it's mushroom. Whatever it is, it's the prettiest shade of non-pink I've seen in a while. Part of Chanel's new Spring 2010 collection, it goes perfectly with all the neutral and pastel palettes we're seeing at the moment. However, it's so gorgeous that anytime is particulière time.

Good luck finding it though; seeing it's the hue on everyone's lips (ahem, nails), it's been a sell-out for months...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

In The Red?

Maison Martin Margiela

Dolce & Gabbana

I'm feeling a bit blue today (couldn't resist!) so I thought I'd have a look through some of the red pieces from the AW 10/11 shows. I think I'm too obsessed with neutrals and, more recently, everything military, to embrace red- no matter how momentarily appealing it seems!

I know the Dsquared2 show was labelled tacky by most, but since when have those Caten boys ever presented a cookie-cutter collection? Flicking through the looks, the word "domanatrix" sprung to mind- especially upon the final emergence of Carmen Kass in that spangled, sparing, thigh-baring dress. Anyway- back to red. Below is one of quite a few looks featuring red thigh-high (p)leather. Doubt I'll be seeing this on the streets of Adelaide anytime soon- so best get my fix now!

Loyals of the hue didn't fail to disappoint- Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney and Tommy Hilfiger all featured (or at least included) the shade in their collections at some point. Where on some runways the colour was either made a feature or stood out as showpieces, we did see some great ways to wear red in keeping with the current seasonal tones. Of particular mention- French designer Isabel Marant with her fifties style three-quarter pants, trés cute.

For the Red Carpet: Valentino

My favourite red of the whole A/W season at Tommy Hilfiger (AND, it's wearable!)

Red tapered pants at Isabel Marant

And for those who don't want to go red all-out, Lanvin (pictured) and Gianfranco Ferré have the answers- and it's all in the shoes.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Elle" is for Louis

Paris Fashion Week- and the entire AW season- ended today, meaning all the fashionistas can happily swan around Paris for a few days without having to rush off to another exotic location for more jam -(doubtful)- packed days of shows (it's a hard life isn't it?!) Bringing the week to a close was Marc Jacobs' latest showing for Louis Vuitton- a collection which pretty accurately pieced together much of what was showcased throughout the rest of the fall collections. With the theatrics on the back burner (did Marc Jacobs really design this?!), LV's fall collection was awash with shapes reminiscent of the 50s and 60s; a well received break from the (disappearing?) power-loving 80s obsession. With circle skirts, bodices, nipped waists and trimmings a plenty- it wasn't just the curvier girls who were Brigitte Bardot-esque. These girls, by the way, included Victoria's Secret regulars Karolina Kurkova, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley - somewhat of a "trend" this season that Miuccia started on the Prada runway. Another familiar (fuller) face was that of Aussie Cat McNeil, who has made this her comeback season, walking for a select few shows including Hermès, Stella McCartney and said Prada.

Before I post anything else on Milan or Paris, here are some pictures of the one and only Elle Macpherson, who closed the show for Louis Vuitton.

Backstage at the Cu Carree du Louvre in Paris

The last look for LV- and the entire AW10 season (almost!)

photos: and Zimbio

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Some Loves of London

On one of my last days (and nights) in London, I wandered around the Victorian Embankment up to Somerset House, London's venue for the Autumn/Winter 10/11 shows. Just spending time in London makes it easy to see where London-based (and many other) designers get their inspiration from! There's so many different places, people, buildings, art spaces, markets, colours, noises, influences... inspiration, that saturates the city it's no wonder British fashion is as eclectic as it is. And, a reason I love it even more, is amongst all this eccentricity and eclecticism are things that are simply plain and traditionally... British. (Burberry and its famous houndstooth check come to mind here).

Below are some of my snaps of the surrounding area- along the Embankment, then around the Strand (Monopoly references never become the norm!), and up to this little area called Covent Gardens, which had some very cool markets and performers (this is the theatre area, after all).

Skulking around the back of Somerset House... dying for a glimpse!

One of the most talked (or tweeted) about shows on the London circuit was newcomer Hakaan, a Turkish design contest winner whose show was apparently the reason French Vogue's Carine Roitfeld made the cross-channel journey. Apart from his of-the-moment figure hugging sheaths and sexy tailoring, he managed to pull Natasha Poly, Lara Stone, Anja Rubik and Natalia Vodianova for the catwalk. Not bad for a first-timer.

Natalia Vodianova in the first look for Hakaan A/W 2010

Other favourites of mine from London included the mash-up of prints and textures at Peter Pilotto, slinky knitwear (on some not-so slinky girls) at Mark Fast, Matthew Williamson's pairing of silky drapes and heavy layers, and cabled, knitted, pocketed... everything (include new campaign girl (woman?) Tilda Swinton) at Pringle of Scotland.

Pringle's Pockets

And, seeing as I already mentioned the supremely (dare I say original) British brand, here are my favourites from Christopher Bailey's latest collection for Burberry Prorsum. Plenty of coats for Emma Watson to model in yet another fabulous ad campaign I say. The jackets have spoken, bring on winter.

Photos: mine! and

Parisian Memories...

It's Paris Fashion Week as we speak (or as I type), and I'm looking back of all the photos I took during my weeks there- safe to say I am missing it- a lot. What I loved most about Paris was not the famous tourist destinations and monuments such as The Eiffel Tower or the Louvre (don't get me wrong- these things were also amazing!) but the everyday life and people within the city itself.

Everyday Paris.

a wintry day inside les Jardin de Versailles

Spot the Dalmatian

Christmas Markets

and one for the blog... being a pap outside Elite's headquarters

Sushi and wine with friends on Rue Raynouard

Paris polaroids

Me! Outside Moulin Rogue

Cobblestones, brass rails, narrow stairs, creeping ivy, breadsticks, Parisian ladies, Parisian ladies with dogs, Parisian ladies with dogs in shops, shops!, arrondissements, the metro, gilded ad columns, bridges, la Seine, cheese, chimneys, shuttered windows, wine, wintry picnics in le Jardin de Luxembourg, New Year's morning snow, shoebox apartments, Saint Germain, class, Rue de Sevres, history, Versailles, The Garden of Versailles, listening to Phoenix on the way to Versailles, culture, Christmas markets, symmetry, bustling streets, the sky, the grass, the air, life... Paris.

I'm baaa-aak

After taking a break from blogging (and life in general)so I could wander the perfectly cobbled streets of Europe (jealous?!) I have finally snapped back to reality. Actually, my last week in London coincided with the beginning of London Fashion Week, so I had a bit of a wander around Somerset House to try and catch a glimpse of some models-off-duty....but- to no avil. Sadly, due to the fact I am not a member of the press (yet), a buyer, or a celebrity, I wasn't allowed to get in the thick of it (believe me, I tried.) Adding to my devastation, I left London just before Fashion Weekend; the ticketed event the public could attend.

Inspired by my Parisian sighting of French model Constance Jablonski (wandering along Rue St. Honoroe with her very attractive man in tow) I am going to share with you some of my favourite looks (and models) that have been snapped on the streets of the fashion capitals of late. And with Paris Fashion Week just about in full swing, I'm sure there'll be plenty to come... Enjoy!

Constance Jablonski (not the Rue St Honoroe sighting) in Manhattan

Ultimate model bad-ass Freja Beha Erichsen off-duty in London.

Tao Okamato during London Fashion Week- love her take on knit.

Alexander Wang (studded carry-all) with Ruby Aldridge. Sigh.

and... just because, (why bother give an excuse for these beauties?) here's some snaps by Jak & Jil's Tommy Ton for

Always an eye for the shoes- here's my favourite favourite favourite Chloé boots. Great autumn colours too- and all cleverly sourced from the spring collections, no doubt.

Celine. Pheobe Philo. Leather. Bliss.

And finally, The Wintour herself leaving a show in Paris.

photos: Tommy Ton for