Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fashion : the reign of Alexandre Vauthier the great is coming

Never heard of Alexandre Vauthier ? It is time to rush on your Internet or on Vogue to discover this future incontrovertible designer.
Alexandre Vauthier is French. Born in 1971, he followed Art and Law classes before coming to Paris, in order to become a fashion designer. His talent would be soon noticed, and in 1993, he begun an internship at the prestigious Haute Couture fashion house of Thierry Mugler. Shortly after, he reached the status of assistant of the famous designer himself.
Then, in 1997, he left him for another Maestro of Fashion : the provocative and avant-gardist Jean Paul Gaultier. He was in charge of the Gaultier Couture collection during ten years. At the end of this decade, Alexandre Vauthier felt it was time for him to make his own rules. In 2008, he then decided to found his own Haute Couture fashion house, under his own name.

His first collections were ready in 2009, and the result astonished every fashion critic and journalist. An army of Amazons poured into the catwalk, strong and sensuous women with strong shoulders and waists, dressed with dark grey gowns of radical yet sober cut. Elegant samurai mixed with insolant Roaring 20s ghost, the woman according to Alexandre Vauthier is smart, audacious like Audrey Hepburn and stunning like Grace Kelly.

He is not afraid to push the luxury to its limits : gigantic furs, sheer tops, draped and provocative open-back dresses or low necklines, voluminous flounces, long gloves and mini-skirts. The colors are posh : beige, optic white, fake black. The Summer and Winter collection are of classic elegance and fierce futurism at the same time : a tour de force ! I especially love how he emphasizes the back, where other designers only focus on the front.

The 2010 new collection is even fiercer : the shoulders are gigantic, architectural. His collaboration with Swarovski and Louboutin adds wild elements to the dramatic silhouettes. Bright colors appear : electric blue, violent red and marine grey.
Alexandre Vauthier is now a recognized artist. Vogue often features his creations, singer Rihanna or the future princess of Monaco wear his dresses. Two different worlds ? He brings them together, combining the warrior and the icon in each woman.
Illustrations all rights reserved. They show reproductions of real Alexandre Vauthier's clothes. Paintings are inspired by artists Mark Rothko and Ellen Day Hale.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spotlight : The future is now with Janelle Monaé

The Hurricanes season is beggining and the biggest of them might be called Janelle Monaé. This sparkling tiny black beauty seems to come into our world like an alien, fallen in Area 51 in a shiny UFO and glitter tuxedo.
The reference to science-fiction is not innocent as the 24 years old singer has built her albums on a futuristic concept. Her alter-ego, Cindi Mayweather, an android beauty living in a segregationist city called Metropolis, is a feminine version of David Bowie's 1976 The Man who Fell to Earth, with a messiah-esque mission that recalls Robert Wise's 1951 The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Her adventures are divided in 4 "suites", contained in Monaé's albums Metropolis (2007), The ArchAndroid (2010) and continued in her next work.
The ArchAndroid is a real pearl of music, soon a classic to be, with influences of Stevie Wonder and 60s pop and jazz. I especially love the very breezy Faster and Locked Inside, masterpieces of soul with gospel's accents. Your feet will move by themselves in the playful and rhythmed Tightrope, and Nick Cave would not resist to the wild rock energy of Come Alive. And after dancing in the fire, your soul will fly with Cold War and you will visit a magic and humoristic country with Wondaland. Once you would have listenned to the album, you will have it under your skin, and wish that the ArchAndroid comes to save us more often.
The world created by the young singer owes a lot to Fritz Lang's 1927 movie Metropolis, as indicated by the similarities between the ArchAndroid's cover and the classic movie's poster.
But the cinematic references of Janelle don't stop here : she also quotes Hitchcock, Goldfinger and Philip K. Dick as an inspiration for her projects of graphic novel and even movie adaptation of her albums. Maybe it is a leftover of her former training as an actress and of her Broadway's dreams ?

The native of Kansas City transformed herself into a funky Phantom of the Popera when she moved to Atlanta and met OutKast's singer Big Boi. Soon, he invited her on the band's album Idlewild and encouraged her to stand on her own two feet. He didn't have to tell her twice : the rocket Janelle was launched.
In 2007, she founded the Wondaland Arts Society with like-minded artists Nate "Rocket" Wonder and Chuck Lightning who helped her producing her debut EP. She was then quickly spotted by Sean "Diddy" Combs who signed her on his label Bad Boy Records and released Metropolis. The success was immediate : in 2009, she is nominated for the Best Urban/Alternative Performance for her single Many Moons at the Grammys. She also did the opening of indie pop band Of Montreal, rock band Paramore, singer Erykah Badu and famous band No Doubt, on their summer 2009's tour. Meanwhile, she performed her single Tightrope on many popular TV shows, including Lopez Tonight, the Ellen DeGeneres' Show and the Late Show with David Letterman.

Her style is also a phenomenon discussed on fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Teen Vogue and In Style. In 2010, she finally won the Vanguard Award of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers at the Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, presumably not her last achievement ...
The one who is described by Vogue Magazine as "a different kind of diva" and who thinks that music has the potential to change the world, hasn't finish to amaze us. The ambitious young darling, modern mix of Judy Garland, James Brown ( especially when she dances ! ), Ziggy Stardust and Prince, seems to be eager to take the future by storm ...
Official website :

Monday, June 21, 2010

Spotlight : Laura Ferreira takes your breathe away

I will pick again one of my FlickR friends for this new Spotlight : this time, it is the turn of the wonderful Laura Ferreira.
This 25 years old self-taught photographer has quickly grown as one of the most interesting young talent of this decade.
The Trinidad and Tobago blond beauty is a genius of color and light, and threat her pictures like digital paints. For this reason, you will often find her in the cover of Photoshop dedicated magazines, but it would be a shame to reduce her to that.

Laura is a photographer first, with an artist eye, who is able to reveal her models full glory in neat and mastered shot. Her style is really fierce, theatrical and even a bit gothic, perhaps more in the architectural meaning than in the fashion one.
She works with the best, music artists, fashion houses, make-up designers and stylists, to offer us inspiring and moving photographies.

Don't miss her fabulous website at, and if you can escape the hypnotic charm of her Sphinx/dark angel header, take a look at her beautiful pictures, also on her FlickR page at

Friday, June 18, 2010

Trend : Studded like a Rock Star

Keith Richards and the American bikers got it bad : the fashion designers and the fashionistas are stealing their hallmark, the studs. Indeed, the trend is to look like a science fiction warrior, straight out from Blade Runner, a tough girl ready to fight with her armored clothes and weapon-like accessories. Rihanna understood it well and rocks the style at each of her public appearances. This winter, if you don't have myriads of studs all over your body, you will be a bit dull. I have concocted a little selection to inspire you.

My personal favourite : this Diane Von Furstenberg dress seen on Blake Lively. It is really elegant and sparkle just enough to make you look like a divine creature. Beware of not abusing of the studs or people would confuse you with the avant-gardist design interior ...

The must-have of the winter : studded leggings and shoulder pads. A good match too, especially in black, for an Agyness Deyn-like style.

If you're afraid of the weight of studded clothes, opt for the shoes : everyone will be at your feet, but don't mind if they don't notice that you've changed your hairdo.
And finally, what would be an outfit without acessories ? I have fallen in love with this adorable and fierce Sonia Rykiel bag, with its two compartments and its revisited classic purse shape. Every bag is great with studs on, in every color, so don't hesitate. But stay discreet, avoid the Middle-Age inspired acessories or your friends would think that you got a job in a SM club.
So, to be studded or not to be ? That is the question : is it too fierce ? Too bling ? At least, no one would annoy you anymore in the subway. Who said that fashion was useless ?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fashion : Everyone wants Lipsy

To the question "What is your favourite brand ?", lots of names are coming to my mind, especially famous designers. But if I would have to pick a brand that is widely representated in my wardrobe, I will certainly pick Lipsy.
Lipsy is a famous English brand which looks like every girl's dream with its cute party dresses and its affordable prices.
This summer, the brand doesn't disappoint its customers. Lipsy followed the trend of the prints but chose more discreet tones for its flower and animal prints. I especially like the girly messages and the palm tree designs. The colors are very elegant, mostly white, grey, black and powder pink. Delicate lace and sophisticated satin bows complete the picture. I also have a huge crush on their jewellery.

In the other collections, you will find the Boudoir spirit of the brand with some appetizing underwear-looking tops, corsets, sexy black lace and Vichy prints.
I am not a great fan of their Country collection with its bleached jean tops and dresses, their boring flounces and their ugly fringes, but I love the very original and colorful feathers prints.

This season, Lipsy also invited singer Pixie Lott for a basic collection. Celebrities in general are found of the English brand : their clothes, and especially their dresses, have been seen on actresses Jessica Lowndes of 90210, Demi Lovato, Paris Hilton (which is sadly not a reference), singers Molly King, Kimberly Wyatt, Alexandra Burke, Lily Allen, Alesha Dixon, Amy Winehouse and are often used in TV show X-factor. Even Lady Gaga was seen buying some !

You can also support the English team during the World Cup with adorable sequined tops.
It is very British chic and modern at the same time : the perfect clothes to find in the most fashion-conscious Londonian girls' wardrobe. And the best thing is that everyone can buy them thanks to their website !

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Decoding : Fashion and Religion makes strange bedfellows

Lord, forgive her : Gaga dit it again. Her last video, directed by Steven Klein, is heavy on blasphemy. Alternately Joan of Arc, Virgin Mary and a nun, the provocative singer seems to be running out of ideas, and her Alejandro is a genuine visual disaster.
Indeed, doesn't it sound you familiar ? Oh yes, Madonna, which stage name says it all : the Like a Prayer singer already surfed on the wave of religious provocations back in the 80s. So, bad decision for Lady Gaga ? It seems so : we still cannot make fun of religion in the world of entertainment and fashion. Quick topical outline.
In 2005, French designers Marithe and François Girbaud broke the news with their last advertising campaign. The picture recreated the painting The Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci, substituting women to the apostles and supermodel Ruslana Korshunova, dead in 2008, to the Christ. Immediately, a Roman Catholic association brought a lawsuit against the creators and won. The posters were removed.
Across the Atlantic, it is the same old thing. In 2008, the Boston Magazine published an ad for a fitness club that depicted nuns sketching a naked man. Once again, outcry from the Catholics.
Chilean fashion designer Ricardo Oyarzun 2009's collection was not better received. His designs, inspired by the Virgin Mary, were worn by revealing clad models. Shocking !

Then, is the Catholic religion personna non grata in fashion shows ? In fact, it does shy apparition : in the Spring/Summer 2006 collection of Dior, models in bright red and black wore crucifixes and veils. Last year, Jean Paul Gaultier turned his models into ethereal icons with white dresses, halos and chalice's prints. It was the first use of Catholic religion in fashion that was of good taste, but we still heard teeth grinding.

What about other religions ? Islam is a taboo, but Hinduism and Judaism are often used by designers and photographers. Incidentally, Madonna turned to Kabbalah : it must be a sign ...
Used for ecumenical matters, religion is often employed in ad campaigns to show the tolerance of a brand and to encourage respect. For example, the American fashion designer Kenneth Cole's campaign "We all walk in different shoes" showed an Hassidic Jew and a Sikh among others.

It is a shame that in 21st century we are still that cautious with religion, and even more disgraceful that it is mainly used for cheap provocation. Yes, designers should be free to use their beliefs and to borrow from religious art, but there's no need to turn it into a disgusting show.
With taste, fashion and religion can make a very interesting and beautiful combination. The proof being a campaign made by Indian photographer Suresh Natajaran for the jewellery brand Tanishq.
We can dream of a more open-minded world, but meanwhile, images like those we can see in Alejandro are definitely not helping the cause.
Sources :
Times Online

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fashion : Spend your Summer in Moschino

Even if it is hard to believe it when you look at your window, Summer is coming, and Spring is already here. It is time to go in your dressing room and make some space for lighter and summery clothes. The fashion designers would never miss the rendez-vous, and I will pick the best pieces of the season for you. Let's start with my favourite, the Italian designer Moschino, through his 3 brands, Moschino, Moschino Cheapandchic and Love Moschino.

The S/S collection of Moschino is a high colored show. First, you will find Black and classy outfits with gold and pearls details which remind of vintage Chanel and Audrey Hepburn. Then, a festival of prints : navy blue or yellow hearts, red cherries, Creole dresses and headscarves, Slavonic-looking embroideries and clouds of precious silk. It relieves us after the poor precollection that was introduced earlier, with its ingenuous outfits of nude and black colors, very uncluttered and even too strict. Special mention to the bags though.

For the main collection of Moschino Cheapandchic, the retro chic is more successful. Dots and flounces marry well with kitsch details such as daisy hats and flower-shaped sunglasses. The collection is very romantic, with delicate openwork dresses, Vichy fabric, satin and floral prints. However, maybe there is too much frou-frou, and it is a bit heavy on the messages and the lace, but I like the audacious colors and the large skirts.
The precollection is the best of the season with its gorgeous top hats and its modernized 20s look. The masculine-chic outfits reminds me of Jules and Jim and model Twiggy. It is very old England, with touches of bright colors which add pop. The whole collection is a marvel, and I would buy every piece.

After that, Love Moschino is quite disappointing. Flowers, pastel and navy blue are deja-vu. The main theme is retro summer cruise and the outfits are rather classic, at the limit of tasteless. The precollection is in the same spirit but with more modern cuts.
You can admire my selection of outfits worn by my doll in the pictures, or in real life at

Monday, June 7, 2010

Spotlight : The rise of Lara Jade

In life, there are those who take their time, and those, in the contrary, who are born to live faster. Lara Jade seems to be of the latters.
Born in 1989, she discovered the art of photography at the age of 15, like any other teenager, and started experimented through self-portraits and fantasy shots. But the precocious and gifted British girl soon turned her hobby into a more serious business : at only 17, she had already started her own business, Lara Jade Photography, and worked for various clients. Among them, Sony Music and the BBC ...
In 2009, she won the Public Choice Award at the AOP Open Awards, proving her popularity in her profession and in the public's eye. She is now a very busy business woman, represented by agencies in London and Milan. Beauty face, she also models for other photographers and keep shooting herself ( the first picture is a self-portrait ).
I had the pleasure to meet Lara on Flickr some years ago, and I discovered both her talent and kindness. She took the time to talk with me about her already impressive work.

Her universe is a perfect mix of grace and wilderness, ethereal and fierce, and her portraits have, at the same time, a taste of avant-garde and of old magic.
I particulary like her photoshot for Lush Magazine, with its audacious look : she gave a plastic effect to the models, turning them into punk dolls or contemporary sculptures of nymphs.
With Lara, there is no half-measure : when it must be girly, it's romantic and when it must be darker, it's rock'n'roll.

I advice you to keep an eye on Lara Jade, because she has everything to be the next big thing in Fashion and Photography Industry.
You can admire her work on her website or on her Flickr page