Friday, October 29, 2010

Trend : Tip for an Original Halloween Costume

Kate Moss for Fred modified with zipper earrings
 The real nightmare of Halloween is to find a great costume. So, in order to help you being scary and trendy at the same time, I offer you this costume tip : Zipper Girl !
Zipper Girl is the most fashionable zombie out there. She still lives a bit in 2009, but it's a common thing for a zombie to be lost with time. Zipper Girl has, it is quite obvious, zippers everywhere.
The Bride of Frankenstein
 This shopaholic is the younger cousin ( some say older, but you know how women could be fussy with age ) of the Bride of Frankenstein, who prefered a more ancient way of fastening ... Zipper Girl is the modernist of the family : she wears leggings ( with zippers ), mini dresses ( with zippers ) and uses zippers as jewellery and accessories.
Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die - Comme des Garçons - Philip Lim
 You can decline Zipper Girl in different versions : Punk Zipper Girl ( that's quite a classic, you're risking to find many girls dressed in the same way at your party ), Vampire Zipper Girl ( very trendy due to the teenagers' love for these bloodsuckers, but still a bit easy ) and Fashionista Zipper Girl ( perhaps the most scary ).
Sebastian Errazuriz
 For your costume, it is quite easy : you have to find a good zipper dress. I advice this convenient piece by designer Sebastian Errazuriz, ideal in case of faulty boiler or of flirting with a sexy Frankenstein. Remember, Zipper Girl is a showgirl : she is single-handedly the ambiance of the party. With that dress, you need some zippers stuck on your body. Avoid eyes, it could be dangerous, mouth will add something mysterious.
Alexander McQueen
And finally, your costume would not be a costume of Zipper Girl if you don't have zipper shoes. You can find a pair everywhere, as they have literally invaded shops for our greater disapproval. But for Halloween, it is a must ! If I were you, I would choose this pair of Alexander McQueen. With their skull detail, they will put all the creatures at your feet. But that's enough irony : I wish you a great Halloween, little monsters ...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trend : I am a Giant Bubble Gum

Christopher Kane
 Yesterday, things have become a bit heated and I know one thing that helps calming down : sweets. Nothing better than a good bubble gum to relax. That also must be the state of mind of some designers. Maybe did they accidentally stick their gum on their fashion sketches ? At all events, this spring, Day Glo will come back from the 90s, and will leave the dance floors for the pages of Vogue.

Jill Sander
Parkas, Fair Isle and now fluorescent pink ? The Fashion Industry is seriously regressing to childhood ! It is genuinely thumbing our nose at our mothers, who told us not to roll our chewed gum out everywhere : now, we are dressing with it, at least, as if we have dressed with it. Take a look at next season's pink : the clothes are almost liquid, elasticated.
Maison Martin Margiela
 Not only visibly remarkable, but also comically ridiculous, bright pink seems to be one of those trends that is made just for fun, a mindgame in the middle of all those serious collections. The designs of Maison Martin Margiela are especially provocative, pitting pop delirium against sophistication. I guess the designers have died laughing behind the curtain when they saw the faces of the public in front of their flashy models ...
Martin Grant
We could have our share of laugh if some sheep-consumers would decide to follow the almighty law of the catwalks ... But let's hope the joke will end soon and that this trend won't stick to the catwalks too long. Because, seriously, could you wear that in bright daylight, without a mask, if you were a sane person ? I certainly won't. I prefer black chocolate ... But that could be an option for a carnival !

Monday, October 25, 2010

Decoding : There must be a law against THAT

 This is totally the article that is going to cause a stir : how can I dare attacking a 9 years old who is clearly enjoying herself ? I dare, I dare for the good of our world and our mental sanity. I didn't have any feeling against the Smiths before. Alright, they've decided to push their elder on the Cinema Industry. They're both experienced actors, we need kids for roles, alright, alright, that's their choice, and I am not forced to see their son's movies. But I started to hate them, yes HATE, when I saw their younger hanging on in post-techno-pre-lunatic-asylum outfits and invading my ears with irritating Rihanna-like songs. I can't stay there and watch the massacre happens.
 People clearly don't remember Britney Spears. Little Brit-brit was a music egghead at only 3 and seeing the rest of her life and what she passed through, I would have think that it will be a case of conscience for parents who were tempted to throw their projeny into the lions' den. But, it seems that few people have made two plus two. A child need to have a childhood, i.e. having children's concerns : games, school, caring parents. To my mind, allowing them to go to TV shows to promote their last album or their last clothes' collection is not a favour, but an evident mistreatment. Yes, life is golden for them now ... But if it isn't when they grow up ? Think Macauley Culkin.
 Sure, Drew Barrymore is okay now, but how many committed suicides, are still in rehab and in therapy ? Do you think it is healthy to make a little girl believe that she can be the queen of an industry that is cruel with adults and that she will still it all her life ? Beside that, I can hear you yell already, those kids are no more than robots, whose pretentious twit's attitude deserve only one thing : a good slap. Please send back Willow Smith to her plastic mike, Cecilia Cassini to her Barbie and Lindsey Wixson to her mirror ( is her face even REAL ??? ).
 Tavi Gevinson ? I guess there are always an exception that proves the rule. Tavi is clearly advanced for her age. You're yelling again. Why am I making an exception for her and not for the others ? Three points : 1, she likes Daria, and the fans of Daria never stab each others in the back ( yes, I know, this is not really a concrete point,but I have to put Daria Morgendorffer somewhere in this article, she would have loved it ), 2, more seriously, if you want to ignore Tavi's existence, you definitely can : she's not on TV, not on radio, not everywhere on your homepage in internet, and 3, there's a big difference between having a blog on a subject and thinking you ARE the subject.
So, please, Mr and Mrs Smith, and also the parents out there who are obviously living celebrity through their little kiddies, take them back home, burn their outrageous clothes, put their hair in pigtails and force them to sit at their desk to learn their math lessons. You will do them a great service. And do us a greater.

Because another music video of Willow will clearly drive a thousand more people to see their psychologist.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Trend : Rainbow Warriors

To pursue our fight against greyness, I offer you a sneak peek at the Spring/Summer 2011 collections. According to the designers, there will be a rainbow after the rain ! If some prefered the classic black, white, grey and now camel, others have taken risks to awake our wardrobe. Many shows wowed us with amazing bright colors, such as those of PPQ and Costume National. But let's do a rainbow of this spring's colour trends.
Fendi - Zac Posen
Leather, feathers and eaters, next season's reds are going to send us all to Hell. The colour of passion is in nearly every show, and fit to both dresses and suits. The most remarkable pieces have been spotted on the catwalks of Acne and Miu Miu. It is married with black for Balmain, a countryside's fantasy for John Galliano, and a fatal woman's weapon for Lanvin.

Akris - Hermes
What could be more energizing than orange ? Long avoided, the intense colour is now the symbol of fierceness and catches the eyes of the fashionistas. It is covered of lace for Proenze Schouler, zen for Marni. Also seen on the collections of Sass&Bide, Emilio Pucci and Max Mara. Yes, the very classy Max Mara. I told you, nothing is impossible with orange this season.
Louis Vuitton - Marc Jacobs
Some designers, such as Louis Vuitton, have travelled east and brought back yellow pieces of silk to make the sun pale with envy ... It is the most present colour on the catwalks, despise its bad reputation. The world is changing, and now, we are all going to be sunshine ladies, thanks to Albino, Basso&Brooke, Cacharel, Victoria Beckham and their friends. It is a real ray of light in this universe of black color : best evidence is this incredible skirt which illuminate Yohji Yamamoto's dark collection.
Jean Paul Gaultier - Prada
The tropics are not sad next season : designers give us exotic clothes which would bring coconut trees and creepers to the cities. This colour is still a bit shy on the collections, but I hope it will developp more because it is definitely my fashion crush ! I have fallen for the outfits of Alexandre Herchcovitch, Kenzo, Erin Fetherston, Gucci and Matthew Williamson. Spread the word : the world will be green.
Andrew Gn - Yves Saint Laurent
Another great winner of 2011 : the blue is back. It softens suits, a good example can be seen at Akris, giving a magical twist to the boyish trend. It is a comback to the old colour of jeans, but stretched to feminity. For Viktor&Rolf, it accompanies ethnic prints. Also well-presented by 3.1 Phillip Lim, L.A.M.B. and John Galliano.
Haider Ackermann - Tracy Reese
Some have chosen darker tones for their blues. The indigo colour is also a newbie of this spring. The mysterious tone gives a first taste of enchanting nights. It is worn floating around the body, as a princess of the thousand and one nights. Best picks at Zucca, Acne, Rochas, Caroline Herrera and Maison Martin Margiela.
Isabel Marant - Nanette Lepore
Last but not least, purple will settle in our cupboards. It brings back the hippies, sparkling at Louis Vuitton, spicy at Ada Zanditon. Not convincing at the first glance, it could be the revelation of the summer, if worn with cute dresses. To make up your mind, see Marc Jacobs' silky princesses and visit Thakoon and Isaac Mizrahi.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trend : Are the 20s Roaring Again ?

Chanel - Anna Sui - 20s actress Clara Bow - Olivia Palermo
 For several years, regularly, the 20s have tried to made their comeback in the catwalks. From mainstream designers such as Baby Phat or luxury, each year, we are announced that the 20s are trendy again. But the effect of surprise doesn't last, and only some pitiful celebs dare to wear the outfits on red carpets, inflicting us their bad taste. Mischa Barton, please, for the last time, I beg you to let your flappers' dresses in your dressing !
Unknown designer - 20s icon Laurette Taylor - Anna Sui - Victoria Beckham
 However, by dint of insistence, some elements of the 20s' fashion are becoming inevitable in 2010s' collections. The fringes, for example. We find it in the Spring/Summer 2011 collections of Loewe, Pringle of Scotland and Versace, even if it is given a modern twist. But the flapper's dress itself also ingrains whole collections, as in the Autumn/Winter 2010 Anna Sui's, which plays with all the 20s codes : glitter, cloth flowers, embrodery and fur.
Repetto - 20s icon Mae West - Agyness in Anna Sui - Chanel
 On the jewels' side, the bib necklace is this season's rediscovery. We can find it everywhere, from Chanel to The City's Olivia Palermo. Hairbands are also back, with flowers, pearls and feathers. The accessories are king of the new 20s' charm. Victoria Beckham, Blair Waldorf, the cloche hat is also the mark of elegance, of an old-fashioned bourgeoisie, very Oxfordian. Our feet are not the last to travel back in time : French salomé, heeled brogue shoes, every brand wants a pair, from Repetto to Tod's.
Anna Sui - Minelli shoe - Blair Waldorf of Gossip Girl - 20s actress Louise Brooks
But is the 20s the decade we need in modern fashion ? Recently, the 50s have made their comeback too, with their avalanche of "perfect wife" outfits, and the 70s are a strong reference in the popular "open-minded rock girl". Is he 20s' "liberated woman" a good consensus between the two ? Of course, elegance is there, and the hair were short, but there is something definitely kitsch, grotesque about these years, that seem to be only suitable for costumed party. So, do you think the 20s are a part of fashion history we have to respect and emulate, or something resolutely modern, that has its place in today's collections ?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A girl, a style : Micky Green

 The cold is here, and we are all freezing right now, except for some lucky Southerners. So, I've decided to talk about a girl who knows how to warm a concert hall, and us, through her sunshined tunes. Let me introduce you to Micky Green. Micky rhymes with Funky, Cheeky, Girly and many more Sexy adjectives.
A great Fashion's admirer, Micky likes to hang around on the designers' shows with the bobos of Paris.
 There, she spots the best outfits, a bit retro, a bit Lolita, but always adorable. She is able to wear little dresses in Glasgow in December. Little dresses are all her life, she who started her musical career with the album White T-shirt ... White, sure, but colourful too. This 26 fair-head from Australia landed in France 3 years ago, and doesn't want to leave. I guess that French people don't mind, because she's so full of charm.
 Is Micky as sweet as her songs ? We don't know, because sweetness is not the best thing to built a career ... But at least, she seems to be as fruity, acting like a 60s pin-up in a commercial for something sunny. Ah, sun ... I don't know if it is her bleached hair, but Micky reminds me of beach, coconut's milk, ice-creams, and all these things related to the season we are cruelly missing now.
 So, let's put a CD of Micky and a little cute dress and dance, dance, in order to scare the greyness away and to raise the temperature.
"Come for some fun. Come for some sun ..."
Of course, it is working. I swear you.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fashion : Clarissa Labin, Rock'n'wool

 The week is now finishing, and the yellow sheep of Selfridge could return to their usual pasture. Our travel will end too, and we are doing the opposite journey, from countryside back to the cities, with our 3rd wool designer. Clarissa Labin is a urban creature. This German designer have graduated with honour from London College of Fashion in 2000, and have worked in the biggest capitals, with the most exciting people : in Paris with Christian Dior, then, in Stockholm with H&M. Growing as an expert in knitwear, Clarissa finally moved back to Berlin to found her own brand.
 Very far from the universes of Sandra Backlund and Lilly Marthe Ebener, this other European wool artist would attract a largest public due to the wearability of her designs. The sweaters are made for everyday life, for the streets, and yet they aren't casual. Mixed with leather, they are the new Perfecto, an edgier way to show your rock soul.
 Labin uses a lot of colours too, and these are very pop, stimulating, in the grey streets of winter. I especially like her joyous yellow, and her candy nude, shy and daring at the same time. Boyish or girly, everyone can find happiness in her collection, and you can play with the clothes to infinity, as they can be wear with every outfit, on every occasion, working day or party night.
 If you were a bit afraid of the excesses of Blacklund's designs, the simplicity and class of Clarissa Labin's clothes will reassure yourself. They are more down to earth, more suitable to our modern life, our life of women with what it means. For the moment, the clothes can only be bought in few countries, but I am sure that the brand will developp to a worldwide success.
retailers avaible in Germany, Sweden, UK and USA, see list online.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fashion : Lilly Marthe Ebener, alpaca spellbound

 As promised, today we are continuing our travel in the world of wool, on the occasion of the London Wool Week. After the surrealistic shores of Sandra Backlund, I invite you to the wild mountains of Lilly Marthe Ebener. Ebener is the answer to a petty assertion which says that fashion journalists are frustrated designers : wrong, so wrong. This Parisian fashion editor has turned to be one of the most promising designers of the next years, showing that the two occupations weren't incompatible.
 Ebener's wool is primitive, exotic, yet soft and civilized at the same time. Her clothes are made of a mix of alpaca's wool found in the Andes, silk and merino : the height of luxury for silhouettes of adventurers. For the wolf is never far from the lamb in Lilly Marthe Ebener's designs. Oversized sweaters and long cardigans are  a new fur for the woman, a free animal returned to nature. Behind those bright colors, signs of modernity, the stitch is hiding a steppe wolf, genuine adaptation of Hermann Hesse's novel.
 These clothes are made for travel, and not a pretentious trekking in the Himalaya, nor a road trip à la Kerouac. No, these clothes are made for precipitous roads, inhospitable forests, dangerous cliffs and sulphurous marshland, on horseback or testing your strenght to walk. Even in the middle of a city, you will look like Marco Polo. It is the magic of clothes which give you your animal instinct back.
 But you will also be seduced by the pleasure to wrap youself up warmly inside this soft and large cocoon, with its energizing colors. A real pleasure in winter, a little bit of your bed in the middle of a work day : isn't it great ? Ebener's sweaters are more than armours against the cold, they remind us of the womb of our mother. You will have only one urge : placing youself in foetal position, pulling the panels of your cardigan around you, in the middle of your office. But, before, remember to tell your colleagues not to disturb you. Nobody interrupts a Lilly Marthe Ebener's moment ...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fashion : Sandra Backlund, the wool sculptor

This week, it is bleating in Mayfair : sheep are mixing with luxury shops. Is it a protest of English farmers ? No, it is London's Wool Week, and this is not a joke. A whole week to celebrate sweaters, scarves, and much more. So, here at the Column, I have decided to dedicate the 3 days remaining until the weekend to wool artists, young talents who have changed the landscape of fashion. A glimpse on Google will give you many names, many extraordinary works, such as Japanese jewellery designer Hisano Takei. But, how can we speak of wool without naming Sandra Backlund ?
 The most famous of the 3 designers I have chosen, the Swedish creator has been spotted first in France, during an international festival of fashion with her impressive dresses, flirting with contemporary sculpture more than with Haute Couture. Not surprising then that the talent-seekers of British Fashion Council's NewGen have run up. Sandra Backlund is an alien. She can make you a sweater out of hair ( yes, hair, yikes !) or of clothespins. But where she excels, it's in the work of wool. Oversized bobbles, geometrical designs, crochet Tuareg clothes, she can do everything.
 Each of her creations are masterpieces, visual miracles. Sure, it must itch a lot, but a skin reaction is nothing compared to the impression you will make in society ... No joke, Backlund's collections are art, which have each very abstruse names, such as 'Last Breath Bruises' or 'Perfect Hurts'. Poetic and mysterious, it's a concept and a statement at the same time. The fabulous clothes are also well-served by very artistic photographies, except for the new one, where the photographer is overindulging in flash.
 Sandra Backlund is now ready for distribution, and I hope that her designs will have the success they deserve. I even encourage contemporary art museums' curators to buy her collections, in order to preserve them for the future. To my mind, it will be more enhancive for our civilization to be associated with Sandra Backlund than with compressed cars. Her clothes are maybe the ones of the future, a world where we will all have flying machines and structured wool overalls. Meanwhile, Lady Gaga knows what to wear this winter. If we don't leapfrog her ...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Decoding : Doctor Fashion and Mister Photoshop

 Who is Salt ? Probably a failed wax figure of Madame Tussauds Museum who lost itself in a photoshot of Angelina Jolie's movie. They are thousands each year to escape the stockrooms of wax museums around the world and to be find again in the cover of magazines. That would be a good lie for bad photoshoppers.
But, the truth is that, by dint of wanting to show the celebs' perfect skins, usual retouches have turned into an attack of the image.
 Cheaper than make up and surgery, Photoshop allows you to remove cellulite, bad skin and excesses of fat. Britney Spears is the one who uses it the most, along with Kim Kardashian and Beyonce Knowles. But it could stay at the level of vanity. The real danger is when it comes to slenderness. Photoshop editors want us to believe that the world is full of sylphes, with extraordinary thin waists and legs. And when they can't plane the hipline, as they usually did on the pictures of the  luscious Christina Hendricks, they put the celeb's face on the body of a model ( moreover already photoshopped ). The following example is glaring : they contented themselves with the fact that they have inverted the body.
 And now, Kimora Lee Simmons has a body she will never have in real life. Magic ? For celebs maybe, but for their public, it is dangerous. If we, reasonable readers are able to override this call to diet, many remain impressionable and think that the only way to be beautiful is to be slim. For a woman such as Kimora, who sports the curves with class, flaunting herself with a fake slim body is a shame, the most pathetic thing I have ever seen. Celebs and magazines must give themselves a sense of responsability : they are the one who drive teenagers to anorexia, or to excessive surgeries. Yes, surgeries between 18 years old. How awful is that ?
 The brands, especially, are guilty, when they reduce the waist of their already scrawny models to such an extent that they seem to have been got out of Buchenwald. "We have changed" they said, "now, we are celebrating the models who are assuming their curves". Yes, they seem to. But after some hours of glory, the iconic Crystal Renn have returned to diet. How do you spell 'hypocrisy' ? Before all the girls of the world would suffer of body dysmorphic disorder, we need to think without our wallets, and stop our frenzy of slenderness. And the world of fashion have to be honest for once, and stop acting like it was suffering of split personality : Photoshop is not its Mister Hyde, but actually its main tool to drive us to conformity. And if we wanted to be different ? To be ourselves. For example, I would like to go to a shop and find something else than size 6 ( size 4 for US ). Because the last time I have slipped into a size 6, I was 10. It is really time to grow up.
Crystal Renn, proud of her curves, but better liked with hollow cheeks
Exercise your eyes : you will never read a magazine as you used to.