Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Hiatus

I have something special to celebrate and share with you today. This is my 100th message on this blog. Wow ! I didn't expect that when I have started it back in March ... It has been a very intense year, posting nearly one article per day. I've tried to give you the best, always ... Hope you liked it.
So now, I have decided to do a little break for the holidays. I will imitate the TV series and put The Column into a Winter Hiatus. But that doesn't mean that it will be a vacation for me ... Oh no ! It's just that I will work on many other projects ( my other blog, Midnight Blue Hawk will have a makeover, I also plan several collaborations with websites and magazines , plus some personal writing projects ). I will keep you updated for sure ! I will also prepare The Column for its come-back in 2011 ... Faithful readers, I promise you the best for January ! 
No time for rest ! But of course, I will enjoy the Holidays ...

I wish you a great, warm, delicious Christmas and a New Year 2011 full of brand new discoveries ...

For Chistmas, I would love some feedback ... ( you can choose until 3 different answers )

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trend : 2010 Report

Lee Alexander McQueen 1969-2010 ( copyright Anne Deniau, all rights reserved )
 Yes, 2010 is nearly over. Almost unbelievable as this year has been one of the most intense of the first decade of the 21st century. We can't talk of 2010 without mentioning the tragic disappearance of designer Lee Alexander McQueen. His last collection shined like a gift from heaven. It was good to see that Sarah Burton succeeded to the genius, and also that women were finally taking the lead : women designers ( Phoebe Philo for Céline, Hannah MacGibbon for Chloé, Isabel Marant, ... ) and diversity of models ( young, old, curvy, slim, black, white, asian, transsexual, redhead, ... ). But 2010, it is also a volcano which forced us to realize the vacuity of our transport frenzy, a cursed year for couples ( the divorce of Eva Longoria, and now the break up of Zanessa ! ), and the Crisis with a big C, the new cruel goddess who is running our lives. In short, this is a year in full color ... Quick review of 2010's Fashion.

 2010's collections we loved

If creativity is not the strong point of the Cinema Industry, at least, 2010 was greatly inspiring for fashion designers. McQueen and Miu Miu were the great names. Everyone fell in love with the shiny, girly and playful designs of Mucia Prada. Chanel, of course, was perfect as usual. We can also quote Marchesa, Sportmax and Alexis Mabille, the one to follow. In picture, the deliciously elegant collections of Oscar De La Renta, Basil Soda, Balmain which establishes itself as one of the leaders of the Industry with its brilliant and addictive designs, Etro, with its ethnic luxury, Gareth Pugh which is now considered as a great name, Indian-born Naeem Khan and of course, Alexander McQueen.
 2010's collections we hated

You can be a great genius of fashion and deceive your admirers. Many misleaded in the Mad Men's trend and created real monsters. Others take the expression "Less is more" to the letter and created tasteless clothes. There was also the ones who didn't pull their punches in the boyfriend's trend ... They cannot be right all the time, but we have to collar them before they repeat the same mistake. In picture, Cacharel which was really painful to watch this year, Roberto Cavalli who decided to do the opposite of "Less is more" and stunned us with an horrific collection, I don't even mention the ridicule of Louis Vuitton ( who fortunately redeemed himself with his SS 2011 collection ), Chloé and its menswear , Prada and its damage to the modern women, Stella McCartney and the abominable Topshop Unique and its wild child escaped from a SM adaptation of Peter Pan. Ouch, let's forget those things.

2010's best fashion photographies

A short gallery is worth a thousand words, so admire :
David Benoliel

Sølve Sundsbø for Numero

Rafael Stahelin for Korean Vogue

Mert&Marcus for Vogue Paris

Julia Pogodina for Zink Magazine
 2010's worst fashion photographies

I still wonder what they find to Terry Richardson. It is gross, of miserable quality and the guy looks like a freak. As for Meisel's editorial for Vogue Italia, yuk, yuk and yuk !
Terry Richardson for Vogue Paris - Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia

 2010's best promising designers

Oh great ! New names ! Tons of them ! I already told you about Pedro Lourenço, Alexandre Vauthier, Lilly Marthe Ebener and Li-lee ? But this year, they were not the only to make the buzz. In picture, you can also admire a military outfit from Anthony Vacarello, one from the highly desirable collection of J.W. Anderson ( who also does amazing jewellery ), a gorgeous dress of Talbot Runhof and another one from Louise Goldin, with a stunning photography. Can't wait to see them in the next years !
 2010's trends to worship

On the trends' side, 2010 was also rich in good surprise. In beauty, we were finally liberated from the painful sessions at the beautician thanks to the trend of the natural eyebrows. We love it ! At last, a face with personality ! We also love grey nail varnish, great on the long hands. In our wardrobe, we were happy to find the big, warm, gorgeous sweaters back. Thank you D&G ! We also have a crush for turbans ( here made with a Chloé scarf ), bowler hats and leather briefcase, very nerdy-chic ( pictured : Lancaster, but you can also find a great piece by DKNY at net-à-porter ).
 2010's trends to poke fun at

Every year, it is the same song : unwearable clothes, ridiculous hairdos and beauty tips ... Sometimes, we wonder if the magazines aren't taking us for morons ... Our worst nightmares seem to have been realized in 2010 : the new icon of the teenagers, Kristen Stewart, channelled her inner Joan Jett for a movie ? And bang, the mullet comes back. Seriously, it is the worst thing in the history of hair fashion and I would never have believed it could come back. But it did. Let's hope it would soon disappear. For our own sake.
After Joan Jett, Joan Harris wreaks havoc. Please, forget the years 50s or 60s, or anything which remind us that once women were only good and smily housewifes ... You've easily recognized Louis Vuitton and Prada in the picture. Another trend that we wish will be a temporary fad : flannelette. A dress for Rihanna, sweaters for Dries Van Noten, pants for Isabel Marant. And grey. For me, it is too associated with sweating ...
 2010's faces we liked

They made the year, we love them. Long live Anna Dello Russo and her delicious spark of madness.
This year, the brunettes have taken the lead : Anne Hathaway is definitely the new icon, and this photoshot channeling Audrey Hepburn for Vogue is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G so does her pixie crop ( she is now back to longer hair ). Other brunettes are Charlotte Kemp Muhl, Elisa Sednaoui ( in a shot of Karl Lagerfeld for the Pirelli Calendar ), the misunderstood Isabel Lucas and the adorable and oh-so-fashionable Leighton Meester ( who has got shoes to die for in this shot, see them here : ). Michelle Williams represents the blondes here, and for the redheads, I think that we had our dose this year ( see my article on Christina Hendricks ). As for the men, I have selected the adorkable James Franco and Kanye ... Yes, Kanye. Love him, hate him or totally indifferent, you have to admit that he has guts in his madness.
 2010's faces we liked ( on the catwalks and magazines )

This year was the reign of Constance Jablonski, Jessica Stam, Lara Stone and Ginta Lapina ( what a name ! ) but my selection includes less known names. Eniko Mihalik is one of those rising stars ( gorgeous in red ), along with Jenny Sweeney, beauty Joan Smalls, transsexual Givenchy star Lea T, Liu Wen ( you already know her if you have read my article on her ), the next big thing Tao Okamoto, the Nordic angels Sigrid Agren and Svala Lind and, finally, the doll Charlotte Benson. No male models, as Baptiste Giabiconi is having ( stealing ) the top billing thanks to his special relationship with Karl Lagerfeld.
 2010's faces we are tired to see

This list will definitely be longer. Of course, Justin Bieber tops it. Please, someone, kidnap that brat and keep him very far from a mic, Twitter and any media ... Same request for Mr and Mrs Brand ( no, they are not as sexy as Mr and Mrs Smith ) : I used to like Russell, now he and his Indian-themed wedding with the queen of attention-whores Katy is really getting on my nerves. If I see her idiotic smile again on Ellen, I think I am going to kill someone. And what happened to Marion Cotillard ? She used to be so sweet, so natural ... Now that she is the face of Dior bags and a huge Hollywood movie star, her style is really monstruous ... And pregnancy doesn't excuse everything, dear. I know she has got tons of fans who think that it is great that she is different, but I still can't stand the face of model Lindsey Wixson. It reminds me creepy dolls. Sorry ! Talking of creepy things, I think that 2011 must be the year of the retirement for Madonna. Being that decrepit and hang out with sexy clothes and much younger Adonis is genuinely indecent.
Yes, I've put Sarah Palin in my list : even if I am not American, I was there during her campaign in 2008 and she scared me. Thinking that she is planning a come-back is totally frightening. A special mention for Taylor Momsen and her proud look inspired by the cheap prostitute of Manilla, for Ke$ha who took the eyebrows' trend too seriously, for Nicki Minaj, Robert Pattinson, Jada Pinkett Smith and her terrifying daughter Willow. Put them all in a bus and take them to Alaska so we don't have to endure them in 2011. That is a serious request, really.
2010's best nervous giggles

Of course, Willow Smith is there. Especially for this outfit. She told the world it has been made by her personal stylist Brea Stinson aka Bstar. Ooops. In fact it was stealed to designer Mildred Von Hildegard. Humiliation for the Smiths, good advertising for the steampunk designer : 0-1.
I think the whole look of Nicki Minaj deserves an award for Best Nervous Giggles of 2010. Seriously, everything this gal wore is ridiculous and attention-seeking.
But the queen of queens is unquestionably Lady Gaga. Her style is amazing, audacious and unique. But sometimes, too much of a good thing leads you to something really disturbing. I cherish the memory of the face of Cher when she had to carry Gaga's meat purse during the VMA ... Priceless. It is better to laugh than to puke actually.

We started with sorrow, we end with humour. That's all a year is, and 2010 was not different.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Spotlight : Ryan Gosling, The Actor You Love To Hate

New York Magazine
It is quite impossible these days to avoid Ryan Gosling, insomuch I am starting to wonder if the scenarists of the Village of the Damned didn't have him as a direct source of inspiration. In one year, he succeeded in reaching the rare and exclusive rank of "IT boy" ( an IT boy is the same thing as an IT bag, except that there is no logo in it, at least until now ), awarded by all the press, masculine and feminine. Even more by the feminine. Now that George is busy buying Nespresso coffee pods ( sorry for the American out there, this is a European-only reference ) and Elisabetta Canalis, and that Brad is becoming a boring old daddy, Ryan Gosling intends to become the new sex symbol of Hollywood. He worked very hard for that, and I am sure he won't allow nobody to get in his way. A tad scary ? Oh yeah.  
W Magazine with Michelle Williams
Indeed, I can't help watching Ryan Gosling smiling at a movie premiere and wondering where the soul of Ted Bundy went. I sincerely pity his co-star Michelle Williams who is enduring the promotion of their Oscars-bound flick Blue Valentine : he really looks at her in the same way Lennie looked at Curley's wife in Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men ... We could almost see fear on her face through her forced smile. Ryan seems to have the talent of putting his female partners in an awkward situation. Recently, his former 'All Good Things' co-star Kirsten Dunst described him as "dark and weird and manipulative". Add an intense relationship with his mother Donna and you will have the perfect image of a psychopath. But then, how did he manage to become such a superstar ?   
Dead Man Bones
 At the beginning, it wasn't evident that Ryan Gosling would become what he is now. A former MMC star outshined by Britney, Justin and Christina, Ryan started his career with a bunch of rubbishy roles such as the ridiculous Hercules. I perfectly remember him as the irritating pest of Breaker High in 1997, and still would slap him. But them, a spectacular change of career. No slapping anymore, he is mind-blowing in The Believer of Henry Bean, a very tense independant tale about a jewish neo-nazi, and also in wonderful Stay of Marc Forster.
Murder by Numbers was a piece of junk, but his relationship with Sandra Bullock brought him attention. Too bad for him, at the time the IT boys weren't existing and Sandra was not Hollywood's heroine yet. But the badass didn't want to give up his goal. Genuine swot, he collected tough roles in independant movies and finally caught the eyes of the producers. He was even offered a role in Fracture, opposite to Anthony Hopkins. And now he plays with all the rising stars of Hollywood : Christina Hendricks, Carey Mulligan ...
And yet, with his leather perfecto and his t-shirts with holes, he was more destined for painting contemporary art and killers' roles in David Cronemberg's movies. Alas, no, he has prefered to inflict us his irritating smile in romantic flicks ...
Natalie Portman
 Incidentally, romanticism is not his strong point. Ryan is totally obsessed by Natalie Portman for ages. When she broke up with Devandra Banhart, he flooded her cell phone with some crazy advances. But, wisely, Natalie ignored Ted, sorry Ryan, in spite of his equally talent in terms of mad music ... Dead Man Bones was obviously too intense for her. So, Gosling was forced to make do with less intellectual actresses. The manipulator has a good nose for rising talents, and as soon as a blonde is getting some success, you'd be sure he will pounce on her. Rachel McAdams seems to have bailed herself out, but now it is the turn of Gossip Girl's star Blake Lively. Wish her luck. But it could have been worst : he had got closer of Hayden Panetierre ... That would have been apocalypse, for sure !
Interview Magazine
Sure, I agree that Gosling is a magnificent actor, but there is something about him that makes me want to cry wolf. Maybe it is his rap moment at the last AMFAR's party, or perhaps his stupid idea of gaining weight to embody the character of the father in Lovely Bones, but I can't help thinking this guy is not clear. Please, don't give him an Oscar, or I think his arrogance will become so big it will create traffic jams in Los Angeles.
Instead, I suggest that we cast him as a vampire ( a movie on Anne Rice's Lestat ), a serial killer ( a remake of Primal Fear ) or a werewolf ( oh really Guillermo Del Toro, you totally missed something ). Because we love to hate Ryan Gosling. Because he is "adorable". And dark and weird and manipulative. God, Kirsten, you're such a genius. This quote should be taught to school children.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Decoding : The Complex of the blogger

Already, 2010 is designated as the year of the fashion blogs, the one which won them the supreme recognition. Recently, Anna Dello Russo has repeated her support to the blogging community, praising the fresh air it was bringing to the industry. This new media has certainly filled with enthusiasm many great actors of the world of fashion, and also many anonymous people.

But the attacks are starting to burst forth.

In a recent issue of a renowned fashion magazine, a column is indignant about the financial success of some famous bloggers. The journalist quotes some of our colleagues who have created a bag for a famous label, who are working for brands or influential fashion editors. Of course, there is some truth in this article : it is a pity that bloggers would lose their integrity for profit and ambition. The announcement of Bryan Boy about his six-figure income is certainly irritating, but not only for professional journalists. All the bloggers are not famous and rich.

I think that those kind of attacks come close to bad faith, to jealousy. Are the bloggers traitors ? Sold out ?
Isn't it an hypocritical accusation from a profession which receive tons of benefits, including free samples and special discounts on clothes ? So, yes, Tavi Gevinson, for example, receives samples from designers and many blogs are posting sponsored articles, but they are just imitating their elders : sponsors are the main profit of magazines ! Everyone has to survive. According to some journalists, blogging would be okay if without earnings. But how are we supposed to live ? Blogging is mainly a job for most of us, and sometimes because of a lack of choice : we are doing it because we are not journalists yet ...
According to a poll I have seen on website Independant Fashion Bloggers, more than 80% of the polled declare blogging for a professional goal. No pleasure invoked when you worry about your future.

Now, this is true that blogging is losing speed. Is it the fault of almighty figures such as Bryan Boy, Garance Doré or Tavi Gevinson ? Or maybe are there too many blogs out there ... Indeed, each day, thousands of new accounts are created. Thousands of concepts, but always the same goal : to gain visibility as quickly as they can. But it's hard when there are too many fishes in the sea. Blogging is now as intimate as Twitter and most of the articles seems to get lost in the deafening hubbub of Internet. And what about bloggers' community, mutual aid ? The assessment is depressing. Independant Fashion Blogger has even launched a "comments challenge" to encourage contact and compliments between its members. The website even speaks of blogger's burnout.

It is a fact that blogging is not an easy work. Journalists have at least a team to rely on, and even if they don't receive feedback, they have the satisfaction to see their publication sold.
The blogger is like a novelist, alone in front of the computer, wondering if his work is good and why nobody is commenting his last article. It is an angst I am sure you know.
Sometimes, the blogger even visits other blogs and almost cries to discover some articles which seem to have been written by a six years old but have reached the 40 comments. The blogger is not extroverted, he hasn't got thousands of friends on Facebook and he has a lot of hang-ups. So, when he has the possibility to gain money and love, he goes for it. It is human.

Personally, I have chosed not to put ads on my blog, first because I find them annoying for a reader, but mainly because of my experience on a writers' website where ads have brought me 22 cents so far ... This kind of thing only works if you are Bryan WonderBoy, albeit thousands of articles told you the contrary. There are no magic words for success, just luck, as in the real world.
Unfortunately, there are some people who have nothing to do in blogging and who are literally polluting the blogosphere ( each of us can easily quote one or two without nastiness : it is just a fact that some people were not meant for blogging ) but this is mainly the fault of the magazines, which have given an excessive publicity to the process. So, thanks to them, we have too much competition, no more fraternity and besides, they are accusing us of being self-interested ! Oh well. Blogging looks like more and more to a curse and less to a blessing ...

I have been asked by young bloggers what I could advise them to do to have success. I really can't answer, I don't even consider my own experience as a success. Yes, I have more than 200 readers per day and I have been spotted by a magazine, but when I read articles on making business plans for a blog, I have quite a nervous laugh. That's silly. Until now, The Column brought me £0,00 and no job offer. But we have to stop thinking about profit : the pleasure it gives me is priceless ...

So I think that bragging about earning £50k per year, when milliards of people are unemployed and surviving, is totally indecent. And I also think that blogging is not designed to perish yet, whether the journalists like it or not. So, if I would have to give you a piece of advice, I would told you to blog for pleasure, not for profit. We have to stop being so obsessive about money. We are lured with luxury, especially in fashion blogging, but don't dream : it will never make you happy nor complete, but constantly unsatisfied.

If writing is becoming too obsessive, too mechanical, stand back and take the time to have some fresh air. Do it only as Susie Lau of Style Bubble does it, because you want to share. If it brings you money, great, if it is not, don't get mad and embittered, maybe success is waiting for you elsewhere. And, most importantly : stop trying to emulate the blogging superstars. Stay yourself and bring what journalists can't.


Sources :

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Trend : Sci Fi bitches

Beau Garrett in Tron : Legacy
 It is the geek moment of the year : Tron Legacy, the long-awaited sequel-tribute of classic sci fi flick Tron is finally about to be released and the previews abound. Last in date, a video featuring the music of famous electronic band Daft Punk : if you like robot music, you will be delighted. But if, like me, you find it boring, it is time to focus on a funnier aspect of the event, the celebration of sci fi bitches.
Gareth Pugh
 When I say "bitches", of course I think about Gaga and her "out of the world"'s outfits. Last year, she was surrealistic, avant-gardist, very year 3000. But now, at the end of 2010, Gaga is just an ancestor of the genre. Everyone in the music industry copied the idea, from Fergie to Kanye, and singers with classic ( boring ) style have reached a brand new celebrity thanks to their radical makeover. Want a proof ? See some before/after pictures of Nicki Minaj. How do you spell "opportunism" ?
Gloria Coelho Pedro Lourenço
 But, very far from the concert hall, the sci fi bitches have developped as a whole category of women in the tiny and secret world of the geek nation. There, they don't worship Angelina Jolie. Scarlett Johansson only got their heart because she has played in Iron Man. No, their icons are called "Number 6" ( what a feminist name ... ) or Anna, a frosty beauty who hides her scales under a satin skin. Welcome to the reign of the snake women !
Amy Thompson
 Those queens of ice are now investing the fashion magazines, symbols of a liberated woman, who have reached a job with responsability and who doesn't need a man anymore. This woman's best accessory ? A naked ( younger ) man. Better than any IT bag, and a great social revenge. For this woman, out of the question to go back into the past to fill up her walk-in closet ( or her second flat, so does Anna Dello Russo ). Her clothes are definitely futuristic.
 To satisfy their desires, a range of young artists, Gareth Pugh in the lead, but also some grands noms who dare to take the risk of some innovative designs ( the sophisticated french elegance of Hervé Leger turned into an army of the future this year ). The singular shapes are now gaining admittance in the ready to wear collections and in the streets, where you can see more and more latex, metallic fabrics and outfits which were usually more common in Star Strek.
Mildred Von Hildegard
 The housewifes of Prada and Vuitton against the cold warriors of the new generation : choose your side ! Even if it means posing as an alien, I will choose neither because I find both very rigid. Between Bree Van De Kamp and Amber Rose, I think that we can create something a bit more human, feminine and strong at the same time. But I admit that aesthetically, I prefer to see the work of photographer Paco Peregrin and that I would love to possess the clothes of Pugh's last collection.
photography of Paco Peregrin
 But am I not going to attempt the full look of the sci fi bitch : I would be too afraid to look like a Visitor or a Trekkie ( not that being a Trekkie is something negative, my mind is as large as space, but it is not my cup of tea ). Okay, Laura Vandervoot gets all the guys, but life in plastic ( or in lizard skin ... ) is not that fantastic, as we are still living in the present. Get me some spaceship and I could change my mind.
Morena Baccarin in V

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shopping : Steampunk Jewellery

Oscar Crow on Etsy $38,00
 The word may be unfamiliar to you. Originally, steampunk designates a sub-genre of literature devote to Victorian-settled science-fiction and fantastic stories. But the genre has grown up thanks to thousands of amateurs, and is now widely represented in the world of what we can call "fringe fashion", as "fringe sciences" exist. Recently, a great name of steampunk fashion has raised in the mainstream conversation : designer Mildred Von Hildegard, who was dispossessed of one of her creations by Willow Smith. But, today, we are going to focus on steampunk jewellery, or more generally fantasy jewels.
Les bijoux de Sophie 175,00 euros - Pamela Love $575,00 - Glazed Black Cherry on Etsy $22,99
 The vanitas are of course a great part of it, as death was a very current pattern in Victorian era, and is still the main character of many steampunk novels. The skulls dehumanize themselves : they are winged for designer Sophie, animals for Pamela Love, and become elegant ladies of cameo. This is just a glimpse on the trendy Danse Macabre you can find in the world of jewellery.
Somk price on demand
 Impossible to talk of steampunk without quoting Howard Philip Lovecraft. The writer's monsters carry on inspiring nowadays artists and you can find several octopus as rings, pendants, necklaces and brooches. But I have crushed on a designer of Deviantart ( ) who recreated the great Cthulhu himself and the scary shoggoths. The pieces are awesome, very well detailed and mysterious. A must-have of arty jewels with a meaning.
Glazed Black Cherry on Etsy $29,99 - Maria Francesca Pepe £515 - Tina Tarnoff on Etsy $50,00
 Werewolves, vampires, witches, all the classic Victorian creatures can also be easily found on gold mine website Etsy, with delicate prices and sometimes free shipping for our American friends. There is even a section devoted to steampunk, Victorian and gothic jewels. For other edgy accessories, you can always go to Young British Designers and Bona Drag, but everything will be more expensive.
Personally, here are my favourites ... Christmas gifts, somebody ???
Pia £30,00 - J.W. Anderson £54,00 - Steamdesign $59,95

Friday, December 3, 2010

Trend : Plaid Guilty

Campaign for M.A.C. Cosmetics
 After Russia, Africa and Brazil, it is time to turn ourselves toward the north of Great Britain. Scotland is suddenly becoming very hype, very far from the clichés of the bearded men in skirt who lift trunks and eat haggis and whisky. We have to credit this spectacular change to the iconic brand Pringle of Scotland and its luminous muse, Tilda Swinton. But the success of the tartan pattern was a very long way. Long time relegated to the school uniforms, the gross lolita's imagery, the punks and the lumberjacks, the plaid started to become more fashionable thanks to the Olsen twins. Afterwards, they were copied many times by starletts such as Lindsay Lohan, and the two Taylors, Swift and Momsen.
1. Eugenia Kim Headband 2. J.Crew shirt 3. Versus 4. Sam Page in Moods of Norway 5. Speck for Iphone
 But the casual trend of the plaid shirt ( or the punkier plaid pant worn by Kate Moss ) ended in contaminating the world of luxury and of Haute Couture. It was quite usual in the collections Anglomania and McQ, but soon, it appears in more mainstream lines such as Versus and even Prada, which transformed it into something rough and a bit old granny-esque. Now, plaid is a safe bet for a fashionista, and since Kate Middleton is the new heroin of Great Britain, numerous are the magazines that went into ecstasy over her plaid miniskirt.
1. Topshop bag 2. Tibi dress 3. Rag & Bone 4. Kate Middleton 5. Etoile Isabel Marant shirt
 Now, plaid is almost associated with glamour, and we can see thousands of top-models off-duty, wearing it in outfits worthy of the pages of Vogue Magazine, even if they still recall the ones of the infamous Dukes of Hazzard. Fashion is a very peculiar think ! But the shirt aside, tartan is a very serious thing if associated with accessories such as Comme des Garçons clutches, Speck Iphone pads or Burberry's scarves and coats. Used as a detail, it competes with fur this winter and still has its best days ahead.
1. Prada 2. Markus Lupfer top 3. Magdalena Frackowiak 4. Malcolm McLaren 5. Dr. Martens boots
 For evidence, the new campaign of Canadian brand of make-up M.A.C. which honours Scotland with a range of dignified and exquisite make-up cases to die for. Also, a special crush for the Fall collection of Rag & Bone.
With its attractive colours and designs, the traditional material of the Scottish families represents a genuine economical manna for the designers and the brands. Adaptable to every look and every budget, it is the happiness of all the fashionistas, mainstream or indie ones. At least a product that makes everyone come to an agreement, what a pleasure !
M.A.C. Cosmetics "Tartan Tale"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Decoding : When Fashion meets Contemporary Architecture, the Lourenço family

Pedro Lourenço's Jacket
 The first collection presented at the last Fashion Week of Paris has been quite a revelation for many fashion critics. Indeed, they were first skeptic, they thought they were going to see another teenage designer. But Pedro Lourenço, 19 years old only, forced them to change their mind in just one show. It was not a complete challenge : the young Brazilian designer is definitely not a novice. His Parisian show was already his tenth one, as he has presented his very first collection at the age of 13. That sounds young, but not for the son of Reinaldo Lourenço and Gloria Coelho, two of the most famous designers of Sao Paulo. As you might have guessed, fashion is a family business for the Lourenços.
The Wyly Theatre of Dallas by Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus
 Pedro is a very serious boy, talking with ease of both the commercial and the artistic aspects of his work. Down to earth, he favours quality to an unbridled creativity, but he is aware that his clienthood is attracted by his most futuristic pieces. So, for Paris, he has developped a very matured line, constituted of architectural and military strict dresses, structured with black leather lined with neoprene and geometrical effects which have been described as venetian-blinds. But the secret of the neofuturistic appearance of his work resides in his main influence : in fact, he eagerly quotes Oscar Niemeyer, his compatriot, who is a worldwide famous architect, considered as a pioneer. I can't help but also see the grooves of Dallas' Wyly Theatre.This influence of contemporary architecture is very vibrant in Lourenço's work, both conscient and unconscient, and it can easily be explained by his heritage.
Reinaldo Lourenço - Shigeru Ban
 A quick look at his parents' work is enlightening. Reinaldo Lourenço, his father, seems to be a master of architecture, with some woven dresses which directly connect him with the genius of lightness, the Japanese Shigeru Ban. In both men's work, the attention of the details reveals a will of space and of agility. Reinaldo's woman is fleeing the fetters and is yearning for appeasement. His clothes looks as organic as the material used by the Zen architect. We could also find the troubling sensuality of the Pompidou Center of Metz, in the east of France ( designed by the Tokyo's master in collaboration with French architect Jean de Gastines ) into some dresses of the son, the fitted uniforms imitating the curves of the roof structure of light wood.
Gloria Coelho - Zaha Hadid in Beijing
 On the side of the mother, Gloria Coelho, the choice goes on metal structures and a more futuristic relief, which is not without reminding the last collection of British Gareth Pugh, another architectural designer. Perhaps it is already the hand of Pedro, who has handled his mother's line "Carlota Joakina" for years, but I recognize the Walt Disney Concert Hall of Los Angeles in those stratums of brushed metal. They are also close of the work of another famous woman, Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, especially with her project of the Chaoyangmen SOHO III in China.
Pedro Lourenço AW 2010 - Oscar Niemeyer
 Both Reinaldo and Gloria are harden craftsmen who perfectly know how to use the futuristic shapes that attract the public's eyes. Pedro has grown up with this experience, and with his modernity and talent, he already masters the tools that other designers take years to learn. The young man is not a privileged, even if he is given an attention and an help ( his stylist is Brana Wolf, his protector, equally famous Brazilian designer Alexandre Herchcovitch ) some others fail to receive for their first step into the Industry. But even if he used the same room as Yves Saint Laurent, offering himself a unique jewel case to his first media-covered collection, the Brazilian gifted child knows he will have to work hard. He has received the tag of "New Nicolas Ghesquière" : already, the industry tries to format him.
Pedro Lourenço AW 2010 - The Pompidou Center of Metz by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines
 But if Pedro has got actually some likeness with the designer of Balenciaga, he is determined to impose his personal style. His Spring/Summer 2011's collection is already a new step toward assertiveness. This time, he chosed to marry a white and denatured leather to an almost invisible tulle, revealing bodies with the same elegance as the mashrabiyas used by French architect Jean Nouvel for his Louvre of Abu Dhabi. The collection and the museum are very similar : white, with an openwork design, almost austere, but also sensual, the dome of the building echoing the laid bare curves of the women. The unity is less rigid than his Autumn/Winter 2010's collection, and also closer to ready to wear.
Pedro Lourenço SS 2011 - The Louvre of Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel
 But if the ghost of Balenciaga has to haunt Lourenço, I would prefer to associate his creative approach to those of the avant-gardist André Courrèges, a French designer well-known in the 60s for his structured yet liberating clothes. He is the one who established the miniskirt and wanted to create clothes which will make the women free, before the moral revolution of May 1968. The Asian purity of Pedro Lourenço's new collection follows the step of the black and white lines of Courrèges, heralding a promising fashion adventure.
The French timestamp is already on the South American young talent, since he has worked a month at the house of couture of Giambattista Valli. But it is very improbable that Pedro Lourenço would forget his Brazilian origins, he who honours this continent, still neglected by the almighty Westerner fashion world. Hopefully not for long ...
Pedro Lourenço SS 2011 - André Courrèges
The official website of Pedro Lourenço is not yet avaible but here's the address : ( I hope they will correct the mistake of "Coming soon" with two m )
His parents' websites are working but they are only in portuguese, and his mother's is not updated ( the date is 2008 ). They definitely need a good spotlight.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fashion : Z-Mode, not just another alphabet letter

 During last London Fashion Week, my eyes have been caught by a new designer's collection. Right in the trend of the return of an old-fashioned elegance, brand Z-Mode brought simplicity and a very personal vision of contemporary feminity in a Fashion Week where sobriety was opportune.
Created by Lithuanian-born Victoria Rangayah, a heady brunette, the brand seems to be an antidote for the exuberant students of our Londonian Fashion Schools.
 Indeed, Z-Mode is created by a woman, for us, the women.
 After working for a denim manufacturer, Victoria Rangayah wanted to design something more feminine and elegant, according to her own desires. She spent 5 years in South Africa, developing her style, which she defines by the catchline "Opposites attract each other". Her goal is to mix the codes of fashion : those of feminity with masculinity, of the past with the present ( not yet the future, but the brand is young ).
The fabrics are also treated as cooking or chemistry ingredients, and the designer seems to play with them to create unuasual textures. Of course, it is not yet very punchy, but at least you can wear the clothes at work or in the streets without passing for an original. For the Spring/Summer 2011, the lines are romantics, the nude colour is at the rendez-vous, but we already feel that something bigger, fiercer is preparing. Now based in Manchester, Z-Mode has got everything to become one of the promising names of tomorrow. Can't wait to buy ...