Wednesday, 19 March 2008

It's bunny & egg time.

Easter Weekend beckons!

I'm planning a lovely, lazy, long four day weekend, and trying to include all of the following:

-lazy hours in front of the telly

-lazy hours with my giant, chocolate egg

-lazy hours with my new DVDs and lovely boyfriend

-a couple of not-so-lazy hours working off the aforementioned egg

-Saturday afternoon film and wine at the Everyman Cinema

-Saturday night revelry at Club Push

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

New Gen - Poltock & Walsh

If you're unfamiliar with British Fashion, New Gen might be an unfamiliar concept to you, so to clarify, New Gen is a British Fashion Council award scheme that recognises and supports new design talent. Since its inception in 1993, New Gen has helped establish many great British designers including Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson, Julien Macdonald, Boudicca, Sara Berman and more recently Giles and Jonathan Saunders.

London-based Poltock & Walsh were part of the New Gen line-up this season, and were possibly my favourite of the new talent at the recent London Fashion Week.
Fiamma Poltock (half English, half Italian) spent her childhood in the North of Italy, moving to Scotland at the age of nine. Katie Walsh (born in Canada, half Irish, half German) grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and moved to London in 2000.Since graduating from Kingston University in 2004, Katie Poltock and Fiamma Walsh first worked for Alexander McQueen and John Richmond respectively, gaining skills, knowledge and experience which they put to good use when they pooled their creative forces and formed Poltock & Walsh.

One of the highlights of the show was the amazing footwear; I've been yearning for a pair of the vertiginous feathery ankle-boots the models sported in the show, clothed in fine pheasant and quail feathers that nicely offset the tough silhouette of the shoe.
The clothes (and the designers) embodied fresh, edgy, youthful London, and Lula stylist Leith Clark (who, as readers of this blog will know, I love) has said of them, "I'm really excited about these girls. I love their enthusiasm."
Destined to become one of London's cult offerings, the collection had an easy elegance, with silky nudes, iridescent shades, plums and almost-blacks.Besides the striking feathered shoe boots (which each took six hours to make), I loved the the duo's use of folding and draping techniques on on silk shorts, dresses and skinny trousers.

I can't wait to see more of their strong, structured pieces next season. But until then, here's my picks of the best:

Monday, 10 March 2008

The F-word

On the, in an article about new fashion line Ohne Titel, I read the line: "It's been the best part of 10 years since I've heard young women in fashion use the F-word. Feminism is so taboo to girly sensibilities that it is almost an obscenity."

That touches a particularly raw nerve with me, one that has always driven me slightly barmy. I have long held that the contention of many young women that they are not feminists is a particularly offensive one, particularly when uttered with pursed lip and an air of contempt, as though the very idea of 'feminism' is distasteful, and in some way not feminine, or worse still, that it may imply that one is a 'crazy' rabid bra-burner who takes offense at the idea of having doors opened for one or chairs pulled out for you by a solicitous man.

To all this is say: pish tosh.

To every girl who expects to be afforded the same education, job and other opportunites and rights as men: I'm sorry to have to be the one to break this to you, you are a feminist.
If you expect to be able to do every thing that a man would do, as well you should: You are a feminist.

Those 'crazy' militant bra-burners did what they had to do, at a time when nothing short of shock tactics would have sufficed, to pave the way for the rights that you now deem your birthright.
If those 'crazy' suffragettes hadn't cycled around in their bloomers, I can assure you, you probably wouldn't be sitting in your office/university library/bachelorette pad scrolling through this blog, with money to burn, sexual freedom and reproductive choice.

Feminism doesn't imply a rejection of men, or indeed, of a girly aesthetic.
You can shave your legs, dress in pink, loll in silk sheets, wear lipstick and be pleased when your boyfriend takes you out to dinner without betraying the feminism principle; it just implies not taking these rights for granted, and remembering that there were women who gave you this choice.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

The Mighty Suze.

Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune wrote a great article that question whether the new seasons of clothes can ever be only self-referential, without harking back to retro styling; it really got me thinking about whether there can ever be fashion that isn't revivalist or doesn't references the past anymore.

She wrote:
"Is the future shackled to the past? Or can fashion move forward without any reference to previous styles or eras?
That is the fundamental question as four weeks of international collections closed with three powerful shows. Louis Vuitton sculpted a new silhouette, topped with a stylized hat, that emphasized a general smartening up - but also hinted at the bold fashion architecture of the 1980s

Clearly sixties mod styling broke away from the mould entirely, as did fashions born out of the flower-child-hippie movement, and nineties pared-down, stripped back minimalism. But what about now? Now that shoulder pads, belted, empire-waist, simplicity, futurism, short, long, in-between, ruffled, colours, lace, texture, wool, nylon, neoprene, vinyl have all been done - now what?

For me personally the styles i keep cycling back all tend to originate (or were popular) in the late sixties: shorter skirt lengths, shifts, slightly flower-child, beatnik styling and Gallic or Parisian chic. If the styles I favour don't come out that period, then they still tend to have retro references - twenties flapper styling, the pulled-together forties... the eighties never really appealed to me at all, and then nineties actually feel too recent for me to talk about using those fashions as 'references'.

Anyone have an opinion on this? I'd be quite interested to know if I'm barking completely up the wrong tree.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Nice Pins.

I love shorts for summer. They feel really fresh right now (to me anyway); I've been wearing dresses all year round for the last two, maybe three years, and I feel like it's time for a return to separates.

So I've popped out and bought:

a) a simple black skirt from COS, made special by the large bow in front. It'll work well with a tee and gladiator sandals for day, and maybe higher shoes for evening (although I'm a flats girl at heart).

b) These shorts from Topshop:

They look like Luella, but cost a fraction of the price.

c) Also these shorts( from Topshop as well):

They're part shorts, part skirt - great with tights for London in April, and even better with bare legs in summer.

The thing with shorts is that on an Amazonian model with legs up to there, or a pre-pubescent teen with minimal body fat, it's pretty much a no-brainer.
If however, you're part of the other 98% of the population, with legs that aren't a metre long, they may take some effort.

I recommend opaque black tights for as long as the chill lingers in the air, and a hefty dose of swagger when it warms up.