I’m headed back to Scotland for a little while this month so I thought it was fitting to feature a Scottish-inspired collection. Back in 2004, Marc Jacobs and his team took a trip to the Highlands to seek inspiration and look around the royal estate of Balmoral where the Queen spends her summers. The end result was a tartan-infused collection in the most luxe way possible.
Opened by Lily Cole, a model known for her lily-white skin (pun intended) and fiery red hair, the show had around 50 looks of real grown-up women’s clothes. This Louis Vuitton was definitely not intended for teenagers. It’s funny that fashion has made such a shift in the past decade because almost every brand seems to cater to a set of young people (aged 18-30) who often don’t have the spending power to match the price tags on the garments. Instead of focusing on the core group of women who are in an older age bracket (who will actually buy the garments instead of demanding PR samples or compensation for wearing the clothes), brands focus on kids and social media. Ten years ago, this was not the case. Clothes were made for grown-ups with real lives. People who wore pencil skirts to work. People who need cocktail dresses for various events. I guess the shift towards informality in society is also reflected in the casualness of our clothes nowadays.
Out of this show, my favorite looks were the tight black dress with the sheer netting detail on the shoulders and the little wrist-length gloves and the black suit jacket (very Chanel) with the velvet-looking pedal pushers. The collection even featured one of the fur stoles like what Kanye wore in a post from last month (but in brown, not grey). I hope you get the gist of the collection from the images I’ve added!
Normally when composing these posts I start with a show that I want to feature in mind and then work to find a video and images to accompany it. This time I came across this show on YouTube, just randomly, and it spurred a whole tangent of discussion (can it be called discussion if its just with oneself?) so I thought it was worthy of a feature.
I was struck by how “old” these clothes looked. By that I mean these clothes are not made for teenagers, or even women in their twenties. They’re for consumers aged thirty plus, I’d say. This is what is of great interest to me because it’s different from the approach most brands are taking nowadays. Let me put it to you this way: a sixteen year old girl from Kansas likes a Louis Vuitton picture on Instagram, she may be obsessed with an outfit from the show, she may repost a picture. Is she buying it? No. However, a forty-five year old woman might see a picture of a look from a show on social media (because yes, it isn’t just used by Millennials regardless of the stereotype) and actually head to the store to try it on and maybe even buy. Why is it that despite the two consumers seeing the item on the same source only one leads to a potential sale? It all comes down to money. Teenagers, and even most millennials, aren’t often in a position to be spending money on luxury items, and if they are it tends to be accessories, shoes, and, increasingly so, streetwear. Gen X and above are. I understand that brands are targeting millennials because they are going to be the next generation of consumers to really keep the brands going, but I do think it’s important not to overlook your key demographic because they can be the ones keeping the company afloat.
Now this actual collection was loosely inspired by the 1940s, seen in the skirt suits and silhouettes. However, what stood out to me was all of the patterned pieces. Perhaps in 2004, we were all a lot more accepting of colors and prints. Nowadays, with minimalism thoroughly ingrained into our brains and way of dress, prints can seem too much, even though maximalism is making it’s way back. I feel like nowadays the focus is more on solid colors and also textures (perhaps a metallic yarn woven into a knit) instead of pretty florals, but I could be wrong. Also, I really liked the runway. The lights were cool but not at all distracting. I think it would’ve been fun to attend a fashion show, even ten years ago, before camera phones took over and every moment was documented. I’m not the biggest Marc Jacobs fan but I did like a lot of his work for Louis Vuitton.
PS – Apologies for the low quality images. I haven’t come across HQs yet.
These boots from Steve Madden (right) look almost identical to the boots from Marc Jacobs (left). Strikingly so. That’s why I bought them. I’m not a huge fan of the whole copycat economy in fashion, yet I consistently partake in it by buying pieces from brands who profit off of other people’s work. Steve Madden’s entire business is built on this. It’s complicated because if you cannot achieve the original should you have to go without? Honestly, I have mixed feelings. I disagree, strongly, with counterfeits but inspired designs are a different case. That is where these boots land. In that tricky space between a counterfeit and a knockoff. And yes, there is a difference.
The obvious difference between the two is the fabrications. The Marc Jacobs boots are made of real leather versus the Steve Madden ones which are PU. However, what surprised me was the fact that the Marc Jacobs boots also have a seam at the front where the leather is joined. Often in high end boots, the leather is seamless, cut all in one to prevent any extra lines. I guess because Marc Jacobs boots aren’t at a true luxury price point ($500+) they are exempt from this rule, or more so this tendency.
I just love the look of platforms. They remind me of the Spice Girls. I like to feel like I am walking on stilts when I wear them, especially as I’m fairly short so the extra height is fun for me. They also have the ability to make your legs look 6ft long, even if they’re not and make your calves look sculpted. I bought the Steve Madden version on sale for $50 and I’m excited to wear them. I only received them in the mail on the 13th so I can’t personally vouch for their comfort level yet. However, aesthetically they are on point. I would suggest ordering a size up from your regular size as they run small. I had to switch them out the first time I bought them.
Apologies that the video for this show is poor in quality and also in 3 parts, I couldn’t find a HQ version (if you know where to find one, let me know). However, it’s good to watch regardless. I’ve also linked the photos here (via style.com). This is a heavily shared collection on social media and I often see the nurses outfits circulating on Tumblr. The high-fashion nurses is more fantasy than reality, like what a man in a coma would dream of waking up to… I imagine. The dresses worn underneath the sheer shirt-dresses are satin bustiers with a pencil skirt, and the combination of them with the fishnet veil and the hat (which are arranged to spell out Louis Vuitton, of course) is flirty and fun.
Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton was so much fun. He often produced collections that were memorable, especially years afterwards. Sometimes I’m a little bit sad that he’s gone, especially since I’ve always preferred his work at Louis Vuitton to his namesake label, but I really do love Nicolas Ghesquiere in the role so I can’t complain too much.
Besides the nurses outfits, the rest of the collection was pretty solid too. It’s funny looking at ready-to-wear shows from the past and remembering how they influenced the clothes sold on the high street at the time. Also, it’s fun seeing celebrities who wore the looks. For example, Dita Von Teese (my love) wore the black asymmetric top from look 64. Plus, I adore the bags that the nurses carried. Don’t you?
In light of Lady Gaga’s heavenly campaigns for Versace where she is Donatella’s mini-me, I have decided to take a look at some of my favourite celebrity and fashion crossovers. Quite, often even though they don’t have the same skills as the models, celebrities are hired to be the face of a brand or even the face of a perfume. The outcome? Sometimes beautiful, sometimes bland.
Firstly, Lady Gaga’s Spring 2014 Versace campaign which I simply can’t not include: