Tag: Ralph Lauren

Grace Coddington, Designer Departures, Excessive Clear Outs

Departure seems to be a common theme in life at the moment: we have left one year behind and are now into the next (the best year yet, I have prophesied); I am turning 18 and therefore finally leaving behind the label of being a child (still a young person but no longer a child); and best of all, I am leaving one country behind and moving onto the next – America, New York specifically. (Yes, I know America is not the official name of the USA but it is much easier to type and pretty much everybody refers to it as that.) This year may be rather tumultuous but I am prepared because it is everything that I have wanted for a very long time finally coming to a head. I don’t want to get overly excited and start imagining scenarios that will never come to fruition but it is nice to dream. I am moving to New York to go to college in approximately 7 months. I cannot think of anything more exciting. That is one departure that I will not be sad about.

Someone else who has left their position in life (work, life, it all rolls into one) and is moving onto the next is Raf Simons. This news is very 2015 but since the Pre-Fall images for Dior have been released, it has been back on my mind. (I really like the new in-house designed collection by the way.) I started to really appreciate Raf’s work for Dior only after I watched Dior and I, the documentary profiling the lead-up to his first couture collection, made in only 6 weeks. His departure has been reduced to the overkill of the fashion schedule in the press – 4 ready to wear and 2 couture collections a year is insane. The fact that fashion is going at a rate that was before unimaginable is indisputable. Technology is marvellous yet dangerous. In the time after Raf announced his departure, Alber Elbaz was fired from Lanvin (to much shock and dismay) and rumours have flown around regarding Hedi Slimane leaving Saint Laurent. I cannot imagine the latter to be true, given that sales are soaring and the brand is perhaps in the best place it has been in a decade (at least, but I don’t know official numbers). For the most part, public perception is positive. Yes, many members of the fashion press are not fans of Hedi for Saint Laurent – Alexander Fury has been vocal about his disdain many a times before – but I think he has done well to create such a strong brand in a short time period. Hedi leaving seems like a bizarre move and I think it would be a decision made by Hedi himself rather than the folks at Saint Laurent – he is a cash cow. I do hope the rumours are proven to be false although I have heard speculation that the next show, which will be held in Los Angeles, is his swan song. Quite frankly, it is a departure that I would be sad about.

Another exit which I think has been overstated by people is Grace Coddington leaving her position as Creative Director of Vogue to become Creative Director at Large. People are reading the headlines saying she is leaving and thinking it means the worst – retirement, no more Grace, no more fantasy – but if you actually read into the articles it is clear to see that Grace will still be very much a part of Vogue, and so she should be. She will retain an office and contribute 4 editorials per year (that means her work is in a third of the issues a year, still a fairly high proportion). On top of this, she is free to explore other projects. That means we could see even more of her work. She could style fashion advertising, she could work with designers, she can do whatever she damn pleases. To summarise, Grace is going but she won’t be gone, so don’t be too upset about it.

Something that I am upset about is my hastiness with clear-outs, also known as great pieces of clothing departing from my wardrobe. As I am moving in the summer, as I said before a gazillion times, I am trying to downsize everything I own. I go through every single item in my wardrobe at least once a month so that by the summer I will hopefully be able to fit all of my possessions worth taking with me in 2 rather large suitcases. It sounds unachievable but it has to be done. If I want to cheat, I could probably leave some stuff behind and take it back with me when I go home after Christmas. Anyway, not the point. In my ruthlessness I have disposed of items which I now regret. Lying in bed last night, mentally planning my outfit for work the next day, I decided on black skinny pants, my black boots (devilishly soft leather ankle boots with a chunky heel that I can walk for miles in from Hobbs, in the sale!), a black top of sorts (that can be figured out in the morning easily as almost every top I own is black), and this fantastic Prince of Wales check blazer from Ralph Lauren. It was an eBay steal. Perfectly fitting with slight padding at the shoulders and a fantastic double breasted shape – so eighties, I know. I got up and began looking through my wardrobe to lay out my outfit for the following morning to then discover that the blazer was gone. As ridiculous as it sounds, I was devastated. I then remembered that I had given it to the local charity shop only a few months earlier, deeming it too Working Girl and deciding that I would never, ever wear it again. Yet now I want it. I intend to go to said charity shop this weekend and buy it back if I can, however I fully expect to be told it is long gone. Even if it didn’t sell in my shop it will be in a random distribution centre somewhere and then sent to a store in a random little town where some lucky sod will buy it and love it and probably not be stupid enough to chuck it out in a mad-clearing frenzy. As if one thing wasn’t enough, I then thought about another one of my clear-out casulaties. A wonderful blouse that I got in the Zara sale a couple of years ago. The print was very Chloe, yet at the time I was at school and almost exclusively wore crop-tops and high waisted jeans (it’s much easier just to fit in, ok) and didn’t have enough forward-thinking skills to realise that it would be a damn good top to have for work. Oh well. It is also gone, a loooooong time ago. Some surburban mother is probably wearing it right now thinking it was such a bargain – “Only £2.89 for this Zara top in Barnardo’s, what a steal!” she will say, “It looks so much more expensive than that” her friend will reply. Goddammit. In the future, I plan to NOT throw things out that I could possibly ever wear again. I also made the mistake of throwing out my sheepskin aviator jacket only for them to make a killing on fashion blogs this winter. FORWARD PLANNING, my new motto.

So far, 2016 has been a year of changes, especially in fashion. But departures always mean leaving one thing behind and going onto the next, hopefully bigger and better. Many designers who have left their roles are proceeding to focus on different projects – Alex Wang left Balenciaga to focus on growing his own brand (god, I really can’t call him Alex like we are friends) and Raf is reportedly focusing on his line – so often leaving things behind is a positive. I can’t help but think of the negatives in situations but often things work out just as they are supposed to. That’s what I hope happens this year, everything turns out just as it was meant to. So far, so good.

Kendall Jenner in Cannes

When I seen Kendall Jenner’s Calvin Klein gown at the Amfar gala my eyes welled up with tears. I adore it, and yes a good dress can bring me to tears. I get emotional over the aesthetics (sad, I know). Then when I later seen photos of the dress, sans train, I loved it even more. It was the perfect transition. The dress, as I’m sure you’ve seen, is a purple and strappy with a beautiful flowing train. Her hair and make-up was also beautiful, understated yet not undone. Basically, I now love Kendall and I hope you all do too. I kid, I kid.

From vogue.com

Also, special mention to Dita Von Teese (one of my fave ladies since the noughties) who has worn flawless look after flawless look all week in Cannes, many of which were designed by Ulyana Sergeenko, the Russian couturier who I also adore; Sienna Miller, who wore Ralph Lauren; and Sasha Luss in Ulyana Sergeenko, too.

New York Fashion Week Highlights – Fall 2015

New York is the most commercial of the four main fashion cities. London is known for the raw creativity and young talent, Milan for the sexy Italian fashion, and Paris for the elegance and established houses. This fashion week has been no different. It is still predominantly commercial (read: ready to wear in its most literal sense) but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I think it can be easy to think all the good designers show in Europe but that is not really true. Take Joseph Altuzarra, a fairly young designer who shows in New York, who loved and lauded in fashion – he shows in New York. I think the fact that New York’s schedule is so packed makes it more difficult to split the good from the bad, and it is definitely easy to be overwhelmed just looking at the amount of names. However, there are some shining stars on that show schedule that cannot be ignored.

JASON WU

I like Jason Wu, mainly because he is consistent. Season upon season, collections full of sophisticated designs are sent down the runway and they are often faultless. There are touches of fur all throughout the collection, along with crocodile, cashmere and silk. It all screams luxury yet it isn’t over the top. It is the type of collection that a rich woman will walk into the store and buy because she genuinely likes the pieces, materials and overall quality, not just the name on the tag. If I had the money, I think I could live in this collection. The outerwear is strong: a belted fur coat for the chilly evenings when you still want to look glamorous, a long overcoat for day-to-day usage. There are office appropriate looks, as well as looks for fancy dinners, nights out and even weekend-wear. It has everything that I could want… well minus denim. However, in the fantasy in my head I am a wealthy Manhattanite who flounces between her fun job at the office and charity galas and events. You know, the kind of stuff I’ll never actually do. However, I loved this collection and although it wasn’t exactly out-there, it was stunning. There’s nothing wrong with playing it safe if you execute things to a standard as high as this.

ALTUZARRA

If Altuzarra as a brand is known for one thing it is the shoes. In particular, the lace up, high legged heels that Kim Kardashian has been sporting for the past year or so. Now they are sold everywhere from Zara to Missguided, with some high-end brands making their own version. Who did it first isn’t the point here, but Altuzarra certainly is loved for them. This season marked the debut of his first bag, and while it will be as popular as his shoes is the big question. I’m not so sure. It is a saddle shape, slightly (and I say slightly) reminiscent of the Gucci “Jackie” bag, with tassels and braiding, and it comes in many different colours and leathers. The collection itself was classic Altuzarra. Thigh high slits were rife, as were touches of fur (well more than touches, the fur was huge), mainly on jacket lapels. Some pieces felt a little bit heritage mixed with sex. There was Prince of Wales check blazers and coats teamed up with lace or sheer fabrics underneath. However, my personal favourite looks were towards the end of the show, and were more glitzy evening wear than country. In particular, I adored this wrap-front, sparkling ensemble including the shoes. The model twinkled as she walked.

 THE ROW

The Olsen twins’ line is one of the most talked about luxury brands of the moment, and I understand why. Mary Kate and Ashley are no amateurs and have certainly proven themselves in fashion, no mean feat considering they are essentially celebrity designers. I wrote a post at length on this before if you’d like to read more. I think the understated luxury, the sophisticated but relaxed elegance, of The Row is essential in its success. The colour palette of browns worked brilliantly. I think I prefer brown and other neutral colours at the moment over black, they are softer and just look more comfortable. Yes, there may be such thing as too much black – something that I would never have admitted 6 months ago. Their oversized fit works for them, especially in the jumpers that I have heard nothing but positivity about. I adore the belted coats and the long, sweeping dusters. Even the tailoring didn’t look rigid.  I’m crazy about this dress, minus the trousers underneath. Once again, another hit for The Row. I can bet already that it will be a best seller: if I were a buyer, I’d take the lot.

SALLY LAPOINTE

I stand by my review of Sally LaPointe’s pre-fall collection, and I will give a similar one to this show. Whilst it wasn’t quite as good as the previous collection (purely because I didn’t want it all, like literally every single piece like last season), it was still brilliant. The clothes are unfussy, relaxed and luxurious – for the modern woman, of course. There are fur accents on many pieces, something that is considered a signature of the designer, and a few strictly evening pieces. My favourite look was the white oversized v-neck and fringed skirt combo, paired with some grey mules.

RALPH LAUREN

There were few things wrong with this collection. The colour palette was spot on, the cosy-but-luxurious knit pieces worked brilliantly, the fur accents (made of shearling, not real fur) added a little something extra to the looks to take them from average to brilliant. Ralph Lauren is the King of American fashion and has been for decades, that is a given. Despite this, I sometimes find his collections boring. However, I loved this one. The little black dress in my collage (bottom row on the far right) is a piece that I want in my wardrobe when it comes out. It is timeless, elegant and just looks expensive. Also, I adore the suede trousers and belted cardigans, such a good look. I get the feeling that the fairly newly introduced Polo line for women was slightly unnecessary, especially when the mainline looks so good.

And the rest….

Kanye West x Adidas Originals was underwhelming. There were a couple of good pieces (this coat for example) and I did like the pointy-toed boots, but overall this whole body-stocking thing is just not for me nor were the wig caps…

I liked this particular outfit from Rebecca Minkoff’s Patti Smith-inspired collection. It looks so cosy.

I usually adore Alexander Wang but this time around I didn’t. I don’t know if it was the ridiculous boots that the models could barely walk in or the deathly stares that they were giving, but I couldn’t connect. I liked a few looks (such as x, y & z) but overall it was a miss for me.

Christian Siriano’s jungle-inspired collection was full of colour and prints. Unsurprisingly, my two favourite looks were black (x & y) but the whole collection is worth a look.

Protagonist made its NYFW debut this season and produced a collection full of brilliant basics, the kind of pieces that every woman would want in their wardrobe. I particularly loved this shirt-dress as it is so nipped in at the waist.

I loved these two (x & y) looks at Diane von Furstenberg, and I felt like they were slightly unexpected, perhaps more overtly sexy than what the brand usually goes for. It helps that Grace Mahary is wearing one of the dresses as she makes pretty much anything looks great.

There were quite a few looks that I loved at Zac Posen, including this blue dress with the interesting neckline. I felt that this dress was slightly off-brand, it looks more clubbing-party-girl than I would imagine the Zac Posen client to be. Also, I am in love with the top of this dress. It is the most stunning thing ever and I just love the way the mesh moulds around the model’s body and forms sleeves. However, from the waist down I am not crazy about it.

I really liked Brock Collection, a relatively new brand that has made a collection full of cosy-looking, wearable clothing that I’d actually have a use for in daily life – particularly this outfit.

Natasha Poly looked insane opening Michael Kors in this incredible fur coat. You could not miss it as it was all over Instagram. The whole look was strong, including the bag (and for the most part I hate Michael Kors bags).

This was said to be Proenza Schouler’s most creative, let-loose collection in years and I think that is clear to see through the designs. Some of it may not be the most wearable but at least it is gaining attention which, hopefully for the brand, will translate into sales – perhaps of accessories. I loved this dress, the tights underneath not so much.

I adored Tibi. The laid-back, day-to-day elegance of this collection was unparalleled by any other brands this fashion week. The clothes were soft and so wearable. Look at these this look for example; a cosy sweater but this time with knitted cropped pants. It took me a while to come around to this whole knitwear thing (especially on the bottom half) but I cannot resist the warmth that they provide, especially with the sub-zero temperatures that we are experiencing in many places.

Finally, I liked Marc Jacobs and the whole Diana Vreeland reference. Often I don’t get Marc’s own line and I much preferred his work at Louis Vuitton. Now that he focuses on his own line full time, it is the only offering we get from him. I loved these three looks (x, y & z)