Tag: ysl

Fashion Flashback: Yves Saint Laurent Spring 2007

Let me start this off by saying I’m so into the runway. It’s like a meadow. So interesting. The length of the catwalk is covered entirely in violet flowers, making it perhaps a dangerous but nevertheless beautiful sight. From what I recall, no models fell which is a feat in itself.

Stefano’s tenure at YSL isn’t discussed too much nowadays. I think this is because of the extreme rebranding done by Hedi Slimane (most obviously, renaming the line). Now that Hedi has departed and Anthony Vaccarello is holding down the fort, I feel like Stefano’s contributions will be looked over even more. As a kid, when I seen celebrities wearing YSL, it was Stefano’s designs. I actually liked him, although I did prefer Hedi. It’s just cool to think that the tulip skirt silhouette that was so popular for a few years in the noughties was reintroduced by him. The effect that individual designers have on fashion is not often noticeable until a few years later, unless they are producing a shift of seismic proportions a la Demna Gvasalia.

My favourite looks from the show:

 

See full collection here.

Designer Bags Worth Buying

A handbag is really important. So much so that people often pose the question of “are you a shoes or a bags girl?”. To answer it simply, I’m shoes. I’m crazy over them. I have way to many pairs in relation to how many feet I have and also how many occasions I have to wear them too (including a few really impractical ones that I cannot walk more than a few steps in). Bags, on the other hand, are different for me. I usually buy one and keep it until it is completely ruined – straps snapped, material worn, a misshapen mess. I also always have a bag that is way to big, purely because I like to carry a bottle of water with me everywhere I go. I could have some really nice looking smaller bags if only I’d sacrifice my water. Anyway, in the spirit of keeping bags for a long time, I view a high quality bag as an investment. Less likely to get worn out than shoes, a bag can last a lifetime if you treat it well and purchase a high quality one to begin with. I also feel like bags are less vulnerable to trends than shoes are so I’ve compiled a list of what I’d class as good investment bags (basically a bunch of designer bags that I wouldn’t say no to) that I think would actually be worth buying. See below for my picks where I’ve inserted links to the sites where possible:

Prada

I have two from Prada. The first is the nylon backpack – the item that made the brand famous (£705). I feel like this is just an iconic fashion item that would be worth buying if you could. It is functional yet still looks cool, especially if you’re going for a sports-luxe look. Alternatively, I suggest the saffiano tote (yes, the leather that every other designer has copied since) which is known for its durability due to scratches being virtually unable to show up (£1325). I’d probably just buy black in both of these styles.

Gucci

Although Gucci is going through a renaissance at the moment, the brand still sells some classic styles that I think can stand the test of time, regardless of the image that the brand is projecting at that current time. First I’d suggest the Soho Hobo (£1210). This is one that I style looks with on Polyvore all the time because it goes with so much. I really like the Rose Beige leather version but the black is just as nice. What makes it better is that it has a shoulder strap too which is always handy. If you want something a little more interesting, I really like the new Boston bag (£1030). The style is one which they’ve been making for years with the classic monogram print but they have also recently introduced (I think) a black leather style which I like. It has the stripes around the bag which make you realise it is Gucci yet it is a bit more low key than full on patterns.

Altuzarra 

Only making his accessories debut two seasons ago, Altuzarra is offering some really strong saddle bags in various colours. The Ghianda bag is the one I’d buy ($2995, exclusive to Barneys); I’d opt for black just so I could get maximum use out of it and I think I’d go for the smaller size too. I like the braided strap and also the fact that this could perhaps be worn cross-body if you wanted to. I’ve been thinking about the cross-body look a lot more recently and I think I might try it out again. I haven’t worn a bag that way for years but I think given the right size it can look a lot better than just dangling off one shoulder. You just need to make sure that whatever you’re wearing on the top half isn’t too fussy.

Saint Laurent

I love Saint Laurent bags. They’re probably one of my most used on Polyvore and I think I’d carry one every day if I could. I particularly like the matelasse styles with the YSL buckle. I think it looks really slick. There are three bags I like the best and they’re basically just the same one but in different sizes (£885, £1680, and £1590). I’d choose the Powder colour as it is such a pretty nude. Very versatile, non?

Givenchy

Although I like the bag, I feel that the Antigona has become a bit cliche and perhaps overexposed. For that reason I wouldn’t suggest that as a keep forever bag as it has become a trend piece. However, I love the Nightingale tote in all it’s slouchy goodness (£1245). I think it is one of those bags where you can stuff it full of everything you’d ever need to carry and it would still zip up. The calfskin is so soft too. It is just a really nice bag and I feel like I wouldn’t be afraid to carry this around with me in day-to-day life for fear of ruining because it already looks a little lived in when you buy it. Like fine wine and J.Lo, it can only get better with age.

Chanel

Instead of the classic quilted style that I used to dream about as a kid, I’ve really taken a liking to the Boy Bag recently. I think Nicki Minaj sporting one of every possible style has brought them to my attention and I’m now starting to think that the shape is rather interesting. You get it in a lot of different styles, changing every season, but I think to be safe (especially due to the price) I’d just buy a black one. At an eye-watering £2710, it is far too much money to spend on something that risks being passe just a few months later.

 

 

Balenciaga

I don’t really like the infamous Motorcycle bags, they’re too 2000s for me. Iconic, yes, but to me they don’t feel very modern nor do they feel timeless. The image of the likes of Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton (my original heroines) carrying them is very much ingrained in my mind and I associate them with a very specific time period. However, I do really like the Papier A4 tote (£1345). I’ve chosen this black suede version too as I love suede so much (I’ve literally bought three different suede items this month). If you had to push me to buy a motorcycle bag, I’d take the City in suede too (£1035).

That’s my list then. A brand noticeably missing, to me, is Celine. The reason for this being that the bags are quite difficult to come across online. However, I do love the Tie tote and the Belt tote, and I like the Trio cross-body but having seen these in person I feel that they’re both impractical and quite a security risk (the outer sections are just popped on with metal studs so a pick-pocketer could easily just grab an entire section of your bag).

I really like the bags that Donatella showed on the catwalk this fashion week at Versace. It is a brand whose bags I usually ignore but I really liked a few that she showed. If I’d been making this list come March, one of them would’ve likely featured too.

The Museum at FIT

I recently came back from a trip to New York, otherwise known as my spiritual home. There is something about New York City that captivates everyone who visits and makes them yearn to return. I don’t know what it is. When you describe it to people – the non-stop sirens, the millions of people on one small island, the skyscrapers that cast shadows on the streets – it sounds awful, but to me they are all part of the charm. But sometimes you need to get away from it all and go somewhere calm; my personal favourite spot is the Top of the Rock (yes just another tourist trap but it is so peaceful once you’re up there all alone with your thoughts, plus you get better views than from the Empire State Building, hands down). Another great place to go is a museum, and in my case, a fashion museum.

Views from the Top of the Rock, in the Rockefeller Centre (which is worth visiting itself just for the art-deco underground shopping complex. LEFT - Looking uptown over a snowy Central Park. RIGHT - Looking downtown towards the Empire State Building.
Views from the Top of the Rock, in the Rockefeller Centre (which is worth visiting itself just for the art-deco underground shopping complex).
LEFT – Looking uptown over a snowy Central Park.
RIGHT – Looking downtown towards the Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower in the distance.

I love fashion exhibitions and I do believe that fashion is museum worthy. Some people think museums should be reserved for art – you know, great painting, ancient artefacts, sculptures – but I think fashion can be included in that list. It is important and impacts people for years to come. The Museum at FIT (the Fashion Institute of Technology) is specifically for, well, fashion.

When I visited an exhibition comparing Yves Saint Laurent and Halston had just opened and I really enjoyed it. I love seeing vintage YSL as I think he was a real master of his craft. Halston is another designer who I’ve always heard about and seen the rare image or two of his designs, but never on the same scale as YSL. It was good to see more of his work and be exposed to his design aesthetic. The two designers created things with great similarities, and that was the main theme of the exhibition; to compare and contrast the two. I entered the exhibition thinking that I preferred YSL because I’ve seen more of his work, known more about his life, and really got caught up in all the hype that (deservedly) surrounds him. However, I left the exhibition feeling a little bit confused because I couldn’t pick a clear favourite out of the two: They were so damn similar. I got the feeling that Halston was the American Yves Saint Laurent. I also left feeling like I wanted almost everything that was showcased and wondered how on earth I would get my hands on the clothes, or at least clothes that were similar. Thankfully photography was permitted (in all exhibitions may I add) so I’ll include a couple of images of my favourite pieces.

LEFT - The draped detail on the back of a Yves Saint Laurent dress. I was amazed by this dress and it was my favourite piece out of all of the exhibitions. RIGHT - Looks by Halston. It was these two dresses and the brilliant fur coat which made me really fall in love with Halston. I could see myself in some of his vintage clothes should I ever be able to get my hands on any!
LEFT – The draped detail on the back of a Yves Saint Laurent dress. I was amazed by this dress and it was my favourite piece out of all of the exhibitions.
RIGHT – Looks by Halston. It was these two dresses and the brilliant fur coat which made me really fall in love with Halston. I could see myself in some of his vintage clothes should I ever be able to get my hands on any!

The second exhibition that I visited at the museum was the much-talked-about counterfeits and copies one, entitled Faking It. It showcased real designer garments and right next to them were the counterfeits. It was quite interesting to see and some of the garments that I thought were the real ones were fake and vice versa. In particular, the Chanel suit that is on the brochure and posters for the exhibition was slightly deceiving. I thought that the fake was the one with two pockets, because in my eyes it looked a little cheaper, but in reality the one-pocket version is the fake (the second pocket being omitted to cut costs). Some of the other “fakes” that were shown were not so obviously fake. For example, there were licensed copies on show. Licensed copies used to be a big thing before ready-to-wear collections were created. Department stores would create their own version of a dress, for example, based on a couture design that they had seen in Paris. Someone from the store would sketch it and they would then make a version back in the US. Also, some licensed copies actually used the same pattern as the designer, copying stitch by stitch. Finally, parodies were also shown (think Brian Lichtenberg’s “Homies” instead of Hermes). It was quite interesting to see the different pieces and try and guess what one was real and what one was fake.

LEFT - YSL's famous Mondrian dress (centre) and replicas on each side. The black lines on the replicas were created by sewing extra material on top whereas the on the real dress, it was not. RIGHT - A Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis skirt that was never produced due to copyright issues due to the use of the Oscar statue.
LEFT – YSL’s famous Mondrian dress (centre) and replicas on each side. The black lines on the replicas were created by sewing extra material on top whereas the on the real dress, it was not.
RIGHT – A Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis skirt that was never produced due to copyright issues due to the use of the Oscar statue.

The final exhibition was a retrospective of Lauren Bacall’s personal style. As I’m sure most of you know, Lauren Bacall was a movie star (a really big one too) who died last year, and possessed terrific personal style all throughout her life. It was great to see gowns that she had actually worn (they all came from her personal collection) and also her day-to-day outfits. She donated a lot of her collection to the museum (from a wide range of designers), which you can see here.

LEFT - Yves Saint Laurent dress from the late 1960s. RIGHT - A Marc Bohan for Christian Dior feathered gown.
LEFT – Yves Saint Laurent dress from the late 1960s.
RIGHT – A Marc Bohan for Christian Dior feathered gown.

Overall, I’d really recommend the Museum at FIT to anyone who has even the slightest interest in fashion. They have a great collection, including wide range of designers, and change their exhibits frequently, as well as having a permanent collection. Oh, and did I forget to mention that entry is free?

 

DATES (all the exhibitions are ending soon so visit quickly if you don’t want to miss out!)

Yves Saint Laurent + Halston: Fashioning the 70s runs from February 6th 2015 – April 18th 2015

Faking It: Originals, Copies, and Counterfeits runs from December 2nd 2014 – April 25th 2015

Lauren Bacall: The Look runs from March 3rd 2015 – April 4th 2015