Sunday 26 February 2012

The Artist at the Oscars

It is the Oscars in just under a day, incredibly exciting in terms of both fashion and film, and it looks like Michel Hazanavicius's 'The Artist' is going to sweep the board. I posted about this film here all the way back in October 2011, and I am so happy that it has got the recognition it deserves. In light of the (inevitable) success of this black-and-white, silent ode to cinema, here are a few more silver-screen icons to inspire your dramatic side.
Greta Garbo
Louise Brooks
Mary Pickford
Rudolph Valentino
Buster Keaton
Lillian Gish
Anna May Wong
photos courtesy of guardian


Thursday 23 February 2012

Basso and Brooke capsule collection for The Cambridge Satchel Company

Basso and Brooke does a capsule collection for the Cambridge Satchel Company at London Fashion Week.

This moment will go down in history as the most zany and irresistable collision of two very up-to-the-minute brands.

It's headed straight to the top of my 2012 Christmas list.


Sunday 19 February 2012

Topshop Unique A/W 2012

I think, as a British teenager, and in terms of fashion shows, the most immediately relevant label for me has to be Topshop Unique. It is the one label I can feasibly afford (just), but also the one which will directly influence everything else in the most popular shop in the country, and thus will influence everything I and my friends buy in about six months time.

If you didn't watch the live stream, you should probably do so now. It can be found here on their website, or here on their Facebook page.

If I had to sum up the collection in one word, it would be SLINKY. There are slinky-silky blouses, slinky-smooth midi skirts, slinky trouser suit and bralet combinations, a black jumpsuit which I could actually own and die happy knowing I was in possession of the most beautiful piece of clothing. I think I counted about one thick patterned knit in the whole collection, a huge step away from last season's jumpers-with-everything look. Watch the video and concentrate on the way that the materials seem to swim around the girls' bodies.

If I could add one more word to my summary, it would be LEGS. These aforementioned midi skirts are designed in such a way that one sashay of a model's leg and, well, pretty much everything is revealed. Couple these with pants-as-shorts, a fair amount of minidresses, and slinky pyjama-style trousers which serve to accentuate what one cannot see. Simple hair and plain makeup draw all the attention to the models' pins, clad in some pretty hefty (but none the less desirable) shoes.  I think the Topshop blog described them as 'stiletto creepers', which is pretty apt.

I rather like this new collection, and can't wait to get my hands on some silk shirts (or wannabe-silk shirts, knowing my student budget). One drawback is that I won't be able to hide my post-Christmas belly under a thik woolly jumper, nor forget about exercise and cover my legs up with jeans. Though I guess this is Topshop Unique, so neither will anybody else.


Saturday 18 February 2012

Vogue Italia - imparare la lingua con la moda

On the way home from il supermercado this afternoon (after buying a kilo of spaghetti for 80cents) I stopped to buy Vogue Italia. I am going to prove that fashion is good for one thing at least - learning foreign languages! I plan to read it from cover to cover, bearing in mind that I only learnt the present tense yesterday. Then I'm moving on to Elle, Marie Claire, etc and so on. Are there any Italian fashion magazines or sites out there, in the style of Dazed and Confused, or Wonderland, that anyone can recommend me?
There are words as well as pictures. That is a huge article on the actress Ursula Andress (Bond girl in Dr No). Maybe it'll teach me how to wear a white bikini without looking like a pale English ghost. That would be ideal.

(Note to self: paint fingernails gold like the model on the front cover...)


Friday 17 February 2012

The Curious Case of Kate Moss and Lara Stone

I'm sure by now many have seen the cover for the new edition of Katie Grand's LOVE, with Lara Stone, Kate Moss and photographed by Mario Testino. Grand is known for her risk-taking, boundary pushing covers when it comes to editing LOVE (cue Beth Ditto). I suppose this could be seen as something of a departure. Kate and Lara, hugging, not making out with androgynous models. Wearing comfy denim jackets, not trippy angelic getups like Hailee Steinfeld, Elle Fanning or Chloe Moretz. With FRECKLES and CAT EARS.

As much as I like this portrait, the more I look at it, the more I can't escape the feeling that it is completely false. Testino seems to have forgotten the age difference of his two models: Kate is 38, while Lara is basically a whole decade younger. Yet here they look like twin sisters. I'm not saying that Kate is old and grey and wrinkly, I'm sure she isn't (I've never laid eyes on her) and 38 is not old! I'd happily sign up to the statement that she is the greatest British model of my generation. And yet, and yet. I do think that a photograph should be a true representation of a person's image, and while I admire Testino's work, I think that in his last few shoots he has become overly enamoured with photoshop, especially in his latest shoot with Karlie Kloss in this month's Vogue UK.
Again, I like this picture, if not the whole shoot. It is almost disgustingly lavish, and a strong antidote to the whole 'recession, thou shalt not spend any money' schtick. But after looking through several pages of a grainy Karlie 'falling' onto various sofas and chairs, I began to get bored. I missed the clear-cut photography techniques that Testino had used with Lana Del Ray earlier in the magazine.

I think that it is after watching a BBC4 documentary on David Bailey that I have suddenly become critical of over-photoshopped fashion plates. I'm not against tweaking the light and shadows (don't lets get technical because I'm not THAT clued up) but please stop before it becomes obvious! The finished LOVE cover is slightly ridiculous. I prefer these portraits taken by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot. Harder and harsher, but more impressive.