Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fashon. Lust: If I were a Prince(ss) and not a Pauper...

Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci clutch

Some current items I covet. Alas, impecunious me has resigned to mere wanderlust. My wallet remains happy but cautious....

The Row, pre-fall collection

The Row FW 2011: Dusty pink blazer

Derek Lam FW 2011

Costello Tagliapietra: love the flared sleeves

Alberta Ferretti FW 11
Alberta Ferretti FW 11

Friday, April 22, 2011

What's your royal wedding guest name?

Start with either Lord or Lady. Your first name is one of your grandparents' names. Your surname is the name of your first pet, double-barreled with the name of the street you grew up on.

Yours most sincerely, Lady Beatrice Shotsie-Bartlett

Monday, April 18, 2011

Video spoof: Swearrings, stakis, stileakers and other amazing fashion cross-breeds

Hilarious video making fun of the recent trend for cross bred style. I want me some swearrings! [Flash video required]

The aforementioned swearrings:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Silk, Skull printed leather, and bowl cut swinging fashionistas

I had the fortune and slightly dubious distinction of having visited the fabric stock market not once, but five times in the last week. By the fifth visit I was dangerously close to feeling lachrymose about ever looking at cotton fabric again. I was at the fabric market to source various fabrics and accessories for various projects, including fleece, polyester, cotton and faux leather. I came across some bizarre fabrics and prints, like skull printed leather [which I imagine would only come in handy if one were a Gothic cowboy? I would love to present a vegan friend with a bag made from this print. Chortle. Jokes! Please don’t facebook unfriend me]. This area in Hong Kong is called Sham Shui Po, and the stores heaving with fabric/ beads/ lace/ ribbon are punctuated with wonderfully typical dirty dai pai dongs [cheap open air restaurants], almost ironically there to offset the potential glamorous fashion vibe. I say potential as it really isn't that glamorous. Most of the hidden part of the fashion industry rarely is. Butchers and other shop keepers sell all sorts of wares as well, adding a very raw feel to the place. I like the analogy of someone selling meat alongside fabric, both items waiting to be glamorized and moulded by their respective experts into something more delectable in a restaurant/ branded shop somewhere.

I did take the time to snap some photos from the area during the twilight hours of the second visit as the sunset gleamed off the bowl cuts of the harem pant wearing fashionistas who were skulking around. Alas, their bitchy glares and “I will cut you” demeanour made me hesitate to take more street style shots of them. Needless to say, my blatant enthusiasm at being there was highly unfashionable amongst their glamorous scowls and stony faces. I swear one almost hissed at me as I walked past.

There truly is something almost mathematical in how the fashion set dress, a sort of unspoken uniform illustrated by below equation:

Black (harem pants + brogues + pointy shoulder slouchy tux jacket + bowl cut) - smile = Fashionista

Black is almost mandatory in fashion as apparently it allows one to disguise the labels one is wearing quite well so as not to upset any designer/ colleague/ boss who works above you lest you are one of those interns/ lower level employees who can for some reason afford expensive designer wear. I had a friend who used to work at Chanel that would describe the bitchy passive-aggressive side comments cast her way if she, god forbid, wore a bit of color to the office. “You’re looking very…..summery, today” they would sneer slowly with the icy veneer of any girl who works in fashion, their eyes slowly making their way up and down the offensively happy color. Why is joy so often un[high]fashionable? Can one only be respected in any creative profession if one is mired in misery? Anna Wintour, please explain. [Stylistas aren’t always that bitchy and morose, and how I aspire to be one of them. Not sure if my curly 'fro would be good as a bowl cut though].

Note the lady butcher above WEARING PVC LEGGINGS AND HEELS. I saw her cutting and preparing meat for a customer. What a fashion-forward butcher[ess?]



Thursday, April 14, 2011

Talbots and Paris

Ah, how nice that I can extend my 50th birthday celebratory trip to Paris in the fall with Paris-inspired fashions in the spring! I am love, love, lovin' the Talbots line for spring. You can view/shop Talbots' April 2011 online catalog here.

Some things I bought:

The Sorbonne Tweed Sheath Dress
This tee in this color - I am wearing it right now!
And I love this color - plum - I bought this top with a matching flyaway cardi. 
Can't wait to wear it!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fashion Access show & Peclers Paris 2012 trend forecasting

Earlier this week I received an invitation to the Fashion Access trade show in Hong Kong. With ebullience I immediately accepted. Shyeah, so it ain't no ticket to Gucci or whatever, but one has to start somewhere, right? [I have had the fortune of attending a couple of Yves Saint Laurent shows in HK, but that's another story]. Fashion Access is a 3 day international fair for accessories such as leather items, handbags, shoes, jewellery etc. This is where brands/ buyers come to source their items, so inevitably a place they don't want the general consuming public to access lest they see the real price of that cute leather black clutch they're flogging at 10 times the original price.

Playing with volume always adds interest to an all-black ensemble

I spent the greater part of the fair restraining myself from requesting items that were irrelevant to our business, or asking for shoe samples in my size etc. I suppose it was the fashion equivalent of dieting, where leather bags were the equivalent to carbs in my fash-atkins diet. However, I did indulge in a few sartorial treats, if you will.

Trade shows typically host several fashion shows

Leather bags galore = fashgasm
The other great aspect of trade shows in Hong Kong are the free fashion seminars one can attend. I chose to attend the Peclers Paris'/ Style Central SS'12 Women's Fashion Trends for RTW and Accessories. A style forecasting company and progenitor of trends, this was one I was excited about. Having deferred (regrettably, and probably indefinably) a place at the London College of Fashion in a masters of Fashion Marketing, any chance I get to attend style oriented seminars/events/shows I indulge in.

In a world of icy skeletal editors and fashionistas, our host and presenter was a surprisingly and refreshingly warm and down-to-earth stylista. The main points she made followed four trend groups:


  • Modernism, minimalism, characterised by angular, boxy designs as exemplified by Celine, Dries Van Noten, Catherine Malandrino.

  • Styling is a relaxed, deconstructed formality as seen in loose blazers, trench coats, pleated skirts. [I was all 'totes agree' when she said that. Totes. TOTES. Best new addition to our vernacular. Up there with WTF and himbo (male bimbo). But I digress...]

  • Fabrics are stretchy jersey fabrics, thermal regulating materials, silks, linen mixes. Natural color leathers mixed with canvas materials.

  • Inspirations are centered on the new safari styles, desert glamour, sexy nomads, the luxury adventurer, a very seventies direction in terms of minimalist prints on voluminous shapes.

  • Jewelry tends to follow a desert gold.


  • Inspired by the idea of poolside glamour in the summer with notions of escape, vacation, bejewelled, jet set opulence, California cool.

  • Colors are muted pinks, blues, turquoise, orange being the new pink. White offset with flashes of warm tones and navy.

  • Designer references include YSL's minimal white silhouette and Stella McCartney.

  • Postcard prints on fabrics, dresses make an appearance, as well as other repetitive prints that are reminiscent of the sixties.

  • The notion of Kinetic Geometry is introduced, with geometric prints and optical illusions also appearing in fashion. especially stripes, as currently seen at Prada.

  • High shine and shimmery fabrics appear.

  • Accessories are black and white retro with canvas, off white and beige cutouts.

  • Sporty, California girl chic is another strong trend, leading to the mix of beige and primary colors (a trend I personally love).


  • Inspired by notions of delicacy, softness, old fashioned and an idea of slowing down.

  • Colors are candy pink, pottery blue, menthol.

  • The woman is an eclectic aristocratic, refined. Very feminine products.

  • Silhouettes show soft structures, long, pleats. Discrete, delicate, fitted with small structured touches e.g. tux collars. Baby doll dresses, preppy look, with a slight hint of rock and roll. Floral romance as seen in combinations of blue and white. Ruffles.

  • Prints inspired by antique porcelain designs.

  • Retro 40s silhouettes also making an appearance.

  • Accessories are sweet, flirty, soft. Color schemes for accessories are gold, black, navy and white, very Chanel.

  • Denim is very in, and not just confined to jeans but showing up on coats, tops, dresses.


  • The importance of the "BRIC" nations as growing consumers: Brazil, Russia, India and China.

  • Colors are darker in this group, dark, grey, purple, green, gold.

  • The woman is urban, active, sporty, amazonian. The idea of an urban warrior expressed through sharp chic: peaked shoulders, jackets and trousers mismatched.

  • A theme of American Indian/rock/ ethnic folk cultures crossover touches - leather skirts, fringes, crossover tops. Prints, colors inspired by animals - See Stella McCartney's digital prints. Jewelled dresses. All making an urban ethnic trend modified for city wear e.g. feather touches, beads.

  • Color blocking - exotic art deco. Shoes becoming more like sculptures. Reptile prints/ fabrics (grey snakeskin is literally one of my favorites, adorning a sizable portion of my wardrobe.)

She also showed some pretty awesome fashion illustrations and drawings of clothes that showed such perfect technical detail. It's difficult to predict what people will wear in a year or two's time, but I love watching the development of trends as they wax and wane. For example, lens-less thick glass frames look cool now as an acceptable 'ironic' trend (for those not into fashion it's more like 'dude, WTF?'), but is it simply a modern re-run of the eighties big glass frames, that will someday meet the same 'laughable' fate?

And with that, I must bid you adieu.


For My Friend, Pat

Pat is a wonderfully sweet lady who was part of my tour group when I went to Paris in September. She is an artist, a special kind of artist - she does her work in IRON! Think Rosie the Riveter with a delicate peaches and cream complexion, curly hair and a southern accent. While we were in Paris, Pat was hellbent on seeing all things Monet. How wonderful then that there was an exclusive Monet exhibit during our stay at the Grand Palais! Plus we visited Monet's home and garden in Giverny, and of course, Pat went off on her own to stand on the street where Monet lived as a child and see his childhood home.

Since we left Paris at the end of September, Pat has been working diligently on an iron gate work of art for a charitable organization. So when I went to the Philadelphia Flower Show last month, where the theme was Springtime in Paris and I saw this fabulous display, I thought of Pat.

 This was a Monet inspired display that feature an interpretation of the artist's "Water Lilies" painting. It was designed by Michael Petrie's Handmade Gardens. It featured a formal layout of crossed paths and boxwood-lined beds that acted as a frame for large painted canvases that lay on the ground like ponds of reflective water.
And here is the beautiful sculptural ironwork gate by Greg and Camille Leavitt, which my friend Pat would admire, I am sure ...
 Leaves and flowers adorn the gate.

 Look at the detail ...
Isn't it simply marvelous?