27 February 2010

Mrs Bingley

". . . Mrs. Bingley’s is exactly like herself, size, shaped face, features & sweetness; there never was a greater likeness. She is dressed in a white gown, with green ornaments, which convinces me of what I had always supposed, that green was a favorite colour with her. I dare say Mrs. Darcy will be in Yellow.”
Jane Austen on the drawing Portrait of Mrs. Q (Mrs. Harriett Quentin), by William Blake, which she imagined what her character Jane Bennet to look like.

Fall 2010: Jil Sander

Unimpressive, almost oppressive.
Raf Simons's take on the Chanel tweed suit seemed the only attractive thing going, along with the few plaid looks towards the end. The rest of it felt... Alexander Wang? I really hated to say that as I believe Mr Simons to be an original talent, but the past couple of collection were middling, and I include his men's. I don't get the half-tux-half-sheer dresses do you? And those wet market boots?

Fall 2010: Fendi

Gorgeous! Some of the last looks were Joan Crawford- (of is it Collins?) worthy, and some of it was variously Jazz Age and Geoffrey Beene, but in the assembly, it's pure Karl Lagerfeld at his most sublimely beautiful and confident. There is a deep-down decadence to this collection that I particularly like (is it the palette?) and I really appreciated the brevity of it - Mr Lagerfeld said it all below 40 looks. Wow.

26 February 2010

Weekend Reading List

It is the hottest of days, so hot that I'm reminded of that summer I was in Madrid and spent the entire trip lying in the hideous 'designer' room and wishing I was back at the the Ritz (just round the corner) instead; I hate trendy design hotels with a vengeance and this one had dance music in the lifts, and the staff were all too good-looking to just give you service without a huge dose of attitude. But it was just too stiflingly hot to even think of going out; I was sure that just lifting my hand to hail a cab would undo me. I was reading, and am now re-reading The God of Small Things (1997 Booker Prize) an old favourite. Arundhati Roy's first book (and her only novel!) is a shimmering feast, ravishing and transporting and a perfect escape when you can't go anywhere. (Aside: Once upon a time, an irritating sub editor was named The Goddess of Small Things by me for picking on up on the smallest things and behaving as if it was her moral triumph. Yes, it was her job, but she took it rather personally, if you know what I mean.)
I've also got to finish Henry James's The Awkward Age before the weekend - it's already a couple of days overdue at the National Library and I always feel immense anxiety when books are late. But then again, to go dashing out to the library in this shocking heat...

He Said She Said

“I am very much afraid of definitions, and yet one is almost forced to make them. One must take care, too, not to be inhibited by them.” - Robert Delaunay

Fall 2010: Prada

Exit 1 looks like an Alaia, doesn't it?

I really like the print, don't you?
The collection is accomplished and very much in line with the womanly story of the house that Miuccia Prada built. Mrs Prada said: "It's normal clothes. Classics. Revising the things I did in the nineties." Indeed the retro shapes recall her first fashion collections for the house almost completely. I would be completely happy of there was a great fur thrown in there somewhere, instead of those cannot-understand patent-plastic (?) skirtts and things? And the odd petrol blue knit collars? Otherwise a pretty gorgeous winter wardrobe both 'fashion' and wearable.

24 February 2010

Really Stylish

In Fortuny.
In Chanel.
Unlike many of those who regularly pose in their overdressed vulgarity in magazines these days, the late Tina Chow (April 18, 1950–January 24, 1992) is a true style icon, and an inspiration always.

20 February 2010

Fall 2010: Thom Browne

Poor Simon Nessman...
This is quite Joan Crawford at the ski lodge in a way... Check out the ghastly bag. Fake racoon tails... lovely! Wonderful sense of proportion... Denim and a towel... wow! GQ on this collection: "Solemn majesty of being a man." Egad.GQ called Mr Browne's shows "artistic events". I almost fell of my chair laughing, and this is one of the unadulterated joys of New Yuck fashion week. They do take themselves sooo seriously (I think encouraged by their sooo serious journalists). In truth, this isn't Mr Browne at his most foolish, but it will suffice for this droll season. Enjoy!

March On

Rose Cordero shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for the cover of the March issue of Vogue Paris; I love that Mama Roitfeld is so proud of her work (picture from TerrysDiary).Another March cover by Mert and Marcus is Interview. It's Lara Stone: Inside, she chats with Marc Jacobs.
I prefer it to the Vogue Paris cover. The snake as choker is more arresting than the belt IMHO.

Weekend Reading List

I wonder what led PH, a movie enthusiast, to pick this book, one out of hundreds on his gleaming new shelves groaning with books, to press on me? As I read it, I'm left wondering what it says about me. But PH is right: I'm reading it with relish - the book is Bette & Joan The Divine Feud by Shaun Considine (1989). It's quite a romp, a camp, juicy (it's not a scholarly work but salacious and entertaining) and well-paced 'history' of the bitter rivalry between Hollywood Queens Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, set against the backdrop of the Golden Age of Cinema. It's not a pretty picture, and neither the leading ladies turn out sympathetic. Although parts of it is Laugh Out Loud, a given with the salty material, I felt that it wasn't entirely milked. But still, deliciously drag. PH gave me another gorgeous book, this one also related to Bette Davis in a way: The 1937 Agatha Christie classic Death On The Nile, which was made into a 1978 movie that featured Ms Davis as part of an ensemble cast. It's a yummy Hercule Poirot mystery and I'm looking forward to reading this, once I finish One, Two Buckle My Shoe (1941) also by Agatha Christie (this one a tattered National Library loan). For a change of pace, I'm rediscovering The Viceroy Of Ouida (1982) by Bruce Chatwin. It's like drinking pu-er tea after stuffing oneself with pineapple tarts. This slim novel is wonderfully restrained, and elegantly comic and tragic, with touches of the macabre and the lyrical, a unique and inspiring piece of writing.
We need both tea and tart, don't we?

18 February 2010

Long Live McQueen

Robert Polet, the president and chief executive of Gucci Group, announced that the Alexander McQueen label will continue after the designer’s death last week. The fall 2010 McQueen collection will be shown during Paris Fashion Week in March as scheduled. Gucci Group plans to continue to finance the brand.
Fran├žois-Henri Pinault, the chairman and chief executive of PPR, the parent company of Gucci Group, said, “This is the best tribute we could offer to Lee.”
Gucci Group, has owned the Alexander McQueen label since December 2000.

He Said She Said

"Old age is no place for sissies." - Bette Davis

Classic Christy

Christy Turlington became a model at 14...
She still had her fulls cheeks then, way before her signature sculpted face. The Bvlgari watch is really classic.
"My face is a dime a dozen in many parts of the world."

She instantly became a Vogue face for all its editions... This Vogue Paris cover could be from today! The YSL outfit (plus gloves) still looks so fresh.

Became the Audrey Hepburn of the 1990s...! The Meisel reign when she became CHRISTY!

Bottega Veneta/ Casa Brutus Collaboration

At the Salone del Mobile in Milan this April, Bottega Veneta will have a pop-up store filled with beautiful items not readily available outside of Japan, as well as a small a collection of Bottega Veneta products designed exclusively for the occasion by Creative Director Tomas Maier.
The Japanese items for sale in the store were selected by Mr Maier together with Seiichi Kamei, editor-in-chief of Casa Brutus. Each object was chosen for its craftsmanship, functionality, design, and its relevance to Japanese tradition. The objects include: Hand-cut Edo Kiriko glasses from a third-generation craftsman Yasunori Kimura for Taburo; Hand-cut Shippo Kiriko glasses from the Tokyo-based atelier Glass Forest; Akita cedar wood pitchers by renowned artisan Yasutaka Shimizu; A box featuring Hakone Yosegi-Zaiku, a traditional Japanese marquetry technique, by the award-winning craftsman Katsuhiro Kanazashi.