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New Vivienne Westwood Gold Label collection, new shopping list for me! Eagle eyes aside, our Viv had an important message for the collection:
‘I am going to call the show ÔÇ£Everything is connectedÔÇØ because that is the main message of the Climate Revolution and it means that everything each one of us thinks or says or does can make a difference.
Shakespeare saw the disaster we were heading for. In the quotation below itÔÇÖs useful to know that glass means mirror, the picture it gives us is of man holding up his own image to challenge God.
But man, proud man, Drest in a little brief authority- Most ignorant of what he is most assurÔÇÖd. His glassy essence- like an angry ape, Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven As make the angels weep. -Shakespeare
Now that our World is at the chaos point I want to know more about the order of the medieval community. My interest in these people deepens. A couple of years ago I went with Andreas to Canterbury. There was a service in the cathedral and we werenÔÇÖt allowed in to the splendor of the nave and alter. IÔÇÖm so glad because instead we gained another experience; we explored the cloisters and vaults within the environs of the building and I felt all along that I was wandering in the presence of ordinary people who lived in a different world to mine and I thought of the specialists- the alchemists of those days who aspired to become more spirit than flesh because they believed in a divine order of things.
Our medieval pilgrims on their journey must be austere, serious and festive each wearing her most important clothes.’
The collection was an array of classics, the box jackets from SS13 were back, as were the wonderful Tudor cut corset jackets from AW13. I was overjoyed to see the blown-up lace from SS07 reinterpreted in beading and over-dyed printing, with lashings of tulle. There were corsets, capes and voluminous skirts, pieces which Westwood does best, in a light and breezy summer manner. By reminding us of collections past, Vivienne reiterated the message that everything is indeed connected.
My personal favourite looks were the tartan jacket with lime green lace skirt and the baby pink peephole skirt with hooded white cape. What I wouldn’t give for one of the oversized lace jackets, but I would be surprised to see them realised for retail – one can live in hope. The cute vintage kitten prints were a fun touch as were the floral patch work pieces. Andreas’ favourites are the gossamer knits, which had a feeling of those from SS10. I have to agree I do love a summer knit:
“P.S Dear clothes lover, ┬áThis season I would like to draw your attention especially to the knitwear. I am very fond of it, and if I were a girl, for sure it would be my absolute must have. Their fine netty yarns and burnt colours are perfect to show off your sun-kissed ÔÇ£super body!ÔÇØ When you wear them itÔÇÖs just like being naked- they will be a great friend on my next holiday. Most pieces are enhanced with recycled mirrored sunglass lenses cut into special shapes and motifs. Again, I can so very much imagine the sun reflecting on them and causing quite a stir at the beach bar. I love VivienneÔÇÖs sense for yarns and what she does with them- Thanks darling.
Your Andreas x”
I’m still not enamored with the new shoe manufacturer. I very much like the pointed toe lace up boots we first saw last season in cherry red suede and again here in snow white. The rest I fear are a bit too ‘trendy’ for Westwood, the T-Bar style too similar to that Jessica Simpson / Jeffery Campbell shoe of the past few years. I rather like the gladiator sandals, I think these would be perfect for the summer and can see myself wearing them. I also think the red leopard print was a missed opportunity. Why not use the classic bright pink leopard print the brand is famous for? The fans would have gone wild for it and it would have tied in wonderfully with such a collection full of archive references.
Carrie knows the pleasures of bright pink Vivienne Westwood leo print!
“I want your t-shirt – will you give it to me?” Were the immortal words spoke to the young Kilian by his icon pop-star Nena. After spotting him wearing a customised t-shirt not once but twice at her concerts she finally convinced him to design some clothes for her. That was where it all started and now in his 16th collection the designer is going from strength to strength. The grand Adelphi suite at the Waldorf was the perfect setting for the SS14 Red Carpet collection. Standing beneath the ornate clock, a dress worth of any Cinderella. In wisps of white clouds and glints of gold; vibrant orange, purple and blue stripes; mauve sequins spilling around the floor the collection was presented. Wonderful, dramatic dresses as expected but also very wearable pieces such as the cropped biker jacket, pencil skirt and peplum top. A truly beautiful collection to make any woman feel a million dollars.
Stepford wives getting their groove on to The Shangri-Las BOOM BOOM. Chanel tweeds, prim twin sets smashed together with Barbie, boudoirs and a little bit of beachwear. The result, a fabulous riot of colour, texture and fun. From slogan emblazoned sweaters ‘Happy’ and ‘Lead Sister’ to floral sequin embellished bomber jackets, almost indecent denim hot-pants to pastel gingham pencil skirts, prom dresses to bedroom mules this collection had it all, and put it all together in a rather scrumptious way. The look was all about huge, great big backcombed, wild hair with extra thick black eyeliner, sexy rather than proper. Stand out pieces were the aqua green sequin rosette bomber jacket, trademark neon leopard print tees and pastel pencil skirts in over-sized gingham.
Whispers were created FROW side with Roland Mouret sitting cosy with Natalie Massenet of Net-a-Porter and the original Sugar Babes line up Keisha, Mutya and Siobhan.
I say “Whazzat?”
And he say… “Sophisticated Boom Boom”
It’s been long overdue
Sophisticated Boom Boom
We’ve been needing something new
Sophisticated Boom Boom
Now stand up straight and tall
Like your back’s against the wall
Take two steps forward and shake your hips
Think French, think Girl Scouts, think safari, think 60’s and you may just catch a glimpse inside the wonderful world that Orla Kiely created this season.
Orla always puts on the most delightful presentations, everybody gets excited about them because nobody can ever second guess them. Last season was a secretary pool, before that a tea dance. The one thing we can be sure of is that we will be pushed like Alice down the rabbit hole into the magical world only Orla can create. If we are lucky we might emerge the other side wearing one or two pieces from her glorious collections. That’s really what stands out with an Orla Kiely collection, it is very wearable. Everyone wants to wear her pieces no matter their age or style there is something that will truly delight. This season the Girl Scouts climbed out of the tiny hatch and strode off equipped with oversized exploring paraphernalia such as butterfly nets, binoculars, jam jars and magnifying glasses. They darted past rhinos and zebra to the most fashionable campsite you ever did see, Orla Kiely trademark print cushions around the campfire? Yes please. The wonderful 60’s influence was seen on mini dresses and tiny little shorts suits, punctuated with statement pockets and big brass buttons. The prints were a riot of┬á elongated orange giraffes, rhino polka dots and little tiny pink lions. Abstract rhinos adorned the new binocular case ‘Huckleberry’ bags, whilst the same angular technique was used to create tiger and panda face purses. Pink and navy berets topped of shiny, luscious locks and knee socks accentuated the chunky clunky shoes. Oh those shoes? A collaboration with Clarks that will be available from February 2014, more on that nearer the time, but start saving ladies. As if we couldn’t adore Orla any more, the designer provided guests with a steady flow of Um Bongo. Coat check your heart at the door, this lady has taken it for sure.
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Shoes Ora Kiely with Clarks, Beauty Florrie White with Bobbi Brown, Nails Nail Girls
Deokhye was a Korean princess. She was born in 1912 the only daughter of King Gojong during the annexation of Korea by Japan. Sent away to be educated in Japan and later forced into a politcal marrage she lived 38 years of her life in exhile. Her story almost forgotten, Eudon Choi not only celebrates her memory but draws inspiratin from the tragic tale.
The exotic Asia floral prints morph and melt, echoing Deokhye’s pain. The delicate lacework represents gentle femininity. Merged with Choi’s trademark masculine shapes the strength of Deokhye is not forgotten.
The models were given wet-look hair, sweap back, mermaids who had been cast ashore. Their skin shone in dewy highlights. Sculptural headpieces by Piers Atkinson made from wood and perspex, pagoda-like in their grandeur, Rorschach in their symmetry.
With a colour palette of pinks and navy, beautifully clashing prints of stripes and florals and the prettiest Guipure lace this was a collection that will appeal to the most modern of princesses. Life itself can be dramatic, tragic and painful but there will always be a way to see the beauty in it.
Vivienne’s idea for the show was to find a way to promote awareness from climate refugees. She gives a quote in the show notes ‘Anyone who gets home late from work and finds she’s forgotten the key. What a disaster! My home is my refuge.’ It is a poignant thought, I like most people have found myself locked out on numerous occasions and it does strike a fear into you, a feeling of disparagement, being lost, a situation you cannot control. Even more so if you have ever been burgled, that feeling of your home being violated, spoiled, no longer safe. Keys can be found, even broken windows and stolen possessions replaced however than feeling of loss will always remain. It is unimaginable how it must feel to not only loose your own house but the place where you live too, the neighborhood you have always known, that feeling of belonging.
Lily and the Red Shoes
She danced, and was obliged to go on dancing through the dark night. The shoes bore her away over thorns and stumps till she was all torn and bleeding; she danced away over the heath to a lonely little house. Here, she knew, lived the executioner; and she tapped with her finger at the window and said: “Come out, come out! I cannot come in, for I must dance” The Red Shoes, Hans Christian Anderson
Vivienne and Andreas chose to collaborate with close friend Lily Cole who produced and performed an interpretive dance to open the show. The dance was an expression of The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Anderson, the message ‘The dance of death must end’. People world over are left without homes due to climate change disasters, us, the models in the show, we all have our homes to go to tonight, we should help those who do not.
The models faces were painted to look like animals caught in the headlights, trapped in a hostile environment with no means of escape. Stark white faces covered with ash and blood, nails broken from scrabbling to flee, hair wild flowing out behind them. I was reminded of polar bears and badgers, both animals being driven out of their homes by the greed of man. You can see Lily’s dance in the middle of this video:
The Concept and the Collection
For those of you who don’t know the Red Label collection is a diffusion line of the main Gold Label collection which is shown in Paris. The line isn’t directly designed by Vivienne but uses her established techniques to create a more wearable, mainstream range. When you see Red label hanging in stores you see tartan suits, pretty dresses and smart blouses, the effects on the runway are mostly down to clever, trademark Westwood styling. This wasn’t all straight-laced clothes however metaphors with Vivienne’s message were there to be seen. The Gold Label collection I was first reminded of was the S/S 200 ‘Summertime’ collection. An important collection and something of a turning point for Westwood, this collection saw the introduction of the Animal toe shoes, it was an English rose garden of fresh, romantic florals and a handful of tiny, very realistic little insects. A prominent piece were the snail’s used on dresses and in jewellery, metal cast around real snail shells. In this S/S14 Red Label collection the snails returned on necklaces and bracelets, whilst luscious, green florals were there giving abstract prints. Oversized flower corsages were used to add a sense of drama, they represented the giant tropical flowers of the rain forest, flowers of the world brought together. Animals, insects, flowers and people all part of the same world. The snail carries his home on his back, without it he is vulnerable, naked, at risk. Protective chain-mail was draped around models in a trench coat and trousers – paired with a t-shirt and shorts and office shirt and blazer respectively, we need to feel protected in every environment.
It was a small collection 22 looks, the usual is around 50, with this seasons A/W13 only totaling 30. After the somewhat schizophrenic S/S13 collection and the change to Peron from MEG producing the Accessories label shoes there has been some debate as to where the label is heading. This collection though stripped back did have classic elements of Westwood design which she is revered for, the beautiful drape fronted suit (look 3) and the elastic trimmed top (look 13) wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Gold Label collection. The floral printed, sequin drape dresses were beautiful and should sell well. The neon orange heart printed pieces looked out of place overly trend conscious ideas carried over from last S/S. The real stand out feature of the show were the abstract flower corsages in richly coloured satin, embellishing the waist of a black dress, the lapel of a blazer and shoulder of a gown. I really do hope we will see this element realised for retail and that it wasn’t just dressed for the show. Other commercial pieces were the squiggle print satchels and wrap bracelets, squiggle has been a license to print money since it was first used, I just hope it is kept to a minimum there can be too much of a good thing. I still have mixed feelings about the Peron shoes, I really was impressed to see the famous ‘Carrie Bradshaw’ multi-strapped sandals again and the little ragged patchwork ankle boots were fantastic. I can take or leave the basic flat leather sandals and flat pointed pumps, they didn’t signify anything special about Westwood to me. All in all it was a collection which has me very much looking foward to seeing the pieces produced for retail next year, clashing blue pinstripe with florals and little pixie boots with huge corsages is very Westwood indeed.
A hundred people in a tiny, sauna-like room, make up, false hair, backcombing, hairspray, palettes of face paint, glittering jewellery, huge taffeta bows, beautiful models, talented dressers, fast as lighting MUA’s all the things that go into producing a show. Items to note, snail necklaces, spiked manicures, squiggle satchels and multi coloured ripped up pixie boots.Vivienne arrived sporting a funky cropped new hair style, she created herself. Lily Cole glides in with a mane of red hair to perform a dance piece – that I didn’t see as I was steaming her outfit but that’s a story for another day. Enjoy the photos, show pic’s to come tomorrow.
Backstage at Vivienne Westwood Red Label SS14 London Fashion Week
Even though Le Grand Mademoiselle Coco Chanel died over 40 years ago her influence on fashion is still being felt. Sister by Sibling took on boxy tweed jackets and twin sets fired up in their trade mark bright colours and leopard print. Textile and fashion designer Hellen van Rees has been inspired by Chanel’s fantasy tweed through out her work, this season again she created incredible fuzzy, oversized tweeds worked into minimal garments.
Orla Kiely took us on a journey to what can only be described as a Parisian Safari! If you can imagine a bunch of French girl scouts from the 60’s chasing lions that you just about have it!
The chance to get up close and personal with collections is always a pure luxury. The Maiko Takeda headpieces, recently worn by Bjork, look sharp and lethal. On touch however they were surprisingly soft and springy, light as feathers. Between Sophia Webster and Liam Fahy it was a virtual shoe fest, with Webster’s quirky candy shoes revamped this season with even cheekier logos contrasting Fahy’s dark brocade prints and concealed spikes. Nobody could keep their hands, or should I say heads, off my girl Mich Dulce’s millinery, with a colour pallet of cream, black, pale blue and pink her designs appeal to the edgy or prim woman alike. I took great joy in trying on basically everything with ears! Check out my Instagram (@SuperElevated to see)
Whilst moderately drier today show goers outfits were still suffering from extreme weather fatigue. Nobody really knew what to wear to stay warm and dry but also smart enough to sit FROW. The answer it seemed was to throw on a cosy oversized knit and pile on sparkling bauble jewellery to add some glam.
As for me I was dressed part Barbie, part fuzzy monkey. In all the show excitement I forgot to get a snap of my own outfit luckily my street style snapper buddy did so I will have a photo for you soon, if you can’t wait check out my social media for blurry selfies!