PFW SS14: Vivienne Westwood Gold Label

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‘Everything is Connected’ SS14

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.

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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

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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.’

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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.

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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:

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“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”

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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.

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Carrie knows the pleasures of bright pink Vivienne Westwood leo print!

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(Images via Style.com / HBO)

PFW: Vivienne Westwood Gold Label S/S12

The Show

Backstage

The Collection has 3 main influences : China, because I hope their traditional wisdom and experience from a culture going back to Confucius may help us to save the planet; the desert because of climate change; and 17th century corsets.
When I was in Nairobi I met Mr. Xijia Wang who is working there with the United Nations. Our conversation left me with the wish to sum up my ideas. The result is the World Family Tree which you will see printed on Tshirts and bags. Mr. Wang wrote my name and the words “Green economy” in his calligraphy and I incorporated this in a print taken from Chinese flower painting.
There is a blow-up oversize jacket called the Mao jacket and I have always loved the Mao cap, though I hate violent revolution. Perhaps our love of uniforms comes from a wish to look alike, be part of a group — and maybe a group not happy with the status quo.
The desert inspired me to look at the Berbers with their burnous and the Tuaregs with their layers and their sunlight blue. There is a lot of black, indigo and copper fabric plus whites. Dresses are long.
Something I always do is mix up historical dress with ethnic clothes and new shapes or it could be a torn scrap of dress worn with court shoes and a chic handbag.
For some time I wanted to do oversize historical corsets. I thought I could give them a feeling of armour, worn as a jacket they would look touph — like a soldier or biker. The corsets we chose to oversize are from the England of Charles II; those beauties who, in their portraits dressed themselves in the sheets and satin covers pulled from the bed.

MUSIC Sixteen year old Kyle Nash-Baker will perform his own piano composition for tonight’s show!
“The music I will play consists of selected excerpts from a range of my own compositions rearranged with sound effects to represent the World Family Tree, one branch good and the other frightening. I agree with Vivienne that art rests as the center of human existence. The path she maps on the tree, regarding the union of Gaia and Science demonstrates our better chance to navigate the problems that humanity is building for itself”.

– Vivienne Westwood

Courtesy Vivienne Westwood Official

Paris Fashion Week Hits

Warning: Very long image packed post!
Paris Fashion Week has drawn to a close and it has been my favourite out of all the fashion weeks this season. Here are my personal hits, there were lots of surprises with the designers that I chose, not the usual ones thats for sure! The first set of collections I could have posted the entire collection I loved them so much, then there were some collections where only one or two looks appealed, so here goes:
My Personal Favourites
Ann Demeulemeester
Tough leather softened with layers of white chiffon and of course some must have footwear.
Chanel
Tweed, leather and oversized knits are the building blocks of my wardrobe, and I would love to add some of the beautiful feathered evening dresses too!

Alexander McQueen
The first collection under Burton certainly holds the McQueen flame high with impecable tailoring and fairy tale dresses, each and every piece a feast for the eyes.

Miu Miu
I think I have to say Miu Miu is my favourtie collection of the season, roller disco fabulous!

Sharon Wauchob
A new designer in my radar but wow what a collection of perfect dresses, tribal elegance!

Viktor & Rolf

A whole new take on tailoring!

Vivienne Westwood Gold Label
Soft tailoring, beautiful drapery and that rough edge lead to a wonderfully soft collection.

Best of the Rest

Ann Valerie Hash
The perfect urban uniform.

Balenciaga
The most lustworthy biker jackets and floral shirts.

Balmain
I will certainly leave the ripped tights and cut offs, but the leather trousers and white blazers were a winner.

Costume National
In love with this perfect colour clash of orange and blue!

Haider Ackerman

Some really rather fabulous leather work.

Issey Miyake
These three looks pretty much sum up what I want to be wearing this S/S.

John Galliano
Beautiful sheer prints, like a princess on safari.

Lanvin

The billowing shirt dress was a breath taking piece, simple yet stunning.

Louis Vuitton
Whilst I didn’t take to the entire collection, there were three stand out pieces for me, and the giraffe shoes obviously!

Maison Martin Margiela
The colours, textures and of course the shapes.
Prada
Maybe this collection will be a grower? Who knows but what I do know is that like it or not it’s influence will be felt, stripes will be everywhere next summer, mark my words!

Rick Owens
A softer less structured offering from Owens, striking none the less.

Yohjoi Yamamoto
Beautiful pieces, shot with flashes of print, perfect for your inner goth.

YSL

Tailored to perfection yes, but not entirely exciting, simple and chic.
So that’s it! Now I can go back and take in the fashion weeks collections and see what key trends will be popping up.
( Images courtesy of Style.com)

With bated breath…


… I watched the Alexander McQueen show. With every piece an intake of breath. Spectacular does not seem the right word, but it is the best I can do. I cannot imagine how Sarah Burton must have felt, but I think Lee would have been very proud. The collection embodied the essence of McQueen but was very much Burtons’ collection.
(Images courtesy of Style.com)

Simplicity is sometimes more exciting than Drama

Two of my favourite collections from Paris were Chloe and Celine. Again I am somewhat surprised by this, never having been a ‘Chloe Girl’ before. I commented on both houses regarding the S/S collections and still think that both Hannah McGibbon and Phoebie Philo really have this deep understanding for what women want to wear, but also what they will wear it with. There aren’t many looks in the following images which I personally couldn’t recreate from my own wardrobe, with a new belt or styling detail. I think there is quite a skill in creating a collection that women can alreadys see themselves wearing.

Celine A/W 10


Chloe A/W 10

Stella McCartney also has this outlook, I am always surprised by her ability to make me lust after something retro, such as S/S 10 denim skirt and the ski-pants in this collection.


Stella McCartney A/W 10

Not saying that it is only the women who can work this charm, Stefano Pilati has become synonymous with classic, well cut womenswear at YSL.

YSL A/W 10

This season Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton went all prim and proper with classic cut jackest and billowing skirts, paired with elegant kitten heels.


Louis Vuitton A/W 10

So that’s it Fashion Month is over! Now at least we can get back to S/S !
Pearl

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Chanel goes all Bigfoot A/W 10

Chanel A/W 10
The thing I love about Karl Largerfeld is his ability to shock, but in such a subtle way. Karl’s designs for Chanel are always visionary yet he retains the firm base of the brand. I am pretty sure Coco would not approve of women wearing yeti fur trousers, after all her design aesthetic was to release women form the confines of their clothes. Yet, perhaps in these modern times she would see how liberated women have become, and take sheer pleasure in the fact that we can wear what we please. I like to thing Coco would have developed an eccentric side to her designs and found great pleasure in taking clothing from practical into fantasy.

These are the latest images of Chanel A/W 10, each season I anticipate the collection as I do often wonder how Karl will manage to top the last one. Remember S/S 10 was the huge barn? Whilst we are seeing most designers almost shun winter, think Balenciaga with their pastel knits, Karl embraced it like no other. Centre stage was a huge ice burg (legend has it that it is real and only on loan!!), surrounded by icy water for the models to splash through.

We see outrageous full fur suits, and fur trousers paired with traditional boucle suits and tweed jackets. It shouldn’t work but it does! Even if this collection is not for you, no one can deny the sheer attention to detail, the fur boot heels are made to look like carved ice, ice cubes take the place of buttons and bags are made for hot water bottles! It is an enchanting collection full of fairy tale wonder, yet also practical with warm winter wear and smart suits.

I for one am praying the ice cube heel boots make it into the final RTW collection. For those of you that know my style I am sure you will agree this collection is so me! Traditional Chanel with an edge!
So guys what do you think?
Pearl

N.B I am currently trying to find out what fur was used in the collection, as you all know I am very anti real fur and animal cruelty. That said a lot of this does look faux. With this new popularity for fur it is becoming hard to stick to my original stance of not showing any collections which use real fur and I do not want to start a ‘fur debate’ here. So, lets comment on the aesthetics and design of the collection and I will if readers want, do a separate post on fur. But to be honest other that expressing my personal beliefs I do not see any gain in opening up the argument.

N.B I just got confirmation it is ALL FAUX FUR, Go Karl!!!!!

Sneak Peek: McQueens Last Dress & Chanel AW10

Alexander McQueen A/W 10
This is one of 16 pieces from Alexander McQueen’s final collection, being shown to a private selection of editors in Paris today. The only word I can think of is magnificent. Hopefully we will get to see the full collection soon. I don’t know about you, but for me McQueen’s absence has really resonated all over fashion week.

Chanel A/W 10
On a lighter note here are a couple of sneaky shots of the Chanel A/W 10 collection, yep that is an Iceberg!!
I have a couple more things to post but don’t worry I will get back to the vintages dresses post – trust me it will be worth it, I had an idea and just needed to find out some info to see if it would work, thats all I am saying for now!
Pearl
(Photo credits Grazia)
N.B RE: McQueen see:
for all the insider information