Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I've more or less stopped buying fashion magazines (what with the internet and all) but these two covers could tempt me back into the fold:

Under/current, Issue 06

Used, Issue Two

The puce hair seems very correct to me.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

mystic baked goods

As someone partial to the occasional [box of] fortune cookie[s], I find myself tickled pink by American designer Diana Eng's adorable coin purses:

And they're all made from recycled leather. Delicous!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

click click wind

An announcement to anyone who has any interest in fashion, photography, women, beauty, New York, clothing history, history history, style or French street sweeper garb; Bill Cunningham New York is a documentary that you simply must not miss.
Photograph by Scott Schuman

Now in his eighties, Cunningham began his career as a candid fashion photographer in the 1970s, flitting between shnazzy events and the sidewalks to find his subjects. He is still working, now for the New York Times, and his enthusiasm for fashion along with his vigorous approach to capturing it on film (yup, no digital here) are enough to delight even the most jaded fashion types.

Before becoming a photographer Cunningham was a milliner, selling his wares under the label 'William J', as his family didn't approve of the venture. I've had a look on the webs and only found one example of his wares, here.

Innocuous enough a piece, you'll agree. But check out the inside:
I'm such a sucker for hidden treats.

Oh and here's one for the fashion nerds; you may notice that the spectacular I-don't-know-what, Iris Apfel (who has been photographed by Cunningham on numerous occasions over the years) is interviewed in the film wearing a rather fabulous toucan brooch. This one, in fact:

Or is it this one?:
I'm not sure because they look exactly the same, and therein lies the problem. You see, one of these brooches was created by the french jewellery designer Hanna Bernhard and subsequently bought and worn by Apfel herself:

The other was sold as part of a collection that Iris Apfel 'designed' for the Home Shopping Network. Hmm. I'm guessing (based on time stuff) that Apfel is wearing Bernhard's original in the movie. Who knows, maybe Bill Cunningham New York will be used as evidence in a copyright case - and honestly if that means more people will watch the film, I'm all for it. It's the best thing I've seen all year and manages to be funny, inspiring, joyous and astonishing all at once.

Edit: Hanna Bernhard informs me that the lower Toucan is her creation, and that Apfel's naughty birdy num num was removed from the HSN collection after those Texan beauties and defenders of justice, Jane and Judy Aldridge broke the story.

Friday, November 11, 2011

front on

Can I get a hip hip hooray for David Sims' Miu Miu Resort 2012 campaign starring Guinevere van Seenus:

As always van Seenus exudes a sort of regal severity. Elizabeth I anyone?

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by John Bettes

And the colours bring to mind Rogier van der Weyden's Portrait of a Lady:

The only let down, tragically enough, is the jewellery. Toi, toi, toi, let this be the first and last time I speak ill of Miuccia.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Obviously doctor, you've never been a 13 year-old girl.

Serious question: Was Danny DeVito more hilarious as a doctor in The Virgin Suicides -

or It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia?
It's a close-run thing.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Opium Bores

Yves Saint Laurent have released their latest campaign for Opium with British actress Emily Blunt having been chosen as the perfume's latest junky:

Upon seeing this image I took a deep breath, ready to unleash a torrent of sanctimonious criticism on its creators - something along the lines of, 'Boring! Bland! Brit girls shouldn't do Opium! Boo too all things contemporary and let us mourn every wonderful Opium campaign past.'

But then I trawled through a few blogs and realised that every fashion bitch on the internet had already written exactly the same thing. I decided that I would have to think something different.

So here's the question: What were the good Opium ads again? How did they go?
Let's have a look at some of Blunt's predecessors.

Kate Moss
This is a weird one - I really think there was some mix up at the YSL offices and someone accidentally smacked the Opium logo on what was meant to be an ad for Parisienne.

Mélanie Thierry [technically for Belle D'Opium. Settle down.]:
Well, she's wildly beautiful AND French (Dieu merci!) but the video short that accompanied this photograph is so hugely embarrassing that I can't even begin to take this campaign seriously. That dancing gives me shame tingles.

Malgosia Bela
Blah. I feel like she's trying to seduce me into flying Air France First Class (yes, Bela is Polish. Settle down!)

Kate Moss (again)
Well this is quite beautiful but if I'm going to nitpick - 'Sensuality to the Extreme'? Shame tingles (again).

So, given Opium's less than incredible track record one may well ask why the latest campaign has been met with such earnest disappointment.

Well, you see, we have been tricked. Tricked by the sneaky Steven Meisel, tricked by that awfully clever Tom Ford and tricked most of all by beautiful, beautiful Sophie Dahl. For have ever you seen so enticing a fashion image as this?:

It's an ad so good as to be a curse on the Opium brand, rendering all the perfume's campaigns before and since inferior and superfluous. No tacky Oriental/ Asian/ Tribal props. No bong smoke. Just the most ravishing advertisement you ever saw. And it has hoodwinked us into thinking that there is some great dynasty of Opium campaigns when really there's just this one, very sublime photograph.

So of course I don't like Blunt's turn in the den - the smoking suit and necklace are cheesy, the 'oriental' (ugh) atmosphere contrived and Blunt herself just such an odd choice for the product. But I'll grant that she like the other Opi-ettes have not benefited from the reflected glory of Dahl's effort.

I'll finish off with an excerpt from Luca Turin's review of Opium the perfume, published in his and Tania Sanchez's book, Perfumes - An A to Z Guide, which, incidentally, is one of the best anythings I've ever read:

Opium illustrates better than any other fragrance the peculiar phenomenon of love followed by rejection, known as fashion. It is unquestionably one of the greatest fragrances of all time, not only in terms of its phenomenal success, but in having deserved it. Yet I would hate it if anyone wore it near me today.

Ha! And it's just the opposite for the ad campaigns. Life!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

our bitter angels

For the second time in this excellent song's life, "Pale Rider" by The Preachers has found itself bedfellows with fashion film. And why not? The band's singer Isabella is as outrageously beautiful as ever and she offers some very interesting insights into her mode of performance. The song is dark and lusty in a way which for me (alone, apparently) conjures up the setting of a lonely bar sitting on the edge of a desert. Nevertheless, as with the song's official video (styled by Saint Augustine Academy), dark water seems to be the motif of this new film directed by Ben Briand.

The fashion comes this time from Benah, the accessories label of a, now Sydney-based, New Zealand transplant Brenda Harvey. Beautiful leather pieces with gold hardware (a most perfect shade of gold, by the way) anchor the collection currently available on the Benah website. Also good are a series of printed silk scarves.

Without getting into the current debate over the Native American 'trend' in fashion - though obvs. I'm Team Navajo. Urban Outfitters can suck it - the Southwestern influence (direct or otherwise) on this scarf's print sits perfectly with the atmosphere of Pale Rider.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


The Spring 2012 Ready-to-wear collections will be remembered as being that time that Art Deco murdered us all and we loved it.


Christian Dior

BCBG Max Azria


Alice + Olivia

Alexander Wang

Alberta Ferretti

10 Crosby Derek Lam


You know how you thought Alber Elbaz was adorable? Well behold Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra:

And their clothes are beautiful too, the late 1970s style necklines and draping well-suited to the flat-chested wraiths who wore them at New York fashion week.


Hey look, a shoe broke at Burberry Prorsum:

Move over Tim Blanks. For the best subtle and in-depth analysis of contemporary fashion, come straight to Pavement Frippery.

swanning around

I must admit I was wee bit disappointed by Phoebe Philo's latest collection for Celine. More leather t-shirts, eh? Well I guess if you've got a good thing going... Also, I'm not ready for sloped shoulders. I'M NOT READY.
On the other hand it's nice to see Philo taking inspiration from a rather unexpected source:


And just look at how chuffed Barry Hall is. He loves it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

more than the sum of its parts

I'm starting to think that the stretch of road that is my bus route to work must be owned by G-Star, as there isn't a vertical space in sight that hasn't been bedecked with their brooding, grimace-heavy ad campaign. They must be doing something right as here I am about to discuss G-Star (something that would be quite unlikely under normal circumstances). This ad in particular is the source of considerable perturbation:

Vincent Gallo is such a babe! But he's such an asshole! Why is he doing a G-Star ad? Those clothes suck! Why do I care about this?! He's such a babe!

I guess you could say I'm feeling a lot of feelings.

In fact this G-Star ad series is one of many that fits into the category of 'What's a nice campaign like you doing with a shitty label like that?'. I'm especially unnerved by G-Star's decision to use Magnus Carlsen (the world's number one chess guy) as a model:

Such an undeniably cool move - especially for a decidedly lame label.

Another member of the WANCLYDWASLLT? club is Blumarine, though admittedly it has take me a while to come to terms with the fact that Anna Molinari's wares just don't do it for me. Why the consternation? Because Tim Walker's 2003/04 photographs for Blumarine are the most beautiful things I've ever seen:

And Walker was at it again for Juicy Couture:

I guess it just goes to show, you can't polish a turd but you can sure roll it in glitter.