Monday, April 23, 2012

MBAFW predictions

So Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week is approaching (yippee!). And what better way to wile away the hours between me and April 30, than coming up with some predictions and wishes for Australian Fashion's week of weeks.

What I'd like to see:
1950s/ 60s-style uniform floral beading a la this Mainbocher... erm, leotard, I guess?
Mainbocher blouse, circa 1950, New York Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Oh, the loveliness. For some seasons now a lot of designers have been taking a rather unsentimental approach to florals, particularly in fabric prints, wherein various blossoms have been pixelated, multiplied and generally distorted to look anything but organic. The kind of dense, repetitive beading often seen in 1960s shell tops would be a nice progression of this trend, methinks.

What I expect to see:
Mary Katrantzou-style symmetrical and digitally collaged prints.

Fall 2012 RTW, Mary Katrantzou

And to be fair, who could resist sneaking a bit of that delicious pie (...that's definitely not a phrase). Though it's worth noting that Romance Was Born have been playing with similar and similarly beautiful prints for quite some time:
Renaissance Dinasour, S/S 2010/11, Romance Was Born 

What I'd like to see:
Wide-yoke dropped waists. Not heard the term before? Well I kinda had to make it up. This is a style I've been sweet on since finding a vintage Cue dress featuring it some years ago. Unfortunately I can't find any images of the style that are both contemporary and attractive, so all aboard my time machine...

Sweet, eh? And so flattering. As I envisage it, the modern WYDW should not have as tightly nipped a waist as these from the 1940s and 50s. In fact they could act as a soothing transitional garment, gently paving the way towards the dreaded (regular) dropped waist. Speaking of which...

What I expect to see:
Diluted 1920s anything, Art deco, flappers, dropped waists, flappers, geometric beading, beauty and damnation, etc.
Chanel Haute Couture S/S 2010, photographed by Mario Sierra

Hey, I'm not complaining. Damned good era. But mark my words, designers, women are not buying it - yet.

It often astounds me to hear intelligent women describing certain styles of garments as being objectively unflattering. In my opinion, we currently see the drop waist as unflattering, or as being only suited to modelesque body types, precisely because it is not in fashion. I recall the hesitancy with which many of my friends approached the waisted silhouette when it came back into fashion (for the first time in our lives, or at least for the first time since we had actually developed waists), around 2006. It was suggested that one needed either a straight 'up and down' figure or a perfect hour glass silhouette in order to look good wearing one of those monstrously wide cinch belts that stores stocked at the time. These days the waisted silhouette is considered 'natural', feminine and universally flattering.
Don't trust your brain, ladies. It knows nothing.

All this said I think it'll be a few years yet before waists go properly out of fashion.

What I'd like to see: 
S/S 2012 Haute Couture, Valentino

There has been quite a bit of Gunne Saxxe/ Young Edwardian naffery wafting around for a while (helped, no doubt, by one Florence Welch). I can see the style appealing to a lot of local designers and it would nice to see it picked up. And if it is picked up, please Yahweh, let the bishop sleeve come with it. Let it billow. Let its cuffs be elongated. Let it be fire-hazard huge.

What I expect to see:
The pajama thing. Unless you're wearing these - 
Pajamas, 1939, Elizabeth Hawes,  New York Metropolitan Museum of Art

- wake me when it's over.

What I'd like to see:
Rounded shoulders created by a magyar or raglan sleeve.
Fall 2012 RTW, Jil Sander

This Balenciaga-ish style works better in thick and stiff fabrics so perhaps its a long shot for a week of Spring collections - but can't a girl dream?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Oof! I know I'm late to the party but, good gracious, Prada's Spring/Summer 2012 campaign video is nice:

Though, full disclosure, I'm a sucker for anything that features a lap steel soundtrack.

Also, I'm surprised to notice that Natasha Poly is letting the team down a bit in the video. She's so modelly. Girlfriend should stick to stills.


Apparently this stunning self-portrait by Helmut Newton is about to go up for auction:

Helmut Newton, Self-Portrait with Wife and Model, Vogue Studio, Paris, 1981

I want it.

I have been thinking about mirrors quite a lot lately (possibly due to the recent deluge of Snow White-related stuff). Did you know that during the Renaissance, French officials kidnapped some Italian mirror-makers in order to glean their mirror-making secrets? Someone make a movie of it!

Anyway I'm thinking of buying a nice little compact mirror.

This one's a little grotesque but, you know, I kinda dig that.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


A while back I sent out a call for a rigid metal belt, without much luck. Nowadays those babies are a dime a dozen*:

Sass and Bide, as worn by the beautiful Nicole Warne of Garry Pepper Vintage

*In a manner of speaking. There are a lot around but they're still heaps expensive. I thought capitalism was supposed to take care of this shit.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I ain't people.

Oh lordy, I just realised I've never done a Singin' In The Rain post. For shame, Pavement Frippery. I really dig Walter Plunkett's costumes not because they're beautiful (for the most part they're not, really) but because I love the idea of seeing the 1920s via the 1950s. Unsurprisingly, Plunkett sneaks in a few unlikely nipped waists and pointy busts:

One particularly spectacular scene is a fashion show-musical of sorts:

Quite a few designers have been showing drop-waists in the past couple of seasons. It seems to have accompanied the art deco trend which I think was largely ignited by the buzz around Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby remake. I personally have an enduring love for drop-waists but I'm not ready to say sayonara to my waist just yet.

Lina Lamont wins the award for best outfit with this very excellent number: