Finally got round to watching one of Loïc Prigent's 'The Day Before' docu-films from the boxset I picked up in Colette over the summer. This one follows the infallible Karl Lagerfeld as he maintains ice-cool and collected in the 48hr run-up to the A/W 2009 Fendi show, flanked by the legendary Amanda Harlech as his style eyes and his "battalions de beauté", male models Baptiste and Sebastien. The demure heroines of the show are revealed to be the band of Roman seamstresses, headed by the adorable Marta, who has worked bringing Lagerfeld's drawings to life for 28years. At 2am the night before the show, the sleep-deprived team have a 'collective nervous breakdown' at the command of Amanda Harlech, by dressing up in the clothes and accessories and taking to the catwalk. Head of Accessories, Paolo, impressively manages to stagger the length of the catwalk and back in the 6-inch platforms that even Anja Rubik stumbled in. English transations from youtube can't be embedded but you can watch some of them HERE, HERE and.... HERE!
I resisted posting these earlier when the blogosphere was rampant with worship for Natalia Vodianova's supersonic presence in that lace dress, but now that I'm off to a 'birds of paradise' black tie party tomorrow, I'm trawling through them again for feathery inspiration.
"Fashion is a show, not a service. We are in show business, and exhaltation must preside."
- Diana Vreeland, Vogue editor 1963-1971
"She always wore the best clothes, favouring long skirts and vividly coloured shawls. In her Chinese red office with its lacquered furniture and faux-leopard carpets, she would burn fragrant candles and incense, and every midday without exception she would have a peanut butter sandwich, a dish of ice cream, and a glass of whiskey. Every afternoon a nurse gave her an injection of vitamin B-12 for energy."
Diana Vreeland at US Vogue. An absolute legend, and my fashion heroine.
For a week, I've been feeling very un-fashion. My fashion week comedown has truly hit. The weather is foul, I'm harangued with work, I'm poor; I haven't bought a piece of clothing or even a hairclip for weeks. But then today, on a break from another 100 pages of Moby Dick, I picked up that enormous coffee table tome, In Vogue, which my father gave me for my 17th birthday. It fell open at the Vreeland years. And now I feel better. I have a feeling that you, my readers, are going to be treated to a lot of Vreeland, Verushka, couture and exotic escapism in the very near future. Don't come here looking for Alexa Chung in brogues or, god save us all, Kim Kardashian. I'm sick to death of 'real' clothes; clothes that come in grey and black and ...camel. I wish Diana Vreeland would emerge like a genie amongst my clothes rails to serve me up a selection of kaftan dresses in 'Catherine-the-Great-lapis-lazuli' (never blue.) I wish more girls were wearing velvet turbans rather than aviator jackets, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. So may I present the divine light of Ms Vreeland, as captured by Bailey, Avedon and Henry Clarke:
My favourite men's collection from London. J.W. Anderson came in a very close second (I'm now following him on facebook too, it feels a bit intrusive.) I saw some of Susie's shots from Kenzo over on StyleBubble, and now I have a fashion fantasy of the most sublime, eccentric couple; her in S/S 11 Kenzo and him in James Long.
At Menswear Day, being snapped, or 'polka dotted' by Jill. This was our favourite spot to shoot.
I seem find it hard to remember what I posted about on the blog before fashion week. I'm sure you're probably getting bored of it all by now, so I'll try and come up with something fresh, and now I'm back at uni, a bit more grungy. Back in Leeds, my life is dominated by reading, editing the fashion section of the student newspaper, writing, more reading, sleeping, swimming, running, reading...
Luckily, for me and for everyone else, I won't take it all too seriously. I can't live without a few occasional indulgences, like a spontaneous wine and cheese picnic in the park and talk of Paris next year, or watching Brideshead re-runs in bed until my 7-day loan expires. Usually accompanied by the fine dressing gown pictured above.
The Lanvin S/S 11 collection might have sneaked entirely under my radar if it hadn't been for for Look 27 worn by Karlie Kloss. In a parade of muted browns, golds and taupes, there was a bright spot in the middle of collection where suddenly the catwalk was lit up with magentas, chartreuse yellows and orange. Only briefly though, before the taupes returned. Granted, the shapes and volumous layers swimming up and down the runway must have been breathtaking, and there are some very very desirable pieces, brightly hued or not. Maybe it's just the peacock within me, but I can't stop myself being seduced by colour. Maybe it's just that I'm British, and our flaccid summers cause a phenomenon which require us to give our lacklustre surroundings a sunny booster in the form of our sartorial choices. London's spring/summer offering was far more technicolour, so perhaps my theory is close.
A Scot born in London and lightly marinaded in Europe, I was brought up on books, foreign languages, dance lessons and visits to Bavarian castles. I now live in Paris, where I work as a press officer & house photographer for a luxury French fashion label.
"What would Diana Vreeland do?"
Disclaimer: Most of the images used are my own photographs; if you wish to use or reproduce these please credit me accordingly. I intend to credit all other images used as best I can, but if you have any queries regarding credits please do not hesitate to contact me.
Blog header photograph : Twiggy by Ronald Traeger 1967