Tag Archives: style

Truly posh clothing

I hate that I love Victoria Beckham’s F/10 RTW collection. I really do.

Call me closed-minded, but, with the exception of the Olsen twins, whenever a non-designer embarks on a ‘design’ project I automatically feel nothing but disdain for them and their creations. So much so, that if I receive a bottle of Sarah Jessica Parker perfume as a present I’ll return it the next day – and I’m an SJP fan for life. Yo.

However, Beckham’s latest endeavour has proven me wrong. The collection is so sexy, so slick, so Mad Men, so … Gucci circa 2006, that I can’t help but fall for it.

Despite consisting entirely of dresses, the collection is the most commercially-viable to emerge from NYFW so far (we’ve still got Michael Kors and Donna Karan to come).

Whether or not Beckham is the creative force behind the collection, who knows. But when the dresses make women look this good, who cares!

Judge for yourself.

Victoria Beckham F/10 RTW

Victoria Beckham F/10 RTW

Victoria Beckham F/10 RTW

Beckham does lose points for lack of originality, though. Combine the above three dresses and what do you get? Keira Knightley in Gucci at the 2006 UK premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, that’s what.

Keira Knightley

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Rebecca Taylor, naturally

Rebecca Taylor may not be the most radical of designers and sometimes she errs on the side of ‘safe’, but she also creates clothes that are sweet, feminine and realistic – and although that sounds like a backhanded compliment, it’s not.

I was underwhelmed by Taylor’s F/09 RTW collection, which I was lucky enough to see at New York fashion week last year (albeit from the back row!), as it seemed like the New Zealand-born designer was trying a wee bit too hard by layering floral dresses over woollen knits and then pairing the outfits with coloured socks.

Her F/10 RTW collection, on the other hand, is much more relaxed and natural – it’s as if she has created looks that bring together pieces from Lanvin, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Chloe; with her signature statements, such as delicate leopard prints and flower motifs, trickled throughout. What this says to customers is that you can combine one of Taylor’s knits, for instance, with a pair of slacks from Target and vintage accessories – and still look chic from head-to-toe!

These are my favourite looks from the collection, and the pop culture references that inspired them (well, in my mind anyway):

Inspired by: Rick Deckard in Blade Runner.

Rebecca Taylor F/10 RTW

Inspired by: Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl.

Rebecca Taylor F/10 RTW

Inspired by: Penny Lane in Almost Famous.

Rebecca Taylor F/10 RTW

Inspired by: Audrey Hepburn from the waist up.

Rebecca Taylor F/10 RTW

Inspired by: Annie Hall in Annie Hall.

Rebecca Taylor F/10 RTW

Tribute: Clothes fit for a Queen

Alexander McQueen, the provocateur designer who passed away yesterday, created clothes that transported wearers to a fantasy world. Whether it be the whimsical deep sea (S/10 RTW), an Indian palace (F/08 RTW) or the set of Dynasty (a grey patterned McQ dress I purchased in 2008) the man had a knack for theatrics.

As a tribute to Alexander, or ‘Lee’ to those who knew him best, I’ve compiled my top five McQueen Moments:

1 Cate Blanchett. Vogue. 2005.

Cate Blanchett does Vogue

2005 was the year I fell in love with Cate Blanchett’s acting prowess after seeing her in the small Australian film Little Fish. I knew up until this point she was good, but I didn’t realise just how good. It was also the year Alexandra Shulman decided to put Blanchett on the cover of UK Vogue wearing this Alexander McQueen masterpiece. Exquisite.

2 Alexander McQueen. Environmental conscience. 2009.

Alexander McQueen FW/09

Alexander McQueen explored “an ironic and illusory exploration of the concept of re-invention” with his F/09 RTW collection that had models sporting nylon dresses made look look like garbage bags and wheel rims for hats, and used past collection props for the setting. Yes it was ironic, but what made his statement so clever was how the clothes were still sumptuous, feminine and decadent.

3 Carrie. SATC: The Movie. 2008.

Carrie and the girls in SATC: The Movie

Seconds after Carrie stepped onto the screen wearing this dress I knew it was an Alexander McQueen number, thanks in part to Net-a-Porter’s strategic placing of it on their website. A dress that dreams (ones set in Mexico, no doubt) are made of.

4 Cate Blanchett. Golden Globes. 2007.

Cate Blanchett at the Globes

Cate Blanchett has made no secret of her love of fashion, and particularly her love of ‘out-there’ fashion – one need only think of that crocheted Romance Was Born monstrosity she was spotted in last year to realise this. So it comes as no great surprise that she’s been photographed in many a McQueen gown; like this one she wore to the Golden Globes in 2007. This is a personal favourite of mine, as Blanchett shows how black needn’t be boring on the red carpet.

5 Racquel Zimmerman. Alexander McQueen campaign. 2010.

Alexander McQueen SS/10 campaign

Raquel Zimmerman, the closest thing the world has to a supermodel right now, stars in this Alexander McQueen campaign for his S/10 RTW collection. This is one fashion advertisement I find myself staring at for stretches of time. Whether or not I’ll buy these shoes, that’s another thing.

The long and the short of ANTM

Oops, I did it again!  I let my curiosity get the better of me and I Googled the latest season of America’s Next Top Model, even though we’re only up to episode 3 in Australia. In cycle 13 Tyra’s up to her usual tricks and has rounded up, like a herd of cattle, America’s most psychologically unstable, abused, disillusioned and narcissistic beautiful women. However, the formula was getting a bit, well, formulaic, so Tyra’s thrown a spanner in the works, restricting the competition to women 5’6” and under.

Whether it’s her intention or not, Tyra’s show proves short models look just like tall models in photos. It’s only when you put a short person next to a tall person that you fully realise the extent of their height. The Navi looked much more impressive in Avatar when standing next to the puny humans, didn’t they?

So for winner Nicole (below), all she needs to do to secure a stellar career is avoid standing in close proximity to Daria Werbowy and keep her mouth shout, a la fellow shortie Kate Moss.

ANTM winner Nicole

Swiftly does it

The American music industry’s obsession with the frightfully dull Taylor Swift continues, with the 20-year-old country singer winning four Grammys at this year’s awards, including album of the year – the youngest artist to win the award … ever.

Swift, it seems, is the antidote to the changing face of America (evidenced in the appointment of President Obama), reminding us that conservative values still run rife though the country. From her contrived hairstyle and minimal jewellery to her stately dress, she was a vision of conservatism:

Taylor Swift at the 2010 Grammys

The dress is beautiful, but if you’re young and you’ve got a figure like Swift’s why not show it off?

(Snooki you do not have a figure like Swift’s).

Snooki strikes a pose

Scare tactics

Among the trends to emerge from the northern hemisphere’s recent fashion month, including prom dress shoulders (Lanvin), barn chic (Chanel) and knee-high socks (Alexander Wang), Paris Fashion Week’s “horror” was the most unsettling.

Was it an attempt to shock desensitised critics, or had the designers just watched a few too many terrifying movies?

English designer Alexander McQueen, known to many for his use of tartan and penchant to shock, conveyed the horror theme by using unnerving symmetrical prints and having the models’ hair molded into horns. While McQueen’s shapes were princess-like and regal, fangs, eyes and claws could all be found in the abstract prints.

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2010

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2010

Taking a literal approach to horror, Ann Demeulemeester sent models down the runway with chains caging their faces, conjuring up images of the film The Silence of the Lambs. Black leather, with its power, pleasure and pain connotations, featured prominently in the collection in the form of high-waisted pants, mini-skirts and biker jackets with oversized, slouchy lapels.

Ann Demeulemeester Spring/Summer 2010

Ann Demeulemeester Spring/Summer 2010

Similarly, Belgian husband-and-wife team A.F. Vandevorst incorporated Hannibal Lecter in their collection, not only in their beige, fawn and tan colour palette, but also in their bolted body casts that looked as if they had been taken straight from the aforementioned film’s costume department. To make the collection work on a commercial and non-theatrical level, the couple also included delicate and sheer shorts, shirts and slips. The underwear as outerwear element provided a subplot of confusion and ambiguity.

A.F. Vandevorst SPring/Summer 2010

A.F. Vandevorst Spring/Summer 2010

With Christophe Decarnin at the helm, French brand Balmain continued with the slashed-and-trashed theme it has propounded of late, and for good reason – the brand’s sales have doubled in the last four years. In terms of the horror theme, the collection featured a raven-esque black mini dress, resplendent with exaggerated shoulders, fabric that looked like reptile skin and a jagged hem. Holed tees in slate grey and khaki green, laced-up “witch” boots and leather cigarette pants also featured in the collection.

Balmain Spring/Summer 2010

Balmain Spring/Summer 2010

For more designers dishing up harrowing collections, visit MiNDFOOD.com. Scary stuff, indeed.

McQueen of hearts

I think I may have found a dress that tugs at my heartstrings like no other dress has done before.

It’s an acid yellow number, with a tight-fitting bodice and full skirt. It’s sheathed in sparse black lace that looks like an intricately spun spider web. It’s from Alexander McQueen’s Resort 2010 collection and it’s utterley, stupendously, irrevocably (cue deep breath) … divine.

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

What’s most uplifting  about the dress (and simultaneously depressing, as I’ll never be able to afford it) is that you don’t need to be a 6-foot Amazon to wear it – as you do with a lot of McQueen’s statement pieces. Drew Barrymore, with her petite 5’4” frame, is case in point. She wore the dress to the Whip It! premiere at the  Toronto International Film Festival last month.

Drew Barrymore wears McQueen to the TIFF

Drew Barrymore wears McQueen to the TIFF

Despite her chimney sweep hair, Barrymore looks spectacular in the dress. Her semi-curtsy pose demonstrates how the dress is making her feel – elegant, feminine, playful and unique.