Archive for July, 2008

Style really does run in the genes if Julia Restoin-Roitfeld is anything to go by. The 26 year old daughter of legendary French Vogue editor, Carine Roitfeld, uses clothes to celebrate her voluptous figure. Often seen wearing body conscious dresses, Julia is no fashion wallflower. With her green feline eyes flashing, this art director exudes confidence and her flirtatious style shows how she revels in her sexuality. Short hemlines, always in high heels and usually wearing one solid colour to emphasize her silhouette – Julia is one girl who certainly knows how to flaunt it!


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Here I Am…

Those were the only words that the German model of the sixties Veruschka had to utter in the iconic film ‘Blow Up’ by Antonioni before being immortalized on celluloid. The film is famous for the image of Veruschka writhing on the floor posing for David Hemmings (playing a character based on David Bailey), who is hovering above her with his camera. And yesterday I found myself face to face with a life size flip version photograph of Veruschka stepping over a prostrate David Bailey. This photograph was taken some time before the 1966 film was made.

The photograph is part of the ‘Fashion in the mirror: Self-Reflection in fashion photography’ exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery in London. Here are photographs ranging from the 1950’s to the present day, which reveal the process and preparation behind a fashion shoot. We observe mysterious hands clawing at the model to fix her hair and make-up, we glance at the photographer reflected in mirrors and the lengths they will go to to get the right shot (one photographer is observed shooting Raquel Zimmerman from a hole dug on a beach).

The illusion of glamour is removed but the photographs are no less compelling. My favourite pictures from the exhibition were the smallest ones. Terence Donovan photographing Celia Hammond who is clowning around whilst being primped. And images of Bob Richardson taking pictures of his then-girlfriend Anjelica Huston on the streets of London – there’s a clever pic in which we see Richardson reflected in a mirror held by Huston, but from how the mirror’s angled it appears that Richardson is standing next to Huston.

In this exhibition you can see works by Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Bert Stern, William Klein, Nick Knight, Tim Walker and many more. What stands out in this exhibition is fashion’s ability to look at itself in the mirror and laugh. And what better way to illustrate the point then these two photographs, monumental figures in fashion lampooning their self-image and omnipresence. 

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I was never one to flirt with gothism during my teenage angst years. The whole culture had very little appeal to me. The goths at my school were predictably boring with their incessant black wardrobe, greasy bizarrely coloured hair hung across their faces to avoid eye contact with the ‘outisde world’, which inevitably led to these teenagers sporting grim acne. A Manson girl I would never be. But then to my surprise, when watching the Fall 2008 RTW collections on style.com, I began to hanker after the Rodarte collection. It has the hallmarks of gothism and punk, laced together with romanticism (no-one does romanticism better than the Mulleavy sisters.) The vivid slashes of red, black and white on the dresses and the torn knitwear, allowing one to reveal snippets of naked skin, is the acceptable level of sluttiness. I find myself itching to get my hands on tights which’ll probably be itchy to wear, but I don’t care about discomfort, sometimes we have to suffer for fashion. But what has me really drooling about the collection is the footwear…the vertiginous heels, heavy studding and the back-off spikes at the tips…they are the ultimate f**k me pumps. A girl must possess at least one pair (just ask Kate Moss).

So I was already in love with the collection and then came across these photographs by Autumn de Wilde, of the fittings and preparations. They are beautiful and are reminiscent of the backstage scenes of ballerinas which Degas often painted. There are tons more photos to view if you click on the Rodarte link above.

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With her pale pallor and delicate features, Irina Lazareanu looks like a tragic heroine from a Tolstoy novel. But the 27 year old, Romanian born model and singer’s bohemian style with a twist certainly packs a punch. Her penchant for military apparel, oversized men’s blazers and headbands are unique. Her daywear is louche with masculine tailoring but her eveningwear is usually an elegant column dress accessorized with clumpy doc marten boots. Here is a girl who’s personality is so tightly entwined with her style that it is nigh impossible to imitate but still inspiring none the less.

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We have long abandoned and neglected the region above our hairline. It has often been an all or nothing sartorial situation. Leaving our hairstyle to the elements or covering our head in a selection of hats (from beanies to trilbys). But now it seems, we are re-discovering the joy of accessorizing our hair. The last time a hair accessory was monopolized by the public it was in the ’80’s, the age of the velvet hairband and pearls for the mumsy Sloanes. A truly hideous look which more than likely contributed to the absence of such accessorizing for more than a decade. But then along came Miuccia with her Prada Spring 2007 collection.

Before our eyes were these rich jewel toned turbans ornately wrapped around the head, with the hair flowing beneath. It was a look that was difficult to ignore. Miuccia had been inspired by the great British eccentric Edith Sitwell with her bewildering array of headwear. Like Sitwell, the turban was a symbol of daring and a challenge to society, so it wasn’t surprising that it was the most adventurous dressers of our time who adopted the turban into their look (see Ashley Olsen and Zoe Kravitz below as examples).

 And so the challenge for accessorizing our hair has evolved, but is still led by the more individualist fashionistas. Erin Wasson teams a feather like Pocahontas headband with an evening dress, whilst Gala Gonzalez does the hippie-luxe look to perfection. Lily Allen (along with fellow British singer Amy Winehouse) wears the 1950’s housewife wrap well or make like the beautiful girl who is reminiscent of Rosie the Riveter from the 1940’s war propaganda poster with the empowering title ‘We can do it.’ The Sartorialist managed to capture this stunning blonde with an exquisite headpiece and Lou Doillon wears an oversized bow whilst maintaining her rebellious style. On paper it shouldn’t work but all these ladies pull off their head accessories with aplomb because of the strength of their unique style. Wallflowers need not apply for this trend.

source: garancedore, thesartorialist, wireimage, amana, www.fotolog.com/am_lul

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You know that feeling you sometimes have that if you managed to get your hands on one thing then ‘you’d get that promotion – that boy would finally notice you – generally life would be rosy?!’ Well I got it, bad, when I spotted Camilla Belle wearing a pair of Gucci sandals in this week’s ES magazine.


Oh the studs and buckles are practically fetishistic, now if only I had £515 to dispose of on this fabulous pair!

But the money conscious side of me shall opt for Lola, a very fierce look-a-like.

source: gucci.com, faith.co.uk, standardonline

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