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Archive for October, 2008

When I saw this editorial from the fabulous Danish magazine Cover – my heart leapt.
Firstly, the return of the fabulously feline Louise Pedersen to glossy fashion pages. Secondly, is the incredible styling which made me think of that great British eccentric, Nancy Cunard with her turbans and African fetishism (ie. animal prints and clunky, heavy jewellery). But one must also give Mr Sjodin kudos for the fierce photography which reminds me so much of Richard Avedon’s work for US Vogue during the ’70’s.

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The days are getting darker, the chill has set in and Winter is most definitely upon us. Well, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere anyway. This season is my favourite when it comes to the joys of dressing up. It’s a challenge, artfully layering up to keep warmth close to one’s skin. And there is one trend which is so intrinsically associated with Winter – namely, Fur.

Fur has a complicated history and a controversial one at that. It has been popular Winter clothing for it’s superior insulating abilities, but has also been a symbol of wealth and exclusivity over the decades. Fur has cloaked the Zelda Fitzgerald’s of the Golden Jazz Age, the Gloria Swanson’s of Hollywood to the glamorous film stars of the 1960’s like Ursula Andress and Studio 54 glamazon’s such as Diana Ross.

Then in the 1980’s came the PETA protests , railing against the fashion world and celebrities on the usage of fur. For a long period, people were often too scared to wear fur or faux-fur for fear of being splattered by paint by these angry protester. There were the famous anti fur campaigns starring the Supermodels of the ’90’s (‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur’). But the allure has been hard to resist and many of those very same supermodels have been photographed since wearing fur/faux fur, most notably Kate Moss. She has one of the biggest collections of vintage fur coats and accessories from a black and white striped Monkey fur jacket to a black astrakhan coat.

But now it seems we’ve entered into an age of defiance. How can one be abhorred by trade in animal fur when we still continue to wear leather? In the August issue of Vogue Paris this year, Mario Testino photographed Raquel Zimmerman lampooning anti-fur protesters during Paris fashion week. To wear fur, whether real or faux, is now a statement and for the fearless.

Julia Von Boehm works the very sensual and sexy fur coat against bare skin look. It always manages to put men’s imagination into overdrive. Or be bold like model Lily Donaldson and wear zebra-printed fur. Jen Brill amps up the glam factor with her excessive fur pellet whilst Yasmin Le Bon keeps it simple with a fur trimming along her jacket to frame her face perfectly. Barbara Martelo looks super chic and the beautiful stranger photographed by Geraldine clashes leopard print pellets with a patterned silk scarf brilliantly.

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Here’s a heads up for all you style aficiondaos based in the UK. BBC are launching a 5 part documentary called British Style Genius. It begins on Tuesday on BBC 2 at 9pm. Will be intrigued to find out what you readers make of it…

I’ve never embedded in my life before, so here goes nothing – the trailer for the series. Am loving the music, the fact that they filmed it in one of the most iconic London landmark’s (the deserted Battersea Power Station) and the bejewelled British Bulldog masks!

 Here’s a snippet from the press release of what’s in store for the first episode:

Episode 1: A Fashion Democracy – The High Street Look
 British Style Genius begins by telling the story of the story of British High Street Fashion, in which fashion icon Kate Moss makes a rare TV appearance whilst working on her new line of clothes for the British high street.
Moss launched her first clothes collection in 2007 for Topshop. This move was not only a brilliant PR coup for the country’s biggest high street fashion retailer, but a perfect example of fashion democracy at work – making top end “supermodel” style at high street prices that are within reach for everyone – something the British have excelled at.
 Kate Moss followed in the footsteps of the first British supermodel, Twiggy, who launched her own range of clothes in the late Sixties.
Before then, high fashion was the preserve of the elite and young girls aspired less to look like supermodels and more to look like their mums.
The programme speaks to Mary Quant, the trail-blazing designer who broke the fashion mould by making clothes for young people.  Barbara Hulinicki followed closely behind. In 1964 she founded Biba – a store which went on to offer a complete fashion lifestyle experience, just as Topshop does on the British high street today.  One of the first British “name” designers to work closely with the high street was Ossie Clark. He and his wife Celia Birtwell had become the darlings of “swinging London”; their client list was littered with aristocracy – rock and otherwise. Celia reveals the secrets behind their success and how their designs are still relevant today. Thanks to chains like M&S and Topshop, the gap between high fashion and high street has never been smaller. And the turnaround from the design room to shop floor is incredibly fast.  British Style Genius shows how, with the help of high profile icons such as Kate Moss, and a slew of designers, the British high street is today the envy of the international fashion industry. As well as being a hothouse for cutting edge design, it is the fastest moving, most affordable and one of the most vibrant shopping experiences in the world.

 Other contributors to the film include: Philip Green; Jane Sheperdson; Jonathan Saunders; Christopher Kane; Paula Reid; Twiggy; Stuart Rose; George Davies; and Anna Wintour.

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Welcome to my new feature ‘Girl du Jour.’ It places the spotlight on women, who’s style is captivating yet who are quite elusive.

I begin with model Natasha Gilbert. This British girl captivated me about a year ago when I saw a candid picture of her in a magazine wearing a black shoulder-padded minidress, fishnets and smackings of red lipstick. There before me was a stunning creature, with a playful ability to wear the hallmarks of the ’80’s without ever looking tragic.

To me she evokes a female Johnny Depp, deshabille and utterly alluring, working a decade’s style like no other…

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