It appears as if a giant haberdashery store has been upturned and violently shaken, scattering its contents oddly directly over New York, London, Milan and Paris, for the stiletto-stomping fashion pack have been seen making their seasonal style statements, trotting from show to show sporting a dandruff of jewelled, sequined and beaded beauty. Bringing shirts, sweaters and ordinarily-simple tailored outerwear into a new form of the third dimension, this confident tendency to encrust even the simplest of surfaces extends a hand inviting the boring and basic into the land of the luxe. There is no room for wallflowers in this club, for overt and over-the-top seems to be the motto. Looking for a way to liven up an overcoat that would ordinarily conceal the inspiring ensemble you have lurking beneath? Prada will solve that little dilemma for you (their neon jewel-encrusted shoulders and seams have been elegantly sported by Giovanna Battaglia and Anna Dello Russo this month)… and forget a simple, mumsy, stand-alone sequined flower motif: if we’re doing sequins, why not crustily cover the ENCRUSTING EVERYTHING… entire garment (I’m looking at you, Michelle Harper)? Perhaps my favourite extension and echo of this dazzling drama has in fact been the highly three-dimensional iPhone cover captured by Tommy Ton’s lens with its rhinestone-smattered My Little Pony projectile, that admittedly sent me into a Googling frenzy in the hope of somehow being able to adopt a fancy brag-worthy baby of my own. Images from: All The Pretty Birds; Street Peeper; Tommy Ton [style.com]; vogue.com
Tomorrow I will pull away from old familiar London town, and hungrily trek to the mecca of chic in search of an excitedly anticipated dose of unreality. I will settle into the protective capsule of my Eurostar carriage (somewhere I have become fond of over the past 6 months as the one place that would afford me 2 hours of luxurious napping in an otherwise oft-sleep-deprived lifestyle), and reawaken in a thrillingly escapist setting. Hailing from an antipodean land, the concept of spending a short pocket of time dipped in semi-aquatic transit, and being granted a passport into a culture so intrinsically and refreshingly different from my own is an indescribable thrill. This journey takes place during a time that is particularly highlighter-worthy on my personal calendar. The rush of the Fashion Week Quad sees my information-hungry internet habits become more frenzied than at any other time of the year, in my shameless attempts to keep up with the incessant action being played out on catwalks and sidewalk stages. From the privacy of my own apartment, I have had the ability to simulate the mad show-to-show dash, thanks to technology’s generous offerings of live streaming. Feeling that my mocked-up fashion week was lacking a certain element, I may be guilty of having slipped on my most extremely cab-to-kerb Alaïa killers while sitting on my bed on one occasion during the last week. You can’t blame a girl for injecting a little drama: pole-like though they both may be, what sort of replacement is a lamp for Anna Dello Russo as a front row companion, after all? So this week, dissatisfied with my so-near-yet-so-far experience to date (save for a lovely ticket to the Antipodium London Fashion Week Show), I am attempting to launch myself into the frenzy of the final, and arguably most-adored week of the global biannual celebration of fashion. Having experienced the Tuileries-trotting in September of last year, I am returning with a keenness that I needn’t even bother attempting to conceal. A long-time monitor of street style blogs, I witnessed the surreal like never before when I stood outside the Issey Miyake show, my kohl-swept eyes widening as I watched on while the still images of Tommy Ton and others’ lenses sprang into action before me: much like a dream in which my carefully archived computer folders packed full of their famous images might blossom with sudden life and cleverly position themselves side-by-side to form a continuous moving scene, fabricating a world that I have so often spent hours wondering about.
And so, with a gravitation that I can only describe as feeling magnetic, I am returning for round two, ready to reinstate my position in the stands as enthralled, die-hard spectator. I could not be more ready to witness the battle between the rebels of the rue, outfitted in their prized weaponry of frighteningly fierce footwear, ample accessories and garments with a wow-factor designed to shock the (carefully selected) socks off their street-strutting opponents.
In Search of PFW, ADR and KL…
It is confirmed: the hours spent in front of the screen, eyes glazed over, reflecting endless captured moments of shining treasure-trove embellishments affixed onto the ensembles of street-prowlers has seeped into my seldom-impressionable mind and lured me into applying for a membership to a club to which I’ve never before belonged. A slave to crisp white collars, finding comfort in falling back on statement neck pieces to bring my element of bling, I have ventured beyond my well-memorised formula and bought into a world I’ve only ever before observed. I blame Anna Dello Russo, though I’m not certain that blame is the correct word. Today was a day of firsts for me, for it was during my inaugural visit to mass-fash-monster TOPSHOP (a powerhouse which I have previously shied away from, perhaps unreasonably), that a skirt whose surface was overgrown with myriad shining, mirrored surfaces of a green-y gun-metallic hue caught my eye. Ever one who is childishly thrilled by surprising, minute coincidental coordinations that may occur within an ensemble, my mind immediately wandered to my old faithful Lanvin neck warrior, who has fought for my outward appearance endlessly over the past couple of years. How perfectly the tiny pupil of green would mimic and reflect the sea-like tones of this glimmering garment. An influx of imagery absorbed through the computer screen over the past few weeks flashed before my eyes, and suddenly I saw the fine details of fancification that I have seen sported successfully by others transitioning into my own wardrobe and becoming relevant to the androgynous archive that hangs draped on the rail. Another flash, and I stood on Regent Street clutching both receipt and purchase in my hand, feeling oddly liberated about the opportunity to create my own sequined street sequences.