PONDEREL

The oldest and wisest, the most famed and revered of the global Fashion Week Quadruplets has finally arrived. Paris: A city whose historical industry is seeped in artistry and artisanal secrets, whose ateliers are vaults storing precious, priceless value in skill and craft, and a dedication to the creation of transportive wondrous beauty. Truly the pièce de résistance of the consecutive string of internationally-sprinkled week-long fashion celebrations that afford cities their opportunity to boast the best of their best, their home-grown creators of whimsy, fantasy, alternate universes, and their genius innovators in technology and ideology. With great anticipation and excitement I have waited to see what the old city of masters has in store for AW12/13. While I wait with insatiable curiosity, keen to witness the new interpretations of fashion’s destined direction for the season, there is a deeper subtext coaxing my mind into brimming with questions, intensely pondering possibilities. This season has been an inquisition of sorts, spurred by speculation brought about by the stormy change brewing within the elite circles of some of the industry’s oldest houses and their relatively newly-famed wunderkind Creative Directors who have shone and sparkled and starred during the last decade. This fashion season marks an industry reformation that has never before been witnessed on such a dramatic and significant scale. The drastic changing of reigns at one fashion house can be enough to make fashion followers wildly speculative over the impending redesign and reinterpretation of the beloved Maison’s history… so what can one expect when suddenly we are faced with several shock-worthy arrivals and departures in the Luxury Fashion House Terminal? With Jil Sander farewelling industry darling Raf Simons and making room for its powerful namesake once more; rumors of Simons’ potential as a Galliano replacement being quashed and replaced with new speculations of Christopher Kane filling John’s elaborate shoes; and Yves’ wise interpreter Stefano Pilati bowing out on the 5th after his final show for YSL and making way for the photographic genius who revolutionised not only Dior Homme but equally Kaiser Karl, Hedi Slimane, it is reasonable to expect that we will have to say goodbye to the industry as we have known it for the mostpart of the 21st Century to date. Though parting with the visionaries that we have come to associate with some of the most prominent houses of recent years is tainted with some reluctance, I am personally choosing to focus on being grateful to have witnessed the successes of the modern day’s club of power designers, confident that the tricky tetris of tomorrow in fashion will undoubtedly present the waiting world with endless wonders, and a new era with which to fall in love.

Mar 2
The Tricky Tetris of Fashion’s Tomorrow…
ENCRUSTING EVERYTHING…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 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
Mar 3

ENCRUSTING EVERYTHING…

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 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

POWER PRINTS…
This season, though popping up here and there in playful, funsy interpretive-chic collections (perhaps most notably at Marni), the POWER PRINT is no stronger anywhere else than it is on the concrete catwalk. Industry heavy-weights, bloggers and models have been spotted on numerous occasions swathing themselves in punchy pieces studded with repetitive geometry or new-day florals that abandon the oft-associated whimsies of a woman shrouded in petals, instead springing up with an almost assertive self-assuredness. When the decision to be bold has been made, it has been done so with conviction, and many an example of paired prints can be noted: marrying linear geometry with pop-art petal prints, or going so far as to stage a floral face-off and plant two species within the one earth-plot ensemble. This micro-trend will appeal to the girl who shys away from overt femininity: lending itself to a more tailored aesthetic, this new approach also extends an invitation to a knitwear party of sorts, where one has the opportunity to indulge in a more fun approach.  Forget Fair Isle as your go-to patterned knit, for prints are set to pop on your go-to jersey and woollen pieces… and if we’re being powerful and making statements, what better way could there be to create an eye-catching exoskeleton than to shield your underlayers with skirts, trousers and blazers boasting bold and cleverly conflicting markings of their own?Images from: All The Pretty Birds; Nam [Grazia Italia]; The Sartorialist; vogue.com
Mar 4

POWER PRINTS…


This season, though popping up here and there in playful, funsy interpretive-chic collections (perhaps most notably at Marni), the POWER PRINT is no stronger anywhere else than it is on the concrete catwalk. Industry heavy-weights, bloggers and models have been spotted on numerous occasions swathing themselves in punchy pieces studded with repetitive geometry or new-day florals that abandon the oft-associated whimsies of a woman shrouded in petals, instead springing up with an almost assertive self-assuredness. When the decision to be bold has been made, it has been done so with conviction, and many an example of paired prints can be noted: marrying linear geometry with pop-art petal prints, or going so far as to stage a floral face-off and plant two species within the one earth-plot ensemble. This micro-trend will appeal to the girl who shys away from overt femininity: lending itself to a more tailored aesthetic, this new approach also extends an invitation to a knitwear party of sorts, where one has the opportunity to indulge in a more fun approach.  Forget Fair Isle as your go-to patterned knit, for prints are set to pop on your go-to jersey and woollen pieces… and if we’re being powerful and making statements, what better way could there be to create an eye-catching exoskeleton than to shield your underlayers with skirts, trousers and blazers boasting bold and cleverly conflicting markings of their own?

Images from: All The Pretty Birds; Nam [Grazia Italia]; The Sartorialist; vogue.com

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.

Mar 7
Chain Invasion
MAMMAL TEXTURES… 
Perhaps by some form of genetic mutation, a new species of heavily plush mammal appears to be inhabiting the earth. Spotted on a progressive, cross-continental migration path, these elegant beasts have been documented making their way from New York to London to Milan, reaching a resting place in Paris. In this world, the regular wildlife-whisperer and documenter David Attenborough is replaced by an equally wise and revered, silver-crowned counterpart, Bill Cunningham. Fur is being embraced with undeniable enthusiasm right now… the showier, the more extravagant and the plusher the pile, the better. Running alongside the classic full torso of fur is an interesting isolation ,where wild animal arms border conventionally constructed and fabricated bodies, and many examples of an extreme sleeve has been spied prowling the catwalk.  On the streets, voluminous beasts encircle one another in unspoken competition, finding their point of difference in atypical, out-of-the-box colours or crafty combinations of the coats of multiple beasts. It is a vibrant and playful tribe, brighter and more boastful than species previously documented. An observational creature, the cleverest of the species can be spotted assuming other trends in a near-chameleon-like fashion. Even at times, the Power Prints that are becoming so popular have popped up in plush versions, proving that this beast is a clever and tactical one, likely to only gain strength and power in the Fashion Kingdom.
Images from: Harper’s Bazaar; Mr. Newton; Rachel Phipps; Street Peeper [Phil Oh]; vogue.com 
Mar 8

MAMMAL TEXTURES…
 

Perhaps by some form of genetic mutation, a new species of heavily plush mammal appears to be inhabiting the earth. Spotted on a progressive, cross-continental migration path, these elegant beasts have been documented making their way from New York to London to Milan, reaching a resting place in Paris. In this world, the regular wildlife-whisperer and documenter David Attenborough is replaced by an equally wise and revered, silver-crowned counterpart, Bill Cunningham. Fur is being embraced with undeniable enthusiasm right now… the showier, the more extravagant and the plusher the pile, the better. Running alongside the classic full torso of fur is an interesting isolation ,where wild animal arms border conventionally constructed and fabricated bodies, and many examples of an extreme sleeve has been spied prowling the catwalk.  On the streets, voluminous beasts encircle one another in unspoken competition, finding their point of difference in atypical, out-of-the-box colours or crafty combinations of the coats of multiple beasts. It is a vibrant and playful tribe, brighter and more boastful than species previously documented. An observational creature, the cleverest of the species can be spotted assuming other trends in a near-chameleon-like fashion. Even at times, the Power Prints that are becoming so popular have popped up in plush versions, proving that this beast is a clever and tactical one, likely to only gain strength and power in the Fashion Kingdom.


Images from: Harper’s Bazaar; Mr. Newton; Rachel Phipps; Street Peeper [Phil Oh]; vogue.com 

RAINING KARLS AND MODS
Rain and being rained on is never a glamorous thing. Yet despite the dripping doom being dispersed from Paris’ clouded grey skies on Tuesday (accompanied by an icy air that seemed to have made an appearance just to make the packs of mini-clad twig-legged beauties cringe), nothing could chase away the overwhelming aura of glamour surrounding the ever-anticipated CHANEL show: the house whose namesake is synonymous with what the world has come to define as the height of chic, and whose current, future-chasing father (Kaiser Karl) is inarguably one of fashion’s most influential and controversial characters.At the dramatic main entrance of the Grand Palais, fashion icons, It-Girls, brand-devotees and loyal customers carefully scaled the majestic steps in readiness for one of the most transportive experiences of their month, being blinded all the way by a concentration of clicking cameras belonging to die-hard fashion bloggers braving the interfering conditions. Yet tucked around the corner, in a less conspicuous, more underground setting, existed the less-frequented, more exclusive entrance. A surprisingly small paparazzi posse clustered around a set of impressively oversized-yet-proportionate double doors, their close proximity to one another likely driven more by their diminishing core temperatures than by a lack of available space. Coming up to meet Karl-standards, a small herd of devastatingly handsome boys stood behind the admittedly less-attractive micro security force… their purpose, other than being beautiful, was soon to become apparent. Photographers and standers-by did not have to spend long focusing their energies on shouldering each other in determined attempts to score the ideal hunting position for a perfect point-and-shoot.It was not long before a succession of shine began: shiny, black over-polished private cars, from which shiny, perfectly preened celebrities emerged, who were in turn faced with a shiny light-and-sound show of sequential oversized camera flashes, omitting their biggest and brightest blazes in a bid to successfully earn their keep. The whole affair was an adrenaline-spurred guessing game. The importance of each car was marked by the sudden rush of the otherwise stagnant, chiseled-faced model boys, who would swiftly stride out, straight-backed in a rush to form an instant covered walkway with their canopy of well-logoed umbrellas, beaming boastful double Cs in protest to the ruinous weather. The modest crowd shared an incessant electric hype, anticipating who would slide out from the next chauffeured chariot.Two arrivals were unmatched. Firstly, the Maison’s own royalty: the regal white lion with his infamously beribboned ponytail strode through a chorus of stifled gasps, eyes peeking out from behind viewfinders. The designer arriving to his own show on time with his guests? Few words other than glamorous would suffice. It was only minutes later that there was a quiet scuffle among the pretty parapluie garçons in their haste to gather where the most recent gleaming vehicle had come to a halt. Their sudden attention was a tip-off to all who waited with cameras poised. A cry emerged from a young German freelancer: ‘Anna! Anna Wintour!’, her companion’s fedora falling victim to her excitedly gesticulating arm. Elbows nudged. Necks craned. Flanked by a poncho-sporting André Leon Talley, there it was: the burnished blonde bob, with its power to instantly authenticate the legitimacy of the event (if Lagerfeld himself wasn’t already enough).The doors were soon sealed behind the infamous editor, and the lingering, rain-bedraggled crowd was left outside with imaginations running wild about the alternate universe that had been created inside. Another world, so close in proximity yet so inaccessible to those who had not been extended an invitation into CHANEL’s most recent realm. Being fed only murmurs of the muffled soundtrack was the sole clue to the experience that guests inside awed by. And while the lapsed time had accommodated a hypnagogic journey for the show’s attendees, it was no more than 15 minutes later that the gates were once more unlocked, releasing Ms. Wintour from the temporary escape. Her famed hair bouncing with each step, it was not the plush fur collar or layered jewel neck adornments that caught one’s eye the most, but the glowing smile that she wore: a telling tick of approval.
Mar 11

RAINING KARLS AND MODS



Rain and being rained on is never a glamorous thing. Yet despite the dripping doom being dispersed from Paris’ clouded grey skies on Tuesday (accompanied by an icy air that seemed to have made an appearance just to make the packs of mini-clad twig-legged beauties cringe), nothing could chase away the overwhelming aura of glamour surrounding the ever-anticipated CHANEL show: the house whose namesake is synonymous with what the world has come to define as the height of chic, and whose current, future-chasing father (Kaiser Karl) is inarguably one of fashion’s most influential and controversial characters.

At the dramatic main entrance of the Grand Palais, fashion icons, It-Girls, brand-devotees and loyal customers carefully scaled the majestic steps in readiness for one of the most transportive experiences of their month, being blinded all the way by a concentration of clicking cameras belonging to die-hard fashion bloggers braving the interfering conditions. Yet tucked around the corner, in a less conspicuous, more underground setting, existed the less-frequented, more exclusive entrance. A surprisingly small paparazzi posse clustered around a set of impressively oversized-yet-proportionate double doors, their close proximity to one another likely driven more by their diminishing core temperatures than by a lack of available space. Coming up to meet Karl-standards, a small herd of devastatingly handsome boys stood behind the admittedly less-attractive micro security force… their purpose, other than being beautiful, was soon to become apparent. Photographers and standers-by did not have to spend long focusing their energies on shouldering each other in determined attempts to score the ideal hunting position for a perfect point-and-shoot.

It was not long before a succession of shine began: shiny, black over-polished private cars, from which shiny, perfectly preened celebrities emerged, who were in turn faced with a shiny light-and-sound show of sequential oversized camera flashes, omitting their biggest and brightest blazes in a bid to successfully earn their keep. The whole affair was an adrenaline-spurred guessing game. The importance of each car was marked by the sudden rush of the otherwise stagnant, chiseled-faced model boys, who would swiftly stride out, straight-backed in a rush to form an instant covered walkway with their canopy of well-logoed umbrellas, beaming boastful double Cs in protest to the ruinous weather. The modest crowd shared an incessant electric hype, anticipating who would slide out from the next chauffeured chariot.

Two arrivals were unmatched. Firstly, the Maison’s own royalty: the regal white lion with his infamously beribboned ponytail strode through a chorus of stifled gasps, eyes peeking out from behind viewfinders. The designer arriving to his own show on time with his guests? Few words other than glamorous would suffice. It was only minutes later that there was a quiet scuffle among the pretty parapluie garçons in their haste to gather where the most recent gleaming vehicle had come to a halt. Their sudden attention was a tip-off to all who waited with cameras poised. A cry emerged from a young German freelancer: ‘Anna! Anna Wintour!’, her companion’s fedora falling victim to her excitedly gesticulating arm. Elbows nudged. Necks craned. Flanked by a poncho-sporting André Leon Talley, there it was: the burnished blonde bob, with its power to instantly authenticate the legitimacy of the event (if Lagerfeld himself wasn’t already enough).

The doors were soon sealed behind the infamous editor, and the lingering, rain-bedraggled crowd was left outside with imaginations running wild about the alternate universe that had been created inside. Another world, so close in proximity yet so inaccessible to those who had not been extended an invitation into CHANEL’s most recent realm. Being fed only murmurs of the muffled soundtrack was the sole clue to the experience that guests inside awed by. And while the lapsed time had accommodated a hypnagogic journey for the show’s attendees, it was no more than 15 minutes later that the gates were once more unlocked, releasing Ms. Wintour from the temporary escape. Her famed hair bouncing with each step, it was not the plush fur collar or layered jewel neck adornments that caught one’s eye the most, but the glowing smile that she wore: a telling tick of approval.