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…

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. 

Mar 4
In Search of PFW, ADR and KL…
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.