Jenny Robins just sent over the sketch she made of me at Amelia's launch party on Friday. I quite like the idea of becoming someone's muse... Any takers?
Monday, 31 January 2011
Sunday, 30 January 2011
Saturday, 29 January 2011
Last night I popped over to the 123 store on Bethnal Green Road for the UK launch of Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration, the latest print publication from the lovely Amelia Gregory (above) and her website Amelia's Magazine. Honestly, I didn't know much about Amelia herself before reading about the Compendium, but it turns out she has had stints styling and photographing for cult magazines like The Face and i-D, and her website was originally her own personal zine which switched to being fully online in 2004. The Compendium documents fashion illustrations from 30 specially selected artists who feature on her site, and has a strong focus on eco fashion brands.
Beyond getting to give the book a good old fingering - actually, I saw it on sale in Colette when I was in Paris last week too - it was the perfect chance to meet up with some Twitter friends like Matt Bramf, Sabrina, and The Real Runway... Unfortunately, I couldn't actually stay that long (as I had a delicious dinner planned with Bianca - Asia de Cuba [Anastasia's note: have the panko-coated plantain]) but I managed to enjoy a tasty cup of Pukka tea and have my own illustration made before I scooted off.
Oh, and I almost forgot - how awesome was the gift bag?! I got a copy of the final issue of Amelia's Magazine, some delicious body cream from Dr Hauschka, and a Tatty Devine necklace (which reminds me, I haven't worn this in ages)! Thanks, Amelia!
Friday, 28 January 2011
Alright, I'll admit it - I'd never heard of Rynshu before I discovered it on the official list of brands showing at Paris Fashion Week when I was doing my ticket requests. And then, probably naively, I expected it to be a slightly quirky, avant-garde brand, maybe showing a lot of black. I guess that's just what I've come to expect from the creative powerhouse that is Japan. Well, I was right about one of those things anyway. I was totally amazed when I showed up at the venue of Le Meurice, a grand hotel opposite the Tuilleries. Everything about this place screams wealth - the walls are quite literally gilded, and no doubt priceless works of art decorate each room. The hotel "gift shop" sells Dior. Above you can see what the show room looked like - everybody had a specific chair and was seated by the PR team one-by-one (with lots of bowing, of course). Looking around the room, mixed in with the usual Parisian front row gays in ripped black leather and oversized scarves, were some seriously rich looking ladies. Ladies who lunch, and just pop into Le Meurice for a quick fashion show in the afternoon. Ladies I aspire to be when I finally retire...
As you can probably tell from the location, Rynshu is a brand that likes luxury. Apparently, some of the t-shirts retail for over 600 quid (seriously), and it is popular - well, as 'popular' as such an expensive make can be - in Russia and amongst the Miami set. This is luxe gear for rich playboys who like to feel like rockstars, without much of the talent. Rynshu also decided to show some womenswear this time (I don't know why - there was no women's press there...) so I'll cover the menswear first and then take a look at the women's. For the boys, the palette was black, black and, oh yes, more black, with the only contrast provided but some ghostly cream prints on silk jackets and shirts. All the rock'n'roll references were there - skinny jeans, ripped tops, leather jackets, beanies and top hats. A jacket made of leather paillettes arranged to look like fish skin was rather cool, and there was a wonderful fur-trimmed cape. But, on the whole, I felt like it was missing some innovation - and when you're paying those kind of prices, you really want McQueen-style creativity!
While the menswear was very wearable, if lacking in originality, the womenswear was decidedly drab. Lots of miniskirts and minidresses, tight leather blazers, and a top-hatted rock chick look that seemed to jump straight out of a 90s music video. A purple feathered skirt brought a welcomed jolt of colour and fun, but was immediately followed by a weird, macramé full-length number. I can definitely see who purchases the menswear, but I don't know any women who'd buy this, especially at these extortionate prices.
So, Rynshu - it has a market, and that's what the designer aims at, but it's not something I'll be looking out for any time soon.
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Arnys is one of those classic French menswear brands that has decided to get with the times and start showing during fashion week - expect traditional suits and leather accessories, country sportswear in tweeds, et cetera. It's not exactly my look, but you know me - never one to turn down a fashion show! Arnys held their latest AW 2011 presentation in a derelict theatre behind their Parisian store, providing the perfect contrast to the crisp shirts and freshly pressed suits. On entry - and after picking up a class of very good champagne, I must say - we were greeted by little tableaux of men (well, boys...) posing in the collection. Although not my style, I did like the fine leather gloves, and the stylish wooden cane. Perfect for stabbing into people's knees on the tube when they just won't get out of my way... Oh, and I really like the Austro-Hungarian looking grey jacket with contrasting orange collar and cuffs - and the sultry model wearing it! Rolf has certainly grown up! The show then continued with a live band performing (not good) and a small presentation on the stage which I had to miss as I dashed off to the Gare du Nord to catch my Eurostar home. Such is fashion.
Unfortunately, my second row seat (and the larger than life person sitting in front of me...) meant that not many of my photographs from the Qasimi Homme show have come out well, but I hope you can get the gist of the collection from them since I can't find any runway shots on Style.com. I was determined to make it to this show because I had to scoot off last season to catch my Eurostar allowing me only to do some quick backstage photography, so this time I had to rush over from a previous appointment in a taxi with a driver who didn't know where the École des beaux arts was! I always manage to find that taxi driver.
Looking at the collection, it seems Khalid AlQasimi has moved in a slightly different direction from before and grown up slightly, even if the boys he chose to model the clothes have got younger. Creating what he described as a 'future tribal' look, Khalid sent out the classic masculine shape - bulky on top, slim from the waist down - in a dark palette of black and grey, spiced up with white, silver and aubergine. The clothes looked tougher than before, and so did the models who grimaced as they stomped towards the photographers' pit. The 'ethnic' tattoos and scars which were painted on the foreheads (and the torso of the first model) morphed into herringbone weaves on belted wrap-around cardigans and vests, or crinkly quilts on padded jackets with protectively high collars. The knits in wool and cashmere looked particularly cosy - et très chic - and were complemented by matching scarves. The scarred effect was also applied to a body-conscious outfit of grey leggings and top. I'm on my preparatory Winter diet already! As I said, these bulkier upper halves were contrasted with tight black and brown trousers in stretch leather, finished off with strapped, flat-soled boots produced by Reebok. Leather thong hairbands completed the angry caveman look. The addition of rabbit fur was, for me, superfluous - it just didn't seem to work and the way it had been cut looked a little bit too Fred Flintstone, and not in a good way. But overall, it was a very strong collection, and one which leaves us asking that eternal question: when is Khalid coming back to womenswear?