Friday, August 19, 2011


We've been having an exciting week here at Fashion Editor at Large; on Wednesday we were helping put the finishing touches to Mary Portas' fabulous new concept store in House of Fraser (a project which the FashEd has been very involved in. She is the genius behind 'armery'!). If you're anywhere near Oxford Street then take yourself to the orange lift from where you will be transported into a retail narnia where bellboys and brilliant stylists (passionate, enthusiaistic and knowledgable) will ensure a stress free shopping experience.
Mary with a member of her mannequin army (Image from
Secondly, our #BRINGMCQUEENEXHIBITIONHOME campaign is really gaining momentum. This week GraziaDaily, Handbag , Evening Standard and The Guardian have all joined us on our mission. While from a personal perspective we might be gunning for this because of our love of great design and beautiful clothes, we passionately believe that this is an exhibition which is important for so many reasons besides that; Lee McQueen's story is an incredibly inspiring one given where he began, what he achieved and his path to those achievements.His legacy will form an integral part of the UK's cultural heritage for many, many years to come so it is only right that we begin as we mean to go on.
Rosamund Urwin's Evening Standard piece from Thursday.
This week, the Global Language Monitor has decided that London has taken over from New York as the world's fashion capital- tell us something we didn't know! This shift has been explained as a consequence of the Royal Wedding and Kate's extremely wise choice to commision Sarah Burton at McQueen to create her wedding dress. This fact really does make bringing the exhibition to London a complete no-brainer. As a graduate of Art History, and clearly someone whose first love is not cutting edge fashion, Kate is the perfect example of how McQueen resonates as a brilliant artist as well as fashion designer.
The eyes of the world on the Middletons in McQueen (Image from
Legendary Vogue and Harper's Bazaar editor Diana Vreeland is to be the subject of a book, a documentary AND an exhibition at Venice's Fortuny Museum. Vreeland is a standout figure from 60s and 70s, known for her very particular style and modus operandi. In the photo below, I can't help but think of Miuccia Prada and her banana earrings- I know Vreeland's jewellery is a shark's tooth, or similar, but the quirkiness is just as cool. We can't wait to absorb all we can from these upcoming Vreeland themed projects, in  the meantime, some rather brilliant quotes.

A style tip - 'I always wear my sweater back to front, it is so much more flattering'

On taste- 'I'm a great believer in vulgarity - if it's got vitality.  A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika.  We all need a splash of bad taste - it's hearty it's healthy, it's physical.  I think we could use more of it.  NO taste is what I'm against'
Vreeland, animated (image from
London College of Fashion represents yet another reason why our city fully deserves its global fashion capital status. So, we are thrilled that the College is to open a pop-up shop on Carnaby Street to coincide with London Fashion Week. Among the designers whose wares will be sold in the space are William Tempest, Ada Zanditon, Beatrice Boyle and Hesan Hejazi. Opening night is on September 8th (Vogue's Fashion Night Out) and the shop will be part of the Carnaby Catwalk event on the 10th.

William Tempest's AW11, illustrated by Victoria Lyons (Image from
Nicholas Ghesquiere was interviewed this week by WWD. Bridget Foley's piece offers some particularly notable insights into the development of Balenciaga over the past few years- it seems models have had a lot to do with the label's direction. In fact, if it hadn't been for models spying the prototype of the now massively recognisable Lariat, then it may not ever have been produced on any great scale at all. Ghesquiere tells Foley that 'The handbag element was and is a great element of a growing business'. Balenciaga (as a business) had recognised this and the lariat was simply one of a number of potentials which had been dismissed. Until, that is,'every girl who was walking [the show], including Kate [Moss] came in and was like, ‘What is that? Is it vintage? Is it something that you found at the flea market?’ I was like ‘No, it’s a handbag that we prototyped but just didn’t produce.’
Image from
 Ghesquiere also credits Gisele with steering him away from crazy high heels and back to flats; 'I understood sometimes the pain on the feet... the idea was to have this crazy casting with Gisele and Amber Valleta and Carolyn [Murphy]. They were not used to walking with heels any more. Gisele was worried; she would not work with my heels' These comments are an invaluable insight into the power of the model to override, or drive the creative vision. Ghesquiere clearly believed that the models were more important to Balenciaga than the high heel. Maybe this is also about a woman's perspective though; Ghesquiere admits to exploring the house's archives and finding lots low-heeled shoes, he understood that these would be more comfortable for a woman to wear and such assumptions were confirmed by Gisele, and so the Balenciaga flat was re-born.
Gisele walking for Balenciaga SS11, in flats (Image from
 After the very exciting news that Isabel Marant is to open a store in London, we were also thrilled to hear that Helmut Lang is also getting in on the act with their biggest European store opening on Westbourne Grove on September 1st. A Helmut Lang shearling coat is top of my AW fantasy shopping list, as modelled by Saskia de Brauw.

Helmut Lang AW11 (Image from
Finally, CONGRATULATIONS to Micheal Kors who married Lance Le Pere this week on a beach in New York state. Kors said 'To marry someone as wonderful and special to me as Lance barefoot on a glorious beach is more than I could have dreamed of''. I concur entirely, for I would also like to marry someone as beautiful as Lance, barefoot on a beach.

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