Friday, January 27, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

The world of fashion is racing ahead at full throttle right now; menswear and couture are just done and February is just around the corner which means we're on countdown to the big four fashion weeks. And that all means there's plenty of fashion news to let you know about...

E.Tautz- one to watch at the menswear shows (image from sharpened
News from the British Fashion Council: London is to have its very own mini menswear fashion week. The June dates precede the established shows in Milan and Paris. The change also makes commercial sense because it ties into the calendar for buyers. We're glad to see menswear getting its own moment in the spotlight rather than seeming like an afterthought to womenswear (until now, London Fashion Week had a men's day tagged on the end). It makes perfect sense too; London being the home of Savile Row- the ultimate menswear shopping destination.

Michelle Obama at this week's State of the Union address (image from,uk)
At this week's State of the Union address, Michelle Obama continued her rather impressive track record on occasion appropriate dressing with a Barbara Tfank sapphire blue dress. However, one blogger on the French Elle website took the opportunity to write an article which argued that the Obamas have enabled black style to move from 'street wear' to 'chic'. Naturally, a row ensued which quite understandably accused the publication of racist leanings. Apparently, the article, which has now been taken down, was 'misinterpreted'. We would just like to point out that Michelle Obama is not the world's first chic black woman. See below, The Supremes, as a starting point.

image from
LVMH announced this week that the Celine AW12 show will be scaled back due to Phoebe Philo's pregnancy- she'll be eight months gone by the time of the show on March 4th. Instead, there will probably be a presentation at the same time which is deemed a more manageable task than the full-blown runway affair. Vanessa Friedman at the FT sees this decision as emblematic of a new attitude to designers; 'the Celine move marks a conscious decision to choose the designer over possible marketing returns from the runway pictures'. In a post-Galliano age, designers might finally be recognised as human beings, as well as talented makers of profit earning collections.
Philo's Mum and Dad were at her SS12 show (image from
Sienna and Savannah Miller have called it a day on their roles as Creative Directors at twenty8twelve, the label they started six years ago and which is named after Sienna's birthday. It looks like the sisters probably haven't had too much to do with the design process for some time, even though Savannah is highly qualified, having studied at Central St. Martins. Nish Soneji, the Pepe Managing Director which owns the label, told Drapers 'We never intended to be a celebrity brand and we remain confident of our DNA'. Don't expect much change at the London show in a few weeks then.
Sienna and Savannah (
OUTFIT OF THE WEEK: Miss Piggy in Giles at last night's premiere of the new Muppets film. Giles commented 'She's the biggest diva we've ever worked with'.

Fab! (image from

We've noticed some particularly deep and meaningful (ahem, not) comments from the mouths of models this week.. SH*T MODELS SAY

Alice Dellal on Karl Lagerfeld: 'He's so nice. It was nice to be able to talk to him'
Dellal on being in a Chanel shoot: 'It made me feel like a lady'

Helena Christensen on advice she'd give to the models she's just selected: 'I want to say "run as fast as you can'

And the biggest gems from Laura Craik's satirical interview with Kate Moss. On Mango's clothes 'The cut and they’re kind of ... you know ... really well made, and the jeans are ... you know, they’re really well made and the cut, you can wear them a lot ... '

Kate Moss on the Daily Mail's obsession with her: 'I don’t know. ’Cos it’s the Daily Mail? They just get on everyone’s tits, don’t they? I don’t know'

Lady Amanda Harlech (from
If you haven't read it already, then can we heartily recommend to you Alex Fury's interview with Lady Amanda Harlech, Creative Consultant at Chanel a.k.a Lagerfeld's right hand woman? It's a brilliant lid lifting on the real role of the 'muse' as Harlech is so often called as well as her quite extraordinary life. Particularly apt for couture week. 

Just out: Natalia Vodianova for Stella McCartney. Similar to last season but with pretty flowers this time.

image from
The Haute Couture shows are over for another season, not that it matters much for those us not buying. While we can, and do, admire the artisanship, these are collections which only a few of the super-super rich will think about it in an "I want that now" kind of way.

It's easy to feel left out, especially when most of our realities involve the very possible threat of a double dip recession. We shouldn't feel left out. The sad truth is today's Haute Couture is aimed squarely at markets in China and Russia where there is a boom-time economy and fashion is going through a wealth flaunting bling stage. So that yellow shiny long, thigh split dress will never see the light of day again in Europe. In Russia on the other hand....

It is a fact of life that designers now need to straddle all the potential markets from affordable to outrageously expensive. Karl Lagerfeld did that rather nicely this week; he began on Tuesday with his couture show, the next day he launched his affordable, online only collection- available exclusively at Net-a-Porter. Launch events were hosted in London and New York and judging by the huge queues, Karl's mega straddle paid off- they came flocking. Oh, and Chanel have also produced a nail polish in the same clear sky blue which underpinned the couture.  Chanel know better than any other brand how to tickle the fancy of all their critics and fans from uppity newspaper fashion editors to young bloggers, and this is what makes it the world's best fashion brand.

Image courtesy of @jimshi809
This is how Karl celebrated, with a party at his place in Paris. Azealia Banks was performing, can you spy Karl? he is filming the whole thing with one of his many iPads. Looks like the indoor smoking ban is NOT being respected at Karl's place.

Whaaat did she say? (from

In other couture news, Jean Paul Gaultier has offended Amy Winehouse's family by staging a 'bad taste' tribute to the singer to showcase his collection. Barber shop singers performed Winehouse tracks and models wore beehives and smoked cigarettes. Mitch Winehouse said that the show 'glamorises some of the more upsetting times of her life'. We agree that the donning of mourning veils at the end of the show was probably a step too far, but then JPG has never been one to play safe. Jean Paul was a huge fan of Amys and recently told FashEd he was devastated when she died, so the homage was done with good intentions. Perhaps just a bit too soon for the Winehouse family. What do you think?
JPG's couture tribute to Amy Winehouse (image from
After an eight year absence, Versace made a return to the couture schedule, albeit in a scaled down presentation. This is another label which is doing the 'straddle', only last week Donatella's second Versace collection for H&M sold out. Watch Suzy Menkes' interview to get the lowdown on everything Versace...

A few special looks to sum up couture...

Elegant New Look references at Christian Dior by Bill Gaytten
Livening up the clothes with mohicans at Chanel (this will be big in China)
 Pastel overdose at Elie Saab 
Beautiful Valentino

One for the Russian crowd at Versace (all images from
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