Thursday, 29 September 2011

Paris Fashion Week: Damir Doma

I know it seems like I have bypassed London Fashion Week show stuff, but rest assured, it will appear elsewhere. In the meantime, Paris Fashion Week is in full swing so get ready for some related pictures and words. It also serves as a good break from all the patriotic stuff I've been doing recently.

Damir Doma
So the robes are gone, well, more or less, to be replaced with something rather more decidedly...Grecian. The progression from robe-like garments to togas isn't the overhaul of the century, but his latest approach is interesting, especially when combined with modern jackets and even city shorts - mixing the new with the old. The long, drapey elements still make an appearance here and there, although definitely outnumbered by the torque-collared dresses paired with wrap around sandals. Although originally a menswear designer (I remember attending a show and imagining how his garments would look on a female form), he has a fine grasp of a good female silhouette, but there are still moments where he prefers to stay loose and billowy, rather than form fitting. Of course, that is not necessarily an indication that he shies away from accentuating womanly curves, but just a manifestation of his aesthetic.
The staple black pieces mixed in with white, gold and a lush olivey/yellow colour worked well for the collection, and the odd gold embellishments further accentuated the Grecian feel.
What is interesting is that this collection is definitely a more commercial affair than previous offerings (especially compared to his menswear), but it may also just be that Grecian/floaty/robe elements are more common for mainstream womenswear compared to its use in commercial menswear.
Still, there is plenty more room for development for this relatively new designer to womenswear. Not too many compaints, here, though. 

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Scots at LFW

So my attention has been particularly drawn to all things Scottish and fashion-related recently, stemming from my recent discovery of the Design Collective Scotland. Another contributory factor may be the low I often experience when returning to Scotland from my fashion-laden trips. Reminding myself of the good things here helps to ease the pain...

While wandering through the massive maze of an exhibition at this season’s designer exhibitions, I was lucky enough to stumble across the Design Collective room, featuring four Scottish designers who have teamed up to take on the fashion world. Their sartorial expertise varies from knitwear to shoes and aesthetically they all have their own distinct look. Watch out for them around Scotland and beyond...

Di Gilpin
With a collaboration with Meadham Kirchoff under her belt, Di’s unique knitwear is being noticed as innovative and striking by all the right people. Being surrounded by the beautiful landscapes around rural Scotland has definitely influenced her designs, and her technical mastery means she is able to create pieces with varying types of construction and pushes the boundaries of what can be done with knitwear. I really loved what I saw at the exhibition - I particularly enjoyed her fisherman/fishing nets inspired knits and the way she uses wool to mimic other materials. Unique,wearable and beautiful.

 A sexy fisherman's wife vest? Yes please.

I would definitely replace denim shorts with knitted ones..

Iona Crawford
Soft cuts mixed with masculine silhouettes, Iona’s SS12 collection is a contrast of inspirations with great execution. Feminine prints and the best fabrics like silk, merino and cashmere make the garments look (and, no doubt, feel) luxurious to wear. Her self-designed prints are the perfect complement to the ultra-refined creations. I especially love the delicateness of the bird print on the V cut of the dress and on the subtle upturn of the tux jacket. Divine!

Marc Ross
With a love of leather and strong looks, Marc Ross is the definition of edgy chic from Scotland. His roots in pattern cutting are channelled through the expert use of brave designs throughout his pieces. His creative flair allows him to make garments that are both striking yet well structured and wearable. After learning and perfecting his craft outside of Scotland, he returns to work on new things with his eponymous label. As a fellow lover of leather (try saying that fast), I'm definitely excited to see more.

Due to my lack of new shoe designer discoveries, I was delighted to ‘discover’ Emily Lamb. Her beautifully hand-crafted shoes are understated yet timelessly elegant, with intricate details such as cut out sides and multi-tonal and multi-texture leathers. Each shoe is made to order so patience is required to get your hands on them. Shoes so delicate and precious, I want to put them all on display.
 One of the rare mid heels I've seen that I actually like!

The Design Collective is jetsetting to more global fashion destinations and are setting up shop in Glasgow very soon. Details to come when I know more, as I'll definitely be visiting...

And even more Scottish fashion stuff is happening this weekend in my very own Edinburgh! The launch party of the Edinburgh Fashion Fall/Winter Event is just in time for the Indian Summer we are having. I know next to nothing about the launch and the event itself so am quite excited to get acquainted with the fashion show that's closest to home.

You bet there'll be pics to come.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Pre-Fashion Week Shakes

So it is a week before London Fashion Week (yes, I know fashion month has started already but I ignore NYFW because 1) it's really far away and 2) it's a bit MEH) and the fretting has begun. Whose shows will I be invited to, or will I have to jump the (not so) proverbial fence. How am I going to get there and stay for as little money as possible to maximise potential spending (Greyhound - YUCK and spare room of sympathisers). Obviously the most important question is, what the fuck am I going to wear???

Living in Edinburgh, I rely heavily on the internet for a lot of my special sartorial needs, which has developed in me a keeness for comparison shopping. An usual evening looks like this:
8pm: Feeling the need to revisit /renew interest in a specific item - usually shoes or bags
8.15: Scrolling through eBay and the millions of fakes, find a few good bargains but too impatient to wait the 4 days when the auction ends, annoyed at stupid BIN prices.
8.30: Proceed to trawl through the vast expanses of Google with lame key words that either turn up too many or not enough search results.
8.45: Reconsult eBay, then back to Google, eBay. Repeat.
12.30am: Pretty knackered at this point, watching an extra 10000 items on eBay, similar amount in wish lists on various websites.
Repeat the whole process for weeks, at a bit more frantic pace when fashion week approaches and the only option becomes next day international shipping...

Sometimes it does seem I would be happier without the "choice" of internet shopping. I often find myself being much more spontaneous when I shop in person - once I try those shoes on...there is no going back and I'm determined to walk home with them. No time to worry about where else I can get them, or whether it's free delivery over £100. No wallowing in inexplicable grief when the internet taunts me with the ghosts of shoes and bags already sold out, at sale price..

And my recent results and achievements?
The one I'm most excited about and ashamed to have only discovered them recently is LD Tuttle. An American designer with an impressive range of interesting footwear, with dark names like The Hunt, and The Empty. After a chance encounter with an amazing pair of mummy-like wrap wedges on Matches, I proceeded to investigate further, and came across a pair of shoes that stirred something in my, er, heart.
The Haunt definitely sent a chill, but of the thrilling kind. The blood-red layers of bandaged leather, the concealed wedge and the back zip is the most exciting combination I've seen in ages.
The bad news is, I couldn't find any European retailers that stock these, so to get the from the US, one would have to pay a whopping $200something customs fee. Ouch. The internet giveth, and it taketh away..

This next label I was very reluctant to like, due to the fact that you can't turn the page quick enough to avoid Cheryl Cole's over-exposed face and not notice that she is in one of these. All the time, seemingly. I wouldn't be surprised if she sleeps in them.
So with all that in mind, I tried very hard to look away from the slim-fit, washed and aged lamb leather variations, with cut and style inspirations from Rick Owens to Julius.
Will I be able to resist the pull of lamb leather and raw edge seams at reasonable prices..?
See what the fuss is all about at the Muubaa website.

So what have we learned from this analysis of my shopping habits? Ignorance is bliss and the virtual knife that twists as you realise you've just missed out on a flash sale, or that you want something that was discontinued months or years ago is a difficult pain to bear.

On the other hand, where else would you get a 6 seasons old bag you've wanted ever since you discovered its existence 4 seasons ago, with the added bonus of yanking it from the clutches of a few dozen other women who you know wanted it just as much, in the comfort of your own home?

Internet shopping - 1, Physical shopping - 0.