Thursday, 31 March 2011

A Summer Moodboard


I've been working on my moodboard for this summer, collating images and references for the particular trends that have caught my eye.  I tried to theme it from left to right, gradually moving from bright colour blocking, though neon tweeds and leopard print silks, to black and white plays on volume.  I noticed several brands cropping up over and over again: Jil Sander, Prada, Proenza Schouler, Givenchy, Gareth Pugh and Calvin Klein.  I guess I have expensive tastes.  My birthday is coming up this month - take note, people...


xxx
Duck

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Mr Porter - not quite what I had in mind

I've waited a long time for it.  The years of buying womenswear on Net-A-Porter and stretching it to fit, or hoping that ASOS would add more and more high-end brands to their ever expanding line-up should have been over.  Just a month or so ago it arrived, the luxe menswear online store I was dreaming of, and we all said a sweet bonjour to Mr Porter.  Unfortunately, it hasn't quite lived up to my expectations.  For me, the site is too content-heavy and product-light.  I don't want another online magazine or style guide - puhlease, I already know what products I'm looking for! - I just want a wide selection of high-level designer pieces kept in stock and available for fast delivery, without the waiting times associated with using other favourite stores like Louisa Via Roma, FarFetch or The Corner because of their international bases.  I can see many websites are going down this road towards editorial/shopping synthesis, and while I like the idea of being able to buy stuff on the sites I already read for pleasure, I'm also rather keen to keep some internet shopping emporia where I can just find the pieces I want as quickly as possible.

I have two more gripes with Mr Porter, both of which, however, I presume will be improved upon in the near future (the first issue, I fear, may never be resolved): the general lack of stock, and the focus on preppy brands.  It currently doesn't take long to trawl through what design pieces are on offer, mainly because very few of the brands have more than a handful of items to their names.  And what is there isn't really what I'm looking for: Burberry, Dunhill, Church's or Paul Smith are all very well but where are the edgier names like Ann Demeulemeester, Alexander Wang, Kris van Assche or Comme des Garçons Hommes Plus?  Currently I still need to shop abroad, or in-store for these kinds of brands.  I did come across some items I'll be adding to my wishlist (YSL sunglasses, Viktor and Rolf logo sweater, DRKSHDW by Rick Owens shorts and a Marni lambskin backpack) but for now I think I'll still be doing most of my shopping elsewhere...  Watch this space.
 


xxx
Duck

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Maria Francesca Pepe S/S


Sometimes my life just seems strangely serendipitous, like this week when my Maria Francesca Pepe Spring/Summer order finally arrived at the studio, and Anna and I popped over to Hackney to pick it up [and to make our order for next season while we were there - gotta love those third-of-the-retail-price prices!].  This was serendipitous because the pieces I had ordered magically sync up with my current obsession with Buffy The Vampire Slayer, despite that not being on my mind last September.  I'm slowly working my way through the first seasons of Buffy, reliving the cult 90s classic on the screen of my iPad as I commute back and forth between London and Oxford for press days etc, and now I have my very own protective crucifix to wear on dark nights when I'm all alone with no Xander to hold my hand...  If the gold pendant doesn't keep the vamps away, and I fail to fend them off with my silver spiked ring, then hopefully the chain of thorns necklace will dust them when they get too close to my jugular.      


Now, who wants to take a bite?

xxx
Duck

Monday, 28 March 2011

Vanessa G.


Sorry it's taken me a few days to catch up on my missed blog posts from last week - I've had an action-packed weekend, but also I really wanted to give myself a chance to think about what I saw at the launch of Vanessa G last week before saying anything I might regret.  One week ago I had no idea what or who Vanessa G was, and despite attending her monumental fashion show on Wednesday evening, I still don't really know anything about her.  From her website I discover she has a background in, well, pretty much everything; Vanessa has worked in or owns businesses in trade unions, mining, healthcare and finance to name just a few sectors.  However, as far as I can tell, she has no background in fashion and apparently no real contacts in the Western fashion realm considering nobody I spoke to at her show had ever heard of her (she did, I hear, fly out the entire Vogue India team for the night!).  Nevertheless, she still managed to put on quite an extravaganza.

The location: the Banqueting House at Whitehall.  The drink: unlimited Veuve Clicquot.  The model of the evening: Jourdan Dunn.  The DJ: Sophie Ellis-Bextor.  All this should add up to one hell of a fashion show and while it was a fun evening, I'm still not quite sure she hit the mark because the grand surroundings and lavish production couldn't make up for the so-so clothes.  Yes, they looked like expensive fabrics and the cuts were good, if a little prim.  But I felt like I'd seen it all before.  The art-inspired floral prints practically screamed ERDEM MORALIOGLU!  The one-shouldered frocks took more than a leaf out of Alber Elbaz's book.  Even the Maria Grachvogel 'magic pants' were there.  There were many beautiful items (I loved the red and green garden-print silk blouse) but as a collection it felt derivative and stale.  And if I were to drop some serious cash on a bold dress, I think I'd rather buy the original.  Perhaps Vanessa G could have made a greater impression if she had focused more on developing a unique design viewpoint rather than splashing the cash to win us over...     


I was only partially surprised to learn that the after-party was in fact Vanessa's own birthday bash, complete with a five-tiered black and red birthday cake.  I do wonder if the entire event was just one giant birthday present from Vanessa to Vanessa. And why not?  Hmmm...


xxx
Duck

Faun bloggers preview


Last week I got the chance to sip hot tea and cool Orangina (seriously!! how old-school. of me..) with a bunch of my fellow bloggers over at the Out Of Town café/vintage store in Clerkenwell, all organised by Freewheelin PR in aid of new womenswear brand FaunAlex Loves was there, as were some people I hadn't met before, like the fiery-haired Wolf Whistle.  Being as organised as I am I had managed to leave my memory card at home, so the only photos I could take were on the trusty iPhone (supplemented by the helpful photographer Stuart Watt who was around on the day).  


Salma and Jaclyn introduced us to the Faun Spring/Summer line which has just launched in the UK.  Think floaty dresses, tops and ruched skirts in dusky summery colours and prints.  There are also some sequinned evening numbers, perfect for a summertime wedding.  They don't have many stockists yet, but the full collection is available on the Faun website, and with prices starting at around £80 it is rather affordable.  I'm thinking of using my £100 voucher to pick up a gorgeous black silk shirt dress - you know I love my transparents!  I wonder who to give it to... 


Don't you just love a personalised goodie-bag!

I'd also recommend popping into the Out of Town if you're ever in that North-East area.  I'd never been before, but I saw a really good selection of vintage clothes, antique knick-knacks and sturdy looking furniture.  Basically everything in the place is for sale, and you can also grab a tasty slice of Welsh rarebit and a cup of tea while you browse :-)


xxx
Duck