Category: fashion comment

Phluid x

Clothes are so ubiquitous it’s easy to take them for granted: fripperies, feathers and function. Except they unconsciously say so much – they are our inner identities reflected back to the world.  Those moments when you have nothing to wear? It’s really because there’s nothing to express who you want to be that day.

But what if the freedom we believe in is really a myth? What if society has conditioned our thinking so much we no longer notice the rules, the divisions and the assumptions they lead to?

And there are many of them: Blue for a boy, pink for a girl, pretty dresses for girls that look sweet but don’t take into consideration climbing trees and protection against skinned knees, trousers for boys that metaphorically take on another meaning, T-bars for primary school girls, running shoes for boys, Pedestal high heels for women: the literal presentation of an object of desire: Look sexy, feel sexy they shout. Taxi shoes! We laugh, the truth covered by humour, falling for the fantasy rather than admit they’re restrictive, tortuous and totally lacking function.

What about sizing? It’s another hidden form of segregation: There’s the designer labels who don’t make anything above a size 14 – what’s the message they’re giving?  That only the rich are perfect?  Or that designers only want to hang their clothes on hangers, not real bodies, real people? But we still let them, maybe one day hoping that person will be us, another part of our insidious cultural brainwashing. What about the clothes store that allegedly offer larger sizes except they never have any in stock? Is it because they can’t understand why someone with that body would want to wear it? Is that really their choice to make? When what’s available for one body isn’t available for another it’s limitation, restriction, and control.

Gender is another straitjacket demanding clothing conformity, every store with racks of clothes marked out for one type of person only, the changing rooms following suit.  Who has decided these divisions?

Certainly not PhluidPhluid is the first gender neutral store that’s just opened in New York as a place without judgement or fear where it’s the clothes that do the talking, not our mental labels. Phluid says we have the ability to imagine a world without ‘because we do’ traditions and outdated rituals that don’t work.  They say it’s up to us to open our eyes and fix it: Acceptance, balance, integrity, intention are so much more appealing.

 

(All pics Phluid)

Personally, it’s such a relief to see a store that celebrates what makes us different whilst cherishing what makes us the same: We think choice is freedom, but it only is if that choice is available to everyone.

 

Laters, Kate x

Gold Rush x

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We saw Cinderella last week..

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There’s an undeniable whiff of cheese..but Cate Blanchett’s costumes were honest-to-God-totes-amaze..

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vibrant colours…wicked jewellery

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All thought up by three time Oscar winning costume designer Sandy Powell..

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A south of the River London lass who still lives in Brixton.

Who says fairytales can’t come true?

Laters, Kate x

By degrees x

 

 

By degrees, dungarees – a trend prediction for the summer.

Brought to life by Meryl Streep in Mama Mia, Meryl proved all the barriers to style are in the mind.

Which doesn’t stop them being a marmite garment. Would you?

Laters, Kate x

That dress x

So this dress has been causing controversy again, although not quite the same way as it’s ancestor did.
When Liz Hurley stepped out in her Versace dress in 1994 for the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral she was an overnight sensation, though not for her acting skills – she wasn’t in the film, her then boyfriend Hugh Grant was – she made the headlines for being an object of desire.
But it wasn’t the picture of Jennifer in her dress that made my eyebrows raise.  It was this one, standing with four men.
Jennifer Lawrence has defended herself on Facebook writing:

‘Wow. I don’t really know where to get started on this “Jennifer Lawrence wearing a revealing dress in the cold” controversy. This is not only utterly ridiculous, I am extremely offended. That Versace dress was fabulous, you think I’m going to cover that gorgeous dress up with a coat and a scarf? I was outside for 5 minutes. I would have stood in the snow for that dress because I love fashion and that was my choice.
This is sexist, this is ridiculous, this is not feminism. Over- reacting about everything someone says or does, creating controversy over silly innocuous things such as what I choose to wear or not wear, is not moving us forward. It’s creating silly distractions from real issues. Get a grip people. Everything you see me wear is my choice. And if I want to be cold THATS MY CHOICE TOO!’

To Jennifer I say, many of us don’t realise the level of sexism we have internalised. We are conditioned by it, educated in it and live out our lives in it.  You wore this dress because of an insidious undercurrent of rules that dictates female Hollywood stars should wear such dresses, full stop, regardless of the expense, the quality, the label, the fashion statement, the weather, or even what the men are wearing.  You were expected to dress like this, you knew this and unquestioningly fulfilled that obligation.  Where the ongoing problem lies is that you don’t see your behaviour as influenced and that’s where the sadness lies, because every time our daughters see a women, particularly a women proud to hold herself up as a female icon, refuse to acknowledge such an event or puts her well being second, or does something that reinforces the idea that being object of desire/cleaning/childcare is a woman’s primary role, we let them down.  In the words of Charles Boudelaire: 

The loveliest trick of the devil is to persuade you he doesn’t exist.

Open your eyes. The truth is, there should have been five human beings standing there, not four men and a beautifully packaged piece of tempting meat.

Laters, Kate x

High Times x

January to easily represents the bleak recognition of the aftermath: The twinkly lights are gone, the weather is foul and last months credit card bills are circling like starving carrion.

But the first signs of spring are out there – the first glimpse of snowdrops, the first hint of cotton clothing appearing on the high street.

H&M have some impressive staples to offer – on trend blouses, softly hanging silk shirts, high waisted tie trousers and easy wear long sleeved dresses…

(Pics from Pinterest)

It’s temptation – but it’s sensible temptation.

Laters, Kate x

Alexa Chung x

It’s British, it’s a woman, it’s designed by a fashion icon…so Alexa Chung by Alexa Chung should be the wobblies de chiens.  So why does it leave me – like her collaboration with AG   on the clammy side of cold?

Like a crow over carrion, time to pick over the bones…

  1. There’s no progression of ideas.  Like famous clothes horses before her, she’s taken inspiration from the wardrobe that’s made her: a bit of this, a bit of that.  The link that draws them together is her, which is great if you are her.  Or want to pretend to be her.  But don’t you want to be yourself? Isn’t that what she’s all about? Being an individual…I’m confused.. 2. She’s a hipster chick who’s proud to buy vintage and snuffle her way through charity shops. I doth my feathered hat.  But to emulate her style you just need to do the same..those Mary Janes? a fiver at Camden…  3. Because it’s so reliant on the past there’s not much modern twisting, which begs the question – where’s the house style to hang a feathered hat on? (All pics Alexa Chung)

 

4. She’s an intelligent woman who understands and has personally experienced the patriarchal influence on fashion, so why reproduce clothes for boys again?

You’re beautiful, rich, clever, creative – so be it, be original instead of hiding behind things other people have done.

Laters, Kate x

I swear, My Swear..

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The price of these babies will no doubt induce an apocalypse of weepiness and hair tearing…and also make them ‘highly desirable’ such is the strange world we live in because the basic price starts at £300 – plus postage. And then this goes skyward depending on how much customisation you fancy.  Yep – these walking mortgages from My Swear are labelled the first ever customisable trainers…and are sure to be a wallet slapping cosmos flying hit.6fbff209ddea6f7c96bdc6ce763c589a

Where the joy comes in is even if you can’t buy, you can play: The power of the internet/websites are so good now, you can literally watch and plan every step  – colour – not just all over, but for each section, type of leather, soles, toes, eyelets, laces – it’s a long list of decisions meaning you can end up with a totally unique object.

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Ta-daaah!

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(All pics from My Swear)

Expect to see them strutting their stuff at the AW17 fashion shows.

You’ve been warned.

Laters, Kate x

Lady of Misrule x

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Do you look at clothes for their integral beauty or as something you could potentially add to your expanding wardrobe? Take the By. Bonnie Young clothes – a veritable smorgasbord of gorgeousness – but the chances of them say, fitting me? Limited.  But it doesn’t stop me drooling. Or do you dream of what you want and hope that somebody out there can read your fevered mind and actually produce it?

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It’s a subtle twist on that age old question, does style come before fashion? (Which one could argue is a posh way of saying if you wear what suits you first, do you look better?) which also the means, the chances of finding what you’ve dreamt of  are low.

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Which as cunningly as a foxes tail on a badger, brings me to the point of this post: The eternal hunt for the perfect pair of jeans..mainly because there’s an imaginary pair I’m desperate to find…high waisted that flare from the hip rather than the knee…and I suspect these: Irina High Rise by Citizens of Humanity could be them.

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So I’m looking and thinking would they fit? would they really suit…… And who at Citizen of Humanity has  got the power of telepathy? Maybe if there’s ever a chance I could try on a pair in the right size in a half price sale, I’ll jump.

 

Laters, Kate x

BY. Bonnie Young x

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A woman of my heart as a true renaissance woman, Bonnie Young has worked in the fashion industry, travelled the world, written a book, amassed an important collection of tribal costumes and jewellery (hashtag-very-jealous). Then returned to Donna Karan, to leave Karan to start a children’s line to suddenly realising that women were actually buying the clothes for themselves (pausing now briefly for a cynically raised eyebrow at the momentary snapshot of society today) leading her to start her own label, BY.Bonnie Young. This was her New York Fashion Week debut.

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It was inspired by nature, the South, the Victorians all wrapped up in a velvet bow with a flair for seventies ease.

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It’s flounces with fierce rather than frivolity – there’s nothing over the top or distracting.

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Each texture, cut, silhouette has a reason.

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It’s totally wearable, totally special, grown up, no-nonsense strength.

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She’s one to watch.

Laters, Kate x

Pretty and Pink x

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The rollercoaster of fashion steams on, morphing, re-inventing, disappearing and then back with a bang.  Each time the story is different, responding to design needs, changing faces and context, which is what makes it all so fascinating.

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Take the shoulder pad: Nemesis of the 80s, spawn of the 40s..and ripe for a re-birth.

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But now less cut-out character from Disney, more cutting edge with balance.

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I don’t know much – but I know I want some.

Laters, Kate x