Category: fashion comment

Trend 3

The fickle winds of fashion never stop blowing raspberries; Not long ago I was reading about the terminal death of the short-sleeved jacket and I remember thinking the very act of writing those words was probably like a summoning of the phoenix from the ashes, because the thing about hates is that they have a tendency to come around again….and just a little change can make a radical shift in emphasis.

(All pics Pinterest)

Never say never.

Laters, Kate x

Trend 2

Easy, gentle, coloured with summer, the satin skirt is an easy addition to any wardrobe.  Dress up or dress down. T-shirt or baggy jumper, it’s the transitional bridge that shouts lazy lux and joyful delight.

(All pics Pinterest)

Time to lose the plot and find the fun.

Laters, Kate x

Trend 1 x

We spent a few days in the brilliant city of Bristol over Easter, enjoying the street food and vintage shops.  I was truly surprised by what caught my wandering eye – an electric/purple blue Hawaiian shirt for fifteen squids.  It stopped me in my tracks with visions of pairing it with a loose navy suit with sleeves rolled up eighties style and a loose but narrow pair of 3/4 length trousers.  It was vivid and powerful and sadly not shared by my two children who dragged me away.

(All pics Pinterest)

But I think it has legs.

Laters, Kate x

The Oscars 2019

There were the good dresses – Emma Stone in Versace

Lady  Gaga  in  Alexander  McQueen.

And an  ‘Oh  no!’  for  the  lovely  Olivia  Coleman,  perfect  from  the  neck  up.

But  most  of  al, this year marked  a cheer  for  the  men  that  were  prepared  to break  boundaries,  like  Spike  Lee.

And  Stephan James in Etro.

The  blushing  pink  of  the  masculine  Jason  Momosa.

Pharrell  Williams  showing  men  have  legs  too.


Mark Ronson putting on a Mark Ronson twist.

And Chadwick Boseman looking fabulous. Because here’s  the  irony:  This ceremony  celebrating  the  peak  of  visual  creativity  is  actually  all  about  conforming.  Apart  from  the few  braves  souls  who  don’t.

Of  which  the  prize  goes  to the  stylish,  the  bravura,  the  impeccable,  Billy Porter  in  Christian  Siriano. Not a breath of kitsch, no sign of a send up, just a sonic statement in understated class.

The  shirt.  I want.

Billy Porter says when he debuted his dress-wearing persona at the Golden Globe parties, he was astounded by the amount of attention it caused with crowds ‘parting like the red sea’.  He says ‘It’s infuriating that a man in a dress still garners this much attention. Women wear pants every day and nobody  bats  an  eye.  But  you  put  a man  in  a dress  and  it’s  like  the  sky  is  falling.’ Porter  asks  ‘Are  you  saying  that  women  in  pants  equals  masculinity  and  that’s  good?  But  a man  in  a dress  equals  feminine  and  that’s  bad?  Well,  I’m  done  with  that.

(All pics Hollywood Reporter and Pinterest)

And so am I.

Laters, Kate x

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