Shop windows and Punk: chaos to couture

I am away traveling with my husband again for a couple of weeks and I have been blown away by some of the shop windows I have seen while wandering around. The Harvey Nichols windows in London are showing mostly menswear but they are so spectacular I had to put them up. Their impact is amazing, you can see them from miles away, they are raw and blunt but clean at the same time.

Harvey Nichols window

Harvey Nichols window

Harvey Nichols window

Harvey Nichols window

Harvey Nichols window

Harvey Nichols window

Harvey Nichols window

Harvey Nichols window

Harvey Nichols window

Harvey Nichols window

Harrods also had spectacular windows with a Great Gatsby theme. The film came out in London a couple of weeks ago and a few stores are embracing the theme.

Harrods window image from their Facebook page

Harrods window image from their Facebook page

Harrods window image from their Facebook page

Harrods window image from their Facebook page

Harrods window image from their Facebook page

Harrods window image from their Facebook page

Harrods window image from their Facebook page

Harrods window image from their Facebook page

Harrods window image from their Facebook

Harrods window image from their Facebook

Harrods window image from their Facebook page

Harrods window image from their Facebook page

Harrods window

Harrods window

Bergdorf Goodman in New York have used the Punk: Chaos to Couture theme  following the exhibition of the same name that is currently on at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Bergdorf Goodman window image from their blog

Bergdorf Goodman window image from their blog

Bergdorf Goodman window image from their blog

Bergdorf Goodman window image from their blog

Bergdorf Goodman window image from their blog

Bergdorf Goodman window image from their blog

Bergdorf Goodman window image from their blog

Bergdorf Goodman window image from their blog

Detail of Bergdirf Goodman window image from their blog

Detail of Bergdorf Goodman window image from their blog

I have seen so much media coverage of the Punk; Chaos to Couture exhibition that is on at the Metropolitan Museum at the moment that I popped in to see it on Friday.  The exhibition takes a conceptual look at the subject but also looks at punk as an aesthetic rather than an attitude.To quote Andrew Bolton ” No other counter cultural movement has had a greater or more enduring influence on high fashion.  Punk smashed every convention of acceptable self preservation. It prized originality, authenticity, and individuality and devised specific visual codes in order to rebel against the cultural mainstream.”

I used to travel to London a lot on business when I started working in the early 80’s and I loved going down the Kings Road and seeing all the punks. They were larger than life and were unafraid of  expressing themselves in what they wore. Their mohawk hair used to fascinate me with their sharp spikes and coloured tips. The piercings and the safety pins that adorned peoples faces amazed but also scared me a bit!

The movement was all about rebellion, anarchy, breaking down barriers and destructure. Fashion and music went hand in hand in the creation of punk. Everyone seems to agree that without Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood the movement may still have evolved but it would not have been the same. They both had enormous influence  on both fashion and music.

Some of the clothes included in the exhibit show the lasting influence punk has had on current designers.

Image from Zimbo.com

Image from Zimbo.com

Taken from Punk: Chaos to Couture book

Taken from Punk: Chaos to Couture book

Sid Viscious taken from book Punk: Chaos to Couture

Sid Viscious taken from book Punk: Chaos to Couture

Alexander McQueen Autumn/ Winter 2008-9 taken from book Punk: Chaos to Couture

Alexander McQueen Autumn/ Winter 2008-9 taken from book Punk: Chaos to Couture

Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood 1976 taken from book Punk: Chaos to Couture

Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood 1976 taken from book Punk: Chaos to Couture

Taken from book Punk: Chaos to Couture

Taken from book Punk: Chaos to Couture

Junya Watanabe Spring/ Summer 2006 taken from book Punk: Chaos to Couture

Junya Watanabe Spring/ Summer 2006 taken from book Punk: Chaos to Couture

Louis Vuitton taken from book Punk:Chaos to Couture

Louis Vuitton 2009 taken from book Punk:Chaos to Couture

Dior Haute Couture by John Galliano Autumn/ Winter 2006-7 taken from book Punk: Chaos to Couture

Dior Haute Couture by John Galliano Autumn/ Winter 2006-7 taken from book Punk: Chaos to Couture

Dolce and Gabanna Spring 2008 image from Style.com

Dolce and Gabanna Spring 2008 image from Style.com

Dolce and Gabbana Spring 2008 image from style.com

Dolce and Gabbana Spring 2008 image from style.com

Dolce and Gabbana Image from style.com

Dolce and Gabbana Image from style.com

Image from reuters.com

Image from reuters.com

image from musemagazine.it

image from musemagazine.it

Image from video.orange.com

Image from video.orange.com

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Disipline, habits, Chanel and coats

I was trying to talk myself into going for my walk yesterday when I really didn’t feel like it and I started thinking about how undisciplined I am in my exercise. My husband is one of the most undisciplined people I know yet he is fanatical about exercise. He has religiously trained five days a week every week in the 27 years I have known him and obviously before then. It made me wonder about whether something like exercise and good eating are disciplines or habits and if there is a difference between them. You can make good habits for yourself that you carry with you for years, things that become second nature that you don’t have to consciously think about but that you just do like making healthy food choices in restaurants. I know people who don’t even think twice when eating out and only consider healthy things on the menu. Bad food choices are just not on their radar. In their case it’s not a question of discipline to eat well but an automatic habit. For some people exercise is exactly the same, they put on their shoes and off they go. So is exercising and eating healthily a discipline or a habit or a bit of both?

Karl Lagerfeld image from style.com

Karl Lagerfeld image from style.com

Karl Lagerfeld has just shown his usual beautiful clothes at the Spring Resort 2014 collection in Singapore. He never discusses his age but when I looked him up I found that he is 77. It’s quite remarkable that at his age he is still creating exquisite garments for one of the best fashion houses in the world. Despite being tempted to show all the looks, I have restrained myself and only shown 15! They are classic, timeless, beautiful and typically Chanel. All the images are from style.com

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

Chanel Resort 2014

I loved these coats that Celine did and I used Vogue pattern V1320 to make my own more muted version.

Celine Fall 13

Celine Fall 13

Stella McCartney Fall 13

Stella McCartney Fall 13

Vogue pattern V1320

Vogue pattern V1320

Coat detail

Coat detail

Purple coat with orange Hong Kong seams.

Pattern V1320 Purple coat with orange Hong Kong seams.

This week I was trying to find coats or capes that might be suitable for evening use. Sometimes when you go out at night it’s nice to have a coat that is a bit more glitzy or sparkly than a plain day wear coat that you wear all the time.

Black coat with lace and lurex collar from Review at Myer

Black coat with lace and lurex collar from Review at Myer

Black brocade coat from Review at Myer

Black brocade coat from Review at Myer

Polka dot coat from Review at Myer

Polka dot coat from Review at Myer

Navy wool and lurex cape from Stella at Myer

Navy wool and lurex cape from Stella at Myer

Brocade Ann coat at Jigsaw

Brocade Ann coat at Jigsaw

Textured evening coat from Jigsaw

Textured evening coat from Jigsaw

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Carmen dell’Orifice, Marie Colvin and The Met Gala

Carmen dell Orifice for Peter Alexander

Carmen dell Orifice for Peter Alexander

Peter Alexander's Mother's Day catalogue

Peter Alexander’s Mother’s Day catalogue

Peter Alexander

Peter Alexander

Peter Alexander

Peter Alexander

Peter Alexander

Peter Alexander

Carmen dell’Orifice, who I have featured on this blog before, has fronted Peter Alexander’s Mother’s Day campaign. She is a beautiful woman and at 82 is one of the world’s oldest working models. She is amazing in this shoot and brings just the right amount and balance of fun and sensuality. The sleepwear is pretty and feminine and I love the mix of prints, plains and lace. I think it’s important as you get older to keep buying lovely nightwear and underwear, it’s too easy to consider them unimportant items and not worth spending money on but they can make you feel wonderful which is the only excuse you need to buy them!

Marie Colvin the extraordinary journalist who first lost her eyeSri Lanka and then ultimately her life in Syria in 2012, was known for her collection of stunning La Perla and Myla underwear. In fact when her hotel room in East Timor was broken into and ransacked, the only thing stolen was all her underwear.  She reported from combat zones around the world and highlighted the plight of woman and children in areas of conflict.She spent weeks holed up in unspeakable conditions witnessing unspeakable horrors and she said she always felt better with beautiful underwear under her cargo pants and flak jacket. When she was attacked and injured while covering the Sri Lankan Civil War in 2001 and the media televised her evacuation and medical treatment she joked that at least she was wearing beautiful underwear when they cut her jacket off her on camera! I think we should take a leaf out of her book, there should never be a time when boring beige underwear takes preference over pretty coloured lace, even in war zones.

Marie Colvin image from Vanity Fair

Marie Colvin image from Vanity Fair

Victoria Secret on line

Victoria Secret on line

Victoria Secret on line

Victoria Secret on line

Victoria Secret on line

Victoria Secret on line

The Met Gala was held this week with the theme Punk . It was an unusual choice of theme but it ties in with an exhibit that has opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art entitled ‘Punk: Chaos to Couture . This spring 2013 Costume Institute exhibition will examine punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in the early 1970s through its continuing influence today. Featuring approximately one hundred designs for men and women, the exhibition will include original punk garments and recent, directional fashion to illustrate how haute couture and ready-to-wear borrow punk’s visual symbols.

The Gala is probably one of the most important dates on the New York social calender and invitations are highly sought after. This year the gala was chaired by Richardo Tisci whose Givenchy Fall 13 collection has been described as punk inspired. It is a difficult theme for a ball and while some people tried to get into the spirit of it others did not even try. Anna Wintour, the doyen of fashion, wore a long pink and white floral column dress by Chanel that had nothing whatsoever to do with punk.  The following photo’s are of people who interpreted the punk theme in their own way. Unless stated all the images are from the Cut magazine website.

Sarah Jessica Parker in dress by Giles Deacon and hat by Phillip Treacy image from vogue.co.uk

Sarah Jessica Parker in dress by Giles Deacon and mohawk hat by Phillip Treacy image from vogue.co.uk

Sarah Jessica Parker in Glies Deacon

Sarah Jessica Parker in Giles Deacon

Joley Richardson, Daisy Bevan and Vanessa Redgrave image from The Cut

Joley Richardson, Daisy Bevan and Vanessa Redgrave

Julie Macklowe in Zang Toi

Julie Macklowe in Zang Toi

Vivienne Westwood in her own design

Vivienne Westwood in her own design

Greta Gerwig in Saint Laurent

Greta Gerwig in Saint Laurent

Dee and Tommy Hilfiger in Tommy Hilfiger

Dee and Tommy Hilfiger in Tommy Hilfiger

Liya Kebede in Alberta Ferretti

Liya Kebede in Alberta Ferretti

Stacy Keibler in Rachel Roy

Stacy Keibler in Rachel Roy

Sienna Miller in Burberry

Sienna Miller in Burberry

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Gucci

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Gucci

Carine Roitfeld in Givenchy

Carine Roitfeld in Givenchy

Leelee Sobieski in Dior Couture

Leelee Sobieski in Dior Couture

Miley Cyrus in Marc Jacobs

Miley Cyrus in Marc Jacobs

Madonna in Givenchy

Madonna in Givenchy

Lauren Santo Domingo in Dolce and Gabbana

Lauren Santo Domingo in Dolce and Gabbana

Eve

Eve

Ashley Greene in Marchesa

Ashley Greene in Marchesa

Zandra Rhodes

Zandra Rhodes

Florence Welch in Givenchy

Florence Welch in Givenchy

Katy Perry in Dolce and Gabbana

Katy Perry in Dolce and Gabbana

Doutzen Kroes in Theyskens Theory

Doutzen Kroes in Theyskens Theory

Donatella Versace in Versace

Donatella Versace in Versace

Blake Lively in Gucci

Blake Lively in Gucci

Hilary Rhoda in Wes Gordon

Hilary Rhoda in Wes Gordon

Kerry Washington and Vera Wang

Kerry Washington and Vera Wang

Marion Cotillard in Dior

Marion Cotillard in Dior

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Second chances, t shirts and cakes

John Galliano image from fashionista.com

John Galliano image from fashionista.com

John Galliano image from fashionista.com

John Galliano image from fashionista.com

John Galliano image from twyla.com

John Galliano looking like a Hasidic Jew image from twyla.com

John Galliano has been in the news again this week. There was not much said about him after he was fired from Dior and his own label in February 2011 following a law suit and trial. A Paris court ordered that he stand trial on charges of “public insults based on the origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity” against three people. A few months ago Anna Wintour, with whom he has a long standing professional relationship,  apparently encouraged him to return to the industry starting with a stint at Oscar de la Renta earlier this year to help with the Fall 2013 collection. This has put him directly in the spotlight again and everyone is wondering if he has changed or mellowed enough to be let out on his own. He did manage to raise a few eyebrows in February when he went out looking very much like a Hasidic Jew and had everyone speculating about what statement, if any, he was trying to make. The Anti Defamation League have apparently applauded his efforts at atonement and have wished him well with his future career. He has reportedly been offered a position lecturing at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York. If you look at it from the students point of view it is an amazing opportunity, to be taught by one of the world’s best designers, to be able to tap his talent, creativity and knowledge will be an extraordinary experience. I’m not sure that New York City is the best choice for his return to the fold given that a lot people there don’t feel he has changed his racist and anti Semitic views. A small petition has been launched against Galliano teaching at Parson’s . It got me thinking about whether leopards really change their spots or do they just learn to hide their feeling and opinions the better to fit into society. Can you change how you think or do you just hide it away only to have it pop up again when you are drunk and have little control over your tongue. Who knows what really shapes and molds our views, can it be as simple as a geno typical or pheno typical response. Is it our parents, are we brought up to be or not be racists, is it our experiences, is it our involvement in incidents or situations that give us specific or scares or responses to different races. I suppose time will tell whether Galliano has turned over a new leaf and moved on.

Stripe long sleeved t shirt with embellished shoulder at Witchery

Stripe long sleeved t shirt with embellished shoulder at Witchery

Witchery, Country Road and Cue are doing lots of simple long sleeve t shirt with various metallic and sequin embellishments.

Khaki and grey long sleeved t shirts with metallic stud shoulder detail

Khaki and grey long sleeved t shirts with metallic stud shoulder detail

Cream long sleeve t shirt with black flocking detail at Witchery

Cream long sleeve t shirt with black flocking detail at Witchery

Long sleeve top with metallic stripes from Country Road

Long sleeve top with metallic stripes from Country Road

Long sleeve stripe t shirt at Country Road

Long sleeve stripe t shirt at Country Road

Metallic long sleeve top at Country Road

Metallic long sleeve top at Country Road

Long sleeve t shirt with lace top at Witchery

Long sleeve t shirt with lace top at Witchery on line

Long sleeve t shirt at Witchery on line

Long sleeve t shirt at Witchery on line

Long sleeve t shirt with leather panel at Witchery on line

Long sleeve t shirt with leather panel at Witchery on line

Long sleeve knit top at Cue

Long sleeve knit top at Cue

I saw this on the Vogue UK site the other day and was amazed by it! The pastry chef at MOMA in San Francisco is making cakes to look like works of art in the museum. This Piet Mondrain cake is made from white velvet cake with yellow blue and red sections stuck together with chocolate ganache.

Piet Mondrain cake Image from vogue.co.uk

Piet Mondrain cake Image from vogue.co.uk

Piet Mondrain cake image from shoptrendland.com

Piet Mondrain cake image from shoptrendland.com

 

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Supermarket trollies, Weddings and Rain boots

I am always amazed by advances in technology. We are able to put men on the moon, send probes to Mars, watch wars being fought hundreds of miles away on screens via satellite, send missiles to blow things up via drones, drive cars that can reverse park themselves and genetically engineer babies but it seems that we are completely incapable of making a supermarket trolley that doesn’t fight back when you try and navigate it down the isle. I think I put my back out and twisted my knee while trying to push a brand new and very shiny trolley around Woolworths today. As I get older I notice that I am not as physically strong as I was and I can no longer wrestle these trollies into submission.

Why can’t they make a trolley that runs up and down the isles obediently without leaving you disabled and needing physio?

When I saw these stunning photo’s from  Spring Bridal Fashion Week I thought it would be appropriate that I put them up as I have just come back from a beautiful family wedding that was held this weekend. My husband’s nephew got married and I have included a few photo’s at the end of my kids and I. I didn’t think about taking photo’s specifically for the blog which I should have done but I was able to steal these from my daughter.

Looking at these Fashion Week gowns they all seem to be simple, classic, beautifully cut and fitted, with the the fabrics creating the interest on the dresses. All images are from fashionista.com

xx

Legends by Romona Keveza

Kenneth Poole

Kenneth Poole

Carolina Herrera

Carolina Herrera

Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier

Angel Sanchez

Angel Sanchez

Rivini

Rivini

Reem Acra

Reem Acra

Reem Acra

Reem Acra

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta

Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier

Legends

Legends by Romona Keveza

Carolina Herrera

Carolina Herrera

Carolina Herrera

Carolina Herrera

Angel Sanchez

Angel Sanchez

Amsale

Amsale

My son and I

My son and I

My daughters and I

My daughters and I

The weather has been so amazing that I can’t complain about one rainy day but last Saturday when I rushed out to the shops for a bit I couldn’t believe how much water there was everywhere! It rained so hard where we are and the wind was relentless, whipping it up and drenching everyone. I have got to the stage now that when I travel to somewhere like London or New York I take a pair of rain boots or gum boot with me. I always end up walking everywhere when I go and I have ruined too many pairs of good shoes by trying to keep out of puddles and not get my feet wet. It makes so much sense to just wear rain boots and then you don’t have to worry about it all! I have included a few that I found on the internet and in stores.

Rain boots at Myer

Rain boots at Myer

Rain boot from Macy's.com

Rain boot from Macy’s.com

Rain boot from Macy's.com

Rain boot from Macy’s.com

Rain boots on ebay.com

Rain boots on ebay.com

Both the US and Australian ebay sites have lots and lots of rain boots for sale. I love the Hunter and Jimmy Choo for Hunter boots but there are loads of others as well.

Rain boot at Target

Rain boot at Target

Rain boots at Target

Rain boots at Target

Hunter rain boots at Jigsaw

Hunter rain boots at Jigsaw

Hunter rain boots at Jigsaw

Hunter rain boots at Jigsaw

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Fashion week, 20’s jewelery, lace appliques

Camilla S/S13 image from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Camilla S/S13 image from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Camilla S/S13 image from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Camilla S/S13 image from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Easton Pearson S/S 13 image from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Easton Pearson S/S 13 image from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Easton Pearson S/S 13 image from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Easton Pearson S/S 13 image from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Romance was Born S/S 13 image from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Romance was Born S/S 13 image from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Romance was Born S/S 13 image from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Romance was Born S/S 13 image from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Romance was Born S/S 13 fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Romance was Born S/S 13 fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Aje S/S 13 fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Aje S/S 13 fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Georgia May Jagger for Camilla S/S 13 image from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Georgia May Jagger for Camilla S/S 13 image from fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Camilla S/S 13 fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Camilla S/S 13 fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Toni Maticevski S/S 13 image from fashionista.com

Toni Maticevski S/S 13 image from fashionista.com

I haven’t seen much of what was shown at Fashion Week in Sydney but these few photo’s are some of my favourite’s of what I have seen. I always love the colours, prints and embellishments at Easton Pearse. Romance Was Born had such incredible make up and hair and looked like a journey into a fairy tale. So pretty.I look forward to seeing more photos in the coming weeks.

Tiffany and Co have done a stunning diamond range that coincides with The Great Gatsby release. Their windows are little works of art displaying their new range.I have always loved art deco, the shapes, the architecture and especially the jewellery. The Chrysler Building is still one of the most beautiful in New York. This headband was made specifically for the film and it’s amazing.

image from bonconseil.us

Tiffany diamond headband image from bonconseil.us

Image from orbridemagazine.com

Image from orbridemagazine.com

The Great Gatsby themed windows at Tiffany image from

Art Deco themed windows at Tiffany image from facebook.com

Tiffany diamond necklace image from facebook.com

Tiffany diamond necklace image from facebook.com

Tiffany necklace image from facebook.com

Tiffany necklace image from facebook.com

Chrysler Building New York image from topwalls.net

Chrysler Building New York image from topwalls.net

Chrysler building gargoyle image from travelwithterrynyc.blogspot.com

Chrysler building gargoyle image from travelwithterrynyc.blogspot.com

A few weeks ago I showed these Antonio Marras photos. I love the lace applique onto a rougher or textured fabric and these inspired me to try and liven up an old coat that I bought during a trip to New York a few years ago when I got caught with nothing warm in an unexpected cold snap.

I cut lace motifs out of a piece of lace, secured the edges with fray stop then appliqued them onto the coat. It’s given it a new lease on life and makes me feel as though I have a new coat instead of the same old one!!

Antonio Marras Fall 13

Antonio Marras Fall 13

Antonio Marras Fall 13

Antonio Marras Fall 13

Eileen Fisher coat before

Eileen Fisher coat before

After applique

After applique

After applique

After applique

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Cats, trends and things I like

Cat ear beanie image from whowhatwhere.com

Cat ear beanie image from whowhatwhere.com

Image from whowhatwhere.com

Image from whowhatwhere.com

LEFASHIONBLOGCATEARHATSSTREETSTYLEFASHIONWEEKFASHIONMONTHPEONYLIMBLOGGERSOCIALITEREDLIPSLEATHERVESTLEOPARDSKIRTFURWRISTSBEAUTYHAIRTOMMYT

Image from whowhatwhere.com

Image from hong-kong-actressblogspot.com

Image from hong-kong-actressblogspot.com

I have always been interested in what triggers street fashion. By that I mean a trend that seems to emerge on the streets and not off the runways. I have read a few articles that suggest that it is direct result of the social and political environment at the time. I can understand trends emerging that are direct opposites of what is happening around us as a way to escape or pretend that all is well with the world. The vintage revival of the 90’s might be a way of embracing all that was better about the past. Acquiring items that are carved from wood instead of pressed in plastic, bead work that is hand stitched onto silk and cotton instead of being machined onto cheap polyester. Chinese embroideries done in silk instead of man made acrylics. Maybe this need to get back to quality goods that were affordable for a lot of people in the 50’s and not just the rich in the 2000’s is what has caused programs like Mad Men to be so popular. It may indicate a desire to return to what seemed to be a slower more trusting safer world with more ethics than the one we know today although if you think about that era, it would be a giant leap backwards for woman’s rights!

My first exposure to street fashion and it’s influence was when camouflage became a fashion item in London in the early 80’s . It had never been used in fashion before and initially all the garments were from army surplus stores. Some people saw it as a direct result of the Falklands War and felt it signified support for the soldiers and the cause and it had been 40 years since Britain had gone to war so there was some feeling of patriotism. Since then camouflage in fashion has always been with us in some form or another but then so have various wars and skirmishes.

Sometimes a film can trigger a trend, again the 80’s comes to mind when Madonna inspired half a decade with looks from Desperately Seeking Susan. Cindy Lauper added to the trend with her music videos. Films can stir interest in an era. For instance there may be a renewed interest in 20’s silhouettes and fabrics when Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby is released.

The reason I was going through all this in my mind was to see where the street trend of cat prints has popped up from. I know the image has always been a big part of Japanese Animee but outside of that I can’t follow where it has emerged from. I am not sure that it will catch on completely but I just find it interesting. Topshop have done a range of black felt hats with cat ears and a whole lot of head bands with ears attached that are actually really cute if you are young enough to pull it off. A lot of bloggers and fashionistas were wearing the cat ear beanies during the last Northern hemisphere winter.

Fashionista.com have had discussions on the cat prints trend recently and all the following images are from that.

Odd Future image from nme.com

Odd Future image from nme.com

Dress from Topshop image from fashionista.com

Dress from Topshop image from fashionista.com

Dress from ASOS image from fashionista.com

Dress from ASOS image from fashionista.com

Top from ASOS image from fashionista.com

Top from ASOS image from fashionista.com

Urban Outiftters image from fashionista.com

Urban Outiftters image from fashionista.com

Urban Outfitters image from fashionista.com

Urban Outfitters image from fashionista.com

Dangerfield t shirt

Dangerfield at Myer

Dangerfield at Myer

Dangerfield at Myer

There was a silk blend t shirt with a cat face printed on the front of it at Tempt in the Chatswood Westfield a few days ago and I wanted to try it on and take a photo of it but when I went in today they were all sold! So no photo but what I have found in a few stores are prints of Tiger faces. Zara had a lot when I was in London and they are all in stock in the Sydney store now.

Tiger face sweatshirts at Tempt Chatswood Westfield

Tiger face sweatshirts at Tempt Chatswood Westfield

Zara

Zara

Zara online shopping

Zara online shopping

Zara online shopping

Zara online shopping

IMG_0979

Bottega Veneta perfume and body lotion

Bottega Veneta launched this, their first fragrance, last year. According to the website fragrantica.com, there are notes of Italian bergamot, Brazilian pink pepper, Indian Sambac jasmine, oak moss, patchouli and Indian patchouli. It was conceived by ‘Nose’ Michel Almairac in conjunction with Tomas Maier. I bought a bottle at the airport in November and have unfortunately finished it now but I will definitely be replacing it. I have loved wearing it and apart from the strength when first applying it which happens with every fragrance, I didn’t find it too overpowering.

Bobby Brown metallics at David Jones

Bobby Brown metallics at David Jones

I love these Bobbi Brown sparkle eyes shadows. They are glittery rather than metallic and leave a light glittery sheen when you use them. They aren’t cheap but I love the subtle shine they give and the colours are soft and give a just a hint of colour.

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Decorum, texture mixes and scarves

blu-raydefinition.com

blu-raydefinition.com

Emma image from alcuinbramerton.blogspot.com

Emma image from alcuinbramerton.blogspot.com

Emma image from fanspot.com

Emma image from fanspot.com

One Saturday night a couple of weeks ago I was flicking through tv channels trying to find something to occupy me for few hours. In the absence of anything else , I settled on Jane Austin’s Emma. I had seen it years ago but was happy to watch it again. As I watched I started thinking about the morals and ethics that were considered so vital for woman to possess in that era. A gentle spirit, humility, intelligence, the ability to sew, draw and sing, and conduct yourself with decorum were all qualities that were much admired and desired or rather demanded in woman.

We’ve come a long way since those days but I started thinking about decorum and what it means. The dictionary definition of it is’ behaviour in keeping with good taste and propriety’. So at what age these days do you need to behave with decorum. Is it ok for young woman in their 20’s to have fun, throw caution to the wind and be a bit outrageous, wear op shop clothes, stay out at clubs all night and survive on cappuccinos but it’s not ok from your late 30’s and 40’s onward. That kind of behaviour gets you labelled as eccentric at best and irresponsible at worst. Why are you suddenly expected to behave in a decorous and responsible fashion because you are getting older and does that mean you get a bit boring.  I remember being in my early 20’s and spending my entire salary on earrings (there was a very expensive trendy accessories shop near me in the early 80’s and I must have kept them in business when they first opened!) In fact, looking back that is where my life long love affair with accessories started. I didn’t care that I would be eating toast for the rest of the month or that I would have to walk to work as I had no petrol money, it just wasn’t an issue. I couldn’t cook much then and used to take fudge, cold crab legs and champagne as my contribution to picnics or lunches and I didn’t mind if I couldn’t produce a Martha Stewart meal. When does everything change? Maybe people don’t judge you so much when you are younger as they think you haven’t grown up yet. Maybe your priorities change when your life starts involving other people, husbands and children and you have to consider them and not just yourself or maybe you want to be judged by your achievements, what you can do rather than what you can’t and you, not others, thrust responsibility on yourself. Surely you can still occasionally throw caution to the wind in your 40’s and 50’s and have a bit of irresponsible fun.

Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Fall 2013

J Crew Fall 13

J Crew Fall 13

J Crew Fall 13

J Crew Fall 13

Tory Burch Fall 13

Tory Burch Fall 13

marnichanel

Image from jak&jill

Image from jak&jill

Image from jak&jill

There are so many wonderful textures around at the moment, houndstooth, stripes and tweeds and they look amazing mixed up and worn together. Patterned trousers and skirts look great teamed with patterned jackets and printed scarves. It is not always an easy look to put together ,you can end up looking like a bag lady if you are not careful and you need a common thread like a colour if you are going to mix a lot of textures and patterns. Obviously black and white or tan and black are easier combinations to put together and adding a textured or printed scarf can pull the whole look together nicely. Here are a few things I found this week.

Pierre Cutten houndstooth jacket

Pierre Cutten houndstooth jacket

Pierre Cutten houndstooth coat

Pierre Cutten houndstooth coat

Easton Pearson Fall 13

Easton Pearson Fall 13

Cue Fall 13

Cue Fall 13

Cue Fall 13

Cue Fall 13

Houndstooth coat at Esprit

Houndstooth coat at Esprit

Houndstooth coat at Esprit

Houndstooth coat at Esprit

Textured tweed jacket from Wish at Myer

Textured tweed jacket from Wish at Myer

Tweed and fur jacket from Stella at Myer

Tweed and fur jacket from Stella at Myer

Textured skirts from David Lawrence at David Jones

Textured skirts from David Lawrence at David Jones

Skirt from Sportscraft at David Jones

Skirt from Sportscraft at David Jones

Textured scarves and David Jones

Textured scarves and David Jones

Textured scarves at David Jones

Textured scarves at David Jones

Printed scarves at David Jones

Printed and woven scarves at David Jones

Spotted scarves at David Jones

Spotted scarves at David Jones

Spots at Alannah Hill

Spots at Alannah Hill

Textured scarf from Seed

Textured scarf from Seed

My daughter bought these flat black boots from Kmart ($25 ) the other day and because I really felt like gluing things together, and I had nothing else to do, I decided to ‘bedazzel’ them for her. I didn’t have any loose crystals lying around but I did have a wrap around bracelet that I haven’t worn for ages so I cut that up and attached it to the soles and buckles of the boots using gel medium. As I have said before, it is my experience that gel medium will stick anything to anything quite firmly and leaves not visible residue so I always use it.

Before

Before

Wrap bracelets

Wrap bracelets

Attaching the bracelet to the boots

Attaching the bracelet to the boots

Finished boots

Finished boots

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Weight, Nikes and furry jackets

In what was probably a futile a effort to counteract the chocolate and hot cross bun excesses of the weekend, I decided to include a few more hills in my walk this morning. My new route took me past a large petrol station with queues of cars filling up to go off on some lovely Easter outing. I was idylly watching everyone hop out to fill up when a young woman caught my eye. She was about 20, pretty, wearing the shortest black shorts I have seen in a long while and she was significantly overweight. By wearing shorts that could barely stretch over her thighs, she was clearly drawing attention to and not away from them, her worst feature. I started wondering what her thinking was. Did she really not care what people thought, did she think it made her more attractive or maybe sexy , was she following a trend she admired or was she making a statement that you don’t have to be a size 0 2 or 4 to fit into tiny shorts. I couldn’t decide although even on a very small girl the shorts were way too short to be decent. I don’t understand the reason for wearing them, I have fat legs of my own that I can barely stomach to look at if I wanted to, why would I want to be subjected to looking at hers. There is so much negative press about skinny models in the fashion industry at the moment and I wholeheartedly agree that some of those woman can create a negative self image and be very bad role models and I don’t want to even start to explore the pressure that the industry puts on these models, that’s another story altogether but at the same time I think we have gone overboard in ’embracing our curves’ and have let that become our excuse for being bigger. Like all things in life, I think it is a question of balance and moderation. You need to be comfortable with yourself and in your skin and if your skin is a size 16 that’s absolutely fine but you need to be healthy, exercise regularly and eat and drink in moderation. Excesses in everything have become a way of life and we need to navigate our way back to a bit of discipline in our lives. The fact is that we are becoming unhealthy and large numbers of people are pre diabetic which leads to serious diseases. We need to embrace who we are but at the same time not use that as an excuse to be what we are not.

One of the trends picked up Fashion week by bloggers and photographers who sit outside watching everyone come and go was running shoes. So many people were wearing bright coloured Nikes and New Balance running shoes or plain sneakers as the Americans call them. They are definitely more comfortable than 4 inch heels so it’s not surprising that the trend has been embraced so readily. Having said that, coloured sneakers may be a look best left to the young and trendy, I’m not sure if at my age, I could carry off lime green Nikes! Maybe at a push I could attempt white converses but I would be way out of my comfort zone.

Image from streetpeeper.com

Image from streetpeeper.com

Image from annabellajones.net

Image from annabellajones.net

Image from annabellajones.net

Image from annabellajones.net

Image from anabellajones.net

Image from Tommy Ton off anabellajones.net

Image from mystylenotes.com

Image from mystylenotes.com

Image from jak&jill.com

Image from jak&jill.com

Image from jak&jill.com

Image from jak&jill.com

Image from jak&jill.com

Image from jak&jill.com

Image from jak&jill.com

Image from jak&jill.com

Image from jak&jill.com

Image from jak&jill.com

A lot of Fashion publications and blogs have mentioned how much more faux fur and fur was shown in the collections than usual. It seems that every single collection had a furry something.

I noticed that a lot of labels have done fur sleeveless jackets and they are all in store at the moment. I tried one on and just looked like a yeti so I’m not quite sure how I would wear them but I love the feel of them, very soft and warm. Maybe the thing to do is belt them which gives you a waist and makes the whole silhouette more stream lined. These are a few that are around at the moment.

Grab at Meyer

Grab at Myer

Wayne Cooper at Meyer

Wayne at Myer

Wayne at Meyer

Wayne at Myer

Piper at Meyer

Piper at Myer

Wayne at Meyer

Fate at Myer

Grab at Meyer

Grab at Myer

French Connection at David Jones

French Connection at David Jones

Ted Baker fur 'collar' at David Jones

Ted Baker fur ‘collar’ at David Jones

My children gave me this bracelet for Christmas and on my birthday last week they added to it. It has little heart charms and discs attached and each charm has a message or phrase from the kids engraved on the back. My husband added the large heart and a message for our 25th anniversary. I thought it was a lovely idea and I am thrilled with it.

Tiffany bracelet

Tiffany bracelet

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Valentino, lace trims and merchandising

[youtube.com/watch?v=OiTaTJvX0TA]

This was such a beautiful show, I thought I would start with it this week. Valentino and Louis Vuitton both showed a lot of lace as a trim on lovely textured fabrics, satin, cashmere, silks and plaids. Louis Vuitton particularly did a very sensual range with inspiration coming from sleep wear and slips.

Valentino Fall 13

Valentino Fall 13

Stella McCartney Fall 13

Stella McCartney Fall 13

Sacai Fall 13

Sacai Fall 13

Louis Vuitton Fall 13

Louis Vuitton Fall 13

Louis Vuitton Fall 13

Louis Vuitton Fall 13

Louis Vuitton Fall 13

Louis Vuitton Fall 13

Louis Vuitton Fall 13

Louis Vuitton Fall 13

Louis Vuitton Fall 13

Louis Vuitton Fall 13

There is a lot of lace in stores at the moment, most of it as inserts more than a trim.

Lace and silk shirt at Witchery

Lace and silk shirt at Witchery

Knit and lace long sleeve t shirt at Witchery

Knit and lace long sleeve t shirt at Witchery

Totiko at Meyer

Lace and knit sweater at Tokito at Meyer

Tokito sweater at Meyer

Tokito sweater at Meyer

This is does not have any lace but I really liked the shape of this cardigan/jacket also from Tokito at Meyer

This is does not have any lace but I really liked the shape of this cardigan/jacket also from Tokito at Meyer, I think it would be very useful

I have been thinking about marketing and merchandising a bit this week and about how you can market just about anything. People market themselves, their homes when they need to sell them and obviously stores market their merchandise. The concept of getting people to buy into an appealing lifestyle or to get them to long to be part of an image you create is what marketing is all about. I have had estate agents suggest bowls of flowers, place settings on tables and cakes baking in the oven when trying to sell a house. It supposedly makes the house more homely and appealing and makes people think they want to live there. That is a form of marketing.

There are so many stores doing this, J Crew and Ralph Lauren do it really well  but I think the store that is the most successful at it is Abercrombie and Fitch.  They know exactly who their target market is and how to attract and keep them. The stores are beautifully fitted, there is amazing lighting, often shining through perspex insets on stairs, all the store assistants are beautiful looking, the boys are well built and the girls have lovely figures (I’ve often wondered how they get away with this, they don’t seem to employ average and ugly people which has to be a prejudice or sorts!)  The clothes are well displayed, the music is current and there is a system that sprays their signature perfume into the store at measured intervals. Even the carrier bags are infused with their fragrance and it lingers for days after you get home! Basically they are appealing to the senses, visual and olfactory. In addition, during the summer months there is always a shirtless very well built young man at the entrance who will pose for a photograph with people coming into the store. This whole strategy  works really well and most of the stores have ropes outside for queues and crowd control they get so busy. For me at my age, going in there is a nightmare,  the lighting is so dim I can never see the prices or sizes even with my glasses, the music is too loud to ask for assistance and the perfume is overwhelming but as I am not the target client it doesn’t really matter!

I was thinking you can also market people and not just film stars and celebrities. Maybe you market yourself in life without even being aware of it. If you are seeing the bank manager, your child’s teacher, going for a job interview, meeting someone for the first time, it’s all about making a positive impression and getting people to buy into you, which is marketing. Take a woman who is well groomed, her hair is well cut and styled, her clothes are clean, pressed and suit her, her perfume is not overpowering, her nails are done, her shoes are not scuffed. Even if she did not have on the latest fashion but had on something that suited her specifically, you would probably say she had style. It is so easy to market yourself and make yourself more appealing to others. It just takes a little time and effort.

Abercrombie & Fitch store front image from www.thesinglenester.com

Abercrombie & Fitch store front image from thesinglenester.com

In store merchandising image from selldorf.com

In store merchandising image from selldorf.com

5th Avenue store New York

5th Avenue store New York image from thesinglenester.com

Abercrombie & Fitch model

Abercrombie & Fitch model with two shoppers image from digitalapoptosis.com

Abercrombie & Fitch advert image from 123people.ch

Abercrombie & Fitch advert image from 123people.ch

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