Posts Tagged ‘homespun glamour’
My muse is not your run of the mill inspiratrice: not a 90′s pop star, Kate Middleton, or even Cleopatra, but the 16th Century queen who tore apart the heart of her king, the religion of her nation. Bewitching and beguiling, inspiring great poets, such as Thomas Wyatt, to swathes of courtiers, who pledged chevalier-style fealty, reenacting their ideals of courtly love: some tragically as it transpired, to death. More well-travelled than her peers: raised in Burgundy and France, when she arrived at the English court, her European trained eye brought wit, style and panache with powerful consequences. Glamour in the true sense of the word, replete with the added acerbic edge of magic, mystery and fear. There are multiple reasons why she is my muse: my bookshelves lined with biographies and historical tomes to further my Tudor education’s ‘Tudorials’. However one way I can show my sartorial appreciation is in the wearing of French Hood-inspired headgear, which I have done for many months.
Asked before the shows, whether purple was the new black (well done for AW12, but this is SS13), my stylist’s gut reaction to the collective consciousness which is the shows, replied that I felt head dresses will be at the vanguard of any trends. Framing the face, they add definition, without being complicated, glamour without being overdone, easy. Style is powerful, it relates who we are and how we see ourselves. Some see it as facile, however the language of sartorialism is a language well learnt. From Anne Boleyn in her black velvets, pearl lined French Hoods and fur trims, to her daughter Elizabeth 1st who created an iconography of ‘Gloriana’ style, with rich robes, whitened skin and high clean forehead. Clothes create a language of visible identity, power and prowess: something seen in recent history in people as diverse as Margaret Thatcher, Lady Gaga and even Gwyneth Paltrow in her wardrobe of body-hugging whites.
So far, half way through the caravan cavalcade of international shows, yes we have seen a lot of 90′s inspired trends, a number of Balenciaga references, but, yes, one theme I have seen both on the heads of guests over London Fashion Week, as well as in the shows, are some very beautiful pieces of head attire.
My lady, my muse, my queen would be delighted – I know I am – as I order my new piece for the next season, thrilled at the vast array of choice. Style not fashion being my mantra, I do take pleasure in seeing my taste gathering appreciation and pace…
What a difference 3 weeks makes! This boy is one determined bundle of cuddles.
I had the pleasure and the honour to work with the delicious and delightful Paloma Faith recently for US ELLE.
I hope I get a chance to share the other shots soon, as I swooned at the glory of the Emilia Wickstead ball gown and she looked hot in the maroon velvet bias cut Ralph Lauren evening gown number!
This dress was part of the most beautiful collection for SS12 by Roksanda Ilincic. I remember being seated next to Diane Pernet and having a vibrant conversation about the plight of the UK bumblebee. So much so, she asked me to write a piece about it for ASOV, which I did. The collection was so ridiculously gorgeous that I dreamt one day of being one of these otherworldly women. Cut to the next summer, when I was all of a sudden proposed to and we decided to get married quickly, for no reason other than it felt right; all systems go, I organised a wedding for 150 people + in the space of six weeks.
An afternoon spent with my mother looking at classic wedding dresses, nothing sprang to mind, then having an epiphany in Browns(!), beside a mainline Roksanda jacket, I spoke to my friend Mandi Lennard her previous pr and within 24 hours was looking at dresses at her atelier. This immediately I knew was the dress: I loved how the overskirt felt bridal and coy, yet bouncy and unorthodox, while the handmade silk flowers added their own note of romance.
I was so nervous (plus doing a lot of Tracy Anderson!) in that six weeks that my dress was fitted down a size – loved that! I wore it with a Stephen Jones veil, for which he used the fabric from the skirt and other dashes of glory, with some Christian Lacroix shoes I had from when I styled for him. For when I felt a chill Shadiye the kindest mentor of a previous client Mustafa Aslanturk reworked a pink silk velvet long cape I had picked up for a song at Walthamstow car boot sale for a song over a decade before and never felt was quite right unless I went to the opera (which sadly, I hadn’t), into something small, petite and perfect.
Last Thursday evening I had a rare moment of doubt, that possibly my dress was not ‘the’ one. Looking at a friend’s photos of their white lace ensemble, then tidying a shelf where our photos are, I said to Jeremy, perhaps I should have worn white. No… he said in that way men speak when they know there is no right answer. The next day, I had a rare moment of that precious thing called time, between a meeting at Island records and another in Shoreditch. As there was a bus strike, I thought by chance, let me turn that into a positive, the weather is decent, I know I shall go to The V&A. It is always lovely to visit: and indeed it was, having a ‘The Ballet Shoes’ meets arts and crafts moment admiring the Kensington architecture, then into the museum. Imagine my timely surprise when I chanced upon The Ballgowns exhibition, swooped on the catalogue the first image I saw in the book was of ‘my dress’!
The exhibition attendant was so kind, I think bemused by my smiling shock that she let me in for free. What a pleasure of an exhibition: Bellville Sassoon swinging 60′s zingy creations, couture latter-day glories by Worth, as well as a rolling film show of debutantes and cigar smoking aristocrats sitting through staged shows of elegance in Mayfair. Upstairs, there she was. Amongst the contemporary dresses my wedding dress shared the space with feathered glories by Alexander McQueen, printed sheaths by Jonathan Saunders as well as a beauty of a dress by Erdem in blue, yellow and floral.
Sitting on the bench in front of my dress, it brought be back to my wedding day, forwards to now, as well as realising of course the dress was the right choice.
It was and remains my beautiful dress for a perfect wedding day.
This week saw me search high and low: from sample sales to department store sales; from ebay to online shops and everywhere I looked were handbags which were just ‘not right’. Either too boring for words, or too ridiculously OTT, even some that they wouldn’t hold a lipstick, credit card and phone – surely the baseline prerequisite for an evening bag?..
My search began as I am going to the couture shows in Paris for the first time next week and while in that the heat is on moment of anxiety, I felt with all too much certainty, that my happiness lay in the momentary fix of buying a new bag. Of course I partly jest: of course my happiness lies far more in my baby’s cuddles, or picking raspberries at out allotment. But… well there is that certain rush of adrenalin and pleasure which comes from an all time perfect purchase.
Nothing however felt right: unless I wanted to spend huge amounts. I don’t find pleasure in spending huge amounts. Fact. As a stylist, I am lucky enough to be gifted, discounted, or privy to numerous sample sales. Spending £5000 on a handbag would not make me happy; and might well end in divorce.
On entering the Prada store on Bond Street, I bumped into the lovely Johnny Blue Eyes, there with his assistant Savannah to prep for his client Lana Del Rey. We spoke of my dilemma and he suggested vintage. Hmmm, I thought let me see… Back home I looked online, and chanced upon a shop close to home I had been to once before in The Stables in Camden Market. The next day, with baby, buggy and 18 year old god daughter Zoe in tow, we went into the subterranean world that now makes up The Stables: Dukey literally cried seeing the techno pumping gateway to hell on our way down, but the people at Vintage Design Paradise (http://www.vintagedesignparadise.co.uk/index.php) could not have been nicer. From dancing with Dukey to ska, to taking the time to talk me through their lovely array of pristine condition bags, several of which I liked: Dukey thought the Pollini the nicest – it’s sheen, always a winner with babies – who love shiny things. Finally I saw a ‘vintage’ Lacroix and knew this was my bag. Zoe knew it, I knew it and given it’s love heart handle motif I am sure Dukey knew it (am training his eye: start ‘em young, pray for an architect son…). I worked for Lacroix as a stylist and have always loved the spirit of the house: with it’s partly awry beauty, this felt like the right fit. Though there is a rather beautiful more orthodox Gucci classic, which might similarly have my name on it…
Hope you can make it to Mishka Vintage and join us for a spot of of styling up for Halloween.