The hotel I stayed at in Paris for Paris Fashion Week, is about to be renovated, I do hope they don’t ruin it in the process…
I’ve stayed in quite a few hotels this month, from chi-chi in Cape Town, to stuck in a cold war post-script in Prague, but this one had a real art deco, frayed at the edges charm.
Am hopeful that it is as brilliant as this trailer for the new Wes Anderson movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, when it opens here tomorrow, am hoping to sneak off and fall into it’s lobby wonderland.
Posts Tagged ‘Paris’
Here is my edit of my favourite looks from AW13 at the Paris Shows. Winner of the best set award has to go to Chanel for the sheer epic branding of their globe pinned with CC flags on all their stores + the gifts are always welcome! Each season I love my update of their beauty range gifts. It’s a CC charm linked world for me.
My Chanel story for Commons and Sense is out this week. My love for all things Coco remains unabated! Here is a sneak preview. Hope you like it! For more of this shoot and the rest of the magazine, please go to:-
I have always had a base line love for Victorian literature. It was one of my favourite periods of literature for my degree. I loved how interior worlds, passions and sentiment were replicated and revealed. As we imploded as an Empire, the strict structures of the form gave way via World War One to Modernism and a fractured universe where nothing was as clear as the coded revelations of a generation before – except that these in their way had hinted at this very discrepancy – gathering momentum. Last week I read ‘Elijah’s Mermaid by Essie Fox, a latter-day proponent of what has become known as ‘Vic-Lit’, perhaps somewhat disparagingly, since the format favours the female. A modern mind interpreting the 19th century obsessions with mental health, female subjugation, Pre-Raphaelite aspirations and back-door brothels. The thread of the Thames, water, mermaids neatly interplays these motifs, as we dive through the novel, with the clarity of our seemingly more evolved empirical methodologies, our world of equal pay, equal rights, oh yes and page three…
Circling the masterpiece of ‘Vic-Lit’ I decided to enter the mother-ship, the maestro of the format, and this week am reading ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’, by John Fowles. Having seen the film and loved the intertwined stories, I was surprised to find this was a Harold Pinter script invention, clever man, to highlight Fowles’ knowing narration, his pitch-point moments of standing back into the present day.
“Charles did not know it, but in those brief poised seconds above the waiting sea, in that luminous evening silence broken only by the waves’ quiet wash, the whole Victorian Age was lost. And I do not mean he had taken the wrong path.”
Genius, and as I try to break the deadlock of writer’s block for my weekly writing class, I yet again bow down to another technician’s searing talent…
Meanwhile, rather tritely, back on Planet Fashion, as I prep for my shoot next week, off to Oman for Vogue, I flick through style.com and notice that likewise of course there is always room for an epic cape, especially at couture, and especially when worn by a friend, in attendance of budding couturier Ulyana Sergeenko, whose universe like mine seems like a Russian epic filled with romantic swansongs and pre-revolutionary text.
Mary Queen of Scots at the French court when she was married to the dauphin Francois. I have loved this image and her story, since I filled my head with Jean Plaidy novels as a child. These informed my time-travelling daydreams, which in turn inform my styling work. Her braids and curls, the pearls and gauze, the pride and the tragedy. My tartan regal offering for new year best wishes xxx.
If like me you are partial to setting your own lighting with a wide brimmed fedora, to the complement of shiny leather with sheer chiffon and have recently taken to tying flamboyant pussy-bows over the most unorthodox of outfits in a way Mrs. Thatcher never envisaged her favourite of necklines, then Hedi Slimane’s premiere show as head designer for the newly renamed St Laurent Paris is for you too.
A homage to Yves St Laurent’s archive of aspirational wearability, the collection confronted the icons of his past: the Moroccan tassels, the ‘Le Smoking’ suiting with it’s feminine/masculine interplay, combined with a veritable roster of references to YSL’s contemporaries who defined the rockstar cool of the house’s heyday.
From Cher, to Anita Pallenburg, from Stevie Nicks, to Patti Smith, this was a collection which successfully eased into the framework Slimane’s pivotal position as leader of a new era for the house, one which honoured it’s past with a collection suitable for the contemporary cool: trousers were Slimane-slim, cut to the ankle, while longer layers multiplied into cloakish bedevilment. As you might have guessed, I loved the show! Am so excited to see this iconography of magic via a silhouette where the cat-bows,the chiffon, the capes and the collars, add power to the resonating clean lines of an updated rocktastic silhouette. Bravo Hedi Slimane; Long Live St Laurent Paris.
Last week saw me in Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains, this week I trip-hopped over to Paris for a shoot for Harper’s Bazaar China with the lovely and talented Alan Gelati at the Chanel jewellery boutique’s private space above the store on the Place Vendome. Gazing out across the square to the Ritz on the otherside, or poring over the amazing designs, yet again I appreciated just how clever Coco Chanel was. The jewellery from 80 years ago still seem utterly modern, with diamonds set to look like the cobbles of her childhood orphanage home, the cleverest of fastenings, her myth tied into their very design.
Browsing the Nowness website last week, I chanced upon the blog and work of New Yorker Ari Seth Cohen. He has spent the past few years photographing, partying and celebrating those more foxy than silver, more Iris Apfel than shrinking violet; more likely to dye their hair violet than give up their love of sartorial charm and swagger. Given I have been raised by my own hot rocker mother, a woman whose mantra is ‘darling never give up’, and whose pilates-flexed limbs mean like her mind she is forever young, I too celebrate all that is wise, yet fun, fabulous, yet proud of the lessons learnt by these charming stylistas.
Most of whom are a generation+ older than my mother, yet never forget that more is more and a dash of lipstick, a pair of red trousers or a quirky felt fedora add colour, passion and texture to everyone’s day. I like the feeling that the best is yet to come and we can all still have fun and play with fashion: sometimes we are told it all stops at 30, taking a look at these portraits and knowing my mother and the woman she is yet to become, I can only say, ‘oh really?’
We have Mary Portas revitalising the high street and Channel 4 with her new shop (and the tv programme Mary Queen of Shops tie-in) for the 40+ woman at House of Fraser, proudly defying women to be in their power and purchase what really works for them. At the Paris Fashion Week shows this week, it really struck me as I gazed covetously at the Chloe catwalk, that these were the kind of clothes I would love to wear, without worrying something or too much was hanging out, while yet feeling I was in the room with enough of a fabulous quota for me to feel stylish enough that I could hold my head a little higher, my shoulders a little straighter: as I do when I feel good…
‘Young woman you’re going to be an old woman some day; don’t worry about it, don’t sweat it, everything adds character’… Ari Seth Cohen’s book is due out next Spring. Amazon are already offering advance order reservations: and who said past 50 women are invisible?..
Going through my own archive I found this shot from a story for Sunday Times Style with Kim Andreolli. Bedecked in emeralds and YSL, this mother of all models, who had been in the game for more than a lifetime, said that her daily dose of yoga kept her young, flexible and alert. I celebrate both her beauty and the hope that with a little yogic discipline we all can aim to reach so high for so long…