Monday, 30 November 2009

Let them eat cake

I was working on an accessory report this morning when I came accross these two S/S shoes that nearly gave me heart failure (and believe me, I'm not the Fashion Heart Failure type). I now know what shoes I'm going to be obsessed with for the next 6 months. Christian Louboutin's Versaillesque inspiration is no secret to anyone ever since he created those amazing Marie Antoinette heels last year. But personally I think these two pairs are just as fit for Marie Antoinette, if not more. I think indeed they would go very well with looks like these and situations like these:

However, since powdered wigs and corsets are (for the moment being) out of fashion, a good styling alternative would be, for instance, a long, 1930's-inspired dress (for the white stilettos), and a short powder pink silk dress for the wedges. Any more ideas, anyone?

Friday, 27 November 2009

A guide to successfully become a diva

I miss divas. And when I say divas, I don't mean Mariah Carey asking for bubble gum pink butterfly-shaped confetti wherever she goes, or J-Lo and her diamond-encrusted loo. I mean real divas, like they used to be, surrounded by mystery and high drama. For being a demanding star does not equal being a diva.
Above is a portrait of Sarah Bernhardt "the divine", big theatre diva and one of the first stage actresses to appear in films. Her name is still synonym with "grandeur", but her huge ego is only discreet if we compare her to some of the XXth century divas.

It is a well known fact dancers make really good divas; I guess tutus, excessive makeup and massive theatres filled with applause help. Anna Pavlova was only the first of a long list of ballet divas and divos, including of course Nijinski, Nureyev and the extremely eccentric Isadora Duncan (a precursor of the naturist movement who enjoyed nudism, comunism in all its forms and several more very shocking isms).

Music has also produced a memorable set of divas; as a matter of fact the word was originally used to refer to exceptional prima donnas. If being, erm, eccentric (not to say mad as a hatter) is mandatory in order to suceed as a diva, no one has or will ever beat Glenn Gould, genius pianist and one of my idols.

And how to forget Maria Callas, the queen of them all! Her ego was by far greater than her voice, but she has remained one of the biggest cultural icons of all times.

She was so famous she even inspired a very well-known secondary character in a mythic comic book series, eternally infatuated with Captain Haddock and eternally crying "Ciel, mes bijoux!"
But what does one need to become a great diva? After much thinking, I come to these conclusions:
1. Mystery. There's no possible way to be a diva if the whole planet knows (thanks to a bunch of cheap magazines) what you eat, how much you sweat when you jog around LA, how much money you spend on clothes, how big your house is... and specially, you cannot be a diva if everybody has seen you walking out of the supermarket wearing pink Juicy Couture sweatpants.
2. A distant attitude, not to be confused with being cold as ice. A diva knows she/he is a semigod and behaves in consequence. This doesn't necessarily mean being disagreeable. In fact being nasty is a bad taste trait that means you're just plain tacky.
3. The capacity of impressing everyone. This doesn't mean people should admire you, imitate you, or even like you. If you are a true diva you are above all that! You simply have to take their breath away.
4. A hint of extravagance. A brilliant personality is necessary. Not to be mistaken with being notorious, loud or provoking. You have to be different; you have to work on your own personality.
5. Lots and lots of talent. Yeah, none of the above will make a diva out of you unless you're brilliant at what you do. It's a hard life after all...

Hollywood understood all this very early, and worked non-stop until it created some of the most recognisable divas in the world. The most perfect diva moment in Hollywood's history? As follows:

A diva playing another diva, no one but Garbo could have played this scene (Swedish accent and all) and turn it into one of the most famous quotes ever.

But by then Hollywood had already had some silent film divas.

She is forgotten nowadays, but Lillian Gish was one of the most powerful persons in the cinema industry. She was also a grande dame. Same goes for Rudolph Valentino. You may not have heard about him, but when he died at only 31 innumerable girls killed themselves.

During Hollywood's golden age there were some more big divas. The best, in my opinion, are Marlene Dietrich and Bette Davis, one of the best actresses to ever exist.

So what has happened to divas nowadays? Yes, we still have some (Liz Taylor, Barbra Streisand), but what apart from them? Madonna, Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga (as hard as she may try) are not divas. They are stars. Same with Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Kidman, Penélope Cruz, J-Lo (again)...Which brings me to the list of things you absolutely can't do if you are an aspiring diva:
1. Let everyone know how many hours you spend in the gym, doing pilates and bikram yoga.
2. Botox and plastic surgery. Joan Collins is not a diva, she is a trashy icon.
3. Talk publicly about your sex life. You're supposed to be mysterious, not tell about one of the most intimate aspects of your life.
4. Let everyone know how vulgar you are by chewing gum with your mouth open or speaking with an awful accent, or just generally being horrible.
5. Being mediocre, and actually enjoy it.
I think we need to bring divas back...

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Wild strawberries

Working for fashion magazines is sometimes a bit like trying perfume on at Le Bon Marché: you see so many beautiful things and get so much information about different brands, designers and events that, in the end, you feel just dizzy. But today, reading Dazed Digital (by far my favourite website in the world), I came across an outstanding article on Emma Lundgren, an accessories designer inspired by Swedish folkloric fashion and traditions, but with a Shoreditch edge. After studying at Central Saint Martins and interning with John Galliano, she is now concentrating in an MA at the Royal College of Art. She is also a talented textile designer. I love her graphic yet somewhat traditional works. I think she has a bright future ahead of her.

PS: Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers. I'm so jealous of your turkey dinner. Have a lovely day! Oh and I have a little present for those of you who will be in London during the next few days: here's a link telling you about the best sample sales in the city. Do Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane and Nicholas Kirkwood sound appealing to you?

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Mon beau sapin

Christmas is getting close. I just realized I have hardly been thinking about it (despite all the lights, the Christmas windows and the Christmas merchandising we are bombarded with year after year); I'm neither a freak Christmas fanatic nor one of those people that go about saying how much they absolutely hate Christmas to anyone who will listen. I simply enjoy eating lovely Spanish food and the Christmas tree... Which brings me to my actual subject: that famous Chanel Jade nail polish. Karl Lagerfeld originally created it to match his autumn collection, but a green polish seems quite appropiate for this time of the year. I'm internationally known for my daring nail colours (I started using Rouge Noir long before it became a classic and I detest what is called "the French manicure"), I own a wide range of reds, oranges, pinks and purples but... Would I actually wear a green nail polish? I've always thought extravagant colours need to be sublime, otherwise they look just plain silly. That's why I like the Chanel one. But I hear it's completely sold out, so I've been looking for other alternatives.
Those of you who wouldn't wear green can wear Jade Rose, the discreet version of this season's limited edition... But I think it's sold out as well.
Anyway, Monsieur Lagerfeld is not so original: ages ago Mac launched the exact same colours.
The green one is called Peppermint and it looks this cool.

Other similar alternatives can be found at Bourjois (for half the price) and Shu Uemura.
I've also seen this Sephora one. Turquoise can be beautiful, but I think it's too summery.
I have really fallen in love with this Nars, though. I think this deep green is really exotic and can be truly elegant. I actually think it's much more me than the jade one...
Which one is your favourite? Do you wear green nail polish?

Monday, 23 November 2009


A couple of days ago I received the lookbook of a New York brand I didn't know called Reverie. As soon as I saw the first picture I knew I would love the entire collection. The pieces are simple but ultrachic, they have a special "je ne sais quoi" that makes them perfect for any young (and not so young) cosmopolitan girl. The cuts are exquisite and the colours , although not flashy, are warm enough to brighten up a winter's day. My favourite look? mmh... difficult to choose, but I think the dress above or any of the golden pieces.
Reverie's designer, Ronit Genik, is an Israelian-born New Yorker, and fashion runs through her veins. After graduating from Parsons in 2003 she worked for several brands (all sorts, from Tse to Liz Claiborne) and finally decided to set up her own brand. Ronit studied for some time in Paris, and I think it was here that she picked up the elegant couture feel seen in her collections. The way she mixes this with American functionality is explosive...If you are European and not planning a trip to New York or Los Angeles shortly, you can buy Reverie's collections at Anna C in Milan. Otherwise try contacting them in New York. It's definitely worth it.

Sunday, 22 November 2009


I've been really impressed by this Showstudio video. It's really poetic yet so real... It's so true that, unless one really stays in control, it's so easy to turn into a horrid garbage pile-looking consuming monster. I really think Nick Knight has hit the spot with his projects; he really is pushing the boundaries of fashion in a much-needed way.
By the way you can still see Gareth Pugh working on a dress tomorrow and the day after livestreamed. The first day was really interesting, so don't miss it!

Friday, 20 November 2009

What Katie did

So Kate Moss has shocked the world. Again. Really, you don't say.
Appearently, what she has done this time is saying something like "nothing tastes as good as being skinny". Obviously all the media and all the antianorexic organizations have made a whole scandal of it. What they forgot to mention was that, with that sentence, she was explaining her thoughts when she is tempted to eat too much. They also forgot to mention the rest of the sentence, that went: "Actually thinking like that never works for me". To be completely honest, I think that's what 80% of the girls in this planet think when too close to the biscuits jar... And, of course, for most of us, it never works (I'm stuffing myself with chocolate as I write this). Anorexic girls can interpret what Kate said in a destructive way, true. But then again anorexic people distort reality.
Anyway, I don't want to enter that debate, I find it incredibly boring. I just wanted to use it as an excuse to talk about Kate's flammable personality. People want her to be some sort of role model because around six billion girls try to imitate her in every possible way. She is an icon. But she herself has imitated some other icons... In the words of Cary Grant (much to my boyfriend's annoyance the most elegant man in history), "I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until I finally became that person. Or he became me". Same with Kate.

When Mario Sorrenti took this picture and she was about 16, she had the genius stroke to act and look like a young Jane Birkin: innocent but erotic. Her attitude was so different from the supermodels', and that's what brought her that incredible success (superwomen are too perfect to be truly fascinating).

As time went by, she shifted towards other inspirations, but the Jane-Birkinnes in her still remains.

So basically, Kate is like a cocktail: a bit of Faye Dunaway's facial expression (I mean of course Bonnie and Clyde's Faye, not the current plastic surgery-overdosed Faye.)

A bit of Marianne Faithful's confusing sensuality,

Debbie Harry's rock & roll sense,

And a laaaaaaaaaaaarge portion of Brigitte Bardot (sometimes you can't even tell who's who). And voilà! You've got Kate. Looks simple as pie, but as the French say, "fallait y penser"!
As for miss Moss being the devil reincarnated into a model's body, she's just that: a model. She never asked to be the 21st century version of Immanuel Kant.