Wednesday, 30 December 2009

10 fashion moments of the decade

1. Yves Saint Laurent retires
In 2002, the last YSL Haute Couture collection took place. During a very emotional fashion show, Monsieur Saint Laurent said goodbye and handed his brand over to Tom Ford. I won't discuss the circumstances of this change now or what I think about Ford's ways... But Saint Laurent's retirement meant the definitive end of french "couturiers" and fashion as it used to be understood in the XXth century.

2. Kate goes to Glastonbury
Yeah, Kate has been around for ages, but it's the 2000's that have definitely established her as the biggest fashion icon alive. When was it that we saw her first in Glasto, wearing clothes that we would see afterwards in every single city in the world? Anyway, her "muddy festival fashion statement" made a rock icon out of her, and brought rock & roll back into fashion. I think I can never thank Kate enough for that...

3. Hedi Slimane takes charge of Dior Homme
Talking about the relationship between rock & roll and fashion, how to forget Hedi Slimane? From 2000 to 2007 the genius designer was the creative head behind what was called before Dior Monsieur. He made the brand fresher, more androgynous and edgier, and he did more than bring rock back into fashion...He brought as well creativity in menswear back! (which was something unseen since...the XVIII century, right?). His main trademark though was slimness. Karl Lagerfeld lost about 100 kilograms just to fit in his Dior Homme jeans and suddenly boys started getting more and more cheekbones...Yay! So, again, merci Hedi.

4. Sofia Coppola becomes a film director
With her films, miss Coppola has expressed perfectly what we girls were all wanting: with her pastel colours, her delicate and intimate points of view and her indulging in girly things (macaroons, cakes, shoes, Marc Jacobs clothes), she has made the sweeter side of femininity acceptable (after several decades of bra-burning, power-dressing, shoulderpad-crazed "feminism"). But not only is she a great interpreter of the female mind, she is also a goddamn good director! (by the way I simply can't wait to see her newest film).

5. Gareth Pugh is the new "enfant terrible"
His first show took place in London in 2006, and ever since he's been the talk of the town. His take on fashion not only is innovative, but is also far away from the "let's sell every product we possibly can" concept that is the "creative" basis of many many brands. Gareth is currently becoming more and more influential in the industry, so we can (hopefully) expect a change of direction in things...

6. Agyness Deyn is the star of I-D
Two years ago, I-D magazine made a special issue in which Aggy appeared in every single page. Not that this is new in itself, every Vogue America features a top model in every single page of every single issue according to Anna Wintour's fancies (Natalia Vodianova, Sasha Pivovarova, Gemma Ward, Jessica Stam, Liya Kebede etc etc etc), but this meant that a truly edgy concept of beauty, fashion and aesthetics was taking over and going mainstream. I guess this has a good and a bad side to it (we have all seen far too many Aggy clones by now), but the (strange) phenomenon of people accepting diversity can only be good.

7. SHOWstudio turns the industry upside down
"Fashion Revolution" is almost an understatement. Nick Knight's baby means the end of the fashion system as we know it. His fashion films, political fashion projects, performances and interactive works mean a more critical, more participative and more arty interpretation of fashion. What more can I say, except "I LOVE SHOWstudio"?

8. High-end designers collaborate with mass-production brands
It started in 2005 with Karl Lagerfeld designing a limited edition collection for H&M. The whole venture went awry in the end, with the sizes of the garments being far too big for human beings to fit in them (size "34" was actually a size 40 and size "44" was like a size 70) and Karl dropping some of his infamous quotes ("I am not doing clothes for obese women!!!!!!" and the like). But we all know beginnings are never easy. Afterwards it was Stella McCartney, then Viktor & Rolf, then Rei Kawakubo and Kate Moss and right now there are far too many collaborations to keep a record of them. The latest and most exciting? Rodarte for Target without the shade of a doubt!

9. Alexander McQueen creates the Armadillo shoes
They are the "dernier cri" in matters of footwear, but I personally think the Armadillos are more than that: for a start, they are an argument against people who say everything is already invented in fashion. Not true. We are right now living an extremely prolific and innovative fashion moment; shapes, colours, materials and concepts are changing. What more could we ask for? I can't wait to see how it all evolves in the new decade...

10. Bloggers take over
Move over, Ms. Wintour, a 13 year-old is taking your place. The first decade of our century will be remembered as the one that saw fashion discovering the Internet (the Internet had been there for ages; but for some unusual reason, fashion got there reaaaaaaaally late). Finally, oh, finally, the web is being recognised as respectable and profitable. Brands are lately being promoted more by bloggers than by actual magazines (I mean, come on, free publicity, what more can you ask for?). And yes, miss Susie Bubble started the whole fashion bloggers phenomenon with her excellent articles on new designers and rising talents... Lots of other girls and boys (mainly girls, to tell the truth) have followed Susie's steps and created their own universes. This means a more democratic, authentic and individualistic view on fashion. So for that I have to say bravo to all of you bloggers out there! Keep up the great work.

So these are, in my opinion, the 10 biggest fashion moments of the now almost past decade. These things have transformed fashion, turned it into what it is nowadays and opened the doors for more change during the next decade. Of course, these are personal points of view and I'm probably forgetting many many fashion moments. So please tell me which ones are your biggest fashion moments of the decade!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

I ain't feeling glamourous today.

And I like it that way.
Clips from "To kill a mockingbird" by Robert Mulligan, "Paper moon" by Peter Bogdanovitch, "Bonnie and Clyde" by Arthur Penn and "Down by law" by Jim Jarmusch.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Are you ready for 2010?

Why I certainly am not! I haven't thought about what I will wear in new year's eve at all, but I do have a clue: velvet is "so hot right now", it's warm and wintery (not that I need anything warm and wintery really, I'm wearing a vest today...It's so hot here!), it's glamourous and chic. The best two velvet numbers on the catwalk this winter are, in my opinion, these two by Sonia Rykiel and Chloé. They are perfect if you are planning a cosy, small NYE party, as I am planning (I have to admit I HATE going out on NYE: everybody is wasted, everything is so expensive and anywhere you turn your head you see girls dressed so badly- not to mention boys).

Christian Dior
Another lovely trend for cosy evenings could be the bohemian, slightly hippyish, floaty dress. It's so 70's (70's are so hot right now) and I can guarantee you no-one will be wearing a similar dress.
Sophia Kokosalaki
But if you are one of those practical girls (whom I feel so jealous of, because all of my outfits are so dashed uncomfortable), the clothes to wear are a pair of comfortable (best if masculine-inspired) trousers. You can for instance wear velvet trousers, and mix them with a metallic or embroidered cropped jacket and metallic shoes.
Burberry Prorsum
A little cocktail dress like this Burberry one is lovely too, if you go for understated elegance.

Giambattista Valli
Now, if your evening plans are the opposite of cosy, if you are invited to a formal party or a ball or something like that, this is the moment to dress extravagant, play with excess and wear all the things that would make you look silly in any other circumstance. This Giambattista Valli dress is quite classic but oh-so flattering, I would no doubt go for it!
Little cocktail dresses (again, made out of velvet, cause it's so hot right now) can have luxurious details: strass, metal appliqués...everything that shines is good.
Or you can twist your outfit a little bit and go for another 70's trend: the catsuit. If it's satin and as gloriously cut as this Lanvin one you will be the belle of the ball.
You can always get inspired by cocktail dresses, and just sophisticate them up a bit more. I really like this Erdem number, I find it kind of Audrey Hepburn-esque.

If you are one of those girls who are planning to dance the night away I would recommend a comfortable outfit (you don't want to step on your dress all night long), and something original. Shiny miniskirts like this Rodarte one are chic and they have the perfect Disco Diva hint. If I was the "NYE going out" kind I would kill for it. Rodarte is so hot right now.
Why not try a different kind of catsuit? The graphic, printed, bodycon one can be a very original and sexy option. This Chanel is so cool, but, frankly, you can find really nice ones also in American Apparel.
Feather skirts are this season. I have seen the loveliest powder pink ostrich ones in Topshop, and you can combine them just with tights or leggings and a simple cotton T-shirt. The skirt will glamour the whole look up.
Louis Vuitton
A short draped dress in a sorbet colour is both feminine and rock & roll. It can look amazing on the dancefloor.
I suppose most of you are more organised than me and have already thought of your NYE outfit, but if you are as chaotic as I am and are going nuts about your look, don't worry. We will all end up finding the perfect clothes to look fabulous! Now I have to leg it, I have another family lunch... I'm yearning for the next few days when everything will be calm and I will be able to enjoy simply the company of my dog...

Saturday, 26 December 2009

All I want for Christmas is...

Christmas is over now... So how were these last few days for all of you? Did you have fun? Lovely presents? I'm really quite happy with my Christmas;I had decadent things to eat (poularde farcie is my favourite dish, and it makes me think of XVII century France, you know, Molière and all that), met up with all my family (it's a very typical Spanish family: they are loads of people and they are all very loud. But it was so much Mediterranean fun!) and got the cutest and most unexpected presents (among them I got beautiful bracelets brought over from Poland, daring makeup, a grosgrain clutch from a Spanish designer, a fur collar and... a Tom Waits live DVD! That was my favourite by far). Now things are starting to calm down so in the next days I'll be able to rest and concentrate on New Year's eve!

p.s: did all my English readers have a nice Boxing Day?

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Frailty, thy name is woman!

I'm feeling dreamy today... Too bad, because there was loads of Christmas preparations to do during the day, so I had to work on a thousand things and there was no time for daydreaming, lazying or curling up on the sofa with a good book. And you know, all work and no play... something something. So now here I am, exhausted and dreaming of a stroll down the river with half-closed eyes like Ophelia in Millais's painting... which reminds me of this other picture taken by Nick Knight for a Dazed issue last year. It was a Gareth Pugh special and it was styled by Katie Shillingford. I loved the dark and delicate poetry in the shoot; and I think there is something very shakesperian in Gareth's work despite all the outrageous modernity and fashion statements. You just have to look further.
I would love it if tomorrow was a slightly more relaxed day... But I don't think it will! Ah, la folie de Noël... How are your Christmas preparations coming along?

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Calling all artists

I'll never get tired of saying what an amazing magazine Dazed and Confused is. I grew up like most of us: fascinated by Vogue America. In my case it was when the lovely Karolina Kurkova had just been discovered. But by the time her picture appeared in each and every single page of the magazine, I made three discoveries that changed for ever my view on fashion. And thank God. I mean, Vogue America can be tons of fun with Meisel's shoots, all those waspy articles about people who live in Park Avenue and all the (in my opinion slightly loony) beauty advice (from Atkins to the sea water diet, from Botox to concentrated vitamin C shots). But Vogue America is hardly innovative, arty or young. So when I first saw the cover of I-D magazine in a drugstore in Madrid (I must have been about 15) the word "fashion" started to mean something completely different for me. Afterwards came The Face and Dazed. Sadly, The Face doesn't exist anymore. But Dazed and I-D do and I've been buying every issue for almost 10 years.
Now we are at the turn of the decade and Dazed is celebrating it in a special way. They are looking for illustrators to draw some of the best Dazed covers of the past 10 years. It's very simple, all you have to do is choose one of these covers, use your imagination and... submit your work! (for more details see here). And the chosen winner will be commissioned for a piece of work to appear in a future issue of Dazed. An artist's dream, isn't it? I might even try it myself, except more than a year ago I decided to swap the brushes for the fountain pen. And I bet there's lots of you out there who would do it way better. So...why not try? You never know what might happen and anyway your illustration will appear in DazedDigital, which means so many people will see it it will be like an actual exhibition!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer

I guess most of you are on holidays by now...What are your plans for the next few days? I was supposed to go back to Spain by car on monday, but I'm afraid I will have to rethink it because of the awful weather. Too bad! In the meantime, I'll enjoy the Christmassy feeling in Paris and I'll get some work done (I become so lazy whenever I'm in Spain).
I've been thinking; I have readers from all over the world, and I wonder what you guys do in the States, in Canada, in Sweden or in Portugal... How do you celebrate Christmas, what are your dream presents, what do you eat?