Saturday, 27 March 2010

It's all about braids

My hair used to be long. Really quite long. Then in November 2008 I just went temporarily crazy and for some reason unknown even to me (probably because of the hassle it is to keep long hair healthy) I cut it. I was thrilled for about 48 hours, then I realised short hair didn't really suit me that much. I felt like Samson must have felt without his hair. Or like Irina Lazareanu for that matter. Let's face it: Irina belongs with long, hippyish hair, and so do I. So for the last year and a half I've been desperately taking care of my poor, mutilated hair and now it's sort of getting back there. My dream is to have intriguingly long hair (enough to be able to completely cover my boobs) and my nightmare still is trying to keep it healthy. Thin, fragile hair like mine needs a whole army of thickening shampoos, glossy conditioners and nutritive masks. And then you need to blow-dry and brush and... Frankly, it never ends.
So I couldn't be more thrilled when I discovered one of the big hair trends this spring are braids: they are easy to make and feminine and flattering and you don't need to spend 2 hours doing a brushing before doing braids! So, at least for me, this will be the Summer Of Braids.
If I could achieve Alexander McQueen's hairdos... I would be a professional hairdresser. I simply love the kind of medieval, warrior-like spirit of Plato's Atlantis' hairstyles. But although nothing would make me happier than strolling down the street wearing that hair (and, why not? The Armadillo shoes as well), I realize that look wouldn't really be suitable or easy to wear on planet Earth. Luckily there are other options.
I've loved Oscar de la Renta's braid crowns. They are chic and feminine yet they have a somewhat traditional costume flavour. Paired with long earrings they really do the trick.

Also, you can make them more special and dressed-up by putting a ribbon in one of the three sides of the braid when making it. I used to do that when I was about 12 and it looked lovely. Unfortunately, the provincial town I lived in was not very partial to braids, so it got me more laughs than admirative glances. Still, if de la Renta says it's chic, there's no doubt it is. Just one piece of advice: always use a ribbon of a shade that suits your hair colour.
Diane Von Furstenberg offers a more realistic alternative to McQueen's hair. It's also simple to do: just part your hair several times and braid it from the top, keeping it next to your head ( you can do that by constantly using new streaks of hair whilst doing the braid instead of doing it with only 3. It requires a bit of patience and maybe practice but afterwards it's really easy to do).
Super classic braids were the bet at Dsquared2. You all know how to do them. The trick for these ones is just to bring your hair back and start both of them from the back. That way they look more sophisticated and slightly less girly.

Finally, if what you want is just one long braid, there are also several options. Roberto Cavalli's is a cool, easy one: just one strict, tight braid. Perfect to wear after the beach or the swimming pool since it looks lovely worn with wet hair (yeah, I know it's only March and I hear in Paris it's raining cats and dogs, but I'm already obsessed with beaches and swimming pools).
Missoni's hair is cool as well. I would tend to ignore the slightly alien-looking things on top of the head of the model, but "spike braids" look amazing. I used to have a tip about how to make them but I must admit I can't completely remember it. Something about taking little streaks of hair out of the three big ones you would normally make the braid with. If any of my readers remembers how to do it, it would be lovely if you could post a comment explaining!
Otherwise, you can opt for the biggest hair trend of the season: the slightly messy-looking, side braid. Now, I am 200% certain that Miu Miu hairdressers spent several thousands of euros in hair extensions for the show (there is simply no way a human being could have as much hair as the model in the picture above).
Luckily Dsquared2 are showing a more realistic version. As you see, it's uber-easy to do: just do a normal braid sideways and deliberately mess up your hair afterwards (you can take the little bits of the braid and pick some hair out of them for a more casual look).

Alexander Wang definitely got the look. Just remember to put some hairspray on so that your hair stays just as messy as you want it to, not more!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Monday, 22 March 2010

True Love

She was so perfect. So ladylike yet so fresh, so sporty yet so delicate. So neat yet so mysterious. So independent yet so lovable. So Hamptons yet so adventurer.
I have been waiting for months to see the upcoming Grace Kelly: Style Icon exhibition at Victoria & Albert. It starts on 17 April, so... not so long now!
Personally, I think her utterly chic gestures, movements and attitudes have influenced me far more than her fashion sense. How do you feel about Miss Kelly? Would you consider her a big fashion influence of yours?

P.S: I have a new section on the right hand column of the blog, with several links to what I consider to be my fashion bibles (in other words, the websites I am totally addicted to). I hope you will enjoy them!

Friday, 19 March 2010

I want to be like you.

After a month of Fashion Weeks, press presentations, shootings, work at YSL and a number of unexpected events in my life in general, I'm now so glad all that is over and I can go back to some sort of routine...
Anyway, the last few weeks have made me think about my work and the direction I want to move towards, professionally. There are 5 people I particularly look up to; their work has been relevant to me in the last few years: they all have great creativity and style. I want to be like them.

5. Alexandra Shulman. British Vogue's editor-in-chief is simply amazing. I love her natural style and the way she keeps out of the spotlight to just privilege fashion. Ladylike and classic yet with an eccentric edge, her magazine is the ultimate style guide.
4. Hamish Bowles. He is Vogue's European editor at large, has flawless taste and is extremely cultivated. He is the only person capable of bringing a somewhat old-fashioned style back into fashion. He is elegance personified!
3. Terry Jones. By creating I-D, Jones opened the door to a whole new vision of fashion. None of the amazing independent magazines we all know and love nowadays would have been possible without his work. He brought together the underground and the mainstream in a perfectly balanced formula that has worked for 30 years.
2. Franca Sozzani. Vogue Italia's editor-in-chief is often rated as one of the chicest women in the industry. She impersonates Italian exhuberance and colourful elegance and transmits that to one of the most important magazines in the industry (in many ways unarguably the most important- ask models and photographers about Vogue Italia!).
1. Jefferson Hack. You all know he is one of my icons... You might wonder why? Well, the great work he is doing with Dazed & Confused and Another Magazine, creating a whole trademark style that doesn't end with fashion, is great. But I especially admire him for his audacious take on the future; DazedDigital is an innovative and very complete source of information, yet it was created as a complement for the printed magazine. I can't wait to see the direction his work will take in the next few years.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Uh huh hunny bee

Punk heritage
Shameless makeup excess
Thelma & Louise spirit
American pop culture
Fred Butler's amazing designs
Lots of Quentin Tarantino inspiration
Passion for (impossible) fashion

Are we driving towards a new era of kitsch aesthetics and female empowerment? I do hope so.

P.S: I'm seriously considering getting one of my makeup artist friends to do that absurdly excessive GaGa makeup on me...

Thursday, 11 March 2010

She tried to sit on my lap while I was standing up.

When I was a little kid and all of my little friends were obsessed by Walt Disney, repeatedly watching his films to their parents' silent despair, I was watching the likes of Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep. I simply loved film noir. Cinderella, Snow White and Yasmin were everyone else's icons and mine were Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner and Gene Tierney. Maybe not very suitable for a 6 year-old (casinos, cigarettes, alcohol and easy women are as present in film noir as forests, fairies and pink clothes are in fairy tales), but original I must admit.
People often talk about how much mental and emotional harm Disney's films can do to children (and, let's admit it, especially to little girls, who are far more fascinated by these cartoons than boys). Grown-ups blame Disney for every cheesy misconception about love, marriage and gender roles they might have. Maybe I have been less affected by Disney's films than many people around me, but I highly suspect my obsession with film noir as I was growing up also left me with a distorted perception of reality. I particularly blame Hollywood for fooling me into believing the following:
1. Veronica Lake's hair was natural.
2. Drinking whisky at 9 am was normal.
3. The only existing colours for clothes were black, white and metallic (I still believe that, as anyone who has seen my wardrobe will have noticed).
4. It was perfectly respectable to sleep during the day and spend nights in sleazy joints.
5. Humphrey Bogart would appear at the turn of any corner.
As you can see I am just as emotionally deranged as Disney-films viewers. Also, as they were listening to little mice sing cute songs and learning the lyrics by heart, I was listening to this kind of songs:

Clips from Gilda, To Have and Have Not, The Lady from Shanghai and The Big Sleep.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Somewhere beyond the sea...

So on sunday we woke up at an ungodly hour and left for a shooting on the beaches of Normandy. There were Pierre, Sophie, and the usual team. Plus our model Romane G. It was an incredible clear sunny day with an incredible hurricane-like wind and an incredible 0 degrees temperature. I was wearing cashmere, 2 pairs of socks and a fur coat and I felt very much like an icicle. Romane, next to me, was wearing Cacharel knickers and a Miu Miu mesh top.
Now Romane may be a schoolgirl of 16, but don't get her wrong! She was an incredibly professional model; she never once complained about the cold, she stroke the most amazing poses and looks, managed to walk on rocks whilst wearing those famous Miu Miu satin chunky heels (which I have decided I absolutely adore) and when we got back to Paris 14 hours later she left for another job at Chloé. Obviously she had class on monday... People who think models have a brainless, silly, easy job make me laugh so much.
All in all (and despite the fact that I've been coughing ever since sunday) it was a lovely day and we did have loads of fun. I just adore Sophie and Pierre. Here's what the shooting felt like- this is only a silly iPhone picture, but I bet Pierre's final result will be to die for. I will keep you posted!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Glamourous nuns with inner discipline

So sorry about the lack of posts lately. After receiving very sad news from back home in Spain I decided to take it easy for a bit and just enjoy the company of my family and friends who rallied round. They were absolutely lovely and gave me back my strenght... I am so thankful!
Anyway, it's been an eventful Fashion Week, and a very interesting one, with one leading trend: a sort of warrior sobriety; austere, pure, minimal lines or, as Rick Owens put it, "glamourous nuns with inner discipline". Let's see...

The week started on tuesday afternoon when I met Charles, Vanni and Maxime at Palais Royal for the Anthony Vaccarello presentation. Unlike in his previous collection, there were no bodysuits. Just black easy-to-wear clothes with architectural details. No excesses, only the necessary glimpses of geometric silver jewellery.
After the Nicolas Andreas Taralis show was over (one of this season's newcomers, whose style before used to be much more urban), many people said it was "very Rick Owens" and maybe a bit of a clichéd concept of modernity. However...
I loved these hairdos. Absolutely have to try this, it's easy as pie to do it and so strong and stylish!

Squeezed together at Tim Van Steenbergen, we discovered his girls were not only nuns: they also wore teacher-like glasses and stylings. Strict chic was the thing. It was actually quite cool.

After I almost fainted at Peachoo & Krejberg when Saint Jefferson Hack sitted next to me (believe me, I'm normally not starstruck, but I enormously admire Jefferson's work and would really like to accomplish something as interesting as him professionally), I was thrilled to discover the designers had mixed straight, minimal lines with precious embroideries and sequins. It looked seriously chic and stylish.

Damir Doma's first womenswear collection gathered a big crowd... It was easy to tell he had a menswear background. The collection was not a unisex one, but it was still very androgynous. The girls had a kind of "asexual sexyness", if you know what I mean...

Rick, Rick, Rick... Last but not at all least. After all, he was one of the first designers to work the Austere look in the XXIst century, wasn't he? (I'm of course not counting Calvin Klein, who was actually the first western designer to work the austere look in the 90's... a whole different era, wasn't it?). The show was magnificent, the makeup was magnificent, the models were magnificent... and there were prints! Still, geometrical, functional prints. What I love about him is his concept of luxury. It's thoroughly modern and serene.
There is also Gareth, of course. I'm not forgetting him, but I intend to do a post to talk exclusively about his collections. It has become a nice tradition by now, and you all know how much I Gareth. So I leave you with a video preview of his show. Needless saying I'm crazy about the whole collection and would wear almost every single piece.