Candy Floss

Candyfloss pink – it is everywhere. LOTS of my peers have mused on the importance of hair colour this month. Foxyman blogged on the joy of embracing the true hues of colour while Discotheque Confusion extolled the virtues of burnt orange. I however have been overcome by the power of candyfloss pink. Most people were seduced by the candy-coloured beauty of Dree Hemingway’s locks on seeing her image on Altamira during the spring/summer Fashion Weeks. I remember the flurry of tweets and posts that surfaced at the time. I don’t usually like to rehash what others have extensively covered before but I also made an agreement (with myself) to post about things I love.

As pastels invade in the spring/summer collections my mind has been filled with candyfloss. I am not usually a lover of pink. Fuchsias and cutesy baby pinks generally upset me. I also abhor the enforced gender “colour coding” of babies. But suddenly as sheer pastels become more ubiquitous I am slowly softening to their charm. I would adore to do a “Dree” and candy-up my blondness but instead I think a change in wardrobe direction may be inevitable.

Fur in the new decade

This Christmas, while eating with my parents on Christmas Eve, the conversation turned to fur. I asked my mother about a little fur jacket she used to dress me in as a toddler. It turned out it was still in my wardrobe, in my childhood bedroom that hasn’t change since I left home in 1996 (aside from the removal of some suspect posters.) So I went to get the aforementioned mini-fur. It still fitted, all be it in cape form and my Mum then reminded me of her adult version. It was found, put on and crudely modelled by me. It was the first time I have worn a real fur, or at least remember wearing a real fur (the mini-version was worn in my memory-less time of infancy.) It was heavy and incredibly warm. In one “try on” the functionality of fur was immediately apparent to me; I could see exactly why so many Parisians donned their furs during the -10C temperatures we experienced there in December. My Mum said I should keep it, all at the party agreed. I however could not. It was coney fur and the amount of pelts (i.e. rabbit skins) that must have gone into the floor-length piece could have numbered 25 plus. To my inexperienced touch, it felt like one of my beautiful cats. It shed little hairs, like one of my cats. It had an animal smell, like one of my cats. That for me was enough reason not to keep it.

My Aunt then brought up a point that I have read about but have never experienced directly. This was a “vintage” fur. These animals were already dead, they would never live again, this coat would otherwise just remain in the wardrobe. I hear so many people say they will only wear vintage fur, for the very reasons my Aunt cited. There the argument falls down for me. In fashion, we are often driven by a covetous desire to replicate someone else’s style, or at least part of it. If that is fur, we will seek and buy fur. If designers see a trend for fur, be it vintage i.e. dead for a long time, they will be tempted to use fur in their collections i.e. dead for slightly less time! Fur for functionality, I can comprehend. If I lived in sub-zero Siberian temperatures, a fur would have a very practical purpose but here in the U.K., I don’t feel temperatures merit it. To be honest, all the people I know that own a fur wouldn’t dream of wearing it in the U.K. snow, for fear of damage. Fur for fashion, is not my thing at all, be it vintage or otherwise, it’s still a dead animal.

The Sartorialist highlights in his photographs above, fur for style only. This I don’t comprehend. I can understand the aesthetic pleasure these looks bring to the wearer but I personally could never put a whole fox around my neck, full stop.* There’s one particular fur practice that completely abhors me; I’ve highlighted it in a previous post…but the vintage/new fur debate still confounds me slightly. As I’ve already mentioned, I don’t do fur but I’m also aware I’m being a complete hypocrite as I do wear leather shoes (my dead animal reasoning fails here.)

I am interested to know where you stand on this. Fake fur has been everywhere this winter, do you wear it? Have you got a “vintage” fur? Would you buy new fur if your favourite designer produced it? The one question I ask myself, is what’s the future of fur? You never see futuristic films with fur. There’s always a new, skintight jumpsuit that regulates temperature. What will happen to all the “vintage” furs that go unworn, left to gather dust in the wardrobe like my Mum’s? Do you disagree and think I should have liberated it? I suppose we’ll just have wait and see…

* Thank you to the Sartorialist for the images. My post is not a criticism of his gorgeous photography, just a comment on my personal style.

I must also direct you to this very insightful (as always) article by Colin McDowell about the use of fur in fashion. The sales figures he quotes are astounding!

Lace

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As the new issue of POP is almost upon us (saw a sneaky-peek of the cover today) I looked to issues past for some inspiration. Agyness, of course, popped up in many (pardon the sh***y pun!) but it wasn’t her appearance that caught my eye but the LACE. My neice summed it up the other week on a trip to fashion filtration mecca, Topshop. “Nana’s got a tablecloth like that,” seemed to be the quote du jour. Then when I tried a few items on the quote changed to, “but that’s really your style.” Now either my style is inspired by Granma’s tablecloth collection (which I’ve got to say isn’t THAT bad as she has some pretty cool stuff) or lace has become very fashionably acceptable, even to the tween generation. So I purchased this lace blazer, which I then became annoyed about because as you can see from the link Topshop then decided to tell EVERYONE that they “couldn’t live without it” (hate being dictated to!) I also see that many other bloggers were taken with the aforementioned jacket, including Dazed Young Mess! I love lace but when a trend becomes so ubiquitous it is often quite a turn off, so I may start to customise a few of those tablecloths, in an attempt to make it a little more original!

Denim – double, triple…can these sins be forgiven?

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This summer, my eyes have already been plagued by some sheer denim disasters…of the double and triple variety! Then an epiphany; I bumped into someone yesterday in a trio of denims, that successfully pulled off a perfect look. The key can be summed up in this little guide equation – stonewash + grey + indigo = acceptable denim x 3. The mix of materials worked in harmony! Stonewash + stonewash + stonewash = this (WARNING : open at your peril!) Another element of her look (apologies as I was unable to photograph her) were the proportions – jeggings (HATE that term!), plus vest, plus oversized denim shirt. The look I found that came closest is the image from Stockholm Street Style above, all be it sans “jegging!” The other part of me, Things of Random Coolness, has fashion sweats over the 80′s denim shirt…but he’ll get over it! If the term jegging frightens you as much as me, go to the pull-on jean section at Urban Outfitters…that feels more acceptable! I’d love to see your denim combinations too; email or contact me with your experiments.

High Street Filtration

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This is my favourite part of the style year…watching as the Spring Summer looks we were treated to last year filter down to the high street. It’s a worrying time for me, when some SERIOUS spending could occur, snapping up multiple imitation items, instead of  one luxury designer piece.  I keep reading in magazines that the current trend is extremely juxtaposed to my personal pattern – saving to buy one stand-out, authentic piece as opposed to lots of High Street equivalents.

(A tangent tale – I speak and teach French and was mildly shocked to find there is no one word or phrase that conveys the English meaning of High Street. High Street to us means affordable and on-trend clothing. “La Rue Principale” just means the main street in a town. The nearest equivalent I could think of was, “Des vêtements à bon marché et à la mode achetés des magasins d’une chaîne” cheap and fashionable clothing bought from a chain-store. Let me know if there is a better equivalent! TANGENT OVER)

Each item on my wish list is catered for best by a different High Street store. Richard Nicoll’s catwalk colour block dresses are beyond my means but a maxi-dress from his Topshop fusion range is within my reach. Chloé’s pastels are definitely 3 price brackets too far but Cheap Monday’s skinny lemon jeans are a bargain at £50. I could go on and on… So which tribe do you divide into – save for a single item splurge or multiple spend for less? Let me know. Also I had little response to my multi-lingual posting; if you’d like me to continue, drop me a line.

Lot 78

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I have succumbed to the delights of Twitter and its associated vocabulary! (Follow my ramblings here) I “tweeted” about the lack of allure real fur has for me. I was vintage rummaging last week and the amount of furs startled me; each one felt silky like my cat but obviously cold and very un-alive. It was all a little disconcerting and it made me question my thoughts on all animal bi-products. Why was I so repulsed by fur when the feel of leather has no effect on me? I find myself daydreaming about Lot 78′s leather jackets. Browns is also loving Lot 78 and they’re focusing on the brand this month, with some very effective photography. So now I’m left to muse – leather vs. fur…is there really a difference?

Plumage

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Feathers on animals are functional – they aid in flight, thermal insulation and waterproofing. As a human being, the most appealing attribute of feathers is their colouration. In the animal kingdom, the hue helps in communication and protection. In my world, the varied palette offers unlimited hair possibilities. Feathers are everywhere at the moment; on clothing and capes but particularly in the hair. Etsy have some fantastic pieces but I have been particularly taken by ban.do. Each piece is handmade and one of a kind, described as, “Not perfect but fantastic and sometimes fantastic is better than perfect.” I LOVE this ethic – imperfections make everything so much more interesting. See the huge variety of slight imperfect perfection here. P.S. My only concern, can feathers really be called cruelty-free? I feel I need to educate myself a little more.

Feathers

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Feathers in fashion present me with quite a moral dilemma. I am not delusional enough to believe that such a prolific amount of feathers simply molt from the bird in order to facilitate fashion but each time my eye is drawn to a feathery piece, I wish this could be true. I have heard tales of plume hunters, that destroy birds in order to remove a small portion of feathers. Some birds, however, like the Ostrich, are plucked and their feathers do grow back…so the quandary continues! As far as my blog is concerned, my interest in feathers is to see how the trend translates from the catwalk to the street. Above are catwalk images from Carolina Herrera and La Perla but far left, is a great feather edged skirt seen on Street Peeper and far right, a gorgeous Parisian image from The Sartorialist. So, feathers can be worked into daily looks but for me, finding out where the feather’s came from would be quite essential.

Miu Mui’s Ornamental Heel

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Miu Miu‘s Fall 2008 Parisian Show provided me with a visual treat, some statuesque, ornamental heels. Unusual heels have been a key feature this year but Miu Miu‘s curves and angles contrast beautifully, making them truly stand out. See Miu Miu‘s full collection on Style.com and expect to see some more creative heels on the High Street soon.

Frame your Inner Geek

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American Apparel is now selling the current holy grail in eyewear…the nerdy eye-glass frame. At £27, the frames are affordable and definitely on-trend. Alongside their vintage sunglassesAmerican Apparel are providing some very original styles, to compliment their basic staples.

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