Some outtakes from a shoot photographed by Holly Blake for Yen. From Fashion Gone Rogue
I like the disshevelled, early '90s feel of these pictures; especially the high-waisted jeans. The sleeveless white shirt knotted at the navel is something I'm beginning to notice around. See this picture of Atlanta De Cadenet Taylor. As I predicted here, the white shirt is becoming a big trend for 2010.
The 2010 fashion calendar is gathering pace, and the womens' ready-to-wear collections are nearly upon us. For those wishing to follow the action online, here's a list of the sites, bloggers and Twitterers I think cover the action best.
Cathy Horyn, The New York Times; Suzy Menkes, The International Herald Tribune; Robin Givhan, The Washington Post. For incisive, unbiased comment which looks to the bigger picture, look no further than this triumverate of old-school fashion hacks, all of whom pen (or rather type) lively copy.
Catwalk pictures: Style.com is still the go-to site, offering all the pictures from all the on-schedule shows.
Nearly every fashion site seems to cover the same news stories, but as far as I can tell Fashion Copious seems to get all the gossip / pictures / news first. Also Refinery29 is good (Women's Wear Daily gets the best access, of course, but I do worry about its impartiality as it's owned by Conde Nast, and also you do need to subscribe.)
I love Tina Fey. Reacting to E! Entertainment's Giuliana Rancic's (nee DePandi) disapproval of the dress she wore to the Golden Globes (a black and white tiered prom-style dress by Zac Posen), she took the opportunity of another live interview, this time at the SAG awards, to thank Rancic for taking "a big steaming dump" on her. Rancic, who is ridiculed by the fashion elite for her naff style, but who is nonetheless skilled at her job, rallied to the accusation, sincerely (or as sincerely as it's possible for her to be) complimenting her on her SAG choice of a far less eye-catching purple v-neck dress by Ferragamo. What neither was possible aware of was a style judgement pronounced on both women from on high by none other than Andre Leon Talley. He singled out Fey's GG dress in his Vogue blog as an "original and intelligent" choice, while Rancic he dismissed as "some monstrous commentator in a slinky silver dress". Seems like Fey is on the right side of the style divide.
Tina Fey in the dress which caused the "big steaming dump" comment. Picture from Justjared.com
I have just finished reading a very good piece about Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the designers of Rodarte, by Amanda Fortini in the January 18 issue of The New Yorker. It covers the putting together of their spring/summer 2010 collection. What struck me in particular is how these fashion outsiders - they work from Pasadena, invent their own fabrics and create pieces inspired by things like turkey wattle - have become so influential in spite of not playing the traditional fashion game. Fortini didn't touch on, for example, how their shredded jumpers became such a hit that fashion girls are still pulling holes in their knitwear for a Rodarte-esque effect. It will be interesting to see how they evolve as a brand.
Here's an interesting video of Suzy Menkes being interviewed by what looks like Alexa Chung, about fashion and the internet (not so keen on all the tedious comments by fashion bloggers like Facehunter and Fashion Copious, though). She has some sensible things to say, like how fashion has "become a dialogue, rather than a monologue". Her comments about "this thing called "seeding" are very sweet!" http://www.premiumexhibitions.com/
The February 2009 cover of Paris Vogue, published on Fashion Gone Rogue
While I enjoy browsing websites such as Fashion Gone Rogue and Fashion Copious for all the latest magazine editorials and ad campaigns (especially since Borders, my old magazine browsing haunt, closed), the downside is it kills the joy of reading the magazines (hard copies) I actually buy. I'm talking about American and Paris Vogues, chiefly, which I purchase without fail every month. Perusing a new issue is a a favourite ritual of mine, and it's annoying, therefore, when the novelty is ruined because I've already seen the pictures, or at least some of them, online. Now, I know what you're thinking: that I should just not look at these sites at all. Their content is so all-encompassing, though, that for a mag-hag like me the temptation of logging on to them for the pages of magazines I won't ever buy (Japanese Vogue, French Elle) is too strong, even if it means doing it at the expense of my monthly reads. Suggestion: in the same way football results come with a forewarning, why not put a "spoiler alert" message at the front of the post? Even better would be a tool with the ability to eliminate those magazines one doesn't want to see (this would be a time-saver, too). For now, however, I'll be scouring these sites with a half-open eye, snapping them shut and moving on quickly each time one of these pesky spoilers crops up.
A friend of mine informs me that he overheard a stylist in the Acne store in Paris calling in jeans for Alexa Chung this morning. Is she looking for inspiration for her new line for Madewell? Or is the girls never-knowlingly-photographed-in-jeans changing her tune? (This post also gives me the excuse to publish another picture of her looking characteristically trendy.)
Alexa Chung has signed on to design a line for US label Madewell, according to alexachung.co.uk
I wonder why? For the money? And why not wait for Topshop to ask her? They surely are the perfect fit. Madewell is a heritage denim brand, so maybe she decided she wanted to go with something more niche. Although she's never photographed in jeans. Hmmm. Anyway, I'm not sure about these designer / celeb collaborations any more. Alexa is a chic girl, but I think people are coming round to the fact that just because a celebrity's name is attached to something, it doesn't mean they should buy it. Picture from The Fashion Spot
Rubbishing the notion that black doesn't work for the red carpet - stylists say it doesn't come up well in photographs - many of the best dressed attendees at The Golden Globes chose a sombre hue. Perhaps it was a reaction to the Haiti earthquake (with many sporting a red and gold ribbon in support), but Penelope Cruz, Julia Roberts (in YSL) and Julianne Moore (Balenciaga) were among those who forewent the more popular pastel or saturated red carpet palette.
My favourite outfits were, in order, January Jones (in Lanvin), Carey Mulligan (Nina Ricci) - both of whom wore adorable hairbands - Rose Byrne (Lanvin again), and Drew Barrymore (Versace). Surprise hits were Sofia Vergara, in Carolina Herrera dusty blue satin, and Julianna Margulies, in burgundy and black Narciso Rodriguez. Special mention, too, to Diane Kruger, who sported a Christian Lacroix Couture raspberry ripple concoction, in memory of the designer's recently closed label. Pictures from Handbag.com
Guilty fashion pleasure ne plus ultra: scrutinising the frocks paraded on the red carpet during awards season. With The Golden Globes taking place this weekend, here's who to expect big things from, fashion-wise:
Angelina Jolie, who'll be accompanying Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds is nominated); Emily Blunt, Best Actress for The Young Victoria; new fashion darling Carey Mulligan, Best Actress for An Education; Marion Cotillard and Penelope Cruz, nominated for Nine (Broken Embraces is also up for a gong); Julianne Moore, for A Single Man; January Jones, for Mad Men; Rose Byrne for Damage; Chloe Sevigny for Big Love, and Drew Barrymore for Grey Gardens. In the men's corner, we have Wes Anderson (The Fantastic Mr. Fox) and George Clooney (Up in the Air), both of whom have an eye for a sharp get-up.
I've so set my Sky planner to record Live from the Red Carpet on E!
In another indication of how fashion magazines are losing ground to The Web, I'm amused to read a report in WWD about how some brands are upset that the SS10 ad campaigns were leaked online before being published in print magazines. In particular, the blog for Love was singled out, with editor Katie Grand issuing a grovelling apology.
While it's understandable that fashion brands are concerned about protecting their image, there's no getting away from the fact that while there's a demand for them, the images will be published online, giving the brand- duh - free advertising, not to mention exposure to the very people who would be interested in buying their wares.
Marc Jacobs, among a few others, has the right idea. Last season he and Louis Vuitton circulated a video showing the making of their campaign which featured Madonna. The video went viral, resulting in what must have been gazillions of dollars worth of free advertising.
Not only does this grumbling show how out of touch print magazines really are, it also shows an embarrassing lack of imagination on the part of fashion PRs and their employers. It really is time for them to wise up and hop on the internet gravy train.
Reading that "jeggings" was on the Oxford English Dictionary's new-word list reminds me I've been meaning to write a blog on the jeggings phenomenon. Out and about in London, I notice how all girls are wearing jeggings. And not like they were wearing leggings a few seasons back, as a replacement for hosiery under short skirts. No, they're wearing them instead of skinny jeans, without bothering to cover their arses (maybe it's the relief: they are certainly more comfortable). West London teenagers wear theirs with Ugg boots in the park, while trendies team them with high-tops for clubbing. Like Uggs, jeggings have been embraced by certain celebrities. I remember reading an interview with Megan Fox (I think it was in the New York Times T magazine), in which the journalist noted Fox was obsessed with leggings, wearing them with heels and a long cardigan. Lindsay Lohan has her own line of leggings, 6126. Also like Uggs, they invite snobbish comments in that they are seen as a bit common. Whether they will survive the cold snap remains to be seen, but there's no doubt we're in the midst of a full-blown jeggings invasion.
Rachel Bilson in Los Angeles. Picture from Rachelbilsonweb.com
Relegated to the back of the wardrobe in favour of the T-shirt for the past few years, the white shirt is this spring coming to reclaim its fashion crown. Listed, along with the the LBD and the trench coat, among the "classic staples" of a woman's wardrobe (not necessarily a sexy moniker), it has the power, unlike any other garment, to add style to your look, a crispness to your line. It is a grown-up piece of garb, and perhaps for this reason was ignored for so long by a fashion firmament concerned largely with the raiments of youth. When designer Gianfranco Ferre died in 2007, it was almost like the white shirt - his trademark piece - went with him. But of course the joy of fashion is that it, unlike a fashion designer, can be reborn. Thus we spy from afar Kate Moss on the beach in Thailand with a block of white stretched between her bikini bottoms and her Ray-Bans, and Rachel Bilson strolling through Los Angeles, that city obsessed more than any other with youth, in a snow-coloured button-down.
It may be snowing in London, but what's to stop me indulging in a little California dreaming? Here's a picture of Atlanta Taylor. Incidentally, her knotted shirt and sunglasses are spot-on for 2010, wouldn't you agree? Once the snow has melted, natch. Picture from Runway Hippie
As magazines struggle with dwindling sales in the face of the internet's burgeoning power, The Last Miaow likes to keep a beady eye on how the relationship is shaping up between the two. In one development, American Vogue has done a deal with Gilt Group, a member's only online discount shopping portal,where, for the first time, readers can "shop the issue" through the Gilt website. Elsewhere, SHOWstudio has been used as a showcase for a project between Nick Knight and British Vogue. Both cases are examples of how, rather than destroying it, the internet can enhance the print magazine experience for readers.