Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Alexander McQueen's final collection. Autumn/Winter 2010.

Only a very select few were given the honour of viewing McQueen's last ever collection in person, which was shown in an 18th-century mansion during Paris Fashion Week. Although it was completed by his team, a spokesperson assured everyone that the 16 piece collection (an extremely small collection by any standards) was around 80% complete at the time of McQueen's death. It was stated that he had drawn the patterns, chosen the fabrics and made the cuts - basically we were assured that it was all his own work.

All unfortunate circumstances aside, let's focus on the clothes, because they were nothing short of phenomenal:

I love this; very bold, very McQueen.

This is just perfection. So angelic, so elegant, so perfect.
I love this too. It's just amazing beyond words.
This coat is apparently made entirely from feathers individually dipped in gold-leaf. Just incredible.

I know it sounds like I'm fully just jumping on the bandwagon, but seriously this is one of my absolute favourite McQueens collections to date, I love the theme; I love the drama and the extravagance and the elegance of it all - it's so regal, so ethereal, so beautiful. I think it's just such a terrible shame that we lost such a great talent so young when he had so much more to give, so much more to live for. I really hope that, if nothing else, people learn from this. He had such amazing vision, he always stood out among high fashion designers as the one who pushed boundaries, he was at the top of his field, he just had so so much to live for. Always original, always unique; this ready-to-wear collection was more like couture which is why it will not be going on sale (all the pieces are so intricate and unique that they would have had to have been made-to-order for individual customers) but it will go on loan to a select few fashion magazines for shoots.

According to a statement released by the company, the Alexander McQueen brand will carry on for now with his design team running the show. A replacement head designer is yet to be announced but it seems likely that it will be his longtime assistant, Sarah Burton, which seems like a very fitting honour and the perfect way to make sure that the brand retains McQueen's vital influence.

More soon.

All catwalk photos from

CFDA Awards Nominations announced.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America today announced their nominations for this year's awards at a cocktail party thrown in Diane Von Furstenburg's New York studio. The board once again unanimously voted DVF in as President of the Council. This will be her third two-year term, meaning she will now serve until December 31st, 2012. Von Furstenburg made it a point to note that there will be a tribute to late designer and fashion darling, Alexander McQueen at the awards ceremony which will be held on the 7th June at the Lincoln Centre in New York.

And so, without any further ado, here is a list of the people selected by the Council to be honoured this year:

International Award: Christopher Bailey. The man of the moment is winning design awards left right and centre, as is his brand, Burberry. It really does seem that the heritage brand (once overwhelmingly associated with chavs in the mainstream media) is back on top.

Burberry Prorsum Spring/Summer 2010

Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award: Michael Kors. I'm not a huge fan personally but he's been around for a long time and he's a bona fide American treasure - the First Lady wearing him in her first Official White House Portrait confirmed it, in case you weren't sure. Well deserved.
Michelle Obama wearing Michael Kors Spring/Summer 2009

CFDA Board of Director's Special Tribute Award: Alexander McQueen. I have a feeling that this is going to be a very tearful tribute as he was so greatly loved within the fashion community. He had so much talent and it really is such a shame to lose him so young (McQueen committed suicide earlier this year at the age of 40). His final collection (completed just before his death) was shown in a small viewing in Paris a couple of weeks ago and it was undoubtedly one of his best and most inspired to date, he was truly a visionary.

Alexander McQueen Autumn/Winter 2010

Fashion Icon Award: Iman. David Bowie's impossibly beautiful and talented wife is being honoured as this year's icon. If I look half as good as her at 54, I'll be happy.
Iman with David Bowie, George Clooney and Julia Roberts at the Met Gala in 2008.

And here is a list of the people nominated for awards:

Womenswear Designer:
Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, Donna Karan
My pick - Alexander Wang. So hard to choose between these three as they all showed great collections this year, but Wang is my favourite contemporary designer, he always gives me butterflies!

Menswear Designer:
Tom Ford, Michael Bastian, Rag & Bone(Marcus Wainwright & David Neville)
My pick - Tom Ford. What with all the buzz surrounding him following his much-hyped directorial debut as well as the subsequent exposure he's had with all his stars wearing him on the red carpet, how could he not win?

Accessories Designer:
Marc Jacobs, Alexis Bittar, Proenza Schouler (Jack McCullough & Lazaro Hernandez)
My pick - Proenza Schouler. So hard to choose as I also love Marc Jacobs, I just think it's Jack and Lazaro's year.

Swarovski Award for Womenswear:
Prabal Gurung, Joseph Altuzarra, Jason Wu

Swarovski Award for Menswear:
Patrik Ervell, Simon Spurr, Richard Chai

Swarovski Award for Accessories Designer:
Alexander Wang, Fenton/Fallon (Dana Lorenz), Eddie Borgo
My pick - Alexander Wang. His accessories are always amazingggg across the board; his bags, his shoes, and more recently his sunglasses, never ever disappoint. Love him.

More soon.

Friday, 12 March 2010

These are a few of my (new) favourite things. II

Everyone on the internet and beyond has been banging on about it so I felt it deserved a mention. I have to admit I'm not a fan of the song as the lyrics seem a bit stupid, (definitely prefer Beyonce's 'Videophone') but the video is undoubtedly a masterpiece brimming with eccentric, hard-edged fashion. There are simply too many amazing outfits in the video to mention so you'll just have to watch for yourself below. Is it weird that it kinda made me want to try that look Gaga rocks with crosses of masking tape over my nipples? And I love Beyonce
with a fringe more than I could possibly say! Very chic.

As you probably gathered from the name of my blog, I'm all about beautiful shoes. I love heels as much as the next girl but when I see a pair of comfortable flats that can make just as much of a statement, then I'm sold. I saw these Commes des Garcons shoes featured in this month's British Vogue in black and white, and after some research I found these lovely pearly white ones that I've fallen in love with. How cute are the painted red toenails?! I'm desperate for a pair.

Commes des Garcons

For Spring/Summer I'm really excited about STATEMENT SHORTS. I saw the most beautiful floral silk pair from Marc Jacobs, the colours are amazing and vibrant, definitely a statement if ever I saw one. Dolce & Gabbana also showed some exciting florals for Spring. (In earlier blogs you can also see some decent high street florals that I found from Urban Outfitters and Topshop.)

Marc Jacobs

I've been looking for a new pair of denim short shorts as mine are becoming a bit too loveworn to get away with now. I really love this Topshop stars and stripes pair that I saw in Elle magazine's highstreet recommendations section. They don't seem to be available yet though so I guess I'll just have to wait.


For a more subtle statement an unusual texture is also a good way to go, leather or velvet are new favourites of mine. You can find these at Alexa Chung for Madewell (see earlier blog) or Alexander Wang. I'm pretty sure the high street aren't too far behind so watch out for Topshop knockoffs if you don't have the necessary £300 for a pair of Wangs.

Alexander Wang

I really want a hat. I'm really in the mood for some kind of headpiece but hairbands look slightly silly on me with my current hairstyle (a drastic undercut a la Alice Dellal). I've been dreaming of the perfect black one, something betwixt a fedora and a trilby. I particularly loved the one atop Clemence Poesy's crown in the new issue of British Vogue.

However I don't have £230 to be spending on a hat right now so I'll keep looking. I used to have a similar one that I bought for a 5er in a vintage market so maybe I'll keep rummaging away and I'll be lucky enough to find another.

I've been searching for the perfect green nail varnish for ages now (plus St.Patrick's Day is coming up so it's the perfect excuse right?) and of course Chanel has the answer. They really do seem to be THE brand to look to for the next it-nail trend these days. I can't wait to get my hands on this beautiful jade colour, although from the looks of it I'll have to wait as it's sold out everywhere! (I'm told this 'Jade Rose' shade was all the rage on the catwalk too.)

I normally make a conscious effort to avoid big Hollywood blockbusters as they are usually unbearably predictable and never fail to disappoint. However, I made an exception for Tim Burton's latest masterpiece, Alice in Wonderland. I have to tell you now, it's amazing - sorry to ruin the surprise. He really took the original story and managed to adapt it seamlessly to create this whole new world without straying too far from, and ruining, the much-loved original, no mean feat. It was incredibly trippy, I opted for seeing it in a regular 2D cinema as opposed to 3D, I'm not sure I could have handled seeing the wise, shisha-smoking caterpillar or the creepy floating Cheshire cat in three dimensions. Mia Wasikowska (Alice) had some amazingly inventive dresses as she shrunk and grew and her iconic baby blue dress was forced to change accordingly - it felt like we were being shown a collection. Although saying that; it was Helena Bonham Carter's red queen and Johnny Depp's mad hatter who really stole the show for me, but then what else would you expect from a Tim Burton movie? So without giving too much away here's a link to the trailer (I can't put it on here, sorry). I definitely recommend you see the film for yourself.

I'm a big fan of underwear as outerwear and so I just had to share this with you. I'm so happy that cone bras are making a comeback! Not sure I'd ever be brave enough to actually wear one out but I think they're fantastic. Of course noone does them like Jean Paul Gaultier but I thought this was a lovely take on it.

Louise Goldin (picture from the April 2010 issue of Elle UK magazine)

Even though it's barely Spring/Summer, watching all of the Autumn/Winter collections recently has got me in the mood for cold weather fashion again. I'm really looking forward to wearing these next season:

Dr.Martens do UGGs! Well, not really, but pretty close. I am in love with these boots that have all the features of UGGs but in the classic, much more desirable, Dr.Martens shape. I couldn't think of anything more comfortable and I can't wait to get my hands on a pair (at £200 I may have to wait a little while..).

Another recent find that I've stumbled upon is cable knit leggings from American Apparel. My favourite items of clothing of late have been my oversized cable knit jumpers so to have that level of comfort on my legs would be unreal. I love the idea of having a dark grey or black pair just for being comfy and casual in on cold days, definitely a much nicer alternative to track pants. They also come in this lovely (very now) pastel shade, very suitable for the cold British Spring time.

More soon.

Monday, 8 March 2010

And the Oscar goes to..

Last night the most glamourous event in the Hollywood social calendar took place; the 82nd annual Academy Awards. And although a few of my favourite films from the past year lost out (Inglourious Basterds), the red carpet did not disappoint.

Here are a few of the better ensembles:

Elizabeth Banks looked great in this blue/grey Versace number that matched her eyes, love all the different textures and detailing in the dress from feathers to diamantes to ruffles. Appropriately theatrical for the Oscars. Not to mention it fit her like a dream.

Jeff Bridges looked good in Gucci. Men don't have a lot of options but I thought this was one of the nicer tuxedos of the night.

Resembling her Oscar slightly, Sandra Bullock opted for a gold Marchesa-designed dress which was made using vintage fabric. I really like it, I think it's nice, it's unique. Her hair and makeup are lovely too, very elegant.

Penelope Cruz looked gorgeous in this blood-red draped Donna Karan dress. Flattering colour, flattering shape, very elegant - it's not overstated and trying too hard but it's still appropriately dramatic for the occasion. This is how the Oscars red carpet should be done. Just a hint of Chopard jewellery added that touch of glamour.

Another gold dress that's a big hit. Cameron Diaz looked absolutely stunning in this Oscar de la Renta dress! Very very flattering on her. The makeup really suits her but I'm not a fan of the hair, it's like almost 40s pin curls but not quite - wish she had stuck to some true old Hollywood glamour with the proper hair then this look would have been perfection.

Rachel McAdams looked beautiful in this gorgeous Elie Saab gown, it looks like watercolours. Love the shape of it so much, the draping detail on the bodice is heaven.

Colin Firth looked handsome in Tom Ford, of course. And Livia Firth, Vogue blogger extraordinaire, looked very nice in an eco-friendly gown designed by Orsola de Castro. I think they complement eachother nicely, great couple.

Love Maggie Gyllenhaal (always a red carpet favourite of mine because she has this offbeat style that would never occur to me but I always think looks amazing on her), love Dries Van Noten, a match made in heaven. Very flattering shape on her, love how the colour brings out her eyes. Beautiful pieces of Fred Leighton jewellery. Classic Maggie chic up-do and not overdone makeup, absolutely beautiful, if I went to an event like this I'd hire her as my stylist.

Maggie's brother, Jake also scrubbed up nicely in this Burberry tux.

Vera Farmiga (Best Supporting Actress nominee, Up in the Air) looked absolutely amazing in this Marchesa ruffled number. Love it. Love everything about it. The bold, rich colour really is beautiful. This works really well with her pale skin and matching lips. By far the standout dress of the night.

OK so I've never really been a fan of her style but Kristen Stewart looked amazing wearing one of my favourite eveningwear designers, Monique L'huillier. This is the kind of thing I would choose to wear definitely. Very flattering, and it really suits her gothic glamour vibe, kudos. Hate to say it but she's a definite contender for best dressed of the night.

I have a massive crush on James Cameron's wife. I wasn't really a fan of James Cameron's Versace suit but I though his wife, Suzy Amis, looked incredible - firstly because of how she is clearly just such a natural beauty. She must be in her late fifties but she looked phenomenal and like she really was embracing her age, such a refreshing thing to see in the Hollywood crowd. She had wrinkles, grey hair, hardly any makeup and she clearly was still one of the most beautiful women in the room, I couldn't stop staring at her. Her dress was the winner of a competition she set up designed to encourage eco-friendly fashion, in Avatar blue of course. She looks like a goddess.

Jennifer Lopez's hair and makeup was amazing, she looked really beautiful. This Armani Prive gown is lovely too, not 100% sold on the train coming out of the front/side of the dress but it's definitely interesting, I like the concept. Marc Antony actually looked good for once, thanks to Tom Ford (and the fact that he kept his sunglasses on, his eyes freak me out).

I thought Matt Damon and his wife looked cute-as-you-like, I thought they both looked very classic and elegant. She looked dreamy and feminine, love the pulled back hair and minimal jewellery - statement earrings are all you need with this strapless romantic dress, very simple. He was wearing a very nice Ferragamo tux.

Zac Efron looked great in this fitted Calvin Klein suit. Like I said before, men don't have a lot of options when it comes to dressing for the occasion, it all comes down to fit, good tailoring, the little details. This is a great example of that. I even quite like the shiny shiny shoes.

It pains me to say it but Miley Cyrus looked pretty damn good in this Jenny Packham dress. I'm a huge fan of anything with underwear detailing, I love the emphasised waistline too. It really is just a lovely dress, in a very romantic Spring hue. Although I'm most definitely with the general consensus on this one - it's just far too sexy for the underage Hannah Montana star, quite inappropriate. You'd think her parents would have said something, no?

Some of the blah:

Yes I know it's Chanel couture, but that doesn't give you a free pass. Sarah Jessica Parker looks so orange and this yellow pastel shade doesn't help. I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's the shape that just doesn't seem extremely flattering? Don't get me wrong it's not bad, but it's not great either. The girl does get points for wearing Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, shame you can't see them.

I LOVE this dress. I am super jealous that John Galliano didn't create this Christian Dior couture masterpiece especially for me. I love the sexy detailing on the bust more than I could possibly say. I love that she keeps it simple and chic with no accessories other than her Harry Winston earrings, what more could a girl need? (This only made it into the blah section because I don't think it is very flattering on her - something about the way the material sits? And also possibly the colours? Maybe couture is best left to the runway.)

I was kind of disappointed by Kate Winslet's outfit choice this year, she's slowly been coming into her own and building momentum over the past couple of years as one to watch on the red carpet (and she's representing us Reading girls everywhere!). She looked phenomenal last year, maybe she made less effort this year because she wasn't nominated? I know it's Yves Saint Laurent but the corseted top feels slightly tacky and obvious on someone with her beautifully curvy figure. Gorgeous hair and makeup though, very dreamy as always. Love the Tiffany necklace as well, reportedly worth around $2.5million, could not be more jealous!

This Prada dress just really missed the mark for me. What is it covered in, tiny little scissors and forks and screws? Not really a fan of how it comes up at the front to expose the shoes either, that seems a bit off. Really not loving her 'elfin crop' everyone seems to be loving as well, I just don't think it suits her face. I'm still waiting to see any discernable style from her that the rest of the fashion world seems to see.

This Armani Prive gown is nice, I like the detailing, but it kind of blends into her orange skin colour - not good. She looked OK, not great.

Tina Fey looks OK, this cut is actually quite flattering, but we've seen this look on her so many times before. She played it very safe with conservative (boring) American designer Michael Kors.

Amanda Seyfriend looked lovely, very cute. Although when I look at this dress it kind of strikes me as playing Disney Princess dress-up a little bit. It's a shame that she picked an Armani Prive dress from the same collection as J-Lo (who I bet was super pissed haha) as they were so similar and it looked like Jenny got the better one.

We get it, Robert Downey Jr., you're a rebel. But sneakers? To the Oscars? Really? They're not even the gorgeous studded Christian Louboutins sneakers, which might have been acceptable. And I know you're wearing Lanvin but that doesn't mean you have to rip off Alber Elbaz's entire look with the quirky glasses and dickie bow, very unoriginal.

Kathryn Bigelow in Yves Saint Laurent. It's not too bad actually, I'm just unclear on the highneck/sleeveless thing going on here, it's not very flattering on the tops of her arms. And why are there like little cut-out hearts around the bust? If you knew you were pretty much going to win the Oscar, wouldn't you choose a better dress? It's kinda drab, kinda blah, nothing exciting about it at all.

I was very disappointed with Nicole Richie's efforts, I'm normally quite a fan of her look but she got it all wrong for me. The dress from Reem Acra is actually really nice but when paired with the slicked back hair in a bun and the over-the-top makeup; it's a disaster! She doesn't even look like the same person. It's too severe for her, it would have been nice to see her have a bit of fun with it.

Helen Mirren looked nice, she looked OK, she looked age-appropriate. HATE those sheer sparkly sleeve things that women of a certain age start doing because they think it covers up their bingo wings and looks flattering - for those alone she goes in the blah section, sorry Badgely Mischka.

And some of the worst:

Zoe Saldana needs a new stylist (I'm free in case you read this, Zoe). Whoever told her this dress was a nice choice for the Oscars is not her friend. To be fair, the chic up-do hair, the natural makeup and the simple understated jewellery all work for her. Her skin looks amazing and the top half of the dress is actually quite nice. But the bottom is horrific, the graduated colour in what looks to be crumpled up tissue paper is just so wrong that I can't really believe Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy couture made this. It just looks tacky.

OK so I hope I don't get lynched by a mob of angry fashionistas but, WOW did Karl Lagerfeld really got it wrong for me this year. Another Chanel couture misstep. Diane Kruger is so beautiful, I love her hair and neutral makeup. But I really hate this dress, it's just so wrong, too fussy. And I hate the fluffy black neck thing with the long ribbons hanging at the back.

This just looks like a bad high school prom dress. Tacky and pink with some rhinestones on it.

OK so by Mariah standards this isn't too bad, but for me it broke the cardinal rule of dressing: boobs or legs, never both. It would have been nice to see some elegance and some class for the Oscars. Granted Mr. Valentino can make a sexy dress, but Oscar appropriate? No. The over the top hoop earrings and the outdated 90s hair and makeup top it off for me. Sorry Mariah fans.

I loves me some Meryl Streep but she looked super-dated in this white 80s-inspired number by Chris March.

Antonio Banderas didn't look too bad (beard aside) but Melanie Griffith was one hot mess. They both looked old and tired in Versace. Her plastic surgery face seemed too tight and kind of wonky? And the dress is a sequin monstrosity that looks kind of old lady when paired with the sheer black shawl thing.

And just in case you didn't already know, here's a list of some of the winners:
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Best Animated Feature Film: Up
Best Costume Design: Sandy Powell, The Young Victoria
Best Make Up: Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow, Star Trek

More soon.
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