Archive for the ‘ FASHION ’ Category

YVES SAINT LAURENT

Yves Saint Laurent
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It is hard to envisage in a culture when the Yves Saint Laurent-YSL- brand is so recognisable and prevalent that the person who lies behind this legacy was a shy, retiring nervous young man who cowered away from the spotlight and looked as if at an early age his greatest achievement would be that of rising to the exalted position of Christian Dior’s protégé. However with the death of Dior he found himself at the centre of attention of the world’s media when he was appointed the great couturier’s successor in the House of Dior and caught up in the maelstrom of attendant publicity such a post engenders.
This biopic by Jalil Lespert goes someway to trying to decipher the man behind the myth but falls short of providing any grit whatsoever, despite the debauchery and decadence of his subject’s lifestyle, in favour of a glossy and suitably stylised version where an endless succession of beautiful people meet in beautiful surroundings swathed in beautiful clothes.
The film also focuses on the relationship between Yves (Pierre Niney) and his long time partner Pierre Bergé (Guillaume Gallienne) through its transition from passionate lovers and business partners to feuding international jetsetters with affairs on both sides threatening the rock solid ground at frequent intervals but never permanently damaging the concrete foundation. At the crux of the relationship lies the unshakeable and untenable belief that Bergé always has Yves’ best personal and business interests at heart. Thus he sees him through his early and subsequent breakdowns always dragging him from the abyss of the depression which seems to cloud his life, if not his talent.
We also see how personal highs and lows lead to creative peaks and iconic designs such as the Mondrian dresses, ‘Le Smoking’ tuxedoes and cigarette pants, Safari Jackets and his Bedouin Moroccan collection inspired by frequent trips to Marrakech with a collection of acolytes, sycophants and genuine friends, including long term muse Loulou de la Falaise.
The main downfall of the film is however also its greatest strength; that of the undeniably gorgeous surroundings and outfits. Each scene feels like a grand sumptuous opening scenario to something more rewarding but unfortunately this expectation always peters out and it becomes clear the scene vocalises more than the action and the dialogue combined. Therefore even moments like the wild parties with open sex, mounds of drugs and beautiful slinky bodies remain the stuff of buffed up pop videos with not so much as an overflowing ashtray or frayed hem to hint at any seriously real reckless abandon. It is all too oily and smooth to retain any credibility or appear believable.
Even his lifelong rivalry with Karl Lagerfeld is glossed over as being nothing more than the odd raised eyebrow or sideways disparaging glance. This being despite the fact Yves had an affair with Lagerfeld’s long term lover, Jacques de Bacher, which was also a serious threat to his relationship with Bergé.
In the end this film was a beautiful portrayal of an internationally recognised brand which will do nothing to harm either the legacy or its sales. There is another Saint Laurent biopic due to be released later this year by Bertrand Bonello which threatens to tell a more unauthorised version of his life- Lespert’s sanitised telling was sanctioned by Bergé- which may be a more interesting film although whether its portrayal will be more accurate we will probably never know.

PRINCESS GRACE:MORE THAN AN IMAGE

Princess Grace: More Than An Image

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 This exclusive archive collection by Scottish knitwear specialists Pringle based on the style of Princess Grace of Monaco-who initially found fame as a Hollywood glamour icon under her own name of Grace Kelly- and drawn from her own private collection was a lesson in understated but classic chic. Timeless, effortless and exuding both class and glamour whilst the opulent surroundings of the Signet Library simply enhanced these features commendably without distracting from them.

 The Princess Grace theme was not just a gimmick  tagged on to promote sales, as in the case of too many high street stores and the never ending round of non entity celebrities only too willing to  lend their name, promote their egos and share their style ‘secrets’ with the public, but a genuine attempt to capture the essence of this ineffably chic lady and her ever enduring style conscious look. To complement the look however Pommery Champagne was served and the catwalk show’s musical accompaniment was Camille Saint-Saens’ cello piece ‘The Swan’ in reference to her wedding to Prince Rainier where the former was the drink of choice and the latter the music.

 As for the collection itself- sixteen pieces in all- it was like its muse in that it was understated whilst making a statement. The colours were mostly muted greys and blacks, vivid blues and pinks, whilst some were emblazoned with motifs and others accessorised with fake fur trims but all were highly covetable. Each piece is a limited edition however and with only the finest Scottish cashmere being used this makes them even more desirable as well as long lasting both in style and endurance terms.

 Available exclusively in Jane Davidson’s Thistle Street store this collaboration is already highly prestigious and before this show even took to the catwalk many orders had been taken for several of the pieces.

 In essence the collection is that of a fairytale princess literally straight out of the Hollywood film archives but in reality the clothes at its core are down to earth and basic but simultaneously overwhelmingly luxurious and effortlessly stylish; much like their muse!

 For further information about this collection and its availability please follow the link below

 http://www.janedavidson.co.uk/designers/pringle/

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FASHION FESTIVAL-FUTURE FASHION

 

Edinburgh International Fashion Festival- Future Fashion

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This day long design market where designers mixed with prospective clients  followed by a runway show in the City Art Centre managed to encapsulate all that is inspiring and bvibrant in contemporary Scottish fashion. Often unfairly ignored on the international scene Scotland-and in particular Edinburgh- revealed itself as a fashion leader where tradition and innovation conspire to create a heady mix of forward looking styles.

 The glamour of the situation was perfectly housed in this gallery and Joyce Paton’s opening salvo of black/white combos, cinched waists, chiffon, elegant headwear and an overall feeling of exotica combined with classic style and Euan McWhirter jewellery made a great start to this finale to an interesting day.

 Moving along at a comfortable pace which never rushed the clothes but allowed the viewer to drink it all in the next collection was Bebaroque’s sheer and clingy mainly black offerings. Suited to those predisposed to a slight build and supported by only vertiginous heels this was a confident statement. Obscure couture continued this more erotic vibe with more daring clothes including a bondage coatdress bound up in a multitude of belts. Beautiful, exciting clothes suitable for a night out which made as much of a  statement  about the wearer as the clothes themselves.

 It was all not exotica and erotica however as Mairi MacDonald showcased extremely wearable cashmere and knitwear which seemed suitable to the more realistic Scottish climate we are more used to rather than the blazing sunshine of the last weeks.

 Other designers on show included Jacob Birge’s futuristic designs in funky, punkadelic colours and shiny fabrics as well as Rebecca Torres and Epitome. It was a mixed collection of various styles with something for everyone or for the more eclectic perhaps a little bit of everything.

 Future Fashion showed if any further eveidence were needed after this years festival that Scotland has a lot to offer in the fashion world and its contribution is multi-textual, innovative, futuristic, nostalgic, practical yet daring and most importantly effortlessly stylish.

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FASHION FESTIVAL: SYMPOSIUM

Edinburgh International Fashion Festival 2013- Symposium

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 Described by director Jonathan Freemantle as the core event of 2013’s festival, Symposium consisted of a day of interesting, complementary and contrasting talks on this year’s main themes: storytelling and performance. Fittingly held in the dissecting room at Summerhall various fashion subjects were opened up to investigation to show how the internal workings of the industry and its peoples create the outer subject matter with which we are so familiar without giving too much thought as to its origins. The talks ranged from the doyenne of American Vogue, the indomitable and indefatigable Diana Vreeland, to Amanda Harlech performing a piece wherein choice outfits from her life created a history of its own.

 The first talk of the day was delivered by author Amanda Mackenzie Stuart who read select passages from her biography about the legendary Diana Vreeland who established herself in the 1930’s with her ‘Why Don’t You’ column in Harpers Bazaar wherein she pointed her readers toward a glamorous lifestyle with some outlandishly ludicrous- and some not so –suggestions. From here she was promoted to editor before defecting to Vogue as editor in chief during the extremely culturally shape-shifting sixties which she promoted with ruthless abandon whilst embracing the decade’s spirit wholeheartedly.

Mackenzie Stuart read passages which took us on this journey and her talk was tinged with Vreeland’s acerbic wit and observations but at the same time also made clear she was not to be dismissed as some relic as she also brought to the fore the ideas that style had little to do with money and everything to do with ‘the divine spark’ that comes from within.

 The divine spark was a phrase which resonated throughout this day of talks and her biography Diana Vreeland Empress of Fashion is certainly an interesting work making an excellent companion piece to the 2012 documentary The Eye has to Travel about Vreeland which whilst not so insightful manages to provide some footage of Vreeland herself and thus provides the important voice which Mackenzie Stuart didn’t dare attempt to replicate to accompany much of this fascinating material.

Future-Positive-edinburgh-fashion-2 Photos by Igor Termenon

 The second talk of the day was a chaired discussion between the author of Fashion Scandinavia Dorothea Gundtoft, Lauren Dyer Amazeen and Jonathan Freemantle which threw up such topics as the high street as art and fashion gallery and how fashion is perhaps moving too fast as the seasons are all melding into one and having a wardrobe which is exclusive to a particular season is no longer necessary or even viable. The trio also discussed how many people look at clothes and cannot distinguish the art form contained within as they are too busy looking at the product or, in more extreme cases, no further than the label.

 One topic which I found particularly interesting was when they discussed the creative culture which actually exists in Edinburgh but so many locals seem to be unaware of as they are too busy complaining that nothing goes on. This is something I have always maintained and Freemantle summarised it perfectly when he said ‘Edinburgh never received the memo’ when it came to how much is going on here behind the scenes. The fact it has a climate and space which removes itself from clutter and noise-the fringe and festival not withstanding- allows art to grow and artists to consider what they are doing without their visions being influenced or compromised by the whirlwind and expense of a city like London or New York.

 The last talk of the morning session was delivered by Professor Sandy Black who authored The Sustainable Fashion Handbook. This discussion opened up issues about unnecessary wastefulness, landfill and how the fashion industry can do something to help these grave issues which affect the future of the planet. We already all know about recycling but there are many other ways we can help and Vivienne Westwood’s DIY ethos is something she supports as Westwood was the first major big name designer to recognise the problem whilst promoting it within her range. It is anathema to a fashion designer to suggest the public buys less clothes and this is what Westwood did but, of course, she would prefer if you bought less clothes then she would prefer that they were more of hers. An interesting and humorous talk about a very serious subject, it provided food for thought before breaking up the morning round of events.

 Afternoon was kicked off-in the highest, most stylish heels obviously-by shoe designer Georgina Goodman in conversational mode with journalist Jackie McGlone.

Future-Positive-edinburgh-fashion-3 Georgina Goodman by Igor Termenon

 Mentored by Manolo Blahnik, Goodman made an interesting raconteur who described shoes as being weapons accessing emotions. She made a convincing point concerning this argument and her style was intriguingly captivating but simultaneously down to earth whilst she delivered anecdotes which throughout never failed to fully engage.

 Next up was Bella Freud who, also in conversation with McGlone, somehow made her whole career sound so effortless. Whether it was deciding to start up a knitwear company or make a film it seemed she had no qualms about embarking on these projects and utilised whatever skills she had at her disposal to make them succeed. The fact she has been a name ‘brand’ since the early nineties indicate it is not all as haphazard as it initially seems and a strong artistic vision lies at her core as well as some serious ‘editing’ which was another key word of the day.

Future-Positive-edinburgh-fashion-5 Bella Freud by Igir Termenon

 Of particular interest was a clip from her debut film ‘A Day at the Races’ which emerged  as some statement of intent with its slinky soundtrack-The Stooges and Bryan Ferry’s  malignantly malevolent but sashaying ‘Casanova’ were highlights- accompanying images of supermodels all driven around in her family Bentley. The grainy homemade feel only made it more glamorous and otherworldly.

 Amanda Harlech then gave a short but captivating performance which was simply entrancing. Pulling out select pieces from a large trunk, to create a narrative, which included baby clothes, Westwood, Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel each item took us on a very personal journey which was hers alone but told the story of all our fashion evolvements, albeit with different garments. It was a truly mesmerising piece and one which brought a reverent hush to the hall.

Future-Positive-edinburgh-fashion-9 Amanda Harlech by Igor Termenon

 Concluding with a panel discussion –think Question Time for glamorous people- where the afternoon’s participants were joined by David Lindsay-Net A Porter- and Paula Goldstein-digital editor of Purple.fr- it was a fitting and more relaxed finish to a highly innovative and enjoyable day which never once allowed the pace to drag or its audience to flag. It is about time fashion was discussed and appreciated as a serious art form which, whether we like it or not, plays an important part in all our daily lives and days like these merely provide conclusive evidence of this.

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FASHION FESTIVAL

Edinburgh International Fashion Festival 2013

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Following hot on the heels of last years success husband and wife team Jonathan and Anna Freemantle unveiled the line up for the second instalment of the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival in the opulent surroundings of the Peacock Gallery in the Waldorf Astoria on the hottest day Scotland has had in years. Melting under the glass roof were design team-another husband and wife duo- Clements Ribeiro- whose love and patronage of Scottish Cashmere which is simply the best in the world they revealed at the press conference although they, like many others, were unable to establish exactly why. Their new collection will preview at Mansfield House tomorrow evening in an opening gala which features a runway show then an after party launching things in suitably stylish fashion.

 Mixing tartan, punk, rebellion themes alongside those of romanticism and femininity is a trademark of Clements Ribeiro and one which they have wisely never deviated from too radically. From their first headline grabbing collection which remade/remodelled the old fashioned twin-set which had no cachet with a younger audience until they gave it an edgy twist and what was formerly the preserve of spinster aunts suddenly found a whole new younger audience as well as winning celebrity endorsements from the likes of Madonna and Nicole Kidman. This success launched them onto an international market almost immediately and this is a stage they have managed to negotiate from successfully ever since.

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Inacio Ribiero and Suzanne Clements at the press launch of EIFF 2013 . Photograph by Tibor Galamb.

 The new collection does not move too far from the ethos of their original collection which is fitting as they first emerged in the midst of a recession-one of the reasons they work together is because it was hard enough to get one job never mind two- and buying clothes which last and stand the test of time is important when there is no money to spend on the frivolous and latest dictates of the so called fashion cognoscenti.

 This is merely the very glamorous beginning however and various events will take place over the next two weekends focussing on fashion as performance and storytelling. Following Friday’s extravaganza there is the launch of Life Story’s ‘Sutori’ collection in London Street on Saturday which sounds like the perfect hangover cure for those who have partied a little too hard at the opening festivities.

Sunday unveils Symposium, a collection of talks and panelled discussions on various subjects and with luminaries such as Amanda Harlech and Bella Freud guest hosting-among many others- it sounds an intriguing prospect which anyone with an interest in fashion’s origins and what it articulates would be unwise to miss, Taking place at Summerhall the day rounds off with drinks in the Royal Dick and with another sweltering weekend on the card it could make for an exceptional day out.

 During the week several other events take place including an Open Studio on Wednesday in Leith and a men’s collection at Harvey Nichols on Thursday. Saturday sees Future Fashion taking place during the day at the City Art Centre and this is followed by a fashion show at 5pm. The weekend and festival closes with Gianni Scumaci unplugged followed by a closing party in the Voodoo Rooms where everyone can breathe a sigh of relief, knock back a few drinks and upstage each other with their party outfits.

  Although last year’s festival was a success this year has built on that and taken things to a more sophisticated level and looks like not only repeating that success but actually improving on it! Definitely a worthwhile event and one worthy of support in a city where fashion and style, although lacking the effrontery of Glasgow, actually has more individual and less generic tastes than many would presume.

 Follow the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival link below for full details of upcoming shows and information on how to buy tickets for events.

http://edinburghinternationalfashionfestival.com/

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FASHION FESTIVAL

Edinburgh International Fashion Festival- Summerhall August 16th-19th

 

The first Edinburgh International Fashion Festival in the Summerhall complex is an intriguing proposition showing an original way of showing and looking at fashion. Instead of concentrating on the shiny and new the emphasis shifts onto what makes fashion what it is. Not merely a way to keep warm it is generally the work of talented artists who have drawn inspiration from various sources-some historical, some fantasy and some practical-to create a garment for our everyday life or a special occasion.

This Festival has various workshops, screenings, shows and lectures which focus on the role of science and the arts in fashion. It is a brave idea and one which many will find intriguing as it will perhaps encourage them to look on fashion as a serious business and art form.

The venue which housed the launch retained many of the original features of the former Dick Vet complex and was simultaneously incongruous and pitch perfect. Long dank corridors, a wonky lift, interesting objets d’art scattered randomly and original nineteen twenties utility glass bricks all conspire to create an ambience a million miles away from the traditional venues many associate with fashion. Thus jewellery and dresses were in cages formerly used to keep various animals in-a metaphor about the trap of fashion and a warning to those who follow it slavishly could be read here- and it heightened the potency of the objects within rather than detracted from it.

My favourite room was the one featuring donations from fashion hauteur and acolyte-to John Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld- Amanda Harlech which were quite stunning. Vintage Chanel couture dresses hung in solitary cages next to early Galliano whilst the walls were adorned with her paintings which made up a storyboard of her life. The dresses ranged from a stunning white –Dead Marilyn- floaty, sheer number, a stunning deep burgundy classic and a Chanel number which could have been designed as widow weeds for Miss Havisham in Dickens’s Great Expectations. There was also a simply breathtaking Galliano coat which bore all the hall marks and signature features which helped elevate him to being one of the world’s great couturiers.

This is a four day event and full details of various events can be found by clicking the link below detailing exactly what is on and when. For anyone with even a fleeting interest in fashion I recommend going along and checking it out.

edinburghinternationalfashionfestival.com

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FASHION FESTIVAL

Edinburgh International Fashion Festival

 

During the month of August when the International Festival/ Fringe/ Book Festivals are in full swing one thing which seems to get constantly overlooked –not least by a high proportion of attendees- is fashion. An art form in its own right and one which actively affects our daily lives in some form or other this is not only a glaring omission but also a grave oversight. This year however the arrival of the new Summerhall complex on the South side- a mere sashay along from the central hub of the world’s largest arts festival- this is about to be rectified as it is hosting the first Edinburgh International Fashion Festival between the 16th and 19th of August.

The four day event will hold talks, showcase displays and feature live catwalk experiences not only at the central base of Summerhall but also separate events at the National Museum of Scotland, Harvey Nichols The Danish Institute and the Institut Francais Ecosse. Long overdue on the Festival scene the idea of fashion as more than simply a way to clothe ourselves is not new to those within the industry and certainly has never existed in a vacuum anyway. This festival hopes to enlighten those previously in the dark how much science, design, art and architecture all conspire in the creation of the garments we use to adorn, decorate and protect ourselves with.

High profile fashion insiders and innovators including Jeurgen Teller, Stella McCartney, Pam Hogg, Hussein Chalayan, Amanda Harlech alongside many others are included in the line up and there are still others waiting to be confirmed so it is no thrown together ragbag of remnant garments but an event cut from the finest cloth. An essential section of the arts, it is good that at last fashion is about to be recognised as an important part of our daily lives and dictates not only how we look  but also affects how we feel, act and think on a daily basis.

A totally worthwhile event surely worthy of investigation during this vibrantly buzzing time of year when Scotland’s capital city is at its most exciting, this Festival is a more than worthy addition to the collective display of talent on hand. Let’s hope that the rain stays off long enough for attendees to wear something more than an outfit designed simply to keep dry/warm although being Edinburgh in August it may be wise to never venture out without an umbrella tucked away inside the prerequisite designer bag.

The Edinburgh International Fashion Festival is based at Summerhall between 16th -19th August.

Full details about individual events and further information can be found by clicking the following link edinburghinternationalfashionfestival.com