I wish someone would let Karl Lagerfeld know that being in possession of an unmitigated artistic genius does not give one license to be obnoxious. In recent years his ability to ruffle a few feathers has at times eclipsed his reputation as one of the world’s most relevant, leading innovative designers.
Do not get me wrong I am actually a huge fan of Karl Lagerfeld’s work, but that somewhat hostile introduction was in relation to his latest Fendi show at Milan Fashion Week yesterday which involved copious amounts of real fur, including fur head-pieces. Not only that, spectators were greeted with the show’s controversial tagline on each chair – “Fendi is fur! Fur is Fendi!”
Obviously many designers around the globe still choose to use real fur in their collections, however I cannot help but feel this in-your-face unapologetic delivery was quite distasteful. With Lagerfeld’s immense talent and foresight – not to mention the vast wealth at his disposal; the owners of Fendi , LVMH, saw record profits last year – was there really no alternative available to him in order to achieve his desired effect?
Anyone who at this point feels the ‘faux fur doesn’t look as good’ argument applies here, please weigh that up with animals being killed for what is essentially a short show and needless Western indulgence. Once upon a time people wore fur for the sole purpose of keeping warm so they would not die, we do not face this predicament anymore.
There is nothing like a major motion picture to spark off a solid catwalk trend. I do believe this may be one of the first seasons in a long while where there’s not been any reference to Alice in Wonderland (thank goodness). So I have not been overly surprised seeing the shimmering 1920′s influence hit the catwalk running.
Already emerging as a key player for SS12, the likes of Alberta Ferretti, Caroline Charles (as my noted colleague Sophie Caldecott has already pointed out) Mark Fast and Spijkers en Spijkers, all got in to the swing of things at London and Milan Fashion Weeks.
It is no secret that Baz Luhrmann’s epic adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ would have no doubt triggered this trend in to place, and no doubt will trickle through in to the next few seasons as well. The decadence and the romanticism of the 1920′s make it a powerful aphrodisiac for inspiration, and it is already clear so many designers have slipped in to bed with it for SS12.
With Paris Fashion week the last stop in the calendar, let’s see how many times we can play i-spy Gatsby in the coming week.
Images courtesy of style.com.
Bottega Veneta A/W 2011 ad campaign shot by Robert Polidori
Unless you have the confidence, care and attention that true ladylike dressing deserves – full on Chanel-style chic should not be attempted. It is not practical for the bus and you will no doubt snag your jacket the minute you leave the door. Many solve this problem by mixing in some denim or sticking to monochrome but there is another way: play eccentric young lady in clashing prints and amazing textured fabrics in classic shapes.
The Most Peculiar Mademoiselle trend showed up at Vivienne Westwood (of course), Marc Jacobs, Jean Paul Gaultier and Comme des Garcons for Autumn/ Winter 2011 whereas Chanel this season played rebel and went for androgynous slouchy trousers, cardigans and arm-warmers instead.
Coco Rocha in Bottega Veneta at Milan Fashion Week back in February
I loved Tomas Maier’s collection for Bottega Veneta in Milan – it reminded me of past seasons of Luella dressing the eccentric British aristocratic lady. Psychadelic dresses you could only wear if you were important enough to be throwing a fancy garden party and if you were completely in control of the dress code. Bottega Veneta, the luxury Italian label, obviously offered a toned down version of this but the playful attitude was still there in mohair jackets, opaque white tights and trompe l’oeil “lace” detailing.
Lets face it summer is for simple brights and sandals, not half as interesting as covering up in wonderfully mismatched layers. So if you are already planning your first workwear buying session of the autumn, here’s what to rummage for: The aforementioned white tights, a neutral blouse, a single-breasted knitted jacket in as daring a colour as you can and a selection of just above the knee shift dresses and pencil skirts.