Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Daria Werbowy for YSL

While I'm on the subject of ad campaigns, here's my favourite for this year. Daria Werbowy for Yves Saint Laurent.

Fergie, girl, we're flying first class 'cos this campaign is G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S!

Crystal Renn for Chanel Controversy

Chanel September Campaign with Crystal Renn

Chanel has come under fire after hiring plus-size model Crystal Renn for their September 2010 reopening campaign then 'cropping' out her body.

Firstly, it's Chanel - and secondly, IT'S CHANEL. As far as I'm concerned Karl Lagerfeld can do no wrong. A model is only featured to give a shot the look the label wants. This is that look. There's nothing more to be said.

Jean Paul Gaultier Fall 2010 Campaign with Renn on the left

Renn, who is a size 14, is also featured in Jean Paul Gaultier's Fall 2010 ad campaign and - compared with her shots for V magazine this year - she's been fairly well shaved down in the body department here.

Isn't it better for Chanel to only show the top part of the model (and the most important area for their ad) than for Gaultier to show the entire body but cut the model in half?

Renn for V Magazine this year

Dannii Minogue - Style Queen Finale

Fucking amazing ending to the three-part series!

I'm not usually a reality TV type of person, but I'm a real Minogue whore; and Dannii plus fashion equals my kind o' show!

If you missed the first two episodes, direct your blasphemous ass over here.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Someone dial 911, Haute Couture is dying!

Givenchy Haute Couture F/W 2010

Reading through the Brisbane Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival’s (MBFF) newsletter this week, I came across this article on the ‘death’ of Haute Couture.

The article highlights the incredibly strict rules prescribed to delineate couture collections and dictate which designers can officially call themselves Haute Couturiers.

We all know the high profile Haute Couture shows by houses like Chanel, Dior and Givenchy; but what you may not realise is that the term ‘Haute Couture’ is actually protected by French law and there’s an entire organisation assigned to maintain the traditions of the elite fashion club, the Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Paris.

The Chambre legally defines the term ‘Haute Couture’ and its rules dictate that only “those companies mentioned on the list drawn up each year by a commission domiciled at the Ministry for Industry are entitled to avail themselves" of the label ‘Haute Couture’.

In order to qualify to become an Haute Couture house, designers need to meet these criteria:
• Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.
• Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
• Present a collection to the Paris press every season, comprising at least thirty-five runs/exits with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear.

The MBFF article argues that, “with fewer designers presenting collections, and world economies suffering, how can an industry that is built on excess and luxury, survive?”

I think the rules are going to have to be modified slightly eventually, but it’s also important to keep the traditions of Haute Couture intact – and it’s refreshing to know we have the Chambre to ensure Haute Couture remains the ‘high-priestess’ of fashion. The rules have only been modified once in the history of the Chambre, in 1992.

Chanel Haute Couture F/W 10/11

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Designer Profile: Noritaka Tatehana & His New Exhibition

Noritaka Tatehana appears to have soared to unprecedented popularity in the same vein as his most famous patron, ‘overnight’ pop superstar Lady Gaga.

Like Gaga, the Japanese visionary’s ionization into the fashion world seems to be constrained by no bounds, and having an international pop star shifting global media and fashion attention onto his designs, Tatehana sure has solidified (and earned) his unimpeded soar into fashion consciousness.

Noritaka Tatehana graduated from the Tokyo University of the Arts just this year, having specialised in a type of Japanese dyeing called ‘Yuzen’ and ‘Katazome’. Tatehana learnt at a young age from his mother - who he says “teaches how to make Swedish dolls” – of the power of creation and produces shoes and bags using entirely self-taught methods.

Japanese fashion and culture has always fascinated me; from the seemingly innate national obsession with cuteness to the edgy contrasts of youth fashion on the streets of Harajuku. Japan appears to be the only place on Earth where there are no aesthetic rules and avant-garde flourishes out of obscurity and into the everyday wardrobe.

In contrast, I’m also an avid traditionalist when it comes to culture and history and, it would seem, so too is Tatehana. Talking with MTV, the designer explained, “I am interested in history and in the old culture and would like to divert them into modern world.” This is where Tatehana is different.

Tatehana designed the heelless Lady Gaga pumps as homage to “Kan Pokkuri,” which he explains “used to be clogs made of empty cans,” adding that “in the old days, Japanese children used to make these clogs, passing a cord through holes made in the cans.” The designer has also created several pieces which are almost entirely traditional with modern tweaks to satisfy the fashion desires of the Japanese youth.

The idea of a heelless shoe is certainly not new; from Nina Ricci’s fall 2009 heelless creations to costume designer Jochen Kronier’s uber-futuristic sci-fi pumps, which Kronier has produced since the mid-nineties. So what makes Tatehana’s designs so great? His passion! When I look at Tatehana’s work I can literally see the passion that has been concentrated and applied to create the pieces. Every item is expertly hand-crafted, and from his most recent exhibition just this week, showcases beautiful embossed textures and remarkable leather work.

It’s designers like Noritaka Tatehana who make me wish I didn’t say the words ‘amazing’, ‘beautiful’, and ‘awesome’ every four seconds so the words had more meaning when I describe their work! So instead I’ll urge everyone to continue to watch Tatehana, who in his embryonic stage of design, is the next Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo or Christian Louboutin.

Visit Noritaka's website for more information.
Images by

Roman-style shoe showcasing Tatehana's ah-mayzing texture work.

A modern twist on traditional Japanese footwear.

Yes... Those gold skyscrapers are actually really, really, really high shoes!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dannii Minogue - Style Queen Episode Two

This show is my new obsession!

Episode two gives a glipse into the world of a brand new fashion house; and it's really interesting to see the internal underpinnings involved in launching a new label and actually getting people to buy it!

I think Dannii is so right in saying that the fragrance lines of major fashion labels often fund the couture. It's sad but true. It's also a little ironic that fashion houses spend so much time designing new collections when they just play second fiddle in the money game to the fragrances which can take so much less time to create and produce.

Makes you realise how lucky we are to have such passionate designers who will never stop making clothes!

Dannii also shoots a new campaign for M&S and meets up with her superstar sister Kylie for the Elle style awards.

Missoni Men's Collection S/S 2011

This is the weirdest fashion show I have ever seen. Talk about taking fashion to the streets!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Light-Up Shoes: Stripper Chic or Fashion Innovation?

So there seems to be a bit of a trend with lights in fashion recently; from Katy Perry's Costume Institute Gala gown to the new - grown up's version - of those flashing kid's sneakers... Light up heels.

I'm not necessarily a fan of shoving lights in fashion pieces just for the sake of it, but these pumps by Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte are ah-mayzing. My main problem with light-up clothing is its uselessness and the whole idea of just shoving lights in fabrics 'because we can'. Aesthetics are important too!

The illuminated heels of these Rodarte beauties actually serves a purpose; it enhances the unique fabric and lights up the otherwise understated texture of the heel. The light doesn't look strange either; it brings the whole look together evoking a sort of exotic chandelier-meets-silk kind of feeling. It's basically a sumptuous French Chateau's ceiling on each foot.

Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte

Whereas the Jimmy Choo 'Zap' below looks like it belongs in a Las Vegas strip club. I don't mean to hate on Jimmy Choo, but honestly a see through heel with stripper-pink lights doesn't exactly scream class, does it?

The 'Zap' has something like one hundred hours of light then it runs out of power and can't be 'recharged'. For USD $2,495 you'd think they would include extra batteries!

Jimmy Choo 'Zap' booties

Lady Gaga Covers Vanity Fair September Issue

OH. MY. GOD. Gaga really must be super-human to jump in those Noritaka shoes!

Topless Runway in Sydney!

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 11: Australia television personality Charlotte Dawson poses in front of models showcasing designs by Voodoo Hosiery on the catwalk at a media preview of a 'topless' runway show at Martin Place on August 11, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images)

Sydney's Martin Place played host to a 'Topless Runway' for Voodoo legwear yesterday.

No, the models weren't topless, the catwalk was just covered so only their legs were visible. Totally yawn-worthy.

Honestly, if you want to draw attention just to the hoisery it would be so much edgier to have the models wearing literally just the hoisery! A bit X-Rated for a street show though.

TV star Charlotte Dawson looked very glamorous - loving the shoulders on that dress!

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 11: Australia television personality Charlotte Dawson poses before a media preview of a 'topless' runway show at Martin Place on August 11, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images)

When Water Meets Oil - Vogue Italia August Cover

Vogue Italia's latest cover shoot - 'Water & Oil' by Steven Meisel has stirred up a bit of controversty apparently.

Vogue Italia's website says: "We've all watched in shock as the black tide spread ceaselessly throughout the Gulf of Mexico," Going on to describe the photos as, "Unforgettable images, created purposely to unnerve the viewer, capture the reality of the situation."

Some people may have a problem with the lack of glamour in the shot, and complain that politics should be left out of the pages of fashion magazines.

In the words of Fergie, I think the shot is super G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S! It has a real post-apocolyptic-ice-Queen feel about it.

Sure is a fun way to destroy a bit of Ralph Lauren, though!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dannii Minogue - Style Queen

Australia's second most stylish resident (after me, of course!), Miss Dannii Minogue, has had her debut reality TV show air on the UK's ITV channel.

Reality TV and fashion. I know what you're thinking - but you're wrong! This isn't another trashed-up-barely-style-related 'bankable production' to add to Tyra's ever-expanding empire. The show follows Dannii as she develops her first fashion collection under the Project D label with bag designer Tabitha.

A bit of fast-paced, convertible rolling, jet setting, my-life-is-more-exciting-than-yours reality television never hurt anybody, anyway.

Fun fact: My profile pic (on the right -->) is a sketch by Jean Paul Gaultier for Dannii's big sister Kylie Minogue! Kylie wore custom-made Gaultier for her North American tour a few years back.

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