Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Roaring Twenties

Howdy - and after a long absence dedicated to decorating Christmas Trees, learning lines for plays, coming up with a few designs and wrapping up presents I spent too long choosing from a wide assortment of charity shop bits-and-bobs, I'm back! ...and hopefully I shall never disappear for so long again. Yes, this may prove to be the biggest bite-my-tongue moment of the last year, but I have honestly gone past caring. So, where am I now? Planning the new year ahead with a violent mix of apprehension and ambition to make it work. Wondering how long that will last and if, now I have set a target in place, I really will be vigilant and determined enough to write one hundred blog posts in a year, specifically next year.
In the mean time, feeling the post-Christmas winter blues while finishing a glorious christmas with leftover turkey, pottering about in a new nightgown reading books by Maugham and looking forward to tonight's finale of the BBC's Great Expectations (which honestly, fits in well with my mood) with the brilliant Douglas Booth, although I was not really paying attention to his acting and maybe he is a little 'pretty'. On that note, although Estella is supposed to be cold, is she not also supposed to be a little more... beautiful? Maybe this is simply personal opinion but she left me perplexed. It would have been alright if everyone hadn't been repeatedly saying how stunning she is. On the other hand, how can one not fail to be disappointed with this modern interpretation of Estella after seeing the timeless beauty of Valerie Hobson in the 1946 version of the story? Or indeed Jean Simmons as the younger Estella.

Apologising for that minor tangent, and returning to the question at present. How have I been looking at the world of Fashion and Style for the last few days. Well, I appear to have had a personal renaissance of interest in the 1920s. The upcoming 'The Great Gatsby ' film, set for release in almost exactly a year, starring Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio, can only whet the appetite of the fashion world. The Spring/Summer 2012 collections were littered with 20s inspired threads. I might consider this a silent curse since the twenties waistline is not always one that flatters my shape, but I am optimistically looking forward to trying the trend.

Will this style forever be popping back? Highlighting an enduring admiration of the roaring twenties with its freewheeling, popular culture and exhuberant zest for change in society, for the young and rich at the very least.

This change, concurrent with a rejection of traditional moral standards, is apparent in much more than simply clothing. Take for example, the Weimar Republic period Artists, labelled as 'degenerate' by the Nazi regime using the sudden liberation of the 1920s to create a boom in the satirical and grotesque, with expressionism becoming a feature. Groups and Movements such as Bauhaus, New Objectivity and Plakatstil gained a place in Art History which they have never relinquished.

I would continue on this route of expression and sustained education of the masses (Hmph) but can really not be asked. I can only hope this has given you something to think about. What inspired the clothes as well as how stunning they are.

Do you recall back far enough to remember Ralph Lauren's gorgeous Spring 2012 pret-a-porter collection? Some of you (certainly not me) may even recall the year the 1974 film 'The Great Gatsby' came out, with Ralph Lauren contracted to provide clothing styles for the movie. Well, with the future release of the afore-mentioned Baz Luhrmann film, 'The Great Gatsby' Ralph Lauren seems to have revisited this aspect in the clothing.


The collection was filled with feathers, cloche hats and scarves galore.
Many different distinctive styles were used in contrast, from the masculinity and forms of suits teamed with hats and pearls, to the floaty and floral gowns swimming behind as the models glided down the runway. The collection was all very pastel coloured and summery with bolder evening gowns reminiscent of Old Age Hollywood Glamour contrasted with the easy elegance of the daywear.

So yes, although I did first glance at this collection towards the twenty-somethingth of September, I wished to come back to it now in line with my general mood.

Thank you for reading and sorry for not posting anything sooner. Comment. Follow if you like.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Javier Vallhonrat

Salutations! So... today I was intending to do a piece on items of my wardrobe, but I had miscalculated our gloomy english weater (and my eventual lack of common sense) forgetting that on the eighth of december, by half past four, the light will probably not be good enough to take any worthwhile photos. In fact, barely an hour later, and the light is not good enough to see my hand in front of my face if I am standing outside and away from the glare coming from the windows of the house.
In conclusion, I shall reserve that post for Saturday and, instead, give you an aesthetic delight. Breath-taking photographs taken by Javier Vallhonrat. Although I do admit, I initially wished to have a balanced range from his photographic portfolio, I have ended up with a larger percentage of photoshoots from the noughties than from any other time.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy... and do comment - I greatly appreciate all comments. Even if they are negative.

 Javier Vallhonrat in a Spanish Photographer, born in Madrid in 1953. He studied Painting at the Fine Arts Faculty of the University of Madrid in the early 70’s. Just after receiving a degree in Fine Arts at the University of Madrid, he reached international recognition while contributing his photos to several fashion designers. In 1992 he broadened his interest in photography and began creating advertising films, while on the side teaching photography at the Cuenca School of Fine Arts.

Today, while continuing his contribution of photos for French Vogue, Italian Vogue, Japanese Vogue, Mixte, Big, among others, Javier also teaches creative photography in various universities in Spain. 
Since 1983, Javier Vallhonrat exhibited around the world: Spain, France, Finland, Japan, Vénézula and so on:  1983, EFTA Gallery, Madrid
1986, Galería Visor, Valencia (Spain)
Porin Taidemuseo, Porin, Finland
 1989, Montmajour Abbey, Arles, 1989
1990, Parco Photographers Gallery, Tokyo
1991, 2000, 2001, LA Galerie, Frankfurt am Main
1996, Reina Sofía Museum, Madrid
Museo Santa Monica, Barcelona
 1983, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2003, ARCO, Madrid,
2002, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, 2002
2003, National Centre of Photography, Paris
2006, Centre Pompidou, Paris

His use of colour and light is perhaps the most striking thing, and easily recognisable as his range of work. He captures sensuality in a rare and exquisite way, and uses the environment the model is in 'd'une merveilleuse facon', creating a timeless look. He clearly has a great eye for composition, and balance of colours, especially in (what I would class as) pastel colours and warm berry colours. Personally, I love most of his photos. I love his palette, and I think there is a real elegance to his photos. It is much to be admired.
Ayura (cosmetics). Azzaro (parfum). Cacharel (parfum/cosmetics). Carte Noire. Cerruti 1881 (parfum). Chloe. Chopard Parfums. Christian Lacroix (fashion and parfum). Comme des Garcons. Eau Future (parfum). Garnier (hair). Gianfranco Ferre (parfum). Guerlain (parfums). Jesus del Pozo (parfum). Jil Sander. John Galliano (fashion). Krizia. Lancome Beaute. Lancome Parfums. Martine Sitbon. Moet et Chandon. Nichole Farhi. Nicole Matsuda (fashion). Patrizia Pepe. Rochas (parfum). Shiseido. Swarovski. Sybilla. Pollini. Versace (fashion).

His works are in various public art collections and private, has also published several books:          
  Animal Plant and Buades Editor April, Madrid, 1986
  Possessed Space, Gina Kehayoff, Munich, 1992
Autogramas, Gina Kehayoff, Munich, 1993
Banks, Editorial Mestizo, Murcia, 1996, Photographic Works, 1991-1996, Editorial Lunwerg, Madrid, 1997
Library Collection photographer from Madrid, Nr.10, PHotoBolsillo, Madrid, 1999
Javier Vallhonrat: photography as a reflection, TF editors, Alcobendas, 1999
Works 1996-2001, Hall Amos Salvador. Cultural Rioja. T.S. Publishers, 2001 Logroño
Place, City of Tarragona, 2002,
Javier Santiago speaks Vallhonrat Olmo, Ed La Fabrica, Madrid, 2003
ETH, Salamanca Arts Centre, 2003,

 COMMERCIAL FILMS:Rochas (parfum). Hypnose (Lancome). Yves Saint Laurent (make-up). Cacharel (Eden parfum). Gianfranco Ferre (parfum). Eau Future (parfum). Fructis (hair). Gaz de France. L Oreal (hair).

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Yohji Yamamoto

Hello! Not sure if you remember me - I am the person who did my last post just short of two weeks ago. Sorry. I can only hope you will understand how packed my life is at the moment... and not in a nice way.  I spent last week suffering from mock exams and, no joke, I have four scripts/passages from scripts to learn in less time than I would otherwise wish (and another one to learn by January, then possibly another by February then a full one by maybe March, or even February - again. Yay me!)

So my last post was a small break away from Japanese Fashion, and now I have come back to it with a vengeance, ready to write about the genius that is Yohji Yamamoto. Oh, and you may have noticed, I have changed the patterning of the title. I realised this would start looking stupid putting 'Pt.1, Pt.2, Pt.3 etc.' if I ever reached 'Pt.29' or something of the like.

Yohji Yamamoto is famed for his abstract silhouettes, flat shoes and unswerving loyalty to the colour black and, in both my and the general fashion world's opinion, one of the most influential and talented designers working today. His clothes are both intellectual and romantic, combining modernity segues with Parisian Haute Couture.

He was born in Japan in 1943. His Father died during the Second World War, and he was brought up by his mother, a seamstress.
He studied Law at Tokyo's Keio University before switching to Bunka School to do Fashion, from which he graduated in 1969. He established his own label two years later, in 1971, and his first show in Tokyo in 1977.
He made his Paris debut in 1981, along with his then girlfriend, the previously mentioned and talented, Rei Kawakubo. His look was dubbed 'Hiroshima Chic'  by the establishment, but became a status symbol for the urban and creative type.

His main lines are:

  • Yohji Yamamoto

  • Yohji Yamamoto POUR HOMME

  • Yohji Yamamoto COSTUME D'HOMME

  • COMING SOON by Yohji Yamamoto

  • <<< I wanted to do a large variety of Yohji Yamamoto pieces over time, and I could not help but add this one because it is a collection from 1995... and it is sort of cute.

    >>> I want this hat!

    <<< Yohjo Yamamoto Coat (the feathers were added for effect)   /// Yohji Yamamoto Perfume >>>

    I hope you enjoyed this. Comment. Check back soon. :)

    Monday, 21 November 2011

    A Slightly Gothic Victoriana-inspired Retrospective

    Hello! Just a break away from my exploration of different Japanese Designers with my 'Slightly Gothic Victoriana-inspired Retrospective' - Sincerely. what else was I going to call it? Though in many cases 'Victoriana' would be the wrong word to use, and I should have probably dropped it in favour of neo-victorian.
    Anywho, I have had an alright, if a little tiring day. Looking forward to a German Speaking Exam (if you had not noticed, there was a sarcastic ring to that) and trying to remember where I left the very detailed scene-by-scene plan for the play I am writing. *Sigh*

    So, moving swiftly back to the subject at hand, my neo-victorian outfits. Alright, so the first one looks more like a costume, but the other three are what I would call Victorian Inspired day-to-day clothing. Sort of. I would wear the third one to an evening somewhere, but probably not to Town. If one dresses up all the time, then one will feel less special when dressing for special occasions.
    So what is this outfit? Well, a black straw hat from Peter Bettley, an essential if one is really going for a Victorian Look. A Lady would never leave the House without a hat. Which is funny, because I have done just that in the next two upcoming outfits, but as I have already said, they are more 'inspired by' than attempting to be truly historically accurate. The Jacket I am wearing in the photo was a birthday present from my friend, Jemma. At first I was worried it was not going to fit me, but thank heavens, if worn with quite a light layer underneath, it does. This light layer was a 'Phase Eight' poet blouse in ivory with a drawstring collar. The skirt is a simple black practise skirt, and can be worn with almost everything.

    This Second of my Four Outfits is completely different. More whimsical, with a cloak and no hat, could possibly be considered as even having Medieval vibes. 

    I am wearing an emerald green cloak from 'Void' an alternative clothing shop in Nottingham. Not that I would go in there without my friend, Jemma. Alone, it would make me feel slightly uncomfortable... and stand out in the wrong way. Not sure where the white glove came from and I was only able to find one. The Dress is also emerald green, vintage and adopted from my Grandmother, with gold bow buttons. Lastly, the same skirt as in the first outfit, and a gold scarf around my waist.

    This third outfit was an entirely velvet concotion: full-length black gown adopted from my Mother (previously seen in my red&black piece) and the new coat of which I had spoken in my last post. The detail on the sleeve of it is absolutely gorgeous, though you can unfortunately not see it in these pictures.

    I am less sure of what my aim was with this one. It really is a sumptuous combo, managing to be surprisingly warm, and stylish at the same time.
    Yes, I am all in black and, in some of these photos, it does make my skin look rather pale (which it is. I tend to avoid tans as far away from the Summer as the end of Autumn is)

    Actually, although I did not believe it would be so beforehand, this may have been my favourite of these outfits. I also thought that the burnt orange of the tree's leaves with the dew-covered green of the glass and the completely white and empty skyline, worked well with the impression I was trying to give.

    Pray, take no note of the trampoline in the background of this photo. It is far enough in the background anyway for it not to be a real issue.

    This outfit has been described by a friend of mine as 'a cross between a Charles Dicken Character and something from a fairytale' and by another as, simply, 'Pirate-like' though I hardly see the latter. It has a few steampunk vibes too.

    It is made up of a green jacket (intended to be worn with the green dress of two photos ago) a Laura Ashley white blouse, the same black practise skirt, a belt, a string of pearls and a Kangol Hat.

    Thank you for reading. Comment. Which was your favourite outfit? Remember to check back soon.

    Ciao, ciao, ciao!

    Saturday, 19 November 2011

    Japanese Fashion Pt. 2 >>> Issey Miyake

    Hello! Me again - who else would it be anyhow? I hope you have all had a wonderful week and a lovely day. I made the most my day, spending all morning at my Drama Club, then all afternoon in Town, where my Maman eventually purchased a gorgeous coat from 'British Heart Foundation' for me. *Smiley Face* Update on the top ten countries: Italy has been knocked out of the top ten to be replaced by Germany.

    On to today's post. I am continuing my exploration of Japanese Fashion with Issey Miyake though, admittedly, some of the designs will not be his. From 1999 to 2007, Naoki Takizawa was creative director and (since he opened his own brand) Dai Fujiwara.

    Issey Miyake

    • Born on 22 April 1938 in Hiroshima. As a seven year-old, witnessing and surviving the atomic bomb on August 6, 1945.
    • Studied graphic design at the Tam Art University in Tokyo, graduating in 1964. After graduation, he worked in Paris and New York. Returning to Tokyo in 1970, he founded the Miyake Design Studio, a high-end producer of women's fashion.
    • In the late 80s, he experimented with new methods of pleating. This resulted in the creation of a new technique called 'garment pleating'
    • Issey Miyake’s style is best known for its blend of flowing fabrics and designs of Eastern style with the technology and modern sensibilities of Western style. Using a wide array of both natural and synthetic materials, Miyake likes to be seen as an artist rather than a designer, developing new ways to utilize both function and form in his designs.
    The Following are different Issey Miyake lines:
    • Issey Miyake - Main collection line, subdivided into men (since 1978/85) and women (since 1971)
    • Issey Miyake Fête - Colourful women's line that "draws on the technological innovations of Pleats Please" (since 2004)
    • Pleats Please Issey Miyake - Polyester jersey garments for women that are first "cut and sewn and then pleated - normally, fabric is first pleated and then cut and sewn (since 1989/93)
    • HaaT - Women's line, designed by Miyake's former textile designer, Makiko Minagawa. (since 2000).
    • A-POC - Custom-collection for men and women. Tubes of fabric are machine-processed and can be cut into various shapes by the consumer. (since 1997)
    • me Issey Miyake - Line of "exclusive one-sized shirts that stretch to fit the wearer" (since 2001)
    • Issey Miyake Watches - Men's and women's watches.
    • Issey Miyake Parfums - Line of fragrances for men and women.
    • Evian by Issey Miyake - Limited edition bottle designed by Issey Miyake for Evian water.
    • 21-21 Design Sight (a play on 20/20 vision)
    • The Miyake Issey Foundation

    Here is my analysis of the latest collection: Issey Miyake Spring 2012, and the first collection for Yoshiyuki Miyamae.
    It was beautiful, detailing the life of a flower as a metaphor for the life of a woman, done in an enchanting way.
    Naturally, the head-dresses gave a great deal in helping guess the theme in question, to the point that even the dense would have had a problem not recognising the core inspiration.
    On the other hand, there were a great many more subtle references. "The fagoting on seams, representing the veins on a leaf." or the slits on clothes symbolising a bud bursting.

     Bud, stem, petal, blossom, bloom... these were the key stages represented and, when I chose my top ten looks from the collection, I did remember to choose a variety rather than (for example) nine nude ones and one purple.

    As the collection progresses, the delightful materials seemingly floating down the catwalk, the colours got brighter, radiating into yellow. This continued, cooling into ice blues then finally burning into an infusion of purples, vibrant oranges and pinks then chocolate browns.

    The looks went from breezy and lady-like to chic, sporty looks with tight leggings, glazed over with bright, and tribal, patters. The hats always very origami-esque... as are a great many Issey Miyake Designs.

      I realise that if you have just been reading this, and looking at the pictures I have used, you may get the impression that Issey Miyake is always very colourful. Although it is true that his designs are often a lot more vibrant than other japanese designers, he does do a lot of black and white shades too. In fact, his 2011 Autumn/Winter Collection was entirely monochrome.

      Anywho, thank you for reading. Please comment, and tell me which of the Issey Miyake looks is your favourite. I would be interested to know. Remember to check back regularly and, if you are from Italy, tell your friends to take a look and you might be able to knock Germany back out of the top ten - who knows? :)