Monday, 25 June 2012

A Navy Ensemble and Le Boléro

Salutations People! I am afraid this shall not be a very fashion/style orientated post - do not worry though! I shall be back to my usual  raving on the subject of clothes by my next post, where I promise sincerely to post the second half of my Dior Retrospective. Cross my heart and hope (not) to die.

Today, I'm sporting my understated colour of choice, Navy! I spent half of the more formal side of my childhood wearing Navy. There are many lovely photos of a three year old moi wearing little sailor dresses, the likes of which I cannot find to suit an adolescent moi. I'd have to order some sort of japanese schoolgirl uniform, which is not really what I want... but I shall not give up on the idea of eventually finding 'mon idealle' and when I do find the perfect sailor dress, or top, then you shall be the first to know!

You can take a glance at the two looks - One is Kenzo Spring 2006, the other is Sonia by Sonia Rykiel.
Kenzo Spring 2006 Ready-to-Wear 

So, my ensemble is a navy coat, with a striped lining, a navy wrap dress with gold buttons borrowed from my Mother, my platform heeled iron fist shoes with flowers, my red radley handbag, a couple of necklaces - one longer than the other, one golden coloured and the other silver - and a golden wristband bracelet from Ruby Loves. It's a very laidback and simple ensemble, as in it doesn't shout, "Look at me!" if I'm going out. It just feels sort of elegant. :)


  • So now, with so much free time, what have I been devoting myself to? Well, the creation of a couple of regency-style dresses, one for myself and one for a friend, watching film upon glorious film (Only the culturally significant and works which are frankly a credit to the genius of all concerned - I do not really watch ten-a-penny Romantic Comedies like my sister, who must have the largest collection of ten-a-penny RomComs I've ever come across in my life) and of course, I have finally finished "Moll Flanders" by Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe) which was so incredibly full-on, I had to express my reaction to it somehow. It may help to understand why if I tell you its full name is: The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, &c. Who was Born in Newgate, and during a Life of continu'd Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv'd Honest, and died a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums....
  • Damn! That's putting it lightly - this is pure Soap Opera (Not that I ever watch Soap Opera, which may explain why the level of action in it terrified me) if Soap Opera was strangely charming, with an acute representation of the art of cultivated conversation, found in the moments when the many characters are expressing their honest feelings and thoughts... without it ever feeling stilted, rather more natural and refined. I do not think I've ever read a book before when a page on from the heroine getting married, she discovers her new husband is her brother whom she has already had two children by, since the marriage. It may be considered a picaresque novel but, in my personal opinion, it lacks the sense of religious redemption of delinquency that was considered important in Spanish and German novels of the picaresque style. The triumph of Moll Flanders is an economic one rather than a moral one, which I think I preferred anyway.
  • Defoe presents "Moll Flanders" in the guise of an autobiography, written by an elderly woman. To be honest, the female persona created is so realistic that the reader would willingly truste that the book was written by a woman, if the book was published with an "Anonymous" tag. I also find it any interesting social study of the patriarchal 17th century society in which it is set; Moll often moves in a caste of society, in which a woman's station in life and fortune is her ultimate asset, leading her to attempt to rise above her initial poverty in any way she finds it possible to do so. In retrospect, she admits to her own hypocrisy and scheming, realizing that she sacrificed her personal virtue to achieve her goals. 
  • However, there was a side to the character I really did not like. The big-hearted Whore, I can deal with, but there is a mild harshness and incredible selfishness to the character all the way through, which I think is portrayed in the way she has so little in the way of motherly instincts. Throughout the course of the book, she has ten children - four of which die during childbirth or in their infancy - and they take a backseat to her ambitions. There are six of them still alive throughout the book and, once she moves on, they are never mentioned again, if they were even mentioned at all. However, I suppose she has a multitude of excuses to justify actions, and the way the reader is with her every step of the journey serves to create the likeability. 
  • Anywho, great book and a really easy read - there is nothing very challenging here in comparison to some books which I had to wade determinedly through the first chapters of before my interest was sparked. 

I have also, of course, spent a great deal of time surfing the internet and, more specifically, Youtube where I have had the time to find some real gems, from fantastic music videos for music I had never heard before and pieces of documentaries, to clips from films which are now on my 'MUST WATCH' list. I have chosen one of these impressive videos to share with you, chosen because of its artistic merit, the simplicity of colouring to create a very striking effect and the beautiful choreography by Maurice Béjart, to the tune of 'Boléro' by Ravel. It is worth taking a few minutes to really watch. The dancer is Jorge Donn, an internationally-known argentinean ballet dancer born in 1947, best known for his work with the aformetnioned Maurice Béjart's Ballet company, and his participation as lead dancer in Claude Lelouch's film Les Uns et les Autres. He died of AIDS on 30 November 1992 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

If you do watch it, do turn the quality up to 1080p - it's not perfect imaging, but it is worth doing.

Thank you for reading, do comment and please follow!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Douglas Hannant - Resort 2013 - Review

Bonjour a tous! You find me here in a state of elation and exhaustion. Elation, because my GCSE exams are all but over, and exhaustion due to the fact that I have been going to bed recklessly late ever since the state of my brain when I wake up is no longer of issue that will destroy my future. You find here a cafeine-ridden teenager taking refuge behind a computer screen (In that case, nothing out of the ordinary)

Having battled with myself for nigh on twenty minutes as to whether to present you with my review of Alexander McQueen's Resort 2013 collection or this one of Douglas Hannant's, Douglas Hannant won over due to this collection's beautiful range of dresses. What can I say? I can never get enough of long floaty, romantic dresses! What especially drew me to these was the watercolour hue to the dresses themselves, paired with the surroundings, which reminded me of various paintings by Monet. The blue and green dominated colour palette along with the hazy forms on some of the dresses are most suggestive of this. Perhaps it is now the moment to mention that Douglas Hannant studied Fine Art before turning his incredible hand to fashion, and that could be reflected in the influence for these dresses. It is very possible that he could have created some of his own Monet-inspired watercolour works while he was studying. Anywho, I hope you enjoy my in depth review of the collection.

<< Some adept colour blocking always works well for knee-length, semi-formal dresses. >>>

A note on the shoes, which are the ones used throughout the collection. Seemingly of a light champagne or gold colour, their delicate contrast with the clothes is complimentary enough not to draw the viewer's eye away from the main attraction, but the fact that nothing else seems to be of this colour brings further dimensions to the collection.

 And below, the first of many gloriously light and floaty floor-length dresses in this collection, and starting off on a shimmering, summery high note.

<<< Beautiful Dress. A simple green sequined tank gown, made more sophisticated, polished and elegant by apron-tie ball skirt of a lighter shade of green. A delightful piece. Delicious, unfortunately helping to bring about a sadness clouding the peacefulness of my mind at this present moment when I remember that life is seldom this pretty! Yes, pretty. Pretty is the best word to define this. The fact that the upper half is in 'tank' top style suggests a 'gamine' and youthful feel,.

>>> With this one, the first thing I thought of was bamboo - it's a beautiful dress, of course, but there was something in the shape and the line and, the background scenerey that undeniably nudged an image of bamboo into my sleep-deprived mind.
That aside, this dress is exquisite. The way it falls is bewitching, and the
Monet's Waterlilies by Robert Hayden
Today as the news from Selma and Saigon
poisons the air like fallout,
I come again to see
the serene, great picture that I love.

Here space and time exist in light
the eye like the eye of faith believes.
The seen, the known
dissolve in iridescence, become
illusive flesh of light
that was not, was, forever is.

O light beheld as through refracting tears.
Here is the aura of that world
each of us has lost.
Here is the shadow of its joy.

By this point in the collection, there was a mild break with the colour scheme, but to be honest, when the collection steered away from the colour scheme, to some extent it also steered away from the elements I liked about the collection. That is not to say that I do not like this area of the collection.

This is where we reach a run of my favourite items, glorious dresses that make up the finale of many collections, leaving the fantasies and follies until the end so to speak. It would be impossible to choose a favourite, though if I had to, the last one might just have the upper hand.

^^^ There is a grecian element to many items in the collection but I must state that this, above all else, is reminiscent of a grecian river goddess or sprite. The darker shade of blue strips cutting off the shimmery textures of the main fabric work really well to create something very glamorous and simple. >>> I believe this to be my favourite trouser and blouse ensemble. I love the silk cargo trousers. Hell, I'd go camping if my cargo trousers were made out of shiny green silk.

For quite some time, the Resort season collections have no longer been simply a collection of clothes made with the destination being beautiful holidaymakers clutching Louis Vuitton travelling cases. However, much more so than other labels, Hannant's collection veers closer to that traditional notion of a resort collection made for Cruises and the like.

^^^  The 'Mermaid' Dress (The colour, the cut and the fact the model looks like she has been sprayed with water... all of that suggests mermaid!) hugs the body beautifully, though I am not in the state of the mind to decide whether or not it would be hideously unflattering on people over a size 4. I think not since well cut long dresses do often manage to compliment the form charmingly, or maybe I am just wishfully thinking bearing in mind that, in my humble opinion, very few people can pull off head-to-toe turquoise. <<< We return with gusto to the initial pattern used in this collection, with luxurious folds of beautiful fabric in an A-line skirt. *Smile* Makes me happy. (I think I shall call this one the 'Green Tea' Dress, purely because it reminds me of the packaging to some really delicious tea I bought a couple of months ago)

>>> Any excuse really to pop in a pre-raphaelite painting, and my plea this time is that the painting 'Circe poisoning the Sea' by Waterhouse reminds me of a couple of the floor-length blue dresses. Yes, I know the cut and style of the dress in the painting is different, but the feeling of this picture depicting a scene from greek mythology and the feeling of the fashion photograph above are similar.  In my mind, the dress above was the Nymph or Waterfall Dress after all.


Thank you for reading, do comment and please follow!

Monday, 18 June 2012

An Iris (perhaps) Dress

Salutations! I promised an egotistical, narcissistic post devoted to myself and my own clothes, so here it is. Having done my german listening exam today and performed the distressing task of doing the washing up for my mother like the dutiful daughter I am, I think I deserve some 'Me!' Anyway, on with the post and what I am wearing. This is quite an easy look. The dress is comfortable and easy to pull on on days when I don't feel like accessorising or putting much more than a jacket and bag on - with accessories, it can feel a little smothered at times... which sometimes I don't mind. Later on in the day, I put on my brother's light green blazer with it, and that worked well though I unfortunately forgot to take a picture. Talking of pictures, I know there are many where one would have done, but I couldn't narrow them down. At times, I'm stubborn and impulsive, but often I'm plain indecisive.


<<< Flash of my Ralph Lauren glasses and my eyebrows, terribly in need of grooming (But I have an appointment at a salon some time this week. Aha!)

>>> My hair in a simple demi-ponytail, and much shorter than it was when I did the last post of what I was wearing.

Genuine question: Does anybody know anything about flowers? I think my dress has pictures of irises printed on it, but I really do not know. It could simply be a pretty pattern. I know it is hard to tell, but tell me what you think.

There is something slightly Hippie-like about this ensemble. I feel as if I should almost be a singer in a 1970s Eurovision entry.
                                                               However, I keep it funky and colourful, setting the dress off with my beautiful yellow 'Cambridge Satchel Company' satchel bag. This is my favourite bag at the moment because of the practicality, the lightness and the fact I do not need to carry it constantly. I am considering purchasing a couple more, though maybe off ebay this time.

   <<< One of my favourite elements to this dress is the sleeves! I have a fashion-fetish for puffy sleeves and closely-fitted cuffs with buttons...

(It's why I have such a fixation with New Romanticism - yes, I know there was more to it than poet shirts; naturally, I liked those areas - but anything even slightly byronic makes my pulse quicken. Yes, I know what I am wearing is not byronic, I was just commenting on the phenomenon of byronic clothing)

...I also love the colours. I know many people would consider this hideous, but it is purely because they would not be willing to give it a chance. Hardly any piece of clothing is actually hideous if worn by the right person, in the right way with confidence and courage of conviction (Shoes are a different matter though. I hate to generalise, but step away from Uggs and Crocks. Who invented those atrocities?

You might notice that in many of the previous photos I am not wearing shoes (I spent half my childhood barefoot, what can you do about it? That is not to say I am not completely and utterly devoted to my footwear - I talk to my shoes, and say sorry if I feel I have hurt them... like when I throw them across a room, but if I am outside and it is not really right to wear anything other than flip-flops, then I will go barefoot. I do not like tongs - at all!) but in the last two I am, as is demonstrated on this photo to the left. These were actually my character shoes for ballet, but since stopping I have no qualms in wearing them to go out. They fit nicely, are sensible and go with anything.

Thank you for reading my crazed ramblings, or not - I do not mind. Do comment. Please Follow.