20141008

Advanced Style Film Comments + Outfit

Every now and then I glance at the Advanced Style blog, and I was invited by a dear friend to go and see the Advanced Style film/documentary with her. I'm not sure what the aim of this film was. Certainly it was to showcase the style of the women featured, to me this is already done very well on the blog. But beyond that, was it to explore the depth and reality of their everyday lives? The health issues that come with ageing? To show the world that glamourous women don't necessarily live perfect lives underneath their bright colours? It seemed to attempt to do all of these things in a 72 minute time frame, with 7 different women. The lighthearted and superficial undertones of the film didn't fit well with these issues. In my mind, fashion's commentary on social/political issues is best done when shown indirectly through an artform, rather than a superficial presentation of relevant concepts (I'm also looking at you, Karl Lagerfeld, at the most recent Chanel S/S15 show with the mock protest at the end). It comes across as a gimmick and a weak attempt to show depth in an industry criticized for being too superficial (to be fair the film did appear to be genuine attempt). To the film's credit, along with the glamour it did showcase reality, something the fashion industry doesn't normally acknowledge. However, in the end this came across as awkward and certainly exposed the vulnerabilities of the women, seemingly contrary to Ari Seth Cohen's (the creator of Advanced Style) objective to protect them. There were many moments that felt uneasy and would have served the film well to have been left out.

Personal style can hold your attention for only so long, then the story of that person's life is likely to be more interesting. However, this film doesn't really present much of a personal story or journey, which is a shame as all the women featured seem to have had very interesting lives. Style can only take you so far, your interest is held by the person. I think we all enjoy seeing stylish people doing everyday things (look at Instagram), but that doesn't necessitate a feature length film. The film feels like it was made simply to put these women on the big screen. Their great style and personalities could be far better portrayed on another platform, like an ongoing series of blog posts or interviews. If you're a fan of the women on the Advanced Style blog you may enjoy looking into their personal lives. If you're only interested in their style I would suggest sticking to the blog.

Have any of you seen Advanced Style and did you enjoy it?


Don't let my comments put you off though, the Advanced Style blog is a fantastic concept and I hope that I can achieve such style, confidence and vitality when I'm 50+. I haven't forgotten about the PFW Part 2 post, but in the meantime I thought I would share this review and also an outfit.

Wearing Ann Demeulemeester

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20140930

PFW S/S 2015 - Part 1

For those who were less than inspired by the most recent offerings for men, hope can be found in what was presented a few days ago at PFW. Overall, I saw a lot of red, texture, and architecture. If I am to be honest, my dissatisfaction with recent Rick Owens collections has forced me to look more closely at other designers. I am really enjoying what I see, and have even developed a newfound appreciation and yearning for colour. Yohji Yamamoto has spoken about wanting to be free by breaking his taboos of high heels and sexyness, and I am starting to feel the same way. In developing my current wardrobe my teenage years spent in black have clearly been a strong influence. Black, leather and extreme silhouettes were pretty much the norm. However, nowadays I've come to appreciate more than what the combination of these things has to offer, and the practicalities of getting older can also start to get in the way. I'm starting to feel as though it's right time for my taboo - colour - to be broken.

But back to the point of this post! A snapshot of PFW. These designers have delivered extraordinarily enjoyable collections for Spring, though I still stand by my belief that no designer in the world could produce something appropriate for the Australian Summer.

This is Part 1, Part 2 will be posted soon after. I would encourage everyone to go and view these collections in their entirety (but you've probably already done so), as I struggled to only pick a few looks.

Rick Owens
Rick Owens wanted to present the last thing we would expect from him - pastel tulle. I don't know if I was surprised, like he said, it's hard to be shocking anymore. But after seeing the collection in motion I was impressed by his ability to make tulle architectural, rather than merely a mass of air. Often Rick presents collections that take time for me to digest and enjoy. I was a little unsure when I first saw the images, but after seeing it in motion I can appreciate what it has to offer and like it more than his previous two Spring/Summer collections. Rick cited the Ballets Russes as the inspiration for this collection (I also believe this inspired the season's name, Faun). Although a lot of Rick fans wear his pieces in black, he always manages to create really subdued and beautiful colours, which this collection demonstrates. I love the thick volumous shorts and tulle floating out from under the tunics. I cannot get on board with the shoes, but can understand if they're his version of pointe shoes.







Comme des Garçons
Roses and Blood. Perhaps it was the influence of my recent research paper on organ donation/sale, but I couldn't help thinking that each outfit was a bloody organ torn from the wolf by Little Red Riding Hood (staying up all night did drive me insane). No one could doubt the wearability issues with this collection, however I don't think that's always the point with Rei Kawakubo. And I'm sure there are many pieces when viewed individually that will make it into your wardrobe, I would love one of those big patent red collars. There is a strong element of beauty amongst the massacre. Every look in this collection is a masterpiece in itself, I can't wait to find a video of the collection in motion. If you want something more wearable, take a look at the Comme des Garçons Comme des Garçons collection here.







Issey Miyake
The lightness of this collection is really a testament to the combination of excellent design and quality technology. The 3D fabrics were created using a 3D Steam Stretch technique (more detail in this video). I really enjoy seeing a lot of the volume coming from the fabric itself (not to diminish the skill required to design and create patterns with such fabric). A lot of the time when looking at clothing off the body it seems flat and lifeless, only taking on a three dimensional characteristic when worn. I can just imagine these pieces looking vibrant even on a hanger. With balloons whirling on magnetic tape and Ei Wada playing an atmospheric tune on the organ, Yoshiyuki Miyamae's pieces become even more mesmerising. Apparently the show notes claimed the collection was aiming to "harness the creative power of wind", and if this is what wind looks like in physical form then I may have to reconsider my dislike of it. Not to mention how beautiful the hats are.







A.F. Vandevorst
The mix of stiff crinkled fabrics (which of course I adore), leather and flowing fabrics is amazing. There's not one look from this collection I wouldn't consider wearing (or atleast with a shirt thrown in). I particularly enjoy the knee high boots with their leather scrunched up around the ankle and gaping at the knee.






Photos from StyleBistro

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20140910





Comme des Garçons blanket coat, cotton, wool
Rick Owens pants, wool
Guidi boots, calf leather
DRKSHDW tote, cotton

I would appreciate a spare week right now to hibernate and catch up on some sleep. It's a good thing NYFW never keeps me up at night... Maybe Thom Browne and his beautiful nightmares, which seemed pretty tame this season. There was also the novelty of Gareth Pugh presenting a performance in NY instead of his regular runway show in Paris. I haven't seen any videos of the performance, but after reading a few reviews it seems to have had little emphasis on the clothes. Apparently a lookbook will be released later this month. I've always enjoyed Gareth's collections, and there is a part of me that identifies him as being a fantastic collaborator in performance art/costume development. This presentation confirms that for me.

I'm hanging out for Paris. That being said, I'm open to suggestion. Who has been exciting you this NYFW? If NY isn't quite your thing, who are you looking forward to and do you have any expectations? I'm hoping to see Rick return to the hard elegance and grace that has been absent from his recent collections.

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20140828




Rick Owens Strutter jumpsuit
Rick Owens Release coat, cotton, leather
Guidi boots, calf leather

I finally had the opportunity to wear this coat- one of my more elegant pieces. I remember at the time I purchased it I had the choice between black or grey. In hindsight I should have gotten both, however I really enjoy the lightness of this particular shade. The crisp and airy cotton fans out beautifully when I walk, proving that cotton doesn't have to be a boring fabric. I initially had my wedges on but decided that would be a poor decision on a work day. Standing up for more than 15 minutes at a time in heels always ends badly.

Things have been particularly hectic over the past month and I haven't had the opportunity to update on here. For those of you who follow my instagram, you will already be aware of one positive development in my life. I've adopted a new animal friend, a big boy cat named Beela. Being used to the Devon Rex it's taken some time to accept that not all cats have outrageously large ears and elfin looks. However, he has a beautiful coat of fur and an even more beautiful personality. My crazy cat lady spirit is now at peace again.

Hopefully things will settle down and I'll be able to post more regularly. Do you have any post requests or suggestions?

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20140714

Rick Owens: Outerwear, Leather + Interview from BRITISH VOGUE – OCTOBER 2006

I often enjoy mining through the Rick Owens archives. Today I decided to wander away from the usual eye candy to Rick's words of wisdom in a delicious line of questioning about leather.


WHAT HAVE YOU ALWAYS LOVED ABOUT LEATHER?

OF COURSE I'VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED THE KINK FACTOR OF BLACK LEATHER. WHO HASN'T? IT'S KIND OF DELICIOUS THAT A SYMBOL OF LEATHER BARS AND PUNK ROCK HAS BECOME AN ACCEPTABLE PART OF OUR CULTURE. I LOVE A HINT OF CORRUPTION. BUT OF COURSE THERE'S THE ARTISANAL FACTOR. TO PRODUCE CLOTHES OUT OF LEATHER, EACH SKIN MUST BE HAND-CUT, UNLIKE METERS OF FABRIC THAT CAN BE STACKED AND CUT IN MULTIPLES. EACH SKIN IS UNIQUE AND THERE'S GREAT APPEAL IN FEELING THAT HUMAN TOUCH. MY TAKE ON IT WAS TO MAKE IT DRAPE. KIND OF A BLEND OF IGGY AND MADAME GRES. IGGY GRES.

WOULD YOU SAY IT'S SOMETHING OF A RICK OWENS SIGNATURE?

I'M PLEASED THAT IT SEEMS TO HAVE ENDED UP THAT WAY.

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE TACTILE NATURE OF LEATHER TO ITS APPEAL?

LEATHER IS ONE OF THOSE MIRACLES OF NATURE THAT CAN'T REALLY BE DUPLICATED. LIKE THE SMOOTHNESS OF MARBLE OR THE WARMTH OF WOOD, OR THE RICHNESS OF A FISTFUL OF EARTH.

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE QUALITY OF THE LEATHER TO GIVE IT AN ELEMENT OF LUXURY?

TO ME, SOMETIMES ALL THE PROCESSING IN THE PRESUMABLY HIGHER QUALITY LEATHERS SUCKS THE SOUL OUT OF IT.

DO YOU THINK LEATHER CAN BE WORN BY WOMEN OF ALL AGES?

HAVE YOU SEEN THOSE FAMOUS PICTURES OF MARLENE DIETRICH IN HER '50S IN BLACK LEATHER PANTS AND TUNIC?

WHAT CLASSIC LEATHER PIECES SHOULD EVERY WOMAN OWN?

UH, BLACK LEATHER PANTS AND TUNIC. OH, AND A JACKET.

WHAT ARE YOUR OWN EARLY MEMORIES OF LEATHER?

WHEN CHROME HEARTS FIRST STARTED IN L.A. ALMOST 20 YEARS AGO, THEY MADE ME SOME CUSTOM LEATHER PANTS THAT I WORE, NO
KIDDING, EVERY DAY FOR ABOUT 5 YEARS. MY ANIMAL YEARS.

Source: interview from www.rickowens.eu, images from stylebistro.com

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20140708

Bargain Offences Act

Don't all law students hate poorly drafted legislation? The fewer issues open to a judge's discretion and complicated common law rules, the easier exam note making can be. Nonetheless, here is my poorly drafted legislation criminalising certain behaviour during the sale period. We're all guilty of being impulsive, and what better time to address the issue than now when the end of season sales are raging harder than ever. This act seeks to criminalise such behaviour and minimise the number of items hanging in the bargain-wasteland section of your wardrobe.

If you're the defence, what loophole can you exploit here to avoid conviction? Thankfully of late I've been shameless and in ample supply of soup. Wishing you all the best during "final sale"!


Bargain Offences Act 2014 (you)
An Act to consolidate certain Acts relating to purchasing behaviour during sale time; and for other purposes.

PART 1 – Interpretation
1 – In this Act –
   ability refers to a person’s financial means to purchase a fashion item, excluding their credit limit;
   fashion item "item"- including, but not limited to, black leather, boots and other items of profound importance. For example, clothing and     accessories that are worn or carried, or anything considered a “fashion item” by the fashion community;
   rare unlikely to be on the market in your size ever again;
   significant wear the fashion item is worn at least three times a fortnight;
   want a person’s willingness to own an item.

2 – Aggravated Offences
   (1) An aggravated offence is an offence committed if the defendant purchased an item on sale that they would not have wanted before      determining their ability to purchase; or
   (2) if the defendant purchased an item that they wanted a size larger or smaller, hoping to make it fit anyway.
        (a) successfully making it work will not aggravate an offence.

PART 2 – Crimes of the irrational bargain hunter
3 – Bargain Offences
   (1) A person is guilty of a bargain offence if –
          (a) the offender purchased an item that on the balance of probabilities would not get significant wear; and
          (b) the item was not rare and wanted; or
          (c) the offender purchased an item knowing it would be unflattering on their body type; or
          (d) the item purchased is not cohesive with other items currently in the purchaser’s possession; or
          (e) the item –
              i) is not black; and
              ii) black was the first preference in colour.
   (2) It is a full defence to an offence under this section if the defendant purchased the item with the sole intention of reselling.

     Maximum Penalty:
           (a) for a basic offence– shame for 1 week or return the item;
           (b) for an aggravated offence– return the item and/or 1 year of shame and no soup for you.

Paul Harnden jacket, wool
Paul Harnden apron dress, wool, linen
Rick Owens asymmetric tank, cotton
Guidi boots, calf leather

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