China Hiatus

Rick Owens blazer, lotus shorts, boots
DRKSHDW t-shirt
Guidi clutch

I really enjoy the Rick Owens "suit", in whatever iteration. Here I've paired a blazer with my lotus shorts and boots to create a suit that is (unfortunately) not office appropriate.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

I am fortunate enough to be starting the year by embarking on an adventure in China. This will be my first visit to the Middle Kingdom and I'm incredibly excited to experience the culture, improve my language skills, and escape the Australian heat. Not to mention being able to try all of the amazing food. I've organised a VPN for myself to get over the Great Firewall, however if my Instagram runs dry it's probably a sign that I'm stuck on the wrong side. Given that Blogger is also on the blocked list I may be unable to update this website. I would love to document some of my travels, however if I'm unable to post I will see you again in March.

All the best!

Kind Regards,

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Interview with Something Bespoke

I recently spoke with Something Bespoke about personal style and fashion. You can read the interview here.

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Rick Owens S/S 2015 Faun Pre-Collection

Have you always admired those runway pieces, yet felt unable to incorporate such extreme silhouettes and fabrics into your day-to-day life? Fret not! Rick Owens has delivered some pared-down versions so that all may enjoy his universe, without compromising on the price. One could view this as either a step towards his express goal of inclusivity, or a smart business move that will guarantee sales. Rick has been taking the final steps in completing his universe. Swimwear, accessories, ugg boots. All possible aspects of your life can now be done in style.

In all seriousness though, while I do prefer the originals, many who missed out may be satisfied with one of these iterations. The realities of the world beyond fashion week street style also indicate it's not always appropriate to be wear the full blown version around town. If I do end up buying anything from Faun it's more likely to be from the pre-collection rather than the actual collection itself. Maybe that's what Rick is counting on, especially after seeing the price tag on those beautiful tulle dresses (preview here).

F/W 2011 vs Pillbug Combo Bomber

S/S 2013 vs Bubble top

F/W 2007 vs Saturn Biker

F/W 2009 vs Biker Eliel Sleeves Jacket

S/S 2010 vs Asymmetric Wishbone Tank

images: rickowens.eu, stylebistro

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Paul Harnden jacket, skirt
Guidi shoes

Yesterday, after a few weeks trapped in my study cave, I emerged to reacquaint myself with natural light and to enjoy some mild weather. Wearing my new Paul Harnden fruit print jacket which I was finally able to get my hands on. I've accumulated a small collection of his jackets in the same cut but different fabrics. Having an alternate uniform to my usual army of Rick leather has been refreshing! I do endeavour to mix designers, to make it more interesting, but it's easier to default to something you like and that you know works. Especially when your brain is functioning like a zombie.

Many were surprised to see me in something so colourful, but wearing it doesn't feel unnatural. It's nice to throw in an element of surprise, mostly for yourself rather than the benefit of others. You never know what new things you'll realise you enjoy.

How has everyone been? Have you tried anything new recently?

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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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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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