Thursday, 25 March 2010

BLOG BLESS AMERICA: Comme La Garconne.

For a tomboy who spent her childhood summers climbing up trees and seaside rocks, venturing on secret bicycle adventures and collecting bruises, scratches and dirt like badges of honour La Garconne is the epitome of everything my now older but still-proud-of-remnant-scars-from-kicking-boys self would ever want in her wardrobe! Something akin to Oscar de la Renta for all Upper East Side princesses. Or look at it this way; it also worships at the altar of Saint Sofia of Coppola!

I love the clean, minimal but full of character layout, the easy displays, the inspiring editorial they put together and above all, the superb selection of labels in their roster. From Comme des Garcons, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Proenza Schouler and a dose of Lanvin in the Atelier section to - take a deep breath - Phillip Lim, Acne, Alexander Wang, A.P.C., Boy by Band of Outsiders, Future Classics, Jerome Dreyfuss, Lover, Opening Ceremony, Rag & Bone and Vanessa Bruno in the Boutique; surely this is the coolest, most desirable list of must-haves anyone has put together, right?

Oh, but I lied. Above all these, what I love the most about La Garconne is the name itself. La Garconne c'est moi!

This is an older editorial page on all things Le Smoking that still makes me stare at it for far too long, in hope that I will magically metamorphose into Sofia or Patti, or at least that those shoes will appear by my desk. And here are some shots from their latest Spring-Summer shoot. Knee-length socks, dainty prints, cardis in soft tones, cool shorts with clog boots that are so wrong they're the only right thing in the world as of now, a long skirt, stripes and a cropped trench/cape hybrid? Yes, oui and si, por favor!

Images by La Garconne.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Sartorialisms: When one is simply not enough!

For the girl that spent an entire summer wearing two watches on the same arm just because she thought it looked 'cool' and has considered 'bringing it back' ever since this image from is the closest to a belated 'you were right and oh, so misjudged' she could ever wish for! Thanks Tommy.

Image by Tommy Ton for

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

I HEART: my Martis for March.

UPDATE: So, sis just informed me that my decade plus one in London has muddled my memory (like I didn't know that already!) and that the traditional colour combo is red and white, with a thread of gold often thrown in, and that the saying goes that we wear these to 'stop us from getting burned by the sun', which may sound crazy but I take it to refer to the first strong sunshine of the year that should naturally appear just about now although this is London sis, and no such sunshine has shown its pretty little face yet so I'm sticking to my initial interpretation. But thanks!

Sis reminded me over the phone the other day so I swiftly unearthed T's sewing box, sat on the floor with all the brightly coloured rolls of thread in front of me and attempted to overcome my DIY incompetence. My goal? To make myself a martis, of course! A what-what? Martis is Greek for March - you already knew that, right? - but also refers to an old, little tradition of wearing a simple red thread on your wrist as a bracelet, or martis, to protect you all through the month. On the 1st of April, you cut it off and burn it. I'm not quite sure as to what it is meant to protect us from but my guess is the elements, the end of cruel winter, ensuring that we make it to spring healthy and ready to be replenished. I find it extraordinarily intriguing that old spiritual disciplines like the Kabbalah also place significant value on a simple red thread. What's not to cherish? We've been following this all through our childhoods as I'm certain so did my mother and grandmother and so do our little cousins now but since moving to London it's escaped my mind.

I initially thought of wearing this, a small gift from a festival by my little cousin but then remembered I would have to burn it and instantly changed my mind.

All you need, traditionally, is a red thread but often a gold one will find its way in, to brighten things up and make it more precious. I considered using a green one for spring or light blue as a wish for a bright summer sky but decided to keep it simple. I attempted a braid but instead twisted the red and gold together, tied it slightly loose and left it at that. Sometimes, the simpler something is the better, no?

So, here's to spring and sunshine and better days. Thanks for the reminder, sis!

Friday, 5 March 2010

BLOG BLESS: Mrs B and all who shop with her!

"At the time, my children were enrolled at the Lycée Français, and there was a uniform, you know; cropped Shetland sweater, kilt, knee socks. And on the top, a Marks & Spencer raincoat tied at the back. Very smart. And I thought, this style, it’s great. That’s the image for Browns. And of course, I found what I was looking for in Paris."

"But anything I’ve despised in particular…? Vulgarity. I think it’s good for the young kids to be fashion victims — I like to see them piling it all on; it shows enthusiasm. But there comes a point, once you’ve been around a while, that you say to yourself: Aha, this is what works."

Mrs B speaking to's Maya Singer.

Image by

Thursday, 4 March 2010

I HEART: Roksanda for Whistles on film.

Roksanda Ilincic's second collection for Whistles (surely one of the few designer/high street collaborations that make sense) was inspired by summer and more precisely, "the feelings that summer brings in all of us: fun, happiness and lightness!", according to the designer herself. Isn't it a relief to read such positive and calming feelings in a collection?

What's striking about the capsule line of just ten dresses, every one as wonderful as the next, is its colour palette, one of Roksanda's many strenghts as a designer; there's sour apple, buttery yellow, sugared lavender and, of course, the palest blue. It makes you want to lie under a serene summer's midnight sky, count the stars and smell the sweet flowers around you. Just be careful; this being Roksanda, the delicate beauty and loveliness of her designs must always be offset by a stronger, dangerous element, in the same way a pale silk dress is held together with a striking black grosgrain ribbon. This time, it's the names she's given to each dress, all poisonous British wild flowers; celandine, clematis, milkweed. So, go ahead, smell the flowers but at your own peril!

The collection will launch next month but in the meantime Whistles are offering a beautiful short film from the collection's press launch at the Saville Club that will also give viewers and customers the opportunity to reserve your favourite dresses in advance. The film will be shown from 16:00 this afternoon until midnight before being taken down and shown again at the official launch in three weeks time. If you're a Roksanda and Whistles fan (and who isn't?) and want to make sure you get your hands on one, or more, of the dresses this is your chance. Below is a short preview of the film. Enjoy, go to Whistles for the full version from 16:00 and...well, just daydream away. Summer is surely not far now!

Image by and video by Pretzel Films for Whistles.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

AWww10: Skip a beat, Day 5

If you follow me on Twitter you will know that I woke up on the morning of last Monday aka Day 4 of LFW, with a nasty, bad cold that forced me to stay in all day. I was very upset to miss the Marios Schwab show, especially after seeing how wonderful it was - but no surprise there! So, come Tuesday/Day 5 I was up early and determined to enjoy the last day of the women's shows. Hence this box of beauties I picked up for Sasha and Daniel before making my way to Somerset House. It could be the rain that refused to go away, the busy and sometimes chaotic atmosphere at the tent and the press area, the harsh lights, the achingly slow wifi that lowered my heartbeat by the minute or....yeah, my cold but I didn't last long. Sometime in the early afternoon I put myself on a bus back home, realising halfway I still had the box of cupcakes with me (!), and was soon back at home watching the Burberry livestream on the floor of my flat, wet coat and shoes still on, giving in and devouring one, or more, of the cupcakes. Sorry S!

While there, I did manage to get a closer view of the Felder Felder collection, which proved to be even better up close...
 well as a first view of Cooperative designs as I couldn't make their earlier presentation.

I also wondered into the Tata-Naka room, which won me over completely! I have to confess the label had slipped my mind in the last few seasons but I found myself photographing every single item on the rails much to the irritation of the women looking after the label! I mean, have you seen a better-dressed set of chairs?

Lastly, I caught the mesmerising Boudicca short film on show at the Digital Centre, which made me forget about my cold.

Until that is I ventured back outdoors, took a deep breath and bid farewell to LFW for this season. See you all again in September!

With love from London Fashion Week. Kiki - out!

Monday, 1 March 2010

AWww10: Il Terzo Giorno or Day 3

The Sunday of the LFW schedule was meant to start with a leisurely morning walk through Regent's Park to my first show of the day, Margaret Howell. Instead I found myself cursing the weather (yes, a decade and two years later I'm still surprised when my plans get ruined by London's glorious weather!) while waiting for a bus, cosy in my sister's old army green parka.

All of the morning's woes disappeared when I walked into the designer's Wigmore street store, with a grande cappuccino in hand to sit behind Sasha and chat away. That's all a girl needs! Oh, and every single fantastic, why-can't-I-be-a-Margaret-Howell-girl piece that came down the catwalk. How does she do it every time? This was most definitely a quintessential Howell collection but made yet-again to look fresh, modern and oh-so-right! The coats! The delicate sheer layers of a skirt or dress poking underneath and thus proving how only Brit designers can balance heavy/light, hard/soft perfectly! The flat lace-up boots! That red satchel that's still haunting me!

It was then off to Mulberry's presentation at The Orangery at Kensington Palace where we were greeted by a wild bunch of glittery, shimmering, sparkly-fantastic wild cats! I remember seeing one of them in Mulberry's Bond street office reception a few weeks earlier. The collection was a visible continuation of last season's good old let's-mix-it-up British eccentric fun. The music was The Bare Necessities, the theme was wild and the model to know had four legs, yet again! No disappointments then. Particular favourites among the shoes and bags included the Postman's Lock ankle boots in tomato red, bright blue and black spongy leather, the shoe of the same range featuring double straps, the Edna shoulder bag in camel with a very pretty chain and the t-bar flats in the season's quirky prints and a studded plum suede. The clothes followed spring-summer's shapes with puffy shoulders in jackets and coats and rounded skirts but the new 'glitzy' floral print was one step away from grandma-chic which to me is the only chic worth having. Highlights for me included the 'swan' jacket in powder silk satin teamed with a 'casino' shirt in toffee, an amazing soft camel hooded trench in wool with metal hardware usually found in the brand's bags and shoes, a pair of salt & pepper wool 'paper bag' shorts and a black leather jacket with a slim sleeve.

(also known as the 'Posetta Baddog in Grazia' pose!)

Back at the tent - via a short stop at the Langham Hotel for mini berry pancakes and Freda's presentation with Olivia Palermo - I caught the Future Classics presentation at the Portico Rooms before moving on elsewhere and I'm so glad I did! One of my highlights of the entire season, without a doubt. Julie Wilkins put out a must-have collection that more than justifies her label's name. Great knitwear pieces but what I fell in love with were the deconstructed trench coats, with a lower back cut line, a small polka dot print and a group of sheer black dresses that could easily, and rightfully so, make up someone's entire wardrobe. Why would you want to wear anything else?

And here are some closer looks at some pretty interesting back details.

With Sasha moving on to other shows I jumped out the Merc, grabbed a soup at Le Pain Quotidien and caught up on some work at a Starbucks before rejoining them, hearing all about their 'crazy woman' tale, and heading to the Twenty8Twelve presentation. The setting was grand, with dark wood staircases leading to a room where the Miller sisters talked inspirations in front of hanging old tapestry and models lounged in that nonchalant way only models can do.

We then attempted a party but gave up for pizza, wine and a BAFTAS night at home.