Ever since I first saw this vintage YSL lace dress from 1970 in the Sunday Times Style (many moons ago) I fell in love with it. In my mind its one of the most influential designs of the last century in terms of aesthetics.
Anyone who knows me personally will know that I love a good print - preferably two together – so it should be no surprise that Danish brand Rütme caught my eye instantly. Inspired by dreams and fantasies, Rütme’s prints are a kaleidoscopic experiment of shape and form, utilised to create unique urban fashion statements that above all else are relevant – a rarity on the high street these days.
Fresh from its debut as the first offering from the brand, the AW10 collection is inspired by the new decade’s wave of young female musicians such as La Roux and Lucy Love, referencing their tough, edgy and unpredictable natures. With Rikke Charlotte Larsen spearheading the design, functionality is paired with heritage, taking colours from vintage T-shirts and trainers, whilst incorporating details from the early 90’s such as puff shoulders with great aplomb. Whilst as usual, it was hard to edit down just the one garment; my favourites is the hot pink tassel detail jacket with royal blue lining, which looks particularly great teamed with a patterned dress.
Rütme is available now at JOY and in several independent boutiques.
A few weeks ago rumours emerged that Spanish streetwear brand Desigual were teaming up with Christian Lacroix to collaborate on 30 garments for their AW11 collection which I was sceptical of – until the catwalk images circulated last week proved it. In what looks set to be an ongoing partnership, Desigual’s aim is to ‘add a bit of fresh air to the brand’, blending Couturier Lacroix’s unique aesthetic with the urban and casual stance the brand are better known for.
Speaking about Desigual, Lacroix said: “I was awestruck by the first girl dressed by Desigual that I saw in Paris. As I watched her, I could recognise in her a member of my own tribe. It was an explosion of colors and patchwork under the elegant, discreet and always monotonous French sky. It was fantastic, truly love at first sight, a breath of fresh air, all multicoloured, scorching, revitalizing, radiating Mediterranean colours and flavours and creeping into this global and colourless magma inhabited by zombies and clones.”
For those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll remember last March the lovely people at G-Shock flew me out to Hamburg to report on their sponsored event, Secret Wars Euroleague 2010 (founded and run by Monorex). Last Saturday (all of ten months later, and after 60 separate battles) the grand final took place at the East London home of Monorex, Village Underground. With rival European cities Birmingham (in balaclavas) and Amsterdam (in chef whites) desperate to be declared overall winners of the tournament, last weekend’s event saw a fierce battle on the biggest Secret Wars wall ever erected.
Images courtesy of G-shock.
With a cool judging panel comprised of Ligaya Salazar (Curator at the V+A Museum), Luke Monaghan (G-Shock blogger and film maker), Lucy Seabrook (of Casio) and Ingi Erlingsson (I love Dust), the judges ensured Secret Wars rules were followed (such as artists only using black ink, keeping to their side of the wall and completing their artwork within the 90 minute timeframe), and presided over voting which saw the crowd (holding the all important fifth vote) make the most noise ever recorded at a battle.
Snatching victory with their tongue-in-cheek piece titled ‘Meet the Burninghams’, Amsterdam smashed it winning four of the five votes. Team Amsterdam will now be granted the chance to create a limited edition G-Shock watch design, and will also qualify to fly to New York in the spring to compete against team USA, in what is set to be the biggest battle in Secret Wars history. Congratulations Amsterdam!!
As the old adage ‘third time lucky’ rings true, this week I’ve successfully narrowed down my selection to just one solitary garment, the mesmerising Dieu Bleu T-dress*. Created by Eleanor Dorrien-Smith in 2009, the Partimi label got me rather excited at LFW back in September, with its eye-catching prints, luxe fabrics and cold, sleek colour palette.
A woman after my own heart, Dorrien-Smith’s approach to fashion is one of sustainability. Having recently launched Partimi’s first full ready-to-wear collection (back in September), Dorrien-Smith is a fantastic advocate for ethical and responsible fashion, which saw her awarded runner-up in the ‘Design for a Thriving Fashion Industry Award’ category at the Fashioning the Future Awards back in 2009 – a ceremony I was privileged to attend and review.
Inspired by and designed in homage to costumes her grandmother collected from a sale of Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes costumes at Sotheby’s in the late 60s, the SS11 collection entitled Dieu Bleu utilises organic fabrics and yarns to great effect, creating a fresh and contemporary collection of elegant dresses and separates. With simple silhouettes and stunning digital prints at the fore, I’m tipping great success for both Dorrien-Smith and the Partimi label in 2011. *The Dieu Bleu T-dress is soon to be available at YBDfashion.
This week's decision was a no-brainer. On Monday - which isn’t *technically* this week - one my favourites, and no doubt the most fabulous London designer of them all, Ashish launches his sixth collaboration with Topshop featuring dazzling prints that will appeal to his magpie fashion fans and the surrounding Oxford Street pigeons alike. Whether you're in the mood for something sweet or savoury, to be frank, it doesn’t matter as Ashish’s veritable feast for the eyes is so retro-kitsch you’d be a fool not to want a piece of the action – or should I say, a piece of the pie?
Clearly inspired by the fast-food industry, when I first saw the four designs on offer (two oversized t-shirts and two sweatshirts, pictured above and below), I genuinely thought I might lapse into a sugar-fuelled coma. After coming to my fashion-senses I marvelled at how mass-produced and fake the foods look, which strangely makes me love the prints even more. Perhaps because junk food is a no-no in my house, the collection makes me feel like I can still indulge in things that are bad, and even have a (fashion) binge or two.
Speaking of the collection, Ashish said: “The inspiration was very easy – I love junk food! I was thinking of what I would like to wear to the gym, and I thought junk food on t-shirts and sweatshirts would be perfect! Perhaps not very motivational, but definitely very amusing!”
As luck would have it I have an appointment in Topshop on Monday so I’ll see you there, and be warned; I am prepared to (fashion) fight for my fave piece, the doughnut sweater.
Prices start at £40 and items are available from Monday morning in flagship London stores and online.
Having grown up in the King's Cross area I've always had a fascination with the former Midland Grand Hotel, which now comprises the front of St. Pancras International Station. Opened in 1868, the grade I listed building is a great example of Neo-Gothic Architecture and I absolutely love its bright finish, with an underlying macabre feel.
I've owned this image for at least a decade and for many years it was stuck to my bedroom wall. To this day I believe it is the most powerful anti-smoking ad I've ever seen. What could possibly want to make a woman give up smoking more?!
My favourite image of the three is the centre one which sums up the war-era mood I was aiming for, with a modern twist evident in the Converse footwear. This project equipped me to really re-assess my wardrobe and how I approach fashion and encouraged me to experiement with different periods and to make the most of all my vintage treasures, which has definitely shaped the fashion side of the character I am today. My model is the beautiful Robyn Bright.
So far 2011 has got off to a flying start for British cult icon and fashion pioneer Katharine Hamnett. Ever striving to convey her messages of political intrigue, SS11 sees the newly recognised Katharine Hamnett CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire), launch a new ethical luxury collection entitled HERE COMES THE SUN. Taking the name from a current populist subject - in recognition of the amount of free solar energy we receive from the Sun - Hamnett states we should “exploit and reduce our dependence on unsafe technologies”.
Inspired by her own groundbreaking archives of both the 80’s/90’s, SS11 sees the sartorial resurgence of glamour, elegance and sexuality achieved through rigorously sourced sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton and parachute silks, cementing Hamnett’s status as one of the most prolific ethical designers of our time.
As it’s a fresh New Year I want to introduce a new weekly post where I’ll pick the top garment(s) that have caught my eye either in-store or online each week. Starting off in a vein which looks set to continue, I have been unable to whittle it down to just one item, instead opting for two fab pieces from one of my lust-labels, Jaeger.
With the 70’s era making a huge comeback this forthcoming SS11 with colour a-plenty, I love a good fashion underdog which is emerging in the form of a Monochrome trend. So, if you’re looking for high octane drama and glamour indicative of the polished and liberated pre-WWII 30’s Jaeger is your best bet.
Joint garments of the week are the paired down and effortlessly cool black waistcoat dress, which is a triumphant interpretation of the modern shift; and the super sleek ivory oversized blazer complete with edgy black asymmetric lapel.
As a lover of fashion there's nothing not to love about Anna Piaggi and her commitment to fashion which has seen her dominate the 'frow' for over 30 years and become a fashion icon in her own right. Friend and luxury footwear designer Manolo Blahnik has dubbed her 'The world's last great authority on frocks', and I concur.
All photographs on this site are the property of Creative-Idle/ Rachael Oku. Other images taken by third parties are credited within the relevant post. If you would like to use any of my photographs please ask.