Sunday, 25 September 2011

Film Studies: Hannibal

Hannibal is a supremely stylish film and it is one of my favorites. I could watch it endlessly.

In this film, director Ridley Scott develops the intellectual fascination Clarice Starling had for The Doctor in Silence of the Lambs into a dangerous need for his approval that is not without oedipal overtones.

Hannibal Lector values good manners and taste above all. His charm is such that anyone who cannot abide by this simple code is just asking to be offed in some bizarre and vindictive way. So you can forgive Clarice's faltering professionalism when she wakes up to find that the old dog has bought her a very classic, Halston style Mark Bouwer halterneck and Gucci shoes to wear for dinner. After that you cannot deny that the man has taste and I could forgive him almost anything. This is classic 90s design at it's best.

Lit seductively in the closing scenes who wouldn't?

Sports Luxe - very, very frightening me

When I see trend for sportswear in all of the fashion magazines, I begin to worry.

(Above is Elle October cover star Emma Watson in Jil Sander A/W11 sportswear knit).

In the nineties women chose to ditch tracksuit bottoms with elasticated ankles for exercise purposes in favour of yoga pants and, more recently, leggings. In short, they were just more flattering. Now the fashion press is shouting about the look becoming a wardrobe must for every day. Gathered-at-the-ankle looks good on no-one, even if you have wedges on.

(The above 'sweats' are available from Aubin and Willis).

With the likes of Phoebe Philo at Celine, Philip Lim and Jil Sander designing extremely popular minimalistic collections over the last few seasons it was only a matter of time before Utility turned Sporty.

The look itself is summed up by Marie Claire 'Team loose, jersey trousers with a draped, racer back vest and wedge-style plimsolls.' You can see the pound-signs appear in the high street label's eyes as it dawns on them that they can recreate the structure and simplicity of their own collections with inexpensive sweatshirt fabric.

(Racer back vest top by Vanessa Bruno)

This is all well and good, and not untypical in the fashion world, and yet the worry is that to get away with the current trend for sportswear-as-daywear you will need to be exceptionally slim, working in fashion, have a healthy bank balance and you will need to be in heels. No pressure.

Let loose in the mainstream, this trend only gives women a license to team Juicy Couture velour tracksuits up with The Dreaded Sheepskin Boots for a truly slobby and unflattering look. This is real fright night stuff and enough for me to start having dreams about my teeth falling out all Halloween.

Thursday, 22 September 2011


If you ever get the chance to go to Copenhagen, do. There is every chance that you will love it. Anyone struggling with the conundrum of how to look good in the cold could take the brief flight over to the Danish capital and learn some quick lessons.

Aside from their acumen in dressing for often cooler climes, designers are hugely creative and move less as a pack than I experience elsewhere. I loved the beautiful detailing and soft femininity of the prints of Rutzou's collections and have fawned over them constantly since I saw them in Copenhagen.

Join in the love by going to the website to see their beautifully styled lookbook but to put your money where your mouth is go to the Anthropology or ASOS websites.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Mental (Colour) Block

Trend CBT: Slowly and surely widespread exposure to AW11's gorgeous colour combinations are changing my behaviour. These gum-drop colours, blocked within one key piece are re-programming the stripe addict in me. As someone once said to me 'you can't have the same favourite flavour of ice cream your whole life' and I'm getting a bit bored of stripes. And this could just be the solution.

Above: Sonia Rykiel AW11

Above: Jonathan Saunders AW11 scarf

The moodboard for this look, and what it means to me and my waning relationship with stripes, is perfectly encapsulated in both the blocked colours of the 80s shutdown screen of the BBC and all those hours I spent as a child optimistically staring at it hoping for something to change...

Style note to self: Wear with black wardrobe staples and gold or brass jewellery (from Mor Jewellery)

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Lesser spotted

Spots appeal for less...

at Wolford. Yes please!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Greater spotted

In May 2010 I wrote about stylists taking inspiration from Man Ray. And maybe it is a case of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. Maybe I was just seeing something that I loved all about me because it's happening again.

Fast-forward to Stella McCartney's current collection and the stand out piece, a cut-out spot dress (below) and I am seeing echoes of Man Ray's obsession with the shapeliness of the feminine form. Maybe it's me but never-the-less I think that this is sheer droolery. I always think spots on netting are chic. They have a sexy, vintage, look-but-don't-touch allure.

Something in this (sell out on Net a Porter) piece obviously also appealed to Karen Elson who chose to wear it with panache to Kate Moss and Jamie Hince's wedding. Both clotheshorse and dress are equally playful, seductive, bold and gorgeous. Round of applause please.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Don't get collared

Nights are drawing in and the motherly voice inside my head is reminding me that I need a good coat. Wish Coat Criteria...
  • Extreme warmth
  • Timelessness - an investment piece that will see me through a couple of winters
  • Versatility - it must that will go with everything and look part of an outfit, not a throw over
  • Midnight blueness
  • Collarless - so that I can go to town on scarves.
These two Acne numbers are mouth-watering. The first, below, is a multi-lapelled trench is beautiful - right at the top of the list, and available from My

The second is much more Minimalist but it remains classic. Available from Liberty.

Sonia Rykiel is also in on the midnight/collarless action. Loving the giant zip action but probably a touch one the nippy side with 3/4 length sleeves. Focus.

The next one is not great for all shapes and would sit better on a straight-shaped girl than me but you can't argue with the typical texturing that Preen have incorporated into this Teddy-Boy look coat. Available at Matches, this number's excruciating price tag is only slightly off-set by a cool grasshopper tailcoat at the back.

Now all I need is to stock up on gorgeous scarves. See you at the Liberty's scarf hall!