'A ball gown is your dream, and it must make you a dream... I think it is just as necessary in a woman's wardrobe as a suit. And it is wonderful for morale...' Christian Dior

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Mad Hatters

Topshop Unique aren't the only ones who predict we'll be walking around in head gear inspired by the wildest of the animals in the wood come autumn.

Not excited by the antlers, or the sheepskin that's prevailed over London Fashion Week? Allow me to introduce Miss Kiki Salon Presents... a fashion collective who've just launched a range of silk scarves inspired by up and coming artists and designers. The print above is the work of Yiannis Katsaris and Ghoulia Peculiar and here's how it could look:

Fifty silk panels have been created for the project, which is an echo as well as a fitting ode to the work of Zika Ascher in post-war London. He and his wife Lida persuaded artists like Matisse and Henry Moore to lend their designs to silk panels and these were taken up by couture houses like Dior and YSL. I've just interviewed Miss Kiki about the scarves for Queens of Vintage, so more pictures and link to follow.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Razor sharp

Not what you'd expect to see in Camden's Bartok on a Sunday night - a perfect homage to London Fashion Week. But take your eyes off the dress, steer your attention away from the spikes and just look at that coiffure... Last night was all about hair as a crowd from the TIGI Hair Awards celebrated into the early hours. This was a winning 'do, but I was more interested in the dress. Created by Manchester-based boutique Renegade Marmalade the gothic-esque design was inspired by the Cruella De Vil hair style. Perfect for elbowing your way to the bar. And with removable spikes, wearable for tea with your grandma.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Girls will be boys

Fanfarlo signed up to a record label, not to be style icons (and this will either embarrass my friend Amos, the drummer or make him beam with pride – come on Amos, surely the latter?) but thanks to a performance on The Late Show With David Letterman last week, I think they're my new favourite-looking band (music's not bad either...)

They've already made waves touring all around the world and have an ace album Reservoir (produced by same guy behind Interpol's album) but I should think performing to the Letterman will open up huge doors. They'll have to be big to fit the rails of clothes designers will be flocking to dress them in, anyway.

You mark my words. Forget Katherine Hepburn, Le Smoking, Annie Hall, Chloe Sevigny, even Alexa 'I'm a tom boy, did you get that?' Chung harping on about her androgynous style in Vogue... I think Cathy Lucas (plays violin, mandolin  among other instruments and vocals) pisses all over them. I love the way she dresses. She has a retro jumper collection more impressive than my dress rail at home (and that's saying something) teams really cute, but sometimes ill-fitting shirts with jeans or cords and her cropped hair looks like it's never seen a hair brush. It's thrown-together chic of the most impressive kind and she doesn't even know it. And this, coming from a complete dresses advocate. Check out the link above to see what I mean.

Here's a couple of snaps of the band: Great Escape, 2009

Audio, Brighton, two days before the David Letterman appearance.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Valentine's anyone?

Valentine's Day. First thought. Hate it. Second thought. Here's a little something to warm your heart.

It's a shopping list written on the back of a grocery receipt dating back to 14 February 1934. Almost makes me want to prepare a meal of clams and pumpkin come Sunday. And I'm a total cynic... I'm sure Paper Dress Vintage won't mind me sharing it. And I should probably add they've got lots of pretty things should you be in a Valentine's gifts buying mood. They have an ace new website too.

Here's something I wouldn't have automatically tied in with the big V... Jewellery designer Tom Binns' Alice in Wonderland collection in collaboration with Disney. Here's a couple of pieces.

Red hearts inspired by the red queen. He designed them to coincide with Tim Burton's long awaited and no-doubt fashion-fabulous film starring Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter. Not exactly child-friendly prices, not exactly adult-friendly either, but pretty unforgettable statement pieces.

Here's my vintage alternative, picked up in Little Red a few weeks back. Very un-Valentines, very me.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

The reinvention of polyester

Wash and go... go, go, go! 

It's official. Polyester is having a moment. I never thought I'd see the day, but that was until I got my hands on the March issue of In Style who felt it worthy of a news announcement. And I, for one couldn't be happier.

The fashion pack always complain how rummaging through rails of polyester dresses isn't their idea of 'vintage' but if you blacklist this forgotten fabric and its various forms, you're denying a whole wave of designers in the 1960s (Mary Quant, Jean Muir) recognition, not to mention the icons (Jean Shrimpton, Patty Boyd) who wore it so well.

Cut to SS10 and collections by Lanvin, Bottega Veneta and Jil Sander have left die-hard fashionistas gasping in disbelief. A fabric that can be chucked in the washing machine with any other colours and doesn't require ironing? Oh, the glamour. So you can't picture it on the red carpet? Then start...