Saturday, January 31, 2015

Out of the Fire

It seemed serendipitous that on the same day I saw Oyster Mag's starkly light and yet sun drenched Beauty Daily that I find a matching editorial from Australian Vogue in their December 2004 edition. Don't ask why I have something so old and outdated (it's collage fodder OK?) just enjoy these artfully shot photographs and be thankful I didn't cut it up. What becomes apparent is the contrast of dressed up versus dressed down. Both share a common element of femme fatale figures and the allure of hidden sexuality but I feel Oyster has softened this motif especially since this publication is associated with youth. Whereas Vogue has opted for a high fashion approach, is firmly established and has built its reputation on premium wares and the unattainable. I like both for very different reasons. Oyster's grainy images and experimental approach encapsulate the uncertainty and discovery associated with twenty-something year olds. By contrast Vogue has a more dramatic angle and there is something somewhat self-indulgent about the characterization of their model.

1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 13- Oyster Beauty Daily January: 3182 Hair by Ashleigh from Shibui for KMS California. 2, 5, 9, 11, 12- in the mood for love, Australian Vogue, December 2004.
6- Gibson Fox.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Thom Browne Spring 2013

It's Summer, there are fire bans daily and warnings to keep alert for bushfires and I still refuse to shed my shades of sombre black for anything else. Aesthetically I cant my room to explode into colour and texture but have the creativity and expression of a traditional French Mime... oh dear. Well in keeping with that theme on monochrome black and white and all the variations there of, it gives me great pleasure to introduce Thom Browne who transformed his collection and runway experience into more of a performance featuring a fanciful background of ballerinas in tight and rigid hoop skirts. these very ballerina dancers which I speak of also had ooky spooky black and white striped tights and towering cone heads signalling to the mother ship. I think it made for an interesting way of handling fashion to say the least and did give a suitable introduction to the pieces for the season. The models themselves were dusted in Victorian-esque white foundation which was then capitalized on by black lipstick and eyeliner.

I love the cute little blouse shown above- it strangely matches possibly the largest bun ever created. Or not. I don't really know how to feel about bouffants because when you live in your own little bubble they seem perfect but when everyone else is in a state of shock because you have towering circular hair then it drains away all the magic and splendor they once had. Black and white check prints have been resonating with me recently since I found some of my father's old cotton shirts I saved from becoming rags for the shed. There is still a lot of life in them, but I kind of want to create something new from them. One thing I do know is cotton doesn't keep the same bold structure as shown above which is a shame. The tulip shape skirt isn't too over dramatic or attention-seeking and the poise of the model's arms is pretty perfect. The thick, interwoven finish at the hem, sleeves and collar is just a small and finer detail but it does add to the overall attractiveness of this look.

There's a whole plethora of really wonderful patterns you could practically pour into a pool and swim about in. Little motifs of whales have me dreaming of aquatic activities, along with this awful heat. Power clashing has been taken to a whole other lesson but the tones are gently shaded from one grey to another. For someone who is obsessed with patterns as she ever was, this is nearly a godsend. Black and white is tipped as the trend of the season so it's even more astonishing that the little heard of Thom Browne managed to cotton on to the trend a season early. I think the straight-forward monochrome of black and white also let's them take centre stage once you get passed all the crazy dancers on stage too. If I had to throw a tea party to best represent this collection of course it would involve many crochet doilies, only the fanciest teas possible and a slight chance of dancing paraphernalia. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Risque Business

Wearing: Ichi Knee onigiri earring, vintage lace top, thrifted fuzzy cardigan, Emma Mulholland shorts and Nicholas Kirkwood shoes.

These are the cool shorts I bought at the Emma Mulholland sale in Melbourne on the weekend. They are like the length for culottes AND they have super deep pockets. The print on them was inspired by various 1980s pop culture references, but what was really interesting was seeing how the same pattern translated differently on various materials. I've been lusting after Mulholland's designs for a while now, as well as keeping up to date with her collections presented at fashion week. It was really great to see the clothes for myself and be able to appreciate lots of fun clothes in the presence of really cool and fashionable babes. While I didn't win the competiton they were running on their instagram account for a $200 voucher it's safe to say I'm still obsessed with this brand. What's more I can't wait for the release of their next collection dubbed 'Cry Birdy', a combination of archetypcal Australian humor and John Waters tackiness. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Karen Walker Sunglasses Spring 2015

Karen Walker returns in spectacular fashion after enlisting the help of a very special celebrity Toast the toothless King Charles Spaniel. Previously we've seen balloons, brooms and the inspiring cast of Advanced Style star in Karen Walker campaigns. It follows an increasing trend in which brands are regularly relying on social media for their next casting. Marc for Marc Jacobs scooted the models for their most recent campaign via Instagram, as have Meadham Kirchhoff all to the tune of a huge PR buzz. Toast and her owner are somewhat different in that they have their own following but have not necessarily been aligned with any major brands. Up until now. What's most appealing about this approach is the belief that we too may score overnight success, coin the next trending Twitter hashtag or from Facebook be signed to an agency. Of course not everyone can experience a twenty-first and tech-influenced Cinderella story, but it's nice to believe in from time to time.

I have a somewhat startling confession to make- but I had all but given up hope on Karen Walker's sunglasses. The last few collections had totally abandoned her trademark flair for colour and there was a stifled approach lacking experimentation in the shapes of frames. There was a distinct lack of experimentation, which was the very thing that had attracted me to this visionary Kiwi's ideas. Her last release 'Celebrate' was a best-of collection representing her most successful and famous designs in limited edition gold. But like The Simpson's numerous clip show the campaign seemed to lack the star power of previous campaigns. Despite a loyal following from fashion editors to bloggers even they turned their attention to other brands who could fulfill their need for insanely colourful and creative frames. It was disappointing to see the same designs churned out over and over again but now we're beginning to see Walker creating more like her old self again.  

*Images via Oyster

Monday, January 26, 2015

All that Glitters

Glitter is obviously I have become obsessed with lately whether it's using a generous helping in my art collages or incorporating it in my outfits. Despite glitter being most accessible in the form cosmetics it's a market I have yet to crack or become heavily invested in. These editorials reinforce the idea that applying makeup in itself can be an art form- albeit heavily commercialized and controlled by straight white cis men. We are still a long way away from CEOs of major cosmetics companies being women and acting for women but notions that feminism and makeup being mutually exclusive has since been demolished. Instead across the media we are seeing women taking the form of perfect celestial beings existing outside the understanding and approval of men. Being so heavily decorated in a glitter suit of armor we become untouchable and almost unattractive to the male gaze but a thing of beauty. I think I want to start wearing more glitter everyday at least during the cooler months where melting makeup becomes less of an issue.

1- Angelica Houston photographed by Richard Avedon, 1976. 2- 'Lick Me I'm Delicious' photographed by Theo Wenner for i-D F/W 2014. 3a- Saint Laurent Fall 2014 RTW & b- via. 4- Ajak Deng by Richard Burbridge for W, November 2014. 5a & b. 6- The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). 7, 8- Puce Moment (dir. Kenneth Anger 1949), 9- Lavender mask @ Valentino Couture Spring 2010. 10, 11, 12- via.