Sunday, 24 February 2013

20th Century Chic, 100 years of Women's fashion.

20th Century Chic, 100 years of Women’s fashion.
Sudley House, Liverpool.

The exhibition at Sudley House is housed in one small room in which chronologically from 1900 to 2000 an example of clothing from that time period is dressed on a mannequin. It has a rather last lustre effect of stimulating the expressions or freedoms that each garment would have produced and reacted in the wearer of the time. The aim of the exhibition is to demonstrate how the twentieth century saw more changes in women’s lives than at any other past and their clothes reflected this. I can see how the fashions change by the garments such as rising and lowing of hem but I don’t feel that enough context was given to the period, only a small label was in front of garment in which stated date and summary of the outfit such as ‘The Belle Epoque -1900-10’ or ‘Anything goes -1920-30.’

I would have liked to see the garments placed around Sudley house in rooms and situations which would have suited their wear, such as ‘Make do and mend -1940-50’ in the greenhouse or ‘Putting on the Ritz -1930-40’ at the bottom of the spiralling staircase of the house, it would have added more style and substance to the exhibition in seeing garments alive and in use. 

1900-10 The Belle Epoque
1920-20 The Great War
1920-30 Anything goes

1920-30 Anything goes
1930-40 Putting on the Ritz

1930-40 Putting on the Ritz
1940 -50 Make do and Mend
1950-60 All the Vogue

1950-60 All the Vogue
1960-70 Experimental Chic

1960-70 Experimental Chic

1970-80 Flights of Fancy
1980-90 Power Dressing

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A/W 2013 London Fashion Week Round up.

Here's a roundup of my favourite designers from the past seven days of London Fashion Week for A/W 2013 – It may seem eager looking at trends for A/W what without us having Summer yet but who knows the way the weather is here we may be wearing these trends sooner than we expect.

Friday 15th February.


Statement coats were a feature think a move away from Burberry Macs of S/S and instead they have a more sophisticated feel with wide brimmed collars similar to man’s blazer and come in a range of pop colours which are either in block colour, and with a touch of extravagance such as fur and feather colours. Colours to become sweet on are zesty yellow, lime, Barbie pink and soft blue. Not forgetting the unflappable monochrome of black and white. The collection has a sophisticated feel but with glimmers of humour, the chocker dress with peplum ruffles are one of my favourite and the maxi dress with pop art style badges sewn on the side is also a winner.

Central St Martins MA –

The new future of designers emerge from institutions such as Central St Martins, if this rings true for what was shown this A/W 2103 things to expect are gender blurring. The use of textures, layering and pleating shown moved the fabric away from the body allowing it to become its own structure so not dependent on body underneath. This was further reflected in men shown in oversized jumper dress and fish net tights. The future reflected by the current MA students is one of body displacement.

Saturday 16th February.

House of Holland –

Henry Holland signature looks are based on current hipster London girls this collection is no different low hipster baggy jeans, layering of bold print jumper with cigarette trousers or plumped out skirts. As well as a nod to the early 2000s Oasis inspired Parka they come in traditional khaki with fur trimmed hoods and in a navy. My favourite looks from his collection are the psychedelic print dresses they’re not in garish bold colourings but instead subdued that look good with large belt round the middle for glam look, his patent fitted skirts that sit just above the knee also have a glamorous young feel for the new modern worker.

David Koma –

For A/W he said he was inspired by rhythm, sound and movement, I can see this in the collection by his use of pleating and peplum at the hem of dresses and skirts that move in waves as models walk. Peplum is a trend that is set to stay this upcoming A/W. His use of leather in mix of red and black give the designs a tough exterior but by use of embellishment such as waves in sheer on the arms and sheer panelling it balances the dresses so still looks wearable and approachable.

Sunday 17th February.

Mulberry –

The collection felt ‘country glamourfied’ by its use of print such as dog tooth and plaid in its coats, capes and tailored tops. It moved away from country glamour by its transgression to crisp white tailored coat, top, trouser combo, very city chic. Layering was key to this collection with most being layered over mid calf length tailored trousers, its sure to be the new length this A/W. Nightmare for most of the public though highlighting the widest part of calf, Ouch.

Unique –

Extremes of length and structure seems to be the key to this collection. Oversized coats, miniskirts, cropped tops, voluming bell sleeves all make for a contrast of shape. An oversized orange coat adds a striking finish to an outfit. Fabric texture varies by use of heavily clustered sequins giving garments a glimmering snake like feel, mixed with fur. The show stopper outfit modelled by Cara Delavigne model of the year 2012 is a sequined crop top with matching mid calf skirt with large slit up the back, defiantly a key trend for next A/W sequins but heavily clustered all over.

Monday 18th February.

Christopher Kane –

Sophisticated camouflage emerged in forms of flowers that blend into one another over sheer skirts and matching shirts, was also seen in use of colours of brown, mauve and greens that merge into another seamlessly reflecting the light as model walked. It is a retake of the army camouflage trend that we have been seeing lately but re-tailored in a classier way – think urban camo.

Louise Gray –

‘Hey Crazy’ the sign read at the back of Louise Gray catwalk presentation and ‘crazy’ was echoed throughout the collection with brooches and rings in shape of loo roll and dangling furry balls for earrings, definitely crazy accessories. Paint splashes of colour layered over one another mixed in a bric a brac collage style of fabrics make for a bizarre layering of bra over shirts, over peg leg trousers. The trends seen are mixing of bold print and colour- Louise Gray is all about texture and colour this A/W.

J.W. Anderson –

Rhianna esque thigh length splits were prominent throughout the collection. The sexiness of thigh length split skirts and dresses was juxtaposed against roll neck jumpers and half ponchos that cover the shoulders and neck. The recent trend for novelty jumpers is to be replaced this A/W by comic strip print – as seen in dresses and skirts by J.W Anderson.

Tuesday 19th February.

Meadham Kirchhoff –

To be perfectly reasonable there were not many trends that I could see becoming popular this A/W from Meadham Kirchhoff, the collection had a fantasy costume feel about it. There were models in French maid outfits, others in sailor stripes and a mix of tiaras and veils – making for a look that I can’t see on the high street. The only aspects that could be wearable were tailored black and white panelled coats and tailored blazers teamed with pencil skirts.

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Gender Blender Wardrobe

In 1969 modernist designer Rudi Gernreich released his first unisex fashion collection and made a prediction for the future that clothing that ‘will not be identified as either male or female … women and men will wear skirts interchangeably ... the aesthetics of fashion are going to involve the body itself.’
He was right in some respect as the definition of gender wardrobes is becoming more opaque nowadays; it is seen as fashionable for women to wear over sized jumpers and men to wear skinny jeans, which would previously be classified for the other sex. It has moved on from the transsexual image of men in women’s clothing to a more encompassing view that clothes are transformable and androgynous fashion is the next step in translating the notion of masculinity and femininity.

More has been reported on men dressing in female attire but it is the aesthetic that is being challenged in latest fashion collections, there has been a move away from clothing clinging to the body revealing shape but instead garments given structure and shape which is ambiguous to the body underneath.

Brands such as Kooples, All Saints and Cheap Monday on the high street are pretty much genderless in their approach to fashion by their use of monochrome, shape and overall aesthetic that is malleable to the individual. Acne produced a Transsexual Collection in 2010 in which they shown how shirts could be adapted to either sex without a strict gender definition and Cheap Monday jeans are all unisex and they have played on the characteristics of femininity in the ‘Corset Jeans.’

Acne Transsexual collection

Cheap Monday Corset jeans
Levis has introduced the ‘Ex girlfriend Jeans’ which is comical role play from ‘Boyfriend Jeans’ which has a more relaxed fit for women. The Ex girlfriend Jeans are super snug and have that spray on effect which only should be attempted by ultra hip skinny fashion boys, I don’t know what Levis are trying to say though that your ex girlfriend was more stylish than current one and that’s why you’ve got her jeans, either way it’s a look that needs balls to pull off, well ones that can be cleverly concealed. 

It is not just the high street that have shown inspiration towards a genderless wardrobe but couture as well is starting to be questioned. Couture designer Rad Hourani Spring 2013 Haute Couture collection used both male and female models in matching wigs so it was hard at first glance to distinguish between the sexes, his collection showed how both male and female could be equipped in same attire that didn’t show no favour to either sex but instead looked just as good on both.

Rad Hourani 2013 Couture

In summary a gender blender wardrobe consists of items that can be easily adaptable, transformable to modern life with no restriction on sexual definitions. Guys if you are still uncertain of the benefits of unisex clothing look to Kanye West as inspiration he has shown how a Celine 2011 Female shirt can be worn with a masculine approach. 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Monday, 11 February 2013

Casual Couture

Paris Haute Couture fashion week was once viewed as a spectacular
showcase for the designer and not a profitable venture but instead was
destined to show the talents and creativity of designer this s/s 2013 made
 a move away from theatricality to a more wearable concept. There was a
 strong presence of Russian's on budding front row is this an indicator of
couture changing? Russians are now wearing and buying couture as an everyday
piece so the need for casualness and less extravagance is being reflected in
 the designs.

What do you think? Has the golden era of Couture drifted off to a more
commercial setting?

Armani Prive



Elie Saab