Fashion Week highlights

After a slightly longer than planned break from the blog (mainly thanks to turning 20, moving out, starting uni and just generally adjusting to the adult life), I’m back baby! Since I was last active on here, the many different worldwide fashion weeks have been taking place and I’ve been briefly browsing through each of the shows. However, today I took some time out to collect my thoughts together and share some of my personal favourite moments, the things I thought were a bit dry, and all the drama involved in between (ESPECIALLY that Chanel show).

Favourite shows:

Alexander McQueen

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So obviously I’m going to have to start off with mentioning that Sarah Burton absolutely killed the McQueen show, without a doubt. She brought back Lee’s signature usage of lace and leather in a much more contemporary manor than current practices from other modern day houses, which felt as if Lee was still alive in the collection. She even managed to find an equal balance between sustaining the McQueen legacy whilst continuing to push the brand into her own direction with wearable and current styles that I can definitely see being a popular choice for next years red carpets.

Valentino

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Valentino also surprised me this time with their choice of colours, or should I say, their lack of it. Many of the looks first seen down the runway were in a block white, leaving most of the focus on the art of garment construction that I think they really wanted to emphasise on in today’s fast fashion and faster trends world. Some of the collection also featured illuminated colours that follow on from his recent shows, however I think that these were a much more commercial decision in response to the current neon trend (art and depth is all good but I get that a brands gotta make money at the end of the day and those with money have no idea what to spend it on that’s worth it).

Louis Vuitton

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I’m also quite shocked to say that Louis Vuitton really impressed me this season too. Yes they were yet another brand to be focusing on 70’s silhouettes and colour palettes (not that I’m complaining) yet I think they really hit the nail on the head between referencing history whilst making it contemporary. The tailored jackets were a personal favourite, especially the ones in a PVC/vinyl material that really updated the overall look of the garment whilst being recognisably ‘vintage’. Some of the prints weren’t really necessary, but I mean ugly prints were a key feature of the 70’s so I mean at least they’re being on brand.

Needs some work:

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It’s hurts me to say this, but I just couldn’t enjoy the Miu Miu show. As much as I adore the Miu Miu brand and I don’t want to go against sweet little fashion grandma Miuccia Prada’s work and soul, I just didn’t know what was going on. There was such a lack of strong elements that I associate with Miu Miu; there just wasn’t enough colour to make all the boxy jackets look a bit less Chanel fall 2019, all the added ruffle details were kept safe and didn’t really look that exciting, and don’t even get me started on those hippie Santa gilets. Miu Miu is the fun younger cousin of Prada that doesn’t have as much of history to live up to and is more commerically aimed to a younger audience, so the last thing I’d expect a young rich heiress to be wearing is a sad grey sleeveless blazer to  cocktail party or a yacht trip, it just doesn’t work.

Dior

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Dior, get your sh*t together. That’s all I have to say.

Chanel

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Chanel, oh Chanel. I don’t even know where to begin with this one. The set was nice? Oh I give up, the collection was boring. Now I understand that this is Virginie’s first independent Spring/Summer collection without any input from Karl, but I was still expecting more than this. If the woman worked with Karl for over 30 years as the main co-ordinator of all his ideas, then you should have some kind of understanding of the way in which fashion has developed and is developing in todays world. If your inspiration was the Parisian woman and the complete construction of her wardrobe, then why is a balloon sleeved denim two piece set with lace trim running through it even in your mind in the first place?

Each piece was either just a direct copy of every single Chanel show prior to now, or something that Chanel would never ever be associated with. I hate to dig at another artists work but it’s clear to see the panic and rush behind the collection and there’s no doubt in my mind that Virginie and the rest of the Chanel team didn’t feel complete or successful when finalising this ‘collection’ if you can even call it that. I think that the company needs time to really focus on the ways in which Karl was only just starting to direct the brand in a positive way just before his late death, and they need to be inspired once again by their own history and their position today and thus understand what message they want to put out. Image result for chanel intruder

As for the Youtuber Marie Benoliel managing to intrude on the show, enough to get escorted off from Gigi Hadid of all people, and become the most spoken about event of the entire Chanel show, this speaks volumes for how dry and unimaginative the show was. Not just for the drama of an imposter, that has happened on many occasions whether it be PETA activists at shows featuring real fur, or even cats strolling their way across the catwalk. When a car set on fire accidentally at one of McQueen’s old shows, people thought nothing of it because it was presumed to be a part of the show. A car sets on fire and nobody bats an eyelid whereas some random nobody walks onto the stage in an unprovoking manor and yet its headline news, what does that say about the show? What does that say about your clothes, your audience even? They walked away from a CHANEL show and all they had to talk about was a nobody. 

So, my overall opinion of this fashion week is that the Alexander McQueen brand is the only imaginative and inspiring thing that the fashion industry can clutch onto for dear life, everyone else needs to hire some exciting raw talent in order to provide a future for their brand and keep food on their tables for years to come. 

See you soon for a less ranty piece,

Sophie x

Remembering Karl

Today marks the loss of one of the fashion industry’s most iconic figures of all time, Mr Karl Otto Lagerfeld. Born in Hamburg, Germany in September 1933, Karl had always been a creative individual even before his career at Chanel. Working for brands such as Chloe and Fendi, whilst also exploring his artistic capabilities within photography. Despite his controversial opinions and famous feuds, it’s without a doubt that Karl has had a very influential role in the development of the fashion industry over the past 5 decades.

His making

Chanel is where Karl really made an a-list name for himself. As a brand that had lost it’s founding creator and visionary, Chanel had faced a tough few years after the death of Gabrielle Chanel back in 1971. With a lack of direction and purpose, the brands owner at the time Alain Wertheimer had chosen to focus on the production of perfumes and lousy copies of old designs within their clothing collections, just in order to keep the name alive.

More than ten years after Gabrielle’s death and at a time of fatal decline for Chanel, Alain Wertheimer had chosen Karl to become the brands new creative director in order to save the company. Karl said back in October 2017 “when I took over at Chanel, everyone said to me ‘don’t touch it, it’s dead…’ and I said to myself, ‘I love that people think that, now let’s see.'”

How he saved Chanel

Karl has always declared that his designs are not like Gabrielle’s and he believes she would hate his direction for the brand if she could see it. Although he understood the importance of heritage at Chanel, he was also very business driven and he believed that in order for Chanel to survive, the brand needed to redirect their classic styles to be appealing towards a younger audience. He wanted loyal, mature clients who have followed the brand for many years to be able to bring their daughters into stores to also appreciate their designs.

In order to do this, Karl rejuvenated their classic pieces to become more flattering and sexy for a younger audience, whilst still keeping the history and aesthetic of Chanel within the garments. By the late 90’s, Chanel was once again one of the most appealing and ‘in’ labels for any 20 year old woman to be wearing.

Where it went wrong, and then right again

As for his recent designs, there is a clear deterioration in Karl’s sources of inspiration for his collections at Chanel. The ‘same sh*t, different season’ mentality has been quite prominent and had forced Chanel to become a lesser anticipated brand for each season, until Karl’s last show.

The Spring 2019 couture show was very heavily inspired by 18th century, his favourite century to be exact. Despite how much this period had styles that Gabrielle would detest to use within her brand if she were alive today, Karl has always emphasised on balancing the differences between him and Chanel. In particular, he had managed to surprise everyone with beautiful pennier dresses that completely defied Chanel’s original loose fitting, comfortable and movable designs, yet he delivered them in the brands traditional muted colour scheme which just seemed right.

With the show being such a success, it made it even more confusing as to why Karl didn’t attend. At age 85 with over thirty years at the brand, his presence is often what people would consider to be the final touch to the show. He is an iconic figure with an iconic look and an iconic identity. His lack of attendance to the show seemed completely out of character and had left a lot of people confused, and so the questions started to rise ‘is he giving up? Does he not care for the brand anymore?’

His passing

To now know that Karl has been facing some ill health which has thus led to his recent death is heartbreaking, especially as a director that people has began to get excited for his visions again. Despite the drama and few questionable collections Karl has produced, he has been the driving force behind resurrecting Chanel and reimbursing it’s history into the 21st century. Along with that he has brought humour and drama to the fashion industry that it simply can’t live without. Overall, he’s an unforgettable character.

Rest in peace Karl.

Embracing or neglecting trends?

Whether you love them or hate them, trends are the secret that keeps high street shops in business when it comes to relying on the same customers every season. Usual trends can be based on a specific decade or social movement, a certain mood or even our political state every now and again.

From western chic to 90’s glam, these are labelled as trends because of their ability to come in and out of fashion, giving the industry the chance to be constantly renewing decades worth of styles in order to be seen as ‘new’ when logically they should be labelled ‘bet you haven’t seen this in a while’. The idea of trends is already a controversial topic within the fashion industry, so I thought I’d go into some of them.

I’ll be honest, I love trends. Well actually, I love the idea of trends. As a student that’s aiming to get into the fashion industry in the future, I get very excited for each fashion week and getting access into designers ideas for the current season. Having the ability to remind yourself of styles that shouldn’t have existed in the first place, yet are now being resurrected at the fashion industries ability to sell anything with a tag on it.

Trends can often be a way of discovering your own personal style, as they give the ability for a regular change up of shop floors and magazine spreads, thus we’re constantly being shown new things everyday. This exposure to different colours, shapes and moods can influence our ability to form opinions on what we like and dislike.

However, a common issue within the business is when high fashion brands try to rely on trends as a way of playing it safe during each season. In today’s market, it’s incredibly easy to copy and reproduce clothing with just a few adjustments made in order to look like a unique concept to that house. This is then repeated for high street brands to copy, thus giving us 3 or 4 main leading shops with exactly the same clothes in each window.

But at what are the boundaries with trends? How involved can we become with trends before we lose our individuality? Should we even acknowledge trends at all?

The problem with this is the idea that you have to buy into trends in order to be seen as fashionable. This is in fact far from the truth as what we like and what we think represents us is our style. It may sound a bit cheesy, but you can not care about what you wear or you can put as much thought into it as you want, it’s your style!

Now although there is no right or wrong answer to a persons individual style, it’s whether or not that person is dressing in a way to please themselves or to please those around them that’s an issue. Yes our taste can alter as we age, but it’s quite common to see people completely changing their style to fit in with current trends, especially if they may have previously disliked the style or they couldn’t see themselves wearing it even a year afterwards. Some current themes can work great with the clothes we already have and what enjoy wearing, but we shouldn’t be basing our own dress sense on being trendy, as that’s when we loose our individuality.

Now whether or not you care for trends or not, it’s always a wise idea to view them with a pinch of salt. It’s an open opportunity to try out a new form of dressing. If you’re feeling the need to update your wardrobe then it’s a great chance to add in a new piece or two, but don’t try to change your own style in order to fit in with trends!

Thanks for reading,

Sophie x

August favourites

So I know that August has pretty much flew by (as did the rest of the year for that matter) and although I didn’t really leave my bed at all for the entire month, I’ve still managed to collect a small amount of favourites from this month from the days in which I did actually leave my house. Here are a few pieces in my wardrobe that I’ve been really loving throughout the past month, so I hope you enjoy reading through them all!

1. Pearl Handbag – Skinnydip

I am a HUGE fan of the upcoming British designer brand Shrimps, famously known for their unique structured bags made entirely out of pearls. Although I have promised myself that the white Antonia bag will one day be mine, I was on the hunt for a similar yet more affordable dupe of the design, which as of lately has been quite a common appearance in many retail stores, Zara and Mango to name a few. As a matter of fact, I was surprised to see that even the accessory brand Skinnydip had released their own stunning version of this bag, which is the exact one that I’d picked up for myself. For the past few weeks I’ve been continuously styling it with pretty much any outfit I wear due to how versatile it is for such a statement piece. This type of bag can really dress up an outfit or nicely compliment an already formal look, so it’s definitely worth an investment!

2. Purple cardigan – Primark

As the colder months might actually be approaching us after our ongoing summer heatwave finally ends, I thought it would be a good time to invest in a chunky oversized cardigan. Despite the specific colour scheme of autumnal shades that most shops stick to at this time of the year, I wanted something a bit brighter that would work with the clothes I already own, which is when I found this gorgeous purple one from Primark. I’ve been pretty much living in it for the past few weeks (as you can very obviously tell from my instagram) since it’s just so comfy and works with so many different things just to chuck on and keep warm in.

3. Blue metallic loafers – New Look

Now these are what I like to refer to as my guilty pleasure shoes. You either love them or you hate them, but I’m always down for experimenting with unusual patterns or colours on certain pieces of clothing, so these blue metallic loafers from New Look were DEFINITELY a must have in my wardrobe. Contrasting to what your main thoughts on the styling of these might be, I’ve actually found them to work with all kinds of different outfits in my wardrobe, as I find that the metallic shine just adds so much more dimension to an outfit. Oh yeah, and they were £2 in the sale?!?! Seriously you can’t go wrong with that.

4. Wide leg jeans – Glamorous

A person having a favourite style of jeans is pretty much the same concept as them having a favourite particular kind of pizza: yeah you might occasionally mix it up with some different toppings (you might try have a few different styles of jeans you wear from time to time) but you’ll always have that one type that you’ll always rely on. For me, I’ve experimented with a few different styles over the years, but I typically like to go for relaxed fits like mom style or straight cut, but my absolute favourites have got to be wide legged. This style offers a much more androgynous shape to a classic pair of jeans, which I quite like from time to time since a lot of my wardrobe is quite hyper feminine. Not only do I find them to be more chic than regular fitted jeans, but they’re also a lot more comfortable and breathable in, not to mention the fact that they can make a simple outfit look a lot more put together. Fun fact about this particular pair: I found them in a charity shop about a year ago for a whopping 25p!

5. Spotted smock dress – Lazy Oaf

Another one of my favourite independent British fashion labels is the Carnaby based Lazy Oaf. The shop is small in size but huge in global recognition, mainly due to their regular feeding of uniquely shaped and patterned garments you simply couldn’t find anywhere else. Since a lot of their pieces can be quite pricey and also sell out super quick and become really rare to find, I mainly search on Depop to try and find any more affordable pieces that I could add to my tiny but ambitious collection. My most recent find (and both the cheapest and the one that I get the most wear out of) is this light pink spotted smock dress they released a few years ago. The main thing that drawn me to this piece was the pattern; the spots vary is size and shape which looks quite different in comparison to regular polka dots, but the loose shape of the dress also gives it a lot of movement for the pattern to look even better on. The flow of the dress keeps it comfortable, whilst the upper half being a shirt style top keeps it from looking too casual. Overall, it’s a great piece to just chunk on when you still want to look like you made an effort!

Thank you for taking the time out to read this, I love writing about specific topics within fashion, but I also occasionally like to just share some of my own personal items and outfits!

Thanks again,

Sophie x