Fashionitis

This is a lovely little story about fashion and the people behind it who make it with their hands and dedication. A reminder not to take their work for granted. Their stories are with you.

Handprint from White Lodge on Vimeo.

I love love love this introduction video to the new YSL (now Saint Laurent) helmed by Hedi Slimane. Hedi went away from fashion for a while but was always creatively busy and now, amidst some controversy and a lot of nerves comes back to one of the most famous couture fashion houses in the world.
What is lovely about this video is of course the long long pans across the gorgeously lit models and clothes and the beautiful music and lyrics but also the mood is contrary to what you would imagine a big announcement (which this is) would look like. I like that it takes a different tact entirely, with a soft but powerful crossing over from history into the new future. Created by Kati Nesher and Chirstopher Owens, what creative minds, to take risks in filming this way, really adore their vision here.

I wasn’t sure where to stick this video as my work website is being ripped up and gutted and prepared for some seriously killer media so I’m leaving the boys to work on that and not throw any Gaga at them! But you my dear blog friends really need to watch this. It’s the future of video. If you or anyone you know is still shooting in a non-intimate way please tell them to stop, no one needs that kind of story any more. Take off your veneers I say! Be real! Be entertaining! Be clever! Funny! Spontaneous! Be something but don’t be rehearsed and practiced and overposed with bad lighting.Think experience versus PRAH-DUCT.

I am so in love with Garance Doré. I won’t embed every single one of her videos but suffice it to say, if you are a fashion freak like I am, you already know her but for those of you who don’t, be prepared to waste some time ’cause you’re going to love her content. Okay, not waste time, wrong word, spend some time. In my case it’s more like devour, drool, devour, drool, love, love, oohhh love, and more love. She’s just so….French…and fabulous. Also, a great illustrator, photographer and has an unfailing eye for video editing. Not to mention a crushing blog and writing style that is so charming. J’adore Garance, je’taime!

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Oh more Ruth Hogben! Yay! This time for Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs. ‘Fanclub’ is a delight in every way, from the showgirl, old-Hollywood feel to the typical deliriously gorgeous lighting design of Ruth’s, to the graphic shapes of feather, girls, and legs, legs, legs! What a fun film. Love you Ruth. Love you.

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As I have mentioned on here before, I adore the work of Ruth Hogben, and I recently came across her collaboration with Lady Gaga and Nick Knight for Gaga’s Monster tour. See below. Fashion meets film meets theatre.

The iconic look of Lauren Bacall just never goes out of fashion. She was such a dynamo, the clothes never wore her, she conquered every room she ever walked into with the force of her personality. But her suits in ‘To Have and Have Not’ are just incredible. Nipped in at the waist, clinging to her long legs, powerful shoulders and that gorgeous mane of hair–no wonder Humphrey fell head over heels for her. Here’s a great scene that made her famous; notice how she tosses that match behind her, what attitude!


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While everyone else in the fashion world is turning to knits and fall colours and felt and wool, Riccardo Tisci designer for Givenchy, has designed a collection made for angels. Brilliant, heart-stopping, couture all in delicate, airy, heavenly, shades of white. All I can say is, Bravo!

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Film stars

Some folks watch golf or football or the stocks–my obsession is fashion. I love fashion film–it is the perfect storm of beauty, design, and story. One of my favourite fashion filmmakers is Ruth Hogben. Ruth has done a lot of work with Nick Knight who was her mentor and boss when she started out but she is now a well-established artistic force of her own. I could literally watch her work all day. Her architectural, liquidy-sexual direction combined with an edgy theatrical eye for editing just makes everything she does provocative, inspiring, and memorable.She is a daily inspiration as I experiment with digital storytelling and transmedia.

This film she did with designer Gareth Pugh Pitti. It is transformative, a true journey so please commit to this artist’s vision and get a glass of wine, sit down and be transported to a more creative place–with full screen and oh turn your speakers waaaaaaayyy up!

Here is a commercial film she did for Givenchy Spring 2011. Oh la la gorgeous:

For those of you who want to see a little edgier work of Ruth’s, here is the link to a project she was a part of called the Fashion Body. Ruth’s body part was buttocks (warning, adult content): http://showstudio.com/project/fashionbody/video/buttocks

Glamour Days

Great hotels and fashion are inextricably linked. One of my favourite hotels (on my bucket list to vist) is the Hotel Cipriani.  The story goes that Guiseppe Cipriani (1900–1980) founded the infamous Harry’s Bar in Venice in 1931. Apparently, Harry’s Bar was founded after Cipriani was working at the Hotel Europa in Venice and loaned a Harry Pickering (then a customer) 10,000 lire  in 1929 at the beginning of the Depression. Pickering paid him back 50,000 lire which Cipriani used to start the bar. Harry’s Bar is well known as a major watering spot for fashionista and celebrities and I’ve always been in love with the Italy of the 50’s and 60’s when holidaying was a glamorous sport with high style. Brigitte Bardot was often spotted in and around Harry’s (Hemingway and Jackie Onassis were also regular visitors) and she often visited (and filmed) on the island of Capri where she stayed at the beautiful Hotel Gatto Bianco. Another wonderful story lies behind this hotel and is rooted in family with a love of hospitality and high glamour delivered with discretion and luxury service. I think Bardot encapsulates this era and I adore her style back then, just so carefree and sexy. I don’t think anyone has come close to her since.

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The Ghost of McQueen?

When Alexander McQueen died, I was very sad. Because the world lost a great artist. And I haven’t wanted to see his collections under someone else’s hand because it wasn’t him, just his house, his name, and how could it possibly live up to his genius? The Fall collection has made me take pause and give credit where it is due. It is not McQueen, no, but it is nevertheless design on its highest level, with a vision, says McQueen’s successor, Sarah Burton, of strength, which clearly comes through in each design.  “I was thinking about an ice queen. Someone strong and noble and romantically powerful.” Have a look below and I think you’ll agree this is a significant talent.

If you normally read fashion magazine, but don’t look at fashion blogs, or man-on-the-street fashion photography, let me share some links with you that are just stunning because well, they’re real women. Kind of. The most fabulous women on Parisian streets. Uhm, right outside a Chanel or Fendi show but they’re not ‘technically’ models.

Here’s an amazing photographer, Tommy Ton, who I adore:

http://www.style.com/trendsshopping/stylenotes/020911_Tommy_Ton_F2011RTW/

The Sartorialist, the ‘uber-fashion-street-god’, who really was the first guy to make a living doing this kind of reportage, warning, you’ll become addicted:

http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/

Here’s a cute and feminine and beautifully designed site I am inspired by:

http://cocokelley.blogspot.com/

So, have a look at these and please share some links of fashion blogs you are inspired by too!

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I recently watched the King’s Speech and if you haven’t popped out to the theatre and are thinking you’ll rent–please don’t. Just get off your duff and go sit in the dark and watch some true acting craft unfold along with stunning costume design and cinematography–you will enter into a period in history where gentlemen wore tux’ to dinn-ah, and Wallis Simpson was unabashedly sashaying her divorced self in front of the world. Clearly, Simpson is still driving some fashion trends to this day as John Galliano, genius designer for Christian Dior, has channeled her winsome, flirty style and cleverly shot his Fall 2011 pre-show (a little tease for those of you new to couture) in a Balmoral-esque setting . Here are some of my favourite pieces from the collection, you’ll see it is indeed a bit of an Ode to Scotland as– I simply can’t wait to see the entire line!

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