When I was 15, a friend’s mother kindly introduced me to a curator at the V&A’s fashion department, where I spent a week’s work experience. The exhibition they were putting on at the time and I remember listening with bafflement to tales of Martin Margiela, unsure why I was meant to admire a man for putting mould on tweed suits and deliberately making “ugly” clothes. I liked McQueen and Galliano, but avoided searching out Margiela any further.
I was surprised therefore to see that the show at Antwerp’s MoMu (fashion museum) was titled Margiela: The Hermes Years. What would this designer have to do with a rather stuffy fashion house best known for its scarves and handbags? I couldn’t imagine it, but the show was a revelation.
Simply displayed against plain white or Hermes-orange walls, the clothes were ultra-luxe, genuinely timeless in emphasising quality over passing whims, and yet not boring.
There were defiant surrealist touches – a dress made out of fake engagement rings, a pair of stockings for a coat belt, a string of plastic jewels “staining” a dress with light or blood – but mostly just superb plays of texture against each other and immaculate cutting.
It’ll never be my budget, and Margiela’s colour palette wouldn’t suit me anyway, but you see totally why these clothes were #lifegoals for his audience.
all photos August 2017.
Inexplicable wish to buy this jumper and run around in it all holiday with a pair of short forest green shorts. Totally impractical as if it’s hot enough for me to wear shorts there’s no way I’ll be in a jumper, so can only guess that childhood self-indoctrination along the Swallows and Amazons / Enid Blyton lines is emerging again in this city girl. #timeforaholiday
If you’re new to stumbling across these posts (welcome!), you may not know of my longing to be a shirt woman.
This was re-ignited by seeing Ann + Elizabeth on Friday; they are definitely shirt women.
Luckily here comes Maison Lebiche to the rescue, with their delicate embroidery as secret code on sweatshirts and collars. Images from the MB Instagram account.
I’ve followed Kristabel at I Want You To Know on and off for about three years now, and she’s the reason I’ve given Boden’s clothes a go again, after thinking of them as Country-Sloane-central all my life. She’s also a girl after my own heart with her love of travel.
However, apart from her style, energy and love of colour (yes! SUCH a relief to find a style blogger who’s not always mooching round in shades of beige, looking smug/sulky), what makes Kristabel hit it out the park is her blogging with a conscience.
Unlike other writers, whose “what I’ve learnt” posts breathe of carefully-constructed interview-style answers and humble-bragging, Kristabel is honest about the learning curve she’s out herself on and the challenges of being self-employed. Even greater to see are these deeply authentic posts about black, female entrepreneurs, ethical gift guides (with gifts that you actually want), and interviews with other business-women about being the different one in the room. For my vote, the entrepreneurs posts could be a series on a par with A Cup of Jo’s Motherhood Around the World: direct, honest and enlightening.
I particularly liked the point that whilst the fashion sector claims to champion difference, the money-trail is far more cautious. And I’d suggest that there’s an element of questioning to be done about if marketing commissioning editors and their teams actually know where to go and look for the new voices. Diagnostic algorithms on your own social media feed are hardly going to help…
Much to chew on, and always worth a read. Plus, what a great gallery wall!
(All images via Kristabel’s blog)
Feathers, fur, jewels, clay, lace, brocade, wool.
Light and dark and mottled.
All photos February 2017 from the Burberry Maker’s House, a display of their new collection (a fantasy of capes and cloaks) amongst some of Henry Moore’s most luscious bronzes and a tempting array of fruits and cake.
From the 1920s, Romaine Brooks’ self-portrait of 1923 and an evening coat attributed to Paul Poiret, 1925.
Images from Melissa Huang art and Fripperies and Fobs.
As my friends can attest, I would so go for these shoes from the wonderfully-titled Golden Ponies. Found via Oh Joy.
These might be men’s pyjamas but I’d still love a pair myself. The Cecil Chambray pyjamas from Poplin.
Fully how I intend to be today, turban most definitely included. Loveliness from the Callot Soeurs, 1926, via Pinterest.