Sunday, 29 November 2009

Sunday Fashion Pics

So we have a huge folder of, and list of bookmarks to, fashion pictures which we like, which haven't yet fitted into their own blog posts here, so we thought we'd start posting some more regularly as a sort of 'what's inspiring us today' type thing, except they're not really arranged by 'mood' or anything clever like that, it's more just a random-image-drop-of-stuff-we-like.

From top to bottom (image source):

Chanel emblem bag (The Selby).
Playing card nails (Wah Nails blog).
Still from the 2000 documentary Lagerfeld is Never Happy Anyway (Vice Magazine).
Cassette Playa SS08 Future Primitive (Cassette Playa Blog).
Lagerfeld (as before).
90s model Eve Salvail (source)
Eve Salvail Moschino ad (NYC.com)
Street style (Yvan Rodic)
Comme des Garçons shirt (eBay) not a current listing
Kate Moss for Versace FW07 ad (Frillr)
Copenhagen Street Style (Streethearts)*
Numéro edition 50 (Numero) sequin love
Karl Lagerfeld (as before)


* excuse me while I choke in a state of my comparitive hideousness.

Blog Happenings

It’s a shame I only have time to update Hapsical once or twice a week at the moment (although upcoming holidays = more blogging time!), but I’m just about managing to keep on top of it, and of what’s going on in the fashion ‘blogosphere’ in general.

Just a few blog happenings which have interested me lately:

Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes (who was invited to attend the Bal des Débutantes at the Crillion hotel in Paris last night, where she wore Chanel Hautue Couture, no less…) has, in an unexpected move, deactivated the comments on her blog because “I have never seen the point of a feedback system on a personal style blog.” Jane, as you doubtless know, is a very pretty, slim, well-dressed girl who has an amazing personal style, who really gets fashion, and who owns a collection of designer shoes (and clothes) which seriously exceeds that of most fashion editors by a sizeable margin. It is therefore unsurprising that on most of her posts there would be at least a few malicious comments by jealous (anonymous) commenters, trying to pick apart her fantastical fashion existence. Still, these few unpleasant comments were always vastly outnumbered by comments from adoring fans (like us!!). Jane does rightly point out that a comment which merely goes along the lines of ‘OMG you look amazing, great shoes’ doesn’t really mean much, but I do seriously question the wisdom of cutting out commenters altogether, not least because it is in a sense to concede victory to the jealous haters.

The fact that several hundred people went to the effort to write something nice on each of her posts (even if, in itself, what they had to say didn’t really mean much) shows there is some value in having comments, if not just to please the blog’s readers, who obviously enjoyed leaving nice comments to an extent. Sea of Shoes is a really famous blog, and Jane’s e-fame is such that she even designs shoes for Urban Outfitters under her own name, and this is thanks, at least in part, to her loyal readers and commenters, who have now been distanced. I also worry that by deactivating comments, an integral part of what makes blogging unique is lost, and it becomes more like distant, inaccessible ‘old media’ again. Of course it is Jane’s choice, and I respect that, and nobody should have to put up with abusive comments, but personally I would be terrified to turn off comments, for fear of alienating the majority of readers who are nice and who want to say nice things, and because you lose your feedback system (I for one question posts if they receive no or few comments, although Hapsical is obviously on a much smaller scale than Sea of Shoes). It will be interesting to see if any of the other mega-bloggers like Style Bubble, Fashion Toast, and Style Rookie etc. follow suit, although I really hope they don’t.

I have been chortling away to myself ever since I heard Tavi (of Style Rookie) described as ‘the new Beth Ditto,’ as in fashion’s slightly unexpected obsession du jour, if not just because of the vast physical difference between the two. Tavi is an extraordinary 13 year old, who knows so much about fashion and has a very well developed, unique personal style for any age, let alone 13, but reading her blog these days is just a bit crazy: front row at all the big shows, flying to LA to meet Miuccia Prada, sitting opposite Hedi Slimane at a dinner, in Japan currently to meet Rei Kawakubo…I do feel that part of Tavi’s original idiosyncratic charm has been lost now that she has been so fully embraced by the fashion establishment. I also hope that when things inevitably move on, and fashion finds a new obsession (I mean how last season does Ditto seem now?!), she is let down gently and can just go back to what she does best, namely being the most amazing 13 year old fashion blogger the world will ever see.

After the tragic death of model Daul Kim, her blog remained online for a few days (enabling hundreds of people to leave messages of condolence in the comments section) before access to the blog was restricted. There’s something a bit eerie about looking back on the personal blog of someone who has died (and it was rather distasteful, to say the least, how journalists mined the blog, looking for signs of ‘suicidal tendency’), but I wonder if Google/Blogger and other internet companies (like Facebook, and email providers) are working out, or already have, some sort of protocol for what happens to people’s online lives after they have passed away (offline). This is something I have blogged about before HERE, which I still find myself thinking about from time to time (for the record, I have no intention of dying early!).

Finally, another blog you really should read (as well as Hapsical, of course!): Fashion Editor at Large. A while back, I mentioned that I was lucky enough to attend a couple of London Fashion Week shows thanks to a very cool fashion editor I know… well, this is her blog. In fact, a couple of months ago I sat in her immaculate study in her London house and showed her how to use Blogger, in exchange for juicy fashion gossip, so you really have no excuse not to read her blog! She is Melanie Rickey, and she is the Fashion Editor at Large of Grazia, which is a very successful weekly, glossy fashion magazine in the UK. Because of her job and her experience in the industry, her opinions really are worth reading, people like Christopher (Kane) and Kate (Moss) are on first name terms, and she has loads of exclusive pictures and interviews (check out her interviews with Sarah Mower and Yasmin Sewell, who you will definitely recognise from The Sartorialist and Jak & Jil…)

Zoom on Fashion

Love the zoom feature on Net-a-Porter...

1. Alexander McQueen houndstooth blouse.
2. Christian Louboutin boots.
3. Moschino embellished jacket.
4. Richard Nicoll corset dress.
5. Marios Schwab crystal print dress.
6. Missoni jacket.
7. Yves Saint Laurent metal cuff.
8. Valentino bow shoes.
9. Miu Miu embellished skirt.
10. Lanvin necklace.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Cycle Chic

First image: Jak & Jil for Style.com; Second image: Yvan Rodic.

I've been meaning to post these pictures of super-chic stylist Catherine Baba for a while because, well, wow! Way to cycle in style... when I saw the first picture, I assumed she was just posing with the bicycle, and was no way actually cycling anywhere in those heels, but apparently she bikes all around Paris, in killer heels, turbans, over-size jewellery and big sunglasses no less, as the second picture would also suggest. So beyond fabulous...

Sorry for the recent lack of updates... last week was crazy for work, and this weekend I have been back in London, which has been great. I just feel so much more alive to the world in London than in the 'provinces'...

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Madness

First, some good fashion madness:

Image Source: Zimbio.

As soon as we saw the Alexander McQueen SS10 collection, Daphne Guinness immediately sprang to mind as the most likely candidate to be seen in the shoes first, but then Lady Gaga went and got in there first. Never one to be outdone, though, Daphne appeared at an event in New York a few days ago looking absolutely stunning in a full outfit from the collection:

Images from Style.com (L) and NY Mag (R).

We really hope she gets her hands on some of the more exotic variants of the shoes (like bejwelled ones or the snakeskin ones) and rocks them too: as amazing as they were in Lady Gaga's Bad Romance video, there's something even more thrilling about seeing them being worn in 'real' situations. NY Mag recently did a rather good slideshow (here) of Daphne Guinness' extreme footwear choices including, of course, several pairs of those heel-less Nina Ricci platforms, which now rather pale in comparison to these McQueens.

And now for some bad fashion madness. Yesterday the Jimmy Choo for H&M collection went on sale, and unsurprisingly there are already thousands of pieces up on eBay and people are buying them for over £100 more than their original retail prices:

The bag originally cost £99.99, but someone thought it was worth £200, while the shoes went for over £100 more than their original price of £79.99. Nothing remarkable about this state of affairs (it's always the case after H&M designer collaborations), but what really stands out about this collection is how BAD it is.

We're not the biggest fans of Jimmy Choo anyway (it's tacky, and seems far too 'middle of the road' for such an expensive brand), but even setting aside this personal prejudice, this H&M collection is just not good largely because, one suspects, they are simply trading off the well-known Jimmy Choo name to flog any old stuff to a celebrity-obsessed, label-hungry public. Thanks to celebrity magazines and blogs, and the general obsession with shoes at the moment, Jimmy Choo is quite possibly the best know brand with which H&M have ever collaborated.

For those into glam Jimmy Choo style shoes and bags, the women's accessories are good, and the (non-eBay) prices seem reasonable enough, although we can't personally vouch for the quality; the rest, however, (the men's and women's clothes and the men's accessories) just confuses us. It seems odd for a brand which solely produces women's accessories to be able to conjure up a women's RTW collection and men's accessories and RTW for H&M. Yes, Matthew Williamson did his first menswear for H&M but that had design integrity, it felt very 'Matthew,' and he's in the business of designing clothes anyway. The Jimmy Choo clothes, to put it bluntly, lacked design integrity and were simply trading off the appeal of being able to get a well-known name on the cheap.

At least the womenswear felt a bit 'Jimmy Choo' in that it was very glamorous, a bit trashy, quite sexy, but honestly, sequin vests, leather leggings, faux fur vests... we've seen it all a million times before, and quite how it justifies higher prices (and queuing for six hours) simply by virtue of being attributed to a famous SHOE brand is quite beyond us. It just doesn't make sense to us at all.. "this is my Jimmy Choo jumpsuit" "wow" "yeah, I had to queue in the rain for four hours and then elbow three girls in the face to get it, but it's JIMMY CHOO and it was only £39.99" Yes, but it's just any old black jumpsuit, marked up in price because it's 'Jimmy Choo,' but it hardly counts as a 'designer bargain' because they don't make jumpsuits anyway: never have, and probably never will. The shoes, the bags... fair game, but the clothes are just purely exploiting people's desire to own something, anything, with a label, any label, sewn into it.

And let's not even start on the menswear, which is like a bad version of Zara basics. You can be absolutely sure it will clog the sale rail for months to come, though, because the words 'Jimmy Choo' do not mean anything to the vast majority of men, and why any guy, except the most label-obsessed, would want to pay premium for a basic pair of jeans with the name of a famous WOMEN'S SHOE BRAND emblazoned on the back, is anyone's guess.

To conclude this mini-rant, the whole concept of the collection is flawed, and it seems very cynical. If they had just done women's accessories, and perhaps men's accessories too, it would have seemed much more palatable, but by trying to beat out two RTW collections, as well as a full range of men's accessories, it seems as if H&M are laughing in the faces of gullible, label-obsessed consumers, without even putting in the effort to provide something as good as their other designer collaborations have yielded.

And what's more, because of tighter security and the use of allocated time slots, no scenes like this have so far been reported, which really knocks the whole thing down a further couple of levels for us, if there is not even any entertainment to be had...

Here's to hoping that Sonia Rykiel for H&M raises the bar for H&M designer collaborations again...

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Obsession: Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2006

The Balenciaga FW06 collection was really amazing, probably among our top recent women's RTW collections (along with the floral SS08 Balenciaga collection, but that's definitely worth another post of its own at some point...) so we thought we'd slightly randomly do a post about it. Nicolas Ghesquière referenced the Balenciaga archives, picking up on several of Cristóbal Balenciaga's signature touches like the egg shaped coats and the modish, pure 60s lines of the tailoring and silhouettes, but at the same time the collection felt totally modern and relevant (and indeed it still does):

Images from Style.com - click to see entire collection.

The tall riding style hats made for a very elegant and distinctive silhouette, while the chunky ankle boots (the part of the collection we actually like the least as it happens) became an instant cult hit, which lots of people are still desperately trying to track down (cue eBay mania). There was just such a purity and elegance to the collection that it really is a pleasure to look at.

Video of the show:



Vintage 1960s Balenciaga:

Image from A Material World.

Style Snippets: Louis Vuitton First Aid, Luxirare, Lady Gaga and more

1) Louis Vuitton First Aid Box

LOVE it! Created for the 150th anniversary of the Red Cross, this wonderful one-off Louis Vuitton first aid trunk (so much cooler than their regular monogram bags) will be sold at auction at Sotheby’s in five days to raise money for the charity. Other especially commissioned Louis Vuitton pieces which will also be sold include a photographer’s bag designed by Annie Leibowitz, a dog travel tunk by Marc Jacobs and a medical cabinet by Damien Hirst. Click here to see more.

2) Azzedine Alaïa Studded Shoes

W-O-W! Stunning. £1,120 at Browns.

3) Arena Homme Plus Issue 31

When it comes to editorial men’s fashion, British magazines have a bit of a thing about skinheads by the sea (or skinheads in banal suburban settings), what with all that ‘edginess’ and sexual tension. Often it all seems a bit tortured and contrived, but we do rather like this shot from an editorial in Arena Homme Plus issue 31… the cracked concrete, the familiar-looking but unknown seaside backdrop, the cigarette… it really conjures up a very British, almost quite retro, quite dystopian vibe.. It’s a good piece of men’s fashion photography (despite, um, the lack of clothes to speak of), something which is always rarer to find than in should be.

The rest of the shoot reverts back to all the old homoerotic clichés we’ve seen a thousand times before (half-naked models checking each other out in the shower, dewy-eyed close-ups...), but there are some other strong shots too:

Scans from COÛTE QUE COÛTE - click to see the full story.

4) Luxirare

This part of the post is probably mostly self-serving, because we assume *everyone* already knows about the blog sensation who is Luxirare, but it’s come to the point where we just HAVE to post something about Luxirare because she’s so incredible we just can’t internalise it any longer..

In case you’ve been missing out, here’s what you need to know: Luxirare is a New York girl who is, hands down, the coolest blogger in the world at the moment. Her blog consists of beautifully shot, high-res images of her personal style and of her food and fashion creations. Luxirare has the most amazing personal style (she actually owns the Chanel light bulb illuminated heels and is one of the very few people who could actually make them work), but it’s her food and fashion creations which truly blow the mind. An extraordinary perfectionist, with little formal training, Luxirare makes one-off pieces of clothing which seriously give many well established designers a run for their money, and then there’s her home-made haute cuisine, which would not look out of place in top restaurants:

She brands everything she makes with ‘Luxirare’ labels, and stickers etc. although at the moment she only makes for herself and a few lucky people. We have absolutely no idea how she does it, how she manages to be so beyond perfect and tasteful all the time, but we’re so glad she has started blogging what she does because it truly is a wonderful visual site for food and fashion: it certainly beats reading magazines, and in fact Luxirare really demonstrates why blogs are amazing because she is able to share her passions with the world, and receive well deserved recognition for them, without becoming over-hyped or ‘artificial’ which is always the risk with traditional print/TV media.

Luxirare.com – click to see the full posts associated with these images, and much more. If you’ve never visited before, you must set aside some time and go through all her post archives because you will *DIE*

5) Lady Gaga's Spring/Summer 2010 Alexander McQueen

Just in case you’ve been unconscious/dead to the world for the last few days:


!!!!

We’ve had to change our position on THE shows, because now they’re being rocked by totally the right person we kind of love them… such a stroke of genius by Nicola Formichetti (?) to get them into her video so soon after the show.


PS. How amazing is the new minimalist Google with ‘this space intentionally left blank’… here’s to hoping they keep it like that, and it’s not just one of their special themes…

Edit: Apparently it's a new layout Google has been randomly testing on different users for about a month.. shame it's not permanent, yet.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Fake Fest

When Hapsical was in Marrakech a few years ago, we were amused by all the designer fakes for sale everywhere, especially when the fakers had shown some creativity by inventing items that don't even exist as 'real' (Gucci basketball, anyone?), or by re-interpreting the designers' typeface and packaging (loved the stall selling just the one box of 'Prada' shoes - think we blogged this one before):

Anyway, the reason for this post is that somebody just emailed us a link to a Flickr stream ('The Big Rip Off' by 'Spanier' - link HERE) with pictures of fakes from another North African souk, this time in Tunisia. His pictures are even funnier though, because the brand names on all the products have been altered so they're still recognisable as the big brands we know, but Hugo Boss, for instance, has become Hugu Boos. It's actually quite surreal and it makes us question things like the value we attach to certain brand names:

Real Prada and D&G sold here, obviously...



Click HERE to see more.