PersonalClothink - A new brand doing clever clothing

Every Friday in December and the first in January, fashion designers in Las Palmas Gran Canaria throw open their workshops and/or create events so that part of their sales go to charity; and because The Three Kings on the 6th January is the traditional day for present giving in Spain, it's the perfect way to pick up some great New Year's bargains whilst supporting a charity too! 20131228-000259.jpg

I discover designer Argelia from PersonalClothink at the Fashioneta Caravan Market, where although busily selling her sweats and tees, she gives me a couple of minutes to run through her brand. 'These are no normal tees,' she says, 'they are toxic free.' They are OEKO-TEX Standard 100, made with sustainability criteria (GOTS: Global Organic Textile Standard) and fair for textile workers (FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION).

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The quality, design and feel of the tee are special. The material is so soft. It's seriously the best organic tee I've seen for a while. Add the great graphics and you know why they're   selling fast! I ask her if she is planning to add some more styles to her collection? She answers that she's planning on a dress, but not until summer...OOH BIG WAIT!

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Swimwear and Lingerie - Mencey Fashion Room | Part 2

The first time I set eyes on Nadia Persa - a fellow blogger and our hostess for Mencey Fashion Room’s bloggers event - I knew she was one special lady! Rocking a Gonzales Underwear slip and a grey sweater like it was the most natural thing to wear in the world while in the hallway of a five star hotel in the very Spanish capital city, of a not-so-open-minded Tenerife, was AWESOME! 20131215-235159.jpg

Anyway it was here that I met Antonio Sangoo, a swimwear designer who showcases his pieces for men and women at GC Moda Cálida and his children’s collection in FIMI. He has an international clientele that ranges from Moscow to Buenos Aires and is looking to show in both cities next year.

Having heard so much about his swimwear pieces, I was excited to touch and feel them first hand. And although most of the women’s swimwear collection was at his Madrid Showroom for press, the limited pieces on show were pretty spectacular. They were both delicate and structured with a definite nod to lingerie. You could almost see Dita Von Teese swimming in champagne (that's if she does anything that basic) and I know it would be perfect as a body with jeans or shorts.

Antonio is a man in love with his creations and the female form. He took great pleasure in explaining the different combinations of materials and the way it works on the body. Almost all the material is sourced in Europe before being designed and manufactured in Gran Canaria. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we will coincide somewhere in the world for one of the intimate tea parties he throws for press and when fitting private clients.

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A big thank you to Maria – although she’s a poet she was game to take photos while I did my thing.

Photo above Nadia Persa & Carmen Gonzales chatting lingerie.

Bloggers Event - Mencey Fashion Room | Part 1

The Mencey Fashion Room is only in its second edition, and with 40 rooms of this beautiful 5 star hotel full of fashion, beauty, music, decoration, workshops and cakes, it's definitely the most popular shopping event this side of Christmas in Tenerife. Being invited by blogger Nadia Persa to view five designers from Gran Canaria Moda Calida, seemed the perfect opportunity for me to catch up on some last minute Christmas shopping and meet up with the blogging fraternity, Island-side! Todas chicas guapísimas: El Mundo de Mis Palabras, Well Living Blog, Me My Heels and I, MODA Canaria and Cafe con Clau, it was fun meeting you!

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Although her brand is only three years old, Elena Rubio is fast becoming known for her swimwear - for both woman and children, as well as her 'Provençal style' communion dresses. Today though, Elena was launching her women's AW2014 capsule collection and mainline together with another younger label Cristina Arragon, designed by her daughter. The collections focus on the trimmings and I particularly liked Cristina's short sleeveless top with feathers starting at €55.

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Abotonados: 4 Designers 1 Label, The Canary Islands

It's certainly novel. I had heard great things about Oliver Hernandez's his work and his finish. Things aren't easy in fashion in Gran Canaria. Materials and trained labour are a difficulty; so getting together with three other like-minded creative designers seemed like the best way to share the burden of starting up. I am really intrigued as to how they work it? Do they all design? This is after all their third collection. It started with I love Abotonados, then came Crazy Africa, and now OCM, which is their SS14 collection. Something has definitely got to be working.

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Speaking to the gorgeous and very relaxed Oliver at Hotel Santa Catalina he explains that all of the Abotonados team design, although some prefer the pattern cutting, or the sewing element of the collection process.

For the OCM SS14 collection, the designs are solely Oliver's. His inspiration is the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly. Utilising the colours to separate the stages, the stripes signify being the caterpillar, the solid browns and greens for the chrysalis and the burst of red and orange symbolise the full-blown butterfly, and the collection dances before my eyes!

Although the sampling pieces are in silk, the label is commercialising in made fibres in order to keep their pieces accessible to their chosen market, so all will be under €100. WOW.

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I want to know where I can buy their collection, NOW. The Canaries are never really being cold, so for SS14 the collection will be retailing in the south of the island. But at the moment they do private orders from their atelier in the capital, Las Palmas.

Oliver also mentions Abotonados is also excited about designing the female clothing for a mini YouTube series, Buscando Romeo, hitting the internet nationwide next year. I love this cross marketing. It's creative and gets their work exposed to a larger audience.

I personally love pants and jumpsuits and Abotonados' high-waisted pants are fantastic for us girls who want to look leaner and longer. I am so there - at their atelier!

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Model - Dasury Jeong Trujillo

Bosinko - Two Designers with Two Styles

They have one thing in common. They love real stones, Swarovski and fresh water pearls, and jewellery that is individually made. They won't do plastic and no two pieces are alike! Bosinko's Shara is Italian and uses thread and bead work to form intricate patterns. When she tried to explain the mathematical rows and lanes she uses in her work, it nearly gave me a headache. 'They're just to beautiful to be dissected,' I proclaimed.

There is something totally renacimiento about her colours. They're rich, intricate and elegant. When they say the Italians have a colour combination inside their DNA, they're so totally right. Shara is the perfect example. Her pieces, like Klimt patterns, are made into rings, brooches, earrings, pendants and bridal adornments.

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Bosinko's Mirta is Argentinian and jewellery is just one of the mediums for her creative output. She designs clothes and is part of the whole Tenerife 'carnival set'. Her pieces tend to be big and shout colour. There is certainly no blending here. You wear her jewellery to be seen. Belts and necklaces are really her thing where jewellery is concerned. When you turn your eye to any of her pieces it's like a journey of discovery. There are stones and colour and filigree intermingled with exotic pools of metals and other textures.

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The girls at Bosinko have their atelier in Toscal, Santa Cruz and are exclusive to Mithings boutique in Playa Las Americas. As well as being stocked at Big Bang Abbigliamento and Maddalena Intimo in Bosa Sardinia , Italy.

Thank you to Mariana, my beautiful Bosinko brand ambassador.

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The View or The Knickers?

Stepping into Carmen Gonzales Lingerie's new, big New York-style loft, which houses her atelier, I am hard pushed as to where to park my eyes. On one side there are the rows of silk beauties that make up her collection. On the other, there is a view to die for! I am afraid it's got to be the lingerie.

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Carmen makes one collection a year, but it's divided into two colour ranges. She also keeps a separate basics line, which runs stock throughout the year. My own travelling underwear comes from this basic line and I am really too shy to say how long I have had them for.

It's just they are so hardy and gorgeous, and dry perfectly overnight! I mention this phenomenon to her and she screams with laughter!

'It doesn't make very good business sense, verdad? Hmm, I guess not. But, on the plus side I do think of her daily!

20131207-000436.jpg Today my lust falls on the knee-length slips above (75 euros) and her fabulous knickers below. These peek-a-boo knickers (49 euros) come in two versions. The ones with a silk ribbon tie - very feminine, very pretty and extremely popular, and the others that come with adjustable little straps, which Carmen and I both prefer. Both versions come in either a gunmetal black and wine silk satin or black and pink tulle. They're adorable little gifts for Christmas and each comes in it's own cigar box.

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But, I leave perplexed! I can't figure it out, why do I prefer the knickers with the strap so much more?  and it's only when I get back to Hotel Santa Catalina and show a couple of friends that the penny drops!

I am too independent! I want to wear gorgeous underwear everyday for me, for myself, so am I really going to be hanging around waiting for someone to lace them up delicately for me ?  Hell, no.

Camen Gonzalez underwear will be showing next weekend the 14th December at the Mencey Fashion Rooms. She will have her entire array of silk goodies on display, and again, they are the perfect Christmas presents.

I will see you there!

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Rose Amber - The All Year Round Luxury Summer Brand

Christmas might conjure up images of cosy snow-covered cottages, evergreen conifers and open roaring fires – but for me, Christmas also means holiday season. The winter break is the perfect time to escape the city and go grab some sun. But as ever, there’s the eternal question. What on earth pack when absolutely nowhere is stocking summer clothes? Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 15.16.54

Well if you’re going away this Christmas there should only be one brand on your radar: Rose Amber. Specialising in kaftans, their debut Jaipur collection is to die for, and they sell summer wear all year round – because the sun is always shining somewhere. Small enough to fit in your suitcase, glam enough to brighten up your wardrobe and ethically conscious too. What’s not to like? For someone who’s always on the move like me, these things are a godsend. I can't wait to sit poolside at Hotel Hacienda de Abajo in my Rose Amber. I went for frangipani. I go mad for anything orange – the colour was all over the Spring/Summer 2014 catwalks!

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Available in a range of seven colours – bluebell, frangipani, lilly, moondrop, poppy, rose and violet – each kaftan is made from the finest fabric, classically cut and beautifully embroidered by Indian artisans. Whip one of these around your shoulders to lounge beside the pool, stroll down the beach or team with accessories for dinner and drinks.

And the best bit yet? You can order online and have it delivered to your door, meaning you can focus your attention on getting the Christmas shopping done.

KILIAN KERNER – KÖLN, BERLIN, LONDON

Obwohl Kilian Kerner in der wunderschönen Palm Court im Waldorf Hilton, wärend der London Fashion Week in September, eine Vorstellung seiner Hauptkollektion machte, ist seine Kollektion gewöhnlich bei der Berlin Fashion Week auf dem Laufsteg zu sehen. Das trifft sich gut, denn ich habe vor dort seine Show zu sehen. Seine Catwalk Events sehen ziemlich beeindruckend aus. 20131112-173846.jpg

Kilian Kerner wurde von Musik und Geschichtenerzählen inspiriert und schreibt für seine Kollektion jeweils ein Liedtext. Das wird wiederrum von Künstlern bei den jeweiligen Shows live gespielt. Seine Zweitlinie, Senses, wird in Deutschland hergestellt und in Gross Britannien ist er dafür am meisten bekannt.

Aus Stoffen wie z.B Baumwolle, Viskose, Wolle und Modal werden Röcke, Kleider und Hemden hergestellt – alle mit Schneiderei Details, wie die von seiner Haupt Kollektion. Eine zweite, erfolgreiche Kilian Kerner Senses Saison ist schon bei House of Fraser in Gross Britannien verfügbar – mit bezahlbaren Preisen von etwa €142 bis €177.

Bei Kilian Kerner läuft es prima – und besonders dafür, dass die Marke eigentlich erst seit 2008 richtig anfing. Jetzt ist die Marke in 14 Länder verfügbar. Angeblich mag Kilian gerne marketing – und man siehts!

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Claudia Skoda, Berlin - Part 2

The Claudia Skoda label officially began in 1975. Claudia rented and renovated a factory floor in Berlin’s Kreuzberg, which was called Fabrikneu (straight from the factory, brand new). The 650m2 space housed workshops and living spaces for five people and David Bowie and Iggy Pop were regulars whilst living in Berlin. If you need to ask anyone about knit, Claudia is the ONE. 20131120-203406.jpg

I have noticed on your trousers, my second favourite item from your clothes collection, that the pattern creates varying optical illusions depending how you walk or stand. How do you even start thinking about that?

Thank you. I love tricky patterns and I also like hypno disc patterns.

Your collection can only be bought in your own boutique in Berlin. Was that a conscious decision? I understand of course that being unique pieces they just wouldn't work any other way, but it means the whole world is missing out on such amazing work!

That's right. In the past, there have been numerous reasons in doing it this way. Currently we are working on making Claudia Skoda more accessible to more people abroad since a lot of our customers live beyond Berlin, so that will change. I promise!

20131120-203629.jpg You design for men too and have a new pop-up boutique. Is this a new departure for you or have you always designed for men?

I have always designed for men. In my NY store back in the 80s, I designed more for men than for woman. In the 40 years of Claudia Skoda, we are constantly evolving so the pop-up boutique is another natural step for me.

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Of course I want linger on and check out all the different patterns, getting her to take me through each yarn. But I feel it's just a little de trop to take up so much of her time. But her mohair pieces are still in my head. Her work is like one of those catchy songs you can't get rid of...

Claudia Skoda, Berlin - Part 1

There is definitely something afoot with knits. I have rarely seen so many designers whose pieces that I really want. Forget the thought that knit is all about boring jumpers or itchy acrylic tops; from the start of SS14, I've fallen in love with Mark Fast, Tim Ryan, Alice Palmer and now Claudia Skoda in Berlin. Could there be any more...? Whilst in Berlin I was lucky enough to meet Claudia and I managed to get some questions in.

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Claudia, I have fallen in love with your mohair, especially your Cloud coat. I understand that each knitted piece in your shop is unique. Are they all hand knitted? Or are some made on machines?

It depends on the model. Most of the sweaters, hats and scarves are hand knitted. We are knitting on machines as well, but we do not manufacture by industrial knit. In our atelier each and every piece is made out of several pieces. They are all knitted in shape and sewn together. The difference, compared to industrial knitwear, is that the industrial knitwear is woven by meter and then cut and sewn together. That makes it a lot easier for the production and of course downscales the price. You will not find something like this at Claudia Skoda. Our religion is that a piece, no matter how small, is not cut from another piece, rather it's woven directly in the size and dimension needed.

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Do you manufacture and produce in Germany?

Yes, we do and always have, for 40 years. Our manufacturing is still located in Berlin Mitte at Alte Schönhauser Straße. We are very proud that we know each of our knitters per name and do not produce our goods somewhere in the Middle East under questionable circumstances.

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Where do you source your fabulous wools?

We order all our yarns from Italy. I personally handpick each wool. If there are new wool yarns, you will likely see them in our store first. As soon a yarn is introduced to the market and meets our needs in terms of quality and texture, a Claudia Skoda piece is manufactured and four weeks later it's in the store. Multiples take up to 18 months for this step and therefore they are never current in their fashion.

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I am seriously trying to get over The Mohair, as this is the piece of dreams. The colours are amazing and it really makes you feel like a more intelligent version of the 'Bridgette Bardot sex kitten.'

Tomorrow on Ms Castro Rides: Claudia and the boys...

All photographs on models Boris Kralj http://www.boriskralj.de/ Hair & Make-up: Felix @ nude-agency.com Photograph of Claudia Skoda - Paulus Ponizak

Kilian Kerner - Cologne, Berlin, London

Although Kilian Kerner did show a presentation of his main line in the glorious confines of the Palm Court Waldorf Hilton over London Fashion Week in September, his home base  platform for runway is Berlin Fashion Week and he plans to keep showing there, which is great because that is where I am planning to catch his show. His catwalk events really do look pretty awesome. 20131112-173846.jpg

Very much inspired by music and storytelling, Kilian Kerner writes a lyric for each collection, which is then played live by respective live artists at his shows. Manufactured in Germany, his diffusion line Kilian Kerner Senses is what he's most known for in the UK. Materials such as cotton, viscose, wool and modal are made into dresses, skirts and shirts, and feature tailoring details that echo his principal collection. In the UK he is starting his successful second season with Kilian Kerner Senses at House of Fraser with prices ranging between £119 to £149 - truly attainable.

He's doing fantastically when you think that the brand only properly started in 2008 and it is now retailed in 14 countries. And apparently he loves marketing - you can tell!

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Nancy Dee - Designed for Women

Jersey and me have never worked. I have tried to explore the varied issues, but they really aren't forthcoming, except for Nancy Dee's pieces. Not being too much of a dress/skirt girl, I haven't dipped into the collection recently, but the new autumn/winter collection includes some fabulous blouses and pants and I am already there. It was definitely time for a catch up with the ever busy, Seraphina.

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From the outset Seraphina, you were adamant that your clothing should enhance and work well with women's curvy figures. I love it. Is it something you still continue to take into account in your design remit?

Yes it absolutely is. To be honest though, I think that in reality whether you're curvy or skinny, all women tend to have some sort of hang-ups about their figures! I try to design a good mix of styles that may not be suitable for all women, but certainly there is something for everyone. For example, the Nancy Dee Eliza wrap dress is one of our best sellers. There is pleating detail on the bodice front and back, and a scoop pleated skirt front panel. All these small details mean the dress is not a clingy fit, but drapes around the body, while the tie at the waist cinches you in. It's a popular style with curvy women and skinny alike - giving a great silhouette whilst being really comfortable to wear.

I am conscious not to alienate women. I always feel that comfort should be of utmost importance, and believe that if you're not, it's hard to pull off an outfit with confidence. That's one of the great things about working with such luxurious jersey fabrics (bamboo, modal and organic cotton) - the fabrics feel gorgeous against the skin and are inherently beautiful when creating drape.

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Another thing, which is really fab is that Nancy Dee designs graphics. Do you still design them all yourself?

When we first started we collaborated with design students and professionals, but soon after Tamsin and I found we had such a passion for the prints ourselves that we decided to create our own in-house designs. It's something we had to teach ourselves how to do though, as neither of us have any training in print/textile design. We have very different approaches and so the results are always really interesting. Going forward with the prints, I am now sourcing from vintage screens as well. We have now moved a lot of fabric sourcing and production to the UK and the printing costs for in-house designed prints are very high and not feasible at the moment. However I still consider the prints we'll be using to be very unique as they are hand picked from a vintage selection and all the colours are chosen by us.

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Nancy Dee is one of those amazing sister collaborations. How do you work it out?

Tamsin and I set up the company six years ago and I don't think either of us had any clue whatsoever that it would be such a huge challenge. And I think we can both say without a doubt that we would not have been able to get to where we are had it not been for each other.

We have very different approaches to things. You could say we are almost polar opposites! But we learned quickly to utilise this. Where my strengths are in design and making, Tamsin's strengths are of actually running the business and making it function. We have crossed over though, as only a two-person company, you have to learn to do EVERYTHING! Tamsin is a very good photographer. I've had to learn some serious organisational skills in order to manage all the paperwork!

Earlier this year Tamsin decided to take a backseat in the company after giving birth to her son. So now it's me running the show...with a lot of help from my dad! He's a computer wizard and helps me manage things like the website and any of the tricky admin stuff.

I've had to implement a lot of changes to the company in order to be able to manage the workload. We are no longer producing two seasonal collections a year, but producing as we go and when we want to bring something new out. This is far better from a design and production management point of view. It was also brought about by the fact that a lot of our wholesalers now only buy in-season (instead of forward ordering) and the demand for trans-seasonal design is higher then ever, something we feel Nancy Dee does rather well.

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The label has a strong ethical policy. How do you combine demand and ethics?

Nancy Dee is not a fast fashion brand. Instead we aim to create pieces that are designed to be versatile and classic - day-to-night styles that can be dressed up or dressed down, and we hope we will be worn for many years by the customer. In a world where fast fashion has become the norm, it can be very challenging no doubt!

We are very lucky to work with fantastic small manufacturers in the UK whose quality is exceptional and with whom we have an excellent working relationship. We only use sustainable fabrics in or designs, ranging from organic cotton and bamboo to silky woven modal.

We are also introducing the concept of upcycling into our new designs with the use of specially selected end-of-line fabrics in our designs. A lot of our fabric production is now being done in the UK, which we are really proud of - making the product entirely British made.

We aim to use local suppliers wherever possible from our swing tags to logo labels and garment trims. Any packaging we use is recyclable, and where we have to print things like look books and such we use recycled paper. Though recently with everything being online now, we try to avoid unnecessary printing and instead create digital booklets.

With my 'travelling the world' status, I might be in need of a dress or two...Nancy Dee is having a DESIGNER SAMPLE SALE on Friday, November 1 at 12:00pm in UTC: Atelier Tammam, 5 Hastings Street, WC1H - Catch you there!

Fusion - Michelle Lowe-Holder

I turned a corner on one of the aisles at Première Vision Paris and wham, bang the colour just HIT me! Flowering tropical anemones from a secret underwater world... 20131013-114859.jpg

Fusion is the name of Michelle Lowe-Holder's SS14 collection. I am surprised! Michelle's colours are generally more subdued, darker, although generally there is always a contrast within the piece, quietly so...but these pieces were shouting to be seen.

I asked her why. It's personal. I don't delve as she's a particularly private person, but she said she needed colour, and colour she has - riotous, screaming, beautiful and very much alive.

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Michelle Lowe-Holder's collections are eco-hybrids using sustainable materials and ethically made.

The ribbons are off-cuts, the tulles are Italian, the breeding is done with the SEWA charity - protecting women in regards to fair wages and allowing them to work out of their homes.

Her production is meticulous. The tulle is cut and pleated in the UK by hand, then sent for the beading to India. Then it is returned and hand-finished in London.

Michelle's inspiration for Fusion comes from the cuisine term, and where recognizable traditions and techniques have been fused. For example the beautiful collar shape of the Masai has a dash of woven satin form China, seed beading from India, and a folded French tutu in a modern tulle. Maybe this why I love this collection - it's the WORLD.

Of course there is much, much more and I leave her stand dreaming of the 'Ballet Russe' and Diaghilev.

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Success - Le Petit Bazaar Panama

Unheard of. Success for a first time! In my piece on Le Petit Bazaar Panama, I mentioned the novelty of this seemingly growing worldwide trend - and how it had been bravely embraced by the organizers of Fashion Week Panama. I must admit, I kind of knew it would really work. Basically you have a lot of hungry fashion VIP totally wowed by a catwalk show of either a new or media hot designer. In Panama the only way for a fashionista to buy designer clothing is to go to their studio (in Panama few designers own a shop and most independent boutiques don't carry the national brands). Either this, or you hit the malls.

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Now, don't get me wrong. I am a mall trash girl. Just check my Foursquare account to see, plus I have got the badge to prove it. There is Multiplaza Pacifico. It's fantastic and whenever I am in Panama City, it's where I just hang out. I am not the only one. I bump into all my fave people from the designers of Vergara & Vergara to bloggers like Olguita Reyna and Mauricio Herrerabarria. The issue with malls and designers in Panama is that it can be cost prohibitive for designers to have their studios there, and anyhow the guys behind Multiplaza have a queue as long as the Panama Canal of humongous multinational brands waiting to get in.

Faced with this scenario, customers in search of a fashion don't have much of a choice, and they dare not make the leap to the studio, worried about the pressure of having to buy pieces that might be totally out of their price range.

20131017-134957.jpg Designers Greta Bayo & Gina Bayo

So here in the Le Petit Bazaar Panama, and with the anonymity of the crowd, it's different. You can feel, touch and even try on a couple of pieces with the added bonus of meeting the designer, getting an idea on price and even taking it home with you hot off the catwalk. For some purists, this means demystifying the creator. I sort of get the flow of this idea, but on the other hand creatives do need to see their creations come alive and be appreciated for their talent (people buying them), maybe then they can truly feel they have succeeded in communicating their art?

What do you think?

All photographs by Tania Cabal

MARC JACOBS, ICH UND DESSOUS

Mit einer spektakulären Finale beim Paris Fashion Week verlässt Marc Jacobs jetzt die Nobelmarke Louis Vuitton – er will sich auf seine eigene Marke konzentrieren. Ich erinnere mich an die Zeit, in der er diese Luxusmarke so wunderbar geführt hat.  Vor Jacobs hätte ich mich für die Louis Vuitton Marke, die für ihre Markenreisetaschen bekannt sind, gar nicht weiter interessiert. In die Jacobs AW2013 Kollektion war ich aber wirklich verliebt. Jetzt werde ich wohl für mein Modebudget bei Consignmentläden, eBay und privat Adressen weltweit auf die Suche nach den Kollektion gehen müssen. 20131005-130100.jpg

Wenn das Geld fehlt muss man den Look untersuchen und anders zusammenstellen, das Wesentliche darf man aber nicht vergessen. Das hier ist einer meiner FAVORITEN – ein Flirtlook mit Teddy unter einem V-Ausschnitt Pulli. Trop Boudoir – und dazu ein frecher Look!

 

Bei KMD (siehe oben rechts) gibt es den Cherie Teddy in pink und schwarz, mit Spitze in schwarz oder cremeweiss und aus Stretchseide.

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So viel Haut im Winter zu zeigen heisst für viele, ständig zum Waxen in den Beauty Salon zu gehen (auch wenn ich den besten Ort kenne – hier mehr über Wax weiterlesen), also ist dieser ein sicherer Look. Und superschön. Man kann ein Seidendessous in cremeweiss unter einem Wintermantel tragen oder sogar mit Gürtel und einem Kaschmir Pulli in Camel-Farbe mit Pencil Skirt. Der Lili Schlafrock und Slip von Raine & Bea  sind beide aus 100% Seide und sind perfekt geieignet für diesen Look.

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Es ist zwar traurig, dass Marc geht, aber ich freue mich schon darauf, was er nun mit seiner eigenen Marke vor hat.

Marc Jacobs, sei gegrüsst!

Marc Jacobs, Me and Lingerie

With designer Marc Jacobs leaving the luxury goods firm Louis Vuitton to focus on his own brand with a spectacular funerary finale at Paris Fashion Week, the remembrance of how brilliant his reign has been came to the fore. Pre-Jacobs I would never even have looked at the Louis Vuitton label, renown for its emblematic travelling bag; and never could I have been so besotted by a collection like Jacob's AW2013 one for the brand. So I am now having to scour relentlessly worldwide: consignment, eBay and private addresses in order to find it at a price more in keeping with my fash-patched pocket! 20131005-130100.jpg

When money fails, it's time to dissect the look, but keep the essence. This has got to be one of my FAVOURITES - the teasing silk peep of the teddy under a heavy workwear v-neck. Trop boudoir - a naughty gamine look!

KMD (seen above) has a pink and black version of the Cherie teddy with either black or ivory trim and is made from stretch silk.

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For those of us that feel that showing so much skin in winter might mean constant trips to the beautician for wax  (even though I do know the best. See my piece on wax), this could be a safer look. Again, it's gorgeous. Any piece of lush lingerie in cream silk can be worn either under a heavy winter coat, or a little heavier piece worn belted over a camel cashmere jumper and pencil skirt. Raine & Bea's Lili gown and slip are both made from 100% silk and really work this look perfectly.

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Although it's really sad to see Marc go, I am really looking forward to seeing him let loose under the auspices of his own house. All hail Marc Jacobs!

It's raining toads and frogs in Paris at Premiere Class

It really was chucking it down yesterday, monsoon-style, in Paris at Premiere Classe! I guess it was good for designers showcasing as it meant the buyers couldn't leave the tents. There are about 20 exhibitions scattered all around Paris for Fashion Week and each venue has a ton or so designers showing. Trying to make it around to all of the exhibitions and shows makes it really easy to miss out on some eye-popping designs. 20130930-143733.jpg

Thinking about rain always makes me think of frogs and toads, so hey, presto, when I saw the KOBJA pieces I did a double take. On first crunch I thought, 'Oh my god', but my fascination for the unusual made me return to delve in deeper.

20130930-143953.jpg Monica Jarosz's interest runs from her childhood with her grandmother's fairytale story telling. Now older and with a background in the industry she realised it was possible to work with nature via design. Research, fine tuning and testing came next in order to perfect her 14-stage process in the creation of her KOBJA pieces. She uses a tannery in Millau and the stitching and assembly is done in her workshop in Paris. The frog, introduced from South America, is highly poisonous and is in the process of destroying several local species of Australasia. The situation has prompted the defense association to recommend selective elimination. "In this way," says Monica "each toad skin is recycled and not destroyed".

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I certainly ain't going to find my prince kissing one of these...Mine is much more accessible, riding in leather on a motorbike somewhere.

Eugene Lin in Paris with his Valkyries

I am crazy about the Valkyries - the female warriors of the Norse tale. So imagine my surprise to find Eugene Lin's SS14 collection that I saw at London's Fashion Scout inspired by these female protectors. How could he possibly translate it into a collection? But he did. As the models came down the catwalk you could most feel the wings fluttering.

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With a colour palette of bone white, optic and ivory, he folded the Valkyrie's wings over their bodies making it even more powerful by his use of hand-crafted three-dimensional textured screen-prints, which reminded me of how these female spirits of battle transformed into swans with the aid of feathered cloaks.

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The feathers were also present in the different tones of digital printed and plain silk chiffon pieces found on shirts, trousers and bodices. The short pleated skirts, so exquisitely cut together with the crossover details of the coloured fabrics (especially the pumpkin), treated with unique coatings to produce a wet look, seem to echo armour and a cry to battle.

20130929-100035.jpg A  'warrior' in Paris

Touching and feeling Eugene Lin's fabrics and seeing the prints up close in Paris just made the collection even better. You can really appreciate his signature clean, precise and deluxe aesthetic.

Photographs by Liv Bentley

MEINE FAVORITEN BEI LONDON FASHION WEEK – ZWEITER TAG

 Fast and Furious – so war der Laufsteg gestern Abend bei Mark Fast. Strickmode sah man nacheinander auf dem Catwalk und die Farbkombinationen und Fransenröcke waren einfach herrlich! Fast dachte an Gehäckeltes, Kurt Cobain und Courtney, wie sie durch die Nacht stricken, Aaliyah unter Wasser, Christina tanzend in einem Traumfänger, Winona wie von Wanderlust und Wolle verzehrt.

Zac Bayley.

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Auf jeden fall war es ein ‘MsCastroRides’ Tag – ich bekam ein Platz in der ersten Reihe bei der Ashish SS14 show. Alles glänzte, sogar die Tragetaschen, und es gab wunderschöne Hemden und Tunika mit Gauze Stoff. Mit Kronen, ähnlich wie die aus Tibet, gab es auch ein seriöses Gefühl zwischen den Coca Cola Baseball Tops aus Pailletten. Es gab Zebrastreifen Frisuren zusammen mit Animal Prints, Karos und Streifen, und seine Grunge Sportswear Marke sah fantastischer als je zuvor aus.

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Die Alexis Barrell im St Martins Hotel war wie eine Hockney Malerei. Die Models liefen auf einem dünnen Wasser Band für die Malibu Szene. Ihre ‘True Romance’ Kollektion war von dem klassischen Tarantino Film aus den 90igern inspiriert und einem Ausflug in einem weissen Mustang den Pacific Coast Highway entlang. Entspannt, sexy, anspruchsvoll aber auch mit scharfen Schnitten für einen Urban Look. Meine Favoriten waren: Den Plisseefaltenrock in psychedelischen Farben und alle Stücke mit Neopren Details.

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Alex Barrell Fotos von Liz Bentley Mark Fast Fotos von Harry Price Ashish mit Genehmigung von Demotix

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Aigner - a September sunset on the catwalk

Slick, slithering sirens glided down the catwalk within the commanding backdrop of old town Milan. It was really hard to focus on the runway and avert ones eyes from such a gorgeous setting. 20130924-091911.jpg

With a palette of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and gold, the show was like a September sunset over a languid ocean. Crop tops, sheers and full skirts were all present and very much what's been seen on the SS14 catwalks to date...there could even have been a hint to an 80s revival. The Aigner colours have what can only be described as vibrations and the two tone, the red-orange and the blue-green are such eye pleasing compositions.

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The accessories get a 10/10 -  totes, clutches and those fabulous gold leather sandals on a wooden platforms.

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Photography: Miriam Orlandi and IMAXTREE.COM