Monday, 14 September 2009

Scent of a Woman

If you haven't yet viewed Dolce & Gabbana's new fragrance ad, then do so right now by going to

In what appears to be a sort of homage to George Michael's supermodel-starring Freedom video, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, and Eva Herzigova, play themselves in a short "film" of the campaign shoot.

Love it.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Singularly Tom Ford

Apparently Tom Ford's debut as a writer, producer, and director - A Single Man - is amazing.

Starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, I hear that the film features an exquisite wardrobe, with equally stylish shots and a magical soundtrack that wouldn't be out of place at an haute couture show.

But then, what would you expect from this reputed perfectionist, than the most minute attention to detail?

I personally cannot wait.

Christopher Kane Lands At Topshop

Christopher Kane has designed a 39-piece collection for Topshop, which will hit stores on 18th September.

You can check out a video preview on the website, which features an ultra-blonde model dancing around in the dressier silhouettes.

The collection includes neons, rivets, power mesh and mirrored elements.

It is definitely one not to miss, being Topshop's biggest designer collaboration to date.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Lindsay Lohan vs. Kate Moss

So Ungaro has appointed Lindsay Lohan as its new Artistic Advisor, paving the way for a Fashion Off between the Princess of Trends and the current Queen of Style: Kate Moss.

So far, the announcement has not been met with overwhelming enthusiasm; more surprise, that a young actress celebrated for her rock n' roll lifestyle, rather than her thespian talents, is now dictating the creative direction of a formerly revered house, originally founded in 1964.

When Emmanuel Ungaro launched his brand, it grew to become a synonym for chic, its signature found in the collections' bright colours, animal and floral prints, and Oriental allure.

How is Lindsay Lohan going to fare in comparison to a designer who was trained by the famed Cristobal Balenciaga?

It is interesting that when Kate Moss launched her collection for Topshop, she was by contrast greeted with much enthusiasm and applause.

However this may have more to do with the fact that Topshop is somewhere you go to stock up on inexpensive reinterpretations of the season's catwalk trends; Ungaro is a maison de mode, to which fashionistas look for original and new ideas.

Lindsay Lohan's first collection for Ungaro will be showcased during Paris Fashion Week...until then, watch this space.

"Chic is a kind of mayonnaise, either it tastes, or it doesn't"

I do love Karl Lagerfeld.

He is the designer personification of outspokenness, never hesitating to speak his brilliant and very often controversial mind.

And when Karl Lagerfeld's not speaking it, he's writing it: a sign in his office loos reads "Pissing everywhere isn't very Chanel."

Below are just a few more of his wittiest quotes.

When Pierre Cardin banned reporters from his shows at a time when they were largely indifferent, Lagerfeld said: “That’s like a woman without lovers asking for the pill.”

Of an Azzedine Alaïa retrospective: “If you want to see a retrospective of Alaïa, just look at what he’s doing now."

"Chanel is an institution, and you have to treat an institution like a whore."

"I don't know Heidi Klum. Claudia Schiffer also doesn't know who she is."

On the world's oldest profession: "I'm rather pro-prostitution. I admire people who do it. It can't be much fun. Thank goodness for it. People need relief or they become murderers."

"Chic is a kind of mayonnaise, either it tastes, or it doesn't"

Dita Von Teese at the Casino de Paris

Until the 17th September, you can see Dita Von Teese and Gentry de Paris performing together at the legendary Casino de Paris, where Josephine Baker used to tread the boards.

Dita Von Teese, the queen of burlesque, will apparently premiere an entirely new performance, full of vintage glamour, opulence, mystery and old-world charm.

From Fantastic Man to Gentlewoman

This summer I discovered an amazing magazine called Fantastic Man. Like 10 Magazine, it has an intellectual and intelligent approach with regard to its fashion content.

Apparently Fantastic Man has been around for five years already.

It is so refreshing to read articles that review the industry's trends with a witty yet serious - and dare I say "high-brow" approach - rather than limiting itself to Top Ten Accessories lists and so on.

Fantastic Man is destined for a male audience, but now along comes The Gentlewoman, a new biannual style magazine for women, which will launch in March 2010.

I have no doubt that The Gentlewoman will focus on journalism of the highest quality, compiled with original thought in its writing, photography and design.

There's certainly nothing I like more than photographers, designers, stylists and writers who champion wonderful, stylish women.

For those who can’t wait: a preview of The Gentlewoman will appear in the Autumn/Winter 09 issue of Fantastic Man, out this month.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

When Balmain Met Madonna

You've got to love Madonna. She may be knocking at Middle-Age's door, but it's only so that she can bang it down and keep on doing what she does best: singing and dancing in a new look that ensures she is always ahead of the fashion game.

Here she is in Balmain, in a shot from her new video...she must be the only woman who can gyrate in a dress that short, without it riding up and displaying her designer lingerie. But then Madonna is no ordinary person.

Hence why when it came time to film the new music video for Celebration, she called on the services on fashion’s new darling Christophe Decarnin, the designer behind the renaissance of the Balmain label.

Christophe Decarnin is also behind the return of eighties' power shoulders and attitude to the catwalk. His big and pointy-shouldered jackets and diamanté-studded evening dresses and gowns which reveal a maximum of leg, have brought back Gianni Versace-style glamour and sexiness to our attention.

Where Madonna goes, many more are sure to follow.

Sartorially Speaking

Make some room in your library for The Sartorialist, the bound version of Scott Schuman's stylish blog.

Scott Schuman started the latter as a way of showcasing photos of sartorially notable people that he saw on the streets of New York. The blog now features well-dressed individuals in Paris and New York, Rio and Beijing, Milan and Stockholm…and whichever city Scott is travelling in at the time.

I don't know how he does it, because even though I live in the world's style capital, I have yet to see so many uniquely voguish persons on the street, outside of Fashion Week.

Scott Schuman chose Colette for his first worldwide book signature, but you should be able to find it now at all reputable book sellers.

Muse in the Making

If, since birth, you had Carine Roitfeld, Editor-in-Chief of French Vogue, in charge of your wardrobe, perhaps you too could claim to be as stylish as her daughter, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld.

This 28-year old Art Director, who faced Tom Ford's ad campaign for his Black Orchid fragrance,
loves to mix up Balenciaga with Topshop and vintage silhouettes, for a feminine look that is cut up with black and leather rock accents.

Unlike her super-skinny mother, also a close collaborator of Tom Ford's, she is gorgeously curvy and isn't afraid to highlight her contours with short, short skirts and high, high heels.

As the daughter of a fashion designer and fashion stylist, you could be forgiven for thinking that Julia Restoin-Roitfeld might have inherited some kind of fashion rules handbook...if she did, she certainly doesn't follow them, preferring instead to break them: wearing navy blue with black, never dressing in a total look by one designer.

A fashion muse in the making.

Wintour of Content

This season, the first date you note down in your Smythson Fashion Diary should be a viewing of The September Issue.

This ground-breaking documentary - never before has Anna Wintour, quite simply the most powerful and revered woman working in fashion today, allowed a camera crew into her offices - sees the Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue giving respected filmmaker R.J. Cutler full access to the inner workings of the magazine's most important issue of the year.

Vogue's September issue has weighed in at over four pounds (in 2007), and reaches an audience of 13 million. The magazine has a greater influence over the international fashion industry than any other publication of its genre.

If you loved Robert Altman's Prêt-à-Porter (1995), and felt that The Devil Wears Prada (2006) was a saccharine version of what it really takes to work in the fashion world, then you will love The September Issue, which takes its viewers behind the scenes of this $300-billion dollar business, which can at times be arduous and emotionally draining.

Check out the trailer here:

Anna Wintour's trademark hairstyle and perma-sunglasses make her an unforgettable and easily recognisable fashion figure, and her headline nickname "Nuclear Winter" may be a good play on words, but all those who know her respect a priceless perfectionist streak.

She is particularly reputed for discovering - and launching the international careers of - new talent.

"People constantly make the mistake of comparing London with New York, Milan and Paris and that's not what it's about. London has its own fashion identity. You come to London to find the next Alexander McQueen or John Galliano," Wintour once said.