Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thought For the Day: Are You Content?

He is richest who is content with the least, for contentment is the wealth of nature.
- Socrates

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New York Fashion Week: Oscar de la Renta

Pretty, pretty, pretty.

Shoesday: Simplicity

Cons are just too good - but only on the weekend. I bought a ridiculously high pair of heels today - to offset my sneaker obsession, and to celebrate Spring.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Isabel Marant

Now that we've established I'm obsessed with her sneakers, I can also advise I'm pretty much completely obsessed with Isabel Marant. She can't stand the pomp of fashion shows, and she is famously understated.

Taking her style cues from Americana and American sportswear, Marant's Autumn/Winter collection is a delightful bunch of utterly wearable garments.

Another thing I've noticed about myself recently (apart from my flat shoe guilty pleasure), is a love of slightly baggier, less skin-hugging clothing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not wearing paper bags, but I'm also not drawing too much attention to my stomach or bum the way I may have done a few years ago. I'm loving playing with layers, and enjoying not having to mindfully suck my stomach in when in public. 

As she notes (and this is one of the things I really love about her, not really being a jeans wearer myself):
I tend to grab the most comfortable piece .. I've got a little boy who is quite tough, so I'm sensitive about the practical aspect of clothes. But at the same tie, I don't want to be just wearing a normal T-shirt and a normal pair of blue jeans - it needs to be something special."

She also has this to say about the pressure of being a designer, which really resonated with me, and which I think is equally applicable to the modern woman who seeks to balance a multitude of responsibilities, desires and day-to-day necessary activities:

I'm trying to have a very balanced and organised life. I say often that now designers are like sportspeople: you have to sleep well, you have to eat well, you have to keep in good health, because it's really a battle every season to be on time and to be on top. I think the time when you had the image of designers taking drugs and being out every night drinking and partying doesn't exist anymore. I practise yoga and swim a lot. On the weekends I go to my little cabin in the forest near Paris without water and electricity, and it's really the way I can breathe."

Amen to that. Unfortunately I don't have a cabin near Paris to retreat to, but I'm working on that. :o)

Shoesday: Flattened

I am an ardent lover of the sky- high heel, I cannot deny. However something has happened lately. Maybe it's that my office is a 20-30 minute walk to most of my meetings (no complaints from me - how good is walking?), maybe I've just lucked out with finding comfortable heels of late. Whatever it is, flat shoes are singing an irresistible siren song at the moment - one that I'm finding physically difficult to restrain myself from being drawn to.

In the mornings, as I pull on heels I stare wistfully at the flats in my Flat Shoe Basket. When I shop, I find my eye hovering for dangerously lengthy periods at the flat shoes. I'm not entirely sure of the attraction, but perhaps Victoria Beckham feels it too. At her latest showing at NYFW, her models stepped out in flat sandals - eschewing her usual stick-thin stilettos for a more hard-wearing shoe.

 While VB didn't wear flats herself, I wonder if a little part of her wasn't yearning to slip them on herself. After all - she's had a stack of kids, one of which she is still carrying around. It must be exhausting - not to mention a little precarious.

Although not a huge fan of the sandals showcased myself (a little too Gladiatorial for my liking), I do love a flat. There. I said it! I feel a little dirty admitting it, but it's true.

Flats can be fabulous, too.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chic Spice

Due to laziness and a lack of time to read every review of New York Fashion Week (yep! It's that time of year again!) available.. I am swiping this review of Victoria Beckham's latest, much admired collection. She is on fire - definitely one of the darlings of fashion in New York this northern hemisphere autumn.

Words taken from The Guardian - written by Jess Cartner-Morley.

Anyone still doubting the respect the Victoria Beckham name commands in the fashion industry would have been silenced by the scene at the New York Public Library on Sunday morning. At fashion week, a designer's status can be calculated before their show has even begun, by who is there and how dressed up the audience are. This show commanded a royal flush of the queens of modern fashion – Anna Wintour, Anna dello Russo, Natalie Massenet, Harper Beckham – and almost the entire row wore five-inch spiked heels.
But Harper, who chose flat bootees, was as on-trend as one would expect from a junior style icon. The surprise of this collection was that most of the shoes were flat summer boots open at the toe and heel – a hybrid of biker boots and gladiator's sandals – with only the slinkiest cocktail dresses paired with stiletto heels. This was the first Victoria Beckham collection to include shoes, a natural next step after dresses and handbags, especially for a woman who is world-famous for her near-Olympian prowess on heels. (Remember the 6½in pump she wore to the royal wedding while seven months pregnant?)
The element of surprise has been a part of the Victoria Beckham label from the start. She surprised the industry first by announcing she was becoming a designer, surprised it again with a debut that garnered raves and then surprised it yet again by keeping pace as the level of expectation rose each season. Having now reached a point where the quality of her clothes is not news in itself, she must now find new ways to pique interest each season.

With more separates than dresses, long, loose silhouettes alongside the short, tight ones, and a sleek, minimal colour palette of ivory, black and orange, this collection had a new, laid-back ease. With the striped runway, the wooden bench seating and the simple centre-parted hair of the models, the mood of the show had more in common with a cool Paris fashion week production – a hint of Celine – than with the rarified, ultra-ladylike atmosphere of the grand hotel suites in which Beckham showed her early collections of corseted dresses to fashion editors.

Backstage after the show, Beckham said that she had focused on separates rather than dresses because "there's a lot more to think about, and I wanted to challenge myself. Tailoring is so difficult, and I am incredibly particular about shoulders, so it has taken me a long time to come up with a perfect jacket." Being a sharp businesswoman, she was also keen to stress that the body-conscious aesthetic that first made her name was still very much part of the label. For evening, lingerie-detailed, scuba-tight cocktail dresses were a delicate, downtown update on the Victoria Beckham signature.

The Beckham brand will always be about celebrity as well as fashion. But in the fashion industry, Victoria is increasingly viewed as a working designer, with her husband the celebrity to be stared at.
As his wife conducted post-show interviews backstage, David Beckham held Harper in his arms, smiling patiently as models queued up to snap endless iPhone photos of father and daughter.
Victoria looked tearful as she took her catwalk bow. "I can't believe I cried," she said afterwards. "I'm not really a cryer. But this matters so much. It matters more than it probably should."