Friday, February 27, 2009

Smells like Marc Jacobs.

OK so about the origins of Grunge and how it came into the fashion forefront... In the late 80s, a bunch of musicians started to form bands in the Washington state, escaping the gloomy weather in their garages.

The music tended to be influenced from punk and the hard rock of the 70s.  
It wasn't until Nirvana's second album "Nevermind" and in particular the first single from the album "Smells Like Teen Spirit", that the scene was catapulted into the mainstream. 
Of course grunge was extremely anti-fashion. The music reflected the unhappy mood of America and Europe's children ("Generation X") and the clothes were further validation of the "we don't care" youth attitude. The messy hair and clothes were intended to counteract the image of plasticity that MTV sold.

When Marc Jacobs designed a SS '93 collection for Perry Ellis, stylizing grunge, consumers were shocked and rejected it stating "you cannot charge $1200 for a dress that looks like it was bought in a second hand store". Subsequently, Jacobs was fired by the Perry Ellis Company despite tremendous editorial support from fashion critics who felt that the look was significant - it showed women they didn't have to dress in a certain style. They had choices. 

Perry Ellis SS '93, Marc Jacobs AW '06
Unfortunately, by embracing the look, the fashion critics killed the anti-fashion trend and with Jacobs' firing, grunge suffered a backlash. On the musical front, the bands that had started the movement rejected it's new associations with the fashion world and with the untimely death of Kurt Cobain in '94, grunge too was pronounced dead. 

I feel their has been a slight resurrection of late.

Topshop own London Fashion Week

Grunge isn't dead...

I feel the need to discuss my recent return to all things grunge.

Whilst I rediscovered the looks and the music I so dearly loved when I was a teenager, coincidently NY and London were showing a return to the look which originated from a bunch of Seattle based bands in the late 80s/early 90s. 
It's all very exciting for me since I was too young to take any notice the first time round!

Though of course punky style (doc-marten boots and stone-wash denim in particular) is a non-mover, Grunge has a way of combining the toughest of garments with pretty floral dresses and cardigans that look like they've been taken right out your Granny's wardrobe.

Here's my favourite grunge looks from the Fall/Winter '09-'10 collections so far, both sides of the Atlantic:

Topshop Unique - very futuristic grunge.

Marc Jacobs - the King of Grunge fashion (not counting the likes of Kurt Cobain of course) had to be in here.

Luella - yet another triumphant collection which we will no doubt see all over the high street come Autumn.

Christopher Kane - only 6 collections in and getting stronger.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Peaches and Daisy mugshots...

I feel bad, I've not made a post in a while and when I do I'm pinching it from another blog; filthy Lust. I just saw the pictures on this fab blog and had to post them.

Anyway, in the spirit of it just having been London Fashion Week, here is a recent editorial from W magazine featuring "London's finest young models". 

Very cool images of Daisy Lowe (who popped up everywhere in LFW), Peaches Geldof (who has recently divorced her rocker husband), Eliza Cummings (loving the Skinhead movement look) and Portia Freeman (rumoured to be dating Pete Doherty!).

Monday, February 16, 2009

My new Dolce & Gabbana boots!

Last season's but who cares!? They're not the type of boots to go out of fashion.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The power of Levi's music.

Today I went thrift shopping and bought a bunch of vinyl records including this 1982 Levi's Strauss compilation 'Fingers off!' for just 99p. 

Of course Levi's has been associated with musicians for a long time, with the likes of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Strokes and even Massive Attack all sporting the jeans and their TV ads famously use music as a marketing tool to reach a specific audience.

My favourite one I remember being in awe of when I was just 8, was this advert featuring the song "Inside" by Stiltskin. At the time, Grunge was massive so this song and band were created specifically for the advert and went on to get a lot of airplay off the back of this advert alone. (Also good ones to watch are this Brad Pitt one and this fab one directed by Michel Gondry).

Recently, Levi's have taken it one step further with their Record Company label, Levity which has been signing up what they view as some of the best young acts around.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Here comes the Fashion Month

There may be snow outside but fashion waits for nobody... the dates for the Fall '09 Fashion weeks have already been anounced! Hold onto your hats, it's just a few days away!

New York - Feb 12th-20th
London - Feb 20th-25th
Milan - Feb 25th Mar 4th
Paris - Mar 5th-12th

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Like 'SEX', like 'Agent Provocateur'.

Whilst reading a little bit about one of my favourite designers Vivienne Westwood (please read my previous post about graduating alongside her), I discovered that her son with Malcolm McLaren (legendary Sex Pistols and New York Dolls manager) is none other than Joseph Corre - the founder of Agent Provocateur! How did I not know this? 

Corre opened his first Agent Provocateur lingerie shop in 1994 in London's Broadwick Street, Soho. Apparently he originally bought plain styles of lingerie from small sources and altered them mirroring the individual style of McLaren and Westwood's 'SEX' boutique (aka. Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die) in the 70's. The brand has become just as infamous for creating contraversy as his parent's shop did back in the day.

As well as this, apparently Mother and son's new boutique  'A Child Of The Jago' (check out their very cool blog) in London is imagined as a place to sell off the remnants of Britain's lost empire. An eclectic mix of antique jewelery and vintage sartorial bibles sit alongside their clothing lines.  Tailored pieces described as "Victorian Pimp" and  reworked workers' uniforms in tweed and lurex show the family attitude (alongside designer Barnzley) towards Britain's heritage. It's good to know the spirit of punk is still alive!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Royal Mail advert

Check out this Royal Mail 'Growth' advert I just saw on tv. Just thought it was pretty cool.

Designer Elle Covers

To mark the 25th year anniversary of London Fashion Week, Elle (UK) magazine has asked 4 great British designers to create their own special edition cover. All 4 editions will be available to buy. I'll be keeping an eye out for them this month.

John Galliano's cover girl was "a rebel, a minx who refuses to conform". 

Stella McCartney's was based on the t-shirt she designed for Comic Relief featuring the Beatles.

Christopher Kane decided to show the polaroids he takes before his runway shows.

Dame Vivienne Westwood did her's in the style of her Manifesto exclaiming "In these hard times - Dress Up!" (Read my previous post on graduating with Vivienne Westwood.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New M&S Portfolio

Marks and Spencer have today launched their 'Portfolio' range aimed at women of 45+. In response to a customer panel, women in this age group felt their needs weren't being met. 

Positioned between their Classic range and 'Per Una', the new Portfolio (aimed at bridging the gap between collections) line is aimed at a more sophisticated, fashion conscious woman who knows how to dress with style for her age.

Executive Chairman Stuart Rose has chosen one of the first supermodels, Marie Helvin as the face of the campaign. She is in good company alongside the likes of Twiggy, Lily Cole, Erin O'Conner etc who have been an undeniable factor in M&S's success.

Monday, February 2, 2009

AA's new advertising approach.

American Apparel has always prided itself in using more 'realistic' models in their advertising and not airbrushing their models. Fantastic! So it wasn't overly surprising to find out that they had selected real people to advertise their AA and California Select Vintage clothing lines. 

I already followed Karla's blog so it is great to see her feature in these images - doesn't she look fab? Karla and 2 other girls were chosen due to their highest ratings at Chictopia (a networking site where anyone and everyone can upload images of themselves in their chosen outfits and users vote the best looks).

But this isn't the only new approach American Apparel have had to their photography. Featuring real people in their adverts really appeals to their customer and AA has heavily featured sexual innuendo before. However, most recently, they have also introduced some unique, raunchier images of nudity... featuring porn stars!! (one "model" wears thigh-high socks alone.) 

The ads (idea of Dov Charney - the company's contraversial founder and CEO) were created "exclusively" for more... shall we say "risque" (sex) blogs but of course have given American Apparel massive exposure due to their shock value. 


A tribal/safari theme was seen all over the Ready-to-wear SS '09 collections and this has evidently been filtering through to the High Street stores. Here are some of the designer labels which are pushing the look.

Louis Vuitton:


(I began to select a few images from all the designers but it turned out there were just too many so here are a few more shots. Top l-r: Anna Sui, Christian Dior, Christopher Kane, bottom l-r: Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Alexander McQueen.)

High Street retailers need to know their customer well in order to successfully interpret catwalk trends. (It might look good to Marc Jacobs but the truth is the typical UK lady will not wear a short grass skirt.)