Sunday, 29 July 2012

Fashion Olympics

Who said sport fashion isn't chic!! Many in the fashion industry are calling it the most stylist Olympics ever.

And it’s all Britain’s fault. As host country, we fired the starting gun on the style stakes a year ago when it was announced that Stella McCartney would create the official range of garments for Team GB. Produced by the German sports giant Adidas, for which McCartney has designed a successful womens’ sportswear range since 2004, McCartney’s kit would cater for 900 British Olympic and Paralympic athletes competing in 46 sports, from gymnastics to BMX.
This massive commitment encouraged other major players in the fashion industry to get in on the act. “Hugely successful names getting involved early on sparked a trend with other designers,” says Dolly Jones, editor of, which has been updating its users on a surprising amount of fashion related Olympics news ever since.

Meanwhile, the American team may have gotten a barrage of bad press for its made-in-China Ralph Lauren uniforms, but the preppy designs were still some of the most stylish in the arena: clean-cut navy blazers, crisp white trousers, skirts, and shoes, accessorized with navy berets and blue, red and white striped scarves.   

The Jamaican team is in the spotlight because of sprinter Usain Bolt, so it’s fitting that it also got a boost in the fashion stakes this year.  Its kit, which features the national colors as well as lightning-like prints, was designed by Cedella Marley, daughter of legendary singer Bob Marley, for Puma. The styles were modeled by a flamboyantly dancing Bolt at a London catwalk recently.  

“Cedella Marley brings island color to team Jamaica — a sea of tropical yellow, green and black,” Graham said Friday.  
Other designers behind the Olympics this year include luxury label Hermes, which designed riding jackets for the French equestrian team, and Salvatore Ferragamo, which designed the official uniform for the tiny European republic of San Marino.   
Some designers didn’t get involved in the official Olympics gear but used the games as an opportunity to cash in and promote their brands anyway.   
Karl Lagerfeld, for example, launched an Olympic-themed women’s wear collection called Team Karl at the London department store Selfridge’s — though he reportedly said he wouldn’t tune in to watch the games.   
Meanwhile, high-street chain store H&M said it was launching two pop-up stores dedicated to selling sportswear in London.

Friday’s parade of athletes also showcased some surprising and less popular designs.  
The German team was notable for not using its national colors at all. Instead, the kit was all hot pink for the women’s jackets and cornflower blue for the men. Both were paired with white trousers.  

The Czechs, meanwhile, wore bright blue wellington rain boots paired with white shorts.

Spectators also made their own judgments about the much-maligned uniforms for the Spaniards and Russians, both made by Russian sportswear company Bosco.

 Some Spanish athletes have posted tweets grumbling about their garish red and gold outfits, and there are even Spanish Facebook groups set up to campaign against the gear.  

Official kit aside, there were strong fashion showings in the spectator stand, too!! 

Michelle Obama chose a white dress by J. Mendel, while the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, dazzled with a pastel blue satin and belted coat dress reportedly by wunderkind Christopher Kane.   
British Prime Minister David Cameron’s wife, Samantha, demonstrated her fashion credentials with a bold red and black outfit by London-based designer Roksanda Illincic.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Why Couture still matters

With prices for a basic tailored jacket starting from £30,000, and with intricate pieces going for £100,000, haute couture is hardly a bargain. This world of intricate patterns and bejewelled dresses takes thousands of hours of hard labour. It's frivolous and indulgent, but is it a GOOD INVESTMENT.
Christie's fashion director reports an upsurge in interest in couture from private collectors, including Lady Gaga, who recently bought an empire-line McQueen original at auction for £85,000.
However it wont make you a quick buck, it would take 10 years to recoup your investment. This season the place to spend big was Dior, where  Raf Simons made his debut.

If you want to add value to your couture, then become a person of interest and be snapped wearing it. Couture worn by famous women sells at a premium and key issues for collectors is provenance and context.
Gaga is smart to get in on the game now, because one day her collection will be worth a fortune.
So perhaps Kate Middleton should ditch Zara and go haute.
The master of Couture nostalgia and the designer who has clocked up the most years in Paris is Karl Lagerfield.
Can there be any atelier more skilled than that of Chanel?
How exhilarating to see truly modern and cleverly worked stones and embroidery to create such wonderful illusions.

Wow!! conceived by the most knowledgeable of all designers in Paris.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Blooming Marvelous

There were a lot of flowers in Paris for couture this season. We were told it took 1 million of them to cover the walls of the Dior venue entirely - mainly orchids,roses,delphiniums and mimosa. It was an extravagant gesture even for a house happy to indulge its designers, as it famously did with the previous incumbent, John Galliano.
All eyes were on his successor Raf Simons. Could he be the man to take fashion's most luxurious art form into the 21st century. Let us see what his debut collection for Dior had to offer.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Flowers synonymos with weddings

Flowers are such an inspiration for me with all different areas in my work. To charge my batteries and give me ideas I recently visited the Hampton Court Flower Show and Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey was filmed.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Bride's Father!

Rolling Stone Sir Mick Jagger was no shrinking violet at his daughter Jade's wedding this weekend as he sported a striking purple striped suit to the service at a luxury hotel in the Cotswolds.
Wearing a white bridal gown she had designed, Jade Jagger, 40, married her DJ fiance Adrian Fillary at a service at the Aynhoe Park hotel in Aynhoe near Banbury.
Her mother Bianca Jagger opted for a more demure attire, wearing a black dress with white hat and gloves.