must have vintage menswear winged shoes talariaThis is the best type of shopping; an investment and something originally beautiful. You already know I’m obsessed with vintage and the element of discovery and a new auction catalogue from Kerry Taylor Auctions in Bermondsey is like sartorial porn. So, treat yourself to something for Christmas. You deserve it!

Here are TheChicGeek’s picks of the sale and why:

TheChicGeek says, “Nothing is original in fashion, well, not totally. When Jeremy Scott put his wings on his adidas trainers, he could have glimpsed these gorgeous pair of talaria beach sandals. (Talaria are winged sandals, a symbol of the Greek messenger god Hermes -The name is from the Latin tālāria, "of the ankle".) Can you imagine the rest of the swimming costume?"

Lot 62 : A rare pair of Phillips' Silver Wing rubber bathing shoes, English, late 1920s

A rare pair of Phillips' Silver Wing rubber bathing shoes, English, late 1920s. moulded with maker's details to the soles, of black rubber with white painted edgings and silver wings to each side.

Estimate: £800 - £1200

TheChicGeek says, “I’m a little bit obsessed with Schiaparelli, ATM. I’ve been reading her ‘Shocking Life’ autobiography and she seems like a whirlwind of style and creative ideas and very much where we are, right now, in fashion. This is one of those fun things we take for granted today, but just look at the year it was produced”.

must have vintage menswear Schiaparelli telephone compactLot 69 : A rare Salvador Dali for Schiaparelli 'Telephone Dial' compact, 1935.must have vintage menswear Schiaparelli hall of mirrors dress

The design of this compact in 1935 marks the first collaboration between Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali. That same year saw the opening of Maison Schiaparelli at 21, Place Vendôme, Paris.

Estimate: £2000 - £3000

TheChicGeek says, “More Schiaparelli. I get the impression any woman who commissioned an outfit from Schiaparelli would be the interesting woman in the room. It’s a shame the name didn’t have the same life as her rival, Chanel, as it would have made for much more creative fashion”.

Lot 70 : A fine and rare Elsa Schiaparelli couture 'Hall of Mirrors' jacket and matching dress, 'Zodiac' collection, Autumn-Winter, 1938-39

Presented in August 1938, it drew on two main themes - astrology and the magnificent Palace of Versailles. The seventeen massive archways of the Galerie des Glaces, each filled with twenty-one mirrors, must have inspired the baroque cartouches on this jacket front. Provenance: Vera Bowler who married John Wesley Worth on 4th May 1935. Her husband was regional Manager for Carreras Ltd., Britain's largest manufacturer of cigarettes. 

Estimate: £50000 - £70000

TheChicGeek says, “Move over the Milk Tray man in this James Bond like aprés-ski outfit. You can just imagine George Best or Tom Jones in something like this”.

must have vintage menswear Pierre Cardin jumpsuit men'sLot 107 : A fine and rare Pierre Cardin man's knitted jump suit, 1969-70.

Estimate: £7000 - £10000

TheChicGeek says, “John Galliano seems to be exciting everybody at Maison Margiela, ATM, so it’s nice to see some early stuff from this British master. £1200 in 1990? That would have been a fortune”.

must have vintage menswear John Galliano banana coatLot 159 : The John Galliano 'Banana' coat showpiece, Autumn-Winter, 1989-90.

Provenance: Gifted by Mr Galliano to a friend who worked with him. The coccon-shaped 'Poiret' coat in banana-yellow Melton wool with collar formed from tall cartridge pleats (retail price advertised at £1200). Galliano described this coat as a 'punctuation mark for the show’.

Estimate: £2500 - £3500

TheChicGeek says,”It was only a fews years ago that Christopher Raeburn put inflatable rubber coats onto his London catwalk. This is pure Michelin Man and full of those 80s proportions when Issey Miyake was at the height of his influence”. 

must have vintage menswear Issey Miyake inflatable jacket 1987Lot 172 : A rare Issey Miyake man's inflatable rubber jacket, 1987.

An identical jacket was worn by Chris Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys in 1987 in a performance of 'Rent' on the 'Live from the London Palladium' TV show..

Estimate: £10000 - £15000

See more ChicGeek vintage picks here

 

 

 

 

 

Published in Fashion
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 16:02

Label To Know Oliver Cabell

Oliver Cabell sneakers trainers menswear label to knowOne certainty is the trainer/sneaker/casual shoe juggernaut shows no sign of slowing down. Young men are now the biggest purchasers of footwear - Read more #ChicGeekComment The Mass Male Sneakerheads - and trainers are driving this addiction.

A new trainer label to know is Oliver Cabell. Founded in England, but now based in the US, Oliver Cabell was started in 2016 by Scott Gabrielson, who left his job at a non-profit and moved to England to start a business. With no fashion, retail, or start-up experience, Scott relied on his passion for balanced design and quality products to launch Oliver Cabell. 

Left - Oliver Cabell - Ash - £145

In 2015 Gabrielson came across a news story from the 1970s highlighting a heavy night out for actors Oliver Reed and Steve McQueen. He had long been inspired by the rebellious duo, who spurred a generation to take the road less travelled. In the 1960s Reed and McQueen played the characters Oliver Twist and Martin Cabell, and he combined the two and came up with "Oliver Cabell". 

Oliver Cabell sneakers trainers menswear label to knowAs for the night out? It turns out even the “King of Cool”, Steve McQueen, proved no match for the Oliver Reed life force. The story goes that McQueen flew to London to discuss a project. Putting business aside, for a bit, the duo went on a marathon pub crawl, which resulted in Reed losing his lunch on McQueen. The project was never finished.

Right - Oliver Cabell - Amazon - £145

All Oliver Cabell footwear is made in Spain using Italian materials, and for every piece they create, they reveal their costs and tell the story of the people behind it. (This is part of the new trend of brand “Pricing Transparency” - Read more about it here ChicGeekComment Pricing Transparency)

Oliver Cabell sneakers trainers menswear label to know

Doing the intelligent thing of releasing new styles gradually, Oliver Cabell are launching, in two new colourways, Amazon and Ash, in their Rennes retro looking trainer. Made with 3oz suede, full-grain leather, and rubber shore A outsoles, all are sourced directly from the Tuscan region of Italy.

Published in Labels To Know

Bill Cunningham Fashion Climbing Autobiography Fashion BookBill Cunningham’s first love was fashion, but the Big Apple came a close second. He left Boston for New York aged nineteen, losing his family’s support, but enjoying the infinite luxury of freedom. Living on a scoop of Ovaltine a day, he would run down to Fifth Avenue to feed on the spectacular sights of the window displays – then run back to his tiny studio to work all night.

Working as ‘William J’ - to spare his parents’ blushes - Bill became one of the most celebrated hat designers of the 1950s, his hats were featured in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and worn by Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy. Bill’s mission was to bring happiness by making beautiful things – even if it meant pawning his bike to fund fancy-dress outfits for all his friends.

When women stopped wearing hats and his business was forced to close, Bill worked as a fashion journalist, touring the couture houses of Europe. But New York remained his home, and it was as a street photographer of the fashions of the city that he became well known, in a job that would last almost forty years.

Fashion Climbing is the enchanting memoir he left behind. Found after passing away in June 2016 aged 87, it captures the madcap times of his early career and the fashion scene of the mid-century. Written with the spark and wit of Holly Golightly, and brimming over with Bill’s infectious joy for life, it is a gift to all who seek beauty, whatever our style or status.

Left - Fashion Climbing - Bill Cunningham - £16.99

TheChicGeek says, “We don’t have the same affection for Bill on this side of the pond as the Americans, but we know him from the 2010 documentary ‘Bill Cunningham New York’, charting his life as a street style photographer for The New York Times. (I probably need to watch this again soon).

One thing to point out about this autobiography is, it doesn’t touch on his later life as a photographer. It focuses only on his early years, moving from a hat designer to fashion journalist and ends in the late 1960s.

Bill leaves his conservative Irish catholic family in Boston, who tried to curtail his creativity, via a job at department store Bonwit’s and on to New York. Bill finds himself making hats and using his imagination during the heyday of Dior’s ‘New Look’ and America’s obsession with following Paris’ lead.

Bill takes us back to a time when people applauded at fashion shows and not the one handed clap while social media-ing you get today. As delicate a bird as one of his favourite feathered creations, Cunningham projects himself as an outsider purely driven by the love of fashion. He’s exasperated by the social climbing and the following of fashion of women during this part of the 20th century.

This is America at the height of its power. Post war and the golden age of the American dream, this autobiography works through the decades when America peaked and was a powerhouse of fashion consumption and was its biggest patron. Bill must surely be the only man to combine time in the American army while sitting frow at Parisian couture houses.

This is a fun read, and, while it feels exaggerated, it is endearing and is an amusing look at America trying to find its fashion feet. Bill isn’t particularly modest though and wants to continually remind you how individual and original he is. At one point he proclaims he’s ten years ahead of fashion and how nobody gets him. Nobody wants to be ten years ahead of fashion, plus you’d think somebody would have moved into something other than hats faster if you were so ahead of your time.

The hat business dries up and he starts to use his expertise documenting the latest fashion shows and writing fashion articles for WWD. He certainly doesn't have many positive things to say about the fashion press and notes how badly dressed they mostly are.

The book charts his struggle, particularly financially, but you get a feeling his family have more money than he lets on and his uncle sounds very wealthy.

What’s interesting in the book is how things are so different, yet the same. His talk of fashion shows isn’t far off of the circus today. But, fashion has changed and that breathless wait for the next creation from a chosen designer doesn’t ring true anymore. We look, yes, but they no longer have the power with people following sheep-like.

For many, at this time, fashion is a vehicle for social standing, climbing and showing their wealth and his eyerolling at those who just use clothes for these purposes isn’t disguised. He wants them to just enjoy it for what it is, but, you can only do this if you understand fashion, and very few people truly do.

This is the Mad Men New York of parties in hotel ballrooms, social gatherings and peacocking. This is America at its most formal, yet still shows how conservative they are and yet with all the money. They would never buy anything that original or daring and that still rings true today. 

This is a lite and inspiring read for anybody who gets excited about vintage fashion, women with cinched in waists and full skirts, Parisian fashion salons of the 1950s and bouji New York beach resorts."

Read more ChicGeek Fashion Book Reviews here

Published in Fashion

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Prada

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Dior Homme

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Fendi

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Hermes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear SS World Corp

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Maison Margiela

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Jacquemus

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Prada

Male Daisy Dukes

Putting the duke into Daisy Duke, okay, so they're usually denim, but these shorts are seriously short.

Top Left - Prada, Dior Homme, Fendi, Hermès

From Left - SS World Corp, Maison Margiela, Jacquemus, Prada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Prada Denim

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Alyx Denim

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Balmain Denim

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear CMMN SWDN Denim

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Off White Denim

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Valentino DenimSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Versace Denim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Bad Denim

Is there any other type of denim these days? It keeps on getting worse and it ain't going away.

Above - Prada, Alyx, Balmain, CMMN SWDN, Off-White

Left - Valentino, Versace

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Summer Roll Necks Prada

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Summer Roll Necks Prada

Summer Roll-Neck

Burnt neck? Don’t worry the summer roll-neck's got you. These were made for a British summer.

Left - Both - Prada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Summer Dries van Noten brown

Brown Art Suit

I just love this. Simples.

Left - Dries van Noten

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Summer 1960s Prada

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear SS19 Raf Simons Verner Panton

'60s shapes

Verner Panton was the inspiration at Dries (left) and this carried over to Prada and Raf. 

Left - Prada, Raf Simons

Long Cuffs

If you've seen more untucking than Rupaul's Drag Race, it's now time to let those French cuffs hangout. Goodbye cufflinks!

Below Both - Alexander McQueen

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Alexander McQueen

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Alexander McQueen

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Cape Alexander McQueenSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear CMMN SWDNSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Maison Margiela

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arm Caping

Caping was once massive eyeroll at fashion week, but, now, you can put your shoulders in!

From Left - Alexander McQueen, CMMN SWDN, Maison Margiela

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Raf SimonsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Raf Simons

The Scarf With Coat Attached

Trust Raf Simons do give us something we didn't know we needed. It won't blow away!

Below - Raf Simons, Raf Simons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Dries van Noten Green CoatSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Raf Simons Green Satin CoatSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des Garcons

Green Man

How many green coats do you own? Exactly. Nothing welcomes spring like the Green Man. May Day alert!

Left - Dries van Noten, Raf Simons, Comme des Garcons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Raf SimonsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Dolce & Gabbana Green ManSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Thom Browne Green Man

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow VersaceLeft - Dunhill, Dolce & Gabbana, Thom Browne, Versace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow Raf Simons

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow Dior Homme

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow Ermenegildo ZegnaYellow

Yellow hasn't mellowed, in fashion terms, it's just got brighter.

From Left - Raf Simons, Dior Homme, Ermenegildo Zegna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow Raf Simons

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow Raf Simons

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow Jacquemus

Left - Hermès, Thom Browne, Jacquemus, Versace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Ami Baby Bucket HatSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Baby Bucket Hat FendiSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Bucket Hat Stella McCartney

Baby Bonnets

Don't be a dummy, get a bucket hat with the baby ties.

From Left - Ami, Fendi, Stella McCartney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des Garcons

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des Garcons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Longer DB

This season saw the beginnings of something more grown-up and less novelty. It starts with the double-breasted, longer jacket.

Above From Left - Ami, Dior Homme, CMMN SWDN, Dunhill, Versace

Below - Left - Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, Paul Smith, Stella McCartney, Thom Browne

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des Garcons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear CMMN SWDN shiny shirtSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Yellow shirt WooyoungmiSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Dior Homme

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shiny Shirt

We've had latex and leather trousers, now, it's time for the shiny, plastic looking shirt.

From Left - CMMN SWDN, Wooyoungmi, Dior Homme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Maison Margiela Half HalfHalf & HalfSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Alexander McQueen

Yin & Yang your look. It's as clear as night and day.

From Left - Maison Margiela, Alexander McQueen

Deconstructed Army

You won't find this in any army surplus shop, but it makes you want to get in the big outdoors.

Below From Left - DSquared2, Neil Barrett

 

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear DSquared2 align=SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Neil Barrett Army

SS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Comme des GarconsSS19 Trends Short Shorts Menswear Versace Home Knits

Home Knits

Just say 'Auntie Donatella knitted it for me, daarling!'.

From Left - Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Versace

Published in Fashion
Tuesday, 05 June 2018 13:47

Trend World Cup 2018 Style

World Cup 2018 Style Bobby MooreI’m always fascinated with those World Cups during the 1960s and 1970s where the players sat around drinking and smoking like they were spending two weeks on the Costa Brava. Sunning themselves and taking the missus with them, this was World Cup as lad’s holiday. Today, it’s much more serious, and if all the bungs, corruption and violence hasn’t put you off, it’s still a spectacle bringing the world together.

Left - Bobby Moore with locals on the beach 1971 NPG

As well as a sporting contest it’s also a cultural and style moment, celebrated every four years. Recently, photographs of the footballer Bobby Moore were acquired by the National Portrait Gallery and have gone on display to mark this year’s World Cup and the 25th anniversary of his death. The photographs were acquired from the collection of Roberta Moore, his daughter, and show Bobby, the golden boy of British football, throughout his career both on and off the pitch.

World Cup 2018 Style Nike England Shirt ASOS

Right - Nike Football - England Home Vapor Match Shirt In White - £90 from ASOS

World Cup 2018 Style Umbro Unforgotten Russia collection

Umbro has released the  'Unforgotten' collection. Back in 1966, Umbro did a deal with all 16 competing teams in the World Cup finals to wear Umbro kit.  Everyone agreed, but, when the tournament started, one team didn't wear the kit: the Russians. The Unforgotten collection is inspired by what that missing kit could've looked like and the colours and iconography of the Soviet era. Part of the collection is inspired by Lev Yashin, Russia's goalkeeper in 1966 and arguably the greatest goalkeeper ever - still the only goalkeeper to ever win the Ballon d'Or.  He was also famed for always wearing head-to-toe black when playing, hence the Lev pieces in the collection are predominately black.

Left - Umbro 'Unforgotten' Collection - Prices range from £35-80

World Cup 2018 Style book Simon Doonan

Left - 'Saturday Night Fever Pitch' by Simon Doonan, read TheChicGeek's review here

Below - Bobby Moore & Family 1975 NPG

World Cup 2018 Style Bobby Moore national portrait gallery

 

World Cup 2018 Louis Vuitton FIFA world cup holdall

Louis Vuitton has released a FIFA World Cup official licensed product collection - they also make the travel case for the World Cup trophy. Available in 3 colour combinations - red, black and blue, and made with the Maison’s textured Epi leather, the pattern is inspired by the official ball of the 1970 FIFA World Cup. There will also be a range of 35 country name tags - 32 qualified teams of the FIFA World Cup competition + Italy, USA, and China. It is available from the Louis Vuitton boutiques in Harrods and Manchester.

World Cup 2018 Louis Vuitton FIFA world cup wallet

 

Far Left - Louis Vuitton - Keepall 50 – Epi leather - £2970 

Left - Wallet - Slender Epi Leather Wallet - £460

 

 

World Cup 2018 Style Vilebrequin football

Vilebrequin’s signature turtle shares the spotlight, this time, with an especially clever cephalopod: the octopus. With eight tentacles to dribble, he represents the famous ‘Paul’ who captivated the football fans crowds with his predictions in the 2010 World Cup.

Left - Vilebrequin - Soccer Turtles - £175

World Cup 2018 Style OIBOY Superstars football t-shirt

The design is based around the footballs that made, well some of us, into Ronaldo or Messi in the playground. All for the price of £19.66 to celebrate the last time England did anything!

Left - OIBOY - Super Stars Made in Playgrounds White T-Shirt - £19.66

Below - New Balance + Paul Smith Signature Stripe Leather Football - £195

World Cup 2018 Paul Smith New Balance Football

 

See what to wear while watching - TheChicGeek's OOTD World Cup Casual

Published in Fashion
Tuesday, 13 March 2018 11:22

Hot List The Beetlejuice Striped Suit

Striped Suit Pretty Geen Beetlejuice Navy

If you’re a stylish man you need a vertically striped suit in your wardrobe, this season. Trust me. Taking inspiration from one of Tim Burton's most stylish characters, Beetlejuice, the black and white is a little harsh and a bit too fancy dress, so it's lucky Pretty Green has this handsome two-piece in navy. One part Beetlejuice, one part 1960s Mod.

Striped Suit Pretty Geen Beetlejuice Navy

I’ve been looking for a nice vertically striped suit since last Summer when it became clear this was going to be a major trend and this fits the bill perfectly. The vertical stripes make you look taller and slimmer and, in this darker navy colour-way, it’s more evening and dressy. Wear with a simple T-shirt and loafers. 

Left & Below - Pretty Green - Striped Single Breasted Blazer - £280, Boating Stripe Tailored Trousers - £135 

See more character inspiration - The Hamburglar Sunglasses

 

Striped Suit Pretty Geen Beetlejuice Navy

Striped Suit Pretty Geen Beetlejuice Navy

Published in Fashion

Fiorucci Brewer Street Soho is back

Value and price are related, obviously. A high price can offer great value, and vice versa, but many designer brands are very far from this. See more here - Greedy Margins & Brand Blindness

Fiorucci Brewer Street Soho is back

We’re in an age where the arrogance of brands has caused many to push their prices up while lowering their quality. It’s not good enough. So, it was a nice surprise to go into the new Fiorucci store on London’s Brewer Street and see quality product at reasonable prices.

Left - Tired of shopping? Have a lie down

I’d been meaning to take a look since it opened in September. Now owned by Janie and Stephen Schaffer, who had founded the high street chain Knickerbox together in 1986, Fiorucci was one of the coolest fashion names of the 1970s. This is the first store in its rebirth.

Right - The spiral staircase up to the 1st floor in the Fiorucci store on London's Brewer Street

Founded by Elio Fiorucci in 1967, after being inspired by London’s Carnaby Street and King’s Road, the first Fiorucci store opened in Milan’s Galleria Passarella. More stores followed. In 1974, a second location in Milan, a year later in London. Then, in 1976, East 59th Street in New York. The Manhattan store becomes known as “the daytime Studio 54”. It laid down the blueprints for the concept store as we know it today.

Until recently it was just a name check in Sister Sledge’s “He’s The Greatest Dancer” song. But with Halston gone, Gucci overloaded, it’s, now, all about Fiorucci. 

We’ve seen many brands from the 1970s try, and, generally, fail to make a comeback. Ossie Clark never quite made it and Biba stuttered and became an in-house brand at House of Fraser. Many brands make the mistake of trying to carbon copy what was then rather than taking the best bits and thinking about a contemporary shop or experience.

Fiorucci Brewer Street Soho is backFiorucci Brewer Street Soho is backThe new owners of Fiorruci have done this really well. The shop has that disco, playground feeling yet still feels sophisticated and the product all seemed to be Made in Italy of decent weighted fabric and excellently priced - £80 for a T-shirt and £140 for a sweatshirt. 

Left & Right - More images of the first Fiorucci store as part of the brand's rebirth

While £80 is a lot for a T-shirt to many, when you compare it to £250 for a Gucci one that is so thin you can see your hand through it, it seems great value. I’m not sure who is doing their manufacturing, but it looked like the reason why you buy Italian-made clothes.

At these prices it’s something you can get involved and have fun with. Young consumers will be able to afford it or at least save up to it. They are positioning the brand for the long term, looking for repeat custom and offering their consumers something decent for their money. I know if I see a guy in a Fiorucci T-shirt I’ll want to go over and speak to him. It’s cool.

Go check it out next time you’re in Soho.

Published in Fashion

The first ever UK exhibition on the Spanish fashion designer, Cristóbal Balenciaga, and his continuing influence on modern fashion opens at the V&A. The exhibition marks the centenary of the opening of Balenciaga’s first fashion house in San Sebastian, Spain and the 80th anniversary of the opening of his famous fashion house in Paris. 

Left - The man himself, Cristóbal Balenciaga

TheChicGeek says, “While I love the V&A’s Fashion Gallery, the big exhibition space, where Pink Floyd currently is, is usually larger and something to get more excited about. But, this exhibition feels less cramped than previous exhibitions in the space - see Underwear here - and upstairs has a nice, spacious flow.

Balenciaga, as a designer, was serious. Those black voluminous gowns seem to sum up his lack of fun. He feels strict in that Spanish Catholic way, manifesting itself in his designs using lace and the Spanish Mantilla. You don’t get much feel for the man or his personality, but I think that’s how he liked it. He only gave one interview in his life, and that was just before he died.

Left - Known for his elegant volumes, Balenciaga was one of the great couturiers of the 20th century

The name disappeared into the history books when he closed his house and only came back into common culture with its revival around 20 year's ago when Gucci’s parent company, Kering, bought it alongside Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen.

Downstairs is a collection of pieces, mostly coats and dresses, from his most prolific period the 1960s. These are sculptural clothes for pictures and striking as they are, when they become practical, to enter the real world, particularly the commissions by the rich Americans, they look dated and frumpy. His volumes work on their own, but on people they add bulk and often swallow the wearer. These aren't easy wearing pieces.

Some of his pieces aren’t practical either. The wearer couldn’t sit down or go to the toilet in 'Envelope' dress, for example, but this doesn't detract from its beauty.

This was the golden age of 20th century of couture and while he produced ready-to-wear with his 'Eisa' range, his heart was in his exacting standards and the fine fabrics he used. 

Left - The 'Envelope' dress, 1967, a design you couldn't sit down or go to the toilet in

Balenciaga is more a collection of one-off greatest hits than themed seasons in the vain of Saint Laurent. These weren’t particularly well documented, even though they were huge, between 150 to 200 looks, as the press weren’t allowed into his shows, so the main imagery is striking black and white shoots in the magazines at the time which have entered in the common psyche of 20th century fashion images.

Upstairs is a large display with a varied selection of designers, both old and new, paying homage to the volumes that Balenciaga pioneered. There are a couple of men’s pieces by JW Anderson and Rory Parnell-Mooney to illustrate that his influence isn’t restricted solely to womenswear.

Left - JW Anderson paying homage to Balenciaga with his tulip trousers

There are a couple of pieces from the new Balenciaga, under Demna Gvasalia, who is producing great things and referencing the house while making it feel contemporary. Unfortunately, there isn't a blue Ikea bag in sight!

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion until 18th February 2018. Admission £12

Published in Fashion
Friday, 07 October 2016 11:05

Hot List The Psychedelic Shirt

psychedelic menswear Tom FordPeace and love, what more do we need? Well, a big bank balance looking at the price of this shirt. Tom Ford always knows which bits of the past to mine. While he's a man of the 1970s, this psychedelic shirt brings to mind the Beatles of the 1960s and menswear brands from the time such as Mr Fish.

While this shirt is loud, team it with a navy suit and plain tie and you'll have something that is risk taking and tasteful rather than brash and gaudy. Peace out!

Left - Tom Ford - Floral Print Shirt - £675 from Harrods

Inspired? See the V&A’s 1960s Exhibition - here

Tom Ford menswear harrods psychedelic shirt

Published in Fashion

victoria & albert revolution exhibition mr fishThis major exhibition at the V&A will explore the era-defining significance and impact of the late 1960s upon life today. From global civil rights, multiculturalism, environmentalism, consumerism, computing, communality to neoliberalist politics, the world we live in has been vitally influenced by five revolutionary years 1966 – 70. You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 70 will investigate the upheaval, the explosive sense of freedom, and the legal changes that took place resulting in a fundamental shift in the mindset of the Western world.

Left - Examples of 60s fashion including this striped suit by Mr Fish

Mick Jagger jumpsuit ossie clark exhibition the chic geek TheChicGeek says, “What a trip! We can never get enough of the sixties; a decade we look back at so fondly and one that defined modern Britain and revitalised London. The Victoria & Albert Museum certainly know where the money is these days: the baby-boomers who have all the time and leisure can reminisce here and let the memories come flooding back, or not depending on how hard they went for it during that decade.

Right - The moves like Jagger! Ossie Clark's velvet jumpsuit for Mick Jagger

beatles sergeant pepper lonely heart suits V&ATuning in and dropping out was for the wealthy, but we won’t let that spoil a good story. What makes this exhibition is the headphones and the soundtrack. Much like the Bowie exhibition before it, it allows you to be fully immersed and get lost in the sights and sounds of the decade.

Left - Two of the Beatles suits from the Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover

woodstock fashion v&a museumThere’s nothing here that is particularly new, but it’s so well put together it’s a bit like watching a favourite film: you know what is going to happen but you still love it. From Carnaby Street to Vietnam to Black Power to Woodstock and finally Lennon’s Imagine, the exhibition looks at the idea of challenging the establishment and looking for alternative ways of thinking and living, many of which still resonate today.

Right - The Woodstock area features fake grass, bean bags and costumes and footage from the 1960s most famous festivals

John Lennon Imagine jacketThere is plenty of menswear here too. From Mr Fish to Ossie Clark’s jumpsuit for Mick Jagger and Jimi Hendrix’s festival costumes.

I can’t recommend this exhibition enough. I think it was the longest time I’ve ever spent in a V&A exhibition. There is so much to look at and read, plus the headphones really allow you to zone out and tune in!”

Left - The jacket John Lennon wore in the Imagine video

#RecordsandRebels

Published in Fashion