This season is all about letting your crazy side out. Forget all the rules of what goes with what. Pile on the prints and embrace the joy of the mis-match
Top right: Opening Ceremony Jacquard Top
Bottom right: Marni Purple Block Print Top
Centre top: Chloe Floral Blazer
Center bottom: Dior Camo Print Wedges
Top left: Marni Green Print Dress
Bottom left: Balenciaga Plaid Blouse
So. You read my thoughts on being a fashion collector? If not, shame on you, get over there now and take a look. If you are thinking of investing in fashion yourself the below should be helpful, whether you are a Hamish or a Rachel.
What I like to call ‘contemporary vintage’ has been covetable for a while now and there is no doubt that people are becoming more aware of it as a category distinct from ‘true vintage’. The Internet has made it easier for people to reference past collections and to look out for their most coveted pieces in the second hand marketplace. Museum exhibitions of contemporary fashion labels such as Alexander McQueen, Prada and Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs have also given people a better ‘real time’ idea of what might be fashion’s future collectibles. Whether it be Tom Ford’s designs for Gucci or Stella McCartney’s designs for Chloe there is no doubt that the pre-owned designer fashion buyer is becoming more savvy about the pieces they spend their money on.
When thinking of who to invest in there are several factors to take into account. If you have the eye of Isabella Blow or Joan Burstein you could try to snap up the first collection from fashion’s next big thing (Blow bought Alexander McQueen’s graduate collection, Burstein bought John Galliano’s). But if you don’t have the rare skill of being able to recognise the future of fashion then you should look at buying pieces with some hindsight – so pre-owned.
Alexander McQueen pieces from Lee’s McQueen’s days are of course very collectible (for obvious reasons of irreplaceability) and Pheobe Philo’s designs for Chloe are gaining cache. Philo has come into her own in collector’s terms. Her huge success at Celine and her reputation as the new ‘Queen of Minimalism’ has heralded a new interest in her whole archive.
Other things to look out for are labels that have undergone a change of designer as pieces from the out-going designers will become more collectible – think about Nicolas Ghesquiere’s Balenciaga pieces and Stefano Pilati’s YSL ones. And also think about iconic collections from your favourite labels – Stella McCartney’s Chloe Spring ‘Horses’ collection is hugely collectible.
And don’t forget key pieces from smaller labels – Christopher Kane’s galaxy print dress, Isabel Marant’s Dicker boots and Bekket trainers and Kenzo’s Tiger sweater to name a handful. And keep an eye on those super hot, relatively young labels such Mary Katrantzou and Charlotte Olympia.
Shop our fashion collectibles here
We all know that fashion designers can a temperamental lot. Ruled by creativity and often fuelled by little more than black coffee and Haribo, it is no wonder that tempers flare once in a while. There have been some very entertaining fashion spats over the years – some even making non fashion headlines. This is my top 5
Chanel v Schiaparelli
There was famously no love lost between Chanel and Schiaparelli – it was no secret that they were great rivals. Both strong, independent women they loved throwing barbed comments at each other. Chanel once called Schiaparelli “that Italian artist who makes clothes” and Schiaparelli famously called Chanel “that milliner”.
Cavalli vs Armani
Two very different stalwarts of Italian fashion, Cavalli and Armani reportedly have an uneasy relationship. Things came to a head last year when Cavalli complained about his position on the Milan Fashion Week schedule. Noting that Armani, who he called “the little king”, had been moved up in the schedule so he wouldn’t be last in the running, Cavalli complained about how unfair this was. Armani responded to WWD (allegedly with a laugh) that “Cavalli should be quiet because the Little King could start to get angry”. Get them!
YSL vs Christian Louboutin
One of fashion’s most famous fall-outs of recent years, the YSL vs Louboutin saga played out in the international court rooms but also in the international fashion press, many of whom described the lengthy back and forth legal battle as ‘exhausting’. The whole thing centred around, and called in question whether a colour could be trademarked. It was finally ruled in October 2012 that it could be. Almost. YSL were still permitted to use red soles on their monchcormatic, all red pumps – the ones that had kicked of the whole furore in 2011. Oh, the footwear irony!
Karl Lagerfeld v Stella McCartney
Famously outspoken Chanel svengali Karl Lagerfeld has never been backward about coming forward with his opinions, on pretty much anyone and everything. When McCartney took over at Chloe Lagerfeld did not hold back, saying that Chloe should have “taken a big name. They did, but in music, not fashion. Let’s hope she is as gifted as her father.” He also called McCartney ‘a T-shirt designer’. Since then Lagerfeld has allegedly softened his feelings towards McCartney, but even so it much have been sweet for Stella when she topped a Google ‘most searched-for fashion designer’ poll in 2012. Lagerfeld came second.
Raf Simons v Heidi Slimane (maybe)
Probably the two most discussed names in fashion at the end of last year; it is no surprise that talk of rivalry between Dior’s and Saint Laurent’s new designers was widespread. After all they joined iconic fashion houses at the same time, they both come from menswear backgrounds – Slimane famously at Dior Homme (and YSL) and Simons at his own label – and they were both born in the same year, 1968. Considering the pressure they were both under with their respective debuts it was inevitable that the fashion world would assume them to be on less than friendly terms. There is actually not a lot of evidence to support any serious beef between these two, beyond a usual healthy competitiveness. Maybe there isn’t any, or maybe there are just very discreet about it.
Last year we did some analysis (we are not all about drooling over gorgeous fashion here) on our the top selling pre-owned fashion labels. Some of the results were unsurprising, some were more so. Anyway, this year we have done it again.
As in 2011, 2012 saw the big hitters lead the second hand fashion field. First place goes to Chanel with Hermes and Louis Vuitton close behind. 2012 also saw Alexander McQueen move closer to the top of the pack – surely linked to Sarah Burton’s genius in making the label more accessible and bringing it more into the public eye. Other notables included Lanvin and Chloe.
Many of 2012′s ‘smaller yet perfectly formed’ labels continued to grow in their pre-owned popularity in 2012. Notably Christopher Kane and Isabel Marant; both of whom had some of their strongest ‘second hand moments’ in 2012. Newer additions to the high scoring list were Mary Katrantzou, Proenza Schouler (in most part due to there PS1 bag) and Stella McCartney.
Several labels are undergoing a real renaissance under their young, hip creative directors and as a result are gathering serious pre-owned pace. Notable for 2012 were Carven under the Guillaume Henry and Kenzo under Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony fame – their tiger sweatshirt was changing hands for 3 to 4 times retail.
When I think of Chloé I think of classic lines, femininity and style; just what you’d expect from a top French fashion house. Take this silk leopard print jumpsuit from the Resort 2009 collection; it stands as a testament to the label’s super cool, eye catching aesthetic. From one of Hannah MacGibbon’s very first collections for the label, it is a super versatile garment with both day and evening appeal.
I can imagine it being worn by the most stylish of women on a summer’s evening in the Med; the silk keeping her sun-kissed skin cool as she sips a cocktail. The pleating on the waist and wrap around style top flatters her silhouette and as the sun goes down she strolls along the beach, the wide fabric on the legs fluttering in the breeze. A perfect look for her nights après-sun; whether she spends them toes in sand or in strappy heels enjoying a dinner of delicious Mediterranean food and fine wines.
But for now it remains sadly unworn, in need of a tale to be imprinted into the threads of its silk. The lucky lady who buys this will be sure to have a subtle, super stylish impact on those around her when she embarks on her own Chloé fashion story.
This week Style Sequel brings you a super selection of shoes; guaranteed to melt almost any woman’s heart and we really do have something for every taste.
Starting with a pair of signature ballerina shoes from Vivienne Westwood’s Anglomania and Melissa collection. These shiny dove coloured rubber pumps are quirky yet comfy to wear. Next we have an essential pair of patent leather brogues from Tod’s; they have chunky stacked rubber heels and elongated toes.
When the rain comes, fashion doesn’t have to suffer – these super rare, ‘Sienna’ rain boots from Burberry are a luxe way to keep your feet dry. Made from a glossy, super high quality brown rubber with clever shading mimicing the look of leather, they have a classic riding boot shape and nova check lining. If iconic footwear is your thing then grab these super boots from Chloe’s AW05 collection. Made from thick brown full grained leather they are mid calf length with a slouchy cut and a large brass ‘Paddington’ buckle on the side strap.
If you prefer something a little less practical, we have these ultra sexy, fashion vixen shoe boots from Emilio Pucci’s SS09 collection. Made from ultra soft suede with chunky bright purple zips on the front, they have super sculptural glossy dark purple resin platforms and heels and vibrant multicoloured ‘Emilio Pucci’ signature printed leather inside. Or how about this stunning pair of incredibe, statement heels from Jil Sander? Made from black finely grained leather, they have the most amazing perspex platforms and heels.
Lastly, we bring you a pair of absolutely adorable, cute yet sexy heels from Luella Bartley’s SS09 collection. Made from glossy black patent leather, they have gorgeous heart shape fronts and cheeky little heart shaped peep holes on the back.
To see these and more of our fabulous footwear, clothes and accesories visit our What’s New page