19/10/2014

The Tale of the Fisherman and his Fashion

By the very edge of the blue sea lived an old man and his old woman.
For three and thirty years they had lived in a tumbledown hut made of mud.
The old man caught fish in his fishing net; the old woman span with her spinning wheel. One day the old man cast his net and all he caught in his net was slime. 

The old man cast his net a second time and all he caught in his net was weed.
A third time the old man cast his net and what he found in his net was a fish no ordinary fish, but a golden fish. The fish begged, the fish begged and implored; the fish prayed in a human voice:'Release me, set me free in the sea, and in return you'll receive a grand ransom, I'll grant you whatever you wish.'
The old man was amazed and frightened.

Three and thirty years he had fished and not once had he heard a fish talk.

He returned the fish to the water, saying gently as he let her go free,
'God be with you, golden fish! I don't need your grand ransom. Off you go — into the deep blue sea! Swim free, swim where you wish!'
The old man went back to his old woman and told her of this great wonder:'Today I caught a fish in my net - no ordinary fish, but a golden fish. The fish spoke, she spoke in our tongue; she begged to go home, into the blue sea. She promised me a splendid ransom; she said she would grant whatever I wished. But I didn't dare take this ransom. I set her free in the deep blue sea.' The old woman scolded her old man:'Simple fool, fool of a simpleton! What stopped you taking this ransom? A mere fish — and you were too frightened! You could at least have got a new washtub. Ours is cracked right down the middle.'


Off he went towards the blue sea. (The blue sea looked a little troubled.) He called out to the golden fish and the fish swam up and asked him,'What is it, old man, what do you want?' The old man bowed to the fish and said, 'Have mercy on me, Sovereign Fish. My old woman is cursing and scolding me. Though I am old, she gives me no peace. She needs a new washtub, she says. Ours is cracked right down the middle.' The golden fish replied straightaway, 'Take heart — and God be with you! Outside your hut you'll find a new washtub!' 

The old man went back to his old woman. His old woman now had a new washtub, but she was cursing more fiercely than ever: 'Simple fool, fool of a simpleton, all you got from the fish was a washtub. What wealth can be found in a washtub?  Get on back, you fool, to the fish. Bow down to the fish and say you want a handsome house built of wood.'


Off he went towards the blue sea. (The blue sea was a little rough.) He called out to the golden fish and the fish swam up and asked him, 'What is it, old man, what do you want?' The old man bowed to the fish and said, 'Have mercy on me, Sovereign Fish. My old woman is cursing and raging. Though I am old, she gives me no peace. She wants a handsome house built of wood.' The golden fish replied straightaway, 'Take heart — and God be with you! You shall have your house built of wood.' The old man set off for his hut, but not a trace of his hut could he find. In its place stood a house built of wood with a whitewashed brick chimney and two strong gates hewn from oak. Sitting by the window was his old woman, swearing at him for all she was worth: 'Simple fool, fool of a simpleton, all you got from the fish was a house. Get on back, you fool, to the fish. I don't want to be a lowly peasant. I want to be a noble lady.'


Off he went towards the blue sea. (The blue sea was not calm.) He called out to the golden fish and the fish swam up and asked him, 'What is it, old man, what do you want?' The old man bowed to the fish and said, 'Have mercy on me, Sovereign Fish. My old woman is shouting and swearing, cursing me for all she is worth. Though I am old, she gives me no peace. She doesn't want to be a lowly peasant. She wants to be a noble lady.' The golden fish replied straightaway, 'Take heart — and God be with you!'


The old man went back to his old woman and saw? He saw a tall mansion. His old woman was standing there in the porch. She was wearing a splendid 'soul-warmer' —  a precious waistcoat trimmed with sable. On her head was a brocade head-dress; round her neck hung heavy pearls and gold rings encircled her fingers. On her feet were fine red boots and before her stood zealous servants; she was slapping them and pulling their hair. The old man said to his old woman, 'Good day, Lady Countess Baroness! I hope you've got all you want now!' The old woman flew at her husband and packed him off to work in the stables.

A week passed, and another week. The old woman grew madder than ever. She sent her old man back to the fish: 'Go back to the fish, bow low and say I don't want to be a fine lady — I want to be a mighty tsaritsa.' The old man took fright. He implored her: 'What's got into you, woman? Are you crazy? Have you been eating black henbane? You don't know how to walk like a tsaritsa, You don't know how to talk like a tsaritsa. You'll be the laughing stock of your tsardom.' The old woman flew into a fury. She struck her husband across the cheek: 'How dare you, peasant, answer me back? How dare you talk like that to a lady? Back you go again to the sea — or, upon my word, You'll be dragged there against your will.'


Off he went towards the blue sea. (The blue sea was blacker than black.) He called out to the golden fish and the fish swam up and asked him, 'What is it, old man, what do you want?' The old man bowed to the fish and said, 'Have mercy on me, Sovereign Fish. My old woman is raging again. She doesn't want to be a fine lady. She wants to be a mighty tsaritsa.' The golden fish replied straightaway, 'Take heart — and God be with you! Your old woman shall be a tsaritsa.'


The old man went back to his old woman. Before him stands a splendid palace and his old woman is there in the hall. She is a tsaritsa sitting at table. Nobles are standing and waiting on her, pouring her wines from over the seas while she nibbles on honeycakes. All around stand fierce-looking guards with sharp axes poised on their shoulders… The old man was frightened. He bowed to the ground and said, 'Greetings, O dread Tsaritsa — and I hope you've got all you want now!' The old woman didn't look at him; she just ordered him out of her sight, and her nobles and courtiers came running and shoved the old man towards the door; and the guards ran up with their axes and all-but hacked him to pieces. and everyone laughed at the old man: 'Serves you right, you ignorant lout! Let this be a lesson to you, bumpkin! Don't get too big for your boots or sit in another man's sleigh!'


A week passed, and another week. The old woman grew madder than ever. She sent her courtiers to fetch her husband. They found him and brought him before her and the old woman said to her old man, 'Go back, bow down to the fish. I don't want to be a mighty tsaritsa, I want to be a sea empress; I want to live in the Ocean-Sea with the golden fish as my servant to bring me whatever I ask for.'


The old man did not dare say a word; he was too frightened to open his mouth. Off he went towards the blue sea. Raging there was a black storm! Waves were flinging up spray; angry waves were crashing and howling. He called out to the golden fish and the fish swam up and asked him, 'What is it, old man, what do you need?' The old man bowed to the fish and said, 'Have mercy on me, Sovereign Fish! What am I to do with the wretched woman? She no longer wants to be a tsaritsa, she wants to be a sea empress. She wants to live in the Ocean-Sea with you as her faithful servant to bring her whatever she asks for.' Not a word did the fish reply. She just slapped her tail on the water and dived deep into the blue sea. The old man waited and waited But that was all the answer he got. He went back — to a hut made of mud. His old woman was sitting outside it; And before her lay a broken washtub.


Tale by Alexander Pushkin

Coat from Topman
Sweater from H&M
Jeans from Topman
Socks from Pringle
Shoes from French Connection
Daisy Necklace from Ebay

08/10/2014

PFW

  Paris Fashion Week. PFW is the jewel in the crown that is fashion month. It attracts the largest crowds of the fashion forward as well as the designers they pander to. Paris is a city that is immediately associated with the fashion world, which it has been enveloped by since the decadent rococo era, and reinforced by the emergence of industry giants such as Chanel and Dior (and many, many more). Nowadays, it’s a melting point of different aesthetics and trains of thought, tied in by the individual love of fashion. Here are my favorite shows this season.

I’m not going to lie, I was a big fan of Formichetti for Mugler. His dark aesthetic paired with dangerous sex appeal is something that has vastly influenced my taste. However, David Koma has brought something new to Mugler. Out with the dark and sexy, in with the bright and sporty. Sleek tailoring and monochrome colours (barring the occasional burst of orange or baby blue) were evident throughout. Metallic edges accented the almost Bond-like swimsuits. Although this collection isn’t the best Koma could have done, it’s a step in the right direction. 
Sex is back at Givenchy. What Tisci once saw in streetwear he has come to rediscover in pure, unadulterated sex appeal. The clothes were extremely detailed, evident in the lace appliqu├ęs and daintily spun sheer tops. Although the show could have easily gone towards (dare I say it) costume land, it teetered just on the edge, giving us a hint of the medieval while keeping the modern (mostly in the footwear!). Tisci’s Givenchy has long been associated with a tougher woman, but this was a different kind of tough. No longer is it the basketball playing girl in the hoody, it’s the sword brandishing warrior woman in the metal mesh. With so much of fashion turning to boho nowadays, it looks like a good move.
Stella McCartney on the other hand, believes in a completely different type of sex appeal. For her, it’s all about the easy, breezy, I-just-threw-this-on kind of sexy. Although a Brit, it’s an extremely Parisian viewpoint. I mean seriously, is there anything more chic than the girl who quickly pulls her hair into a pony in the morning and throws on a designer dress, no makeup, no bag, no accessories, no worries? That’s exactly the type of girl Stella designs for. Everything seemed comfortable, with tailoring just skimming the edge of the models bodies, and little lace inserts and cutouts adding a bit of flirty detail. Black was punctured with pale pinks, blues and violets, like spring flowers poking out of the darkened ground. A beautiful collection, as always. 
Nobody makes dresses like Elie Saab. Yes, I mean that, there is not one designer on earth that can make a dress as stunningly glamorous as Elie Saab. This runway was no exception. Inspired by the ocean, the clothes flowed in a current of monochrome, blue and the orange. Although there was intense detailing (as always) there was also a true easiness, one that you can only really find at a Saab show. These are the clothes you’ll be seeing on every A-lister from Jolie to Bey on the red carpets. Shoutout also goes to fav model of the moment Mijo Mihaljcic (pictured right), a Belgrade girl who’s making waves (get it) in the modeling world.
 Iris Van Herpen is somebody who’s living 10 years ahead of all of us. Her collection entitled Magnetic Motion was evidence of this, and wouldn’t be out of place in a far off future wear people travel in magnetically powered vehicles in the sky. The collection was spawned by a visit to the CERN collider, and the clothes were a collision of classic silhouettes with modern silicone enhancements attached. It seemed at some points as if the models themselves were emanating a magnetic field. She’s at the forefront of technology in clothing, and is defining fashion as we see it with every laser cut piece of leather and meticulously applied strip of silicone.
My favorite collection ever (and I’m not alone), was Plato’s Atlantis. McQueen inspired a generation and his death was one of the saddest events the industry has ever seen. So it’s not a surprise that people were hesitant when Sarah Burton took over the collection, she had very big shoes to fill. However, instead of trying to replicate Lee’s genius, she took a different root. While staying true to the avant-garde nature of the McQueen brand, she’s brought something it was lacking, femininity. This time around the femininity was echoed in effervescent orchids, yet restrained with (almost fetishistic) black belts and harnesses. The collection was highly influenced by Japan, shown in the kimonos, and samurai like feel that shined through the models. It was the perfect middle point between the dark and edgy Lee and the feminine Burton. He would be proud. 
I’m a sucker for a fairytale. And Takahashi at Undercover showed exactly that. The theme was the loss of innocence with winged beauties in girly dresses, alongside those covered by a print lifted from Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” were followed by femme fatales in all black, covering the transition from childlike to dark. It could have looked like 3 different shows summarized in one, but there was a cohesiveness that is rare to see in shows with such a fantastical scene. The complete standout look for me was the biker jacket accessorized with black wings. It was like Maleficent in the 21st century. As was fiting for the entire collection, it was Disney yet edgy and modern. 
I became a Barrett groupie after seeing one of his men’s collections a while back. His clothes are absolutely everything I want to wear. They’re cool and edgy, yet have a story behind them and a classic feel. His last men’s show was inspired by Apollo, so it only followed this one would be inspired by Aphrodite. Barrett has a critical eye, and as such he doesn’t usually offer too many pieces that are off track, which showed in the offering of similar silhouettes with plays in print, color and length. The intriguing moment was the camo print which at first seems self-explanatory, but is actually compiled by tiny pieces of sculpture.  The personal standout was the black bomber jacket with digital Aphrodite print, it’s everything you could ever want in outerwear. Barrett is definitely one of my favorite designers and one to follow in the years to come. 

-Till this weekends outfit post, Alex

05/10/2014

Trendstory


So kids, what did we learn this season from fashion month? Excluding the fact that KimYe taught us that you can match cleavage, there were a lot of lessons in fashion given at the shows. New York gave us the edgy, London gave us the classic, Milan gave us the fun, and Paris (review to come on Tuesday) gave us the chic. The secret in “dressing well” lies somewhere in between the four. 


 Trend wise, there were a couple that stood out. Normcore is obviously here to stay and it’s out with the gold and gaudy and in with the silver and minimalist. I don’t know how the Russians and ADR are going to deal with it, but I for one am happy we’re slowly steering towards the effortless chic of times past. However, just because we’ll be dressing in the classic doesn’t mean we won’t be looking to the future. It’s clearly (get it) about the different materials, be it plastic accessories at Hood by Air or 3d printed dresses at Pringle.

Although fashion is catering to the young nowadays (more about that later), there was a distinct lack of color from the spring shows. Although florals for spring has always been groundbreaking, it’s all about the monochrome now. Where there was color, it was subdued, jewel tones (Erdem, Delpozo etc), something we’re usually used to seeing for winter. Not that I’m complaining, 2/3 of my wardrobe is black. Sneakers continued to dominate the runway, and everybody from Kate Moss to Manrepeller has completely ditched the heel in favor of a pair of Nikes or New Balances. 


Designers are starting to take the shows a little less seriously now. Barbie at Moschino was the flashiest sign that the industry is starting to break the boundaries of what should be sold by a brand. As I’ve said before (in relation to Fendi) it’s about the 20-year old now, not the older, affluent, professional, and the 20-year old wants to be young, and bubbly, and crazy. And that is the way it should be, because at the end of the day (hold your purse ladies), it’s just clothing! Have fun with it! Experiment! Do something weird! Put a Barbie in your bag and walk around central London like it’s nothin’ special! End every sentence with an exclamation point! We spend a lot of money on clothing, you might as well get some fun out of it. 


 Shirt by uniqlo
Jeans by Topman
Sneakers by New Balance
Clear backpack by American Apparel
Jewelry by Topman
Barbie by Mattel

photography by Viktoria Gzibovska