1. by Alexander Fury .

    Maison Martin Margiela '20' The Exhibition

    It's often difficult to explain the appeal of Maison Martin Margiela to those outside of the fashion world. Maybe Margiela is the fashion equivalent of an insider's joke - the label-less label, unfinished detailing, deliberately cheap fabrics and extreme proportions, all seem a parody of what designer fashion represents. And well they should. Margiela's clothes are 'thinking fashion', imbued with obvious intellectual rather than monetary value. For many people, those four external white stitches are more of a status symbol than any number of loadsamoney logos.

    Deciphering the codes of MMM to the uninitiated in the United Kingdom will become that much easier this summer, as London's Somerset House hosts Maison Martin Margiela '20' The Exhibition. Following 2008's Skin + Bone exhibition and the small matter of our own Fashion Revolution last summer, this latest installation at the new home of London Fashion Week chronicles two decades of enigmatic creation by one of fashion's most influential designers. Unveiled to critical acclaim at the MoMu, Antwerp and Haus der Kunst, Munich last year, for its London debut the exhibition has been specially reconfigured for the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House. Expect sliced-up Stockman dummies, acres of pristine white and nary a logo in sight when the exhibition (no doubt quietly) opens its doors on 3 June.

    Recent comments

    1. hudson
      14:45 23 Mar 2010
      Now this IS something worth getting your knickers in a twist over - can not bloody wait!
    2. hudson
      14:45 23 Mar 2010
      Now this IS something worth getting your knickers in a twist over - can not bloody wait!
    3. leonor
      15:51 23 Mar 2010
      FABULOUS! hope it will come to paris to!
    4. qual
      11:27 26 Mar 2010
      So stoked for this!
    5. svu
      23:03 31 Mar 2010
      great in Antwerp.
  2. by Alexander Fury .

    Paris Fashion Week - Season Report

    Completing our Collections coverage for Autumn/Winter 2010, my seasonal report on the varied vagaries of Paris Fashion Week is now live. 'Varied' is, in actual fact, a rather polite way of putting it - there wasn't much variety in the sea of beige Paris became with designers predominantly playing it safe and sound and plumping for a quiet camel coat above all else (you'll need at least seventeen to last the season). But enough of that - here's the best of the rest, and in fact some of the best of this decidedly topsy-turvy Autumn/Winter season.


  3. by Alexander Fury .

    Milan Fashion Week - Season Report

    The penultimate season report from the Autumn/Winter 2010 round of shows has now been launched, showcasing the mixed bag that was Milan. And frankly, it was refreshing - if other fashion capitals seek to obfuscate with intellectual rhetoric or artistic intentions, the Italians know this is a business and make few overtures otherwise. At the same time, with a failing luxury goods market, creative threats from abroad, manufacturing challenge from China and, perhaps most sobering of all, the greige shadow of minimalism sobering up the Italian's party time, it was difficult for Milan to put on a brave face. Here's what I thought of the whole shindig, anyhow.

    Click here for Milan Season Report

  4. by Alexander Fury .

    London Fashion Week - Season Report

    Our second season report is now live on the site, focusing on the latest offerings from London for Autumn/Winter 2010. There was something, it seemed, for everyone, whether your shtick is Louise Goldin's origami militia, Richard Nicoll's sleek tailoring, the cornucopia of foliage spilling across calfskin at Christopher Kane, or the eerily prescient bosom-framing décolleté dirndls at Marios Schwab (those breasts would pop up again, inflated to cartoon proportions, forty-eight hours later at Prada). Click here to read our views on the week that was.

    [br]Click here for London Season Report

  5. by Alexander Fury .

    New York Fashion Week - Season Report

    Following a non-stop month covering the Autumn/Winter 2010 Collections across two continents, this week seems an appropriate time to stop and reflect on what we have seen. On behalf of, this season I have sat, stood and scrummed my way through a hundred-or-so shows - comprising over four thousand garments - to determine exactly what women will be wearing (or at least wanting to wear) come December. Frankly, it's a mixed bag: you can be a sadomasochistic milkmaid, a slave to simplicity, a Working Girl V. 0.1,.2 and indeed .3, or a bourgeoisie housewife (with or without a twist). For the next four days, it's my job to dissect our fashion experience city by city, and provide a definitive overview of the season at large.

    Where to start? The beginning is a very good place, namely New York, the first fashion pit-stop and an obvious port of call in a season heavily influenced by the spare minimalism of American sportswear and vintage nineties Calvin 'Clean' Klein. Here are my thoughts on the best (and the rest) of New York Autumn/Winter 2010.

    [br]Click here for New York Season Report

  6. by Alexander Fury .

    Light at the end of the tunnel!

    Here's my shot of that sci-fi sixties tunnel at the head of the Hermes catwalk - just before Lily Cole did her Emma Peel number to open Jean Paul Gaultier's latest collection of slick John Steed inspired mens-for-womens suiting. At the moment I am typing up my final report from Paris - Richard Nicoll's chic Cerruti debut, a treat for beige-blinded eyes in mouthwatering shades of blue and scarlet - that brings our excusrion to the French fashion capital, and the Autumn/Winter 2010 show season as a whole, to a close. I wish I could think of an eloquently pithy bon mot to summarise, but frankly I'm spent. More from me the other side of La Manche.

  7. by Alexander Fury .

    Yves Saint Laurent Re-See

    The Tribute sandals were the tip of the iceberg (no Chanel reference implied): Stefano Pilati's latest collection for Yves Saint Laurent was an unequivocal ode to the house itself, complete with almost talismanic cut-out golden figures of iconic YSL silhouettes, and ripe for a re-see yesterday from a devout convert since 2004 - a.k.a. me. Pilati himself denied any religious signification to this collection of bourgeoise wimples and cassock-like frocks in puckered silk, coloured in a rich ecclesiastical palette: maybe we're just reading our own view's of Sant Laurent's saintly heritage into the mix? Up close, as ever, the details were stunning - gathered rosettes of duchess satin, organza and ostrich feathers formed into choirboy ruffs and dresses with all the grand solemnity of an Archbishop's robes. Okay, I'll stop now. For Pilati, the collection was all about protection, illustrated by panels of transparent PVC worked into and over the flawless black tailoring, and press-studded onto chic document cases. If you're wrapping yourself up against the cold world next winter, I can't envisage a chicer way to do it. Oh, and those Tribute sandals were still there - this time with a mohican of goat hair and a chunkier, clunkier pedestal-bottom heel. Should protect you from toppling on Right Bank cobblestones a treat.

  8. by Alexander Fury .

    Gently does it

    With Paris' collections aflutter with pussy-bow necklines, severe black suits and camel cashmere coats (in the audience and on the catwalks), the launch of a magazine titled 'The Gentlewoman' is well-timed. But, given that the magazine is the sister of Fantastic Man and helmed by our own former Editor in Chief Penny Martin, this magazine isn't bourgeoise by any stretch of the imagination.

    In her own words, Martin's magazine is for 'women who are just fantastic' - evidently that goes both for readers, and the women inside. A savvy choice for cover star is fashion's leading influence en ce moment, Phoebe Philo, while packed inside the pages are Julie Verhoeven, Lynn Cox, Jenny Holzer and Louise Gray, to pluck out just a few. Add Jonathan Kaye's ever-inspired styling (cheek the Rochas in 'Power Session', that's all I'm saying) and photographic contributions from David Sims, Alasdair Mclellan and Wolfgang Tillmans, the tome is undoubtedly weighty in influence, but still light enough - at 144 well-chosen pages - to slip inside a Céline handbag.

    The magazine launched with a suitably genteel soiree in a Rive Gauche Hôtel Particulier yesterday evening and is released to gentlewomen worldwide on 22 March.

    Recent comments

    1. Imogen
      12:44 10 Mar 2010
      Very much looking forward to getting my hands on this! Are you bringing a copy back to Londres? x
    2. alex.fury
      13:34 10 Mar 2010
      Indeed, a Céline-clad Professor Penny gifted me one with her own fair hands! It's rather dogeared already as I've read it three times through. Truly fantastic.
  9. by Alexander Fury .

    More thoughts on McQueen

    Further to my last post, and to my Collections report on the Alexander McQueen show, I thought it was worth sharing an excerpt from an email I just wrote to thank the McQueen team for inviting me to this evening's presentations:

    Lots of people in fashion feel they are 'entitled' to see something, to sit somewhere, to be someone. I felt incredibly privileged and happy to have been able to see this collection first-hand. It is something I will remember and cherish forever.

    [br]I'm not an overwhelmingly emotional person, especially when it comes to fashion, but today's show was hard to leave without shedding a tear. I made it to the courtyard.

    [br]Although the clothes - exquisitely wrought, perfectly conceived and impeccably realised - spoke to me aesthetically, I was touched equally by the attitude of the McQueen team, the profound respect they showed for Lee McQueen's memory and their bravery in continuing his work under the most difficult of circumstances.

  10. by Alexander Fury .

    Alexander McQueen Autumn/Winter 2010

    I have just leapt slightly out of synch to record my impressions of Lee Alexander McQueen's final collection under his own label while fresh in my mind, and therefore ahead of my coverage of the days other shows. This was, in effect, a unique show - a collection shown in tribute to its creator, to cement his legacy and celebrate his soaring gift and truly unique talent.

    The programme notes - brief and poignant - will be much-quoted in coming days. And rightly so. The last line is a perfect summary of the collection, the career and indeed the life of Lee Alexander McQueen.

    'Each piece is unique, as was he.'

    Recent comments

    1. Ruti
      13:29 10 Mar 2010
    2. hannah
      13:09 12 Mar 2010
      ..sombre yet beautiful reminder of what McQueen was capable of, and of what will be missed by so many. What a legacy to leave and such a loss..
  11. by Alexander Fury .

    Surreal chic at Valentino

    Despite the label's somewhat chi-chi reputation as purveyor of ruffled cocktail perfection, Valentino is this season projecting surreal film montages onto the backdrop of their catwalk. Maybe another trip into the future from the successors to the Sheik of Chic, as with their Avatar-inspired January haute couture collection? We'll find out very soon.

  12. by Alexander Fury .

    Too Funky

    Frankly this is the last invitation I expected to request here in Paris, but it's true: Thierry Mugler, of sculpted cyber suit infamy, is once again showing here in Paris. Granted I don't think Monsieur Mugler is at the helm anymore, but given the sheer number of designers currently referencing his arch eighties fantasia as antidote to our doldroms (although alas not reviving that Harley Davidson handlebar bustier) the time seems opportune. First I'm off to a re-see of last night's Yves Saint Laurent collection, and later we'll be seeing collections by Chloe, Valentino and a salon presentation of the final collection created by Alexander McQueen before his death last month.

  13. by Alexander Fury .

    Paris Fashion Week - Day Six...?

    It's an unbelievable day six here in Paris, and I have seen and reviewed about thirty collections already. Here is my take on what I have seen thusfar - apologies for the darkness of video, but hope you enjoy the picturesque Rive Gauche backdrop!

  14. by Alexander Fury .

    Kenzo's coming up roses

    Prize for prettiest invite of the week undoubtedly goes to this shrink-wrapped floral number from Kenzo, evidently celebrating their 40th birthday in style. After our unceremonious blacklisting from Emanuel Ungaro (apparently Lohan free after just one season), our first show of the day was Giambattista Valli - a gallant attempt by the patron saint of the ruffled cocktail frock to pare down for Autumn/Winter. His frill-seeking fans shouldn't fret too much - judging by his Charles James alike finale gowns they can still go to get their Valli of the Dolls fix chez Giambattista.

    Recent comments

    1. Imogen
      15:35 8 Mar 2010
      Any other shows you are blacklisted on? What has been your favorite show so far? Looking forward to YSL at 8pm xx
    2. alex.fury
      18:01 8 Mar 2010
      I'm not aware of more blacklisting, but we'll see what happens next season!
      Oddly enough, I've just video blogged about my 'favourites' so far so take a sneaky peek.
    3. alex.fury
      18:01 8 Mar 2010
      I'm not aware of more blacklisting, but we'll see what happens next season!
      Oddly enough, I've just video blogged about my 'favourites' so far so take a sneaky peek.
  15. by Alexander Fury .

    Sweet nothings from Delvaux

    Nothing guarantees a fabulous review like chocolate. Well, at least in my book. These cleverly-branded melt-in-the-mouth chocolates at Veronique Branquinho's first Delvaux presentation take the biscuit for best fashion nibble of Autumn/Winter 2010, hands down.

  16. by Alexander Fury .

    Pull up to the bumper

    Here is my snap of the opening blast of faux-exhaust and flash of car headlights that heralded the start of Hussein Chalayan's Autumn/Winter show, after a short tribute to his contemporary Lee McQueen. 'Mirage' was the title of the collection - literally written across the models' faces in giant sunglasses (without the glass). We're now surging ahead to Sonia Rykiel and John Galliano, while Givenchy ends the day.

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