'I found this image whilst going through my archive yesterday. It is the beautiful Shalom Harlow and was shot for a Dior campaign but never used.' - Nick Knight
Today's In Fashion interview double whammy is now complete. It was a real privilege to sit down with J.W. Anderson and Meadham Kirchhoff, two of London's most acclaimed talents. If you missed the live broadcasts, don't worry! We'll be putting full on-demand footage of both interviews on site shortly and will also be supplying our signature edited film. To keep busy in the interim revisit some of our past In Fashion interviews - we've sat down with everyone from Simone Rocha and Phillip Lim to Suzy Menkes and Anna Dello Russo.
A big thanks to Jonathan, Edward and Benjamin for visiting us at Bruton Place!
'There’s power in ambiguity – in being able to expose people's prejudices and expectations. There’s pleasure in playing with cultural signifiers. In this way, head shaving can function as a feminist act – it breaks down learned beliefs about how men and women should behave, and helps to create a visually less gendered society.'
Most of us like to think that body hair is a personal issue, confined to the discreet salon or private bathroom. Not Emer O'Toole! This brave lady took her hair dramas public, penning a pointed piece on her decision to leave all her body hair untamed on Vagenda. The piece went viral, leading to an appearance on This Morning where O'Toole showed off her hairy legs and armpits in all their glory.
Today O'Toole turns her writing skills to SHOWstudio, offering up a witty yet thought-provoking piece on head-shaving, drawing on her own decision to go bald not once but twice. The piece, a response to Ellie Grace Cumming's Fashion Fetish film, is live now. Have a read!
To give SHOWstudio viewers even greater access to the gowns and goings-on at the Paris couture shows Nick Knight has been offering up candid Instagram shots straight to our Twitter and Facebook accounts. Tune in for daily updates hot from Knight's iPhone. Today's most recent treat - Givenchy. Tisci's gone dark this season, with raven black fringing and laser cut leather.
Hot from Nick's camera is the gorgeous Ms Wixson playing blushing bride at Chanel Couture. White swan meets Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman. Divine.
To compliment our Couture Collections coverage - comprised of speedy catwalk imagery courtesy of NOWFASHION and show reviews from Stephanie LaCava - Nick Knight has been giving us an extra dose of fabulousness via Instagram. So far we’ve been treated to close up shots of Raf Simons’ recreation of the Chelsea Flower Show at Dior and some stunning visions of Karlie Kloss as she took her sultry turn on the Versace catwalk.
His more recent posts are equally inspiring, from his shots of the dramatic looks on show at Giambatista Valli to his exclusive snapshot of last night’s Chanel preview event.
'I spent a delightful and really fascinating evening watching Karl show a few select guests including the beautiful Chinese actress Zhou Xun a preview of tomorrows show. Amanda Harlech as wonderful as ever telling me about each piece. Couture really is unbelievable close up. Some of the clothes so delicate you would think they were made of smoke they were so light! Karl also announced the name of his new bag 'The Choupette',' says Nick.
It's finally here. Shortly Raf Simons will make his debut at Dior, presenting his first couture collection live from Paris. To whet your appetite here's a New Look-esque snap from his acclaimed final turn at Jil Sander (the dresses were so beautiful that the models actually cried!). During our In Fashion interview on Friday, feted fashion commentator Colin McDowell said that Simons appointment could mean that, 'couture can possibly have real meaning with women again.'
To catch this moment of fashion history, and to get in on the debate for yourself, watch the show live on Dior.com. Magic.
And so Milan menswear comes to an end. Rounding things off are newly-published show reports on Emporio Armani, DSquared2, Gucci and more.
The hightlight? Well, show of the season has to be Umit Benan's theatrical display complete with perfect sturdy jackets and straight leg jeans. Finally, men dressed as men – a vision also explored at Calvin Klein – does this signal the coming end of androgynous young models and tight shrunken boyish tailoring? Here’s hoping.
Jil Sander is back! Dolce and Gabbana head to Sicily! Burberry go rogue not vogue! Day one of Milan menswear is up and the reports are in. This seasons feels decidedly less predictable than last - less staid suiting than A/W. But, not content with the babysteps towards excitement Donatella went all out and offered us near-rude Roman warriors. Still, it's always better than Frankie Morello's 'I love pussy' t-shirts (I kid you not).
Check out our reportage so far alongside catwalk imagery courtesy of NOWFASHION! And stay tuned for today for all the action from Bottega Veneta, Vivienne Westwood and...Prada!!
So it begins - aptly with the famous ticket shot institutionalised by Mr Fury! After a lovely - if roasting - sojourn in Florence I've just touched down in Milan ready for the onslaught of moda masculino. After the pace of Pitti - where one can idly wander from stand to stand and attend just two to three shows a day - Milan's timetable is starting to look even more like some kind of perverse endurance test; sweltering heat, packed schedule, anarchic taxi system...
It's set to be an interesting few days - as much due to the political maneuverings behind the scenes as the turns on the catwalk. What will Jil Sander drop at her grand return? How naked will the Dsquared2 boys be? And finally - and most importantly - just what does Miuccia Prada have up her sleeve for this season?
Stay tuned to our Collections pages for all the gossip and hot-from-the-runway imagery courtesy of the wonderful NOWFASHION.
Today Carven's Guillaume Henry showed his collection in the Club Sportivo on the Via del Fosso Macinante. An undeniably childlike venue - where the accompanying signs offered prospects of ciclismo, tamburello and tennis - that complimented the schoolboy looks on show. I'd like to think of this as a sign of the times. Or more specifically, a reaction to the uncertainly currently facing our home continent. It occurred to me today that designers are going in two opposing directions with their clothes in response to the current financial unease. There are those who stiffen up, suit up and adopt a warrior like veneer - see the return of bankable tailoring last season in Milan - and those who bury their head in the sand amid the surrounding crisis and embrace escapism - exemplified by the trend for butter-wouldn't-melt doll-like looks floating around the catwalks last S/S (I'm looking at you Louis V). The Carven youth obsession falls into the latter pack. His clothes exemplify the safety, innocence and joy of childhood. Fight or flight seems to be the question. Don an suit and battle the bothers head on, or skip off to Carven-land where the grass (as Madame Carven herself ensured) is always green? Tricky.
Full review of Carven will be up shortly!
Today saw rising Italian talent - and fashion funny-man - Andrea Pompilio take to the floor as one of Pitti's featured designers. All in all he gave a strong offering, which cemented his status as master of reworked city-chic stapes. Best in show was his fabulous sheer hosiery - a perfect example of his penchant for tongue-in-cheek accessories - which boasted lines up the back to give the effect of forties seamed stockings.
Stockings have had a highly political career in fashion. During rationing money was so tight that some women resorted to painting the backs of their legs with a line of black ink to give the illusion of a fresh pair of tights. Are Pomplilio's colourful seams a willful comment on the economic state of the times? Probably not. But still, who can complain? Socks maketh the man. Invest.
Delfina Delettrez's imagination seems to know no bounds. The pieces on show at Delphinarium - her new exhibition at Galleria Antonella Villanova on the Palazzo Ricasoli in Florence - included baubles in the shape of crabs, mouths and eyes, displayed in all manner of exciting and, at times, uncomfortable, ways, such as in the centre of a bee-hive, or on a rotating decapitated mannequin head. Perusing the display was like entering the famous Dali museum in Figueres - everything planned to perfection, but nothing predictable.
Similarly inspiring was the sumptuous setting, with the exhibition spanning four rooms of the historical building. Delettrez had worked closely with the space to ensure that each installation was presented in the perfect context - she told me 'the collections and the settings have the same importance' - and to ensure that the original visions behind each different collection were clear. The pieces on display were taken from a range of her series including Roll-in-Stone, inspired by Iain Banks' macabre book The Wasp Factory and Metalphysic, driven by Rome's beautiful architecture. She informed me that the rickety rotating green metal installation that housed a lot of her pieces captured her imagination because 'the movement of the machine makes the pieces look like they are in a dance. A mechanical dance! The mechanics of the machine inspired me to work on the mechanics of the body.'
Delettrez has been producing jewellery for over five years. An offspring of the famous Fendi familia, creativity (and exotic luxury!) is in Delettrez's blood. But really, a child of the family who produced the infamous lust-item that is that Baguette bag shouldn't have any trouble turning her own hand to making fabulous accessories!
But what drew this nice young girl to create such dark, subversive pieces? 'I love surrealism because it allows you to really follow the inner part of you, your imagination. And if you play with irony, there are no limits to the possibilities you can explore. With irony and surrealism combined you can go go go!'
We at SHOWstudio are particularly fond of Delettrez's works. Those of you with a beady eye may remember that some of the pieces above featured in our luxury jewellery-cum-menagerie photo-shoot, Pussycat, Pussycat from earlier this year! So what's the store for the future? 'Colour', she assured me. 'Lots of colour'. We can't wait!
Last night saw the Peter Pilotto presentation and installation at the regal Palazzo Borghese. Guests were greeted with an incredible feast, evoking a sense of renaissance Italian luxury, where rival families - the Medicis, the Pazzis and the Salviatis - sought to prove their worth and flaunt their wares. Very apt then! The mixture of swelling crowd and sweltering heat may have slightly undermined the evening's elegant, luxurious theme - but despite the sauna-like conditions (poor models!), the duo's collection still shone. Well how could it have not done?
Their signature eye-popping colours and nifty 3D prints were supported by rooms carpeted, upholstered and generally adorned with Pilotto visuals – a real print explosion.
The innovation in this collection came from the set up. The duo told me during the presentation that they'd enjoyed being able to show the 'process' behind their work. They were referring to the large screens on display showing a hypnotizing print generator created by art director Jonny Lu. Dubbed 'a digital kaleidoscope', the technology forms the basis for the majority of the duo's fabric prints - this season shown in two different camps, one angular and geometric, the other softer and swirling, inspired by illuminated manuscripts of the sixteenth century and incorporating celtic and medieval motifs.
Aside from the unique mode of presentation the meat and bones of this collection was largely business as usual. The duo's interest in beading and embroidery hung over from last season, and their focus on commercial wearable pieces continued. The pair opted for a savvy selection of shapes - from itsy bitsy minis for their younger shoppers to smart shirts for their working-woman - ensuring that no customer base would go untapped. A real highlight was a sweet Prada-esque drop-waisted kilt dress.
In such a theatrical setting, when surrounded by ancient painted ceilings - the history of the Palazzo Borghese dates back to 1400 - oversized chandeliers and headache-inducing printed carpets and hangings it would be easy to call this collection fussy or overdone. But strip away the drama and what you have here is a series of impeccably designed individual pieces that will cement Peter Pilotto's status as the brand that real women will always want to wear.
Today I touched down in a painfully hot Florence (complaints about the weather have actually managed to surpass comments on the clothes amongst sweltering attendees!) to check out the goodies on offer at this year's Pitti party. After a charming flight - sat next to the lovely Christopher Raeburn - I headed over to the Pitti palace where in one quick lap I discovered a stall which puts an end to all existing male summer footwear dramas (sandals? surely not? brogues? what about socks?). The solution? These espadrilles-cum-embroidered-slippers from Italian brand Manedbi. Productive!
Other highlights from the day include a beautiful presentation from jewellery talent Delfina Delettrez - so surreal it could give old Schiap a run for her money - as well as Valentino's S/S 2013 menswear offering (full review up shortly). I also popped into the unashamedly opulent Peter Pilotto womenswear presentation, where I was greeted with not just some natty fashion but also a banquet that would make a Tudor monarch proud.
Already I'm struck by the overwhelming sense of luxury at this year’s Pitti. Maybe it’s just more obvious when directly contrasted with the chirpy make-do-and-mend ethos displayed in London – where no one bats an eyelid at a frayed hem or showroom-cum-warehouse setting – but it seems that Italy wants to make a real statement with its fashion. And what’s the final message? Raw talent or just money and power?
As the fashion pack of Britain pack away their Sunday best, revisit all the action from the weekend's inaugural London menswear shows by heading over to our Collections pages. We've got exclusive reports from author of Modern Menswear Hywel Davies and hot-off-the-runway catwalk images, courtesy of NOWFASHION. Today, we've posted new reviews of Margaret Howell, Meadham Kirchhoff, Richard Nicoll and Omar Kashoura.
For your immediate menswear fix, check out these 'skeletons in the closet' from T. Lipop's Fashion East Installation. Adorable! But really - who would be ashamed to have these great looks in their wardrobe?