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  1. by Penny Martin .

    BLESS!

    The foliage of Le Jardin de Margaux provided sufficient cover for a full-blown BLESS ambush. Look what just stepped out from behind a tree!

  2. by Penny Martin .

    SuperBernhard

    The theme from Superman is still playing as we walk out of a supremely uplifting and colour-filled Bernhard Willhelm show. In the queue out of the door, I heard calls of 'Bernhard for Versace'.

  3. by Penny Martin .

    Pierre Hardy gives good shoe

    The good thing about appointments as opposed to catwalk shows is that not only do you get the PR to explain the themes behind the collections and see the items close-up, you sometimes get to meet the designer too! Here, the very talented shoe designer to Balenciaga (and author of his truly scrumptious own-name range) Pierre Hardy shows off a navy court trimmed with point d'espirit on the very obliging Director of Communications, Marion. There was only one question that they couldn't answer for me: why, oh why, are his amazing shoes not stocked in London?

  4. by Penny Martin .

    BACK-wards

    It goes without saying that in fashion, once you have executed and published an idea, you can no longer maintain ownership of it. Nevertheless, it must have been galling for designer Ann-Sofie Back to learn that the brilliant Dutch designers Viktor & Rolf filled the Tuilleries tonight with the sound of rapturous applause for their novel idea of doing their show backwards. For Back has been beginning her show with the curtain call and proceeding towards the start for seasons now: it's just harsh that too few international press travel to London to realise that this was not an unprecedented innovation. Horsting & Snoeren assaulted the audience with an incessant, cut-up version of Diana Ross' 'Upside Down' (see their inverted logo and flanking floral tributes) to make sense of the 'toe-to-top' satin cocktail dresses with spaghetti straps trailing from their hems, topsy-turvy handbags and more straighforwardly commercial products such as dangling gold perfume bottles and sophisticated underwear.

  5. by Penny Martin .

    Harder

    These white, plastic-y Mohiccans were the crowning elements of a hard 'n fast show by SHOWstudio favourite (and designer of current downloadable pattern), Junya Watanabe. Deceptively complicated punk tailoring brought to the beige trench coat, rock T-shirt dress or checked suiting: it was a thrilling, visceral sight.

  6. by Ross Phillips .

    Well done London

    Eisuke has just returned from Dover Street Market with the latest batch of videos from the AMAZE ME pod and we've been having a great time looking through them. From one man and his guitar to the Ben Stevenson project, naked juggling to transformable dresses and even our old intern Alun. They've really raised the bar, so come on Antwerp, let's see what you can do!

  7. by Penny Martin .

    Royal Flush

    It was all Pomp & Circumstance at Comme des Garcons' Spring/Summer '06 show. Apparently inspired by the notion of lost empires, Kawakubo presented an arresting collection, largely realised by draping huge Union Jacks and endless swathes of tartan (always a draw for your Scottish reporter!) around models' limbs. The nationalism of soundtrack 'Land of Hope and Glory' and rousing Cononation anthem 'Zadok the Priest' left no one in doubt that this particular fashion queen continues to engage with contemporary themes. The sure-fire editorial hits of the season, the electronic crowns, used humour and elegance to speak of serious current affairs: politics and nationhood, set against the backdrop of global fashion.

  8. by Christabel Stewart .

    Koh Bunny

    Whilst assume vivid astro focus does the final preparations for his exhibition that opens this weekend at Los Angeles MOCA, here is a taster of the LA performance scene in the shape of former Asian Punk Boy, Terence Koh. Filmed last year at Peres Projects, see Koh present a musical performance within the confines of a distinctive monochromatic aesthetic.

  9. by Penny Martin .

    Flesh on show at Dior: shocker!

    Paris' Grand Palais reopened tonight (after a 10 year renovation) with a shock. A minimalist collection by John Galliano for Dior! Acres and acres of flesh-toned chiffon: this was a grand statement (if expressed in a highly understated manner by his standards.)

  10. by Penny Martin .

    Chris Moore at Tao

    Paris fashion week can feel a bit arduous or daunting at times. But as soon as I catch the reassuring sight of preeminent catwalk photographer Chris Moore, I know everything's going to be just fine.

  11. by Penny Martin .

    SHOWnotes

    I felt a warm, SHOWstudio glow seeing 'Amaze Me' name-checked in Bruno Pieters' literature accompanying his very precise and luminous study of 50s skirt suits, bell skirts and modern reworking of tuxedos (with city shorts). As at Tao and Junya Watanabe, the trenches were sharp and highly covetable.

  12. by Penny Martin .

    The Collection that Fell to Earth

    It's true: I'm not the greatest photographer. But if my shot looks a little am-dram, then that's because it was. The building blocks for Riccardo Tisci's first official collection for Givenchy were centre stage, literally - that's a huge, white sphere you see in the background and there was also a big white cube to make the high Modernist point. But it was very formal and highly referenced in making its mid-90s statement. The difficulty is that these (very young) models don't quite have the performance skills to pull off one of these 'alien/space-age', high-concept productions that we remember with such affection.

  13. by Penny Martin .

    'S'-shaped in Heaven

    The shift from one Rochas collection to another may be minimal - the Edwardian, serpentine silhouette continues from Autumn/Winter through to this Spring/Summer presentation. But with lighter volumes and a paler palette, the effect was even more delicate and innocent. With their miniature violin case accessories, these young music teachers struck a perfectly angelic chord. Oh, and in case you were wondering, that's Anna Piaggi's jaunty hat profiled in the front row.

  14. by Penny Martin .

    Poetry at Tao

    Popped in for a closer look at Tao. Apparently, her approach is to take one specific idea and then work it really thoroughly. The whole notion of the new month-long SHOWstudio projects is very much along those lines so this is music to my ears (there's nothing that delights me more than an exhibition about a single painting for instance). In this case, Tao was looking into lace handkerchiefs and trenches. Sounds like a bizarre combo but in Tao's hands it was so poetic and airy.

  15. by Penny Martin .

    Love Leroy

    Only five days in and already I'm running out of superlatives. Something beyond 'beautiful' or 'exquisite' is called for in describing tonight's show by Véronique Leroy, who received the first roaring ovation I've heard this week for a stunning collection of meticulously fitted linen trousersuits and pretty organza dresses. With their tiny eyelets, crisp Embroidery Anglaise, scissor-sharp chiffon box pleats and wafting bell sleeves, the garments' finishing looked immaculate (already this entire season is being praised for its defiance of high-street copyists). It's just a pity there weren't more press there to witness it.

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