In addition to fleeing from bookstores in embarrassment and scarfing down a herring pate on toast and some criminally good ginger cake, I also dropped into The Brick Lane Gallery by accident when the skies opened up. I’ll have to thank the skies because I turned around only to be faced with STUNNING photographs by Matthew Shave (whose work caused a bit of a debate here), Antoine Picard and my latest photography love – Karin Berndl. Turns out I walked into Fashion Stories, an exhibition coinciding with LFW. This series entitled La Boum has this sweeping panoramic quality to it even though it is shot using interiors, furniture and objects not from a natural landscape. I love how everything looks really sort of fantastical but sort of realist at the same time. FOr about 10 minutes, I did stay rooted, gazing with a dopey face. So yes, thank you for on/off British weather.
This is horribly belated but I wanted to illustrate my almost redundantly late garblings on the Dior Haute Couture SS/07 show that had everyone crying ‘Galliano is God’ with these wonderful illustrations from my sister Louisa. The photographed images may be too painfully beautiful for me to get my point across. By now, we have all gushed, fawned, ooh-ed and ah-ed over the collection, entranced by its sweeping dramaticism, theatrical make-up (courtesy of Pat McGrath) and all the sumptuous, lavish detailing (if I go on like this, it will begin to sound rather like a 1910 issue of Lady magazine). I don’t believe in going along withe tide of unanimous declarations of ‘Oh that is beautiful’ and leaving it at that, nor do I want to begrudge credit where credit is due.
I was pulled in two directions to be honest. The sensical side of my brain was saying ‘That is such a pastiche of the Orient (it wasn’t just Japanese influences at play here).’ I have a very strong aversion to overly literal interpretations of traditional costume in fashion, hency why I’m not a fan of designers like Vivienne Tam or Shanghai Tang.
However the flipside is that perhaps that Galliano simply didn’t care about doing a pastiche and that it was a purposeful, forceful collision between his vision of the East (one that is unapologetically literal) and West. My second and closer impression of the collection was that there was actually more ‘of Chrstian Dior’s 1947 New Look underneath all the Chinoiserie. Above all, there is no getting away from the craftsmanship and work at stake and you know as well as I do it was almost an onslaught to the eyes seeing so much in just one ensemble, let alone seeing them one after the other. Everything was just so ‘overly’ – overly embellished, overly adorned and perhaps even overly accomplished. You know how in the movie Amadeus when someone complains of Mozart as having too many notes? Perhaps this the fashion equivalent but this time, having too many notes works to Galliano’s advantage.
Anyway, even if I get comments like ‘Err…. you’re about a month late!’, that is quite alright. This is purely here for the benefit of myself when I look back and think to myself ‘Wow….I really had too much time pondering about this stuff…..’
Have you ever had a crazy moment, where you thought you were actually going completely deranged? Well for a split second, I had that moment yesterday whilst in Grand OFR Books near Brick Lane. I’m not sure what was going on but Brick Lane yesterday was rammed with French people so everywhere around me was mutterings of ‘Ba oui’, ‘G√©nial!’, ‘C’est tres jolie, non?’ and I was sort of zoned out reading the latest issue of Self Issue. Then the crazy moment came. Somewhere, either behind me, beside me, or in front of me came my nick name’Susie Bubble’ – was I thinking of a past conversation where someone called me that? Was I saying my own nickname out loud without even knowing it? No, something along the lines of ‘Look, that’s Susie Bubble, you know from Style Bubble.’ was coming from somewhere, spoken en Fran√ßais bien s√ªr. I spun around and actually saw a woman pointing at me having just outed me to her friend. Looking away immediately, I hastily paid for my Self Service and shot out of that store in a jiffy, escaping to St John Bread and Wine for some grub. Quite simply the oddest and most surreal experience I’ve had in all my blogging days. Coming from a one-time permanent wall flower (albeit a wall flower with a penchant for vintage slip dresses), this is quite disturbing. It was even more surprising that a chic French lady wearing a big fur coat and a huge Chanel bag said it. (Chic and me don’t quite go together….). Hey, this isn’t a complaint – a mere observation on the fact that I will probably never be able to venture out into Brick Lane without looking less than immaculate on the chance that someone will say in English/Francais/Italiano/Deutsche/whatever language that person speaks (by the by, how do non native English speakers find reading this blog – a bit too wordy?) – ‘Hey, that’s Susie Bubble – gosh….she looks well rough in real life!.’ Oh the shame, the shame. Perhaps I have to start donning my new Bernhard Willhelm sunglasses complete with attached visor (bagged them at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout sale for ¬£40 – hope all Londoners took advantage!). They’re not for assuming a ‘superstar’ persona but they’re perfect for hiding my extremely perplexed look that I will invariably have.
As if choosing this odd location for his new store on this quaint, upper crust-residential Mayfair street, next to the country hunting gear shop isn’t enough, Marc Jacobs has also ransacked every florist in London to fill his windows up with fresh blooms galore. I think somebody commented asking for evidence since I reported this for Fashion156 so here it is. They are indeed FRESH flowers, probably being replaced every so often to keep them looking so vibrant. I’ve actually yet to venture into the store (took these in the wee hours of the morning) but when I do, I’m hoping to catch a waft of floral scent just to remind me that spring has arrived.