I will make it my mission to try and travel to all corners of this globe because I truly do believe (and I’m grateful to the internet for this) that fashion exists everywhere.  Take Slovenian designer Jure Purgaj who trained under Raf Simons in Vienna.  Yes, I’m an ignoramus who isn’t aware of any fashion designers from Slovenia (but thankfully the all-knowing Ms. Pernet gave me some insight!)  Well now I am.  His spring summer collection of pure white is attractively severe.  His training under Raf is pretty obvious yet I don’t find it cold.  I also like that the colour white isn’t played with in that predictable overtly girly way.  So, next stop for me – Slovenia?   

I must say that I have a wavering waryness towards London fash crowd hotspots like Boombox.  I love the abandon and freedom you see with the people who go there but after a few times, you also wonder whether everyone is there to purposely seek out attention. 

Amidst all the crazy outfit antics though, I forget that by and large the BoomBox crowd also have serious fashion chops.  Take this chap who goes by the name of ‘Nathaniel the Stress’ on MySpace.  I accidentally stumbled onto his page when searching for something and immediately recognised that ginger bowlcut from Dirty Dirty Dancing.  More importantly, I stumbled onto his work.  I haven’t a clue whether he is a full time designer or whether his work is available for sale or not but I love how his penchant for the dramatics (as seen in his outfits) has infiltrated his designs.  I’m especially keen on the headdress/mask creation.  It is certainly something that would get you photographed by the famous Alistair of DDD but nobody will blame you for wanting to get noticed in something so delicately beautiful. 

Fashion graduation shows are in full swing now with the Royal College of Art, Central St. Martins BA and Instituto Marangoni (*slap on the wrist* I queued outside the V&A for about half an hour but left to see Joe Strummer instead…. who else haplessly clicked on those Marangoni banners on vogue.co.uk to get an invite only to find the queue monstrously long?) shows in London all done and dusted and with Graduate Fashion Week coming up this Sunday.  However the real top notch shows to be looking at are both in Belgium in June. 

The thing I love about the shows at both La Cambre in Brussels and the Royal Academy in Antwerp is that all students, from first year to final year get to show their work on the catwalk.  I also find the Belgian schools to be a bit more imaginative with the actual catwalk show set-ups than say British schools so there’s the visual treat factor.  Last year, I made the trip to Antwerp for the Royal Academy show, but this year I’ve opted to go to Brussels for the La Cambre show to see some familiar faces and friends who are showing their work.  So if you happen to reside in the low countries or you’re able to take advantage of cheapo Eurostar fares (¬£24.50 one way….get in there!) or you may even be a passing through Europe tourist, June seems to be the month to go take a gander in Belgium (you can also have a waffle as well….). 

P.S. A gratuitous side note.  Without meaning for this to be a shameless plug, I am genuinely blown away by the La Cambre poster, photographed by Pierre Debusschere who I also happened to meet in Hyeres – a cool dude with a killer taste in music but with an even more killer portfolio.   

Dragging my rain sodden feet (and tights, hair, face…just about everything really) around Regent Street and Oxford Street on a Bank Holiday Monday was not my idea of fun.  But bedding had to be chosen, cushions had to be bought and all that stuff yhad been put back for ages simply because it’s just a pain in the bum to do.  This is a prime example of doing something you don’t want to be doing and whilst doing it, distracting yourself with something else.  I walked into Zara Home looking for tasteful bedding, cushions and some yummy homey things but winded up being more attracted to their loungewear.  My eyes kept on getting diverted from the decidedly bland bedding (there’s an overkill of fusty florals going on in Zara Home if you’re curious) to this silk Chinese chrysanthemum watercolour dress in delicate faded colours.  The logic behind buying it was of course if I can’t come out with something nice to lounge around ON, at least I can have something nice to lounge around IN.  With oodles of inky black and the right shoes, I can also safely step outside into the big, bad world wearing it too. 

Of course, I would have also preferred if I could wear it in the manner Zara Home intended it to be worn – i.e. in rooms so tastefully decorated, it almost makes you want to go and mess up that catalogue shoot, but there you go….. it’s just me, the Zara Home loungewear dress and my grotty hovel.            

From Zara Home catalogue: