This Ruben Toledo illustration in the V&A did make me stop and think quite hard.  I’ve always likened trends, especially streetwear trends in London to a machine, a device of some sort.  I wonder if I will ever tire of the fashion machine, the trends going round and round on it in cycles, seeing as I’m quite in the thrall of it to some degree or another?   Will there be an opportunity for me to operate the fashion machine in some way, to influence the device?  If I do tire of it, will I ever step off the machine and turn my own fashion machine with one hand with only me on it?  All these ponderings in five minutes in front of this illustration.  What position to you stand in this fashion machine?  Are you on there toiling away, turning it, or totally off it? 

Even though we have seen all the shows at ready to wear collections in February/March, this doesn’t mean we’re any closer to it physically speaking.  Most collections won’t be in stores yet and AW07-8 ad campaigns are only slowly trickling in.  The ones who are quick off the mark (and probably to the detriment of designers) are the high street stores.  Take H&M who most definitely designed their autumn winter 2007-8 collections after the shows but will get their stock into stores the blink of an eye.  Looking at these preview images, it’s pretty plain to see where they get their bread and butter influences from – Marc Jacobs and Chloe being the main suspects.  Yet, as super great as these clothes look in the pictures (is it me or are H&M campaign images getting slicker and slicker by the season?), there is a niggle in my brain that says, ‘Ah… H&M’.  But the niggle disappears a little like this…

I can’t say I’ve had a perfect track record with H&M and it’s not really a store I frequent often anymore.But I’ve realised, and this applies to other high street stores as well, that certain items with the right design merit in them have the ability to transcend their origins.  For example, a Principles dress my friend was wearing being mistaken for being Chloe even by the hardcore fash-crowd or a cheap bag she bought from Roman Market identical to Giles for Mulberry.  I’ve been fortunate to have the fiscal capacity to forgo the high street if I wished, but I haven’t done this for the precise reason that a meticulous/selective eye on the high street yields things that are truly gems.  Case in point, the pleated coat pictured here from forthcoming H&M worn with enough dramaticism certainly won’t look dimininuitive or have the obvious look of being from H&M.  Or the leather dress with a velvet cinch belt will give a subtle nod to Christopher Kane without looking like you’re trying to fool people into thinking you’re wearing a knockoff but rather you’re demonstrating that you’re discerning enough to give the nod.  At least, that’s how I rationalise my high street purchases.  It’s not the case for everyone but definitely a defence argument to those who like to pracise label snobbery.

I like big buckles I do. Childs speak for me liking anything that have almost comically oversized details. Stephen Venezia shoes make me want to stumble around in gigantic polka dot dresses, both in the size of the polka dots and the dress itself (not many things would induce me to do that by the by). Not that the shoes are by any means naive or childish looking but those over-prounounced features are bringing out the need to wear something similarly exaggerated with them, something like this ensemble from Yohji Yamamoto AW06-7 or a cheaper option would be this vintage 1930’s day dress that could be classed as ladylike but I’d want to play up the child in the dress.

I like big buckles I do. Childs speak for me liking anything that have almost comically oversized details. Stephen Venezia shoes make me want to stumble around in gigantic polka dot dresses, both in the size of the polka dots and the dress itself (not many things would induce me to do that by the by). Not that the shoes are by any means naive or childish looking but those over-prounounced features are bringing out the need to wear something similarly exaggerated with them, something like this ensemble from Yohji Yamamoto AW06-7 or a cheaper option would be this vintage 1930’s day dress that could be classed as ladylike but I’d want to play up the child in the dress.