Floored by the Floors

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There are few shifted priorities for the blog now that I'm twiddling my thumbs and getting excited over QVC ladies selling Bob Mackie (don't get your hopes up…they're just boring embroidered tees…).  Firstly, the DIY category WILL be amped up.  I say WILL with capitals as if to WILL myself to do it.  Ideas are a-flowing… just need to crank them out.  Secondly, I'm free as a bird to flit around to visit studios and really investigate the goings-ons of my favourite designers.  Actually that's a lie.  I just want to have a good nosey around.  Here's hoping people will oblige!

At the end of New York Fashion Week, I had no excuse NOT to go to Michael Angel's studio which was a stone's throw from Soho Grand where I normally stay and it all started really with this stuff… this laminated lace that created a clever veil over his prints which for A/W 10-11 (check out the very cute behind the scenes video on his website) went into a softer stained glass window territory mixed with Madame Gres pleating and Degas ballet dancers.   

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We had to first turn our attention to this lace, this pliable laminated plastic that in gold and black is such an amped-up texture to use over the prints.  Its flexibility also meant that it would bend at will and stand away from the body to create a structure, best seen in the belted coat above…

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I love that up close, it looks like a tightly wound piece of spun sugar…

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In Michael's newly spacious space (he was working quite literally in a
cupboard beforehand…), we got flighty with his A/W 10-11 fabrics and spread
them out and it is then that you really get the idea of what is actually on with his print.  So from his stained glass window shapes, he got this laser cut neoprene that when placed over a light infused print, creates a fabric stained glass window, ready to ply into skirts, dresses and jackets…

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One of my other favourite textures from the rich A/W 10-11 collection was this mohair in blue and taupe that looked particularly good as a skirt with a soft section of volume created at the hips…

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It was interesting to see that in a quick flurry, Michael grabbed this Madame Gres pleat-inspired print and draped it over the dress form which effectively starts the journey from print to piece.  Instead of making sure the print comes through as a literal representation of something, Michael tries to drape the pieces so that by the end, it's a little ambiguous as to what the print depicts and that there's full dedication towards the ultimate shape of the piece. 

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I didn't even detect that Degas was lurking in amongst the ensembles… but here those dancers are, laid out, blurred and ready to be molded into something else…

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What sort of a studio visit would this be without the sketch snaps?

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The shoes for the A/W 10-11 show that Michael Angel designed on this own and had a Brazilian company produce them…

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We had bit of a laugh delving into Michael's archives too where the prints are a tad more literally placed.  That said, I'm not knocking those pieces which got me noticing Michael's work in the first place but it has been interesting for me to see the progression that he has made from these pieces to his present work.  We may not see a Photoshop pixelised face in his future collections and that's just another sign that Michael is developing into a designer that can go beyond the digital prints that have up until now, semi-defined his aesthetic and that he can call upon different weapons (such as texture…) to create the clothes that his 'girl' is feeling.  I'm so glad Michael said that his girl is a little bit 'off', a sentiment I'm always veering into…   

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His S/S 10 collection had a lookbook update a few months ago breathing new life into these jewel tone pieces…

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His e-store has also had a revamp so that it now offers more pieces beyond printed tanks and leggings.  Anything backed with neoprene that throws shapes around the body is getting my vote as well as the double faced satin super flared skirts with paperbag waists…  Michaelangeleshop

These are the permanent souvenirs of that session of fabric flooring.  These jersey and silk chiffon fabrics are waiting to be made into cushion covers (because clearly that's the kind of time I have now to venture into soft furnishings…) and some Manolo Blahnik x Michael Angel S/S 10 show shoes (the ones I wore to the Elle Style Awards) that make my feet feel like they've been dipped in liquid emerald, if such a thing exists. 

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Grounding to Spring

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I find it very difficult talking about the 'big gun' designers without feeling a little bit like a retreading tool, adding nothing new to the streams of dialogue that is in full flow on all the blogs.  Alexander Wang is a particular sore point.  What do I say that people haven't touched upon many, MANY times before?  All I can say is that I'm with the consensus that his past two seasons have shown more thorough scope, an expansion of ideas and have actually made me more intrigued about him, but of course other people feel this way as well. 

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Well, I've gone for the easy way out of this little conundrum.  The shopping coward's route if you will. In Hong Kong at Joyce, I got rather taken with these 'Trish' loafer wedge mules (I had to look that one up as I'm not one to remember shoe names‚Ķ) in tan.  It's the fuddy duddy-ness and the overall practicality of them that swayed me.  They are sort of refreshingly unremarkable yet not without interest all at the same time.  Anyhow, eschewing the leopard print mules that other peeps were urging me to buy instead, I plumped for a pair of shoes that I'll be kicking off at the end of many hot, sweaty days over the next few months.  Have you ever kicked off mules whilst simultaneously plonking yourself down on the sofa?  It's weirdly satisfying as the shoes clack around on the floor and you then take a good hard look at your swelled up, ruddy feet, thinking the day has ended and you can now settle down to Masterchef.  Ah… bliss…

These grounded shoes have also instigating my own version of 'spring sensible' dressing.  I've never shied away from trendwhoring to the point of obnoxiousness so lo and behold…out comes all of those S/S 10 strands that would inevitably manifest themselves some time or another‚Ķ camel/tan/beige, denim shades, nautical, slightly prepped-out modes of dressing, borrowing boy bits‚Ķ there's a trend-ho in the house!     

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(Vintage printed skirt and matching jacket, Carolyn Massey denim shirt, Whistles denim knitted jumper, vintage patent bag)

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(Vintage lace top with DIY white beading, vintage gingham check skirt, Topshop plaid shirt tied around waist, Topshop nude lace stockings, Luella saddle bag)

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(Vintage beige cashmere jumper, Peeps.org rope skirt worn as top, Lanvin belt, Digitaria poofy shorts, Raf Simons sheer trousers, vintage straw boater)

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(Creature de Keis white tee from Liger, Steve J and Yoni P for Topshop chambray jumpsuit, vintage breton top, vintage denim jacket from The Urban Collection, Postalco envelope clutch, vintage beige leather gloves)

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(Vintage camel coat, vintage polka dot raincoat, Sibling skull breton jumper, Collection Privee leather skirt, Falke socks)

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(Krystof Strozyna teal blazer, Adidas SLVR floppy hat, Antipodium leopard print sequin dress, Richard Nicoll gold trousers, Sou Brette necklace, Acne scarf)

Quilt Quibble

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>> I have little to say on V&A's latest Quilts exhibition where I snapped these pics which seemed a bit of a shame to have languishing on the cam.  The V&A of course have PLENTY to say on the subject of their massive retrospective of British made quilts dating from 1700-2010.  All I can surmise is…

… these are the quilts I'd like to see come together in a Lu Flux ruffled and tiered dress as illustrated…

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…here in this piece from the A/W 10-11 collection "Dames and Knights".  Except each layer would have to be bigger and more pronounced so you can actually see the quilt.  As opposed to just layering separate pieces of fabrics into a long skirt, it would be made up of layers of the composite quilts so there would be like… a trillion (I calculated that…) patterns in one dress…

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…and this Liberty printed Union Jack is perfect all by itself, ready to hang on my wall whenever it's ready to make a move from the V&A…

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Splitting from the Parentals

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>> Remember those Proud Parents, the Jakarta-based label that consisted of Muqliza Imroni and Resida Irmine?  Well Muqliza has flown the nest away from her parentage and has continued her speciality of resin based jewellery label Sou Brette, which has resulted in these pieces that form her latest collection 'Runic'.  Nothing to do with the runic alphabet but instead with a lot of resin trapping clusters of safety pins, polished metal and reassuringly thick ropes, according to Imroni, the "future is ancient".  Safety pin adornment may have been overkilled by the affliction of watered down 'punk' tributes but when trapped in a cluster inside a sleek and sharp mould of resin, suddenly those pins have been spun into something unexpected.  The polished metal piece reminds me that I reaaaaally need a mezzaluna aka a herb chopper which might be an odd thing for a piece of jewellery to remind you of but I take parsley/coriander chopping VERY seriously. 

It took a rather long winded journey for these Runic pieces to make their way over here but I'm mighty glad that I have them as strong ammunition against any moo days that might come along in these brooding times…

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(Wearing vintage Tadashi jumpsuit from The Urban Collection – Dree, when are ya coming back???)

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