Dalmatian Salvation

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Polish101 Who knew there would be not one but two collections this season, specifically themed around 101 Dalmatians (though there were quite a few with a Cruella de Vil attitude towards fur but that's another matter…).  Well, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac focused on the Disney cartoon for his small passage of Dalmatians' lovin in his A/W 11-10 collection but it was Topshop Unique's expansion on the theme beyond cartoonish antics that really caught my imagination.  It wasn't of course just about the Pongo/Perdita spots that invaded the first portion of the show.  Instead the Topshop Unique show seemed to riff off the author of 101 Dalmations (written in 1956) Dodie Smith and her time and her London playwright days in the 1930s.  Or else it was riffing off the setting of 101 Dalmations, the Disney film which although was meant to be  contemporarily set to 1961 as some mod-ish elements were spotted in the collection.  Or the Topshop peeps imagined a whole set of decades-spanning wardrobe for the life of Cruella de Vil, one that took them through dresses adorned with Art Deco themes, sailor suits, pretty blouses and pleated skirts, gloves and boxy bags, all in a way that feels put together and neat.  In my head, I was thinking of Cruella in her youth, in her flirty thirties attire and then descending into her decadent fur-lovin' ways (of course, it was all faux in this Topshop collection).  This was probably just me though running away with imaginary lives of cartoon characters (I am one of those saddos who likes consuming fan fiction).  

Let's just cut to the chase and say that this collection was a pretty heightened and cheeky take on this season's pre-occupation with redefining elegance and notions of chic.  I didn't know it at the time of course but after seeing all the Paris shows, it seems to me that weirdly enough Topshop Unique tapped into that prevalent theme in their own irreverant way by dissecting the character of Cruella de Vil, her obsession with the look of luxury via furs, dramatic cigarette waving and above all creating clothes Bon Chic, enough to say things like "Oh you DO make me laugh Anita-DAAAAAH-ling!" whilst wearing them.  All of that whilst managing to stay true to Topshop's spirit – cute shoes, cute-prints, interesting deets (such as the Miami/New York Art Deco wordplay and the circular cut-outs) and a make-up look that people will feasibly copy (I bet you I'll spot puppy painted noses and twin ribboned buns in reality this year…).  It's been intriguing to see the balance between this Topshop design team's will to push their customer towards something not of the Topshop norm and appeasing their customer base at same time over the past few seasons and once again, they've tipped it in favour of their own design vision, something more than welcome in the high street trend-ticking landscape.   

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Oh and if you're after the literal placements of Disney's 101 Dalmatians then look no further than these pieces from Jean Charles de Castelbajac's JCDC A/W 11-12 line…

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Pocket a Polli

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(Detail shots from Vogue.com)

>> Sacre bleu!  Commenting on S/S 11 trends when A/W 11-12 shows proffer up a whole new wealth of things to ponder about?  I'll take my chances and say that S/S 11 is still in full swing considering 20+ degree weather has not been reached yet.  Therefore it's still a good time to be collaring it up Peter Pan style as seen at Meadham Kirchhoff S/S 11 and jewellery/homewares label Polli designed by Maja Rose and Tess Lloyd, from Australia has a few metal collar necklaces inspired by Danish lace collars.  You can also notch an eco point from buying Polli pieces too as as they are a low CO2 company as well as using 75% recycled steel and 100% recycled brass.  You know me though.  I butt in with the superfluous eco information when really the main point at hand is that these are a pretty and sturdy take on lace Peter Pan collars that can go over existing shirts and thus negates the problem of metal touching my sensitive skin.  Job done.

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