Swan Take

Swan Take

I can finally say I had Stephen Jones on my head if only for a very very brief moment.  Well err… not Stephen Jones himself.  That would be odd and slightly uncomfortable.  No, instead I'm speaking of this arresting swan headpiece by Stephen Jones created for Giles' S/S 12 show that was surprisingly featherlight as well as making me feel like I'm not worthy of such plummage. 


This is slightly belated but can a fluttery swan headpiece ever be unwelcome here?  If it is, then you guys might be barking up the wrong blog.  Slammed into the middle of London Fashion Week, I snuck out to Giles' studio to do a preview of his swantastic S/S 12 collection for Nowness.  There's an ok-ish interview there but read my disclosure note below.  The key thing is that Phil Oh photographed me bumbling about a studio visit.  I've done countless studio visits but have never had someone documenting me documenting the work of designers.  New schtick?  Seeing me see the clothes?  Hmmm…. on second thoughts, perhaps not even though Phil took some lovely shots, which are on Nowness with some extra ones here…




My camera angle wasn't that advantageous at the show but suffice to say, the collection really showcased Giles as a real couturier, live and well in London.  Perhaps the c word is too heavy and imbued with the sort of pedantic tendancies that would have people reeling off about who is and isn't part of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.  In which case, GIles doesn't apply but the level of work, craftsmanship and hand finishing that goes on inside his vast studio has few equals at LFW.  Why do I look like I'm gawping most of the time in the shots above?  Because I was a) super impressed that when I went, everything was pretty much done, ready for Katie Grand to get her hands on it and style it (it goes against the LFW style of sewing trousers up, backstage a minute before the show…), b) details such as this silver leather laser-cut work mirroring the crumpled foil background of Cecil Beaton's early 20s-30s photographs (inspiring the set as well) and c) just seeing so much intricate work in progress by people who rely on delicate handskills is always going to make me coo and sigh.

Swan Lake or indeed a film like Black Swan didn't directly inspire the collection as one might think, but instead it was Giles' bedazzled tutus designed for the English National Ballet, which left traces everywhere in the collection.  It was peppered with the easy-to-grasp separates, which has been a commercially viable path for Giles to follow.  Still, it was these pretty pretty takes on flapper gowns with silver laser cut leather that brought me back into the warm arms of his collection, harking back to previous 




Should I venture into figure skating, the top half of this outfit would do very nicely….


No embarrassing "Take them off me" faces on these models who wore the trio of swans as though they were part of their heads, reminding me of majestic figureheads on the front of ships.   





I'm learning my figure skating static poses from the models who were plunged into darkness and lit up revealing these bird-like poses.  THIS amount of swan in one collection could have headed down a dodgy path but Giles convinced us of the spectacular heights that a swan can go. 


**Disclosure** Blackberries and their Voice Recorder app needs to come with a warning that say "I've stopped recording and you're just talking into me pointlessly."  I lost quite a bit of the conversation I had with Giles so apologies if the interview seems a bit sketchy. 


Leave a comment
  1. Beauty and Bows

    2011-09-30 at 3:41 AM

    Amazing designs! I love the detailing of the silver dress.
    Kisses, Melanie
    Beauty and Bows

  2. 3maigloeckchen

    2011-09-30 at 7:47 AM

    wow! i lovelovelove the dresses !

  3. letterstolola@gmail.com

    2011-09-30 at 7:58 AM

    The few times I’ve seen Giles on tv, he always seems really lovely and modest, you must have had a really pleasant time with him. I LOVE the swan headpiece, how awesome would they look at a masquerade ball?! PS adore your outfit

  4. Asim Jofa Lawn Collection

    2011-09-30 at 8:08 AM

    Thanks for taking time for sharing this article, it was excellent and very informative it’s my first time that I visit here i found a lot of informative stuff in your article keep it up thank you.

  5. mstrdavidPOP

    2011-09-30 at 8:39 AM

    Love the collection very surreal and out of this world

  6. pau

    2011-09-30 at 10:10 AM

    wow!! amazing!! kisses

  7. Tadana

    2011-09-30 at 3:02 PM

    i adore this collection its bold and differernt
    i really liked the purple scarf/belt you have tied around your outfit 🙂


    2011-09-30 at 3:34 PM

    Amazing photos! You are incredible!!!!! I’m a shoe designer from Menorca, Spain (22 years old). I was working in Zara during 2 years, and now, I would find new ways.
    I love the details, for this reason, I was create my blog about sketches, photos..
    Please, visit my blog and give me your opinion.
    Thank you and regards!

  9. Taylor Lewis

    2011-09-30 at 4:45 PM

    Those swan masks are awesome!

  10. Noeli

    2011-09-30 at 5:41 PM

    i think u have a amazing point of view about fashion!

  11. Helena

    2011-09-30 at 6:30 PM

    I love your coat!!!
    Great photos!!!

  12. antique engagement rings

    2011-09-30 at 6:36 PM

    Love the dress.. fantastic!

  13. Loi

    2011-09-30 at 7:09 PM

    Amazing designs!!! And I love those headress!!!

  14. Nemo

    2011-09-30 at 8:20 PM

    I love those headdresses – they are so amazing – wow <3
    Stephen Jones is so amazing and Giles is such a creative brand - I love the sequin detailing <3
    What an amazing collection - I love it susie <3

  15. Style Astronaut

    2011-09-30 at 9:19 PM

    I love this collection, Giles always has such strong inspiration and understanding of what his collection is about. Stephen Jones is obviously amazing, i love him ‚ô•

  16. Brandon Acton-Bond

    2011-09-30 at 9:55 PM

    Susie THIS right here is one of the many reasons I come to you day in day out is that you BREATHE LIFE INTO the death that can be style/vogue.com. You are so valid in this industry because of this. I don’t think anyone has both the breadth and depth of knowledge that you have and I am so grateful to be able to read your opinions and uncover hidden gems thanks to it.
    A friend told me I would enjoy the Giles collection and until seeing this post I hadn’t got it at all. This would have completely gone by without a glance because the main sites don’t really photograph/cover the shows well enough.
    OK no more gushing from me.

  17. Heelz

    2011-09-30 at 10:00 PM

    we really like these feathers!

  18. Rosie

    2011-09-30 at 10:30 PM

    your coat is sooooo nice I absolutely love it
    the swan head dresses are amazing!
    love your blog
    please check out mine xxxx

  19. Louise

    2011-09-30 at 11:03 PM

    Well, much like Roald Dahl’s book, ‘The Magic Finger’, sometimes those feathery birds rise up and take charge.

  20. Copper Etiquette

    2011-09-30 at 11:43 PM
  21. Rachel

    2011-09-30 at 11:51 PM

    amazing headpieces! love your outfit as well xx

  22. Lydia

    2011-10-01 at 2:52 AM

    This is amazing. I want to wear one of these headpieces each and every day. I love the last shot, it looks like they’re dancing.


    2011-10-01 at 11:22 AM


  24. thefashionguitar

    2011-10-08 at 8:19 PM

    One word: WOW!
    XO Charlotte

  25. linemarking melbourne

    2013-12-30 at 11:30 AM

    I really like this selection, Giles always has such powerful motivation and knowing of what his selection is about. Stephen Jackson is obviously amazing

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