Hello LEO

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I have a super deep respect for Loewe's leather goods ever since I went to go see their factory in Spain last year and heard many an employee say the word "leather" with a heartfelt and impassioned Spanish accent.  I emerged gaining a newfound knowledge when it comes to their world famous leathers but the truth is all in the touch.  The Flamenco bag, which I've used for a while, is constructed out of Loewe-approved lambskin (as ridiculous as it sounds, this isn't just any lambskin, this IS lambskin culled from lambs bred in the heights of the cool Spanish Pyrenees) is unmistakably on another level of butteriness and the leather is so thin that I'm always scared someone/thing might scratch it when I'm pressed up against someone's armpit on the tube.  The new Leo bag which is an open top-handle tote is made out of calfskin which is hardier but still buttery.  Maybe not wafer thin buttery but you definitely still feel the urge to pick up the bag and smoosh your face in it (doesn't everyone want to do that to great quality leathers?).  It's also a roomier specimen and comes with a snap-on envelop clutch inside the contrast-colour lined bag.

All last week, Loewe went Leo mad by asking seven bloggers to showcase how they'd wear the Leo.  Inevitably the candy pink style came to me.  Bubble pink would also be a more appropriate description and naturally all of my bubble coloured outfits all came out for the occasion.  I gather I've already been cussssssssssssssed down in Spanish on Loewe's Instagram for looking ridiculous.  Ha!  I say to them, that it's their dead loss for not knowing the joys of matching up the pink shade of the bag to pink-friendly bits and pieces.  In essence, it's an ongoing extension to my Funny Face-inspired Think Pink mantra.  If a character modelled on Diana Vreeland declares that thinking pink is the way for a lady to have a bit of joie de vivre and that quelque chose, then who am I to say she is wrong?  

P.S. I know my language about leather can be a bit gross inducing.  Especially if you're a vegetarian and/or don't buy leather goods.  I blame Jay Rayner and his unapologetic meat eating.  How he writes about pork fat is basically how I feel about leather.      

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IMG_9709(Wearing Acne jacket, J.W. Anderson pink top, Louise Gray jacket, Comme des Garcons shorts and Fleet Ilya visor)

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IMG_9769(Wearing Meadham Kirchhoff jacket, Antipodium dress and Nike trainers)

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IMG_9879(Wearing Swash cardigan, Versace print shirt, vintage Loewe leather trousers and Feminine Masculine shoes)

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(Wearing Romance was Born denim jacket, vintage Todd Oldham shirt, P.A.M. culottes, Ayame socks and Salvatore Ferragamo shoes)

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(Wearing vintage pink coat, Prada jumper, vintage leather skirt, Loewe butterfly scarf and Luella shoes)

Disclaimer: Please note that this post relates to a commercial project for Loewe.  

Cook in a Kitchen

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I've jumped from dressing like a hyperactive anime character to some clean shaven sobriety just to take the time to appreciate a few things that never would have caught my eye six whole years ago.  Oh, youth.  Back when dinosaurs were roaming on this blog (quite literally in some cases when a dino-themed collection would pop up every now and again), I used to be so proud of myself for eschewing a sensible shirt in favour of a three-armed one.  If it didn't have an unnecessary amount of padding/PVC/straps/pointy bits, I wasn't all that interested.  I'll put it down to a combination of growing age and the effects of living with a man, who thrusts jackets and jumpers in my face going "Look at the stitching/yarn/detailing on this! This is properly sexy bit of a tailoring!!".  Whatever it is, an independent label like the consistently stable and long-serving Stephan Schneider is finally popping up on the blog.  

A search alas on Google doesn't yield too much information but this Antwerp-based, German-born designe graduated from the Royal Academy there in 1994 and has since been designing his own label, building a brand that has loyalty, longevity and doesn't need to kick up a noisy fuss whenever they show a new collection.  Those in the know though can certainly wax lyrical.  Check out this 193 page two-year old thread on all things Stephan Schneider on Style Forum.  As some of ye olde Style Bubble readers will know, I was a big participant on The Fashion Spot forum and to this day, I find all the forum chatter a fairly useful way of gauging an array of opinions (if taken with a pinch of salt).  That said, it is rather endearing to see people analysing the sizes of arm holes, the proportions of a coat and the quality of cable knits and above all, demonstrating a very involved and deeeeeep love for a brand like Schneider's, which doesn't exactly get a ton of international press. 

"I sometimes compare a fashion house with a restaurant: There are no haute cuisine chains in the world as the chef has to cook in his own kitchen. To me fashion should be like this," was a pertinent comparison that Schneider made in this interview with Steve, a veritable Schneider fan thanks to the store Other (formerly known as bStore) being a loyal stockist in London.  Interestingly I remember the other famous Antwerpian, Dries Van Noten making a similar comparison of a fashion designer being like a chef.  The fact that both designers connect the act of designing and creating clothes with nourishment and good food is heart warmingly down to earth.  And so it follows that the spring summer 2013 collection is full of lovely and vaguely familiar textures – moire, watercolour brushstrokes, faint checks, book binding marbles – they all look to be derived from the world of tasteful interiors.  As per the Schneider remit, every piece looks to be useful, well-made, but fortunately not without a bit of design interest to pep things up.  See!  I too can join the Subtle Design Appreciation Society and say things like "Look at this perfectly-judged sleeve length on this shirt!  Itsn't it marvellous?"  Just as long as I can wear a spangly holographic skirt with it of course.  

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