And so it begins.  The possibility that resort/cruise/spring collections could come together and sprout another fashion week in London.  What were collections previously presented as cookbooks have now begun to emerge as shows and presentations.  Roland Mouret showed his resort salon-style yesterday inside his store, and Peter Jensen followed up with a static presentation in the light-filled Elms Lester Rooms.  This potentially is a preliminary state of pre-collection week in the making.  Tom Ford’s interview with Tim Blanks for Style.com has provided a lot of quotable nuggets.  His comment about cruise presentations throws up a lot of food for thought.  “Cruise is now shown with these giant productions means it’s no longer what it was supposed to be, which was clothes that were maybe not strong enough to show but were your real bread and butter, the clothes that women wanted to wear.  But now that they’re being shown, they’ll have to be amped up, and women won’t want to wear them anymore.”  Or in other words, as told to Alex Fury by a fashion editor, that the two main ready to wear collections have become like haute couture and pre-collections were like the ready to wear.

None of these semantics really matter to the end customer though.  And is Ford’s prognosis correct when he says women won’t like it when the clothes are being amped up.  Or furthermore, are the clothes actually being amped up to suit their more dramatic show environment?

Away from the grand masons and big wig brands, where this may be the case, Peter Jensen is a designer who long ago reconciled himself with making clothes that women want to wear.  Having ceased showing on-schedule at London Fashion Week, he has opted for strong look books and presentations that still convey the spirit of his contrarians of his female muses, who inspire every collection.  Every collection be it pre-fall, resort, spring/summer or autumn/winter have equal weighting for Jensen.

And so we were presented with resort 2014, dedicated to Yoko. As in Ono. Doesn’t really get bigger than Yoko, in comparison to some of the muses, which Jensen have focused on in the past.  Stylist Shirley Kurata street casted a room full of Yokos, to stand still in clothes that bear references to Ono’s work and persona.  John Lennon taking a bite out of her £200 apple at the Indica Gallery in 1966 manifests itself as a cornerstone print in the collection.  Lennon also climbed up a ladder to see the word “Yes” projected on to the ceiling and decided Ono was worth staying for because of its positivity.   Hence why  Yes Yes Yes appears on a sweatshirt.   Jensen simplifies Ono’s book Grapfruit, with instructions for performance art, into a cute knit.  Ono’s famous Cut Piece creates slashes at the back of sweatshirts and scissors printed across a skirt.  Even Ono’s face is interpreted as an abstract repeat print of centre-parted wavy hair.

There’s almost something naively direct about the way Jensen has been inspired by Ono.  That’s the appeal of Jensen’s clothing though.  There are no lofty pretensions just a direct call to wear.  Apparently Ono is fully aware of the collection. I hope she’s chuffed.

0E5A8861

0E5A8832

0E5A8860

0E5A8859

0E5A8858

0E5A8857

0E5A8833

0E5A8839

0E5A8854

0E5A8842

0E5A8841

0E5A8835

0E5A8840

0E5A8846

0E5A8852

0E5A8844

0E5A8837

0E5A8851

0E5A8848

0E5A8856

0E5A8847

0E5A8830

When I got an email about a collaboration between Phoebe Lettice and Illustrated People at first glance, I was thinking “Oh good!  More female-skewed drawn out antics to beef up a round-up post!”  I didn’t know who either Phoebe Lettice or Illustrated People was.  A quick Google search and seeing the resulting cookbook images pop up on a Daily Mail story shone some light on the whole thing.  Turns out Lettice is an ex Made in Chelsea (translation = awful reality TV show) cast member.  Apparently Lettice left to concentrate on her “real” vocation – designer, photographer and all-round creative.

MIC or not, the collab is legit.  As in, it’s quite good!  And it does neatly slot into my second round-up about clothing lines All Drawn Out by awesome women.  I don’t want to labour the feminist point (it seems everyone likes to over-labour the point for the purpose of click bait rather than genuine motivation) but in a field like fashion – where the creative directors in the higher echelons of fashion are mostly men – these young female upstart designers are putting pen to garment to draw out their own messages of empowerment.  When paired up with the surface appearance of overtly feminine clothing, these messages become complex, layered and nuanced.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

I’ve written multiple times about Phiney Pet, a recent graduate who has impressed and carved out her own route.  With a brand new website, and plans for her own line of shoppable merch, Phiney is still freely expressing herself with her small but well-formed collections.  I wrote about her AW14 Deptford Wives collection before but she’s shot a brilliant lookbook to accompany it.  With messages emblazoned across clothing that read “Housework Sucks”, “I need a real man.” and speech bubble embellishments (“I speak my mind” “Over it!”), it’s Destiny’s Child Survivor era messaging repeated in illustrated fashion form.  Literal messaging aside, these clothes have attitude on their own in the way they’re full-on with prints and motifs, dazzling’ with tinsel and marabou trim and don’t give an F with their slouchy casual silhouettes.  Being #Bored never looked so good.

tvtoyphiney

Phiney_AW14_1

Phiney_AW14_3

Phiney_AW14_4

Phiney_AW14_6

Phiney_AW14_9

Phiney_AW14_10 Phiney_AW14_12 Phiney_AW14_14 Phiney_AW14_15 Phiney_AW14_16 Phiney_AW14_20 Phiney_AW14_21

phiney aw14-background1

Oh and sorry to interrupt all this illustrated joy with a sad face but these beautiful trainers which Phiney very kindly painted are currently lost in Royal Mail hell.  I’ve been itching to get them on my feet and a trip to the post office today made me very glum indeed…

SUSIESHOES

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Clio Peppiatt is a contemporary of Phiney Pet and she too, is challenging feminine ideals in a different way.  Instead of male bums and playerz though, Peppiatt is directing her Grrrrrr energy at female beauty stereotypes.  Her A/W 14 collection “Cat that’s got the queen” (geddit?) combines her signature illustration style with hand-embroidery, crochet and needlework to pass comment on feminine ideals.  Peppiatt draws out a diverse cast of women like a new-gen Daisy de Villeneuve and pairs them with hearts and cats.  Faux fur and those aforementioned handicrafts add a different dimension to Peppiatt’s illustrations.  A latex flounced dress might remind you of Barbie-plastic flesh but it all lies in The Future, on an optimistic jacket with orange faux fur collar and sleeves.  The girl depicted is a curly-haired redhead, with freckles and I *think* has braces glinting from her purple-lipped mouth.  As a 30 year old undergoing her second round of orthodontics, all I can say is “Preach!”

Clio1-1024x683-copy

Clio1c-683x1024-copy

Clio2-683x1024-copy

aw14 illustration2[4]

Clio3-683x1024-copy

Clio4-1024x683-copy

Clio5-683x1024-copy

aw14 promo

Clio6-683x1024-copy

Clio7-1024x683-copy

Clio8-683x1024-copy

aw14illustration3[4]

Clio9-683x1024-copy

Clio11-683x1024-copy

Clio13-683x1024-copy

aw14cat

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

On my last trip to Japan, I was introduced to designer Yoppy who has just started her young brand Little Sunny Bite.  The name itself demands a big toothy grin.  Yoppy has spent some time in LA in PR and events and decided she wanted to explore her own notion of “cute”.  In the land of “cute” in Tokyo, Little Sunny Bite represents a different take on Harajuku “kawaii” culture, which I’ve seen shift and splinter from that cheesy cliche that people still like to portray (*ahem* Avril Lavigne).  Influences from around the world have infiltrated Japanese fashion and Yoppy’s own LA background shows in the clothes of Little Sunny Bite.  Little Sunny  Bite’s first two collections (S/S 14 and A/W 14-5) utilise the awesome doodling skills of Hattie Stewart, who has worked for the likes of Marc by Marc Jacobs and House of Holland.  Stewart’s wide-eyed icons, grinning bears and happy go lucky sharks grace sweatshirts, satin bombers, tees and pull-on-immediately skirts and dresses.  The clothes are deliberately “easy” so that the attitude of the wearer is the main focal point.  And what might this attitude be?

 “Your ‘kawaii” is right here, ready to be found,” she writes on her About page.  Right on…

brandimg

lsb0

lsb6

lsb4

PAGE2FIX

d8cedf106dc86421ac0f3b5b6e0201cc

1222page5

1222page6

1222page7

lsb1

lsb2

lsb3

IMG_0345

IMG_0343

IMG_0347

IMG_0348

IMG_0350

IMG_0351

IMG_0352

IMG_0353

IMG_0354

IMG_0356

YOPPY

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Finally we turn back to that Phoebe Lettice x Illustrated People collaboration, which has just hit their website.  This is immediate product for the right here and now with attractive prices between £35-60.  Lettice, too was engrossed with her idea of “kawaii” and Harajuku girls.  Thankfully, nothing veers into cliched territory.  She deftly combines the cute with the grotesque – pastel hued gory eyeballs and drippy-eyed pandas and it works on the streetwear-infused shapes.  Again, “easy” stuff that most girls can get into.  Lettice also shot and styled the look book, inspired by Harajuku figures like Hikari Ikeda (my favourite Dog shop girl, now rising to fame through Diesel campaigns and the like).  The collection is dipped in pastel pink.  But it’s definitely the Pink Ladies sort of pink – as in don’t infantilise the colour or attribute it with stereotypes.  After all there’s a possibility that you might be “too pure to be pink.”

pl_ip

pl_ip1

pl_ip2

pl_ip3

pl_ip4

pl_ip5

pl_ip6

pl_ip7

pl_ip8

pl_ip9

pl_ip10

>> Further to my announcement that Hermès and Style Bubble are inviting lucky folks to their London Silk Ball, I thought I’d put silken money where my mouth is and have a go at tying myself up into a gigantic decorative knot with the help of stacks of Hermès silk scarves in various sizes, silk twillys and their new sized maxi twillys (perfect for makeshift bodices and cummerbunds).  Taking a cue from Hermès’ SS14 Soie Folle (literally “crazy silk”) campaign, I thought I’d let Hermès’ latest imaginative batch of geometrics, florals and globe trotting motifs do all the talking – tied up, twisted and tucked into some supporting garments, and in this case I used a tulle dress by Fauna, with Lonely lingerie underneath to provide extra elastic straps for the scarves to be knotted around.  It took me a good half an hour to figure out where the scarves could be slotted in and to navigate the different billowing volumes of a 140×140 versus a 90×90 carré.  Basically a Bank Holiday Sunday well spent.  And I *think* I managed to break my personal best of how many patterns and prints I can wear in one outfit.  This Hermès crazy silk permutation takes me up to eight different prints in total.  Good to know that silk scarves provide one route of going one better in the madcap methodology of print mixing.  In the run up to the Silk Ball, I’ll be trying to figure out other soie folle combinations… hopefully the people who are chosen to attend by 6th June will also have enough time to do a bit of silk experimentation on their own.      

Here’s a recap of the competition to enter for you and a guest to attend the Hermès Silk Ball.  If you’ve entered on Instagram, Twitter or on my previous post, no need to enter again!

– You can either leave a comment here on the blog or tweet me @susiebubble.  I will also be hosting the competition on Instagram in a series of posts so that people can enter there if they so wish.  

– Just complete the following sentence

“I would like to go to the Hermès Silk Ball because… ” 

– Obviously on Twitter you’re limited by 140 characters but if you’re leaving a comment, feel free to go word wild.

– If you’re commenting, please enter a real email address in the comment field so that we can contact you and on Twitter, please follow me so that I can DM you if you are chosen.

– I’ll be picking out the answers and you’ll be notified either by email or DM if you are chosen as a guest.  All guests chosen will be free to bring a plus one to the ball.

T’s and C’s: You have to be over 18. Obviously don’t enter if you know you cannot attend the ball on Thursday June 26th.  Please be aware that you would need to be in London on the night and obviously you’ll need to get yourself to the ball.  You must also have a verified UK address to enter as Hermès would need to mail a physical invite to you.  All answers must be submitted by 6th June to be eligible.

0E5A8357

0E5A8374

0E5A8355

0E5A8382

0E5A8442

0E5A8400

0E5A8434

0E5A8446

0E5A8492

0E5A8418

0E5A8430

0E5A8460

0E5A8506

0E5A8488Thanks to Hermès for all the silk finery, Fauna dress for providing a twisted tulle support and Lonely lingerie and Fendi shoes.

>> Prior to the Dubai/Chanel trip, I had a packing terror over impending 40 degrees celcius plus heat and set myself off on a vintage shopping mission to seek out “Long, floaty, white things”.  The mission was of course bound for failure.  Too easily diverted, distracted and therefore, mission derailed.  Along the Camden Passage, a longtime vintage haunt I hadn’t frequented in a while, where many long, white and floaty garments would reside (spots like Annie’s is basically a sartorial homage to Miss Havisham), I found myself in Fat Faced Cat, looking at something pink, short and not floaty at all.  I was due a curious vintage find and it perhaps doesn’t get much odder than an American horse jockey silk shirt, from the first half of the 20th century.  It comes emblazoned with hearts down the sleeves and was sold with a little black satin racing cap cover.  I must be mentally going through every potential sports/active pursuits to exploit.  70s skiwear.  Check.  Surf and skate.  Check.  Motocross.  Check.  Horse racing.  Check check.

Looser fitting than yer’ average horse racing silks with an unusual seven hearts motif (three on one side, four on the other),  the shirt definitely has a life beyond the race track and obviously gives me the opportunity to literally wear my heart on my sleeve.  Uh-huh-huh – wasn’t going to pass up that pun opportunity.  I’m also feeling the TLC satin PJ vibe of the almost too-shiny silk satin, that today is eschewed in favour of practical lycra in the horse racing world.

0E5A8270

IMG_0293

0E5A8301

0E5A8299

0E5A8284

IMG_0294

0E5A8295

0E5A8323

0E5A8326 Worn with Ostwald Helgason skirt, Craig and Karl x Le Specs sunglasses, Raf Simons x adidas boots

Speaking of creative horse racing silks, a quick internet dig and this ye olde 2011 Central Saint Martins BA project came up where graphic design students were invited to give traditional jockeys’ racing silks a radical makeover.  Despite the fact that they’re mostly hypothetical, I love the look of a lot of these.  Despite their flamboyant appearance, the majority of horse racing silks designs have very rigorous registration and ownership processes.  These would definitely shake things up.

RFC-Silks-Collections-09-05-2011

Silk-coll

silk-h

Silk

silk-rrFrom Culture Compass blog