>> From the time when my second sister and I were born to when we were ten (basically about the time when we stopped looking cute and started to creep into awkward tween/teen territory), my two aunties in Hong Kong would send us lots of matching frocks in different colourways because fanciful childrens clothes in Hong Kong would be cheaper and more OTT decorative.  There was the tulle cupcake dress in pink and yellow (Lou would wear pink, I’d wear the yellow).  There were the red and green kilt pinafores with frilly blouses.  Then there was the “sophisticated” long sleeved black dropped waisted dress with a tiered lamé mini skirt.  They were bought when we were still too young to be wearing anything black or shiny.  They were intended for when we were old enough to handle metallics.  That didn’t stop us from going into the “spesh” wardrobe to touch them up.  One was gold flecked with black and the other was iridescent oil slick.  No prizes for guessing which one was the one my sister and I fought over.  Finally when the time came, I was allowed to wear the iridescent lamé dress to a primary school disco where the skirt shimmied and twisted its way to a soundtrack of Kris Kross and New Kids on the Block.  

The rainbow oil slick hues of that tiered lame number was exactly what I had in mind when I bought into Julien David’s pre fall 2014 foil netted awesomeness.  It’s why I went for the iridescent foil option when I tried out “modern manicure studio” (no it’s apparently not a nail salon) Paintbox in New York last week, as it was two doors down from the Mondrian, where I was staying.  As you can see from these pics taken today, they’re growing out already.  Damn my speedy keratin cells.   Any item of clothing or accessory featuring this iridescent rainbow oil slick surface is basically my easy peasy way of wearing what is essentially every colour under the sun depending on what light you stand in.  I’m already contemplating the matching skirt to go with the Julien David top.  Or I can dangerously click through to Julien David’s website, where he’s selling three different colour ways of both the foil net top and skirt and take advantage of what is currently a good Japanese Yen conversion rate (Julien David’s production is all done in Japan, despite him being based in London now) and also the fact that all prices include shipping and tax costs.  Ooops.  In the time it took me to type out that sentence, I just checked out my shopping basket with the skirt.  That’s how much I love thee, you sheeny shiny oily slippery foily thing.

IMG_9593Louis Vuitton L’Invitation au Voyage mask and Julien David foil top

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IMG_9568“Urban Jungle” iridescent foil gel nail by Paintbox on 17 Crosby Street, New York NY 10013

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12Julien David pre-fall 2014 collection – foil net tops and skirts in three colourways (iridescent on white netting, iridescent on black netting, pink on white netting) available on Julien David website

>> in case you don’t know from my Twitter and Instagram, I’m still holed up in New York following the Alexander Wang x H&M shebang.  I should have been enjoying non-fashion week time in New York, taking in the crisp autumnal air, seeing friends and taking in exhibitions.  Instead, I’ve been chasing down geek squad guys to try and recover extremely important phone/Mac/SD card data, getting bouts of food poisoning and watching too many hours of E! and Lifetime.  Therefore excuse the intermittent posting.

Before these calamities happened, I managed to drop by Dover Street Market New York to do a very quick shoot for The Coveteur, where they documented me whizzing through all seven floors of the store, touching up and trying on some of my favourite bits.  I have to thank The Coveteur and the powers that be at Dover Street Market for basically allowing me to get up close and personal with current season pieces.  I might be making silly faces at a giant Comme des Garçons knitted skirt or scrunching up my face in the Sacai corner but there’s nothing superficial about the pieces on hand. DSM is one of my fashion spiritual homes for a reason.  It’s serious fashion. Not that po-faced kind of seriousness but serious as in heavyweight and substantial.  And as this fun photo story shows, it’s tangible if you want it to be. See The Coveteur for more pics from the shoot.

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DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-6Limited edition Prada pieces… oh how I love thee… 

DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-10Hiding behind the puffed up Junya Watanabe 

DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-15Drooling at dream Junya biker and thinking “Hmmm…. will never actually be able to get this on my back permanently…”

DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-20Still love the fact that DSM New York have a dedicated corner to NY cult legent And Re Walker.  Apparently this photograph in the background features his mother.  

DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-24I became quite attached to this Simone Rocha dress….

DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-28The more manageable side to Comme des Garçons AW 14-5 collection

DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-31Giving Comme des Garçons‘ gigantic polymorphous skirt an equally giant hug

DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-37J.W. Anderson’s geometric and exacting accessories

DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-42Hiding behind a curtain of AW14-5 Sacai

DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-45I love the homewares at the Good Design store like this Comme des Garcons brochet blankets and stuffed animals.  

DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-49All hail Walter van Beirendonck!  There need to be more places in the world where you can get fixes of WVB.

DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-51Melitta Baumeister is the latest addition to that special 4th floor of young designers 

DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-54Yay for Phoebe English, who DSM has supported from the very beginning.

DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-56Getting familiar with Jacquemus’ roomy explosion of orange.

DoverStreet_X_SusieBubble-60My spiritual state of wellbeing, made better by this World Archive Chinese gown foraged by the wonderful Michael Costiff

Throughout, wearing Toga shirt, second hand Lucien Pellat Finet skirt from Vestiaire Collective and Simone Rocha x Dover Street Market shoes

>> A collection that has been named Granny Takes a Trip is bound to grab my attention.  For upcycling knitwear designer Katie Jones, the reference is only in part dedicated to that mystical 1970s London hotspot on Kings Road (aka what I imagine to my psychedelic haven had I been alive back then).  Her SS 15 collection is mostly an ode to her own granny, who together with her nan (yes, there’s a difference) taught Jones her knitting and crochet skills.  Jones imagines her granny might take a trip to the bright coloured lights of Brighton pier and through the sumptuous pastel hues of the Royal Pavilion and the result is a collection of trippy crochet pieces that solves the problem of doing a knitwear collection for spring summer.

From Jones’ debut collection of customised second hand aran knit jumpers, she carries on her waste not, want not work ethic by taking surplus yarn and unwanted knit factory seconds and repurposing these materials for this SS 15 collection.  From her Manchester source of excess yarn, she managed to procure enough rainbow brite shades to go crochet mad on this collection.  To obtain the right thickness, she also had a surplus thinner yarn spun into one that was thick enough to get that chunky crochet texture.  In a serendipitous stroke of how the upcycling, a very old batch of Sonia Rykiel lurex dresses, which were then reused by sustainable fashion whiz Orsola de Castro’s From Somewhere label, which then ended up in Jones’ collection.

Items of clothing which were originally Italian factory rejects have subsequently gone through two rounds of up cycling.  It’s a chain of events that rarely happens in the fashion world but de Castro and Jones are collectively spearheading the upcycling movement with their respective labels.  Jones in particular is doing it in a way that doesn’t necessarily ram that up cycling tag down your throat.  At the end of the day, your main take away from this SS15 collection will be a) fantastic colourful crochet pieces that you can well imagine being worn anywhere sun-drenched and b) eye catching accessories in the shape of a a carousel horse bag and a 99 ice cream cone rendered in crochet.  That’s the track that Jones should carry on in.  Behind the scenes, it’s lovely to know someone is ploughing in the effort to use up stacks of yarn and knitwear that would otherwise sit around and rot away but on the surface, Jones’ voice in knitwear is an uplifting one.

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I’ve jumped from one H&M collaboration with a lot of noise and PR brou-ha to one that will probably pass by with little fanfare.  I’ve long been a fan of H&M’s Design Awards capsule collections, not just because they’re less stressful than the big starry ones with theIR smash ’n’ grab tactics and queue rules, but also because they have generally relied on winning aesthetics as opposed to sheer brand power to pull your eyes in.  French graduate Eddy Anemian blew the judging panel of this year’s H&M Design Award, headed up by Erdem Moriaglu, with his collection named “They Can Cut All Flowers, They Cannot Keep Spring From Coming” made up of dissected romantic florals, inspired by the haute bourgeoise aspects of Tilda Swinton’s character in I Am Love and the rich classicism of French painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

 “I like the idea of sensuality, and perhaps even glamour,” said Anemian to WWD.  “I wouldn’t object to that description. But I don’t want any nudity. Rather, I tend to cover the body, and I just wanted to play with proportion – the idea of lots of patterns, or cutting jackets with really high collars that make you carry your head in an aristocratic way.”

Even Anemian himself doubted his ability to win the prize as people had told him that it would be too difficult to sell.  How were these mind-blowingly complex pieces primarily made up of strips of floral upholstery fabric going to be translated into a commercial capsule collection?  The complicated physical construction of the collection is certainly hard to imagine hanging on the rails of H&M.   Actually in truth, none of this year’s finalists would have given H&M an “easy” collection to produce what with Xiao Li’s silicone dipped knits or Camilla Blase Woodman’s feathered pieces.  That’s the beauty of the prize – the result is almost always going to be a directional collection made accessible to the public.  The choice for Anemian to receive the award certainly had nothing to do with ease of production but rather the jury went for the collection that impressed them the most on an visual level, which means a win-win for both Anemian, who has netted EUR50,000 prize money and for us the consumer, as we get an opportunity to buy into his graduate collection when it’s released in selected H&M stores and online on the 23rd October.

Having seen Anemian’s work in real life, when I was jury at La Cambre in Brussels, where he graduated this year and having tried out the samples in person, H&M certainly haven’t watered down the craftsmanship for the sake of an easier mode of production.  The strips of fabric have been sewn together to form the sculptural godets in the floor length skirt and the nipped in shape of the jacket, are like for like as per the pieces from Anemian’s original fourth year collection from La Cambre.  The visiaul effect is the same – florals that look like they’re seen through reflections of broken mirrors.  They cut-up floral pieces are definitely the stand-out pieces but the tiered bands of white made up into a strapless top and a long skirt and the printed jumpsuit are also faithful homages to Anemian’s original collection.

Like Minju Kim’s collection for H&M last year, it’s maximum design squeezed into the lowest prize these pieces can achieve.  EUR249 sounds a like a lot of money for H&M but one physical touch of this jacket or the skirt and most people with a modicum of fabric knowledge will wonder how they managed to produce such a piece for the price.  With the skirt in particular, you’re paying for a sheer volume  and weight of fabric – it’s a proper floor sweeper that is an absolute treat to wear because of its gradiose construction.  It’s a rare opportunity to buy into something that is technically astonishing – with a whiff of haute couture, which is what Anemian’s interest lies (good thing he’s currently interning at Dior) – for a price that is comparitively speaking, affordable.  In other words, worth it.  Not because of brand power or label clout but because of visual and aesthetic prowess.

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0E5A9284Eddy Anemian x H&M jacket EUR249 and skirt EUR249 worn with My Panda shirt and Tabitha Simmons x Toms shoes

6144_102Eddy Anemian x H&M jacket EUR249 and matching trousers EUR199

6144_104Eddy Anemian top EUR34.99 and skirt EUR249

6144_105Eddy Anemian jacket EUR179,99 and ruffled skirt EUR149

6144_107Eddy Anemian x H&M jumpsuit EUR79.99

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EDDY_CB01Eddy Anemian 4th year graduate collection from La Cambre shot by Cecile Bortoletti

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981803_554922047898269_1956062062_oEddy Anemian 4th year collection from La Cambre shot by Damien Milan