Dark Disney

>> If you’re a true Disney aficionado, then it’s not just the saccharine colour schemes, the happy clap-trap songs and love-and-beauty-will-prevail sentiment that gets you going.  You have to love the villains, the weird and the truly potentially tripping-on-something vibes that Disney films can give off.  And so in Coach’s latest collaboration with Disney, in continuation of their tie-up with the most American of icons, things develop into a “Dark Fairy Tale”, and predominantly centre around the older and for me, most haunting films – Snow White & and the Seven Dwarves and Sleeping Beauty.  More often than not, in my head the Evil Queen and Maleficent merged into one pointy-faced, high cheekboned, purple eye-shadow wearing hybrid.  Thankfully no snarling villainesses feature in the collection.  Just a poisoned apple, some evil eyes and a gothic font that spell out “Dopey” or ” Sleepy”, as well as the painterly trippy scapes of those early Disney films, when backgrounds were impressionistic.  They feature as patches on Coach’s stable collecgtion of Rogues, Dinky’s, totes and revived Coach signature logo duffles, as well as intarsia knits, t-shirts, parkas and hoodies, appropriately sloganned for those days when you want to fully tug on the drawstring toggles.

Coach x Disney fantasy scape knit and Patchwork Rogue 25 bag, Coach pink satin trousers worn with Rachel Comey earrings and Mansur Gavriel sandals 

Coach x Disney poisoned apple knit and Patchwork Rogue 25 bag, Coach pink satin trousers and Coach pre-fall 2018 shearling jacket worn with Mansur Gavriel sandals

Coach x Disney M65 jacket and Signature

Patchwork Duffle 12 bag worn with Coach pre-fall 2018 floral dress and lace-up boots

Coach x Disney Dopey Hoodie and Purple Patches Dinky worn with Coach pre-fall 2018 floral dress and lace-up boots

Coach x Disney Sleepy Hoodie and Spooky Eyes Duffle 20 Bag worn with Coach pre-fall 2018 floral dress and lace-up boots

This post is part of an ongoing partnership with Coach

Wave On

>> The weather is flip-flopping about, undecided between spring and summer.  Enter the non-wooly looking, unexpected placement of Merino wool in spring summer collections, as exemplified by House of Holland’s wave-fuelled pieces.  Their presence is prompted in part by pirate radio waves, the rooted beginnings of Mike Skinner’s breakthrough album Original Pirate Material (which titled Holland’s SS18 collection) and  also by surfer’s waves as seen in the seaside slacker silhouettes.  The primary takeaway though is a wool Prince of Wales check that marks a collaboration with The Woolmark Company that doesn’t actually look much like wool at all.  It’s been plasticised, accented by white patent and plastered with pin-up patches (designed by Elizabeth Ilsley) and gothic buzzwords proclaiming “Dreamy” or “Power”.  Paired with ultra thin peace sign cut-out knits, it’s a Woolmark collab that lightens the load off of the retail buzzword of “trans-seasonal dressing”.  ~~~Bring on the wave~~~

House of Holland x The Woolmark Company hoodie and Prince of Wales checked skirt worn with Vetements trainers

House of Holland x The Woolmark Company “Power” coat and wavy cut-out jumper worn with Rejina Pyo trousers

House of Holland x The Woolmark Company “Dreamy” jacket worn with Paris 99 dress

House of Holland x The Woolmark Company patches trousers worn with Y/Project hoodie and Fila trainers 

House of Holland x The Woolmark Company tracksuit trousers worn with Racil top and Fila trainers

House of Holland x The Woolmark Company “Power” coat

House of Holland x The Woolmark Company hooded jacket and wavy peace cut-out jumper worn with J.W. Anderson dress

This post is part of a partnership with House of Holland

Polle and Pompula Up Your Life

>> Longtime Style Bubble readers will know about my Uniqlo fixation, dating back to when the brand first landed on these shores to provide me with the eye-soothing layers that would balance out the cray.  Their design collaborations have always erred on the side of unexpected – from Undercover’s Jun Takahashi to Carine Roitfeld to J.W. Anderson to the latest announcement of Tomas Maier, who will work on Uniqlo’s Life Wear concept.  Marimekko though is the latest collaborator to apply their Finnish flair prints to a special edition Uniqlo Life Wear collection, and is a design house that makes the most immediate on-paper sense.  Employing its arsenal of iconic prints with names such as Tilkkutakki (rainbow triangular quilting), Kukkia Rakkaalle (an arrangement of flowers and butterflies) and Pompula (abstract flower pots), they grace oversized shift dresses, boxy tees and wide-legged cropped trousers.  In other words, for people like me who can’t just leave things alone, it’s a collection ripe for weaving over and under the existing wardrobe.  I got to play around with the collection a little in Hong Kong right when it was on the cusp of getting into its humid season and back in London, I loved mixing up the prints with each other – especially the polle polka dot and my personal print stand-out, the multi-coloured hundreds-and-thousands inspired Nonparelli.  For the print-shy, my summer bet is on the array of drawstring gymsacks, so I get to relive my school days when all the cool kids at school had logo-ed nylon baggies on their back as a badge of sport-ish honour.

Uniqlo x Marimmeko Pompula print dress worn with Marc Jacobs floral dress and Balenciaga boots

Uniqlo x Marimmeko Nonparelli t-shirt and backpack worn with Y/Project hoodie and PWSL trousers

Uniqlo x Marimekko Polle navy dress and slip-ons worn with ShuShu/Tong sweater

Uniqlo x Marimekko Kukkia Rakkaalle print top and trousers worn with Molly Goddard dress and Joshua Sanders trainers

Uniqlo x Marimekko Nonparelli dress, Polle cropped trousers and slip-ons worn with Celine neon yellow top and Nike socks

This post is part of a partnership with Uniqlo UK

Into Another Garden with Chanel

There’s talking about Chanel haute couture.   There’s seeing it from afar on Style.com (rest in peace…).  There’s going to the shows, and being swept away by the set, the music and the magic of it up close in the showroom.  Then there’s the ateliers, seeing the custom made forms of the couture clients and the work of the petite mains, who are not just mere hands at work but craftsmen and women characters alive and passionate about their task, be it in the workrooms of flou or tailleur.  Then there’s the on-the-brink of demise, but eventually rescued and revived métiers d’art ateliers where you really feast your eyes at the surfaces of haute couture – the stuff that is bursting with statistics.  The hours a piece of embroidery.  The numbers of pailettes, crystals or feathers.  The weight of a piece of cloth once embellished with sequins and bugle beads.  The volume of a dress once engorged with ostrich fronds.    I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be privy all of the above. 

How to top all of that?  Hmmmm…  oh I don’t know.  A conversation that went something like this.  Or at least that’s how I played it in my head when the idea was first being gestated.

Chanel peeps: Would you like to wear pieces from the collection for some photos?

Me: Errrrrrr…… yes?  By wear, do you mean put on?  Me?  Non-sample sized me and my post partum mini-me?

Chanel peeps: Yes you and your mini-me.  Choose your looks!

Me: Any look with a skirt that juts out sideways and takes up the width of a very wide double salon door with its awesome tulle gorgeness please.

Chanel peeps: Done!

In all seriousness, there’s talking about couture and then there’s wearing it.  And it’s the wearing that takes my interaction with the at once intimate and intimidating world of Chanel haute couture to another level of familiarity.  Of course it has to be said that the pieces I wore were samples.  Prototypes if you will, that will then take on a further-refined, custom-fit and perhaps much-altered state once it reaches the body of a couture client.  But the biggest takeaway from even just a brief encounter (an hour to be precise…) with these pieces was the instant headrush giddiness of being in such close proximity with this level of craft and effort.  Like “Wheeeeeeeee!  There’s THIS many sequins on me?”  Or  “How much volume of fabric am I swathed in right now?!”

But also the complete switch of context, from simply viewing an haute couture piece be it in a show or on a mannequin in a museum to seeing it as a living and breathing piece.  For this specific Chanel Haute Couture S/S 18 collection, which originally promenaded in a very very French jardin, with its perpendicular hedges, ornate fountains and well-manicured lawns, I was keen on taking it into a very different sort of garden.  A free-flowing one that’s a little on the wild side and overgrown in areas.  Step in the wonderful Chelsea Physic Garden, London’s oldest botanical garden with its 5,000 species of medicinal plants and an accompanying English drizzle as our backdrop to roughen up that French polish.

And whilst the original garden setting might have been a formal one, the weight of the dresses were own fact light.  Even the seemingly “big” dropped waisted tiered tulle skirt number with its beaded elongated bodice and pannier-esque sideways skirt.  It didn’t weigh heavy on the body and in fact, it had an aerated bounce to it – an whiff of 18th century court dress lightened for the present day.  The flou of the collection had a lot of frou, exemplified by the ostrich feathered lace dress.  This is surely the casual number to throw on when trudging through the muddy plant banks of a February day in London.  There’s a reverse perception too of pieces that seem simple on the surface.  The easier “day look” off-shoulder poppy printed chiffon in fact comprises of a lot of intricate Maison Lognon pleating (on my Métiers d’Art hit list fo sho) and layering of patterns o achieve an almost kaleidoscopic floral effect.  And then how do you resist a bijoux minidress, wrapped and tied with a gathering of empire line tulle and pink satin bow.  This is chocolate box Chanel, complete with a matching pair of embroidered Massaro ankle boots.  They all traipsed and trailed through the Chelsea Physic Garden.

The next step of course is ,if I ever suddenly come into an enooooormous amount of wealth, a phone call to a Chanel vendeuse and lo, my very own Susie-shaped dress form in the atelier, would complete this slightly implausible haute couture journey.  Of course that won’t be happening anytime soon.  This little garden adventure with the smell of wet grass in the air might well be the zenith.  Well, that’s just super fine by me.  The fleeting encounter only emphasises the sheer height of all that haute.

Photographs by Roisin Murphy

Films by Joseph Wilson

Make-up by Victoria Bond

All dresses and shoes Chanel Haute Couture spring summer 2018 except for the lonesome pair of Shrimps x Converse.  Because Chanel couture and Cons go together liiiiiiike…