Last week the lovely Abi Marvel invited me, and four of my favourite bloggers, to play dress up at The Outnet offices. The idea behind the afternoon was for us to pick out our favourite pieces from the retailers' current offerings that reflected how we would dress for three specific summer occasions.
The first was a day out shopping and I opted for a bright pink neon Christopher Kane dress from a few seasons ago, which, after a lot of convincing from the girls and the Outnet team, I fell in love with. As someone who doesn't tend to steer to far from black, opting for pink and neon was a big step out of my comfort zone but I'm now convinced.
Next up was a festival theme so true to form I chose a fringed Maison Martin Margiela gillet, teamed with a simple tee from Alexander Wang, lattice tank from J. Crew and the most amazing chain mail necklace from Fiona Paxton. Saying that, my favourite outfit of the afternoon was a black Emanuel Ungaro halter neck dress that I still can't stop thinking about.
Carine Roitfeld has been a long time collaborator and supporter of amfAR and this year she's working on a special project with me. Despite having several different ventures on the go like her upcoming MAC make-up line, new magazine and of course, being a new grand mother, Roitfeld will stage the gala's first fashion show.
The event, which takes place each year during the Cannes Film Festival to benefit the fight against AIDS, has always been known for delivering great red carpet looks so it makes sense that fashion will take such a prominent role. The idea behind the show is the 'perfect black wardrobe' and according to WWD, everyone from Christopher Kane and Alexander Wang to Givenchy and Louis Vuitton are involved.
While Chloë Sevigny's recent outfits haven't gone down particularly well recently, that hasn't stopped her from continuing to rake in on the back of her personal style. 'It helps me make a lot of money, so it's kind of important,' she said in a interview with BBC Radio4 yesterday. 'As far as my face in the industry, it has been pretty lucrative for me, especially [because I've done] mostly independent films throughout my career [and have been] able to do some advertising on the side.'
And it's true. Unlike many actresses that came up at the same time as she did, Sevigny has always marched to the beat of her own drum and it's worked. Heading the inevitable backlash that would undoubtedly come from her comments, the actress was quick to point out that she does actually appreciate fashion even though the shows are 'very high school' and 'not fun for me'. She rounded the interview off by praising Christopher Kane and heralding Nicholas Ghesquiere as 'the most talented person in the field today,' making it clear that she's all about the designers and less about the shows.
This is the closest we're getting at the moment, as the 21 year-old appears in the latest issue of W magazine shot by Francesco Carrozzini. Although it's only one shot, stylist Patrick Mackie gave us enough to get excited about. The Versace look works to Banks' aesthetic but also makes her look a lot more polished compared to what we've seen her in recently and it looks like we can expect a lot more of this from her in the months to come.
As writer Karin Nelson notes, unlike artists like Nicki Minaj, Banks isn't about grabbing people's attention with crazy outfits. Instead she loves creative but wearable designers like Christopher Kane 'and all his big shiny shit' but for her it's all about reflecting a sense of reality. 'I'm not here to sell a fantasy,' she said. 'I think that's why people are interested in me. They're like, 'Who's this girl making pop music and wearing a Mickey Mouse sweater?'
Earlier on this week Suzy Menkes criticised the digital sphere for jumping on her comments where she speculated whether Raf Simons would leave Jil Sander for Yves Saint Laurent. Ironically, her closing comments suggesting that Christopher Kane's name is in the hat for the Dior job had the exact same effect. People instantly began tipping Kane as the man to take the role.
Yesterday, however, the British designer confirmed that the reports are false. "While it is incredibly flattering that I could be considered for a role at a house such as Dior at this stage in my career, I can confirm that I have not been approached," he told Vogue.com. "I am focused on developing my own label and my ongoing collaboration with Donatella Versace for Versus.”
This season's London Fashion Week is a special one for Topshop as it marks the tenth year that the retailer has been sponsoring NEWGEN, an intitative to fund the shows of London's best design talent. To celebrate the anniversary they have teamed up with twenty designers that they have worked with, past and present, - including Holly Fulton, Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou - to create a special line of t-shirts that will be available in strores and online from Friday February 17 to Tuesday February 22.
In the past London Fashion Week was the city that everyone felt like they could afford to miss but with the support of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, things have really turned around for London. The program, which provides all of the short listed designers with an industry mentor and £200,000 for the winner, has helped propel the businesses of previous winners Erdem Moraliglu and Christopher Kane. Both designers success in the UK and beyond is testament to the success of the program.
Yesterday the BFC announced that this year's short listed designers are: Jonathan Saunders, Roksanda Ilincic, Mary Katrantzou, Richard Nicoll, Marios Schwab, Peter Pilotto, Meadham Kirchoff and Zoe Jordan, as well as Nicholas Kirkwood.
It’s a shame she doesn’t wear more designers. I don’t really like the high street getting so much of the credit. I understand that there would be an array because you need to relate to so many people in the market, but she is a princess. If I were a princess, I’d be like, ‘Oh yeah, bring it on.
Everything on the creative side of fashion is instinctive. I know for certain when something’s good when I get a physical reaction to it — like goose bumps, a shout of laughter, even feeling a bit nauseous at the newness in front of you. That ‘sick’ reaction is what I had when I came across Christopher Kane at Central Saint Martins ... he was doing something so borderline vulgar with his neon-bandage collection, but I could see he was frighteningly talented.
It's right that there's a lot of pressure [to get the dates sorted], it has to be worked out. There's too much talent in London that people need to know about. There are higher powers that will — that have to sort it out, because people love to come to London, there's such great talent, not just talent but there's ascending talent ... it’s different here, it’s just so unique.