Posted By: Guest Blogger, George Langford (Glitterbird)
Taylor Momsen. Gossip Girl starlet, wannabe rock chick and...thug? Her interview in Thursday's Metro saw yet another example of what happens when fame, fortune and fashion happen to someone who just isn't ready to be a role model. For some unknown reason, the journalist thought it would be a bright idea to begin the article with this choice quote:
"I have a knife collection...my favourite's my switchblade." Grrrreat! One of the world's hottest teen stars declares her passion for lethal weapons. She is setting a fabulous example to all her devoted fans, who will no doubt be abandoning their Hannah Montana DVDs and rushing out to purchase their very own blade as we speak. Flicking the knife is 'relaxing', apparently...not that I would know, considering a cup of tea usually suffices in times of crisis. Obviously, I don't have to deal with the pressure of international stardom, pots of money and designer freebies on tap, but aw shucks, life must be hard for this 16 year old actress. Perhaps Momsen thinks that this new revelation about her already 'alternative' lifestyle will add to her rawk credibility as she forges a musical career with her band Pretty Reckless. Whatever the reason, it was pretty stupid to mention it to a journalist and for said journalist to go on ahead and tell the world.
Before I go any further, let me declare myself as a fully fledged Gossip Girl obsessive - I love the show, even if it is becoming more and more 'Dynasty set on the Upper East Side'. Momsen, and her on screen alter ego Jenny Humprey have experienced a significant style evolution recently, going from Brooklyn School Girl to Park Avenue Punk (sound like a paradox? It's the same as any other emo/goth look, just with more designer labels.) I like the way she is not afraid to wear whatever she likes, regardless of trends or even the time of day. Her platinum hair and penchant for black leather and lace, combined with the ability to pull off some edgy evening looks, have led to her new status as a style icon. New Look have even made Momsen the face of their latest collection, although it remains to be seen whether her moody eyes will still be staring out of every shop window by the weekend. It's the Peaches Geldof-Ultimo fall out, mark II.
Even though I appreciate Jenny's alternative appearance, if the girl uses much more black eyeshadow I fear she will be fighting off the unwanted sexual advances of a panda. Momsen and 'Little J' are starting to merge into the same person, as the actress is now frequently seen out and about in her uniform of black stockings, nightie and leather jacket (just don't mention Courtney Love!) Because, y'know, music is her life now, Momsen doesn't feel the need to tone down her look for the sake of her teenage fans. Yes, she has the figure to pull it off, but she is unaware that she is influencing an army of identikit 'prostitots' (thanks, Perez Hilton) not all of which have a burly bodyguard to protect them from the lecherous responses this outfit is guaranteed to provoke.
I think she looks hot, really I do, but there is a line, and switchblades are well and truly over it. I respect Momsen for attempting to distinguish herself from the rest of her Gossip Girl counterparts, but there are better ways to do that than by collecting knives. At least if she wants to indulge her desire for sharp objects, someone please tell the girl not to shout about it!
(Image: Rex Features)
Friday, 14 May 2010
Thursday, 13 May 2010
Talking frocks with Tony
It is now just a few weeks until our Civil Partnership. So the perfect time to reveal the mastermind behind our wedding looks: it is the wonderful Antonio Berardi! There he is above at our place with me, Mary, Yazzy and lots and lots of fabric and colour swatches. He was over in London working with a couple of A-List stars (actor, diva) and very lucky us!!
Excuse me while I jump up and down and make squealy noises and generally effervesce in a quite ridiculous and embarrassing way.
I've known Tony since he began his fashion career in the late 90's; and for those of you who don't know his work, you really should be aware of his talent. Let me tell you, he designs the most flattering, sexy, cooly elegant and fashionable dresses I have ever had the pleasure of wearing. He knows exactly how to cut a dress that makes the most of ones legs without showing too much; how to enhance and minimise curves where appropriate, and generally make you feel like a woman. All at the same time as satisfying my need to feel that I am living in this very moment in both fashion and the world at large. Oh and did I tell you that the quality, fabrics and finish is nothing short of perfection? No? Well they are. The inside of his dresses are as exquisite as the outside...
When I went to Harrods to play dress up with different labels in the name of wedding research, I was amazed at how labels such as Lanvin didn't suit me the way I expected them to. All those soft layers and gently scrunched fabrics did nothing for me. Likewise in Bottega I felt like I had gone to a fancy dress party as a 1950's Italian starlet.
I did like the full-length dark aubergine draped jersey gown I tried on at YSL (the boutique on Sloane Street) and the long scarlett bias-cut Roland Mouret dress (Browns), but when I slipped into a Berardi dress I looked in the mirror and thought "Hello You!" All but one of the five Berardi dresses I tried at Harrods made me look better than I could have dreamed I could look all in the space of five seconds. And that was without hair and make up, heels, jewellery or a fake tan. YAY!
So it was a good thing really that after his fiercely sexy and elegant AW10 catwalk show in London I went backstage to give him a hug, and - in the manner of a blethering fashion editor airkissing enthusiastically backstage - blurted "we would love you to design our wedding dresses" and immediately regretted my blurt. I was supposed to be congratulating the brilliant show first, after all.
Tony accepted on the spot, and the process is now in full swing. Mary knew what she liked, and as soon as she was enrobed, made me sick with jealousy at how effortless her search had been. She looks sensational. Now its my turn to step up to the plate.
We have decided our wedding dresses, now all that remains is a final fitting in Italy.
I'm excited and nervous.
My Antonio Berardi personal order for next season!
One of Grazia's senior editors will have one of these come Autumn
Gwyneth Paltrow wore a lined version of this last week at a premier for Iron Man 2
Fashion Editor at Large
Posted by The Fashion Editor at Large at 11:48
Monday, 10 May 2010
Posted by Fashion Editor at Large
Sometimes the luxury end of the fashion industry floors me with how out of touch it can be with those of us who live what I would term "ordinary lives." I live a fairly ordinary life. In my ordinary life, I need a pair of shorts to run around in on holiday. And what better than a pair in khaki canvas, a bit like the ones above. Here they are again in detail:
This is the bit of the post in which I become indignant, self righteous and shocked, for these shorts by Balmain cost £1,105 on Net-a-Porter. Even typing in the figure makes me ripple with laughter. £1,105!!!! Hahaha. My friend Iqua showed them to me. I can see her now shaking her head at the ridiculousness of it. I quite agree. Between us we have clocked up some 30 years in this business and we have never seen such a bonkersly overpriced garment. This is inverse Balmainia. The people who run the label have clearly lost their grip on even the outer fringes of the real world.
WHY does this pair of shorts cost £1,105? What about the production of them makes them so expensive? Their cost price must surely be no more than £30-40. To my eyes nothing can justify the cost, except perhaps that somewhere an Oligarch's status-obsessed wife is willing to pay £1,105 for them because in her world Balmain is cool. If that is the case, then we are talking exploitation. Whatever way you look at it, it's wrongheaded.
There are pairs almost identical to these shorts in TopShop and New Look (it took two minutes to find them online). Here is the New Look pair at £10.
There is a difference between the two, but they are not £1,095 different.
For those of you with more money than sense you can buy the Balmain ones here.
The New Look ones can be purchased here.
Images: Net a Porter and New Look
Sunday, 9 May 2010
Posted by Fashion Editor at Large
Kate Bosworth in Valentino pre-fall last week in LA
One of the lasting visual imprints from the AW10 collections is the surrealist, occult drenched vaudeville film by Kenneth Anger which played as the precursor and backdrop to the Valentino show in Paris. The show ran terribly late in the day, on almost the last day of the show season, and the flickering images of the cine-film showing a prancing sequin clad dancer put me (and most of the audience) in a trance only broken when the show started.
I loved the Valentino show. It is in my top ten of the entire season. The tailoring, the colours, the lightness of the flou! Mmm, I continue to drink it in... The last time I loved a Valentino show this much was in 2008 when the talented Alessandro Faccinetti had her one season showing before management decided to replace her. The show she presented was not a million miles away from what Valentino's current designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli did for AW10.
The aspect of this show that continues to stand out for me is the way Piccioli and Chiuri placed blush pink and red together in several looks. It looks fresh and gorgeous. The lace blouses, pointy studded low-heeled shows and boyish cut trousers did it for me too, but whereas blush/red should spiral into a trend any day now, my blouse/trouser obsession is more personal. ANYWAY. When I saw Kate Bosworth - one of the few actresses whose style I admire to the point of absorption - wearing it last week to a Valentino cocktail party in L.A my love of the blush/scarlett combo reignited and spiked off the scale.
I will be finding ways to wear these two shades together this week. It can be done as simply as by wearing slash of lipstick my current favourite red lipstick Rouge Coco by Chanel (below) with some of the season's nude shades. I will start with this, and progress.
Also at the Valentino cocktail were the designers, and Chloe Sevigny. Here they all are together.
Maria Grazia Chiui, Kate Bosworth, Pier Paolo Piccioli, Chloe Sevigny in Valentino
I would love to meet these designers.