Archive for the ‘STYLE’ Category
Ahhh I love me a good fashion film. From Lagerfeld Confidential to The September Issue, they bring to life a world that you only usually encounter on a glossy, two-dimensional surface, or for a few fleeting, ephemeral moments during a catwalk show.
The latest is Mademoiselle C, a documentary that follows Carine Roitfeld after she leaves her position as Editor in Chief of French Vogue and starts on her first project, which comes to be called CR Fashion Book.
She leads in this impossibly glamorous, luxurious life, yet you still get to see that this is a real woman with feelings – when she tears up talking about her daughter Julia having a baby and how she hopes she’ll be as good a grandmother to Romy Nicole as her own mother was to Julia, it’s moving and the anxiety she expresses on leaving French Vogue to strike out on her own is completely authentic.
Leaving the comforting familiarity of any job you’ve done for a long time and having to establish yourself as an individual is daunting, and even though she’s living in a different universe to most of us, where money and connections are really no obstacles, such is her honesty and warmth, I found I could identify with her situation.
Carine has a finely tuned sense of the ridiculous, making me feel that if she wasn’t a superglam fashion editrix, she’d just be a fun, jazzy French lady who shamelessly enjoys the finer things in life – food, wine, clothes – who could be your mate’s (sexy-as-F) mum. There are delightful moments of humour in the film – Karl Lagerfeld pushing a pram, Donatella Versace’s totally deadpan expression (or is that the surgery?) on being told by Carine that she has become a grandma.
She has a sweet, genuinely loving relationship with Tom Ford – they’re like an old married couple who understand each other’s thoughts and intentions before they’ve voiced them. She even manages to make monogamy look chic and sexy, having been with the same man for 30 years (without marrying him.)
Some people get angry with fashion documentaries that seem to be all about the surface gloss of the business, but I think they’re missing the point – fashion’s substance IS the superficial. Honestly, I love the artifice and luxurious fantasy of it all. This is a world where, quite literally, your feet don’t touch the grubby ground, instead moving seamlessly from car to carpet, spike heels sinking into the deep, plush pile.
In the show notes to his final collection for Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs wrote “I take pleasure from things for exactly what they are, revelling in the pure adornment of beauty for beauty’s sake. Connecting with something on a superficial level is as honest as connecting with it on an intellectual level.” That’s what makes a fashion film like Mademoiselle C – or Funny Face, or Valentino: The Last Emperor for that matter – such an unashamed pleasure.
Last week I paid a visit to The Sandal and the Craftsman pop-up in Shoreditch to have a pair of Italian leather sandals made before my very eyes, to my own specifications. Sharon and I first came across the pop-up when it was located on Redchurch Street – it’s now moved to Rivington Street and will be there until June 23rd. The concept is the brainchild of Francesca and Anita, friends who wanted to bring the classic sandals they grew up wearing on the southern coast of Italy to a more urban setting.
You choose the colours of the leather straps, then Thomas the specially trained shoe maker measures your feet on the leather soles (stitched, not glued) which have been made in Italy and shipped over specially. He marks precisely where to put the straps, then starts putting everything together.
There are three different sandal styles to choose from – 001 and 002 are £110 and ready-made in a variety of different colours and finishes of leather – 003 is the one you get to customise and they cost £60.
Diana Vreeland discovered the elegant simplicity of Italy’s sandals when she was staying with Mona Williams on the island of Capri and she championed them when she got back to the States. As our July 2nd Pamflet salon is all about the marvellous Mrs Vreeland (have you got your ticket yet?) AND I’m going to Capri for my summer holiday, it all felt rather serendipitous.
I felt an almost childish excitement when it came to choosing the strips of coloured leather for my sandals – in the end I went for a combination of timeless tan and a single strip of fluoro orange.
While I was waiting for Thomas to put the finishing touches to the sandals (it takes around fifteen minutes), curious passers-by were popping their heads in the door, attracted by the colourful activity inside. The space is located right behind where the Foundry (gawd rest its soul) used to be, at the Old Street end of Rivington Street.
It’s such a simple concept and set-up, but brilliantly executed with real passion and attention to detail so every customer feels like they’ve truly been part of the design process and are walking away with something that’s unique to them. I wish there was more of this kind of fashion design on every street corner – it’s affordable (£60 for handmade Italian leather sandals?!) and ethical, because there’s total transparency in the chain of production.
Here at Pamflet we never need a reason to wear red lipstick, but this week we have a really good one: it’s Cervical Screening Awareness Week (9 – 15 June) and The Eve Appeal which raises funds for research into cervical cancer has joined forces with The Red Lippy Project to encourage you to put on your brightest red lipstick to draw attention to the cause and donate some cash.
Let’s face it, going for a smear test isn’t exactly a fun day out but it’s absolutely essential and so attend we must – and most women only have to go every three years or so. It’s estimated that screening saves up to 5000 lives each year, but about 20% of women who are invited to go for a smear test fail to show up (the number rises to a shocking 68% in the 25 – 29 year old group).
It’s a simple concept that carries a very important message. Put your lipstick on, if anyone asks you why, tell them it’s to raise awareness of the importance of cervical screening, maybe get everyone in your workplace to join you (including the men – why not? they can be sponsored too!) and raise some money and awareness.
I will be wearing this beautiful new red from Poppy King, the Lipstick Queen. It’s from her new Velvet Rope luxe lipstick line which comes out in September and is called Brat Pack. I love it – it glides on beautifully, wears down evenly and smells of peppermint! Plus check out that gold tube – it has a pleasing weight in the hand and looks so glamorous.
The first in our series of summer salons takes place on Tuesday 2nd July with Amanda Mackenzie Stuart, author of Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland. Amanda will be talking to us about Diana’s life and work and how she came to write this comprehensive biography in an evening of bookchat and wine at our favourite venue, Drink, Shop & Do in Kings X.
We have long been fascinated by Mrs V, arch-editrix and tastemaker extraordinaire. She was the ultimate example of how clothing can be used to construct a better, truer version of yourself. Her influence can still be felt today – although no-one has ever come close to surpassing her vision, creative courage or pizzazz.