The lace and crocheted trend

As seen on the Copenhagen runways almost a year ago for spring/summer 2014, I am highlighting one trend that made it to the highstreet. Big time.

I remember falling for this lace dress from Baum und Pferdgarten immediately when I saw it on the catwalk. They have it in orange, white and black, and if you're lucky you'll be able to pick one up in the sales.

Copyright Copenhagen Fashion Week

Lace and crocheted dresses, tops and skirts have been filling the highstreet shelves, from H&M to Zara - so if you like the trend you'll have no problem to clothe yourself from top to toe. The ones below are from H&M and Asos.




Now represented by Pholk, Copenhagen



Apart frommodelling through my own business at christinetongue.net, I am now also proudly represented by the modelling agency Pholk in Copenhagen.

Over the green and yellow fields

I wanted to do a shoot in the beautiful yellow rapeseed fields of southern Sweden, and when I found this dress in a vintage shop everything fell into place. 




New shows coming up

Fashion week is round the corner. On the Danish front, I look forward to Vibskov, Freya Dalsjö, Stine Goya (who didn't have a show last season) and Mohammed Barrech. These are the more artistic and unpredictable Danish designers who are so interesting to follow. (You can read last season's report on Vibskov and Barrech below)

On the more commercial level,what will autumn/winter 2014 look like? Will the pink coats seen from many designers this winter still be popular? And what about all the leopard patterns?




If I can prophesize, I think that tweeds and tartans will have a return. Stella McCartney gave us a taster this a/w, but they didn't really make it to the high street, so why not exchange the leopard patterns for tartans? There is so much potential and fun to be had here. Tweeds have been gone from the scene for a while, and I think their return is long overdue. Let's see in a a couple of month's time what the designer's have in store for us.

Tartan Stella McCartney Céline Saint Laurent



My blue shoot

Here are some pictures from a shoot I styled and modelled just before Christmas. Photograher: Macs Moser Hair/Makeup: Ellinor Rosander




Prada story: Seeing Lavender

Prada Launches Literary Contest

As I mentioned in the previous post, I entered Prada's literary competition a while back. The competition was inspired by Prada's glasses and the metaphor for prescription glasses and how they later what we see. Writer's were given the following prompt:  ‘What are the realities that our eyes give back to us? And how are these realities filtered through lenses?’
I played around with the contrast of seeing through glasses and seeing without. Here is my entry.


Seeing Lavender 

by Christine Tongue 


Saturday

SHE COMES TOWARDS me from the balcony, a figure moving slowly with elegance and poise. Her silhouette is set against the incoming sunlight from the opened French doors and she is perfectly hourglassed. As she approaches I can’t make out the look in her eyes. Is she desirous or fatigued? I squint to get an answer that her languid motion doesn’t reveal. The truth is that details elude me. Colours have become indistinct for me. Corners soft. I navigate through shades and guesswork. Nebulas are my constant companions.
As she sits down next to me, I inhale her scent. Lavender blended with a hint of something else, maybe lemon or lime blossom. It seems too innocent for her and what has just happened. She begins stroking my thigh. I look down at her hand. It’s a gentle stroke, her touch is cool on my thigh as I'm only wearing shorts. She remains silent whilst doing this, looking down at her own hand, as though she’s deep in thought or as though she is awaiting my response. I remain speechless, and when she finally stands up, maybe from impatience, she begins walking towards the door.
“I'm going for a walk,” she says eventually and grabs her bag quickly on the way out.
I need her close. Closer. To see what's behind those words.

*

SHE COMES TOWARDS me, with her red lips and coquettish dress. With its silky sheen, intricately patterned red flowers against black, held in at the waist, she is perfectly hourglassed. A gust of wind from the opened French doors catches her dress and for a moment her knees are revealed. My mind takes me back to when I was exploring every nook of her body. Like a geographer seeking new worlds or an astronomer gazing at the stars. The moles on her back that congregated like Orion's belt. Cheekbones striving for the skies. I was spinning round her, we were whirling like planets out of orbit. Her hair as dark as space. Silence.
The gravity she exerts on me, as she sits down next to me on the bed. I can’t seem to find my words, and then she stands up maybe from impatience, and begins walking towards the door.
“I'm going for a walk,” she says in the end.
I look into the silence of her eyes. There is something inside her that has closed. It doesn't matter what I do. I will always love her and I will always let her go.


Friday

I THINK BACK to the day before when we had just arrived at my villa. We step off the train on the seaside platform with seagulls screeching their welcome and the light sea breeze caressing our cheeks. You could smell the salt water in the air. A whiff of refreshing anticipation. Maybe this would be the break we both needed. To reconnect.
She suggests we go to the seaside café. She remembers it from our first time here. Soon she is sitting opposite me playing with the last cherry from her sundae. She's wearing a pink gingham blouse, tied at the waist with a knot, while her white shorts reveal her long slim legs, which she has folded to one side, stretching out from the table. She picks up the cherry by the stalk and bites it off with her red lips. She then puts the cherry stone slowly on her serviette, adding it to a line of stones already formed. It's like a little game she plays, telltaling of her girlishness. Her quirks amuse me, even intrigue me. When she's finished with her perfect line of cherry stones, she looks up at me over her catty dark glasses and says slightly bored:
“Are you done?”
I can tell the escape from the city has made her impatient. It takes a while to wind down. But my seaside place is ideal for relaxation, recollection and reconnecting.
I take a last sip from my espresso, grab our beach bag and we get up and walk towards the sand dunes. We follow the little path leading down to the beach, through the heath of dried up shrubs. I know all the paths here. They are etched in me ever since I was a boy. Some of my fondest memories are running freely here, finding new routes, looking for lizards, hunting grasshoppers.
Only a pleasant scattering of holidaymakers have made it to the beach. The sand is warm and coarse massaging my soles. Eventually she chooses a spot for us, close to some snoring man. She giggles a little when we realize. Sitting down on our towels, I notice how she's changing positions, looking round and about. I can feel her restlessness.
“Look,” she exclaims suddenly and points out at sea, “the sailing boat!”
“Yes.” I can't see it of course, but she doesn't need to know. She doesn't need to know of any more of my flaws.
“I want to go for a swim,” she says and smiles. When she smiles it’s always as though she embraces the world, and I can do nothing but oblige. She’s dearer than life itself. She jumps up without waiting for an answer.
“Race you to it!” she rushes up from our place on the sand and I see her silhouette disappear into the distance. I run after it, catch up, find her hand, grab it, and we plunge into the warm endless blue. A sea of obscurity. But if she's close, I'm fine.


*

I THINK BACK to the day before when we had just arrived at my villa. As we approached the small seaside resort late morning, the sun was reflecting against the cream stucco buildings along the promenade and bouncing the light back to the sea. Things were looking bright, hopeful. Maybe this would be the break we both needed. To reconnect.
She suggests we go to the seaside café, where she orders the most magnificent ice-cream sundae with cherries on top. I
watch how she eats it. How her long forefinger rests on the shaft of the long spoon, her red nail at the tip navigating sensuously, spoon by spoon. She brings the cherries to her red lips, biting them off by the stalk, laying the cherry stones in a perfect line on the table. In the distance a large sailing boat passes by, making the scene picture perfect. If I could frame this moment in time, I could watch her for hours.
“Are you done?” she says after a while, bored.
I finish my coffee and we head off towards the beach, through the maze of paths in the heath, leading to the sand dunes.
The beach is filled with a scattering of young and old couples and a family with a child building sand castle empires by the water. On a deck-chair a thin and spindly old lady wearing a neon multi-coloured bathing suit is laying with orange sun protector caps over her eyes, making her look like a funny insect. Her overweight husband has fallen asleep under a book, snoring away like a rhinocerus. This is the kind of slumbering resort that allows for such behaviour.
We find a spot on the beach with just enough private space around us. Sitting down on our purple beach towels, she strips off her clothes to reveal a cerise and white striped bikini, like old fashioned hard rock candy. She begins displaying herself in the sun with frolic, changing positions on the towel as though she is posing, while looking round her to take in the other beachgoers. I have to capture the sight, and I bring out my polaroid camera discreetly from my bag to photograph her.
As soon as she discovers, it only makes her more posy, which I like, and we seem to join in a photographic rhumba, where I follow her every move with my lens. She rests her hands on her knees, looking into the camera and away. I can tell she likes the attention. She plays with her hair, pushes it up, then tucks it neatly behind her ears. She laughs and then not. She gets bored, not knowing what next pose to assume. She gets self-conscious, suddenly aware of the silliness of our enterprise. So she breaks it off, lowering her sunglasses on her nose, looking at me over them. I take a final snap.
“I want to go for a swim,” she says, smiling seductively to me. The smile that has always charmed me, made me drop everything to oblige. Without waiting for an answer, she exclaims:
“Race you to it!” and rushes up from our place on the sand, managing to cover me in a fair bit of sand in the action. Her dainty behind becomes visible as she heads down to the water. The curve from her slim waist to her well-rounded hips, that is a curve that has mesmerized men ever since the beginning. The essence of femininity. I live in my visual world of images. Lines and shapes evoke my love. I can’t escape that.
I get on my feet and catch up with her before we leap into the crystal clear ocean together. I hold her waist in the water, pulling her towards me. The water is so clear that I can see the bottom. So clear I can see the fish swimming round. So clear that I can see the love in her eyes.


Saturday

AND NOW I'M sitting on the edge of my bed and she's gone for a walk. Gone away for ever, or for an hour, I can't tell. I will swim to pass the hours of waiting.
When I finally step out of my villa, it has become cooler. The afternoon's sun is hiding. Along the grown-up path towards the sand dunes, I stumble upon some adventitious lavender that has found its root. I bend down and pinch off a stem, bringing the flowers slowly to my nostrils. I inhale. Nothing can cure the soul but the senses. This is her scent. I wish I could bottle up my memory of her from this afternoon, like a perfume. And it would never fade or go stale. And then when I miss her, I could uncork it and relive us all over again.
I leave my belongings in a pile on the sand and walk determined towards the sea. I throw myself into the blue, recklessly, and it soon becomes deep. I begin swimming, slicing silently through the water, like a beam of light. I don't need to see where I'm going. I turn back after a while – flying back and forth across the surface with her words playing ad
infinitum in my mind. “I'm going for a walk.” It could have been her way of saying, “I need my space, I need my space forever from you”. I flap my legs together with force to propel me forward, further and further out, until I lose track of time and space. I wonder where she is.
By dinnertime she has not returned, and something breaks inside me. Maybe she has gone back to the city. I should not have taken her here. We can't find peace by avoiding life. She can't be happy in quietness.
When I go to bed I hear the fog horn sound. The waves are rushing in, thrashing, angry in their force. I can almost hear the sea spray meet the outside facade. I pray that she is safe.

*

AND NOW I'M sitting on the edge of my bed and she has left. I get up to catch a last glance through the window, to determine what mood she is really in. She walks off down the road with some speed and determination. I see that her dress is not completely buttoned. She is running away is my first thought. She is running away from my love. I want to run after her, but restrain myself.
I will swim to calm me down. It has always had that effect on me. I head down to the beach and when I dive into the ocean, I look along the beach to see her, up and down the shore, but she is not there. Instead I see that the lifeguard has put up his red flag. It's true. The waves have got up, the wind is cooler. The weather changes so quickly here. There are hardly any day trippers left on the beach. I swim back to land.
By dinnertime she has not returned. I try to pass the hours of waiting with a book, but the plot escapes me. I think back to the previous day by the beach, and remember the photos I took. I get them out to look at. She’s posing in her striped bikini with her sunglasses on. Her poses get more extreme as I reach the end of the pile. The girl with the mood as capricious as her candy bikini.
She looks gorgeous of course, her proud features, her photogenic smile, her tanned and taught skin. Just as in
reality. At least I will always have these photos of her. Every picture is a precious thing, having in it the essence of finality. Then I reach the last photo, the one where she’s pulled down her sunglasses and stopped posing. She’s looking right into the camera and I can see her eyes clearly. For an instance, her guard is broken and I can detect her vulnerability. She’s just a girl, playing an act.
When I lie in bed sleep eludes me. I look out through the window and see the waves eating away at the sand, sucking in the stones, and then spitting it all out. Like white horses the waves gallop along the shore, leaping into the air, crashing when landing, like bombs going off. In the distance, the beam of the lighthouse on the cove signals with its steady rhythm, like a heart beating against the inky black sky.

Sunday

I STAND ON the balcony hearing the early morning blackbirds sing to one another. I'm facing out towards the sea in the distant horizon. The beige strip meets the aquamarine sea, melting together, stretching to meet the pale blue sky, uneven in its contours, intermingling, like watercolours floating into each other. Like Monet. This is my world. The routine of life goes on, no matter what happens. I turn around, step into the bedroom and get dressed for another day.

*

I STAND ON the balcony looking out at the sea in the distance. The water glitters with no single wave. Serenity. No one has yet begun their day. The fishermen have yet to arrive at the bay with their morning's catch. The lifeguard has yet to take his place in his tower and holidaymakers have yet to wake up next to their loved one, have breakfast, before they head down to the beach with their parasols and towels to their perfectly chosen spot.
As I turn round to go in and get ready for the day, that's when I spot a dark figure, walking along the water's edge. The person is moving slowly, but coming closer to my part of the beach. I follow carefully, and soon make out the red flowered dress. My vision has not let me down. It is her. She is coming towards me and she is waving.


Copyright Christine Tongue

Package from Prada


Just before Christmas DHL delivered a mystery package from Milan weighing 4 kg. It turns out that I didn't win the Prada literary competition that I entered in the summer, but I did receive a beautiful leather bound book. I will post my story for you shortly.


Coming into fashion - Edinburgh exhibition

Next weekend I will be seeing this beautiful photograph and many other Condé Nast published photos at the exhibition "Coming into fashion- A century of fashion photography" at Edinburgh City Art Centre. From Condé Nast's archives in New York, London, Paris and Milan original prints have been gathered from over 80 photographers in the beginning of their careers. This is a unique opportunity not to be missed!

by Deborah Turbeville

Copenhagen fashion week - Focus on Vibskov and Barrech

Streetstyle photographers were snapping away as fashionistas were collecting outside the City Hall waiting for the next show to begin. The big screen overlooking the square was thumping out the shows that had just passed. And so Copenhagen fashion week was again underway, and with a bunch of show invitations I soaked in everything on offer. I saw some highly wearable Danish brands, but it is conceptual designers Vibskov and Barrech I will delve deeper into.


Danish artist and fashion designer Henrik Vibskov put on a show ”The Bathtub Observer” that could be more likened to an art installation. As the audience was entering the old warehouse not far from Christiania, lab coat-clad assistants were busy working on the “stage”. They were rearranging the yellow hair hung up on a wall with a geometric black and white pattern – aka the bathroom tiles! There were also oversized magnifying glasses on wheels on the catwalk, certainly putting the audience in even more of an observer position and, all in all, raising the mystique and expectations for the show further.

Soon models were entering in ethnic-urban fashion all styled in a black swimming cap covered with a fez-inspired woolen hat. Vibskov has a penchant for prints and colours, which was evident also in this collection. He mixes and contrasts colourful patterns of bright yellow, blue, black with prints in more earthy and washed out hues. There were also the more classic prints of black and beige stripes and other graphic prints. The cuts were comfortably oversized, yet flattering. Some models were wheeling the oversized magnifying glasses alongside them, adding to the bathroom touch, as well as a thought-provoking artful one about distortions. All in all, Vibskov offers us a trendy and playful collection for spring/summer 2014.

 


Former Antwerpen student Wali Mohammed Barrech’s debut show “Caution” took us to a derelict Carlsberg warehouse. We were led past abandoned changing rooms, until we reached a large, tiled room with open space. The venue proved very fitting as models soon entered in what can only be described as “end of the world” fashion.  Wearing textile facemasks covering nose and mouth, this made for an instantly eerie impression. Coordinate this with light blue dresses or ensembles reminiscent of a surgeon’s scrub, it becomes even more serious. The colour red was also introduced, making for a dramatic fate in this worldview.

Putting the clinical aspect aside, there were influences from Japanese kimonos with the wide sleeves and rave-culture with the flared trousers. Intricate wiring on the back of tops added fine detailing.  As did a black and white print that was inserted in seams and used in exquisite bags.  All in all there were quite an eclectic mix of influences, yet the result was a very uniform collection, and it was so very refreshing to see a designer with such a unique social point of view. The audience was spellbound. 




                                                                               All images copyright: Copenhagen fashion week

Copenhagen streetstyle

Who is that lovely, outgoing lady with the dark page haircut and Prada minimal baroque sunglasses who snaps away outside the City Hall? I found out her name is Stela Alves, and she is a streetstyle photographer. She took this photo of me when I wasn't watching. Check out her streetstyle pictures at: http://streetstylebystela.blogspot.se/



ACNE goes VOGUE


Vogue Daily — Acne Studios Cecil Beaton


Swedish label ACNE have made a special spring/summer Capsule Collection inspired by Eduardo García Benito’s graphic illustration of a woman’s face in profile, sketched for Vogue’s July 1931 cover. Not only are the earthy prints and colours exquisite, the styling in ACNE's online shop inspires oen to take a scarf, wrap it round one's head, and have two scarf ends stick out from the forehead  Suddenly the typical "cleaning-lady-scarf-do" is hipper than hip. Oh, but don't forget the iceblue-violet lipstick or you won't pull it off!