At Copenhagen airport I was so inspired by the new collection at By Malene Birger I had to take out my camera. In connection with the brand's 10th birthday, a very colourful and happy collection marks the jubilee. Malene Birger's spring is filled with bright pink and orange pieces, along with silk tops and trousers in colourful flower patterns (such a big trend this spring). Also graphic leopard prints in pastel colours seems to make the shops this spring. I certainly feel inspired!
Freya Dalsjö put on a short but dramatic show filled with modern decadence and a wiff of 1960s space ensembles. Architecturally sculpted jackets and dresses were given fur and leather patches, shoulders were often oversized and colours were mostly black, although single bursts of rosy pink, orange, burgundy and midnight blue added a lighter touch to the autumn/winter 2013. Most notably were the models ultra-slow, animalistic walk, which certainly made the small collection last longer on the catwalk and made an imprint in the mind.
It doesn't seem that long ago since we were taking our seats in the tent at Forum, Copenhagen, to watch the Stine Goya show among others. Pastel dressed girls in thin summery shorts and jumpers strutted through vanitylit arches fresh faced or with gold painted faces (the latter maybe a great idea in its conception, but in reality, not so). But overall the impression was one of optimism and lightness of heart. We felt a taste of summer just as we were leaving it behind us.
Boy, would it be nice to get that inspiration now! Wouldn't it be great if spring/summer shows were shown just when we needed that escapism mid-winter? (yes, I know the fashion industry doesn't work that way). But Stine Goya I'm sure will not disappoint, even with her autumn/winter collection. Beautifully sculpted pieces, new prints, chic use of colour - she will do it again I'm sure. Only a week or so before we know!
Cycling past the shop window day after day, the winter coat stands there regal in its appearance on the mannequin. Discreetly it beckons for my attention. The long dark blue stretches of cashmere cloth, slim at the waist, single breasted with a beautiful brown fur collar, it looks like something out of Dr Zhivago or maybe what a 1940s Queen Elizabeth would wear. I can see myself going to the opera in this coat, or meeting friends in town after dark while we go for a drink in some sumptuous bar, and I will slide gently out of it as we sit down in the leathery sofas.
It seems I have an endless succession of possibilities lined up in this coat. It is more than a coat. It may also be the final destination of years of hunting for a new coat, because I am a lady unwilling to compromise when it comes to style. Now I know how things should feel when I have found the one. There is no doubt. I know that entering the shop may prove fatal to my current budget, but I am drawn in.
I soon discover that there is only the single coat hanging in the window. I ask the shop keeper the size.
“It’s size 8, ” she says.
“Oh, but that’s too small, ” I sigh.
“But try it on.”
It fits, and transforms me into an elegant lady with precise taste. I am captivated by my mirror image. The coat flows beautifully along my body and reaches almost to my ankles. It makes me be someone I want to be.
“But I need to be able to wear thick jumpers underneath.”
“We can send for a size larger.”
“And the price,” I ask worriedly.
I breathe a slight sigh of relief. It could have been worse, a whole lot worse.
“And with the City-card you get 15% off,” she says.
“Oh, but I don’t have it.”
“But we can pretend you do,” she smiles.
Soon the paper work has been settled. The card has been swiped. I’ve paid for my work of art. In two weeks' time it will arrive embedded with a whole future of new opportunities. To think that a coat can have such an effect on me.
Alert, standing straight, focused, the target has been spotted for some thirty minutes. It is only when the glass doors are slid aside, that the chase begins. Women of all ages leap ahead, pushing and shoving, as though this is a matter of life and death, normal civility put aside. Arms stretching out in front of you from every direction, bumps administered without apologies, gasps at the realization that the right size has just been snatched.
Indeed the word barbarism comes to mind while witnessing (and half partaking) in my first designer-hightstreet brand collaboration launch. When the Swedish chain Lindex launched their Missoni collection, queues were snaking round stores. To be fair, it would be hard to be unaffected by the Missoni billboards all across town and on TV leading up to the launch. Even those who know nothing of the brand and think Missoni sounds like some Italian dessert have been converted into die-hard-fans. Those iconic zig-zag stripes have become a must. It doesn’t matter that most of the knitted pieces of the collection have been designed in bland colours, looking a little boring – something that you will tire of after the delight of novelty has worn thin. For among the collection ranging from dresses and jumpers to ballerinas and earrings, there are some gems. I had my mind set on a wine-red zig-zag striped jumper which scored a bit higher on the colour scale than most items. Or there was also a classic and classy cardigan in white and black zags, with golden zigs interwoven. But being of the slightly undecided type I turned up at the store just as they were opening, and hence, when I finally reached the rails, I was met by empty space. I left soon after feeling appalled by the behavior I had just witnessed (and maybe a little downhearted that I left with no orange Missoni bag).
It turned out my local store didn’t even stock the entire collection, so my hunt for the wine-red jumper had been futile from the start. I returned home with mixed feelings. Yet, the Missoni bug was hard to shake off. I frequented their webshop, with only “sold out” meeting my eyes. Two days later I returned to my local store, and lo and behold, someone had returned their black and white striped cardigan, my size, to the shop. My chase finally came to an end.
The above was taken from an absolutely stunning photo shoot in Swedish Elle Summer 2012. Among pricy Ralph Lauren blouses and Chanel trousers, the stylist used a cheap H&M straw hat with a cerise lining. Of course I hit the shops immediately to find one for myself, and below you'll see my take on the Elle shoot.
|Backstage from the Maxjenny show 26 August, Malmö. I'm the second girl from the left. Photographer: Magnus Omme|
|Showing the colourful outdoor wear. I'm in the middle. Photographer: Epic People|
Today I'm wearing a dark green dress from Filippa K's autumn/winter collection. It's very simple in style with a comfortable cut, yet it looks elegant in its simplicity. It does however require some styling. Maybe some pink spectacles, or an autumny necklace. What do you think?
Last weekend when I went cycling along the coastline south of Malmö, Sweden, I came across this beautiful beach building. With definite inspiration from Mondrian's famous pattern, but in a pastel version, my thoughts immediately drifted to Prada's a/w 2011 collection. Wouldn't it be a great location for a Prada shoot? Or would it be over the top? I would certainly like to try it out.
All I need is for someone to please send me the Prada dress :D
|1940s at Miu Miu, 1960s at Prada, 1970s at Louis Vuitton. Images from style.com|
Today there are so many parallell trends with inspiration from many different decades, it's hard to decide what to go for.
While Miu Miu shows some absolutely to-die-for 1940s inspired glamorous tea-dresses, Prada turns to the 1960s for their retro-chic look and Louis Vuitton has found some definite inspiration from 1970s with colourful knitwear and maxi skirts among other things. They are all appealing in differnt ways, so what do you do? I say choose a bit of everything!
The new British TV-series "The Hour" set in 1956 is my current obsession, and I'm sure would appeal to all vintage clothes lovers out there. The leading lady Elle Rowley (played by the beautiful Romola Garai) has been adorned in body flattering dresses and two piece outfits with cardigans and pencil skirts. The colours are usually very deep green, red and black, but a colourful headscarf and brooch always perk things up. Is your mind thinking Mad Men? Well, this is earlier (50s and not 60s). It is more indie. And it is British. The plot is based around a new television show investigating current news and a spy plot.
|All images are copyright BBC.|
It's such a shame you can't find the pieces in the shops. Although, on that topic Banana Republic are this autumn launching a Mad Men collection. Check it out at: http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/category.do?cid=69572&mlink=5001,3636429,19&clink=3636429