|by Deborah Turbeville|
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!
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
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/
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!
Dutch fashion photographer Sas Terpstra (fashionising.com), and I teemed up in a derelict building outside Cala Millor, Mallorca. Here is the result:
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 season. 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) this first day of a designer-hightstreet brand collaboration. 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.