A bit of cheap…

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Whilst luxury brands are buoyant and many people are fast realising that cheapie Primark frocks have their consequences and are moving into a slower and more expensive way of buying into fashion, on the flipside, there seems to be a ‘tendance’ for the cheap and a bit of tackiness.  I don’t mean dresses constructed out of Tesco bags or such ironic ‘cheap’ statements but I’m talking about things like polyester getting a new lease of life, exemplified by the 100% Italian polyester dresses seen at Lanvin SS08 or the lux-tackiness expounded by Balmain’s AW08 collection (I suspect there is one Christophe Decarnin-obsessed stylist dressing the whole world in Balmain but I’m not complaining…).

It’s always a hint though, a subtle nod towards tackiness that doesn’t veer right into universal bad taste.  When I see Bjork & McElligott’s AW08 collection modelled by Ben Grimes (no comments about her ‘bigger’ size please because I think she’s a beaut….), I see that lux-tack vibe coming through.  If I’m honest, some of the clothes do remind me a little of this shop called ‘Selene’ on my local high street back in North Finchley when I was a teen and I’d see orange lace shirts and black lurex dresses ahoy.  I don’t mean that in a derogatory way though because the great thing about lux-tack is that just as you think it’s a little bit ‘cheap’ looking, you touch the fabrics and see the construction and realise that it’s not.  There’s a certain accessibility about ‘lux-tack’ that is way less overwhelming than full on lux-lux.  It’s that awkward/sexy thing that I’m always attracted to, which springs out to me when looking at the collection…

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Pleasing the mother…

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The mothership has never made too many demands on the way I dress.  Ever since I wrecked the bathroom tie-dying t-shirts at the age of 12 and ruined her trousers by customising them with ribbon (I THOUGHT they were ‘spares’…*blush*), she probably knew there was never going to be any other way but the experimental fashion route.  She does wince a little sometimes but she’s never made too many comments and for that I’m forever grateful.   

Still, sometimes I do aim to please and I just KNOW that if she saw me in Lorena de la Torre’s clothes, she’d be pretty chuffed.  Her only ‘wee’ complaint is that I don’t seem to wear enough tailoring as befits a 24 year old (supposedly, that’s ‘ollllllld’ in my mother’s eyes…).  However, Torre’s pieces is tailoring that doesn’t age and isn’t overly severe but most of all, there’s a simultaneous ‘togetherness’ and ‘quirkiness’ about the pieces that would reassure my mum into thinking ‘Oh, that’s rather fun (‘dut yee’ in Cantonese…) but it’s still quite smart!’.  Not that you would need to force me to wear Torre’s AW08 collection, which I coo-ed over whilst in Souvenir today where she is stocked.  The fabrics are really well judged for the particular cuts of the garments and it is exactly the sort of tailoring that I’d love to wear but can never seem to get my hands on.  Definitely something I would not mind wearing for a few dim sum lunches…   

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The D’oh moment….

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I’m wearing a Dunce Cap as of today for the rest of the weekend because I’m thinking I’ve made quite the silly fashion boo-boo.  Two years ago, I bought an Alexander McQueen satin cape at a sample sale and proceeded to be rather chuffed with my Hitchcock heroine-esque purchase.  Except the other day, I dug it out and as opposed to wearing skirts as capes, I thought I’d try out wearing capes as skirts if possible.  So when I wrapped it around the waist and attached the fastening, low and behold, a sort of extended pelmet that can be nipped and tucked up if necessary….

Except…hold up…wait a minute… maybe the ‘cape’ I bought at the sale wasn’t a cape at all and was in fact supposed to be worn around the waist all along as a pelmet-skirt-type-thing? 

Catwalk images aren’t a help seeing as the cape is from the AW2003 collection but never appeared on in the show lineup.  I’m thinking Lee McQueen isn’t really going to be writing me a personal note to clarify what it is I bought exactly?  So, it’s the ‘sk-ape’ or ‘ca-irt’, cape/skirt hybrid that now I’ll probably get a lot more wear out of seeing as my sweaty arms won’t be needing capes for a few months yet…

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The Fruits of the Baekeland family…

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To say that the Tom Kalin film Savage Grace (based on the book by Natalie Robbins and Steven M.L. Aronson) is harrowing would be an understatement.  Not exactly sure what compelled me to see a film about mother-son incest and timeless decadence last night but the one good thing that came out of this film about the true story of Barbara Daly Baekeland and her social climbing ways is that I got into a bit of a Bakelite searching frenzy.  This material created by Leo Baekeland made his family rich but this fortune ultimately ruined the third generation Baekelands (Barbara was the wife of Brooks Baekeland, grandson of Leo…).  I think I’ll ignore the incest, murder, depression, adultery and suicide and concentrate on the shiny plastic accessories unearthed on eBay and Etsy…

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Still, Savage Grace is a superb film even if it does at times make you feel so uneasy you need to look away.  Everything is visually lush and it goes without saying that there’s some fine clothes in it too, though probably more interesting from a menswear perspective…