Thursday, 28 June 2012

Mulberry's Monsters and the Forgotten Art of Designer Advertising

The round-up of next season's designer campaigns is out but where has the imagination in advertising gone?

Burberry may have changed the background but their images remain lifeless .
As someone who regards the endless adverts in magazines as additional pages of art rather than a pain in the backside when searching for the actual content, I'm pretty disappointed with what we have to look forward to for Autumn/ Winter 2012. 

You can show as much thigh as you want, Marco clearly prefers white and floral!
Admittedly, Dolce and Gabbana still have that big Italian family theme going on and whilst it looks all sweetness and lace, Granny is clearly plotting, plus no family is that pretty! However, someone needs to tell Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Emporio Armani and Salvatore Ferragamo (my list could go on) that a pretty model will not disguise the fact that she/ he is literally just posing on a chair-that's even sitting down on the job!


Hugo by Hugo Boss

Emporio Armani

You can guess this one

Thankfully, there was a ray of light in the form of Mulberry's forest fairytale. The British lifestyle brand played upon the "romance and darkness of children's fairytales" with a massive furry nod to The Gruffalo (except the mouse is replaced by Lindsey Wixson).

It's fun, it's beautiful and most importantly, the images are evocative. Should we be surprised though when the genius behind this work is the outstanding photographer, Tim Walker? Fantastical is his speciality and the creative product always has substance.

I understand the product should be the main feature in an advert but the ad also needs to be memorable, it needs to wow. A couple of Longchamp girls on a bicycle just aren't doing it for me anymore. As to whether or not I think the Mulberry advert fulfils its purpose? Yes it does; the monsters remain props in the images and there is life, movement and expression but I'm still left coveting that orange dress...

Perhaps I'm becoming too picky but other designers had such inspiration for their collections-why not apply that imagination to the campaigns as well? After all, an advert's main function is to promote the line. It was great to see the Louis Vuitton models had boarded that steam train which so overwhelmed us during the show. Yet, after that mesmerising Marc Jacobs presentation of Dr. Seuss hats and Victoriana hobo chic, the designer's campaign is more like a disorganised line-up at Dr. Seuss' funeral.

Sleeping on a mattress-living the hobo life.
Oh there they are, having a sit down again.
Many of you will be asking that sensible question of what do a couple of furry monsters have to do with a top designer brand though? To which I say that is the beauty of this campaign-the images have a tale to tell but it is left for you to tell it. You just don't get that with models lounging about on a sofa however gorgeous or well-dressed they may be!

So how do you feel about designer campaigns?
Am I expecting too much or is a pretty pose just not enough anymore?


Sunday, 24 June 2012

Silver Lining's Sunday Musings

"If your brain was made to sprint the hundred metres Fi, you'd be world class!"

My mother had a point when she said this; my brain is definitely the most exercised part of me (though the rest has forgotten what a gym looks like anyway). So I've decided Sundays should be a day for it to churn out any thoughts that have been rattling around during the week. Just so the noggin/noodles/loaf can take a break, I'll be letting you in on little musings like the news stories that have distracted me when I should be waiting for a bus or fashion lusts that are keeping me awake at night.

So to start us off, who else is giving Emma Stone the green eye this week? Whether it's Dolce and Gabbana in Madrid or gothic Gucci in Paris, she has rocked every red carpet for 'The Amazing Spiderman' premieres.  I wish I could say it helps to have a man like Andrew Garfield on her arm but, no, she shined on her own. Normally they would be the type of couple I'd like to trip up on the street but genuine love in Hollywood is a rare thing it seems and I wouldn't want to ruin an Elie Saab anyway!

I'm not sure if I envy the girl more for pulling off that Elie Saab jumpsuit or pulling Andrew Garfield.

Courtesy of Getty Images
It even melts the Ice Queen

Courtesy of Just Jared
Argh Gucci and Garfield what more does a girl need in life? And pairing a red suit with vampy lips-it was clearly meant to be.

Now I am ashamed to say, in my twenty-one years, I had no idea that Van Cleef and Arpels is actually famous for it's fine jewellery rather than perfume but my first fragrance was from their seasons collection. However, a good friend was kind enough to educate me when we went window shopping in Harrods (kind of like going around museums but even cheaper) and I have been dreaming ever since.

The pieces are the epitome of elegance.

Now, is anyone else undecided on Julien MacDonald's new bespoke couture collection? 

The formidable designer launched his new Bespoke label late last year but whilst most of the collection wows me, some of it is dangerously close to looking like the model has been caught in a bodycon fish net. Not that it really matters of course, these pieces are saved for only private can dream.

What has been on your mind this week then?


Friday, 22 June 2012

Vogue and the Tramp

Oh dear...
If you do attempt to find me, though I advise against any view bigger than this, please be gentle.

Yes people, I'm afraid that is me. It was whilst wandering around the exhibition, channelling my inner Derelicte style (I was working trampy chic long before Galliano had discovered homelessness) that the Vogue Street Chic team caught me and asked to photograph me for the website.

It really was terrible timing; I'd just come from work, had the bare minimal of make-up on and was attempting to disguise the lack of effort with a messy updo. 

As my friend would say, I was a "hot mess...emphasis on the mess."

I really should have declined the offer but I heard Vogue and my mind went blank. Normally, I would have allowed the resulting image to drift, undetected into the oblivion of cyberspace but they spelt my name wrong...ALL TWO LETTERS OF IT!

This may seem completely trivial but as an aspiring fashion journalist, it's an ambition to one day see my name in the ultimate fashion bible. Ideally accompanying my own writing. Now I understand there is a little way to go but as a first taster it would be great to see my actual name.

Not Fie's!

The extra E makes all the difference by the way. Fie sounds like a pretentious little madam who's added an additional vowel because she thinks it sounds doesn't. To be honest, I don't even know how to pronounce it but the name sounds more complicated than it should be.

Fi, on the other hand, sounds like a lovely girl who would make an incredible intern for a world-renowned fashion publication. If you can look past the crazy pink shorts and unkempt hair.

Anyway, I think I've made my point and I shall let you know how my letter to Alexandra Shulman gets on. In the meantime, here is the first installment of exhibition pictures (I didn't want to completely overload this post) from GFW. 

Let me know what you think and hope you find them as inspiring as I did!

 P.S. If your name is Fie, I truly apologise.


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Did You Say 'In the Sale'?

The last thing I remember was entering Topshop to return items...

Topshop Unique for almost half price isn't too bad right?

Somehow Sales Syndrome caught me and the heel I've been eyeing up for the past few weeks just happened to be on the rack, in my size, with the other shoe safe in the stockroom and they were practically walkable in (just needs a little practice). As you can see I was being responsible and checking for signs in case a purchase was not meant to be. Unfortunately for my bank account, it was.

Just in case you don't get on with Instagram
I understand these beauties may not be to everyone's taste but they're a statement maker and my feet still aren't regretting it!

What do you think?
Have you fallen victim to the sales yet?


Dreaming of Monaco

Grace Kelly and Carey Grant in To Catch a Thief
Pimms o'clock anyone? I don't know if it's because I'm already looking ahead to next summer, vainly hoping  that the heavens will make up for this season's bad behaviour, or harking back to a time when the weather seemed more predictable (and global warming simply meant everyone putting on an extra layer) but SS13 sophistication is on my mind.

It was the Resort collection from Temperley London that first had me dreaming about croquet on the lawn and zipping through the South of France in an open top motor. Rain is not welcome in this reverie by the way.

As a girl known for bright colours (one such neon orange dress has almost caused several accidents) and shopping for short skirts in the petite section (despite being 5’10), I was amazed to love every piece in the demure range. It’s not often one can say they would wear every look but it seems formulating organza double satin and a few lace finishes into perfect silhouettes has gently nudged my style into maturity.

Apparently, Temperley did not actually base her collection on my ultimate wardrobe desires but a book called CafĂ© Society: Socialites, Patrons and Artists: 1920 to 1960. It’s nice to know I may share a yet undiscovered style with the likes of Grace Kelly and Sophia Loren and the feminine 50s shape is clear to see.

The simple but flattering colour palette allows for a celebration of cut and fit, though contemporary details like the digital jewellery prints and quirky starfish belts bring the collection up-to-date.

Anyway, before I sound completely like some kind of Net-A-Porter-travelling-salesman type deal, I’d like to introduce you to Mrs. Monaco’s husband...

Complete with three-piece suits, cream fedoras and that all-essential pocket square, Hackett London’s presentation for London Collections: Mens was a gentleman’s dream. 

Whilst an army of suited models complete with bowler caps was a memorable way to celebrate English heritage tailoring-the video is worth watching just to see the last model tipping his cap to you-it was the Great Gatsby references that were most exciting for me.

I’m really hoping the movie at the end of the year will encourage more men to don a cream suit, possibly even a neckerchief (we'll see how Di Caprio looks first). Either way the driver of my open-top motor is now sporting a Jay Gatsby look from Hackett.

Of course, the idea of affording even a Temperley belt remains but a dream. 
I guess that is the great thing about fashion though; 

It can transport you to foreign lands or bygone eras when cricket was played on the green, Saint Tropez was still just for mooring your yacht not applying to your legs and rain didn’t exist!