Sunday, 27 May 2012

Not Quite Cannes

Loreen, the 2012 Eurovision winner for Sweden. 

So Eurovision has been and gone and, once again, the UK didn’t exactly win-it appears love may set you free Humperdinckers but it won't help you win an international song contest.

Still, I for one haven’t got the Hump (though I do have an entire list of Humperdinck wisecracks) because I was equally entertained by this year’s outfit choices. If it wasn’t Lithuania accessorising with crystal blindfolds-useful for a snazzy pre-performance snooze-then it was the Albanian-rope-bun-verging-on-snake-basket look.

Lithuania's Donny Montell taking a quick nap-perhaps the best dressed male of the night though.

Evil stepmother alert! Plus, I think she may have charmed the snake out of the basket.

There was the weird...

Like scary, dancing bats...

...and an example of  when costumes definitely shouldn't be used as part of the act.

...the wonderful...

Can I keep one? Not exactly the most flattering of styles but fantastic to see some traditional dress.

...and the just plain worrying.

Futuristic trend? Yawn.
Unless of course they are actually going somewhere far, far away...please.

The moment we finally found out their hair isn't "gravity defying"-it really is just endless cans of spray.

Plus, I'm pretty sure a few of the looks weren't quite original!
Nina Zilli, Italy's answer to Amy Winehouse wrapped in foil.

Modern Maltese Buddy Holly anyone?
Oh little floaty strips of material waving in your backing dancers' faces? So Turkey from Eurovision 2003!

Full-length fringing couldn't disguise the fact Ukrainian Gaitana clearly stole her headpiece from Lana Del Rey's collection either.
The song title 'Be My Guest' was clearly taken from that Beauty and the Beast classic as well (the teapot sang it better by the way!)
For best dressed though, silver place went to the girls prancing about for Moldova. The silhouettes reminded me of Katrantzou's bowl dress and the patterns could brighten anyone's day. Unfortunately, the dresses were just ruined by a few dodgy dance moves.

In gold place was the hosting country's entry. Sabina Babayeva, for Azerbaijan, looked amazing in her full length gown; like a feathered goddess. The dress was what fairytales are made of and even more spectacular once the coloured lighting hit the material. It almost looked like she was on fire but I really don't think I could have put her out!

One of those moments that convinces me I'm in the right business.
(all pictures courtesy of the Eurovision photographers)

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Bring On the Men

Whilst the country goes bunting crazy, stocks up on anything red, white or blue and is forced to watch athletes advertising everything from nappies to make-up (I only hope Keri-Anne Payne's Max Factor mascara is waterproof), I've been busy thinking about men. Really well dressed men.

Oliver Spencer A/W 12
Every so often my mind wanders onto how I'll commute to work when London is over-run by tourists but generally it is more appealing to contemplate the capital's first menswear fashion (mini)week than the horror of possibly having to re-learn to ride a bike.

From Saville Row tailoring to contemporary innovation, the UK's menswear designers deserve as much recognition for their contributions to the industry. Last season, I covered menswear day and was pleasantly surprised to find both the quality and creativity of London's designers didn't stop at peplums and pussybow blouses!

The BFC's recent announcement on the talented designers who will be sponsored by NEWGEN MEN for the S/S 13 season has only distracted me further. It was fantastic to find out Martine Rose's luxury streetwear looks and Christopher Raeburn with his utilitarian chic have won the presentation sponsorships.

Christopher Raeburn A/W 12
The designer is known for re-appropriating military fabrics with a modern twist
Not a brilliant picture but yes, the installation was exactly like a junior school cloakroom
However, my day was truly made on learning Sibling has gained the catwalk sponsorship...

Sibling A/W 2012 Installation
On a typically rainy last day of LFW, the label brightened fashion-goers' moods with its fluorescent animal print knits and pom pom beanies. Possibly not the manliest of styles (the model looking like Scandinavian Tigger is just plain cute) but you really have to admire the sense of humour.

Hope they have their catwalk pose ready!
Anyway, in celebration of our home-grown talent and in dedication to the male readers who have asked me for advice before, here are a few of the other menswear designers who featured in the A/W 2012 installations. As always, I apologise for my poor photography skills.

William Richard Green's models taking a break

Kit Neale added an urban edge to floral print

T. Lipop's intrepid explorers were kitted out in practical pieces cut too well for any Arctic expedition

Minimalism and fabric manipulation made an effective partnership at Christopher O'Brien

Why do I only get lonely old ladies wanting a chat at my bus stop?

Dr. Noki's superhero inspired designs-to be admired rather than adopted...please
The diverse styles and expertise in menswear will be demonstrated next month, June 15-17th. In a society that promotes feminism and the empowerment of women, it is about time menswear designers are given their time to shine!

Of course, should you be one of my male readers that takes more interest in football than footwear, the final image might be more appealing (unless you support Bayern Munich). To any fashion followers, I truly apologise for bringing down the tone of this post but fashion is self-expression right? 

I apologise for the model

Monday, 21 May 2012

This is What Happens When I don't Talk About Fashion!

Today I woke up to the sweet sound of birds singing at my window. Sunlight streamed into the room; a gently glistening river, bathing every surface in its soft glow and warming me head-to-toe. The moment was poetic, it was beautiful and it was too bloody short!

Unfortunately, it turns out even semi-conscious senses are not to be trusted and the soft light quickly turned into a blinding glare from my laptop screen.  The only birds present were the twittering idiots I’d downloaded as a temporary alarm and any warmth was actually that type of throbbing heat as a result of a stiletto to the foot. You know the kind of pain you only feel the morning after leaving the dancefloor (though I did check at the time and no, that girl’s shoes were in no way worth it!)

Such is the culmination of a week that when I wanted to restart my blog with the idea of a smile a day, there has been very little to leave me grinning like a Cheshire cat on crack. Now, I can sense you’re already beginning to write this post off as one massive rant of the grumpy old woman variety but, whilst I have turned twenty-one since my last entry, in a bid to find the silver lining in every situation, I promise there will be a few bright points in between the tirade.

So Monday set the ball rolling with my iPhone being stolen and, rather pitifully, it turns out that was half my life. That little gadget, was my music device, organiser, notepad, social networking on the move, even my ruddy alarm clock! As a result, I have rung O2 customer services enough to have their number on speed-dial and possibly get an invitation to their Christmas party.

After finding out the phone wasn't even insured I could have cried. Instead, I laughed...if a little hysterically. For now I would like to introduce you to my temporary (dear god, it better be) replacement, offered by my dad on the basis that “at least nobody else will want it either”.

Its ability to look like a glorified calculator really is just a clever disguise-it can’t even perform that function. It can however wake you up every morning and destroy your soul little-by-little with ‘Yankee Doodle’ as the one and only alarm setting (the man got it free with coupons out of a newspaper; should I really expect anything more?!)

And, if you weren’t already convinced of my dad’s complete technological illiteracy, this is just a snippet of the contacts he has in his address book.

I haven't deleted them just in case they do turn out to be his secret friends. 

Anyway, continuing the saga, there have been wild-goose trips back to my parents’ where I thought I would have to break into my own house. Not to mention more interaction with the police than yobs on a Saturday night in Croydon. Including, in an unrelated incident, the surreal situation of them knocking on my bedroom door at 3am and, after explaining their presence, complimenting me on my cow slippers and asking where they could buy a pair! 

Since it is by no means the first time these babies have been commented upon, I was going to provide a link for you to rush online and buy your own. However, it seems I have uncovered an underground bovine footwear trend (and possibly started it) as they've sold out everywhere...

I'm afraid these are not my own ankles
So, anyway, is there a happy ending to this marathon moan? Well, I was ready to pack it all in and chuck myself (ok maybe a little too far), the toy phone under a bus when I remembered I had actually booked a ticket to hear Zandra Rhodes speak at the V&A. Of course I’ll do a separate post dedicated to the wonders of this woman but if anything is going to make a fashion nerd smile then it’s meeting one of the most iconic textile designers of the sixties and seventies style revolution. Suffice to say the week quickly took a turn around...

...and the moral of the story? If you can't see the silver-lining, your friends will find it for you! To round off the week, a good friend took me to a comedy show at the Udderbelly and I found myself cackling away (turns out I need a new laugh) to the talents of Tim Key and Tom Basden. I had been doing pretty well to avoid the laughter lines of old age until then but I'm a sucker for ludicrously random humour like this...

I also highly recommend Sort of a Love Song and, for fans of the show, the Neighbours song.

It was atop a plastic, purple bull that I finally realised...other people have possibly had worse weeks. I mean taking into account quite a few individuals have existed since the dawn of time, it's actually quite a strong probability. 

So yes people this has been one of those sickening, self-realisation posts; more for my own benefit than for anyone else's. It is also Silver-Linings's gateway back into the blogosphere though and my fresh start.

Tomorrow's post will return to fashion, be about four times as short and contain no rants...or cows.