Sunday, 29 March 2015

Savage Beauty at the V&A



Call me a Fashion Philistine, but having been a teenage goth by the time the nineties came around I was totally over my Macabre Period. Hence I didn't really buy into Sensation-era Damien Hirst and Alexander McQueen at his most gory. What I love about a good exhibition is it has the ability to change your preconceptions and opinion, and Savage Beauty at the V&A did just that. This is a wonderful celebration of McQueen's work, beautifully curated (apart from one section with skulls that looked a bit like a catacomb I once visited in Palermo). The exhibition also served to reinforce what I'd always admired about McQueen: his Savile Row-with-a-twist tailoring, the brilliant cultural/historical/natural references pulled into his work, the anarchic creativity and most of all, his honesty (McQueen claimed to have sewn his opinion of Prince Charles into the lining of a Royal suit).


Philip Treacy butterfly headdress
Razor Clam dress
Dyed ostrich feather dress

Kate Moss in the 2001 Voss show

And I still believe that Spray Painting with Shalom Harlow is the best catwalk show, ever. The dress from the 1999 performance is on show in the 'Cabinet of Curiosities' room:


 
One of my favourite sections is the display of McQueen's tailored jackets:




 And the Bumster trousers whose length feels au courant:


'It's a good testament for people like myself who come from working-class backgrounds that it can be done, that you can do what you really want to do in life, everything is possible.'
Alexander McQueen


This kind of creative talent deserves to be treasured.


If you can get hold of a ticket, Savage Beauty is absolutely fantastic: on at the V&A until 2 August 2015. If you can't buy the book, it's brilliant.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Ageless Style at Jaeger


Wool sleeveless top, available HERE, suede A-line skirt, available HERE, leather bag available HERE

'It's not about age,' says Jaeger's creative director Sheila McKain-Waid. I went along to listen to the American-born designer in conversation with historian and academic Amy de la Haye, after my talk at Bath in Fashion (proper round-up coming soon). The pair happily chatted about the history of the brand - including founder Dr Gustav Jaeger's health and sanitary philosophy and obsession with animal hair -  and went on to talk about current day issues. 'This is a big moment in fashion, right now,' continued McKain-Waid, 'It's about ageless style. Our Mothers & Daughters campaign looked at being inspired by an older relative or friend. Women who have fantastic style you want to emulate.'


Ponyskin jacket, available HERE (warning: it's not cheap), double breasted trench skirt, available HERE

All this is good news in my book - and for spring/summer 2015 Jaeger has used 38-year-old model Kirtsy Hume to add an otherworldly feel to their campaign. In the real world, we all know that 38 is still young, younger than Kate Moss, but model years are a bit like dog years making Hume positively ancient. For the last year or so, McKain-Waid has been quietly giving Jaeger a makeover. Having worked at Donna Karan, Halston and DAKS she's well-placed to reinterpret classic English pieces by 'adding an American sportswear mentality and cleaning them up a bit.' The idea of traditional British style with a sporty twist is right up my alley, though I'm still not convinced by tailored jackets without sleeves, even if they're called double faced gilets...


Double faced gilet, available HERE


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Talking about Style Forever


Photo: Kristin Perers

Remember the original That's Not My Age motto? I'm just on my way to Bath in Fashion  - to my very first book signing  - and am thinking about the story of Style Forever and how the blog began. I am absolutely stunned by the positive response to my book and all your wonderful comments. Very much looking forward to meeting lots of FABulous women this afternoon. And eating a few scones.


Back in a bit,


Alyson
x


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Inspirational Women: Katharine Viner



A quick three cheers for Katharine Viner the newly announced editor of the Guardian, and the only female editor of a daily newspaper in the UK. I'm not cheering the last bit, obviously, we still need more women in senior positions in the media industry and the government and any other old boys' networks you care to mention. Anyhow. Viner has been with the Guardian for 18 years and went from being editor of G2 to become launch editor of the Australian edition and then onto editor-in-chief of the Guardian US. Making her perfect for the job. Of her new position, she says:

'I intend to lead a media organisation that is bold, challenging and engaging. It will be a home for the most ambitious journalism, ideas and events. Setting the agenda and reaching out to readers all around the world.'


I think we can assume that she's not going to start lending horses to David Cameron...

Friday, 20 March 2015

The best women's tuxedo jackets


I've been waiting for the perfect excuse to invest in a beautiful tuxedo jacket and (no prizes for guessing) have just found it.What to wear to your own book launch might sound like the ultimate in gratuitous self-promotion but it is my current fashion conundrum. Fortunately, I've done the research having just written a piece on tuxedos for the FT's How To Spend It. My current favourite jackets are by the Parisian label Pallas, a chic French atelier specialising in women's tailoring. Having worked behind-the-scenes with designers like Balenciaga and CĂ©line, Pallas launched it's own-label collection in 2012, and is available to buy at Net-a-Porter.

Hermione satin trim crepe blazer by Pallas, £1080, available HERE



Olympe satin trimmed crepe blazer, £1130, available HERE
Hermione satin trim wool blazer by Pallas, £1265, available HERE

Obviously when you're talking tuxedos, there's the iconic Saint Laurent style:

Saint Laurent satin trim wool tuxedo, £2035, available HERE.

For a more purse-friendly option, the jacket I'm wearing in the publicity shot (see post below) is from Jaeger.


Jaeger contemporary tailoring jacket, £225, available HERE

Then I just need to order my Advanced Style/ Fanny Karst t-shirt, beautifully modelled here by Lyn the Accidental Icon, and I'm good to go.





Read the full FT article HERE.