Unordered List

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Dressing for the Apocalypse

Glasgow is currently experiencing one of those Grey Christmasses that are so often inexplicably ignored by song and story. Grey because the sun only rises for about two hours per day; grey because of the unrelenting sleet. Today, a trip to the shops was not unlike one of those Lord Of The Rings scenes where Frodo and Sam are trudging up Mount Doom. Or The Road:
As a further illustration of how much of a Feral Sweater Person one becomes in this climate, this is what I was wearing to go out on said shopping trip:
Caveat: I haven't actually seen The Road. However, I know what it looks like, and was reminded of this when I met up with my friend J the other day. I should mention at this point that J has been living in a forest for the last six months, although in the interests of fairness I should also mention that he kind of dresses like this anyway. It's awesome:

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Pre-Fall 2012: Max Azria, Missoni, Rachel Zoe, and Erdem.

Hervé Léger by Max Azria
Plain, pretty dresses: something you won't usually find much of on this blog. However, something about this line from Max Azria got to me. For some reason it reminds me of the Hunger Games, and the outfits Katniss was made to wear by her stylists before she went into the arena. Tight and sexy, but sporty and strong at the same time. Look at this model -- she looks ready and able to punch someone, I think:
pics from
I'm not sure where these strappy harness accessories came from, but they really lift the dresses from the oft-repeated skintight bandage dress aesthetic of Max Azria into something a little punkier and ever-so-slightly sci-fi.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Pre-Fall 2012: Diane von Furstenberg, J. Mendel, Moschino Cheap & Chic, Alice + Olivia, and Giorgio Armani.

Diane von Furstenberg
I think that's some kind of... digitalised houndstooth pattern? I'm not sure. What I do know is that it looked enough like houndstooth that I immediately had the stomach-turning fashion thought of, "houndstooth is so in right now". I disgust myself sometimes. It smacks of trend articles like this one, in which Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian's houndstooth outfits are compared/forced to compete for our entertainment. First of all, Gaga's is obviously better because she went marvellously over-the-top with houndstooth accessories, stockings, makeup and piano, playfully turning the "conservative and tweedy" houndstooth image on its head, but secondly... this article exists for realzies. Oh boy. I don't like "who wore it better" gossip stories at all, since they're invariably code for "here are two attractive millionaires in similar outfits -- now, you decide which one is a flawed and hideous creature!" That's not "following fashion". That's petty and needless judgement of strangers based on their appearance.
I'd like this 100x more if the belt and sunglasses were removed, since they turn it into a fairly generic party-dress outfit. Sans belt, the combination of transluscent latex-y dress, visible stocking-tops, severe shoes and  leather gloves make for a rather interesting faux-fetish look.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Pre-Fall 2012: Helmut Lang, Vera Wang, Thakoon, and various other designers who want their models to have chilly knees.

Previously on Pre-Fall 2012: Karl Lagerfeld's interpretation of Indian style, and a bunch of other designers who were considerably less exciting than Chanel.

The reason for my lack of recent posting is that Scotland's recent hurricane (!) (sounds worse than it is) took out my internet/phone lines. Currently I'm embroiled in a war of attrition with my internet service providers, who alternately tell me my internet works (a lie), or that I don't exist (difficult to prove). I take this as a personal slight on my life choices from said internet providers, specifically that they think I should be trudging manfully through the snow looking for Christmas gifts, rather than sitting indoors in the warm and looking at pictures of clothes. But today my connection has been grudgingly upgraded to that of mid-1990s dial-up, so while I can't yet watch last week's season finale of The Killing, or, you know, send emails with attachments, I can flick through a few galleries.

Dear readers: prepare to be underwhelmed by the banalities of Pre-Fall fashion. Unlike Karl Lagerfeld, these designers do not see the value of a banquet hall or a miniature gold-plated steam train, or, indeed, of a catwalk fashion show. Once again we enter the realm of women doing mannequin impressions in front of blank white walls.

Helmut Lang
Pleasingly assymetrical, and I enjoy the cutaway patterns. Somehow the white jeans manage to look... not-unseasonal? Perhaps white jeans are more tolerable when you can only see them from the mid-thigh downwards.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Pre-Fall 2012: Zac Posen, Michael Kors, Jason Wu and Donna Karan.

The frequently boring nature of Pre-Fall lines (plus my desire not to spam you with multiple tiny posts) means that most designers are not going to get their own post this season. Although Karl Lagerfeld decided that his Pre-Fall 2012 show could not be adequately displayed without banquet tables and a miniature gold Chanel-logo railway, most designers tend to show their Pre-Fall collections by standing a model in front of a blank background, telling her to pose like an awkward automaton, and photographing her in the accepted manner of "glum and weirdly unbending".

Michael Kors
I took one look at this and lost several seconds of my life to thoughts of Due South, the greatest Canadian Mountie-based surreal comedy-drama cop show of all time.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Chanel Pre-Fall 2012: Karl Lagerfeld has never been to India but let's just gloss over that, shall we?

Previously on Chanel: Karl Lagerfeld, Lord of the Sea, addresses the proletariat via harp and conch shell.

Chanel's Pre-Fall 2012 collection surprised me on two counts:
  1. While this line is "India-inspired" (instant alarm bells, especially since Karl Lagerfeld has never been to India) it doesn't seem like the creepy cultural appropriation that typically results from this kind of idea. Of course, come 2012 real-time -- as opposed to fashion-time, which operates approximately six months in everyone else's future -- I fully expect to see a whole host of mildly-racist photoshoots in Vogue, Elle, etc. (If this sounds like cynicism, that's because it is. I'll be sure to get back to you in six months if the world of high-end magazine photography has managed to align itself with the cultural mores of the 21st century by then, but I doubt it.)
  2. Against all fashion-world logic, this show is actually more interesting than Chanel' Spring 2012 line, despite the fact that Pre-Fall isn't a "real" season.
Thankfully, Lagerfeld resisted the temptation to give the models an India-inspired setting, restraining himself to an opulent banquet hall including a Chanel-brand miniature railway carrying decanters round and round the central table as the audience gazed on wistfully from afar, tragically decanter-less. I suspect that the audience couldn't see the lower half of the outfits over the top of their banquet tables, but I doubt any of them complained within earshot of Lagerfeld.

The looks ranged from quite obviously India-inspired to classic Chanel designs such as the kind of fitted, boxy skirt-suits that tend to send me to sleep. There were some rather pretty ones this season, but I'm only posting one of them because you know what a skirt suit looks like already, come on:
All catwalk photos from

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Good Wife 3x10: "Parenting Made Easy"

Previously: A Fan's Introduction to Costume Design.

The Good Wife, as well as being very entertaining and probably the most grown-up show on television, contains some subtly excellent costuming. I haven't posted about it before because the clothes are just one aspect of a show that's brilliant overall, but like many aspects of TGW's quality they crept up on me.

This post requires a little backstory, but no major spoilers for the latest episode (3x10). Earlier in the season Alicia ( lawyer and titular "Good Wife") was told to hire a new junior, a choice narrowed down to two young women. Caitlin had a good resume but came across as a little frivolous, and Alicia clearly found it easier to relate to the more serious-minded Martha. However, Alicia was told to hire Caitlin anyway because she was the neice of one of the senior partners.

Because TGW is a show with three-dimensional adult characters, this didn't result in sulking or infighting. Although Caitlin wasn't Alicia's first choice, they've ended up with a good professional relationship, with Alicia even mentoring Caitlin to a certain extent. This week, though, showed the return of Martha, opposing them in court alongside Alicia's longtime rival, Michael J. Fox (!).

Friday, 2 December 2011

Links post: stylish new video from The Correspondents; 18th century wigs; Pringle Of Scotland; the joys of fashion jargon; Martin Scorsese's Hugo, and more!

The Correspondents: Dapper electro-swing merchants The Correspondents are back with a new video, Cheating With You. I saw this band many a time back when I lived in London and not only do they give great live performances, the frontman's costumes are a consistent delight. Usually it's some variation on the slimline neo-Edwardian suit, but I also recall hankering after his splendid green peacock-feather-patterned catsuit (not everyone can pull that off).
Engravings of preposterous 18th-century wigs (via The Oncoming Hope): Waiter, there's a hair in my satire! Because who doesn't love 18th century wigs?

The non-season known as "Pre-Fall" has begun, apparently: With Pringle Of Scotland, who for once have produced some clothes that I rather like. Ordinarily I don't have much interest in Pringle because I'm not a knitwear person (sorry) and the silhouettes aren't to my taste. Yes, sometimes even the endorsement of Tilda Swinton, Ultimate Human (to give her her full title) is not enough to seduce me. However, some of the pre-fall 2012 stuff is rather nice:
pics from
More pics and links below the cut!