UK Handmade Winter Showcase

UK-Handmade-Winter-2017It is now November and I think we can safely mention ‘Christmas’ and yesterday the Winter/Christmas UK Handmade Showcase went live. One of my silk scarves has been featured, and, I love the way the UK Handmade folk have chosen a scarf that complements the beautiful flowers by Larkspur Floral Designs.

I didn’t submit any pictures of chiffon scarves this autumn, but seeing recent photographs from Vogue reporting on the forthcoming fashion trends for next spring, it appears that chiffon is going to be popular again.

It is odd looking forward to spring when we’ve only just had the first full frost of autumn, but that’s the fashion business.

Chiffon-silk-long-Valeria-lilac-boxed

Valeria Lilac long chiffon scarf

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Bag ladies for London Fashion Week

Bag-ladiesIt has been London Fashion Week again and to mark this kaleidoscopic event a Sunday newspaper printed a special, big fat, bumper edition of their fashion magazine. Flicking through the 182 pages there wasn’t much about the up and coming bright young things, but instead there was plenty from the major luxury fashion brands launching their autumn ad campaigns. Is it me or do the ad people have a tin ear? Okay, I have been a bit naughty and photoshopped the top picture (original photo below), but, really, what are the Burberry folk signifying?

Burberry-bag-ladies

According to the charity ‘Streets of London’;

8,000 people sleep rough on the streets of London every year. They come from every walk of life, and many of them want to find work.

Maybe I have misinterpreted the images, but sitting on grey city steps in oversized winter coats and knitted hats with what looks like giant shopping bags, (okay I note they all look pristine), reminds me of homeless, bag ladies. Surely that can’t be right.

Burberry aren’t the only ones with brittle, nonstandard photos. In need of something a little different Gucci have stepped off planet – literally.

Gucci-aliens

Yes, look closely and it’s aliens now modelling for Gucci.

Mind you the most startling ad in the whole magazine was, now wait for this, modelling for Louis Vuitton, an OLD person. And, she is the only old person in the whole 182 pages.

Catherine-Deneuve

Admittedly, this beautiful old person is the internationally famous, French film star Catherine Deneuve. At 73 years old she is over three times the age of the other models featured in the various campaigns. And, as a final comment, according to this Sunday newspaper’s own circulation data for 2017 (so far), 70% of its readership are 45 years old or older, with nearly a third of its readership Senior Citizens!

Age

Have you noticed . . . ?

Chloé-advertLast month I was flicking my way through a bumper fashion edition of The Sunday Times Style magazine when I was struck by how many adverts looked warm and cosy.

Kenzo-advert

That is they have either been shot outside during the natural ‘golden hour’ or the photographer has covered the lens with a warm/orange filter or added a warm filter adjustment layer in post-production.

Coach-advert

It occurred to me that maybe in times of heightened uncertainty and fearfulness people appreciate comforting pictures. Images drenched in soft, golden sunlight suggest intimate, homely times and offer a whisper of reassurance. Interestingly, interior shots contrived with a distinctly retro feel have also made a return.

Bottega-Veneta-advert

Indeed, the Gucci perfume advert has a distinctly late-sixties hippie feel with the vintage rattan chair and birdcage. Perhaps the freed birds within this setting is a discrete celebration of the 50 year anniversary of the ‘summer of love’, an outward-looking, hopeful moment that was drenched in optimism.

Gucci-warm

It can’t simply be a coincidence that so many luxury brands have chosen this style intimating that expensive luxury products equate with feeling warm, safe and secure. Even the Times Competition at the back of the magazine had the picture of Paris soaked in a golden light!

Times-competition

Italian favourites – laughing, posing, eating

On a daily basis there are things that are uplifting and then there are things that irritate. And, sometimes those two responses meet in a head on crash. I don’t want to have a huge rant about this, but I couldn’t resist making a comment. Firstly, I love the women’s designs from the Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana. I love the rich, ornate fabrics, put together in irrepressible combinations and finished off with an expert attention to detail. Haute couture by its very nature isn’t mass market, but its long tentacles spread influence across the world of fashion through lesser, mass-produced merchandise embellished with a luxury brand name. As with much fashion retailing collections are supported by extensive, glossy ad campaigns. Last year’s Dolce & Gabbana’s campaign was a take on a vintage version of Italy, recycling the 1950s, über cool, stylish look. Sparkling models grouped together displaying a youthful, exuberant version of living. Fine. Gorgeous.

Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2013.
Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2013.

This year’s campaign’s launch photograph, not so fine. Beautiful people, beautiful clothes, beautifully shot, but one huge ERROR a female model is shown eating bread!! I mean let’s face it, it’s almost headline news to see a model eating, but blatantly eating white bread what is going on? Or, hang on, is this a deliberately provocative photograph? As beautiful as it all is, I just find seeing an industry infamous for the ‘size 0’ phenomenon parading stick thin models posed pretending to eat refined carbs a bit rich for my taste.

Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2014.
Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2014.