Thursday, September 22, 2011

London Brigade

"Face it lady, I'm younger and faster than you"

One of my main reasons for waiting until London Fashion Week ended before posting my favourite collections is that it just kept getting better. Both Holly Fulton and Mary Katrantzou provided memorable AW11 collections but the question on more lips than hips was how sustainable their ideas and designs might be. This season both of them have proved a magnanomous point. They are here to stay.

Holly Fultons' collection cemented her as the up and coming queen of over the top perfection. Her clothes were a bag of mixed media including a chequerboard print, zebra swatches, heavy shell embellishment and 1920's deco inspired prints. Striking a fine balance between aesthetic and shape is paramount in insuring the clothes don't come of as being 'tacky' and this is what Fulton has done so well. The clothes here are exciting - fresh colours, great silhouettes and the all important whopper dress. The mini in deco encrusted shells was fashion fabulous!

Mary Katrantzou had the fashion world drooling over her 'Kai Collection' for AW11 and although her SS12 collection showcased an all new shape and cut, for me it didn't have the same impact. Nevertheless it was one of the finer printed collections you will see this season. The garments are worked in such a way that they provide an optical illusion that you are watching through 3D glasses. The colours pop and the texture changes depending on your viewpoint. Overworked perhaps a little, the train element on the mini-dresses didn't leave me wanting more but one thing is for sure 'Mary, Queen of Prints' will provide one of the killer looks of the season year after year. The dip-dyed floral suit is a killer coffin outfit if you can't make it to St. Tropez but the winner here is the sculpted metalwork dress using car parts and 

If neither of these take your fancy, I suggest you take a trip down pastel lane with Nicole Farhi and her city chic sophisticated minimalist approach. If pastel is not for you and glam evening gowns is what you are after, look no further than Julian Macdonald and Alice Temperley where the collections oozed understated glamour!

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Holly Fulton

Mary Katrantzou

Monday, September 19, 2011

London Fashion Week - The Sabbath

What, When, Who, Where and Why!

Day 1.

When the slashed open tailoring of Jean Pierre Braganzas' new collection hit the catwalk one couldn't help but notice that New York was well and truly over and the visual impaction of London and its inherent common cool vibe was upon us. The show opened with a studded hexagon hem dress in black and gold which carried through the very apparent theme of all things aztec. Also included were pops of colour and a geometric clarity which added a modern element to the offset tailoring that we have seen before. Looking back this collection is one of my favourite for SS12

Shortly afterwards the print specialists Basso and Brooke sent an unusually sophisticated and form fitting selection of dresses and trousers down the catwalk. One thing however has not changed, the prints are ever evolving and more intricately done than the previous season. Bold colours and sharp angles on silk and chiffon prints gave the collection a more electric feel.

Anne Sophie Backs' collection had an altogether different approach. The looks were de-constructed, loose and monochromatic. If they related to buildings they would have been described as post-modern icons. The fabrics were moulded in a way that they floated around the models as they walked. The european influence here was perhaps more obvious however. The collection had a definite look of Anne Demeulemeester crossed with the relaxed looks of Martin Margiela. A really strong collection all the same.

Jean-Pierre Braganza

Anne Sophie Back 

Over and Out.. 

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm In Chains

London Fashion Week - La Amhain 

I am writing to you all from the confinements of a friends house in Islington. I have been residing here since I decided to land myself in hospital early on Sunday morning. Four hours later, under the dazed and confused feeling offered by the wonderful drug they call morphine, I was going under the knife to have my appendix removed. You might at this stage be thinking "oh jaysus, he's such an attention seeking wussy"- but believe me when I tell you that I have never felt pain like it. Already at this stage all I could think of was how hopeless I was going to be. In fairness the treatment I received was A1 Sharon (amazeballs). Pedro and Kate (the surgeon and anaesthetist were amazing and after only an hour, we were like THAT). If this had been Dublin there was a strong possibility I would have been sat on a rusty wheeler with eaten wheels waiting in A&E, septicemia taking control of my already emaciated body. Luckily though it was under control. 

When I woke up in the recovery ward, not feeling any pain due to the sword sized needle they injected into my side during the operation, all I could think was 'fashion week'. Friday was fast approaching and the idea of missing out on a jam-packed london fashion week (LFW) schedule was too depressing to think about. Now out of the blue and six days since my operation Friday is here and LFW is in full swing. The fashion elite and glitterati and those who think they are fashion elite and glitterati are attending todays shows at the British Fashion Council showspace at Somerset House and other venues around town. One thing is for sure my immobility won't keep me down. It might be with a slight limp and hunchback of Notre Dame shoulders but I'll be donning my best and taking to the cobbles of Somerset House from tomorrow.

I will be reporting all things fashion fabulous and catastrophic only here at

(It may take a while before the images hit the screen but here's hoping that the woman in the fur coat will give up her seat to an ole limp like me)

The pick of todays shows include Jean-Pierre Braganza and PPQ. 

Who will be hot to trott?

Speaking of hot to trott, it's my sisters birthday today. Happy Birthday Bearzo (",) 

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Monday, July 11, 2011

"The Windmillers Wife"

When a shoot comes together, it really comes together. 

Irish weather is known as little less than unpredictable throughout the world but on a Summer day when the rain plummeted  from the heavens in the early morning, my wishes for a clear blue sky came through. The clouds parted like the red sea and I was left standing in the impressive shadows of the 'Skerries Mills'. What an amazing, yet quite understated and serene location for a summer shoot. Vast fields, a gently flowing river and two large windmill turbines, unmoving, still. A whistling wind whisked across the hills (playing havoc with my kit and the models hair) adding to the organic nature of the shoot.  

The model represents a familiar face - I had woken her up about two hours previous - today she was working for free. it's my younger sister Claire. Today however she played the role of "The Windmillers Wife" and what a beautiful job she did. 

Silk shirt by Oasis, Crepe 70's trouser by Oasis, Summer straw bag by Oasis
Shoes by Kurt Geiger, Earrings are stylists own, ankle straps - customised by stylist

Mesh mohair jumper by Topman Design
Graphic stripe skirt by Karen Millen (as below)

Draped yellow wrap dress by Karen Millen
Bead embellished belt is stylists own.
Flash red patent bag by Karen Millen

Halterneck backless jumpsuit in blue by Topshop Unique
Metal plate mirror belt by Karen Millen
Shoes by River Island
Scarf is vintage from a selection at Rokit

Mesh jumper as above
Graphic stripe skirt as above by Karen Millen
Boots are models own by Carvela

Scarf from a selection of vintage by American Apparel
Bird print cardigan by Oasis
Fur is vintage from Portobello market

Shirt by Oasis
Leather pencil skirt by Oasis
Headscarf is vintage

Shirt and headscarf as before

Stylist - David Greene
Model - Claire Greene

Shot on location at Skerries Mills by David Greene

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Friday, July 8, 2011

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" - Couture Bliss

On a day when the heavens opened in London, the rain hammered against the reflective windows of my office block in Shoreditch. Sat looking out the window at what is quickly becoming another gloomy Summer, it would have been so easy to drop into momentary lapse and what I like to call a 'junior' state of depression. Flashing on my screen however is a 'beacon of hope', a 'candle in the wind', THE most beautiful dress by Ricardo Tisci at Givenchy. This is couture week in Paris. The opulent curtains have come crashing down on what has been another extraordinary week on the fashion calender.

Couture week is time for the big guns to show us the clothes that not only for them and their individual houses represent class and tradition, but clothes that will continue to shape how the world views sheer luxury and recognition of a craft that can be described as nothing other than art.

Show after show the couture houses of Armani, Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Saab and Valentino brought us garments that not only were meticulously crafted but instantaneously house recognisable. 

Clearly visible was the signature Chanel tweed in Lagerfelds' show entitled "Les Allures de Chanel". This time a dark twist where monochrome was overpowered by a need, a want - of darkness to prevail. 

Christian Dior supplied us with a refined 30's silhouette, defined by shape, Stephen Jones headpieces and the beautiful Karlie Kloss in disguise as a playful but sad Pierrot - quite possibly an offering to the fallen master Galliano. 

Valentino brought an ode to old fashioned luxury (half buttoned sleeves) and made it super modern by adding detail such as slashed open backs in velvet and braided necklines - that in those days would have simply been 'out of the question'. If it's diversity you prefer, this collection will blow your socks off.

On his first outing Giambattista Valli (a designer I always associate with the Olsen twins) gave us a younger representation of couture as it would look on a modern muse, feathers, hair, ruffles and amazing gowns - a more than successful first outing. The stand out piece for me was a black lace dress, delicately coated in single feathers and draped in floor length veil, the slight peek of a red head band flashing through - beautiful!


On a week where couture evolved and ventured to unknown places, Ricardo Tisci at Givenchy took that literally and took his show to the banks of the Seine. The result of which was an astoundingly contradictive show. In true couture style, the clothes told a story. Although all but one of the dresses were white, the feeling of the show as the garments progressed was surprisingly dark. It was as if they were being stripped of the their purity and their vulnerability becoming almost Goddess like. The finale dress was a shade of gold, motifs booming from the pelvis, beads, fringing, crystals and endless tread  bringing to life a modern Mother Nature. Possessing overwhelming power and flashing her t**s! If the dress could speak it was saying "I am what I am". Another amazing outing for Tisci who in my books is prematurely becoming one of the best designers of all time. 

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
















Images courtesy of

Thursday, May 5, 2011

McQueen Glamour at the MET Ball

Mariacarla dazzles the good, the bag and the ugly

It is not often that you will see a red carpet event bring such glamour and poise as the MET Ball did in New York on May 2nd. Forget the Oscars, this is the event that brings out the big guns and anything goes, just ask the tartan clad Hamish Bowles. This year the stars were out in force to celebrate Alexander McQueen and the ball purposely coincided with the opening of Savage Beauty, the McQueen exhibition running at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art until early July.

One after the other the stars paid their respects in the most appropriate way of all, self expression through their clothing, a way in which McQueen will be forever grateful. At no other event have I ever seen so many couture gowns from top fashion houses such as Chanel, Givenchy and of course McQueen. 

The cream of the crop at the event included long time friends of McQueen; Daphne Guinness, Sarah Jessica Parker and Naomi Campbell who all wore meticulously crafted floor sweeping garments from the designers fashion house. Daphne Guinness’ dress was part of the most recent collection from McQueens right hand Sarah Burton (probably the most talked about name in fashion over the last week due to Kate Middletons wedding guna), she wore a stunning grey duck feather bodice dress. Others who looked absolutely stunning included Mariacarla Boscono who moved like a swan in Givenchy haute couture. Her black tresses flowed too in a vintage wave and the delicacy of the feathers on sheer encrusted mesh fabric looked breathtaking on the Italian supermodel (probably my favourite model of the last decade). Add to that the fact that she had designer of the moment and curator of her dress Ricardo Tisci on her arm, he himself looking spectacularly dapper; she wins my prize for best dressed on the night. Looking further down the red carpet there was rarely a bad dress in sight. Rihanna glistened in black lace by Stella McCartney, Blake Lively posed on the arm of Karl Lagerfeld in Chanel haute couture, Karlie Kloss who is very much so the model of the moment looked stunning in jewel embellished vintage Dior, Diane Kruger showed yet again that she always gets it ‘just right’ in Jason Wu. Zoe Saldana was queen of the brights in yellow Calvin Klein. Saoirse Ronan and Dakota Fanning showed the young ones how to do it in Rodarte and Valentino respectively. Up-do of the night went to Crystal Renn who dawned a black wedding dress by Zac Posen, the actors hair curved like a bend on a bobsleigh track around her head, simply stunning. In the menswear line, Victor and Rolf wore some super funky trousers from their Monsieur range, of which I need a pair in my life.

I wonder is it simply irony that on one of the biggest nights in fashion, the biggest woman in fashion Anna Wintour was one of the few to get it very wrong. Not for the first time the Vogue icon looked awash amidst the meticulously crafted gowns that models and actors half her age wore. Her daughter Bee showed that she is no more interested in a career in fashion than the man on the moon, in a dull and boring burgundy gown. Her editor at large Andre Leon Talley, looked totally ridiculous in a purple taffeta coat with a train, although it looked more like a train wreck to be brutally honest.

That’s all!

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Daphne Guinness in McQueen dress and heels

Karlie Kloss in Dior

Diane Kruger with Jason Wu

Liv Tyler, Ricardo Tisci and Queen of the night - Mariacarla Boscono

Naomi on a ramble in McQueen

Rihanna in Stella McCartney

Zoe Saldana with Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein

Irish star Saoirse Ronan in Rodarte

SJP in McQueen
Ricci wore an exclusive from Posen

Andre Leon Talley looking ridiculous in undisclosed - no wonder!

Double frock horror from Anna and Bee