Monday, April 30, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Prepare to feel like your life is very boring. Sorry, but that's how I felt when I went to a talk at the National Portrait Gallery last Thursday evening entitled "Word of Mouth from the Warren Street Squat". Given the setting in a rather proper sort of place, I sort of thought I'd be going along to a rather genteel retelling of the activities of a particularly creative, carefree community which sprung up in Central London nearly a decade before I was born. Indeed, the whole event came about as a result of the Lucian Freud retrospective- attended  by the very prim Duchess Kate when it opened- in which there are several portraits of Leigh Bowery, a key player in the clubbing scene which was a huge part of life for the Warren Street squatters.
The most polite one I could find....Leigh Bowery by Lucian Freud (image from
What actually ensued was an hour and a half long chat amongst many members of that community, including Boy George and milliner Stephen Jones, enlightening the comparatively few of us there who hadn't been around to experience it first hand. The Warren Street Squat was one of many which sprung up in the area around Tottenham Court Road and Euston Road in the late 70s. The squats were inhabited by art students, DJs, musicians and any other 'outcasts' who felt at home in what sounds like the complete, non-stop chaos of the place. Jeffrey Hinton, who did a lot of the talking, recalled a time of 'no rent, no internet and no mobile phones' which gave them the 'freedom of not dealing with real life'. In turn, this led to a 'falling apart culture' which was only exacerbated by the unstable minority Labour government and the highest unemployment figures since the war.

Boy George with Leigh Bowery (image from
The lovely Princess Julia, who was on stage talking with Jeffrey Hinton
When they broke into the disused townhouse on Warren St and wired up the electricity in 1978, there began the coming together of creative minds who would eventually become some of the biggest cultural influencers of the 80s- Leigh Bowery, Michael Clark,  Bodymap designers Stevie Stewart and David Holah, Princess Julia... I could go on. I loved that so many of these people and their friends were at the event on Thursday night so rather than being a bland history lesson, the room frequently roared with debate about what really happened in the stories being told. Boy George discovered for the first time that the house actually had a working phone that he could have used. Some were disgruntled to discover that others had been to Mark Le Bon's squat a few streets away for baths (it was the only place with hot water). What made me feel boring is that wherever I was living, the bath and phone would be my first priority. It's hard to imagine being so consumed with other preoccupations that I could possibly not hunt out these facilities as a matter of urgency. It seemed that visits to drink out of date beer at  Pink Panther or nipping to the roof to delve into the bucket of poppers they kept there were more pressing.

Kim Bowen, Jeremy Healy and Stephen Jones outside the Warren St squat (image from

Trojan and Leigh Bowery. An image from the insightful article which Princess Julia wrote about the NPG talk for iD
This scene is still inspiring creatives today.... During the talk a photo popped up of a clubber in full blue face paint. It looks to me like Meadham Kirchhoff almost certainly saw this picture and used it as make-up inspiration for their AW12 show.

Bodymap (image from

Meadham Kirchhoff make-up AW12 (image from

Jeffrey Hinton's scratch videos were big highlights of the night. A lot of the footage came from the time after the squat had been closed down and all its inhabitants rehoused in smaller flats on council estates. Nevertheless, I think they gave a pretty good taster of the hedonism, sexual freedom and creativity which pervaded the scene. Hinton had become obsessed by tapes at a young age, when he would record himself then edit the tape by cutting it up and sellotaping back together different segments. Princess Julia, who seems totally brilliant, remembered how he would do a new one each week to show at Taboo, Bowery's club night. The videos were grim and vile and hilarious and beautiful in equal measure- some segments show Hinton filming his friends as they dance and snog and masturbate and banter. Spliced in with these equivalents of family footage are Hinton's genius mixes of mainstream media, clips from TV shows, adverts and even a Tupperware (the plastic tubs which every good housewife/Mother/ practical person has stowed in a kitchen cupboard) party, with scenes from horror films and underground sources which lampoon the original material. It's a whole different way of looking at the world and sells the club scene as a complete, alternative lifestyle rather than something we do on a Friday or Saturday night. 
One of Hinton's videos.... Be warned, it's pretty gruesome!

The talk ended on kind of odd note when Hinton mentioned he would be reading out the names of some of those who had been big parts of the scene but who are no longer around, many of them succumbing to AIDS related illnesses or drug and alcohol problems. There was a shouting match between two audience members who had clearly both been some part of the culture- where one questioned whether their lifestyles had been overly childish and irresponsible, the other was fuming that that subject had to be brought up at all. While the deaths of people like Bowery do cast a shadow, the fact that Hinton, Princess Julia and many more are still alive, successful and just as creative today does show that it was an experience you could live through.

I just need one question answering, does anyone know who this fab furry animal bedecked audience member is? All anyone could tell me was his name was Thierry...

Friday, April 27, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Happy Friday Fashion People. I'm afraid today is a somewhat condensed version of our news round-up after we were caught up in this afternoon's drama on Tottenham Court Road.

Our main story this week involves American jeweller (and CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund Award runner-up) Pamela Love, Chanel and a particularly astute law student...
Pamela Love's gem encrusted bangles....
And the Chanel version  (images from
Back in March, Julie Zerbo wrote a blog post pointing out the uncanny similarity between a bangle shown during the Chanel AW12 show and a design by Pamela Love. Zerbo highlighted her blog post to Fashionista. They picked up the story and, ta dah, within 24 hours Chanel had pledged not to produce the bracelet 'out of respect for the concerns raised'. This seems to us like a pretty major development in the ongoing saga of copying. We see it day in, day out. It's perhaps particularly unfair to young designers who have their ideas ripped off by massive companies who go on to make mega money while the young designer continues to struggle through establishing their business (AND receive no credit). Zerbo's Fashion Law blog could be the fashion industry's future vanguard against these happenings- and how amazing that she is just a 25 year-old student- Go Julie!

Alistair Carr (image from
Not much more than a year after his appointment, Alistair Carr has left Pringle. The brand, which shows at LFW, apparently plans to reduce its presence with smaller presentations. The current in-house designers will  now lead the label's creative direction.

Giles Deacon, designer of the year (image from
FEAL is sending good wishes and massive, well deserved congratulation to Giles Deacon who was awarded Designer of the Year award at the World Fashion Awards in Moscow earlier this week. His sumptuously medieval AW12 show was a fashion week highlight for me. The mythical brocade and burnt out ballgowns were standouts.

Natalia Vodianova on the cusp of scoffing an eclair! (
Natalia Vodianova sparked controversy at the Vogue Festival last week when she stood up for skinny models. 'C'mon guys, you know it's better to be skinny than to be fat' she said, before going on to point out how much the NHS is spending on increasing levels of obesity. Although Vodianova's comments shouldn't detract from the very troubling issue of too-skinny models, I do think she has a point about putting society's problems into context.
Coco looking cute in clothes (image from
Ever so cute and in-demand model Coco Rocha has condemned Elle Brazil this week after they apparently photoshopped away part of a body suit she was wearing in a cover shoot for the magazine. This meant that they breached the terms of her contract which has strict nudity clauses. As Coco's not happy, we won't be reproducing the picture here.

Donatella with her late brother Gianni (image from
After dabbling with a presentation back in January, Donatella Versace will hold two full-on couture shows at the Ritz in Paris on July 1st, just before the hotel closes for renovations. Donatella said:

"It is with tremendous emotion that I return to the Ritz where I shared so many special moments with my brother. The closing of the Ritz Paris for two years represents the end of an era but also the beginning of a new one, so to be able to show Atelier Versace there one last time will be a memorable milestone."

Lulu Kennedy, founder of Fashion East (

Huge congrats to Lulu Kennedy who has been appointed Editor at Large of the gorgeous 
LOVE magazine

Opening Ceremony will be launching a pop-up store to coincide with... wait for it.... the 
Olympic opening ceremonies. Brilliant
 Another sad demise, this week it's Betsey Johnson which has filed for bankruptcy.

Tinie Tempah (image from
Loving this interview with super suave Tinie Tempah. Favourite line? 'I'm not sure what I'm there for really, I guess they are pimping me out' (on his partaking in the Menswear 2012 committee for the BFC

It's the Met Gala next week which will see the launch of the museum's Prada/ Schiaparelli exhibition. Everyone from Vogue will apparently be wearing pink in homage to Elsa Sciaparelli's favourite colour. It seems Rihanna and Claire Danes got the memo early...
Claire Danes in Narciso Rodriguez (from

Rihanna in Vivienne Westwood- a lovely change from her normal look (from
Finally, video of the week is Jospehine de la Baume and her brother Alex talking about their new band Singtank for Their music sounds like perfect weekend listening...

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Posted by Melanie Fashion Editor at Large

I had the pleasure of meeting up with the NewYork based designer Joseph Altuzarra this afternoon at Browns where he was doing a trunk show and meeting customers and members of the press. 
Me and Mr A

Still only 28 years old,  Joseph is currently on the kind of awesome - and it has to be said pretty mental - upward trajectory which only happens to one designer every few years. Joseph (never Joe) is the current recipient of the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund and won $300,000 last year to grow his four year old business. He is also, much to his chagrin, a bit of a fashion IT boy. Well, you've gotta love a designer who poses draped over a chair in one of his own snakeskin dresses, right?  

Hawt! Joseph Altuzarra shot for W Magazine

Don't let his chair work or penchant for wearing dresses give you the idea that he is a good time boy; Mr Altuzarra is certainly no intellectual lightweight and he is a worker, obsessed with his craft and constantly pushing personal boundaries with his work.  When I ask if he is happy being in the public eye, he admits "I don't want to be 'the hot designer' because that means one day the limelight will move onto someone else. I want a slow and steady progression. Look," he says leaning closer, "doing press is part of the job, but to be honest my favourite place to be is at home with my boyfriend [Seth a property dude)]and my [Schnauzer] dog Bean, watching TV.  Joseph used his prize money extremely wisely. Both his parents are investment bankers, so he knew exactly what to do, which was to move to larger offices and hire a production manager. Smart. 

That he spent the first 18 years of his life in Paris with his Chinese American mother and French father proved the starting point for today's conversation, which swiftly took us from French parochialism onto the inspiration behind his accomplished and trend-setting Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, one of my personal highlights of New York Fashion Week. 

Joseph Altuzarra Autumn Fall/Winter 2012 
One of the best everyday fashion looks for the forthcoming Autumn, hands down.


"The starting point for me was looking at the way France is evolving as a nation. I think there are a lot of problems relating to national identity emerging as a result of the elections. French style, for example, is heavily influenced by North Africa and Asia, but actual French society is obstinately French. I guess they are focusing too much on immigration, instead of looking at integration. In the UK and USA I see 
integration. This whole idea of integration fascinated me, which reminded me of a cartoon character from my childhood called Corto Maltese. He is an iconic figure in French culture, a quintessentially French sailor who travels the world to brings back new ideas." 

As you can see Corto Maltese also likes a pea-coat, which happens to be one of the key motifs of Altuzarra's new collection. 

Corto Maltese 


"When I am designing I try to take the best of the European and American sensibilities. There are great ideas on both sides of the pond. The design process for me involves pushing ideas through to their ultimate conclusion. Pushing the fashion hard, you know?  I guess, though, ultimately I always start with the idea of desirability. The idea of 'If I were a woman what would I want to wear right now?'   


"A pea coat, buttoned up and looking strict"

"Cargo pants tucked into a knee boot."

"I loved the white sweater with the fringing and coins"

"The Indian tiered dress. This a good example of taking it to the max. We pushed it with the cut and controlled drape of this dress, then just kept pushing it further and further. We pushed shape, fabric, embroidery and print. We got there. That's where the opulence in my collection came from. I've pushed things before like our cone breast cups, and these did not work at retail, but have been popular with the press. So in the end it became a strong brand statement. You've got to push, even if you end up at a dead end. " 

"My cheongsam inspired dress with the white cravat and thigh split; I love the controlled elegance of it."

With that, the IT designer whose greatest fear is being an IT designer, leaps up to meet two customers who have booked in to see him. Tonight he is off out for dinner with his good friend and London based designer Erdem.


 Jersey panelled skater Dress £895

Chunky cotton knit lime Jumper £540

Techno Nylon jacket £1515 

With thanks to Zoe and Sarah at Zoe Communications & Browns  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Posted by Melanie Rickey, Fashion Editor at Large

I've been feeling it brewing for a while. In fact 'brewing' is probably the wrong word for it: building-up is better. Its all about the build-up.  It is happening now to such an extent it makes me think we could be about to have our third Summer of Love (the last being in 1988/89 when I was too young, but I got involved a few years later). 

Over the last few years people gathering at music festivals to hear the headlining rock and indy bands of the moment have begun to migrate towards the shared experience of clubbing, or dare I say it, raving. That thing of standing in a large space with a thousands of other people and raising your arms in salute to a man in a white T-shirt with a pair of earphones on, himself standing behind a massive consul covered with flashing lights and knobs, creating and euphoric hard house so awesome it could take you anywhere. 

Union Rave by Andreas Gursky - 1995

Of course clubbing and House and Techno music has never gone away. I am mad for it, literally. Mainly old skool, but then Rihanna, Jay Z, Kanye, Guetta, Black Eyed Peas, Flo Rida and every other major mainstream music artist refs classic House and Techno tunes all the time. But here is the thing: House hasn't been fashionable for a very long time. As we go into summer it most definitely is again, and I can't wait to see what happens as a result. Rather than talk about the latest indy band, the new music gods are DJs (again), or at least that is how it seems to me. 

I started getting a bit suspicious of this revival when the music obsessed teenagers and 20 somethings I know started talking about "having to go to Ibiza to see Eric Morillo in his residency at Pacha this summer' - I was like - excuse me, but I made many a pilgrimage to see Eric Morillo at Space ten years ago! WTF. Isn't there anyone else? Well of course there is, I never get bored of Richie Hawtin, but even I can't resist a bit of Fedde Le Grand or Tiesto from time to time, and David Guetta is masssive, but these guys are the tip of an iceberg I confess I haven't bothered to examine for a while. Still, I reckon this summer will belong to dance music. Anyway, enough going on - except to say that as music, like fashion, does reflect the general consciousness, maybe things are finally looking up if musical tastes are drifting towards the more upbeat. 

I also wanted to share a post-rave chill out performance by the young musician Grimes (aka Claire Boucher) with you. It aired on Later..with Jools Holland last night, and this track Genesis is perfect come-down music. Grimes was born in 1988, the year of the last Summer of Love, check her out on the cover of this months Dazed & Confused, photographed in Givenchy by Hedi Slimane, the new creative director at Yves Saint Laurent.  There will be more about Grimes on the blog next week. 

Grimes on Jool Holland's show Tuesday night

My favourite House track of all-time. "Not Forgotten" by Leftfield, the Hard Hands Remix, it still makes me shiver 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

On Friday, I spent a few brilliant hours at Vogue's Fashion Festival. One of the events on the agenda was Kate Hudson in conversation with Stella McCartney. As you can imagine, the auditorium was packed out. Towards the end, the floor was opened up for questions from the audience. One young girl, 16 years old, stood up and explained how much she admired Stella and the brand she has created and then proceeded to ask Stella for work experience with her. In front of 700 people. Stella said "Yes, of course. Give me your number NOW" How could she not?  Sometimes, that's the kind of thing you have to do to get noticed in a massively competitive industry like fashion.

Conde Nast has another project up its sleeve, just as innovative as the Vogue Fashion Festival. It's the Conde Nast College and will open its doors in January 2013 to its first cohort of students. There are currently two course options- the 10 week Vogue Fashion Certificate (£6,600) or the year-long Vogue Fashion Foundation Diploma (£19,560).  We all know, and I'm not going to repeat at length, that the ratio of eager Fashion industry wannabes to available jobs is way out of line. We also know that, whether we like it or not, the accepted way to get into fashion is to get internships and prove yourself through work which is often unpaid. That's the status quo. So I'm wondering whether the Conde Nast College will change that? Not really they told me when I rang earlier, "We will be arranging work placements and internships for the most promising students". So it's a great way in if you impress enough but you still have to do the work experience like everyone else.

One of the enticing images from Conde Nast college's prospectus 
Susie Forbes, former Editor at Easy Living and Deputy Editor at Vogue, will be Principal at the college. She told the BBC last year, "With access to some of the sharpest and most creative minds shaping the fashion, design and interiors industries today, we aim to educate students to the highest level. It makes perfect sense for Conde Nast to open its college doors in London, the fashion capital of the world."

The admissions team were frank about the reality of the Conde Nast College. They told me "The calibre of visiting lecturers will be like that at the Vogue Fashion Festival, but no you won't get loads of contacts". If that's the case, then I wonder what sets it apart from other fashion education providers?"The Conde Nast name" I was told. That's true, it's a powerful pull.  They added, "The courses will teach you what you need to know, unless you follow fashion religiously already".

It seems brilliant. If the Vogue Festival is anything to go, I'm imagining an editing master class with Alex Shulman one week, a mentoring workshop with Tom Ford the next... those sound like money-can't-buy-experiences. But Conde Nast IS offering them up for anyone willing to pay. Like A.C Grayling's New College of The Humanities, those with the funds can access the very best and most exciting people in the fields they're most interested in. Of course, A.C Grayling will give you an actual degree at the end of it whereas Conde Nast College relies on its name alone- there are no Undergraduate degrees or Masters being handed out here, just certificates and diplomas. What we want to know is would you pay?

Will dreams come true courtesy of Conde Nast College? 

I asked my Twitter followers if they'd pay and there was a mixed response. I think the draw is huge. For those aspiring to careers within Conde Nast's magazine repertoire, it could seem like the perfect way in. If you've got the funds, why wouldn't you? Libby said "I'm sure the contacts you'd make would be incredible, but it's such a daunting amount of money for most". This makes me think back to the girl at the Vogue Festival. If Stella does honour her promise to give her work experience then arguably she has only had to pay the price of entry ticket (£75 at most, not £19,560) for a golden key to the career she wants.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Posted by Melanie Rickey, Fashion Editor at Large

Miuccia Prada is someone I have respect for as a woman, and as a designer. Mrs Prada has never, not even for a moment, lost her integrity, and seems to put her family and core beliefs about how to live a good, intelligent life before some of the more shallow trappings of success. Prada still lives in the same apartment she raised her two sons in, and at 62, is more interested in evolving as a human being than swishing around being fabulous. I guess the point is, with her rigour, she has no need to put on a front. Her pleasures are internal. As a designer she keeps things interesting by being avant garde, and, well, most designers go off the boil for periods of their career, but not her. Miuccia Prada is never, ever boring.

So it was a rare pleasure on Saturday morning to read an interview with Prada in the Times Magazine by my favourite fashion grande dame Sarah Mower. The interview served to reinforce my thoughts on the woman and renewed my interest in her body of work. Sarah's perceptive piece truly captured the essence of the woman and nailed her approach to work and feelings about success in a warm and moving way that only increased my admiration for both of them. For those who missed the magazine, I've scissored my favourite bits, saves you going through the paywall.

Miuccia Prada (image from


“I don’t have a sense of it. Thank God!” she laughs. “Otherwise I would not sleep at night. I’ve always obsessed about what I had to do but never looking at myself from the outside. Probably I am highly ambitious – but in the sense that I want to do intelligent things. I want to be good. I never think about the corporation.”

Prada SS12 (image from cat


"..I’m curious about what she thinks of being the subject of an exhibition she hasn’t curated. The fashion world is full of control freaks who would have a meltdown at the very thought. But Prada respects the Metropolitan Museum’s independence. “They wanted to analyse the similarities between me and Schiaparelli. I don’t know if there are that many, but anyhow. Neither of us trained as a fashion designer, so we were interested in a wider sense of the world. We both started later in life. But I’m happy that they think she was a fashion revolutionary, and that… er… I am in my time.”

She’s pleased by the scale and importance of the event, clearly, but I don’t think Miuccia Prada gets her satisfaction, or her motivation, from public recognition. What she cares about above anything else is originality. “Some seasons I know what I’m doing, and others I realise as I’m working on the collection. I never know the title of a collection until two days before [a show].”

Elsa and Miuccia (image from


"But when I ask her to sum it up by answering a dumb-simple question – “What is the Prada look?” – she stops in her tracks. “I don’t have an answer to that,” she says. “It is bad for commerce! But, eh,” she continues, “it is an advantage as well as a disadvantage, because in the end you can change and update. If you fix on one look, and that look goes out of fashion, what do you do?” So that means you just want to lead? She leans forward and practically shouts, “Yes! And that’s since ever!” She said it.

Prada's Bad Taste collection, 1996 (image from


Bertelli [her husband] only winkled out her designing ambition when he said they’d have to hire someone else if she refused to do it. As a PhD in political science and an ex-member of the Communist party and active feminist, she was mortified. “I probably had high resistance because of the political situation. It was seriously a nightmare. I was so ashamed,” she sighs. “Obviously, I liked it. But I had serious difficulty finding myself a fashion designer.”
Even when the troubles had died down, the big-shouldered executive suits of Armani and the sexy glitziness of Versace grated on the young feminist’s sensibilities. Her response was to design minimal styles using plain fabrics derived from army, school and maids’ uniforms. “Minimalism was a way of obstructing ideas. I wanted to hide my ideas and my thinking.”

Prada AW09  (image from 


“I’m happy when I think I do something very clever,” she says as I leave. “It happens once or twice a year, when I feel I’ve done something that makes sense. But actually, I never reflect on what I do, because I’m always busy.” So busy, in fact, that she must be the only female guest who hasn’t planned what to wear to the Met gala – she’ll decide the day before, she says. I don’t know, but I’d like to see her nipping up those museum steps wearing trousers among all those trains."

Prada AW12 (image from

I'd love to be able to send you to a website full of Prada's latest guipure and gem bombers and swirling car print skirts. Alas, none are to be had on the Internet. However, the Prada site does provide us with jewels, shoes and bags galore...

Go Faster clutch 620E Prada Store
Jewels 1290E Prada Store 

Perfect summer heels 570E Prada Store

Friday, April 20, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

First up this week, huge congratulations are in order for Alex Fury who is to become Editor of LOVE magazine, leaving his current position as Fashion Director at Here at FEAL, we are huge admirers of Alex's unmatched dedication and fashion geek factor. We always look forward to his  unique perspective in the reviews he posts from fashion weeks.

Alex Fury in Maarten Van Der Horst for Dazed Digital (from
Today also happens to be the launch date of Fashion East designer Maarten Van Der Horst's collection for Topshop. Alex has been modelling the Aloha shirt from the range for Dazed Digital. Also loving the Topshop carrier bag booties!

Aquascutum's factory was established in 1851 (image from
The other big fashion story which has really pulled at our heartstrings, but for all the wrong reasons, this week is the news that historic Brit brand Aquascutum has gone into administration. It was then confirmed yesterday that the factory in Corby will close. This means that the 115 employees will be made redundant. The move apparently comes from an attempt to secure the jobs of the company's remaining 135 staff. In an ironic coincidence, Burberry- a brand with a heritage easily compared to Aquascutum's- is still going strong, forecasting profits of £372m for 2011. According to EDITD, the past few months have actually been extremely good for Aquascutum, their online fan base grew by over 67% over fashion month- the biggest percentage rise of any brand. Aquascutum is now looking for a buyer to revive its fortunes- somebody who can take the strength of Joanna Sykes' design ethos and use it to give the brand back its appeal.

The super cute Jospeh Altuzarra with a model dressed in pieces from his J.Crew collection (image from

This week the highly anticipated J.Crew collaboration with Joseph Altuzarra was finally unveiled. Both these labels usually present me with the exact kind of things I want to wear, J.Crew being a little more achievable than Altuzarra. I was ready to pay massive shipping costs to get my hands on a piece from the collection. But I mentally shopped too soon. I'm not saying I don't love a Breton stripe top or a gingham summer dress, but I expect I, and most other women who might buy this, already have several of those. They're boring wardrobe staples, not pieces you would expect one of America's hottest designers to produce. I love that Altuzarra was inspired by 'what Jean Seberg wore in Breathless and by pictures of "Brigitte Bardot walking around St-Tropez in espadrilles and a slouchy boy's sweater" but the pieces just don't have the fashion element I was expecting. I think plenty of American women will be pleased to re-stock their wardrobe with Altuzarra's classic staples but I think I'll just have to save up for the real thing... Pamela Love and Creatures of the Wind collaborations are also on their way from J.Crew.

Jean Seberg in Breathless (image from
He may have been dogged by recent rumours that Stefano Pilati is being lined up to replace him but it seems Giorgio Armani is still very much at the helm. His latest venture is designing Lady Gaga's costumes for her upcoming sold-out tour. Mr Armani's designs are right up Gaga's street with latex, crystals and plexiglass detailing galore. He said 'Collaborating with Lady Gaga is always an exciting experience for me. I admire the way she uses fashion as a scenic element and as a means to build a character'. The outfits will be worn by Gaga during the Asian leg of the 'Born This Way Ball" tour.

Gaga's guitars (and keyboard) get up, by Giorgio Armani (image from
We have a lot of shop news for you this week... first up is Celine who will be opening a store on Mount Street after a three year absence from London's streets following the closure of the New Bond Street store shortly after Phoebe Philo joined the label. Form an orderly queue at the current site of Jordan International Bank people. While we're speaking of Mount Street, Oscar de la Renta will soon open his first UK store in the premises currently occupied by Nicky Clarke. We're sad to hear that Isabel Marant's first London shop will now be opening in September rather than July as previously planned- we'll have to wait  little longer to get the full Marant experience. I am most excited by whispers that Givenchy and Erdem are looking for possible London store sites.

An Erdem shop, yes please! (image from
Another week, another Olympic outfit unveiled by bother designer looking to win gold in the fashion stakes. This instalment comes from Ralph Lauren who is kitting out the American team for the closing ceremony. Whatever we all had to say about Stella's Olympic outfits, at least they don't seem to involve all white baker boy caps. I quite like the belted dress though. What do you think?

The US ladies' costume for the closing ceremony from Ralph Lauren (image from
We have another, properly exciting reason to get into the Queen's Jubilee celebrations- Karl Lagerfeld is to provide commentary on the day's outfits for French TV, as he did for the Royal Wedding. The Chanel designer is infamous for his acerbic tongue e.g his 'short skirts on fat legs' comment regarding the wedding guests. He'll appear on France 2, can we get that here?!
King Karl is set to give his view on the Jubilee outfits (image from
A couple of news bites....

Carine Roitfeld has teamed up with MAC to create her own range of make-up. It'll be out in the Autumn we hear, the same time that her magazine 'CR Fashion Book' will debut.

Carven has been chosen to be Guest Designer at this year's Pitti Uomo. Lapo Cianchi, Director of Communications for Pitti Uomo said that Carven “harmonized perfectly with the general trend we are promoting at Pitti Uomo: a new, sartorial elegance and affordable luxury in men’s wear.”

The CFDA and BFC this week confirmed the dates for NY and London fashion weeks for the next two years. The announcement brings to an end a few months of wrangling over dates. It seems that Paris and Milan have stood firm on certain demands, meaning that New York will now have to begin earlier than usual.

Keith Varty with his partner Alan Cleaver and a model, in 1987(from WWD)
Finally, Keith Varty who designed Byblos during the 1980s died last week aged just 60. His friend Joan Burstein, founder of Browns said this in tribute:

"Keith Varty was the first of the first that set a standard, he was a young innovative British designer. Keith worked for Dorothee Bis in Paris before being wowed over to Italy by Gianni Versace, who then worked at Byblos. After two successful years, Keith Varty and Alan Cleaver took over. The collections could have been as modern today as it was then. He bought an infusion of talent from Britain into the Italian market."

Byblos from Spring 1992 (image from WWD)
The FashEd and I are off to enjoy the delights of the Vogue Festival now. Have wonderful weekends!