Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Marilyn's jumper

You might remember Marilyn Monroe singing "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" in the 1960 film "Let's Make Love".

Well, you will now be able to wear her jumper, courtesy of Gerard Darel, the label that successfully bid in 1999 for the Irish knit Marilyn wore in the film. Shown below by Robin Wright, it will be available as part of the Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 collection in 4 colours (off-white, sky-blue, khaki or red) and various versions.

You can even take part in a competition to win clothes or a weekend in Deauville during the American Film Festival:

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Rene & Radka

Looking at our main topics of fashion and aging from a reverse perspective, I am happy to feature a couple of artists Rene Hallen and Radka Leitmeritz, fashion photographers whose work features very young models, photographed as adults - a case of lambs dressed as muttons. 

The children, looking serious and often engaged in grown-up  activity are shown in intriguing surroundings, in a glossy, polished world of unreal colours.

Their work is currently shown in the French Southern town of Toulon where I was happy to discover them. They have won various photographic awards such as the Prague Fashion Photo of the year in 2006 and have photographed advertising campaigns for the likes of Kenzo, Adidas, Miss Sixty, Perrier or Nike. They show a series called "Under water" whose young models display a disturbing mix of peaceful abandon and eerie calm - are they dreaming or drowning?

Enjoy their work on their own website:

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Peach Perfect!

If your summer needs a bit of jazzing up, if grey clouds and drizzle give you the blues, take a look at Peach Berserk 's wild prints and funky cuts and design your own dress to lift your spirits. Based in Toronto, Kingi Carpenter lives above her shop/studio (shown below) and looks a living advertisement for her designs: fun, colourful and playful - not the wall-flower type. She runs her internet business and her silkscreen workshops from there too and ships worldwide.

Peachy Berserk's designs for tops, skirts, dresses and jackets can be matched with any of their 200 fabrics and cut to your precise measurements for a perfect fit. I have not tried the clothes nor ordered an outfit myself yet, but my friend Susan has and fully recommends the experience. The fun of it is to choose all the elements and come up with a unique piece that speaks as loud as you want of your personality.

How to design your own Peachy Beserk dress:
Dresses is where Peachy Beserk really come into their own. Most of the dresses are of the party variety - perfect prom-dresses,  and can be tricky for a 40+ due to their high frill and petticoat content but there are enough options to find what works for you. Kingi confirms that she has an "all ages market". Select a cut from the cotton or silk lineups. Here is a model from the frilly variety to wake-up your inner flamenco dancer :
Belle Star

On a safer side, you could go for the Classic stretch dress in cotton lycra at CA$89 or £55 :
or a long-sleeved number, in cotton lycra too, the New York Stretchy Dress at CA$149 or £92:
If you are feeling more adventurous (and rich), go for the party dresses and go wild. At CA$395 or £243, you will want to make sure that the dress will work for you! Two of the most 40+ friendly cuts if you are happy to show a bit of leg, cleavage and arm. You can also customise the models with different sleeve or skirt length:
My Best Friend's Girl

Girl About Town

Once you have selected your cut, choose a print from a collection of names such as Buxom berries, Cowgals (a personal favourite with the slogan: "When they were bad, they were horrid"),  Happenin Hairdressers (hair accessories and ginormous hairdos) or How to Meet a Man (an illustrated collection of tips).
This one is called Sultry Silhouettes:

and this one is I haven't Got A Thing To Wear:

You can pair up the print with any of the 50+ colours on offer and visualise on screen the resulting effect, which is great fun. Select cotton or silk, with a choice of raw or satin silk. Some of the dresses offer great customisation opportunities with different fabrics and trims. 

With the "Dress designer" feature, you can build your own dress from different bodices, necklines, sleeves, and admire the result in different fabrics and colours...You can even choose your skin tone and hair colour for complete personalisation.  Even if you are not going to order a dress, playing on the website is a joy in itself - a grown-up version of the paper-dolls dressing-up game! The Sale cart is also a good place to go - if you are up for it, a lobster print "Sea Time Delight" turquoise and black dress is yours for CA$79 or £49  (reduced from CA$129) - most of the reduced stock is not for the faint-hearted.

All the pictures used to illustrate the article are taken from Peach Beserk's website with Kingi Carpenter's kind approval.

For our Toronto based friends or visitors to the city:
Phone: (416) 504-1711
Address: 507 Queen Street West, Toronto ON, Canada

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

My Favourite Thing

My Favourite Thing, located on Kensington Church Street and evocative of the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music,  is an intriguing boutique. It sells clothes that were used on photo shoots, in film and TV shows. The small shop stocks designers from Lanvin to Hermes, Alexander McQueen to Chanel. Sizes tend to be small (6 to 10 UK or 34 to 38 French) but there are some genuine finds, including shoes (usually size 38 to 40), handbags and accessories. This is not the place for everyday clothes but a great source of party frocks and finery!
On the day of my visit, the lovely sales assistant, Kader from Istanbul was very helpful and knowledgeable.  Browsing through the rails,  I noticed a lot of Alexander McQueen - his recent demise probably creating a demand for the last collections that he actually designed. I liked the very pretty embroidered white silk dress - not for me but certainly pretty with an interesting ruched back with a welcome bum lifting effect:

The following Louis Vuitton suit as available in size 38 (UK size 10) for £400, not exactly cheap, but certainly more affordable than the original price:
A rail of pretty nude colours featured a blouse from Bottega Veneta at £220 (just behind the feathered dress):
The boutique boasts a nice selection of accessories. Shoes from Alaia (size 38) reduced from £755 to £350:
A pair of size 38 Louboutin wedges at £290:
Sunglasses by Dolce & Gabbana at £160:

A good selection of handbags, a slouchy number from Louis Vuitton (£990) and a Fendi satchel at £450:

Jewelry from John Galliano includes beautiful cuffs in silver and gold with semi-precious stones from Quartz (£380) to Topaz (£590):

How to find the shop:
My Favourite Thing
99 Kensington Church Street
London W8 7LN
Tel : +44 (0)20 7727 3300
The website for the company is not very helpful as it does not seem to reflect the actual stock available but here it is:
e :