Monthly Archives: May 2011

‘Washed Up’ at Selfridges

So, as many of you will already know, Selfridges has recently partnered with several environmental and conservation groups and launched ‘Project Ocean’, a campaign to celebrate and raise awareness of the endangered oceans. ‘Washed Up’, as part of the project, is an installation exhibition featuring ocean-inspired garments and accessories, by a range of designers. For those of you who haven’t yet had the chance to visit, I will tell you about it, because it’s just brillo pads. (Who doesn’t like fashion for a good cause?!)

The ‘Wonder Room’, (a space in the store that’s dedicated specifically to luxury items) has been transformed into a surreal (and actually slightly haunting) beach scene, complete with a weathered wooden boardwalk and a scattering of dead, bleached coral, with the displays of encased mannequins dotted along the side.

According to Judith Clark, the curator, ‘the objects in the exhibition have been selected to reflect the changing nature of the ocean’s inspiring depths.’

Each section shows creations inspired by different aspects of the sea. The photograph below shows the display of ‘seaside dresses’ from the late 1800s.

Highlights of the exhibition are pieces from Alexander McQueen’s Atlantis collection, inspired by the beautiful mythology of Plato’s narrative….

Alexander McQueen: Atlantis

…as well as Gareth Pugh’s Fishscale Dress (the very one that Beyonce wore in her recent Run The World video)…

…and Hussein Chalayan’s S/S07 ‘Bubble Dress’ and ‘Airbourne LED Dress’ (unfortunately the photo doesn’t really do this one justice, as the dress actually glows with multicoloured lights)

Other notable creations included the array of hats… It was great to be able to see the infamous Philip Treacy lobster hat up close and personal (actually lent by Gaga herself to Selfridges). Also a big fan of Naomi Filmer’s crystal swimming cap.

Even for those that aren’t big on the whole fashion thing, this is a great exhibition: so insightful and thoroughly interesting. And apart from anything else, it’s free!

There are also various other Project Ocean-related activities throughout the store. A cinema room shows a short film on the horrors of shark fishing but there is also a whale rodeo (yes, really) to lighten the mood a bit.

You can donate to Project Ocean via various mediums, including buying from the slogan tees, bags and accessories collection.


Hermes: Un Jardin Sur Le Toit

Clockwise from top left Un Jardin En Mediteranee, Un Jardin Sur Le Nil, Un Jardin Apres La Mousson and Un Jardin Sur Le Toit
I’m a sucker for marketing and there’s nothing I love more than a cosmetic product with a theme. Hermes garden fragrance range has really captured my heart! I would say nose as well, though I haven’t actually sampled any of the range yet, but – hello? – fragrances that reference the Tunisian shoreline and the River Nile, I’m sold!

But let’s focus on the 4th and latest edition to its garden-inspired fragrance range, ‘Un Jardin Sur Le Toit’. Translating as ‘Garden on the Roof’, it refers to the roof garden at Hermes’ Parisian headquarters.

After having travelled to all these other exotic locations, Jean-Claude Ellena, chief perfumer in-house at Hermes, wanted to take inspiration from his home, Paris. To the Hermes roof garden he went, and so captivated by the aroma of herbs and fruits and the scent of the fresh green grass and compost was he, that Un Jardin Sur Le Toit was born.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more quaint, I’ve noticed that the perfume’s box features an illustration of Parisian rooftops, conceived by none other than Philip Dumas, Emile Hermes’s grandson. I can’t wait to sample this and let’s face it, probably buy it..

Milia M: Winter 2011 Trunk Show

Last week I went along to up and coming designer, Milia‘s trunk show, held at a la mode boutique just off Sloane Square. While she already has stockists across several other countries, this was her first trunk show in London, and showcased her A/W 2011 collection, which will now be stocked permanently in a la mode.

I often find that new designers who flourish in summer with colourful collections full of diaphanous fabrics and unusual shapes, lose a bit of that panache, when they’re not sure how to see it through to winter. As a result, their winter collections end up being a bit boring. However, this is not the case with Milia, whose beautiful collection has all the obligatory winter black pieces, but is also peppered with deep hues of purple and blue, gold and emerald.

What I loved the most about this collection was the inspiration behind it. Milia told me that it reflects the nightscape of bustling cities, specifically Asian capitals like Hong Kong and Tokyo, where amidst the darkness, glimmers of neon light catch your eye. It is the magic of this event that Milia has tried to evoke within the collection. If you look carefully you can see every now and then some neon orange stitching which rather than look garish (as it might sound) actually really compliments the garment and turns it into something completely unique.

Some of the other items I loved for their originality. For instance, the wool and cashmere pleated, billowing maxi dresses (seen below, belted), the cropped pink silk tank top and the gold/khaki halter neck midi.

The darker items were no less beautiful or intriguing. The snake-skin biker jacket and the silver-sequined and leather pieces served to funk and toughen up the collection.

Milia herself, standing next to her favourite piece in the collection

‘Inspiration Dior’ – exhibition at Moscow’s Pushkin Museum

It’s often a wonder where the great fashion designers of past and present get their ideas, but Moscow’s famous Pushkin Museum currently holds all the answers. Its latest exhibition, ‘Inspiration Dior’, running until 24th July this year, is centred around what inspired Chrisitan Dior’s designs. It tells how he was heavily influenced by the work of various artists and showcases the creations that directly reference paintings by Cezanne, Picasso and other artistic greats. Visitors are given 2 for 1 experience – an art and fashion exhibition in one. 60 pieces of artwork have been borrowed from some of the most established galleries in the world and sit alongside 120 of Dior’s couture dresses.

So as this is Christian Dior, and not a sixth form college A Level art exhibition, it is a hugely opulent affair with podiums, show windows and video projections.

Just a shame this is in Moscow and not London, sigh.