Tag Archives: ss2011

Brand love: American Retro

Before recently I didn’t know much about American Retro as a brand, nor was I ever particularly bowled over by their pieces when confronted with them online and in magazines. However, being able to get up close and personal with the collections, due to a recent internship with their PR agency, gave me a new found appreciation of, and almost obsession with their clothes (see previous owl maxi post). Despite popular belief, they are a French label, not an American one – the brand name / identity sprung from the minds of the AR creators after an inspirational road trip across the States, many moons ago.

Images of individual pieces I just don’t think do the collections the justice they deserve; a lot of the pieces aren’t statement items, rather staples, for instance, there are a lot of simple, but comfy and good quality items: plain, cotton tees; maxis and cardigans (mainly sold via their sister company, Zoe Tee’s [this is the actual spelling, no I don’t understand that apostrophe either…]) You almost therefore need to see and touch the clothing for yourself. I’m no seamstress, but I can say that American Retro knows good tailoring; their S/S 11 collection has such a variety of styles and the more fitted pieces are very flattering. They seem to really understand women’s problem areas and what makes us shy away from certain items of clothing, and have sought to counter that in their collections (again, see owl maxi post..)

What’s more, they may not be trend setters, but they do know what’s in this summer. American Retro’s summer collection is infused with corals, nudes and florals and they have also been careful not to abandon old favourites like lace, fringing and the trusty baggy cardi.

There are, however, some real stand out items… take these lace wedges and booties for example.

These beauts are the result of AR’s recent collaboration with…. (wait for it)… CLARKS!! What Clarks, as in that sort of sad brand that is only associated with school shoes for the under 10s? Yes, Clarks!


Next Summer Sensations: D&G

Like Erdem’s collection, but slightly younger, edgier and more… Glastonbury. Old jeans cut into shorts, little tees and denim waistcoats are getting old now, so hows about some shiny red bubble shorts, gingham head scarves and off the shoulder gypsy dresses as the new festival chic? Admittedly, I did initially scoff at the headscarf pirate look, but then I thought of the 3 day unwashed hair and sweaty forehead that they will come to the rescue of! It all just screams festival which is uplifting amidst these darkening and freezing winter eves. Not one of D&G’s S/S outfits wouldn’t look good with wellies.

And if you’re not festival bound next summer, then there’s still the frilly and sweeping floral maxi dresses which are perfect for wafting through the long grass in as the sun goes down, or pirouetting in by some fountains in a French cobbled square. But seriously I do bloody love those dresses… and they’d still look good with wellies.

Next Summer no nos: Prada

Vulgar. We all love a bit of block colour for summer, but there’s block colour and then there’s bright orange hospital scrubs and Hawaiian shirts…. on girls! (Not that they’re any better on boys of course.) And what’s with the ill fitting blazers, the baggy arms, the top heavy models and the thick horizontal strips that are reminiscent of Primark’s sportswear section?

I don’t understand those cuts at all, and I don’t understand the collection’s tag line: ‘minimal baroque’. Not that I’m an art buff or anything, but if this is how designers understand the baroque style then that’s worrying… thankfully, MiuMiu did baroque too, and did it good:


Next Summer Sensations: Basso & Brooke

Now, like Henry, these two also enjoy being whimsical and bold, but they’re less about the teenage kicks and more about the geometrics – with arresting prints being the backbone of their work. Although next Spring’s collection isn’t as psychedelic as previous seasons, their aptitude for print and pattern is recognizable nonetheless.

B&B have deliberately used inspiration from things like archaic manuscripts and maps to oppose their previous digital and ultra modern prints. Apparently this was a bit of a disappointment at fashion week, but I think it’s a breath of fresh air from the headache inducing previous collections, plus, you can genuinely find some of these outfits beautiful, rather than just being fascinated and hypnotised by the optical illusions.

Next Summer no nos: House of Holland

I’ve never been a fan of House of Holland, but then…. is that a stupid thing to say? Cos aren’t you not meant to like his stuff or something?! There’s so much irony and piss taking in his collections that it gets tiring… Don’t get me wrong, I know he’s all about having fun, reaching out to the cool kids and all, but I want him to do something that’s a little less jovial and a little more wearable (and  by wearable I DON’T mean that awful line at Debenhams).

But Henry’s blasted away my anguish with his edgy S/S collection… well, almost. Oooh it’s all so preppy and slick and funky, but wait a minute, what are those disGUSTing fluffy balls hanging stupidly at the jaw line of the model’s serious face? Oh whyyyy have you done this Henry? They ruin the whole look! Was he worried that he was slipping into the role of a more serious fashion designer (and also that his collection is very similar toChristopher Kane A/W)? So he needed something that’d pump the fun back into it – and what says silliness and good times better than pom pom earrings? It was just as fun without them Henry IT WAS JUST AS FUN WITHOUT THEM!

However, I’ll let him off because those metallic pleated skirts are fantastic and I like his pointy little face.

Next Summer Sensations: Erdem

A holiday in The States has restricted the old blogging for a while, and so the next few posts are a little overdue to say the least. However, next summer is so far from the horizon that posts on S/S 2011 can’t be out of date just yet.

Every day this week I’m going to post on a S/S collection that’s made it’s mark on me. Today it’s…


Everyone’s favourite floral master doesn’t disappoint for S/S 2010. His dresses are even prettier and there’s so much variety! There’s such a variety of shapes, from fitted bodices and flaring skirts to more slouchy designs, but they all remain flattering and delicate. There will definitely be an influx of Betty Draper wannabes clambering for dresses like this when the weather starts warming up, me being one of them.

I’ve  been a late comer to the Erdem fan base, but I can now see what all the fuss is about. His designs are so wearable and I don’t there’s a single dress or shirt or pair of trousers of his that I’ve recoiled from, and for me, there’s normally at least one in every designer’s collection. He’s even got some preppy in there (sort of) and LOVE preppy, so I now love Erdem. Bring on the hunt for a high street long sleeved floral shirt and mid length full bodied skirt.