Fashion Time Travel

Taking a (Mary) Quant-um leap through history using a wardrobe as a time machine. Kind of.

 

It's the final day of LONDON FASHION WEEK, with PARIS FASHION WEEK following next Thursday. Beautiful clothing and beautiful people sharing their styles and giving a sneaky glimpse into the new collections influencing the trends next Spring 2017. 

60s Style references always pop-up on the catwalks, here are the originals looking impeccable at Les Arts Decoratifs in FASHION FORWARD.

60s Style references always pop-up on the catwalks, here are the originals looking impeccable at Les Arts Decoratifs in FASHION FORWARD.

I felt the need to share my experience of the gorgeous garments I managed to see on my trip last month to the Capital of Chic.

Gorgeous little black & white sailor suit is Paris perfection!

Gorgeous little black & white sailor suit is Paris perfection!

Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris is one of my favourite Museums and their Summer exhibition Fashion Forward was a real showstopper. Celebrating 300 Years of Fashion, it showcased garments from as early as 1715 all the way through to 2015.

 

The garments were used as a snapshot into life in that time, following a timeline and explaining social aspects as well as snippets about the early evolution of the Fashion Industry.

“Voted “Beauty Queen” by the journal L’Illustration in 1896, Cleo de Merode (1975-1966) was a famous ballet dancer at the prestigious Opera of Paris. Numerous photographic portraits show her wearing a similar jacket in black velvet embroidered with jet pearls.”

“Voted “Beauty Queen” by the journal L’Illustration in 1896, Cleo de Merode (1975-1966) was a famous ballet dancer at the prestigious Opera of Paris. Numerous photographic portraits show her wearing a similar jacket in black velvet embroidered with jet pearls.”

Key moments from fashion history, cherry picked and displayed side-by-side

Key moments from fashion history, cherry picked and displayed side-by-side

 

Theatrical Tableaus gave us a feel for the original setting and lifestyle these people had, whilst modern projections in black and white showed the movement of the clothes flickering across walls with a graceful sweep featuring dancers of the Opéra de Paris.

The highlight for me was the room of breathtaking vintage gowns from my favourite designers, Schiaparelli, Chanel, Fortuny and Vionnet. 

Still at the height of sophisticated elegance, showing that truly well made and thoughtfully designed clothing will stand the test of time.

It makes me ask, what will our own wardrobes look like in a few decades time? Will they still contain anything we have in them today?

Something I'll think of next time I'm browsing for some new items...

Dries Van Noten, Paris Exhibition

Paris is a city that takes fashion seriously. They respect the couture houses which have established themselves over decades, creating or even engulfing a designer's career (go and see Yves Saint Laurent if you haven't already, as indulgently beautiful a film as it could be). Speeding through the tunnel on the Eurostar, the evidence was there before I'd even sipped my Earl Grey, looking at the cover of their Metropolitan magazine.

I may have snaffled a copy because the journey went so quickly I didn't get chance to read it all!

I may have snaffled a copy because the journey went so quickly I didn't get chance to read it all!

On my wish list to see whilst I was in Paris was the Dries Van Noten exhibition at the musée des Arts décoratifs.  Happily I got to spend a good chunk of time there as it really is a feast for the eyes, I felt totally saturated by the colours and rich textures by the time I left.

This is the first exhibition devoted entirely to the Belgian artist's work, shows us his inspirations and processes allowing us to peer into the mind of the designer. As well as the fashion collections the exhibition has sourced some amazing paintings and pieces to demonstrate the broad references the designer draws upon.


There are many paintings by famous fine artists featured alongside the garments giving a sense of the depth of the ideas and a sense of creativity that goes into the collections. The use of portraits was interesting as clothing is such a personal thing. Selecting your most worn/favourite outfit and displaying it on a mannequin in a gallery could be just as personal and revealing (or more so) as with sitting for a portrait.

 

You can see directly how the styles and techniques of the artists have influenced the fashion work and what makes them more than just clothing. The way they were displayed as well is an all encompassing world of colour and patterns that grows over walls, floors and ceilings so with each section you are immersed completely. With this exhibition the aim really does seem to be an experience in Fashion as Art.

I loved the way they used these life-size photographs of Francis Bacon's studio. The paint splattered surroundings bleed into the mannequins associating them with their freedom of expression and creativity.

Happy Museum Week! Whether near or far, go and see something new, old, or a mixture of the two and be inspired!

Paris in the Springtime

I am really looking forward to a little break coming up in my favourite city, Paris! We booked the mini hol a while ago in the middle of the bleak wintery weather. March seemed a long time away, so I was dreaming of floaty florals, sunglasses, cardigans, sandals and other Springtime wearables. These have been tucked in the back of the wardrobe for a loooooooong time behind the daily layers of jumpers, wooly tights and scarves and I was looking forward to rooting them out again.

Well holiday time has rolled around quicker than expected and weather wise I'm not quite at the bright & flowery stage as the clouds and cool breezes are still hanging around, but luckily inspiration from Saint Laurent's A/W14 collection has arrived!

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These gorgeous 60s style pieces are right up my street, making me want to pack my suitcase with my own sequinned treats, collared shirts, metallics & bows with black tights (with my newly acquired ox-blood go go boots). Usually the sparkles are reserved for my party-time wardrobe but I'll be paring these down in the day with a navy oversized coat, woolly scarf and maybe still get a chance to get the sunglasses out if the clouds part occasionally...

Chanelling Nico!  I could definitely see a Breton top worn tucked under this cherry sparkle.

Chanelling Nico!

I could definitely see a Breton top worn tucked under this cherry sparkle.

I'm planning on wearing with some of my black & pyrite Hewn rings...

I'm planning on wearing with some of my black & pyrite Hewn rings...

 
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Vintage style Gogo boots look rad back in the 60s they often had a comfy mid-heel to dance the night away so also great for wandering round the City's sights!!

Vintage style Gogo boots look rad back in the 60s they often had a comfy mid-heel to dance the night away so also great for wandering round the City's sights!!

These atmospheric images are all the work of Lea Colombo, courtesy of Dazed & Confused. See more in their article on the Saint Laurent A/W14 collection  here    If Anna Karina joined Brian Jonestown Massacre I think it would sound like one of my favourite French bands, the Liminanas. I'll be listening to them on the Eurostar. C'est parfait!

These atmospheric images are all the work of Lea Colombo, courtesy of Dazed & Confused. See more in their article on the Saint Laurent A/W14 collection here

If Anna Karina joined Brian Jonestown Massacre I think it would sound like one of my favourite French bands, the Liminanas. I'll be listening to them on the Eurostar. C'est parfait!