Feast Your Eyes: Must-See Fashion Film Shorts

It’s always nice when your inbox gives you something to smile about (and not just in that random bizarre-spam kind of way) and today mine has done just that with this gorgeous short fashion film.

Commissioned by Italian Vogue and Diane Pernet for the A Shaded View on Fashion Film (ASVOFF) Festival, Zan Dara is the latest release by Present Future Films in the Milano edition’s 1 Minute ‘Light’ Series.

Directed by forward-thinking director/producer Griffin, this stunning avant-garde short focuses on an exploration of memory through the eyes of an ageing star and draws loosely on the Greek myth of Narcissus.

ASVOFF is an annual film festival dedicated to Fashion, Style and Beauty which places the onus firmly on the moving image in an industry made famous through ‘still’ photography and includes a selection of films, competitions for budding fashion film directors, documentaries, features and installations all dedicated to the exploration of various themes through the aesthetic weight of fashion.

For more on the ASVOFF program and the films and artists behind the Light series head to A Shaded View On Fashion Film.

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The New Woman: A/W 2010

Finally (rambling apology aside) it’s here: my first post after an excessively long hiatus of quite literally days. So, in keeping with my fresh life, fresh job, fresh start mentality, it’s time for a fresh season (I know, it seems a tad premature to start thinking about a/w 2010/11 but, as we well know, time and fashion wait for no man – or woman – so we‘d best get on with it).

Louis Vuitton a/w 2010 RTW
Like s/s,  a/w looks set to offer an absolutely mammoth miscellany of trend and style options (excellent news for the easily bored) from purist minimalism to gothic Victoriana and androgynous tailoring. But, start somewhere we must and today that somewhere is the understated classic sophistication of the 50’s sex kitten: think Mad Men’s Betty Draper and shelve the overt sexuality of seasons past. Balmania may not be dead but it certainly is not demure and to rock this look you are going to need to unleash your inner Ingénue – or, at the very least, cage your inner Vamp.

Louis Vuitton a/w 2010 RTW

This look is all about grown-up femininity and that mystical concept of ‘lady-likeness’ often touted by well-meaning Grandmothers amidst bouts of disapproving tut-tutting. But that’s not to say go all out and ‘prude’ yourself! Think subtle sexiness meets wide-eyed naivety. In a word: coy.

Louis Vuitton a/w 2010

Prada a/w 2010 RTW

Drop your hem-line, ditch your sky-scraper heels in favour of flats, kittens and baby stilettos and rework a little of last season’s Lolita-look with bow detailing – just keep it sharp and sleek: Fashion’s nostalgia for the girlish has given way to picture perfect pin-up credentials. The cinched waist and the heaving bosom – as seen at Louis Vuitton, Prada and Loewe – provide the key silhouette for the season (raise a cheer all ye of gloriously curvaceous proportions – your time is now!)

Dolce & Gabana a/w 2010 RTW

Prada a/w 2010 RTW

Loewe a/w 2010 RTW

Images courtesy of ELLEuk.com and Style.com

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A Public Apology – With a Hefty Dose Of (justified) Buck Passing…

Words cannot express (well, that’s not strictly true. Words can – and will have to – express) my deepest and most profound apologies for the lack of Fashionable Rat fashionising over the past week…

Alas! It has been as if my hands had been unceremoniously removed with a blunt spoon and fed to the mythical hand-eating beast of Tibetan legend thereby rendering me brutally maimed (and suffering a terrible bout of authorial impotence).

Okay, perhaps I am erring on the extreme side of hyperbole here, but the truth is only marginally less atrocious. I have been (and I am almost ashamed to admit this) an internet exile. The blogger’s equivalent of Bubonic plague.
Social. Freaking. Suicide.

‘Oh! For the mundane minutiae of status updates! For the sweet simplicity of an RSS Feed leaking updates of ambrosial sweetness directly into my undernourished brain! For unsolicited poking and the bitter sting of woefully substandard blog stats!’
[Said my brain as I lay wallowing in the feverish nightmare of a disconnected and technologically defunct world].

But I digress.

The time for wallowing has passed. After much foot stamping, harrumphing and incessant moaning on my part, my Landlord has finally performed his landlordly duty and we are all systems go on the chuff-a-chuff to wireless heaven.
And so boys and girls, it looks like this particular show will go on…so I’d..er..best get going…x

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The Bright Young Things & The LBD

Slow and Fashion are two words which rarely, if ever, hang out in the same sentence let alone make it to the Good Bedfellows lexical swing party, so to say my interest was piqued upon hearing of designer Eliza Starbuck’s new label ‘Bright Young Things‘ would be putting things mildly – after all I do love a bit of convention busting incongruence.

Inspired by Starbuck’s work on The Uniform Project –  a (some might say sartorially insane) challenge to wear the same dress every day in a 365 day wear-a-thon to raise money for the Akanksha Foundation – the Bright Young Things Collection comprises of a single LBD designed to be worn forwards, backwards, over, under, tied up, belted down (essentially any-which-way and anyhow).

The idea? To push for trans-seasonal staples with staying power (that’s aesthetic and physical) and stylistic versatility. Something sustainable, durable and with more multitasking potential than Superman on Ritalin, in contrast to the watch-it-disintegrate-in-the-washing-machine, fast fashion ‘must-haves’ we have become so used to shoehorning into our bulging and  beleaguered wardrobes.

The dress itself is sheer simplicity with a cute button-up front (or back) and a chic sixties scoop neck with a definite mod edge…

I have to admit I was initially unimpressed, but having seen this dress in action I’ve been won over by its simplistic utilitarian charm. An understated and – dare I say it – über cool take on the ultimate style-staple…

Since these dresses are made-to-order only there’s no waste;  just a 7-8 week post-order wait, but hey – I did say it was slow fashion – think of the ethical Brownie points and all the fabulous ways to wear and re-wear…Oh, and if your imagination is on a go slow, the Bright Young Things website has plenty of user submitted inspiration to nudge your noggin into action…

Sold? Buy your LBD here.

Photographs courtesy of Cool Hunting.

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Look du Jour: Short Chic

Black bandeau, cheeky high-waisted turn-ups foxed up with devil-may care flounce of a scarf = super simplicity and effortless, understated über cool.

This is how to wear your 2010 shorts: casual, rough-around-the-edges and festival ready…

I couldn’t possibly let this one go without mentioning the hair: Courtney Love 90’s grunge-shag meets red-hot über siren Florence Welch’s boho show-stopper of a barnet. Need I say LOVE?!  Citified summer chic doesn’t get much easier (or more sexy) than this!

Photograph/ Styling by Erika A: Check out Erika’s blog or her fabulous Flickr for more inspo!

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Look du Jour: Frock Fantasy

I’m in the mood for some pretty, powder-pink, airy-fairy, cute-as-a-button, princess frock frivolity. Give me fantasy, daydreams and a romp through the wilderness with a knight in super sharp Armani paired with Grenson brogues wielding anything but a man bag…sigh. Otherworldly escapism with a side order of whimsy please – and hold the fainting (damsel in distress? Me thinks not).

Back to the outfit – a minxy thigh-skimmer of a hemline, peep-toe neutral wedges and socks and nailing the hot as hell asymmetric trend (look to 3.1 Phillip Lim and RM by Roland Mouret for references) this look couldn’t be more now. Details wise, the chic frayed edging of the under-shorts is VERY Prada’s s/s 2010 distressed graphic silks; deconstruction contrasted to perfection with the Rodarte-esque romance of that diaphanous one-sleeve wonder.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me…I’ve a wilderness to get back to…

Photograph/ Styling by Frida Johnson: Blog

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GFW 2010: The Winners

An informational quickie of a post for you…

The highly coveted lust-object of any budding designer’s dreams; the River Island Gold Award – a not-so-shabby £20,000 – went to Rebecca Thomson of Manchester Metropolitan University for her stunningly ethereal, structurally engaging collection featuring lace and frills, ruffles and flounces and sheers…

View the winning collection in full at Vogue.com

Best Menswear was won by Thomas Crisp from Ravensbourne (the second year running that a Ravensbourne graduate has scooped this award – last year’s winner was Mehmet Ali) for a collection that managed to be edgy, urban and sophisticated with its focus on 18th Century Parisian tailoring and chic layering…

Photography by Paul Harness.

Best Womenswear went to Rhea Fields of Northbrook College Sussex for her androgynous tailored collection in fleshy pink and black leatherette and latex…

Photography by Simon Armstrong.

The Zandra Rhodes Catwalk Textiles Prize was picked up by Anna Lee of De Montfort University for her striking Chinese Dragon themed collection…

Photography by Simon Armstrong.

The BHM Knitwear Visionary Award was scooped by Northumbria University’s Ledina Zhang for her extroverted oversized sport-kitsch knits…

Photography courtesy of mysugarland

And – finally – the Amsterdam Fashion Institute’s Roya Hesam received the International award. Head over to Runway Passport for an interview with the designer (and for more pictures…the sheer jumpsuit is absolutely incredible!)

Photography by Simon Armstrong

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