Faux…but Foxy: Fur Fall/Winter 2010

Winter. It’s here. A fact which struck me as I was stumbling home on the obligatory walk of shame at 8am on Saturday morning (and you KNOW it’s a walk of shame when the local homeless guy who probably hasn’t washed, eaten or enjoyed what one might consider ‘home comforts’ since flares, bell bottoms and Gary Glitter were deemed socially acceptable, inquires after your state of health and well-being).

How, I hear you ask, did this revelation manifest itself (and no, it wasn’t the tramp – he was just an interesting aside). Well. It was the moment I decided that I would quite happily sell my soul – and probably everyone else’s –  for a pair of Chanel F/W 2010 fur trousers…

When legs like Bungle become a viable – DESIRABLE – option you have got to conclude that either a) googlemaps has mistakenly led you to the arctic tundra or b) the season to be jolly has, for the umpteenth time, managed to catch you totally unawares and very unprepared (Soooo… you thought you’d get away without your thermals did you?!…FOOL!!)

With this in mind – and the fact that my wardrobe has, in conjunction with its local Trade Union representative, imposed a ‘No, not ever, not ever ever. Just NO‘ policy in relation to Long Johns – I decided to go and find some warm things I would actually wear. Conclusion? Faux Fur…everything. (Please).

Burberry Prorsum F/W 2010

Let’s start with fur coats which tended to fall into three broad categories for Fall 2010: either, massive, cosy and teddy-bear-esque a la Paul and Joe, slimmed down and chic gilets – see DKNY’s long length chocolate number for this season’s archetype – or edgy and elegant anachronistic beauties (take inspiration from Burberry, Christian Dior and Dolce & Gabbana).

Gucci F/W 2010

The only issue I could foresee in owning any of these (they all have that magical  ‘go with anything’ factor you’d expect from a coat) would be the fact that I’d be too busy hugging myself to actually breathe. A minor inconvenience I think you’ll agree.

Gucci F/W 2010

Fendi F/W 2010

Christian Dior F/W 2010

Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2010

THIS I WANT with every fibre of my being…

Of course I’d  have to top it off with a  Cossack hat (still lounging in fifties redux heaven here, plus it fits nicely with the whole global-traveller-meets-alpine-ski-lodge winter utility “vibe” which has been doing the rounds) Oh! and a pair of tan leather and fur trim ankle boots (which may or may not exist)…and some Miu Miu cable knit tights.

Santa…you had better be writing this down…

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Strut Your Stuff in Zandra Rhodes’ Début Shoe Collection!

Award-winning atelier extraordinaire, sixties sartorial pioneer and Commander of the British Empire, no less. It has to be Zandra Rhodes – she of the brighter than bright barnet (attention-grabbing green, punchy pink, pillarbox red) – is that rarest of flowers, a true-blue home-grown fashion virtuoso, and boy does she have flair…

Her trademark colour clashes, mind-boggling print combinations and penchant for blow-your-pretty-little-eyes-out (whilst simultaneously knocking-your-socks off) brights, and feminine yet outrageously dramatic aesthetic are hitting all the right buttons trend-wise this season, so it seems only fitting – auspicious even – for the release of the shoe collaboration of the summer.

Teaming up with high-end shoe brand Strutt Couture, Zandra’s collection is everything you would expect…and just a little bit more. Seasonal style favourites – wedges, platforms and stacked peep-toe booties – all feature, as do voguish intricate lazer-cut details, sorbet soft pastels and au naturel wood finishes…

Zica Tan/Gold

Zimra Pink/Gold

Zafira Grey/Fuchsia

Zanna Aqua/Gold

Zemena Tan/Gold

Zanya Aqua/Gold

Zamora Fuchsia/Pink/Aqua

Zerrin Light Grey/Mustard/White

Zinnia Tan/Gold

These utterly stunning, gob-smackingly beautiful booties are my out-and-out favourite…Wear with a super sleek-casual silk jumpsuit a la DKNY (look for peg-leg effect ties at the ankle for a neo-sports twist), or a pair of Alexander Wang-inspired joggers a slouchy racer-back and an oversized varsity jacket for totally covetable catwalk  appeal.

To say I’m excited about this collection would be a grave and monumental understatement: Zandra Rhodes PLUS couture footwear?! Frankly, I’m surprised I haven’t wet myself in a tumultuous flurry of feverish elation.

Shop/browse the collection at Zandra Rhodes Footwear.

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Jump into Jumpsuits

The jumpsuit is officially back in (in case you hadn’t noticed already) and judging by the a/w 2010 runways it’s going nowhere fast. So, how – you may very well be asking – do you rock what is essentially an oversized romper suit without, a) looking like you’ve taken style advice from Astro Boy (never a good plan), or b) are a member [real or imaginary] of an elite care-in-the-community Bio-Hazard squad – like this guy…

(Muchas gracias to @millyglaister for this particular gem…pure visual poetry)

French Connection s/s 2010

I must admit, I have been wrestling with the jumpsuit question for a while, that and the obvious inconveniences posed by a full body garment. Need the loo anyone? In the comfort of your own home getting butt naked in the privy would prove no real problem but consider, if you will, the inherent dangers involved once you enter the public domain. What if (Mother of God please protect me from this eventuality) you get caught short on the train, more specifically on a Virgin train: you know, the ones with the slow reveal virtually-impossible-to-lock doors? Forget Freddy Krueger, THIS is what nightmares are made of.

H&M s/s 2010

Missoni s/s 2010

And who could forget our old friend VPL, gloriously enhanced by this season’s penchant for glossy, silky, clingy fabrics. Solution? Commando (I know, rarely does there come a day when going commando is the sensible option, but that’s the jumpsuit for you).

Lanvin a/w 2010

So why? Why subject ourselves to the very real possibility of public humiliation, exposure and (if you’re going down the PVC route) chaffing. Well, aside from the fact that they are f%*@ing cooler than a menthol polar bear floating in the upper troposphere where sky meets space and staring mournfully into a strip-your-face-off sou’westerly…(for sub-zero referencing look no further than the head honcho of retro jumpsuit chic Vince Noir, or Bowie: King of The One-Piece (& the codpiece. Natch! )

At this juncture I would like to invite you to join me in a hushed and reverential kowtow…

Oh, what would I not give for a glam-tastic Ziggy Stardust Jumpsuit!

End of digression.

Sonia Rykiel Resort 2010

Flattering on just about every figure, sexy, in a kinky Kim Basinger kind of way, super hot with a pair of heels, comfortable and office-friendly – that’s some serious day-to-night potential right there (hallelujah!)

Matthew Williamson Resort 2010

Etro s/s 2010

Left: DKNY s/s 2010,  Right: Jean Paul Gaultier s/s 2010

In the end, the out-and-out godlike genius of the jumpsuit far outweighs the mundane faffy little impracticalities. After all, if it were easy –  if it were practical – it just wouldn’t be fashion now would it…

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Provoked by my recent perusal of YSL’s super-sharp 2010 Unisex collection I thought I’d take a little look at the tentative re-emergence of androgynous aestheticism on the runways this year. With names like Stella McCartney, 3.1 Philip Lim, DKNY and Alexander Wang leading the vanguard in borrowed-from-my-boyfriend modishness isn’t it about time you joined the boys’ brigade?

Yves Saint Laurent Edition Unisex Collection

YSL 'Le Smoking'

Last resurrected on the back of grunge in the nineties and epitomised by YSL’s legendary ‘Le Smoking’ Tuxedo in the sixties, the craze for the boyishly dressed girl first rocketed into the limelight in the Roaring Twenties with the infamous rise of the flapper. Page-boy bobs, loose straight tailoring, descending waist-lines were de rigueur, curls, cleavage and the fusty-old-hourglass silhouette were most definitely not. Scandalous.

While it may not be quite so shocking – so risqué – in today’s society, androgyny still packs a hefty sartorial punch delivering a double-whammy of highly sexualized ambiguity and convention-busting role appropriation (a derisory two fingers up to the rule book, if you will). If you think about it in terms of edge, androgyny is without a doubt the edgiest look of all; from tall, tailored and fierce (we’re talking man-eating fierce) to doe-eyed tomboyish naiveté, we’re talking the megagon of looks – at least.

3.1 Philip Lim s/s 2010

What you want to avoid (like the plague) with this look is overkill. Androgyny is a kind of best of both cherry-picking exercise in which you – funnily enough – take the best aspects from both gender closets and blend them together to create something which is neither one, nor the other. Think masculine silhouettes with a feminine twist – boxy-tailoring with skyscraper Louboutins for instance – or, reverse the idea and go for a girly summer dress with boyish brogues.

DKNY p/f 2010

Stella McCartney s/s 2010

Done well, boy-meets-girl is the undisputed supremo of style-sexy… but beware! Stray too far into the man-drobe and you run the risk of crossing the butch-border. Being mistaken for a man – or, for that matter, a socially contrived lesbian stereotype – is rarely (if ever) a good thing.

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