If the outdoor ice-rink and free Tim Walker and Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibitions weren’t enough to get you to Somerset House over the holiday season, Valentino has just sealed the deal. Opening tomorrow, London gets the first look at ‘Valentino: Master of Couture‘ – a comprehensive collection of couture, much of which has never been seen outside the Valentino atelier.
I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the collection today, and my heart skipped a million beats. Set over two floors by the Embankment entrance, you are first taken through mementoes from the intimate life of Valentino; personal photographs, letters (including a Vogue-embossed number from Anna Wintour herself), couture invitations, et al.
Walking up the spiral staircase you enter a 60-metre Catwalk area packed with over one-hundred of Valentino’s most exquisite designs. It is a sight you simply have to see (and if photographs were allowed, I would have rinsed through my battery). Highlights include a dress and velvet jacket/trouser combination worn by Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O’s 1968 wedding dress, as well as two iconic Oscar dresses of Anne Hathaway and Julia Roberts. Iconic in a whole different way? Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece’s pearl-encrusted ivory silk wedding gown. Designed with ten different kinds of lace, it sits at the bottom of the downward staircase and acts as a segue between the Catwalk and an enclosure of small textile examples that further pay homage to Valentino’s legacy and game-changing technique.
From Pagine (disks of organza silk piled to create a page effect – technique unique to the Valentino atelier) to Rose de volant (lengths of organza silk cut on the bias shaped to form open roses) to Sudellini (double charmeuse silk rolled an and sewn around a looped length of wool), this is the best-value couture class you will ever find.
Grace Kelly loved him, Sophia Loren loved him, and now – fashionista – now you will, too. I urge you to get your drappeggi-clad tush there before March 3rd.
“Alexander McQueen appreciates the huge amount of interest the public has shown towards the Savage Beauty exhibition. We have been in discussion with a number of major venues in London for some time now however nothing has been finalised. Please be assured that an official announcement will be made the moment we confirm our plans for London.”
– Spokesperson for Alexander McQueen
That’s right, fashionistas and fashionistos! Though the details are still hush-hush, it looks as though Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty will be coming to London in 2013, marking the 20th anniversary of Alexander Lee’s business (only a few months after showing his Central St Martins MA graduation collection, “Jack The Ripper Stalks His Victims“, in 1992). Supposed venue locations currently in talks include The Tower of London, Somerset House, The Truman Brewery (where the real Jack the Ripper stalked his victims), The London Dungeons, and Battersea Power Station. I cannot bleeping wait.
If I thought Beyonce had gone anywhere, this post would start with a hearty “Beyonce is Back!”. Last night, her long-awaited music video for “Run the World (Girls)” debuted with more fashion glory than a September day at Somerset House. So, what did she wear?
1. A red Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2010 dress with embroidered gold detail and thigh-high, gold-heeled Alexander McQueen Grinling Gibbons, same collection.
2. She dances – like never before – in a black Norma Kamali fringed garment with golden harness and black bustier, continuing the fringe down to some Alexander Wang heels.
3. A brief appearance by the white Givenchy Spring/Summer 2011 Couture gown. The gown designed for fierceness.
4. Cue the slo-mo water and cue the dark Jean Paul Gaultier Spring/Summer 2011 Couture outfit with a tailcoat and heavy cut-outs.
5. Be still, style heart. Unaware of the car in flames behind her, Warrior Beyonce gets into an ultra mini Gareth Pugh Fall/Winter 2011 turtleneck dress and gold-mirrored Gareth Pugh ankle boots.
6. Dance break = outfit change. This time it’s a gold-embroidered Emilio Pucci Spring/Summer 2010 yellow dress paired with studded and feathered Sergio Rossi Gladiator boots.
7. Emilio Pucci number two; a long-sleeved goddess gown in green with a thigh-high split and sequined sleeve from Fall/Winter 2011.
One of the reasons I adore London Fashion Week is the fact that while many designers use the gorgeous ‘official venue’ of Somerset House as their venue, there are tons of fabulous shows scattered around the most fantastic spots in my favourite city. For Mulberry, their show took place in the ballroom at Claridges.
It was floral done fashionably, with dozens of giant neon roses decorating the space, alongside life-size Mulberry paper dolls that didn’t stand a chance next to the wardrobe worthy collection. Florence Welch Red hair was attached to the heads of all the models, in homage to model Julia Johansen. Creative director Emma Hill was inspired by “The Secret Garden” and claimed that “it [the design process] always starts with a film”. Most importantly (it’s Mulberry, after all) – along with variations on the Alexa, the trompe l’oeil effect Tillie and chain handled Cory family were finally introduced. View Post
With more names than you can shake a bag of monkeys at, we have brains, beauty and the downright gorgeous, back-to-back-to-back in our non-stop birthday festivities. From rapstars to trapstars, supers to trannies, we conducted a 3 week celebratory photoshoot at Somerset House collaborating with Nick Knight to document the turn of the decade. From cover to cover, the portraits will run throughout the THEN Pre-Fall issue. Almost 200 people took part in the breathtaking project, including The XX, Phoebe Philo, Sir Paul Smith, Florence Welch, Vivienne Westwood, Lara Stone, Pink and Gareth Pugh. Shot entirely in black and white this will be a collectors issue of the future and an important marker in time – made even more spectacular with our three amazing cover stars; Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Lady Gaga.
To be honest, I’m not feeling the new logo but I am beyond excited to paw through the insides.