Valentino Shoes 2012
Pretending that I’m the kind of woman who doesn’t ever have to look at her bank balance, I spent the very early hours of this morning building a wishlist of Valentino shoes on Harrods.com. Initially enticed to find their extreme tip boots on sale for 50%, I ended up basketing the lot. With the ‘So Noir’ studded pumps being Fashion Week’s most ubiquitous shoe of the year, the studs, lace, and cut-outs on each shoe in the collection marks a full twelve months of trendsetting from the Italian fashion house. Brava.

Which pair are your favourite?

valentino master of couture
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.


#valentinoexhibition
Admission £12.50, £9 concessions

Jac Jagaciak W Korea
The incredibly flawless Monika “Jac” Jagaciak covers the October 2011 edition of Korean W magazine looking gorgeous thanks to the cosmetic hands of Christian McCulloch, hair skills of Diego da Silva, lens of Steven Pan, and fashion styling of Tina Chai. Homegirl has won almost every essential ad campaign this season, including Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Valentino, Chanel Beauty and Jill Stuart.

Valentino SS12
Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri are quite the dream team. The Valentino designers took risks this season, utilising what some would consider to be far too many flowers and far too much lace and embroidery. In fact, it was – as Goldilocks said – just right.

Of the ultra-fresh collection, Piccioli said “fashion is a dream, and in this moment we need dreams”. Especially dreams for Hollywood’s greatest, who can find a year worth of red-carpet dresses in their Spring/Summer 2012 collection.

Inspirations came from Georgia O’Keeffe, Tina Modotti, and photographs by Deborah Turbeville, which inspired me in turn. I am lusting beyond belief. Valentino hand-painted florals and inset lace into paper-thin leather, for chrissakes. They even used it on a trench-coat! Faint. View Post

Arizona Muse Patrick Demarchelier
The flawless “Let’s Dance” fashion story by Patrick Demarchelier has made it into this month’s Vogue India. The shoot – featuring girlcrush Arizona Muse – was previously published in the June edition of British Vogue. The high fashion pieces from the likes of Dior, Alexis Mabille Couture, Atelier Versace, Chanel, Giorgio Armani Prive, Valentino Haute Couture and Gaultier Couture come from the styling genius of Lucinda Chambers, with Val Garland on make-up and Sam McKnight on hair. The versatility here has a license to kill. View Post