Dress and Sensibility

Growing Vintage

I’ve matured into liking a vintage look. Strangely enough the “decadent feeling” overrides my leather skinnies when the weather is, well…, a bit “confused”, which, let’s face it, happens a lot in London. Psychologists believe that looking at old images from several generations back evokes positive thoughts and subconscious romanticising of the distant era.  So, I guess, wearing vintage brings emotional comfort - it’s a clothing equivalent of a cup of hot chocolate on a rainy day. To me it’s all about creating a mood as opposed to looking like an extra from a period drama.  So mixing and matching contemporary items with the “real deal” does really work wonders, cause when I overheard an old gentlemen on the tube saying to his wife “dear, you  looked just like that when I asked you out, remember… and them holding hands and smiling at me….  I thought to myself: “that’s by far the best compliment you can get, wearing vintage.”




A stop-over at, oh-so weird and wonderful Bangkok, would be incomplete for me without checking out the local fashion designers. Cut into parallel existences by matrix planes of glass and concrete, it feels as if the Siam area of the city has developed an acute dual personality. Craziness, insanity, smells and noises of the over-populated streets disappear into the cool luxurious tranquility of the enormous shopping centres, representing every brand under the fashion Sun. Being amazed at the number of active luxury brand shoppers at Siam Paragon, I caught myself thinking, that just a few minutes ago I have paid less than two quid for a delicious street food lunch. With my mind still full of conflicting ideas, I entered the floor, solely dedicated to Thai fashion talent and, somehow, I, personally did not expect this at all. I’ve been won over by a wholesomeness of Asava SS 2013 collection (images above by Asava) Great choice of fabric, fun but sexy prints and the ever so cheeky accessories have come together in a solid concept. Some might say, that Asava haven’t invented a bicycle, which is true to an extent. But their quirky elegance has screamed “London” to me… So, I have become a bit of a fan and would definitely be happy to see them across the other side of the planet, let’s say at the Liberty’s…. Call me selfish…

So Dior

Harrods, to me, is like The Beatles,  Mel Gibson or.., here I said it, Kandinski. I might not be a huge fan of either, but I, certainly, can’t deny the obvious– a tremendous weight of their influence. 

This spring one of the world’s main retail emporiums has announced that it is “joining forces with the House of Dior to launch a luxury-charged adventure combining French Savoir Faire and British charm.” From my experience,  exhibitions held in department stores (even the best ones) usually lack depth,  leave a slight feeling of  disappointment and an aftertaste of bonus activities.    

This time, however, Harrods has prepared a real treat for fashion aesthetes.  Dior in all its glory took over the top floor, unfolding its rich history of style and perfumery under sculpted grandeur of the store’s ceilings.  Silently walking the soft carpets, breathing J’adorably”  scented air, and noticing the effect of the lighting so subtle and ever so flattering in the heavily mirrored rooms, I caught myself thinking how much passion has been put into this exhibition. It could have turned out just good, not more not less, purely because, let’s face it, even a retrospective of  Dior gowns would satisfy many.  But the organizers have chosen to work with their visitors’ senses – creating a feel of the brand, rather than just a showcase. The best recollections of our experiences come from unique emotions associated  with significant events.  This exhibition at Harrods has indeed left a long lasting feeling of  subtle elegance and sculptured luxury- so unmistakably Dior. 




The Queen Mary of Print

Watching Mary Katrantzou’s a/w 13 collection at LFW was like being let into  a darkroom, where images emerged magically from processing solutions.

It was delicate and dreamy in print, but far from being fragile due to impeccably sharp tailoring. So unexpected from Mary monochromes were  perfect. They have brought the whole collection together - like a tiny dollop of black caviar on the top of an exquisite dish.  What a proof that one doesn’t need to be bright to be seen, nor does one need to shout  to be heard. 

It was dark enough to be fun, composed enough to be regal, daring enough to be wearable. KTZ a/w 13 collection at LFW came as yet another flavoursome burst of grothesque weaved into classical samurai armour. Future collaborations of Marjan Pejorski and Koji Maruyama are sure to be on my watchlist - Alice in Wonderland meets Kill Bill - what’s ot to love?!

photo Federico Gonzalez Fernandez


Timur Kim Autumn Winter 2013

One of the most grandiose, and yet somehow underused buildings in London, has become home to 2013 Fashion Scout shows during this year’s LFW. A Russian born St.Martin’s graduate Timur Kim has presented a dreamy and ethereal, at that still very down-to-earth collection. His models walked through heavily embellished iron gates (strangely reminding of such in Moscow parks), wearing prim almost “school uniform-like” dresses. Thus the choice of Don McLean’s “Bye-bye, Miss American Pie” as a soundtrack was perfect.  Lilacs, earthy greens, mustardy browns and sky blues dominated this collection. Wrap-dresses looked very demure and feminine. Straight cut dishevelled hair opposite modest dresses, simple T-shits and knee-long tulip skirts has created a slightly daring look, as in “good girl gone bad”. Golden brogues were a great choice to complete the look. All in all -a very solid fresh collection.      


Head benders

Never thought I’d ever say this, but I do start warming up to the 80’s classics. And these Cara headbands I came across at Fenwick’s today are to blame! No annoying pins, many of us are so guilty and so needy of (including Her Madgesty back in the day), necessary to hold them in place.  A thin built it bendy wire is the secret! image



Keep your eyes open, and ye shall find

How often do you walk into a charity shop and spot an item, which in real life is worth more than the rest of the stuff in this shop and a few bits from the neighboring shops combined together? Well, today, Christmas came early, because it hasn’t just been any odd fancy bag sitting on a shelf among dusty ladies’ love novels,  plastic bead holiday necklaces and chipped grandmas’ crockery. It was Dior! Vintage, and in perfect condition. And if this wasn’t enough, it has indeed turned out to be that very amazing transformer clutch/bag from the Sex and the City, season 6, “To market! To market” episode. It does need a bit of airing and perfuming, but hey, for the grand total of thirty five pounds sterling, who cares.