Posts Tagged ‘couture’


Well, not 500, but quite a few.
Here is what we wore to keep toasty as we explored Edinburgh’s Castle and a bit of the Old Town yesterday.

(Yes, I realize that leggings are a privilege and not a right and I don’t care–
it is COLD here and I was warm in this outfit!)


On Calton Street.

In Fleshmarket Close. LHR loves the name of that one!

Note the difference: LHR looks like a fashion plate, I look like a midget puffball in my sturdy boots and ski jacket.
The good news? I was entirely snug and not at all chilly, despite the damp cold.

View over South Edinburgh from the Castle.


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YYZ: A Day In The Life

Or, several days in the life.

On Monday, I returned to the V&A to check out the exhibit Grace Kelly: Style Icon. It did not disappoint.  The exhibit contained elements of Kelly’s wardrobe from the early 50s to the time of her death in 1982, including many designer gowns, her shoes, some jewellery, hats and, of course, the famous Kelly bag.  There were several old Pathé newsreels, showing her wearing the clothes, accompanied by breathless and adoring narration that gave a good sense of what Kelly meant to the American public– she was adored the way Princess Diana was when the latter first came on the scene.

Lots of the gowns from the 60s and 70s were not really my cup of tea, but the images of Kelly, with her hair in wildly elaborate styles by Alexandre, were so glamourous that the gowns looked much more appealing, as a result.  My favourites, of course, were the 50s dresses. Of those, the one I liked best was one she wore to meet  Prince Rainier for the first time– arriving at the hotel, all her clothes were somewhat creased and a power outage at the hotel prevented her from ironing anything. The only thing that was not too wrinkled was a lovely rose-print taffeta dress–THAT SHE HAD MADE HERSELF from a McCall’s “Easy-to-Sew” pattern!!!!! Imagine that– Grace Kelly made her own clothes! And met her handsome prince in a homemade dress– no wonder the Western world fell in love with her fairytale story.

Apparently, unlike most people in her position, Kelly wore her gowns over and over to different state occasions– that streak of Yankee practicality only served to endear her further to her public.

There are some photos– the ones I took before I was told that I was not allowed to take any (whoops!)– here.

What I wore to the exhibit is pretty much the same outfit I wore last week to the V&A,  so how about checking out this fellow visitor, spotted in the gift shop? (Yes, she is wearing Louboutins.)

Talk about "Personal Style"!

And here’s a look at what LHR wore on our excursion to the Columbia Road flower market on Sunday.

YVR and I are terribly envious of those gorgeous boots!

Or how about a look at the very cute, very cheap, somewhat-snug dress I didn’t buy at the UK version of Winners?

Ham AND cheese!

Ace fashion photog, LHR, captures the look!

Or what I wore for an emotional visit to Keats House yesterday? The tour was very fine– the guide was keen and interested and clearly passionate about her subject.  The beautiful Georgian house has been renovated, but the interiors are not so inspiring– rather, the artifacts are the impressive bit. Seeing Fanny Brawne‘s engagement ring was particularly moving.  She wore it all her life, even though she never told her husband or her children about Keats until she fell ill; she told her children shortly before her death, when she gave them all Keats’ letters to her, making them promise not to reveal her secret until after her husband’s death.

In honour of the pair, I wandered up to the Heath, where I spent a happy couple of hours in the sun, reading my book and thinking of what a perfect place the Heath must have been for Fanny to grieve Keats’ death.  I had a good cry for his sad life and their tragic love story.

What's with my facial expression?

Jeans: H&M
Shoes: Joe Fresh
Silk Top: Club Monaco
Cardi: Jacob
Tote: Banane

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NOT the boots I wore today...

Major tactical error, folks:
though I did practise wearing my new ankle booties around at home to break them in, I did not do so enough, it would seem.

These boots weren't made for walking.

Also, just walking around the house in them is not the same as actually walking around out in the world, so does not quite do the job. Also, I have not worn enclosed shoes since May 18th. Also, every fall I must suffer through a week of pain as my feet readjust to my standing on them all day when I return to work; as I have not done that, my feet are NOT in fighting form.  See where this is going?

This morning, after a sleepless-ish night (hello, jet lag!), I turned off the 7 a.m. alarm and rolled over to go back to sleep. LHR’s departure at 8:41 (!) awakened me. I had to be up and showered and out by 10, as I had a timed-entry ticket to see a Raphael exhibit at the V&A.  Time was tight– breakast, shower, put on face, email my mum (her birthday is today! Happy Birthday, Mum!), iron, get dressed, load up my Oyster card! Agh!

Decisions were made:
No shower.
Chance it with the Oyster and top it up later.
Wear something not needing to be ironed.
In the end, I made it, though my feet were hurting before I even got around the corner to the train station.
Here is what I am wearing today:

Sorry! Blurry.

Cardi & T-shirt: Joe Fresh (Wool/cashmere cardigan: $29!)
Jeans, Scarf & Earrings: H&M
Not-quite-broken-in-after-all Booties: Aldo

Rained-on Bed-head. Stylin'! Glasses to hide jet-lag-induced dark circles.

In the end, I didn’t have to rush– I got there in time (even after a pause at South Kensington Station to apply Band-Aids, in a fruitless, closing-the-barn-door-after-the-horse-is-gone manoeuvre….) and, as I am just one person, did not even have to wait for my 11:30 entry time and was let in immediately! Yay!  The exhibit was astonishing– GIANT “cartoons” (which comes from the Italian “cartones,” meaning “works on paper”) which served as patterns for tapestries commissioned by Pope Leo X and woven in Brussels. The tapestries were then displayed in the Sistine Chapel. Several are on loan (one from “Her Majesty, The Queen”!) to the V&A, thus the exhibit.  It was an astonishing exhibit– the “cartoons” were about 15×25 feet and the tapestries, woven with coloured and metallic threads, were even bigger.

Once I had collected myself after having been well and truly gobsmacked, I wandered into the Fashion Gallery of the museum. And had my mind blown. The photos are not good, as the light is very dim in order to protect the fragile antique textiles, but they bear sharing anyway, I think.  You can find more over here, if you like.

Christian LaCroix, 1996(?)

Madeleine Vionnet-- one of three on display. Swoon...

Oh, the DRAPING! The woman was a genius.

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YYZ: Gone Fishin’

I am off on holiday for a week; we will be staying at a cottage, on a lake, about 2 1/2 hours north of the city. There is no internet access, so I will not be able to post. In the interim, I leave you with my latest obsession: the Eiffel Tower fishnets from the Jean-Paul Gaulthier Fall 2010 haute couture show last week in Paris.

Seriously– I NEED these stockings!

Sorry– for some reason, this is the best/only photo I can find of the stockings, even though the interweb is a-buzz with references to them.

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Sheesh. He’s done it again. Of course.
This is all so new that I can’t get decent photos of it yet, as they are not even up on the web at this early juncture. (NB: post written July 5th, but held back so that LHR’s post for that day can get your input! ) But I could NOT WAIT to share with you the latest instalment of Sheer, Utter Genius as brought to you by the inimitable, everyone-else-is-just-pretending-to-be-a-designer, please-worship-him-like-a-god-because-you-know-he-deserves-it-even-if-he-is-off-the-charts-kooky, Mr. John Galliano. The words to describe this man’s brilliance have yet to be invented. If you can think of any, please let me know.

Be my guest, revel in Dior’s haute couture Fall/Winter 2010 collection, which refers back to Dior’s Spring 1953 line and was shown by  Galliano at the lovely Musée Rodin in Paris today. Consider it proof that models have the best job in the world. Sure, they’re exploited for their bodies, are always cranky because they are half-starved, and are prone to developing substance abuse problems in their teen years that will dog them for decades, but all that matters not a whit because they get to wear clothes like these:

I think I have found my next Parent-Teacher Interview outfit!

Is it impractical that this makes me want to dress like a giant flower and wrap my head in cellophane?

All images shamelessly pilfered from here. (In case you hadn’t figured that out….)

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Hélas, I did not wear this to work today. But, boy, I sure do wish I had!

Except that I would likely have looked like a barnyard chicken/feather duster hybrid in it…
Best to leave high glamour to this lady, as we have seen before.

(Photo credit.)

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YYZ: Amazing Grace

For those of you who may not have been familiar with the genius of Alexander McQueen, here is his final collection.
Makes the loss of this man even more poignant and heart-wrenching, doesn’t it?

Apparently, in this collection, a counterpoint to his previous collection of digital-age inspired work, he returned to a focus on the craft of making garments.

I could wear this to work, right?

The man (who cut all the patterns and hand-draped the entire collection himself) was a true artist.
I hope he is at peace.

Images from here.

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