Archive for the ‘fashion’ Category

+J is back

October 26, 2010

Loyal readers of the blog may have read one of my previous posts on one of my clothing obsessions. The post was about one of the best collaborations between a fashion designer and a high-street store: the collaboration between Jil Sander and Uniqlo, culminating in the creation of the +J line. Two separate collections were created during the past year: the inaugural Fall/Winter 2009 collection and the most recent Spring/Summer 2010 collection.

I was more than happy to know that another +J line just hit the Uniqlo stores in London. According to the designer, this season is characterised by “a well fitted, sculptured cut, quality materials, careful detailing, and an overall subdued sophistication. Once you establish such a key wardrobe, you will find that the rest is easily combined. A beautiful coat or a white shirt works with almost anything, but actually needs almost nothing else. I called the ideal I have in mind, uniforms for the future”.

This season’s clothes are characterised by thick materials based on wool that lack the sophistication of last year’s high-tech, synthetic materials, but earn extra points for the cuts. This year, double breasted options were added alongside single-breasted cuts and longer coats have been added to shorter ones.

Admittedly, I have set my eyes on some items, but I am waiting for the entire line to be unveiled before I make any puchase.


[image © copyright Uniqlo]



August 9, 2010

H&M is the first, I believe, to have collaborated with a well known fashion designer, when it launched a collection designed by Karl Lagerfeld in 2004. Since then, H&M has been regularly collaborating with known designers to create a limited collection of clothes and accessories that is affordable and sold exclusively from its stores. The latest collaboration was with Jimmy Choo for a line of shoes, accessories and clothes. It was an instant hit, with most of the stores running out of stock in the first few hours. The example of H&M was followed by many other highstreet stores. But one of the most successful collaborations I have seen was the Jil Sander collaboration for Uniqlo, creating a line of clothes for men and women.

Jil Sander was known to the fashion world as a contemporary fashion designer, with a particular trend towards minimalism. With her departure from her own house in 2004, after an ongoing feud with the CEO of the Prada Group, that owned the major stake in the company, Jil Sander was largely withdrawn from the fashion world until 2009, when she created her own fashion consultancy. She was then approached by Fast Retailing from Japan, to design a special line for Uniqlo, named +J.

The line became a hit in the UK, and one of my particularly obsessions. . At the time that the spring-summer line was launched, I was in between jobs and needed to buy additional clothes. Needless to say that most of the clothes I bought was from the +J line. Among the items, the slim fit jeans she designed were excellent – like the ones she designed for her own fashion house, that were known for their best fit, her winter coat was exquisitely made and her range of shirts suited most of my needs. Luckily, Uniqlo introduced a policy with which each individual could only buy one item from each style, avoiding running out of stock from the first day.

I just hope that this collaboration continues for a long time.


[image © LambdaPhage]

Alexander McQueen

February 22, 2010

10 days ago, the news of Lee Alexander McQueen‘s death made it to the headlines of the world’s newspapers. Since, then there have been many articles and tributes to the person called the “enfant terrible” of British fashion. I will spare you with the details of his achievements, which you can anyway read at other websites. But I can share with you my story on how I came to passionately follow his work in the past two years.

On a September Saturday morning, I was strolling at the first floor of Selfridges. I tend to hate department stores, as you can only see a few of pieces and not the entire designers’ collection, but I love Selfridges for not only offering a variety of high-street brands, but for finding and promoting emerging designers. Among the space dedicated to menswear, there is a particular department at the middle of the store (right above the main entrance of the store) for the “Superbrands”. I casually stroll through this department either to go to the Paul Smith shop at one end, or the shoes department at either end, sometimes without even glancing at the clothes there. Even if I find a nice piece of clothing, I know that it is extremely expensive and I can not not probably buy it. But that particular Saturday almost two years ago, something different happened; something caught me attention and made me to pause for a minute.

Among the mannequins wearing the recently brought designer clothes for the Autumn winter collection, I singled-out one wearing a cardigan. Only this cardigan was not like an ordinary one. It was an asymmetric cardigan by Alexander McQueen. I was always a fan of asymmetric clothing, especially buttoning at the side and I immediately fell in love with it. Very elegantly designed, the inner flap would cover the chest with the help of consicuously small button placed at in inner side, right below the shoulder, and the exterior part would just be draped over and buttoned at the right hand side. The cardigan was completed by an oversized collar.

Needless to say, I became obsessed with the cardigan, but found the £500 price tag a bit too much for my budget. I spent the remaining of the season visiting the store, taking a look at the cardigan and waiting for the sales period, when I would be able to buy it with 50% discount. Later on, I found out that this cardigan was designed a year ago and in every season it would be made available in different colours.

Until this day, I have not been able to get it, and apart from a cream-coloured one in Harvey Nichols (probably left over from one of the previous collections), Alexander McQueen didn’t make it again. But since this day, I never stopped finding out more things about this designer. About his trademark skull scarves, about this unique shows, marrying technology with fashion, and about how every season he would be the talk of the British fashion. Every time I visited Selfridges, I would pass by his shop knowing again that I would be amazed by the simplicity of this designs and the extravagance of his ideas.