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Bond, Le Bond


Special agent 007 may be British, but his savoir faire is all French

Bond, Le Bond


Special agent 007 may be British, but his savoir faire is all French

Style > Fashion


 

Bond, Le Bond

June 24, 2016 / by Charles Oliver

Whether it’s in the books or the movies, British secret agent James Bond is no stranger to France. In A View to a Kill, he scales the Eiffel Tower, then visits the villain Hugo Drax in the majestic Château de Chantilly; the opening of Thunderball is set at the Château d’Anet near Dreux; he’s on the beach in the south of France in Diamonds are Forever. Numerous Bond girls have been French, including Carole Bouquet as Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only), Sophie Marceau as Elektra King (The World is Not Enough), Eva Green as Vesper Lynd (Casino Royale) and Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann (Spectre).

In fact, in the very first scene we ever see Bond on screen, in 1962’s Dr. No, he’s sitting at a gaming table playing a French card game. Chemin de fer was the original version of baccarat when introduced to France; Bond plays the game in Dr. No, Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, GoldenEye and Casino Royale.

Behind the wheel, Bond drives the iconic French Citroën 2CV in For Your Eyes Only, in a car chase after his own vehicle, a Lotus Esprit Turbo, explodes. Bond and Melina are later pursued by evil henchmen in Peugeot 504s over hairpin roads, then through an olive orchard and a village. He’s also followed by villains in a 2CV on the drive from the Hotel Splendide to the beach in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. In From Russia with Love, Spectre assassin Donald “Red” Grant steals a Citroën 11 Légère and follows Bond through Istanbul. And in Casino Royale, the evil Le Chiffre makes his escape in a Citroën Traction Avant, hotly pursued by Bond’s more traditional Bentley. 

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Then there’s the commercialisation, the products, the lifestyle – a love of gourmandise and libation that’s equally shared by Bond and the villains he pursues. “Maybe I misjudged Stromberg,” says Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me. “Any man who drinks Dom Pérignon ’52 can’t be all bad.” But 007’s certainly not brand-loyal. In From Russia with Love, he’s drinking Taittinger. When Bond has a late dinner with Vesper Lynd in the novel Casino Royale, he asks for a bottle of Taittinger ’45, only for the sommelier to suggest “Blanc de Blancs Brut 1943 – the same mark without equal.” Bond agrees and tells Lynd that Taittinger, although not that well-known, “is probably the finest champagne in the world.” 

That might be, but by Moonraker he’s calling it “only a fad of mine” and is back on the Dom Pérignon. There’s also the glorious fight scene in Dr. No between the villain and Bond; the agent threatens to break a bottle of champagne and Dr. No says, “That’s a Dom Pérignon ’55; it would be a pity to break it.” (Bond says he prefers the ’53.) Despite all the bravado, his most-drunk champagne is Bollinger, which writer Ian Fleming first references in Diamonds are Forever when Tiffany Case sends a quarter-bottle to Bond’s cabin on the Queen Elizabeth. 

France occupies a privileged place among the usual allies of James Bond and MI6 – it represents the pathway to the rest of the European continent and stands for ideological values that complement those of the United Kingdom, which together make up a century of European enlightenment. Bond’s lifestyle even contains a cultural binary opposition between England and France, in a preface to contemporary globalisation. Bond may be inseparable from M, MI6 and Her Majesty (albeit on his own terms), but 007’s appreciation of food and sex is closer to French than English culture. 

Consider the very first instalment of Casino Royale, which not only takes place in an imaginary French resort but includes French in the text. “Mais n’enculons pas des mouche,” 007 tells the barman while advising him that vodka made with grain is better than with potatoes. The barman grins. “That’s a vulgar way of saying ‘We won’t split hairs’,” explains Bond. The expression is certainly vulgar (it directly translates as “Let’s not copulate with flies”) but denotes a surprisingly accurate grasp of French slang for one of Her Majesty’s subjects, let alone a government employee. It’s no accident that Casino Royale has four French chapter headings: L’Ennemi Écoute; Rouge et Noir, La Vie en Rose and Fruit Défendu. 

It seems especially appropriate then, that until September, the main hall of La Villette in Paris – a former slaughterhouse built in the 1860s and now a cultural centre in the 19th arrondissement – welcomes the exhibition 50 Years of Bond Style, which presents more than 500 original objects for a fantastical exploration of the most famous spy’s world. The exhibition, a collaboration between film production company Eon Productions and the Barbican in London, is a multisensory experience, immersing audiences in the creation and the development of Bond style over the last half-century. 

Highlights include gadgets and weapons made for Bond and his notorious adversaries by special-effects experts John Stears and Chris Corbould – from Scaramanga’s golden pistol (The Man with the Golden Gun) to Bond’s attaché case (From Russia with Love) – along with artwork for sets and storyboards by production designers Ken Adam, Peter Lamont and Syd Cain, as well as costume designs by Bumble Dawson, Donfeld, Julie Harris, Lindy Hemming, Emma Porteous and Jany Temime.

Of course, men’s fashion has been heavily influenced by Bond as well. The exhibition features the work of Hollywood costume designers and major fashion forces including Giorgio Armani, Brioni, Tom Ford, Hubert de Givenchy, Frida Giannini, Miuccia Prada, Anthony Sinclair, Philip Treacy, Emanuel Ungaro and Donatella Versace, to name a few. See the white tuxedo of Roger Moore from Octopussy and the spacesuits of Moonraker, as well as a host of items from the recent Spectre – including Lucia’s corset as worn by Monica Bellucci, Q’s smart-blood gadget, and a colourful array of props and costumes from the Day of the Dead opening sequence. These pieces have only been shown in Mexico, where they joined the exhibition; it has been touring the world since it opened at the Barbican in 2012.

Culturally, geopolitically, semiotically, socially and manneristically, it’s extraordinary how much 007 feels at home in contemporary France. La vie est Bond! (jamesbond007-exposition-paris.fr)

Images: © James Bond 007 l’exposition - Photo David Merle; Getty Images; Harry Myers/REX/Shutterstock; Daniel Craig picture: Casino Royale © 2006 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved; Elektra King in ski outfit The World Is Not Enough © 1999 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved; Scaramanga's Golden Gun. Copyright Notice - © 1974 Danjaq, LLC and United Artsts Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Breaking the Waves


Whether bronzing at the beach or sipping poolside cocktails, look to iconic beach belles and beaus from the 1950s and ’60s for timeless examples of elegant shoreside attire

Breaking the Waves


Whether bronzing at the beach or sipping poolside cocktails, look to iconic beach belles and beaus from the 1950s and ’60s for timeless examples of elegant shoreside attire

Style > Fashion


 

Breaking the Waves

June 24, 2016 / by Felix Williams

above image: Lobby card for Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 film Lolita, starring Sue Lyon

Elizabeth Taylor, circa 1955

Elizabeth Taylor, circa 1955

It’s fairly indisputable – French screen siren Brigitte Bardot is the pinnacle of boho beach chic. She paired her signature wide-brimmed floppy hat with striking bikinis, blonde beach locks and kohl eyeliner for an effortlessly cool look. Her beach style was epitomised in 1962 film A Very Private Affair; the St Tropez style launched the two-piece as an iconic swimwear garment that endures to this day. In the same year, Sue Lyon controversially wore a patterned bikini and a wide-brimmed hat in Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita, creating an innocent and playful beachwear look.

For a more pristine look, style icon Grace Kelly was always a portrait of elegance. She wore white bikinis, and even a leopard-print bathing suit. The one-piece was a favourite of 1950s stylistas from Sophia Loren to Elizabeth Taylor; the latter paired hers with striking red lipstick. Marilyn Monroe famously posed in a flattering white swimsuit, as a sweetheart neckline one-piece in various hues became her favourite splash. Movie star and synchronised swimming icon Esther Williams glided across the screen in desirable swimsuits during her 1950s blockbusters, even launching a swimwear brand that offers women the chance to emulate her beach attire and continues to this day.

 

 

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Sandra Dee’s role in 1959 comedy Gidget saw her in cute red swimsuits and orange two-pieces, paired with her sporty blonde ponytail. In 1967 romance Two for the Road, Audrey Hepburn wears cotton shirting over her swimsuits, as well as red-and-white tops layered over red swimwear. In 1958 drama Bonjour Tristesse, Jean Seberg dons an oversized denim shirt over her swimwear, showing an effortless stylish choice for those not keen on a kaftan. The aptly named 1969 film La Piscine (The Swimming Pool) sees French actress and trendsetter Jane Birkin donning a white bikini alongside the smouldering menswear style icon Alain Delon. A 1960s sex symbol, Delon was renowned for his sharp tailoring, while on the beach he looked to well-fitted shorts in white, which showed off his fashionable tan.

The 1959 drama From Here to Eternity sees Montgomery Clift wear classic hibiscus-print shorts paired with Cuban-collar shirts in the Hawaii-set film. Set in the late 1950s, the 1999 film The Talented Mr Ripley soaks up the sublime surroundings of Italy; Jude Law’s wardrobe is full of refined menswear options as he strolls from the beach to town. The film’s Riviera-style resort wear ranges from patterned shorts matched with open-neck white shirts to white linen trousers rolled up at the ankles with cream-coloured short-sleeved shirts.

Audrey Hepburn on the set of Two for the Road, 1967

Audrey Hepburn on the set of Two for the Road, 1967

Brigitte Bardot in France, 1967

Brigitte Bardot in France, 1967

More than 50 years on, these icons of cinema continue to define beach style.

Images: Getty Images

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Dos and Don'ts for the Beach


Whether Bali’s crowded beaches or some secluded sandy shores take your fancy, beachgoers need to be in the know in terms of refinement. Just because you’ve checked into vacation mode doesn’t mean your manners and proper etiquette should have checked out. Peruse our dos and don’ts to make sure you’re the chicest and most admired at the beach this summer

Dos and Don'ts for the Beach


Whether Bali’s crowded beaches or some secluded sandy shores take your fancy, beachgoers need to be in the know in terms of refinement. Just because you’ve checked into vacation mode doesn’t mean your manners and proper etiquette should have checked out. Peruse our dos and don’ts to make sure you’re the chicest and most admired at the beach this summer

Style > Fashion


 

Dos and Don’ts for the Beach

June 24, 2016 / by F. W. 

Do: 

  • Invest in high-quality waterproof mascara. Leave the panda eyes to the fluffy cuties in Chengdu.
  • Avoid the awkward my-feet-are-on-fire dash to the sea by donning a pair of chic flip-flops to keep your cool right up to the surf.  
  • Come well prepared and avoid the struggle to keep your modesty under your beach towel by wearing your one- or two-piece under your kaftan.
  • Remember to douse yourself in sunscreen unless you fancy lobster-red sunburn: not fun, not comfy and guaranteed to make you the butt of office jokes for the rest of the summer.
  • Sport a sleek pair of sunglasses poolside. Not only will they keep those evil UV rays at bay, but they’re also the perfect mask to hide behind when checking everyone else out. 

 

Don’t:

  • Settle for a snooze in the sun and forget to put your book away. A book-shaped suntan is never à la mode.
  • Forget headphones. Did anyone else sign up to hear your cheesy summer tunes? No, we didn’t think so.
  • Go for avant-garde swimwear designers with fancy cut-outs and asymmetrical details. They may look stunning in a fashion shoot, but trust us; the resulting uneven tan will be eye-catching for all the wrong reasons.
  • Put the sand into sandwiches. Leave this classic lunchtime dish at home where it belongs and instead bring a selection of fresh fruit for a light snack.
  • Run across the sand as though you’re auditioning for Baywatch; leave it to the pros. Plus, the sand flying off your feet peppering nearby sunbathers won’t be welcomed and instead of admirers, you’ll find a rowdy rabble on your trail.
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Plastic Fantastic


Barbie’s enduring – and often controversial – impact on pop culture gets a full makeover in Paris

Plastic Fantastic


Barbie’s enduring – and often controversial – impact on pop culture gets a full makeover in Paris

Style > Fashion


1. Barbie and Ken in the 1960s

1. Barbie and Ken in the 1960s

Plastic Fantastic

May 27, 2016 / by Charles Oliver

Barbie, the iconic children’s doll, is as American as clambakes, baseball and soda. But nowhere in the world has she enjoyed the platform she’s being given until September 18 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Known for its design, fashion, toy and advertising collections, the museum is the ideal venue to pay tribute to Barbie, whose multidimensional story has made an indelible mark on the socio-cultural history of toys in the 20th and 21st centuries. 

The Musée des Arts Décoratifs has taken an entirely immersive approach. Rather than featuring a paint-by-numbers gallery of Barbie’s looks over the past six decades, the museum has deployed 700 Barbies alongside pieces from the permanent collection, unique works by contemporary artists, and documents such as newspapers, photos and video that contextualise the famous doll’s multitude of lives. 

Drawing from toy company Mattel’s archives to highlight this still-little-known historical heritage, the exhibition provides two insights into “Barbie’s lives”: one for children, which evokes the pure jubilation of the universally known toy, and one for adults, which places this emblematic figure in historical and sociological contexts.

2-7. Barbie in various guises, including: a flight attendant (1961); an astronaut (1965); a surgeon (1973); her takes on Karl Lagerfeld and Diane von Furstenberg; and an aerobics instructor (1984)  

2-7. Barbie in various guises, including: a flight attendant (1961); an astronaut (1965); a surgeon (1973); her takes on Karl Lagerfeld and Diane von Furstenberg; and an aerobics instructor (1984)

 

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8. Vintage Barbie ad from 1964

8. Vintage Barbie ad from 1964

More than just a toy, Barbie has mirrored culture and its evolution. She began by embodying the “American way of life” before adapting to social, political and cultural changes and taking on a more universal dimension. Always autonomous and independent, Barbie has adopted all the new dreams and  ambitions of contemporary life – evolving with every creature comfort in her luxury dream world, embracing new causes and challenging stereotypes. 

However, Barbie has long been called out for her embodiment of the “idealised woman” in stark contrast with reality. Her fantasy-like vital statistics (36-inch bust, 18-inch waist and 33-inch hips) are seen by many as contributing to the unreasonable expectations placed on adolescent girls. 

When she was launched in 1959, Barbie and her slender, curvaceous figure marked a revolutionary departure from the traditional baby doll. As Ruth Handler, one of Mattel’s founders, watched her daughter Barbara playing with her paper dolls – those distant descendants of late-18th-century fashion plates – she got the idea for a three-dimensional fashion doll. Ruth observed that Barbara and her friends were not at all interested in dolls that represented children, but solely in those representing women; they imagined themselves in their future lives as young women, rather than as mothers and housewives.

Ruth’s sheer determination finally convinced Mattel’s directors, then all male, to manufacture such a doll. Directly inspired by the German advertising doll Lili (which Mattel later bought outright), Barbie was launched with her own mythology. Born in Wisconsin, Barbara Millicent Roberts has a family and a set of clearly identified friends, but her age has deliberately never been specified, so that she can embody either an adolescent or a young woman. In succession, she was a highschool pupil, a university student, a nurse and an air hostess before joining more than 150 professions, from the traditional to the avant-garde. Barbie has been a veterinarian, a palaeontologist, a computer scientist, a racecar driver, a schoolteacher, a doctor, a ballerina, a police officer, a four-time presidential candidate and an astronaut (five years before Neil Armstrong took that “one small step and one giant leap” in 1969). Her ever-present boyfriend, Ken, has become equally as famous. Barbie is more than just a doll – she is a woman’s life.

9. Barbie as depicted by Andy Warhol

9. Barbie as depicted by Andy Warhol

Several of the fabrication secrets of Barbie’s silhouettes, hairstyles and outfits are being revealed at the exhibition, which will feature models and drawings by those who have masterminded Barbie’s success – one that can also be explained by her continuous interactions with popular culture. Since she was created, she has inspired artists such as Andy Warhol to portray her, while others have widely explored her image.

Many couturiers have crossed paths with Barbie, too, and have imagined the most extravagant and elegant outfits for her. The exhibition will feature several of these creations – by Paco Rabanne, Thierry Mugler, Christian Lacroix, Jean Paul Gaultier, Maison Martin Margiela and Christian Louboutin. As a counterpoint to Barbie’s wardrobe, which is amply displayed for the event and reflects evolving fashions, the museum will feature several of the most emblematic pieces in its collection.

She’s been the recent subject of Barbie in Motion, a film by Nick Knight’s Show Studio in London, depicted in a moving series that gives her a unique futuristic look, merging the worlds of fashion and technology. Barbie is shown wearing three custom spring/summer 2016 looks from emerging designers Caitlin Price, Ashish and Alyx. 

At the beginning of the year, Time magazine put Barbie on its cover after Mattel announced three new body-type additions to its range of dolls: curvy, petite and tall. Supposedly this was an attempt to ensure that the toys better represent modern women such as Kim Kardashian and Lena Dunham; Mattel included the dolls in a variety of skin tones and hairstyles. 

In keeping with Barbie’s ability to capture the zeitgeist, she has her own Instagram account, @barbiestyle, which boasts 1.4 million followers. You’ll see her posting on the Coachella music festival in the US, having “done” the New York Academy of Art and the Tribeca Film Festival, and going behind the scenes at the Met Gala, all while staying in the salubrious surrounds of The Peninsula hotel in New York. In the most seamless display of contextual commerce, she’s even visited and posted on her own exhibition in Paris. 

French philosopher and structuralist Roland Barthes penned a chapter on toys in his 1957 tome Mythologies. Two years before Barbie’s invention, he wrote: “All the toys one commonly sees are essentially a microcosm of the adult world. But by providing children with artificial materials and toys, are we, in turn, providing them with an artificial view of the world?” 

In the case of the plastic-fantastic Ms Roberts, her ongoing celebrity status seems as secure as ever. As she adapts to a changing world, she’ll undoubtedly remodel her silhouette many more times. Robot Barbie, anyone?

Images: Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris, from the 2016 Barbie exposition, photograph by Luc Boegly (top image, images no. 1, 13, 16); Les Arts Décoratifs / Mattel (image no. 8); Barbie flight attendant, 1961 © Mattel (image no. 2); Barbie astronaut, 1965 © Mattel (image no. 3); Barbie surgeon, 1973 © Mattel (image no. 4); Barbie Lagerfeld © Mattel (image no. 5); Barbie Diane Von Furstenberg, 2006 © Mattel (image no. 6); Barbie aérobics instructor,1984 © Mattel (image no. 7); Andy Warhol, "Portrait de Barbie", 1985 © Mattel (image no. 9); picture from Barbie’s Instagram account @Barbistyle, 2015 © Mattel (image no. 10); Chloé Ruchon, « Barbiefoot », 2009, Collections du musée des Arts décoratifs © Les Arts Décoratifs / photo : Jean Tholancep (image no. 11); Christian Louboutin, « Un an avec Barbie », 2009 © DR (image no. 12); Making of, Mattel © Mattel (image no. 14); Barbie Dior, pour les 50 ans du Tailleur Bar, 1997 © Mattel (image no. 15)

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Womenswear: Innerwear Become Outerwear


Bring the bedroom to the street with lingerie-inspired looks

Womenswear: Innerwear Become Outerwear


Bring the bedroom to the street with lingerie-inspired looks

Style > Fashion



Womenswear: Innerwear Becomes Outerwear

May 27, 2016 / by Babette Radclyffe

Fashion throwbacks are definitely à la mode this summer – and the 1990s is where it’s at. Chokers and hair accessories punctuated many of this season’s collections, while a key ’90s look, lingerie as outerwear with an abundance of delicate lace, has returned as the hottest trend.

The classic slip created this season’s must-have silhouette, giving a fresh update to granny’s favourite nightwear choice. Calvin Klein Collection’s sleek looks saw cream and ivory versions take to the catwalk, accessorised with delicate gold jewellery and sneakers for a very relaxed feel. Meanwhile, Chloé’s delightful lace-fringed summer dresses featured apricot shades as well as white, and were given a bright edge when paired with multi-coloured strappy heels. Victoria Beckham’s sleek slips came in silver and, when worn with sky-high heels, would make a perfect choice for cocktail wear.

Givenchy offered lace-inspired looks for every woman this season, from
sophisticated loose tailoring in black (paired with a sensual lace top) to figure-hugging white lace dresses for more formal occasions. Floor-length dresses saw lace detailing across the bodice as well as the thigh and ankle, while ultra-feminine wrap dresses in lace are perfect for taking a beach look into statement eveningwear. 

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Boudoir-inspired looks go perfectly with embellished and opulent accessories, such as this season’s must-have bag: the Dolce & Gabbana clutch in peach and black with gold adornments. If you’re looking for a more understated handbag, Saint Laurent’s adorable shoulder-strap bags are a great complement to any outfit. For a regal look, accessorise with Saint Laurent’s tiara; the brand also showed floor-length lace dresses with fur coats and boots for the edgy rock-chic fan. Delicate jewellery can also go well with this look, such as Piaget’s Possession collection, which is full of feminine timepieces and sparkling jewels, while Tory Burch’s ornate heels in metallic hues dress up a lace-filled look. 

This season, take lace out of the bedroom and onto the street with a wide variety of stunning lingerie-inspired looks.

Images: Calvin Klein Collection; Chloé; Givenchy; Dolce & Gabbana; Piaget; Saint Laurent

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Menswear: east meets west


Embrace all that fashion has to offer this summer

Menswear: east meets west


Embrace all that fashion has to offer this summer

Style > Fashion


 

 

Menswear: east meets west

May 27, 2016 / by B. R.

China has always fascinated fashion designers the world over, and this season saw a flurry of chinoiserie-inspired menswear gracing global catwalks. 

Dolce & Gabbana was filled with homages to the East, from pagoda-patterned T-shirts paired with distressed denim to qipao design detailing that featured on suiting. Birds and floral illustrations decorated bomber jackets and suits in a wide range of hues, from peacocks in citrus trees to delicate fruit trees weaving down trousers. These standout looks were paired with a broad range of brightly coloured suede slip-ons, lending the entire collection a fresh, summery feel.

Gucci was equally flamboyant and showed why the brand is enjoying a hugely successful reinvention among fashionistas. Floral detailing adorned two-piece tailoring in light blue, while more sporty looks were also embellished with florals. The looks were accessorised with tote bags in the house’s signature print, featuring bright and playful floral and animal designs.

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Bold prints, too, reigned supreme at Louis Vuitton, where birds playing among cherry blossoms adorned sweaters and jackets, and floral delicate designs in bright colours appeared in youthful shirting with matching tailored shorts. This season, the necktie emerged as a key accessory – Louis Vuitton’s version featured the brand’s name in a beautifully artistic handwritten style.

Bomber jackets, often with chinoiserie detailing, are this season’s key look, from the patterned looks at Dolce & Gabbana to more minimalist renditions at other houses. Pringle of Scotland’s cream and blue jackets showed delicate detailing; paired with tailored trousers, they update the traditional tailoring and give it a sports-luxe feel. Valentino launched bomber jackets, this time with floral details and paired with classic tailoring, as well as a fun pineapple-print bag.

For the traditionalists, fear not: there was plenty for those looking for something a little bit more classic. Emporio Armani’s blue-hued menswear perfectly showcased the brand’s heritage in tailoring and subtly played with a marine palette in various textures. The urban tailoring collection at Hermès sported youthful neckties – a great option for wearing this season’s bold patterns in an understated way.

From trendy bomber jackets to bold prints, chinoiserie and bright colour palettes, it’s time to embrace the best in menswear this summer.

1, 9. Dolce & Gabbana
2, 8. Louis Vuitton
3, 6, 7. Gucci
4. Valentino
5. Hermès

Images: Dolce & Gabbana; Louis Vuitton; Gucci; Valentino; Hermès

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Fashion Icon: The Burberry Trench


The enduring popularity of the Burberry trench coat means you don’t have to tuck it away for a rainy day anymore

Fashion Icon: The Burberry Trench


The enduring popularity of the Burberry trench coat means you don’t have to tuck it away for a rainy day anymore

Style > Fashion



Fashion Icon:
The Burberry Trench

May 27, 2016 / by Scarlett Thomas

The trench coat and Burberry are pretty much synonymous. Mention the brand and you’ll instantly conjure quintessential Britishness, a rich heritage and that signature check pattern. Most emblematic of all is Burberry’s iconic trench coat, created as a functional piece of kit more than 100 years ago and which has risen to become a key staple of wardrobes worldwide. The appeal of the Burberry trench coat has been very much elevated by its Hollywood associations. Aside
from being a garment of choice for fictional spies, the classic trench has been sported on-screen by a wide range of stars, including Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The Burberry brand was founded in 1856 by 21-year-old Thomas Burberry in Basingstoke, England. After inventing a waterproof fabric called gabardine in 1879, he initially created the trench coat in 1912 for the British military; it became standard issue during the First World War. Traditionally, trench coats are made from cotton-gabardine drill and are double-breasted, with ten front buttons, raglan sleeves and wide lapels. 

Although the basic design remains unchanged, the trench coat has certainly developed over the years. During the war, the classic shape, which came in khaki, was altered for functionality to include epaulettes on the shoulders to display the officer’s rank, as well as D-rings to attach swords and map cases. Burberry introduced its now-iconic check as a lining in the 1920s. In the Second World War, British soldiers continued to don the trench coat – but by then it had spread into the wider fashion consciousness. The palette expanded to include beige, black and tan, with cuffs on the raglan sleeves as well as a belt.

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The trench coat has remained a staple of Burberry and though the classic design is still the brand’s bestseller, today it has branched out into a variety of interpretations. This is particularly due to the influence of Christopher Bailey, who took over the heritage house’s design helm in 2001 and has since come up with some wildly creative trench coats featuring materials including mink, feathers and metallic python. 

Steeped in heritage, Burberry trench coats continue to be made in Castleford, England. The trench coat has maintained its place as a vital garment in any proper wardrobe – not only with a continuous series of updates and alterations, but also by engaging with the digital revolution. Burberry’s Art of the Trench marketing campaign, which began in late 2009, continues to drive business as it encourages people to share their trench coat-clad selfies – in the process, helping connect to the next generation of consumers.

Images: Burberry; Getty Images (Breakfast At Tiffany's)

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Spring/Summer Fashion: The Essentials


From colour to chinoiserie, the hottest trends from this season’s
catwalks – for both women and men

Spring/Summer Fashion: The Essentials


From colour to chinoiserie, the hottest trends from this season’s
catwalks – for both women and men

Style > Fashion



Spring/Summer Fashion: The Essentials

April 1, 2016 / by Babette Radclyffe

As the new collections for spring/summer begin to land in stores worldwide, the leading womenswear and menswear looks are key shopping knowledge. From lingerie leaving the boudoir to Little House on the Prairie tributes, and from frou-frou frills to chinoiserie design details, here’s a round-up of this season’s most essential trends.

Lingerie has clearly taken an outing as outerwear this season – silk slips dominated the runway. Including Victoria Beckham’s luxe take and the classic cool at Calvin Klein Collection, the slip became one of the summer’s must-have dresses. Givenchy and Chloé took a more boho feel with lace trims and delicate fabrics, while Saint Laurent took a ’90s grunge approach and paired the look with fur coats and stoles, knee-high leather boots and tiaras.

From the African savannah to the Midwest prairie in the US, the wilderness proved to be fertile grounds for inspiration this season. Valentino’s designs looked to the plains of Africa, with gorgeous dresses and accessories covered in animal scenes and Masai beading.  

Marc Jacobs wholeheartedly embraced everything Americana, with a patriotic and extravagant red-white-and-blue-hued collection of cowboy boots, Vegas crystals and popcorn-munching celebrities in the front row. Elsewhere, Alexander McQueen’s stunning collection was full of feminine ruffles and floor-length statement gowns. 

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Bold, bright colours are ruling this season’s make-up trends, and so naturally they played a part in this season’s take on womenswear, too. Orange is the colour of the moment, as seen at Hugo Boss – and for those looking for a more subtle colour palette, the collection also offered the sleek monochromatic minimalism for which the brand is so well known. 

Gucci’s geek chic was one of the most hotly anticipated looks, showcasing the brand’s renewed design aesthetic with a collection full of bright trouser suits, wide-brimmed spectacles and classic handbags. Fellow storied Italian luxury label Prada also showcased two pieces, but in this case extremely textured, and accessorised with oversized earrings and gold lipstick. Statement leather accessories and garments were key in Louis Vuitton’s collection, with classic leather jackets receiving a rainbow effect and the bubblegum-pink treatment. 

Updated and contemporary stripes reign this season, from the French Riviera chic at Ralph Lauren and the retro Italian chic at Dolce & Gabbana to the contemporary cool at Missoni. Of course, tweed made a welcome appearance at Chanel in a playful and fun runway show. Get your boarding passes ready for Chanel Airlines; models took to an airport-themed runway, complete with roll-on luggage, check-in desks, and tweed in shades of light pink and green. 

Off-shoulder and asymmetrical gowns perfectly showcased this season’s hottest body zone – the shoulder – as seen in Oscar de la Renta’s sophisticated and elegant collection.

Vivid colours and statement designs also populated the menswear collections this season. Gieves & Hawkes not only stylishly embraced this season’s leading shades of green and blue, but also the must-have texture: suede. Givenchy’s teal-blue collection was full of bright and contemporary pieces, from oversized coats to tailored shorts paired with long shirts. The Hermès menswear line offered staple pieces that stylishly incorporated print into officewear, such as richly printed shirting with sky-blue tailored shorts and skinny neckties. Menswear also arrived in classic grey shades with a fresh update featuring silver accents at Calvin Klein Collection. 

Chinoiserie and a design fascination with anything Chinese permeated menswear offerings as well. This trend was perfectly illustrated on bomber jackets, this season’s must-have menswear garment, as seen at Louis Vuitton. Gucci’s menswear had beautiful floral designs climbing up trouser legs and across bomber jackets with elaborate Asian design inspirations, while Valentino’s bomber jackets came in chocolate brown to complement a vintage 1950s aesthetic. 

Whatever takes your fancy this spring, the season’s top trends are sure to give you plenty of options.

1. Givenchy
2. Missoni
3. Alexander McQueen
4. Chanel
5. Hermès
6. Prada
7. Valentino
8. Victoria Beckham
9. Louis Vuitton
10. Gucci
11, 12. Dolce & Gabbana

Images: Givenchy; Missoni; Alexander McQueen; Chanel; Hermes; Prada; Valentino; Victoria Beckham; Louis Vuitton; Gucci; Dolce & Gabbana

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What’s Hot and What’s Not: April 2016


What’s Hot and What’s Not: April 2016


Style > Fashion



What’s Hot & What’s Not

April 1, 2016

Images: Louis Vuitton; Gucci; Tory Burch; Valentino; Bulldozer Group; Dining Workshop (HK); Alberta Ferretti


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Fashion on Film: Deneuve & Saint Laurent


When Catherine Deneuve met Yves Saint Laurent, 
the on-screen magic began

Fashion on Film: Deneuve & Saint Laurent


When Catherine Deneuve met Yves Saint Laurent, 
the on-screen magic began

Style > Fashion


Fashion on Film

February 26, 2016 / by Scarlett Thomas

France has long been known as the birthplace and home of many of the world’s most stylish and creative people. When two of the country’s most recognisable icons, actress Catherine Deneuve and designer Yves Saint Laurent, brought the silver screen and the fashion arena together, they became an indomitable force that continues to exert its influence today.

It's been nearly 50 years since Deneuve’s career took a pivotal turn as she was cast in the leading role of Luis Buñuel’s cult classic Belle de Jour. In the 1967 film, the actress plays Séverine, a bourgeoisie wife who passes her afternoons as a call girl in a high-end Parisian brothel. 

At a time when miniskirts were all the rage, Saint Laurent’s pioneering idea to style her in flattering knee-length dresses with matching tailored jackets or double-breasted military-style coats was poignant and struck a chord with audiences. It played up the concept of the character’s secret double-life and helped immortalise Deneuve as the epitome of elegant French femininity. 

Séverine’s wardrobe choices continue to inspire contemporary fashion designers, from her vinyl trench coat, fur-trimmed double-breasted coat and camel-coloured shirt dress to her black Peter Pan dress, reminiscent of 1930s Chanel. French shoe designer Roger Vivier was a favourite choice of Saint Laurent’s in styling the actress both on- and off-screen, particularly in Vivier’s iconic Pilgrim pumps.

The subsequent years saw the unique artist-muse relationship between Saint Laurent and Deneuve soar through classic films such as La Chamade (1968), Mississippi Mermaid (1969), Liza (1972) and The Hunger (1983). Their fabulous collaboration continued up until the designer’s death in 2008.

Deneuve embodied a distinctive style for each role to reflect the character, but the key sartorial choices such as trench coats, safari skirt-suits and timeless tailoring appear in every film styled by Saint Laurent, embodying the designer’s philosophy of creating clothes inspired by the male wardrobe as well as a few essential key pieces for every woman. 

Both Deneuve and Saint Laurent reached the pinnacle of superstardom in their respective fields, but it was their enduring teamwork that helped create some of the most iconic fashion moments in film history.

Images: Orange Culture by Lakin Ogunbanwo; Lie Sangbong; Adriaan Kuiters + Jody Paulsen by SDR Photo; Filippa K; Agatha Ruiz de la Prada; Anton Belinskiy; Kate Tolo; Ruban; Dion Lee