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{Time Travel February 2013} Chronicles of Chic: The Colonel has no clothes

12 Apr
Gavin Rajah A/W 2013 Beaded Colonel Hat

Gavin Rajah A/W 2013 Beaded Colonel Hat

The Fashion Week Joburg Autumn/Winter 2013 took place at the Newtown’s Mary Fitzgerald Square last weekend. Among the designers being showcased this year was the local design darling, Gavin Rajah, with a collection saturated with camouflage prints and military style. Is ‘war’ the New Cool? Or just Plain Bad Taste? By EMILIE GAMBADE.

Gavin Rajah’s CV carefully highlights the designer’s personal and business achievements, which he seems to accumulate at a regular rhythm; from opening his couture atelier in 2000, to the launch of Gavin Rajah Concept, an “Events & Interiors” company with client ranging from Nike to Jaguar, Rajah is an embodiment of a South African entrepreneur for the modern times.

Born in Durban, he studied law at the University of Cape Town before embracing fashion, designing his first dress for one of his friends during his time at UCT. The move was to be wise: Rajah borrowed R500 from his parents to start his own business and has since become one of the most acclaimed designers in the country. In 2006, he was the first South African designer to present his collection at the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week and more recently, was the winner of the Design Indaba Most Beautiful Object 2013, with his pebble dress.

On the humanitarian side, the couturier is not running short of good deeds. He launched POSITIVE for Sun International, an event to raise funds for children with HIV/Aids and one year later, in 2007, was named Ambassador of Goodwill for the UNICEF. The organisation praised“Rajah’s transformative contributions to the lives of South African children and their families” and made him the first fashion designer to receive such title.

Rajah is a versatile couturier, a fact that often transpires in his collections; his ranges swing from sporty styles to evening gowns, using the wedding dress as a finale, something common to international Haute Couture shows. Mind you, his unbridled inspiration has many sources that sometimes can fight with each other. But the result often proved to be a nonchalant flirting between detailing, traditional craft and sensual romanticism.

For years his garments with sequinned patterns and gauzy layers have drawn the contours of a South African couture à la française, with a large attention given to craftsmanship, over-the-top embellishments and sparkling embroideries. He surrounded himself with “talented and experienced seamstresses” and the result is often, but not always, professional, refined and elegant; Rajah may not be a trendsetter, but he is a reliable brand in the still green field of South African fashion.

His Spring/Summer 2013 collection of panelled dresses straight out of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita was a masterclass in sporty elegance and modern retro and a breath of fresh air in a fashion week that was desperately seeking style. There is no denying that Rajah has a glimmering signature thanks to theatrical shows that tell stories of drama, femininity and wonderment. Every time his models would hit the catwalk, his creations, style and public sentiment were in perfect sync. More often than not, there is a coherent soul in his collections.

Until now.

Rajah brought to the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg his Autumn/Winter 2013 collection, an interesting ode to the peace/war symposium, a collection of “mythical defenders of peace” as he tweeted on the night. The result: a line up of pseudo-glamorous soldiers standing shoulder to shoulder like modern Amazons, ready to brave a dangerous crowd full of blood-thirsty journalists (seated, Twitter in hand) and flashing cameras (blinding, dangerous).

To drum up the excitement, there was a show before the show – Rajah never lacks imagination in creating a buzz. Outside of the venue, languorously seated on a Hummer, a model posed in a Gavin Rajah corset dress, military print on military truck, a headset of feathers and gold crowning her head, a photographer moving around her, camera in hand, shooting frantically. The beauty and the war, Rajah version 2013.

Inside, the décor was composed of two unstable-looking wired gates heading a rather bare stage; in the first minutes of the show, models lined up in some kind of twenty-first century women’s army, under the sound of machine guns (Can’t you hear the thunder? You better run, better take cover. Even better, wear Rajah military outfits).

Gavin Rajah A/W 2013

Gavin Rajah A/W 2013

In what was supposed to be a dramatic turn, the music shifted to a choir of soft voices flying over the room like angels (hear, hear, this is peace) liberating the models from their inertia.

Beside the heavy musical clichés, guns equal war/ angel voices equal peace, the collection was made of camouflage prints and military cuts, bold metal belts, sporty ensembles, neon touches on tailored blazers, cinched waists, zippered jackets, embroideries in masculine lines and an exaggerated colonel cap fully covered with camo-coloured beads; the range was also punctuated by dresses with plunging V-neck, breasts half visible, cleavage front row to remind us of women’s inevitable chest-weapons and sexual power.

The fact that Rajah found his inspiration in the military is nothing new or audacious; designers from around the globe regularly use the army style, epaulets, cargo pants, sharp lines, belted waists and splashes of khaki in their collections; the military clothing’s trend is still big in 2013.

Gavin Rajah A/W 2013

Gavin Rajah A/W 2013

But inspiration usually means light touches, connotations, taking it out of its original context to twist it into something that should make the audience dream or travel. There is an inevitable cross-pollination of ideas between fashion, art, street culture and politics, but it needs re-interpretation, re-invention and some understatement to avoid vulgarity.

Gavin Rajah A/W 2013

Gavin Rajah A/W 2013

In 1947, French designer Christian Dior’s New Look collection left the world in awe because it fought with excessive romanticism and impeccable elegance of the grey days of World War II. In ‘The New Look: The Dior Revolution’ by Nigel Cawthorne, Dior is quoted saying, “We were emerging from the period of war, of uniforms, of women-soldiers built like boxers; I drew women-flowers, soft shoulders, fine waists like liana and wide skirts like corolla.”

Kris van Assche, for Dior Homme, presented an A/W 2013 collection in Paris that was widely inspired from the military look but he cleaned the lines, simplified the cuts, creating a futurist and minimalist range that was speaking precise lines and innovation. It was strict and elegant, without unnecessary fluff or heavy soundtrack, a fashion response to the general economic doom covering Europe, where rigour and austerity seemed a de facto requirement.

Some of the dresses presented at Rajah’s show, like the black knee-length dress with the gold neck-brace, shoulders and hips short gold wings, could definitely work if extracted from the whole collection; this minimalist and purist style would have been worth a deeper exploration.

But Rajah’s A/W 2013 collection, as rolled out on the catwalk, failed at understanding today’s social context; it also didn’t inspire or make us travel to new horizons. It tried to enthuse the need for ‘peace’ but described women as modern warriors. It used the million times repeated cliché of a woman reduced to her sexual power. It ignored the shouting fact that South Africa is still deeply hurt by the seemingly never-ending violence against women, and the bullet-riddled reality. While staging war as the new sexy, Rajah seemed to forget that violence has already saturated South Africa’s reality.

He could have given us a collection rooted in his well-advertised fights, his desire to ‘transform’ the lives of South Africans; it would have been the right time. He could have presented a collection graced with subtlety, soothing the edges of a nation rattled by pain and regular monstrosity of crimes. He could have given us a collection that would have encapsulated the South African woman, balancing between strength and vulnerability, determinism and fragility, her voice too often silenced, her rights too often flouted.

What we got was a cheap mirage.

As the disappointing show drew to a close, one had no choice but to wonder if Gavin Rajah had lost his golden touch, or if this was just the exception that ultimately proved the rule. Only time will tell. DM

The story was first published in Daily Maverick.

http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-03-14-chronicles-of-chic-the-colonel-has-no-clothes/#.UWfs5CuMEVk

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#Wanted: Chronicles of Chic, Fast Fashion for Ordinary Folk

16 Oct

The concept is simple: reverse-engineer luxury collections revealed on international catwalks, translate them into cheap, less extravagant versions, ship them lightning-fast. The result? A multi-billion dollar empire of mac-fashion, built on chic democracy and creative rip-off; also known as ZARA. By EMILIE GAMBADE.

Born in 1975 in the little town of A Coruña in Spain, ZARA is a fashion retail octopus with 1,850 stores worldwide, a growing presence in 85 countries and a CEO that conquered his way to being one of the richest people in the world, with his wealth estimated at $37-billion dollars. What started off as a rather prosaic entrepreneurial success story turned out to be an incredible lesson of retail mastering and copyright frivolity.

If it were not for the cunning, unbeaten and almost overpowering way of bringing high fashion back to the street and nurturing prêt-à-porter addiction into millions of women worldwide, the brainchild of Amancio Ortega would probably still be a store with a Slavic name, in a rather inconspicuous village in the north of Spain.

A boy forced to leave school before he reached fifteen, Ortega is now 76 years old. He began his career in the fashion industry walking through the artists’ door, taking his chance by designing and manufacturing a Shetland pullover, selling a few units to a local clientele; no matter how conservative the product was, the sales kicked off and the rest is his story: Ortega’s net worth today is US$37.5 billion.

But what made ZARA a business success and a fashion brand with antennas in every major cities of the world, what set it apart and enabled it to walk through the gloom of recession head up and heels sharpened, its net profit rising 30% last year to €432 million on almost €9 billion? Simple, sort of: it is its unique – at times controversial – supply chain of products. When Louis Vuitton collaborates with Yayoi Kusama, one can expect ZARA’s designers to jump on the Japanese artist’s trademark design and quickly flood stores with dresses covered in polka dots. Daniel Piette, chairman of LVMH Investment Funds, quoted on CNN.com, once described ZARA as “possibly the most innovative and devastating retailer in the world.”

Plagiarism doesn’t seem to worry the company; fashion is, after all, quite a permissive bitch.

Zara’s retail fairy tale starts at its headquarters and local all-in-one center in A Coruña; their design team dissects trends and digests collections otherwise inaccessible to the public except through the pages of international fashion magazines (that is, if you are not among the very few who can afford Prada, Dior, Proenza Schouler and consorts). The team pares down the runway collections to manufacture only limited numbers of pieces – its interpretation is often impeccable. Collections are snapshots of wearable couture, stripped of any furbelows and excessive frills.

This naked version of high fashion, where form matters more than depth, where sweat, time, creativity and passion haven’t shaped a garment, but were rather invested in preparing it and distributing it to the world, is not intellectual ready-to-wear high-end, but fast-fashion for the masses. At times, and mostly by chance, it may even turn into collectable garments that will make their way to the vintage age, but that is not meant to be its destiny. Mostly, it will end up in the junk fashion trash bin.

ZARA’s stylists not only absorb what is thrown on stage by international designers, abridging garments, morphing bits and pieces into less stratified space; they are also constantly trailing and checking the current state of sales of major international fashion houses; watching what sells and what doesn’t helps them shape and direct their own production. It’s simple, clever and completely Machiavellian.

Yet ripping off other people’s designs and tracking their sales’ beats is not the only sneaky approach to fashion that ZARA is joyfully and successfully applying. Ready-to-wear and Haute Couture are desirable because they often offer very limited pieces, magisterial collections glorified by luxurious fabrics, falling like silk gloves on a woman’s body; a garment walks on the runways, is displayed in select salons, and bought by an élite clientele who wants to satisfy immediately its hunger for fashion; instantaneity is the rule, there is no tomorrow in the merciless world of the fashionables.

Today, exclusivity is not reserved to Haute Couture. ZARA replicates ‘it’s limited, therefore it’s exclusive’ collections with a retail twist; garments flying out of their factories, no matter how successful the sales or how popular they are, are never reproduced; if you want it, buy it, because soon it’ll be gone.

Chris Viljoen, fashion editor for Sarie magazine, who was part of the ‘launch group’ that went to A Coruña before ZARA hit our shores, says, “They want you to come to the store and want [a garment] because it might not be there tomorrow; they make lot of ranges that are very short; they design and produce eight for every store; if you go to the store and if you don’t buy it now, it might not be there tomorrow; they are creating a bunch of fashion magnets around the world, who need to go to the store and get their ‘fix’ now; if you love those trousers, you need to buy them now because tomorrow it’s going to be gone.”

The shorter the ranges, the faster the production and the distribution. ZARA’s supply chain is a well-oiled machine, a full circle of retail, with a starting point in Spain. Viljoen remembers, “the design center decides to do a jacket; few ladies [sitting] next to the designers make the pattern; they send it electronically to the factory; the pattern is perfect when it leaves the design floor. The factory produces it; two weeks later, it’s in the store. (…) When something is packed, it is steamed, ready, all the shop assistants do is unpack the garments and put it on the floor. They only steamed in extreme situations; they told us [that] from inception of the garment to the store, it is two weeks. This is crazy.’

Add to the formula the stores that are merchandised and replenished twice a week, whose managers report daily to the designers at headquarters, and you have the perfect recipe for fashion addiction in the form of retail; a woman’s dream – a haven of apparently unique and exclusive clothes for a next-to-reasonable price, and shops that never carry an air of déjà-vu.

Is this going to impact South African stores? Surely it will. From Woolworths, Truworths, Edgars to the Platinum Group, local retailers, who used to shop their ideas on the shelves of international brands like ZARA, Top Shop or Abercrombie & Fitch, will now be forced to dig their creativity somewhere else and pump up their game and supply chain with a tote bag filled of energy and inventiveness.

“It is going to be a complete different concept now. From idea conception to the store, in South Africa, it means three to six months. They go overseas, they buy samples from ZARA, they come back, brief their suppliers, send the patterns to China. The whole process is laborious… now, a lot of them are realising they have to edit [ranges] for their consumers. They are all being hysterical, big time,” says Viljoen, who also consults for various brands.

This ‘hysteria’ might raise the bar and finally add onto South African rails and hangers ranges that are innovative and desirable. It might also force local retailers to have windows that are both visually attractive and fresh, away from pseudo-iconic white orchids dying of heat and other repetitive shop-window props. But what will shape South African retail space is its ability to understand its clientele in the global world and support the development of local talents and factories.

Hopefully, it will also push retailers to wake up from a long era of comfortable yet boring fashion repetitions purely based on sales sheets; it will influence them to create trends and move forward because, yes, fashion does fade, as Coco Chanel once said.

Fast-fashion is not couture. It cannot pretend to design unique pieces meant to last a lifetime, passing from one generation of women to the next, prints of stylish eras; but it can reinvent itself constantly and offer desirable ranges. Style, after all, is not the prerogative of the rich. Zara proves that every day. DM

Photo: Labels are seen on clothes at a Zara store in Madrid September 19, 2012. REUTERS/Susana Vera.

http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2012-10-05-chronicles-of-chic-fast-fashion-for-ordinary-folk

#Undisclosed: Conversations with Karl L.

25 Jul

It was a cloudy day in Paris. Walking up the streets in my Isabel Marant Poppy Court open-heels, painting the pavement in red, the Métro Hotel de Ville behind me, I headed to the narrow rue du Bourg Tibourg. A dog passed by, sniffing the floor with a wet muzzle, hair falling off his back with a little misery and a touch of sadness.

‘Chin up, soldier,’ I said, with not much reaction but a frown on the old dog’s head. I hid my head deeper in my shoulders, warmly wrapped in my fur coat; désolée darling dog, no offense to your genre, it’s fake McCartney.

Isabel Marant ‘Poppy Court’ Shoes

I was meeting Karl, KL, Lagerfeld for the crowd. Oh, évidemment, he would be late, or would not come, or make me wait or send a fake but there I went, French frog in Paris, notebook in hand, meeting the man behind the catogan.

Conversations with Karl and Mini-Karl. #Serious

He had agreed to meet me in one of his secret beat-that-for-a-find spot, a tiny punk restaurant rue Lepic, filled with smoke and electric guitars. I arrived thirteen minutes past ten, two minutes before ETA (estimated time of arrival, for the non-jet-setters out there – yawn – )

There he was. K the Great. The L before Chanel. He was sitting straight on a leather club armchair perforated with silver nails, hair tightly held in a pony tail, his usual catogan pulling his head backward. He looked in front of him, Mini-K set on his lap, ears wide opened, Chanel sunglasses piercing his eardrum with the strength of a hammer (la mode is merciless). Karl didn’t drink or eat. Not yet. The smell of a rotten boeuf bourguignon floating in the room didn’t seem to bother him. I was hungry and wanted to order one of the pain au chocolat dying and drying on the comptoir. He said he had two macadamia nuts and one quarter of a rocket leaf.

‘Food is a bitch,’ he noted. With a twist of the hand, he grabbed a macaron from Ladurée and smelled it with envy.

‘Food is a real bitch,’ he added. ‘Look, right now, while I’m seating here as if a stick was gracefully stuck into my spine, I’m actually wearing a Jean-Paul Gautier’s corset’ (oh, come on, you cheater…). He swallowed painfully, placing the macaron on the side of the table, his eyes reaching the ceilings, God helps his empty stomach.

The music suddenly changed, hovering on us like a Chippendale popping out in the middle of a Tupperware reunion. In half a millisecond, Rock n’roll solitude, Karl L. was hitting the (dance) floor. The beast was out.

Conversations with Karl (getting out of control)

un peu de rOck, mon cher?

So yes, évidemment, he looked like he could have been high on paint fumes, his catogan a sudden unrestrained mohawk;  the man has grace and electrified the place, turning the bistrot into a Studio 54 revival. I tried to join, pumped up by the music, but one of my heels got stuck in the table cloth and I ended up rolling under the table like Paris Hilton on a heavy night; I hate you, Marant.

So, yes, I may never be able to recover from this fashion faux-pas, but who cares, Karl is a punk and I’m his witness.

Egocentri.citY: W.A.N.T.E.D. … A miracle.

8 Feb

W.A.N.T.E.D.

(Wild And Nebulous, Tempered & Evanescent Design) (for WOmen)

VANESSA BRUNO Spring/Summer 2011

I want evanescent dresses, fluorescent make up, top-to-toe prints.

I want lace, slipdresses, fabric flower earrings.

I want to fly just over the water as if I was an angel falling from a cloud.

I want to have water flooding in my car and still smile because, oh oui, it is so damn avant-garde to be driving under the ocean.

I want to hit the camera lens shooting at me because, bien sur, it is so evidently progressive to have my face incognito, RIP Facebook, Youtube and the Wild Wild Web of public show off.

I want drape, tropical-print silk dress, plaid knit bikinis, I want the Vanessa Bruno Spring/Summer 2011 Collection.

I want it all and I want it now.

I want… a Miracle.

Vanessa Bruno S/S 2011

Vanessa Bruno S/S 2011

Vanessa Bruno S/S 2011

And Miracle(s) happen….

Egocentri.citY: the day I walked Out (almost) naked.

12 Nov

Photo: Mason Poole/Paul&Joe/ D&G/ DiorThe day I walked Out (almost) naked, I had turned into a desperate fashionista. It was late in the evening, my Hus(rOck)band was drinking an Eccentric Elmer, his favorite smooth BOurbon cocktail while reading the Mail & Guardian and I was nose-into-the-pages of my fashion schoolbook Jalouse Magazine while chewing a fraise Tagada.

The day I walked Out (almost) naked, I had spent the night reading about the not-to-be-missed-not-to-be-ignored-never-to-be-shared T.R.E.N.D. (To Repeat Especially Naked and Drunk) of silk and fur and leather and GOld and silver and corsets and blink-of-an-eye and smile and Ladies Going Out in Their Lingerie as if, oh what the Hell, there was a problem with grocery shopping at Checker’s in panties and Chantilly lace bras.

The day I walked Out (almost) naked, I looked at my wardrobe and decided Less Is MOre, Go Dive into the Mississippi pants, dresses and skirts, I will go (almost) naked or I’ll die. I carried Yves (Saint Laurent) on my hips and Christian (Dior) on my bum, and off I went, Out in the streets.

The day I walked Out (almost) naked, I did not go very far. Naturally. An old lady looked, shocked, a poodle barked, it was cold, raining, the elastic of my girdle sheared off my skin and my corset was making me turn into a dehydrated suffocating tomato.  Walking Out (almost) naked is so yesterday, anyway. Oh BOy, where are my denims?

Photo: Mason Poole/Blouse: Chloe/Panties: Playtex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Mason Poole/Body: Vanessa Bruno/Shirt: Celine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Mason Poole/Tweed jacket: Louis Vuitton/ Panties: Dior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Mason Poole/ Blouse: Sandro/ Bras: Eres/ Knitted panties: Veronique Leroy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guess by Guess Marciano

Egocentri.citY: The Person YOu LOve is 72.8% water.

7 Oct

This POst contains material that parents may find suitable for younger children. Many parents may want to watch it with their younger children and their friends and family and other hilariOus neighbours. The theme itself may nOt call for parental guidance and/or the program may contain one or more of the following: some suggestive inspiratiOn (I), infrequent opinions (O), some sensual shopping temptations (S), or moderate craving for buying (C).

Dear PETA,

I do not fancy your actions, although the cause might be wise. I do not find very moving or mind-blOwing when you decide to send a rather hysterical woman with a pot of fresh blOOd on the catwalk during fashion week and harass the poor fragile (and rather delicate) model. Already this very-delicate-walking-like-she-has-some-kind-of-hips-disjunction model does not smile and is not what one would call a supreme symbol of happiness, excitement and OverJOy, but having you throwing at her a whole bucket of sticky gooey red liquid won’t help her to reach the nirvana either.

No, I don’t really enjoy seeing you at the corner of the street with signs claiming “Be Veg or Die” except if D.i.e., you would concede, is the abbreviation of Do Intense Exercise, which could make sense since eating meat might require a little extra push ups.

I do not support you completely, dear PETA, although I hear a lot about you, and truth is, small inconspicuous creations might have more impact than big aggressive actions.

LOok at Matt&Nat highly dangerOusly desirable handbags and my WOrd to the Heavens and the Seven Seas that you will never ever want to hurt one single fly.

Made out of non-animal material each product contains at least one recycled element and on average 21 (yes, Madame PETA, TwentyOne) plastic bottles are recycled to make linings for the bags.

As one would dare to say, eat that PETA, it’s purely Vegan.

http://www.mattandnat.com/

Hendrix... Whatever the name when you have the style...

Laroux - very ROck'n ROll indeed

Egocentri.citY: SHOcking!

30 Sep

This POst contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children. Many parents may want to watch it with their younger children. The theme itself may call for parental guidance and/or the program may contain one or more of the following: some suggestive dialogue (D), infrequent coarse language (L), some sexual situations (S), or moderate violence (V).

Every year, millions of animals are killed for the clothing industry. Whether they come from Chinese fur farms, Indian slaughterhouses or the Australian outback, an immeasurable amount of suffering goes into every fur-trimmed jacket, leather belt, and wool sweater.

(PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: http://www.peta.org/issues/default.aspx)

Stella Mc Cartney does it extremely desirably well. She creates, thinks, draws, sews, stitches and vOila! women from the world would just give their Gucci handbags and Burberry trench for one of her impeccably cut jackets. No leather. No fur. No arm to any living around Her.

Others don’t do it this well, although the result is, one would concede, as irresistible.

The pictures below can be harmful to compassionate souls.

Watch, lick, blink, admire, savor, enjoy, and remember, Faux-Fur is sO 2011, darling…

I Need One - Sleevless coat (Rene Derhy)

Oh temptatiOn... (Rene Derhy)

Wild Wild WOrld (Isabel Marant)

Forest-Fire (Michael Kors)

W.A.N.T.E.D. (Isabel Marant)

Egocentri.citY: What GOes Around COmes Around.

23 Jul

Karma, providence, the channelling of universal energy or just plain goodwill, call it what you will, making the world a better place through our actions is the heart and essence of GIVE IT BAG. Proceeds from the sale of GIVE IT BAGs help many charities & social projects perform the amazing work they do to help uplift our nation, essentially helping you shoulder some of the load. And by simply buying and carrying a GIVE IT BAG, you also contribute and show your support for fair trade principles.


Made in South Africa with local labour, GIVE IT BAGs are produced from re-used polypropylen transport sacks that have travelled the world, carrying anything from coffee to food aid. These sacks are then handpicked, cleaned, cut and transformed into GIVE IT BAGs by a group of South Africans as diverse as the bags themselves. The very nature of this meticulous process means that the attractive and distinctive design of every GIVE IT BAG is unique.


Each bag also has its own personal number, which not only shows that it is unique, but also serves as your own “tag” with which you can use to post any of your own good deeds at http://www.give-it-bag.com <
http://www.give-it-bag.com> . You don’t have to do anything earth shattering, not that we want to hold you back, but every good deeds counts. By posting all of our good deeds, no matter how small, we can inspire others to do the same and help make our world the magnificent place it can be.
Make a difference, inspire others, GIVE IT BAG!

Oh la la! Another gâterie on its way!!

Egocentri.citY: Precious-ness & other delicacies for the Eyes.

22 Jul

Une gâterie.

Oh, it is just… A gâterie… A little-absolutely-not-important-but-so-essential treat, this very precious moment in life where throwing your diet by the window, jumping your two feet first in a boulangerie, you will buy yourself (head rolls over your heels) an éclair au chocolat. This very delicate whisper of wilderness where, walking in the street under the rain, you throw your umbrella away, Gene Kelly revival, to F.E.E.L. the rain. A treat, a pleasure, a delight, a little sparkle, une gâterie.

Fashion is this very modern contemporary gâterie women fall for every (now) and (then)(and even more). Except that the pleasure lasts longer. There is a timeless delight looking at a beautiful pair of shoes, feeling the perfect cut of a shirt sliding on one shoulder, wearing a funny hat and feeling irresistible; it is a treat you can give away, share and talk (long long talks) about.

Fashion is a delicacy for the Eyes. Wi(L)de opened.

Delphine Charlotte Parmentier

Delphine Charlotte Parmentier - Paris, rue du Bourg Tibourg.

Every Girl should have a "grigri" necklace. All charms OUT.

My grandfather made this watch. He was a jewelry maker in Paris. Meticulous. Passionate. Patient.

The GOlden Shoe (by Jonak - Paris). Entrez dans la danse!...

The Delight is in the Detail. (Comptoir des Cotonniers, skirt from Summer Collection 2010)

The Silhouette. (it's not a gâterie anymore but a necessity) (Isabelle Marrant Summer 2010)