I love when bloggers, street-style stars and stylish-people-in-general are all spied sporting a new styling piece, particularly when said piece harks back to memories of growing up in the 90s, and costs little more than your daily coffee stipend. Enter the bandana, whose prominence has caught me eye of late, and to which I am now a huge convert.
A big advocate of the trend is the ever-effervescent Leandra Medine (aka Man Repeller), whose record of sporting a bandana can be traced back to at least March 2014. A chameleon who knows how to get mileage out of some of the most nondescript of accessories, Leandra has shown that the bandana is one of the most effective ways of channeling what is now known as ‘the third piece’.
That’s right, by simply adding a bandana to your style arsenal, your outfit is instantly lifted into high-style stakes. Whether sporting all black head-to-toe, or testing out this season’s denim boiler suit, adding a bandana is one of the easiest methods of taking it to the next level.
Beyond looking fantastic with just about anything, the true beauty of the bandana is two-fold. Firstly, you can wear it any number of ways: rolled right up and tied neatly around the neck, arm or wrist; as a hair-piece; tied loosely around the straps of your handbag; or, my personal favorite, channeling your inner cowboy and wearing it as a neckerchief. I can speak from personal experience when I say it looks amazing when a bandana square is folded in half and tied around the neck. I wore mine this way when going for a brief stroll around town just the other day, and, even though I was in my comfy, town-strolling uniform (aka my ripped-knee black jeans, white tee with statement black print, and black slides), my lil ol’ bandana managed to turn heads (in a good way!). And, if you are looking to have fun with your neckerchief style, do as I did and tie it around your hair, allowing you to try the stylings of a shorter ‘do without the commitment.
The second fundamentally amazing aspect of the bandana? The price. Sure, you can shell out your hard-earned dollars and get the lovely Saint Laurent version for $265 (and let’s be honest, that’s probably going to be one of the most affordable and accessible pieces from the brand). But if you ain’t so keen on parting with that much dosh, then look to our old high-street favorites. Zara will kindly gift one to you in exchange for $15.90, or do I as I did, and spend $7 (yes, that’s actually less than the cost of two of my morning coffees), at ASOS.
And for my Aussie friends, why not go even one better and support children’s cancer charity Canteen by purchasing a pack of 6 for as little as AU$4 per bandana. Not only will you look good, you will feel good too. So you see, it is possible to be a stylish, buckaroo-channeling fashionista who performs good deeds – who knew?
Another Met Gala has come and gone, and in case you decided to tune out of all forms of social media in the past 24 hours, this year’s gala celebrated the Costume Institute‘s latest exhibition, ‘China: Through the Looking Glass‘. Celebrating the East’s influence on Western fashion and art throughout history, the exhibition set the tone and theme for the gala, and the red carpet arrivals did not fail to fascinate.
Despite inciting some controversy and opinion over the cultural-sensitivity of certain guests’ attire (some questionable, others intelligible and in-depth), I believe for the most-part that all who attended did so in the spirit of celebrating the beautiful Eastern aesthetic and its impact on Western arts. With that said, here is my summation of last night’s looks, where the ‘Best Dressed’ constitutes those that dressed appropriately to the theme, to the formal level of the event (it is one of the biggest Fashion Nights after all), and to the ability to look downright amazing.
These four looks were exactly what last night’s Gala called for, with each woman giving a subtle nod (or an outright explicit shout out in the case of Rihanna) to the theme. I loved the references to traditional Chinese dress in Kate Hudson’s modern rendition of a Cheongsam; the unique decorative detailing in Jess Hart’s gown was exquisite; the use of vibrant red and gold, the colors strongly associated with luck in Chinese culture was on-point for all four women; and Rihanna demonstrated her fashion chops by showcasing one of China’s foremost couturiers, Guo Pei. These looks truly were the stand-outs, paying homage not only to the theme, but also to the cultural institution that is the Met Gala.
Diane Kruger and Sienna Miller’s trouser get-ups were not only red carpet appropriate, but in my mind also subtly referenced the beautiful silk pajamas associated with Eastern culture. I admired most of the women who donned silk in reference to the theme, however Alexa Chung and Emily Blunt’s embroidered silk, as well as Lily Aldridge’s collared silk gown, stood out. Sarah Jessica Parker’s headpiece was beyond wonderful, and it couldn’t help but conjure thoughts of the Dancing Dragons that emerge for each Chinese New Year (shout out to my sisters and brothers-in-law who are heavily involved in this!). While Anne Hathaway’s look was daring, I loved it for the silk and the gold, again a color so prominent and important in the East – to me it was a fantastic, modernized interpretation. And while Amanda Seyfried’s white graduating hem-gown sadly wasn’t on theme, she just looked so damn beautiful, and her gown so gorgeous, I couldn’t help but give her a special mention.
NICE TRY, BUT NOT FOR THE MET GALA
Don’t get me wrong, I thought JLo, Kim and Beyonce all looked AMAZING! But, and it’s a big but, (no pun intended there shapely ladies!), the looks either had nothing that referenced the theme, or even if they did (here’s looking at you JLo), they just were not Met Gala appropriate. These are the kind of gowns perfect for a premiere, or even a Met Gala celebrating trend-forward fashion, but for a Met Gala celebrating the Eastern Culture’s influence on the West? It’s just doesn’t sit right. Better luck next year ladies!
FORGOT WHERE YOU WERE GOING?
I get it – dressing for the Met Gala would be hard, but come on, these looks were better left for anything other than walking the red carpet at the Met Gala! With the exception of Jennifer Lawrence, who I only included as I found her dress so underwhelming for such an event, I wouldn’t flutter an eyelid if I saw some of these outfits out and about around town. Chloe Moretz, who usually gets it so right, looked like she was headed off to a nice Sunday barbecue; Miranda Kerr and Dakota Johnson looked like they were girls on their way to dance their little hearts out at the club; Constance Jablonski looked set to enjoy a nice boozy brunch in her pool slides; and Cara Delevingne, who perhaps forgot she won favor for being daring in trousers last year, looked like she just wore the same thing but in black and with some fake tatts – it just made me go meh! Here’s hoping next year these guys remember they are going to one of the most important fashion events, and you know, dress up?
And, that’s it! My wrap up of the Met Gala done for another year. Now let’s get the countdown started for 2016!
Following her domination at the Fall 2015 fashion runway shows, where she walked the catwalks for no less than 15 collections, and her crowning by US Vogue as a member of the new ‘Bratpack’ (so defined as being a member of the “Instagram Aristocracy”), Kendall Jenner’s plans to completely rule the fashion world have been taken to the next level. Calvin Klein have just announced that the brunette beauty is the face of their new campaign, and it can’t be denied that she, and the images from the campaign, look amazing.
The thing that makes Kendall so likable as a model is that she appears ‘accessible’. Her looks have that down-to-earth quality, and it wouldn’t be far-fetched to imagine having Kendall in your inner circle, or to some, even looking like her. Her beauty is natural and familiar, creating the opportunity for people to fill in the blank with their own minds about what, or who, the model represents. Combine that with her versatility to transform into a whole breadth of different characters – such March Jacobs’ futuristic, alien-esque normcorist or Estee Lauder’s cool Parisian – plus her demeanor suggesting she wants to make a legitimate career out of modeling (and is not hungry for down and dirty fame like other members of her clan), and it is no wonder this model is one of the most in-demand for fashion and beauty brands today. Now, if she could just nudge her big half-sister out of the way….
So turns out brides were onto something, judging by last week’s Spring 2015 Couture runway shows. Veils are making a comeback, and not just for weddings and funerals. Spied at both Giambattista Valli and Chanel, veils were used in both shows to emphasize the prominence of sheer, tulle-like materials in the coming season, whilst also adding an element of drama and intrigue. It’s a styling trick that can (and should!) easily be adopted into every day wardrobes.
Of course, it’s not the first time that veils have been a ‘thing’. The cult Jil Sander/Stephen Jones-collaborated veiled beanie debuted in the Spring Summer 2012 collection, and her high priestess of fashion Anna Dello Russo was spotted staunchly supporting the trend throughout Spring 2012 Paris Fashion Week.
Miley Cyrus and Rihanna carried the veiled beanie torch through 2013, and in February 2014, Joan Smalls also garnered street style kudos when she was spotted in her veiled beanie on the streets of Milan. Even yours truly has been spotted around Melbourne, Berlin and New York over the past 12 months wearing this wondrous accessory.
This Spring, however, the veil will be present in much more heat-friendly forms, from a simple stand-alone veil a la Chanel, to headband veils such as this Jennifer Behr style at Opening Ceremony.
While it may seem too fashion-forward to some, this is one accessory that can really take an outfit to the next level. If the compliments and the intrigued yet appreciative looks I get when I wear my veil beanie are anything to go by, then it’s definitely worth taking a chance on this emerging trend. Need more inspiration? Just look to blogger extraordinaire Chiara Ferragni adding edge to her sublime burgundy suit with a bejeweled veil.
As I mentioned in December, I completed a fashion journalism short course at the London College of Fashion late last year. Here is one of my favorite assignments from the course – ‘conveying fashion photography with words’. My approach is not quite conventional: it’s a creative way of describing the mood and themes of the shoot, what the fabulous Tim Walker and the Vogue Italia team were ‘saying’ about fashion in January 2012.
“I have a present for you little one, it’s a little Dolly, yes just for you. All little girls need a Dolly, for little girls grow up to become ladies. And do you know what ladies do? Well they always look as pretty as can be, yes just like your Dolly.
So brush Dolly’s hair everyday, just as Nanny brushes yours, and dress Dolly in a lovely little dress with laces and buckles and bows. She will need a different pretty dress each day, but that’s ok, because as Daddy loves you, he will buy you lots and lots of pretty dresses for Dolly. Yes of course they can all be the color of cotton candy, because Daddy loves cotton candy.
And see how bright-eyed and happy Dolly is? Just like Dolly, a lady must always be fresh and happy, no matter how tired or fed-up she feels. A proper lady knows her nose must always be powdered, her lips coloured and bright, and her cheeks rouged. If not, a lady’s husband may not be happy, and that’s not good, because a husband’s happiness must always reign.
Always model yourself on Dolly, little one, especially when you are a lady with your very own husband. Smile like Dolly, and say very little. ‘Yes dear’ are the only words you will need, don’t forget that ladies need only be seen and not heard. And just like Dolly, your hair must always be groomed and styled, your frock freshly-laundered and your expression rested at all times, wrinkles are not very becoming for a lady.
Yes, little one, it will feel like you are trapped in a pretty little prison. And yes your sanity will slowly start to slip away, day by day. Yes, to the point that one day you will realize your mind has gone completely mad. So mad, you think you can’t maintain your pretty appearance one moment longer.
But that’s why you have Dolly, little one. Always look to Dolly. Pretty. Little. Dolly.”
To me, the editorial was very much about childlike madness: a repressed, attractive female adult regressing into a world of insanity. She lives in her own world of happy childhood memories as a form of escapism from the current day pressures of keeping up appearances to society and ‘friends’, putting her husband’s needs above her own even without his respect, and generally not having the ability to do what she wants as she was taught that it would be ‘unacceptable’. I interpreted the doll and its size as representing the magnitude of this female’s insanity. Tim Walker’s whimsical, wonderful and wondrous approach lends itself to such creative story-telling, rather than a simple description of what is happening in the image. My interpretation and copy was written after sighting the one image above, below is the full editorial shot by Tim Walker for Vogue Italia January 2012 and featuring the charming Lindsey Wixson. It is truly beautiful.