Sunday, 27 January 2013

John Galliano Take 2

Scandal and gossip are the best kindling for a good story and nothing really gets more scandalous than fashions's premier creative genius having a drunken anti-semitic rant, having it caught on camera and being completely disgraced and fired from his enviable position as creative director at Dior. And so I introduce Mr John Galliano.

John Galliano

A quick summary of Galliano's career up until his downfall can be found here:

Yet more intriguing than witnessing an individual's fall from grace, is seeing them return to prominence. A pleasure that is just a sick facet of human nature I suppose. So cue salacious excitement from fashionista/o's when it was announced that Galliano will be returning to fashion with a 3 week stint at Oscar de la Renta in preparation for New York Fashion Week (beginning 6th February).
Óscar Aristides de la Renta Fiallo
de la Renta, who has dressed every single first lady since Jackie Kennedy, was trained under Cristobal Balenciaga himself and has nurtured a career as elegantly spectacular as his creations, without publicised drama or misconduct. The partnership with Galliano seems well matched with both designers favouring to create spectacularly intricate gowns that use the most complex of construction techniques.  

Oscar de la Renta SS11                                                                                                                     Christian Dior AW09

So what of Galliano's return? Is it too soon? Should he be forgiven? Naturally these are the questions that have flared up from the press and two obvious camps of "for" and "against" Galliano's come back have formed. 

Rather than rolling through the argument and counter-argument and arriving at a neutral/pointless conclusion, I am going to plainly present my opinion so that we all no where we stand. I have always felt "playing devil's advocate" is a game for pricks quite frankly, a way of hiding what YOU actually think so to speak.

Hence, I do declare:

"I am happy to see the return of John Galliano to the fashion world" - Cristo 2013

Galliano's "I Love Hitler" rant is horrendous, a man in his position of power should know better and alcohol is no excuse however I feel in this case talent must prove superior to regrettable drunken wrongdoing. 

This is not a Paris Hilton-Lindsey Lohan type case where fame has been used to take shortcuts, reduce punishment and speed the process back to power. Fame comes with great benefits as well as considerable negatives. Were Galliano not famous his anti-semitic slander would never have been so widely publicised. It is unfortunate but true that far worse is spoken by many everyday yet goes unacknowledged. I stress that I am not for a moment condoning his behaviour what so ever but merely expressing that I feel his behaviour on that evening is not connected to his abilities as a designer, which are unmatched in terms of creativity, theatrics and vision. It would be a shame to lose these forever more.  

Lastly, Galliano has spent the last two years in rehabilitation for alcoholism and has publicly expressed repentance for his actions. My mother's favourite phrase is "credit where credit is due" and I feel this is a time to live by this expression. Apology accepted John (from me anyway, do you agree?), now show us why you are known as a rare gem of creative talent.



Friday, 18 January 2013

Cashmere Competition

The snow has begun falling, society descends into chaos and like a shining beacon providing hope and warmth I am going to run a wee competition. And yes I have Scottish blood in me so I have every right to use the word “wee” as an adjective.

I follow the general credo of “When it’s cold, wear cashmere” because quite frankly fleece is a fucking disaster! Investing in a good cashmere jumper is worth the money. Cashmere is incredibly warm and won’t make you look like you’ve swallowed a child. As much as I love a good chunky knit. Sometimes you need to look a bit less casual and cashmere is your answer. 

Therefore I am happy to announce the opportunity to win this delicious grey crew neck jumper from luxury cashmere brand Gladys & Pixie.

The cashmere is from Mongolia if that makes you more interested!

Look at that detail!! The Mongolian cashmere fibre is one of the finest in the world.

The jumper comes in a size S. If you are a size S woo hoo, if not or a boy what an incredible free present you'll be able to give and claim that you bought, or option number three...ebay!   (and there's no point in keeping it from you its original retail price is £145).

To enter, simply like the Cristo Clear Fashion Facebook page and share the Cashmere Competition post. To be entered twice follow Cristo Clear Fashion on twitter. Links below. Why wouldn't you? A winner will be drawn at random on Monday 22nd January 2013 at midnight. 



Thursday, 17 January 2013

London Fashion Week Countdown Begins

Clear the diaries and note the date for the countdown to London Fashion Week begins (again)! LFW will officially begin in just under a month, commencing on Friday 15th February and running until Tuesday 19th February. But that's not a week I hear you cry...well tough, that's the way it has always been so find someway of coping.

In February we will see the Autumn/Winter 2013 collections and I for one look forward to what London's designers have to offer, especially bearing in mind that black (the staple colour of winter) is a major trend for this summer and I am sure the highly fashion conscious will be looking for something new.

The preliminary schedule has been released ( and I have made two lists below. For each day of LFW I have selected two designers. One that I feel fashionista/o's will appreciate (The Miranda Priestly choice) and then one that I think those who feel they don't know/understand fashion should check out (The Andy Sachs choice). If you've never watched The Devil Wears Prada, firstly shame on you! And secondly you will struggle to understand those references. Photos below show the designer and examples from their last collections. 

Friday 15th February

Miranda's Choice: Central Saint Martins MA 
The elite postgraduates selected by fearsome course director Prof Louise Wilson OBE, will send their graduate collections down the runway for the first time. This show is a must see for those scouting new talent and looking for the success stories of the future. Expect the weird and wonderful but an assured display of talent in every garment. 

Andy's Choice:  Zoë Jordan 
Awarded WALPOLE Brand of Tomorrow in 2012, the designer has gone from strength to strength. Her aesthetic is built on sleek and clean lines that whilst highly feminine has an androgynous edge that provides a powerful vibe. Her designs are highly wearable and always use a fantastic colour palette. 

Saturday 16th February

Miranda's Choice: Thomas Tait
The Canadian designer who debuted just last year, is the wonder boy of structure. The garments hold incredible curve silhouettes, and the garment construction techniques are obviously complex but effortlessly accomplished. 

Andy's Choice: House of Holland
Henry Holland's bold and colourful collections have resulted in collaborations with Topshop in the past and is a great designer to watch if you are looking for fun without the "why are they wearing boxes on their heads" aspect that a more directional designer might cause. 

Sunday 17th February - THIS IS THE BEST DAY IN MY OPINION AND I COULD HAVE PICKED SEVERAL! I know that I am going to be settling in with my popcorn and notepad and watching the live streams of pretty much every show. 

Miranda's Choice: Jonathan Saunders 
Having won the Elle Designer of the Year Award 2012 and the Vogue Fashion Fund Award 2012, Saunders has a lot of pressure on his shoulders to deliver a knock out collection. I am confident that he will, having fallen in love with his menswear collection I don't see why this cannot be repeated for womenswear. Master of print and colour and an exquisite artisan using silk I am sure the collection will be worth a gander at the very least. 

Andy's Choice: Mulberry
Creative Director Emma Hill has transformed the brand since she took the supple leather reigns in 2007 increasing profits to nearly £50million. The show is always strongly themed has seen the addition of bicycles and poodles accompanying the models down the runway in previous seasons. This show will definitely express the entertainment side of fashion shows. 

Monday 18th February

Miranda's Choice: Tom Ford
Prior to his menswear show held last week Tom Ford was the last designer to refuse press access to his shows. Instead choosing to release a few selected images well after the show. Whether this had diva-ish intent or not, his attempt to keep his shows exclusive somewhat backfired when influential press and bloggers began slating him. Once again the power of the internet crushes a traditional set up, however in this case I am rather happy about it. Ford produces collections of rarely-rivalled quality which is widely known, but this season you can see it as it happens as opposed to waiting a week, which after all in thus day and age might as well be a year! 

Andy's Choice: Burberry Prorsum 
The undisputed crown jewel of LFW, and to be frank, why wouldn't it be? In numbers, Burberry is London's most successful brand by...well... tens of millions. As a global super brand Burberry draws attention from the press, buyers, a sneaky chav or two who thinks they can still pull it off. Everyone! Expect a big budget show littered with celebrity front row occupants. Watch this show if you want to get the gist of what shows are all about. 

Tuesday 19th February

Miranda's Choice: Haizhen Wang 
Pronounced "Hi-jen", I speak Mando so don't mess yeah :p Those immersed in the fashion world sould be eager to see what this Chinese designer, who won the Fashion Fringe Award in September 2012, has to offer. Unsurprisingly with circa 1.4billion people China produces a fair few designers but few have achieved international acclaim. With China becoming more and more influential in the world in every aspect, I am eager to see what Wang can bring to the table.   

Andy's Choice: Roksanda Ilincic
Admittedly having worked for Roksanda I could be accused of being biased in my decision. Well you are wrong, cause even with this in mind as the queen of colour, Roksanda's collections will surprise and gently challenge the fashion fearful amongst us. Combining classic draping with contemporary colour and fabric choices results in consistently well received collections. Some pieces you may love and some you may hate (cue marmite analogy) but regardless deserve your attention.  

That's all...



Tuesday, 15 January 2013

51 Is The Magic Number: PPR & Christopher Kane

For those who follow the fashion industry you will probably already know, in which case just continue reading for my hilarious banter which is O so entertaining. 

For those who do not, remember how I did a post about the rumours of who would take over the creative helm of Balenciaga and that Christopher Kane was most likely to be the successor? If your having a tumble weed moment you can remind yourself by following the link on the right ----------> 

Christopher Kane 

Christopher Kane was presumed for the Balenciaga role after he split from designing for the Versace diffusion line Versus and had meetings with PPR executives (the French luxury goods conglomerate that owns Balenciaga), the plot thickens. Then Alexander Wang was announced with the role and we all get very confused again, until today when it is officially announced that PPR has bought a controlling share in Christopher Kane. The business is estimated at $27million, you do the maths! 

So what does this mean exactly? Well, it is hardly going to affect our day to day lives but it is a positive step for British fashion. Christopher will now be officially secured into fashion's elite. Even with the likes of McQueen and McCartney, British fashion, encompassing it's home grown and imported London based designers, is held in a somewhat disjointed regard by the global audience. London Fashion Week for example, whilst gaining more and more support and admiration is still considered the runt of the litter in comparison to the Cujo's that are Paris and Milan. By PPR purchasing a dictating share in the brand, Christopher Kane, a British brand will be propelled exponentially into global awareness.

Being bought by PPR is essentially like being hand selected to win the lottery. Naturally colossal amounts of work will be required to make Christopher Kane a global name but and I'm not naively suggesting that the funds are endless but money will no longer be the worry that it once was for the brand that was only conceived in 2006. PPR owns the following brands:

  • Balenciaga 
  • Bottega Veneta 
  • Gucci
  • Yves Saint Laurent
  • Alexander McQueen
  • Brioni 
  • Stella McCartney 
  • Sergio Rossi
  • Boucheron
  • Girard - Perregaux
  • Jeanrichard 
  • and now Christopher Kane

To steal Jane Fonda's line from the L'Oreal advert "Not bad, huh?". The plan is to follow the standard expansion protocol of establishing a stand alone store (then another and another), increase market budgets tenfold and introduce a diffusion line.

Check out Christopher Kane past collections here:
Or shop the collection at Net-A Porter:

Kane's work is undoubtedly impressive and talent has assured him a successful career that lead to him being hand selected by Donatella Versace to lead Versus. Akin to the Versace family, Christopher Kane the brand is directed by Christopher and his sister Tammy. I am excited to see how the company grows with external (French) influence and hope the aesthetic this sibling management team have developed remains strong. Regardless I will most avidly be waiting to comment. 



Acting Fabulous: The Golden Globes Fashion

Clearly the Golden Globes are a big deal in the acting world. Actors account for a large percentage of A-list celebrities in the world. Celebrities are a major marketing tool in terms of endorsement. Therefore if a major celebrity wears a particular designer on the red carpet it is a huge promotional boost. And so the circle is completed: The Golden Globes are big deal in the fashion world.

Like or hate the above theorem, celebrity idolisation firmly exists and one must resign oneself to the fact that the essential question from the press to red carpet walkers is: "Who are you wearing?". 

Having spent yesterday reviewing every single outfit and doing my tax return (major productivity points) I have selected three looks that stood out as being appropriate, stylish and set to reward the brand. 

Amy Poehler
Amy wears Stella McCartney tuxedo with Chopard jewellery

Comedy Actress Amy Poehler walked the red carpet in a Stella McCartney tuxedo. By going shirtless she confidently pulled off the plunging neckline of the tailored jacket which was a major feature of the Saint Laurent SS13 collection. It is worth mention that this is an amazing alternative to wearing a dress to your next big event, it is simple and easy to recreate, just make sure the jacket fits damn well! Stella McCartney will no doubt gain sales having covered the shoulders of a co-presenter of the awards and was the only non-dress look of the evening (excluding all the men). 

Anne Hathaway
Anne wears Chanel bodice and full length skirt

White, clean, delicate. The clothing choice Anne Hathaway's stylist made worked perfectly.   Thanks to her scalping for her role in Les Mis, Anne has brought the "pixie" look to attention. The look was so aesthetically pleasing that Harper's Bazaar featured Anne as their cover model for the February issue. The red carpet outfit is actually taken from Chanel's SS09 Haute Couture show but the look comes together so well on Anne that I think white and two pieces are going to be propelled back into popularity and secures Chanel's position as a market leader that produces timeless pieces. 

Julianne Moore
Julianne wears custom Tom Ford

Julianne revealed on an interview with E! that she requested Tom Ford make her a dress and I am pleased that she was so audacious to do so. The result is a monochrome dress with long sleeves and a high, flat cut neckline with an elegant dropped back. Monochrome is massive for SS13 and while many state we should not be dictated by trends, I would call monochrome a classic style and this dress is a prime example of how monochrome is wonderfully flattering and timeless.  

I'd try out one of these looks at your next big event, although you might have to settle for the budget version, not all of us have Tom Ford's direct email address...Lucky bitch! :))



Monday, 14 January 2013

AD-CAMPAIGNS : A picture paints a thousand words, so make sure you take a bloody good one!

It is as clear as the day is long that ad-campaigns are the most important medium for large brands to project their message to "the people". This applies to everyone from Prada to M&S. Akin to a market stall trader yelling "roll up, roll up" ad-campaigns draw wider attention to a brands products after the major shows which even with online streaming are witnesses by a niche of fashion fanatics.  Images are often projected nationwide if not globally and have an undeniable potential to secure the success (or failure) of a seasons line.

The pressure on an ad campaign is huge as the few images must do the following:
  • Convey the brand's identity
  • Highlight the brand/products' unique selling points 
  • Exude class and sophistication 
  • It must be aspirational 
  • It must hit the target market
  • Yet accessible 
  • It must be visually attractive
  • It must be memorable 

With January being a time of fresh starts and failing resolutions, I am going to review the fresh batch of ad-campaigns and propose a failure and a success story. All views are naturally my own but I shall support why I make such decisions. Let me know if you feel the same or disagree by commenting below. Enjoy:  

Louis Vuitton - LuuuuuuuuuuuuuuViiiiiiiiiit

Immediate thoughts: the models are twinned as they were on the runway show displaying excellent continuity, the 60's influence is obviously apparent through the hair styling, the geometric check and favoured canary yellow are presented as the primary themes of the season by being everywhere in the frame. 

Finale of the SS13 show
Intricacies: the noting of the set designer in the bottom left corner indicates that the set was commissioned adding an element of elitism that is quintessential of Louis Vuitton. The smaller the font of the brand name the stronger the brand, the subtle placement of the words Louis Vuitton in the bottom right corner is discreet and is a direct marketing ploy forcing you to remember the image and associate it with the name, so as soon as you see checks you go "O that's Louis Vuitton". 

A* Louis Vuitton, you have achieved the checklist. 

Burberry Prorsum - Will produce results, but for the wrong reasons 

Last season Burberry's ad-campaign for its most luxurious line (Prorsum) was glorious (see below), the black and white cinematographic styling oozed luxury and british class. This season rather than maintaining that, a gimmicky disjointed campaign has been produced with a heavily featured Romeo Beckham.

AW12 Campaign

The models are starkly posed with every image containing a wide smiling Romeo. Not that I wish unhappiness upon the boy but it just doesn't fit. I also have issues with the retouching. Overdone on the face to almost mannequin levels of unnaturalness, yet not matched on the hands and legs resulting in an uneven finish. Lastly the metallic shirts and trench coats that I deemed sensational when I saw the show back in September and still believe having checked them out in store, have been shot in a way that makes them look thin, uncomfortable and cheap much like a thermal sheet you see wrapped around marathon runners or natural disaster survivors.  

Now don't get me wrong, the use of David Beckham's son translated marvellously into column inches as I am sure it will into sales. I have read numerous articles commenting how little Romeo is following in his mother's fashion footsteps and so the Burberry name is spread. Many have noted how Romeo stole the show and brought energy into the campaign. Call me cynical but would this have been so if it were anyone but David Beckham's son, I am inclined to say no.  

And perhaps I am too emotional over a few images, but everything has a knock on effect. As much as this pains me to write this I think using easy celebrity-hyped publicity isn't fitting for one of the world's most successful luxury fashion brands. Technically this ad campaign will produce good results but is it fantastic fashion imagery?!?!