Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Chanel S/S 12 voted best fashion Brand campaign by St Martins students

Looking at this image you could be forgiven for wondering what it is advertising! Obviously Pearls! No you are wrong I'm afraid, it is the Spring Summer 2012 Fashion brand campaign for Chanel. Photographed by the great man himself Creative Director extraordinaire Karl Lagerfeld! who has the uncanny knack of being canny! Here we have an image of a woman in a snorkling mask mimicking a burka - where do you think a large number of couture clients reside - ? Chanel is the epitome of Luxury - yet unless you are in China or India it is not deriguer to show your wealth at the mo with the current pathological hatred of bonus culture.
Here we have an image in black and white - seemingly ordinary until you see the booty she has scooped up from the deep. There is a reference here to the iconic 1956 film 'And God Created Woman' directed by Roger Vadim premiering and staring Brigit Bardot. It was filmed in Saint Tropez on a beach that Karl Lagerfeld knows well as he has had his holiday home there for many years. The shot was probably taken in a studio and then digitally enhanced being placed infront of a sea image. This photograph stood out from all the other high end luxury brand advertising we reviewed in Week 2 of my 'Art Direction for Fashion' class in February. My class of 17 students is made up of an international demographic, The UK, USA, Spain, South America, Japan, China, Germany, Australia, South Africa, France, Ireland, Russia, Ukraine, India, Middle East, and Italy so the view point is worth noting. 
The Chanel woman looking confidently straight into camera with a glamourous simplicity makes  this image a winner for most markets.
Chanel is an independent label as yet not swallowed up by LVMH or PPR and long may it remain so. Karl Lagerfeld is not to be underestimated.

The Highs and Lows of Shoes - summer trends in Verona

This image was taken on the swanky shopping street of Via Borsari and sums up shoes trends at the moment. The choice is agony or ecstasy depending on your view point.
Do you like high ?or is low for you ? I know which looks the most alluring!

Sweet 1980s homage from parochial italian brand Elisa Franchi
Glitter a hot trend for the summer 

il Laccio brand - Bardo- esque gingham

More bows - 

Let is flow - 1970s styling - wear with wide leg trousers and floppy hat!

Glam rock - in the pink!

classic Italian 1960s styling

1940s wedge

My favourite Prada - not politically correct, as a result cool!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Paul Smith Show LFW A/W 2012

One of Paul Smith's models after his great show in February at the Royal Horticultural Hall London 
Natalie Massenet of net a Porter fame, recently divorced I have heard arriving for the show, quite Anna Winter like.

Natalie Massenet finding her seat a few rows in front of me, note the gold belt she is wearing.

Paul Smith A/W 2012. This simple blue polos neck says it all, simple and classic, want this colour !
I really like the colour phasing on these trousers.

Mods and Rockers theme, Teddy Boy jacket, androgyny with a fem twist, so sexy

Prince of Wales check with a difference,  the Sunglasses set it off
Clever use of strips flatter here

Love the brown and blue combo in this slim line skirt and top

Dress looks good on the model but maybe harder for others to carry off!

Virginia queen of rarified vintage couture, I have known about her shop for years - it is an amazing Aladdin's cave of covetable fashion pieces - to be found in 'the Cross' Notting Hill. She blogs for Vogue. 
I like this outfit, stylish and sexy
The drain pipe trousers suit, what is good for the boys is also good for the girls!
The man himself, a great show again

1950s Beatnic meets 1960s Mods and Rockers best describes the signature styling of Paul Smith's latest show collection for Autumn Winter 2012. His woman is cool and confident and looks sexy and business like in her boyfriends clothes!  Skirts did play a part and were slimming and sexy esp when combined with the androgynous tops, shirts and jackets. Worn with high shoes this collection is another winner. Sir Paul Smith has the knack of mixing style and gender classics to create something new and sassy. 

Friday, 6 April 2012

Fashion City Sleuth -Maison Scotch in Verona

An interesting visual merchandising concept
The logo a classic type face similar to Ralph Lauren!

Loved the T shirts - very good quality cotton

The video here is great - reflects the easy going lifestyle the brand wants to sell

Born in Amsterdam Holland this cool preppy brand stood out in the smart shopping street of Via Cattaneo in Verona Italy. In the same customer demographic category as Aubin and Wills, the look is cool and laid back with the European grungy well heeled assumption of understated cache the preppy brands like to portray. Hilfiigger is neat and contained in comparison, Maison Scotch is free and edgy with frayed edges and quality fabric and finishing. 
I like the visual merchandising and was attracted into the store because it looked different. The logo is a classic serif. Calling itself 'couture' is an interesting and for me somewhat inaccurate description of the product. However it is trying to attract a higher end consumer who has the means to buy into this market. The branding photography image of capturing a aspirational lifestyle moment was effective. Maison Scotch has a world wide presence it will be interesting to see the New York branch when I am there in September after London Fashion Week.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Fashion City Sleuth - Verona Vintage treasures

The shop owners Chanel shoe boots looked great
The Vintage designer shop I found in Verona at the weekend

Find this amazing Vintage shop on Via Quattro Spade

Note the Purple Dior Alligator skin hand bag

Glamourous merchandise of the highest cache quality
Vintage Chanel evening bag and belt

Note the size 40 Chanel shoes - a snip at 1900 Euros worn once apparently

Original Chanel Dresses and Jackets, shoes and bags  

Vintage Dress Pucci
Karl Lagerfeld Jacket
Skin at Salma Hayak's wedding to Francois Henri Pinault

Verona is a city that surprises. I have been to Rome, Venice, Tourino and Firenze all lovely cities to explore but none of them as intimate and friendly as Verona. Our flight out went very quickly as we found ourselves sitting next to Skin the lead singer of British Rock band Skunk Anansie, never to forget a face I struck up a conversation with her with my friend. Clearly very tired she and her band had just finished recording their latest Album in London well into the early hours and was on her way to Italy for her Wedding which will take place in a few weeks at an exclusive and very secret location that I promised I would not reveal. Skin is very fashion savvy however she really doesn't like to do press and keeps herself very private, however she said that she may well give me an exclusive shot of her Wedding outfit, so watch this space.
We all know about 'Virginia' the fabulous vintage shop in Notting Hill, where the likes of John Galliano and many other designers love to have a good rumage for inspiration don't we? It is located in 'The Cross' near the uber cool boutique of the same name frequented by Claudia Schiffer and the other Yummy Mummy set. This little shop I found at 22 Via Quattro Spade in Verona on Saturday is just that kind of place too. If you are a particular fan of Chanel there are masses of original pieces to add to your collection. Appointment only we were lucky enough to pass the shop just as the owner was finishing with a client - I particularly liked the vintage Pucci dress above, a classic design and timeless in it's appeal. Sadly it was the  wrong size! 

copy Schelay McCarter