Trousers in Paris? Mon Dieu!

paris

Paris, welcome to the 21st century at long last. As of January 31st, an ancient, and somewhat bizarre, law is no longer in place. Not just any old law, this one banned women in Paris from wearing trousers. The French were lenient though, a Parisian woman could wear her trousers if, and only if, she was “holding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse”. Or if she plucked up the courage to ask the police if she might be allowed to “dress as a man”, i.e. wear trousers, that very unisex item of clothing.

Shocking, no? Parisian women have been wearing trousers apparently illegally for a good while now, but fear not, you no longer need to worry about being locked up should you choose to don your cigarette trousers, palazzo pants or boyfriend jeans and stilettos in the French capital. Thank the sartorial gods for Yves Saint Laurent, who boldly showed a woman wearing a trouser suit in 1966, making trousers unisex, and not something which us ladies need permission to wear.

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Unexpected, Therefore Fashion

What does this riddle of a title mean exactly? Well, it’s actually pretty simple. When an outfit has an unexpected twist, it leaves the realms of the everyday and becomes stylish, becomes a statement. Breaking the mould is easier than we think.

Take the recent trend of buttoning shirts up all the way to the top. Whereas the preppy Ralph Lauren 3 buttons undone look was once favoured, shirts fully buttoned are now a go to look for women everywhere. This was a new, unexpected twist on the shirt. Unfortunately said look has become so widespread that is no longer falls under the heading ‘unexpected, therefore fashion’. It has had its day, as most trends inevitably do. Fans of this look can keep it up however, simply add a statement gold necklace over the shirt to give it some interest.

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Fashion(Ed) In London Returns

After a brief hiatus during which much time was spent in the library,  I am back in the world of Fashion. What a wonderful feeling! So here are some of the things that have been going on while my head was stuck in books, essays and poetry:

Sign your allegiance

New York boutique Les Plus Dorés have released a range of varsity-style t-shirts sporting the names of your favourite designers on the back, meaning we can show the world our brand loyalty. Not only do they have their names, but the numbers correspond to the year in which each particular designer was born. Nifty. So now in the Simons at Dior vs. Slimane at YSL debate, you can proudly show your team loyalty. Available here.

images from LPD website

Fashion Goes Disney

New York department store Barneys has collaborated with Disney to produce a film named Electric Holiday; the film follows Minnie Mouse dreaming her way to Paris Fashion Week. Along the way, she meets some of Fashion’s biggest names: Anna Dello Russo, Alber Elbaz, Carine Roitfeld, Franca Sozzani (long-standing role model for this blogger), Emmanuelle Alt, Juergen Teller, Pat McGrath and many more. The film looks very cute indeed but unfortunately it can only be seen in store. Let’s hope it’s released to a  wider audience later on!

images from Vogue

Thanksgiving Parade Re-imagined

John Januzzi has created a series of drawings depicting big fashion names as huge balloons in the illustrious Macy’s’ Thanksgiving Parade. A fun (and probably very popular) idea!

images from becauseimaddicted

And Finally…

It’s that time of year again: sample sale time! This week boasts Erdem, Christopher Kane, J.W.Anderson, Alexander McQueen and Nicholas Kirkwood sample sales.

Erdem: Tuesday 4th December 8.30am – 8.00pm
Wednesday 5th December 8.30am – 5.00pm

The Future Gallery
5 Great Newport Street
London
WC2H 7HY

Christopher Kane: Friday 30th November 12.30 – 8.00pm

The Mercer Street Studios
16 Mercer Street
WC2H 9QE

J.W.Anderson: Friday 30th November 4.00 – 8.00pm

37-75 Shacklewell Lane
Lighthouse Studios
Dalston
London
E8 2EB

Back to the Future for YSL

The fashion world has been rocked by the recent news that Hedi Slimane, the new creative director of Yves Saint Laurent, has made the executive decision to rename the fashion house Saint Laurent Paris, thus taking it from YSL to SLP. When thinking about writing this post, I was determined to put a negative spin on it and point out all the reasons why it’s bad. But research, and time to mull it over, have changed my opinion altogether.

As it turns out, Yves Saint Laurent opened his first ready-to-wear boutique under the name Saint Laurent Rive Gauche and only added Yves when he started making couture. So rather than changing the house and taking it in an entirely different direction, Hedi Slimane is actually taking the house back to its roots. This is very positive, especially as Yves Saint Laurent was a bold designer who broke fashion rules and changed the face of the fashion world, paving the way for the innovation we have now. There are 3 examples of just how he did this: firstly, Yves Saint Laurent was the first couturier to create a ready-to-wear line in 1966 (Saint Laurent Rive Gauche). Secondly, he was an early champion of the trouser suit for women, becoming known for ‘le smoking’ which is the YSL equivalent of the Chanel little black dress, thus consolidating the relatively recent idea (at the time) that femininity is not confined to skirts and dresses, and it gave women the option of a new, elegant, liberating way to dress smartly. A woman in a tuxedo will always stand out from the crowd and look effortless and chic.  On top of this, YSL was also the first designer to use black models in his Parisian catwalk shows. If the reversion to the old name of the house brings about more breakthroughs like these, then it can only be positive, not only for the YSL brand, but also for the fashion world.

Dropping the Yves may also turn out to be a good thing in the long run for the couture element of the house. The  YSL couture house was shut down in 2002 due to criticisms of the designs. A new name may bring about a new era of YSL (or should I say SLP) couture, and that is something we can only look forward to and hope for!

All in all, whilst the name change may not seem necessary for such a widely recognised fashion house, there are definite positive connotations that go with it. I for one look forward to seeing if Slimane can live up to the boldness of the man who created the original Saint Laurent brand and can follow in his footsteps by breaking the rules of the fashion world for the better.

‘Le Smoking’ – photograph by Helmut Newton

Spring 2008 Ready-to-Wear

Prefall 2010

Prefall 2012

Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear