Excuse these very cheesy, but superbly effective, photos from the Heidi Klein website. I am not about to put myself on my own blog in a bikini, I'd need Mert & Marcus and French Vogue for that. However, these two are my summer 2011 bikinis. My wardrobe for a couple of weeks in the sun, give or take a Club Monaco white T-shirt, TopShop pink shorts and a throw-on cotton dress that I've had aeons.
I haven't needed to update my bikini collection for ages. At the end of summer they go back in the bag for another year. But when I went to fetch the bag a few weeks ago, the bikinis had aged like an old woman. The elastic had crisped up, and the cheaper bikinis had lost their lustre and gone baggy. That's the thing - cheap bikinis like the fun ones at TopShop, last one summer. Which is absolutely fine when you've got a taut 20-something body and change your style with the wind, but not fine when you need, as I do, to make my boobs appear bigger my butt smaller and to get a shot of beach confidence. Lets face it, it's difficult to look sleek and chic when nearly naked in 30 degree heat, and a good bikini is more than half the battle.
So, onto my choices. The "Capri" in plum and the "Chile" in chili. The Capri's cleverly padded bra gives the impression of more upstairs by filling out the outer planes of the boob area and pushing them together to create a bit of cleavage. The bra doesn't look padded when on the body either, which was the clincher. That and the fact the bikini bottoms are so low-key they do not draw the eye in any way. Also, the colour is really flattering and very on-trend, (fashion has to come in somewhere), and the high quality fabric can handle a daily sluice of seawater followed later by laundry soap. It comes in a slate colour too, which I would love to have bought but I'd already smashed my budget buying these two.
The Chile bikini, apart from the divine orangey red colour, has four widgets on it - two on the pants, and two on the bikini top. These widgets move, and in moving them you can play with the shape of the bikini, thus making your body proportions appear different too. It is rather miraculous how effective these gilded plastic widgets are. When I'm wearing mine the widgets on the bottom stay pretty much where they are, as shown in the picture above, but I pull them down about three inches on the bikini top, and ta-da, my boobs look a little more pert.
The moral of the tale is this: don't scrimp on your skimpy bikini.
One of the huge privileges of being the Fashion Editor at Large and working with Grazia is that, for the last four years, I've sat on the NEWGEN panel for London Fashion Week. NEWGEN is about recognising and nurturing fresh new talent, and giving it a platform through TopShop sponsorhsip. When I see how well former NEWGEN designers such as Chris Kane and Erdem are now doing, the rewards speak for themselves.
But NEWGEN is not the only fashion sponsorship program in town as I discovered when asked to sit on the selection panel for Vauxhall Fashion Scout. VFS is the junior version of NEWGEN. David Koma graduated from VFS to NEWGEN 18 months ago, and indeed got noticed when his VFS show was rammed and editors tried to squeeze in to his off-schedule event housed at their permanent show space at the Freeemasons Hall in Covent Garden. In short, Vauxhall Fashion Scout is a force for good.
The most coveted sponsorship prize from VFS is the Merit Award. The recipient gains a fully sponsored catwalk show and exhibition space at Vauxhall Fashion Scout during London and Paris Fashion Weeks, and three years business support. I have to say that when I first saw the upcoming September SS12 Merit Award winners Leutton Postle, comprising knitwear production expert Samantha Leutton, and CSM MA 2011 graduate Jenny Postle, I was somewhat lost for words with a sense of awe at the handmade brilliant madness of the work. At first it was as if Michael Van Der Ham had taken crystal meth, but then it sinks in that this is ALL KNITTED....
Jenny Postle's Central Saint Martin's MA graduate show
With knitwear having a resurgence much in the same way print has done over the last five years, Leutton Postle have possibilities for growth and development that we can't even imagine yet.
The girls mission statement: "[our work] freely embraces riotous colour, unusual surface texture and rich pattern to create beautifully offbeat knits for women. Each piece is handmade and aims to produce truly original couture-quality knitwear by pushing the boundaries of technique and design."
Kicking off their business with a sponsored catwalk show is most fortuitous; now its over to them to design and create summer knitwear (a challenge) that will keep the Browns Focus customer (they have an exclusive AW11 deal with the above collection with the store) and hopefully others clients and retailers happy.
I know all of us on the panel of VFS are very much looking fowarsd to the Leutton Postle show in September.
Gucci's was the number one most influential catwalk collection for Autumn/Winter 2011. Frida Giannini is on a roll. From a high fashion perspective it was a slam dunk in evey way - the colours, shapes and silhouette's will have a massive uptake at red carpet events globally for the next six months. And just you wait until you take a stroll to your local high street retailer - those colours, shapes and silhouettes - ops, I mean clothes inspired by them - will be everywhere. I've seen the evidence.
Luckily for us, we can enjoy the purity of the design as it was intended before the stylistas of the world ruin it with overkill, by taking in these rather fabulous photos of Flo on her American tour. I hope Flo brings out some new material soon...in the meantime this new material suits her just fine.
Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine performs on stage at Central Park SummerStage on June 24th , 2011 in New York City.
Flo works her chiffon as she opens for U2 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Wednesday, June 29th , 2011.
Flo offers up her best Kate Bush impression at Spartan Stadium on June 26th , 2011 in East Lansing, Michigan.
I realised after posting my Haute Couture wishlist on Friday that I'd over-looked Givenchy and Alaia. So here is Givenchy. I need to post these images if only to maintain my tradition on this blog to wax in awe at the work that goes into the modern masterpieces created by the lovely anbd talented Riccardo Tisci . OK, so the delivery is much the same, a "team" photo of sorts, and the silhouette, look and feel of the clothes follows directly from the last Givenchy couture, but if it ain't broke...
In terms of the girls in this picture, the casting agent responsible has placed the worlds hottest young editorial and advertising models in the world now together. Quite a feat in every which way you look at it, from logisitcs to having the innate knowledge that each of these young women, in their own way, have the magic of "nowness". Nice to see Saskia de Brauw in there (she's the only short-haired model), her outfit is my favourite too.