The Pussy-Bow Blouse

Clear out your misconceptions that the pussy-bow blouse belonged only to the Thatcher era, teamed neatly with a prim pencil skirt. No longer simply a byword for ladylike, it’s been rekindled as an emblem of bohemia for the autumn/winter 2015 season – a movement spearheaded on the Gucci catwalk, when Alessandro Michele made romance and whimsy relevant again.

Think the Bloomsbury group; carefree and liberated over its previous confrontational, stiff and buttoned-up incarnations (which came teamed with tweed and traditionally “heritage” looks circa 2004 and 2005). The new season suggests sheer and lace is the way forward, flamboyance combined with the ethereal.

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This new rendition of the pussy-bow blouse will bring a lightness and ease to your standard jeans, making even the tomboys among us embrace a dose of femininity. And that was the point at Gucci. But where you can, you should opt for wide-leg trouser or a midi-pleated skirt – because this makes quite the difference. And those aforementioned pencil skirts should stay right out of sight – they simply don’t allow for wafting into the new season, nor do they hint at whiling away the afternoon reading a book in the quiet corner of a library.

Ease yourself in gently with a skinny scarf and get used to having a knot at your neck – Chloe, Bottega Veneta, Paul Smith and Haider Ackermann showed you how. And if a blouse just isn’t your go-to garment, then opt instead for one of the season’s folkloric autumn dresses, their penchant to unravel at the throat with slinky little laces are most alluring.

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The Babydoll Dress

The babydoll dress is swinging back into action, which means it’s going to be a season of pins on parade. It’s been some years since the style was hanging on the rails, let alone in our wardrobes. Fashion went androgynous, it went normcore and then it went and had a love affair with the Seventies and suddenly romance and ethereal shapes wafted back into the minds of designers and both waistlines and hemlines were on the rise.

They are again.

For the pre-autumn/winter 2015 season, Dior, JW Anderson, Valentino, Chloe, Calvin Klein Collection all put forward the case for the dress, which although based on Fifties nightwear and a doll’s style of dress, manages to be one part smart (the structured high neck or yoke-based point from which the trapeze silhouette falls) to one part easy (that’s a swingy skirt for you). And it’s something that looks set to stick around for the pre-spring/summer 2016 season too – Mary Katrantzou, Chanel, Prada and Saint Laurent have all done a version.

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And the great thing about them is that you don’t have to think too much about what you wear with them – they will take centre stage when it comes to the outfit. But you do need to make sure you get it right, or suddenly the babydoll will look all wrong.

The secret lies in a great coat – a fuzzy Louis Vuitton number from the autumn/winter 2015 collections is the way to aim; or if wearing in the last of those summer days, then a faithful leather jacket will work – and tap into the garment’s original mod appeal.

When it comes to shoes, flat simple sandals will fit the bill to see you out for the next month but then you need to switch to boots – ankle will be best, or a brogue. Knee-high or more will feel too retro to a decade we’re starting to say goodbye to (the Seventies in favour of the Eighties). A flat shoe or boot feels modern and mod and keeps the whole look youthful, which is entirely its intention. But that doesn’t mean it can’t look smart. Opt for more structured shapes, detail on yokes and collars, long sleeves and cuffs for this.

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Spring/Summer 2015 Versus Versace

IMG_8593 IMG_8600Some things are made to go together; gin and tonic, strawberries and cream, salt and vinegar, say, so too Anthony Vaccarello and Versace. He – the master of the slit and slashed minidress and pioneer of all-out sex appeal often delivered on leggy best friend, Anja Rubik; and Versus, the sidekick of Versace, the Italian house that practically invented sex – are a match made in heaven.

Half of the battle of a house producing a winning collection is in the hiring of a designer who just “gets it” and the hiring of the Belgian (of Italian descent) here is not much short of genius. Bravo to whoever cooked up that contract. One can only imagine the fun Vaccarello must have had mining the archives. It must have felt like all his birthdays and Christmases had come at once. Gold! Medusa heads! Bondage strapping! Safety pin dresses! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

All of that was whipped up tonight (even, including BFF Rubik). There were so many brilliant looks here today and here’s the crux of it, and really, where others before him have perhaps failed; he kept it simple. Firstly, it was almost all black with gold accents, well, why over-complicate matters when that will do just nicely? It wasn’t all thigh skimming miniskirts, there were some great low-slung tailored trousers partnered up with bondage-backed bodysuits boasting gold chokers as halter necks, as delicate as fine jewellery, and elsewhere, unbuttoned black silk shirts (sometimes, combining the two into a fierce jumpsuit). He rendered the medusa head into super desirable belts, and re-proposed the safety pin dress into a neat proposition for now.

And even better news: it’s all available to buy online now. One question, what are you still doing reading this?

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