Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

It has got so that I'm almost embarrassed to start blogging again after the intense working period I've just experienced. I was hired by a start-up fashion web business as a consultant a couple of days a week, who asked me to accelerate them into BETA launch mode and set the agenda on how they communicate fashion.

After a few months diverting the energy for what I would be doing here to them, I felt rather empty, despite the huge online learning curve and sense of achievement for my client. A light had gone out. Last weekend I was finally forced to admit how much it means to me to have this as an outlet. I resigned from the start-up.

Now, I'm back and taking my ickle blog to a .com in January. Only something extremely special and worthwhile will take my attention away from this again.

There is such a backlog of thoughts to share, and I have got to start somewhere. So will start in St Petersburg, Russia. I visited a couple of weeks ago with Liberatum Global the organisation that, thanks to its inspiring founder Pablo Ganguli, (a fabulous 26 year old anglo Indian man with a penchant for eyeliner - below), brings together global leaders and creatives in the arts and culture, and parachutes them into a city so they can share and educate.

Pablo Ganguli with art critic/writer/film maker/dealer Danny "Boogie Woogie" Moynihan

Last June Pablo did Istanbul/Istancool. Then in November St Peters Ball with the Corinthia Hotel group. Last week he threw a dinner for Nobel Laureate V.S Naipaul at the Langham in London. Next year he takes his cultural caravan to Rio.

Pablo is passionate and totally inspiring. “It is vital to develop greater understanding between nations through cultural dialogues. People need to speak to each other face-to-face, as opposed to solely through the net, from different continents if we are to truly, broaden our minds and gain better understanding of each other,” is the kind of monologue he launches into daily.

The program for St Petersburg was somewhat stymied when a key component of the schedule, artist Matt Collishaw was rushed to hospital with a perforated ulcer a day before he was due to leave London. However other artists, including photographer Polly Borland, the taxidermy artist Polly Morgan and musician and Razorlight frontman Johnny Borrell delivered interesting talks to the culturally engaged Russians who came to the free events.

The divine Polly Morgan

One of the most striking things about St Petersburg was, of course, the Soviet hangover that lurks in the dark corners of the city like so many ghosts. It is a stunningly beautiful city, but even 20 years after the Soviet collapse it looks and feels a bit unloved.

Imagine being a fashion designer in post-Soviet Russia?

I was fortunate to meet St Petersburg's most famous fashion designer on day two of the visit, one Tatyana Parfionova (below). In the year following the fall of communism, Parfionova was the first Russian fashion designer to do the western thing and open a fashion boutique.

Now in her late 50s the designer remembers "We were all still buying food from street markets, the old system had collapsed. There was no new system, and in this situation I opened my shop. I put my name above the door. I put my name in the tag in the back of my clothes."  This many sound a perfectly ordinary thing to do to western ears, but it was revolutionary in Russia at the time, and Parfionova is an iconic figure for it.

Her designs are all handworked one-offs. The clothes have an indy folky couture element to them that harks back to the 1930s. When one of her evangelical staff informed me that "She makes one of everything, and only sells to you if she like you," I was taken back to the 1990's. Tatyana would have to change her approach drastically, if she were fighting to be recognised in the clamour of the London market.

If you want an exquisite embroidered shawl featuring a detail from a work at The Hermitage museum, Tatyana Parfionova is your woman.

Her distinctly old school work is all created by hand by her team of artisans, who specialise in embroidery. Tatyana spends much of her time painting flowers, (below).

Meeting Tatyana was an eye-opener, reminding me how lucky we are in the west to have the freedom to create without boundaries. Progress creates progress.

51 Nevsky prospekt, Admiralteysky 191025

Photos: fashion editor at large


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Junior at Large all about the fashion team's Kate Middleton bridal wear predictions. The Fashion Editor at Large called on the elite of the bridal couture world to provide their first sketches for the job of the year. Which one gets your vote?


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

On Thursday night, everyone's favourite fashion brand Acne launched a capsule collection of denim shirts with transgender and transvestite fashion magazine Candy. They are (of course) intended to be unisex. After years of the standard actress/style icon/designer/highstreet collaborations, this project most definitely puts the fun back in fashion. The party was held at Bistrotheque, and it's safe to say that the evening got more than a little surreal...

Candy mag.

Some of the Acne/Candy shirts, modelled by very beautiful girls/boys/girls...who can tell?

Mingling with a crowd of beautiful boys and extremely trendy girls (who were all trying to out pose each other; the drag queens won, hands down) the founder and Editor of Candy magazine, Luis Venegas, told me how he was pleasantly surprised when Acne approached him about creating a capsule collection, and was excited to see the final product. As a huge fan of melodramatic, uber glamorous Eighties soap operas, he has named each shirt after a character from Dynasty. Naturally, the 'Alexis' shirt features a huge denim pussy bow, and is Luis' personal favourite!

Luis Venegas

The party itself saw the usually industrial Bistrotheque transformed into a shimmering cabaret club, complete with walls of tinsel, ruby red heart balloons and a wall of orchids. Even the bar staff had got into the spirit of the proceedings!

Be-wigged barman.

Acne parties are always a hot ticket - the building filled up 10 minutes after the doors opened!

Upstairs there was a white painted garden shed, that contained an old television showing a film of boys in their boxers running around with exercise balls. I have no idea what that was about.

I sneaked backstage to watch the make-up artists work their magic on a group of cross-dressers and male models who had been roped in to give the evening an appropriate 'transversal' feel. Some were happier about having their faces done than others - listening to two queens debating shades of pink nail varnish was hilarious - but all looked lovely by the time they left the chair!

One slightly reluctant customer, who initially insisted he wanted to 'look like Shakira!'...

...but was swiftly told he would be rocking the Annie Lennox look that evening.

 Duncan from ACNE Paper looked breathtaking with his perfect swoosh of hair and immaculate lippy. Jealous, moi?

 Jeanette does her best serorita moves.

Of course, the pros arrived to show us how it is done! We love you Jodie/Jay xxx

My own evening took an unexpected turn when I found myself sitting alone in the bar area, watching the evening unfold. An older gentleman started up a conversation with me, explaining that he was here to take pictures for Candy. I was initially surprised that such a 'mature' guy worked for an uber-trendy magazine, but all became clear when he gave me his name; Barry Lategan. 
(I had to look it up, don't worry) 

He's only the man who took the photos of Twiggy! What a person to meet - the stories he had to tell! I became his unofficial assistant for the evening as he went around taking photos of the drag queens whilst balancing a saucer of pink champagne in the other hand. The consummate Sixties photographer, he was telling everyone how beautiful and fabulous they looked, and every person was happy to pose for as long as he wanted them to, due to his effusive charm and confidence. He even decided that I made an interesting subject, which was a beyond weird moment in my life. I was honoured to have spent a few hours with such a fascinating man, and it was the cherry on the cake of a brilliantly surreal evening. Acne and Candy = the perfect combination.

The video below shows Barry Lategan regaling the story of when he first met Twiggy. He's the perfect party guest!

Images: Candy, Acne, George Langford


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

While the weather continues to be flipping freezing, it is difficult to maintain a level of chic whilst protecting yourself from hypothermia. Fear not, fashion fans, because in this week's issue of Grazia the Fashion Editor at Large has dispensed some handy advice on the most stylish ways to stay warm and dry. How adorable are the Penelope Chilvers Eskimo boots on page 36?!


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education

A rare moment of intelligent fashion conversation on Radio Four this morning as Evan Davis caught Karl Lagerfeld for a chat after he came of stage during yesterdays IHT Heritage Luxury conference taking place in London. I thoroughly enjoyed the precis offered up of his talk by Fashionologie yesterday, so in the spirit of sharing I did my best to capture the essence of his chat in real time straight from the radio. If there are slight errors, its because I was trying to make sense of my hastily touch-typed notes. If you missed it, these were the key points. As always, Karl is utterly illuminating. Even Evan was impressed.

“In difficult times fashion is more interesting.”

“You go to the movies, and then you see Avatar. Today we do a show not only for audience but for whole world. I do a Cecil B. DeMille job for Chanel. To keep Chanel, to keep this image in world of internet if you have a super production movie it is not a bad thing.”

“Journalists talk about these emerging markets. Emerging? Most of them are doing better than we do. America is still important, but China, Russia, the gulf are all big. ”

“I don’t think in terms of markets. I just do collections. I don’t think the market works this way. It’s a very good thing to do it that way, don’t flatter them [different markets] in a fashion way. We know nothing about what they really like. It’s better to do what you really feel.”

“The not so rich like the big labels. The very rich don’t like the big labels. “

“Logos are so important. Do you know why? For people who cannot read English, French or whatever. Peoples who don’t use our alphabet like Russians or Arabic. But they can remember initials. If you don’t have a logo it can be very difficult. The importance of the logo is un be lieve able.”

“How long will I be at Chanel? So many people dream to get the job. My contract is lifelong. If I feel I can no longer do it, I would help owners to find the right person. Of course. ”



Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

As you might expect, my choices are somewhat different to the Fashion Editor at Large!

David Koma:
Caters to my inner ballerina. Simply graceful.

I've always been a leopard print fan, and this updates it for summer. Plus - white leopard print will always super trashy, in a wonderfully 80s way.

YSL: For when I'm feeling ladylike again, this sheer dress combines my favourite colour with just enough vintage styling. 

Moschino Cheap and Chic:
My ideal outfit for Fashion Junior-ing in.

Marc by Marc Jacobs: If I manage to go on holiday next year, I would like to look exactly like this, thanks.
Absolutely dreamy, I would pretend I was the romantic heroine of a movie while wearing this.

Burberry Prorsum:
Because you can't be girly all the time.

Richard Nicholl:
for sheer outrageousness.

Bringing elegance back to the fore.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

This looks so easy and chic, and fresh and different.

This outfit took my breath away on the runway. To wear long next season, it must billow and have a split. To wear this oneself is surely to feel all-powerful and alive.

YSL by Stefano Pilati
The platforms, the oddly coloured ruffle, and the conservative black skirt-suityness of it all is seductive.

Diane von Furstenberg
A silk blouse and boyish cropped trouser. My staples.

Louis Vuitton.
There is no other word for this but LOVE

Nina Ricci
I am a huge admirer of Peter Copping, he is a charming Englishman as well as extremely talented and brilliant. This dress might be frou-frou but I can so imagine wearing it at something major.
Simple, elegant and easy. All you need when rushing around being Fashion Editor at Large.

Hard to choose my favourite, but can see this dress will bring me hours of fun and admiration.

Peter Pilotto
This makes me think of Wallis Simpson. Not a bad person to channel on a late spring night out.

Jil Sander
My pink trousers!