Category Archives: fashion

Giorgio Armani Thinks Fashion has Gone Bonkers!

Giorgio thinks that the fashion world is losing touch with several key ideas. The first is sustainability. The accelerated pace of upgrading designs and creating trends is not sustainable. The second is, shall we call it, discretion. Too much is getting revealed just to get a bit more attention.

Giorgio Armani in his shop in Via CondottiGiorgio Armani out and about, Rome, Italy - 05 Jun 2013

A return to timeless fashion? To a time when adherence to long held traditions was considered a marketing plus?

We shall see, said the blind man!

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Yes, My Dear, the Paris Look Still Kills!

Paris is still the center of fashion. And it is so for a variety f reasons. One of them relates to the urge to accessorize.

No, men, this post is not for you. It is for your loved ones. Their adventure starts this way.

In the quest to dress like a Parisian, we can’t forget accessories. They’re the small but vital details that complete a look, and the French certainly know how to accessorize. We all know locals love their sneakers, and we’ve already covered French sneaker brands Veja and Pairs in Paris.

Catch the link for the inside word on cool Parisian accessory brands – with pics of course!

And enjoy your cappuccino!

Cool McCool Lives! Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Hollywood is not a place. It is instead, a craving. A craving that we all have — to be cool. To be the thing that others crave to be. In that sense, Hollywood oddly reflects back to us who we wish we were, or perhaps still dream of becoming.

Very Fitzgeraldian!

This does not always work out. There are missteps. But once in a while, Hollywood films strike a nerve. And Quentin Tarrantino’s film about Hollywood – nay a love song to Hollywood – appears to be striking that nerve now.

How do I know? I know because it is creating a fashion trend.

Read on!

Whilst it is only just set to launch in UK cinemas, Quentin Tarantino’s hotly anticipated ninth film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is already a strong contender for the most stylish film of the year, and it’s not hard to see why. Set in Los Angeles circa 1969 – an iconic era for fashion – the film is brimming with strong looks, the most notable of which are sported by its two main characters, Leonardo DiCaprio’s struggling television star Rick Dalton and his best friend and stunt double Cliff Booth, played by Brad Pitt.

As the pair wrestle with the prospect of their dwindling careers, they still manage to maintain an air of effortless cool, cycling through a series of punchy late sixties-style outfits, which renowned costume designer Arianne Phillips (who also worked on A Single Man, Walk the Line, and both Kingsman flicks amongst others) was tasked with putting together. She attributes her inspiration to the richness of Tarantino’s script, which provided detailed insights into each of the characters and the era in which they were getting loose. “This isn’t a movie about fashion,” Phillips told Vogue. “Fashion is a reflection of the culture, it’s a reflection of what’s happening at a specific time. There were real historic references to trends, but mainly these costumes came from the characters and their personalities as Quentin wrote them in the original script.”

I am reminded how the film “Out of Africa” spurred an interest in Ralph Louren safari jackets back in 1985.

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It is easy to make fun of this, and I cannot help but chuckle a bit as I write this. At the same time, there is something to it. We do aspire to things. We do want to be magical. And we need the clothes to make it happen, right?

Is Vivian Vau the Most Engaging Woman in Tallinn?

A quick report on my lunch with Vivian at Ribe

Tallinn has a wonderful atmosphere, especially in its old town. The space has that “lived in” feel because it has been. Many of its buildings and pathways date back more than 500 years. That means, if there are ghosts, there are loads of them! And  btw, saying all of that gives one the wrong idea. The fun part of Tallinn’s old town is actually how young it is. Young in terms of people.

Like Vivian Vau!

Vivian Vau h presides over a rather glamorous old town shop at Kuninga 1, that caters to women’s fashion in footwear.

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BTW, she claims that there are more than one ghost who share her space. Not to worry, they are mostly friendly.

It is not just a shoe shop because Vivian has a much bigger vision for her clients. She looks at them — and at you — in terms of your individual potential. Your potential unique style that is expressed in what you show the world. Shoes are  a critical part of that.  Vivian also lives that lifestyle herself. She is, shall we say, a rather striking person. Tall, blonde, statuesque, and dressed always in bold colors!

With this sort of vision, Vivian does not just re-sell shoes from mass producers. Instead, several times a year, she goes to Italy and Spain and gives shoe makers new designs to be made from scratch for her next collection. In other words, her collections embrace her design sensibilities — and they offer bold colors (as well as high quality craftsmanship).

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A sample

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Yesterday, I met Vivian for lunch at Ribe in old town.

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There was just enough sun left in the afternoon to sit outside for our appetizers. The scallops, btw, were delicious!!

I wanted to  see if Vivian would agree to a marketing idea. You get that idea from this picture

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This is a fun image as well

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Juxtaposing great shoes with unusual settings. I would do this in black and white, with only the shoes in color.  Perhaps also, a woman directing workers at a construction site wearing heels. A woman directing traffic in flowered pumps.

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And of course, the woman astronaut, working the controls of a space vehicle wearing — you guessed it.

We started talking. Very soon, however, Vivian was telling me about her incredible 3 week vacation in Croatia. Dancing until 6 in the morning, and then off to the market for morning figs. Nice!

We are still thinking about how to capture her design sensibility. Getting the most out of life! Being free to experience the best that life has to offer! Being open and unafraid! Having a unique individual style!

What do you think?

Enjoy! Stay tuned! I will be following Vivian’s adventures here!

Sustainable Fashion?

Let’s fact it. We tend to link high fashion with over-doing it. Being over the top. Fashion designers don’t therefore, tend to be linked to sustainable causes. So, one does not ask, “did that dress use pre-owned fabric?  Or, will that outfit be worn more than once?

Conspicuous consumption just doesn’t work that way. And I am thinking of this kind of conspicuous consumption

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or this

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So this article caught my eye(

(The British fashion mag) More or Less did a special collaboration with 11 British designers, who were all asked to create a sustainable couture piece using leftover materials from their previous collections. The one-of-a-kind pieces showcase fashions increasing interest in reducing waste, with designers including Vivienne Westwood and Simone Rocha all creating something beautiful out of fabrics that would be otherwise discarded.

Very interesting! And I see that there is talk about “circular fashion”

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Does this sound like Vogue?

If you’re not aware by now that fast fashion is damaging the environment, you’ve been living under a rock. Fashion is one of the major contributors to pollution in our air and oceans, and is also harming the health of those to produce it. According to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, the textile industry will add 22 million tonnes of microfibers in the ocean by 2050, and will also increase its share of the carbon budget from two per cent to 26 per cent. In essence, we will be eating and breathing our own clothes.

It will be interesting to see where this goes! Stay tuned!

There are days when you need a Homburg

This post is not for everyone. And some days, I am not sure it is for me. But there are certain days when a gent needs a fine hat. A sort of signature hat. A thing that adds a dimension to one’s character.

For some it is the fedora.  Here is a rather rakish one

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For years, I was a fedora man. I loved my Lock & Co. fedora. Sadly, it was snatched from me and I have been fedoraless ever since!

And this has made me think a bit. I miss my old fedora . But at this stage of my life, I am no longer in a fedora mood. I crave instead a Homburg.  Jeremy Brett made it part of his Holmes character

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It has the reputation of being a hat for older men, but it can look rather rakish as well

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And there is something solid about it.

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And the place to get a fist rate Homburg? I would go to Lock & Co in London.

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They take their hats seriously

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They are not cheap. A Homburg will set you back £300 or so. And you may say, “Lord! For 300 I can do many things.” This is  true. You might enjoy a dinner for two at a fine restaurant. Or you might find a reasonable hotel room in New York. Or you might be 2 or 3 fine shirts.  Or you might get good seats to a sporting event.

The point, however, is not to growl about the price. One does not get flummoxed , for example, at the price of a Ferrari.  You either are a Ferrari man or woman or you are not. End of story. Ditto for your Homburg.

I rest my case.  Go for it!