Paris Fashion Week AW14/15 Series: Isabel Marant

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IsabelMarant-AW14-styleonthecouch-5If there is one thing I have learned from having a best friend who is French, it is the power of the a silk t-shirt or blouse, slim jeans and ankle boots.  Yes, that just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-can’t-be-bothered look, done so well by the French woman with that je ne sais quoi – whether it’s last night’s clothes (slouchy tee, grey jeans) or that perfectly coordinated designer outfit, the French woman always seems to look positively wonderful.

This is why, Blog Reader, Isabel Marant somewhat frustrates me.  Try as I might, as an Englishwoman, I have never quite been able to perfect her blend of essence-of-tomboy and bohemian chic.  Vogue says of Marant: “Equal parts confidence and nonchalance—that’s what makes this Gallic girl so enviable, and no one captures it better.”

For AW14, Marant ushered in understated power dressing:

“If you’re her kind of girl, you’re free-spirited, bohemian, cool and casual with a dishevelled chic that blurs the lines between what you got up to in the day and what you got up to at night. Today, that’s exactly what we got for military styles incarnated in evening shimmer, khaki knits, short skirts and big shoulders – in a stole-your-boyfriend’s-jacket meets Decarnin’s Balmain way.

The shoulders got bigger and more pronounced as the collection continued and a combination of trophy day-dressing ensued. A simple shirtdress rendered in silver metallic suddenly had nighttime appeal, while camouflage flourished in sequins, knitted trousers were punctuated with shimmer, and a sparkly T-shirt came worn with a supersized fluffy cardigan.” – Vogue.com

I really liked the paper-bag waist trousers, the quilted pants and the boots wrapped, bondage style, with leather straps.  If only I could just morph myself into this look of perfectly tousled French cool, I’d opt for a wardrobe full of Marant.

Photos: Sonny Vandevelde.

 

Spring Trends: The 1970s

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1970s spring trends isabel marant styleonthecouchIn an effort to re-focus my thoughts on the warmer months despite the ongoing snow showers in the UK this Easter holiday weekend, Blog Reader, I’m starting a series of ‘spring trends’ posts. I’ll be interweaving these with reviews of the catwalk shows I loved for autumn winter 2013 too.

First up, the 1970s, a theme which appeared in many collections including Saint Laurent Paris, Fendi, Gucci and Isabel Marant.  When I think of the 1970s I think of Love Story and Annie Hall; bias cut dresses; black leather; preppy style; trouser suits and layering.  Gucci’s sky blue and pink pairings for spring reminded me too well of the polyester* offerings you can find in charity shops from that era, and Marant’s boho vibe was reminiscent of Woody Harrelson’s outfits in Linklater’s Dazed & Confused….

One part of this trend I particularly admire is the wide-brimmed hats such as those Slimane sent down the catwalk.  I recently bought a fedora from Reiss – sadly no longer available but I’d recommend Borsalino for similar styles.  If you are in London, try Liberty department store for hats, they have a wonderful selection, always.

Here are some 1970s inspired styles, if you like this trend for your summer wardrobe:

Paige Denim flared Lou Lou jeans

A very Saint Laurent Paris – like pussybow blouse from Iris and Ink

This Halston Heritage coral gown.

Paisley babydoll dress from Oysho at ASOS; Warehouse Paisley print dress.

And let’s not forget the big sunglasses – like this Marni pair reduced from 260 to 130 GBP on The Outnet.

*I am, Blog Reader, quite sure that Gucci does not design using polyester by the way.

More spring trends to follow! Have a lovely weekend.

Photos: Elle.com

Style Inspiration Series: Camille Over The Rainbow

Camille of Camille Over The Rainbow is my major girl crush right now.  Half French, half British and living in London since last year, Camille has that quintessentially French way of managing to keep things simple whilst looking every inch put together in an effortlessly chic way.  She compliments this very French way of styling herself with a British sense of fashion adventure and experimentation – this, she tells me, is why she loves Britain so much; “You can literally wear every runway trend (and more) and no one will bat an eyelid…. my style is more British in that I am always keen to try out edgy/crazy trends and have fun with the way I look.”

I asked Camille a few questions for this Style Inspiration feature….

What are you most coveting now, style-wise….? 
I have recently fallen in love with Proenza Schouler and would love to add one of their bags to my wardrobe. It’s between that or the white leather Pashli by Phillip Lim. I also really want a pair of hightops. I’m probably going to treat myself to a pair of the Isabel Marant’s but I will go for the lace ups not the Velcro which are slightly overexposed now. Other than that, I will be looking for lots of florals, pastel hues, and sportswear.
Whose wardrobe would you most like to raid….?
Without a doubt Leandra from the The Man Repeller. The girl has got staïle! and has mastered the art of layering like nobody’s business. Her wardrobe seems full of edgy trendy garments that I would love to get my hands on. Her jewellery draw and shoe closet seem pretty dreamy as well. Yep, just get me on a plane and I’m ready to raid.

How do you get dressed?
I guess after I have taken a peek at the weather I choose one item that I want to wear and work my way from there. I have to admit I rarely plan ahead, simply because I am just not organised enough. Thus my getting ready in the morning can vary between taking literally 10 mins and taking a lot longer when I’m having a bad day and I feel nothing fits and have nothing to wear (come on, we all have days like that). Because I often do my outfit shots during my lunch break, I make a point of a wearing a different look everyday to keep things interesting on the blog. My rule is to never wear the same outfit twice. I’ve become a pro at mixing things up, since I can’t afford that much new stuff.
Why do you blog?
I created Camille Over the Rainbow two years ago when I was on a year abroad in the UK and had very few hours in my academic schedule. Funnily enough I wasn’t an avid blog reader then and only knew a couple of fashion blogs when I started my own on a whim. It started off in French only as a kind of fashion journal of my experience living in the UK, but as my love for fashion increased and my commitment to the blog grew, I decided to write in both languages so that most of my readers could understand. It does take double the amount of time translating it all but I think its worth it! I think having your own blog is an excellent way to stay on top of what is happening in this fast paced industry, but also great practice for my future career. You see, I aspire to become a fashion journalist and trend reporting on a daily basis is the best way to improve and learn I think.

Tell me a secret…..
Where I come from fashion is still seen as incredibly frivolous and narcissistic and I have found it very hard to make my friends and family come to terms with the fact that I wanted to switch from law to fashion. For a long time I kept my blog under the radar and I still haven’t advertised its existence in my personal sphere. However one day you wake up and you realise you are living your life, and there is no point trying to fulfil other peoples dreams. Follow your own. I know I plan to.
Is there any ‘trend’ or fashion item that you cannot stand? What would you ‘never-be-seen-dead’ wearing?
Mmh that’s a tricky one, because there are so much haha!  I really dislike anything that is made out of (visibly) cheap fabric. Also hate the baroque print trend which makes everyone look vulgar I think. And leggings. Unless you are exercising or hanging around the house, they just should not be worn as trousers. The other thing that really gets me going are counterfeit bags. If you can’t afford it just look for something else. There is plenty out there. Or buy a loosely inspired version. Not one that has been made in a Chinese sweatshop, probably by children.

All photos: Camille.  You can read Camille’s blog by clicking here and follow her on Twitter and Instagram (@camtyox).  If you want any more links then your girl crush is as big as mine.  Told you so.  Merci beaucoup Camille! x