The Outnet

28.2.11

A few weeks ago, The Outnet invited me and a few other bloggers to play dress up in a London photo studio. The idea was to showcase our own style using their clothes. I was sent a few questions in advance about my tastes and then a selection was put together for me on the site (have a look!) out of which I could pick 10 pieces. 


On the day of the shoot, my 10 pieces were waiting for me, and I was also allowed to pick some other things from more racks with garments showcased on "seasonal trends" rails. I was quickly drawn to the bright colours.

The Outnet - Video shoot

I liked all the pieces on my rail, but they didn't all work on me so I ended up going for this pink DKNY coat because in case you haven't noticed I am craving super brights while waiting for Spring. Underneath, I kept things simple with a stripy Thread Social minidress. Since I didn't have to walk very far, I picked the most ridiculously high shoes (from Fendi) and teamed them with black ankle socks (because I can). Mind you, I still managed to strain my leg muscles because the shoes were that high. Clever? Not so much.

The Outnet shoot

The Outnet shoot



Monsieur Robot - Menswear Trends for AW11

25.2.11

It was rather fitting that despite the recent bout of spring sunshine the weather on menswear day was cold and rainy - it was, after all, the Autumn/Winter 2011-12 collections that we were there to see. But despite the hair-ruining drizzle and ankle-chilling temperatures the boys were out in force. We only get one day to ourselves at London Fashion Week so the weather wasn't going to stop us enjoying ourselves. 

If the idea of looking at winter clothes before you've even had the chance to get your summer staples out of the closet is getting you down, then I have good news - it looks like this winter is going to be fun! There are certain practicalities that need to be addressed when it comes to Autumn/Winter collections. Boring things like waterproofs and 'comfort' are important, but these things that don't necessarily go hand-in-hand with style. Thankfully a few designers took it upon themselves to redesign even the most boring and functional winter items.  

First up is Sibling. Their knitwear designs put some much needed rock ’n’ roll into items that can so easily be ordinary. Apart from the Kiss inspired panda jumper, the big win was with their Mickey Mouse eared Kiss balaclavas. Similar winter headgear was seem over at Kokon To Zai who blended fair isle and bobble hats to come up with a balaclava so good looking I think I’d wear it all year round. 

Sibling/KTZ

Shoe-wise the styles were smart and very much what we’ve been used to for the past few seasons. I’m more of a trainers kinda guy but the difference in the Autumn/Winter 2011 shoes is that while technically being 'smart' the colours came straight from the blingingest trainers you’ve ever seen. From Matthew Millers cobalt blue and day-glo yellow lace ups to Kokon To Zai's platform biker boots and Cassette Playa's gorgeously lurid Dr. Martens, the city gent and country farmer shoes were reinvented in crayon coloured glory. While dressing head to toe in these rainbow colours will prove a tall order for most people there’s nothing quite as chic as dressing all black with a pair of blindingly bright shoes. Take that Seasonal Affective Disorder! 

Shoes

The other noticeable trend was oversized backpacks, Matthew Miller’s designs were enormous and trimmed with utilitarian details that tied the clothes and accessories together nicely. Over at Christopher Shannon his Eastpak collaboration led to plenty of backpacks that fitted in nicely with the ornate sportswear that his designs have come to typify. Sportswear is a tricky business, get it wrong and the clothes look cheap and unstructured; the antithesis of fashion, especially when menswear has become so smart of late. Thankfully Astrid Andersen had some of the best sportswear designs I saw all day. I don’t have much need to carry around a basketball, but thanks to Astrid's gold chain basketball bag, I’m going to have to think of a reason to do just that.  

Bags

It wasn’t all a kaleidoscope of press grabbing over-the-top designs though. James Long had some beautiful looks, lilac and purple knits were frayed and deconstructed and contrasted nicely with skinny black PVC trousers. There were more pared down looks in his collection too, featuring a traditional autumnal colour scheme of dark browns and luscious pony skin jackets. Tween showed a beautifully wearable collection in similar shades. Tailored jackets with gorgeous cropped trousers and functional accessories, made for a great end to the days shows. The whole range was wearable and enough to make me dispense with my normal penchant for anything outrageous. Of course there are plenty of other amazing things to talk about, 3D suits, gold body paint, Ken dolls, penis hats and much, much more including designer profiles, interviews and my favourite looks. Stay tuned Robot Lovers... 

Finale
Words & Photos by Warren Beckett

LFW Trend Watch - Granny Blankets

24.2.11

I never thought I would write this, but be prepared as Fall 2011/12 is set to be the Fall of the Granny. Let's hope she doesn't hurt herself. I noticed several trends for Fall/Winter, but obviously I had to write about the Granny Blanket / Afghan Blanket / Crochet trend first because it is both totally absurd and complete genius. We've had the ladylike chic, we've had the Thatcher-like austerity, so the next logical step had to be Nana chic. 

But put away your support stockings, we are of course talking about a very tongue-in-cheek nana, especially when thrown on the runway by Henry Holland. While his use of colourful tweeds and clashing hosiery put a wide smile on my face, it was his take on the crochet blanket that won me over completely. No real crochet here, instead he used a photographic print and slapped it on a cute plastic trench coat. He went even further and encrusted it with diamanté and turned it into a totally adorable party dress. Did you ever think you'd see an Afghan blanket as totally adorable? Me neither. 

House of Holland
Photos Style.com - for some reason my photos of these outfits were all blurred

After the House of Holland show, I thought "ah sacré Henry! Always bringing on the lolz", promptly filed the apparition of the afghan blanket under "designer private joke" and moved on to the next show. Imagine my surprise when the first look at Christopher Kane happened to be none other that the (now) ubiquitous Granny blanket print. I almost fell off my front row seat, straight on the runway. If Henry and Christopher do it then it definitely is a trend... at least in London.

Chris Kane
Chris Kane

Christopher Kane's take on the granny blanket is darker and more grown up. He brought the "Bad Nana" to life with shades of black and forest green before going on a nostalgic trip down childhood memory lane with gel-filled detailing on beautifully tailored dresses (more on that in a later post). There is humour here too - how could there not be when you send granny blankets down the runway? - but it is more subtle. It wasn't a pervading theme like at the HoH show, more of a little clin d'oeil. But still. The crochet blanket reigns supreme...

Granny Blanket

... To the point that it is already catching up in the general public. Well at least in the fashion crowd. The lady pictured below was sitting right in front of me at the Todd Lynn show and I just had to get a little snap of her cardigan. Crochet or what?!?

ps - Christpher Kane is now a contributing Editor for MyDaily.co.uk. If his interview in VOGUE is anything to go by, we are in for a treat!

Mina dress giveaway winners

Apologies for the delay in posting the results of the Mina giveaway. 

The winner of the Demi dress is... Meg Marie.

The winner of the Ralph dress is... Kayl from Cameos and Espadrilles.

I will be getting in touch shortly - or you can just email me to give me your postal address.

Congratulations!

xoxo

Fam Irvoll AW12

23.2.11

My time is finally mine again and I can elaborate about my trip to Oslo last week. I was invited there by Blow PR and Fam Irvoll to attend both her Little Cupcakes childrenswear show and her Haute-Couture Womenswear show during Oslo Fashion Week, in the By:Larm music festival venue. 

Irvoll graduated from CSM in 2008 and has since further developed a signature style of cartoonish 3D designs, using mainly knitwear and elaborate bead/sequins work. 

When the invitation landed in my inbox, I wasn't sure what to expect from the show - I didn't really have time to do my research - all I had were some vague memories of a press day at Blow and the knowledge that upon hearing her name, positive feelings rose to the surface. Of course, as soon as the first model came skipping down the runway, I remembered. Fam Irvoll's mad designs had stopped me in my tracks the previous year while I was visiting Blow HQ. I had spent fifteen minutes touching one of her dresses, mesmerized by the volume of the circus themed garment and really happy that somewhere lived a fashion designer with a true sense of humour as well as a great mastery of cuts and patterns.

There is real craftsmanship involved in every single one of Fam's designs, sadly my photos don't really do it justice. Sure, you can see how unusual her pieces are, but you can't see how they perfectly wrap the models' bodies, how her silk blouses drape beautifully over the shoulder... This is not even something you'd expect from such outrageous designs. You'd expect them to be eye-catching and gorgeous, but not wearable - yet they are both.

Given the right event, I would be more than willing to wear the lipstick dress below, no need to be Lady Gaga (even though she springs to mind straight away as the perfect Fam Irvoll girl).

Fam Irvoll


I also loved how deliciously politically incorrect the whole show was. An open homage to cigarettes, diamonds and guns done using a very childish imagery. A model was even smoking on the runway - while gesticulating to the audience that it was naughty. This pretty much sums up the show. It was super camp, extremely amusing and with no sense of self or ego. I kept wondering what would happen if that show took place in London or Paris. If this man in drag were to slap his butt in front of Anna Wintour...

Fam Irvoll

Fam Irvoll


Fam Irvoll



The footwear was designed especially for the show, I am not sure whether it will go into production, but some of the shoes were truly spectacular. The ones below were my favourites, but there were also some pretty awesome men's shoes with dolls just sitting on them.

Fam Irvoll


In the spirit of commercial art and viability of the collection outside of editorial shoots, there were also a few "normal" or plain pieces. Knitted dresses with interesting detailing or with motifs evoking the rest of the collection. I particularly liked the tailored cigarette trousers with their little waist ruffle. These are most definitely everyday trousers. 

Fam Irvoll

Fam Irvoll

Fam Irvoll

Fam Irvoll

My absolute favourite from the whole show was the ensemble below. It reminded me of 80's cigarette adverts I used to see in magazines. Most of all I loved the femme fatale vibe of it and the fact that it was so crazy, yet so wearable.

Fam Irvoll

I left the show feeling elated and happy - something that never really happens at other fashion shows, no matter how much I loved the collection. Fam Irvoll clearly loves her job, loves fashion and doesn't take herself seriously... and this would have been enough for me to love her work.

Fam Irvoll

Fam Irvoll

Spring Brights

22.2.11

This is what I wore to the Christopher Kane show yesterday. I was so inspired by his previous fluoro collection and this is my interpretation of it with stuff I own.

It definitely is one of those outfits that provoke a reaction - whether it is from street style snappers, teachers at Mini Robot's nursery or Mini Robot herself - everyone seems to have an opinion about it, 

I found the skirt in C. Madeleine's, a wonderful vintage shop in Miami. It caught my eye straight away as it looked so modern (even though it is actually from the 50s). 

To illustrate what I was saying yesterday about LFW, I thought I'd wear my HML tee-shirt by Georgina Bacchus. I bought it a while ago on Supermarket Sarah, but I was waiting for the right time to wear it.


Outfit

Outfit

I am wearing a vintage skirt and coat, Uniqlo cardigan, HML tee-shirt by Georgina Bacchus, Swedish Hasbeens.

Mademoiselle Robot loves Jena Theo - LFW Special

21.2.11

Jena Theo's AW12 show was all about a powerful, amazonian woman - which was perfectly in sync with a lot of what I have seen so far at LFW. It would seem that, at least in London, the sophisticated, ultra feminine neutral silhouette has gone and been replaced by something tougher, edgier, but still very feminine.

Jena Theo

Hi, How are you?

We're good. Dimitris is currently over in Greece sampling the collection, while I am handknitting and making the bespoke items in our London studio. 

Could you tell me a little about yourself?

We were founded in Feb 2009 - and after winning Fashion Fringe in 2009, we've been establishing our brand in London, as well as exhibiting during Paris Fashion Week. This collection will be our 3rd season on the schedule at LFW, and we're looking forward to making a statement about our label at a new venue with ON/OFF in Covent Garden. 

We've also been working with UPS - our AW11 sponsor, which has been really fantastic and we've been working on all sorts of exciting things that will be revealed during Fashion Week!


Jena Theo

What's the inspiration behind the collection?

The collection is inspired by eighties fantasy movies, looking from the past into the future. Highly stylised- fantastically dated - and classic. 

Conan the Barbarian has been the main muse for us, along with Tina Turner in her Mad Max loin dress days...

It's been fun combining something fantastical with our modern aesthetic. 


Jena Theo

What do you like best about showing at LFW?

The way we can put our signature, and what we believe in out there for people to see. 

... And showing - combining music and fashion, creating atmosphere and theatre for the audience.

The tension and buzz of a show is like nothing else.

What do you like the least?

The late nights!

What's your favourite look for the season?

We are into patchwork and quilting for AW11. Texture is key and makes a garment look new as well as having a great seasonal feel.


Jena Theo

Designers you look up to?

Vivienne Westwood, Hussein Chalayan, and the Japanese pioneers like Commes des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto. 



 

          

          

          

          

          

        



Stripes

Despite receiving a very large box of clothes from Monki last week for my "Girl of the Month" feature (more on this soon), I couldn't help but run to the nearest Monki as soon as I landed in Oslo last week. That's dedication. 

The sale was still on so there were some amazing bargains just waiting to be snapped up. I bought two dresses for £16. This one was £6 and I feel like I am going to wear it so much it will end up being virtually free if I play the cost per wear game.

I hope you are enjoying my London Fashion Week "Light" coverage this season. I thought a few interviews would be a good way to have a real insight into the new collections. To follow-up, I will also show you some of the new season's looks and my favourite shows will get a full review.

This season has been a funny one so far. Logistically speaking, I have had a very smooth experience, I haven't had to queue for a single show, I was just able to arrive, get in, take my seat, snap some photos and move on to the next show which was great, but I am still not enjoying Fashion Week. Almost everyone is moaning, name-dropping, bragging about this and that and I find it makes for quite a difficult few days. I do enjoy watching the shows, but the background noise and the battle of egos is making me think I could just as well watch them from home next season. We will see...


Outfit

Outfit

I am wearing a dress from Monki and shoes c/o Swedish Hasbeens

Monsieur Robot loves Henry Holland - LFW Special

20.2.11


I remember coming across a stack of House of Holland t-shirts while back home in Dublin not long after I'd read about them. In an excited dash to the till, arms full, I was pretty proud of myself. Plus I knew I'd be able to break the ice if I happened to run into Donatella Versace (she knows how to party!). A few weeks after that I was on holiday in New York, wearing my House of Holland tees I was stopped and photographed several times... Kudos to Henry as the t-shirt was the star. I'm eternally grateful to him because apart from making me feel like Lindsay Lohan being snapped by the paparazzi the tees were witty, sexy referential and cool. A mean feat for mere t-shirts. The House of Holland show was today so I caught up with Henry earlier to ask my favourite questions...


What are you wearing right now?

My staple uniform of black skinny April 77 jeans, a House of Holland t-shirt and Levis denim jacket.

How do you dress on ‘off’ days? For example if you’re just sitting round the house, or popping to the shop for a pint of milk?



As above!



House of Holland

Are there any fashion faux pas you've made?

When I was 9 my mum bought me a multi-coloured shell suit, I thought it was the best thing ever. That was until I set fire to it by sitting too close to a heater!

Who are your favourite designers (apart from yourself)?

I admire anyone who chooses this career, I have particular respect for British designers like Richard Nicoll, Louise Gray and Katie Hillier.

Do you enjoy seeing your clothes on other people? Are there people you wouldn’t want to wear your clothes?

Of course, it’s such a buzz seeing girls in the street wearing pieces from mainline, H! at Debenhams or Pretty Polly tights.

House of Holland

You post pictures of your outfits on Twitter quite often, is it important that other people like the way you dress, or do you dress just to please yourself?

It’s not the be all and end all, it’s more important that I feel comfortable in my wardrobe.

How many wardrobes do you own?

Just the one!

What are your wardrobe staples? Is there an item of clothing you cant live without?

April 77 jeans.

Is there one item of clothing you wish you’d designed yourself?

The onesie.

Who is your style icon?

Elizabeth Taylor

Will slogan tees always be cool?

Of course, everyone needs a slogan tee in their wardrobe.

House of Holland

How important do you think working with high street retailers such as Debenhams is? Do you value bringing your style to a wider audience or fear it may dilute your brand?

Debenhams and Pretty Polly have provided huge support to my business and without them it would be impossible to reach such so many customers. In my mind a diffusion line for a high street retailer can only add value.

Do you have any style advice or fashion tips for my readers?



Wear clothes, don’t let them wear you.


House of Holland

House of Holland

Words by Warren Beckett

Mademoiselle Robot loves Bora Aksu - LFW Special

19.2.11

Bora Aksu is one of the London shows I am most excited about season after season. I just love the way he combines avant-garde, experimental fashion with extremely wearable garments. The shapes and fabrics presented in his AW12 show were no exception to the rule, and I spent the whole time writing down a mental shopping list of what I needed for next Fall... Aaah to be a Bora Aksu girl!


Bora Aksu

Hi, How are you?

Thank you very much Laëtitia, I am very well, how are you?
I am a big fan of MademoiselleRobot.com

Could you tell me a little about yourself?

I am a womenswear designer, graduated from Central Saint Martins BA and MA in 2002 and since then I have been doing my label and showing at London Fashion Week. My first show was off-schedule in February 2003 and then I won the New Gen award four times in row and became a regular on-schedule designer. I also collaborated with several artists, dancers and brands. I collaborated with Tori Amos for her Bee Tour, Dance company, Converse NYC, Arisan Armours, Salvador Dali Museum etc. I designed a capsule collection called "Bora Aksu's Drawer" for Anthropologie's American stores. I've also been collaborating with People Tree since 2007. 


Bora Aksu

What's the inspiration behind the collection? 

Dr Jekyll meets Mr Hyde -  manipulation of tailoring is the main theme. The beauty of classic timeless tailoring and its details and techniques as well as the manipulation of these tailoring techniques to turn it into something new became the concept of the collection. It's about contrasts, proper and improper, regular and irregular. I love Autumn-Winter because I am into using contrasts of different weights of fabrics. In Winter the choices are great which allows me to be more free . 

What do you like best about showing at LFW?

I like the fact that in London, fashion has such individual approach. The trends do not have power in London therefore it's always unpredictable but always exciting. 


Bora Aksu

What do you like the least?

It's unfortunate that there aren't many old fashion houses. I do like the fashion houses with history attached to them and it seems like it does not happen in London. 

What's your favourite look for the season? 

Cocktail dresses with twisted tailoring are my favorite pieces. The seperates are also important this season, such as short tailored jackets with bows, shirts and skirts are key pieces as well.


Bora Aksu

Designers you look up to?

I like the ones that always remained individual designers in the History of Fashion such as Vionnet or Charles James.


Bora Aksu

Watch the show below


 

          

          

          

          

          

        


London Fashion Week live!

18.2.11

During London Fashion Week, you will be able to follow the shows live from MademoiselleRobot.com.

Just click on the "LFW Live!" tab in the top menu or follow this link to the live stream of LFW.

xoxo

Lost in Oslo

17.2.11

I spent the last 48 hours in Oslo, where I was invited by Fam Irvoll and Blow PR to see Fam's childrenswear and womenswear shows. I will give you the full lowdown on Fam's work and on the amazingness of her show very very soon.

As I just got out of the plane, for now I just would like to share with you a few snapshots of this whirlwind of extreme weather, tiredness, fun times with Lady Croissant & Lauren and travel induced delirium... 


Oslo
Wearing - Topshop dress, Sessun coat, ASOS scarfhat, Swedish Hasbeens and Alexa.

Adeline
Adeline aka Lady Croissant
<3

Osnow
Truckloads of the white stuff

... that is unless the delirium was induced by this Norwegian Lady Gaga impersonator.


For more photos, you can have a look at the MCM Blog!



Brick and Blue

16.2.11

What started off as an experiment with colour blocking mixed with 70s hues - and is documented here - ended up as a 100% nautical outfit later in the day - not documented here. I am not sure how it happened, I am just going to take a wild guess that my fashion subconscious wasn't ready to let go of old habits and just wanted me to remain a not-on-trend loser. Or something like that. 

I do have another mega colourful outfit to show you, but I may need to send you all some sunglasses as it will permanently damage your eyes. Si.

As you are reading this, I am on a plane somewhere above Scandinavia, making my tired way to Oslo Fashion Week where I have been invited by Fam Irvoll and Blow PR for her Womenswear and Childrenswear show. I am pretty excited, as you can imagine! After that, it will be London Fashion Week coverage a gogo, with the help of the super awesome Catherine (you remember her from last season she was my assistant for LFW) and Monsieur Robot who will be covering the Menswear shows. Yep, you heard it - for the first time on this blog, Menswear shows! Yeeehaw!

I am thinking of changing the way I cover LFW, but I am not sure, I just don't want to inundate you with  only LFW related stuff for five days... So tell me what you want, what you really really want. 



Detail

Outfit

Detail


outfit

Detail



I am wearing Topshop skirt and tights, Jumper from Miss Selfridge, shoes from Target (they have a funny story, I will tell you another time), Bag from Mulberry.



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