Altuzarra revivies the Grunge Glamour of 90s Mossy.

Day photographed Kate Moss for her first Vogue...

Image via Wikipedia

It seems fitting in that in the year which sees the 20th anniversary of the grunge scene that so revitalised 1990s music, Altuzarra would produce a collection for Autumn/Winter 2011 that celebrates the grungy glamour of throwing a parka over your  prettiest party dress. The inspiration for this collection? Kate Moss off course!

Now, think back to the early days of Grunge, which juxtaposed the start of the career of the woman destined to be the most infamous supermodel of them all. Grunge music bought grunge fashion – Courtney Love in her torn nighties and Doc Marten boots and Babes in Toyland in 1960s dresses and parkas. Then along came Kate Moss, the waif-like model in stringy vests and multi-coloured underwear, immortalised in a series of pictures by Corinne Day. The epitome of grunge styling…and then she met Johnny Depp. They were the most beautiful couple in the world, and Kate now wore glittering vintage dresses, bt she continued to throw a parka or leather jacket over the top.

This is the style that Altuzarra has tapped into this season. He says he worked with images of Kate Moss tapped to his mood board. Images of the supermodel dressed in beautiful gowns, and in parkas. The new collection oozes with grunge glamour. Pretty diaphanous gowns dressed down with boots, and parkas, and other anoraks that would look more at home in Antarctica than in Bungalow 8.

I just love this collection, as someone who used to go out in a vintage nightdress and cherry red Doc Martens could. It is nostalgia of the highest order, the sort  that makes you want to dig out that copy of Nevermind and shake your hair like its 1991…

Cannes – Final Fashion moments.

The Cannes film festival is at an end, and this year has been more starry than ever. Brad and Angelina, best actress winner Kirsten Dunst, Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp, Uma Thurman, Gwen Stefani..the list has been a-list all the way. And the clothes have been amazing – some amazingly bad if truth be told. Here is the final Cannes fashion round-up.

Kirsten Dunst looked wonderful in a mustard yellow dress by Chloe whilst promoting her film ‘Melancholia’, for which she was awarded the Palme D’or. This look was worthy of an award itself, for its total freshness and sunshine quality. I was less impressed with the Rodarte gown worn on the red carpet. The fit was amazing, but it just sort of resembled a 70s lampshade. Her grooming though, was immaculate.

Milla Jovovich looked like she was channelling the spirit of Garbo and Hepburn in this 1930s looking dress by  Prada.Retro bangs completed one of my favourite looks this season. She continued the retro vibe in slinky Versace at the AMFAR benefit.

Socialite Tamara Beckwith failed to impress in the sort of dress that usually turns up in ‘Come Dancing’. Cut to the naval and really cheap looking,with a sloppy ponytail – this said ‘fail’ on all counts.

Naomi Campbell had some varied fashion moments at Cannes this year. But she looked truly beautiful in this burgundy tiered dress by Azzedine Alaia which looked beautifully elegant. Less successful was the Country and Western inspired Givenchy dress which is just missing the Stetson.

Pregnant women desperate for sex puts on some saucy undies, maybe to induce labour. That is the only description I could give to Charlotte Gainsbourgs outfit. Brave, but ultimately uncomfortable viewing – and I’ve had a child!

Classic black dresses can are a red carpet staple, and I loved the one worn by Clemence Poesy from Chanel, and was also surprised by a groomed and glamorous Mischa Barton, frankly looking better than she has looked for a long time.

There was a tale of two rock queens. Gwen Stefani looked groomed and gorgeous in one of her own LAMB designs, whilst Courtney Love looked a half undressed, dishevelled mess on the red carpet.

I loved Uma Thurman in dove grey Chanel with romantic  roses around the neckline, but I wish she hadn’t worn the flat sandals – I think they jarred with such an exquisite dress.

Was Dasha Zhukova wearing Princess Beatrice’s hat by any chance?

Love the ethereal princess feel of Zhang Ziyi in this beautiful gown at the Elle and Dior party.Top marks to in posing on a colour coordinating staircase.

But am totally surprised by the normally sartorially wonderful Claudia Schiffer looking so cheap in dodgy Dolce and Gabbana. Leave this look to Rihanna, Claudia.

My love/hate for Rodarte.

La Bohème (1926 film)

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I’m in love/hate for Rodarte. I really don’t know whether I love the designs, or hate them. At their most creative the Rodarte sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy conjure up designs that can be described as beautiful, ethereal, wispy, ghostlike, and truly stunning. You imagine tragic heroines like Ophelia, Juliet, Camille and Mimi from La Boheme experiencing glamorous suffering in Rodarte. Rodarte would’ve been the designers of choice for those lost generation divas Zelda Sayre and Lady Otterline Morrell. D W Griffiths would’ve used their costumes to clothe Lilian Gish in all those fab silent weepies like ‘The Wind’. Rodarte is truly beautiful…

But then I get to thinking again and my love affair turns to hate. Is Rodarte beautiful or is it merely tatty? It can look distressed, ripped and ruined, Cinders before the fairy godmother gave her a helping hand. It can look uneven, unfinished and pulled and torn.  Maybe the tragic heroine it most provokes is Miss Haversham in her wedding dress covered in dust and cobwebs!

Maybe I just don’t get it.  Rodarte has been described as ‘Romantic’, but this is romance in a dishevelled, wasted state. Courtney Love and Amanda De Cadenat in their lace nighties and tiaras scream Rodarte…and yet, the sisters also created Kiera Knightley’s most beautiful look, turning her into a goddess rather than a geeky girl with fab abs.

This season, Rodarte have moved slightly away from that bad romance look and have embraced a heavier textured, baboushka lady feel. There are lots of fabrics and print that shouldn’t be mixed together and still work, yet somehow they have managed to create a collection of beauty. But this shouldn’t be the case!

Lets just imagine you got your net curtains, quilt and tablecloth and decided to make an outfit. Well that’s what it looks like Rodarte have done. And yet it evokes special memories and times for me. When I was a little girl spending time at nanny and grandads house, I used to play dressing up in with their wardrobes. I always went for my nans long silky nightdress, but in the days before central heating it was always slightly chilly so I’d stick a big chunky Arran night cardigan over the top. I’d feel warm and snug but with a little bit of cotton and lace still peeking out. I feel that’s Rodarte – original, whimsical and utterly nostalgic.

So would I wear Rodarte, and would it suit a plus size girl.  I think to answer that you need to look at the celebrities who do embrace the label. Kate Bosworth, Natalie Portman, Kirsten Dunst and Mia Wasikowska – waifs one and all.   Emma Watson wears Rodarte and that really says it all. Because for all the promotion of Emma as a new style icon, she still resembles a cute little girl experimenting with a dressing up box. And in the final analysis maybe that’s what the Rodarte collection is – a beautiful, opulent, but for most real women an unwearable collection of dressing up costumes.