Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton-Kate walks again

It was fashion and fetish, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell at the Louis Vuitton A/W 2011 show in Paris yesterday. Marc Jacobs had a lot to live up to after the amazing success of his two most recent collections, which had evoked the glamour of the 1950s and disco heyday 1970s respectively. This collection was altogether darker and seedier, less glamorous and more oppressive. And to my mind, even adding too of the most iconic supermodels of all time did nothing to lift the disappointment over what was a seriously depressing, if decadent, collection.

The styling reminded me of the 1975 Charlotte Rampling film ‘The Night Porter’, with a dash of Madonna’s Erotica thrown in for good measure. There were diaphanous skirts and dresses,cage style corsets and high-waisted shorts. Belts and waist cinchers were bondage style belts that were reminiscent of the padlocked metal belts from a few seasons ago. Some outfits consisted of shorts that looked more like control pants and not much else. CLearly Jacobs needed a break from the glamour.

The military style peaked caps and shiny leather boots did nothing to dispel my feelings that this collection owed a lot to the style of East German police The Stasi. The dark colours meant that the feel was overall quite oppressive. But there were some moments to savour. The big buttoned nude coat/dress was beautifully constructed and would be perfect for Kate Middleton, whilst I loved the shiny futuristic coat worn with the bondage style belt. Although there seemed to be nods towards chambermaids and housekeepers with white starchy collars, there were also items that could become much-loved wardrobe staples, like the military style overcoat that looked like a relic from the trenches,and was worn with Hunter style bottle green boots.My favourite outfit was the vibrant and shimmering blue skirt with the collared top that was made for Kirsten Dunst to wear.

The show itself had a touch of the theatrics about it,with the models arriving in lifts,doors opened by Porters to show a sort of fetish Hotel Babylon.And then of course, there were Kate and Naomi. Naomi sported the tamer look, wearing an a-line suede skirt for her sojourn down the catwalk. But Kate,wearing the skimpiest of hotpants, made sure the headlines and controversy were all hers by smoking a cigarette on the catwalk.

All in all,  it was an interesting collection, but I’m not sure who,other than the diehard fans,will be wearing it.

Fashion moments of 2010 pt.2

Alexander McQueen's logo in London

Image via Wikipedia

2010 had so many memorable style moments that I couldn’t limit my list to just ten happenings. So here are my next ten moments from the world of fashion and style from what has proved to be a pretty amazing year.

Fashion for Relief Haiti

This event, organised by Naomi Campbell, saw a whole host of stars taking to the catwalk in order to raise funds to help mother and babies in the Earthquake stricken nation of Haiti. Denise Van Outen, David Walliams, Nicola Roberts and Jo Wood were amongst those who strutted their stuff on the catwalk. My favourite star turns were from the gorgeous Kimberley Walsh from Girls Aloud, and a rare walk from Kate Moss, who wore a beautiful Alexander McQueen dress as a tribute to the designer who committed suicide in February of this year.

The death of a genius

The world of fashion was shocked by the suicide of British designer Lee Alexander McQueen in February. McQueen had been left shattered by the death of his beloved mother just days before, following on from the suicide of his close friend and mentor Isabella Blow.McQueen was an amazing, irreplaceable force in the world of fashion, he had both stunned and delighted with his innovative, creative designs and will be sorely missed. Sarah Burton has taken over at the helm of  the Alexander McQueen label.

Biba and Barbara

Biba and Barbara Hulanicki re-emerged in the fashion world this year in very different guises. The Biba label was relaunched by House of Fraser as an opulent, glamorous collection fronted by a stunning ad campaign featuring Daisy Lowe. However, the collection was criticised by Barbara Hulanicki, the founder of the original Biba, for being far too expensive. She launched her own affordable collection for Asda George in November. This was a great collection that adhered to the Biba effects of being affordable (most of the range under £30), and more inclusive (sizes up to a size 20).

Biba at House of Fraser

Barbara Hulanicki dress £25 Asda George...I'm wearing this New Years Eve

Barbara Hulanicki Cardigan - a great glamorous cover up

Lanvin/H&M mania

Alber Elbez  fans (and, lets face it, eBay sellers!) turned out in force for the launch of the Lanvin for H&M collection in November. Many shoppers queued overnight to be the first to get their hands on the wristbands that gained entry into H&M stores. The collection itself was a critical hit, with fabulous shoes, cute t-shirts and glam and girly dresses. The whole collection was sold out within hours and was appearing on eBay the same day for double and triple the retail prices. My favourite piece from the collection were these red shoes.

X Factor Fash-Off

With all the scandal concerning this series, thank heavens for the fashion on show each week. Danni and Cheryl provided fashionistas with lots to discuss after each show, with Danni Minogue coming out on top as the most stylish X Factor judge.  Showcasing couture from her own Project D range, Victoria Beckham and Emilia Wickstead amongst others Danni never put a fashion foot wrong. Cheryl, on the other hand, faced criticism for many of her X Factor looks, including her too orange face (from Simon Cowell no less…talk about the pot and kettle!!!), her return to her long extensions, and a range of trashy looking dresses. However, it was not just Danni and Cheryl whose style was dissected. X Factor uncovered a new style star in the stunning Rebecca Ferguson, whose mixture of High Street and designer labels looked polished to perfection.

Rebecca - a new style Sade?

Victoria Beckham – World Domination?

An amazing dress collection worn by Cameron Diaz, Leighton Meister, Courtney Cox, Oprah Winfrey, Danni Minogue and Katherine Jenkins amongst others. A newly launched, sell out Handbag collection. A nomination for best designer brand at the British Fashion Awards. This was the year that Victoria Beckham was finally acclaimed for her designing skills. She was the best advert for her brand, wearing a range of elegant, ladylike looks that banished the WAGTAG for good.

Louis Vuitton Channels the 1950’s.

My favourite ad campaign of the whole year was the one that featured Natalia Vodianova, Karen Elson and Christy Turlington in How to Marry a Millionaire mode as 1950’s style models. The ladylike dresses, the Grace Kelly style grooming, the bouncy ponytails. I just totally loved the whole look and feel of the style. This Louis Vuitton campaign was shot by Steven Meisal, and just fitted in so perfectly with my Mad Men obsession.  Marc Jacobs – I salute you!

The rise of the mini fashionista.

One of 2010’s more worrying trends was the arrival of the mini fashionista. Willow Smith, just nine years old, yet looking like a mini Rihanna whilst singing the irritating ‘Whip my Hair’, was the toast of Milan Fashion week, wearing D&G and carrying a leopard print clutch bag. Chloe Moretz, the star of ‘Kick Ass’, aged 13 and wearing Chanel Resort. How I long to go back to the days of the badly dressed 13 year old Emma Watson on the red carpet!

Gossip Girl styles.

The main stars of the series Gossip Girl showcased very different looks this year. Leighton Meester had the edginess, trying a series of directional styles, but Blake Lively looked far better with her sun-kissed blonde babe image. Taylor Momsen modelled for Madonna and resembled a mini Courtney Love with black kohl and ripped tights. You couldn’t escape them if in the style and gossip magazines this year.

And finally…the wedding of the year!

On a personal note, my beloved little sister Jodie got married on December the 4th, and to me, this was the fashion event of the year. A beautiful bride in a dress inspired by Sarah Jessica Parker, bridesmaids clad in black, handsome groomsmen in dinner suits, and a host of stylish guests, this was my favourite fashion moment of the year…and yes, I am biased!

Well, that’s my fashion moments for 2010. Here’s to a very stylish 2011. Fashion Mommy wishes everyone a happy, prosperous and stylish New Year.

Willow Smith – a lesson in bad parenting.

Is it Rihanna, a young Naomi Campbell, no it's nine-year old Willow Smith!

The magazines have been full this week of a new fashionista. She has been on the front rows of many of the catwalk shows during Milan Fashion Week, including D&G and Armani. She has a personal style reminiscent of Rihanna, with sharp 1980’s style tailoring and a fierce haircut. She has already released a single with lots of hits on You Tube. She is nine years old. Her name is Willow Smith and she is an example of bad parenting.

At a time when she should be in school with other children her own age, Willow is sitting on the front rows of Milan Fashion Week,  in between Kylie Minogue and Naomi Campbell. When other girls her age are wearing JLS t-shirts and copying Hannah Montana, Willow is sporting head to toe designer gear in an assortment of leopard prints and graphic designs. Most girls of nine have a school satchel, Willow has a clutch bag to store her M&M’s and pocket-money in. It’s frankly unnerving that this little girl is acting and dressing like a young women, and being openly photographed doing so.

Jada Pinkett Smith has apparently put her own (not all that impressive) career on hold in order to promote and support Willow.  Whilst other stars are trying to protect their young children from the glare of the public eye,  Willow and her brother Jaden are actively pushed forward into music. films and clothing ranges. Jaden recently played the new Karate Kid, and both children have acted alongside dad Will in his films.

But it is the appearances at fashion week shows in Milan that have proved the most controversial. On a recent edition of Fashion Week it was argued that Jada taking Willow to a fashion show was no different from Will taking Jaden  to the baseball. Little girls love fashion and so it was a treat. This is a good point well made, but still doesn’t answer why a little girl, just nine years old, would be at all those fashion shows, dressed in such a unchildlike – fashion forward way. It is almost like the little girl has become just another fashion accessory to a fashion obsessed mother. Willow was described in Heat magazine as the ‘hit of Milan fashion week’, as if grown women would really being taking their cues from a Grace Jones lookalike nine-year old.

Willow is still a little girl, she’s not even reached double figures yet. She should still be enjoying High School Musical and Camp Rock. She should look like a little girl, not someone in their late teens. And she should be playing with dolls and riding bikes, rather than carrying leopard print clutch bags and watching Salvatore Ferragamo shoe shows.