Dusting off

Why hello there… it’s been awhile. 3 years. This blog has been sitting (digitally) on a shelf, gathering dust.

A lot has happened to the blogscape since. Instagram . Snapchat. Filters. The rise of global influencers and the local disdain of influencers. But on a more personal front, I guess in the midst of the digital landscape changing, I felt that Wottoncool served no purpose as a ‘fashion blog’. Thus, the silence. But, here I am, dusting off and re-embarking on an adventure of carving out a space to not take myself too seriously and to journal my thoughts, document life experiences, share interesting nuggets of news – on anything that interests me. Not just fashion.

The plan is to trawl through the Wottoncool archives to share snapshots that may or may not have seen the light of day. And then to slowly update less infrequently. Followed by a fresh look as a digital journal of sorts (i’m not good with labels, but essentially, Wottoncool will transform to cover a wider variety of topics/themes/subject matter that more accurately reflects my interests).

So welcome, to the start of the Wottoncool reboot.

 

Eclectic Character

Valentino Spring 2015

Valentino’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection has my brow furrowed and left me in a permanent state of ponder-ment. All I can say is creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, who’ve been at the helm since 2008, have a very broad idea of who the Valentino woman is. A segment of their collection presents, in sharp contrast with the rest of the collection, a strikingly vibrant and graphic mix of checkerboard, stripes and chevrons.

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While I can’t immediately relate to this woman they are portraying. It does hold a certain amount of intrigue and, dare I say, shock factor as well. My personal colour milestone lies with a tee from hansel’s Tiers of Joy collection, and Valentino’s collection for 2015 is several leagues away. This young grasshopper pays dutiful respect to the master. *bows*

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(By the way, I certainly hope that those fur coats I spy are all faux.)

Perhaps this segment of the collection represents the younger end of the spectrum for the Valentino customer. One that, arguably, may crossover into the sphere of REDvalentino instead.

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In addition to the bold use of colour and print for Spring/Summer 2015, Valentino’s lookbook showcases a dynamic spread of looks and, I feel, characters. Some of whom I relate to much more than others. Clearly these printed glamazons aren’t part of my apparel choice’s fray, neither are the embroidered dresses and skirts with floral motifs, nor the lace maxi dresses (with or without embroidery). The latter conjures imagery of what my grandma may have worn to church as a young lady. Don’t get me wrong, the pieces are undeniably beautiful and striking, but I think the climate, both in terms of weather and trends, may not be most suited for it.

But granted that the key inspiration came from Meixcan artist, Frida Kahlo, its no wonder the collection incorporates vibrant colour, sweet flora and fauna iconography and an infusion of the culture (and religion?)

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I suppose its my penchant for all things structured, clean and simple. The billowy options and short sweet dresses is a spoonful of sugar too much. In any case, here are my favourite looks from the mash-up of characters presented. And I hope LN-CC stocks my favourites for next season. Just so I can cry at the prices on these beauties.

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Image Credit: Valentino

Models Mid Turn

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The house of Maison Martin Margiela has been a cornerstone of avant garde thinking and many OMGWTFBBQ moments in fashion with their dedication to going against the grain and commitment to a white-on-white-on-white-on-white that is very worthy of admiration.

At their recent standalone boutique opening at Marina Bay Sands, the avant garde continued with in-store displays of beaded faces masks from their archives to current-season apparel. Keep your eyes peeled for the champagne bottle sticker long coat, rectangular-front dress (I have no other words to describe it) and a illusionary bare-there leotard top complete with gloved sleeves.

Warning: This is a very photo-heavy post.

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An unexpected element of the evening what a showcase of their Fall/Winter 2014 collection, presented by a slew of leggy beauties and scruffy male models (or least, the scruffy model was the most memorable of the lot).

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Because of the store layout and inherent lighting. When they’d stop in front of me, their posture obstructed half their apparel from being illuminated. The result is a series of awkward legs and ‘caught-you-while-blinking’ moments but illuminated clothing. I thought it was somewhat fitting that this would happen with Maison Martin Margiela. Perhaps as a cruel joke, all in the name of the anti-establishment.

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The clothing was deceptively simple and oozed wearability.

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And I thought the accessories really stole the show that evening. Above is a sort of inverted leather bags, with hardware buckles riveted to the interior of the bag. Below is a mother-of-pearl checkerboard clutch, which I thought was so beautiful. Not sure why I didn’t check the price of it though.

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Another favourite was this funny interpretation of ID bracelets into an oversized hardware detail for their clutch. Brilliant! So goddamn brilliant! I hope The Outnet stocks it in a year (maybe more), because I probably can’t afford it any other way in any case.

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In the meantime, I had a peek at The Outnet just to suss out what sort of discounted prices of Maison Martin Margiela would be. And was surprised by the details on some of their shoes!

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Despite the severe chopped look of these leather mules, £229.60 (Original price £459.21), they look so effortless and neutral, like they’d match just about anything I want to wear. They look comfy too.

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I was scratching my head for awhile, staring at the cutout-heel leather boots, £274.35 (Original price £685.87), I’d buy them just to see the shocked/surprised expressions on people’s faces. Hehs. 

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The most special ones though, are these cutout leather pumps, £186.67 (Original price £499.34), with their reversed semi-d’Orsay detailing. I never would have thought of that. Wow.

Gorgeously Tanned In Summer

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen in Harrods WC

Earlier this year, my younger sister and I had the chance to run around Harrods for about an hour or two. Rather than working our way floor by fabled floor, we instead opted to beeline to the children’s section – because, seriously, if the toys section isn’t any fun, I can’t quite expect the rest of the mall to be either. And Harrods didn’t disappoint! I got a selfie with Anna and had the chance to give a GIANT Olaf a big ol’ bear hug. 

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I remember watching Frozen in the theatre, after hearing my brother and younger sister rave about the movie. If it hadn’t been for them talking about the movie so much, I would have given it a miss (and kicked myself really, really hard after). I also recall mid-way through the movie recognizing Idina Menzel’s voice and getting very excited, because she has such a beautiful, powerful voice and I was happy that Disney had decided to work with her again.

On a sidenote, Disney casted singers for the translated versions of ‘Let It Go’ based on how well the singers matched Idina Menzel’s voice. Loved that!

But the surprise star who kinda stole the show (and audience’s hearts) would have to be Olaf the Snowman. The moose comes in close second (?)

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It’s perhaps on this note, of Olaf’s popularity (because I didn’t see any Elsa or Anna dolls), that Disney is banking on another collaboration this Christmas. Because, as I found out at Harrods, Olaf isn’t cheap.

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Yes, you read that right. Olaf has a whopping £1,000 price tag!

Olaf SK Jewellery

So it comes as some relief that SK Jewellery’s ©Disney’s Frozen Collection has a relatively friendly price point, starting at S$399 only!

I thought it was extremely clever of the design team to incorporate the diamond placements to mirror Olaf’s “buttons”.

The ©Disney’s Frozen Collection will be available at all SK Jewellery showrooms island-wide from December 2014.

 Image Credits: Disney UK, SK Jewellery, Pinterest

Seamlessness

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The summer sun down under can really bite. I recall spending some time in Sydney in ’06 when my family and I would hurriedly rush out of the sun, in between buildings, in Sydney city. The fact that we’d turn the corner, escaping the sun’s biting rays, only to be hit by icy drafts funneled between skyscrapers is another matter. But recalling that incident and after attending the press preview, it’s almost given that a beautifully hand-crafted hat brand would hail from Australia. Introducing Helen Kaminski.

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Helen Kaminski has been around since 1983. They’ve got a strong presence in Australia. They are also popular in America and, closer to home, Japan and Korea as well. Starting 2015, the hats featured in this blog post will be available at Club 21b.

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Personally, I found myself preferring the Kaminski XY designs, essentially all the masculine designs. Most of which boast features such as ‘roll-a-bility’, water resistance and UPF 50+ sun protection. Also, because this range is designed for men, the hat brims come in different sizes, to fit my big head.

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Their signature style utilizes Madagascan raffia which contain natural resins. These imbue the raffia with strength and flexibility. According to an infographic in their release, a ‘Provence 12’ (floppy sun hat) has 18,000 stitches and requires 2.5 days of hand crocheting to complete. All Helen Kaminski hats also boast no visible knots nor joints. (!!)

Depending on design, it can also take up to 85 metres of braided raffia to make one hat.

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As a brand, especially one whose key raw material is so closely connected with the earth, Helen Kaminski articulates a strong  and long-standing commitment to sustainable materials and practices. In 2007, the brand received the Fashion Group International’s Sustainable Design Award  for their  eco-friendly design principles. They are also invested in conserving traditional handcraft techniques by working with local communities in Madagascar and Sri Lanka.

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Designed for the globe-trotting citizen in mind, Helen Kaminski hats with the string at the crown brim line (above) can be rolled up and squished into your suitcase for a beach holiday (or any holiday for that matter!) and they promise to keep its shape! Just unroll and they should pop back into shape.

So you can do away with bulky hat boxes and trunkloads of travel “essentials”, unless you plan to show off that extensive Louis Vuitton trunk collection you’ve been amassing, and pack light, pack efficient instead.

I much prefer (and can afford!) the fuss-free latter.

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Bags, pouches, cases were added to the product line in 2004. They were very nice and very well made, but none of them really caught my eye.

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Was much more preoccupied taking selfies with different hats on. 😀

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Keep your eyes peeled for when they hit Club 21b in 2015!

Geographical Robes

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Wottoncool’s appreciation of origami can be traced back to our baby years in blogging (*cough* 2008 *cough cough*) when I wrote Paper Trail. This love and appreciation for the versatility of paper extended into posts such as Research Paper I: Jackets and Dresses, Dalsey Hillblom and Lynn and Research Paper II: others. Combined with a knack for Finding my way around, a series of cartographical wonderments (in and of itself) are made more beautiful in the hands of French artist Elisabeth Lecourt into meticulously folded, pleated masterpieces.

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Although I doubt I’d be donning any of these baby dolls soon, I’m amazed at the artist’s ability to retain much of the scenes/landscapes without messing up the alignment of gridlines and borders.

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It’s also interesting to see the evolution of map-mapping or cartographic drawing styles, like above, from maps used to tell stories/narratives about the landscape (on the right) about a particularly epic traverse across oceans fraught with beasts of the sea, to maps more concerned with accurately portraying one’s resources (left) and the desire to conquer more land (cos if you don’t have accurate maps, you can’t definitely say that you are king of the bigger hill. Map Dresses 04

If someone made map shirts, however, I’d love to add these to my wardrobe. Especially the one on the right with it’s sepia tones and buttons. What a proper looking Oxford shirt and I’d never get lost again!
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View more of Elisabeth Lecourt’s portfolio here.

 

Image Credit: Talenthouse