Paco Perfection

 

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I chanced upon Paco Rabanne while browsing through Style.com and was completely enamoured of this unfamiliar brand, and their Spring/Summer 2014 collection.

Paco Rabanne (the person) was born in Spain in 1934. His mother was a seamstress for Balenciaga and they fled to France during the Spanish Civil War. Originally trained in architecture, he started his label by venturing into perfumes, jewellery and then, fashion. In the 1960s, when he first presented his collection of 12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials. He used unconventional contemporary materials such as metal, plastic, rubber, and cardboard. His penchant for challenging convention continued with experimentations in materials like paper, knitted-fur, and fiberglass. These experimentations helped cement Paco Rabanne (the brand) as an embodiment of a rebellious and futuristic spirit.

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Paco Rabanne is now 80 years old and the brand is now led by Julien Dossena (who previously designed for Balenciaga), initially brought on as a consultant, he was offered the role of creative director after 8 months.

Julien has taken a very refreshing and sporty interpretation of the brand for his first collection. I especially like the second look in the first series (top) and everything in the second row of images.

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I found this layered sheer top in blue (my fav!) beckoning at me. It’s on SALE at LN-CC. Gah!

Ugh. I love and hate online shopping.

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Paco Rabanne’s signature of chain mail, was also quite successfully (first two looks above) executed, layered under sorta sporty-looking vests/vest-dress.

And the styling of the loose, wispy/messy hair and mix of sandals and cut-off cowboy boots just, for some reason, exude a very strong sportswear vibe, which I can’t get enough of.

A favourite look from this collection is this two-tone tennis dress below.

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Not that it really is a tennis dress, but it’s so beautiful and I can imagine myself playing a game of tennis in it.

That, or a killer editorial with this dress, a visor, chunky metallic cuffs, racquet against a clay court. Yummmmm! I also spy it at LN-CC.

*Tempting!

Images from Style.com.

 

Toga Togs and Clogs

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There are days, I wished the world I live in wasn’t so plugged in 24/7. The constant checking of emails (SMU and work, I blame you!), Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, WeChat, KakaoTalk, Weibo and whatnot. But perhaps one of the best boons of constant communication is the new surprises I get in my email inbox – of new brands, designers who’ll be in town (!! more on this soon), new promotions and new collaborations that have just been launched. Japanese label, Toga, by Yasuko Furata, checks the first box, not so much as a new brand, but a newly discovered brand of clean silhouettes meets a mix of textures and easy minimalism.

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Toga, by Japanese designer Yasuko Furata, flies slightly under the radar but is stocked by the likes of Club21 and LN-CC. According to Susie Lau, whose blogged about it herehere and here, ‘Toga sits within a similar generation of a brand like Sacai, which is also getting stronger and stronger and… finally making their mark in Paris.’

I’ve never really been big on stripes but I can imagine this entire collection sitting very comfortably in my wardrobe. Yasuko Furata’s successful play with proportions and balance of basics oozes ease and a simplicity that I’m always on the lookout for. However with prices ranging from £150 to £800, it’ll take me awhile to build a decent collection.

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That being said, topping my Desirables list are a pair, any pair, of Toga shoes. Be it a playful pair of velvet-striped heels or their quirkier options which I can only describe as contemporary cowboy meets tap-dancer – with the mesh and clear fabric, silver hardware and patent piping.

MAD LOVE!

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Swim things: Seea

I’ve been slightly disgruntled about not being able to get a swimsuit from Virgin Daisies, so since then I’ve been on the look out for ones in the same vein.

Oddly enough, the only other brand that I can say is up my alley, is Seea (pronounced see-ah), a California female surfer brand. The idea of surfing is sooooo far from me not just right now, but forever. Still, because Seea’s founder Amanda Chinchelli so expertly melded surfing form, function and fashion, I’ve found myself wanting more than just a piece from the Italian surfer-designer.

For those who are into tiny two-pieces, Seea has more than a few of those. However the ones that I’d like to bring to your attention are the rash guards and skirted bottoms. Sounds potentially grandma (wear your sunblock, protect your skin!) and highly unattractive (think professional surf brands)? Here are some of my picks to prove you wrong:

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If I had it my way, I would pair the Doheny rash guard or Paloma crop top with the Leucadia skirted high waist bottom. Which in my mind works whether you have washboard abs or a tumbly tummy.

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(Psst this might be exactly how I look like at sea, full suit + long sleeves + cap + too much SPF + under an umbrella.)

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The only thing holding me back is the weird stares I might get from wearing not only a sleeved top, but a long sleeved one at that to the pool.

Well you know if you change your mind, these friendly folks will let you in on how to return or exchange them.

Pictures from here.

Prairie for Weekday by Matthew Ames

Some people have a go-to stack of white t-shirts or white mens shirts that they’ll pull out when those “can’t-decide-what-to-wear” days hit you. I have a go-to stack of chambray shirts, short jackets and denim. I’m the serial denim-on-denim wearer. Guilty. This makes me particularly susceptible to Praire for Weekday by Matthew Ames – a lovely little denim based collection that is unlike the skin-tight fit of sister brand Cheap Monday jeans.

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Matthew Ames is an American designer skilled in the aesthetic of the minimalist, post-minimalist to be exact (a movement that I have yet to fully fathom). For Weekday, he created something “quiet, but powerful” and dare I say “affordable” given the usually price tag of his clothing.

My picks from this pared down collection:

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The skirt version of mom jeans – mom skirts. I like the longer length.

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Overalls for adults.

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And a very versatile open jacket from the menswear selection.

Frankly I’m a little late to the game. These have been on the online store since early April, but there are still several sizes available, so go click around right. this. instant.

Pictures from here.

Shopping the showroom

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Showrooms reps are really the people you want to be in the company of – they scout talent and pull together the coolest brands you don’t yet know about. Well that’s just broadly speaking and only half the story, but more often than not the good ones are gonna have stuff that will blow your mind.

Sarafan is an online-only showroom from Tel Aviv we wrote about back in 2011 here. They’ve since expanded their online presence to include a consumer store, full of goodies from their bevy of nine brands, all from the Israeli city.

On the site now is an enticing mix of their favourite brands, which they wore, loved and now represent. You’ll find a easy-to-love greyscale across their bags, accessories and clothing, and these are some of the pieces that jumped at me:

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A sweater of exaggerated hood and sloping shoulders. Collegiate tunic with sheer bits.

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Seemingly detached bag. A thoroughly thought-out and well-compartmentalized wallet.

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Smooth oxidized brass cuff, flawed intentionally. A leather scarf of sorts.

Sarafan is offering free shipping internationally now – I don’t think there’s a more convenient way to a piece of Tel Aviv.

Pictures from here.

Types of stripes

I love stripes, and I think it is safe to say that you do too. I’m guilty of wearing out my Uniqlo striped jumper a little too thin, so I’ve been on the look out for a replacement. But you know how it is with online shopping, you get distracted and you find something even better… than just stripes.

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First we have the ubiquitous navy stripes, but against grey and in this sweater Sundry dress! I thought I was sold. Then came along this sweet number from Free People overlaid with lace applique. But then Charlotte Ronson of course overthrew that with a myriad of textures in a single, short dress – lamé, tweed and lace. It kinda got out of hand when next Pencey merged the stripes into chevrons, with mad, all-over geometric prints and split seams. Does that even qualify for the stripes I started out looking for? I’m torn over the last two. We have a problem here.

Psst, Shopbop is taking an extra 20% off its sale items (all the above are sale items from there) with the code EXTRAOFF until 3 January. Get clicking now!