Saturday, 28 January 2012

HAUTE COUTURE SS12- ARE THE SUPER RICH TAKING OVER THE HOLY GRAIL OF FASHION NOW

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely adore Haute Couture yet I found a very interesting article in The Guardian titled 'Haute Couture shows: Nice frocks-no shocks' by Jess Cartner- Morley stating the fact that in the last 2 year Haute Couture houses are having increased sales and that the Couture fashion is dictated by the super rich clients and not by the genius creativity of the designers anymore.
Firstly I must say she is right- it is crazy that Couture sales are going up while whole countries are going bust. And I am not talking Third World countries, no, countries like Greece, countries which are part of our rich Western capitalistic world! But on the other hand there seem to be more and more super rich giving a shit or becoming even more super rich in all this misery and spending cash as if we haven't had a substantial crisis in everything what our grand parents where fighting for like a broad middle class, social welfare, free education and the abolition of class barriers... . Capitalism has gone bonkers and we small people pay for these dresses!

I feel as if we are back in the Victorian area and the 20th century has never happened with all its social changes for a more justice world in which a broad middle class can have a good live.
Yves Saint- Laurent build up pret-a- porter in the 1960's since with all the social changes during that period he saw Haute Couture as a dinosaur on the edge of dying out. So in the last decades Haute Couture developed into a necessary play ground for designers to keep dying craftsmanship alive, to show their amazing creativity and develop new cuts and ideas for pret-a- porter. Yet this is changing now, Haute couture is getting a play ground for the super rich again who do not care about ideas and skills they just want to show off their wealth in dresses which cost £ 100 00 and more while our salaries, that of the 'normal' people has not gone up since the 1970's considering of inflation while manager salaries increased by 270%- this is the new brave world.

With a tendency to see more and 'boring and wearable' clothes during the Haute Couture shows there is still some hope for example Ricardo Tisci's collection for Givenchy stands out. Ironically, his inspiration comes from  Fritz Lang's 1920's social- critical film 'Metropolis', in which a huge working class society is enslaved to work their asses off by a corrupt system and the struggle of these people to free themselves. The film was created on the background of the European and Russian struggle of communist and democratic attitudes after the break down of royalism and aristocracy after WWI.

The dresses are truly stunning combing high fashion with working class sartorial stable like tank tops. Yet maybe Tisci has also the gut feeling that again we must fight for our rights and freedom to live a wealthy and justice live in a democratic and socially secured world. Couture is art and should be seen as such! It should not being sold off for a ridiculous amount of money and vanish behind locked doors of the super rich where just they can enjoy it. Or even worse being robbed of its creative roots and drained to a boring piece of uber- expensive party wear.

Ricardo Tisci's SS12 Haute Couture collection- just amazing...

And the back side of the dresses as much a piece of art as the front! 

Giambattista Valli- pretty but boring?

Valentino Haute Couture SS12- is this really exciting? 

Ellie Saab Haute Cuture SS12- right for a Moscow celebrity wedding?

Friday, 27 January 2012

COUTURE SOCKS IN MENSWEAR OR HOW CAN I MAKE STELLA, THE SOCK FAIRY HAPPY

'Mens Fashion Lies in the Detail'- I am sure you have heard these true words somewhere already. Compared to our female counterparts we are reduced to a far less developed sartorial language, in which the words of style are repeated over and over again in more or less subtle interpretations of the same letters like for example 0.5 inches might decide if a tie is on trend right now or last season. Yes, it is those little things which very often make good men fashion and even more often bad one. So from this point of view and with my stylist eyes always on the pulse of mens fashion, I find my interest more and more directed towards socks- yes, socks, the nightmare present from Auntie Rosie when she just again does not know what to give to you for your birthday.
Firstly I realized that white socks are definitely back- I could see white lurking out from cropped chinos, rolled up skinny jeans and even black formal trousers. But I soon was to loose myself more and more in my  ' socks- male-fashion'- thoughts' and discovered more more details about the male sock craze of the moment...

Rolled up skinnies with daddy's slippers- during the 80's revival I think is when our fascination with socks lately started! 

Hip, Young, Dalston or the Marrais.. White Socks!!!

And even Mr Fashion Genius is doing it- Marc Jacobs with kilt and Doc Marten's - I just love it! 

These are the people who make our rents go up into the sky and lead the gentrification on- yet  whatever you say about the hippsters - they have style and wear... WHITE SOCKS!! 

And now they are even hitting the cat walk- I need to be quick and jump onto the style wagon soon!
What else I discovered was that the fashionable men-around-town started showing off their erotic male ankles  covered in almost any kind of colour and pattern- the brighter the better and more graphic- the even more better. Almost like male animals during mating season, menswear fashionistos and menswear editors stalking around during fashion events showing off ' their coloured feather coat' ( I mean hear actually the socks) to fight for attention, yet again in this scenario, not from the female animal! No, the fashion male wants not to pass on his genes, he wants to be photographed by one of the the always trend hungry street style bloggers and street fashion photographers !
Pure Vintage-how cool is that! The remake of ' Great Gatsby' will strongly influence our style sensibilities this year, I suppose.

Here we go- both examples: the white ones meets the bright one- and love of the first sight! 

Spice up the good old 3- piece suit! 

Very bright - very graphical...

Do you get the humour? Sock post and here a pic of a guy without socks... how philosophical, isn't it. 

Pattern and colour blocking for the brave ones...

Yet fun aside ( but actually I think you must be brave and have humour in fashion terms to wear some of the above sock combinations), this sock trend, I think, it is a great style development for men fashion. You can bring a splash of colour to a more conservative outfit, you can play with pattern which you would not like to put on a top or as outerwear, like animal skin prints or polka dots for example. Another advantage is the fact that you can easily spoil yourself with a great pair of designer socks for little money even if you are broke again and make your self happy and give you a bit of inspiration for a new outfit.

Instead of the ' couture t-shirt', a phrase right now termed in women fashion for very expensive and highly elaborate t-shirts, you go for the 'couture socks' for a fraction of the price! I just love that, especially as a chronic broke fashion addict, always in the need of a bit of stylish bargain.

The 'couture' version: pop coloured leopard socks by Marc by Marc Jacobs for just £ 20  - and I  am sure i f I start researching luxury sock the sky will be the limit.... 

Luxury for the spoilt male ankle: Come Des Garcons Homme Plus socks in this season's neon hues 

Great graphical designs, very creative and a good price starting from ca. £ 8: Happy Socks 

The best for the white sport option: every hippster buys them in buckets! Unisex Calf High Socks from L.A super brand American Apparel 

That is so stunning- look at all those colours! This label has just cult status and they are worth the money: Burlington socks 

The more I am researching for this blog post the more I want a whole new collection of socks. Socks are just so underrated yet so important and especially for men just such a brilliant sartorial item to underline your pesonality and play with colours, textures and patterns on a small budget in a very subtle way.

Yet still you might wonder what I mean with ' Stella, The Sock Fairy'? Well, have you ever wondered what happens to all the second socks of a pair, which strangely enough go missing regularly and especially the nice and expensive pairs suddenly become just one after the washing or after you just hung them up for drying!
Yes, I found out the truth! One night I discovered her, still searching aggressively for a sock! on a wet pile of freshly made washing: Stella, The Sock Fairy! You wonder what are Sock Fairies? Well, they are the nasty sisters of the cute little fairy- tale fairies. The steal the all second socks of a pair they can get their little skinny hands on and make their amazing dresses from it or/and use socks for their little fairy flat, as little fairy curtains, little fairy table cloth, little fairy cushions...- and Stella is a real sock stealing professional! She is about Barbie- sized, chubby to fat, depends on her mood, and she is fucking moody! She has an enormous pile of red curls and dreadlocks on her head, she loves bright make up and she smells of strong cheddar and honey!?  Be careful since you as a style addict, my dear reader, I am sure, you have really beautiful socks, and this is what this little piece of fairy shit is after, and she does everything to get to her beloved socks, even poisoning your little innocent fluffy hamster as an distraction for you. So be always aware, where socks start disappearing- Stella is just around the corner with her greedy bejewelled little hands!! Puh, are you afraid now? Believe me, be afraid, truly afraid!

I hope you enjoyed my little excursion into men accessories trends and fashion fairy secrets! The Sock Philosopher.. oh aeh, sorry,... The Fashion Philosopher

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

CUBAN HEELED BOOTS PART 2- DISCOVERY OF DAVID PRESTON SHOES

What I love about blogging is that you start meeting interesting people and sometimes even better, interesting people who create interesting and wonderfull stuff! This is the case with David Preston- musician, shoe designer, cool dude par excellence-, he actually wrote me an e-mail in regards to my last post about my new passion for Cuban heeled boots which raised my interest in his fucking cool shoe creations newly available from his awesome e-retail website. He himself plays in the band Cat Black , whose music style I would simple describe as great 70's rock retro, but please do not throw stones at me since I am a fashion person and not a music person, please, if I am wrong with my description, do not hesitate to correct me. The only judgement I can seriously and confidently make is that these guys look fantasticly stylish- and they all wear David Preston Cuban heeled boots, of course!!
David Preston- the master himself ( stylish, isn't he?)

 Cat Black 
Again Cat Black- they look just amazing- exactly my taste in men and style 

Cat Black- the whole band ( David Preston is the first from right)

http://davidprestonshoes.com

I am very critical on which brands I like to introduce to you guys, my readers. I would never write about something I wouldn't wear and with David's shoes I absolutely stunned and behind them. Firstly the price is excellent. They are from £ 169.95 which I find very fair for a pair of leather boots, leather inside and outside, and compared with for example a pair of  Mr's Hares boots, which are over £ 500, they are almost a 'bargain'. Yet, as you can imagine, I do not care about a brand name at all- for me two things are important:
1. Style, very important
2. Secondly quality, I think the price reflects the quality unfortunately most money goes into the brand name lately- not the quality!

So, what is it I love about David Preston boots. Let's have a look at the style. David's boots come in three styles: 
1. The Regent- with a side zip 
2. The Compton- with a side zip and a central seam 
3. The Lexington- with an elastic side 
All shoes are complete leather- inside and outside. They come with the brand typical purple super soft leather lining ( I love the idea of using purple! The colours of the aristocracy and kings!) and a stacked leather two inch heel ( I would not mind 2.5 inches but that is me and 2 are, of course, absolutely fine).  

The Regent 

The Compton 

The Lexington 
Yet the best thing to come is, David's offers a bespoke service where you can suggest you own colour and he will try to find a matching colour tone in the fabric's leather archive. So maybe my dream will come true and I can get my golden Chelsea boots for fraction of the Dior price yet with the same amazingly cool look and the excellent quality. 
There is one thing which I also find worth to support- the superb quality and craftsmanship of the boots!- the shoes are created in a family run company. I would just love more info about the company, I think this is nowadays important if you offer a product like these boots which are not aimed at a mass market. I want to know where my clothes are made an by whom!  Maybe I can give David some inspiration too and he will include this into his website? I have also done a bit research on his face book page  and people seem to been genuine happy about there ordered shoes! I read comments like ' butter soft',.. 'fitting like a glove..'suave and dandy'...'I would sell my soul for one of these'( that was not me writing this on face book but I know the feeling just too well especially with these boots)!!! 
David Preston's shoe block- great that this company offers you a bespoke option for a great price! 

Black suede- just so versatile they go with everything and with this quality you can wear them for years!!

'... butter soft...'

'... fitting like a glove...' and the brand's signature super soft purple leather lining- I just can say:' I want these!!!!!!!!!!!'
With a great brand like this celebrity followers are , of course,  there too instantly and like with all best male items- girls are raiding our wardrobes right now anyway with all  the ' boyfriend' jeans and 'boyfriend' jumpers sold and praised on everywhere, they will go crazy for the boots too, I promise. So why not let them take even our shoes- so if you are a girl and just love the shoes as much as your dear partner, you can order them in smaller sizes too... actually my girlfriend has birthday soon, so maybe...? 
Stunnig- the girl..and the boots of course!! 

Primal Scream front man- super hip Bobby Gillespie wearing David Preston Cuban heeled  boots in brown  suede leather . I just love shoes a bit worn. I think I am to much of a dandy in this point. I hate them when they are new and shiny. I think for shoes to really come to live they must look a bit worn!


Bobby Gillespie and his fashion stylist wife Katy England - look at the shoes....

All in all, I think David Preston Shoes is a brilliant men shoe brand and I hope he will expand it. He has got style, taste and good celebrity connections. I am sure I will have a pair of Preston's very soon next ( I said celebrity connections, didn't I?) to my Mr Hare's one and with the bespoke service he completely made me a fan of his boots. Give this possibility to the Fashion Philosopher and just the sky is the limit for me and Davids' boots. I will start with a pair of golden ones, then I need to have the purple suede leather ones, then a pair of ostrich leather ones in green? or black patent, or/and maybe we can do a higher heel or different coloured stiching, or a different coloured heel.... David can I become your business partner..!?

                                          Have a lovely and stylish time !! The Fashion Philosopher

And again some details for David Preston Shoes:
e-retail website: http://davidprestonshoes.com


Music band Cat Black:
website: http://www.catblackband.com

You can of course find both on face book and twitter, just search with the name et voilĂ - you will find them in a jiffy!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

FASHION WEEK BERLIN: BOOK PARTY FOR THE BOOK ' CITY FASHION BERLIN' BY STYLIST CHRISTINE BIERHALS

Berlin seems to be as wet and warm as London right now. Yet the fashion stars are shining at the German capital at the river Spree since Berlin Fashion Week has started. Just if one of my readers is in Berlin right now. My friend Christine Bierhals, stylist and fashion journalist, is showcasing her new book City Fashion Berlin at the renowned Departmentstore Cabinet. The books present the German fashion scene, and also some Munich based designers and you can order it on Amazon Germany. If you do not manage it to get there, the after presentation party is at the Trust Bar on Torstrasse from 10pm. I wish Christine all the best and I wish I could come. Honestly!!!

The Book Cover 
Stylist Christine Bierhals 
Further if you want to follow Christine on her party and fashion show marathon in Berlin go to Dazed& Confused Satellite Voices, which is following that hip fashion girl through her exciting work and party life.
Have fun in Berlin. The Fashion Philosopher

Friday, 13 January 2012

A SMALL STYLISH MEN'S BIG DREAMS- CUBAN HEELED CHELSEA BOOTS FOR MEN

 I am 1, 73- that's about 5'8. It is ok in London, since English men tend to be shorter than for example the Germans. In Germany I would to be considered as rather short yet I must say I never suffered really since I have a 'tall' personality. Yet lately, with my style craze for the 70's ( I am speaking Rolling Stone's 70's - so I am talking long hair, beards, moustaches, leather jackets, Indian jewelry, fur coats, David Bowie and Iggy Pop coming off the 60's in Berlin- not the late glossy and slightly camp yet dandy-esque Gucci style disco 70's) I found myself drawn to a certain kind of foot wear which, OK, if I consider it more closely, maybe I am also talking camp 70's, the Cuban Heel Boot also sometimes called the Beatle boot or Chelsea boot.




Cuban heeled boots were very popular with Rock bands and artists during the middle 1960's but started to decline during the 70's. The Boots saw a surge of popularity during the punk movement in the late 70's and early 80's but again started to decline throughout the 90's. During the late 00's and early 10's the boots have seen a steady surge in popularity.




Beatle boots are tight-fitting,Cuban heeled, ankle-high boots with a sharp pointed toe, made popular by the Beatles of  course, for whom they were originally made. Although these highly talented dudes were not really on the short side the late 60's brought us a bit of cross dressing and the Beatle boots saw the reintroduction of high heeled footwear for men.[2]
Beatle boots originated in October 1961, when English musicians John Lennon and Paul McCartney saw Chelsea boots whilst browsing in the London footwear company Anello & Davide, and consequently commissioned four pairs (with the addition of Cuban heels) for the Beatles, to complement their new suit image.  

Above pics are from Mr Hare look books 
I always thought them to camp or to much of a pimp shoe to have a go and try to wear them until uber- cool Mr Hare, our shoe designer who brought back true style for our starving little masculin feet, created the meanwhile classic Truffaut boot followed by the Bazin. Every season he creates them in new variations and to be honest, if I had the money I would meanwhile collect them! 
What I love about wearing high heels- they just give you a different posture- a more straight one. You are more aware about the way you walk, the way you move and your whole posture in general.  As Mr Hare says: 'A man in heels has the confidence of 100 men!'.
A heel gives me not only my deserved couple of inches more, it gives me a certain grandeur, and by far I do not feel camp at all, I feel more like entering my ' court ' ( Louis XIV was wearing up to 4 inches high heels and he had grandeur in buckets) when wearing them while meeting people in town...
Yes, even the Old One's love to stand high above the ground- these white beauties are actually from the 17th century- isn't it amazing- fashion history is repeating itself.


But it is not only Mr Hare who has great success with the Cuban heel. Brands from 'rock gone chic' brand Tom Rebel, luxurious- intellectual Dior Homme by Chris Van Assche to avantgarde darling Gareth Pugh and LA fashion anarchist par exellence Rick Owens are showing their take on the Beatle boot in more or less extreme ways. 




Wether white or sparkling- Tom Rebel designs for the Cuban heeled Beatle boot are always innovative in regards to styling  and  just loves to go against any kind of male sartorial conventions.

Dior 's amzing 6.5 Chealsea boot from AW2005- if I ever find them on eBay than I will give my last...hm ah... whatever they want to get them. They are just so pefect with a sharply cut smoking suit or a pair of wasted skinny jeans and a cool leather jacket or... I could go on and on how would style them!


Yes, they are The Kings of the Beatle boots- Gareth Pugh's version for AW11 sees the modern men  well- heeled - I would not wear them but I still love them and I admire the men who wear them with confidence.
Rick Owens- the LA designer is trying to make the impossible almost impossible- real men high heels with will not take away your masculinity  instead they are adding a new ( yet as I showed historically actually almost ancient) chapter in male booting.

I just went a long way from the 1960's Beatle boot to the futuristic extremes of 4 inches Rick Owen gender bending genius to show you that the Cuban Heeled ankle boot is just a great items to extend your choice of men shoe styles. To be honest, after giving up my initial doubts, I think Cuban heels are just fucking cool and uber -stylish and I do not mind at all of course to adding 2.5 inches to my height and transforming me into an elegant rock dandy ( in my case). Just have a go and I promise you, you will become addicted to them as I am.

The Fashion Philosopher