Photo by G.M. Fadigati, © Giorgini Archive, Florence
The late great fashion writer, Anna Piaggi, once wrote, “Italian fashion designers are a secret society make up of pioneers, a few investors and a few poets. They are the new phenomenon and the new elite.” Impressive, eh? And never does that statement feel more poignant than at the V&A’s mega new exhibition, The Glamour of Italian Fashion.
Let’s be fair, the curators couldn’t have picked a subject with more natural ability to shine and dazzle if they tried. Yes, we’re Brit fashion girls at heart at Topshop but when it comes to fashion history and craftsmanship the Italians steal the scene. Whether it’s Miuccia Prada’s latest flame-toting heels, Gucci’s peak-a-boo evening line (yes, that JLO one) or a dramatic Dolce and Gabbana hand-painted couture gown, the names, silhouettes and styles from Italy’s fashion designers have always been in the headlines.
The show is a rich timeline of the Italian fashion industry that spans the country’s post World War 2 fashion boom, Hollywood’s affair with Italian designers to an uncertain present day. For us, the most enthralling moments were seeing the glamour up-close. We swooned over encrusted dresses and held our breath over bejewelled capes: it is worth the trip just to go saucer-eyed over Mila Schön’s sequin-covered kaftan that was worn by Marella Agnelli at Capote’s legendary Black and White Ball.
So if you fancy musing over Moschino’s cheeky map dress or discovering the palazzo pant (Jackie Kennedy was a big fan!) there’s no better place to spend a Sunday afternoon.
The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 – 2014 runs from 5th April – 27th July.
We appreciate a weekend slumped on the sofa as much as the next guy, but there’s no doubt we’d be much more interesting company if we always packed our days off with cultural pursuits. With this in mind, check out our timely selection of new and exciting things to see and do Stateside.
Maria Lassnig at MOMA PS1
Austrian Artist Maria Lassnig’s portraits penetrate deeper than surface level. “Body awareness” is her thing, and the sheer diversity of style and range of colours is certainly a sight to behold. With roughly 50 pieces of work including paintings, watercolours and films, this is Lassnig’s biggest US-based exhibition to date – go see!
Garance Doré and Anna Bond for Rifle Stationary
Francophiles among us will agree that dedicated blogger Garance Doré can do no wrong. Garance has made no secret of the fact that she loves a spot of drawing, so her collaboration with Anna Bond of Rifle Stationary seems wonderfully serendipitous. Pop along to the Open Studio on Saturday 28th for a day of activities with Garance, including calligraphy and letter writing etiquette and, of course to peruse some seriously attractive paper.
The No Fun Film Club
The No Fun Film Club
The No Fun Film Club does not live up to its name. Celebrating the work of New York’s up-and-coming filmmakers, you’re guaranteed to get inspired at a NFFC night. The next event on Sunday, March 30 at The Wythe Hotel features the work of Emily Kai Block. Music video buffs will know Block’s work from Grimes “Oblivion”, Grizzly Bear’s “Yet Again” and most recently Arcade Fire’s “Afterlife.”
Uprise Art – Dana Bell Exhibition
Whether you’re stuck for inspiration when it comes to decorating your walls, or you just want to browse the best new art around, it’s hard to beat Uprise. The amazing online gallery houses a whole host of artists’ prints, available to order or simply gaze upon. This month they’re also exhibiting the amazing work of artist Dana Bell at 120 Ninth Avenue, NYC.
Posted on February 25, 2014
We just can’t get enough of Kate Moss. Not to mention launching her new Topshop collection this spring (too exciting!) and rubbing shoulders with her at our LFW show, Kate set our hearts racing once again this week thanks to David Bailey’s new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
Stepping into the legendary photographer’s retrospective, we were greeted by a never-before-seen portrait of Kate, looking arrestingly beautiful with her killer cheekbones and a mega mane of hair. Shot in Bailey’s signature black and white style, the new print is testament to Bailey’s knack at showing a famous face in yet another light.
When you finally manage to drag yourself away from staring at Kate, the rest of the exhibition offers a comprehensive look at Bailey’s career – one that spans more than half a century. You’ll see the shots of ’60s model Jane Birkin that made his name, to portraits of famous friends (we’re talking everyone from Johnny Depp to Salvador Dali), as well as his more thought-provoking work from third world countries like Sudan and Papua New Guinea.
Bailey himself oversaw the hanging of each and every photo in the gallery, making it a wonderfully personal account of his work. Each room tells a different story – we loved the space dedicated to his model wife Catherine, as well as the room filled with Bailey’s ultimate fashion icons, with portraits of fashion greats from Diana Vreeland to Alexander McQueen.
Bailey’s Stardust is open until 1st June, so if you’ve never experienced the sheer power of Bailey’s portraits close-up, this is simply unmissable!
Posted on February 6, 2014
Do you want to ignite a million flashbulbs and be a street style star like the inimitable Caroline Issa, bold Susie Bubble or extravagant Anna Dello Russo? To celebrate the start of New York Fashion Week, we reveal the five instant style updates that will ensure you get papped during show season too…
1: SWING A BACKPACK
Whether it’s distressed denim, fringed suede or air-soft leather – the backpack is the only bag to carry right now. Make a modern contrast and team a style of your choice with ladylike cuts. Think fitted jackets, pencil skirts and button-up shirts.
2: GET SHIRTY
The classic white shirt made a major return to the runways this spring and it’s sure to be on heavy style rotation during the upcoming fashion weeks. Our top tip? Layer oversized iterations over unexpected separates such as vibrant pin-thin trousers or a leather skirt. A simple gold choker finishes the look.
3: PUSH THE PANTONE
Reinvigorate a dull day (because, let’s face it, it’s still winter out there) with a pop of bright colour. From a bright silk shirt to an eye-catching lipstick, a vibrant accent is guaranteed to turn heads and give you a mood-boosting lift – what’s not to love?
4: CHAMPION SPORTS LUXE
Thanks to cover-girl Cara Delevingne, athletic essentials have become the new model off-duty outfit of choice. Follow their lead and run rings around the fashion competition in cool trainers, sporty sweaters and slouchy trousers.
5: CROP IT
Top off midi-length skirts and high-waisted trousers with a navel-grazing crop top. Those in the know are wearing simple styles in a neutral palette of grey, white, navy or black.
Posted on January 26, 2014
A Topshop Fashion Week is special for many reasons. Not only do we bring the best trends, hottest models and an A-list FROW (hello Anna Wintour and Kate Moss), but each season we also pick a stunning venue to showcase the lot. And this time we’ve really outdone ourselves by securing the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall as the backdrop for our AW14 shows!
An ex-power station and now the lobby to the Tate Modern gallery, the Turbine Hall has hosted some of the world’s most memorable modern art works. We love nothing more than spending a Sunday in the dramatic space – whether that’s drooling over the art or people watching. Recently sponsored by Hyundai for a further 11-years, the Turbine Hall’s past commissions are simply iconic and we couldn’t be happier to be joining a space so celebrated for its creativity. So to show just how excited we are, we’ve rounded up our favourite Turbine Hall installations of all time!
1. Louise Bourgeois – Spider
Arachnophobics look away – Louise Bourgeois’s Maman was the gigantic steel spider made for the opening of Tate Modern in 2000. Supported on eight slender, knobbly legs, its body was suspended right to the top of the hall, allowing the viewer to walk around underneath it. The spider later took some time outside of the gallery and greeted visitors between the river and the Tate.
2. Olafur Eliasson – The Weather Project
Eliasson transformed the Tate into a beautiful sunset haven during his spell at the hall. Humidifiers created a fine mist in the air while a huge semi-circular sun radiated yellow light. The ceiling was covered with a mirror, where visitors could see themselves as tiny black shadows against a mass of orange light.
3. Doris Salcedo – Shibboleth
Columbian-born Salcedo’s installation took the form of a 167 metre, meandering crack right through the floor of the Turbine Hall, modelled on a Colombian rock face. Probably the most talked about Turbine Hall installation, you can still see the marks that filled in the crack today.
4. Ai Weiwei – Sunflower Seeds
This controversial Chinese artist filled the entire Turbine Hall with some 100 million sunflower seeds. But however realistic they might have seemed, each seed was in fact intricately hand-crafted in porcelain and painted by specialists from the Chinese city of Jingdezhen.
5. Anish Kapoor – Marsyas
Renowned for his awe-inspiring sculptures, Anish Kapoor teamed up with architect Cecil Balmond to create ‘Marsyas’ for the Turbine Hall in 2003. Thought to be one of the biggest exhibition works in the world, the enormous steel and PVC structure is based around an ancient story from Greek mythology. Epic.
These five art hits got you hankering for some culture? Why not pop along to the Tate Modern to see the gallery’s upcoming exhibition: Henri Matisse: Cut-Outs, open from 17 April – 7 September 2014.