Article Archive

Stylin' 909

Author: Alyx Gorman
Monday, 19 May 2008

The Sex And The City movie premiered in London last week, to much hurrah. The movie, like the show, got all dressed up by super-stylist and shop owner Patricia Field – she’s also the clever frocker behind Ugly Betty and The Devil Wears Prada. The stars of the show drew mixed reviews on the red carpet – Style Icon SJP looked resplendent in Brit labels McQueen and Phillip Treacy, while sex-bomb Kim Cattrall lived up to expectations in a red-hot Vivienne Westwood number. Cynthia Nixon looked gingerlicious (except for the part where she’s more blonde than redhead) in a plunging black Calvin Klein number and the one who played Charlotte looked so mediocre we’ve actually forgotten her name.

Sometimes science can back up good taste, with a new study out of Washington suggesting that big earrings can be bad for your health. Much like stretchers, it seems that overly large and heavy earrings can cause permanent stretching, tearing and elongation of the ear lobes. So next time you see a woman in her late forties whose ears hang low, don’t assume she was a hardcore kid in a past life – she’s probably just a fan of hanging chandeliers from her ears. Those who still want to suspend their bling can apparently lessen the chances of tears with shop-bought lobe supports (we didn’t know they existed until today either). Alternatively you could just throw caution to the wind and let your earrings wobble to and fro. But be warned; the first time your grandkid sticks his finger through the hole you’ve made, you’ll have to pay a surgeon up to $1500 to tighten you up again.

Our favourite ever model-cum-novelist Sophie Dahl has turned her hand to cookery (please forgive any puns we make regarding a certain lentil-based Indian dish). The British bombshell whose body was so bodacious it was very nearly banned – for a YSL perfume ad no less – famously transformed herself from a plus-sized model to the regular type and is now planning on sharing her experiences of food, or lack thereof, in a new recipe book with the working title Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights. The book focuses on ways to get slim and stay that way, sans starvation, and will hopefully be filled with the dreamy prose we fell in love with in Playing With Grown-Ups.

Sexier-than-thou lingerie label Agent Provocateur is set to host this year’s Life Ball. The Vienna-based bash is thrown to raise funds and awareness for HIV/Aids and is hosted by a different designer each year. Last year’s party (a wild one from all reports) was thrown by New York design due Heatherette, with past alumni including Donatella Versace, Paco Rabanne, Moschino, Missoni, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jean Galliano and AP founder Joe Corre’s mum Vivienne Westwood. The event is set to rock the fashion world’s knickers off with a performance by Debbie Harry as well as all the lace and frills you would expect from Agent Provocateur.

(Seven reasons why you should know who Paco Rabanne is)

7: He crafted the sixties. In a decade best known for ‘swinging’, Paco Rabanne’s plastic mini-shift reigned supreme. Made of tiny squares of plastic linked by metal rings, it was the ultimate frock for the period; encapsulating the spirit of out-there modernism with a decadent edge.
6: He created the ultimate nerd fantasy. One of Rabanne’s most famous creative endeavours is the costume design in the soft-core sci-fi sex-fest Barbarella. He’s the one responsible for the thigh-hi boots, rock-hard body suits and tight, white, onesie that inspire fashion designers to this day.
5: He smells like (depressed) teen spirit – one of the house of Rabanne’s flagship perfumes, Black XS is the leading scent among goths… spooky!
4: He reinvented runway. Not only was Paco Rabanne the first ever fashion designer to use black models, something our white-washed runways still don’t often do, he was also a very early adopter of catwalk music, which makes for a far less cringe-worthy show than the embarrassing announcers of yore did.
3: He’s a spiritual being. Unafraid of discussing his beliefs in interviews, Paco Rabanne has been a mystic since the age of seven. He can recall several past lives and has had a number of out-of-body experiences.
2: He’s still got it. Although he retired in 1999, the House of Rabanne still does very well. Designer Rosemary Rodrigues is now at its helm, but the Rabannian philosophy of elegance and innovation continues on, resulting in highly covetable couture and RTW collections.
1: He’s actually insane. In a damaging blow for the house of Rabanne, Paco publicly announced that on 11 August 1999 the Mir Space Station would fall to earth, destroying Paris in a blaze of death and terror… he was wrong. Never the less, the trooper keeps on trying and, in an interview with Jeremy Josephs more than a year after the fact he said: “There is just one thing I would like to say in conclusion; it’s about the Mir space station. I was wrong about just one thing: the date. I should never have mentioned a precise date; but it’s not the end of the story, you know. Mark my words.”


What: Zine Fair
When: Sunday 25 May from 11am
Where: MCA

What: Stitch Made Hands
When: Friday 23 May from 6pm
Where: China Heights Gallery, 28 Foster St Surry Hills

What: Mercy Arms residency
When: Wednesday 21 May from 8pm
Where: Club 77, 77 William St Darlinghurst


Fashion Weekend Sydney
Last weekend, straight from London came clever concept in fashion retail Fashion Weekend Sydney. Set up like a monstrous sample sale, the weekend featured stores from over 60 prominent and trendy Australian designers including Antipodium, Elke Kramer, Tristan Blair, Kate Hurst and myPetsQuare. The stock was sold at reasonably reduced prices that, when combined with on-site catwalk shows, hair and beauty lessons and plenty of bubbly made for a fun and feminine fashion fiesta. We attended the opening night and were pleased to be plied with wines and canapés as we browsed. While we didn’t end up buying much, we saw plenty who did – staggering from the Royal Hall of Industries under the weight of 1000 shopping bags.

Find of Fashion Weekend
While we were at FWS we discovered leather crafter Wendy Murray. This talented lady has been designing jackets, belts and wraps for years and makes most of her creations to order. We were particularly smitten with her laser-cut leather shawls and scarves (garments she’s been specialising in for almost half a decade), made of butter-soft hide, we’re tipping these boho-delux creations as the buy of the year. But make sure you’re an early adopter because, like Afghan-scarves, we’re guessing these style statements will be everywhere in a couple of seasons.

Looks you will be wearing next summer (maybe)

Winging It
The birdcage will prove an unlikely but innovative inspiration next summer with many fashion designers hemming and hawing over avian issues. Perhaps it is thanks to Gail Sorronda’s acclaimed collection last summer, Birds of Prey; whatever the reason, the look had us in a flap. Michelle Jank’s Bird in Flight collection featured a repeated bird motif, it appeared as oversize, laser-cut plastic jewellery and eventually on frocks themselves, while other gowns had the grace and ease of wing-strokes. Konstantina Mittas stoned the crows with her collection, also marked with her signature bird pattern, shoulders even protruded like wings on some pieces. But it was Kristian Aadnevik’s fabulous fuchsia feathers and down-like furs that flew off with the show. They were opulent, fluffy and very, very chick.

Sheer Cheek
Thin was in for ladies and fellas with garments in many shows so fine you could see right through them. Boys got a bit nipply at plenty of shows, with a fine mesh at Frissoni Finnetti baring much. All was to be revealed for both genders and Friedrich Gray and Trimapee, with modesty bands occasionally preventing (and frequently failing to) wardrobe malfunctions. Karla Spetic gave the girls a grand reveal, making a prim and proper blouse so naughty we probably wouldn’t wear it without a singlet, while S&B Vie got coy with capes in lace. The crystal-clear pants that popped up in Europe last season were (fortunately) few and far between although, when teamed with dresses, we’d almost warmed to them.