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Stylin' 953

Author: Alyx Gorman/Ingrid Kesa
Monday, 30 March 2009

NEWS
Stop the press and start the party, the recession has all been worthwhile. 'Why-' You ask. 'What could possibly make the loss of thousands of jobs, of superannuation funds, of businesses, worthwhile-' Well, it's actually a particular job loss we'd like to talk about. Lauren Conrad, bitchy blonde and reality TV celebutard has cancelled her clothing range. No longer will the over-privileged and under-talented Hills horror assault our eyes with her take on, and we use the word loosely here, fashion. In a spine tingling schadenfreude moment, the LA times leaked a statement she made to some of her stockists:
'In light of the economic climate, Lauren has decided to completely rethink her line.' When Gawker claimed a few months ago that the recession would put an end to the celebrity vanity fashion line, we were too browbeaten by their ubiquity to hope, but it looks like the bloggers might just be right.

Speaking of celebrity fashion lines, this time ones that don't suck, Kate Moss's spring collection with TopShop hits the stands this week. And unlike all the other high-street collaborations we tell you about, misty eyed at their unavailability, you can buy this one on the net. The collection is a girly one, starring camisoles and pretty dresses. Florals, and particularly liberty prints, '09s most enduring (and endearing) trend, take the forefront. In a rare interview Moss told The (British) Telegraph: 'When I was growing up everything was about Liberty prints for me. I had Liberty print dresses when I was a child,' Moss says. 'They remind me of my mum. Like all those gorgeous 1970s shirts with little flower Liberty prints that are so delicate and really English, and so cute.' We're clicking refresh on Topshop.co.uk repeatedly in anticipation.

Fashion designer Jil Sander, who has been keeping a very low profile since splitting from her eponymous label five years ago, has popped up in a very interesting place. The fashion star, who's pared back, sombre minimalism was one of the defining looks of the nineties, is giving luxury a break, instead working as a creative consultant at Tokyo-based fast fashion brand Uniqlo. The chain, which is thriving in the recession thanks to its obscenely low price points, is set to receive a slight makeover under Sander's careful eye. The designer says she wants to tighten the brand's quality, particularly when it comes to fabrication. 'The challenge for me is to establish premium quality and democratically priced branding,' she said in a statement to the press last week. As the deal has only just been done, there is no word yet on how Jil Sander's touch will change Uniqlo, although we'll be watching with anticipation. Sander's self-named label, owned by a Japanese holdings company, is currently being designed (to critical acclaim) by Raf Simons.

To all those journalism students worried they'll be unemployable in these turbulent economic times (err-. all of you-), there's still hope. Ingrid Sischy and Sandra Brant, former co-editors of Interview magazine (they left the mag due to creative differences, which is like being laid-off sans severance cheque), have just landed themselves shiny new jobs. Already working as international editors for Italian and Spanish Vanity Fair, the pair are set to step into the same roles at German and Russian Vogue. So there you go, you can loose one gig in this day and age and end up with four. Now all you media students need to do the same is get years of experience at an extremely high profile publication first.

FEATURE
Falling For It


Ingrid Kesa takes us through New York's looks for the season-

As the days grow shorter and the moment between getting out of the shower and getting dressed becomes colder, we know that winter and her icy vice is upon us. Yet not everything need be so dreary - the trends for Autumn '09 coming out of New York Fashion Week are proof of this.

Marc Jacobs saw the silver lining of the economic storm cloud hanging over the fashion industry, showing a colourful Fall collection that overflowed with the vim, vigour and vitality at New York Fashion Week. Okay, so with empty seats and cancelled shows, maybe people weren't feeling so vital, but for the 400 invited to Jacobs' show, things must have been pretty peachy. He'd chosen them despite slashing his guest list by 1600 and leaving every celebrity in town out in the cold. The lurid '80s prom dresses rendered in structured velvet, tribal-patterned Day-Glo leggings, neon stirrup pants, pop-punk hairstyling and illogical cartoon-like shoes carried over from previous collections can't help but be read as a tongue-in-cheek response to the fantastical and escapist role apparently played by high fashion in colder economic climates. Marc Jacobs can always be counted on when it comes to hyperbole and humour. All seriousness aside, the collection is a well-needed shot of Crayola colour when the leaves are turning from green to gold.

The 50th Anniversary Barbie Runway Show worked in a similar manner, taking every girl (and probably some confused boys) back to their childhoods. Charting the famous doll's dress codes throughout the decades, our favourite pieces were the life-sized versions of what we can remember dressing Barbie in: her signature black and white bandeau swimsuit (this time sexed-up with sequins and combined with a blunt peroxide fringe) and a short, painfully girly hot pink dress adorned with butterflies. Strangely, there was a lack of Doctor Barbie and Bay Watch Barbie outfits. Not surprisingly, the models were purposely plastic looking, yet we could never imagine Barbie herself with concave thighs or collagen lips. Our favourite doll model will always stand tall, despite the crushing weight of her comically huge bust and impossibly shortened rib cage.

It seems that colour really was the buzzword of New York Fashion Week. Zac Posen offered a regal collection. Long, flowing gowns flourished in regal reds, purples and bronze, with a few bright violet garments punctuating the otherwise very Renaissance show. Akiko Ogawa used a palette predominantly based on blue, cream and mauve, resulting in a cohesive collection. Although quite conventional (not to be mistaken for boring), Akiko Ogawa experimented with colour grading, as can be seen in pieces like her trench coat, which incorporates different blues to beautiful effect.

Charlotte Ronson went the opposite direction, showing a much denser collection using leather in the form of jackets, pants, skirts and boots as a focus point to style the more feminine garments around. And, for the last time, yes she is the daughter of Ann Dexter-Jones and sister of Mark and Sam, and, no, that should not take away from her evident talent. The inspiration taken from military regalia was expertly interspersed with art deco styling. One of our standout looks is a long-sleeved pussy bow blouse with added wartime shoulder decoration and shiny black tailored suit pants. The Charlotte Ronson showing was undoubtedly one of her most rounded yet, even with the hot messes in the front row.

PARTY
Last week Sydney's fashion fans flooded into Paddington for the launch of Diesel's latest Black Gold collection. The event was held in store and the combination of cute clothes and bubbly had the register ringing well past closing time. The crowd was a mixture of stylish Sydney and Diesel die-hards, most of them sporting fabulous tans and Italian made shoes. The collection itself was lovely, with one jumper in particular managing to capture the attention of our entire (mixed sex) group. Unfortunately for us, the price tags had prohibitively large numbers on them, so we couldn't indulge in a bit of sloshed spending. But when the recession ends, or a little known but very wealthy relative passes on, we're heading straight back to the Diesel store.

EVENTS
What: New Eyes Open
When: Wednesday 1 April from 6pm
Where: aMBUSH Gallery, 4A James Street, Waterloo

What: Shona Joy sample sale
When: Thursday 2 April from 10am
Where: Rm 5 Lv 1 617 Elizabeth St, Redfern

What: Semi-Permanent '09
When: Friday and Saturday 3-4 April
Where: Bayside Auditorium, Sydney Convention Centre
More: semipermanent.com

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