Giving jewelry as a gift is and isn't tricky - if you know the trick. Which is, I think, is to focus on good quality, whatever your budget, be it 5 Euros or 5,000. At least that's the word from the experts at Trabbia Vuillermoz, where they have bling for most any occasion, be it an anniversary, wedding, baptism, birthday...Christmas.
Speaking of which, Santa, are you listening? *ahem* Here are my Top 5 from Trabbia Vuillermoz, in order of preference. (Although personally, I'd prefer everything on the list.)
Scenarios of life after "the apocalpyse" are generally pretty grim and awful. And peripatetic. Lots of having to escape zombie hordes, evade gangs of ne'er-do-wells, fight to the death...and all generally before breakfast. In other words, lots of raggedy-ass threads and frantic moving around. Meaning shoes which will probably look a lot less chic than the fabulous footwear of "edgy" post-apocalypse fash-magazine spreads above and much more more like this charming "sort of Neo 18th century future cowboy (that's a tongue twister) living in the plains" created by Mo, a student at the University for the Creative Arts in the UK. The premise for the project was based on apocalyptic scenarios and "the items and clothing that the human race would be using in those situations...and what would these scavengers use on their feet."
Something pretty cobbled together, no doubt, but still - the look of Mo's "future cowboy" creation immediately brought to mind for me those super-long & pointy shoes of yore which were popular in Europe from around 1300-1450 or so. Called Crakows or Poulaines (meaning "in the Polish style"), they kept growing ever longer and needed to be stuffed with mosses and even reinforced with whalebone to keep their elaborate shape. Both the Pope and King Henry IV attempted to curtail the wearing of these things, but more fashionable heads prevailed. As did practicality, eventually, when at the 1396 Battle of Nicopolis, French Crusaders resorted to nipping off the tips of their poulaines in order to run away from the enemy.
Their shoes apparently made a run for it as well, straight to the new millenium in the form of these "half-Aladdin, all-Vegas" numbers that were apparently quite the rage to wear out dancing for a time in Matehuala, Mexico. "They would put all kinds of things on them, strobe lights, belt buckles, and those red lights that flash when you step on the shoes," recalls a DJ in a area of Dallas, Texas where many Matehualan migrants live. To which the wife of another wearer added: "The boots makes them look more sexy because you can tell they are daring." (via)
Saving the land doesn't necessarily mean a return to it. Especially if that means no more fashion...um, no thanks. Happily, there are innovative thinkers approaching the problem by working with Mother Nature, in particular with plant systems and their programming at the level of the cells. By tinkering in this area, they are able to biologically manufacture plants that produce nutritionally-supplemented foods and...fashionable accouterments.
The hybrid plant above produces strawberries in a Vitamin C-rich shade of black from the top end, while the root-end grows matching Haute Couture'ish lace. And like the Fragraria Fusca Tenebris (Strawberry Noir), Ocimum Basilicum Rosa would produce culinary and medicinal Basil No. 5 and a perfumed lace trim, while Solamum Lycopene Fabricae would yield both lace and a crop of tomatoes rich in Mother Nature's UV protective factor: lycopene.
Who knows how the Spinacia Aurea Electrica would taste but the fact your spinach came from a plant that grew micro-biological transistors for the electronics sector is nothing short of extremely cool. "This post 2050 scenario considers a radical mean to combine food production together with textile production, thus designing plants that could replace textile macherinery but also provide nutrients," explains Carole Collet of the Textile Futures Research Centre at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design about her project. "BioLace is a speculative design-led research project that investigates the intersection of synthetic biology and textile design to propose future fabrication processes for textiles. The motivation behind this research lies in the hypothesis that living technology can foster a new approach to address some of the key sustainable challenges of the 21st century." (via)
Here's the podcast I recorded about this eco-topian scenario and the FUTURENETICS fashion tribe:
The real fun of fashion is, of course, the fact that there is always some new trend, "must-have" or otherwise lustworthy piece to add to your wardrobe. Especially when it gets chilly out which means snuggly layers, badass boots, bold bags & cute coats. The un-fun part is, generally, when it comes time to pay. Which is one of the reasons Tidebuy rocks. I totalled up this cute head-to-toe look I pulled together and it would have cost me just under $170! The breakdown:
They have a ton of on-trend pieces at great to really-great prices, which gives a girl room to experiment a bit. Like I did with this ensemble. What makes it work, I think, is the mix of classic and edgy. The plaid coat would feel right at home at any proper prep school, but pairing it with punk-inflected jewelry and colors - particularly the bold cobalt-blue bag against the #checkmeout red of the pant - gives it a downtown vibe. And there are few outfits in life which can't be made that much more fabulous with the addition of towering leopard pumps or boots.
- Lesley Scott
[Note: This was written in partnership with Tidebuy. The words, editorial pics & artwork are mine.]
When I first laid eyes on the "Teddy Boy meets Punk" cutout boot on the Balenciaga S'11 runway, it was love/lust/obsession at first sight. I was determined to have a pair - and perhaps if the Fashion Gods were playing nice, they'd see fit to conjur me up some in not-blue. And see fit they did! Bank Fashion recently sent me a really cute version of cut-out booties in black (very me) by Bronx.
So what to wear them with?
Poking around the site and marveling at their excellent prices - which would allow you shop and have enough left over to be able to afford to step out & show off your new look - here's a fun home-girl look I came up with. It features all merch from Bank, right down to the cool laser-cut top, stylish ear-cuff and cherry-red satchel.
This extremely offbeat finalist in the Project Greenway competition organized by the Columbia University School of Architecture is made using pulp containing fungal spores. When you inhale, airborn bacteria is filtered out; on the exhale, the seeds in the mask are encouraged to sprout thanks to the breath's moisture and carbon dioxide. And a surprising amount of C02 gets sequestered. "An average adult weighing 154 pounds exhausts 456 liters of carbon dioxide a day," notes designer Robert Ortega. "Encapsulating this from the breath can have a significant effect on the total greenhouse gases in the atmosphere."
Even cooler, once the mask takes root, it can be planted into soil. Small wonder this nifty "Green Screen" placed in the final five.
Now mind you, Santa, I'm not asking for an entire new wardrobe - more just some stylish stuff from my fave London store to spice up my sartorial side a bit. What's that? Oh, a coat - definitely...by Barbour, preferably. Some fabulous perfume from Dolce & Gabbana (plus a tube or 10 of their amaze lipstick would be lovely). And one of their bags, of course. Pardon? Yes, exactly, the snakeskin tote. A Paul Smith cardi...plus if there's any room left in your sack, some glovescarfkeychain. Huh? No, that should do nicely!
Thanks Santababy (and Harrods) - you're the best!
xo Lesley Scott
GET THE LOOK: coat - Barbour "Outlaw"; cardi - Paul by Paul Smith; ankle boots - Carvela Kurt Geiger "Spin"; fragrance - Dolce & Gabbana "Velvet Desire"; scarf, gloves & keychain - Paul Smith; degrade python tote - Dolce & Gabbana "Miss Lily" - all Harrods.com
[Note: This was written in partnership with Harrods. The words & opinions are mine.]
Along with rich, famous & fabulous, Nicklas Bendtner can now add designer to his resume. While footballing for Arsenal is the official day job, when he's off the clock, he dabbles in making cool jewels for fashionistos. "It has always been my dream to create a jewellery collection for men," explains the handsome Dane about his stingray, silver and black-diamond pieces. "And it must - of course - be jewellery that does not look like anything else on the market."
The "Classic" collection of rings and bracelets are available in seasonal hues and are striking enough to wear out, but sufficiently sturdy to play sports in. The "Wildlife" collection (my fave), also contains necklaces and includes:
- an eagle, considered a ruler of the sky which symbolizes courage and perspective;
- a bear (power & strength);
- a cobra (craftiness & mystery);
- a whale - above (it rests in itself);
- & a lion (being a born leader).
"The jewelry has edge and attitude," continues Bendtner. "It is exclusive and unique." And is cool enough for ladies who like to borrow from the boys. "To my surprise, lots of women have shown a huge interest in our Collections." Enough so that he designed special pieces just for his feminine fans.
NOBLE by Bendtner is available in Denmark and internationally in Pacific Palisades, California.
- Lesley Scott
[Note: This was written in collaboration with NOBLE by Bendtner. The words are mine.]
You could blame it on Isaac Asimov. His mother probably does. After dad gave him the author's Robot and Foundation series at age twelve, the following year Dominic Elvin proceeded to deconstruct a stereo-cassette player, turning it into a robot. To the dismay of mom.
However, she's no doubt proud these days at the LED-festooned cool cybernetic couture, jewelry and installations her son has created for British Airways, Absolut Vodka, Robot Wars, High Life & premiere party for Terminator 3 - as well as countless music videos and performance art shows. Inspired by the world of frontier sciences, Elvin takes apart old hardware from PCs, appliances, industrial machinery and other discarded electronics and reconfigures them into sculptures for the future. His vision of which is inspired by how people react to the changes happening around us. Going forward, Elvin plans to work more with sound and sensors in his sculptures, making them more interactive and alive.
Elvin accepts commissions & will make pieces (like the one at right) to order on Cyberdog.com.
The Futurenetics tribe is so interesting in the way they take lo-fi (discarded electronics) and turn it into the cybernetic body-couture. For me, I find it makes "The Future" seem less daunting and a whole lot more fashion-friendly.
The original Golden Age of taxidermy may have occurred during the Victorian era, but of late, interest has been growing in dead things artfully preserved for our delight and delectation. This revival, with its fresh spin on an old craft - is one of the specialities of the FOLKSPUN fashion tribe.
Like this amazing turquoise parakeet-festooned shoe by bespoke shoemaker Caroline Groves, who learned from a John Lobb-trained master craftsman in the Cotswolds. The claw is solid silver and the heel carved by hand, while the wings of the avian accessory are the ultimate in handmade...made by Mother Nature. However, this one-of-a-kind'ness isn't the only reason taxidermy appeals to the Folkspun tribe. There is also the memento-mori'ish element of death as well, as taxidermy artist Polly Morgan has observed. "I first thought of taxidermy when I was looking for art for my flat. The problem was, I didn't find anyone creating what I was looking for," she notes. "Rather than the traditional way of rendering them to look exactly as they had in life...I wanted animals to look dead."
So she quit shopping and began creating.
Morgan (right) recently teamed up with UK fashion brand Mother of Pearl which based the Fall/Winter 2013/14 collection of some of Morgan's pieces, including 2009's Dead Ringer, Still Birth (2010) & Bad Breath (2011). "Polly Morgan’s artwork dismantles taxidermy traditions and places her subjects in less expected surroundings," explain the brand's design team. "Her intention has never been to mimic the natural habitats of animals, as they are traditionally displayed, but to place them in less expected scenery. The scale and settings are often unnatural, but the animals are never anthropomorphised. Seeing them out of place encourages us to look at them as if for the first time: a rat sheds its association with horror and disease and can be rightly viewed as a beautiful animal."
As are we, both outside - and in. "Once you peel back the skin and see the body beneath, there lies a whole new world," continues Morgan. "By knowing animals, I now know myself, how I am put together, and understand the lumps and bumps under my own skin. It's frightening to realize how fragile we are. Now that I know where to aim," she adds, "it'd be so easy to chop off a hand."
Be sure to check out the PODCAST I recorded about taxidermy, the Folkspun tribe & even Innerspace, an awesome cheesy movie from the 80s starring Dennis Quaid: