Bilkish Vahed

Tête-à-Tête

Category: STYLE & INDIVIDUALITY (page 1 of 3)

Tailored Self-Possession

SLEEK TAILORING AT DIOR

Is the magic in the specifics of a polished camel coat, a crisp trench, sheer polka dot blouse, two-toned shoes – these certainly have their appeal – or is it in some mysterious, total effect?

Chancing upon Dior’s Pre-Fall 2018 advertising photographs, I’m seduced by the elegance of clean-lines and refined silhouettes. Ensembles that scream: soignée. Luxurious fabrics and sleek tailoring that drape the body. An air of confidence and self-possession oozing from every frame.

Jennifer Lawrence photographed by Brigitte Lacombe for Dior Pre-Fall 2018

The words rolling around fashion magazines to describe this collection are – tailoring, menswear staples, gender fluidity, androgyny and identity – suggested of course by the idea that the muse for this collection was none other than French photographer Claude Cahun whose self portraits were an on-going, layered de-construction and re-construction of self, gender and identity.

Though some of the fashion commentary strikes me as a stretch, what I am nonetheless clear about is this:

Clothes, or better said style is intimately woven into the narrative of the self.

Jennifer Lawrence photographed by Brigitte Lacombe for Dior Pre-Fall 2018

Jennifer Lawrence photographed by Brigitte Lacombe for Dior Pre-Fall 2018

Hues of the Landscape

SAFARI, EQUESTRIAN, DESERT STYLE

Structure and form with layered softness. Ensembles of earthy browns, strong rusts, hints of black, moss green, petrol blue, natural khaki, golden cream and crisp white. A melange of hues that reflect the landscape as it blends into the sky.

“The sky was rarely more than pale blue or violet, with a profusion of mighty, weightless, ever-changing clouds towering up and sailing on it, but it has blue vigour in it, and at a short distance it painted the ranges of hills and the woods a fresh deep blue.”
―  Karen Blixen Out of Africa

In the movies they roam the desert, thunder the earth on the backs of horses, write history, love, live, and die.

Styled in a suede or leather jacket, a white voile or crisp cotton shirt,  khaki jodhpurs; a voluptuous coloured silk pussy-bow blouse here, an elegant printed silk neck scarf there. Theirs is the glamour of the trailblazer that stirs the imagination with romance, and the restlessness to adventure.

Kristin Scott Thomas in ‘The English Patient’ (1996)

Nicole Kidman in ‘Australia(2008)

Meryl Streep & Robert Redford in ‘Out Of Africa’ (1985)

Ralph Fiennes in ‘The English Patient’ (1996)

Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas in ‘The English Patient’ (1996)

A Fearless Aviatrix

PIONEER – AMELIA EARHART

“After midnight, the moon set, and I was alone with the stars. I have often said that the lure of flying is the lure of beauty, and I need no other flight to convince me that the reason flyers fly, whether they know it or not, is the aesthetic appeal of flying.”          — Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart

The Appeal of Denim

CONFIDENCE & EASE – ALL ROLLED UP IN BLUE JEANS

“I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity — all I hope for in my clothes.”
Yves Saint-Laurent

Gisele Bündchen walking for Colcci

Calvin Klein, Fall 2018

Jennifer Lawrence wearing Calvin Klein, ‘Vanity Fair’ March 2018

Black Suit Elegance

YVES SAINT LAURENT LE SMOKING

In August 1966, Yves Saint Laurent introduced a classic black evening suit – the tuxedo for women – marking a revolutionary moment in fashion history. Despite the changes that feminism of the 60’s had wrought for women, wearing pants in public was still frowned upon, but this was to change, and did.

Helmut-Newton-YSL-le-Smoking

The original Yves Saint-Laurent Le Smoking Tuxedo for women, photographed (above and below) by Helmut Newton for French Vogue, Rue Aubriot, Paris, 1975

The real appeal and iconic status of le smoking lies in the attitude and stance that a women wearing it seems to exude – confidence and a sense of her own power. Fifty years later, the tuxedo suit for women is still found in the collections of Saint Laurent Paris  as well as other designers – a testament to its embodiment of perennial chic.

“For a woman, le smoking is an indispensable garment with which she finds herself continually in fashion, because it is about style, not fashion. Fashions come and go, but style is forever.”

— Yves Saint Laurent

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