Bilkish Vahed

Notes on Style & Daily Rebellion

Category: STYLE (page 1 of 2)

A Badge of Individuality

THE TRENCH COAT

No one looks the same in a trench coat. Each person gets to stamp their own signature on the look, whilst borrowing its crisp, classic form. Originally a military uniform worn by army officers, designed with details to aid soldiers through the travails of wind, rain and the conditions of trench warfare, the trench coat found its way into the realms of high style, and persists today as a garment of elegance and functionality for both men and women.

“Embodying a certain cool, effortless, sexy feel with hints of masculinity…. A piece that will never date and a piece that will epitomise chic elegance no matter how you choose to wear it. Simply put, it is a classic to suit every woman.”

— Vogue (Australia)

Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy, Paris, 1982, photographed by Jacques Scandelar.

Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy, Paris, 1982, photographed by

“The Trench Coat was once a uniform, now it is a badge of Individuality.”
Aquascutum

The drive to develop fabrics for the manufacture of outerwear that protected one against the elements, began in the 1800’s.  As early as 1823, Scotsman Charles Macintosh invented a “rubberized cotton” and made outer garments called “macks,” that were worn by the military and civilians.

In 1853, British clothier John Emary, developed a better fabric, still weatherproof but more breathable, and appropriately renamed his company Aquascutum: “aqua” meaning “water” and “scutum” meaning “shield” in Latin.

It was in 1879, that Thomas Burberry, English gentlemen’s outfitter, invented “gabardine,” a “weatherproofed twill” that began the design development of the iconic Burberry trench coat.

Kate Moss for Burberry, 1999

Kate Moss for Burberry, 1999

Kate Moss for Burberry , 2006

Hues of the Landscape

THE PIONEERING SPIRIT

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 pioneering spirit that stirs the imagination with romance, and the restlessness to adventure.

“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

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.

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

Nicole Kidman in ‘Australia(2008)

Jennifer Lawrence in the movie, "Serena"

Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Serena’ (2014)

Ralph Fiennes in ‘The English Patient’ (1996)

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 by Helmut Newton, 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

Tailored Self Possession

DIOR – SLEEK TAILORING

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

jennifer-lawrence-brigitte lacombe-dior-fall-2018

The words rolling around fashion magazines to describe this collection are – tailoring, menswear staples, gender fluidity, androgyny, identity.

All suggested by the fact 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.

The intimate relationship between clothes and the self unravels.

The Riding Boot

EQUESTRIAN STYLE – SLEEK & TALL

Sleek, shiny, soft leather that hugs the length of the leg imbuing the wearer with  a beautifully proportioned longer silhouette. Classic with edge.

Vintage Riding Boot

Vintage Equestrian Style – photographer unknown

Film - Belle du Seigneur - Ariane and Solal in stylish equestrian clothing

Film ‘Belle du Seigneur’

The Leather Jacket

EVOKING THE UNFETTERED OPEN ROAD

There’s nothing quite like soft buttery leather, cut to beautiful proportion, sleekly hugging the body. Nothing like the feeling of soigné power drenching the self. Nothing like the feeling of adventure, open roads, pulsing possibilities.

All of this swimming in an exquisitely crafted leather jacket!

The endless open road

Bradley Cooper wearing a leather jacket in watch ad for IWC Schaffhausen.
Bradley Cooper, for IWC Schaffhausen watches, “The Road Less Traveled”
Andreea Deaconu wearing Belstaff leather jacket.
Andreea Deaconu, for Belstaff, photographed by Peter Lindbergh

The Appeal of Denim

CONFIDENCE & EASE – ALL ROLLED UP IN BLUE

“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

Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein, Vanity Fair March 2018
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