QUARANTINE RAMBLINGS: DAYDREAMS OF PARIS & LOST TIME

A couple of weeks ago I was scrolling through old blog posts, out of no particular reason other than boredom, and came across this sentence that I wrote a week after moving to Paris last September: “What scared me the most about moving to Paris was the unknown, and while I’ve found somewhere to live and can officially find my way to the Palais-Royal and the Louvre without having the use Google Maps, whether I’ll be good at my job, whether I’ll become fluent in French, whether I’ll make friends, are all still unknown, but I keep forgetting I’m only one week in and I have 11 months to go to do all of these things.”

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THE RENAISSANCE REVIVAL & THE JOY OF ESCAPIST FASHION

Khaite AW20

If you’ve recently found yourself struck by a desire to regularly swathe yourself in lashings of pearls, velvet and brocade, or with an healthy appreciation for puff sleeves, romantic necklines and jacquard ballgowns, then you’re not alone – Renaissance-era dressing is having a moment right now. Thanks to the preponderance of that giant-collared Ganni shirt, it’s safe to say that we’re experiencing a period of white-blouse mania, whereby fanciful iterations of Shakespearean-inspired blouses and lacy, ruffled confections are firmly entrenched in the season’s repertoire of must-have wardrobe items. The runways, too, in recent seasons have witnessed an inundation of 16th-century-inspired attire, with designers presenting collections in ode to all things Renaissance.

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CONSCIOUS CONSUMPTION & COVETING DURING COVID-19

Since I left Paris 8 weeks ago for what was at the time an unknown period, I’ve made three purchases – a month’s supply of books, a glorious daisy signet ring, and a pair of trainers to replace my former pair that were so old and worn down (I have vivid memories of being forced to run up and down the school sports hall during the ‘bleep test’ in them) that attempting to run in them seems to have done semi-permanent damage to my ankles. For a while any desire to make sartorial purchases seemed to have been subdued, perhaps by the knowledge that I wouldn’t be leaving the house, with the exception of my ‘daily’ walks, for the foreseeable future, and though I am still getting dressed, there is currently little need to be adding to the contents of my wardrobe. 

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QUARANTINE TO DO LIST: DO NOTHING

Illustration by @natkacheva

Yesterday I wrote my first blog post in nearly two months. I’d been meaning to write it since I came back home from Paris, over a month ago. Tomorrow I intend to start writing an essay that I need to pass in order to complete my year abroad (which currently isn’t much of a year abroad), which I told myself I’d start writing two weeks ago. I also told myself I’d start getting up at 8am everyday and do a workout first thing before settling down at the kitchen table to WFH (post-shower, obviously), whether that means doing work for my internship that I’m continuing despite it looking less and less likely that I’ll be able to return to it, the aforementioned essay or writing articles or blog posts. Needless to say the reality has looked quite different.

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THE POWER OF GETTING DRESSED

From the depths of quarantine: an outfit recipe for a sunny day – plain white T-shirt, a beach-umbrella-striped midi skirt, and the key to feeling/looking put together when going absolutely nowhere = jewellery

Today I am wearing a slightly V-necked, slightly cropped duck-egg blue knit jumper. It has cuffed balloon-sleeves that bell out from the underarm, and it is one part of a co-ord – the sister piece being a midi-skirt in the exact same knit texture and the exact same delicate blue hue – that I bought in an attempt to recreate a knitted pastel two-piece look from a street style photo at Autumn/Winter 2019’s Paris Fashion Week (which I wrote about here in one of my first ever blog posts). Instead, though, today I am wearing it with a pair of striped pyjama bottoms rendered in an aubergine-purple and white stripe. I’ve probably had them since I was about 12. I don’t own any joggers so these are my answer to the question of comfortable loungewear. They’re fairly fitted, hugging my lower half in a pleasant, almost satisfying fashion rather than a constrictive one. 

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MFW AW20: WHY WAS MILAN FASHION WEEK SO NOSTALGIC?

Versace

In my slightly overdue third instalment of Fashion Month pieces, I wrote about nostalgia at Milan Fashion Week and why so many collections were inspired by the past.
For more Fashion Month food-for-thought, take a look at how designers at London Fashion Week incorporated sustainability into their collections here. Or, if you’re in need of some inspiration on how to get dressed, plunge into the New York Fashion Week shows that gave lessons in how to do just that here.

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LFW AW20: WHAT DOES SUSTAINABLE FASHION LOOK LIKE?

Marques’ Almeida AW20 – A bubble-hemmed recycling-themed print dress made from plastic collected from the oceans in collaboration with Louise Gray

Among the ‘Big Four’, London Fashion Week occupies a place at the forefront of the conversation surrounding sustainability. For my second installment of Fashion Month pieces, I took a look at how sustainable values and practices manifested themselves in London’s Autumn/Winter 2020 collections.
Find the first installment on New York Fashion Week where I explored why the best fashion shows aren’t always the ones that display the most beautiful clothes here.

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NYFW AW20: THE BEST SHOWS ARE THE ONES THAT INSPIRE YOU TO GET DRESSED

Veronica Beard AW20

The world of runway shows and designer collections can sometimes feel like a distant fantasy reserved only for those who have managed to rise through the ranks of the fashion industry, while the rest of us fashion enthusiasts watch from afar (or through our phone screens and Instagram feeds) and marvel at the otherworldly silhouettes of theatrical ball gowns and gilded power suits and myriad other sartorial novelties. Compounded by the fact that the way clothes are made and presented is heavily influenced by the age of social media that we are currently living in, fashion shows and the clothes within them at times become an orchestration of an Instagram moment, their most notable attribute being their ability to aesthetically please the eyes of an Insta-obsessed generation. 

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WHY I’M BOYCOTTING FAST-FASHION IN 2020

Images by @project_stopshop

Somewhere around the 8th January, give or take a couple of days, I realised I’d entered the new year without so much as giving a thought to any resolutions I wanted to make or habits I wanted to change. This wasn’t so much an active dissent against the notion that we must transform ourselves into new, better versions of ourselves as the last digit (or two digits, in this year’s case) change on the calendar, but rather oversight that skipped my mind when rushing back to Paris after a fleeting visit home for Christmas. The turn of a new decade nonetheless felt like an opportunity to set some relatively unrigid intentions, albeit something like a week after the new year was actually brought in. Alongside the obvious ‘healthy eating’ and ‘exercise’ goals, my list of vague intentions for the year started as follows:

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WHY IS EVERYONE OBSESSED WITH JACQUEMUS?

Jacquemus A/W2020, ‘Année ’97’

Picture fleets of saturated colours and breezy silhouettes drifting down a fuschia runway, set within a sea of lavender in the heart of Provence, and it’s not hard to imagine the Instagram frenzy that Simon Porte Jaquemus’ 10th anniversary show stirred. The 30-year old designer’s SS20 runway show, entitled ‘Le Coup de Soleil’, was an overt manifestation of his mastery of brand marketing in the golden age of social media. The clothes and their backdrop told a story of his Provencal countryside origins, one that perhaps not so incidentally became an aesthetic social media sensation. 

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