Give a frock Friday

Kate Moss wearing Yves Saint Laurent by Tom Ford Fall/Winter 2003/2004. Photograph by Steven Klein scanned from a special Kate Moss issue of Paris Vogue from December 2005/January 2006 with Kate on the cover and featuring all things Kate Moss. 

Have a great weekend.


Give a frock Friday

Linda Evangelista in the “Marilyn” polychrome printed silk with multicoloured rhinestone and glass bead embroidery dress by Gianni Versace, photographed by Irving Penn, 1991.

“You wear Versace: you believe in daring and drama.”  – Andre Leon Talley

Have a great weekend.


Give a frock Friday

Jennifer Aniston wearing Donna Karan Collection, photographed by Mario Testino, as seen in Australian VOGUE, June 2006.
Have a great weekend.

Source: image scanned from my own copy of Australian VOGUE, June 2006.

Give a frock Friday

Kate Bosworth in Tom Ford embroidered silk satin gown with lace and velvet from the Autumn/Winter 2011 collection featured in the November issue of Instyle magazine and styled by Brad Goreski.   

Ah green, my favourite colour.  How I love thee.  Give me anything in green and I’m gonna wear it to death.  Tom Ford is such a talented fellow, don’t you think?  

Have a great weekend.



*I have not been able to find the name of the photographer for this image.  If anyone can help, please leave a comment with the name of the photographer so I can give credit.  Thank you! 

Image source: bradgoreski.tumblr 

Give a frock Friday

A scene from “Jungle Fever” editorial photographed by Hans Feurer and styled by Francoise Ha Van as seen in Paris Vogue June/July 2003.

Facteur Cèleste coat in flax and silk double cotton calico, Nakul Sen muslin dress of silk embroidered with pearls, underneath is a Vannina Vesperini dress of silk and lace from Calais, and worn over the hair is a Dries Van Noten silk scarf featuring glass beads.

It was the colourful coat that initially caught my eye, but after looking closer, the detail of this outfit is mesmerising. 
This is why I love layering so much!  Beautifully put together layers of varying texture which are simple and elegant and so well defined by stylist Francoise Ha Van.

Have a great weekend.


Source: image scanned from my own copy of Paris Vogue, June/July 2003.

Give a frock Friday.

Eva Green wearing Christian Dior Haute Couture on the Riviera at the Cannes Film Festival.  Photographed by Hugh Stewart for British Vogue, September 2007.

This gown is exquisite, imagine wearing this?  Lucky Eva.

Have a great weekend.


Give a frock Friday

It’s Friday and that means it’s time to rock a gorgeous frock and so here it is…

Karlie Kloss wearing Zac Posen’s romantic ruffled duchesse-satin dress, photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue US July 2009.  

Dream a little dream…

Have a great weekend.


Summer Dressing Workshop

Kate looks fab in her little white dress.

Dressing for Summer is hard work.  As I am fast becoming aware, it takes a lot more thought and your personal body upkeep is constant and unrelenting.    Shaving, waxing, moisturising, self-tanning, pedicures and nail polish, OMG!

Hats are a necessity in summer.

I have very quickly become aware of what an easy life I had living in the cooler climates.  If I forgot to shave my legs, well I would simply wear tights.  If I couldn’t be bothered to moisturise, again, don some jeans or tights.  Black was my uniform and boots my best friend.  Even though I lived at the beach, our beach was not frequented by beach bunnies and bikini clad babes.  It was a place to exercise your dog and to collect shells and sea glass.  Period!

Bar Rafaeli in her denim cut-offs, blouse and heels, very chic.  This long skirt and white tee is favourite summer look for me, I too like to add a light-weight scarf when needed.

Since moving back to the coast, I have had to evolve rapidly into a much more high-maintenance woman and let me tell you, it is not all fun and games!  It is true however, that once I am in a routine, it’s not really that difficult to keep up with the waxing, shaving, self-tanning, etc, but if you let it slide for just a few days, boy there is so much to catch up on!

I am making my own version of the little summer dress below for my girls Annabel and Chloe.  They are going to look so cute!

Kate in one of her little summer dresses.  A wardrobe staple I think!  

When I was a kid my skin was used to being in the sun, I was tanned from spending endless days at the beach and my skin never burned.  But as I grew older and moved away from the coast, my skin became paler from the lack of exposure to the sun and I became quite obsessed with sun protection.  I have worn an SPF on my face every day for over 10 years now (and the proof is that I have no lines on my face as a result of my vigilance) and I wear sunglasses and hats at all times, even in the winter.  I can see sun damage on my arms from years of sun exposure, but all I can do about that is exfoliate and continue to cover up.  As we all should be doing.

Layering isn’t just for cooler weather.  Cropped light-knits and flowing, belted dresses look classy and chic.  I’m loving this look.

Colourful Gucci and the ubiquitous summer trilby.

Some stylish strangers in their summer attire. 

Summer dressing is not easy for some women.  Some of us don’t like to bare our skin and not because they don’t want skin damage either – we can’t all look like Gisele, so in order to make the most of our own looks in the summer time.  You don’t have to wear white or pale colours either.  Black is still viable and very wearable, but colour is key and jeweled colours on our clothes or accessories always look gorgeous in the summer sun, don’t you think?  Shades of nude and the palest of pinks and grey look classy too.

Give it your best shot, you know you won’t regret it!


Sources: The Sartorialist,, Stockholm Streetstyle,

Sonia Rykiel: Queen of Knitwear

This year Paris’s enigmatic legendary designer celebrated 40 years on the fashion scene with a show that was according to one lucky attendee, (unfortunately not moi) the most spontaneously exuberant and genuinely fun fashion event in recent history.

Sonia Rykiel’s eponymous label was founded in 1968 wither her first boutique opening on the Rue de Grenelle on the Left Bank in Paris.  Aside from window-dressing her father’s shops in her teens, Rykiel had no formal training.  Later she began creating her own maternity sweaters out of necessity when she couldn’t find what she wanted in stores.  In 1962, Rykiel went on to sell her sweaters under her husband’s label “Laura” and when one made the cover of Elle magazine, it brought her fame and in 1970 she was dubbed the “Queen of Knits” by fashion bible Women’s Wear Daily. 

“I didn’t have a métier. I was supposed to be a mother, like my mother, who didn’t work. I had two children — Nathalie and Jean-Philippe. My husband had a boutique called Laura. I wanted a maternity dress and I couldn’t find anything I liked. Everything was abominable. So I made one. Then I made a pullover. Elle put it on the cover. Then WWD elected me the queen of knitwear.” Sonia Rykiel to Women’s Wear Daily.

Rykiel is famous for inventing inside-out stitching, no-hem and ‘un-lined’ pieces that reflected ‘la de-mode’ or rather ‘un-fashion’.  This new philosophy  allowed women the freedom to dress for their personality.  She encouraged women to use their head to create fashion for their body rather than be told what to wear and how to wear it.  

Sonia’s Spring 2009 collection in my opinion was the most gorgeous collection of colour, fabric and femininity I have seen in a very, very, very long time.  There wasn’t one piece from this collection that I would not wear.  It was pure perfection, pure girlishness, dreamy, sexy, and heavenly all at once.

The author of several books, Rykiel began to incorporate words into her designs. “I feel more like a novelist than a fashion designer,” she commented to the International Herald Tribune ‘s Suzy Menkes. “Someone who writes a new chapter each season, including everything I see around me.” And what she has seen around her becomes emblazoned on slinky dresses and the fronts or backs of sweaters variously inscribed “Moi,” “Fête,” and “Plaisir,” among others plus English words: “Artist,” “Ready,” “Black Tie,” and “Black is Beautiful” have also been included.

First I destroyed, undid what I had made. I wasn’t satisfied with it, it wasn’t me. It didn’t relate to me. It was fashion, but it wasn’t my fashion. I wanted to abolish the laws, the rules. I wanted to undo, overflow, exceed fashion. I wanted to unfold, unwind it. I wanted a lifestyle appropriate to the woman I was…this woman-symphony who was living the life of a woman mingled with the life of a worker.
I wanted airplane-style, travel-style, luggage-style. I saw myself as a woman on the go, surrounded by bags and children…so I imagined “kangaroo-clothes,” stackable, collapsible, movable, with no right side, no wrong side, and no hem. Clothes to be worn in the daytime I could refine at night. I put “fashion” aside to create “non-fashion.”
—Sonia Rykiel

During the evening-gown section of the Spring 2009 40th anniversary show – long tanks and feathery halters and tiers ruffled to the floor—some of the guests started tossing roses at the models. Soon the runway was covered in flowers the color of Rykiel’s dresses.  The runway then broke into a dance party when they came out again in taffeta mini-dresses. A few even conga-lined it straight into the audience.

Well, maybe I would re-think wearing this Jean Paul Gaultier for Rykiel over-sized knitting needle sweater… but I do love the play on Sonia’s hair, it looks like almost all the models went down the runway with their hair emulating Rykiels famous locks.

In 1996, the French government showed its appreciation by awarding her the Legion d’Honneur. Today, her label encompasses lingerie, accessories, children’s clothing, menswear, and beauty.  It is still a family-owned business with Rykiel’s daughter Nathalie as president and artistic director.

It is not surprising then that Sonia Rykiel has been likened to Coco Chanel, even being called “Coco Rykiel” at one time.  Much like Coco Chanel, Sonia Rykiel fell into designing, she challenged the standards and broke the rules and has become successful many times over because of her innovation, her strength, her intelligence, her flair, panache and elegantly simple style.

A woman to be admired, oui?

Images from Google.

Alaia: The King of Cling

Alaia with Giselle in his Atelier in Paris.

In Strasbourg, France on April 3 of this year Michelle Obama broke with tradition when she chose to wear a formal black knit sleeveless dress with a ruffled skirt by designer Azzedine Alaia to the NATO dinner. Much like First Lady Jackie Kennedy did when she met President de Gaulle in France in 1961 with her husband President Kennedy, she too suffered the slings and arrows of her country’s media for choosing Givenchy over an American designer. Mrs Kennedy got away with it though as it was excused as a compliment to her French hosts.

First Lady Michelle Obama in her Alaia with President Barack Obama in France.
Alaia is known for his perfectionism and his sexy hourglass creations made supermodels of Naomi Campbell and Stephanie Seymour. The lycra stretch material he used worked as a whole-body corset which gave form to the entire ensemble but allowed freedom of movement at the same time. His true secret lies in his cut and spiral-like stitches which configure and lengthen the legs, elevate the buttocks, restrain the waist and give support to the breasts. His designs transform any woman who wears them into a goddess.

Alaia flanked by models in his Atelier circa 1990.

Azzedine Alaia was born in Tunisia in 1935 and in 1957 moved to Paris to work in fashion design. His study of sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Tunisia gave him important insight into the human form which helped immensly in his designs. After stints at Christian Dior, Guy Laroche and Thierry Mugler, Alaia opened his own atelier in his petit apartment on the rue de Bellechase in the late 1970’s in which he dressed his clients for 20 years.

Spot the supermodels – Carla Bruni and Yasmin Ghauri are there.

His first pret-a-porter collection debuted in 1980  and in 1984 he was voted Best Designer of the Year and Best Collection of the Year at the Oscars de la Mode. He was a massive hit in America where by 1988 he had opened boutiques in New York and Beverly Hills as well as Paris. It was the media who named him “The King of Cling”.

Clients like Madonna, Raquel Welch, Naomi Campbell, Elle McPherson, Stephanie Seymour, Tina Turner and Carine Roitfeld were all devoted to him. Grace Jones was also a devoted fan and wore many of his creations as May Day in the Bond film A View To A Kill.

Alaia fitting Grace Jones.
Alaia all but disappeared from the fashion scene after the death of his twin sister, but he continued to design for a very select clientele. He continues to present his designs when they are ready, not at the biannual events fashion forces dictate.
Alaia in his Paris Atelier with his long-time muse Naomi Campbell.

With the Prada group his financial partner since 2000, and the hiring of 15 staff from the Yves Saint Laurant Couture house (closed after YSL’s retirement in 2002) Alaia is now able to meet the demands of a Pret-a-Porter line, footwear and sunglasses as well as maintaining his distinctive made to measure and in July 2007 he successfully bought back his house and brand name from the Prada Group, his footwear and leather goods division continue to be owned by the group however.

Editorial featuring Naomi, Linda and Yasmin le Bon from American Elle circa 1990.

I remember the above editorial distinctly because I had not seen designs like these anywhere before. The detail and the cut and boy-o-boy, the way they fit! Also I remember being surprised with the frivolity of the models and how Alaia himself was so cute and tiny!

Going through some old magazines got me thinking about my high school graduation formal dress. I spent much of my time designing my dress and scouring magazines to find the perfect look for me.
I knew that I didn’t want to look like anyone else and so that meant wearing something unconventional.

Alaia in his Atelier.

I knew that I had to have an Alaia but short of flying to Paris (an impractical impossibility) I designed a dress based on my favourite silhouette. I found a very talented dressmaker who was as excited as I was to make a pattern and construct my dress, I couldn’t wait! It turned out perfectly and my favourite part was the pleated hem and the sapphire coloured fabric.  The only concession I had to make was that my mother would not let me have it made out of lycra (no cling for moi unfortunately), so I had it made from satin and let me tell you, it may have not been form-fitting back in 1990, but after two babies, not only does it still fit, but it clings like it should now!

Oh how I wish I could show you the dress, but alas I do not have any pictures to show you… I have looked high and low, but to no avail.  Je suis dèsolè!

When my little girls grow up and attend their high school graduation formal, I wonder how far I will have to go to fulfill their couture desires? Will we have to mortgage our retirement fund in order to buy Parisian couture for them?

It would be fun though, wouldn’t it?

Heidi x

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