Stylised Monologue

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A post on trend(s) and The Little Black Jacket

Fashion is a large umbrella under which a lot of elements find refuge. Style, trend, art, expression, individualism, production, advertising, accessibility, couture and the list goes on. Ideally, said umbrella has the personal signature of the beholder. Realistically, this time last year it had a pastel mint hue which has now been replaced by Gothic plum tones and lace. What I'm getting at is, the power of Trends.

I remember interviewing designer Simeon Farrar last year for a magazine I worked at. We discussed art and how his fashion designer status crept up on him when he wasn't looking. And we discussed trends. Trends as seen from the perspective of someone who is not trained to be their slave. That, he struggled with. The speed at which they changed overwhelmed him.

Could fashion exist without trends? The way I see it, trends are the language of the fashion world, it's how this form of art communicates with the people that follow or mock it. In an attempt to take style forward and express it in a way that will interest the public, buyers, high street and journos, a designer has to (more often than not) process that thought in a way that is comprehensible. First the catwalks then the stars then the high streets. And the pavements fill to the brim with boho skirts that quickly turn into MadMen-esque 60's corsets, into leathers, metallics, chunky heels, stilettos, 90s revival, candy coloured pastels, printed t-shirts, goth. Hair and skin and eyebrow sizes go along getting straighter, blonder, fuller, darker, paler, purple hued.

But not unlike history, trends repeat themselves. The outfit that up until recently belonged to a cringe-worthy photograph, may come out to adorn the flesh and be paraded around again. It will get re-vamped, it will become relevant, present! And then, after it's 15minutes of fame, the sequel, it will set again back in the horizon of the wardrobe. But then, there are SOME trends, some few ones that never go, that linger around...sometimes they stand proudly on the first line of attack and sometimes they sluggishly slack off in the back, but they're there. And more often than not, they were established by Coco Chanel. Ok that may not be true but it's a good bridge to where this article is heading towards.

So while bright neon colours come and go and the amount of muffin top on show maximises and minimises according to the waistline en vogue, the little black dress stays the same. Little and black. The shapes may vary a little, there may be a bit of beading or embroidery, the sleeves and necklines may come in a plethora of shapes and sizes and the hemlines may be grazing from thigh to knee, but it's undeniably omnipresent, like a God-like equivalent in the garment world. And then, you get even more specific, you need something to cover your LBD with, or your jeans and t-shirt or whichever trend you are currently rocking. And that's where tweed comes in.
A tweed jacket cuts through any sartorial prohibition. It can be rock, it can be classy, elegant, scruffy, boho... It can elevate simplicity, it can subtly compliment elegance and brightly contradict eccentricity. It can be pure or chain laden, it can be married with leather or lace or denim but at the top of the tweed hierarchy, it is made in the trademark Chanel design.
The Little Black Jacket. Coco passed it on to Karl who collaborated with Carine. They covered the bodies of everyone they deemed relevant in its course yet soft material. Karl captured its flawless design on them and the photos became big canvases that plastered the walls of art galleries around the world, landing at the Saatchi gallery in West London. And women who look and smell like my grandmother, stare at it in awe. As do men in suits and tracksuits, as do I and my friends, my football loving boyfriend and a Danish lady in her thirties pushing a pushchair. For Alexander Wang, Lilly Allen, Freja Beha, Kanye West, Clemence Poesy, Tilda Swinton,to name a few, have such different looks yet the classic, undeniably bang on trend LITTLE BLACK JACKET can do no wrong in everyone's body and everyone's eyes.

If you are in London, you HAVE to go check it out. It's gorgeous and free (plus for the mega freeloaders you also get a free poster). Here's the link for more information: 

As for me, the pricelessly classic Chanel design, has a price I cannot fathom.

Instead, I may direct my drooling towards the more affordable options listed below:

1) ASOS tweed biker jacket

2) Mango powder pink tweed jacket

3) Helene Berman plum, pink and black tweed jacket

4) My personal favourite DKNY cotton blend tweed jacket

You should snap up the last 2 scrumptiously discounted ones before pay day makes an appearance and forces me to purchase them both, in a heartbeat.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderfully written piece. I'm definitely dragging the boyfriend along to see this exhibition. xx