Every year Christmas and charity goes hand in hand throughout December, with 1 December (World AIDS Day) starting the whole thing of.
Fashion has slowly embraced the possibility to make a difference, and more and more retailers, designers and other involved in the fashion agenda has spread their mist supporting various aid funds and relief projects worldwide.
SUPPORTING CHARITY IS IN FASHION!
It doesn’t cost a fortune to make a difference, look at my picks on some of the best aid supporting projects.
Danish Red Cross
Christmas this year is based on one of the Red Cross’ most central values: volunteering. More than 5,000 unique examples of the doll ‘Life’ is knitted by Red Cross’ thousands of volunteering ‘niggles’. They meet each week and knit clothes and blankets that are sent to poor children around the world.
All dolls are unique and have their own unique number. The dolls are wrapped in a transparent bag, whit a little story at the back from one of the children in the world whose wishes, we will help to fulfill.
You can buy the doll Life for DKK 100 and the entire amount goes to the Red Cross’ relief efforts.
Starbucks Love Project
On 7 December 2009 Starbucks and [RED]Ô celebrated their 2009 contributions equivalent to more than 7 million days of medicine for people living with HIV in Africa with an unprecedented worldwide singing event. Add your voice to continue to help fight AIDS in Africa.
It’s easy to add your voice. Just turn on your computer’s webcam and sing away. Or, if you’d like to get creative, you can shoot a personalized video and upload it to the site. Starbucks will contribute 5¢ US to the Global Fund to help fight AIDS in Africa for each submission.
You can also buy the Starbucks Love CD for $15 (Starbucks will contribute $1 for each CD sold).
Fashion forward HIT Shelter charity Christmas cards
…for last minute Christmas shipments.
Following the success of Shelter’s House of Cards exhibition, which featured unique artworks by 53 top artists and designers, ASOS has selected three striking images for an exclusive set of greetings cards that will be sold in aid of Shelter.
The six-card pack includes images by photographer Miles Aldridge, whose dreamlike work has inspired comparisons to Salvador Dali and David Lynch; fashion illustrator Julie Verhoeven, whose collaborations include Mulberry, Louis Vuitton and Versace; and artist Rob Ryan who creates stunning illustrations and paper cut-outs.
For fashionistas this is the perfect way to send your festive greetings this year. (set of six cards £3)
Claridge’s, London’s iconic Mayfair hotel, has taken another bold step in its illustrious history as it unveils The Claridge’s Christmas Tree by John Galliano for Dior.
This partnership marks the first time in the hotel’s 112 -year history that Claridge’s has worked with a famed fashion designer on its Christmas tree
The installation evokes a frozen twist on tradition with a tropical tree complete with snow leopard, dragonflies and parrots, echoing Claridge’s Art deco surroundings.
Here are John Galliano’s own words on the collaboration.
“Christmas is a time of family, tradition and celebration.
For me, nowhere says ‘home’ more than London and Claridge’s captures the chicest quintessential essence of England. It is a huge honour to be invited to create a tree for Claridge’s as I have many happy memories of times when I stayed here… I wanted to combine Claridge’s sumptuous surroundings with elements of luxury and escape. This isn’t just any tree… it’s like a piece of jewellery, echoing the amazing Art Deco glass works. It is a frosted tropical twist on tradition… I guess you could say that the tree gets the same treatment as couture – a mix of modern and grandiose.
Above all, I hope it sparkles as much as my favourite time of year!”
Winter 2009 looks set to go down as the season of sequins. Blame it on Balmain, or blame it on the female magpie instinct, but the LSD (Little Sequins Dress – the new buzzword in the fashion world) is the party girl’s hot buy right now.
Perfectly versatile, it can be glammed up with sky high stillettos or distressed down with chunky raw boots. Look at style icons like Sara McDonald (Mrs Noel Gallagher), Mary-Kate Olsen or Alexa Chung for inspiration.
LSDs can be a party in themselves – just don’t let the magpie mist cloud your fashion…less is more!
Although only spending two days in Paris, I quickly came to the conclusion that Paris is THE city for successful, inspiring and innovating ‘concept’ stores.
Grand old concept store Colette (celebrating its 10th anniversary this year) never fails to be one of the frontrunners with their Corner and Gallery concepts. They have yet again captured the zeitgeist with their present Swarovski exhibition and Maison Martin Margiela pop up ‘store’.
However, Colette is no longer alone on the fashion forward scene with the opening of Merci (early March 2009) and L’eclaireur (directional Paris retailer has recently opened a spectacular new store in the Marais area).
You might not call L’eclaireur an actual concept store, but it’s a mix of art, fashion and architectural pleasure. Designed by Belgian artist/designer Arne Quinze, the store interior is an adventurous and eclectic installation that fuses artistic DIY with hi-tech elements. Two tons of planks and 147 animated video screens have been incorporated in the store’s organic-style interior. Construction took almost a year: recycled elements, wooden planks, printer plates, painted paperboards glowing like coach work and varnished with polyurethane give the materials an irregular effect. Definitely worth a visit!
Oh, and at my afternoon tea break at the Hotel Plaza Athénée I sat opposite legendary fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier. I didn’t dare asking for permission to take the photo but I did it nicely and discrete. However, I’m sorry Monsieur Demarchelier – if you ever read this, I’m a great admirer of your work and I hope it was ok to take your photograph.
SO MANY FILMS. SO LITTLE TIME.
I love watching film during these dark and cold autumn and winter months – and this year (and beginning of the next) have three great fashion films on the agenda.
The best thing is when a film enlightens you with more than ‘just’ a well told story – a film that tickles your eye and indulge you with aesthetic beauty.
Out of the three films, the film I’m most eager to watch is Tom Ford’s A Single Man (with Colon Firth and Julianne Moore in the leading roles). If he appears to be as talented with film (he has acted as both screenplay writer and director) as with fashion, we can probably expect that the twenty-tens will film-wise me ruled by Mr. Ford the same way he ruled the fashion world in the nineteen-ninety’s.
All three films are to be released within the next couple of months (vary from country to country) – see trailers beneath.
COCO AND IGOR
Coco Chanel: Anna Mouglalis
Igor Stravinsky: Mads Mikkelsen
Director: Jan Kounen
K: Sonja Richter
Johan: Michael Nyqvist
Lover: Marcin Dorocinsk
Director: Per Fly
A SINGLE MAN
George: Colin Firth
Charley: Julianne Moore
Director: Tom Ford
According to The International Herold Tribune, the avant-garde Belgian designer Martin Margiela has quietly left the fashion house he built — and he will not be replaced at the company.
Giovanni Pungetti, chief executive of Maison Martin Margiela, said Tuesday that the fashion house would continue to operate with the creative staff that its reclusive founder had developed over 20 years but that there would be no new appointment of a creative director.
Insiders have known for months that Martin Margiela and the fact that the designer had made himself the Greta Garbo of the fashion world by never showing his face made it easier for his absence to be covered up.
However, the Martin Margiela brand continues to develop. Stores have been opened across the globe from Hong Kong to Moscow to Munich, with a pop-up store at the Art Basel Miami Beach art fair this week, the first Margiela fragrance will be introduced early next year by L’Oréal, and a spa hotel opens in Bordeaux on Friday.
Givenchy, Chanel, Dior, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent – couture! Beautiful handcrafted one offs! And for sale! I’ve just experienced my first ever auction Passion for Fashion selling a wide variety of fashion treasures from among others Marie Helvin and Audrey Hepburn’s wardrobes. [www.kerrytaylorauctions.com]
A crowd of serious collectors, investors, rich men’s wives and curious people – like myself – filled the auction room with a mixture of expensive perfume and adrenalin.
The main reason for all the attention was the nearly 50 lots with clothes, hats and letters from legendary actress and style icon Audrey Hepburn. Bids reaching as high as £50.000 for the Givenchy haute couture black Chantilly lace cocktail dress Audrey wore in ‘How to steal a Million’ in 1966. 50% of the net proceeds of the Audrey Hepburn lots will be donated to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.
The auction took nearly 5 hours with 333, and besides the lovely Givenchy dress mentioned above other items from Hepburn’s film career and private life was auctioned – including a Valentino haute couture cream lace mini dress identical to that worn by Jacqueline Kennedy for her wedding with Aristotle Onassis (sold for £4.600), a black Givenchy haute couture silk dress worn by Audrey when promoting the film Paris When it Sizzles (sold for £14.000) and a jade green Givenchy hat Audrey was photographed wearing by Cecil Beaton for US Vogue august 1964 p.119. “…little oriental evening fantasies like this – bright jade green velvet with tassels of cut feathers, crystal beads (Miss Hepburn is mad for this one, plans to wear it often for a late day and small dinners)”
– pure poetry, don’t you think!?
Finally back in London I hunger for creative inspiration and rushes to see the Avant-garde restaurant/bar/club Sketch’s quirky ”pop-up” café at the Royal Academy of Art (RAA).
Complementing the RAA’s current exhibition GSK Contemporary: Earth (3 December 2009—31 January 2010) which focus on climate change and the sensitivity to the earth and the environment, Sketch have created a quirky yet eco-friendly stage set interior, designed by artistic director Mark Lawson Bell.
Two colourful dogs made from old toys by Robert Bradford guards the cafe, chairs by Established & Sons and Martino Gamper are decoratively stacked and an installation of 1000 books are glued to the wall from floor to ceiling.
To fully complete the experience Sketch has made a little poem written on their leaflets:
Be it early morning for one before the day unfolds,
Or rolling to elevenses with a friend
View moving image in the gallery on walls that surround,
Luncheon in the Lecture room,
Or tea for two,
At perhaps three, after noon?
Cocktails at six on the dot, of the dot,
Or dine the night away, Sketch being open,
Until one minute past two.
Sketch, a mosaic of experience,
Served full of warmth, with a dash of intrigue on the side
For more info: sketch.uk.com
Tomorrow I’m blogging from the auction, Passion for Fashion, auctioning among others Audrey Hepburns private wardrobe. Watch this space…
Fashion in film is not a new phenomenon – Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Funny Face (both featuring Audrey Hepburn), William Klein’s Who are you Polly Maggoo, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo all made in the 1950s and 1060s and more recent films like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Stella McCartney designed Gwyneth Paltrow’s and Jude Law’s costumes), The Devil Wears Prada, Sex and the City (film + series) just to name a ‘few’.
And – on top of that – advertisement film campaigns like Prada’s Thunder Perfect Mind featuring Daria Werbowy and Chanel No. 5 featuring Nicole Kidman and Audrey Tautou.
With the film Coco Before Chanel soon to hit the Danish cinemas (it’s already out in Britain – I’ve seen it and it’s brilliant!) – fashion outside the print media has yet again created a stir in the fashion industry.
I’ve already introduced you to SHOWstudio – did you watch Nick Knight shooting Givenchy’s Creative Director Riccardo Tisci today? – But I would like to introduce you to another exciting fashion media, FLY.
FLY is not only a groundbreaking fashion /art DVD magazine (launched in 2003), but also a web channel, FLY 16×9, distributing original fashion /art content each month. Collaborators include AF Vandevorst, Hussein Chalayan, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Maison Martin Margiela, Christian Dior etc.
Watch the film Shadow. Directed by Noam Greigst. Designer: Louis Vuitton.