Tibi

Look Du Jour: Bye Bye Boys

boys manrepelling

What: Club Monaco blue biker jacket (c/o), Whistles shirt, Tibi embossed leather shorts (c/o), Paul & Joe Sister orange satchel (c/o), Markus Lupfer glitter brogues (c/o) & Cutler and Gross sunglasses (c/o)

Where: Meetings in London

Why is there something so incredible satisfying about wearing an outfit that you know will send the majority of (straight) men running for the hills? Blame it on Leandra Medine maybe but manrepelling has never been more tempting. Between the buttoned up shirt and its tutti frutti print, the slightly nappy esque embossed leather shorts – a tailoring accident – and the potentially confusing glitter/mannish hybrid that are these glorious shoes, this would perhaps be an unwise ensemble to don for a first date or going out on the pull. Throw a clashing cobalt blue biker jacket into the mix – because why wouldn’t you? – and you’ll be terrifying fellas at 20 paces… Result! Between looks like these, and my ongoing obsession with dressing like a primary school child slash cartoon character it’s maybe not entirely surprising I’m single. But then, I’m a firm believer in wearing whatever the hell makes YOU feel fabulous regardless of whether that’s a bodycon party frock, Nike Air Max or a clown costume. Any paramour you have to change your personal style more is frankly not worth the bother.

boys manrepelling la petite anglaise

boys manrepelling la petite anglaise

boys manrepelling la petite anglaise

boys manrepelling la petite anglaise

boys manrepelling la petite anglaise

boys manrepelling la petite anglaise

boys manrepelling la petite anglaise

boys manrepelling la petite anglaise

boys manrepelling

Thinking more on this subject, I’d probably say I dress firstly for myself and secondly for other women/gay men. Attracting the opposite sex doesn’t usually factor into it, something I’m not entirely sure is healthy. What about you guys, who you do dress for?

Love Ella. X

Images by Holly McGlynn

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 2 Comments

NYFW SS14: Day 3

NYFW Day 3 got off to an infinitely more sprightly start that the previous two mornings thanks to an uncharacteristically sensible decision to skip the parties in favour of an early night and a somewhat unsuccessful attempt to make a dent in my emails. My first show of the day was Lacoste at Lincoln Centre so I guzzled as much coffee as possible and steeled myself to enter the mayhem.

NYFW SS14

I wore: Tibi top & skirt, ALDO sandals & Mulberry bag 

Indeed the place was absolutely teaming and the show queue resembled some sort of well dressed protest march. Thankfully I found myself standing next to Caroline Issa and Susie Lau and pretty promptly we were whisked through by a London PR amid evils and not-so-subtle sighs from the antsy show goers around us. The FROW boasted a bevvy of industry names including Caroline, Susie, Mira Duma (so freaking beautiful in the flesh it’s ridic) Susie Menkes, Hanneli Mustaparta, Leigh Leizark and Robbie Meyers.

There was one hell of a delay in starting and the combination of excessive air con and minimal clothing situation resulted in an extremely un-chic case of goose pimples. Finally a deliciously French male voice came on the speakers and sent everyone to their seats for the show to begin. Unfortunately that wouldn’t be happening right away thanks to a rebellious FROW-er refusing to uncross their legs (crossed legs get in the photographers way) but eventually the bellows from the pap pit took effect and whoever the offending party was decided to play ball. What ensued was a collection so flawless it wiped away all Lincoln Center induced stress with cleaner-than-clean lines inspired by those seen on a tennis court and the precision of a perfectly executed serve. Given Lacoste’s sporting heritage, it makes sense for x to include an element of athleticism in his collections but doing so inevitably runs the risk of repetition, especially given fashion’s fixation with “sports luxe” over the past few seasons. Gratifyingly, there was none of that here and the SS14 collection felt fresh and contemporary with none of the naff accoutrements so often associated with the trend. Creative Director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista may have referenced tennis skirts and polo shirts but they were nothing like those you’ve seen before.

NYFW SS14

Lacoste SS14

With sculpted yet soft silhouettes in fabrics including neoprene, crispest cotton, leather and, most delectably of all, brushed suede this was about as haute sport as it gets, albeit in the most understated of manners. Colours ranged from tennis whites to powdery pastels and strong shades of burgundy, navy and green. Sheer panelling cropped up here too and, in a slightly geeky way, I relished the comparison between Lacoste’s take on what is clearly going to be a major look for SS14 and what I’d seen from the likes of Helmut Lang and BCBG.

After a quick trip to the nearest Starbucks I hopped on the subway to 34th street for show number two, Prabal Gurung. As you might remember, I died at the designer’s insanely awesome take on military couture last season so was excited to see what he had up his sleeve for SS14. Well, I certainly wasn’t disappointed. As soon as I entered the venue which had been decked out with black benches and an iridescent, box structure in the centre I knew we were in for something special. After the obligatory half hour delay a troop of models clad in what just a glimpse informed me were exquisite creations trooped out to radio silence and lined up inside the aforementioned “box”. The music struck up and one by one they walked out of the box and around the rectangular catwalk. I can’t even begin to do justice to the collection with my description but you know me, I’ll give it a go.

NYFW SS14

Prabal Gurung SS14

Couture silhouettes married with incredible technical fabrics ranging from double bonded cotton to laminated tulle, Napa leather and screen printed translucent PVC. Cinched waists and ladylike hemlines were combined with a colour palette including acid brights and sugary shades of candy pink, lilac and saccharine green further adding to the modern day Marie Antoinette feel. Indeed, while Prabal’s latest offerings were mesmerisingly stunning there was air of subversion lurking not too far beneath the surface which, aside from the unbelievably amount of skill and imagination it takes to deliver something like this, is what made the show so compelling. Those who criticise New York Fashion need only look to Prabal Gurung to be proved very wrong indeed.

NYFW SS14

Prabal Gurung SS14

Once I’d recovered from the state of sartorially induced awe Prabal’s show had put me in I realised that I had a couple of hours spare before my next engagement, a rare treat during fashion week! Naturally I frittered most of it away stopping in shops and accidentally getting on the wrong subway line but it was still a relief not to be rushing from place to place at a rate of knots. Not that what I had on that afternoon was exactly stressful, in fact quite the opposite. Remember PRISM by Anna Laub’s rooftop presentation at The Standard last September? Well this year they did it again and the whole thing was possibly even more awesome thanks to the A-MAZING collection and chilled out ambiance, not to mention the fact I knew a lot more people this time around so didn’t have to lurk in the corner on my lonesome.

NYFW SS14

NYFW

Prism NYFW

In between catching up with various familiar faced fashion week-ers, indulging in a cheeky 3pm cocktail in the sunshine and chatting with the lovely (and ridiculously gorgeous) Anna herself I was in no rush to leave. Eventually the models left their perches and, still fantasising about owning a pair of PRISM pastel shades, I reluctantly decided to hit the road before I actually got kicked out.

Day 3 was definitely an enjoyable one. Great shows, evenly spread out with no need to run around like a lunatic or go anywhere near Lincoln Center. My final port of call was Pier 57 for Tibi. Much like Marios Schwab in London, I always feel a little nostalgic about this particular show because it was the first one I ever attended in the city. Since that first fateful trip to NYFW I’ve been at the Tibi show every season since and Amy Smilovic’s collections just keep getting stronger and stronger. I think it’s fair to say that the Tibi aesthetic has changed definitively since the days when it was known for pretty print dresses were Amy’s calling card. But if the AW13 collection really hammered the minimalist point home, this season marks the return of something a little softer. Don’t get me wrong, the clean lines and air of fuss free simplicity that have put Tibi ahead of the pack in recent years but there was an element of femininity this time around which I absolutely adored.

NYFW

Tibi SS14

Oversized motorcycle jackets and boxy shapes were offset by adornments of white embellishment, delicate prints and lace inserts. For SS14 it’s evidently going to be all about the slouch and there was plenty of nonchalant, fluid fit tailoring here alongside laser cut cotton, sheer panelling (yes, more!) and fringe trimmings. The palette was an earthy medley of neutrals with pea green a’ plenty and the odd pop of tantalising tangerine. Overall Tibi’s latest offerings were a perfect culmination of Amy’s hard graft and the brands aesthetic evolution. Wearable, covetable and just the ride side of androgynous with a prevailing feeling of ease guaranteed to make you wish you were wearing it.

Much as I’d have loved to stick around post show and carry on catching up with fellow attendees The Elgin Avenue’s Monica Beatrice Welburn and Sandra’s Closet founder, Sandra Bauchnecht I had places to be and people to see so sprinted off into the New York night. As those of you who follow me on Instagram may have spotted, that evening I took the ferry to Governors Island for the Parisian Ball organised by my lovely friend Sharoni. This post is now verging into essay territoty so I won’t give you a blow by blow but I will tell you that there were vintage funfair rides, renowned Djs and countless fabulous attendees involved, in other words it was epic.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 5 Comments

New York Fashion Week AW13: Day 3

There comes a time during every fashion week where you end up missing a show due to exhaustion, illness or hangover. I had a hideous combination of all three on day three of New York Fashion Week so sadly didn’t make the Lacoste show. Judging from what I spied on Instagram while still in bed it was a goodie so I’m exceedingly annoyed with myself for having over-indulged and under-dressed quite so severely the day before but hey, you live and learn.

New York Fashion Week

I wore… Coat & Shirt: Whistles, Jumper & Bag: Jaeger, Skirt: Zara, Boots: Massimo Dutti & Beret: American Apparel.

Prabal Gurung is one of my absolute favourite designers so I was thrilled to be invited to his show for the first time this season. Having spent an obscene amount of money on taxis the previous day thanks to the blizzard, I decided to walk to the venue from where I’m staying in Soho. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to walk half a mile in 6 inch heels when there’s more than 6 inches on snow on the ground but I definitely don’t recommend it! By the time I arrived at St John’s centre in Chelsea I had lost pretty much all sensation in my extremities. This wasn’t helped by the fact I’d swapped my snuggly fur hat/Sandro coat combo for a beret and infinitely thinner Whistles duffel but the legendary Bill Cunnigham stopped me for a snap making the pneumonia risk more than worth it. Prabal Gurung is New York fashion royalty and the strictly A List nature of his FROW certainly showed it. Jamie King, Miroslave Duma, ELLE Editor Robbie Myers were all in attendance as well as Anna Wintour flanked by two burly, black suited bodyguards. There are few clearer indicators of a designer’s star status than when their second row is equally elite and with Kyle Anderson, Leandra Medine, Bryan Boy and Rumi Neeley in the line up, that was most definitely the case on this occasion. After a pretty sizeable wait, the show began and almost before the second look hit the runway, I’d named it my favourite of the week so far. Much as I adore a floral frock (something Prabal does truly beautifully) there’s something about a fiercer kind of femininity that really gets my sartorial pulse racing. Gurung’s latest offerings could be best described as “military couture” thanks to exquisitely scuplted khaki tailoring and lashings of leather complete with studs and warrior worthy, buckle detailed footwear. Glossy pelts, gold embroidery ornate Russe prints exuded high fashion luxe while flared hemlines and plenty of peplums stopped things from getting too serious. Rarely is does an A List event go by without a Prabal Gurung gown or two on the red carpet and this time around he delivered an array of sumptuous silk stunners with thigh high slits and billowing trains toughened up by chunky belts and leather harness detailing. It was the kind of killer show that you didn’t want to tear your eyes off even for a second and I long for the day that I might be powerful/chic/wealthy to be part of Prabal’s fashion army.

New York Fashion Week

Prabal Gurung AW13

Exhilarated from a truly inspiring show I tottered back out into the sunny but still arctic streets. As per usual free taxis were few and far between. Just as I was giving up hope of finding one I managed it and arrived in the Meatpacking district just in time for Rebecca Taylor.  I don’t know whether you remember my interview with the lovely Rebecca last year but she cited David Bowie as her all time style icon. The king of punk rock androdgyny’s influence was certainly evident in her latest collection which swapped last season’s pretty pastels and whimsical prints for tough girl biker jackets, zip detailing and yep, you’ve guessed it, lashings of leather. Leather has been something of a perma-trend for God knows how many seasons now and Rebecca Taylor offered up some incredibly covetable pieces. Trousers, tees, skirts, dresses and sleeves all came re-imagined in buttersoft skins and rich shades of navy and burgundy. Zip detailing, deliberately frayed hems and mannish tailoring all added to the tomboy vibe but being the clever designer she is, Taylor kept the girly girls happy with hits of lilac, blush and shimmering sequins.

New York Fashion Week

Rebecca Taylor AW13

By this point my morning latte seemed like a distant memory so I hot footed it to the nearest cafe for some sustenance. One very tasty turkey wrap and about a pint of coffee later I felt vaguely human again and set off for Lincoln Centre. As you’ve probably realised by now, I’m not and never will be a Herve Leger kinda girl but I do appreciate a brand who sticks to a signature, time tested aesthetic quite like they do. That said, Max Azria’s latest collection for the legendary purveyor of all things body concious did take a couple of risks this season. The brand’s trademark bandage dresses came adorned with all manner of embellishments and some where even paired over matching drainpipe trousers. And it wasn’t all frocks this time around either. There were also several uber luxurious fur trimmed parkas, crop tops and high shine, low rise tracksuit bottoms. Delivering exactly what your glamazon customer wants while introducing at least some elements of change is no mean feat and for that, I applaud them.

New York Fashion Week

Herve Leger by Max Azria AW13

Generally speaking, I am the most commited high heel and impractical (but hopefully stylish) clothing devotee during fashion week and my ability to wear ridiculous shoes for twelve days and nights on the trot has left wimpier dressers speechless. On this occasion it was so hideously, bone chillingly cold went home and put on jeans and a jumper. Despite being mildly less frozen, the second I arrived at the Tibi show I regretted this decision. All the resort collection Lobster print around gave me an extreme case of outfit envy and my niggling feeling of scruffiness worsened considerably when, most likely due to a mistake on some poor frazzled intern’s behalf, I was seated on the Front Row. The ONE TIME I opt for comfort over style and I find myself sitting directly opposite the ever immaculate Olivia Palermo! Luckily it wasn’t too long before the show began and I could forget my personal humiliation.

New York Fashion Week

Tibi AW13

I’ve been a big Tibi fan since its early days and I find the evolution of designer Amy Smilovic’s style fascinating. Much as the print dresses of yore appealed to my girlier side, the high fash lo fi aesthetic she’s developed exudes a rather more sophisticated feminist. Smilovic is both an incredibly talented and a thoughtful designer and a real sense of purpose came through in thus collection. Besides exuding modernist elegance Tibi collections cater to a woman’s everyday sartorial needs and for AW13 they’ve provided the ultimate capsule wardrobe. The athletic influence was clearer than ever with semi sheer mesh bombers, neoprene, hoods and highlighter hues paying homage to American sportswear classics. I may not usually be all that partial to sports luxe but Amy’s latest offerings were so cool they made me want to swap my beloved A-line minis for tracksuit bottoms. Sculptural jackets were paired with super skinny motorcycle/sweatpant hybrid trousers and oil slick black leather OTK (that’s over the knee, obviously) featured heavily. All in all the collection was cool, covetable and crucially, practical and will no doubt keep Tibi devotees very happy.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 3 Comments

Tibi Pre Fall 2013

Tibi pre fall 2013
With every collection Amy Smilovic designs, Tibi gets one step closer to unequivocably becoming the coolest brand in the world. That sounds like an overstatement I know but take a gander through the past few season’s offerings (and the many, many style setters snapped wearing them on the streets) and you’ll most likely find yourself agreeing with me. I’ve been a Tibi fanatic for a while now and think the Pre Fall 2013 collection might actually be their best yet. Beautifully negotiating the fine line between fashion forward and wearer friendly, Amy has delivered an array of FROW-worthy ensembles that exude New York nonchalance.
tibi
Flirty, thigh-skimming mini dresses and sleek pencil skirts are perfectly offset by boyish grey marl sweatshirts, varsity jackets and super slick tailored trousers. Prints have always been a Tibi staple but in recent seasons they’ve been of the graphic, rather than girlish variety. This time around we’ve been treated to contrast coloured stripes, monochrome geometrics and acid hued reproductions of the Manhattan skyline. Smilovic has an uncanny knack with leather (remember the laser cut confections in her SS13 collection?) and for Pre Fall 2013 she’s gone for oil slick black and applied it to everything from A-line t-shirt dresses to immaculately cut cigarette pants. In short, I want ALL OF IT!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment

New York Fashion Week SS13: Day 3

The pace picked up seriously quickly in NYC and after over of ten hours of shows on day 2 my head was spinning and my feet aching. Somehow I managed to rustle up the energy to attend the Jason Wu after show party at the insanely glamorous top floor bar of the standard hotel which, as you can imagine, was pure fashion fabulousness. There was champagne (and basically every other drink known to man) on tap and the likes of Karlie Kloss on the dance floor. The next morning I did feel a little, ahem, ‘fatigued’ but lying in a darkened room watching Gossip Girl reruns certainly wasn’t an option.

New York Fashion Week

I wore…
Shorts & Blouse: Hoss Intropia
Bag: Jaeger London
Shoes: Kurt Geiger (yes, again)
Image by Sophia Tragash

First on the agenda was Lacoste uptown at Lincoln Centre. Given my penchant for all things preppy, I’ve always been a fan of Lacoste. In fact, it was here in this very city that I bought my first crocodile logo polo, aged fourteen. Under the expert direction of Felipe Oliviera Baptise the legendary sportswear brand has left the country club and entered the fashion fore, as proved by their latest show.
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Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 3 Comments