Occasionally I come across an art work, a story, an article or collection of clothes and wonder how it was that someone got there before me. It is as though someone has scooped out my brain and had much better skill than me at putting the thoughts into action. This happened last winter with the Meadham Kirchhoff AW11 collection and occurred again last night when I took a proper look at Dolce and Gabbana’s A/W12 collection.
Dense in the imagery, hues and textures of Sicilian Catholicism, the clothes and accessories are both hypnotic and unapologetically luxe. I have long been a fan of D&G’s offerings over the past few years, not least because they wooed my gothic heart by demanding that black not be looked upon as a colour only for winter. This season, the cobwebs of somber black lace are enhanced by their comparison with the ballooning virginal white gauze of other ensembles which pull the heartstrings of the generation transfixed by the Virgin Suicides.
Aside from the overt Italianate references, I also detect the cheeky edition of another Sophia Coppola film – Marie Antoinette – in the towering patisserie pastel heals. In a dramatic and rather Prada-influenced move, I made the biggest step away from my gothic roots this summer by ODing on parma violets and embracing pastels. Against all my instincts, I have begun thinking in a whole different set of colours and I like the idea of still including little swatches within a much darker AW pallet.
At the moment, I am dreaming up some outfits involving a lot of primary coloured embroidery (maybe a massive gypsy shawl?) contrasting against my new black leather jacket (inspired by the Christopher Kane embroidered leather of a few seasons ago) and large hair accessories involving pearls and flowers. I have recently been thinking about head accessories a lot..a sort of hybrid between Frida Kahlo’s and the distressed English garlands that would appear in the photography of Julia Margaret Cameron. I am in the course of making a few pieces, one of which is a set of lace dormouse ears for my (soon-to-be) sister in law’s Alice in Wonderland hen party. Reading about Susie Bubble’s perspex floral headpiece by Tatty Devine has only encouraged me further and I think, weather and bike permitting, they could become my ‘thing’ on arrival back at university next October. ‘The Arts Editor? Oh yes, she is the one with the assorted antiques balanced carefully on her noggin…’