Before I was a dealer, I was a collector. Indeed, this seems to be the case for most of my fellow sellers in the antiques and vintage profession. It’s certainly a logical progression. Handling, examining and acquiring pieces within your chosen collecting field for long enough makes you eager to share the wonders of these objects with others whether it’s online, through a shop or at a multitude of fairs.
The fashion hits and misses from last night’s Academy Awards have doubtless been eclipsed by that historic ‘Best Picture’ debacle. Warren Beatty’s anxiety, Emma Stone’s reaction and that now infamous red envelope have been the mainstays of our news feeds today.
But, let’s turn the lights and the cameras back onto the red carpet for a moment and celebrate the looks from last night. As is becoming a characteristic of Oscar ceremonies of late, the vast majority played it safe – opting for traditional colour ways and flattering silhouettes. This is, I suppose, to be expected and acceptable. At such a press-centric event, only the most daring would experiment with their style and break with convention. Oscars fashion puts careers and personal reputations on the line. For 2017, we witnessed no back-to-front suiting inspired by Celine Dion, no Swan Lake chic à la Bjork and no homage to Uma Thurman’s Lacroix milk maid look, (which I happened to love). Instead, we encountered elegant, timeless styling. Far less memorable, but far more safe.
In a flamenco inspired gown by Louis Vuitton, Alicia Vikander is appropriately attired for her role as an award presenter. It isn’t too limelight stealing. The black lace and strappy heels give her look a contemporary, fashion forward edge which Nicolas Ghesquière never fails to provide his muses with. Echoing the dark florals in her gown, I’ve chosen this 1950s Mitchel Maer bracelet from our collection to accompany Alicia’s look.
Another actress who chose to wow in black, Flamenco inspired design was Brie Larson. Her Oscar de La Renta gown was contemporised, in a similar way to Alicia Vikander’s, with a laced up heel. The ‘V’ shoe strap, echoing perfectly her deep ‘V’ neckline. I’ve chosen Mitchel Maer again to compliment this design. This time a necklace and earrings set, dating from the late 1940s. The work of this mid-century British costume jewellery creator is certainly Oscar worthy.
Gold was one of the fashion themes of the evening, with many actresses choosing the famed statuette as their style icon. Emma Stone opted for this magnificent beaded creation by Givenchy. Tailored to perfection with two-tone fringing – this gown is a winner for a winner. A rare jonquil glass, milgrain rhinestone and silver necklace dating from the 1920s is the essential accompaniment to this look. The Art Deco heritage of this piece, the perfect nod to the Flapper inspiration behind Emma’s dress.
Nicole Kidman also got the gold memo and wowed in Armani Privé. Featuring beading and embroidery in the palest pink and grey tones too, this gown was an elegant choice for her porcelain complexion. Our Ungaro bracelet in rich golden hues would add a colour pop to this look, but its paisley inspired design would compliment the ethnic swirling patterns in Mr Armani’s work.
Minimal ivory hued looks were also a story of the night. Isabelle Huppert gave a masterclass in French style on the red carpet. Her Armani Privé gown paired with Repossi ear cuff, demonstrated that simple lines and elegant details with edge are the key to success. Isabelle’s dress resembles the styles of the late 1930s/early 1940s and these Pennino Brothers earrings from the 1940s would be an ideal pairing.
Finally, Naomie Harris delighted in the most forward-thinking look of the night. Needless to say, it was by Raf Simmons for Calvin Klein. A joy to have his work back on the red carpet again. This was a ‘radical’ academy awards look for its unusual cut and off-kilter accessories, which, thankfully, worked. Naomie impressed for all the right reasons. The fabulous clasp on this 1980s Kenneth Jay Lane bracelet would look sensational with the detailing on her shoes.
London Fashion Week has come to a close. The curtain has come down on the capital’s stylish offerings for Autumn/Winter 2017. As always, designers have left us with memories of ground breaking shows and anticipating the season to come. As is tradition, we were treated to some pioneering street style looks. LFW’s blogger, editor and buyer parades are renowned for playful and experimental looks. This season was no different. Big stories were ‘playing with proportions’, ‘bows and ties’ and ‘colour popping’. This look bravely, and effectively, combines all three and is one of my favourites from the style stream. Hues of brown and beige, including a camouflage tee, are artfully contrasted with a bright red clutch and heels. The over-sized over-coat is not over-the-top, it works successfully on this long legged fashionista. The cuffs are cinched with a large scale bow – THE detailing of the season.
This 1900s Art Nouveau necklace from Gemma Redmond Vintage would work with this laid-back, but detailed, outfit. The tones in the necklace compliment the colours of the look – especially those chic brown suede trousers. And the long-line design of the piece, further enhanced by the extra-long tassel, continues the theme of out-sized and billowing fabrics.
New York Fashion Week saw the king of Athleisure, Alexander Wang, return to his favoured black on black styling. In his Autumn/Winter 2017 show, the likes of Bella and Kendall stalked the runway wearing all shades of midnight. Whilst presenting a collection in monotone might appear simplistic at first glance, it actually takes great skill with layering and tailoring to make for a successful haul of designs. Take this look above, for example. With the hem of the blazer falling just below that of the mini and the cuff of the dress exposed beyond the jacket – it’s these juxtapositions that make for a winning ensemble. Indeed, off-kilter details are Wang’s subtle speciality. Note the bumbag – carried, not tied around the waist. And observe the boots – zip positioned at the front, not at the side.
Such a quietly confident outfit deserves a similar piece of jewellery. This 1920s black and transparent glass flapper necklace will do the trick. It’s in complimentary tones and representative of Wang’s aesthetic – sometimes it isn’t necessary to shout with colour, but let design and quality do the talking.