Wednesday, March 14, 2012

YFO Is On Hiatus

This blog is now on indefinite hiatus. Thanks for reading!

This was my first blog project and I'm very proud of it. I started it at university and posting every couple of days was fun and stimulating. I don't have the time to do that anymore, but I'll always look back fondly on my days of reviewing products and savaging celebrity outfits.

I'm keeping a selection of greatest hits online. Some pieces on this blog (especially reviews) were done in exchange for money and products from sponsors. While I was always honest in those articles (they were not 'advertorials' - I often made negative comments), I will not be keeping many of them online.

Please enjoy the purest of the fashion content churned out in the lifetime of Covet/Your Fashion Oasis!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Everybody Needs An Alexander McQueen Moment

This English designer (the son of a taxi driver, and a Pisces, for what it's worth - every second blog mentions it) grew up in London's shabby east end. One of his earliest memories, he says, is drawing a dress on a piece of bare wall where the wallpaper had peeled off in the family's council house. McQueen calls it his 'first design sketch'!

There is a quality to McQueen's work today (a luxury and a sense of abundance) that looks like a reaction against those times: the young boy saturated with a working-class aesthetic (mass culture over high culture, practicality over whimsy, function over form, Cats over Faust and Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz over Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier) has blossomed into 'the hooligan of English fashion', allowing inner vision to propel him beyond the 'classic' (bland) and functional.

The late 00s provided fertile ground for McQueen to indulge - he continues to push the 'sculptural shoe' trend (in particular) to stranger, more wonderful places.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Magical Interiors By Tony Duquette

'If I could trade places with anyone for a day, it would be the dashing Tony Duquette' - John Galliano

Costume and set designer and interiors genius Tony Duquette died in 1999, and he's one of design's best kept secrets. I think of him as a kind of Walt Disney of design. Actually, he has a kindred spirit in all of the arts - it's weird how quickly I can pinpoint them and how right it feels.

In Literature Tolkien is Duquette-esque, because he's able to construct whole imagined universes from scratch and make them feel real. In music Michael Jackson has the Duquette quality because he's fantastical and because he gets away with being over the top. You might have a split second where you'll recoil at how *tacky* or *maudlin* this all is, but there are other qualities - the great craftsmanship, the sheer force and boldness and inventiveness - that melt you. You just can't ignore him. Design has a Duquette in John Galliano himself, for obvious reasons: the vibrant colours, the mish-mashed textures, the soaring inventiveness and the showmanship.

Duquette's main room in his famous studios.

An eastern motif in pastel colours.

The orient seen through a Hello Kitty lens.

Table with chunky, Dali-esque 'legs'.

A winter ball in Los Angeles decorated with crystal snowflakes
and silver lame by Tony Duquette.

Duquette interior with his signature animal print tablecloth.

'It's interesting because Tony is probably more honest as a creator of spaces than many people because it's about the heartfelt desire to create what he perceives as a beautiful space.

Through his interiors he was able to give people the feeling they had been there for a long time, that they were very important, that they were very glamorous.

I look at decorative Tony Duquette work, its baroque roots, and it's very much about people. His interiors were about trying to create an environment where people feel they've been there forever. It is creating a false aristocratic history, a fantasy, a type of magical festival, it's a bit like Louis XIV - the fountains, the amazing sculptures, and the belief that you can make something out of nothing. It was just entirely out of his imagination.'
Designer Catherine Martin.

The part about 'false aristocratic history' is spot on. There's that grandeur and self-importance (in a good way) and - I've noticed - nods to stuffy upper class traditions from all cultures! Like in this shot above: you have intricate beaded pillows and expansive couches, all you need is a veiled Egyptian princess to languish on them. BUT on the walls are murals straight out of a Baroque Polish castle so you know, maybe the princess has shacked up with Sobieski's daughter.

Interior complete with very unusual wall feature constructed from scratch.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have the *sense* of aristocratic history in one's home without actually having the dubious family legacies, like slave ownership, colonialist expeditions,
whoring, stuffy, penny-pinching ancestors, deaths from cholera and connections
to powerful religious zealots?

Cream and red walls with the ever-present baroque influence.

Duquette's own toilet!!

This reminds me of so many things at once: a place in an Indian Jones movie where he stays around the middle of the expedition, after he enters the orient but just before all the action scenes; a stage set from The King and I, and... Christmas! There is a Christmassey feeling to much of Duquette's work. It's the lights, sparkles and ornamentation.

Mrs Duquette's dressing room cabinet - a nineteenth century piece lined in blue felt and decorated with her collection of precious jewels.

Duquette called his wife Elizabeth 'Beegle' because she had 'the industry of the bee and the soaring poetry of the eagle'. There were also times when he called her 'Beegle jewel fiend'!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lani Hammett - What Does A Metallica Wife Wear In The 00s?

Kirk Hammett's low-profile wife Lani gave birth to a son on June 28th this year (the bafflingly named Vincenzo Kainalu Hammett). Lani was not one to strut around Nicole Richie-style in hip maternity outfits, so to answer my own question (what ARE the rocker wives wearing?) I've rounded up some pre-baby shots.

Black, leather, corduroy, no-fuss hair and cheap-looking shoes. Is that a purse she's holding or an envelope? 'Dear Lani, kudos to you for the rock spirit.' Metallica may have sold out but you sure didn't.

The only thing that's 'now' about this is the slightly emaciated look, but you know it's drugs-debauchery-and-partying induced, not the result of fussy, painstaking lifestyle choices (gym, dieting, macrobiotic foods).

A little more stylishly rock. Check out those tatts! Kirk was having a hotel mogul moment, with that Hawaiian shirt and velvet (is that velvet?) suit. His curls are tight-tight-tight, like individually stacked springs. Hers are loose and lazy. Like all great loves, they balance one another.

A playful moment captured in the tropics. You've got a red dress and a pretty hairpiece, and your husband is having a Chris Cornell moment. Can I be you?

Then again, the head segment in the lower right (from the original article) could be some woman he was supposed to be cheating with. Trouble in paradise...

Lani enters the present millennium, with sleek-looking hair, a new fringe, modern makeup and a bit of effort in the clothes department.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pregnancy Fashion Starring Nicole Richie and Gwen Stefani

Maternity fashion. Oy vey... what a nightmare. Not every woman will literally double in size during pregnancy - you see the odd one who looks essentially the same (right up until the end!) except for a neat, basketball-shaped abdomen. 'You can only really tell she's pregnant from the side' people will say jealously.

Even for those women, maternity dressing is a hassle. If you don't balloon all over, it's like suddenly having an extra limb (aforementioned basketball abdomen). This extra limb must be accommodated, and the available dresses are notoriously frumpy, box-like and cheap-looking. And why, oh why (I will never understand this) does virtually every maternity outfit come in a selection of loud, psychedelic prints (and no block colours)? It's like wearing a tent-sized Hawaiian shirt.

Gwen Stefani set the bar for maternity fashion while pregnant with her first son, looking defiantly cute and polished right up until the end (even in those prints!)

More recently, Nicole Richie has earned the approval of fashion commentators with her (gasp) sexy, clinging pregnancy outfits. Who'da thunk it?!