Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Fashion Calendar: November and December - Maison Martin Margiela, iPhoneography and Refinery29

So, Christmas is coming and your downtime is suddenly thin on the ground, right? (I know mine is). It can be mind-boggling trying to stay on top of what's going on in the fashion world at the best of times, but I find that we all seem to go into a state of tunnel vision from now until December 25th, possibly due to an overdose of Wham! and Slade, and time just disappears. So I've put together this quick guide to three of the hottest fashion and culture events over the coming weeks - just cherry-pick your favourites.

November 15th = Maison Martin Margiela for H&M

Maison Martin Margiela for H&M Blue Dress
 Over-sized draped dress, £99.99, Maison Martin Margiela.
Sam Taylor-Johnson shot these images, which have a beautifully crisp finish.

Maison Martin Margiela for H&M Black Dress
 Draped dress in black, £99.99.
I'd style this with Vivienne Westwood suede ankle boots and a statement over-sized earring.

Maison Martin Margiela for H&M Plexi Wedge
 Jacket, £59.99; trousers with front seam, £59.99; wedge shoes in nude with plexi detail, £149.99.
 Having recently picked up very similar shoes from Office, I can definitely see the allure of the nude shoe with a plastic heel. They look challenging but would be fun to wear.

Maison Martin Margiela for H&M Bodysuit and Sweet Clutch
That sweet wrapper clutch bag, £34.99; nude body with bra print, £29.99; oversized jeans, £39.99.
If I had the washboard stomach I'd be adding this bodysuit to my shopping basket.
In the mean time, the pop art-style clutch will do nicely, thanks.
[Images via British Vogue].

You might have read recently about American eBay mysteriously gaining some MMMxH&M merchandise ahead of the official product launch, seemingly from the recent celebrity-laden press event. Light-fingered stars aside, you can't truly get your hands on any of the goods until 15th November, in selected stores from 9am. I'll be attending the exclusive preview event on 14th, courtesy of Vogue and one very lucky ticket draw, and I will be reporting back on the blog about what I find in Regent Street.

This is something of a dramatic contrast to H&M's previous collaboration, which was with the fashion editor du jour Anna Dello Russo, who is top fodder for street style bloggers around the world. Maison Martin Margiela is the opposite of fashion chameleon Anna, as the company's inner workings aren't well documented and the mysterious figurehead actually left the company several years ago. The brand itself continues to be enigmatic but always strives to push the boundaries of convention and conceptual thought. If you think fashion is art then you will love this collection. What's more, a mainline piece of Margiela will set you back hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds (case in point: a camel coat for men costs over a grand), so this is the one time us plebs have a chance of affording it. Thank you, MMM.

November 17th - December 15th = iPhone Photography Workshop, The Photographers' Gallery, London

This is a five week workshop that would be perfect for those of you who own an iPhone and want to be more than a casual snapper (I'm still on an utterly terrible Blackberry with a shooting capacity that looks like every photo is taken through a keyhole, but I will grit my teeth and not be jealous of you lot...). The Photographers' Gallery is an excellent place to learn new skills and they really are passionate about all forms of making and sharing photos. I participated in one of their projects several years ago, which was a magazine project and live art installation in Selfridges, and it was a fascinating and fun experience that pushed me out of my comfort zone.

If you want to participate in the iPhone workshops then clear your schedule for five Saturdays from 2pm-5pm and make some room for new apps on your phone. It sounds like a great opportunity to learn a new skill that you'll be able to use all the time in daily life, especially if you're looking to create more shareable images.

December = Refinery29, leading US fashion website, comes to the UK

I'm already a fan of Refinery29, the website that scouts for the best deals and trend updates in fashion and beauty, so I was pretty pleased to discover that a UK branch of the site is being launched in December (exact date unconfirmed). Just in time for Christmas, you'll be able to discover what fashion is like behind the scenes, with an emphasis on sneak peeks at the hottest designers and nightlife, but also a personable feel that gives you localised knowledge about the shops near you.

I've also read that there will be Brit It Girls, though there's no word as to who they will be. I'm praying it's not the 'stars' of Made in Chelsea and hoping for insiders who we can see as role model-esque figures - maybe more along the lines of Lily Cole (who is equal parts model/History of Art graduate/actress/charity and environment campaigner). The website sees itself as a 'global style hub' and I am looking forward to seeing who its Brit ambassadors will be; hopefully people with a unique insight and sense of what the trends mean to them.

With the calendar complete, which events are tempting you for the next month or so? Share them around and spread the word - let's make the run up to Christmas about doing something different and squeezing in more fashion than festive panic.

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