Thursday, 30 July 2009

Obsession: Stella McCartney FW09 Disney Ad Campaign

Images from WWD.

How amazing are these? We love the slightly kitsch, almost 'pop art,' Jeff Koons-esque aesthetic Stella McCartney often uses for her shop windows, and now it seems for her advertising too. At this tricky moment for many luxury brands, we think these ads are just perfect: they manage to convey the sense of high fashion and exclusivity but in a very fun, inviting way (that doesn't force it at you and make you feel inadequate). They're not only cool from a design perspective, but they should also help customers make that all important 'connection' with the brand (more important than ever at the moment, as people really seek to justify their purchases), more than a heavily airbrushed, humourless model with a vacant expression could achieve.

Stella McCartney's shop windows have the same effect too. We love passing by her Bruton Street store because her windows often get us worked up into a childlike state of excitement and, looking at these pictures, can you blame us..?

Image from Disney Roller Girl's super blog.

Image from T.Rex + Me blog.

Even the Stella McCartney x Adidas windows in the Adidas shop were really fun:

Image from the talented Gary Card's blog.

And, if you can bear to think about it in July, there is the Christmas decoration extravaganza the McCartney shop lays on every December... (post HERE)

We do love a bit of fun with our fashion... no point taking everything too seriously.

Moscot Geek Goggles

This is the Theroux frame by Moscot Originals, limited to 300 pairs and named after the actor Justin Theroux. They're "based on a vintage French frame from the 1960's that Justin wore for the film, Mulholland Drive" and they featured in an editorial in the latest edition of 10 Men (below). Had to buy them after spying them in the magazine, to satisfy a Hapsical obsession with unusual, geeky glasses (see also: Lanvin's elusive optical range). All that's left to do now is to have prescription lenses put in (something that always seems to cost much more than we feel it should, which in turn restricts the number of pairs of glasses we can buy - if opticians didn't conspire to rip everyone off with the price charged for lenses, we'd go glasses crazy...)

Go on, buy this edition of 10 Men.. it's a really good one!

Moscot is an old school New York optician (which actually charges very reasonable rates for lenses, but we didn't get lenses from them in case we had to return the frame, because we had to order it online without being able to try it on; wish we had got their lenses, in retrospect) that has a range of cool, retro inspired glasses and sunglasses. Would love to visit one of their NY shops sometime, but for now we've been browsing the website, trying to resist making more purchases..

See more, and shop online, at

The only stockist in London is Liberty (which we're temporarily boycotting following a terrible service incident) and they only have a small range of their sunglasses available - still, better than nothing if you want to try before you buy.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Designer: Joseph Altuzarra

Joseph Altuzarra may have only produced two collections to date, spring/summer 2009 (above) and fall/winter 2009 (below) but, looking at his work, you wouldn't guess. Altuzarra was born in Paris, studied art and art history in Philadelphia, spent time working at Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler and Givenchy, and then launched his own line last year. We really love the minimalism of his work ("I look to designers like Helmut Lang and Jil Sander for inspiration," he has said "They never got into anything too theme-y. It was all about making clothes that were just functional and attractive. I like working that way.") and the razor sharp cut and construction, which has similarities to that of Roland Mouret. At the same time, both collections have that on-trend 80s aspect, with the body-con elements and the slight sparkle, but he's cleverly done it in a classic, subdued way, giving the look a much greater longevity. ss09

For the FW09 collection (below), Altuzarra experimented with a slightly looser fit, with well executed Grecian style draping, and with tight cuts complemented with looser sleeves, adding a pleasing sense of balance. His clothes are sexy and quite flashy (as much as we feel the spirit of Jil Sander and Helmut Lang, present day Versace in its slightly more minimal incarnation is also brought to mind), but he manages to keep it all looking sleek and generally sophisticated because of the minimalism and the great cut.

And if you needed any further proof that Altuzarra is hot property at the moment, don't forget that back in March at the fall/winter 09 shows, Carine Roitfeld dispensed with her customary Margiela, YSL, Balmain and Givenchy for one day to wear one of his coats from the collection to the shows... quite an endorsement, if ever there was one, for a designer just on his second collection.

We're sure we're going to be hearing a lot more about Joseph Altuzarra in the future.

See more on his website.

The Definition of Style: Catherine Baba

Image from Jak & Jil.

If you've been reading Hapsical for a while, you'll probably already know about our mini obsession with the stylist Catherine Baba, so we apologise if we're sounding like a broken record. If not, here goes: we actually know fairly little about Baba, other than that she has worked for brands including Givenchy and Chanel and for magazines including Dazed & Confused and Vogue, and has the most amazing personal style. She has been called 'the most stylish woman in Paris' on more than one occasion, and it's not difficult to see why: a sort of 20s and 30s chic characterises her elegant look, along with a certain Hollywood glamour, a sophisticated femininity, and a preference for rich fabrics, fur, big sunglasses, turbans and over-size jewellery. It's not just the clothes themselves, though, because there's something about the way she wears things, the way she carries herself, and her whole attitude and being which is rare in being so stylish. This emphasis on true style, as opposed to fashion fads, with a real old school elegance to it (but at the same time never being dull or stuffy) is what we love. Baba's Myspace page says she's 73 - we find it very hard to believe she's that old - but either way it reinforces a point about her style: it is such that her age ceases even to be relevant.

Part of her appeal is also that she doesn't take herself too seriously and is basically totally fabulous, frequently dropping her catchphrase "J'adore, darling" into conversation. We first found out about her when we saw a video interview Diane Pernet (of A Shaded View) did with her, and it immediately became one of our all time favourites (see below), but the original point of this post was to share another video we just found of Catherine Baba, where she gives her definition of style, but we then thought we'd turn it into a general post about her too. Anyway, here it is:

If you never saw the original video of her with Diane Pernet (apologies again to longstanding readers because we always seem to be going on about this) it's here, and you really should watch it because it is so eccentrically wonderful, and generally fabulous:

J'adore, daaahhling, J'ADORE!

"And you really needed your fur coat, huh?" (the interview was in the South of France in spring)

"Darling, it's freeeeeeeezing, no?"

Such total love.. it's exactly how you want fashion personalities to be, but they actually both do it so well and not in a sort of snobby, uptight way.

Image from Street Peeper.

Image source: Jak & Jil for

She more on her website (under construction at the moment) and Myspace.

Balmain Quilted Leather Jacket & Skirt

If you've ever found yourself wondering what a Chanel 2.55 quilted bag would look like turned into an outfit (we've certainly found ourselves wondering on countless occasions...), then today's your lucky day because Balmain has provided all the answers with these two fall/winter 2009 pieces!

The quilted leather jacket, at £7,070, and the skirt, at £4,705, are almost as intriguing as they are costly: they really are Chanel 2.55 for the body. They've even got chain detailing to complete the effect. All that's missing is the metal Chanel logo, something Balmain obviously couldn't stretch to, if not only for fear of litigation. Forget enrobing your phone, wallet, keys and the like in top quality quilted leather now that you can dress yourself in it.

As much as we love the concept (in a surreal way) a lingering question remains: is it a good look? Is dressing up as an iconic designer bag something to aspire to? And how (whisper it) practical is a quilted leather skirt anyway? Of course Net-a-Porter don't sanction wearing both pieces together, and they weren't worn together on the Balmain runway, and the jacket certainly could be worn very well by itself if you don't mind that awful shoulder silhouette, but we almost feel that if you're going to go for it at all (don't quote us on this) you really should go for both together for maximum quiltification...

Buy online from Net-a-Porter.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Prada's FW09 Look Book

We always love Prada look books, which are really cool and creative but at the same time they don't feel forced or contrived and they always fit perfectly with the aesthetic and mood of the collections. The one for fall/winter 2009, designed as ever in partnership with Rem Koolhaas, Prada's long time architectural collaborator, is no exception. We've included some screen grabs here, but we really recommend following the link at the end of the post to view it in its entirety.

(Click images to enlarge)

Click here to view/download the full look book.

Related Post:

Prada's SS09 Look Book