Iris, Dior and McQueen

I’ve been on a documentary binge recently, devouring anything that has been recommended to me or that I’ve come across on Netflix. Sometimes you really have to trawl through a lot of random 80s movies and B list thrillers to find anything worthwhile on Netflix but I can still usually justify the seven quid a month.

Iris Apfel is a ninety-three year old reknowned fashionista living in New York City who was the subject of a documentary released in 2014 called Iris, directed by Albert Maysles and currently available on Netflix. Apfel ran a business called Old World Weavers with her husband Carl (who died in August of this year aged almost 101, and was married to Iris for sixty-seven years) and they travelled the world sourcing fabrics for their high-society clients. They even worked with the White House under nine different Presidents. Iris has retired but in her later years has become a global fashion icon due to a 2005 exhibition of her clothing at the Costume Institute, and the press attention that followed. Albert Maysles, famed director of Grey Gardens, decided to make a documentary about her and in fact this was one of the last films he made before his death from cancer in March of this year.

Iris is irrepressible, droll, full of energy despite her advancing years and incredibly creative when it comes to fashion and aesthetics. This is a great watch.

Dior and I is a documentary about Raf Simons’ first couture collection as head designer for Dior, a position he undertook in 2012 after the very public dismissal of John Galliano. Simons’ is a Belgian designer who has his roots in furniture design and has in fact never studied fashion formally. He came to the Dior atelier without a word of French and without the technical skills that would usually characterise a couturier. The documentary shows the process in the run up to his first show, Haute Couture Autumn Winter 2012, which was very well received by the fashion press and buyers and included a fantastical runway space with walls of flowers.

My favourite parts of the documentary were the behind-the-scenes look at the atelier and the women who have worked there for decades. Their skill and painstaking attention to detail is astonishing and shows exactly why the clothes command the astronomical prices they are famous for.

And lastly there’s a documentary available on Youtube which was first shown on Channel 4 called McQueen and I, an exploration of Alexander McQueen’s work and his association with stylist Isabella Blow. At just over an hour long, the documentary is not an in-depth look at either but it does contain interesting archive footage of McQueen’s shows which were more like performance art than mainstream fashion events, and it also contains some interview material with Detmar Blow, Isabella’s husband, who explains the reasons that lead to her suicide in 2007. McQueen followed in 2010, apparently devastated after the death of his mother, although it has recently come to light that he also suffered from childhood sexual abuse and this may have contributed to his drug use, unhappiness and eventual suicide. It’s a short but interesting documentary and well worth a watch.

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Birthday Wishlist

Well folks it’s that time of year. The time when I go on an orgy of imaginary spending to distract myself from the fact that my birthday is imminent and my age is inching upwards, ever higher towards nose bleed territory. So below is the result of the “If I win the lottery tomorrow night, this is what I’ll be spending it on” spree. If anyone feels like gifting me with any of this (come on…that McQueen dress is a steal at just under a grand!) I can provide my address and sizes for ease of purchase and delivery.

(Click on the links below to see the items on their original site.)

Birthday Wishlist

Metallic panelled sweatshirt by Marc by Marc Jacobs at Matches Fashion

Audace Jacket by Maje from Net-A-Porter

Silver Pistol Boots by Acne from Matches Fashion

Caged Mesh Body from Topshop

Silk and jersey dress by MCQ Alexander McQueen from My Wardrobe

Swoop Dreams T-Shirt from All Saints

Holographic Wallet by Marc by Marc Jacobs at Net-A-Porter

Sophia clear frame sunglasses by Celine at Matches Fashion

Mercury Platform Pumps by McQ Alexander McQueen from My Wardrobe

Silk Track Pants by Band of Outsiders at Net-A-Porter

McQ AW 2012

As I’m sure you’re aware London Fashion Week is now on and last night saw a livestream of the McQ show. McQ is the diffusion label from Alexander McQueen and has been in existence since 2006 but last night was the first runway show in the brand’s history. It seems that Sarah Burton has amped up the McQ offering significantly. Gone are the dodgy feather print dresses and cheap looking shirts and instead there’s a much clearer link to the drama and tailoring of the McQueen main line. Think devore velvet, full skirts, tartan, military coats and oceans of tulle.

With this much attention to detail I think there will have to be a corresponding price hike. Previously it has been possible to pick up a McQ dress for around €300 but I reckon these beauties will be a bit more pricey. However it will be well worth buying if you have the cash to spend – I bought a McQ coat years ago and it’s a great quality wardrobe staple.

(All pics from Alexander McQueen official Facebook Page)

Nowness presents Daphne Guinness

Nowness has posted this documentary short about the ever stylish Daphne Guinness. It’s filmed in her New York apartment and also follows her as she dresses in the window of Barney’s on the day of the Met Ball. It’s a slightly bonkers little movie but I have a place in my heart for the eccentric, shy and lovable Daphne. I’m also speechless with lust over her custom designed Shaun Leane armoured wrist piece which she models at the end of the film. Enjoy.

Met Ball 2011

The “Met Ball” (AKA Costume Institute Gala at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art) is one event I would love to attend. It’s the fashion equivalent of the Oscars and an opportunity for fashionistas and stars to go all out and wear the most beautiful dress they can find. This year the Gala paid tribute to Alexander McQueen and many of the attendees wore McQueen, both present day and archive pieces.

Sometimes the pressure to make the Best Dressed list must get to the attendees. It’s the only explanation for some of the strange sartorial choices that are made, such as Stella McCartney’s bizarrely structured hideously unflattering dress which she designed:

Or Freida Pinto’s Chanel dress (Dear Freida, a tuxedo OR a frock, not both, love Alex.):

You can count on the fashionistas to create headlines with outfits that look like art rather than fashion. Daphne Guinness in Alexander McQueen is a case in point:

As is Anna Dello Russo, also in McQueen:

Sometimes a beautiful woman and a great designer does not equal fashion heaven. For example, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (beautiful girl) wearing Burberry Prorsum (great label) equals cheap looking rose coloured satin that looks like a tacky debs dress, partnered with naff accessories.

My favourite on the night was Liv Tyler who wore Givenchy. A stunning dress on a head-turningly beautiful woman.

Manley by Emma Manley

I was in Bow in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre last week having a look around. My eye was drawn to several pieces dotted around the shop and when I looked at the label they were all by Irish designer Emma Manley. I emailed Emma to see if I could have her lookbook and she kindly obliged.

Emma launched her own label, Manley, in 2010 after working at one of my favourite labels, VPL, and at Alexander McQueen including McQueen’s final collection. The pieces from the Manley SS2011 collection I saw were sportswear influenced separates with some edgy detailing and in feminine colours such as pale blue and sea green. I particularly loved the studded sweater in the first picture.

Go into Bow and check out Emma’s stuff. It’s really well priced, very well made and the separates would integrate well into most women’s wardrobes.

Maybe next year…

As you may know The Multiverse was nominated for a Golden Spider Award 2010 in the Big Mouth category. Unfortunately I didn’t win. (Difficult for someone whose motto is “it’s not the taking part that counts, it’s the winning”.) A huge congrats to the guys at Frogblog.ie who were the very happy winners on the night.

I would like to say an enormous and heartfelt thank you to those who voted for me. You’re all lovely people indeed! Also a big thanks to my ever supportive Dad who came with me on the night and looked very well in his tux!

It wasn’t a huge loss. I did get to dress up in my Ann Sofie Back frock and a friend was kind enough to lend me a fabulous bag. An Alexander McQueen knuckleduster clutch no less!

There’s always next year…