Monthly Archives: March 2016

How to meets beauty in your fashion style

The first few seconds of Spike Jonze’s new advert for Kenzo perfume lull you: a beautiful woman, bored in a black-tie world; just what you might expect from a glossy fashion ad. But then she sneaks out, into an empty hall – and then we’re off into the deep end of one of the most engaging ads we have had this year.

Margaret Qualley (Jill in The Leftovers) takes centre stage, a spiritual successor to Christopher Walken’s freaky dancer in Jonze’s video for Weapon of Choice by Fatboy Slim. Her hair’s out of place, there’s a cheeky glint in her eye and then, to the sound of Mutant Brain by Ape Drums (featuring Sam Spiegel and Assassin), she throws herself through the rest of the ad. It’s a riotous dance, choreographed by Ryan Heffington, (the man behind Sia’s Chandelier video), as she twirls, hops, punches and flies, lost in a moment that is as daft as it is cool. In short, everything you don’t expect from the sedate world of perfume ads.

It’s not the first time film directors have paired with fashion brands. Kenzo themselves worked with cult indie star Gregg Araki for last year’s Here Now. Here are four more.

Prada presents Castello Cavalcanti by Wes Anderson

For his 2013 film for Prada, Anderson cast his film favourite Jason Schwartzmanas Castello Cavalcanti, a brash racing driver zipping around a tiny 1950s village in Italy. With Giada Colagrande as a sultry cafe owner who catches his eye when he crashes, it’s more short film than traditional ad – a “Prada Racing” logo on the back of Cavalcanti’s jaunty yellow jumpsuit is the only branding in the 7.45-minute run.

Sofia Coppola for Miss Dior

Natalie Portman offers the promise of a rose garden in Sofia Coppola’s chic campaign for Miss Dior’s 2013 run.

Joe Wright’s Coco Mademoiselle for Chanel

Joe Wright paired with his Pride & Prejudice and Atonement muse Keira Knightley again for Chanel’s 2011 campaign. Here she drops the period costumes in favour of a slick biker look as she races through Paris.

Unique fashion tips with floras

There are small but crucial differences between fashion and the real world. Here’s one: in fashion, flowers for the kitchen table are not something that you buy on impulse from the stall by the station as an it’s-Friday treat. They are as much of a style statement – and as trend-driven – as your handbag, or your shoes, or the car you drive, or the restaurant you book for your birthday party. They must be carefully considered and finely calibrated to enhance your personal brand.

The coolest trend in flowers over the past few years hasn’t, confusingly, involved flowers at all. Greenery is what greets you when you walk into Céline’s Mount Street store. The vogue for palm leaves can be traced back to Céline’s ad campaign for autumn/winter 2011; their cult status was confirmed in 2012 when House of Hackney launched its now-classic Palmeral print. A cheeseplant or succulent on your mid-century sideboard is pure minimalist cool, the lack of pretty petals chiming nicely with your on-trend androgynous wardrobe.

The next big thing, for those already tired of succulents, is a polar opposite trend. Highly stylised arrangements in dramatic, downward-sweeping shapes are the avant garde choice. Your inspiration here is 16th-century Dutch still life paintings, so go for a mix of overblown blooms, bending to the table in melancholy glory. A prop – a shell, a silk butterfly, a bell jar, an earthenware jug – completes the picture.

This look is, granted, a little tricky to put together if you are sourcing your flowers in Marks & Spencer rather than the fashion industry’s favourite florist, Scarlet & Violet. If in doubt, fall back on the classics. A white phalaenopsis orchid is the little black dress of flowers, and all-white blooms are a failsafe chic choice. (Anna Wintour’s favourite is the scented white tuberose, fashion fact fans.) Pink peonies or blue hydrangeas are super stylish, so long as the bunch is generous enough and you stick to a single colour, with no greenery. Wild meadow flowers project effortless style, the floral equivalent of wearing a ponytail and flats on the red carpet.

What to put them in? (And, no, I don’t mean water.) Glass tanks are on the way out, superseded by milk bottles and bright pottery. You wouldn’t put on a great dress without putting a little thought into what shoes to wear, would you? Well, the same goes for flowers. As every fashionista knows, great accessories make the look.