Showing posts from September, 2018

Poncho & Tupo

Argentina and Chile are Poncho countries. The Indians and later the gauchos used to ride across the Patagonian pampa wrapped in their poncho which doubled as blanket at some make shift shelter during the night.
The gaucho is nearly a figure of the past, but the poncho stayed.

I can testify to the warming capacity of an ample woollen poncho. I did not cross the wind swept plains on horseback but even as a pedestrian ambling in the street of some forlorn  Patagonian town I experienced the fierce wind and was happy to have my poncho tightly wrapped around me.

The dark red one is coarse but quite warm. The soft grey one is the city version from Mandra Diseño in Buenos Aires.

The poncho has no button or zip. You best close it with a tupo, the silver pin known since times gone by. And it serves as a welcome excuse to endulge in ornate silver jewellery which comes in many enticing shapes.

Autumn Leaves

I built this outfit around my venerable leather jacket from Arfango in Florence. The Italian manufacturers are proudly displaying their refined techniques of leather processing dating back to the fifteenth century when Florence already was an important centre of Renaissance fashion and couture.

My jacket’s cloth lining, the knitted waistband, the leather coated buttons and the matching vest are showing craftsmanship at its best. Orange-golden autumn leaves and the fiery red of the wild grape vine are adding their bit.

More Tailored Suits - 2

Leather and soft elegant grey. I didn’t think that could match until I found the suit  made of supple velvety leather.

Grey on grey or less formal yellow wool on grey from Thierry Mugler. Leather is most versatile.

Gone are the coat and the jacket of the quatres pièces by Evelin Brandt. It was too much of the same. The pants and west look better with the less formal cordury jacket in a different colour.  Evelin Brandt used to be in West Berlin at the times when the city was divided. Like many others she succeded in implanting her label in the reunified city in West and East.                                                                                                  Berlin has a long tradition of garment manufacturers. Way before outsorcing became the order of the day they where practicising the same. They comissioned clothing fitters, the so-called Zwischenmeister for suppling them with garments they had designed. The Schneiderin was the sister of the Paris midinette. 

More Tailored Suits -1

The petrol deux pieces with assorted coat is holding its ground in my wardrobe as it is pure Karl Lagerfeld vintage from his series Impression made of the finest
worsted wool.

It goes without saying that it was created in Paris,
the capital of fashion.
The colour of the pants suit by Tara Jarmon also from Paris is reminding me of the glorious mosaic I saw on Persian mosques. The cloisonné box I brought home from Isfahan has the same shade of turquoise. 

Small town, great couture

Romain Courret, my favourite couturier (see post of January 24) had invited to his défilé of the season and he played it grand.

We could enjoy his inventive fashion in the beautiful courtyard of the golf hotel Chateau des Vigiers.

Romain had named his new collection Nouvelle Ambassade / New Embassy. The German equivalent Botschaft has the double meaning of embassy and message and a message he did convey. It spelled vivid creativity and playfulness.

As a hommage to the mixed nationalities of his viewers Romain had dedicated each outfit to a diffferent nation.

The défilé took place on French Heritage Day. The Chateau was just the right frame. The French flair for keeping their tradition alive was the other messsage.

They hold skilled handicraft, the creation and the restauration of beautiful objects in the highest esteem.

Couturiers, jewellers, glass blowers, cabinet makers, upholsterers, all these professions are greatly valued. There exists even a Jour de l'Artisanat  / Day of Handicraf…

Oh, so Formal

I admit to have a penchant for the tailored suit. When I was still working it used to be a sort of uniform. You didn’t have to think much about what to put on. Just two suits and assorted blouses or jerseys and you were fit for a business trip. Now that I am retired the opportunities for suits present themselves not so often. Still I like to wear a suit every now and then on an autumn day in the city or for a lunch appointment. The best: this autumn season the suit is having a renaissance. Look at all the mannequins in suits at the Paris Fashion Week! So, suit is even rhyming to young and fashionable, mainly the version with pants, though.

The chequered dark red and green suit was made in Italy by Bartolomei and the black and beige by Viviana Fougá in Buenos Aires. It is sheer joy to stroll along the streets of central Buenos Aires, Recoleta or Palermo and to do some leisurely window shopping. You will never finish browsing. Some boutiques and dress maker’s ateliers are tucked away i…

My Guardian Angel

He hails from South America and he does not rely on his heavenly nature alone. He carries a spear to protect me. In many a church in Argentina, Brazil and Chile I saw paintings of angels in arms. I am not sure if these strange attributes reflect the violence which accompanied the spreading of the Roman Catholic belief amongst the Indians of South America or if it is a topic the local painters copied from European baroque images. I once listened to the lecture of an art historian who was adamant that the latter is the right interpretation. Let’s leave the matter to the experts.

I feel somehow protected by my guardian angel although he is just a copy. I am posing with him in some fake fur from Chile, his country of origin. It is all about fake and fun.

Coats for Special Occasions

There are coats to keep you warm, coats which match a dress and coats for special occasions. The grey flannel coat with ample rhinestone applications at the sleeves comes from a shop in Singapore specializing in French prêt-à-porter vintage. You needn’t wear an expensive dress as the coat is absorbing all the attention.

The embroidered black piece from parory in India is more a tunic than a coat. So, it asks for matching slacks and a top to go underneath.  I found the coat in a shop of Cape Town’s pitturesque fishing village Kalk Bay on a visit to The Court Yard Café, a charming little restaurant on the Main Road facing the harbour and run by the daughter of my friends.

The hand woven linen coat with an ethnic touch made by Giwa vyed for my attention in Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand. It goes well with skinny jeans. Their shape hints at tight Asian pants and their material tones down the ethnic look.

I am getting philosophical

What else can you do when you are living not far from the venerable tower where French philosopher Michel de Montaigne wrote his famous Essais. However, Montaigne didn't live in an ivory tower. He was a man of the world. Not only had he been mayor of Bordeaux and member of parliament, he also came from a family of merchants. His medieval castle was later replaced by a larger fairy tale like building and may have seen sumptious banquets and balls.

Thus, I do not feel out of place when sitting under Montaigne's coat of arms on a bench in his park and wearing a royal blue cocktail dress. When this vintage piece was made a pashmina was called a stola and mine is a cloud of blue crepe, disguising, revealing, As You like it.

Felt & Edelweiss

You can hardly get it more Bavarian than that. A felt jacket from Hallhuber and a buffalo leather handbag with an embroidered edelweiss and a silver buckle. Even sunny autumn days can be quite chilly in Munich. The felt and the tweed skirt were the right outfit for my stroll through Hofgarten. I was cosily warm and fitted nicely to the displays of rustic, slightly folkloric chic around me. Some couples didn’t need felt. They got warm from dancing in the music pavillon.

The gentleman with the ornate hat is wearing loden, another truly Bavarian (and Austrian) fabric for the outdoors in not so mild seasons.