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Camille Over the Rainbow

PFW 17 – The Final StretchThursday, March 9 2017

And then there was Paris.

Always last; never least. It’s the week I look forward to the most, year after year, season after season. Partly because le fashion is just better here (#pardonmyFrench), but also because I get to come home and see all my nearest and dearest, in between all the hectic show-hopping and showroom-stopping.

Just as well, then, as the City of Lights tested our endurance in more ways than one. Throwing a few curveballs straight at our permanently behind-shades faces (remember, it’s now week 4, and we’re running pretty low on both sleep and Touche Éclat). Truly, it was like the 12 Labours of Hercules—only with more layers and less deaths (though if looks could kill, there would be a hella lot of fashionistas behind bars, corroborating FW17’s claim that orange is, de facto, the new black…).

Labour 1:  sink or swim

So the weather was nice for approx 45 minutes in the afternoon on the first Saturday. Other than that, you would be forgiven for thinking that higher authorities were trying to hold the shows underwater. Betcha that would get a lot of likes. And, tragically, a one-shot-insta-wonder seems like most fashion house’s only concern nowadays. Disguising a bad collection with an ostentatious show seems like the norm. Le sigh. Long of the short of it, we were all very wet, all of the time. On the plus side, the must-have coat of the season was also the warmest. And if Aalto and Balenciaga are anything to go by, the fashion set will continue to be down with puffers for the foreseeable. Or you could get a crystallised Anne-Sofie Madsen trench, if you’re looking to stand out.

Labour 2: march on (just not in front of the Trocadero please) 

The French love a good demonstration. I spent most of my law school years fighting my way into class as protestors barricaded  the university and prevented us from attending mandatory lectures to get their point across. Trying to attend shows while the country is in the run-up to an election felt reminiscent of those days. And while I’m the first to applaud our generation’s lack of apathy for such serious matters, it was bloody inconvenient. Le eye roll. 

Labour 3: food fomo

All those baguettes, no time to eat. Nuff said. Le stomach rumble.

Labour 4: je n’aime rien, je suis parisien

Per usual, the locals (a demographic to which I belong) were not all that welcoming to the try-hard fashion tribe descending upon the fashion capital. Now I’m allowed to say this, because I am French born and bred, but everyone needs to lighten up a bit. I would suggest sprinkling your all-black outfits with Swarovski crystals, as demonstrated particularly well at Yves Saint Laurent and Wanda Nylon, whose disco silhouettes would uplift even the grumpiest Parisian. Go, on then. Give it a go. Those OTK boots were made for walking! Le sparkle. 

Labour 5: Faux policing

Each show came with its own army of bodyguards (not the sexy Kevin Costner type) and trained dogs (that you ain’t allowed to pet). After Valentino, policemen with big black guns barred the exit road because of a suspicious package on the street. Not your average fashion police, and a constant reminder that you could be blown up at any moment. Yes, am being melodramatic, and I do appreciate the lengths to which Paris is trying to keep us safe. But it may kill the IT-bag as tight passport-like control had us sticking to invites-only. Le just-saying.

Labour 6: My eyes

Balmain. Cannot be unseen. Le don’t do it to yourself. 

Labour 7: je t’aime, je t’adior 

The shoes every cool girl seemed to have, in every colourway and heel height, but that you could not seem to locate even if your life depended on it. Why does everyone seem to find their sole mate but me? First world problems at large. New year’s resolution (new year only starts after fashion month finished, obvs): must start using Bumble more or I might have to ask my next Uber driver to marry me. Le heartbreak. 

Labour 8. Cloud 9 (or having to descend from it)

What is the point of staying at your favourite hotel, in one of your favourite neighbourhoods, if you have to pull yourself out from under the plushy duvet, skip the continental breakfast buffet and run out into the rain every morning. Les Bains, you’re so cruel to be kind. Le snooze button

Labour 10: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

 Too. Much. Instagram. Le scroll

Labour 12: Travel curse

When you have been so good about going to bed early, counting your alcohol-units to keep a level head through all the craziness, and yet you still manage to forget your (non-backed up) computer on the Eurostar home. Worst way possible to end the month. What am I going to do with myself? Le last straw.

Labour 12: See you next season.

Le winky face.

Credits

Illustrations by pun genius Angelica HicksIn partnership with the Swarovski Collective.

MFW 17 – Carbfully yoursMonday, February 27 2017

This is the one that is being written with my computer precariously balanced on an overpacked suitcase, sandwiched in between a gargantuan McDonalds (total blasphemy when in Rome—sorry, Milan says geotag), and late boarding at Malpensa airport, so you will have to excuse brevity (/total lack of sense).

Milan really did feel like it was trying to cruise right past me. Perhaps my schedule wasn’t as packed as NY or London, but the city was new to me, so I had some hard driving to do if I was to keep up with the wacky racing fashion set. Fortunately, I had just the shoes for the job. They see me rollin, etc…

The week started as carb-full as it ended. There was rigatoni and gnocchi, garganelli and spaghettisprinkled with parmesan a plenty. And let’s not forget the ravioli… Also accompanying most high fashion courses: a large dollop of your preferred Swarovski crystals, served just the way you like. Covering every inch of the clothing as spotted while nosing around backstage at Vivetta, where a bright red pant suit made me stop right in my tracks! Or shimmering ever so slightly, just here and there, as demonstrated by Arthur Arbesser.

Meanwhile, the millennials clearly have been living on the Atkins diet since birth, if the Dolce show is anything to go by. Obvi carbs are more important to me than oxygen (I actually cried of happiness when my allergy test confirmed that I have zero issues with gluten), so no hard feelings at not having been asked. I’ll take running to get pizza over prancing down the runway Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and yup, even D&G Sundaywhich coincidentally was the message spelled out by the rainbow finale at Alberta Ferretti. Coincidence? I think not.

I would go on, but my gate is boarding, and I still have a few snacks for the plane to buy. Touchdown in Paris.

Carb-fully yours, Cam.

Credits

Coat: Rejina Pyo (this one cool too) || Shoes: J. W. Anderson || Clutch: Loewe || Necklace: Alighieri || Shirt: Jil Sander --- Pics via Tagwalk. In partnership with the Swarovski Collective — Final stop, Paris!

LFW 17 – Reunited with my long lost style twinWednesday, February 22 2017

“His name is Martin and you live in London, so this is basically the parent trap”, assessed my trusty sidekick, Hannah.

90s kids will know.

The minute our Mercedes driver put out his hand to introduce himself, I had to physically restrain myself from going into the full handshake, in all its 18-move glory. **Cue me humming iconic theme-tune instead**. All the signs were there, and seemed to point in that direction: this week would be the week I was finally going to be reunited with my long-lost style twin. Oh boy, how exciting!

As we Maybach-ed our way (#sorrynotsorry, Annie does have a limo after all) to our first stop of the day, I felt very lucky to be back home in England. The fashion in this city is so colourful and expressive, and Sadie Williams’ geometric presentation with splashes of Swarovski crystals was the first reminder of all the eclectic ideas to come. This was followed by a powerful feminine hit by the king of experimental, J. W. Anderson. Square cut toes, and cutout sweatshirts parading in a seemingly chaotic manner, which seemed to echo the personality of the girl he wants to dress: flirtatious, rebellious, a little unpredictable. I could def be all those things, J-dubs.

Still no sign of my separated-at-birth sartorial duplicate. Onto the next show then, eyes peeled. And suddenly dazzled by Faustine Steinmeitz crystallised affair, as embellished denim-wear flirted with the now ubiquitous sexy puffer jacket. One thing for sure, we won’t be cold next Winter either.

Martin is getting tired of my humming.

And then there was Joseph. Oh Joseph, you do know your way to a woman’s heart. As loose-fitted, yet somehow tailored, one-pieces floated past me, topped with Alighieri gold, I couldn’t help but notice one of the girls sitting on the far side of the room. As we stood up, I gasped. There she was. Synchronised down to our matching ribboned hair ties (mine incidentally freshly cut from the hem of my jeans that I’d decided to DIY that very morning).

As we made our way in unison to the last show of the day, the wonderfully feminine Emilia Wickstead, whose beaded creations made me wish I lived in a Jane Austen story, I couldn’t help but smile. Here it was: in your honour, a royal streestyle flush…

Now, how about that handshake!

Credits

Shirt: Rejina Pyo (similar here) || Jeans: E.L.V denim at Alex Eagle || Earrings: Swarovski x Fiona Kotur || Boots: Jonak || Bag: Loewe ||  Photos by The Locals, Dan Roberts Studio and guest appearance by Irina Lakicevic  --- In partnership with Swarovski Collective — See you in Milan!

NYFW 17 (*New York Freeze Week*)Friday, February 17 2017

It all started -fittingly- with a snowstorm.

Knowing that I would be reporting on behalf of the Swarovski Collective, no doubt, the Great Weather Gods kindly sprinkled sparkly snowflakes all over the streets of New York on the day of my arrival, leaving the big apple coated in gorgeous white frosting, which reflected the light as brightly as a crystal. Utterly gorgeous… until it all turned into slush, and was almost responsible for me losing a toe to frostbite, that is. But let’s stick to the positive, eh?

New York Freeze Week (as I have renamed it following my third season covering shows in antartic-like conditions) always kicks off with a bang. This year was no exception, as I sat on my bank card just moments after getting through Trump’s tight border control, leaving me penny-less for the rest of my stay. Fortunately, a sympthetic room service at the Bowery hotel, my cosy nest, and an infinite amount of sexy dinner invitations, saw me through the week without the risk of my starving to death.

Culinary highlights included an open-oyster bar on the night of Miu Miu’s short film debut and a baked potato the size of my head topped with caviar, to be enjoyed with a pearl spoon engraved with my name on it, courtesy of Frame Denim’s vodka-fueled Russian affair. Talk about decadent! Visa who?

In between meals, I just about found the time to make it to a few shows (though unfortunately my sprinting skills – or lack thereof- meant missing one of my favs: Tibi. I blame Russell). Rosie Assoulin, currently the hottest ticket in town, took us on a magic carpet ride to a whole new world, where even the vegan-certified shoes could have walked straight out of my favourite Disney movie (note to self: must make time for new Aladdin musical currently playing on broadway!). She borrowed what could have been the silky or embroidered textures decorating the couches at your very stylish Great Aunt Maggie’s home, and applied them to her wonderfully proportioned clothes. Unlike at Tome, it wasn’t the girl’s ears that were dripping in Swarovski crystals but the garments themselves: one coat in particular really glistened in full flickering glory. I have dubbed it Rosie’s Technicolor Dream-robe in reference to another of my musical favs (yes, my love affair for the cheesy stuff did not begin with La-La Land, though that was the soundtrack on repeat in the car).

And not to be lacking on any of my Swarovski Sparkle Scoop duties, here is my top beauty trend story for you: hair tinsel! Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. As first spotted on my gorgeous friend Margaret, I managed to escape from the madness for a few minutes to go get these glitter extensions woven into my blond locks. I’ve never gotten so many compliments, so make sure to go full unicorn next time you visit the city (see: stories for more). The place is called Cocoro salon, on Ludlow and will only set you back 5 dollars a strand. Affordable even for sad cardless sods, like myself.

All in all, we had a wonderful time and can’t wait to see what London has in store.

Credits

Sweatshirt: Lacoste || Earrings: Rosie Assoulin x Swarovski || Jeans: Vetements || Blazer: Ralph Lauren || Tee: Ganni || Boots: H&M --- In partnership with Swarovski Collective — Next up London!

Bringing you the sparkle scoops with Swarovski CollectiveFriday, February 10 2017

When Rhianna sang ‘Shine bright like a diamond’, I’m pretty sure she was referring to a Swarovski Crystal. These days, you can barely move in a high fashion room without being hit by a glorious succession of dazzling sparkles. Bling a ding-ding! Even minimal mavens, like myself, can’t help but confess their weakness for the shiny stuff.

And not just because diamonds are a girl’s best friend

(Though the modern adage should def say “crystals are a fashionista’s main bae”).

Since its inception, the Swarovski Collective has helped bright young stars from all over the world to explore new ways of incorporating crystal in their designs. The global initiative, which all began when Nadja Swarovski teamed up with visionaries such as Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen, now fosters the artistic direction of some of the most exciting new labels on the high fashion block. This year, the lineup includes some of my personal favs, such as Creatures of the Wind, Rosie Assoulin and  Tome, which could not be more perfect as I will be there, reporting on the ground, checking up on all things sparkle and bringing you the brightest scoops from all four cities. Decked in crystals, naturellement!

So, shine bright tonight

You and I

We’re beautiful, like diamonds in the sky’

Credits

Art: Rothko || Earrings: Rosie Assoulin x Swarovski Collective --- In partnership with Swarovski Collective.