A whimsical wander through postcolonial literature, fashion, fantasy fiction, and more...
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
So NY Fashion Week is on at the moment, and all fashion heads are turning to next summer's trends. But the air here is developing a distinct chill, and I'm dreaming autumnal dreams.
My vision for this autumn is to accessorise, accessorise, accessorise. Whilst I love interesting, original prints, these are hard to come by at the best of times, and I think they're going to be particularly thin on the ground this year. In the absence of prints, it is left to accessories to lift and add texture, dimension and character to plain outfits.
As I've said previously, iridescence in nature is of continued fascination to me. I love the magic of the fact that the complete spectrum of colours is contained within (for the same reason, I also love rainbows),that this quality can turn up in the most unlikely of places: puddles by the pavement, upon beetle casings, magpies' feathers. I love that it is also so elusive, and hard to describe or pin down. What "colour" is iridescence? All, and none...
This quality means it really does come into its own on accessories - the lightplay dazzles the eye, and sparks the imagination, adding magic to what could otherwise be a dull outfit (incidentally I always imagine the Philosopher's Stone to be iridescent). In rainbows, the colours shine pure and bright, but in iridescence, the rich, bejewelled shades of the spectrum are emphasised. Whilst rainbows are fun to draw upon as colour inspiration in summer, the engima of iridescence means it is perfect for winter.
I love the creepily beautiful collection Christopher Kane has come up with for Swarovski, which perfectly demonstrates this. I think it would look magnificent with a raggedy black silk gown, Serafina-Pekkala style: Perusing this month's In Style, it appears that Gucci are also clearly taken with iridescence this season (the patent finish makes it a bit tacky, which is a shame, but it does really magnify the colours!):
Now, I can't hope to afford CK Atelier or a raggedly black silk dress, but I've already incorporated iridescence into my autumn wardrobe in three ways.
Black pearls are one of nature's prettiest glistening gifts, and freshwater black pearls are actually surprisingly inexpensive.
Feathered hairbands, such as the one I got recently from Accessorize, often feature peacock feathers and really glam up simple outfits. This one is by itsthelittlethingsut at www.etsy.com.
It's also fun to try to come up with iridescent effects in makeup. I've had this image stored on my desktop for sometime, and came up with something similar using MAC Delft Paint Pot, with hints of pistachio green Shu Uemura shadow in the corners. Although I only wear creme nail polishes, I think the idea of an ultra-glossy black iridescent polish is kinda wonderful, too.
Finally, to my favourite form of iridescence: peacock feathers. This is a fan that's displayed in my bedroom that I acquired at the Bangladeshi Mela in Brick Lane one year. Decadent, proud, beautiful.
Rabbit-like in a nose that twitches when I laugh and front teeth not 100% rectified by 7 years of braces, postcolonial in being of British-Bangladeshi heritage (and reading many many books thereon). Books, tea and dresses: these are some of my favourite things.