Wednesday, March 10

A crash course in the bloggers' designer faves.

Opening my mom’s wardrobe as a kid, was like opening a secret doorway to the magazine section in Exclusive Books. Piled high in dated order was every issue of Glamour and Cleo she’d ever bought. It was like the Narnia of magazines. I would page through the articles, mesmerized by the dating dilemmas and fashion faux pas that lay ahead of me. I wanted hair like Claudia’s and long legs like Linda. I knew my Lagerfeld from my Lacroix and one day I’d wear safety pin dresses like Liz Hurley. I accumulated a vast knowledge of dating do’s and don’ts and beauty how-to’s, all by the age of thirteen. Then I started highschool. I looked nothing like Claudia and rather, Courtney Love became my idol. I swapped Glamour for Kerrang and Cleo for Total Guitar. Grunge was in and I lost touch with fashion completely until I moved to London for a year in May 09. There I discovered a zillion different styles, both on the street and the web.

When I returned to South Africa, I realised just how much harder it is for us local girls to feel plugged in to the fashion world at large. While the trends roll out from the runway to the high street in London, New York and Paris, it can take us up to a year to catch up. By the time a designer piece has been shipped to our shores, it costs a small fortune to the average twenty something. In London, I could probably save three months of my temp’s salary and afford a designer bag. In South Africa, it would probably take me three years. Just the other day, I was flicking through one of our local glossies when I spotted a Louis Vuitton bangle advertised for something like R4000. I wander what it must be like to swipe a cool four g's on a bangle? Super awesome, I'm sure. After a wander around Sandton City, it seemed to me that when it comes to labels, South Africans prefer their Guess, Diesel and Ed Hardy above all others. I saw lots of short, tight and blinging combos teetering between the LA inspired boho babes in sandals. As for me, I find I’m gravitating more towards European looks although I do love that layered Olsen look.

So what's this about a crash course? Well, if like me, you’re also playing fashion catch up, you may have noticed that certain designers often pop up in the wish-lists of many a fashion blogger. I had a little dig around to find out more about these designers so I won't feel so erm, clueless anymore. If you'd like to join me on this little fashion tour, please take your seat in the front row sweetie, darling!

Miu Miu
We all know Prada, don't we? Something about a movie with Meryl Streep? Well, Miu Miu is a line of daily-wear for younger woman by the Prada fashion house. It opened in 1992 and is headed by Miuccia Prada - Miu Miu is her nickname! Signature Look Colourful and edgy with bold prints that often look like high-end vintage.


Marc by Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs is an American fashion designer who is currently the Creative Director of the French design house, Louis Vuitton. The Marc by Marc Jacobs collection is a more affordable line that’s been adored by fashionistas’ since it hit the runway for the first time in 2001. Signature Look Vintage lines, girly details like puff sleeves and quirky oversized buttons. Retro chic accessories include bags, shoes and off-beat timepieces.


Chloé is a Parisian fashion house who were the first to create a Prêt-à-Porter (Ready-To-Wear) line. Previously, luxury fashion houses only ever produced Haute Couture (made-to-measure) clothing and most people had to make do with knock off’s sewn by the local seamstress.  Signature Look Romantic, flirty and feminine. Long flowing skirts and statement bags.


Luella Barley is a British fashion designer, loved by the likes of Lily and Alexa for her quirky, punk inspired and often distinctly English style. Sadly, she had to shut up shop last year after an investor pulled funding. Signature Look Floral frocks, biker boots, boyfriend blazers and tiered skirts.


House of Holland
Henry Holland is a hot, young British designer who's besties with Agyness Deyn. He found fashion fame in in 2006 with his irreverent tees emblazoned with slogans like 'I'll Tell You Who's Boss Kate Moss.' Signature Look Cheeky tees, bandanas, chains and grungy tartain.


And there you go! Please remember, I'm a total fashion rookie so if you're a seasoned stylista, please feel free to correct me on any of the above. Merci!


Nadia said...

I totally agree about Miu Miu (Im personally obsessed!), MBMJ, and Chloe but Im not sure about the other two. Luella's demise is being mourned, but it's not a fashion crisis. House of Holland, on the other hand, is totally over in my opinion. I think that classic houses like Chanel and LV still have major influence - think about all the people buying clogs and wearing bunny ears!

Lucille (The Pink Pen Word Studio) said...

Such a lovely post! My favourites are Chanel, Oscar de la Renta and DVF. When I think of Marc Jacobs I think of layering (and the revival of the LV logo!!) and it's amazing how Chloe has recently gone quite masculine - caramel/beige colours galore! Also love Miu Miu.PS: Did you see Vanessa Paradis is the new face for Chanel handbags... good bye to silly Lily Allen! :)

Lauren said...

Loving those strong opinions, Nadia! Spoken like a seasonsed pro. Hi Lucille! I did see those ads, ah, Vanessa looks gooooorgeous! Her and Johnny Depp, just so much hotness. Ha.

lavelle said...

lovely read. marc by marc is always one of my favourites - wish that i could afford it! xx

Cupcake Couture said...

Spot on post dear fashionista. They should teach this stuff at school! Plus S&TC as the set book in matric. Once we get all this in line...only then will we a force to recon with. Okay enough ramblings. x

EmmaJane said...

Thank you for making it so pretty and special! :)

Tanya C H said...

Hi Lauren,
I loved this fashion blog! It's true,I also feel that it is harder to embrace fashion in SA esp Durban. I do like style & yearn to dazzle in beautiful clothes but sometimes I feel that it is not appropriate here. I think the area you live in really influences fashion style choices.
Maybe soon my wardrobe will be looking more unique & stylised.

Looking forward to your next article ;)

Lady Times said...

I am loving the education so shanks lady. I ♥

Lauren said...

Hi Tanya! I 100% agree. Durbs is super casual and small so it's nerve wracking to step outside the norm sometimes. Glad you enjoying Lady Times. x

dinkum design said...

I for one needed educating. Thanks teach!

Blue Floppy Hat said...

So true about the stuff costing $$$$ when it finally ships here! And about the Ed Hardy, Guess and bling too- we're on different continents I know, but you could well have been describing India- that look is practically worshipped here (and I hate, hate, hate it).

Also, Luella was cute and did some lovely stuff but I don't see its closure as a major disaster. House of Holland too, looks more of a flash in the pan than anything else. I do love Givenchy though- the edge they've gained under Ricardo Tisci is something stunning. And if you're talking about bloggers' designer faves, I guess Alexander Wang should make the list for now? (I have my own flash-in-the-pan suspicions about him too, though)

Lauren said...

Hahaha! Hi Blue Floppy Hat, thanks for your comment. Yes, Alexander, I hear alot about too and it seems Orla Kiely is also a new crush. Those Ed Hardy tigers, yeeeshk!

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