Chutzpah’s Weekly Barometer

by Katie on January 22, 2012

A light hearted look back over the past week’s good, bad and indifferent including the “don’t even go there’s”.


Jonathan Saunders menswear – Finally, a designer who understands how men want to dress today. Full review to follow of this excellent collection.

‘Hollywood Costume’ at the Victoria & Albert Museum – This October London’s Victoria & Albert Museum explores fashion in film and its influence on designers and how we dress. We’ll be looking out for our favourite celluloid style icons.
‘Suits’ (Dave) – We’re loving this brand new comedy series exclusive to Dave which follows idiosyncratic Noo Yoik legal eagles Mike Ross and Harvey Spectre. Who’d a thunk Dave would show something that’s actually new? – The best brands and luxury labels on one website as its scours all the world’s leading niche designer boutiques for the hard to find items and sale bargains? Sign us up!

The new Ascot dress rules – Racecourses, once the domain of aristocrats, Royalty and the refined of taste have come to resemble the shoddiest urban clubs over the past few years thanks to an influx of wannabe gangsters and tipsy escort types in lurid fluoro mini dresses and “fascinators” – surely the most ironic name for an item of clothing ever. Thankfully the organisers of Royal Ascot have set a welcome precedent and will be applying zero tolerance to dress code-flouting racegoers this year. Pity they haven’t ruled out the tango tan.

Paul Smith and Joan Burnstein – Fashion stalwarts Smith and the affectionately-monikered “Mrs B” receive the Vermilion Medal of the City of Paris, an award honouring people who have made a significant contribution to the French capital.

The Bottega Veneta Parfum – One of the best releases of last year, Tomas Maier’s heady floral chypre is now available as a pure parfum packaged in a beautfiul chi-chi Murano glass bottle.

The North Circular – Established by models Katherine Poulton and Lily Cole, this knitwear is handmade by grandmothers from wool produced and dyed in Britain from rare breed sheep.
The ‘Love Hackney, Shop Local’ campaign – Featuring shopping totes designed by hot London names Atalanta Weller, Mark Fast, Simone Rocha, and William Richard Green, we applaud this admirable initiative by Hackney Council.
Clements Ribeiro for Evans – Attractive fashion for the larger woman is depressingly thin on the ground so let’s hope that this collaboration, launching in the springtime, goes some way to remedy that.
The “Shit ______ say” meme copycats – This decade’s equivalent of the Essex girl joke proves the law of diminishing returns, as the original video continues to spawn increasingly unfunny copies.

Valentine’s Day – Call us cynical but this Hallmark holiday, and the added pressure upon women to be “sexy” leaves us cold. This year’s woeful trend follows on from the heinous Vajazzle and encourages women to glue fox fur or feathers to their tuppence. We feel sorry for the men who get their dates home to discover half a feather duster down their Damaris.

‘Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy’ – Feeling like a light-hearted night in? Let us recommend ‘Shoah’, the 10 hour Holocaust documentary, rather than Noel Fielding’s dire student whimsy.
Milan menswear – In spite of certain exceptions (see above) turgid, bog standard and uninspiring.

Crackle nail effects – A godsend for those who apply polish like toddlers and just about everywhere at the moment. Best left to the tweenies. Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

Martin Roth bashing – Roth, the new director of the V & A, has received unwarranted criticism following comments he made concerning sartorial codes in the capital, especially regarding the humble tie. Guys – step out of your fractal-tinted fashion bubble for a moment and consider the average white collar worker whose only means of expression in his daily life is a narrow strip of woven silk. Now wind your necks in.
“Blogger opportunities” – You know what? Often they’re just not. We’re sorry but if we ever decide to prostitute ourselves out to a brand we’re going to be requiring more than just a bag of free product for the exchange of Youtube links, FB links and untold page views. All it highlights is the uninspired greediness of many of the new (self-coined) ‘social media’ agencies pocketing the substantial fees and actually does the client a dis-service.

Red carpet dressing – Now reaching the nadir thanks to a surfeit of drab strapless frocks in intangible shades of blush and nude.

Crocs – Estimated to reach a $1bn turnover this year. Who the Hell is still buying these monstrosities?

The British Fashion Council – Seriously guys, we love you, but we’re not the only ones who’ve noticed that the same established names appear on Fashion Fund/Fashion Forward shortlists season upon season, giving the impression that British fashion is only a small pool, subsidised by award grants. The London schedule is packed full of talent so let’s give someone else a chance, yes?
Anais Gallagher – A pushy mum and a rock star dad mean that this 11 year-old has already been signed up by Select Model Management, and is now being touted as a face of the future. Let’s hope she doesn’t follow in her mother’s footsteps by falling wild-eyed out of nightclubs.
Peacocks – Obviously more redundancies is A Very Bad Thing, but we can’t help but think that any business pushing “The Iron Lady Look”  or who had Pearl Lowe as a regular guest designer had it coming.

The Barometer is complied by Lee Clatworthy (@TeamChutzpah) and Katie Chutzpah. Please let us know what you think of this week’s selection.
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