Portmanteau Diary: Amelias Compendium of Fashion Illustration Launch Party

Images say more than a thousand words, and visual memories infinitely more than the words extracted from a humming head. Hence the word poor, picture rich post - the only words you should be reading are those in the book whose launch party these pictures depict and which you can get here: Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration
Thank you for a wonderful evening!
Sally Mumby-Croft photographing the books
Bees Knees
I love me a little backless dress on Emma Block
Jewelery designer Maxine Johnston of Little Miss Delicious
Dee Andrews my one and only illustrator and Antonia in red and green
Fuyume, Koral Webb, Nikki Lau the blogger trio
Louise Durgate the knitwear designer
The Real Runway - we go waaay back, but most of it is blurry ;)
Fashion blogger of Sarah Scribbles and Dee Andrews
The Tatty Devine ladies!
Beautiful red head Koral Webb
Forward PR having fun at the bar - ohh, that rhymes!
Hannah of Seeds & Stitches
Illustrators Erica Sharp and Zarina Liew
The one and only Amelia herself with the lead singer of 6 Day Riot
Couldn't leave without a picture with the star!
Two girls from 'up north', the loveliest par you can imagine!
Bug shirt, very Old Boy
Matt's official face ;)
Forward PR now know my face and I know theirs
Reverse Oreo... can I say that?
p.s. Please help me out with links and names for the ones I've missed!

Portmanteau List: Couture fashion week Paris 2011

Elie Saab
The entire collection was my favourite couture collection. Beautiful intricate beading, classic yet flowing cuts and flattering like you wouldn't believe, the neutral colours enhanced the beauty of the models wearing them in detail and radiance. These two pieces were my favourite, not only of this collection, but the entire season (together with one by Valentino), and I don't think there's a single "miss" in the collection. Unlike with a lot of couture, which I can admire and appreciate on other people I would actually wear these. The length, just above the knee, is perfect, with the belted waist and flowing full skirt and hint of skin yet not plunging top. My kind of dress, through and through with a beaded craft cherry on top.

What LL Wore: Burberry ripped off my antique! And it sure makes me proud

A few days ago, whilst enjoying the rainy British fashion of Burberry Prorsum and their luscious coats, my heart stopped at one point and I cried out "THAT'S MY COAT!" While one is accustomed to hearing such utterances slipping the eatery of fashionistas, this was actually a fact. Remember that scene in Friends in which Phoebie yells "They ripped off our antique!"... I felt a bit like that. Except, obviously, I wasn't being deceived by an actual Burberry coat.

The oversized double breasted patchwork mink fur caban coat with thick leather binding on seams, pocket flaps and collar and two front flap pockets was almost identical to the vintage black fur coat I own. Apart from the double breasted butttons and the buttons themselves, obviously I was essentially looking at my beloved coat that has kept me warm these past months. If at all possible, I am now wearing my vintage real fur "£7995 Burberry oversized leather bound patchwork mink carban jacket - inspiration source" with even more pride filling my lungs... or wherever pride is stored.

Portmanteau List: Burberry Prorsum Autumn/ Winter 2011 Menswear

As a British brand showing a collection of coats, one must set the mise-en-scene of a Brtish autumn when the show itself is set in southern Milan. Crushing with drizzling rain and a fog-like rise of light, Burberry explains and reminds us of why as a British brand, at least one of the collection has to take on board the necessity to develop an entire collection of outer wear.
Starting with beautiful shades of strong heritage and characteristic colors in check, the fabric is beautiful - a great way to introduce a British feel.

Portmanteau List: Dolce and Gabbana Winter 2012 Menswear

With a hint from the Clothes Whisperer, I once again was an attendee of my favourite kind of fashion show - the live stream.

The backstage frame with the distracting crown tattoo of the backstage hands-on, for instance, is not something one would have witnessed in the reality of presence.
After the essential first run of perfectly tailored suits came the first flash of red which ran through the line like through Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List.

Portmanteau Commentary: Sequins in Motion

I stumbled across a post by Fashion Fantasist that featured this gorgeous clip in the discussion of the Science of Sequins.

In my own little fashion universe, sequins are proof that taste changes as you get older and were as much in motion within my taste as they are as a material: completely flipped to show another, alternative side when being rubbed up against in the wrong direction. What appalled me was badly and cheaply made plasticity that can be encountered still, and the fact that it is a texture often used in the high street formula of "front of garment: hint of texture/ print/ detailing that looks like it should go all way round - back of garment: plain jersey, abruptly cutting off any coherent theme" that I still detest. I wasn't very keen on the immediate "look at me, I'm an Art Deco brothel dancer" impact that can of course easily be diminished with the right layering and styling. Not that there is a problem with that look, it's just not one I aspired to as a 14 year old. Quite rightly, I should say.

I do remember that I despised sequined pieces to as much an extent as I adore them now because as with many other things, I had to grow wise to realize that the quality and beauty of a type of material depends on the way that material is implemented and used. The same way Gustave Flaubert claims Madame Bovary is purposely mind numbingly boring in order to outline the inadequacy of words, I prefer to see it as pointing out the possibility of the inadequacy of words based on the inadequacy or misuse and misunderstanding of the person that employs them. I'm not talking about Gustave Flaubert but his characters, just to clear that up. Similarly, the use of sequins can be intricate and beautiful as is the case in this clip.

Although I wish she wasn't wearing boots in the clip, there's no denying the effect it can have when used in the right circumstances.

Image taken from AMLEA

Portmanteau Commentary: Getting back to basics - Perfumes now to define countries?

I had a conversation with my best friend Nelly who had just found out that Lithuania has commissioned a perfume named after the country, after watching a Colbert Report.

The fact that too many runaway celebrities think themselves so incredibly nice smelling that they find it appropriate to have perfumes created based on their own smell, which always seems to contain more personality descriptions than smell descriptions and are always a mix of alcohol, sweat and an additional scent... orange for "perky and fresh", rose for "sweet and cute"... that's annoying enough.

Don't get me wrong, the creation of a perfume after your own personal taste has been part of the perfumery business since the very beginning... but the idea is that it stays personal. Just yours. Marketing certain smells is plain weird and I think we have lost the sight of, like Colvert points out, how weird it is to be able to say to someone "Wow, you smell like Britney". Has anyone else noticed that more often than not, the perfumes are named after dancers, who presumably smell of sweat most of the time? Who wants to be associated with someone else's smell anyway?

And now there has been a nightmare introduced and I pray to Chanel that it does not turn into a trend. Bottling up the "essence" of a country's smell is a sure and fire way to creating hierarchies of perception and increase, or worse, reinforce preconceptions about a country.

“For Lithuanians to identify themselves with this perfume, we’ve added the smell of wood fires that can be associated with pagan rituals, as well as moss and wildflowers.” (National Post)

In comparison to that, smelling like another human almost seems normal. But still, it would be fun to pick out the bad smells one associates with a country and wonder what they'd be like in a bottle because who is to say an entire country smells of a single smell anyway? Nelly started with "fish and greasy chips for England" but there's the smell by the cliffs of Dover, the smell of inner country mustyness and rain, and personally, always the smell of loud cars in London. Where can that be tied down? The only consequence, surely, is that the results become narrow and nationalistically perceptive, which is the opposite of what a perfume should be.

Let's go back to the original concept idea, which is having your own smell that is a mix of your shampoo, soap, hand cream and environment.

You could also create your own perfume. Although the mix of smells made my sensitive tummy go yonder when I went to visit a perfumerie in South France, I am sure other would thoroughly enjoy creating their own smell, which is actually cheaper to do than the perfume I actually use (Penhaligon's Elizabethan Rose) and have been using since I was 13.

I came across this Virgin experience day (check it here) where you can create your own perfume for less than £50! That's pretty cool. Just make sure you don't attach personality traits to the smell or feel like hiring a marketing director and distributor, and we're good.

Portmanteau List: ShoePorn - The shade of nude

It's that time of the night again when the European twitterati trickles out of my feed as American fashion lovers discuss their steps towards the end of their day. It's that time when I sit in bed still wide awake and a science program of some form or other lulls Stuart into sleep whilst captivating me and trickling into my subconscious filling the void of aforementioned trickling like a see saw of information.

It's that time of the night when the knowledge of having no access to a convenient hop and stroll to the corner shop MAY I get hungry is the very thing that makes me hungry. I know I cannot start reading because that means I will not sleep at all. And that can only mean one thing... It's time for a session of ShoePorn - today, it seems the nude, quite fittingly, awakens the ShoePorn sensibilities.