There’s that scruffy art school vibe about him. Well, he did study at Goldsmiths in London. He kind of makes that pudding bowl-y haircut work. Not too much hair gel, a little unkempt, a bit overgrown. The crumpled shirts. Nothing particularly unique in the style stakes but its more often than not about attitude rather than just the clothes.
And then there’s that voice. Soulful, growly and so expressive yet balanced with a delicateness that makes you hang on to every word. His self-titled debut album is one of those rare albums that come along once in a while that don’t leave you feeling short-changed at the end of it. James somehow makes high concept and mainstream work so effortlessly. If you haven’t bought or downloaded the album then you should. You wont regret it. It’s a beautiful listen_
There’s something about Renée…
For me, PRADA really delivered this season. I thought it was an extremely strong show. Precise, uncompromising and decidedly MODERN – a word bandied about so much these days. In a season of blindingly bright hues the PRADA electric blues, oranges and greens seemed the most potent and daring. The thing I like about PRADA is you really get a sense of the woman, the narrative. The total package. Miuccia Prada would most probably have been burned at the stake centuries ago. She is a witch, a magician and she can see the future!
The reviews of the show have referenced Josephine Baker, Carmen Miranda and sultry nights in Latin America but I see something much closer to home, more Southern France circa 1932…
When the model Jourdan Dunn took her turn on the catwalk she was the spitting image of Renée Perle, the Romanian model who was the mistress of the photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue. The finger-waved hair, a certain air of mystery and exoticism, grace and poise. It struck me that the PRADA show was less about hot tango nights and more about summers spent in the French riviera during the twenties and thirties. The broad stripes that recalled beach umbrellas, the easy, slightly drop waisted shifts that brought to mind the newly revealing swimwear of the period. That’s the genius of PRADA – you can read so much into it but at the end of the day, walk into the stores and you’ll find rail upon rail of brilliantly conceived, immaculately constructed clothes that you can wear. The message rarely overshadows the product.
And I find that truly MODERN. New Oxygen©
catwalk images: www.vogue.com, Olivier Claisse
J.H. LARTIGUE images:
CONTREJOUR DONATION LARTIGUE 1990