An Ode to the Givenchy Bambi Sweatshirt?

Charms of a Dandizette takes a look at what the Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt says about its wearer…

Givenchy-Bambi-Sweater-Celebrities

The sweatshirt gained its advancement from gym garb to key wardrobe piece in 2011, emerging as a simple grey sweatshirt. In 2012 the sweatshirt was still trending, however it became bolder and braver, establishing itself as a refined and investment worthy piece of vesture, hence the Kenzo Tiger sweatshirt. Everyone that was anyone was either coveting this tiger headed sweatshirt or were pounding the fashion week pavements adorned in said sweatshirt with the bold Kenzo letters emblazoned across their chests.  Now the world is coveting the Givenchy neoprene Bambi print sweatshirt. The ‘It’ sweatshirt of the moment, with a price tag of £750, worn by the likes of Beyonce, Milan street style queen Anna Dello Russo and Lilly Collins. You know you’re a member of the privileged fashion community if you already own or personally know anyone that owns the Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt, the t-shirt, the tote or the clutch.

As fashion’s only promise is change, it could not have been predicted that the sweatshirt would remain so a la mode three winters in a row and wrack up such an expense (for a sweatshirt?). However, to remain as coveted as it is, it was only expected that the sweatshirt had to be changed up a little, evolve and push the boundaries. Of course stranger things have happened, but I am pretty confident in saying that nobody ever expected to be on the waiting list for any fashion item that concerned Bambi, let alone a sweatshirt. Having said that, Ricardo Tisci’s idea to place the adorable Disney character on the front of t-shirts, sweatshirts and even handbags was clearly a phenomenon we didn’t know we were all waiting for. The likes of Matches, Selfridges and Net – a – Porter could barely hold on to the ‘It’ sweatshirt – in fact retailers across London have all sold out of the wistful and warm Givenchy item.

Funny that, isn’t it? That this wistful and warm sweatshirt, ultimately as sexy as a Disney film, has within seconds become the wardrobe piece of the season. Who’d of thought we’d want to wear Bambi printed garb? Admittedly we’re accustomed to seeing Disney icon Mickey Mouse printed on t-shirts and sweatshirts every now and then, usually of the vintage nature. Nevertheless, this is still a pretty bold move in itself. No matter how respected the Walt Disney company might be, most wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing garments with Walt Disney’s anthropomorphic mouse friend printed on them.

Mickey Mouse ultimately acts as an emblem for the Disney company, a company with such a strong sense of branding that it can overpower any outfit and communicate messages we might not be prepared to express via our clothes. Disney is magical, whimsical, a little childish,  appeals too easily to the masses  and therefore  isn’t necessarily considered high culture or high fashion. We want our clothes to say that we’re stylish, socially and fashionably aware, sexy, serious, individual or confident. So what are we communicating when we wear Walt Disney’s Bambi on our clothes?

Let’s be truly honest, we’re not wearing Bambi on any old piece of clothing here, are we? Wearing a Bambi sweatshirt from the Disney Store communicates something very different to wearing thee ‘Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt’. Of course the Bambi print on this garment evokes a sentiment, a sense of nostalgia, memories of our childhood and a cause to recall this sad Disney tale, but this is all an after thought. First and foremost this sweatshirt is Givenchy and its wearer will wear it for no other reason than that it is Givenchy, it’s fashion and most significantly because this item is totally and utterly frivolous – Anna Dello Russo wearing this garment is evidence to this. Only those that can afford to be totally frivolous with their money would pay £750 for a sweatshirt with a Disney character printed on it, the Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt, that will be just as recognisable ‘as so last season’ next season as quickly as it has been recognised as the ‘It’ sweater of this season.

As I have demonstrated, this sweatshirt fascinates me and peoples reactions to it has fascinated me just as much. I don’t get it – why Bambi? Would I wear this sweatshirt? Do I even really like this sweatshirt? The truth of the matter is I love the concept, probably moreso than I actually like the sweatshirt. I love how creative and unpredictable the design is and I like the fact that I find it so thought provoking – so I suppose fashion is art, then? And for all those reasons I do like this sweatshirt. Having said that, I gave up on conspicuous consumption after my Chloe Paddington bag was no longer deemed the ‘It’ bag and wearing the ‘It’ sweatshirt says exactly the same thing the ‘It’ bag does, ‘Look at me, I’m part of that club. I can afford to spend ridiculous amounts of money on fashion because I’m privileged.’ Do I want my clothes to say that about me? It’s just as crass as the nineties logo mania, but it’s also just as fashionable as Anna Dello Russo.

I sit somewhere between the two – I like fashion for its language, it’s power and it’s beauty and for these very reasons I enjoy dressing and like to look as though I enjoy dressing. If my wearing the ‘Givenchy Bambi Sweatshirt’ secures my fashion savoire faire then I’m all for it. And of course I want to be part of ‘that’ club. I’m just as aspirational as the next person and my dress also communicates that too.

 

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

Keep checking back at Charms of a Dandizette for more fashionable charms.

Be charmed, stay inspired!x

A Dandies Approach to Festival Fashion!

A Dandies Approach to Festival Fashion!

Getting festival ready…

Jay Z and Beyonce Knowles Leaving The Hotel Meurice (USA & OZ RIGHTS ONLY)
Jay Z and Beyonce Knowles Leaving The Hotel Meurice – looking pretty festival chic

We are now officially in the thick of the Festival Season! Oh the festival, the emblem of summer, synonymous with denim shorts, spent in vain without Hunter wellies and not a summer at all if you’re not attending at least one! Well, truth be told in my twenty nine years of living I must have lived only a handful of summers, because I am far from what the likes of Glastonbury and V-Fest goers would call a ‘Festival Goer’. In fact, I’m not. I just happen to wander along to the odd festival the occasional summer, and I am delighted to say that this is one of those summers. Indeed, on Friday I will be attending Wireless Festival at the Olympic Village park and as you would imagine, the ensemble preparation has begun.

My stylish thoughts have led me to the conclusion that festival fashion can be easily imitated; firstly it’s functional, so common sense and practicality, before aesthetic, dictates many of the garments Festival Goers select as a collective. Secondly, festival fashion is pretty much preordained; cut off denim shorts (Levis), sunglasses (Rayban), wellies (Hunters), parka (Babour) and an across the body bag (of your choosing) and of all the aforementioned designers for hardened fashionista festival attendees. These are  what I have called the non-variable garments of a festival ensemble –  although the designer can be varied in accordance to your bank balance, the actual items themselves can’t really be argued with. 

If like me the rock chic/boho/festival/fashion student/Topshop look (all styles make up festival chic) isn’t ‘honestly’ your style remit, then putting together a festival ensemble you feel comfortable and chic in poses a slight fashion challenge. Readers of Charms of a Dandizette will know that I love a fashion challenge –  such challenges allow you to dip into different styles and fashion sub-cultures outside of your comfort zone – giving  you a broader scope to draw upon when creating ensembles, which can only add to your styling capabilities.  

As tempting as it is to go against the grain, which is an approach I would usually take, for my festival ensemble I have looked at what has been working for the masses and imitated the essentials, the non – variables. As much as  what Solange wore to Coachella this year is closer to my own personal style than the likes of denim shorts and wellies, I am not confident enough in this realm to be able to break the rules just yet – so, you could say in this context I am playing it safe. Did I just say that? Admittedly, following the crowds isn’t an overly dandyish or dandizette like approach to dressing, but you see, the festival would not have been a dandies typical playing field anyhow – so I believe there’s no need to feel bad about not being overly creative at this point. Besides, this is just the beginning.

In line with this way of thinking, I was able to select the key garments in my festival ensemble quicker than you can say ‘denim shorts’ and indeed, those cut off denim shorts I have an on again off again relationship with are on again, not Levis but Topshop. My footwear, not Hunters, but black zip up stack heel ankle booties, also from Topshop and my across the body bag, the only one I own, from Marc Jacobs, have all been selected. The variables, on the other hand, the  sunglasses, jacket (or something to keep warm), jewellery and head wear – are the more fun and more expressive elements to the ensemble. These are the game changers and I am going to be using these items to be more expressive, more individual and more on trend – hopefully showing off some fashion savviness at the same time!

My Tom Ford sunglasses, my summer investment piece, will be replaced with a non-designer pair that are loud enough and conspicuous enough to earn their right in the sea of Raybans. And can do so without denting the bank, because let’s face it, although the opulent and frivolous sunglasses, think Dolce and Gabbana, are trending right now, we’re sure to hate this trend by next summer. I’m adopting this attitude for all the variables, replace my everyday cuffs and chunky Marc by Marc Jacobs turn lock bracelet for wrists embellished in a pile up of gold bracelets and plenty of  bangles. And, instead of opting for the conventional parka I’m opting for an elaborately printed  silk bomber jacket.

I am now in the midst of selecting the perfect top, but that’s nothing that a visit to Topshop won’t solve! I am feeling festival ready and pretty fashion confident! Should my ensemble be a success, there could be some personal photos to look out for!

Take a look at my inspirations…

Solange-Coachella
Solange Knowles at Coachella – not so practical, but loving the ensemble
2012 Rihanna
Rihanna rocking the crazy glasses – up the ante on those festival accessories
Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2010 - Day 1 Beyonce
Beyonce at Coachella 2010 – copy this entire outfit and you won’t go far wrong

Jay Z and Beyonce Knowles Leaving The Hotel Meurice (USA & OZ RIGHTS ONLY)

chanel iman-celebrities-present-at-coachella-2013
Chanel Iman at Coachella 1013
Coachella-2013-California_-21
Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambrosio at Coachella 2013 – hat lovin’
Rihanna looking festival chic
Rihanna – if you can pull it off go for it!
Jay+Z+Beyonce+Knowles+Jay+Z+Performs+Coachella+9tJTBNUMyUax
Jay Z and Beyonce perform at Coachella
kate-moss-glastonbury-21
Kate Moss at Glastonbury – queen of festival fashion
Miranda Kerr, Alessandra Ambrosio and Candace Swanepoel at Coachella
Miranda Kerr rocking out with her Victoria Secrets Angels Alessandra Ambrosio and Candace Swanepoel at Coachella
Miranda Kerr at Coachella
Miranda Kerr at Coachella
Rihanna Performs at the V Festival
Rihanna Performs at the V Festival

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

Pulse – Beyonce’s New Perfume 2011

2010 was the sizzling hot TV advert for the fragrance titled Heat, this year Beyonce releases a tamer commercial for new perfume Pulse.

Why Don’t You Love Me? – Beyonce’s new video

Why Don’t You Love Me? – Beyonce’s new video

Who wouldn’t love B?

Mini Skirts and The Mini Show

Mini Skirts and The Mini Show

 When Mary Quant named the ever rising skirt after her favourite car, the mini, no doubt she had foreseen the ambiguity of the term ‘mini’, in mini skirt. It wouldn’t have been absurd to assume that no matter how short the mini skirt rises, it will always have reference to it’s length or lack thereof, as opposed to this actual region of the female body. Low and behold, once yet again, followers of fashion have thrown caution to the wind and out with it has gone their dignity and in coming, the bandeau skirt (I prefer to call it the spandex skirt, it sounds more offensive). The bandeau skirt, just to be clear, should not be worn by women twenty one and over with; wide hips, a pronounced bum, a saggy bum, shapely thighs, cellulite, ample belly, bow legs or those lucky enough to possess a womanly shape. Imagine lycra stretched across the bottoms of the likes of Jenny Lo and Beyonce, the volume on the sex, crude and overly suggestive radar rings far too loudly for good taste and screams ‘Look at me, look at me,’ for cultivated and gracious style, this is a deterrent.

There are, however, better things to wrap one’s derriere in; skirts that don’t stretch or roll up when you walk, that have an intricate pattern or cut and are well tailored. The spandex skirt’s lack of imagination is reflected in it’s three pounds retail price and unlike a pair of Giuseppe Zanotti shoes or a Robert Deniro, Martin Scorsese collaboration, that are both instantly impressive, this skirt most certainly is not. Of course the sexual power a short skirt possesses is undeniable, which is why, as age progresses, it is paramount to get the balance between length, quality and textile spot on.

It’s not so much the length of the bandeau skirt that disgruntles me, it’s not even the fact that it’s made of spandex – well maybe it is, in fact, the reasons such a skirt aggravates me are intrinsic; It is completely impossible to wear this skirt as short as it intended to be worn and it be made out of the stretchy material it is to be made from and preserve dignity at the same time. There is no way anyone above the age of five could keep their dignity in this thing and should a five year old be wearing such a skirt, then it is the mother’s dignity in question.

At a fifteen year olds birthday party, girls pranced around a bomb fire, dancing to music, drinking cider, wearing bandeau skirts that stretched to their fullest capacity, barely managed to cover their bum cheeks. It was obligatory with every reach for the marshmallows or Pringles to get an eyeful of big white knickers, which was then, followed by the obligatory ‘pull my skirt out of my bum to cover my dignity’ tug.

The point is, this combination of material, length and garment requires the don of a lady and not just in physicality, but by nature and demeanour; the woman who knows to sit with her legs crossed, who ensures that the knickers she wears beneath her tights or skirt are matching or mute, as to avoid striking anyone with lightening flashes of luminous colour, she also knows, if required to, she bends her knees instead of bending over. Of course, it is arguable that women of this kind would actually wear a spandex, bandeau, elastic skirt in the first instance.

It sounds harsh, maybe a little prejudice, but I have seen far too many minis of the past month not be concerned, firstly, by the female’s understanding of the mini skirt, secondly by their desire to wear these obviously malfunctioning crotch and buttock revealing skirts and wearing them as though they are as comfortable as a pair of track suit bottoms, paying almost no attention to the unfortunate discomfort, impracticality and attention required when wearing an insanely short elastic skirt. Of course, the skirt being made of spandex means the material itself is less movement restrictive as opposed to a cotton skirt, so this should be where the constraint of possessing decorum and poise would kick in, you’d think. But I have seen the crux of tights one too many times and am compelled to let the spandex, elastic band wearers know, unless being with your lover or your gynaecologist, not at any other point should I or do I care to see what lies beneath and nor does anybody else. Flashing was hot in Basic Instincts, but as was Catherine Tramell, it’s not so hot getting flashed on the tube, by a girl who wears ladders in her tights, holes in her knickers and has to yank her skirt out of her arse whilst readying herself to get off at her stop. It’s unsightly and quite frankly disgusting, it’s worst than that god awful g-string trend, you know the one when females began wearing their g-strings above their jeans waist line? Of course I am not so anal to know that this crotch flashing thing isn’t a trend, more than it be a fashion faux pas, but again, the surmountable display of this feminine region is definitely indicative of a change in the  female’s attitude towards this part of their body.  

Recently a friend came round, dressed for a night out, she too was wearing one of these bandeau things, truth be told, to see her without one is a miracle. She was sat on my bed trying on a pair of my sisters new Kurt Geiger Kinetic shoes, once slipping her foot in she begins to fiddle with the buckle, struggling to do it up, before she contemplates moving to the edge of the bed, putting her foot on the floor and leaning over to buckle the shoe this way, she cocks her leg up, like a dog sitting on it’s back side itching it’s ear and awkwardly and unattractively and does the buckle up. I look at her in horror and she laughs, ‘So what? I’ve got thick tights on,’ she informs me. Well doesn’t that put me in my place? She also tells me, ‘If you wear big knickers, it doesn’t matter anyway.’ 

So, the new attitude may be that if your genitalia is well concealed, it’s OK to continue to let your lycra skirt roll up to your belly button and to sit with your legs akimbo, should you fancy it. I suppose Lady Gaga and Beyonce wouldn’t disagree much with this new trend or way of thinking. Admittedly, if I had the power, the success and the luxury to dress and henceforth act frivolously, I most certainly wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to wear a spandex skirt and not give a f*, however as I submerge myself further and further into my twenties and closer and closer to thirty, the commodity and art of style has become far more valuable to me than capricious fashions –  this may render me boring, but are fashion victims stylish?

I don’t doubt those sheathing themselves in the spandex skirt that are old enough to know better, might come up with some kind of empowering and liberating women crap, but unfortunately half the females sporting this trend are not old enough or conscious enough for their mini displays to demonstrate anything other than bad manners and terrible dress etiquette. The sheer fact that these skirts are being worn in the first place suggests some form of fashion and aesthetic interest, for such an interest it is the wearer’s responsibility to also know that an eyeful of crotch is definitely not aesthetically pleasing…even if Gaga’s doing it.

 

Vagina Boots – The ‘V’ Word in Boot Camp

All hail this season’s supreme and essential boot for the winter rain or feline predator, coined the V boot by fashion bloggers, the V indeed refers to the woman’s genitalia. Could the vagina be any more à la mode?

Propped on the top of perforated, studded, patterned, matt faux or real leather, Stella McCartney, Roberto Cavalli and Gucci models strutted down the runway with their legs wrapped in black, oil slick leather climbing way up their legs. Over the knee boots are so last season, winter 2009 the new boot is Vagina high and proud. With our second Christmas in the recession, 7.8% of the work force unemployed and no prediction of employment increasing anytime soon, the nation’s strength and confidence is vulnerable. Designers kick the recession in the teeth with these strategically powerful boots, although the Gucci V boot is priced at £1560 these boots will definitely pay for themselves – over and over again.
Last year the high streets saw a surge of flat over the knee boots, it was protocol on Oxford Street to do your Christmas shopping donning these, at that moment markedly long boots. But as if that boot wasn’t ferocious enough, the V boot has upped the ante; the heel significantly higher, the leather tighter and the boot longer. Dress would have it that the more flesh the woman reveals the more sexual she appears, this would suggest the more she covers up the more modestly dressed she is. Strangely, this rule doesn’t seem to apply when women adorn their pins in boots – women’s boots hit the top of the sexual radar the closer they edge to the Vagina. Let’s be fair, this boot personifies sex, they’re definitely not for the faint hearted or coy. The V boot is for the woman who has no qualms displaying female sexual power.
Beyonce, Rihanna and Lady Gaga, perhaps the most influential of the dress and music world today have already been seen executing sexy moves in the V boot. The masses may not have submitted themselves to the sexual prowess of this boot just yet, but it’s not a long time coming. There’s always a distinctive ripple in the fashion ocean when a certain Spice Girl is papped wearing a catwalk key item and like clockwork Victoria Beckham, dressed for a night on the town replaced her uniform YSL court shoes for a pair of the towering boots.Unafraid of the force of these boots, Topshop, Aldo and Asos have taken them from the catwalk and bought them to the high street. The uptake appears to be slow, maybe these epic boots don’t belong on the streets for the average woman, but in the wardrobe of Trinity from Matrix or in the bedroom of a dominatrix herself.
However, the only accessory needed this season is the confidence to be overtly sexy. Commanding? The V boot most certainly is, but designers have it that sexy no longer discredits sophistication. This winter is a special one where women can be sexy, classy and most importantly empowered – employed or not.