Collaborations are cool.

Categorised as STUFF., STYLE.

Excitement fills the blogesphere when news of a designer/high street collaboration emerges. Collaborations give us meagre peasants the opportunity to posses something almost designer. When high street stores and world famous couture designers collide, affordable and wearable collections are created for the mass market. Usually selling out within hours, if you’re lucky enough to grab a piece of the limited edition collections, you’re pretty much guaranteed to make double what you bought it for on eBay hours after it goes on sale. The appeal is that you’re getting so much more than just an item of clothing- you’re getting a limited edition, big-name-fashion-house designed dress. When fighting other fashion-hungry predators in high street stores for the last dress, it’s easy to convince yourself that it’s not only a dress, but a solid investment in the future of your wardrobe. Other people want it, and you have it… Your shiny new piece of a limited edition designer/high street collaboration.

It’s not easy to get collaborations right, as we learnt from ‘Collaborations Don’t Always Work’, but we must remember the super cool collaborations that did work out.

Christopher Kane/Topshop

As far as designer/high street collaborations go, Christopher Kane for Topshop is the best. It does exactly what it should- it makes designer accessible and wearable for high street shoppers. Kane’s collection for Topshop echoes his award winning catwalk pieces. The collection is an orgy of bold and graphic animal prints, soft gothic designs, chiffon, sheer and flowing fabrics with messy construction, and of course, eyelets. Who knew one could do so many things with eyelets? The collection looks super high fashion, but it’s reasonably priced and easy to wear. The weird/good thing about this collaboration is that it wasn’t incredibly hyped up, so when it hit stores it didn’t sell out immediately, and you could grab a few bargains in the sales!

Kate Moss/Topshop

Probably the most iconic collaboration. Take your ‘Topshop- takes-everything-unique-and-turns-it-into-a-commodity’ attitude and shut the hell up. Moss’ collections for Topshop are undeniably delightful. They’re always bang on trend, combining light, delicate, sheer and floaty fabrics with statement floral’s and fur. When you wear it you ooze sophistication and effortless chic. The collaboration always has the typical Topshop vintage-inspired bohemian look, but Moss brings in the sophistication needed to make Topshop’s signature hobo-chic wearable.

Topshop’s flagship store at Oxford Street gets completely raped when Kate Moss brings out a new collection. People go crazy, it’s literally like a scene from ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’. I have to admit, I have been that girl that you want to brutally murder for snatching the last Kate Moss dress out of your hand.

Celia Birtwell/Topshop

Birtwell for Topshop was little known but fantastic. The only way to apprehend the true quirkiness of the collection is to imagine that a bomb has gone off in your grandma’s wardrobe and that you have salvaged all the scraps of clothes and sewn them together according to a 1940’s Vogue pattern.

The collaboration breaks all the rules; throwing together geometric, polka dot, stripy and floral prints on feminine tea dresses and blouses. It’s suited for every occasion- wear it to a tea party or a club, wear it with heels or flats, wear it to work or wear it shopping, dress it up or dress it down. It’s the perfect kooky capsule wardrobe for the working girl. There is a downfall though, despite it’s obvious amazingness, ‘celebs’ such as Fearne Cotton and Peaches Geldof were big fans of the Birtwell/Topshop collaboration, and unfortunately there’s photographic evidence of them wearing some of the key pieces, so the whole collection lost a few cool points.

Valentino/Gap

Opposites obviously attract. Hoodies, t-shirts and sweats are a far cry from the couture house of Valentino. But the two have collided, creating a gorgeously colour coordinated capsule wardrobe. The seven piece collection contains timeless basics with classic style. Clean and crisp tailoring make for the perfect work collection. Designed to celebrate the opening of Gap’s first Italian store in Milan, the collection hit London stores on 27th November 2010 and sold out within twenty minutes of the store opening. Don’t worry if you’ve not managed to bag one of the seven timeless pieces, they’re already on eBay where you can grab them for triple the price.

Jimmy Choo/Ugg

Some love them, some hate them. I can’t write 200 words about them, but I can tell you that they’re strangely appealing. I don’t know why I like them, they’re kind of chavvy and I can imagine seeing them in a budget shoe shop. I would put money on Cheryl Cole having a pair… but no matter how chavvy they may be, Ugg’s are undeniably warm and comfy, even if they do look a bit funny. Jimmy Choo gives classic Ugg’s a make over with studs and fringing. If you’ve got the money, they’ll certainly make a statement, and maybe even a fashionable yet highly practical addition to your winter wardrobe.

Missoni/Converse

Missoni and Converse have joined forces to create two limited edition designs on Chuck Taylor All Star’s. The high tops are covered in Missoni’s famous zig-zag print with a tan leather tongue. The collaboration makes Converse accessible for middle aged women and those who shy away from trainers. They’re comfortable, cool and strangely sophisticated.

At only £200 they’re ten times cheaper than any other Missoni piece you can get your hands on.

Anya Hindmarch/Barbour

Anya Hindmarch has spoke about her collection with Barbour, saying: “We have respected the original, classic design but played with the cut, fit and detail.” So basically Anya… You’ve changed everything that Barbour is famous for. Oh well, I love the new collection. Hindmarch has created four different styles for Barbour all available in three wintery colours. She plays on the classic Barbour quilting by stitching in her famous bow logo. It’s country bumkin and city fashionista all at the same time. A classic Barbour with a contemporary twist and an incredibly hefty price tag.

Lanvin/H&M

H&M have victoriously pulled another designer collaboration out the bag following the success of their previous collaborations with Stella McCartney, Jimmy Choo and Matthew Williamson. Their new collection with Lanvin encapsulates the bold, bright and simplistic look H&M are renown for with a  haute couture twist. The artistic director of Lanvin, Alber Elbaz, said: “H&M approached us to collaborate, and see if we could translate the dream we created at Lanvin to a wider audience, not just a dress for less. I have said in the past that I would never do a mass-market collection, but what intrigued me was the idea of H&M going luxury rather than Lanvin going public.”

The idea of H&M going luxury resonates in the collection. They’ve certainly made Lanvin affordable, but they haven’t really made it wearable. It’s a shame that they didn’t go for something a little more casual with this collection, rather than sticking to evening and prom dresses with a £100+ price tag. If you’re lucky enough to have somewhere to wear party dresses every night, then you’re probably rich enough to grab yourself some real Lanvin garms. So maybe it’s not that well thought out, but it’s lavish and divine none the less. The shoes are probably the most wearable pieces in the whole collection, but even they require a special occasion.

Liberty of London/Apple

When you’ve already spent over a thousand pounds on a brand new Macbook, you might as well push your overdraft a hundred quid further and grab one of the unique bags, sleeves or cases for your laptop, designed exclusively by Liberty of London for Apple. Liberty’s designs parade quirky florals and ditzy polka dots, as well as classic tweed, checks and baroque embossed in coloured leathers. They may be slightly pretentious, but at least you can rest assured that your laptop will come to no harm in a case that cost 1/10 of the price of the laptop itself.

Louboutin/Barbie

A rather odd pairing, which may have been better suited to ‘Collaborations Don’t Always Work Out’…but I think it’s amazing. Who wouldn’t want their child to be playing with tiny Christian Louboutin shoes? Not only are you teaching your child the wonders of being skinny, flexible and pretty, but also the formerly unteachable- style. Louboutin just released the third and final Barbie of the series, ‘Anemone’ Barbie, following the success of ‘Cat Burglar’ Barbie and ‘Dolly Forever’ Barbie. Each collectors edition doll comes with 3 pairs of miniature perfectly formed Louboutins.

The sets are selling for £100 each from net-a-porter.com and will make a fine addition to your Barbie collection.

This entry was tagged as , .

ART.

In the studio: Aleksandra Waliszewska.

Aleksandra's paintings could quite easily work as illustrations for the most bed-wetting-inducing children's book ever written.

GENERAL.

Trocadero Dreams

I paid a visit to the Trocadero the other day, it had been a good few years since I'd last been there and Jesus of Bethlehem was it depressing...

ART.

Lauren Phillz snapshots.

Lauren isn't strictly a photographer, we just liked her snapshots of socialist parties and nipple tweaking radios.