Sunday, 3 February 2013

Birds of a Feather


After some milder weather in London last week we've been plunged back into the cold again here. Although it has warmed up somewhat since the snow storm we had a couple of weekends ago, we're still not out of the single digit maximum temperatures.  I've been continuing with a navy blue theme when getting dressed for the cold.  To meet a friend in town last weekend I went for a bit of a bird theme with my outfit in a pair of bird print wool trousers I picked up in the winter sales and a feather gilet.

There has been a bit of a furniture reshuffle in the Veshoevius household and I've had to give up the corner by the white wall where I usually take my outfit shots to this bookshelf full of my old fashion magazines.  Yep, I collect fashion magazines.  One day I'll make some unsuspecting fashion student deliriously happy by giving them a complete collection of Vogue dating back to 1996. 


This might seem a crazy thing to be doing to the minimalists and anti clutter brigade out there but I actually quite like having an archive of how fashion has changed over the last sixteen years or so.  Ever since my teens I have been a voracious consumer of fashion magazines and despite the explosion of fashion coverage online via blogs, nothing quite replaces the pleasure of opening up and turning the pages of a glossy magazine for me.  As I've articulated on this blog before, I quite often take issue with the tone of the editorial and articles within.  The main reason I continue to return to them is for the styling inspiration and ideas, the photography and to see the vision of designers showcased (although I will sometimes agree to disagree!).

If you've perused the magazine racks this month you'll have realised that not unlike a flock of migratory birds flying off in search of warmer weather, the fashion press is currently all about spring when it is still mid-winter.  Being a regular reader of the fashion press you come to realise how this fashion cycle works.  The fashion press has always been the marketing and advertising machine for the fashion industry and its role is to keep sales ticking over all year.

Before a season is even over the cycle starts in earnest by previewing the next season and dissing the last.  Woe betide you if you are still wearing it!  The new collections are hyped with articles headlined "how to work the latest trend", or "invest now in (insert fashionable piece of the season here)", or "if you just buy one thing this month" and "what you should and shouldn't be wearing now".  By season end we are being whipped up into a frenzy about the sales with advice being dished out as to what we should be buying.  Then before you even get a chance to enjoy your sales purchases the cycle starts again and you're being told that your bargains are looking tired and "so last season".  I've learnt to treat it all as white noise, flip through to the photo shoots and make my own mind up.

That doesn't mean that I don't find myself getting a bit grumpy around this time of year.  My winter sale purchases are barely out of their packaging and my credit card is still recovering from Christmas and yet here we are, being goaded to go forth, get in early and shop for new season gear, because surely you wouldn't want to be behind the curve would you?  Or worse still, find yourself to be one of those unlucky ones who hasn't got the new "it" piece of the new season because you were too slow and it sold out.  Tell me - in these recessionary times are there really that many fashion junkies flocking en masse to the shops this minute to get their mitts on the new season pieces lest they sell out?

I find the retail industry also conspires with the fashion industry to reward the early season shopper.  Heaven help you if you suddenly find you need to replace your winter coat about now because you'll find the sales have either ended or are ending with nothing left in your size or preferred colour and all the shops are already full of Spring clothing.  Tsk tsk!  Silly you!  You should have bought it at the beginning of the season!

But is anyone out there really an early season fashion shopper?  Are you one of those women that has planned what she's purchasing for spring before winter has even ended? Do you get in early and hoover up key pieces from the pre-collections before they sell out to get you through the tricky trans-seasonal phase?  Are you on one of those waiting lists for the new season items so that you get them before anybody else?

Or are you a bit more like me, an eternally seasonally backwards buyer, permanently behind the curve because most of the time the only way I can justify buying nice clothes is when they are on sale, which means I have no choice but to wear them out of season.  I try to avoid buying anything at the beginning of a season at full retail price.  I'm more likely to buy clothes in the winter sales as summer always tends to be a bit of a damp squib here and I've learnt from bitter experience that summer sales purchases don't get out much.  It makes more sense to me to hold off and buy winter pieces I've been eyeing all season when they go on sale because I know there will still be three months when I'll be getting a lot of wear out of them.  I also only buy clothes I know I will love and wear for years regardless of what happens to be considered in fashion.  If it suits my body shape, my personal taste and I feel good in it I don't see why I shouldn't wear it out of season.

One now very tired fashion cliche that gets bandied about around now in the fashion press which always has me grinding my teeth in irritation is "what feels right for now".  Please fashion people, spare me a hefty dentistry bill and stop repeating it like we should be paying attention.  Because after two weeks of sub zero temperatures and more surely to come in the next three months, I'll tell you what feels right for now - lots of warm winter clothing, preferably several layers of it, and the fluffier, the furrier, the fuzzier, the better!  The last thing I feel like doing at the moment is planning my spring wardrobe.  At the thought of having to get undressed in this weather I can't muster up any enthusiasm try on light, airy clothing in the shops.


Are you still in full winter dress mode?  Or are you all over the spring collections already?  Maybe you live in the southern hemisphere - if so could you stomach trying on a winter coat in the heat of summer?

Linking up this week to Visible Monday over at Not Yet Dead Style.

Trousers: Tibi; Feather Gilet: Kate Moss for Topshop; Wool Turtleneck; Cos; Coat: Kaylee Tankus;  Ponyskin wedge heel boots: Pied a Terre

30 comments:

  1. Oooh I love the shape of that coat, dramatic and wonderfully warm I bet. And those trousers are so very gorgeous! Such a glamorous outfit for a wintry day.

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  2. The pants are so amazing!!! I'm opposite of you--- we never really have a real winter, so I'm much more likely to keep buying summer clothes all year :) I adore fashion mags. I have a few that I managed to hold on to through my insane 20s when I moved a lot and I cherish them :)

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  3. I think it is really great that despite all the nonsense you can go on loving the Vogue fashion and photography shoots. It looks like a beautiful collection. Plus a great piece of history! If I could afford it I would love a collection of iD magazines. I love the crazy creative shoots in them. I currently spend that money on buying comics though and have a lovely collection of them.
    I rarely buy magazines at all and get pretty much all my outfit inspiration from other fashion bloggers and the internet. As such I think of things in terms of blogging trends (like sweater clips! Or ruffled shirts!) and definitely get swept into it and inspired but it never seems tied to the seasons more particular aesthetics.

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    1. You never know - vintage comics can be quite valuable so that collection might be worth a lot to a collector one day. I find it interesting there are blogging trends - are they different from the mainstream fashion trends? I hope so! Its nice to think there are alternative movements out there.

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  4. I so agree with "If it suits my body shape, my personal taste and I feel good in it I don't see why I shouldn't wear it out of season."

    To me it always has to be about your own body and personality.

    I used to buy loads of magazines, especially food magazines. I now buy none. I have kept lots of my old magazines though and use them often for inspiration.

    Often when I'm grocery shopping I will check out the "latest" or catch up on them at the hair salon.

    Those pants are super fly! LOL : )

    bisous
    Suzanne
    http://bisous.typepad.com/bisous/

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  5. Your coat is amazing. I LOVELOVELOVE it. The pants and vest are also beautiful. I'm a huge fan of navy and black. I used to collect fashion magazines but now my decor mags outnumber the fashion ones. I do love the escape they provide.

    The weather here is so temperate that it's not unreasonable to think of Spring now. What does drive me crazy is that in October, when I'm dying to wear a coat, it's still in the 70's or 80's fahrenheit.

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    1. Oh Jean - I'd swap locations with you any day!!

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  6. I had a difficult time finding a winter coat here in boston last week. I mean, it is the middle of winter! The vintage stores were a bit behind the regular retailers, but they also are clearing out the winter stuff already. I wish the pre-season stock would stop!

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  7. I'm still in mid-winter mode & wrapped at warm - though not as stylishly as you! Lovely outfit, I do like navy & black together.

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  8. I always seem to be desperately seeking a bathing suit in July, when only winter coats are to be found!

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    1. I know!! Like July is an unreasonable time to be looking for a bathing suit!

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  9. I live in a warm climate and even I am not ready to shop for official Spring clothing. I don't like to rush the seasons ahead! Love your bird trousers, and of course your fabulous magazine collection. Thanks for linking up!

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  10. I'm with you on them telling us what to keep and what to get rid of because it is just not "now." They are trying to sell stuff and the best way to do that is to tell us that what we are wearing is now out of style.

    We have been having such odd weather. 75F one day and two days later below zero. Yikes, that makes it hard to dress consistently. I am still in winter mode right now.

    I love your navy outfit and that feather gilet is just too hot or should I say cool?

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  11. Ah...you perfectly articulate my own frustration with the retail fashion industry. I am also quite addicted to fashion magazines...but I don't ever feel influenced by the "it" piece of the moment. I can' afford them anyway, and I don't enjoy the one season wonders.

    I'm still in the warm clothing mode, still loving my turtleneck sweaters and leather boots.
    As much as I love and look forward to spring and warmer weather, I'm not ready to give up those pieces yet!

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  12. "White noise" - oh yes, that is a perfect way to describe those ridiculous editorials. Bring on the clothes, the drama, the photography! Well I have everything completely arse-about-tit after returning from a spell in the UK more than 20 years ago! I'm obsessed with vintage winter clothing and yes, I live in Queensland. I think my problem is less the seasonal buying than the fact that I should wake up and stop buying 1940s suits!!! xoxo

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  13. It's winter here and I'm still wearing my coats. But I have to say that your coat is spectacular, and if I could find one like it, it would be in my closet. Speaking of closets, most of my ensembles come from mine, so I'm not a very good retail consumer. And at this point, spring is far from my mind.

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  14. Firstly can I say that I absolutely love those trousers? The print, the fit, the colour? Absolutely heavenly!
    I don't bother with mags, the fashion section of the Guardian usually incites me enough as it is. Apparently my beloved Cossack hats are "too showy to be worn after Xmas" so despite it being sub-zero I have to abandon my choice of head wear and buy "an embellished beanie from ASOS", no wonder the UK's so debt-ridden! xxx

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  15. Ooh, love the pants AND the coat! I don't pay much attention to what the fashion rags say, since most seem to be geared towards 20-year olds and, yes, I find the constant exhortations to get my non-trendy self together annoying, condescending and even insulting. I agree that good fashion rags can be places of inspiration, but so many seem to have the potential to breed neurosis - that is, in those who truly care about what the latest IT bag looks like. I pretty much shop when I want but try to avoid the mass market places, which truly depress me with their cheaply-made goods (can you tell I'm missing thrift shops living where I do?). And the only reason I'm thinking of Sping this year is because I need to find decent nursing wear for that time of year! Xo

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  16. What a lovely arrangement of textures, colours, and shapes! Looks wonderfully warm without being over-bundled too.

    I only see fashion magazines for a few minutes at a time a couple of times a year at the dentist's, and fashion news trickles down through the blogs I enjoy second- third- and fourth- hand. Though I'm not guided by that particular consumer pressure, don't shop every season (or "season") and and rarely shop regular retail, I still buy too much stuff!

    I love the images though and admire how you keep the messages at arms' length. Thanks for this gorgeous and thoughtful post.

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  17. Love the coat! I live in Arizona so we're always confused about what season it really is. Today feels like Spring; by the end of the week, it's back to Winter for a few days. We end up ignoring what we're "supposed to wear" and just wear what the weather dictates.
    Heather from Friendship, Life and Style

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  18. Hi my dear!! Really loved the sentiments of this post, I feel exactly the same. I have thrifted quite a few pieces the last couple of months and they range between winter and summer items which I aspire to be as trans-seasonal as possible as like you I will wear things at any time of the year too. Love your outfit, especially the coat and trousers! Have a great week xx

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  19. The trousers look wonderful, especially with the full coat, which I love! Come to think about it, I believe we always shopped out of season when I was younger. But, I love wearing leather and layering items year round that are for winter and summer, so I don't get caught up too much into the seasonal "buy now" modes.But, I have to think about forward seasons for work, that's probably the only time I get ready before being inundated with the glossies lol! I am still enjoying winter at the moment. :)

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  20. I too have a love of perusing 'real' magazine pages. There is something more lingering for me with a tactile experience.

    I certainly will miss some of my cool weather friends with warmer weather around the corner. My daughter found the most amazing fur collar for me in Italy and it has become truly loved...putting it away for the seasons saddens me at the thought!

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  21. Yo también guardo los Vogue, pero sólo los de Septiembre y febrero.
    Me gusta como los has colocado.
    Un abrazo fuerte.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  22. First of all, you look fabulous!!! Secondly, I wouldn't mind a bit of a warm up, but I just am not ready to give up my boots yet!! My leather skirts, I wear year round and they work fine, but in this intense southern heat, boots are a bot too much! Hugs girly!! Serene

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  23. My love-to-hate fashion word is "fresh."

    Luckily for me, I have done a fairly good job of honing my personal style, which has little to do with trends and a lot to do with only buying things that make me catch my breath and feel like a million dollars.

    I do have a bad habit of buying out of season, I have several spring dresses with tags on that are waiting for warmer weather.

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  24. That coat!
    I've been looking at Rick Owens SS 2013 collections. A certain dress is on my radar..
    Our three short weeks of tropical winter is over.

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  25. Ahhh...a fellow magazine junkie! I think I still have stacks of my old magazines in my ex-husband's attic. Guess I can kiss those goodbye!

    As an avid thrifter, I can't always shop "in season". But I have no problem playing the waiting game with the silly retailers. If they want to sell the merchandise that we currently need at 80% off, then it's definitely to my benefit. I'm about to order a coat that I saw in Lucky magazine back in September. In that editorial spread, the price was listed at $150. It's now on sale online for $29.99!

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