This week's guest blogger is Gemma Cartwright, Editor of Catwalk Queen. We asked her to pick an Autumn Winter 2011 trend to try for a catwalk-to-reality road test and she chose... Fetish, as seen on the Louis Vuitton catwalk. Brave girl, no? And here's how Gemma and the Catwalk Queen team got on...
The fetish trend was sent here to test us. Nobody in fashion can resist a legitimate excuse to dress in head-to-toe black, but this is hardly a look that’s office appropriate straight off the catwalk. So how do you balance the fine line between ‘just been to a funeral’ and ‘just been to a sex shop’?
It seems a shame to just team a leather tee with jeans, or to ruin the effect by popping a vest under a transparent blouse. But Fetish is not really practical for daywear unless it’s diluted. I doubt Giles Deacon was thinking of the daily commute when he sent models down the catwalk in sheer panelled dresses and leather waspies, and Mark Fast’s lace-up leggings are likely to scare off every colleague in a half-mile radius.
In order to get my head around this trend, I challenged some of the girls at Catwalk Queen Towers to interpret the trend for work. With only 24 hours notice, I think everyone did a pretty good job.
We’ll start off with yours truly, and what I like to think of as the entry-level approach. Given that I’m mostly seen in floral dresses, polka dots and prints, something as dark and edgy as Fetish is quite a departure for me so I didn’t want to go too mad. I eventually opted for a fitted dress with structured shoulders, PVC panels and a visible zip, teamed with buckled heels. It’s a subtle nod to the trend, but would still scrape by in an office with a strict dress code.
If you’re lucky enough to work somewhere where the rules are more relaxed, Jess’s look might be more your style. It takes a brave (and leggy) lady to pull off leather shorts and Henry Holland suspender tights, but by keeping the rest simple (by way of ankle boots and a sheer knit jumper) I think she pulls it off. There’s room to make this look so much more dramatic, but if I were you, I’d leave the lace bralet to Lady Gaga, or at least save it for after 8pm.
Kate was on a similar page to Jess when she opted for another sheer, loose knit, this time teamed with a knee-length leather skirt, ankle boots and fishnet tights. Fishnets are another easy way to dip your toes in this trend and stop an outfit looking too safe. Just don’t team them with hotpants unless you like the ‘extra from Chicago’ look.
My final brave volunteer was Hannah, who is tall enough to pull off a sheer knit maxi dress without looking ridiculous. Jealous? Me too. Finished with a cropped leather jacket, leopard Brothel Creepers and big shades, this is Fetish with attitude…but is still surprisingly covered up.
For me, the trick to making this trend work is in keeping shapes simple and playing around with details and textures. Everyone has black in their wardrobe, most of us probably have something leather or leather-look, or something sheer, and they’re the perfect place to start. Investing in a pair of lace, suspender or fishnet tights will only cost a few quid and instantly pull a fetish-inspired look together. Finish with patent shoes or ankle boots and you’re halfway there.
Oh, and if anyone is brave enough to wear a patent waspie to the office, get in touch (pic or it didn’t happen)!
- Gemma Cartwright
http://www.catwalkqueen.tv | @catwalkqueen | @GemmaCartwright