Saturday, 21 April 2012

Good Day Sunshine: Lazzari


Sixties: 'Bardot at the Beach' with a sweet Lazzari lace bodice dress, plus a vintage Laura Ashley hat, cream wedges from a market, a vintage silk sash, a lace top from a charity shop and a vintage brooch and bag.


Contemporary: A vintage suede pea coat, a vintage Christie's trilby, my grandma's belt and bag, Office velvet heels. 


Sixties: 'Jackie O among the Blossom' in a Lazzari lace shift dress, adding vintage shoes, my great-grandma's gloves and grandma's pill box hat and sunglasses. The bag is Russell & Bromley from a market.


Contemporary: A crochet cardigan from a charity shop, Office sandals and a vintage faux-leather file.


Sixties: 'College Student' wearing a denim Lazzari mini-dress, a vintage blouse and boots, my great-grandma's silk scarf and my grandma's cameo necklace.  


Contemporary: The addition of a fifties skirt, a woven leather belt from a charity shop, Carvela heeled brogues and a vintage satchel bag - a present from my mum. 

Very, very occasionally I arrive home from college to find an exciting looking cardboard parcel or package. This one was a small, rectangular box, with teal polka-dotted tissue paper crackling inside. When the onion-layers were peeled back, three dresses lay, folded and enticing. It's rare for me to respond to offers to style clothes that can be sent to me, as I like to retain a sense of self on my blog: my own specific taste. However, if the designer’s aesthetic matches my own, and I would conceivably consider buying and wearing the brand (if money were no issue), then I view things differently. Lazzari is one such brand – focussing on good fabrics, vintage silhouettes and beautiful garments inspired by various eras.

Lazzari’s dresses are part of that newly emerged trend: the classic shape reinterpreted for the modern consumer. Here, hints of sixties' camping holidays and Brigitte Bardot’s femininity have been taken and twisted into something new. The results are deeply appealing, from the production values (all made in Italy) to the design and materials (quality cotton fabrics). They allow the wearer to feel some kind of touch or whisper of the decade associated with The Beatles and knee high boots – not a facsimile, but an updated version. The concept of using previous decades as inspiration for design is not revolutionary but has become more prevalent in recent years. In a process that conceivably started in the seventies with re-workings of Edwardian day dresses and other styles, the conclusion can be found in countless magazine articles on the ‘new’ Great Gatsby or the ‘updated’ Dior New Look. We now regularly look to the past to inform present clothing choices and designs.

T.S Eliot, on the subject of literature, once said that, “immature poets imitate; mature poets steal”, and furthermore that, “The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique… the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion.” Eliot’s clever rhetoric suggests that when ‘stealing’ from previous generations there must still be a slant of originality applied to any resulting work. The same argument can be applied to designers working today. The best collections that associate themselves with the past are not simple copies, but original pieces that nod towards the rich design heritage – combining elements of the old with the very contemporary. In this way, the designer adds her or his creative stamp to what went before.

Interestingly though, we are not now defined by the style of our eras in the way that previous generations were. Everything moves too fast, and is too fleeting. New trends are born every six months or so, emerging onto the street with blinking eyes and wobbling legs. But by the time they have become solid and steady, they are replaced by another set of looks. This can be viewed in one of two ways. One can lament the loss of any kind of cohesive look – the kind of uniformity that makes every frame in Mad Men such a visual joy. There are no items of clothing, such as the sixties' mini-skirt or the seventies' trouser suit, that we can take up and champion as being revolutionary. On the flipside, this emphasis on individuality is worthy of praise – of the ‘democratisation’ of fashion. All it takes is a good eye and a keen lust for anything from vintage markets, charity shops and jumble sales, or independent designers, or even high-end brands. Countless options for dressing and self-expression are open.

When writing fiction, ‘register’ is all important – the way the authorial voice and characters’ dialogue fits the situation. In daily life, few speak like Lady Macbeth while buying vegetables from a market, and most would think twice before swearing in front of the Queen. Similarly, the clothes we wear have a distinctive ‘register’ – they demonstrate not only something of our personalities, but are usually appropriate to the day’s activities. Much as the idea is strangely hilarious, I don't wear fifties' bikinis and heels to college. I dress perhaps slightly more outlandishly than my peers, but still within some kind of confined structure of what is deemed acceptable. The emperor may have convinced his subjects that his new lack of clothes was not only appropriate, but also innovative, but I doubt that the same argument would convince many today. I thought of ‘register’ while eyeing up the contents of my dressing up box and wardrobe while deciding how to style Lazzari’s delicious dresses. My final decision – one sixties influenced archetype, and then a more modern version, gave flight to thoughts of the way we contextualize our clothes.  

Accessories, like the words that frame a description, give an immediate sense of ‘place’. I might wear the buttery yellow lace shift dress with a cardigan and Chelsea boots to college, but perhaps save the sixties pill box hat for home. The finishing details - the gloves, the necklaces, the shoes, the coats – are intrinsic to the ‘register’ of an outfit. Thus the white wedges, and Laura Ashley child’s sun-hat gave the blue dress an airy feel of sunny sixties' innocence, while the vintage leather pea-coat, trilby and Office velvet heels felt altogether more adult. Much of my dressing revolves around this process of characterization. Perhaps it comes of having a mother who is a former drama teacher, and a grandma who was once a successful West End actor. The joy of the ‘theatrical’ seems to be genetic.

Huge thanks to Lazzari for the dresses – they'll have many differently styled outings this spring and summer. Their timelessness means I'll be wearing them for years to come too.
Take a look at the delicious lookbook here. It's something of a visual feast.




41 comments:

Page Song said...

so gorgeous!! :)
i love the colour combinations

alexandratherese said...

My favourite look here is the "60s college student" and I have to say you would make an excellent one Roz! The 60s is definitely my favourite clothes decade - although a 20s flapper might be fabulous for a special occasion, I feel the 60s look is altogether more wearable (besides, I don't have a tiny 50s-esque waist and as I'm reasonably tall the 60s silhouette is altogether more appropriate!) These Lazzari designs are beautiful - just the sort of thing I would go for (if money was no object though, as you so aptly put it!) I actually found a beautiful original 60s white mini dress with matching coat in a vintage boutique in Cornwall and I'm thrilled with it - when I put it on I felt instantly transported back to a decade filled with fantastic music, clothes and social revolutions. I know you said you'd downloaded White Heat to watch - after reading this post I know you will love the first episode which is all set in 1962!

I did get your email and will reply in due course! Hope you have a great week at College filled with as little exam stress as possible!

Alexandra xx

100%soie said...

beautiful outfits, as always !! I love the first one, the blue dress is stunning and your legs are so long !!! I just love your blog more and more !!

Closet Fashionista said...

Wow these pieces are totally you! Gotta love when designers send stuff that is your taste :D Sadly I don't get anything ;)
http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

Sara said...

Beautiful outfits! Especially I love the first dress, so cute! You look stunning as always :)

MargieF said...

The lace shirt under the lace dress is really sweet. The 60s were such a fun era for clothes I think you really show all sides of it in this post. Also, I would love to see your Grandmother's wardrobe!
Margief
x
www.margieheartsclothes.blogspot.co.uk
www.etsy.com/shop/MargieHeartsVintage

Thrifted Shift said...

This post itself is a visual feast! Well done! I believe my favorite look is the contemporary version of the blue dress. All lovely, though, and I enjoyed the TS Eliot quote and the musings of cohesive-ness vs decocratization. However, I feel that the sheer speed at which trends arise lends to intense consumption and too many people who don't have a true sense of their own style aside from "trendy."
--TS

leonie fanning said...

wow amazing blog. such fabulous clothes, lucky u, u look so beautiful, i cant wait to go through all ur old posts, u have wonderful style, love from dublin xxx leonie

Becky said...

Those first two looks are incredible. I adore the broderie Anglaise look.

Becky
xx

http://www.beckybedbug.com

The Fancy Teacup said...

You look so fascinating in those retro Lazzari dress. Very ladylike and fashionable in lovely, personal way.

www.TheFancyTeacup.com

The Lady Nerd said...

I really love the looks you pulled together in these photos, especially the first oufit. In my opinion, textures are always very tricky to pull off (as are prints). But the white sleeves and blue dress' textures work together wonderfully well. I'm just starting to get into wearing textures myself. They add such a richness and depth to an outfit.

Love the last two shots the most. It may be an odd thing to say, but you have a such a lovely jawline. (I grew up looking at 1940s/50s photographs and Pre-raphaelite paintings which feature alot of strong feminine profiles. Your pictures remind me of a modern version of that. :) )

Joanna DeVoe said...

Ah... swoon! That top dress-shoe-hat combo is divine -xo

Hazelnut said...

My favorite outfits would have to be the 60's "bardot at the beach" and the 60's "college student". Plus, you look gorgeous especially in the last two photos. Love it.

adrielleroyale said...

Beautiful and classic! I just love the way you style yourself and as always your pictures are amazing :)

P.S. I am going to take your hints about putting my stuff to music :) I connected with someone who can and will help me do it, so I'm really excited! It won't be on today's blog (I still need to write it), but hopefully the next. Thank you for inspiring me both on your blog and mine! :)

OrigamiGirl said...

This looks like it was a lot of fun to do. I laugh a little at myself becuase out of all of them I would be most likely to wear the 60s college student style on a normal day. Obviously still a bit of a hippy.

I also have to say that one of my favourite parts of your blog is your collection of hats. You seem to have so many and they make everything look more stylish. I always get attacted to vintage hats but then put off by the price usually and tell myself that I could get something I would wear more if I bought a dress with that instead. I should just take the existing hats I have an wear them on normal days like you.

p.s. Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog.

The Cat Who Walked by Herself said...

The blue dress looks fantastic against the blue sky.Tis almost the same shade.

Kate said...

These photos are absolutely stunning, 'Bardot at the beach' has to be my favourite look. The texture comes right through the computer screen, especially in the lace. Gorgeous pastel colours, and that denim dress is so versatile, I can imagine styling it in so many different ways!

Flis said...

I love love love your 'College student' look! (I adore the others too, but that one is my definite favourite) :) xxx

http://felicityotoole.blogspot.com/

Melanie said...

Jackie O among the blossoms, the dandelions...beautiful, a classic look with your own twists. The gloves,pearls, and pillbox hat are so elegant.

What you have written about fashion is so true as well with the art world, especially with abstract expressionism. Derivative work, which is almost unavoidable, can be tiringly flat without the punch of the individual reworking the style. You put it so well.

Clara Turbay said...

Very good ideas i´ll be back soon!

islabell said...

these all look so great. what a wonderful surprise. x

Tela de AraƱa said...

it´s funny, my teacher used to change the word "poets" for "architects" in the T.S.Eliot sentence, so it would be right for all jobs...
Favourite photos 3, 6
Favourite dresses:1, 2

stringsandbuttons said...

Glad I stumbled upon your blog. Loving all this lace. And you're definitely great at rocking these dresses. My favorite look is 60s college student. although you do a remarkable job with the rest as well x

Fashionistable said...

Yep they sure look like they had you in mind when they were designing these pieces. I love that TS Eliot quote. Xxxx

Izzy/Bella said...

I really enjoyed this piece. I particularly liked the T.S. Eliot quote you picked to explore and how you used it to describe the ways in which a designer best reimagines and reinvents the past, creating our present.

I also love your styling. Do you do it all on your own or do friends help? This is the hardest aspect for me of modeling or acting. It's really hard to get a stylist on set, so I quite often have to do it myself. It's why I originally started style-blogging. I had to get better at it and starting taking snapshots of looks for films and things..there's such a difference between an outfit that looks good (day to day life good) and one that pops on the page and is expressive. Sort of the difference between everyday speech and conversations in stories (to borrow...or rather "steal" your analogy:).) Some writers are so good at dialogue, even when it sounds natural,they still make it special. I think you're like that with styleblogging!

Brilliant, thoughtful post with lovely pics as usual.
xx
Isabella
www.misadventuresofme.com

Jean at www.drossintogold.com said...

As I scrolled down your post, I was thrilled by all the different looks. I also reflected on the contrast between theatricality and "appropriateness" in choosing one's attire. I vacillate, but almost always am happier when I push the envelope (which isn't often enough!!). You demonstrate the beauty of both.

love, Jean

The Foolish Aesthete said...

It was lovely to discover your dramatic beginnings through your mother and grandmother. I have this sense of you being like Jo March and the March sisters of "Little Women", putting on theatrical shows for each other and writing a periodic family gazette.

Your styling of the Lazzaris with period flavors is brilliant. Given my fascination for hats, I just love that trilby and pillbox! Gorgeous photographs as always. -- J xx

Thea vintage said...

Gorgeous looks. My favourite is the blue one. Looks perfect on you!

http://theas-vintage.blogspot.com/

Lydia said...

The second look is very 60s flight attendant! I think the third is my favorite-- I love the floaty sleeves. PS I was sort of thrilled to hear your mom was wearing my bug necklace!! That's so funny. Hide it well!

SabinePsynopsis said...

They look like vintage! Wonderful, and so perfect on you. You've done a great styling job on all of them, Roz. xoxo

Toshiko Shek said...

perfect spring look roz! love the textures of the blouse and the dress! you look absolutely amazing!
itsnother-itsme.blogspot.com

SACRAMENTO said...

You always blow my mind, my dearest Rosalind.
Everytime I look at you I cannot help feeling proud.
Much love always.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

hiPop said...

That Jackie O combo is pure perfection!

Katrina said...

Ah the blue dress is perfect! And i kind of like the yellow one as well - (reminds me of Twiggy) though I`m not the biggest fan of the color yellow. And i forever envy your gorgeous hair)

>'.'<

Lela said...

The trilby outfit is BEYOND. Loving your posts.

Besos,
Lela
Fashion Blog - Lela London

Fashion art and other fancies said...

Beautifully written and captured. I adore seeing you amidst nature. I'm quite certain the flowers were envious of you. Ahh, adore Elliot's quote. Been reading poetry this week - Hermann Hesse. Trust all is well. It's a beauteous day here in Berlin. Sunshine streaming in.

Cathy said...

Lazzari's clothing and dresses are very timeless. So elegant and glamorous, eh.

Cheers,
Cathy@cheap digitizing

Kathleen Lisson said...

I am in love with that 60's Jackie O. bag. These are great photos!

vintage honeybee said...

That vintage yellow piece is a dream. I love it.

Vintagehoneybee.blogspot.com

Live, Love, Life said...

Lovely pictures!... I like how you put the outfits together

Marz
www.sparkmarz.com

kaarlijnx-x said...

wauw, beautiful outfits! I really like your blog. You have a new follower hihi