J’Adore Dior

19.11.2012 | Blog | BY:

Dior have graced the windows of  historic Paris department store Printemps Haussmann with lashings of tulle, swirls of snow, cascades of sequins and gold plus the odd unicorn for a festive look that we want to capture in a bauble and hang on our own trees – as soon as we can finally justify getting them. Inside, Dior’s pop-up store has Christmas covered Lady Dior style with specially made Dior dolls, snow globes and advent calendars. We’re officially smitten.


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The Couture Collective

10.07.2012 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

This year’s Autumn/Winter 2012 haute couture shows were another testament to signature style. Be it the modern romance of Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli or Giambattista Valli’s ever-enticing plays on volume and silhouettes, the one unifying factor  throughout every collection was a representation of each brand’s true essence, underlined by highly-refined tailoring and draping.

Twin selects our favourite personal visions of the season…


Bouchra Jarrar

Couture cool is Jarrar’s calling card and although those expecting overtly dramatic ball gowns or extravagant embellishments from couture may be disappointed, her softly draped tunic dresses and forties-esque trench coat top and A-line, knife-pleated skirt combinations add a modern yet elegant touch to the couture circuit. As they say, sometimes less is more.




This season Karl Lagerfeld saw it as his mission to put a new spin on vintage. While the collection managed to revamp classics such as the tweed suit, tea dresses and peter pan collars in a colour palette that included soft shades such as petal rose and cream, its true appeal was in the unmatchable craftsmanship of the house of Chanel. Hundred upon hundreds of hand-sewn sequins and a breathtaking feather, lace and tulle finale dress were just two examples that further solidified the label’s spot at the top of couture pyramid.



Couture week undoubtedly belonged to Raf Simons. Although he might have not been the most obvious successor to Galliano’s theatrical showings, the Belgian designer’s minimalist aesthetic has proved the perfect partner to Christian Dior’s original elegant and strongly feminine designs. Peplum waist tops and dresses paired with straight cut trousers, not to mention the two-sided evening gowns with crystal embellishments put a refreshingly modern spin on New Look-esque silhouettes.


Gambattista Valli

Nymph creatures and a fairytale narrative were woven into every fibre of Valli’s designs. Rich emerald greens and ruby garnet florals were printed on high-necked ruffled cocktail dresses and evening gowns cinched in at the waist with gold ivy belts. With a beautiful play of volume and colour, the collection was an all-round dream.



Riccardo Tisci’s tribal warrior was equipped with face-obscuring sunglasses and menacing dogs, but that didn’t keep the collection from being feminine and alluring, thanks to halter necklines and iridescent ombre fringing. In short, it was a well-balanced mixture of elegance, urbanism and the beauty of nature.


Maison Martin Margiela

In the light of the brand’s upcoming collaboration with high street retailer H&M, some fear that the house of Margiela will succumb to commercialism. However this collection was a piece of avant-garde artistry. From the crystal face masks to the dynamic collages of fabric and textures. Refreshing and original, it proved why Maison Martin Margiela more than deserves a permanent spot on the haute couture schedule.


Midnight blue dresses, fully-sequined, brocade printed and embroidered cocktail pieces, as well as floor-length pleated chiffon gowns made this collection one of typical Valentino glamour, whilst  canary yellow, magenta and blood red added rich pops of colour. In our eyes, Chiuri and Piccioli can do no wrong.


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Raf Simons X Dior Couture

03.07.2012 | Blog | BY:

It’s fair to say that Raf Simons’ couture debut for Dior was the most hotly tipped show in Paris this week. And ever since the industry caught sight of that hot pink floor length bustier, the praise has been ringing in from around the fashion world, with names from Marc Jacobs to Donatella Versace speaking in admiration.

So, unsurprisingly we’re adding our voice to the applause. Truly this was the kind of couture that Twin just gets. There was a lightness of touch to the shapes that were at once a sketch of the past, proving that Simons’ famed minimalism can marry with the most classic of fashion houses.

Dramatic embroidered ball-gowns and cigarette pant suits reached back to the New Look but stripped away the nostalgia in favour of clean lines and brilliant colour that helped reveal the original architecture that made Dior so revolutionary in 1947. This was femininity, but in a way we could all recognise as relevant to contemporary fashion sensibilities, exemplified by the easy elegance of the models’ hands in pockets swagger. Even the abundance of fresh delphiniums and orchids on the walls were a triumph of structure over the riotous bouquet.

While Simons was only appointed four short months ago, we’ve been waiting 18 months to see the direction the house of Dior takes. The verdict fifty-four outfits later? Ok there were echoes of Simons’ later work at Jil Sander, but that’s certainly not a reason to complain. Indisputably the Dior DNA was all there. The collection showed Dior have bagged themselves a designer that’s going to put Dior on our list, and surely every sane fashionistas also.

Watch an interview with Raf Simons…

Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

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Raf Simons X Dior

10.04.2012 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Ever since John Galliano’s departure from Dior in March last year, the fashion industry has been playing its own game of ‘designer ping – pong’ bouncing names back and forth in speculation as to who will take the creative reigns of the Parisian couture house. Jacobs – Tisci – Ackermann – Jacobs – Simons – Kane – Ackermann – Simons… It went on.

However after a year-long debate the rumours were finally put to rest yesterday as LVMH CEO, Bernard Arnault, announced that Raf Simons will take over as Artistic Director. Having left his previous post as Creative Director at Jil Sander earlier this year, Simons will commence work at his new design home with immediate effect, preparing for what will be his first Dior collection, which will be showcased at Couture Fashion Week in Paris this July.

Words: Sarah Barlow

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Notes on a Scent

28.04.2011 | Blog , Culture , Twin Life | BY:

What fragrance to wear with vintage clothing? This is a question I often ponder. Should one team a delicious piece of vintage with an equally arcane perfume – a Shalimar or a Miss Dior or an Arpege – and thus create a sort of double whammy of historically resonant cloaking.  Or do you update a vintage outfit with a  resolutely contemporary perfume and allow it to provide an olfactive update/contrast to your outfit?  Well perhaps Dior have dreamed up the answer.  Collection Privee is a wonderful edit of eight wonderfully uncommercial new fragrances. These are perfumes with integrity: rich with history and imagination yet completely contemporary.  New Look 1947 is not only a  fantastic name and idea for a perfume – a scent inspired by that timeless nipped-in silhouette – it is, in my humble opinion a  great choice to team with that prized vintage dress.  The constituent notes are tuberose, rose, jasmine and vanilla.  It is a modern floral, not cloying and concentrated like the florals of yore.  Nor has it been corrupted into one of those horrible ubiquitous cynically commercial fruity florals. Or rendered cologne like by the addition of too much citrus. No, it is ladylike and powdery and ideal if you want to feel feminine and precise without feeling blousy or saccharine.

Words by Bethan Cole

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The eyes have it

04.02.2011 | Blog , Fashion , Twin Life | BY:

It is with great sadness that we must report that the prevailing trend at the Spring/Summer 2011 shows was for bare eyelids. No eyeshadow. No eyeliner. Just bare eyes, sometimes not even with a  lick of mascara to define them. This was nigh on tragic for us because for decades now we have been virtually wedded to liquid eyeliner. Although not especially loyal to one particular brand, we’ve used everything from Lancome and Chanel’s smart eyeliner pens, to £1.50 e.l.f (eyeslipsface.com) which is not at all bad if you are on a tight budget. However a number of signs tell us that the flick of liquid eyeliner on the upper eyelid is not completely dead and buried, and one of these was the Bettie Page look Pat McGrath evoked at the Dior SS11 Ready To Wear show AND the look she created at the recent couture. Both featured liquid eyeliner in a feline flick extending from the corner of the eye right out to the end of the eyebrow. It’s still, along with red lipstick, an uber signifier of all things Fifties and retro, or even early Sixties actually. The Mad Men era was still working liquid eyeliner. The other thing that makes us want to cling onto it in adversity is the appointment of Gwen Stefani as ambassador to L’Oreal. Stefani is a big one for black liquid eyeliner, along with red lips it’s her signature look – a noughties rockabilly girl. So we are going to keep on wearing it, despite what other beauty pundits might be preaching.

Image by Boo George for Twin issue one. Words by Bethan Cole.

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