Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Simplify simplicity/COS

When it comes to COS I can not say,that I've always been cool enough to think about it as one of my favorite shops on high street. Since moving to London almost 4 years ago, I struggled quite a lot when it came to finding my own personal style. In a last year or so, it has changed and I've realised something that has been in front of me for a very long time- my wardrobe is full of basic items, which mostly won't go out of style so easily. Everything else in between these basics- well, its all phases which come and go. You know, just another try to fit in with another new trend.
Well, that was when COS came into my life and made shopping for me so much easier.
 I think COS is a perfect brand on high street when it comes to keeping up with seasonal trends and still keeping their own signature in their designs.
Their Scandinavian minimal signature look which is really traditional in terms of fashion, but always have a little modern twist, is what brings me back to their store and makes me want to buy every single piece off their hangers. I like COS that much, that I don't mind paying that little extra comparing to other high street stores like River Island, Topshop, H&M and of course, it's biggest competitor- Zara. As they say, you get what you pay for and when it comes to fabrics, COS has really something special to offer. From cashmere cardigans to scuba-dresses, COS has it all.

close up photographs of COS new collection. AW 2011/2012

COS designers tend to love using idea of something really simple and basic. They change it in a simple moders way, which looks so fresh, up-to-date, a lot like high-fashion items in store and not at all over the top. Just so subtle and beautiful.
 COS turtle-neck : really simple item but this colour is so up-to-date with trends on high street shops, high fashion catwalks and on the streets.

 Mixing different and most unexpected items is so easy in COS, cause everything is so thought through and nothing too much over the top, so it's hard to get it wrong really.
 The idea and signs of really thinking the simplicity in the garment through, is what I admire when I look at COS products. It can be something like this jacket with a really simple shape and colour. What makes it different, beautiful and modern are the small things- like the raw cut-out edges around the nect and shoulders and the way the facing is done in a same raw and modern way.

 COS AW2011/2012 campaign 

COS's branding team has done a brilliant job with working on their personal identity. It is so easy just be known as "H&M's more expensive brand" even thought it is so much more. They have created a whole lifestyle brand around these Scandinavian minimalistic clothes with a modern touch. You can see that very special identity when you look at their campaigns, look books, clothes, windows and feel that when you walk around the shop and take your time there.
You can grab your personal copy of COS magazine from every shop. What is interesting about it, is not that its only different products, advertising and looks from brand's seasonal looks(like it always is with most of the brands), but there is more concentration and articles on interesting people, exhibitions and events happening all over the world. For me, this is a perfect example of how COS is more than just fashion at this point now, they are creating their lifestyle image.

 simple dress with a straight cut made out of scuba material and using colour blocking trend.
 hats- so Roksanda Ilincic 2012
bags- very Celine look-a-like

Usually, high-street shops make me rather nervous because there is never enough space and always to many people. With a COS it's different again.Don't get me wrong- it is full of customers, but there is so much air between the rails, the interior design as a whole is really light and airy, it's not too packed on the shelves, so you can actually see everything that is out there and there is plenty of seating area, sofas etc in the shop(which you usually don't find in high-street shops). These are small things but they really make me enjoy shopping more and stress less.

Shop windows - so minimal

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Versace world

Versace is a complete opposite luxury brand comparing to COS, which is known for its over the top designs and representing an extravagent lifestyle. It is a brand that you either love or hate and usually the expression you get comes within a seconds. I must say- for many years, I wasn't the biggest fan of Versace either, but I think that that was mainly because I've seen too many faux-pas with Versace which made me think of it that you literally cant get it right. Ever.
Lately, I've seen more of this beautiful brand and done a little research before looking through their new shows and going to a shop. My conclusion? You really have to know Versace's history and Gianni's designs to appreciate what Donatella does today. Crazy prints, studs, gold, embroidery- If you want to go extravagant why do you need to limit yourself? Gianni knew and Donatella know now, that you don't and they go all the way with it. Through my point of view, Versace can work well fo every woman, it's just about HOW you wear it that makes the difference.

I truly believe, that these photographs from old Versace campaign's really bring out what this brand is about.

Everything from Versace's prints to their windows and campaigns is so extravagant and luxurious. I think you have to have that special kind of attitude and style to really get the best out of their looks.

Because of their extravagant brand image, high prices and over top-noch campaigns you expect the highest quality and this is really what you get. Everything from the silk shirts and leather jackets to wool coats and embroidered dresses are perfectly finished and absolutely beautiful both on the rack and on a body.

COS and Versace are two completely different brands, with a completely different style and pricing strategy.  Versace is a high-end brand, which sells the image that it is NOT affordable to everyone and that it is a luxury to have it.
This november, H&M is launching a collaboration line with Versace, which will be much more affordable, but still far too expensive for H&M ( most of the dresses around 150-200 pounds). The question is, how much will the quality be suffering because of that and is this H&M collection really worth the money. It is good to see, that they have chosen to go with remaking the classical Versace pieces and prints, about which, I talked in the beginning.

Versace x H&M 

Shoes from this SS2011 collection. Leather sandal strips and a heel with a platform is really traditional Versace, yet the way how this platform is constructed and the colours that are being used are really trendy and new.

Just like COS, Versace is more than just about clothes- it is a lifestyle brand which sells you the whole image.. only starting from clothes and accessories. You can also get your home decorated with versace furniture, eat from versace plates, go to a holiday to palazzo versace hotels and call your friends from versace phone. Versace is a big empire and it almost feels like you can build up your life around and with Versace items.

Versace boutique, which shows what this brand is about, perfectly