Thursday, August 4, 2011

Referencing Asos

I was flicking through the latest Asos magazine and two pieces in particular jumped out at me - the Asos Midi Pencil Skirt with Front Split and the Asos Textured Knit Jumper. Partially this is personal preference; I like pencil skirts, I love knitwear, I feel myself increasingly drawn to bright colours as if to enlighten my mundane workaday life. Partially though it was because both items triggered a waterfall of exciting fashion references. Interestingly, none of these references, either direct or fundamental, are particularly on trend or contemporary (i.e. 'this season'/three months). 

For me, the skirt is straight up Joan Holloway. Janie Bryant, the costume designer and stylist for Mad Men, has spoken about how she chooses to dress Joan in strong, clear, jewel bright colours and the Asos skirt comes in the Woodbine, Cobalt and Claret, all gorgeous and beguiling statement colours. It screams sex but the midi length gives it the suggestion of modesty. It is lush and Joan would work it! So that is Asos referencing Mad Men which is obviously referencing the late 50s-early 60s.

And then, the jumper is obviously Prada (to me). It is part Pre-Fall 2010 and the textured jumper that Susie wears so well and part AW10 and the chunky blue knits from that collection. Lara Stone looks irresistibly delicious in lots of Prada in the 'Sweater Girl' editorial styled by Grace Coddington for US Vogue. This remains one of my favourite editorials of recent years, it is just so blissfully lovely! I might have to try and track down a copy of the September Vogue on ebay at some point... Anyway, so Prada's AW10 collection was strongly influenced by Mad Men and its era which leaves you with Asos referencing Prada referencing Mad Men referencing the late 50s-early 60s. Phew!

None of these references are shiny shiny new but I think that is nice. Great ideas, be they in academia, art or fashion, should have more than a three month life span. These ideas and images, characters and colours, have stayed with me, maturing unhurriedly in my sometimes hectic mind. The initial adrenaline fuelled hit of lust has deepened into love. I still think that Joan's costumes and Miuccia's collection and Grace's 'Sweater Girl' editorial are just as wonderful, if not more so, than when I first saw them. Basically, I'm thrilled that Asos are remembering and referencing back 18 months and 50-60 years. Bring on slow fashion!

Asos / Joan @ Say your Right Words / Asos / US Vogue Sep 10

Gosh, there are some beautiful women and clothes here. I would like to be/wear them all!

Chuck x


  1. Nice post and referencing. I'm rather taken with the asos jumper in the raspberry colour and the skirt is verrry Joan! x

  2. Well, I think ASOS is just taking inspiration from the catwalks which are overloaded with chunky knitwear, new length pensil skirts, and 40s and 60s inspired looks. I think this is one of my favourite fashions seasons ever because I love each and every trend so much.
    And as always, your writing is just so beautiful..

  3. very few women can look good in a red dress like that one... have a great weekend!

  4. ohh I love ASOS and mad men clothing style, it so chic!

  5. agreed- i think a lot of this season keeps and works well with the mad men era obsessing from last year, and i'm glad it's staying put. the jumper and editorial are great spots! x