Friday Fashion Throwback

Yves Saint Laurent, French Fashion Designer, French Couturier, Vanessa Voegele-Downing,, women in suits, women in trouser suits, models, Loulou de La Falaise

Yves Saint Laurent, Marita and Me.

Yves Saint Laurent gentle genius, is the reason that I ever took a plane alone to Paris in search of work and wonderment. Yves Saint Laurent was my first casting thirty minutes after I arrived in my agency. Yves Saint Laurent saw something in the very nervous, overawed and underprepared, freckled and frizzy redhead and pressed ‘go’ on my modelling career. The next day I was being photographed on a great big building site that’s now know as ‘Les Halles’ wearing velvet knickerbockers and a hat with a plume and feeling on top of the world. Merci Monsieur.

Give or take the hats and the shape of the heels, the french phrase ‘Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose’ springs to mind.

Yves Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane, The Black Hole.

‘A la’ Yves Saint Laurent ( personal protest, use of full YSL name ) and reaction to their Instagram shutdown of all posts pertaining to H Slimane’s there, I have no images today. My mental image though, is that of thought control, implemented from the CEO throne room at the court of YSL, by eradicating all traces of Instagram imagery posted during Hedi Slimane’s tenure. Are we lost in the crossfire of some bitch fight? is this the very bitter end of a love affair that was actually only ever based on decimal points? How do we feel about that? Are we ok about being so curated? Will the disappearance of these images help us to totally forget that Hedi was ever there? Will those of us that bought some of his clothes whilst he was Creative Director feel like fools because our purchases are now considered a mistake and an aberration by YSL? Examining the ever so slightly megalomaniac leaning of this action, should we thank our lucky stars that, despite the conveyor belt through put of disposable designers, equalled only by the regularity with which Premier League football managers shuffle off their professional coil, any reference to the Yves Saint Laurent himself, has somehow dodged the cull and still remains? Although the ‘Yves’ part of the Saint Laurent was’t so lucky, was the erasing of the word ‘Yves’ a sort of ring fencing of that era, or acquiescing to a despotic Mr Slimane? How boring that not only do we have to be told the the mental state of each designer prior to them putting pen to drawing paper in order for us to understand why we should like something, thus eradicating any need for frivolous thoughts like ‘I like that colour’ Now we aren’t allowed to remember what people would prefer us to forget, and are becoming collateral damage of an argument that started off as a beautiful relationship… I’m talking about Yves Saint Laurent and his designs.

All That Glitters is Not Gold.


Monks metallic top, high necked metallic top, silver top, silver sequinned top,, MrsV, Vanessa Voegele-Downing

The sun’s out, and everything is shiny so is sharing a style find. Rushing around Carnaby Street on Friday I found this top at Monki  and bought it not in silver as shown, but in black, reduced from £30 to £8 in store, even though it says £15 from Asos. Loads still hanging there ( whats the matter???) It’s slightly tailored and made me get all Audrey Hepburn about myself, freckles and frizzy hair not withstanding… that is me Mrs V. I wore it under my Lee dungarees to the theatre. Nothing cultural, but a Soho venue and a day to evening situation developed. This top elevated an outfit that had pounded the streets with me by day, to ending up walking me down The Mall at 11pm by night.

metallic, Mango, short sleeved top, silver t shirt, round necked, pleated fabric


On a roll (neck) and supposing that not everyone wants a tailored top, but still wants their body crossed with silver, I suggest this ever so pretty pleated metallic t shirt from Mango. Mango launched their ‘Metallics’ collection last week and have featured Karlie Kloss modelling it. They’re not silly, she’s just a gorgeous girl, naturally flipping’ fabulous. Best not to dwell there, instead look at the message; shouty silver will do the job, nothing left for you to worry about, lipgloss or ‘stick if you fancy, and Glow from Topshop because I fancy . Now read on for news of your bottoms…

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Yves Saint Laurent and I (time travel Tuesday).

YSL, Yves Saint Laurent, haute couture, french designers, pret a porter, models, modelling


When I asked my London Agency, Laraine Ashton IMG, to arrange for me to spend some time in Paris, I had one thing on my mind, and one thing only. To work for YSL. I had wallpapered my bedroom with tear sheets from magazines, and most of these pages were of YSL clothes, or ads from YSL campaigns. My favourite of which is shown below. How beautiful is that model? It sort of encouraged me that she had a mass of really curly hair…Tick!
YSL, Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, perfume, scent, designer perfume, Francois Lamy


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Happy Christmas Me, Part 2.

I am so lucky and thankful to have so many wonderful things, most of them not tangible, so my Christmas list reflects little chinks in my wardrobe and on my dressing table.

Anyway, it’s good to have goals…


I’m as happy to mix designer and high street with jewellery as I am with clothes, which is good as I have much more fun like that and a far, far less restricted budget, although I do love real the jewellery classics, pearls, diamonds and platinum, but gilding the lily with fake fripperies is fun too. Thanks to Yves Saint Laurent and his inspirational accessories muse, Loulou de la Falaise, I’ve had the best masterclass in mix and match fake jewellery trickery ever. I have found fabulousness in the aisles of Mango, TOPSHOP, Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters this season. Go on, root around, pile it on and don’t wear the same stuff two days running. You can wear it wrapped all around your wrists, dangling from your ears and in many coils around your neck. Put it all on with your t shirt and jeans, your fake fur, your leather or pleather anything, and utterly everything else that you own. I love masses of things jangling around my wrists, and I always wear a man’s watch. Makes my wrists look skinny!

I have featured 3 pieces that I’d like to own and wear on the same day, together, anywhere with anything. Huge silver wedding band ( no law against masquerading fraudulently in it), from Tiffany and Co. Diamonds by the Yard pendant necklace, also from Tiffany and Co. And lastly I crave these asymmetric sparkly earrings, as worn by pointy toed Darcy Bussell on Strictly Come Dancing, earning a 10 out of 10 from me and a thank you to Zara

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