Fashion Shows

Fashion Flashback: Balenciaga Spring 2013

I, like everyone else who likes fashion (almost literally), love Nicolas Ghesquiere. I, also like many other, prefer his work at Balenciaga. Honestly, I like him at Louis Vuitton but there I feel that he has been tasked too much with creating a specific look and it’s getting slightly repetitive. You can see that there’s not as much buzz around the shows as there was a year or two ago – probably because it’s all about streetwear like Vetements/Demna, fashion’s current golden child, at Balenciaga.

For the Spring 2013 season, Ghesquiere presented a very safe but beautiful collection. It was clothes that would be worn, and honestly most of the looks are still relevant today, 5 years later (almost). For example, I remember seeing the opening look – the cross over, moulded bra top – and thinking I know this is going to sell, and now you still see girls wearing similar tops and you can still buy similar tops in stores now. The trickle down effect was so real on that item. Some people disliked the ruffles (too flamenco, they said) but I loved them. I’m partial to a ruffle. They’re flirty and feminine, yet I like how they were slightly toughened up by being in black with the contrasting colour underneath (often white or pink).

To me this collection was classic Ghesquiere. There were clean lines, minimalist details with little twists and slight architectural elements. The aforementioned coupled with the micro-mini proportions made for an interesting collection. To put this show back into context, this was the season that Raf presented his first ready-to-wear collection for Dior (highly anticipated) and Hedi’s first collection for (Yves) Saint Laurent, plus Marc Jacobs’ checkerboard escalator extravaganza for Louis Vuitton. Competition was high yet despite all of the noise, to me, Ghesquiere’s collection spoke the loudest. And it’s still influential today. That speaks volumes.

Fashion Flashback: Gucci Spring 2011

When I think of Gucci, I still think of Frida Giannini. I actually miss her designs. It’s so funny to me just how drastically different Gucci is under Alessandro Michele. It seems like a different brand. Frida’s Gucci was always more appealing to me, visually, but it seems that Michele’s designs are working commercially. Gucci is booming right now and has been for the past few years. Not only is it the it accessories brand at the moment but it’s designs are now uber trendy and coveted by all of the celebrities who matter. If you wear Gucci on the red carpet, you’re guaranteed a press mention somewhere (or everywhere). In my opinion, Beyonce and Harry Styles are the only people who wear the new Gucci well. Most people end up looking a little bit too librarian for me liking. Regardless, it’s selling so well.

I do often think of Gucci as an accessories brand, especially because most of the items that I’ve ever wanted from the brand have been in that category. I love their bags, especially the Soho totes, and the classic loafers that I believe everyone should own a pair of at least once in their lives (I’m not there yet). I even loved the fur trimmed loafers that Michele presented, even though they became such blogger bait that it became slightly embarrassing.

Regardless, it is Frida’s Gucci that I actually like. Of course, Tom Ford’s wins in all categories. It was he who made the brand what it is today. He revived it. He made it sexy. He made it shocking. He made it cool. Frida worked on the accessories under him and became creative director a few seasons after his departure. During her tenure at the brand, the sexy styles continued but things became a little bit less overt than what Tom had shown.

For the Spring 2011 season, color was big. The opening looks contrasted with the sleek black looks towards the end and are actually the styles that have endured. Images from this collection are still shared online 6 years later. The second look of the show, the purple twisted top with the orange pencil skirt (actually a dress) and golden belt, was worn by various celebrities at the time and made it into various editorials and even the ad campaign for the season. Jennifer Lawrence wore it on the cover of Flare Magazine and it’s actually my favorite look of hers, ever. You can buy this dress on 1stdibs just now for $3147. It was definitely the standout piece of the season. The reason that I love this piece so much is that it reminds me of the jewel toned outfit worn by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I have wanted to recreate that look ever since I seen the movie as a child.

 

Looking at the advertising for this season again so many years later, I’m feeling slightly nostalgic. I remember these images, tearing them out of magazines and sticking them up on my bedroom walls. That was my first real foray into fashion. I would collect images and stick them on my wall, eventually moving on to compile binders upon binders of images. I still have them at my parents house and I enjoy looking back on them every so often.

 

The reason that I loved this collection so much was the hark back to 70s glamour. Fashion photography at that time was at its peak, in my opinion. Chris von Wangenheim is my personal favorite and I adore his collection of images of Gia Carangi. Giannini noted his images, along with Guy Bourdin and others as the inspiration behind the collection, along with noting Marrakesh as a key destination. As a result of this, the color palette was vibrant and fun, the materials used were sumptuous and just looked luxurious, and the models just looked so good. Very Yves Saint Laurent but not in a derivative manner. I personally think that elements of this collection have influenced Olivier Rousteing’s work at Balmain. I adore it and I miss it. Long live glamour.

See images below

Chanel Metiers d’Art – Paris Cosmopolite

I cried when I watched this show. About 11 minutes in my eyes started to well up with tears. By the end I was bawling. For once I was actually thankful that I was just watching the show on YouTube in bed because that would’ve been hella embarrassing to do that in person. I’m so happy. I finally feel something towards fashion again. This show has reignited my love for all things fashion and actually made me excited about it again. I now remember why I love all this shit in the first place. It sounds so dumb but I’ve been feeling so uninspired recently, especially in terms of fashion, and I just feel like this has reignited my desire to be involved in this industry and just made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Fashion, to me, is about society. It does not exist in a vacuum and it is not just clothes. The mindset that I’ve had over the past few months is that it is just clothes and nothing more. I’ve found it all so dull and I’ve found clothes in general very boring. I felt so lost. Now I feel found. I cannot articulate myself very well right now because the matter is so personal to me and links back to things that happened years ago, but what I will say is that this is not the first Chanel show to save me when I needed it most. Fashion is no joke people.

To me, this show was about the separation between women and girls. That’s what it made me think about. How some females, regardless of age, will always be girls and how others will be women. What’s the difference and how do you make the transition? I feel a little bit like the main character in the movie 13 Going on 30 right now, in the flashback scenes when she is desperate to be “thirty, flirty, and thriving”. That’s how I feel in a way, because it means I’ll finally be a woman. I actually can’t wait to be a real adult and have real adult responsibilities again. This is something that I’ve really struggled to wrap my head around when coming back from working full time to attending college full time. Currently I’m just a student and nothing else and it’s very strange to me. It has given me so much time to think about things.

What made the difference between the women and the girls so pronounced to me was the age of some of the models. I wondered why there were 16 year olds walking in the show. This isn’t something that has ever bothered me before today but I just thought about it and I can’t make sense of it. If the target customer of Chanel is a mature adult, why would a teenager wear the clothes on the runway? A lot of the models, whilst beautiful and striking, looked a little bit like they were playing dress-up. It was funny to me. It just showed that the clothes were made for sophisticated women and not girls. With the whole Instagram age, I feel like people are girls for so much longer. It all comes down to the way we dress, and more importantly, the deformalisation of dress. Casual wear is king. I cannot count the number of women I see wearing leggings as pants or exercise gear just as a regular outfit. It makes sense given that athleisure is such a huge category now.

There is no such thing as turning a certain age and becoming a woman now. I think it 100% comes down to the way you carry yourself, and to me a huge part of that is the way you dress. I often find myself gravitating towards items that I know are too old for me. I’ve actually made a huge effort to dress younger since I’m back in college. It’s working, a little bit. I don’t want to ever look like I’m trying to be older than I am (although I do often forget how young I am). I would love to be regarded as a woman, however. I know that I won’t be. I know that when people look at me they will see a girl, which is why I know the Chanel collection isn’t really for me (well, the majority of it). Karl creates outfits that are made for an older consumer but puts them on young girls. Honestly, somethings actually look really great on the models. It all comes down to the way the model walks and how confident and comfortable she appears to be in the outfit. Liu Wen looked perfect, for example.

I had so much to say about this topic but most of it was just random incoherent ramblings. Honestly, I am so thankful for this show. It has made me think about more than clothes. For instance, the coming of age of women. I know I didn’t go into much detail about this but it is something that is on my mind. I’m considering actually writing a further post on this and exploring it in more depth if I can manage to articulate myself in a better way. My brain is all over the place at the moment because I’m just feeling so inspired at the moment. We shall see.

In terms of the actual clothing, I liked a lot of it. As I’ve said in previous posts, Chanel is very hit or miss for me. I often find it over-styled (similar to Prada) or too mature for my liking. When it comes to the pre-season collections, Karl seems to always hit it out the park. (Is that a real phrase?) I like how you see the work of all of the little ateliers that come together to create the collections. For example, the embellishments were really quite stunning. Lily-Rose Depp wore a fantastic look. Actually, both of the looks she wore were stunning. I loved the tulle straps on the black dress. It was very old Hollywood. Karl said this collection was inspired by the elegant women who visited the Ritz over the decades and for that reason you couldn’t put a set time frame on the clothes. I liked that. I honestly think that the clothes were so old Hollywood glamour that they didn’t look completely modern, but that was the appeal. I miss the old way of dressing. I often wish that I was alive during that time period just to have experienced the excitement of it all (minus all of the terrible events that happened like wars, disenfranchisement of women, minorities etc.). I guess at the time it wouldn’t have been exciting, just like ripped jeans aren’t exciting in this day and age. I wonder if in 75 years time people will wish they were alive in the 2010s?

Finally, the set of the show was a dream. It’s funny because normally for these shows Chanel travels to some far flung location and creates a collection based on that location, using it as an inspiration (sometimes veering into an appropriation level). This time, they stayed in Paris. Instead of being inspired by a specific location, Karl was inspired by the travelers who came from other locations around the world to Paris, specifically to the Ritz. Everyone knows that the Ritz is the epitome of style and luxury. When you’re getting glam and stylish, you’re “putting on the Ritz”. That’s exactly what this collection was about. 100%. Also, the dancing models and the level of audience interaction was so fun. It felt very much like an old salon style couture presentation mixed in with a Pat Cleveland style runway jaunt. I’m inspired. I’m happy. Thank you Karl for making me so happy again. I genuinely appreciate it.

Chanel Metiers d'Art – Paris Cosmopolite

I cried when I watched this show. About 11 minutes in my eyes started to well up with tears. By the end I was bawling. For once I was actually thankful that I was just watching the show on YouTube in bed because that would’ve been hella embarrassing to do that in person. I’m so happy. I finally feel something towards fashion again. This show has reignited my love for all things fashion and actually made me excited about it again. I now remember why I love all this shit in the first place. It sounds so dumb but I’ve been feeling so uninspired recently, especially in terms of fashion, and I just feel like this has reignited my desire to be involved in this industry and just made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Fashion, to me, is about society. It does not exist in a vacuum and it is not just clothes. The mindset that I’ve had over the past few months is that it is just clothes and nothing more. I’ve found it all so dull and I’ve found clothes in general very boring. I felt so lost. Now I feel found. I cannot articulate myself very well right now because the matter is so personal to me and links back to things that happened years ago, but what I will say is that this is not the first Chanel show to save me when I needed it most. Fashion is no joke people.

To me, this show was about the separation between women and girls. That’s what it made me think about. How some females, regardless of age, will always be girls and how others will be women. What’s the difference and how do you make the transition? I feel a little bit like the main character in the movie 13 Going on 30 right now, in the flashback scenes when she is desperate to be “thirty, flirty, and thriving”. That’s how I feel in a way, because it means I’ll finally be a woman. I actually can’t wait to be a real adult and have real adult responsibilities again. This is something that I’ve really struggled to wrap my head around when coming back from working full time to attending college full time. Currently I’m just a student and nothing else and it’s very strange to me. It has given me so much time to think about things.

What made the difference between the women and the girls so pronounced to me was the age of some of the models. I wondered why there were 16 year olds walking in the show. This isn’t something that has ever bothered me before today but I just thought about it and I can’t make sense of it. If the target customer of Chanel is a mature adult, why would a teenager wear the clothes on the runway? A lot of the models, whilst beautiful and striking, looked a little bit like they were playing dress-up. It was funny to me. It just showed that the clothes were made for sophisticated women and not girls. With the whole Instagram age, I feel like people are girls for so much longer. It all comes down to the way we dress, and more importantly, the deformalisation of dress. Casual wear is king. I cannot count the number of women I see wearing leggings as pants or exercise gear just as a regular outfit. It makes sense given that athleisure is such a huge category now.

There is no such thing as turning a certain age and becoming a woman now. I think it 100% comes down to the way you carry yourself, and to me a huge part of that is the way you dress. I often find myself gravitating towards items that I know are too old for me. I’ve actually made a huge effort to dress younger since I’m back in college. It’s working, a little bit. I don’t want to ever look like I’m trying to be older than I am (although I do often forget how young I am). I would love to be regarded as a woman, however. I know that I won’t be. I know that when people look at me they will see a girl, which is why I know the Chanel collection isn’t really for me (well, the majority of it). Karl creates outfits that are made for an older consumer but puts them on young girls. Honestly, somethings actually look really great on the models. It all comes down to the way the model walks and how confident and comfortable she appears to be in the outfit. Liu Wen looked perfect, for example.

I had so much to say about this topic but most of it was just random incoherent ramblings. Honestly, I am so thankful for this show. It has made me think about more than clothes. For instance, the coming of age of women. I know I didn’t go into much detail about this but it is something that is on my mind. I’m considering actually writing a further post on this and exploring it in more depth if I can manage to articulate myself in a better way. My brain is all over the place at the moment because I’m just feeling so inspired at the moment. We shall see.

In terms of the actual clothing, I liked a lot of it. As I’ve said in previous posts, Chanel is very hit or miss for me. I often find it over-styled (similar to Prada) or too mature for my liking. When it comes to the pre-season collections, Karl seems to always hit it out the park. (Is that a real phrase?) I like how you see the work of all of the little ateliers that come together to create the collections. For example, the embellishments were really quite stunning. Lily-Rose Depp wore a fantastic look. Actually, both of the looks she wore were stunning. I loved the tulle straps on the black dress. It was very old Hollywood. Karl said this collection was inspired by the elegant women who visited the Ritz over the decades and for that reason you couldn’t put a set time frame on the clothes. I liked that. I honestly think that the clothes were so old Hollywood glamour that they didn’t look completely modern, but that was the appeal. I miss the old way of dressing. I often wish that I was alive during that time period just to have experienced the excitement of it all (minus all of the terrible events that happened like wars, disenfranchisement of women, minorities etc.). I guess at the time it wouldn’t have been exciting, just like ripped jeans aren’t exciting in this day and age. I wonder if in 75 years time people will wish they were alive in the 2010s?

Finally, the set of the show was a dream. It’s funny because normally for these shows Chanel travels to some far flung location and creates a collection based on that location, using it as an inspiration (sometimes veering into an appropriation level). This time, they stayed in Paris. Instead of being inspired by a specific location, Karl was inspired by the travelers who came from other locations around the world to Paris, specifically to the Ritz. Everyone knows that the Ritz is the epitome of style and luxury. When you’re getting glam and stylish, you’re “putting on the Ritz”. That’s exactly what this collection was about. 100%. Also, the dancing models and the level of audience interaction was so fun. It felt very much like an old salon style couture presentation mixed in with a Pat Cleveland style runway jaunt. I’m inspired. I’m happy. Thank you Karl for making me so happy again. I genuinely appreciate it.

Fashion Flashback: Lanvin Fall 2006

When I was typing my initial thoughts on this collection I put “Playboy bunny bow ties mixed with tailoring, bubble hems and satin, tulle and ruffles”. I stand by my thoughts. I’d call it moody ballet chic, which works for me given that Lanvin makes the most beautiful and cushioned ballet flats ever. I like the dark colour palette used in this collection because I think it contrasts with the girly nature of the clothes. The light, sheer tulles and feminine shapes work because of the dark colours, not in spite of, in my opinion. To me, this collection is what I think of as sexy. The plunging necklines are accentuated by silky bows around the neck. Honestly though, I think this collection looks very of its time. I’m going to pin that on the satin.

This collection is what I think of when I think of Alber. I kind of miss him. I was never the biggest fan – Lanvin wasn’t one of the shows that I’d specifically look out for on the calendar – but I appreciate his work and it’s consistency. I think it’s weird that he is gone, especially because he seemed to be so popular with critics, consumers, and generally everyone in fashion (apart from Abbey Lee Kershaw…). I hope he finds a new post soon, one of a similar calibre where he can show off his skills.

.

 

 

Fashion Flashback: Gucci Fall 1996

Tom Ford’s Gucci is associated with sex. That’s the key word that people always use to describe his work at the house, and can you blame them? Button down shirts unbuttoned all the way down, floor length furs, shirts and dresses cut down to the naval were all staples of his era. There were also pant suits with pinstripes and some nice overcoats. However, they were paired with the aforementioned shirts. Everything was sexed up. It worked. In a time where models were critcised for not being sexy, Tom Ford dressed them in a way that may have looked too much on the 80s supers.

Models like Kate Moss, Kirsty Hume, and Jodie Kidd all walked in this show, each wearing multiple looks and looking great in each and every one of them. The most iconic pieces from this collection were the Halston-esque white jersey dresses at the end. They were almost understated with random cut outs that were much more risque at the time than they are now.  The campaign images, on the other hand, are still fairly shocking now because of just how suggestive they are.

I feel like Tom’s Gucci collections have got less and less shocking as time goes by, purely because almost everything has been done now. We are desensitised to nudity and sex because it is commonplace. Fashion has perhaps gone as far as it can. Whilst Tom’s looks were boundary pushing at the time, they’re fairly tame for nowadays. In this collection in particular there are no micro minis and the models are actually covered up. Of course, Tom did do collections that were more like what I just described also (Spring 2003 in particular) but this one was actually fairly tame, despite the shock it caused.

Fashion Flashback: Prada Fall 2005

Prada released their entire archives online sometime last year. When I first looked at it I was in heaven. Prada has always been one of my favourite brands. Ever since I knew there was such a thing as luxury, I knew Prada. I’ve always wanted to buy into that lifestyle. This collection is one that I could’ve purchased an entire wardrobe from and is actually one of my favourites in the brand’s history. It is stripped back and wearable, not like the sometimes overstyled collections we see nowadays. I still adore Prada and gravitate towards the pieces when I see them in editorials or in stores but I do often feel a little overwhelmed by the runway show’s styling.

 

The collection is as close to minimalism as Prada can be and is full of pieces that would work on a day to day basis. Being devoid of bright colours and wild prints brings an entirely different feel to this brand. In fact, I find it very Max Mara. Some may find that slightly insulting as not everybody sees the two brands as standing on the same level but I love them perhaps just as much as each other. For one, they’re both luxurious, glamorous Italian brands, although Prada is just more kooky.

I know I mention this with almost every mid-2000s collection that I post, but I just adore the models. I wish models nowadays were cut from the same cloth as Sasha Pivovarova and Freja Beha. Mid 2000s models have received a somewhat cult following on websites like Tumblr and I have to admit that I am one of the fans. I wonder who, out of the current batch of girls, will stick out from shows in 10 years time like these girls do. I think the anonymity of the older models helped their career longevity. You didn’t get sick of a model the same way you do now. Plus, they didn’t have social media (which can both make and break a girl – e.g. Gigi Hadid versus Ondria Hardin).

Fashion Flashback: Jil Sander Fall 2012

Who doesn’t love Raf Simons? Even if it takes you a while to come around to him and his designs, I think everyone can agree that he is one of the most talented designers out there at the moment (and of the past 10 years, at least). He can do menswear and womenswear, and his own name brand has an almost cult-like following, being featured on Highsnobiety near daily.

In celebration of his first collection for Calvin Klein, the brand that he now designs for, along with his right-hand man from Dior, Pieter Mulier, I decided to look back at his last ever collection for Jil Sander. This is what I think of when I hear the name Raf Simons and I think his time at Jil Sander was probably better than his time at Dior. Let’s hope his first season at Calvin Klein is a good one!

 

Fashion Flashback: Givenchy Fall 2007 Couture

Clockwise from left – Jessica Stam in American Vogue, From Runway, Nicki Minaj on Grammys red carpet

I recently stumbled across the image of Jessica Stam with the giraffe on Tumblr. All I could think, besides what a fantastic photograph, was that I recognised that outfit. Almost immediately I remembered Nicki Minaj wearing the look at the Grammys in 2011. I remember waiting up until midnight to see what she was wearing, watching Live from the Red Carpet on E!, and tweeting about it afterwards. At the time I was a super fan so that kind of behaviour was expected. Anyway, seeing the image of Stam made me look into the collection, Fall 2007 Couture. In 2007 I was 9 years old. I will not even lie to you and pretend I remember seeing this come down the runway. I do not recall that. In fact, in 2007 I was still obsessing over Paris and Nicole. I probably didn’t even know what Givenchy was. However, since I enjoy looking back at older collections now, I’ve been browsing for images and videos from the show. I have to say, I really enjoyed the collection. I like when Riccardo Tisci does couture. It is fun.

Some other pieces from the collection which I particularly enjoyed were all of the leopard looks (animal print is practically a neutral), the feathered jackets, and the liberal use of fur. I feel this collection was very Cruella de Vil in the most glamorous way. Riccardo Tisci also played with peplums and tailoring, something that is now perhaps a classic from him. We’ve come to expect a great blazer from Givenchy, a perfectly fitting pair of pants. Honestly, the outfit in the images above is definitely my favourite with the pale ombre leopard coming in a close second. I don’t know if it is because I’ve seen it styled off-the-runway (that often helps) but I really do love it, even with the hat.

Apologies for the slightly grainy images below, I couldn’t find HQs.

Couture Highlights – Fall 2016

Couture week has come and gone once again, and this time around I had actually completely forgotten about it. I feel like we just had fashion week (the past few months have flown by, seriously) so when I began seeing images of models walking the Fendi show at the Trevi Fountain all over Instagram I realised that I was missing something. Now that I’m finally catching up on everything it is all over. I missed all the fun.

Instead of doing a super drawn out post, I’m going to keep this one short. I’ll just say a few lines about each show. I’m probably going to stick to my usual format come fashion week in September but for now I think that less will be more, especially since couture is (sadly) less important than ready-to-wear in the broader sense. Anyway, read my thoughts below:

Chanel – The set was awesome and I loved the concept of bringing the atelier to the people. The whole focus of haute couture should be on the workmanship and the great human effort that goes into creating these pieces. That being said, I did find the collection slightly boring. The clothes weren’t extraoridinary and I really didn’t like the make up look. However, I really loved this dress and this suit.

Elie Saab – It was pretty as usual but everything about the show has lost its impact on me, unfortunately. I feel like I have seen a million of the beautiful embellished/embroidered gowns in the past so that when I see one now it is not as breathtaking as it may have once been. A boring position to be in, I know. Maybe if I actually seen one in person I’d have more to say. I did love this first look with the over the top jewels and the velvet. Very eighties in the best way possible. However, the second look I’ve inserted below reminded me a little too much of the vintage Dior look that Rihanna wore a few months ago but in a different colour – linked.

Maison Margiela – I loved the beauty at this show. Also, I know pretty probably wasn’t the point of the entire show but I loved this particular look, mainly because it looks like she was frolicking in a fountain.

Jean Paul Gaultier – I am obsessed with this dress. Imagine it in a paler colour for a wedding.

Vetements – Not technically couture but still on the schedule, Vetements presented yet another buzzy collection. There were some really low key looks that were just styled well, and I think that may be the crux of their brand – it’s all down to the styling. The look below was nice and easy to recreate. 

Fendi – The most breathtaking, stand-out locations to stage a fashion show, perhaps in my lifetime. If they were looking to be the most Instagrammed show of the week, I think they hands down won. Who could blame the attendees? The images were incredible.

Dior – Actually nice, wearable clothes but not worth couture standards. I know that brands find it elegant to do day wear in couture but is it worth paying those prices for rather simple clothing? Or if you have money for couture do you really not care? I’m interested to see how things change under the new creative director. I miss Raf.

Pretty but slightly Zara/Mango?

Ulyana Sergeenko – There were a few really nice pieces but found the streetwear influence a little off. It didn’t seem in line with the brand. The y reminded me of the off-white polo necks. The Vetements effect is real y’all. I did really love this coat though (third photo down).

Guo Pei – I found this spectacular.  It took me back to the late 80s/early 90s, before minimalism, when the supermodels still reigned supreme. It was a nice feeling. To me, this dress (below) could’ve easily been Gianfranco Ferre for Dior, or even Galliano in his Egyptian themed collection, it just gave me that kind of feels!

Versace – This didn’t look like Versace initially. I see what Donatella meant about the focus on draping. The first look reminded me of Ulyana Sergeenko a little bit. 

Alexandre Vaulthier – This was actually my favourite collection of the entire season. There are very few pieces that I don’t like. 

Armani Prive – I really liked this dress. The velvet looks sumptuous.