Tag: Balenciaga

Weekly Words: April 22nd 2017

“Calvin Klein Women’s Underwear Campaign Spring 2017”

Calvin Klein has released the women’s campaign for the underwear line, the second set of ads to come out under Raf Simons. Sticking to the brand heritage direction that Simons has taken since starting his new role, this campaign draws back to the 90s style of black and white imagery that Calvin Klein was known for. Sofia Coppola shot an age diverse cast of models for a video, followed by a series of short interviews where they reveal a moment or a fact. For example, in one of Kristen Dunst’s videos she talks about being insecure about her teeth then growing to love them. The videos are all available to watch on Calvin Klein’s YouTube channel, featuring the tagline “Calvin Klein, or nothing at all”: suggestive, with a double meaning, and similar to the infamous & paraphrased nothing between me and my Calvins said by Brooke Shields in the 80s.

Balenciaga’s $2,145 bag is just like Ikea’s 99 cent tote” – CNN

For sale at Barneys

In another classic case of “is this a joke or not?”, Balenciaga has retailed a bag costing over 2k that looks exactly like the industrial-style totes you can buy at Ikea for a dollar but this time made of leather. The CNN article, along with countless others, has brought the bag to international attention. I feel like the writer of the article may not know that Demna Gvasalia, the Creative Director of Balenciaga, also designs for Vetements as in the article they state: “In the age of high-fashion brands recreating cheap favorites — Vetements’ recreations of Hanes T-shirts for $740, for example — Balenciaga may just be jumping on the bandwagon.”

I personally think that selling this bag for the price they are is ridiculous, but I also understand that it is just a publicity stunt intended to generate buzz. Perhaps a few influencers will be spotted wearing it on Instagram but apart from that I think the aim is more so to bring attention to the Balenciaga brand. Also, Demna Gvasalia is someone who has fun with fashion and likes to poke fun at the industry in a way. This bag could be an inside joke, just like the DHL t-shirt was at Vetements (made because they used DHL messengers so frequently when they were shipping orders).

“Inside #RevolveFestival, An Influencer-Filled Weekend That Dominated the Coachella Party Scene” – Fashionista

I spoke a lot about Coachella last week in preparation for the first weekend of the festival and I’ve honestly found it fascinating to read the coverage of the event afterwards. It seemed that Coachella was very much an influencer focused event this year with little attention on the music and plenty of shine on the outfits and parties. In fact, I probably seen more Instagrams from #HotelRevolve at #RevolveFestival than I did from people actually at Coachella. This article from Fashionista takes us inside the various events held by Revolve over the festival weekend and details the guests, the perks, and the happenings inside the parties. It seems that celebrities got lots of free stuff (of course) and extra special performances from musicians. The main point of these types of events, held by various brands during Coachella in venues outside of the festival grounds, is to generate publicity and, in turn, sales. However, the actual link between these events and sales is not yet proven with concrete evidence but judging by how much money brands sink into hosting these events plus the grand scale of them, I’m guessing it pays off. Read the article linked for further details on how the sponsored events work and also if you have a spare hour listen to this podcast from Fashionista which discusses Coachella and the whole sponsored festival dynamic in greater detail.

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.

Shopping Find: Balenciaga VS Zara

The Vetements effect is real people, evidenced by the wide array of puffer jackets in stores and the styling of them to look exactly like the Balenciaga offerings that Demna Gvasalia sent down the runway. When you go into Zara on Fifth Avenue you’re actually confronted with a mannequin wearing their version of the coat, zipped up in the same way as the Balenciaga one with the wide lapels and slight triangular shape. I’m not sure how I feel about this jacket (the expensive or inexpensive version).

I generally hate puffer jackets. I don’t like things that add extra bulk to my frame and that’s exactly what a quilted jacket does. However, I do understand that they’re super warm and given the winter that we’re supposedly set to have in New York, perhaps the added bulk would be welcome. Honestly, I’m going to buy a parka and hate my appearance so much in it but at least I’ll be cosy.

On the runway
On the runway

The Balenciaga jacket is extremely expensive, in my opinion, for what it is made of. Its 100% Polyester (lining and outer) and, as far as I can see, there’s no mention of down filling. The Zara jacket is also polyester but with 70% grey duck down, 30% feather filling.

SHOP ONLINE
Balenciaga – $3250 (preorder)
Zara – $149 (there is also a different style in store I think)

Fashion Flashback: Balenciaga Spring 2003

Instead of going for a traditional show video, I chose this Fashion File by Tim Blanks – a show that he used to do years and years ago. It mixes clips from the show with interviews with the likes of Anna Wintour and Ghesquiere himself. I found this informational as well as fun to watch.

I find Nicolas Ghesquiere so interesting, purely because so few designers are as influential and remain so for so long. This show is over 10 years old, yet Ghesquiere has the same power to mould fashion now as he did then. Take his first 60s-inspired collection for Louis Vuitton; the 60s was pushed as a big trend and was in all of the fast fashion retailers a matter of months later.

I found his use of the scuba fabric interesting as it sticks tight to the body. The plunging necklines of the bodysuits and the mini dress have made a major comeback in 2015 with lots of designers showing them on the runways (Balmain and Alexandre Vaulthier, particularly) and similar bodysuits being available at almost every instagram boutique and stores like Boohoo and Missguided. Finally, the subtle ruching on the sides of some of the dresses is perhaps even more popular today than it was then.

I feel that this show has definitely stood the test of time as a lot of what he’s shown here could still be worn today. I’d be a Ghesquiere girl then, and I’d still be one now. My favourite looks are below:

 

See full collection here.


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Designer Bags Worth Buying

A handbag is really important. So much so that people often pose the question of “are you a shoes or a bags girl?”. To answer it simply, I’m shoes. I’m crazy over them. I have way to many pairs in relation to how many feet I have and also how many occasions I have to wear them too (including a few really impractical ones that I cannot walk more than a few steps in). Bags, on the other hand, are different for me. I usually buy one and keep it until it is completely ruined – straps snapped, material worn, a misshapen mess. I also always have a bag that is way to big, purely because I like to carry a bottle of water with me everywhere I go. I could have some really nice looking smaller bags if only I’d sacrifice my water. Anyway, in the spirit of keeping bags for a long time, I view a high quality bag as an investment. Less likely to get worn out than shoes, a bag can last a lifetime if you treat it well and purchase a high quality one to begin with. I also feel like bags are less vulnerable to trends than shoes are so I’ve compiled a list of what I’d class as good investment bags (basically a bunch of designer bags that I wouldn’t say no to) that I think would actually be worth buying. See below for my picks where I’ve inserted links to the sites where possible:

Prada

I have two from Prada. The first is the nylon backpack – the item that made the brand famous (£705). I feel like this is just an iconic fashion item that would be worth buying if you could. It is functional yet still looks cool, especially if you’re going for a sports-luxe look. Alternatively, I suggest the saffiano tote (yes, the leather that every other designer has copied since) which is known for its durability due to scratches being virtually unable to show up (£1325). I’d probably just buy black in both of these styles.

Gucci

Although Gucci is going through a renaissance at the moment, the brand still sells some classic styles that I think can stand the test of time, regardless of the image that the brand is projecting at that current time. First I’d suggest the Soho Hobo (£1210). This is one that I style looks with on Polyvore all the time because it goes with so much. I really like the Rose Beige leather version but the black is just as nice. What makes it better is that it has a shoulder strap too which is always handy. If you want something a little more interesting, I really like the new Boston bag (£1030). The style is one which they’ve been making for years with the classic monogram print but they have also recently introduced (I think) a black leather style which I like. It has the stripes around the bag which make you realise it is Gucci yet it is a bit more low key than full on patterns.

Altuzarra 

Only making his accessories debut two seasons ago, Altuzarra is offering some really strong saddle bags in various colours. The Ghianda bag is the one I’d buy ($2995, exclusive to Barneys); I’d opt for black just so I could get maximum use out of it and I think I’d go for the smaller size too. I like the braided strap and also the fact that this could perhaps be worn cross-body if you wanted to. I’ve been thinking about the cross-body look a lot more recently and I think I might try it out again. I haven’t worn a bag that way for years but I think given the right size it can look a lot better than just dangling off one shoulder. You just need to make sure that whatever you’re wearing on the top half isn’t too fussy.

Saint Laurent

I love Saint Laurent bags. They’re probably one of my most used on Polyvore and I think I’d carry one every day if I could. I particularly like the matelasse styles with the YSL buckle. I think it looks really slick. There are three bags I like the best and they’re basically just the same one but in different sizes (£885, £1680, and £1590). I’d choose the Powder colour as it is such a pretty nude. Very versatile, non?

Givenchy

Although I like the bag, I feel that the Antigona has become a bit cliche and perhaps overexposed. For that reason I wouldn’t suggest that as a keep forever bag as it has become a trend piece. However, I love the Nightingale tote in all it’s slouchy goodness (£1245). I think it is one of those bags where you can stuff it full of everything you’d ever need to carry and it would still zip up. The calfskin is so soft too. It is just a really nice bag and I feel like I wouldn’t be afraid to carry this around with me in day-to-day life for fear of ruining because it already looks a little lived in when you buy it. Like fine wine and J.Lo, it can only get better with age.

Chanel

Instead of the classic quilted style that I used to dream about as a kid, I’ve really taken a liking to the Boy Bag recently. I think Nicki Minaj sporting one of every possible style has brought them to my attention and I’m now starting to think that the shape is rather interesting. You get it in a lot of different styles, changing every season, but I think to be safe (especially due to the price) I’d just buy a black one. At an eye-watering £2710, it is far too much money to spend on something that risks being passe just a few months later.

 

 

Balenciaga

I don’t really like the infamous Motorcycle bags, they’re too 2000s for me. Iconic, yes, but to me they don’t feel very modern nor do they feel timeless. The image of the likes of Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton (my original heroines) carrying them is very much ingrained in my mind and I associate them with a very specific time period. However, I do really like the Papier A4 tote (£1345). I’ve chosen this black suede version too as I love suede so much (I’ve literally bought three different suede items this month). If you had to push me to buy a motorcycle bag, I’d take the City in suede too (£1035).

That’s my list then. A brand noticeably missing, to me, is Celine. The reason for this being that the bags are quite difficult to come across online. However, I do love the Tie tote and the Belt tote, and I like the Trio cross-body but having seen these in person I feel that they’re both impractical and quite a security risk (the outer sections are just popped on with metal studs so a pick-pocketer could easily just grab an entire section of your bag).

I really like the bags that Donatella showed on the catwalk this fashion week at Versace. It is a brand whose bags I usually ignore but I really liked a few that she showed. If I’d been making this list come March, one of them would’ve likely featured too.

Fashion Flashback: Balenciaga Fall 2013

Amidst rumours surrounding Alexander Wang’s departure from Balenciaga last month, I thought it would be a good time to throwback to his first collection for the brand. Wang’s appointment has always been slightly controversial. I have to say that I’m a fan of him, both his work for his own brands and Balenciaga, but I know that a lot of people are not. They say he doesn’t have the range or the talent to design for his own brands and a house as big and famed as Balenciaga. It didn’t help that he was following in Nicolas Ghesqueire’s footsteps – he’s a hard act to follow.

However, even looking at the first collection, I don’t think Wang has done a bad job. He tried to go back to the house’s DNA, something that designers taking over a fashion brand often do (think Raf Simons at Dior), but he has slightly strayed from that in the collections that have followed. To be honest, I understand why some people don’t like his work for Balenciaga. There was one season that I didn’t even care about it, Fall 2014 I think.

Anyway, this may not be the most groundbreaking collection, nor will it be one of Wang’s most remembered collection, but I did think it was one to consider, especially if it might be one of Wang’s few for the house. And hey, maybe his critics are right. Perhaps he should stick to his New York aesthetic. Either way, I love Alexander Wang. View the full collection hereRead more

This Season’s Trends Explained: Spring 2015

Back when the season was Spring 2015, I made a post on how to wear the trends of the season. Looking back on it, the post was rubbish, awful, terrible – any adjective meaning the same thing applies to it. I skipped out making one for the Fall/Winter 2014 season, purely because I forgot about it, but this season it is back and hopefully a million times better than before. I think my issue last time around was that I identified trends that I didn’t necessarily like myself and/or include any runway images to back up my points. Now as of the time of writing (mid-December), the new season collections aren’t yet in stores nor have the high street stores started offering their own takes so this post is really just predictions. Trends are literally created by agencies and by fashion magazine editors: any common thread between all the shows at fashion week creates a trend. As consumers, we can only buy what is on offer meaning that these editors, agencies and, when it comes down to it, designers have great power in determining what we all will wear. Now instead of explaining the concept of trends, something that I discussed in further detail in a post last year, I am going to get ahead and offer you what I have noticed as being the biggest trends emerging for the upcoming season. I’m going to do it a little bit differently this time, separating everything into 5 distinct categories: colours, prints, materials, vibes and styling tips. Hopefully this will break things down further so instead of attacking a trend head-on and looking like a bit of a disaster, there are ways to do things in a subtle manner and in a way that everybody can try.

COLOURS

  • Army Green – Army green, or khaki, is a colour that is always prevalent on runways and is a staple in all wardrobes. This season it cropped up on the runways of the likes of Gucci, Chanel & Jason Wu. There is usually a sort-of military vibe that comes along with this colour but there are many ways to wear it without looking like you’re in the armed forces. Take Jason Wu’s suede dress with the plunging neckline or the belted trench coat from the same collection that made the colour look completely vamped up.
  • Yellow – Sunshine is a key component of summer so clearly yellow would be a no-brainer for this season. Yellow can be a tricky colour to pull off depending on your skin tone but fortunately there is a shade to suit all; it just usually takes a lot of mistakes to find the perfect one. My personal favourite yellow piece from the catwalk is Cushnie et Ochs’ stunning gold toned dress with the draped silk bodice: the colour popped with Shanina Shaik’s skin. Yellow could also be found at Balmain, Diane von Furstenberg, David Koma and ZAC Zac Posen.
  • Ballerina Pink – You know that pale, near white shade of pink? The one so beautiful and feminine that you cannot help but love it? I am somebody that wears black every day without fail but I have a soft spot for this colour purely because it makes one look ethereal. Picture it on the catwalks in the form of flowing dresses and skirts, flared trousers and flimsy fabrics. Seen mainly at Narciso Rodriguez, BCBG Max Azria and Alberta Ferretti, it is coincidental that these three shows turned out to be among my most favourites?

 PRINTS

  • Gingham – The classic check, often synonymous with tablecloths or Brigitte Bardot, is back. To be honest, it has never really left. Almost every summertime it comes back around, probably because it brings ideas of sunshine and picnics with it. The pattern was seen most prominently at Diane von Furstenberg who used many different colours of the well-loved print in many different ways – my personal favourite was the gingham trousers, you can get a similar pair from missguided.com just now (linked).
  • Polka Dots – A print that is commonly associated with children or kitsch house decorations has been spotted on quite a few runways. Differing in size and colours, my favourite versions were at Dolce & Gabbana. They were interestingly incorporated into designs, mixed in with florals, lace and mesh.
  • Florals – Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking”. The infamous quote from The Devil Wears Prada is so apt and so telling. It is true that literally every summer season, florals are around. It is totally unoriginal and slightly unimaginative to highlight them as a trend but really, they are impossible to ignore. From classic rose-type prints at Dolce & Gabbana to the beautiful watercolour creations at Chanel to the 3-D hippy-esque styles at Marchesa to the subtler orange print at Altuzarra, each brand offering florals were offering something quite distinct. That’s why it is impossible to ignore the trend. Even if you don’t like the cutesy florals, go for the more digital prints. If you don’t like obvious, stylised florals, look to Chanel’s blurred watercolour ones. Honestly, there is something for everyone.

 

MATERIALS

  • Leather – A material that previously remained exclusive for bikers and the cool kids, leather has now been democratised. For the past few, perhaps 5 years, everyone has owned a leather jacket: now it has gone further. Leather skirts, coats, trousers, t-shirts, dresses, bralets – anything and everything. This season it is not just Hedi Slimane who has been championing the material but also Miuccia Prada, both at Prada (who had the most insane leather trench coats that I have fallen in love with) and Miu Miu (a glossy red trench coat was striking along with an even better turquoise version). According to fashion designers, leather is perfect for any occasion and any season – who cares if it is sweltering hot in summer?
  • Suede – With the heavy seventies influence that has swept like a tidal wave this season, suede is the obvious choice of material for designers. If you can’t wait, have a look at Topman’s LTD line for some brilliant offerings including a bomber jacket and a sheepskin collared western jacket that is very similar to Jared Leto’s in Girl, Interrupted. Yes, I know that Topman is menswear but if you get a small enough size they can be oversized without drowning you – they start at mens XXS. On the catwalk, have a look at both Emilio Pucci and Gucci for their take on the fabric.
  • Denim – Designer denim is back and in a big way. Quite a few brands showcased some jeans with brilliantly encrusted ones from Dolce & Gabbana (my favourite item from the entire season) to regular ones at Gucci (not skinny jeans though, perhaps we truly are moving away from them?) and more at both Fendi and Alberta Ferretti. I even considered saving up to buy the Dolce & Gabbana jeans, until I found out about the $12,500 price tag.
  • Sheer – As always, see-through sheer fabrics rule. Season upon season, sheer fabrics of all kinds are seen on the runway at various brands. Balenciaga featured what I would say is the most with larger fishnet styles of mesh to ruched gauzy material on sleeves and shoulders. There were strategically placed embroideries at Francesco Scognamiglio on some beautiful floor-length dresses. However, I’d say Tom Ford was the most daring with dresses made almost exclusively of gauze with coverings over the model’s modesty…

 

 VIBES

  • Hippy/Bohemian – If last season was all about the 60s, naturally, like the passing of time, we have now moved into the next decade. The seventies are now the time period of choice for designers, reflected in the choice of fabrics, silhouettes and overall feels of collections. However, there are two distinct takes on the 70s: one being the bohemian look of the late 60s that ended mid-70s (it is said to have ended when Nixon resigned in 1974) and the other being the disco, hedonistic Studio 54 style glitz and glamour. For the bohemian look, look towards Emilio Pucci, Marchesa and Tommy Hilfiger for the flower-power inspired designs.
  • Studio 54 – The legendary nightclub was just as famed for its fashions as it was its antics. Images of celebrities such as Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, Andy Warhol, all the supermodels of the time, and basically anybody who was anybody were seen there. It is known for its over-the-top madness and glamour. Look to Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent, Lanvin or Tom Ford this season for what seems like their take on the time period.
  • Ethereal – The definition of ethereal is “extremely delicate and light in a way that seems to be not of this world”. Upon hearing that I imagine pale colours, flowing fabrics and pretty dresses – a look that many designers actually showed this season. Take a look at Alberta Ferretti, BCBG Max Azria, Elie Saab and also Rodarte (think of the flowy, mermaid dresses).

 

STYLING TIPS

  • Obi Belts – Tied like a kimono or a dressing gown, however you choose how to think of it, the belt is a key part of looks this season. Especially important with oversized, floaty garments, the belt ties it in and gives you some shape whilst also adding a nonchalant, relaxed look. It pulls an outfit together without looking like you tried really hard. Look to BCBG Max Azria for my personal favourite take on the trend.
  • Mismatched Earrings – If last season focused specifically on wearing just one earring, this time around feel free to wear two. However, they need not match. Various brands showed models with mismatched earrings in shape, size and colour. So if you’re like me and lose almost every pair of earrings you buy (not even kidding), it is time to pull out all of those odd ones and mix and match.
  • Shoulders Out – Yes, off-the-shoulder styles are a big deal. Sorry if you’re somebody who hates your shoulders because they are revealed a lot this season. Off-the-shoulder looks were prominent at Balenciaga and Balmain but there are also many different ways to wear the trend. For example, interesting straps such as those at Givenchy or halternecks like at Alexander Wang show off shoulders without cutting straight across.shoulders