Tag: Dolce & Gabbana

Why Do Fashion Brands Continue to Look Back?

It seems that fashion is increasingly referential. Nothing is really new anymore. No new silhouettes are created. No new innovations are made. Nothing. But is this a bad thing? And is it unexpected?

I started to think about this topic after catching up with all of the shows at Milan Fashion Week. There were two brands in particular that I felt specifically looked back in time, into their own archives – Versace and Dolce & Gabbana. However, their techniques were different. Versace was deliberate, Dolce & Gabbana was not.

This season’s Versace show was, as Donatella put it, a tribute to her late brother Gianni Versace, to mark the twenty year anniversary of his death. The show was filled with her takes on his most famous designs. It was like the highlight reel of Gianni Versace’s career and what made him, and the family name, famous and into a brand. Donatella looked back into the archives (no, literally, she went to the physical archives and looked at his pieces) and chose the silhouettes and prints which were most iconic and ran with it. She featured the Marilyn Monroe and James Deen portraits by Andy Warhol (which Gianni turned into a multi-colored, tile print), she used the baroque that was last en vogue back in 2013 when hip-hop artists like Migos and Drake were obsessed with the brand, and the leopard print (most notably, the yellow version worn by Kaia Gerber who opened the show). According to this New York Times article on the show, “Every garment will come complete with a label that notes the collection and the year, so consumers will know the moment of origin.”. It is a way to incorporate the brand’s history into it’s present show but do it in a way that is of the moment but still collectable. I suspect that items from this show will be just as valuable as the originals from 20+ years ago. Many have wondered if this collection was Donatella’s farewell to the brand as rumors about her imminent departure have been swirling for months now, but she says otherwise. It was, in fact, just a tribute to her late and beloved brother. Of course, no mention of this show would be complete without bringing up the finale which featured the supermodels of Gianni’s shows marching out to Freedom ’90, the iconic George Michael song which lent its sounds to a Versace show back in 1991. Of course, the crowd went wild for this. It was nostalgia at its finest, and that’s what made this show great.

The finale gowns at Versace.

Dolce & Gabbana, on the other hand, offered none of the nostalgia factor. They produced a show of beautiful, albeit boring, clothes that could’ve been any one of their shows from the past five years. Dolce & Gabbana refuse to innovate anymore and it has gotten dull. It is hard to believe that 10 years ago, they were one of the main attractions in Milan and they actually made futuristic, fashion-forward styles. Remember the show opened by Snejana Onopka strutting down the light-up runway, after arriving in a glass elevator and descending down some stairs, to the sound of Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back? That would never happen nowadays. Instead they play it safe, season after season, year after year. I guess they are doing what works for them and their business, but that is why Versace was all over your social media for the entire weekend and Dolce & Gabbana was a blip that almost went unnoticed.

Dolce & Gabbana SS07

Designers often look back though, at their past work (like the No. 21 show, also at Milan Fashion Week), or at the brand’s own heritage. That’s what almost every designer does who becomes the Creative Director of a storied brand, like Julien Dossena at Paco Rabanne. The chainmail, futuristic styles are nothing new, but they work and people love them because they look cool. It is said that Alexander McQueen was so impressive because he is one of the only designers of the past quarter century to create a brand new silhouette, the Bumster, the ultra low-rise pant style which exposed the top of the butt and caused women to shave their pubic hair because the top of the area was revealed. When the Bumster trickled down into mainstream fashion, it came in the form of low-rise jeans, beloved by your favorite mid-2000s celebs who loved to show off their g-strings peeking out above their waistband.

McQueen’s Bumster

Maybe this is just how fashion is going to be going forward. It isn’t about innovation. It’s about commercialism. It’s about sales. It’s about social media coverage. It’s about short-term attention. It’s about building a brand. The only way to build a brand is to be consistent, but I believe that there is a way to do it by innovating or making some changes and introducing new things along the way.

Fashion Flashback: Dolce & Gabbana SS11

This Dolce & Gabbana is around about the time of my favorite Dolce & Gabbana. In fact, it used to be my favorite brand. I was obsessed with the pretty dresses with the florals. They were so womanly. For a young teenager, the Dolce & Gabbana woman was exactly what I thought I wanted to be when I grew up. She seemed like such a woman. Sophisticated, glamorous, beautiful, motherly – simply everything. She didn’t seem like a kid in any way. She seemed like a grown up who wore heels and had their life together. At that time, I couldn’t even imagine myself in that position nor did I really know how an adult functioned. Since becoming an adult myself, I realize that most of us don’t fit into this tightly edited resemblance of a woman nor is it as desirable to me anymore. Regardless, they did a good job of conveying this through their advertising too – the Italian Dream.

I think Dolce & Gabbana have been overshadowed in recent years by poor press. Social media mishaps, plus some real media faux-pas too (the IVF comments for one) have detracted from the brand and it’s glamorous image. Frequently dressing and speaking out in support of Melania Trump also hasn’t helped them in the fashion industry which tends to skew liberal in its politics. Politics and personal opinions aside, this SS11 collection is gorgeous and full of wedding-worthy dresses that I can definitely appreciate. The beauty looks are, well, beautiful, and I love the hoop earrings.

Milan Fashion Week Highlights – Spring 2016

To quote the Zombies, it’s the time of the season when love runs high – said love being mine towards Italian fashion. We have finally reached Milan (often my favourite city of fashion month). I adore Italian fashion and although I’ve never visited, I adore Italy. I think I definitely look at the country through rose-tinted glasses and just see the beauty – the art, the scenery, the architecture, the people.

Italian fashion usually emphasises glamour but each designer has a different interpretation of this word: Donatella Versace’s is very different than Mr Armani’s. That’s what I look forward to each season, seeing the myriad ways that one can dress and look put-together. There is nothing sloppy about Milan, that is for definite. Perhaps designers who show here have a very consistent image of a woman in mind, even though there are nuances which they do not agree.

I think Milan was a lot different this season than I expected though and perhaps it isn’t my favourite out of the three fashion weeks so far. One thing remains the same though, fashion designers want a woman to look and feel her very best. Isn’t that what fashion is about? Looking good and feeling fine? Another song reference… I hope you caught it.

ERMANNO SCERVINO

Ermanno Scervino was the first collection of Milan that I gasped at. The opening look was so stunning: a twisted halterneck top in pale yellow chiffon, an oversized trench coat in what looks like a cross between a heavy satin and neoprene, and a golden woven pencil skirt. Progressing from this, the collection continued in a similar note –  a duck egg blue coat with the same gold buttons, followed by a dove grey, then a sleeveless version which had a lingerie-like silky playsuit underneath. The chiffon halterneck was also repeated a few times itself, often in different ways (as a dress, underneath dungarees). I got the impression that the designer was trying to show us numerous ways of wearing one piece if you bought it. This dress was so cool, I loved the laser cuts, although the shoes didn’t go at all (but I loved them separately as they seemed very Indian inspired). The fabrics used throughout definitely gave me the impression that lingerie and perhaps a state of undress was on the designer’s mind, and actually a lot of designers during fashion month so far – lots of lace, satin, and silk. There was a full range of daywear and eveningwear with the collection giving the overall idea that this could work for all occasions and that there was something for everyone. I did like an awful lot of it, although I thought a couple of outfits were a little too Miu Miu to be on this runway.

VERSACE

You could tell after Raquel Zimmerman took her first steps onto the runway that this Versace collection would be worth paying attention to. Wearing a dark green blazer which was sharply belted with a black and camel belt featuring the medusa head in the centre, and a killer tri-colour bag in one hand, Raquel looked insane. It continued on a positive note and was an introduction to a military-esque boyish cool that you don’t often associate with Versace. I couldn’t actually pin a brand on these looks, but I know that I want to be a part of it. I loved the peep-toe shoes too which were also made to be clumpy and more masculine than you’d think a peep-toe would be. I also loved the bags. Versace is a brand I don’t often look at for accessories and I can’t think of a handbag of theirs which is carried as much as some other brands (think Celine and Givenchy mainly) but I really loved a lot of these ones. The camo print continued for a while but in bright tones. I adore these shorts which aren’t camo printed but continue in the same vein of colour. Honestly, if I had to summarise this collection in one phrase I’d say “New York”. Don’t you agree? The best Versace collection in a long time, Bravo Donatella!

DOLCE & GABBANA

The duo did what they do best, they celebrated Italy. Dolce & Gabbana are perhaps the most Italian of all of the designers that show in Milan, purely because they make clothes that could even be thought of as stereotypical. I think that is because they make clothes for what they think is the perfect Italian family. Unfortunately some of the comments made by the designers about what a traditional family is got them in a lot of trouble and this is the first collection that they’ve shown since. Judging by the turnout and online coverage, this hasn’t affected the brand much at all. This season, they showed their national pride, embroidering the names of cities on dresses and little images of men on gondolas and gladiators even! As usual, it was a beautiful, if not repetitive, collection. I don’t mind that from Dolce & Gabbana but I often do from other brands (double standards and rather ridiculous, I know). The models taking selfies whilst walking down the runway was a fun touch and actually produced some brilliant snaps, lots of which were shared to Instagram. I have to say though, if you looked at this collection in 10 years time, you probably wouldn’t be able to identify the season it is from based on the fact that it isn’t dissimilar to anything from 2011-present day. I’m a sucker for the brand though so I still love it.

And the rest…

I want Fausto Puglisi to take over at Versus Versace. I think I’ve said this before but his work reminds me so much of Gianni’s and I think that would work fabulously for the brand, although Vaccarello works too. I did love a lot of pieces from this collection although they gave me slight Balmain vibes at times. I want these two dresses, this one with the boots included (a birthday look perhaps) and also this dress.

I hate to say it but I haven’t got caught up in the Alessandro Michele hype. I prefer Frida’s Gucci. However, I did love this gauzy pink dress and also this trousers and belt combination. I bet that platforms will be back in a big way soon too.

Alberta Ferretti’s collection was stunning. It reminded me of sand dunes. The colour palette was so pretty and the clothes were floaty and girly. It was a more feminine version of your typical safari collection. This dress looks insane on Imaan Hammam and I love these looks – x (such cool sandals, I hope they trickle down to the high street by next summer), y, z.

I adore this emerald green trench coat at Emilio Pucci, but I miss the prints already.

MaxMara had lots of slouchy oversized jackets with a slight nautical theme – a far cry from the tousled glamour of Marilyn Monroe last season. I thought the wrongly buttoned-up jackets were a fun styling trick, meant to look effortless I’m assuming. I really liked this jacket and also this blazer (I have a similar one at home so I can easily recreate this if I want).

The very lady-like nature of Luisa Beccaria’s collection took me back to the aristocratic upper-class depicted in Baroque art. Think of the woman in Fragonard’s The Swing and the likes of her social set. I think it was the hats combined with the long, floaty dresses which gave me this connotation, but this collection is much more modern. These outfits are my favourites: x, y, z.

This dress at Antonio Marras reminded me of an enchanted forest. It is what I’d put Snow White in if I were making a new film adaptation.

When I look at a Prada collection I have to look at individual pieces instead of the whole show or I become overwhelmed. Miuccia puts so much out there and sometimes I struggle to comprehend it all. I liked how the skirts were layered, the stripes were clear, and the materials sheer – that was what I gathered from it all. Individually, I like the jacket and skirt  from this look, the coat and earrings from this one, and the entire outfit worn by Mica.

Karl Lagerfeld played with proportions at Fendi, demonstrated best in the oversized puffy sleeves of this khaki top which has a nice wrap-over front and this little playsuit is cute too. However, I don’t think the bloomer-type bottoms will catch on.

I really liked Costume National and actually seen a few pieces that I’d buy if I seen in a store – for example, this dress.

The hats made the show at Jil Sander, with this look being my favourite.

SHOPPING FIND OF THE WEEK: Dolce & Gabbana vs AX Paris

Apologies for the lack of posts this month. I have been absolutely swamped. Any free time that I’ve had where I’ve not been working, I’ve been busy with other commitments. However, I felt that this dress was too good to ignore so I’m writing this post.

Left - Dolce & Gabbana, Right - AX Paris
Left – Dolce & Gabbana, Right – AX Paris

This is one of the few shopping finds that I’ve managed to actually purchase in this series (pay day last week, yaayy!) so I can tell you from first hand experience that it truly is a beautiful dress. The material is a body-hugging cross between scuba and neoprene that all of the stores seem to stock. Usually I don’t like this fabric much but it really works for this dress as it retains its shape whilst creating some for you. My body is pretty much straight up and down but somehow this makes me look like I have a slightly more womanly figure. Throw on a pair of black high heels and you’re sorted.

The story of how I found this dress all comes down to luck. You see, I was on my lunch hour one day last week when I decided to venture into New Look – a store I normally bypass but chose to go into because it was close by. I was on my way up to the shoe department when I spotted a dress with the same print at the bottom of the escalator. Instantly I was intrigued, purely because the print reminded me of Dolce & Gabbana’s carnation prints last season which I loved so dearly. The dress I seen was a 50s style prom dress – an item that I have no use for – so I took note of the brand and decided I’d try their own website in case they had other styles. Luckily for me, there were 5 different options, none of which were the dress I’d spotted in store. There’s the one I chose with the sleeves, there’s 2 with plunging necklines which I wrote off automatically, a sleeveless one with a notched neck, and finally a fitted one with thick straps which I loved until I saw the zip up the front. So basically, there’s lots of choice of styles if you like the print but don’t like the style I chose. All of the aforementioned are £30, apart from the one with the zip which is £35.

If you haven’t realised from previous posts on this blog, I love Dolce & Gabbana. If I could afford to dress exclusively in the brand, I would. I’d love to be the ideal Dolce & Gabbana woman like Bianca Balti who I think is just insanely beautiful, and even though the collections do look very similar each season, at least you know you’re going to get something beautiful. It isn’t like Prada (another brand I love) where one season I love it and get it, and the next I just find it quite ugly until it is visually explained to me via editorials and ads. When I seen this dress I knew I had to have it. And I now do. I am impressed by the quality of the dress and it has a concealed zip up the back of it which ensures a snug fit. Plus, there’s a 15% off code at AX Paris (AW15NEW) just now which makes it even sweeter.

BUY ONLINE

AX Paris – £30

Similar styles (most are sold out as it was last season)at Matches Fashion: coat – £925, dress with fluted sleeves – £780, lace top dress with printed skirt – £825

Milan Fashion Week Highlights – Fall 2015

I am fascinated by Italy at the moment. I’m taking an art history class, mainly focused on the Renaissance, and it has me urging to visit. The beautiful paintings, architecture, and sculptures created in the many regions of the country are so very inspiring. So if Italy is the birthplace of the Renaissance, and art is so ingrained in Italian culture, it only makes sense that they excel at fashion – you know, the wearable type of art.

To be honest, it is Milan Fashion Week that gets me most excited. I feel an affinity with Italy, a place I have never even travelled to, and I adore Italian fashion. Just think, they have the best fashion magazine (Vogue Italia), some of the most stunning models (Bianca Balti, Monica Belluci, and Carla Bruni to name a few), and many of the top brands (Prada, Versace, Fendi, and so many more). I always struggle to whittle down my Milan review to something short enough that people would actually want to read; I could go on and on for thousands of words. So let’s hope this season is no different. I’m writing this introduction on the 25th, so the first day of the collections, and so far I’ve only seen a few images from Gucci. I can hardly wait to see what the rest of the week brings!

MAX MARA

Before I seen any images from this collection, I saw the inspiration board and I knew it was going to be a winner. It was full of photos of Marilyn Monroe, from the one of her on the beach wrapped up in an aztec cardigan, to one with her and Arthur Miller frolicking in the sand, and many more. I love Marilyn. I think she is one of the unsung style icons of the 20th century. Yes, she is an icon for sure, but her personal style is often ignored. For example, her most well-known look is probably the white halterneck Travilla dress that she wore in the Seven Year Itch for the infamous subway-blowing-up-skirt shot. This collection has captured more than that. It is full of soft, chunky knits, cosy camel coats (a MaxMara staple), and wonderful skirt suits. The clothes are the type that you’d want to touch, that if you were wearing you’d nuzzle your sleeve against your cheek to comfort yourself. I want to dress like this everyday, maybe minus the shiny quilted pieces though… Also, the hair and make-up was stunning, so easy to recreate as well. PS – I love this bag.

FENDI

First and foremost, Fendi is a furrier. That is what their business was built on, and that is what it continues to be known for to this day. Each collection, fur is incorporated and it is often used in many different ways. As trims, as lining, as the main piece itself, as a bag – you name it, they’ve done it. The patchwork coats in this collection were brilliant, as were the bags, and that one fur dress… Karl Lagerfeld often produces, in my opinion, better work at Fendi than he does at Chanel, something that I find interesting considering that a lot of people don’t know that he designs at both. People say it is the collaboration with the Fendi family that makes his work better, or more so that it is their work. Either way, I like this collection. They played with proportions, with oversized pea coats and big puffy furs. Also, a wonderful graphic print was created to look like patchwork, or a grid – it reminded me slightly of YSL’s Mondrian print but without the clear block lines – I just love it, I want it, I need it.

VERSACE

Ok, I admit it. I love it. I want to be a Versace women. They are confident and ooze sex appeal, a bit odd considering some of the models who were less than bombshells. But maybe that is what Versace is about? Making everyone look sexy, regardless of their body type. The big belts, the signature Greek print, the mid-thigh high boots, the choker spelling out V-E-R-S-A-C-E: everything was brilliant and I’m struggling to fault it. I could’ve done without the hashtags and @ signs, but perhaps that is just reflective of our digital age. Donatella has somehow made puffy jackets look good (and I hate puffy jackets normally), made obvious branding that was very 90s look up-to-date (Versace written right across the chest, for example), and made very Gianni style dresses that look just as good on Natasha Poly now as they did on Christy and co. in the early 90s.

DOLCE & GABBANA

It’s no surprise that this is on my list. It always is. To put it simply, I love the brand. I could gush on and on about them for hours, but basically their brand and their ideal woman is everything I want to be: sexy (but not in a trashy way), confident, elegant, motherly (you know, for that time waaaaay into the future), Italian. To me, they embody Italian fashion and nobody does it better. This collection was a celebration of motherhood, something that is very Italian. Stereotypically, Italian men are mama’s boys and interestingly, a large proportion of the population live at home until they are married. Family is important, and women even more so. I can’t talk about this collection without giving a nod to Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress, Versace-designed, which has to have been a jump-off point for this collection. It features drawings similar to what Angelina had on her wedding dress (done by her kids) on many of the dresses and skirts in the collection, but there was also definitely a Madonna and child vibe going on with this collection. Furthermore, a very-pregnant Bianca Balti walked, and still managed to look stunning. She definitely isn’t like any pregnant women I know! Also, look how happy this little girl looks, it’s so cute. Overall it was a stunning collection which featured many of the Dolce & Gabbana signatures that we have come to expect: lace, florals, and well cut dresses that accentuate the body in the best way possible. Viva La Mamma!

 GIORGIO ARMANI

This was a collection of epic length, 85 looks in total – some of which looked slightly repetitive. However, overall I’m a fan. Giorgio Armani presented one of my favourite collections at Spring 2015 Couture Week, and he has done the same again. It all looks so wearable, a word that lots of people use as a criticism. I don’t see how you can criticise something for being commercial since fashion is, first and foremost, a business. The companies need to make things that will sell or they will cease to exist. I don’t think I’m someone who lives for a theatrical collection: I enjoy watching them, but I rarely adore the clothes. I’m all for practicality. The print on the trousers of the first look were almost watercolour, they had a fluidity and made the trousers appear to swish as the model walked, even more than they did naturally. Moreover, this fur jumper looked so cosy, and the interesting hybrid of skirt and trousers (I’d say better than the skort) added something a little more to a look that could’ve been so basic. Armani already has a similar pair of trousers out just now, although the skirt is less pronounced as it is just a crossover flap at the front (linked), from his collezioni line.

And the rest…

Alessandro Michele’s debut at Gucci was fine, but I didn’t love it. This fur coat was stunning but I thought there were a few things wrong with the rest of the collection: 1) the ugly glasses that the models all wore, 2) the horribly un-diverse cast that was just so glaringly obvious, and 3) the prints (x & y) that looked too Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2014 for my liking – yes, they were slightly different, sans owls and also pleated, but they looked very similar, so much so that I thought they were identical when I was browsing through the thumbnails.

Fausto Puglisi was very Versace. I’m surprised they don’t get him in to design a Versus collection. His work has the ability to take you back to the Gianni days, which is not to say that the designer is derivative but he is clearly influenced. The gold accents on skirts and dresses, and the super-sexy cuts are classic Puglisi, and I just adore this dress. Also, the coral jewellery was insane and was said to be inspired by Loulou de la Falaise, the iconic YSL muse. I’m waiting to see Nicki Minaj in this dress.

Luisa Beccaria’s collection gave me post-war, high society woman vibes. Just look at the sleeves on this top, how amazing.

Alberta Ferretti’s collection was very different from last season’s ethereal, delicate pinks and flowers. This time around it was all about folk and fairytales. It made me feel like I should be in the middle of a forest with Goldilocks and the three bears, or something along those lines. This dress that Aya Jones wore was beautiful, or maybe it is just Aya that makes anything look good. Furthermore, this dress looked like a painting – so stunning.

I loved the all-black palette at Costume National. This look, in particular, was minimalism at its finest, but let’s be clear, it wasn’t normcore. Normcore equals boring, minimalism equals sophistication.

I don’t even know if this is a coat or a dress, it probably could be both, but I love it. The colour is so gorgeous. This was at Blumarine.

Prada is making me feel conflicted. On one hand, I don’t love it and I think the reason for that is because I spent so long trawling the archives and falling in love with old collections (collections which this one looks nothing like…). On the other hand, it is pretty and feminine, and the use of the double-faced jersey to look like neoprene was pretty damn cool, but is it anything more than that? Prada’s sales have been stagnant recently so perhaps that is why this collection is a little bit safer than usual. One thing can be guaranteed though, come the September issues and this collection will be in all the magazines; it always is, so why would things be any different this year? I love these looks (x, y & z).

Jeremy Scott at Moschino was, as expected, fun. I think I’ve now realised that you can’t take it seriously, it’s all for amusement. It started with some puffa coats, then transitioned into Looney Tunes prints, then some blingy-denim, then teddy bears galore, ending with graffiti print gowns (which I loved). However, my favourite part of the collection was the teddy bear backpacks as they were just like the perfume bottle. You can get a vintage backpack on Etsy just now for around £420. I can’t wait to see this collection in editorials to be honest; fashion editors have a way of making Moschino look really good in print. And yes, you can shop the capsule collection already.

Max Mara’s sister brand Sportmax showcased a beautiful collection, full of wearable pieces. I love these two looks (x & y).

Roberto Cavalli was classic Cavalli, complete with leopard print and plunging necklines. I can’t wait to see Nicki Minaj in this collection, especially as she is the current face of the brand. I hope she wears this dress.

I think I’ve found a potential wedding gown at Ermanno Scervino, modelled by Jessica Stam who has walked a select few shows for the past couple of seasons. Look at the gown though, stunning!  

The opening look at Trussardi was insane. It was a chocolate-brown leather coat, complemented perfectly by a lipstick in a similar shade. I really liked most of this collection to be honest, very wearable, unfussy clothes for everyday life.

Finally, I urge you to look at the Ter et Bantine collection as it is brilliant.

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

New Year’s Resolutions: 2015 Edition

Making New Year’s resolutions is a tradition for people all around the world; breaking them is one too. Every year the same few are made by the millions: lose weight, eat healthier, spend less time on social media. And, obviously, every year they are broken – not just broken but completely forgotten and disregarded by about the 10th of January. I am no stranger to this concept and that is why this year I am writing them on here, as more of a visual record and proof that I have actually made them so that when I forget, I can look at this post. I don’t even recall what my resolution was last year, perhaps exercise more?, because I did nothing about it and made no effort to keep it up. This year, I’m not even going to bother with the common bullshit ones because, let’s face it, I’m not going to join a gym and I’m not a fan of all this clean living, vegetable juices crap: I’m all about the sugar. Instead of making resolutions, I’m going to make goals: things that I want to achieve, be it material or mental, that I feel would make me a happier/better person. And yes, I probably won’t stick to anything that I have posted here so please don’t hold it against me. This is merely an inspirational post, a way of me putting my thoughts to paper.. or internet? Let us begin.

Completely unrelated image: I just love Al Pacino, especially as Michael Corleone. Also, he looks like he is thinking. Maybe I can say that he is thinking of his future just like I am? (Mine, not his.)
Completely unrelated image: I just love Al Pacino, especially as Michael Corleone.
Also, he looks like he is thinking. Maybe I can say that he is thinking of his future just like I am? (Mine, not his.)
  1. Stop buying so much online – This is obvious. Online shopping doesn’t feel like real shopping. As you click away and add things to your virtual shopping trolley, the cost could be in Simolean (the currency of The Sims, duuuuuuhhh) for all you care as no paper money is handed over and until the parcel arrives at your door, none of it seems existent. That is until you check your bank statement and realise you spent yet another £60 on crap that you don’t need. With emails coming in daily from various websites enticing you with deals, it is nearly impossible to ignore them and not be sucked in by the perceived great discounts. But really, you’re not saving any money if you don’t need to spend it in the first place. Just click unsubscribe… you can do it.
  2. Say “yes” more often – This is also obvious. It applies to so many situations but in this case I’m thinking more socially. Even if it’s 9pm and I’m already in my pyjamas, if I get invited out I plan to go. This year in particular will be tough with all of my friends going to university and moving away to various parts of the country, therefore until then I need to make it my mission to see them all as much as possible. That way, when they actually move away, we’ll still have a strong friendship that can survive the distance, however long that is.
  3. Relax – I am such an uptight person. I am always on the edge and am always thinking about a million different things. I feel like my brain is overflowing with ideas of things I need to do, say, buy, write, and so much more. Even on my day off I am never really switched off. I genuinely have no idea how to. I feel like life is going at such a fast pace yet I feel entirely stuck in the same spot and that I am waiting forever for anything to happen. I need to just realise that at this age, there’s not really much that I can do hence why I need to relax a little bit. I’m unsure how I will do so as I seem to always have myriad worries and so much on my mind. Maybe to get it all out I should start writing things down? Or to relax take a long, hot bath? Meditate? I haven’t quite figured it out yet.
  4. Take a real holiday – Whenever I go abroad, I am always doing something. Last summer I went to Paris for a week and did a whistle-stop tour of all of the main attractions in just under 2 days and worked for 4. Earlier that year, when I went to London I had a packed itinerary and practically every trip I’ve taken before that has been filled with plans and things that must be done instead of just taking a real holiday. By a real holiday I mean one that provides me with time to relax, maybe lie down by the pool for a while, sightsee at a slow pace, not trying to fit in every single thing to do in that place in a short period of time, having a long lie in the morning even though that could be considered a waste of a day. My dream destination would be somewhere in the south of France, perhaps Nice or Cannes?, or somewhere in Italy (a place that I have always wanted to go). I just need to find somebody to go with and the time to actually do it.
  5. Buy one nice thing – I want 2015 to be the year where I treat myself to something. I’m working now and although I’m trying to save up as much money as possible to go to college in the States, I feel that I should save up separate money to treat myself to something nice. Whether that be a pair of shoes (Ferragamo or Saint Laurent? Classic styles, of course), a bag (Prada would be the dream or this brilliant Givenchy bag which is also totally over-budget, or even this tote which is more of my price range), or even a really beautiful piece of ready-to-wear (probably Dolce & Gabbana as their brand is my ultimate aesthetic) – I’d say you should look at my Polyvore for a clearer indication of items that I like. If I save up around £1000 to treat myself to something I know I will love for years to come, perhaps it would be worth the monetary cost: especially knowing that I had saved up to buy it myself.

There are so many more things that I want to do, things that I want to achieve, before the year is out but I feel like sharing them would perhaps jinx them. I know that the next few months ahead will be pretty challenging and risky (very much make-or-break), but hopefully by the summer I will have a clearer idea of what is going on. I suppose that is what life is all about, taking risks. If we didn’t, how would we ever learn?

So here is to hoping that 2015 is the best year yet. Hopefully it is the year that everything changes for the better. I don’t expect to be sitting front row at Chanel any time soon or rubbing shoulders with Riccardo Tisci (who is probably my favourite person on Instagram at the moment) but I do hope for more realistic things. I hope that fashion continues to inspire and bring joy to me and others; I hope that my favourite designers continue to produce exquisite collections and that I discover some new ones along the way; finally, I hope for self-improvement in many fields (mainly my writing though as it still not up to scratch). May 2015 be a good year for me and, more importantly, a good year for all of you!