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.
Looking at Oscar de la Renta’s couture collection for Balmain, I can understand why he is commonly called America’s greatest couturier. When I think of the women who would actually buy couture clothing, these are the kind of outfits that I can imagine them in. I can almost guarantee that Anna Wintour owns something from this collection – Oscar is her favourite, right? I am beyond obsessed with the subtle ruching that played a big part in this collection. Also, spot the print of the skirt on the finale look. Dolce and Gabbana did a very similar one a few seasons back. I also love the fur trims, subtle ruffles, and the sparkly skirt suit (my favourite look perhaps). Also, apologies in advance for the poor image quality. I couldn’t find HQ!
I think that because everybody has access to couture shows via social media and sites like Vogue Runway and Now Fashion, we forget just how exclusive couture really is. There are reportedly less than 4000 clients in the world. Unfortunately it is often proclaimed a dying industry, although it is a fantastic marketing tool. You may not be able to afford Dior couture but you can probably afford a perfume or a lipstick, even if it is a splurge.
It truly baffles me how 15 years later, Balmain is such a different brand. I can’t understand how it has changed so much. I guess different creative directors bring different styles. However, for the entire time that I’ve known of Balmain (starting say mid-2000s) it has been rocker chic, glitzy and glam but not stuffy, metallic and very European, bordering on Euro-trash. And that was just under Christophe Decarnin! This article about his tenure is a good read. Since his departure, Olivier Rouesting has stepped in and brought the brand to even higher heights. The Balmania/Balmain Army bullshit is boring to me but it damn sure sells (and the clothes are quite often cool, but tres repetitive). However, I bet the women who bought from this collection will not believe it is the same brand. Perhaps they will have cut the tags out? Well hopefully not, you know, for resale value…
Okay, I’m not quite sure if this can count as a flashback considering it was only two (almost three…) years ago, but for me so much has changed in two years. Heck, people on instagram post photos from the week before using #tbt so why am I trying to justify this? Basically, I adore Riccardo Tisci and I want to look at his work all day long. Spring 2014 was the season after the Bambi sweatshirts that caused an uproar. Sweatshirts? On the runway? Outrageous. But it was something that Riccardo had done before. The lasting impact of them coupled with the fact that they sold well helped shut down the criticism quickly. The men’s ones continue to be sold to this day. Walk into Harvey Nichols and you’ll still see a pitbull on a t-shirt.
I remember seeing this show and loving it. When Imaan walked out wearing the brown, draped dress with the cut-outs I was amazed because she is just so beautiful, but then so was the dress. The stretch jersey fabric, especially with the draping, is something that is easy to wear on so many different bodies and is something that translated really well onto the high street. It was not too complex that interpretations looked shoddy and that was something I liked. The flat shoes (almost like sliders/Birkenstocks) were a huge thing in the summer of 2014 so you can see the trickle down effect of the collection. Riccardo is someone who is influential to the masses, perhaps because of his huge following.
The set, a circle of light on the concrete to serve as a runway around the car crash centrepiece, was interesting. I can’t help but think it could’ve done with being a little bit more lit as it was quite dark, but the clothes are clear to see in the runway images. The clothes combined with Pat McGrath’s incredible bejewelled masks made this a memorable show.
This is one of Gianni Versace’s iconic shows. Even if you didn’t know the season or the year, you’ll recognise the images. They’re everywhere. Miss S&M, a very provocative title for a collection, is hard to miss. In fact, its impact can still be seen today. Just last Christmas, Topshop’s campaign images featured Cara Delevingne wearing a dress that was highly inspired by the collection. The lion head necklaces can still be bought in stores today, albeit copies of the originals.
The clothes were uber glamourous with lots of gold hardware and bondage style straps. It was a very sexy type of fashion that only Gianni Versace can do without it looking too vulgar. I actually love it. But most of all, I love the models. I can’t imagine a collection like this working on today’s crop of stars. There is a different body type out there (ultra slim) which the supermodels of the late 80s/early 90s did not fit. Don’t get me wrong, they were slim, but they all had a little something extra – often larger breasts for one. I think the hair and make-up is also stunning, and the colours used are only enhanced by the lighting.
This is a collection that will not be forgotten. It is interesting because I wonder if anybody at the time thought this would happen. If you click through the link further down, you will see a video by Tim Blanks where attendees of the show were interviewed directly after and the reaction wasn’t highly positive. Keep in mind that the AIDS epidemic was at its peak around this time and that promoting sex was shunned as a result. Funny how now, over 20 years later, the clothes could still be worn (and are still worn) like no time has passed. Was Gianni very fashion forward or are we all stuck in the past?
Now that it is confirmed that Alexander Wang and Balenciaga are parting ways and his final collection for the brand will be shown this month, I thought it was a good time to look back at some of his very best work at his own brand – he hopes to grow it. This show is from 2009. It was only 6 years ago yet look how much has changed for Alexander Wang in this time period. This was one of his early shows (I think it was his fifth or sixth season showing). Bear in mind that he didn’t even graduate from Parsons and was actually very young when he launched his brand.
I think this is quintessential Alexander Wang. It is everything that I’d expect from one of his shows. A booming soundtrack (Welcome to the Jungle is always a good choice, especially as the fashion industry has been compared to one quite a few times), an insane cast of models, lots of black, sharp tailoring, interesting twists, and the cool edginess that made him famous. Don’t you just love it?
I spent hours trawling Vestiaire Collective, looking for pieces from this show (or even just some older Wang) but I struggled to find much beside T stuff. Just show me Natasha Poly’s blazer or Cat McNeil’s coat and any of the hats, and I’m sold. Well, within reason…
Apologies that the video for this show is poor in quality and also in 3 parts, I couldn’t find a HQ version (if you know where to find one, let me know). However, it’s good to watch regardless. I’ve also linked the photos here (via style.com). This is a heavily shared collection on social media and I often see the nurses outfits circulating on Tumblr. The high-fashion nurses is more fantasy than reality, like what a man in a coma would dream of waking up to… I imagine. The dresses worn underneath the sheer shirt-dresses are satin bustiers with a pencil skirt, and the combination of them with the fishnet veil and the hat (which are arranged to spell out Louis Vuitton, of course) is flirty and fun.
Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton was so much fun. He often produced collections that were memorable, especially years afterwards. Sometimes I’m a little bit sad that he’s gone, especially since I’ve always preferred his work at Louis Vuitton to his namesake label, but I really do love Nicolas Ghesquiere in the role so I can’t complain too much.
Besides the nurses outfits, the rest of the collection was pretty solid too. It’s funny looking at ready-to-wear shows from the past and remembering how they influenced the clothes sold on the high street at the time. Also, it’s fun seeing celebrities who wore the looks. For example, Dita Von Teese (my love) wore the black asymmetric top from look 64. Plus, I adore the bags that the nurses carried. Don’t you?
I figured that because I talk about Altuzarra at any possible opportunity it was only apt that I added him to my fashion flashback series. This is actually a double post, if you will, as I’m going to talk about two collections because they were both collections of firsts: his debut collection and his debut runway show.
The New York based brand is still very young, founded in 2008. The first collection was presented in the Fall 2009 season and featured 18 looks, the majority of which are strong and could still be worn now (the metallic pieces at the end should be ignored, the moment has passed). There was some odd fur tails in the first few looks and a couple of dresses which, looking back, are very Alexander Wang (he was establishing himself at this time too), but apart from that it is a strong debut. The camel looks are my favourite – they look cosy. It’s funny looking at this now because 2009 seems so recently but really it was 7 years ago. I can still remember people wearing dresses like the bodycon ones.
MY FAVOURITE LOOKS FROM FALL 2009
The second collection, Spring 2010, was a little bit different. I think starting from this collection, it seemed like Altuzarra knew what he wanted his signatures to be – plunging necklines and tight skirts – and it is here that we are introduced to styles that are familiar nowadays; asymmetric hems, low-cut tops, and interesting fabric combinations. There was good use of suede in here (one of my favourite materials), the shoes are very cool, and the neutral colour palette is something that I appreciate.
MY FAVOURITE LOOKS FROM SPRING 2010
Before starting his own brand, Altuzarra worked for Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy. I think this experience must have shaped him as a designer. It makes sense then that I love Altuzarra as a brand, because I adore most of what Tisci does too. I really wish him years of success ahead and I hope Altuzarra continues to develop his brand – I love the bags, the latest addition.