Tag: fendi

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. 

Who Even Buys Couture These Days?

Since I missed keeping up to date with Couture Week at the time I thought I’d reflect on it now. I’m actually thinking more about the entire haute couture, made-to-order industry – one that is often thought to be waning. I often wonder who even buys couture? Is it socialites? Princesses? Rich wives of oil barons? Successful businesswomen? Celebrities?

You see, I’ve been reading a couple of fashion related books in the past few months and they’ve touched on the couture industry. They were both written in the late 80s/early 90s, quite some time ago now, and both of the books describe the rich American socialites, heiresses, and wives who travel to Paris twice a year to purchase some haute couture. Some buy an entire wardrobe’s worth (say 2 evening dresses, 2 day dresses, and some skirts/trousers/tops) and others just buy one special piece. However, one thing was consistent: they bought something every season. In fact, the Americans were described as the best customers. And then when watching Dior and I recently, a vendeuse travelled to New York to meet with a prominent customer regarding her couture order…

But I wonder are Americans still good customers? The majority of the women mentioned in the books are now dead or very old; the Nancys (Kissinger & Reagan), Nan Kemper, Mercedes Bass, Brooke Astor. Is the younger generation, perhaps their descendants, into couture or is it a thing of the past? Or what nation boasts the best customers today? China? UAE? Still the U.S.?

When you look at the couture shows now they seem very different than couture did back in the day. Chanel just looks like ready-to-wear Chanel, except there’s a little bit more embellishment, as does Atelier Versace. Many of the brands that present couture show ready-to-wear style clothes that aren’t what you’d imagine when you hear the word “couture”. To me, it has connotations of high glamour, evening gowns, and lots of jewels. I imagine a hotel salon with velvet chairs and models holding number cards when they walk out to show the outfit. Nowadays, a couture show is the same as a regular show, but often with a more elaborate set and exorbitant prices.

The brands that are allowed to present couture (decided by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture) are all expensive brands to begin with. Dior is not cheap, Chanel is not cheap. But then again, if you can afford to walk in the sea with Chanel boots on a la Nicki Minaj, perhaps couture prices are affordable. I’ll never fully understand couture because I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford it.

According to what I read in the books, the appeal of couture was that nobody else would have it. You could have things fully customised to your liking. If the dress on the runway was red but you’d rather it in black, that can be arranged. If you want the hem raised or lowered, that can be done. It was specific to just you. I’m assuming the same still applies. However, the only time I’ve ever really seen couture worn is by celebrities at the Met Gala (some of them anyway) and also by Kim Kardashian to do god knows what (the Ulyana Sergeenko look, who although she designs couture, is not an official member of the haute couture squad). And the celebrities I have seen wear it have worn straight from the runway looks: no real customisations, as far as I’m aware.

Anyway, as I don’t know the answers to any of my questions nor can I find definitive answers online I shall instead round up my favourite looks from this season’s couture shows. Yes, the shows aren’t as intimate as what I’d imagine them to be, but at least we (the masses) get to see them now. Before, unless you were a potential customer or member of the press, you’d have to rely on sketches, articles in newspapers, and word-of-mouth. Now we can see everything for ourselves. Images on a computer screen or a slightly-blurred YouTube video might not have the same effect as actually seeing the Chanel casino in action, but it’s exciting to even catch a glimpse. It’s things like this that make me love the internet.

MY PICKS, PLUS WHAT CUSTOMISATIONS I’D HAVE DONE:

 

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