Tag: paris

Paris Fashion Week Highlights – Spring 2018

I went into fashion month this time around feeling very disillusioned by it all. I was bored of the Instagram antics. I was sick of seeing all of the parties being discussed instead of the actual clothing. I was just over it, in general. Then something changed. Maybe the parties in the other cities aren’t as intense, maybe I just don’t follow the right people online. Regardless of the outcome, I feel that as fashion month progressed we did actually hear more about the clothes (and there have been quite a few really great shows this season too). Paris is the end of it all, the grand finale.

A very shiny coat from Kenzo.
Jacquemus is one of my favorite shows of fashion month. The next few looks are from him also.
None of this collection was entirely new. You could already get these clothes, or at least things very similar elsewhere, but for some reason, perhaps the styling, I just got a certain mood that I don’t get when I see similar styles elsewhere and it just charmed me.
I love the colors.
The drape of this top reminded me of a great dress that I wore on vacation last month.
Always here for a headscarf. Also, I love the liberal use of blush in this show. It makes me wish I had a tan so a little rouge on the cheeks would look glamorous instead of flustered on me.
A polka dot sarong is what we all need on vacation really.
This outfit feels very Yves, at Saint Laurent.
The boots! The romper! Yay! at Saint Laurent
This leather jacket is so awesome… c/o Saint Laurent.
I really like this entire look at Olivier Theyskens.
Very sexy at Theyskens.
Logomania at Lanvin?
Virgil Abloh’s best collection yet, in my opinion, at Off-White
I say yes to the dress (and one of my all time favorite models, Bianca Balti) at Off-White
I looooooove this entire look!! Very unexpected for Off-White.
Sophisticated tailoring at Off-White.
I love how the print of both the skirt and the boots is like an abstract floral, almost snakeskin. It looks super cool. This is from Chloé.
I am adoring everything that Julien Dossena does at Paco Rabanne. This dress is amazing. It’s paisley and chainmail all in one, with a cute and flirty silhouette. Yes!
More from Paco Rabanne. The asymmetry is cool and I am trying to work out if this is a dress or a long top over a skirt? Either way, I like the finished look.
Cute slogan shirt, sexy skirt, and a great boot. I feel like this is a modern woman’s uniform c/o Paco Rabanne.
This is the look of a Bond girl from the 1970s. She is the pretty sidekick who is a slight damsel in distress but still smart. Think Dr Goodhead from Moonraker. I love it. (Still Paco Rabbane.)
Balmain is entirely formulaic at this point but there’s always a couple of good looks per season. In this case, I like this dress on Bianca Balti.
I love the twist details on this crop top at Haider Ackermann.
This struck me as sexy Prada at Mugler.
Altuzarra was sorely missed in New York but really it was worth the wait in Paris.
You know the saying “she looks like a million dollars”? Well, in this case you can look like one-hundred thousand euros c/o Balenciaga.
Bill Gaytten is often overlooked at John Galliano, despite being his right-hand man for years. This dress would look fantastic on Angelina Jolie.
I liked Clare Waight Keller’s debut collection at Givenchy. It didn’t scream out Givenchy to me (perhaps because I am so used to Riccardo Tisci’s work that I am forgetting what else the house has ever looked like).
I like the combination of the various prints that were all so similar yet different, at Givenchy.
So gorgeous and romantic c/o Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. The hair here was very similar to the Vivienne Westwood show too.
This was a super cute dress from Nicolas Ghesquiere at Louis Vuitton. The Louis Vuitton show has lost so much of its buzz nowadays which is rather sad.

 

The Return of Paco Rabanne

It’s funny how things work out. I made a note on my iPhone of things I wanted to talk about on my blog at some point and one of them said, I quote, “Paco Rabanne is so cool to me and they have been making cool, futuristic clothes since the 1960s”. This thought was initially spurred by seeing Emily Ratajkowski in one of the dresses from the most recent runway collection and thinking she looked incredible. I knew instantly from the chainmail design that it was Paco Rabanne and I proceeded to look up the entire collection on Vogue Runway. As I said before, I really didn’t manage to keep up with things this fashion month so I had only noticed sporadic updates on Instagram, depending on what outlet showed up at the top of my feed. This train of thought then developed further after I chanced upon a vintage design by Paco Rabanne himself during a tour of the Museum at FIT’s “Paris Refashioned, 1957 – 1968” exhibition. The exhibition highlights the revolution that occurred in Parisian fashion, starting from Dior’s New Look and moving into the 60s with designers like Yves Saint Laurent bringing out ready-to-wear, and Andre Courreges and Pierre Cardin rising to prominence. It is easy to associate the sixties with London as normally when that decade is discussed, it is London based designers that are mentioned like Mary Quant and icons like Twiggy. However, Paris was in the same period of change. The exhibition ends in 1968, the year of the student protests and when Balenciaga closed his house. How ironic is it that the current creative director of Balenciaga is most definitely a streetwear designer when Balenciaga himself shuttered his business after feeling that he was unable to create couture due to the increasingly casual and ready-to-wear aspect of fashion. I encourage you to visit the exhibition if you can before it closes (April 15th) if you’re in New York City. Finally, the day I made this note on my phone I looked at Vogue.com, as I often do, and seen that on their homepage there was an article about Paco Rabanne and how the brand was having a comeback. After spotting that headline I knew I was onto something.

 

What I’ve always found most fascinating about Paco Rabanne are the various futuristic, radical styles that would’ve been oh-so-relevant during the space race of the 1960s. The concept of space exploration was so crazy at the time and the breakthroughs in science to make it possible were incredible and a real achievement that we tend to gloss over today (especially due to conspiracy theories about the moon landing). Fashion was inspired by the otherworldly and interpreted this through lots of metallics. Paco Rabanne was mainly known for his use of unconventional materials to make his pieces. I attended a lecture at FIT on the aforementioned exhibition and found out that Rabanne’s pieces were actually made of metal and some had real diamonds. They were very heavy, very expensive, and very unwearable. You see many iconic images of the looks but they were just images. Performers used to wear them on stage to make a statement.

Costumes from the unofficial Casino Royale

Nowadays, Paco Rabanne is overseen by Julien Dossena. I’d say this is his biggest collection for the brand yet in terms of buzz. Dossena’s work first came onto my radar a couple of seasons ago (after I’d heard that he was dating Nicolas Ghesquiere) but he has actually been working in the industry for quite some time, previously working under Ghesquiere’s direction at Balenciaga for many years. He commenced his role at Paco Rabanne back in 2013 so this collection has been a long time coming. Dossena began exploring the iconic chainmail designs last season but in this season’s collections it stood out greatly. It helps that the pieces were worn off the runway by models and influencers, and also that the timing was right in terms of giving the public what they need. We are at such a shitty time in the world that we need outrageous fashion, we need over the top impractical designs to serve as a distraction from reality. This wasn’t outrageous, per se, but it does mark a real shift away from the minimalist aesthetic that reigned supreme until perhaps two years ago. What made this collection distinctly different from Paco Rabanne in the 60s was that Dossena found a way to make the chainmail look fluid. It looked lightweight and almost liquid as it draped over the model’s body. The asymmetric cut was flattering both on the runway and on @emrata as featured below. These looks coupled with the high shine, reflective silver shoes hammered home the new trend. You know that chainmail is back. You know that silver is the color. Zara already makes little silver booties.

I’m excited to see the Paco Rabanne brand being discussed again in such a mainstream way instead of confined to discussions about wacky fashion from decades long past. I think the Fall 2017 collection has given the brand the much needed injection of press and I’d like to see it in the spotlight for seasons to come, especially if the collections continue to be of the same quality as this one.

 

Further reading

“The Space Age Designer Making a Comeback Over All The Fall Runways” – Vogue.com | the article mentioned at the beginning of this post which reflects on Paco Rabanne’s influence on modern day fashion and how the Fall 2017 collection contributes to this

“Paco Rabanne Fall 2017” – Vogue.com | the review of this season’s show by Sarah Mower, click through to see the full collection too

“I prefer fast girls to cute girls” – The Telegraph | an interview with Julien Dossena about the house and his goals and inspirations (also the source of the Casino Royale image)

Fashion Month – Fall 2017

I’ve been really terrible at blogging for the entire month of February. I have a zillion drafts saved with various titles about events that happened throughout the month, yet I have no desire to write about them now because it’s just too late. Like, aren’t we all over New York Fashion Week? Hasn’t the shock of Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy departure worn off? I feel like instead of typing out my thoughts on these events, I’ve discussed them in person, either with my friends or in school. That being said, I’ve kept a long-running note on my Macbook with various observations that I’ve made throughout fashion month so instead of breaking my posts up by city, I’m just going to put it all in one post in a rambling post. I hope you enjoy!

NEW YORK

Ok, so the exciting thing about New York Fashion Week was the fact that Raf Simons was back. Even though he had only been gone for such a small period of time, it seemed like an eternity in fashion when everything moves so quickly and a few seasons feels like 4 years. I personally liked his debut ready-to-wear collection for Calvin Klein, especially the transparent plastic over the trench coats (reminded me of the Doom Generation which I was obsessed with when I was fifteen) and the heavy focus on outerwear. However, I can see that the #mycalvins will be a thing of the past and that sucks but the Moonlight cast underwear ads are incredible so we’re all good. Alexander Wang was another show that I really liked, especially these two looks (a and b), and the venue was cool. The long leather coats at The Row were super cool. I loved this suit at Jason Wu. A theme I noticed throughout NYFW was grey blazers, in some form of check. This made me mad at myself because I used to own the most perfect vintage Ralph Lauren one a few years ago but I gave it to charity because I rarely wore it. Big mistake. I normally love Area’s lookbooks but they moved to a show format this season which was kind of sad actually but it does show growth for the brand. I’m obsessed with this coat from Proenza Schouler. Anything that combines vinyl-looking leather and fur/shearing, I’m onboard with. Narciso Rodriguez’s collection was very much how I wish I dressed on a day-to-day basis.

Alexander Wang

LONDON

By the time London Fashion Week rolled around, I was in LA. During that time I barely touched my phone for social media or email purposes. I just used the Maps app for directions.

MILAN

I didn’t like the runway at Gucci because I think it was too distracting for the actual showgoers, plus there were too many looks. The standout ones were a, b, and c – I’m so happy about the return of snakeskin boots. The colors at Max Mara were perfect. Honestly everything about that show just looked so good. The styling was sublime. I was so into the red boots at Fendi. I want a pair already, it was an instant sale (if only I could afford them). This coat at Prada is to die for. The dry-cleaning theme at Moschino was hilarious, they even put a wire hanger in the model’s hair.

Prada

PARIS

This dress at Jacquemus is so beautiful, it reminded me of vintage Chanel with a twist. This brand has the best IG. I love the new Saint Laurent, even if it’s just 80s redone. I’m so desperate for a pair of the logo earrings. From this collection I loved the sparkling mini dresses (a and b), the latter of the pair being a better version of the one I wore on New Years. Surprisingly I found myself liking a lot of looks at Off-White. I say surprisingly because although I like Virgil Abloh and admire his work ethic, I have never been the biggest fan of his clothes. However, this collection was interesting to me, even though it was entitled “Nothing New” I thought it was different for him. I want to wear this look, but I also like a, b, and c. This coat at Mugler was 80s power shoulders to the max and I thought it was so fun. Balenciaga was actually interesting to me. Normally I’m not a big fan of Demna Gvasalia but this collection was great, particularly a, b, and c. It was sad to see a Givenchy collection without Riccardo Tisci (I wasn’t ready for his departure to be a real thing) but I do like how they directly referenced pieces from his tenure. It was a nice tribute. Louis Vuitton rented out the Louvre for the show and honestly this is an instance where the design standard matched the location. I loved it. In particular, a and b.

Off-White

Paris Fashion Week – Spring 2017

As I write this, fashion month has just ended. I can’t believe it is over already and I am slightly disappointed at myself for not keeping up to date. I’m just a little bit confused right now and am trying to work out what I actually want to do with myself in terms of a career. I always thought buying but now I’m starting to wonder about other options and if I’d enjoy them more. That, coupled with the fact that I’ve been super busy, is why I’ve been falling so behind this month.

The biggest story to come out of Paris was the Kim Kardashian armed robbery. Very fucked up and totally not ok. Regardless of what went down (inside job, 2 men vs 5 men), it was still an awful incident and I can only imagine how terrifying and traumatic it was. This has overshadowed fashion week, in my opinion.

Anyway, continuing with my lazy girl format of posts this season, I’m going to highlight my favourite looks from the shows. Next season I promise to do better!

Yohji Yamamoto
Yohji Yamamoto
Fenty X Puma
Fenty X Puma
Rochas
Rochas
Rochas
Rochas
Maison Margiela
Maison Margiela
Maison Margiela
Maison Margiela
Y/Project
Y/Project
Christian Dior
Christian Dior
Christian Dior
Christian Dior
Chalayan
Chalayan
Paco Rabanne
Paco Rabanne
Chanel
Chanel
Chanel
Chanel
Chanel
Chanel
Chanel
Chanel
Chanel
Chanel
Valentino
Valentino
Nina Ricci
Nina Ricci
Balenciaga
Balenciaga
Celine
Celine
Celine
Celine
Celine
Celine
Givenchy
Givenchy
Givenchy
Givenchy
Givenchy
Givenchy
Balmain
Balmain
Off-White
Off-White
Off-White
Off-White
Christian WIjnants
Christian WIjnants
Oliver Theyskens
Oliver Theyskens
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent
Miu Miu
Miu Miu
Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton

Paris Fashion Week Highlights – Fall 2016

I love Paris. I love the mix of designers you get here plus the historic houses which continue to create. There were a couple of houses without set designers this season (Dior and Lanvin mainly, both with varying results) and another couple where designers who recently started their appointment are still finding their feet and giving the brand their own personal touch. Let me start this off by saying that I’m not going to discuss either Vetements or Balenciaga in any detail. I am not interested. I used to be such a Balenciaga fan under both Ghesquiere and Wang but for now I am done with the brand. I’ll wait to see the clothes actually on the streets before I say anything else.

Besides the aforementioned, there were many shows that I liked. This season I’ve found myself picking out a few pieces from each collection or a handful of looks that I think are strong/something I’d buy/super cool instead of looking at entire collections overall. I’m not sure if this is good or bad. For the whole season there has probably been less than 10 shows that I’ve thought of as the entire collection instead of just a few looks that I like. 

Givenchy

Honestly, I adore Riccardo Tisci. If you know anything about me, you’ll hopefully know that. Every season he makes clothes that I would want to buy and wear. For the most part, our aesthetics align. This season there was a bunch of different prints including snakeskin and leopard. I’ve actually seen a lot of leopard print coats over the past couple of seasons and I’ve been wanting one for a good few months. This show made me realise that come fall I will need one. (My favourite is still the Alexander Wang pre-fall one, however.) The collection was actually very cohesive. Inspired by Egypt, Tisci made a beautiful collection without being too literal in his references. I cannot wait to see how the ads are styled!

Christian Dior

This is the first ready-to-wear collection produced by the in-house design team since Raf Simons’ departure. The couture collection was panned but I think this one deserves a little more praise. I actually thought it stayed very true to the brand’s core principals and original designs. That is also a reason that people aren’t liking the collection (too safe). However, I thought there were a lot of beautiful pieces with a classic Dior silhouette. Realistically, the Dior customer is hella rich and not gaudy. These kind of clothes appeal to her, even if they don’t push the boat out creatively. My favourite looks were the fur-lapelled coat worn by Kendall Jenner and the dusky lavender coat of a similar style.

Chanel

I have a method of looking at a Chanel collection. The first step is to look over all of the thumbnails on Vogue Runway and open the ones that catch my eye in a new tab. The next step is to look through the entire gallery and zoom in on pieces. If I still like them, I’ll open the tab again. Usually this leaves me with a zillion tabs open so small that my browser is about to crash. If I have doubles, I know that I like the look. It sounds like a tedious process but I’ve found that it’s the only way I can actually observe a Chanel collection because there’s always so much going on. Doing it this way means that I find pieces that I might gloss over if just giving it a once over; only occasionally do I actually watch the show in motion. This season I found the set was pared back but the clothes were not. There were cool uses of tweed (a bomber-type jacket for one), lots of pearls (a Chanel staple), and also many accessories which I thought were fantastic such as hats and mini bags. The Boy bag has to be the most popular Chanel style at the moment so it only makes sense that there were many imaginings of it on the runway. The floaty black dress with the gold embellishments towards the end was my favourite piece in the entire collection and one that I’d like to see in the campaign images.

And the rest…

This shearling cape at Maison Margiela was a fun twist on a classic aviator jacket.

I don’t think anyone was really ready to see another Lanvin show yet. I found it very 80s and many of the looks made me think of what American socialites would buy from the Parisian couture shows back then. I actually liked this dress even though it was slightly like a bed sheet. Also, this fur coat was cool.

These two looks (i & ii) at Dries Van Noten were very nice and I’d actually have styled them together with the coat open. It may have taken away from the impact on the runway but I can imagine that this is how people would actually wear it. There could’ve been a great supermodel-style runway moment where they took off the coat and swung it over their shoulders.

At Guy Laroche I liked this embroidered jacket.

You can count on Chloe for lightweight, flowy dresses. I feel like these can be worn in any season (with tights in the winter and bare legged in the summer). This time around I particularly liked this mustard offering with soft ruffles.

I used to be such an Olivier Rousteing fangirl but I’ve started to tire of Balmain. I think overexposure has done it. Looks are becoming so repetitive as well. However, there were still quite a few pieces that I liked (just not enough to make the show a favourite) such as this beautiful navy blouse with ruffles and this embellished top and skirt.

I’m slightly late on the whole patterned bomber jacket trend but I really like this one at Emanuel Ungaro. Given that they’re being shown on the catwalk again this season, I think it is a trend that is here to stay. I’ve seen a cool one at Zara that I like and if that fails I think I’ll look to a vintage store.

I really liked the colour palette at Akris, so warm and definitely autumn appropriate. Also, you can get a dress with a similar print to this one at Mango just now for £49.99 (if you’re interested in a runway-esque look for less).

The proportions of this coat at Acne Studios is cool. I also like the boots that it is paired with. I’m currently loving a lighter sole paired with black boots.

I am obsessed with this check dress at Isabel Marant. I’ll be interested to see how much this retails for because I want to buy it.

I liked the Rick Owens show a lot more this season than normal. The clothes were oversized and flowy but not so big that they drowned the models. Plus, the show was less gimmicky. See the full collection here.

I want to wear this entire look from Paco Rabanne. 

Valentino was so pretty but I’m sick to death of the shitty casting.

Chanel Metiers d’Art – Rome

When approaching this collection I made the decision to wait until everything was released. I wanted to see the film, the set, the clothes, the whole package before even thinking about it, before forming an opinion. I’ve now had time to digest it all and really, I found this entire collection and everything surrounding it to be absolutely wonderful. You see, the Metiers d’Art shows are fantastic. Not only do they employ a vast amount of terrific creative techniques and intricate details that are often missed on ready-to-wear shows, taking them to a couture standard, but they always come with a short film accompanying them. I love this.

Some people like to criticise Karl Lagerfeld’s films. They’re not films. And that’s true, they’re a whole different genre. They’re a fashion film and that is the distinction. Fashion films are thinly veiled adverts, a beautiful, creative way to sell clothes, perfume, beauty products, accessories – whatever. People realise this and then decide to bash the film. Let us be honest, these films were never going to be released in film festivals or movie theatres – they are simply an accompaniment to the collections.

This year’s story was a behind-the-scenes look of a proposed movie to be made about the life of Coco Chanel, starring Kristen Stewart as an actress trying to play the young Coco and Geraldine Chaplin playing an older Coco. The whole plot was basically a disastrous movie set with so many changes taking place. They couldn’t decide what parts of Chanel’s life to portray in the movie because nobody knew what was true. For example, in real life much focus on the life of Coco Chanel (besides her apparent Nazism) is on her reported lovers. In the film they had discovered a new, never before mentioned lover and wanted to feature him. It was a fun plot really with a few beautiful costumes and one truly horrific Shakespearian-esque creation. I enjoyed it.

Now on to the actual collection. I am in awe. I simply adored everything about this show. First of all, the set was brilliant. Karl transported Paris to Rome and did so in a way that felt authentic, with the guests sitting at tables as if outdoors at a cafe and even having water on the streets. The idea was to take Paris to Italy instead of creating an Italian based collection. It was romantic, like a love letter to Paris. The models taking their first steps out of the Metro onto the concrete streets was a sweet idea and the route they took (although a little confusing) meant they overlapped and passed each other in the street as if just out for a stroll in their finest outfits.

The main points that I took from the show were:

  1. I need to get myself a pair of lace tights in a pattern not dissimilar to the ones on the models. Definitely a lot more interesting than my regular black opaques which I’ve realised are terribly passe according to a Vogue article which is always recommended on my Facebook newsfeed. I wonder how much these will actually retail for. I guess we’ll find out next summer. In the meantime, I suggest these lace ones from Next (£8), these Commando ones from Saks (£24), or these Alice + Olivia ones (£22).
  2. Peacock eyeshadow is a look to try. Fortunately my mum bought a Chanel eyeshadow palette last year which appears to have the exact shade I want to use.
  3. The classic slingbacks can be reinvented in a black and white colorway and still look perfect. It just reminded me that I still desperately want the beige and black ones though.
  4. Bejewelled anything works. I want a bejewelled belt, preferably one with some pearls that jangles when I walk. Once I get my hands on said belt, I have a look that I want to wear (I say look because it is so much more than just an outfit) and I have all the components apart from the belt. If I ever wear this imagined outfit I’ll be sure to post a photo.
  5. Karl will never be finished, ever. People who like to say that he is useless, that Chanel is old-fashioned, just need to take one look at the beauty of this collection and they will be shushed. There were pieces in there for the entire family.

I was simply taken aback by the embellishments in this collection. They were done in the most beautiful ways, like the bejewelled capelet/necklace in look 53. There was also lots of lace (I’m a lover of the material), cosy knits, and cool leather coats. What I loved most about this collection was that it didn’t feel at all stuffy. Many of the looks I could see myself or my peers actually wearing, albeit much lower-budget options. I also feel that I could try and recreate some for a hell of a lot less. Looks 57 and 58 reminded me a lot of the last Givenchy show in New York because they had the same dark romantic mood with the airy fabric and lace.

All in all, I adore this collection. It is the first show in a while that I’ve actually sat and watched and been mesmerized by. I can imagine that the entire audience felt the same way: captivated. The hair and make-up was great, the clothes were fresh and wearable (so important to me), and the set was like a movie. I like a bit of theatre in my fashion shows and Karl always brings that. Another brilliant Metiers d’Art collection and I excitedly await its arrival in-stores. A trip to Bergdorfs may be necessary come the summer!

Paris Fashion Week Highlights – Spring 2016

Can you believe that fashion month is over? I feel like it has gone simultaneously too fast and too slow. There’s some shows which I’ve been desperate to see for weeks and now that I’ve finally seen them I feel relieved. On the other hand, everything is a blur. I remember New York, I remember a few shows in Milan, I don’t remember London at all, and now we have Paris.

I’ve learned a couple of things this fashion month:

  1. The insta-girls don’t bother me. I don’t care that they’re only being used for their social media following. If they look good in the clothes that’s all that matters. I now follow Gigi Hadid and enjoy looking at her posts, even if they do give me extreme hair envy. I like her sister too.
  2. I am open to colour. I know that sounds really ridiculous, but for the past at least two years I’ve stuck to a palette of neutrals. That sounds so boring but I just did. For a while it was literally just black and denim. Now that I’m seeing some beautiful shades of pink and orange on the runways I want to wear them myself – take this beautiful watermelon at Alexis Mabille as a perfect example. I suppose you’ve got to look more vibrant in the summertime!
  3. Ruffles are destined to stay.
  4. Alexander Wang seems like oodles of fun. His final walk (or should I say hop-skip-and-jump) at Balenciaga was so playful and funny. I love when people are genuinely excited to do what they do.
  5. And finally, Paris is always a good idea. (But we knew that already, right?)

VIONNET

Vionnet is a historic house is often forgotten about when you think of the big names – Dior, Lanvin, Jean Patou, Chanel – and the reason for this is that they haven’t had a “big name” designer at the helm. That is until now, as Hussein Chalayan has been added to the team. He already designed their demi-couture as of the beginning of 2014, but now he also works on the ready-to-wear. The house itself has been bought by different owners a few times over the years. Madame Vionnet is the designer who was famed for the bias cut, a new body-clinging shape, that changed fashion in the 1920s, and that John Galliano reintroduced in the 90s. I think this collection was perhaps prettier than any that Elie Saab has ever done. There was a good mix of floaty and form-fitting gowns, and the show was full of red carpet looks that I cannot wait to see come awards season. There were some looks where I thought “that could be Balmain” or “that could be Saab”, but all of them had a slight edge which separated them from other designers. Soft and ethereal sum it up.

CHANEL

Of course this is a predictable entry on my list, but how could you fail to include it? Just when I thought Raf had the best set of fashion month at Dior, Karl did the airport terminal. Now an airport is perhaps my least favourite place to be – I only like duty free shopping and that’s all – but Karl made the mundane interesting. I thought it was funny how this was the second to last day of fashion month and flying home was probably the first thing on everybody’s mind – Karl, you tease! As always, there were a gazillion looks, many of which were repetitive, but you know that’s what the Chanel customer wants – a version which will suit her (and you have to remember that the customers are of all ages). I felt a bit overwhelmed when I first seen the collection because there was just so much, so many patterns, so many different fabrics but when I looked at each outfit individually I found elements which I really liked (not in every look but often there was a nice top with ugly trousers and vice versa). I really look forward to the Chanel pre-fall show and the film which will accompany it.

CHRISTIAN DIOR

Watching Dior and I gave me a real appreciation for Raf Simons that I didn’t really have before. Ever since, I’ve enjoyed seeing his collections. The set of this show was similar to his original couture set (the walls of flowers), except he took it a step further and built the entire dome out of it – I seen the most incredible gif-set on Tumblr of the set getting made up. I enjoyed seeing lots of simple daywear and, of course, beautifully tailored jackets, most with a nipped in waist reminiscent of the bar jacket but softer. There were some interesting, almost bubbled shoulders on jumpers and tops and sweet scalloped hems. Nothing revolutionary, no, but does all fashion need to change the world or should it simply clothe us?

And the rest…

I loved the rings and hoops on the skirts and dresses at Anthony Vaccarello. They somehow managed to avoid looking Pretty Woman-esque. The show got progressively better as it went on. The looks with the jeans were the best, in my opinion, and Camille Hurel looked insanely stunning wearing them. As terrible as it sounds, I hope Zara copy this collection.

This season’s collection was the first Galliano for Maison Margiela that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I know there’s only been a few but I didn’t adore the rest. I liked the little touches of leopard print on the collars and there was a beautiful bodice on this navy top (it reminds me of something from medieval times, but in a wearable manner). The commercial pieces seemed to be at the start of the show with it becoming progressively less sellable, more collectors items by the end.

I find it quite sad that Kim Kardashian’s lack of attendance at Balmain was so widely commented on – she does not make the show. Once again, another collection by Olivier full of the silhouettes that he is working hard to make his own. You can tell when something is Balmain now, thanks to the huge social media presence of the brand on celebrities. I loved the cross over tops that have been prominent for the past couple of seasons, like this one or this one. The ruffled skirts were a little too flamenco for my liking. Judging by the hype around Balmain as a brand, the H&M collaboration will be a fast sell-out.

Mary Kate and Ashley certainly have a clear vision of their woman at The Row. I really do like the brand but I sometimes feel that there’s just too much fabric and the model is drowning in it. However, I loved these two looks – x, and the suit on the left, y.

The water-soluble paper dresses at Chalayan were insane. He knows how to create a memorable moment. This is one that will go down in history, just like his table dress from 2000. The moment is best enjoyed in video. A lot of the collection was rather nice too (lots of wearable pieces) but I think this just took the entire focus.

I thought this outfit at Paco Rabanne was cool. The trousers are marbled so subtly that upon first glance you might not even notice.

Alexander Fury best described Celine in his review for The Independent. He said it was “utility” in the sense that Philo was interested in making clothes that had a function in daily life. I don’t think I can say it any better because that’s exactly what it was. I adore this coat with the randomly placed buttons and also this jacket (I don’t think the full runway look would work in real life.

Martin Grant had great minimalist, clean shapes but there were some interesting twists. For example, the piping on this coat, the brushstroke/animal print pattern on this skirt, and the glittery feathers on this coat. I can imagine a lot of this collection will be in Harvey Nichols come spring.

I liked the ruffles on this one dress at Lanvin. I think they were done in a way that didn’t make them seem uber-girly, if that’s possible.

The fur stoles at Miu Miu are something I hope catch on, but maybe for the cold weather until April as opposed to in a summer collection (if they haven’t already). I hope to find an emerald green one soon.

Sarah Burton’s Alexander McQueen has never been my favourite show in Paris, but I did like quite a few looks from this collection. For one, I loved the jeans – something that you’d never expect in her show. Paired with the denim wedges and this insane top, this was my favourite look.

The scuba look of this skirt and top combo at Nina Ricci reminded me of the deceptive double-faced jersey at Prada last season, as did the colour. However, I liked the look and I think the top would be a good one to have in your wardrobe as it could be dressed up or down.

I really loved the exaggerated full skirts at Maison Rabih Kayrouz, with my favourite looks being this beautiful black dress (seriously black-tie party worthy, not that I’m invited to events like that) and this strappier but not dissimilar dress.

The Hermes collection was almost exactly how I’d like to dress. I think the review on style.com says more about it than I ever could.

Fashion Month in Fours

Now that fashion month has been over for a while, I’ve had time to reflect on everything and really form opinions. You know, taking a second look at things with fresh eyes really helps. Often something that I loved first time around doesn’t move me upon a second glance, and on the contrary, the opposite can happen and something that I hated, I now love, or like at least. So I’ve decided to do this the easy way, and the way that I’m guessing most of you would prefer, and keep it short and sweet. I figure there’s no point in rehashing out the stuff that I, and many other people, have already said, so this is probably going to be in list form. I’m doing 4 categories of “bests” with 4 picks in each of them, hence the title of this post. And just so you know, if I’m picking the best out of each four fashion weeks, Milan was hands-down my favourite. But that was no surprise.

BEST SHOW IN EACH CITY

Since when I’m doing my reviews, I pick out 5 shows that I like the best, it is easy to narrow down from that five into just one. What I did find was that I couldn’t actually remember any shows from London. When I was brainstorming this post, I wrote Altuzarra for New York and MaxMara for Milan, but nothing for London. I actually had to go back and look at my own post. That’s not so good and I think confirms that London’s fashion just doesn’t stick in my mind. That’s not to say that they are short of talented designers, because that’s not true, they just don’t stay in my brain the same way designers from the other cities did. Anyhow, I’m veering off topic.

  • NEW YORK – Altuzarra, but Jason Wu comes a very close second
  • LONDON – Tom Ford (is this cheating?)
  • MILAN – MaxMara
  • PARIS – Givenchy

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Paris Fashion Week Highlights – Fall 2015

I want to start this off by apologising for the lateness of it all. I have been crazy busy over the past few weeks, and unfortunately this blog is always the thing that gets pushed to the end of the to-do list. I’ve been taking my midterm exams and also have just got back from a trip to New York. When I was there, I visited a great exhibition at the Museum at FIT which I think I may write another post on. However, this is about Paris Fashion Week so I’ll get back to that.

It is the end, and I am a little bit sad that it is all over. I feel like it has been a very long month. I can’t even remember most of the shows from New York Fashion Week to be honest. Now that even Paris is over, it feels strange. Fashion month is a frenzy, a seemingly neverending madness. But when it’s over, everything just stops. I feel like things go slowly again. And then new editorials, adverts, and whatnot come out, then it is pre-fall season, then it is fashion month all over again. As you know, fashion never stops.

Paris is always thought of as the best fashion week. It is certainly the most prestigious and well respected. It is thought of as the epitome of European fashion, and the fashion world in general. And I suppose that is true. When you think of all of the big name brands that showcase there, only Milan can rival it. When I look at the collections, I write down the names of the brands that I liked: in Paris there were 32, and that was with me harshly editing and going based on snap judgements.Let us get started, for the last reviews of the season, and as a warning, this may be a long one…

 GIVENCHY

I think it is quite sad how the media focus of Riccardo Tisci’s work at Givenchy is rarely on the clothes, and often on the guests in attendance. Let me say this once and for all, the guests do not matter, the clothes do.

Riccardo Tisci is a great designer, and he has proven that time and time again, this collection being one of those instances. I didn’t see the whole “chola” reference (I’m guessing the gelled down baby hairs that FKA Twigs has been doing recently re-triggered this style) but I definitely get the Victorian thing. It was gothic without being extreme. The face jewellery, I could’ve done without as the clothes really spoke for themselves, they didn’t need gimmicks. The collection was almost entirely black and deep red and blue tones, which works for me, and featured velvet, lace, brocade, and lots of corsets that actually looked rather elegant and not at all trashy. There were plenty of stunning dresses, and many looks that I can’t wait to see in print. Whenever I look at collections I wonder what pieces will be used in their advertising. For this collection, I’m placing my bets on this dress (or either of the two that came after it), and this look, and perhaps one of the peacock feather looks – gelled down baby hairs and face jewellery included.

LANVIN

I fucking love Lanvin. I mean, how can you not? As a brand, it retains that old-time glamour and luxury without ever feeling dated. Alber Elbaz is a much loved designer, and there is good reason for it. For this collection, he looked back into the archives and found some things that inspired him, along with Morocco, his birthplace, which may be why some things look slightly vintage Yves Saint Laurent (he was heavily inspired by Morocco, visiting the country numerous times throughout his life). I think this collection took you on a journey, from the modern, more sportswear-like dresses at the beginning, to the shearling, bohemian-esque looks in the middle, to the abstract florals at the end. It was really a three-part story. Basically, I’m sold. I’d be a Lanvin girl if I could afford it, but really the closest I think I’ll get is a pair of their ballet pumps, which, by the way, are the softest and most cushioned ballet pumps I have ever encountered in my life. Oh, if only I had a pair of them, I might not even need a Lanvin dress… Although I wouldn’t say no to this beauty.

CHALAYAN

I think this may be my favourite collection out of fashion month in its entirety. It is stunning. Hussein Chalayan is a very fashion-forward designer, sometimes too ahead of his time for people to appreciate it when they first see it, but I think this collection was very clearly good, very obvious to see. I don’t know the big story or meaning behind the collection, so I am judging the clothes on face value because that’s all I’m really qualified to do – and I love them. The fur cuffs on suit blazers and the random slashes on trouser legs, held together with chains, and boxy blazers were all interesting touches that added to this collection. I wish Chalayan got more attention because he certainly deserves it.

NINA RICCI

I have to admit, Nina Ricci is a brand that I have never paid attention to. I’ve always associated it with perfume, not so much clothes. However, when I seen this collection, I perked up. You see, they have a new creative director and I think that change is definitely welcome. His name is Guillaume Henry, and he came to Nina Ricci from Carven, a brand that has been picking up popularity in recent years. (I’m still in love with this deer coat from Fall 2013.) For this collection, he definitely piqued my interest in the Nina Ricci brand and actually made clothes that I’d want to buy. Often when I see things on the runway, I like them but don’t think they could translate into my daily life. Sometimes I think “oh, I live in the wrong place” or “oh, maybe in 10 years time, I’m a little too young just now”, but with this collection, I felt like many of the pieces could seamlessly weave themselves into my wardrobe. There was a good selection of nice coats, some fur, pretty day dresses, and the odd pair of trousers dotted in too. I really did like this collection and I hope that Guillaume stays for a long time, because I enjoy his style. It fits with my own.

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

I cannot pretend I’ve never said a bad word about Sarah Burton, because I have, as has most other people who are fans of the late Lee McQueen. However, as she has said before, she did work with him for years and years so she really does know her stuff. For me, this was the first collection since she has taken over that I have really loved, that has actually hit a mark with me. Alexander McQueen is in the press again as the hugely popular “Savage Beauty” exhibit has just opened up at the V&A, which I’m guessing makes it a little bit more difficult for Sarah Burton as everybody wants to look back and relive the magic of Lee, and she definitely has huge shoes to fill. It must be awful being constantly compared to him, so I will try and refrain from doing that in the future. I can’t wait to see the exhibition, but I’m not going for another couple of months sadly… Anyhow, Sarah Burton designed a solid collection. There were ruffles that looked romantic, not dated. There was leather that looked wearable, not fetishistic or too biker. And actually, there were lots of pieces that looked wearable. I just wonder how much of this collection will make it into stores. Whenever you see Alexander McQueen in store, it is never anything like the runway – sometimes it seems like a completely different brand. I’d like to see some of this in my local Harvey Nichols, perhaps this coat?

And the rest…

At Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquiere seems to be working hard to carve a new house DNA. I like what he does, as do many other people. He is probably one of the most popular and influential fashion designers of modern times. I enjoyed the little spaghetti strap dresses this season, and also the beige pant suit which looked brilliantly tailored. Really, he deserves his status at the top of the industry.

I liked all the brown at Rochas. As I said before, I think in another fashion week review, I like brown. And tan, and beige, and camel, and most other shades of brown. It is softer than black. A couple of the looks in particular were really nice. For example, this coat and belted dress look, and also this fur coat with the pussybow peeking out from beneath.

Maiyet was quite a collection. I am particularly a fan of the oversized, slightly slouchy fit of the clothes. These three looks are sublime (x, y & z).

I really love this coat at Leonard.

The Zoolander appearances at Valentino were actually a lot more exciting than the clothes in the collection, and I’m so glad that they’re making a sequel. Surely this high profile stunt will boost sales, or at least attention, for the Valentino brand. Don’t get me wrong, they were lovely clothes but I think they were overshadowed by all of the Zoolander hype. I love how Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller have been credited as Hansel and Derek Zoolander on style.com though, see fashion does have a sense of humour!

Until recently, I had never really seen Chanel clothes up-close in person. I’d never actually touched them and felt them, I’d only looked through glass. When I was in Bergdorf Goodman last week, I touched them for the first time, and now I get the hype. I always wondered how Karl Lagerfeld could put out collection after collection of 80+ looks, and if they were ever actually nice in person. Now I know they are even nicer. This collection was another one of those that, upon first glance, seems to be a whole lot of looks, many of which are similar. But I suppose the Chanel customer likes to have options. A few looks stood out to me (x, y & z). Also, the set was incredible. The whole brasserie set-up was immaculate and really set the scene. If Karl does one thing consistently right, it is set design: Impeccable.

Lemaire, designed by Christophe Lemaire, the former artistic director of Hermes, produced a brilliant collection full of streamlined silhouettes, and polished pieces. It was a demure kind of sexuality that the models emitted, nothing too outrageous. I’d wear these two looks if I could get my hands on them (x, y).

Anthony Vaccarello is the new Versace. That’s why he has been hired by Donatella. Out of his own collection, I really loved the brown suede used in this collared bomber jacket and also this dress with cut-outs, and also this super-sexy suit-like dress.

I wanted to love Balmain, because I usually do, but this time I didn’t. It was too much. However, I did like the opening look (mainly its top, I could’ve done without the pleated trousers and just had flowy trousers instead), this white coat (if it wasn’t belted shut, I didn’t like the styling), and this glitzy dress (although I can imagine that Kim K already has it on pre-order which ruins it for me a little bit. Fuck I was planning to stop talking about her…).

It has been said that Alexander Wang has finally come into his own at Balenciaga, and I think that I agree, but this season I just haven’t been a fan of Alexander Wang, not at his own line or at Balenciaga. I did see the dress that I included in my “wishlist” in person and it is as great as I expected. However, great is not what I’d call this collection. Yes, it referenced the archives which I suppose is good, but it just wasn’t as good as last season (which I loved), and also some of it was a bit too Raf for Dior. I liked this dress a lot though.

David Koma’s Mugler was sexed up, as always, but it didn’t seem old. I don’t think he needs to find new tricks because he has clearly developed a style that works for him. I loved the skinny pants this time around though (x & y), something slightly different than mini dresses. Hey, you all know I’m a Koma fan, I rarely have ill words to say.

This dress at Emanuel Ungaro was absolutely insane. The folds were just like a fan. I would love to see this in person and feel how it is like that.

And finally, as always, Hermes was flawless and refined luxury. I like this new creative director.

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!