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S/S 13 Prada

Day 2 of Milan Fashion Week and the Italians are out in force. Miuccia Prada however chose some of her French counterpart’s music to accompany her show. It was that typical kind of French Music sung by a female vocalist, some moans and groans singing her blues. An unusual choice.

The initial colour palate was a bit dull with blacks and varying shades coming out on top. Like we saw yesterday there was a resurgence in the 1960’s with that boxy kind of silhouette featuring widely throughout. However it wasn’t just an ordinary 60’s resurgence, this time it was infused with an oriental twist.

Asian flowers packed a punch creeping slyly up the front of garments and twirling gracefully against their plain backdrop. It was an interesting idea as the fusion of Orientalism with the 60’s silhouette became reminiscent of the good old “flower power” that decade was known for.

As like many a catwalk this season, including Gucci’s yesterday there were was an inspiring emphasis on collars from round neck to mandarin collars, it was one feature that designers have been using to inject a bit of oomph and colour into an otherwise dull set of apparel.

The hair was was also reminiscent of the 60’s with bedhead hair piled high in a bouffant. That sort of sexy, just woke-up hair that ravaged the follicles of many during that fun decade.

The orange-red lipstick also kept in-line with the oriental twist, similar to the bright shades of the 60’s. A very clever and unusual mixture it has to be said.

There was a futuristic element in the show today with metallic boots and a satin effect in some instances that was more extra-terrestrial than elegant.

Unlike most other designers, there was not much variety in silhouette during this collection with a boxy, over-sized form predominantly featuring.

An unusual moment occurred when fur featured on the spring catwalk. Designers these days seem to be plugging their way more and more towards a somewhat warmer wardrobe perhaps it is to combat the possibility of another dull summer that accounted for disappointing sales last season.

A beautiful lithe model donned a sporty play suit that finally lifted the uninteresting palate that had previously pervaded the collection.

The show altogether was an inconsistent mix of unusual choices, clever combinations and colourless catwalk.

The music which during the start of the show that had seemed inspiringly modern was on repeat which became largely noticeable towards the end of the show. It begins to become boring and weird. The French Woman echoes an eery cackle that makes my spine shiver.

Finally the show ends on a loud moan by La Francaise.

It is painful to watch the models descending in impossibly impractical footwear (yes, it’s art but don’t make them walk down the stairs!!). They are concentrating so hard on not to fall that they look like zombies. The final scene looks like a horror film with their pale skin, pained expressions and odd garb against a stark background.

Perhaps it was the setting that made the show so unappealing or the music or even just the futuristic twist. This show was clearly designed to embody an Asian essence. Obviously Prada are seeking to continue their prospects in the East. But it is no wonder. The Wall Street Journal reports that Prada’s “sharp focus” on Asia boosted profit by a whopping 72% recently. Good luck with that Prada but I certainly won’t endeavour to be purchasing or admiring this collection. A successful designer has a universal appeal.

They might have more money but that doesn’t mean they have more taste.

S/S 13 Gucci

Gucci kicked off Milan Fashion Week this morning with a beautiful, bright, pink, 60’s- inspired concoction. The silhouette was rapturous belted at the waist accompanied with a high neck and flared trousers. The block of one colour is eye-catching and pleasing to the eye elongating the model’s legs and torso. The continuation of this theme extended to the sunglasses, tinted a matching shade of pink.

The fluted sleeves were an exquisite feature of today’s show something that lends a certain sophistication to one’s movement. The silhouettes saw the female form almost always covered top to toe from high necks to long trousers. Very little skin was showing, apart from the back, an unusual feature of a Spring/Summer catwalk.

The white and coral looks presented a continuation of last season’s colour-blocking trend that had been clearly conspicuous on the high- street and with Gucci’s investment in the trend, it more than likely will continue to feature.

Inspiration this season was clearly drawn from the 1960’s with little shift dresses and jewel colours being brought to the forefront once again. The longer tops were something of note which haven’t been around in a few seasons and one that will probably take hold during this coming Spring.

The make-up was stunning with a soft smokey eye emphasised beside the bare, clear skin of perfectly primped models. There was just a little bit of contouring to shape the face but rather the attention was on the eyes paired with a soft nude lip quite typical of the 1960’s.

Collars were a prominent feature, as they have been on many of the catwalks from this season to the last, so I predict they will continue to dominate and take full flight this spring on the high street and in general.

The snakeskin element of the show was a bit plain and typical of a Gucci runway which was a little uninspiring. This season took a very unimaginative path with the print. There was a beautiful pink and grey snakeskin pattern that was a little different to a typical Gucci snakeskin print however the way it was presented wasn’t synonymous with the overall look.

A beautiful classic element of the show was the black which was presented rather exquisitely. A cutout polo knit made a classic winter look wearable in spring and the cutout made it edgy and cool.

The show ended on an angelic note with a model swanning down the catwalk as if she had descended from heaven. However she was far from being a heavenly creature as upon closer inspection the white is quite stark as opposed to a soft white and her hair instead of streaming in long waves behind her was tied into a tight chignon.

My initial reaction to this show was that Gucci had played it safe or rather Frida Giannini did, trying to reinterpret and maintain the Gucci brand image. My advice; reinvent it without straying too far from the winning formula. This was too traditional with a little hint of boring for my liking.

S/S 13 Roksanda Ilincic

This morning at 11am Roksanda Ilincic showcased her Spring/Summer collection for 2013 in the Savoy Ballroom in London.  Her début look was school-girl esque and her inspiration from Josef Alber’s paintings was evident. A striking cobalt blue collar offset the dull tones of monochrome as the girl clutched a large over-sized matching bag. There is something safe in this; this is a formula that could never go wrong: a simple black dress and white shirt with a splash of colour.

Her collection encompassed practicality with a certain element of luxe. The fabric of high quality nature was visible on camera. Ms. Ilincic capitalised on classics in her collection with pops of colour giving it an updated edge.

Look 7 was one of my favourites with a Greece meets Paris vibe. The wonderful draping was goddess-like while the tilted béret gave it that “je ne sais quoi”.

 

Look 10 was the same look but with more of a spring palate.

Look 15 and the 70’s are back in town?! I don’t think Ms. Ilincic got the memo. I don’t think the 70’s will be huge this season.

There was something too safe in this that produced an altogether unexciting collection for Ilincic for this coming S/S season. She has already developed her signature. She just needs to elaborate now and excite; two things of which she failed to capture today.

S/S 13 Holly Fulton

Holly Fulton presented a magnificent array of clothing that encapsulated a casual refinement. The Holly Fulton woman is a woman who is elegant and refined even when they are casual and relaxed. There was something Stepford- wife- esque about her collection. The idea that this is for a woman who is perfect and beautiful all of the time.

Classics were taken and re-invented into something modern and unusual. This fifties-inspired pencil skirt and sleeveless shirt is made modern by the unusual digital representation of a rose. The combination of round shapes gave this classic look a modern twist, with the round bowler bag and circular sunglasses.

There was nothing askew or asymmetric to be found at Fulton this season. Perfect elegance dominated; this fabulous woman, her hair neatly arranged and a perfectly symmetric provocative dress. The modern edge on this fifties ensemble was the cutout waist and the digital print.

Fulton’s glamorous looks are less contrived than that of the 1950’s and more practical. In contrast to the kitten heels of the 50’s, Fulton instead injects an easy elegance with neutral moccasins that will endeavour to match everything.

 

Watching Fulton’s show, one feels like a kid in a candy shop. The future will be pioneered by this designer to some extent out of all the lesser-known designers out there. Her modernity combined with her fusion of the past makes her clothing retro and modern all at the same time. This is a brand that is quite girly and celebrates glamour and femininity. But it has to be said that the Holly Fulton woman is also ambitious, powerful and aspires for greater things; some of her designs are daring. But when one can pull them off, one will be on her way to the top.

S/S 13 Zoe Jordan

London fashion week kicks off today and boy did it get off to a good start. Designer Zoe Jordan brought the house down with her latest collection which fashionistas all over the globe are now currently fawning over.

Jordan is best known for her bohemian aesthetic and in today’s collection her jet-setting activities were evident. An elegant tribal ensemble modeled by a gazelle-esque creature was eye-catching as it was a modern and sophisticated take compared to the tribal garb most frequently featured by designers.

The toned, athletic models more akin to Victoria’s Secret than to Fashion Week gave the show an edgy vibe. There was a sense of adventure and playfulness that appeals universally to the free-spirited. This brand is a brand that celebrates the individual, yet remaining effortlessly cool. And conversely this is a brand that everyone will want a piece of.

The mix of bright colours such as candy-floss pink and orange gave the collection a typical spring air. However an unusual mix of fabric and concept was what made it new and exciting. The opening look was a  pink suit but with a sporty vibe. A change in silhouette also added to the arousing excitement surrounding this collection moving away from the fitted, tailoring that we had been experiencing lately to a more oversized silhouette.

Previously, I had not been too familiar with Jordan and have overlooked her shows. Perhaps it is her casual, unsuspecting name. Whatever it was, from now on this designer is not to be overlooked.

SS13 Holmes&Yang

Holmes and stylist Jeanne Yang’s hotly anticipated collaboration for Spring/Summer was served today with 15 looks, canapés and wine.  What caught my attention straight away was the quilted leather jacket donned by a pretty blonde who bore a pink pout gazing shyly from underneath heavy lashes. The jacket was teamed with baggy blue satin pants. It sounds edgy on paper, almost cool but there was something too familiar about it to excite. Now where have I seen that before…?

In fact, it was a common theme during this event that many of the looks; bland, familiar and unexciting took to the podium. With only 15 looks shown, it looks as if Holmes & Yang were a little lost for inspiration and 15 was the only number they could handle. With so much competition in the fashion industry for designers to earn their time in the spotlight, why is it that editors and the like fawn over the non-entity collections of celebrity collaborations?

13 is said to be an unlucky number. Not for Holmes & Yang. A beautiful model elevated, back arched, perfect pout and pins in tow wears the little 13th number. Off the shoulder straps revealing a sumptuously silken décolletage with a fitted bodice and flared skirt, oozes sensuality and one wonders could I look like that if I wore that dress? More than likely not. It’s the model doing the work; not the dress.

The fifteenth look held admiring glances as a model stood confidently with weight slightly shifted onto one leg to indicate her ease, her hair elegantly twisted into a chic chignon wearing effortlessly, a sophisticated navy monochrome dress. There is something quite elegant to be said about a satin navy or a royal blue.

Holmes herself along with her fellow ‘mentor’ and stylist Jeanne Yang both sported leather jackets of different varieties.

I find that this label is like a more expensive Topshop; they understand high street not high fashion. They will be lauded of course but this brand is like a Volvo really. I’ts nice, but at the end of the day everyone will still want their Beemer.

 

A/W 12/13 Burberry Prorsum RTW Review

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A soft piano instrumental plays to the large crowd seated in the Kensington Garden Tent in London’s Kensington Park. The crowd have gathered to witness Christopher Bailey’s exciting autumn/winter collection for 2012. Those not granted a seat have slipped in and taken up position standing beside the green wallpaper and glass walls that enclose the setting chosen for today’s show.

Light streamed through the windows despite the dull day and it only seemed fitting that with this weather and the electic mix of british music accompanying the model’s strides, that the collection would reveal itself to be rather subdued and desirably placating. Those in the front row, included Will.I.Am, Rosie Huntington Whitely and Eddie Redmayne.

The usual mix of coats and jackets took to the runway exuding practicality and an effortless style that has become synonymous with the Burberry brand, an element of country chic infused in each one. Bailey presented a remarkably laid-back collection which I feel will prove to be a universal popular choice among many and the quilted jackets, the burgundy belts and the waterfall pencils will inevitably find their way to the high street.

Velvet featured as did chunky knits and Burberry’s staple studded gloves. For this winter, inspired by Burberry Prorsum, think old curtains brown and marauding, velvet and grey shaped into “robes” with vintage appeal.

The show ends and the models retreat. The sound of thunder now echoes throughout the large hall, rumbling loudly. The sound now bursting into splatters of liquid as now water races down the glass ceilings giving the illusion of a rainstorm so typical of British weather. The audience’s mouths agape (Eddie Redmayne…), the models now burst once more onto the stage bearing umbrellas, prepared for this virtual rainstorm, Cara Delevigne leading the pack. The audience are starting to look up and alas confetti is falling from the ceiling. The onlookers burst into applause and rise to standing. Remarkably smiles all round, as the audience feel comforted that they are inside and shielded from the rain by it’s virtual creator and with the satisfaction of being indoors and now the desire to sport clothing such as was shown, ready to embrace and welcome the cold and depressing weather with the added perk of being spotted now with one of the stylish umbrellas parading the catwalk. A feel good feeling all round (and no that wasn’t because Will.I. Am was in the room).

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