Tag Archives: Valentino

Men’s Spring 2017

My new neighbor is a 20 something man who is a model and in a band. He is gone for months at a time on tours so I guess his group has some success. He is definitely what I would refer to as a hipster, but in the most endearing way. You see he’s a bit awkward and decidedly geeky. When I see him he’s always dressed in bright colors wearing high-water pants and shrunken tee shirts with narrow jackets and occasionally glasses. I would classify his style as fitting with the new Gucci aesthetic and I get it. It’s pretty adorable because he’s such an earnest fellow. Normally I would say menswear should be more simple, clean and cool. But he makes me smile and I’m always curious to see what he’s put together. Honestly though not many over the age of 26 could pull off that style, but you gotta be you, no matter the age.  Fashion is really the easiest and most accessible form of self-expression. You fly your flag to seek your tribe. That’s why it’s so important.

Here are my favorites from the Menswear Spring 2017 collections.

Gucci

I can see now that fighting against the new Gucci aesthetic is a waste of energy. I am finally at the point where I know what it’s going to be and that they have no intention of puling back on the excess. Okay, so it’s a new and very different Gucci now. Gone are the days of Tom Ford and his sleek sexy vibe.

Tom Ford for Gucci

Gone is the era of the 1980’s preppy god.

gucci-1980s

It’s a new dawn and the sun is rising to reveal satin and tat in all its gaudy glory.

So here we go:

Gucci

Alexander McQueen

I really like the Spanish style embroideries used on the jackets here. It’s difficult to add embellishments to menswear and not have it get gaudy or too feminine (see above). Usually I would say it’s just for the rocker type but here with the provenance of the Spanish heritage it remains dignified. I’m sure this will appeal to the younger, more hip type but if you were a more mature fellow, I think you could pull off one of these beautifully tailored jackets for an elegant, yet relaxed affair. The key here is to dress it down. I also like the designed prints on the suits because they always stand out and look very special.

Alexander McQueen

Haider Ackermann

Here’s what I hear in my head while looking through his collections,  Haider Ackermann is the coolest. I hear it on a loop in a sing songy way. It’s automatic. Ackermann will never be confused for any other designer. What he does is so distinctive and pure. It’s inspired and fascinating. The use of color is brilliant in that it’s at once unexpected and then totally natural. Of course those pants would have to be teal blue! His man is always on the cutting edge without ever getting tired or overplayed. This is just an eclectic fellow with confidence who exhudes style.

haider-ackermann

Dries Van Noten

Mr. Ackermann and Mr. Noten are really the two designers who are leading the way for the next generation with their vision and their laser focus point of view. This is what true designers do. They create a world and let us glimpse it. They offer you wonderful options that allow us to just pay a price to buy a form of self expression. They are taking the hard work out of expressing yourself by showing you a wholly different perspective. Noten always seems to know just when to shift gears and does so from say – the fitted to the relaxed – with ease. The colors as always are just as important to the design as the cut and fabrication, and all work in total harmony. Noten, in true French fashion takes risks and always has a dynamic and unique perspective.

dries-van-noten

Ann Demeulemeester

Yet another very cool French design house, Demeulemeester always has an edge that inspires admiration and yet still feels accessible. You don’t have to be a model or a fashion guy to wear these clothes…well the stripes might be a challenge for the regular Joe. There are some pieces here that would work for anyone and add that little something that says – hey, I know what I’m doing.

ann-demeulemeester

Valentino

I always have a sort of “meh” response when I see a military inspired collection these days – especially if it takes the canvas and fatigues approach as opposed to the more exciting Napoleon era Galliano approach. But here Valentino has really borrowed with refinement and if anyone could elevate camouflage they can. They have designed these clothes to be investment pieces that you can wear like jeans; the solid zip up jacket and the olive overcoat  feel easy and rather timeless. A clean collection that has just enough to stand out.

valentino

Louis Vuitton

Vuitton by way of Vivian Westwood? They feature Sid Vicious’ famous lock necklace – which immediately played the scene from Sid and Nancy in my head “Oh cool!” says Sid as Nancy clasps the lock around his neck, “where’s the key?”

“What key?”

Sid bursts into laughter. I’ve seen that movie waaaaay too many times.

sid and nancy

I used to have this poster on the back of my bedroom door. Mom didn’t care for it.

 

 

Aside from that there are also the infamous Fur sweaters.

westwood

Westwood and McLaren

Who is this new designer? As it turns out Kim Jones is indeed a collector of Westwood and McLaren’s and he has pulled some serious inspiration from them here – which is naturally my favorite influence of this show. There is  also some African influence which makes for an very unlikely juxtaposition. Punk and African that is, unless you were to reflect on the roots of Ska which is Jamaican but probably the closest association.  That’s just the music though and I don’t recall seeing any Rude Boys sporting Zebra Print. However despite all the confusion the Animal Print Creepers and  briefcase are perfectly awesome.

louis-vuitton

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Fall 2016 Review

We really get to have the best time drooling over the fall collections. It is by far the biggest blowout of the year. The collections present complete wardrobes laced with epic backstories. Layers of sweaters and skirts, boots, jackets and coats and the gowns! Hooray for gowns;  impossibly extravagant gowns, clean sleek gowns, embellished, layered, draped and dramatic – this is their time.  This is fashions bright shining moment where designers bring us their earnest best. Day to evening, including outfits for every possible circumstance. The nail-biting, the ulcers and the sleepless nights all come down to that runway and it’s so exciting. There is so much to see this year, so much variation and so much great work that it was very difficult to edit it down to just these few.

Damir Doma

Deconstruction had its trendy heyday about a decade ago so when we see it nowadays, you know the designer is a true devotee. This is their aesthetic not just a gimmick. And here it really shows. The use of the technique is thoughtful and designed which keeps it looking elevated and not shabby. The layering is beautifully done and enhances the garments’ proportions. While the color palette of black and white, neutral and utilitarian is true to the genre. My favorites are the jacket and coats, especially the white which compliments the all black uniform underneath with a hip result. (The shoes and jewelry are cool too.)

damir-doma

Aganovich

Aganovich gets me again. It’s still in need of refinement – there is something that is keeping it looking like design school level – not quite elevated enough yet. But they are definitely on to something and I’m still waiting to see them evolve…

aganovich

Maticevski

The silhouettes shown in this collection are amazing. The volume is done with such precision that it doesn’t overwhelm the model even when that seems impossible. The proportions are perfect, the fit is impeccable, the result is ultra feminine and chic.

maticevski

Moschino

I love the subdued jewel tones and the theatric elements of this collection. Jeremy Scott is known for his unapologetic designs which are usually more satirical and pop culture centric. The pop culture collections don’t interest me much but this one gets me solely on its charred dresses. (Although the day of the dead tails are cool on their own) The Dresses themselves are pretty but then he stets them on fire and they are suddenly tragic and punk all at the same time. No doubt this is a very fun show to attend and though the theatrics and sparkle got me, but the rest of the collection was just meh.

moschino

Paule Ka

If you are in your 20’s and in search of the perfect cocktail dress than Paule ka has got you covered. Well crafted and cut just right to evoke a playful simple charm.

paule-ka

Les Copians

Who wants to be snuggly, adorable and chic as that girl walking on the bridge over the left bank in Paris on a drizzly fall afternoon? I do!

les copains

Alberta Ferretti

The dusty colors and soft fabrics are lovely. The first dress is delightfully unusual in the combination of its metallic base and matte rusty-red detail. There is a sense of antique to the whole group that evokes nostalgia for feminine softness. It’s romantic and poetic and I find that irresistible. I love when the clothes transport you to another time and place.

alberta ferretti

Erdem

So gloves have been making a comeback. Talk about nostalgia. They often look baggy and sloppy to me, and God forbid they be spandex ((chills)). I love these three looks though, despite the gloves. This is a confident woman and she means business. Erdem always has florals and this print is one of the coolest they have done. The metallic and the green against the matte black background is dangerously close to looking upholstery yet reads as very sophisticated here, especially in the Asian style dress. The coat is borderline muppet but is saved by the graphic pattern of the fur. The shoes are fantastic too!erdem

Antonio Marras

There is something very unique about this designer. Nothing he does looks derivative – at least of nothing I’ve ever seen. He has such an original point of view that I can’t help but be intrigued. Where does he get his ideas? How does he come to his design resolutions? The choices are not obvious. They are in fact distinctive in their obliqueness. Whoa, I am overdosing on the vocabulary words. Just goes to show what an inspiration a unique perspective can be.

antonio marras

Gucci

It’s still an embellishment bonanza over at Gucci and I can’t say I don’t like it. There are SO MANY IDEAS here, it’s insane. It’s as if the designer has just been holding all of these colors and patterns and images in his head until he finally just exploded all over the workroom. There is chinoiserie, there is disco, there is every conceivable era from the 1900’s all the way through to 2015. What can be said? There are pieces I love here and there and little jems hidden amongst the Where’s Waldoesque chaos. I cannot imagine wearing it all together but mixed into a wardrobe, paired with some basics. For example a black camisole with those sequins pants would still stand out without going over the top. Or the Jacquard coat with good old jeans.  And it may sound crazy but that tiger bag could be an everyday item. At least it would be if I got my hands on it.

guccigucci

Roberto Cavalli

I love this interpretation of bohemian. It feels very authentic and not like costume for once. It’s decadent and full of rich fabrics, sensual textures and jewel tones. The teal blue with the deep green is such a stunning and rich combination. And who can forget the stunning yellow Beyoncé gown which is now iconic?

One of the best things about this collection is the styling. It is an excellent guide for how to dress something down. Yes, you can dress down sequins and you can dress down gowns. It can be one of the coolest cool girl secrets you’ll ever learn. The second look featuring the belted beaded gown paired with boots and a scarf is the perfect example. That dress on its own could go to the Oscars, but how many people are going to the Oscars… Styled this way, dressed down it can go out to cocktails or even an afternoon of shopping and a late lunch. Brilliant!

roberto cavalli

Vivienne Westwood Red Label

Somehow Vivienne Westwood is always doing classic Vivienne Westwood. She has such a singular point of view which is never obstructed by trends or outside influence. It’s always just coming out of her head. It is so cool in there. I love that she shows slouchy yet tailored and masterly draped clothes time and time again. While not everything she designs is easily wearable, these four looks sure are.

vivienne-westwood-red-label

John Galliano

Ooooh there is a little glimpse of the Galliano dandy from the days of Dior. The cheeky Louis XIV rapscallion. Obviously not with the decadence of Dior Couture. This is more of a wearable – I’m guessing from the shoes – street style dandy perhaps? But those dresses do have the same feel as the stunning concoctions he showed on those ladies of the court in the 1990’s.

john galliano 6-john-galliano-1

Central Saint Martins

So these are student designs from the St Martins college, I don’t know who the designer is. That is a shame because these dresses are lovely and do not look like student work at all. The draping and cutting is perfect and in these shapes that it not easy to do. It takes a deft hand. Hope to see more from this designer – whoever they are!central saint martins

 

Rochas

I think my favorite thing about this collection is the color story. I’m dying to see burnt orange, teal blue and emerald green, navy and mustard yellow.  Here is more of a muted version of those colors, but I’ll take it. So satisfying! I also love the first three dresses because they require little thought, no special underwear or accessories. You could just throw it on and go.

rochas

Nina Ricci

I wasn’t sure I needed to include these dresses because they aren’t really anything special, yet here they are, included. Is it that they are kind of simple? We have definitely seen them before. Perhaps it’s that they are wearable party clothes. Most anyone could wear these shapes and these styles. They aren’t exclusive to a thin girl, a busty girl, a cool girl or a conservative. From left to right they are clean, playful, a bit flashy and a bit sexy. Wouldn’t one of these work for that night out you have coming up? I think so, and you would look really good. Easy! That’s why they are included.

nina ricci

Rodarte

The first time I saw this collection I thought, “My dream prom come true. A stunning, elevated, gothic prom complete with fishnets and live orchids.”

When I was editing the post I looked at this same collection and thought “Were they going for 1930’s French hooker?”

What a difference a few months makes! In either case I still really like these looks, they are so overdone in the best possible way. All the elements have been worked out and come together in the looks. Even with so much piled on there isn’t anything completing for attention. You get to see it all because it’s cohesive.

Rodarte

Haider Ackermann

This collection looks as if it is starting to borrow a bit from the menswear line – which  I love because as much as I like the menswear collection for men, I love it more for me! So this works out very nicely, very nicely indeed. Plus the added bonus of the very cool striped dresses mixed in amongst the infamously cool Ackermann cropped jackets. The colors as always are a perfect palette of brushed metallics, earthy base tones (in this case green) and a shock of electric color (here it’s pink). Do you want to look edgy and still be the picture of sophistication and impeccable taste? Do you want to look cool without looking trendy? I sure as hell do. My adoration for Ackermann is not secret and he does it true to form every single time.

haider ackermann 10-haider-ackermann

Alexander McQueen

I just recently watched the Documentary The First Monday in May ( I highly recommend it btw) and there is a section of the film devoted to The Met’s Alexander McQueen exhibit. I marveled at the images. I realized that I had adjusted to Burton’s vision of McQueen and had almost forgotten his genus. He was a master at showing beauty and nature in all its rough and raw glory. He reveled in Natures brutality and was fascinated by her adaptiveness and fierceness.  Burton is less dramatic and less in touch with that sense of awe and wonder for the world and now I feel almost disappointed. But is that fair? How do you follow a man who left no traceable path. He was truly inspired in the most pure form.

This collection by Burton for McQueen shows that she does honor his roots as best she or anyone most likely could. There are elements of romance, punk and natures wonderful display here and they are altogether cool and modern and spectacular. But I cant help but wonder how Alexander would have done it.

alexander mcqueen 11-alexander-mcqueen

Dries Van Noten

So many designers this season and the previous few actually, have been showing pajama sets and leopard prints. So it’s nothing unusual or particularly exciting to see them here. What makes this collection stand out from all the rest is class. The word “classy” has always stuck in my craw a bit because only classless folk use the term “classy”. It’s really more of a slang term so it seems to negate the credibility of the compliment simply due to the perspective of the user. Here though it feels like a perfect fit because so many of the pajama looks and leopard prints being shown by other designers are a trendy version: a rock and roll version, a club version or a quirky hipster version.  These clothes on the other hand, look elegant and expensive. They are high fashion, not trendy and marketable. No cheap commodities here – oh no. These are the clothes one aspires to wear. To be that park avenue woman who represents strength, intelligence and CLASS.

dries van noten dries-van-noten

Valentino

My first thought in seeing this collection is “Oh my god finally some new silhouettes from Valentino!” Without question Valentino has positioned itself as the bellwether for high fashion. Most every designer has elements (let’s be kind and say) inspired by what has been shown on the empirically impressive runway at Valentino. We can trace the illusion dress, the long fitted gown, the narrow shoulder and the turtleneck seen of late all back to this house. Not to mention the entire embellishment trend. They have been showing variation on these established powerhouse designs for at least 6 seasons now so it’s refreshing to see some new offerings that go in an entirely different direction. I love these fuller flyaway skirts and the lightness they bring. In fact lightness seems to be the theme of this collection which features feathers and clouds as motifs. The illusion dress has run it’s course so I’m excited to see where they go from here.

valentino

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pre Fall 2016

It’s going to be so sad around here when the embellishment trend is over. It’s getting so gloriously out of hand that its doom is assured. Fashion cannot, will not tolerate anything to go too far for too long. Soon it we be a big swing toward *minimalism and modernity, wha wha wha.

Enjoying this as much as I do it’s fun to see what I think is an influence coming from the reemergence of Cuba into the consciousness. There are so many beautiful bold colors and patterns shown by the likes of Valentino and Andrew Gn. Then there is the ongoing extravaganza happening over at Gucci. It’s so fun to see all these designers just pile it on. This is also apparently the time to stock up on those grunge era floral dresses as they are in just about every other collection. I am enjoying it while it lasts!

*(Although as I go though the images I am realizing that I included a few that could be described as just that – minimal and modern, and they look great. I guess what I mean to say is the trend that seems to have stolen the spotlight is embellishments while other houses will always continue to follow their own point of view. As they should.)

Here are my favorites from Pre Fall 2016…

 Jil Sander

This is more of the slouch look that I really have been enjoying from the past year. This is also minimalist and modern – but that is the Jil Sander aesthetic so they would likely rather shutter their doors than stitch on a single sequins. I really like this though, the wide trouser is easy and cool and the coat is like a modern New Yorkers idea of a Navaho blanket coat. It’s cool girl – but it’s also easily cool woman. Now that is refreshing.

 Jil Sander

Adam Lippes

Moving on here we see a touch of the inevitable leopard jacket that almost everyone seems to be showing these days. Hey – a perennial favorite – no complaints here. I like this group because it’s full of essential separates and solid staples. It feels very collegiate sophisticate. A good solid base for a young woman just building a wardrobe.

Adam Lippes

 Michael Kors

Always super wearable and distinctly American in the best way. Kors has this unique ability to channel the best styles from eras of American fashion and funnel them into modern looks. I love a printed trouser because I love clothes that do the work for you. With a good print you can easily print match or just go with a basic solid on top and still look stylish. The dress is versatile which is the mainstay of sportswear, add a little jacket or cardigan and you can wear the hell out of it. The coat is a great cut, and would be just as cool for evening as dressed down with jeans. Good old American sportswear I tell ya.

 Michael Kors

 No. 21

I have been waiting for the floral dress to come back for so long. It really feels like we haven’t seen this since the 1990’s grunge era. I had at least 6 and loved to wear them more than any other look since then. I wish I still had them but sadly I actually wore through my favorite ones and must have sold the others. In any case about 10 years ago I was looking everywhere for a simple long dress that I could layer and wear with boots or sandals and there weren’t any. ANYWHERE. So hooray for the return of the printed floral dress. I love the classic colors here, and the pleating feels cool and swingy. The babydoll dress and coat are respectively charming and studenty. (I like to add the letter “y” to words.) The coat has that look like a fashion student would love it (in the best way) because it is actually pretty cool. The last look is a nice marriage of both and I dig it.

 No. 21

 Rochas

More of that grunge influence in the styling and the “house dress” element. Love the colors and the florals being mixed with plaids and leopard. These combos are an all time favorite ever since I saw my first Ralph Lauren campaign. The slouchy coats are hip and easy, and that thigh slit is genus. The gold dress is just the right amount of frumpy, kind of like,”It’s so ugly it’s cool” right? The leopard coat is a nice one for sure. I particularly like the print itself as the color is less golden and more beige. The last dress has got a little break at the floor like a men’s trouser and that’s a pretty nifty detail.

 Rochas

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi

I included this one more for the ideas. The first dress is really feminine and pretty just begging to be worn with a masculine element like boots or a mens jacket/moto jacket. Just not a fan of the print. Same with the skirt next to it, I love the shape, the lightweight fabric and pairing it with the plaid shirt, just don’t like the print. The final look features a skirt that is probably one of the best skirts I have ever seen. I love the extra long length, the pleats down the front, the tie at the side, it is the epitome of cool girl. The possiblilites of looks is endless: a simple white beater and boots with a leather jacket or layer on a slouchy ivory sweater or tuck in a loose silk blouse sloppily and pair it with a strappy flat sandal. I just want it.

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi

Erdem

Now these prints I love.

The first dress is just as simply pretty as it is ripe to be paired with a masculine element. It is so ready to be worn as a grunge dress just add boots and a leather jacket or oversized cardigan. The next looks are all about the print. Love dark colors contrasting against pastels.

Erdem

Just Cavalli

The First dress is a great throw it on to cover all sins dress – everyone needs one of those. The rest is just straight up grunge for the modern gal. The red leather insert on that jacket is clean and makes it special. The floral dress is just right, not too fussy or frilly, just enough length and transformable through accessories. Some good staples here.

Just Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli

Overall very costumey when styled all together like this. It’s as if you fell into an Aerosmith/Stevie Knicks acid laced smoothie. There are certainly some pieces you could cherry pick out of here that are amazing.  The jackets alone are outstanding and have so much potential of being your new favorite thing. The rest is just for fun.

Roberto Cavalli Roberto Cavalli

Gucci

Did someone say fuuuuun??? Yeah I know I hate that term unless you are talking to toddlers but really what else can I say? This is fucking fun. Here is a continuation of the theme from the last collection with the snakes and the trompe l’oeil… It’s iconic and great for the new designer to make his mark but I hope he moves on soon before it all starts to look like one long collection. That being said, whenever a designer goes full imaginarium there is always some amazing work to snatch up if you can. I am reminded of the original Moschino and his iconic surreal collections. These are investment pieces. And the gold pleated skirt is just really awesome and I really want it.

Roberto Cavalli

 Andrew Gn

Here is that Cuban look I was mentioning earlier. The colors, the styling and the vintage feel all take me to Cuba. I really love the sweet feminine designs with the bold colors. There is an energy to these clothes that is very unique. I especially love the lace inset blouses, they are so delicate and bold at the same time. Its exciting, truly.

 Andrew Gn

Valentino

Yet another stunning collection from Valentino. Full of energy and fantasy. The first group of looks have an Asian ethereal feel that is so calming yet have the energy of motion. Like a meditation by the water. I love the painterly colors – you don’t often see such colors, (for example in the skirt) in textiles they are more often seen used by artists. Subtle and powerful. The dresses are so lovely that it doesn’t bother me that they are the same silhouette and the same see through dress that has been done to death over the last few seasons. If you were going to wear one – wear one of these. The second group must be more of the Asian theme because of the dragon, but I just saw Cuba. The vibrant colors and graphic use of stars and explosive imagery. It is more in your face power as opposed to the earlier looks’ more subtle strength. I love these all, just inspiring!

Valentino Valentino


Spring 2016

So many questions…

You’d think that designers who have longevity – wait, not all designers that have longevity – but some of them at least, would be pleased to see the revival of a look that they were responsible for. Like Armani – who you’d think could blow the doors off of the 1980’s revival seeing as he is the designer who led the way in the 1980’s. He was the top designer at that time who brought us the power suit. Is Armani thinking, “I know this – I can do this in my sleep, lets show these kids how its done!”? Then there is Marc Jacobs who was famously ousted from Perry Ellis immediately after showing his “grunge” collection (ironically his most influential)  which IS ALL OVER THE RUNWAYS now. From the super trendy St Laurent to the Italian powerhouse Roberto Cavalli. Is Jacobs thinking that this epic revival is his for the taking? Should he give derivative Slamine a run for his money? Or are they over it? As designers it is their job to move forward so do they just shrug and say its nice to see that I’ve made a mark on the industry? One that can be felt all over again, all these years later?  Which then implies it will continue to resonate in the decades to come as it will surely play out again and again in subsequent revivals.

It seems to me that the overall feel of  Spring 2016 (and then again in the just completed Fall 2016 collections) is Revival. And no era has been spared. The top designers are going from the 60’s all the way to the 00’s. Sure, someone is always doing an homage but when the majority of the top designers are looking back to go forward….that’s a big shift. Perhaps they have fatigued on all the “half and half” looks and the origami draping. Do they need a break from the desperately overdone, overworked and tortured looks meant to break new ground?  Now they just want to relax and make something they love inspired by a favorite bygone era? I think that having a break from trying to be the designer of the future will allow them to relax and clear their minds. When you stop trying so hard that is usually where inspiration is found.  My prediction for next year is that these same designers – now revitalized – are going to be pushing forward with fury. The collections for 2017 are going to be modern and clean and the silhouettes will be shapeless, straight and simple. None of the layering of pattern and costume frivolities we see now.

In a nutshell for Spring 2016 we see the beginnings of a huge trend of Fur, Leopard and Patent Leather with a gothic undertone all which carry into the Fall. Here are our favorites.

Mui Mui

So happy to see the bold prints and mixing of textures in this collection which first caught my eye in the 1990’s Prada collections. The purple print is my favorite because it  looks like it would feel joyful to wear. I also love the trench coat layered over the dress and the wide lapel double breasted coats (also a 90’s staple). They have a nice nipped in waist and are the perfect length both at the sleeve and the hem for ease of wear and practicality. This is the first hint at the gothic makeup trend there will be much more of to come.

 Miu MiuA.F. Vandevorst

I love a cool girl. The fitted striped pants are understated which is not easy to achieve in a striped pant. The result is instant effortless cool points, the belt is soooooooo coooool like a punk rock cummerbund then paired with the elevated blazer is a nice touch of class. The dress has that papery drape that would usually annoy me but I find myself thinking it looks really clean and sharp here – perhaps its all attitude? Hmmm. The last – those killer embellished  pants layered under the black embellished dress (?) is great because you can feel the weight of it, the way the metal embellishments effect the hang and that when she walks she can’t help but feel powerful, like an armor. It’s all so cool.

A.F. Vandevorst

Haider Ackermann

Ackermann is my current favorite designer. He must be, because he has done deconstructed neon pants and I like it. The fact that he would put neon yellow with ice blue velvet is enough to know that this guy knows what the fuck he is doing. The obvious quality of the work and the materials support the design so that he can accomplish deconstruction without losing any luxury. The pastels play off the bright colors so naturally that I wonder why it never occurred to me before. I love that – when a design is so successful that I have an ah-ha moment.  The signature cropped jacket is always spot on and the leather is supple and chic. Ackermann continues to inspire.

aa Haider Ackermann

Yang Li

Big flowy dresses are always on my list. Whenever the weather gets warm and breezy I have an innate desire for long fluid fabrics that will billow when I walk. It just feels good. These speak to that desire. The white swingy jacket, the black maxi dress, the florals with the full skirts and that jacket with the train are all easy to wear and make you want to parade down the sidewalk in the sunshine. The gothic color palette is unexpected with floral so naturally I love that too.

aaa Yang Li

Etro

Here is  more of that same feeling but with a vintage and exotic vibe. These are more of a lounge around drinking tea in the solarium just off the manicured gardens while discussing the trivialities of politics. Who’s in??? Tra la la!

aaaa etro

Anna Sui

Anna Sui always has a strong retro vibe to her collections, which is probably why she is one of my favorites. Especially when she taps into the 20’s 30’s or 40’s. This time it was a late 1930’s nod full of her signature prints and dusty tone color palate. I especially love the charmingly old Hollywood retro swimming costumes in the colorful prints. And the floral print floaty dresses are always welcome. Fair Warning: Generally, whenever florals are really popular there is always like a 10 year backlash where they are impossible to find so here our chance to stock up.

 Anna Sui

Had to include the final sequin look because it is a remake of an iconic costume worn by Barbara Stanwyck in the very funny 1941’s farce, Ball of Fire

Annex - Stanwyck, Barbara (Ball of Fire)_04

Temperly London

More resort-y springtime faire on the runways at Temperly London. I used to say that I thought this was the perfect designer for Kate Middleton, though now they seem to have evolved into more of a relaxed silhouette. More and more they are heading toward looser fits. I love the soft pink and black combo that they always seem to go back to – it’s charming in its innocent femininity without being cloyingly sweet. Always a sucker for a palm print, I like it here in conjunction with the English rose motif which keeps the palm from getting too trendy. The peasant dress out first is a nice introduction to the story of the collection and charming on its own. The blazer is not my favorite,  I’d prefer a lightweight knitted ivory pullover in its place with a low slung belt. A robe is the new covetable item especially when the sleeve and hem are long, as they are here. The Sheer beach dress has perfect pattern placement and the sequins jumper with the addition of the rosary is so cool.  Relaxed chic for Spring.

Temperly London

Alexander McQueen

Right off I have got to announce how much I love the redcoats juxtaposed to the soft rose print florals. All the details are beautiful from the touches of fringe to the tiny covered buttons and the eyelash festooned metallic lace. Burton has reigned in the ruffles and peek a boos from the last few collections and it looks like she has really gotten to the meat of it here. This is more restrained and better edited which makes it so much more balanced and accessible. The jewelry is STUNNING and so badass – I love the heavy chain and the boldness. It’s at once pretty, cool, soft and strong.

 Alexander McQueen

 Antonio Marras

This group is decidedly European. There is that thing about this designer that is akin to when you see a person from Germany (or some western European country) at a coffee shop and you can tell they are not an American. There is just something inherently different about them. These clothes have that indescribable thing and it’s really intriguing. The colors are unusual together, warm grey with gold, pink, ivory and crimson red. I love all the embellishments on the dresses and the makeup and styling are kind of like what you may see in an old oil portrait painting framed in some heavily carved gold frame. This whole group  has mystique. I love that.

 Antonio Marras

Dolce & Gabanna

Dolce and Gabanna time! Bring on the colors, the embellishments, the lace, the corsets and the sexy. They always have some roses, some religion and some sequins so I always love something. This time it’s the flowers that were my favorites, along with the pajama theme that most designers are showing.  There are plenty of more is more moments here and I just chose some of the ones that caught my eye especially though I assure you there were tons to choose from.

Dolce & Gabanna 1 Dolce & Gabanna 2 Dolce & Gabanna

Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini

These are some romantic, billowy, spring and summer dresses. I love how the fabrics are light enough to layer but have enough weight to behave as a dress not just a nightgown. Obviously some clever layering would be necessary in the case of sheer dresses, but this brings the opportunity for brightly colored slips or light colored blouses – loosely knit cardigans…there is fun to be had. Just what I want on a hot sunny day with a big hat and cool drink.

 Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini

 Valentino

Though the theme is not my favorite there is always stunning work done at the house of Valentino these days. I could not reasonably do a review without acknowledging the masterful craftsmanship and immense creativity of this team.

 Valentino

Gucci

Were do I begin?? There is so much happening in this collection and as a more is more subscriber, it’s hard to deny that my eyes are dancing. The colors are like a bowl of shiny hard shelled candies. The fabrics like they came from Diana Vreeland’s apartment, the details are cheeky and irresistibly playful. The trompe l’oeil ruffles are genius. I always applaud when a designer gives you a collection that you can own a piece of and be satisfied. Here you could have that bag, that shake charm shoe or just a ring and feel like you have a bit of the fantasy. This is purely due to the fact that the theme is so cultivated and merchandised for point of sale. I’m sure the investors are slapping each other on the back right now seeing dollar signs,  this collection is so easy to shop.

Gucci Gucci

Shoes!

So speaking of things we can buy, shoes! Shoes!! Shoes!!! We had to include these few from the runways.

J Crew

J Crew Gingham and Madras 1950’s inspired sandals! YES!

Miu Miu 1

Mui Mui Snakeskin T-Straps and blood red patent leather heels. Love the ankle ties too.

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta does Vamp. Oh Yeaaaaaaaah

Marc Jacobs

I have discussed how excited I was to see what Jacobs would do once he had his own house to play in again. Having thrown off the shackles of Vuitton and it’s expectations, what delicious creations he would be able to unleash. Well this collection was just what I hoped for. The overall theme of the circus, the burlesque, the fantasy, he went there all the way and clearly had a blast. It’s so enjoyable as the viewer when you can see the fun that was had while they were designing. How each idea led to the next – the energy is kinetic and inspiring to behold. I love the colors, the fuschia and gold and the blood red and silver. The navy and burgundy and white! The details are abundant and make each piece beg the viewer to get a closer look. This is the best, most fun part of fashion – this is what sells the tickets to take the ride.

Marc Jacobs hh Marc Jacobs

Lanvin

The final collection by Alber Elbaz and it’s as if he decided to show us how it was all done. The revealing of the underwork is nothing but genius. There is so much meticulous crafted beauty shown here it is sad to think that this is the end. Lanvin has personified French fashion and this collection simply shows us why. Master craftsmanship, fierce attention to cut and form, and the highest of taste levels. Glamorous and elegant meet when stitched with lace and sequins, satin and wool. Breathtaking.

Lanvin

 Dries Van Noten

How fitting to end this review with French Designers. The Paris shows are arguably the most innovative. They innovate while maintaining a level of taste which is not as easy to accomplish as it may look. Noten has been at the top of the industry along with Valentino, Ackermann, McQueen and a handful of others when it comes to designing innovative and fresh collections that are legitimately wearable. Not to mention dramatic, yet poised and even downright practical at times. This collection is full of color and texture and pattern at every turn yet somehow it doesn’t look jumbled. Noten is an excellent stylist as well as designer which is why the collections always look so accessible. I love the evolution of the Chinoiserie influence in the prints. It is still there, on his mind from the last season but it’s morphing into the next idea and that is the best kid of tease in fashion. What will he do next???

Indeed.

z Dries Van Noten
 Dries Van Noten
zDries Van Noten 1


Resort 2016

Resort is what is on the floor right now. Hard to resolve for those trapped indoors by the east coast snowstorm – a dream of sandy beaches and glistening sun dappled pools… For most, these clothes are something they are going to be saving for the Spring or for when the airports reopen! I realize of course that Resort is a small showing. A tease of what’s to come. Something to tide us over in that otherwise dull shopping season that hits after Christmas and before the first glint of Springtime. It can be just for fun or it can be a chance to fill in some gaps in your wardrobe left by a good Spring cleaning. Whatever the case, these are our favorites from the 2016 collections.

Kaufmanfranco

Clean. This is really kinda a great approach to Resort because it is seasonless. This could be worn in Spring as is, Summer as is, Fall with a cropped jacket, Winter with a coat. Great for travel as it could easily dress up with heels and makeup or down with sandals and sunglasses. All around versatility, really can’t ask for more than that.

A Kaufmanfranco

Chloe

Love the length. Love the detail at the neck. Love the styling.

Chloé Resort

Burberry

Doing what they do best; the Raincoat. These were my favorites of the collection. I always say, do not undervalue the coat as it is often the only part of your outfit others will see.

The red is a perfect shade of crimson. The ivory lace is so charming. The graphic is vibrant and dramatic. Something for everyone here.

Burberry Prada

So this is one of those collections that is more of a preview for what will be coming up. I love mixed prints and these are really creative and artistically styled. On their own they aren’t that intriguing – but the styling makes for a really fascinating and artsy gal.  I think this girl is someone who is confident and creative. She also might be a giant pain in the ass, but perhaps that’s just the models’ expressions. In any case, I do think the clothes look fun to wear.

 Prada

 Lanvin

There is nothing particularity special here. I just love a floral floaty dress worn unexpectedly.

 Lanvin

Rebecca Taylor

I chose this seemingly innocuous floral dress for the detail at the shoulder and the placement of the all the elements. All are hitting in a very flattering way. I also think the slits in the skirt coupled with the abundance of fabric are a very nice way to create movement. It makes it seem very ethereal.  Bonus – It is lined! Hooray for reality.

Rebecca Taylor

Elie Saab

I like the scarves with these as they add some drama. The use of a palm frond in the prints is great too. For some reason I have always had an affinity for the palm print you see on beachy rattan chair cushions, it’s so cheezy yet I love it. I also like the use of black which makes them a little tougher, more rocker chic. Pretty darn cool for florals.

Elie Saab

Carolina Herrera

This! This dress is instant classic. The shape of the skirt is perfect with just enough fullness to make it dramatic without being a ball gown pouf. The color is sophisticated which is very Herrera, and the oversized print is almost cool like Andy Warhol. It’s more than just pretty. But it is definitely pretty too.

Carolina Herrera

 Gucci

So I’m still not sold on the gimmicks being used by the new designer Alessandro Michele. They are distracting and unnecessary and frankly don’t vibe with the chic Gucci aesthetic. Yet another of these houses who are desperate to get the young customer into the stores at any cost, even the dignity of their label. If this wasn’t under the Gucci label I would like it much more. That being said I really do like the colors, the nod to chinoiserie (even though it seems kinda done already) and I even like the corsages of fabric flowers which are charming in their tattiness. I could live without the ruffles and tiers which seem like bad 1970’s prom details. And as I said before the styling is a distracting and unnecessary mess.

 Gucci

Givenchy

I don’t like the Easter colors. At all. no. What I love are the rosaries and the netted lace and the tassels and the chains, oh my!

The pinstripes on that suit are chains. That is such a cool idea (she says like a jealous fashion student) and I can’t imagine how long it took to tack those down. I’ll bet it sparkles and weighs a ton. Niiiiiiiice.

Givenchy

Valentino

This selection shown below from the collection is almost a big as most designers entire Resort offering. Leave it to Valentino to show a diabolical 82 looks. HOW do they deliver?

What can I say really? Time and again they are the bellwether for most other designers. Because of Valentino, runways are littered with long, narrow, sheer, beaded dresses in floral or ethnic designs. There are countless nipped in, lean, embroidered and embellished jackets and coats. Their influence is undeniable. Here it is so apparent why. They make impeccably cut garments that are detailed beautifully and artfully over and over again. When they do simple – it is flawless, when they go big – it is show stopping. My favorites of these favorites are the pajama romper ( and I hate rompers) the gilded coat at the end and the blue dress with the jewel toned and pale flowers.

Breathtaking and Covetable.

Valentino Valentino


Couture Fall 2015

Couture is less and less each year. Will it ever come back? Will we miss it if it goes away? Is it sustainable? It feels like many designers have taken the drama and theatre once reserved for the couture world into Ready to Wear. The opulence no longer reserved for bespoke. We see conceptual collections on the Fall and Spring runways as a matter of fact these days which kind of leaves the couture world out to dry. There was a time where Ready to Wear was strictly business, but an evolution – perhaps a revolution has begun and there seems no way around the inevitable. So let’s revel in the hand labored glory and decadence before it is gone forever. (At least in the commercial houses) Perhaps there will be personal designers hired by those who can afford it to make custom wardrobes, then we will have come full circle won’t we? I mean, we have boutique cheese shops now right? Full circle.

Alexis Mabille

This was less of a collection and more of a showcase. Perfect for couture. A wardrobe – I love when the designers do this because you get a full portrait of the customer. In this case literally as the models are likely customers who have been photographed beautifully in impeccable fantastical gowns.

I would pay money to see what happens with those beads on the first dress when she moves.

I love the colors together and the placement in the lace gown. Ice blue and cranberry are so dynamic and here they are so masterfully layered  – it’s exquisite. (I don’t think I have ever used that word here before). Then in the last that mossy green velvet ombre against the fleshy pale pink is totally inspiring. The crystal beading just pushes it over the top into total decadence. I feel moved when I look at this – it is like a Dutch painting. Masterful work yet these are just my three favorites, see them all here > Alexis Mabille
Alexis Mabille

Elie Saab

Here is an example of a designer who has taken the look of couture to Ready to Wear. Saab’s gowns in this collection would fit into any of his Ready to Wear groups easily. There is only the difference of the work involved and naturally the resulting cost. These are all beautiful gowns which will hopefully never be worn by a real housewife yet that seems inevitable too.

Elie Saab

Giambattista Valli

This one look was a standout – not just for the color but for the flawless draping. It is perfect. Perfect, timeless, flattering, strong, sexy, dynamic, stunning. Shoes? YES! Yes YEs YES

Giambattista Valli 2

I had to include these detail shots because they are just so beautiful and artisanal.

The last shot appeared in my pinterest feed and I was blown away by that cloudlike silhouette.

Giambattista Valli

Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli has become my hands down favorite couturier over the years. The back catalog of the house is intoxicating and full of surrealism. They stay true to the house and always offer some playful surrealist nods which are much appreciated, while also making modern costumes for extremely exclusive and damn lucky women. There are moments of ooh and ahh’s that are truly earned here.

Schiaparelli

Valentino

I feel bad saying it but I don’t think Valentino has ever been better than it is now. This collection is more of a full offering which seems crazy and downright foolish in this economic environment yet they do it every time. There were 59 looks in this collection. That’s a lot for a Ready to Wear collection let alone couture. They must be killing it financially to sustain this. Good for them – the clothes are truly special and I have said many times that they are the new vintage pieces. Designed for today, tomorrow, the future, the past. These are heirloom garments. The first group was my favorite featuring the Greco Roman Velvet gowns and jewelry. Audrey Hepburn could wear these as easily as your friends’ stylish Mother. The latter of the group aren’t as accessible and go back to that couture as costume idea but the they are stunning and exotic and luxury personified.

Valentino

Zuhair Murad

Another example – like Saab – of a designers whos couture looks and RTW could be interchanged. The theme here was celestial and at times got a bit too Disney for me. These three felt the most successful because they didn’t get too tied to the theme. These three evolved into inspired and inspiring.

Zuhair Murad


Fall 2015: Womens Ready to Wear Review

 

So here’s the thing about seasons where designers are of overwhelmingly like mind. In this case it was a full on 1970’s reboot. If you have been looking for a great vintage 1970’s piece or a have been missing that iconic element from your wardrobe, then this is the time to strike. Here you have many of the best designers in the world competing to create the most modern and desirable reinvention of a 1970’s era look. A defining piece – an attempt by some the best design minds out there to evoke the spirit of an era. You can now take your pick of printed miniskirts and flowing floral maxi’s. Don’t get bogged down in the revisitation of a seemingly wrung out moment in our history, (eh hem) shop it instead and move on.

Overall Fall 2015  offered many options for real wearable clothes. And it was these wearable pieces that drew my eye, more so than the flashier artistic fare. Which is so unlike me considering my magpie tendencies. As a result there was a very large pool to choose from and a very diverse final group for this review.  It’s always tricky to find a fluid order in which to present our favorites and with all that in mind this season was harder than most. So I went with a cross of casual to formal and good to excellent. I hope that makes sense, there are just so many of them!

Hope you like them as much as we do.

David Michael

As I was saying, wearable. The styling here is so cool. A little Parisian and a little American art school student. There is a wardrobe of go to pieces here and you gotta love that.

 David Michael

 

 Issa

Here’s some of that 1970’s reboot I was talking about up there. The deep V, the Maxi, the Fringe and the gold arm bands. They took the influence and really just updated it and left it alone. This is such a simple looking pair of dresses which is exactly why you could wear them forever and just about anywhere, in any way.

 Issa

Michael Kors

Kors seems to share my affinity for the 1930’s, perhaps because it was a time of such elegance and softness. Looking at these I just think, how charming. I love that Kors always has a little sparkle in there and that the clothes are always feminine. The black beaded frock is oddly slouchy in way that feels modern, if that makes any sense. I suppose that could be the female version of The Slouch that I have been promoting in the menswear collections. Yet here at the end is this very tailored suit dress that I also love because it looks so sharp and sophisticated. I can’t say I really followed the story of this collection – but I do love the pieces.

Michael Kors

Chloe

Without even realizing it I guess I really have jumped on the slouch bandwagon. (Someone more clever than me really needs to coin a proper phrase people, suggestions are welcome!)  The exaggerations here don’t stop at the length, if they did you could just call it Maxi. They also have floppy collars, extended sleeves and dropped waists.  They are oversized yet slim, not boxy – or else you could call them retro 1980’s. I especially love the soft floral dress but would rather wear it for summer than fall.  I wish the plaid coat was solid because the plaid makes it have too much going on. The brown sweater dress with the skinny tie and the military coat with the soft poet shirt underneath are both solid.

Chloe

Gary Graham

I was really taken with this collection. It is indescribably ethnic, which makes it seem mysterious. Therefore the woman wearing the clothes becomes mysterious, where is she from? what does she do? It’s just statement piece after statement piece which is so hard to style all together and not look like its totally overdone. It is a deft hand that can pull off this feat and they have done it marvelously here. I love the draped luxurious velvet with the contrast of the ethnic stripe simple skirt. The severity of the wool cropped jacket with the must be historic costume influenced sleeve detail. Is that two leather jackets or one? I really hope its one because it is so much more interesting.  I don’t know very much about this designer but looking back I found looks I’ve pinned here and there over the last few seasons. This is the first season he has really turned my head though and I hope to see more like this going forward.

 Gary Graham

 

 

Haider Ackermann

This collection is ripe in 1980’s references but in such a fresh and totally transformative way. Ackermann is so far ahead of the game when it comes to setting the standard for what is next – what is hip.  He has taken the forbidden shoulder pad and make it look strong again. Here it is clean and modern, practically like a dare to be questioned.  And he shows how you can take that coat and pair it soft, like with the maxi skirt or sharp with the pant.

As you scroll down notice how he mixes practical and flashy – business with pleasure. He shows you how it’s done because he is the master of styling and leaves it to the customer to choose where she fits into this wardrobe. So many women are present here in various offerings. You could walk the streets of Paris, Rome, Barcelona, New York, Moscow, Madrid, Dublin, etc – it’s all here!  If you dissected this collection and looked at it piece by piece you could mix and match so many types of real women – it’s just that good.  It’s suddenly so easy to be strong, modern and unabashedly female.

 Haider Ackermann 1

 

G Haider Ackermann 5

G Haider Ackermann 2

Vivienne Westwood Red Label

Only Westwood can make draping look punk.

 Vivienne Westwood Red Label

Dries Van Noten

I was still hoping to see some Chinoiserie amongst the collections and this season there were some direct influences, which was a treat. Most notably by Dries Van Noten. His take on the Asian influence is so unexpected. There is this ever-present Olive Drab that serves to highlight the beauty of the colors while giving you a clue as to where the shapes are coming from. He takes you back and forth from the extravagance of say, the silk coat and then shows you it in drab. Then turns around and shows you the  communist worker (?) uniform at the end but tied with the over the top embellished overskirt. Perhaps he is showing us that he is inspired by the utility, where the opulence perhaps it is to show that each have their beauty?

Whatever the case, you know I am in it for the embellished opulence. The prints are tribute to the Asian art that inspires them. Take a look at the back of the skirt in the last frame – the one with the beaded and sequins trees and pagoda scene. Oh my God I love that.

 

H Dries Van Noten 1

 These two tops are like art in the way the fringe creates the movement of the wind and water. And I had to acknowledge the shoes!

 Dries Van Noten

Marc Jacobs

This collection is the next generation version of Jacob’s Louis Vuitton Fall 2013 Collection.

Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Fall 2013

If that was the 1930’s up to the 50’s  then this picks right up where he left off in the 50’s and takes us all the way to the 1970’s. He had more of that story to tell and I am so glad that he has brought this  look over to his line. After he left Vuitton it went back to being just another label showing nice designer clothes – fine. But Jacobs brought theater to the collections, not just the shows but the story of the clothes. He was selling you a moment in time – our time – through his eyes. This is something he seems to always do for the houses in which he works but never seemed to do for his own brand. I’m so glad to see him putting his full force behind his name where it belongs. No more giving his best to someone else. This group has a similar story to that of the Vuitton  in the colors and prints, the furs and the jackets, the treatments with beading, the coats and woolen plaid’s and I love it. I loved it then too – in fact it was my favorite of the season.

 Marc Jacobs

I love how these dresses both have insets of sheer netting. It adds so much softness and depth to the story of the dress. These clothes all tell stories of the women who wear them – like they were each designed for just that one woman.

Marc Jacobs

Temperly London

This was one of my favorite collections of the season. This is a departure for Temperly which usually go more, hmm – English? They always seem to be a perfect designer for Kate Middleton – yet this does not work for Kate. So that’s my whole basis of that opinion… Meanwhile, I love the scarves most of all. The rich colored embroidered double faced satin, the sequins with fringe and the silk embroidered are all highly coveted. This is a scarf people – finally! This may be the harbinger of the end of days for that bunchy drape of cotton gauze that’s been wrapping the necks of trendsetters for far too many a season. The choice of this mixture of blues is also wonderful and uplifting. And of course I always love a shit ton of sequins.

 Temperley London

Temperley London

Alexander McQueen

I have to admit that I was disappointed with most of the McQueen collection this season. The smocking of the lace over and over was such a turn off, ick. But there were some bits in there that I really liked and the design is always good – just not always successful. The pink and black are classic and have the clash of feminine and dark at its core so what’s not to love in that choice? The Victorian influence is played with very thoughtfully and came to some really interesting conclusions like the peek a boo button front and the tattered layered coat. You can see there is a lot of story here and that’s always hard to resist although it’s not always enough to make you want to be a part of it. (Again that smocking is just – eww.) The pleated skirt is so pretty, and the boots are spectacular. How do I not have these boots?!? The tattered ruffled coat is really a showstopper and I would love to have it and just wear it as a day-to-day cause it just does all the work for you.  The last coat too, it’s not really remarkable but I still want it.

  Alexander McQueen

Valentino

So this was a near total departure from what we have seen from the Valentino design team. Where there were once a multitude of peasant style prints and embellishments of hand crafted lace and embroideries there stands neat clean black and white. And I still dig it. They are just so damn good – they took geometric and op art and reinterpreted it to fit their esthetic. It feels like they have reinvented the 1960’s without being derivative. Sure there are these fucking perfect zip front patent go-go boots and a classic retro handbag but really this still looks like the new Valentino more than it does a 1960’s rehash. This is how it’s done. Once again they are making the new vintage collectible clothing without a doubt.

Valentino

The collection was not without the now signature embellishments despite the whole first act of the show, and we did still see some stunning prints and inspired beaded gowns that defy you to stop looking closer.

 Valentino

Then at the end they wrapped it up with some deceptively simple gowns that I just had to include because they are in arguably chic and indisputably editorial.

 Valentino

Givenchy

The first five looks here are actually from the Men’s Fall 2015 collection. I was so looking forward to what we would see when it came to the women’s collection. This offered a promise of something mysterious and lovely. It is at the heart of gothic, at least where my gothic heart lies. It is dark and feminine which to me suggests the power of the female and I find that so intriguing. The first have some crazy vampire references which I find unnecessary but nonetheless they help to illustrate the point of the feminine being strong and forceful. When the actual women’s collection showed it went more toward a statement on culture and costume which lost some of the previous message that got me so excited. It wasn’t as interesting for me and the facial jewelry was so elaborate  that it overshadowed the clothes. A disappointment – but I still have these first 5…

 Givenchy

 Naeem Khan

This designer has been one of my favorites for a while now and it’s definitely because he loves color, sparkle and a flowy silhouette. I always look forward to his collections. Now, not all of it is great as sometimes its get a bit pageantry or country music awards show for my taste – but I think that comes with the territory. I love the Indian influence that is ever-present in the colors and embellishments. Here I was really excited to see the lace pant under the sheer skirt. It doesn’t look that great here but I love the idea of it and if it were me I would have repeated the idea in many other looks. How have I not seen this before? The next look is just such a show stopper – c’mon. It’s rock and roll royalty wear. As if Ziggy Stardust and Hollywood had a baby (Ziggy would love Hollywood). The ombre number is just pretty. What can I say?  It is fluid and soft and probably feels amazing to wear. All the while doing the figure a huge favor in the cut, who doesn’t want that?? Then the black slit with the embroidered sleeves!  So elegant and exotic. I imagine this woman holding a drink at a party and just letting those sleeves billow as she takes a sip. I love the drama. Theater! I love all this wearable costume.  It’s dress up for big girls.

 Naeem Khan

Luisa Beccaria

Here we have a good old-fashioned 1940’s reference. This collection reads more like the wardrobe for a character in a big Hollywood film set in that era. That’s fine by me. This is at least the third time I have mentioned drama and theater isn’t it? Sometimes when you let yourself get into the costume side of things it makes it fun again – breathes new life into clothes and reminds you that our clothes can be a character – they can be dramatic and curated. Don’t we strive to curate a wardrobe for ourselves? Maybe we aren’t all a 1940’s siren but dressing up is fun. These are some serious fun.

 Luisa Beccaria

If you wanted to claim these were vintage – it would be no problem. She employs the comfort of new techniques and fabrics with a vintage look.

Luisa Beccaria

 Dolce & Gabanna

As soon as I saw the rose pattern I flashed on an eagerly anticipated episode of 120 Minutes on MTV hosted by Robert Smith sometime in the early 1990’s. My high school hero wore a black shirt covered in roses that instantly inspired my all black gothic wardrobe to allow for dark and romantic. That shirt is burned on my brain. As it turned out, he had two – a white with roses and the black he wore on that show. I taped it on my VCR that night but god only knows where that tape has gone… a victim of my fathers efficiency I suppose. None the less my memory has held on to it and seeing these roses on the runways of my favorite high school designer is like some sort of cosmic full circle. The parallel universe where my high school self is sitting up late watching MTV and clipping pages from Bazaar is feeling elated upon this marriage. I love these rose dresses. I have been waiting for them.

 Dolce & Gabanna

This is the only image I could find of Mr. Smith in that Rose shirt – I wish it was clearer.

LThe Cure Never Enough

Meanwhile, the rest of the show had a mother/family theme which was charming.  Who that has ever been pregnant wouldn’t dream of a Dolce maternity dress???

There are beautiful simple shifts and fitted, sexy buttoned up coats which are paired with incredibly sexy shoes and meticulous accessories.  Oh Dolce and Gabanna – how I love you so.

 Dolce & Gabanna

Marchesa Notte

These are just so pretty. I mean really, these are so pretty. The shade of red is perfect. Perfect Red. The placement of the patterns and lace is perfect. They are cut to flatter and they really do. Young Hollywood? Cocktail party? Big date? This is what stunning looks like. Here is that killer dress.

Marchesa Notte

Zuhair Murad

This is not my favorite even though it is at the end. It just seemed to be the most formal. Not that much at first view right? More sheer, more black, more beads, blah blah blah. Except there is a conceptual coolness in that sheer. The first dress has a frenetic Japanese brush painting artistic thing happening that just makes it really unique among the masses of sheer beaded black gowns. The black and white ball gown evokes beauty among chaos, which is pretty provocative for a ball gown. The last one is just so vampy and exotic and sexy and wow. The belt keeps it from being too delicate and makes it more commanding. I dig that. It’s all crafted. They all have a mood and that’s impressive.

Zuhair Murad

So to sum up, the favorites were inspired by the past and the present. There was wearable drama and clothes that beckon you to dress up. To be cool and playful, feminine and strong. Always good things to be. Until next time – Cheers!


Couture 2015

Here we are again between Pre Fall and the blitzkrieg that is Fall. The notorious Couture shows in all their decadent glory. Not much I can say that I haven’t said before so lets just jump right on in.

Elie Saab

Couture is at the core of Elie Saab. The collection had many beautiful offerings worthy of adoration but this one stood out. The choice of the soft dove gray made it feel antique without looking like a doily. It is sexy and demure at the same time somehow, which is so intriguing. I love the handkerchief drape from the waist, how it carries the top down through the gown. It’s so delicate that it’s angelic. Lovely.

Elie Saab

Alexis Mabille

Okay, so yes the first dress is a bit Beauty Pageant with the sequins and the sweetheart neckline but hear me out. That gather in the center at the waist is very dynamic, it takes the taste level and the elegance to where the inventor of sequin probably intended. Get that lady on the phone ’cause she needs to see this. The second dress is Madame Butterfly dramatic. I love the fit and flare of the skirt with the almost casual drape of the neckline. I do wish the collar was a bit more narrow but it’s couture! They can fix that for you Madame! The sleeves are all drama and the colors are head turners. I’m sure the fashion police would tear this to shreds but I cannot resist the impact of those bright flowers and that huge scarlet lined sleeve.

Alexis Mabille

Ulyana Sergeenko

This is so – dare I say it? FUN. I usually hate when people use “Fun” as a verb but I am stuck here. These are just costume enough to be kitschy, and just real enough to be remarkable. I see Dita Von Tease.

 These are modern day Costume, albeit in the way that fashion is referred to historically as costume. They may not be modern but they are definitely charming and whimsical and yes, fun. All things that are absolutely appropriate for the genre of Couture.

Ulyana Sergeenko

Schiaparelli

 The collection as a whole harkens back to the days when continental women of means would go to their (design) house of choice to have their wardrobe created for the season. Can you image being able to go your favorite designer to have your measurements taken, then asked what your plans were for the season??

Oh a weekend at a friend’s château in the south of France followed by a month at the Paris apartment. A 2 week tour of Egyptian ruins, then a quick jaunt over to the Swiss Alps to visit my aunt at her Chalet… la de dah.

This feels like it has been designed for a charming, quirky yet cosmopolitan lady of leisure. Dare to Dream. You see – this is what couture is meant to do. This collection takes you there.

Schiaparelli

This green dress in particular is the one that everyone would remember. It’s the type of dress that you hand down to your daughters, generation after generation. It’s fantastic.

Schiaparelli 2

Valentino

These first two Valentino gowns in Velvet are very simple and very perfect. A simple couture gown should live forever, these will do that.

Valentino 1

I love the heavy traditional ethnic embroideries, especially on the boots where it is more unexpected. This is very much in the vain of the new Valentino where ethnic is the new modern. The colorful embroideries on the first look are what you can call bang for your buck . By definition “Couture” is hand sewn, if all that embroidery is hand sewn I cannot imagine how long it must have taken to complete. The result then is truly a work of very expensive folk art.

The second dress with the lace hearts is fascinating somehow. The lightness is intriguing and the lacework is truly spectacular.

The boots are killers and I am certain we will see knock offs of “embroidered” boots all over the market soon. It’s pretty remarkable that Valentino has managed to make something as demure as embroidery so egdy and yeah, cool.

Valentino

Zuhair Murad

…aaaand the Oscar goes to…

The little girl in me who wanted to be a “muse” after I first saw Xanadu squealed when I saw these. Not that they look like anything from that which is one of the best rollerskating mythos based 80’s movies of all time….But that these are gowns that are to be worn by this mytical creature. These are ethereal, twinkly, provocative, goddess gowns for the ages. Oh yeah, and the last look…its pants. Someone call Kate Hudson! Oh my God.

Only Couture ; )

Zuhair Murad


Pre Fall 2015 Review

I realize that as a retailer I should be concerned that my favorite looks from the collections are almost always the least shared on the interwebs. (It’s just more fun to say interweb)

I know the idea is to choose the most Pinned, Tweeted, Tumblered or whatever. But truthfully, most of the images I choose have something like 20 shares.  It is always the case that the items I love the most on the sales floor are the ones that end up on the sale rack (or in my closet) so I should be used to it. I am able to see a slam dunk seller when I see it, so that’s how I get by sales wise. But I’m still shocked most of the time at the ones with the 400+ shares vs the low scorers. Do I just not get it? I know I tend to lean toward more flashy, busy, statement pieces overall but am I that disconnected from the public? And is that good or bad?

Here’s what I liked best in Pre Fall 2015:

Burberry Prorsum

These little simple dresses are really something I strive to wear. I end up in pants – but I really want to be this ladylike coquette. I tell myself that if they were made this well and fit this perfectly then I would wear them. I’m holding to that. The coat I would wear with my pants 🙂 and everything else because it is the quintessential leopard coat. Not too anything, just right for Goldilocks.

Burberry Prorsum

Alexander McQueen

This jumpsuit is…yeah, it’s… wow.

  The fact that its slouchy and woolen, masculine and drapey all at the same time. It’s amazing that they were able to pull this off. I cannot imagine the original idea, “hmm, a draped, boat neck, wool jumpsuit with trouser pants.” That’s a conundrum, yet here it is. Bravo – the jumpsuit for people who don’t wear jumpsuits.

McQ Alexander McQueen

Just Cavalli

As much as I love Cavalli, I am not usually a fan of the sportswear line. Yet this round he served up a 1990’s Tom Ford Gucci meets Cavalli mash-up. The trouser Tux is surprisingly cool girl chic even with sequin polka dots. Imagine it on a French girl or Rhianna or whatever… see? That 1970’s hooker fur is not my favorite but the pants are channeling Tom Ford jetsetter which I find irresistible. Red snake-skin jacket? YES PLEASE – Rock and Roll ladies, Rock and Roll.

Just Cavalli

Rochas

So switching gears from real life to Paris. Rochas does something unique. They capture a myth. They design for this artistic, somehow wealthy young woman who walks the streets of Paris. Well heeled shoes clacking hollowly along the aged cobblestones. It’s an overcast day with a chill in the air that adds a natural blush to her cheek because this girl does not need makeup, oh no. She is tousled and lovely from the moment she lifts her head from her 5,000 thread count pillow, in her chic tiny yet affluent Parisian apartment. And you buy it. You buy it hook line and sinker. She exists and I want to be her for a day. Perhaps if I buy this impossible to wear dress with the strikingly charming boxy silhouette I can channel her. This gorgeous silk embroidered satin coat will bring me inspiration. This dress will show the world that I am complicated and unique. This stunning soft gown with the momentarily blooming wisteria print will say it all.

Sold.

Rochas

Valentino

For once Valentino is not the closing act of this blog! This time the collection – though beautifully crafted, got a bit too everything for me. There were references flying all over from camo to quilted, 70’s suede to grandmas attic. It didn’t really hold up overall and the themes felt a bit gimmicky. The solar system embroidered pieces were great I guess, but they seemed more Gymboree than high fashion. The boots though…These boots are so freaking cool. Wow wow wowie wow. These transcend era – I love that. Simple shapes, perfect proportions and inspired medium. The striped leather are fundamental statement boots that defy trends. The floral silk are classic and sophisticated and charming and romantic and could be in an oil painting from the age of empires.

Valentino 2

Valentino

Reem Acra

Known for her exquisite gowns, no question Reem Acra is one of the best designers of women’s high-end formal wear. Here you can SEE why. You do not need to try these on to know that they are cut within a millimeter of your body. Somehow magically improving your figure through the painstaking and evolved engineering of delicate, exceptional fabrics. You can see the way they enhance the figure with placement of details, proportion, where the seams fall, the embellishments. It’s all crafted to perfection. The result is stunningly beautiful. These pieces are flawless, exotic, feminine, strong and sexy but not overtly in any way.

Acra at her best. Perfect.

Reem Acra


Spring 2015

The collections for Spring 2015 didn’t really speak to me. I was looking for some 90’s era, grunge floral dresses mixed with bohemian layered lightweight separates. I hoped to see chinoiserie inspired prints and loads of color. Once again there were showings of entire white collections, entire black collections, beige, neutral etc. Though not was I was looking forward to – there were some great looks among those pallid palettes that I had to include. Not many designers were tapped into my frequency this season but thankfully there were a few.

Bottega Veneta

Being a cardigan kind of gal from way back it’s hard to pass these up. Effortless is always chic and it’s pretty clear why when you check out the styling here.

1 Bottega Veneta

Haider Ackermann

Now definitely a favorite designer. The styling is so important here yet it’s only as successful as the drape and proportion. The clothes are all cut to the exact right length to layer agreeably. The result is dialed in perfectly. This shade of pink was a color pick from Spring 2013 – still a favorite.

 1 Haider Ackermann

Etro

So here are some prints and some boho. More southwest than what I like for sure but Etro always does such an impressive job of layering prints. There are pieces in here, the white jacket, the blue button front dress the floaty skirt and the top of the white dress…These are all pieces you could work into a wardrobe and they look like things that would feel great to wear on a warm spring day. They evoke a feeling of Springtime. That’s probably what I like the most here.

2 Etro

Anna Sui

This is more what I was hoping for. The Asian inspired prints, the floaty fabrics and girly yet rock and roll attitude. (The boots are stellar.)

3 Anna Sui !

St. Laurent

I’m realizing as I’m clicking through the St Laurent Collection that I’m having a hard time with the head to toe looks – and a better response to the detail images. I suppose because head to toe they look like costumes from some low budget 70’s film starring Debbie Harry and Marc Bolan. It’s so damned derivate – it’s almost 70’s punk plagiarism. In fact I think that’s exactly what it is. A totally intact time capsule – a time machine for the hipster fashionistas of the now. They love this shit. Despite my condemnation I admit once again that he’s got me with some of this. I cannot turn my back on rock and roll so yes, I’d take a piece or two (or five)  here and there. It is straight up fashion victims who will wear this as shown – God help all those “it” girls to have some perspective.

3 St Laurent

Temperly London

I love the 1920 / 1930’s nod to nightgowns here. The colors, the fabrics, the rhinestones. It’s Hollywood glamour. I’d wear the dress with a cropped sharp blazer for evening or a shrunken leather jacket for day. The short robe over a beater and jeans, the sheer robe over a graphic slip dress or a camisole and cigarette pants. So much fun could be had with these pieces. I love them.

3 Temperly London 1

Ermanno Scervino

These work for different reasons. The shorts are cool because they look like 1930’s tap shorts – a little cheeky (no pun intended) and a little sparkly. The dress looks ethereal while still looking modern ,(two typically opposing distinctions) and the frosted sleeves of that beautifully draped jacket are just serious magpie bait. That is all.

5 Ermanno Scervino

Tory Birch

I love that this is linen, that it is simple and most of all that it has a big fucking sparkly feather across the front. Totally impractical but I like it anyway.

5 Tory birch

Alberta Ferretti

More nightgown inspired dresses. I will always include these despite how many times I see them because they will always represent the classic romanticism that we need from time to time. It cannot all be modern – it just can’t.

6 Alberta Ferretti

Mary Katrantzou

This was a really cool collection inspired very literally by the ocean. I love the intricate and beautifully crafted details. The colors are so soft and feminine yet hit with that contrast of black…stunning. The pleats and the lace, and sheers over the prints – love love love.

6 Mary Katrantzou 1

Diane Von Furstenburg

This. The chinoiserie I was hoping for. This coat is flawless. The fit through the shoulder is so soft and clean, the collar is just right, the length, the nipped in waist. Perfect. Love!

7 DVF

 Undercover

Hieronymus Bosch.  I would be surprised if every art student hadn’t had a love affair with the works of Bosch when they first discovered him. His fantastical creatures, disturbing and glorious yet depicted so storybook-like. He was truly connected to a dream though his hands. The images once seen stay forever with the viewer. When I saw this collection roll out I got increasing excited because what a challenge to tackle.  If you are going to dare to involve such a beloved artists’ work with your own you really take a huge risk. This could have gone in so many directions… Ultimately I think they took a tame perspective and it works. They paid tribute to the fantasy and the beauty without making it inaccessible.

8 Undercover

Dolce & Gabanna 

When I first became a fan of Dolce & Gabanna I was a fashion obsessed pre teen. It was the 1990’s and they were running their Chelsea Girls inspired ad campaign. I was hooked immediately and I have not been anble to free myself from their grip ever since – nor would I care to.

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1992 Ad Campaign

This collection is like a touchstone. It has elements of all the things that I have loved them for over all these years. The corsets, the religion, the Italian heroine, all topped with crowns! This is so the epitome of Dolce & Gabanna. Glorious!

9 D & G 1 9 D & G 2 9 D & G 3 9 D & G 4

Gareth Pugh

These three looks are sophisticated, startling, and evocative. I dream of seeing that harlequin dress spin. It is my favorite dress of the season.

10 Gareth Pugh

Tom Ford

Wow.

If those are indeed sheer and sequin striped jeans on the first model then just show me where to pay. Why are these not a staple? Like blue jeans or leather pants?? Best pants of the year – hands down. The coat also modern and cool and billowy and sexy and yes please. And yesssssss – black sequin cape ensemble!?!? Killing me!! Rock and Roll meet drama! Hooray!

10 Tom FOrd

Lanvin

Dragon Print Pants and Snakeskin bag. Boom.

11 lanvin

Gucci

Chinoiserie! Thank you Gucci for answering my prayer. And not just Chinoisere, ohhh nooo – they did beaded, mixed patterns chinoiserie. They did femme fatale disco chinoiserie! YES! This is so fantastic – I’m sure Ana Sui is dying over these… They are GEORGOUS!

12 Gucci 1

Erdem

I have heard (on Project Runway from Nina Garcia) that green is the worst selling color in fashion. Considering how flattering it is that surprises me. How could this green be a hard sell I wonder?

I love seeing the Asian inspiration of course, not to mention the floaty feminine draping and delicate details – all shown in colorful prints. These dresses are lovely – just what I was hoping for.

13 Erdem

~Sidebar~

So I couldn’t help but notice that Valentino is heavily influencing designers. The silhouette and exotic peasant persona that they single handedly introduced seasons ago has trickled down to so many other collections. Here are just a few that cannot be disputed…

Tadashi Shoji, Erdem and Honor

14 Val Rip

Valentino

The pinnacle. They are still so far ahead of everyone else here. They continued to use traditional cultural prints. Here they have evolved from the previous eastern European style to more of a Spanish? I can’t put my finger on it but it’s charming yet graphic and the colors are perfect. Then the move to the mystical ocean theme? I’m not sure how they got from one to the other but when you are showing  79 looks you can tell a hell of a long story. The coral painted jacket is surprisingly elegant. The embellished dresses are like stunning costumes from a glamorous old movie. They defy an era.  Classic Beauty. They have done it again.

Valentino 1 Valentino 7 Valentino 8

I have been furiously pinning from Pre Fall and it seems there are a lot of the bohemian looks I was hooing to see in Spring. Until then though – check us out on Pinterest. See you soon, Cheers!!