Tag Archives: Zuhair Murad

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