Thursday, February 13, 2014

• Proenza Schouler • A/W 14 •

'Abstraction' by Ron Nagle are beautiful pieces of art. Abstract impressionism plus the work of Mr. Nagle are perfect for the Proenza Schouler show during NYFW. Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez were inspired by the above. The prospect of this is chilling... In a good way. I am just fascinated by the abstract works by Ron Nagle.

When they presented the collection instantly recognisable was the couture shapes. Marchesa, Thom Browne and Zac Posen did this well for Fall.

I loved the cracked prints and how odd pairings of prints were made. For example a grey printed overcoat with a white turtle-neck printed top and black tapered trousers. Lug heeled shoes were added.

I loved also the mixture of colours, specifically blue and green, and cream and red. My jaw hit the floor in awe with Look 23. It was the exact same as the picture they shared with NY Magazine. A cobalt blue dress, with black leather, white, and yellow and black speckled print panels. It was tremendously superb. Look 31 which reminded me of meteorological isobars in black and white was another look I ranked highly. Having not yet seen Marc Jacobs, I cannot yet call this the best collection of New York Fashion Week. I think MJ will be on par though.

The fluidity yet solidity of the clothes was interesting. The shapes and the colours roped me into the fashionable haze that is Jack and Lazaro's wonderful label. Named after their mother's maiden names; Proenza and Schoulder, it shows mothers give the best gifts. Theres was two immensely talented geniuses.

• Rodarte • A/W 14 •

Laura and Kate Mulleavy's past two collections have unfortunately been lackluster. I hate to say it sometimes but honesty actually is the best policy. The duo were among my favourite designers for a while but after the past two collections I had to reconsider that. I was also expecting a poor show again on Tuesday afternoon. They proved me wrong. I loved every piece.

The California girls took inspiration from science fiction films and their childhood (and how they remembered things i.e. colours). Yoda, C3PO and Luke Skywalker were all emblazoned on the finale gowns. There was also a fabulous gown representing the colossal Death Star. I had to do some homework on the pictures as I'm shamefully not a fan of the $4045 million dollar worldwide grossing franchise.

I loved how there was an element to the show of the stylishly geeky fangirl. Dressed in thick framed glasses, berets, gloves and jackets; the sisters managed to perfect geek chic. Bronze, blue, rust and other rich colours were used. Metallic orange and purple also featured.

My favourite look of the collectionw as 30. The model looked resplendent as she glided around the floor installation. A grey off the shoulder evening gown with petal details, a sequin and black opaque skirt with floral embroideries.

Laura and Kate have restored my faith and presented funky clothing coincidedly.

Monday, February 10, 2014

• Mercedes Benz Kiev Fashion Days Showcase • LFW • *

Fashion Scout: Mercedes Benz Kiev Fashion Days Showcase @ London Fashion Week
Fashion Scout
___________________________________________________________________________

Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days celebrates 1 year at London Fashion Week with a show of six best designers from Ukraine

It’s been one year since Ukrainian designers first showcased their collections during London Fashion Week. The first showcase took place at the Fashion Scout London platform and became a great tradition of cooperation. This time, six Ukrainian designers, Anna K, Lara Quint, Lera Leshchova, Krasilnikova, Paskal  and Yasya Minochkina will present their AW14 collections on the Fashion Scout London catwalk at 3 PM on Saturday, February 15th.

Freemasons’ Hall - the main Fashion Scout London venue - will also host an exhibition of the collections at the Presentation space from 11AM till 6PM on Monday, February 17th.

London Showcase at Fashion Scout launched international careers of popular Ukrainian brands such as Anna K, Lera Leshchova, Paskal and Yasya Minochkina. Two more emerging talents - Krasilnikova and Lara Quint - will join the showcase after their brilliant start at Fashion Scout Kiev.

Although protests have been tormenting Ukraine since the government rejected a trade agreement with the EU in November 2013, designers of the Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days (MBKFD) and Fashion Scout Kiev have kept their focus on developing their brands internationally, successfully operating on French, German and Asian markets. Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days collections have been featured by prominent international media, such as Vogue.co.uk, Vogue.it, Glamour.co.uk, L’Officiel Italia, Marie Claire US and many others. The Guest Nation: Ukraine project at Pitti Uomo in January 2014 opened the Italian market for Ukrainian designers, bringing new contacts, new orders and more B2B experience.

Fashion Scout is widely known as an independent platform for discovering new fashion designers. But the platform does not just scout emerging brands to give them a chance to showcase at London Fashion Week, it continues to nurture the talents and lead them to a point where they can "stand on their own." On average, the company supports a brand for its first 6 seasons to help build a sustainable business and get international exposure. Over the past 14 seasons, Fashion Scout has helped a lot of talented designers, among them - David Koma, Peter Pilotto, Felder Felder and Iris van Herpen.

“Kiev's showcase became a very important part of Fashion Scout as Ukrainian designers show great progress in terms of international recognition and activity. They show has great quality, organization and creativity. It is interesting to support designers from Ukraine. After the successful launch of Fashion Scout Kiev at Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days, we discovered new talents and we are happy to present them now in London", - Martyn Roberts comments on the global rise of Ukrainian designers.
  
Ukrainian designers, after showcasing in London, will present their collections during Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days, held in Kiev from the 27th to the 30th of March 2014. Fashion Scout Kiev, an international platform for designers from the East-European and Central-Asian countries, will also open its doors for the visitors at Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days. Part of the “Kiev Fashion Institute” educational program, international fashion industry professionals will give special lectures and QA sessions to share their experience.

At the moment Kiev is utterly active, but Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days and our designers have already been in Europe for a long time. Fashion is always one step forward, and we are following the trend. Since the very first season of Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days we have aimed for the world fashion standards, and London showcase is a very good proof to that. Seven seasons were sufficient to make the names of Ukrainian designers recognizable worldwide - they are talked about, they are kept an eye on. Very often I get letters from my friends from the fashion industry who show a great deal of interest in current events in Ukraine and in the work of our designers. . We have put Ukraine on the world’s fashion map.. Fashion Scout project is one more proof to that. I am immensely glad that so many designers are emerging and that each season we discover even more. And we thank Martyn for that.”- says about the upcoming event the creative director of Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days, Style.com ambassador and NowFashion video director Daria Shapovalova.

Anna K
Brand of the youngest Ukrainian designer Anna Kolomoets, student of The Kyiv University of Fine Arts. Anna already showed 4 collections that were mentioned, among others, by Vogue Italy, vogue.co.uk and L'Officiel Italia. The designer embodies girlish fantasies into dresses of silk and chiffon that won her the Design It contest for SS14 season.
Anna K was a part of the Gueast Nation: Ukraine project at Pitti Uomo, where the 'Fashion Circus' capsule collection of T-shirts gained a lot of attention from buyers and press. http://anna-k-fashion.com
kolomoetsdesign@gmail.com

Krasilnikova
Krasilnikova brand was launched by a young Ukrainian designer Irina Krasilnikova back in 2009. Bridging the romance, elegance, style, and energy, her garments bring forth classic codes translated into ultra-feminine silhouettes. After the show at Fashion Scout Kiev her SS14 collection appeared in Vogue.co.uk, Marie Claire US, Style.com, L’Officiel Italia.  Krasilnikova is known for her craftsmanship and attention to detail, as she tries to interpret natural forms and find new ways to accentuate the female figure. Krasilnikova’s clothing has carved out a niche among Ukrainian fashionistas because of the one-of-a-kind appeal of her dresses, skirts, tops and coats. The clothing is recognized for its whimsical panache, with presence of both sophistication and lightheartedness. With AW14 collection Krasilnikova will make her first steps on the international fashion scene.
irina@krasilnikova.com.ua

Lara Quint
Lara Quint is a new brand founded by Lara Tomashchuk, who debuted at Fashion Scout Kiev with her SS14 collection. Lara studied fashion design in Kiev, and after graduation in 2011 interned several times for Russian and Ukrainian brands. She launched her own womenswear brand, focusing on clean cuts and volumes, juxtaposed against a play of prints, textures and forms. An emphasis is put on artisanal handcraft that makes plastic, wood and metal give new sense to the fabrics.
info@laraquint.com

Lera Leshchova
Lera Leshchova is a young Ukrainian designer. Her debut FW 2012 collection was presented at Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days. Designer was one of the winners of the Design It contest in SS14, founded by Fashion Scout Kiev and supported by Vogue Ukraine and Vogue Italia. Lera Leshchova focuses on elegance, highlighting feminine silhouette in each look. Pure, geometric lines and delicately organic draping are distinctive features of Lera Leshchova's garments. The basis of her collections are always beautiful dresses.
leraleshchova@mail.ru

Paskal
Julie Paskal creates garments with a distinct attention to high-quality fabrics and clean silhouettes. 2 years after its foundation, her brand PASKAL was featured in best fashion magazines, and Julie was recently named as one of the most promising fashion designers in Eastern Europe by Marie Claire (US). Julie Paskal studied architecture before launching her own brand to focus solely on womenswear design. Now, PASKAL is known for its' minimalistic, clean aesthetics that owe much to the rigours and precision of modern architecture. Beauty derives from garment construction, and PASKAL’s trademark laser-cut techniques and precise tailoring of exceptional quality.
info@paskalclothes.com

Yasya Minochkina
Yasya Minochkina was born and raised in Ukraine. After having fashion courses in Central Saint Martins and Royal Academy of Fine Art she moved to Moscow and founded her namesake clothing brand. During FW 2012 season of Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days Minochkina presented her first runway collection, and soon afterwards Vogue Italia featured the designer in the magazine's Vogue Talents special issue. Yasya Minochkina presents an essential yet edgy wardrobe for every day life, anchored in the European spirit of comfortable elegance. Working on her AW14 collection, Yasya Minochkina was thinking about modern feminist girls who balance between their favorite work and family.

press@yasyaminochkina.com

* I was asked to post this press release on my blog. I am not being paid to do so. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

• Altuzarra A/W 14 •

'Interior' by Lucio Fontana inspired Joseph Altuzarra for Fall. After a recent acquisition of the label by French powerhouse Kering, all eyes were on the designer, who like london's Christopher Kane is getting deserved recognition which will propel the labels expansion.

I researched the works of Lucio Fontana and I was looking forward to seeing how Altuzarra would incorporate the works. A simple can as with a slash is the simple basis of most of the late Italian artists work. 

I must say I didn't like the first 17 looks. It was from then on I thought everything was incredible. The slashes of colour were featured. Look 23 was a black strapless midi length dress with a side split and pink and red lining. It was sexy but classy. Look 21 and 22 were Joseph's technicoloured fur dreamcoats, pun intended. I can already see Anna Wintour wearing them. Look 30's white fur cropped jacket and grey silk dress were exquisite.

I was extremely disappointed with the first half of the collection but was elated that I loved everything from then on. Hopefully next season I'll love everything from start to finish and not just half.

• Prabal Gurung • A/W 14 •

'Technical tradition' and 'Mustang: the Lost Lands of Tibet' inspired Prabal Gurung for his Fall 2014 show, which was held at Skylight at Moynihan Studios. Gongs were present in the set. Technology is something that's almost everywhere. There is a stark contrast between that and the desolate plains of Tibet. I was really interested to see how Prabal would mix the two together. I can tell you, he did so with finesse.

The opener was a black dress with white plumage. Wool and other materials used gave this look a textured feel. Texturing and layering were a splendid aspect to this collection. Drapery was also done perfectly. I instantly remembered the book which the collection is inspired by. He stayed very true to the theme. 

Models sported cable knit sweaters and furs. Thick scarves and Tibetan wraps were worn. Look 4 reminded me of the malevolent Melisandre from HBO's 'Game of Thrones'. When more reds came down the runway I started thinking of volcanoes. The colours were extremely volcanic. They were getting darker as the collection went on and then they mixed together. 

Warrior women were also on my mind during the show, It's a reappearing theme in Prabal's shows. The finale gowns, were silk chiffon and some were embellished (above far right). Joan Smalls wore a black long sleeve silk chiffon gown with a thigh high split that radiated sexuality and dominance. 

Yet another flooring set of designs from a great designer.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

• Cushnie et Ochs • A/W 14 •

Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs are on my list of favourite designers. They captivate me every season. This season they were inspired by 'Western Romanticism combined with a city-slicking edge'.

I don't know what got me more excited the theme, or statuesque Karolina Kurkova opening the show in a strapless black dress with lace detailing. I think it was the latter. The models wore cowboy hats, black cowboy hats of course. The Cushnie et Ochs women is fierce, dominant and sexy. This always shines through in their collections. From the sheer and lace paneling, the list goes on. 

Crisp whites (a favourite of mine in Cushnie et Ochs show was featured. Look 9 was a white off the shoulder dress with a flattering cut out in the neckline. Chartreuse's and teals were also shown in the glorious show. A recurring trend; holographics, were also presented on the runway at Milk Studios. Fur and velvet were also used.

My favourite look of the collection was the strapless teal deep V-neckline and thigh high split velvet dress. It was so stunning.

The Cushnie et Ochs girl went south (to Texas) and the splits went north. Most of the hemlines were respectable and some were playful and oh so sexy. Stylists will be clamouring for pieces for their clients. Emma Roberts would look exceptionally well in the looks.

The hats mentioned previously were designed by Albert Swanepoel. Models wore side-parted hairstyles and minimal heels. They strutted the runway in point toe heels. 

Yet again the duo have not let me down. Designer duos have that tendency. I look forward to next seasons showcase.

Friday, February 7, 2014

• Jason Wu • A/W 14 •

'Austere elegance' Jason Wu told WWD when asked what his inspiration for his Fall 2014 show during New York Fashion Week today.

Jason is known for dressing FLOTUS Michelle Obama, Diane Kruger, the international fash-pack and other famous PYT's. For the past few seasons I haven't been too enamoured with his collections. He restored my faith with this collection. I adored the dark Old-Hollywood vibe. 

Adriana Lima opened the show in a stunning black tuxedo. Marleine Deitrich sprung to mind with Look 8. A silver wide leg tuxedo and a battleship grey coat with faux fur accents. I am in love with this look and could very well look at it forevermore.


Look 11 also made my jaw hit the floor. After being startled by the sheer beauty of it, I snapped out of the trance and bubbled with excitement. The digital print silver with spaghetti straps and a cowl neck was so delicate. I may have to cheat on look 8 because of this. The bomber jacket with leather and faux fur accents was another favourite. The deep maroon asymmetric silk dress also made me desire for more. Teal (my favourite colour) looks also popped up.

Look 33, a black long sleeve floor grazing gown, was decorated with embellishing sequins and triangular side cut-outs. The model's hair added to the perfection. All the purple and digital printed finale gowns topped off a fantastic show from Jason.

Go Jason! Such a brilliant collection. Every look was perfect.

• Marchesa • A/W 14 •

Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig were inspired by Ambera Wellmann's painting 'Highland Smoke' and a Scottish women who is disheveled in the winter. The show was held at the New York Public Library yesterday evening. Any inspiration that serves the duo is emulated perfectly into their collections. The painters they take inspiration from are usually that of memorable works (Goya was a few seasons ago). They make me appreciate the artists and learn more about them. On top of amazing designs it's another reason why I like Marchesa.

It's quite fitting how the Academy Awards are coming. With the heavenly sublime gowns, celebrities will have a lot of options.

Everything in the show was so intricate. I got the impression even the dresses with torn ends were precise. The colours used were orange (a NYFW trend), red, black, blue and grey.

I'm baffled by the gloriousness of the looks. Look 3 was a pearly white round neckline pencil dress sitting below the knee and had ornate and symmetrical floral embellishments in burnt orange. It was the most impressive look of the collection in my opinion. 

Keren and Georgina are masters. They are masters of intricacy, combining couture elements in ready-to-wear and drapery. As designers it's great skills to have. Season after season they give me nothing to complain about or to criticise. All I am left to do is to try to fathom the extravagant beauty and the great deal of craftsmanship that goes into their collections.

• Marc by Marc Jacobs • A/W 14 •

I usually overlook Marc by Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week but then Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier were going to be the geniuses behind the contemporary label. It's Bartley's long awaited return to fashion. The duo were inspired by ChloĆ« Sevigny (Kids era) and the statuesque Gwyneth Paltrow in Wes Anderson's 'The Royal Tenenbaums'. 

Pier 36 was the venue for the Fall 2014 show and the setting was an urban wood skate park. I loved the K-Pop/ninja/militant vibe given by the collection. The MBMJ girl defied all odds and revolted this season as the word 'Revolution' emblemed on all the clothes told us.

The label has been renamed to MBMJ (Marc Jacobs has stated that he hated the previous name). Luella and Katie made everything desirable and evoked the funky MBMJ narrative.

Think of bubble writing, but very distinct bubble writing with pointed edges, so technically not bubble writing. I hope you get what I mean. That's what the logo was like on the clothes. Look 29 was a white high waisted calf length skirt with 'MBMJ' on it with a black sweater with 'MBMJ' on the sleeves and 'Twisted Uprising' on the chest panel. 

The only thing in the collection I have something bad to say about are those god-awfultrainers and military trainef boots. They are horrendous but luckily the clothes made up for it.

I am looking forward to see how Luella and Katie direct the brand in the coming future. It's quite exciting.

• Alexander Wang • A/W 14 •

Alexander Wang is a designer who I've never really shown a great love for. Then came the Balenciaga appointment. I started paying more attention to him. For Fall he was inspired by 'survival' and 'heat charts'. This collection is by far a favourite of mine from him.

I thought of Winona Ryder in the film 'Heathers' when the first few boxy shaped coats came down the runway. The lengths were quite short this season with the hemline brushing the models' upper thigh. Look 3 featured seven different kinds of pockets. It was the Swiss-army knife of coat pockets.

The colours Alex used included maroon, navy, blue, bronze, yellow, purple and grey. 'The Utilitarian' I dubbed it when looks 13 onwards came down the runway at the Duggel Greenhouse in Brooklyn's Navy Yard (the fash-pack had to trek to the outer burrough). There was parkas galore and next seasons must have point toe boots with white heels and a cigarette holders (if thats your fancy). The sweaters were awesome. The embossed, laser cut and print paisley prints were mesmerising and also misleading. Was it laser cut, printed or embossed? Furs, zig zag prints, Prince of Wales checks and criss cross stripes were also on the runway.

I can't decide which look was my favourite but I can assure you I loved them all. I am playing a guessing game with this collection if you'd like to join me. Let me elaborate. I think (insert name here) will wear the collection first.

• Creatures of the Wind • A/W 14 •

In 2008 Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters founded Creatures of the Wind. The duo are graduates of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Frequenting their collection are themes of folklore mixed with youth culture. In 2012 they were nominated for the Swarovski Award for Womenswear at the CFDA's Fashion Awards. For Spring they were inspired by Greek mythology and for fall; transcendence, was on their mood boards

The clothes were mostly airy with a few cinched waist here and ther. The hues were mainly subdued, bar a few looks where metallic greens and blues were donned. 

One of my favourite looks was the mint green holographic laser cut skirt and a blue wool cardigan tied at the waist. The moss green and mint two tone floral print cropped blazer was another sublime look from the collection.

I got hints of the forties in the collection. It strangely reminded me of Jessica Lange in American Horror Story. A glossy white double breasted overcoat and a wild mushroom coloured jacket in particular put these ideas in my mind. The looseness also reminded me of the forties.

Models wore braided hairstyles, and some sported caps. Tabitha Simmons designed the quirky shoes. The styling is as always impeccable.

Designers outdoing themselves is becoming so popular. Shane and Christopher manage to do that every season.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

• Josie Natori • F/W14 •

Josie Natori founded the Natori Company. She presents at New York Fashion Week season after season but it was this time around she caught my eye.

Her designs are sharp and very wearable. She told WWD she was inspired by Russian folklore, 'pa
rticularly influenced by the traditional forms and ornate embellishments found in Russia's rich culture'. Josie also said 'this collection epitomises my love of everyday opulance'.

The openong look was a matching grey three-piece suit consisting of a coat, top and skirt. Black tights and below the knee boots finished off the look. Look 4 was a steel grey silk blouse, tapered trousers and a grey almost off the shoulder wool wrap cardigan. A statement necklace was paired to add to the folkloric Russian theme.

It was the marvelous faux Mongolian lamb skin jacket of look 11 and 12 that sold the collection for me. They oozed luxuriousness and embodied the theme. A red laser cut jacquard coat was another stand out piece. The four finale gowns were opulent and ladylike. The first of the four was grey and had square neckline, the second black long sleeve and vlelvet. The penultimate look, a deep plunging neckline black floor sweeping dress was amazing. Following that was the finale look. A black strapless gown. To add to the theatrics, a beaded statement choker necklace, finished it off.

With a perfume on the horizon, and many more prosperous endeavours for Josie Natori, I look forward to next seasons collection.