Monday, March 16, 2015

Julien Macdonald // Fall 2015 //

Julien Macdonald knows how to put on a show. The Welsh native brings extravagantly wearable glamour to London Fashion Week. For his Fall 2015 show , held at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Offices right around the corner from 10 Downing Street, he had many British socialites and celebrities sit front row. Members of manufactured pop group The Saturdays - Rochelle Humes and Vanessa White - were in attendance. Aristocratic DJ with a devil-may-care attitude Lady Mary Charteris, online phenomenon Tanya Burr, Tamara Ecclestone (pulling a Kim K by bringing her infant daughter) and fashionably late Lizzie Cundy also attended.

His traverse through the ostentatiously opulent red carpet glamour continued this season. Leather, PVC, lace, jewel tones all enriched the runway. Micro mini party dresses, floor sweeping gowns, fringe, Chinoiserie, cut-outs. It was all overtly glamourous - that is the main description I’d stamp the collection with. Taylor Swift borrowed the emerald green dress with a centre split and lace detailing for the Elle Style Awards subsequently. Kim Kardashian nabbed a eyeleted jumpsuit for the BRIT Awards. Many stylists will have placed dibs on sexy outfits for their clients. 

The ruby, sapphire, emerald and onyx numbers were gorgeous - but nothing could top the slew pink topaz looks. Look 12 was a personal favourite. The sleeveless micro-mini featured black lace details and sheer side panels. The Chinoiserie inspired dress was a stellar outing. The model, dispatched from backstage with gothic inspired make-up and slicked back hair, stormed the runway in point toe heels with ankle straps. The whole look was to die for.

Julien Macdonald knows how to put on a show. And that’s one of his specialities. His rigour when making the seductively bewitching is second to none. Beautiful clothes, beautiful front row. Everything was beautiful. From the setting, to the Julien Macdonald wearing socialites, the clothes presented. The unabridged charisma is always captivating. Fall 2015 - the same. 

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

CR Fashion Book 6 // Magazines //

Once again I present you with a magazine cover. Once again it is CR Fashion Book. Carine Roitfeld's namesake masthead is a personal favourite of mine and this issue - no. 6 photographed by Kaiser Karl (Karl Lagerfeld) with the models unsurprisingly wearing Chanel. Inside the issue there is a fabulous spread called Fantasy Campaigns. Ashley Graham, Bella Hadid (my fave) and others star in the ed which transforms Chanel to Coucou - and MaxMara to MadMax. The kooky editorial is just one of many great ones inside the mag. I hope I can attain of a copy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Jamie Wei Huang // Fall 2015 //

‘Nymphomaniac’ it was titled. That is Jamie Wei Huang’s Fall 2015 collection I am referring to. The contemporary womenswear designer hails from London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins. This collection is inspired by Lars von Triers raunchy 2014 film of the same name, about a young woman and her libidinous life. Jamie emphasised the hidden desires and fantasies of the leading female character, with a signature elegance and subtlety. 

One of the most impactful aspects of the collection, presented at the home of Fashion Scout - Freemason’s Hall, was the soundtrack. Deafeningly pounding my eardrums was the ‘Nymphomaniac’ soundtrack. Never have I ever been more enamoured by a soundtrack at a fashion show. The heavy rock genre of music isn’t to my liking but this was compelling. 

Jamie is lauded for her conceptual collections and this offering was true to the inspiration while being fashionable. With the ‘Nymphomaniac’ inspiration - Jamie managed to avoid making a overtly bondage inspired collection constraints and ample nudity. Instead we were to embrace a sensual and fragile presentation. A blue and grey plaid coat with celadon fur, featured two leather strips with sterling buckles. The juxtaposition of the muse in a delicate and her hidden desires into a fabulous manteau was a feat. 
A look that emerged, the penultimate number, that captivated me was a two piece. A cerulean leather skirt was paired with a grey skin tight high neck top with cinnabar printed fur sleeves and bandeau. There was a je ne sais quoi about this look. The amalgamation of the autumnal hues here was hypnotic. I am still mesmerised by this outfit. The aforementioned fur bandy and sleeves was a recurrent in the collection. Look 13 was a marble printed look with fur lined pockets. The inclusion of fur in the outfits amplified the appeal. Pink sheepskin lapels enlivened black coats. 

Jamie Wei Huang merits the attention she receives. A finalist for Vogue Italia’s International Talent Award and ELLE Taiwan’s New Talent Award winner are recognitions which the accomplished designer acquired in 2014. 2015 will no doubt bring brighter things for Jamie. She is undeniably adroit as a fashion designer and her show is always one of my favourites at London Fashion Week. With this tenacious and rigorous collection - Spring 2016 can only bring great things.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Chiara Ferragni // Fall 2015 //

In my Devastée review from yesterday I divulged that I have never been to Paris. The same goes for another European fashion capital. Milan. Milano. The flagship of Italy’s fashion industry. Bi-annually, the third fashion week of fashion month is held here. I was cordially invited to a presentation on the Sunday during Milan Fashion Week. I was unable to attend due to prior commitments. Chiara Ferragni is perhaps one of the most famous bloggers. She is She is also a shoe designer. I was delighted to be invited to the presentation as I find her quirky soles to lovely.
For Fall 2015, the collection is explorative with four stories. ‘Present’ - the first part. A present that always looks backward and forwards at the same time was on Chiara’s mind. This conceptual idea showed us Chiara’s sojourn into new worlds and trends with iconoclastic and pop perspective. Clinquant heels - in hot pink and silver stood out at the presentation, which was aptly a sea of shoes. 

The next segment of the presentation was titled ‘Flirting’. Bestsellers of Chiara’s collections were reinvigorated here. The sell out slip on sneakers stood out to me. The funky Mickey Mouse sneakers of season’s past are admirably beautiful. This season’s darker tone presented us with more animated pieces. The slip ons read ‘I FEEL’ and had love hearts on them. A reflective pair had infantile creature, one eye open and teeth askew. Dorothy’s ruby slippers were given a funky Ferragni pizzazz. The glittery ruby slip-ons had a kiss blowing emoji on one upper, and ‘I FEEL’ the other. 
The animated pairs caught my eyes. They belonged to the ‘Monsters’ act. The design team materialised cute monsters, with little eyes covering velvet slip-ons, multicolour glitter and velvet slippers, high heel sandals and pumps. Once again it was the slip-ons that maintained my attention. They were quirky, funny and wearable. A grumpy looking yellow eyed cat was particularly menacing looking. 

‘Black and Gold’ featured some of my favourite pieces of the collection. Thigh high boots with patent leather gold eye embroideries with leather panels on the knees were simply to die for. A street style stars dream. The sartorially inclined will be all over these pieces. Fluttering eyelashes on the eyes emblazoned on the uppers of the shoes added modish funk to the looks. The mismatched appearance made them more covetable. 

What a cool collection of hip shoes. There was an array of fetching styles present at the presentation. The assortment of designs at the presentation was key. It was alluring and fun. The amusing nature also ensured that fashion is a fun and creative medium. Chiara Ferragni, the well heeled fashion blogger, the shoe designer. What else should the multi-talented Italian add to her packed résumé?
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Monday, March 9, 2015

Devastée // Fall 2015 //

I have never been to Paris. However the prospect of France’s dreamy primate city intrigues me. Paris Fashion Week, the same. This season I received an invite to my first show in Paris, though unfortunately I was unable to attend.. I was elated to see it in my inbox. Devastée. I knew little about the brand, besides that it shows on the opening day of Paris Fashion Week. Upon a Google search, I was enlightened on the brand. The label has garnered a huge following in Japan. Francois Alary and Ophelie Klere are the duo behind the goth-influenced brand. Their Spring 2015 collection was delightful. Their Fall 2015 collection - even better. 
Opening the show was a kitsch floaty dress. The dress featured a grey print of wheat on the silver body. Black tights and brogues finished off the look. Sinister illustrations emblazoned the looks. Ghosts resembling Snapchat’s logo, smiley faces, high cheek boned monsters, fabulous females with swirling cheeks. It was gothic with a stylishly monstrous vibe. The lace added to looks gave fragility to the outfits. The girlishly gothic numbers with the addition of lace enriched the collection.

As models paraded down the runway I was enamoured by what I was seeing. Beautiful outerwear pieces. Gorgeous accessories - brogues, berets, scarves. The lack of clinquant pieces in the collection was refreshing. Milanese labels and London designers had an affinity for embellishment, embroidery and occasionally gimmicks. This tonal effort from Klere and Alary was energising and cool. It spoke to a wider audience. There was pieces for the fashion crowd to love but also the general public. Commercialism has to be on the mind of designers and it was here in the Devastée collection, but done creatively. 

The sweater with a smiley face was a standout. Lace overlays were killer. Funky illustrations were witty and amusing. Every look was wearable and could be deconstructed to give a simple aesthetic. There was a lot to like here. I loved it all. 

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Jean-Pierre Braganza // Fall 2015 //

Jean-Pierre Braganza had members of manufactured British pop group, Little Mix, front row at his show on the first day of London Fashion Week. Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirwall both wore JPB for the show. With a recently announced collaboration with British high street behemoth River Island, the girl group will no doubt be wearing the cool clothes. Many people, in fact will be able to own a piece of Jean-Pierre as his designer wares exceed some peoples budgets. 

I personally thought this was Jean-Pierre’s most luxurious collection to date. A modern incarnation of a film noir vixen and wartime heroine was the woman on JPB’s mind. Also the symmetry of fighter jets came to his mind. This wartime heroine and film noir vixen on his mind was a glamourous woman. She wore architecturally sculptured outfits - a signature of his, draped dresses and coats and prints. All three of those elements were all signatures of Jean-Pierre’s. How was it different to spring though? The colours for one. Richer hues excited. Less prints were used which allowed him to focus his attention to bettering his shapes. 
A large fur bomber jacket worn over a liquid latex-esque cowl neck gown with a huge choker was a highlight in the collection. The red carpet ready presentation showed us some symmetric origami shapes which related back to the fighter jet idea. A forest green with a jewel embellished collar was a gorgeous display. The finale look was to die for. A V-neck teal floor sweeping gown featured a draped bodice and a cinched waist. Two black cuffs, also playing on the idea of symmetrical looks. An up-do made the look appear as if it was ready to glide down the red carpet at the Oscars. 

The latest offering from Jean-Pierre Braganza is further proving my idea of London Fashion Week this season. It is the best one yet. JPB improved upon his previous collection and this is a feat that all designers to achieve.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Jonathan Saunders // Fall 2015 //

Jonathan Saunders presented a positively prismatic collection at a museum for Fall 2015. The Tate Britain in Millbank, the Topshop Show Space for the season, was the venue. Saunders has shown here before but a lot has changed since then. Eiesha Bharti Pasricha has invested in his label to help it move onto its next chapter. He has moved into a larger studio thanks to the injection of money into his label. He also has improved as a designer. This season’s 60’s modish outfits were a beaming rainbow in London, where dreary overcast weather was taking it’s toll on the spirit of attendees. Saunders made sure to brighten things up.
The dispersion of white light into brilliant colours was on Jonathan’s colour palette for Fall. The runway was lined with coloured columns, not lined in the atypical Richard of York gave battle in vein scheme.  Being a budding science student (not for long), this burst of light through a prism into a radiant rainbow is familiar. Albeit, Jonathan Saunders can make the chapter on light funky and flirty, with a 60’s flare. 3-D op art was bulging on the skirts, coats, and shirts. The artistic element was juxtaposed with stripes, and lace up, thigh high boots. 

Pantone cards, interior decorators’ favourites (and mine as a young child), were given a revamp the Saunder’s way. In stylish mismatched order, the looks embodied the carefree 60’s attitude. Jessica Stam made a rare runway experience wearing a green, white, pink and grey long sleeve dress with a single bright pink panel. White lace up Louboutins completed her look. Look 28, a mini dress, was in rich red, orange and white The wide neck dress was one of the best pieces in the collection. Or the coat before it worn by Mica Arganaraz. Her camel hued jacket featured white and grey details. This gentle mish mash of tonal colours was beautiful. A matching skirt, with a multicolour waistband was styled with the look. 

One thing I’ve noticed with London Fashion Week for Fall 2015 has been that by the show, hour, day - the collections have gotten more colourful and bright. Jonathan Saunder’s has illuminated Sunday’s packed schedule and the whole week. His unforgettable collection was probably the best collection of the week! 

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Phoebe English // Fall 2015 //

6 designers took over the BFC Presentation Space off the River Terrace in the New Wing of Somerset House. The compact venue hosted six static presentations, with two shows a day for three days lasting two hours each. It was quite amusing to see the set of each show change from starry planetarium at Shrimps on Friday to a sophisticated art class at Molly Goddard that evening. Faustine Steinmetz’s Thomas Petherick-commissioned wooden capsule set was changed two hours later for Danielle Romeril’s blue beach hut and gloomy grey sand. Claire Barrow showed on Sunday morning with models standing on platforms and the final presentation that evening was from my personal favourite, Phoebe English. A makeshift set of a grey curtain, professional photographer studio lighting and a metallic fan all lined the runway. 
Sensuality was pivotal here. With a harsh, blunt edge of course. Sheer dark skirts were bundled up with black coats. Rubber/latex-esque skirts gave a tied at the waist effect over a leather and sheer skirt. A light collarless shirt with a sheer bandeau gave a light touch to the the monochromatic look. Colour came via the flesh coloured Look 6. The sheer blouse was worn with rubber/latex elasticated sleeves. A matching skirt cascading drape in the centre was gorgeous. The netted skirt underneath was black and this soft goth had the seasons 90’s grunge revival all over it. 

The fish nets were particularly menacing. The Phoebe English girl was a goth but there was a sinister vibe in the air. The giupure d’art lace technique that Phoebe explored last season was once again present. The fluctuating pattern the look took was a rise and fall between dark aesthetic mixed with the soft make-up, sheer bandeau and netted short sleeved top. More rubber/latex took to the presentation. The sleeves that we have seen in the collection is a stylish undercurrent we have seen in this collection. Who knew someone could make arm warmers fashionable. With a whiz like Phoebe, I’m not too surprised. 

This black, white and flesh coloured freshman season on-schedule presentation from Phoebe improved upon her debut on the digital schedule last season. This sensuous outing was stylish and will no doubt be a sell out in Dover Street Market, a primary stockist of hers. I like the somewhat short gap between September and February London Fashion Week’s, but I’m not too fond of the two month extension between the already five month gap of February to September. I simply cannot wait for the next Phoebe English collection.