French Vogue’s journal de la Fashion Week à Milan #1 |

So the lack of recent posts since the start of LFW have good reason behind it… I had intended on posting immaculate reviews on my favourite shows of the week (and believe me, there were many!) However, at the worst possible time my laptop decided to stop working and I had to erase everything to repair it – and as I never listened to advice about backing up, I essentially lost everything.

Starting a-fresh, i’ll skip LFW for now and head on to Milan.. but you may see some pop ups at a later point in time from the shows I found most exquisite, and those which I just couldn’t bare to keep silent about.

Whilst I get my life back in an organised order, my favourite French Vogue video journals are back, so enjoy this one from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week — exploring the decadent collections from Frida, Alberta, and Francesco…

French Vogue’s journal de la Fashion Week à Milan #1 |

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Sleeve-Separates @ New York Fashion Week…

If you invested in a leather sleeved coat this winter, you don’t have to worry about contemplating subsequent purchases in order to save up for a new styled outerwear essential for next winter because the fashion-fixation that is contrasting sleeves is set to remain on top form, at least for now, as the opposing fabric started out as being limited more or less to leather (not that there’s anything wrong with adding a little edginess & rock glamour in our prim & preppy lives!). This season it broadens it’s horizons…

Since first appearing in Ricardo Tisci’s Givenchy s/s 2009 collection in the form of crocodile leather on cotton jackets, numerous designers (Alexander Wang, Philip Lim, and Christopher Bailey for Burberry – to name a few) have been proponents of the trend – upping the ante each season and producing their own interpretations to incorporate everything from raffia, lurex, to suede. It took it’s extreme form in Dries Van Noten’s 2010 collection – having filled almost the entire show with visions of contrast sleeves in every which way and form (adorning jeweled sleeves to cargo jackets and bombers, bold yellow sleeves to leopard print blouses, and oversized mohair sleeves to cropped sweaters – I could go on!).

Given the industry’s constant (and understandable) obsession with juxtaposition, the love affair with contrast sleeves is unsurprising. They are the perfect fashion paradox: allowing a woman to be edgy but soft, dressed up & dressed down all at once. To me, contrast sleeves ooze effortless chic — an accomplishment any fashion fanatic is in a constant competition for — they are a way to add a little light playfulness & fun to the often hard & heavy hitting autumn/winter outfits, as most outerwear pieces stick to one colour and one fabric, covering up anything exciting which may be lurking beneath.

Prominently displayed on the New York catwalks, favourites included: the ever-traditional leather sleeves seen at New York staple brand DKNY (love the deep red crocodile leather!); long knit & transparent-sleeved throw-overs at Philip Lim; Altuzarra’s contrasting black-fur & Moroccan-inspired gold coin sleeved coats; bold juxtaposing fur sleeves at BCBG & Custo Barcelona; bolder fur on the awe-inspiring belted military jackets at Jason Wu, and daringly blue-furred bomber jackets at Prabal Gurung (i think it’s fair to say that fur has replaced last season’s leather, no?).

Whether soft and overflowing on dresses & tops or bright and bold for maximum impact coats & cropped jackets, this emerging obsession of contrasting sleeves has worked its way up the hierarchy of trends throughout the past seasons (one sleeve at a time, ha!) and has earned the top spot being a must-have item included on everyone’s wish-lists. These sleeves are here to stay…

Cultural-Crossover Journey Collections @ New York Fashion Week: Altuzarra a/w 12 + Rag & Bone a/w

There was a jet-setting sense of glamour to the collections of both Altuzarra and Rag & Bone as they displayed a beautiful array of travel-inspired elements: simple dresses, embroidery, masterly-tailored outerwear, pleated & tulip skirts, knitted fur sweaters (sleek & chunky), minimalist/maximalist… They were both too much, yet just right, as every aspect of the outfits could be deconstructed & every element of clothing able to be taken out and worn on its own – absolutely wearable.

Joseph Altuzarra added panoptic romanticism & exoticism to his first collection after his CFDA Fashion Fund win. Seeking to present “the wardrobe of a well-travelled woman”, he began with the idea of a woman with very french & straight base pieces, adding to them little elements of what she had picked up in Mongolia, Morocco and India – thereby creating a woman of a “Worldy Mystique” – confident and strong… yet with an approachable poise.

The dense knit dresses with gold coin embellishments were sensual, yet loud and confident; the military coats and outerwear displayed tailoring done to an expert degree of talent, the thigh-high leather boots and textural patterns were very rare – different, yet identifiable, flared pants, velvet jackets, fur pea-coats, contrasting sleeves, vermillion… I could go on…. Tightly edited and very well-styled… they were clothes real women would love (and love is an understatement!) to wear.

Having said all that, how could we forget Markus Wainwright and David Neville’s move away from the beachy sentiments of Rag & Bone’s spring/summer collection towards one with packed on layers of patterns and rich colouring for autumn/winter?! Having always had a type of “outsider” fashion, they have enabled themselves to gather more dispersed elements of design, fusing this with their ancestral sense of Englishness & fun to create the very looks which define them.

Markus Wainwright, after having visited India and upon seeing the beauty behind the contrasts of wealth & poverty, between the very rich textures and the extremely expensive, delicate and embroidered textiles and base cloths, decided to present a collection showcasing the impact of England on India and vice versa — creating a journey within which there was an element of urban sensibility

Provocative & opulent with a colour palette of royal navy and deep violets with light patterns on grey hues, and of course pops of maroon (these shades of deep reds & burgundy which no NYFW catwalk went without!); beautifully understated Indian influences with jodhpurs and floral tapestries teamed with straight goat-hair gilets  – keeping texture plays central – gave the audience something to lust after and again – womenswear which was wearable – in the chicest and trendiest of ways.

If you asked me to choose between these 2 brilliant collections I wouldn’t be able to — But that’s the beauty of fashion isn’t it? Why would you ever have to choose, when you could simply take parts of both collections, blend them into one outfit & have it all.

French Vogue Le journal de la Fashion Week à New York #3

Cannot get enough of these videos!

Sophie Theallet, Carolina Herrera, Theysken’s Theory with Oliver himself, 3.1 Philip Lim, the ever-lovely Marc Jacobs speaking about showing off usual conservative associated things like chunky knits and paisley prints in more fun and adventurous ways… and a little hello from model favourite Joan Smalls.

Another song by We Are Knights — getting quite addicting…Enjoy!

French Vogue Le journal de la Fashion Week à New York #3

New York Fashion Week Favourite: Diane Von Furstenburg a/w 2012

“Rendez-Vous” – the notion that anything can happen, that anything is possible; a sense of adventure – was the title of DVF’s fall collection which was all about seduction. The show notes of Diane and French creative director Yvan Misplaere tell us that “glamorous is at a moment’s notice… she is effortless & elaborate” and bearing “a heightened awareness to the promise of places she has not yet been“… so mysterious! – which is precisely the intended effect we received of the collection.

While we’re used to DVF’s signature prints and expert wrap-dresses, she pared things down this season, which ended up having dramatic and alluring effects, combined with the bold colour blocking. Despite this minimalistic colour trend (which wasn’t so minimalistic if you take into account the bold brights), whimsical prints were still present with jigsaw puzzles, little eyes, and chains, which symbolised the whole aura of fun, mystery and spontaneity so central to the message within the collection…

Silhouettes were sleek and languid yet had cover ups in combination, thereby presenting a “Ying & Yang“, which Diane described as “what makes a woman fun“. So she was the queen of juxtapositions: the matte & the shiny; the short & the long; the tight & the loose — each seen within the show and each invoking a sense of confidence, which every DVF girl possesses at its finest.

Finally, a review of this beautiful display cannot end without at least mentioning the delicious colours… deep magentas, peacock blues, rich maroons, mustard hues, gold, muted chartreuse… even daring to play these striking colours together in a mastery of colour blocking — “we do colour blocking with our eyes closed“… well if this is what happens when her eyes are closed, I can’t imagine what amazing things she’d come up with, with her eyes open!

Overall a very wearable collection with clean and simple elegance… smart blazers, loose trousers, a clear mix of separates, dresses, and jumpsuits (the pink jumpsuit paired with the aubergine coat is on my wish list!) — it was bold, daring, strong… evoking exactly the type of “elegant but glamorous & seductive” woman who is “ready for anything” that Miss Von Furstenburg so perfectly aimed to show us.

I don’t think the question is whether this woman is ready for anything, but rather: is the world ready for her? — I think i’d like to wear the clothes and test out the theory myself!

Are you ready for your rendez-vous?