Print-play Pants

I do love my prints…

The emergence of statement trousers on the runway a few seasons back has completely transformed the way people dress on the streets today – it’s made it more fun! As seen above, they can make the ultimate statement (especially when paired with an equally eye-popping print!).

Legs are set to take the centre stage again this coming spring, with statement trousers coming in a range of cuts – from the sleek & straight  from Balmain, Sportmax and Balmain, to the breezy & voluminous seen at Farragamo and Fendi.

There were an array of different prints as well – florals bloomed at Katrantzou, Giambattista Valli and Moschino whilst paisley prints were spotted at Jil Sander and Stella McCartney. My absolute favourites were those seen at Diane von Furstenberg – so feminine and an easier way to wear the trend, yet with the same impact.

From left to right I’m wearing a subtle printed silk trouser from Club Monaco, structured florals from Top Shop, and a tribal print from H&M

Runway photos:

Haute Couture: Valentino s/s 2013

Miraculous craftsmanship was seen on the last day of Paris Couture Week as Mario Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Picciolo of Valentino took the catwalk.

“We really wanted to create a dream, something really fantastic, magic, fairy tale. Couture is a dream, and we love to dream. Why not?” – I couldn’t agree more with Chiuri, describing the thoughts behind the collection.

The duo-designers were looking at the idea of formal and secret gardens (an ongoing theme throughout the couture collections this season, as seen from the likes of Chanel and Dior), with mazes, ancient mosaics and romantic flower paintings.

Another ongoing theme was the idea of the bird, which was clearly displayed right from the very first look, through caged gowns and lace.

As I looked through the stills of the collection, every single piece was different from the next, yet all had a sense of togetherness, bound by the garden themes and Picciolo’s take on the essence of the collection itself: “contained in labyrinths” – where nature meets architecture and science meets spiritual rebirth.

So this is how magic is seen in reality!

I mean the technicality and craftsmanship these ateliers put into the gowns is utterly amazing when you really think about it. According to the notes, the piping on just one of the dresses took 500 hours of hand-rolling to produce, and the breathtaking gowns seen later in the show were made up of over 450 metres of tulle — I think that just says it all.

The padded rouleaux (raised patterns on the surface of the fabric) were inspired to suggest the elaborate wrought iron gates hiding what was stored within – creating a sense of allure, mystery and femininity at the same time – portrayed perfectly by the models. This iron-work was seen constantly throughout the collection: black on tulle capes overtop of ball gowns and ivory on little dresses.

Keeping with Chiuri and Picciolo’s Victorian vision, the floral motifs often found in beautifully kept gardens were evident in the patterns of some of the most exquisite pieces (as seen above) and many different laces were re-embroidered to create a shimmering collage-like effect.

I absolutely loved the high Victorian necks and long-sleeves creating a feminine romance and the white pieces looked perfect – almost like icing atop a wedding cake. The silver threading and lattice ribbon-work on the final piece just literally left me in awe (as Valentino shows often do) and I could only imagine what it would have been like to see it in person.

Even Valentino himself, quite emotional I might add, rose to greet and congratulate Chiuri and Picciolo as they took to the catwalk for the finale. If this isn’t praise for such an awe-inspiring and romantic collection then I don’t know what is!

The multi-coloured flowers & butterflies and coloured organza adorning the pieces created a spectacular fairytail show to end the week, leaving everyone speechless.


Spring Campaigning

The Spring/Summer 2013 Campaigns are rolling in…

The link between all of them is how dissimilar they seem to be! They emulate perfectly the way fashion seems to be heading at the moment… in no single straightforward direction.

The trend is that there is no trend, as seen from the varied collections themselves, which makes it so much more fun to plan your wardrobe (although the actual choosing process may be a tad more difficult!).

I love trying to figure out the inspiration and ideas behind the photos that the designers try to emulate – they often come up with quite imaginative scenarios. Speaking of which… check back soon for the Chanel campaign (of course I hadn’t forgotten about Karl!), there’s a surprising background story which comes along with it…

Here are some of my favourites so far, including Marc Jacobs, Saint Laurent, Prada, and Raf Simons’ first RTW campaign for Dior. Click through the images to see them full sized.

Defiles haute couture printemps-ete 2013, episode 1 | French Vogue

Click on the link above to see French Vogue’s journal de la fashion week – this time covering recent couture shows in the breathtaking snow-covered streets of Paris.

Here we have Day One which included the likes of Dior, Valli, and Iris Van Herpen – with a little Atélier Versace from the night before.

For Dior we see Janet Lee inspired hair from Guido Palau – also an ode to the iconic actresses of today, such as Anne Hathway. Make-up wise, Pat McGrath gives the Dior audience a modern take on flowers (as instructed by Raf Simons) with the big emphasis on bejewelled lips and shimmer on the eyes accompanied by little feathers on the lashes.

We then see incredible innovation at Iris Van Herpen, where a fabric so new that it is yet to be given an actual name was showcased for the very first time. A first experiment of different structures and aesthetics to create something truly eye-catching.

Giambattista Valli spoke about how he wanted to focus more and more around design in an almost industrial way (not that he has to prove anything to anyone, his shows keep getting better and better!)

This time he said it was about flora power and his love of silhouettes of big volumes, but balances with lightness and sheerness. Magical.

Defiles haute couture printemps-ete 2013, episode 1 | French Vogue