Thursday, 29 September 2011

hey guys

Just a note to say that due to moving house I wont be able to post for a little while. My new flat doesn't have internet yet and I'm not sure when I'll get it. But I haven't forgotten about you all and when I'm organised I will get right back to my Milan Fashion Week favourites and then Paris Fashion Week favourites. See you all soon. X

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Fashion Week Favourites: Versace

There haven't been very many collections I've seen wherein I've wanted, so very badly, every single outfit that was presented. More often than not, there are usually a just fair few outstanding numbers which I enjoy singling out, documenting here on my blog and then heading to the high street to try and find wearable and lesser-priced alternatives. But sometimes, and only sometimes, there are clothes so breathtaking, shows so powerfully moving and designers that are just so bloody brilliant that I obsess over every single piece of luxurious fabric. The Versace collection shown at MFW this Friday was one of those shows.

It was, undeniably, oozing typical Versace sex appeal. The lights were dimmed to bathe the models in a flattering golden glow (as if they needed any extra help in looking gorgeous) and the catwalk was simply just luminescent panels of light. The first few looks set the tone for the rest of the show in a blur of tight, white leather. Not usually a material associated with glamour or high-class fashion but Donatella's imaginative capacity showed that anything is possible when you are Versace. Gold-studded white leather fashioned mini-dresses, shorts, pencil-skirts, blazers, bomber jackets, cropped t-shirts and bra-lets- everything, basically. It was a strong start to the show, the models demanding our undivided attention with every swish of long, glossy hair.

The rock and roll effect of the first few looks soon evolved into a softer, romantic feel with the use of floaty chiffon draped across and peeking beneath the leather,  but the presence of the gold studs meant there was still a tough edge to the looks. With the subtle introduction of softer materials, there was also an emerging new trend- mermaid chic. A print of pretty lilac starfish, sea-shells and sea-horses floated across the tiny hemlines, perfectly complimented by the studs, and under the luminous lights, it almost seemed as if we were underwater. This was accentuated further when colour was introduced, light neon yellows and greens and indulgent aqua blues. All of the previous pieces- tiny shorts, mini-dresses, cropped blazers and bra-lets- were strutted down the catwalk in a swathe of glorious subaquatic colour.

Then it was done all over again but in black, and the feisty, rock and roll glamour of the opening looks was immediately reinstated in an explosion of tight, studded black leather. In all honesty, if anyone else had tried to do black leather pencil skirts, cropped tops and mini-dresses then it would be slutty and tacky- but not Versace. This was pure, unapologetic, sexy Versace.

Finally, to close a magical show, the hemlines suddenly dropped and we were treated to an array of delectable evening gowns- still generously studded in gold. There were daringly low-cut necklines, thigh-high slits and cut-out panels to retain some of the sex appeal. There was still a hint of the aquatic with glistening starfish embellishments and a mermaid-like diamond-studded bra-top. The colours that had previously been presented in mini-dress form returned in an admirable fashion, the extra material making the colours even more eye-popping and desirable.

And before I present my favourite looks of the show (which, genuinely, are all of them but I couldn't fit them all here on my blog, be in no doubt that I will return to this show in the future however) we mustn't forget the accessories. The platforms, multi-strapped and studded in gold, were so high that dainty little Lindsay Wixson took an embarrassing tumble on the catwalk, but walked it off with an grin and a salute- a true professional if there ever was one. And of course the bags- not an inch of material was not covered in tough gold studs. The jewellery was kept simple and basic, not too much so as not to overpower the effect of the studding. There were lots of leather bangles and starfish rings and not much else in the way of accessorising. The whole show, from start to finish, was a stroke of genius by a woman who totally encapsulates the Versace vibe. Donatella Versace, I salute you. Roll on the Versace and H&M collaboration this season.

(Some of) my favourite looks from the Versace show:

Fashion Week Favourites: Moschino Cheap & Chic

Moschino Cheap & Chic is the fun, playful diffusion line from Moschino, also designed by legendary Moschino creative director Rossella Jardini, but aimed at the younger market with more reasonably priced garments. Their show at MFW was an explosion of joy, colour and youthful vibrancy.

Attached to the invitation was a bag of seeds and the catwalk was adorned with boxes of fruits and vegetables as you would find at a market,  revealing immediately the main theme of the show- health. "Healthy fashion means a healthy body" according to Moschino CC and healthy fashion was certainly what they delivered. The show opened with a bright pink, puffy-sleeved strawberry dress, complete with little black seeds and green leaf. And a prolific t-shirt which stated exactly the theme for the show- "eco chic", worn with a skirt decorated with a big straw bow. Then came the dresses with apple motifs- the all-over maxi dress and the mini-dresses with a little apple design in the corner or oversized apple motif in the centre. There was also grape versions and soon the fruit and vegetables dispersed into cute little accessories- a raincoat adorned with buttons made to look like pepper, garlic, tomato and carrots and widely-celebrated carrot hat which seemed to stab the model through the head (in a nice way)!

But as well as fruit and vegetables, there was also lots and lots of florals- because you can also buy flowers at the farmers market. Romantic florals, loud florals, cutesy florals- they were all there. Florals are necessary for spring, but were given a playful edge when paired with bows and sweet market-like straw accessories.

Colour was everywhere, representing every kind of fruit and veg and every colour of the rainbow. The models wore bright blue eyeshadow to clash with the vibrant pinks, yellows and greens of their outfits. The mini-dresses were my particular favourites, with their structured silhouettes and puffy skirts, and they came in every colour and print imaginable- a romantic floral, a delicious vegetable print, a soft stripy green which resembled grass and a sunny yellow to portray happiness. As well as the flirty minis, there were also sexy maxis, also in a variety of colours and prints, but also in different materials- luxurious silks and flowing chiffons. I especially loved the quilted patchwork dress, a strapless mish-mash of coloured squares, and the finale dress, a lively multicoloured rainbow dress with bows.

The looks were all paired with sky-high platforms with a flash of shocking pink underneath, or bright turquoise, shiny gold or glossy black sandals. There were even a pair which had a little assortment of salad on the front- quirky cuteness. There was also an array of straw hats and straw bags, again adorned with fruits and vegetables and flowery designs.

My favourite looks from the Moschino Cheap & Chic show:

Fashion Week Favourites: Gucci

And now to Milan Fashion Week, where it all kicked off on Wednesday with an inevitably spectacular show from Gucci. And in keeping with the 91-year history of the brand, creative director Frida Giannini drew on past influences, in particular the 1920's or the 'Jazz Age', which despite also being a notable influence in many other shows this season, was truly mastered by the Italians.

It opened with a lesson in tailoring, one which we continued to learn throughout the entire show- nobody can quite do structured jackets and tailored trousers like the Italians, or indeed Gucci. The cigarette-leg was again the shape of the show, worn as usual with a power attitude and killer heels. But it was the blazers which captured the imaginations of the fashion world. Decorated with elaborate Art Deco designs in expensive tones of gold, black and emerald green and adorned with fancy fastenings, they were inspired by the past but designed very much for the modern-day woman.

Androgynous suits with high-waisted trousers were paired with sheer blouses or low-cut vests to add a bit of sex factor. There were tuxedo stripes down the sides of some of the trousers and thick leather belts with manly gold buckles but these were worn with plunging necklines and soft materials. There was also a return to form for the harem trouser, who I thought until now, had died a miserable death on the high-street. Gucci made the harem stylish again with mismatching prints and (omg) flat shoes!

Then came the glamour. Gucci is good at glamour. Astounding cocktail dresses with the most complicated embellishing and feminine silhouettes, very heavy on the 20's influences with drop-waists, fringing and sequins, sequins, sequins. Gold was of course, the dominant colour because it represents luxury, money and excess, which is everything that the Jazz Age was all about- and Gucci too, for that matter.

My favourite looks from the Gucci show:

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Fashion Week Favourites: Topshop Unique

The King of the high-street showed its fashion credentials at LFW with an astounding show inspired by Ancient Egypt. In the midst of a fiery debate about whether 'fast' fashion is ruining the industry, Topshop proved that despite its universal popularity and always being one-step ahead of the trends, it can also provide some serious style heavyweights.

Gold was the dominant colour- splendid, shiny gold to portray the luxury of Ancient Egypt. Gold trickled down maxi-dresses, mini-dresses, hemlines, necklines, hats and- my favourite- through the hair of the models. Even the catwalk was gold- and the invitation was decorated with Elizabeth Taylor, the most famous Cleopatra in showbiz, to give guests a taste of what was to come.

Intensely detailed prints were on show with heavy Egyptian influences, most of them closely resembling hieroglyphics. Some were tiny and intricate, others bold and in-your-face, but none of them were hard to miss. Look carefully and you may even discover little scarab beetles scuttling across dresses and skirts, golden cobras snaking across bodies and more obviously, pyramid shapes and the Eye of Providence, or 'all-seeing-eye', which was prevalent in Egyptian mythology and represents God watching over the people of the world. On the other hand were the more discernible prints- such as the oversized jumpers with a blown-up image of Elizabeth Taylor as the glamourous last Pharaoh of Egypt, Cleopatra.

Sheer was again a major trend, as well as long hemlines, oversized coats and statement shoes, all of which will most certainly be rolling into our very own wardrobes come Spring. Accessories such as leather caps and structured sunglasses suggested another androgynous element to the show, but the jewellery was kept big, bold and gold.

However, as much as it represented the opulent, decadent era of the Ancient Egyptians, the collection was also very modern and fresh. The heavy gold colour theme lent a 90's vibe, as did the caps and slouchy jumpers. Then there were garments like the pale pink crop-top- not very Egyptian yet fitted into the collection perfectly. The cut-out panels, sheer materials and striped leggings and skirts are another on-trend take on modern Egyptian.

My favourite looks from the Topshop Unique show:

Fashion Week Favourites: House of Holland

As if I could write about LFW without mentioning Henry Holland (read my other post about him here).  He is an outstanding designer, bring youthful charm and fun to every outfit. His House of Holland label showcased some of the boldest patterns, prints and materials of S/S 12 including cow-print, snakeskin and tartan.

The front-row was packed, of course, with Holland's celeb best friends such as Pixie Geldof and Jaime Winstone and they all sat before an eye-watering catwalk of black-and-white leopard print. The collection was aptly named 'Pastel Punks' which I think sums up the looks perfectly, and was inspired by the skinhead punks of the 70's and 80's.

The first look was a combination of androgyny and childishness- prim collars and snakeskin braces clashed perfectly with high-waisted bleach-stained jeans (possibly favourite jeans ever) and the multicoloured pastel panels on the shirt. The bleached jeans were then transformed into hotpants, knee-length shorts (via clever use of zips) and an amazing mini-dress- in both light blue and caramel denim.
The jeans were paired with see-through net shirts and lots of different colour snakeskin. In fact, the python print was a key factor throughout the whole show- the ankle boots being a particular favourite of mine, but you can also spy it on belts, collars and sleeves. There was even a pair of skinny snakeskin jeans, also complete with a multitude of zips so you can wear them any way you want (Holland, you genius).

We also hailed the return of the original House of Holland tartan, which Holland designed and created himself at the birth of his label. This is not your typical tartan though- you will most definitely not see it on the batty old grannies or the uniforms of private-school girls. This tartan is for the rebellious youths and the teenage punks. In sensationally bright purple and turquoise and orange tones, the eccentric tartan was rocked on trousers, blazers, kilts and oversized coats- but looked best head-to-toe.

Then came the cow-print, just as bold as the tartan and the bleach jeans that came before them. More multicoloured marvels in the form of dresses and even a strangely alluring pair of cow-print pyjamas (I think). The mesh shirts returned and developed into one-shouldered dresses, maxi-dresses and pencil skirts- but in a playful way. There was also some cleverly ripped net tights showing that see-through will definitely be sexy next Spring. What I loved the most was how everything clashed magnificently in a variety of, pastel punk colours.

My favourite looks from the House of Holland show: