First View Milan Womenswear FW2014: Soft Spo(r)t

February 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Stijlspot, Stylespot, Trends, womenswear

Here the accessible side of fashion on show during fashion week Milan. Soft touch comfy wear with a sporty esprit in plain and simple near-traditional shapes. Parka’s, trenches and woollen shirt-dresses reflect the spirit of the 60s neat and polite society, as exclaimed by Gucci. Orderly details and subtly shifted proportions, jut raising or lowering the waistlines. In sophisticated off-color-combinations that add that contemporary touch so much needed to trigger the desire-and-buy-me-machine.
Just Cavalli in general went for the hairy fluff, but here he wrapped his model in snug short shearling in a pretty pale pastel. At Fendi zippered skirts and parka’s, sporty as well as romantic, with tufts of fur on luxurious casual coats. And also Gucci tapped into the casual side of its heritage, with smart double-breasted coats, short high-waisted dresses in sugary macaron-shaded and faded pastels. To quote Suzy Menkes for NYTimes: ‘All good and luxurious stuff’.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

First View New York Womenswear FW2014: Stillness


Stillness and quietude might be the one true luxury. We spot gorgeous drapes and wraps and composed kimono volumes. The absence of detail exposes the best in materials. Square cut nearly monumental silhouettes gain feminine spree through the drape quality of compact and chunky yet gorgeously supple wovens. Subtle surfaces where brush effects, felted looks and heather aspects add liveliness and a natural appeal.

BCBG Max Azria takes advantage of the endless layering opportunities that fall permits. The Row shows a range that is quietly spectacular made with 900-gram double-face cashmere. From soft and fluffy to a tranquil sculptural quality. Michael Kors plays with proportions and adds a firm grip to the choice of materials where Wang for Hugo Boss exercises his tailoring qualities with strong rigueur.

Once more the quality of cut and drape defined by the exceptional characteristics of the materials.

Stijlspot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam









First View New York Womenswear FW2014: Cocooning


No one could anticipate the Polar Vortex but still the supersize hand-knit sweaters are warm and prodigious as were so many silhouettes this season. Chunky shearlings, and curly bold sweaters are round and sheltering above flapping skirt layers and drapy pants. Super lush and luxurious materials flourish best in simple understated shapes. Roomy and relaxed like comforting cocoons.
Michael Kors shows masterful shag furs, chunky cardigans and deluxe cashmere sweats on A-line skirts. The Row luxury wraps as cowl-neck cashmere sweaters and matching asymmetric hand-knit skirts. Love for comfort, exquisite materials and a soothing calmness and ease drives this look.
Marc Jacobs dyed his shearlings in sunset hues. Light and calm, a cosmetic neutral palette and a play on pastels like the fabrics had undergone a beauty treatment.
Inspired by the cosmetics of animal skins rather then ours.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

First View New York Womenswear FW2014: Body Heat



Heating up the body was not the only reason to source for warming spice shades, bundles of Mongolian lamb, cashmere wraps and joyful faux fur. Where fashion increasingly tends to blend seasons, designers of today adore the extremes of winterly wild textures, fluffy organics and the voluminous sculptural aspects of pile surfaces, brushed hairy woolens and fizzy fringe.

Prabal Gurung wraps pashminas high around the neck, collaging cashmere throws, woven knits and tribal trims in yellow, rust and orange. And that all in one outfit. Crimson and ginger for meditative drapes inspired by native Nepal, his homeland.

Custo confirms the love for pattern. Showing clashing prints, plays with textures and lots of faux furs. Altazurra adds fire to tapestry pieces, beautifully artful flourishes, inspired by textile artist Sheila Hicks.

Let’s hope the high streets tap into this superb inspiration.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam


First View New York Womenswear FW2014: American Sportswear

February 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, New York, Stijlspot, womenswear


Extreme weather-conditions this season make a matching backdrop for the functional as well as imaginative city-sport outfits that passed us on the New York runways. 21st century fabric technology facilitates utilitarian, sensorial as well as sensual fashion looks. We met heat-sensitive materials, extremely dimensional knits, embossed leathers, space-age treatments and Day-Glo shadings.

Alexander Wang shows cutting-edge technical finishings in yellow-splashed sweaters with crinkled surfaces that change colors through the models’ body heat. 3.1 Phillip Lim presents pretty collage prints in peppy cold-weather pastels on bombers as well as dresses. Thakoon goes cocooning with turtleneck shoulder fitted cape-lets, funnel-neck scarfs and soft shearling jackets. Alexander Wang stages bold and brutal boots matched with smart tailoring – lofty balloon silhouettes in featherweight parachute silks and satins.

Luxury solutions for sensitive survivalists.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

First View Milan Womenswear FW2013: Cool Wool

February 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Milan, Stijlspot, Stylespot, womenswear

It seems designers are expecting severe temperature reduction by introducing all Glacial Age-proof wardrobes. Especially since these cover the tailored city wardrobes and not performance outdoor gear. Coats seem the main subject of interest this season as well as woolen skirts suits and plaid shifts. And not in featherweight seasonless qualities but in chunky textured versions. ‘Wool is cool!’ definitely seems to be the credo this season. In bespoke luxurious plains as well as washed, bonded and felted versions. Prints, tweeds, color-wovens, plaids, marls, and some with coated and embellished finishings. All showing extreme elegance and a touch of nostalgia and romance.  Wool is ideal to play with proportions and volumes, it can drape as well as shape. On the surface it can shows chameleonesque qualities, and can be sculpted in any volume or proportion. Ideal for the minute excises in tailoring that most designers are into.

Sportmax goes for tactility and textures in marled tweeds. Bottega Veneta curves with precision and sensual elegance. Prada adds a hint of sex to a seemingly very un-sexy material. Where Jil Sander conveys proofs of serious craftsmanship in bespoke tailored silhouettes.

Wool warms fashion hearts as well as bodies.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam.

First View Milan Womenswear FW2013: Fuzzy & Furry

It was the soft spot that caught our eye. Fashion is serious business nowadays, what makes it exiting to see some items that are slightly out of sinc. It is not in number that these fluffy flounces made impact. It is in proportions. These caused some of the models to look nearly as wide as they were tall. From slightly austere in compact curly astrakhans to fluffy alpaca piles, cosy camel teddy bear looks and chunky boucles. It needs slender, tall models to show these looks with elegance yet many may have found comfort and ease in these soft sheltering styles. Not just in jackets and coats, also in giant knit sweaters with twisted cables, trimmed and sleeved with high pile furs. For the more extreme we spotted wild fluffy Big Bird jackets and feathery hairdos.

Ports played with New Look proportions combining astrakhan jackets and hoodies with full circle, below the knee, skirts.  Max Mara’s cocoons where almost caricatures’, showing bulky layers of fuzzy fur-looks in giant square tops and coats. Blumarine showed boho flair in lean long-loop-knitted cardigans and pastel shaded shearling bikers. Gucci combined sensual curves with cosy egg-shaped astrakhans and pony hair jackets.

Maybe it is time to re-hype cocooning!

Stylespot is a cooperation with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

First View Milan Womenswear FW2013: Film Noir

Where fashion is more and more about garments and less about obvious trends that break with previous seasons, here we DO have a trend. It is back to the 40’s with a Film Noir twist. Not that we haven’t been there before. But here it is invigorated with a refreshing raw edge. Refined and elegant, sexy as well as romantic, revealing bits of darkness and gloom.

Miuccia Prada launched her exercise in fashion as cinema. She stages stories of woman and life. ‘Who cares about the dress?’ was her genius quote on That is such a meaningful sentence. It is the emotion surrounding the garments that counts and nothing can light up the fire as powerful music and a filmic set.

Nevertheless this was all about lovely lean tailoring, extremely luxurious in desirable fabrics. Beautiful garments as cabans, peplum jackets and hourglass dresses with exaggerated hips. Tailleurs, fishnets and gloves to match with long curvaceous skirts.

Prada referenced Film Noir. She staged the obsessions and passions she shares with both David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock.

Gucci was darker; adding austerity, vigor and fetish. An ode to craft, embellishing power women and femmes fatales. Dsquared2 dived deep into the 40’s with curvy skirt suits and shapely double-breasted jackets. All very costumy and posed.

Let’s make movies!

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam


First View New York Womenswear FW2013: Fabulous Coats

It’s been a big week for coats. Remarkable that an item that independent of the weather gradually lost its position in the stores, is now THE canvas for fashion statements.

A myriad of coat styles crossed the runways – from traditional camel capes, pea coats and prep Prince of Wales jackets to decadent furs, plastic trenches and an impressive series of stern and rigid, broad shouldered power coats with nipped and belted waists. From prim tailored trenches, reinterpreted smokings to rugged utilitarian parkas.

Most obvious where the numerous terrific coats that where stripped down and traditional, inspired by menswear suiting and tailoring.

Alexander Wang cut his coats oversize and dropped the waist inspired by boxing. Phillip Lim referenced bikers; showing  motorcycle jackets, ragged shearling but also super trenches. Michael Kors themed urban warriors; fast-paced, sporty and chic in bold, boxy, sculptural shapes and Calvin Klein buckles up and goes large; with mannish shoulders in dense cloth.

Though the coat’s references are mannish the looks are generally sensual.

Great tools of empowerment.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam



First View New York Womenswear FW2013: an Englishman in New York

Here is a very clear and retail-friendly trend to spot. Classic English tailoring, menswear suiting materials and silhouettes referencing collegiate prep. Not that we have never seen this before. This is all about comfort and ease, not so much in the fit but more in mindset – looking good, no shock, no unease and absolutely no risk. Luckily there are some designers to give this look a twist. By adding a touch of futurism in bonded materials or a quiet but brave re-proportioning of the silhouette. But mostly this is about referencing the classic, the authentic and re-viving as well as re-living tradition in Peacoats and double-breasted coats and blazers combined with abbreviated minis.

Tommy Hilfiger stays close to its preppy roots with Prince of Wales checks and hound’s-tooth checks and plaids. Rag & Bone, adds modernity by re-proportioning and mixing materials and textures. Victoria Beckham layers her skin-tight and sexy dresses with mannish but nevertheless sensual coats. Then have a look at Marc by Marc Jacobs, Y3 and Thom Browne to see how they manage to merge these icons of tailoring with their personal signature.

Hail to history and now back to the future please!

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam


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