Jason Wu Catwalk Fashion Show New York FW2011

February 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, New York, womenswear

The army of press and photographers at the catwalkshows of Jason Wu grows every season bigger and bigger. Since Michelle Obama put the designs of this young designer in the international spotlights, his shows are one of the most anticipated of New York. This time the setting was a runway made of gilded mirrors and grandiose chandeliers in glass boxes decorating the room. And it was the perfect stage for his new fall winter collection where baroque met sportswear in a very elegant, daring way. Lace never looked so fresh.

Wu’s polished and ladylike look had a more urban vibe. The designer put a big emphasis on tailoring. He opened with a charcoal gray coat flung over the shoulders of a cropped jacket, printed blouse, and slim black slacks. Instead of an average flannel coat this one came with a strip of black lace down each sleeve.It was followed by prim, high-collared silk blouses with frilled collars and delicate bows at the closure and a virginal white dress with dainty lace overlay. For cocktail and evening Jason Wu came up with his signature tulipdresses and ravishing columndresses.

Wu made lace an integral part of this collection. Sometimes little bits of lace were embroidered onto blouses or A-line, slightly above-the-knee skirts and he engineered it to look like a print. The designer went all the baroque way by adding dense clusters of colorful stones at lace embroideries, even the hair got a gold-leaf pigment. Black and nude were the main colors, spiced up by blue, red and green.

First impression: Sage & Ivy

January 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Amsterdam, Featured Items, womenswear

Although not at the official list of the AIFW, the Sage & Ivy-show was well visited by press and curious fashion-lovers. It was the second collection of designer Alexia van Engelen, and this time the collection was inspired by St Petersburg.

Jil Sander Catwalk Fashion Show Milan FW2011

January 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Menswear, Milan

Raf Simons keeps on pushing the color-theme at Jil Sander. After two strong, minimalistic springcollections for him and her where he surprised the in all black dressed fashioncrowd with vivid colors and white T-shirts, his winter 2011 collection seems more in balance. He started with a dark suit, which actually was a mix of purple and black, combined with a shirt and sweater. But soon the colors changed into yellow, white, pink, orange and electric blue for total outfits and subtler mixes.

Simons replaced the mens shirt by T-shirts in shiny, bubbly fabrics and presented them in layers which added more volume and a fresh, modern touch to the minimal style.

Dolce & Gabbana Catwalk Fashion Show Milan FW2011

January 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Menswear, Milan

After a few strong menswear-seasons with the focus at Italian sartorial craftmanschip, Dolce & Gabbana moved on. They looked at Britain and 80’s style-icon Bryan Ferry, who’s slick style of shiny suits inspired a whole generation of young men back then. I guess Bryan Ferry was happy he grew out of that 80’s style of short, slightly squared jackets, wide lapels and tapered pants while watching the show in a slim suit and accompanied by two of his sons (who looked very smart too). It’s a big step from the handsome and streamlined Italian style we’re used to see at Dolce & Gabbana.

But maybe it’s just a matter of time. The look must seem bright new to a younger generation fed up with skinny pants and jackets. The new silhouette is more square and non fitted, jackets are much shorter and pants got low crotches. For the streetwise styling the designduo looked at British ska’s, with their hats, black and white, suspenders, short pants and shoes. The formal suit was mixed, a jacket with jeans, the pants with striped sweater, velvet with denim, faux fur with wool, pinstripes with pied de poule. There was even a hint of color next to the black and grey, red and bordeaux played a major role. The collection deserved the name Eccentric Tailoring –  only for those who dare.

Costume National Catwalk Fashion Show Milan FW2011

January 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Menswear, Milan

Costume National’s designer Ennio Capasa tried to mix traditional tailoring and fabric/construction research with a rebellious core. The result was less surprising as it sounds, because this is what he does every season. Experimenting with clean cuts, jackets without seams assembled by laser technique and a synthesis between formal and sportswear. Of course in signature black, with hints of res, royal blue, dark green and salmon for sweaters in soft mohair.

What I liked the most were the coats and jackets made of wool with leather sleeves, or made of fabric with knitted sleeves. But in the end it was a reset of ideas. Daring was a knitted tuxedo. And this season Capasa finally got rid of all the wite shirts and ties. In the name of a creative rebellion.

Ermenegildo Zegna Catwalk Fashion Show Milan FW2011

January 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Menswear, Milan

In a watery cold Milan the menswear fashionweek(end) took off with two classics: Corneliani and Ermenegildo Zegna. The design-team at Zegna seemed captured by China and mixed oriental themes with a more classic tailoring. Business suits had a sporty attitude thanks to the use of tweed-effects and utility touches. The silhouette was defined by straight shouldered three-button suits and jackets, as well as streamlined high-cuff trousers. The touch of China was visible in high collared Mao-jackets, bamboo-green, reds and shiny silk fabrics with a vintage patina. There was a slightly military touch to it thanks to army-belts, little leather pockets, combat-type boots and big shearling coats.

Item of the season will be the iPad-cases, as a sleeve or a shoulderbag. Almost every label is presenting one or more models in their collection.

It was a Live D fashion show, created in collaboration with director James Lima – who was a visual consultant on the film Avatar. Backstage models were filmed in the ‘Green Room’ using cutting edge filmtechnology. Front of house the images were projected on a giant screen in real time against a filmed backround, coinciding with the models arriving on the runway. The show unfolded both live and on screen  – as if the models were walking off the screen into the real dimension.

Joline Jolink Catwalk Fashion Show ss2011

August 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Amsterdam, Fashion, Featured Items

Joline Jolink is one of the few Dutch designers who is working silently and serious at her oeuvre. She’s still developing, but her style is already visible and consistent. She sells mainly in the Netherlands (12 shops and a webshop) and probably soon in Belgium. It’s been a while since Joline Jolink  showed a collection to an audience, but yesterday she presented her spring summer-2011 collection to buyers and a small selection of editors. It was a very grown up, elegant and sporty collection. For the first time Joline Jolink presented some leather accessories, two small bags worn at the hip and a big bag inspired by oldfashioned schoolbags.

The designer is fascinated by strong women, their lives, way of dressing, way of thinking. And it always makes an interesting collection. For next spring it was Katharine Hepburn that inspired Joline Jolink. Especially her sporty/elegant way of dressing and her preference for menswear tickled the designer.

The result is a well balanced collection full of renewed classics, like the men’s shirt, the pleated trousers, the suit and the shirtdress. Jolink choose basic colors, like beige, marine, black, white and mustard. The only print was a wrinkled navy/beige striped jersey. eyecatchers were a soft, halterneck suit, a big poncho and a beige-colored silk suit. The flowing silhouet, the modern classics with a clean, sporty twist and the eclectic mix made it to a strong collection.

Alexander McQueen Catwalk Fashion Show SS2011

June 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Menswear, Milan

I wasn’t there personally, but I just wanted to show you some pictures of the new menswear-collection of Alexander McQueen. It seemed unthinkable that the label could do without the founder, McQueen – who died four months ago -,  but his righthand Sarah Burton took over. She is the one who knew the best how he thought and worked.

It was a low key presentation of a subtle reworking of the house aestetic. Cut away jackets, a red and gold brocate coat, deconstructed redingotes, cashmere sweaters and striped pants. Burton played a subtle game between high and working class.

Burberry Catwalk Fashion Show ss2011

June 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Menswear, Milan

For the recent wintercollection of Burberry Christopher Bailey went back to the roots of the old British label: the trenches of World War 1 en 2. And for his recent summercollection Bailey mixed the army-wear with skintight, vintage biker-pants and cropped weathered jackets.

Once again Bailey got all the military heritage at the stage and restored all the accents, like epaulets, belts and straps. The trenches looked sharp and clean. Colors were alike moving from black tot navy-blue, khaki and green. It looked like a solid, commercial collection with lots of items to put on your wish-list. If I were a man I would definitely save money for a black biker-jacket, a thin shirt and a clean, leather trench. But as a fashion-collection it did not stand out – I’ve seen better Burberry-collections with great shirts and accessories, in new colors and interesting daring  design, combinations or fabrics.

But hey, these are the days of surviving in the fashionworld.  And I forgive the designer for being so honest and calculating. Thanks to him Burberry is still going strong. It’s simply time to invest in great classic pieces, fast fashion can wait for now.

Dolce & Gabbana Catwalk Fashion Show SS2011

June 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Events, Fashion, Featured Items, Menswear, Milan, People

Dolce & Gabbana keep on celebrating their 20th anniversary with memorable events. Not only a cocktail and exhibition in the Palazzo Marino (City Hall) in the centre of Milan, but also with great theatrical fashionshows. The shows not only tell the story of their roots, but also of their creativity and passion.

Today’s menswearshow was all about passion and drama. The duo took inspiration from their beloved Sicily, especially from the fishermen. They took their simple, but inventive way of clothing – pants held together by a rope, fishnet-shirts, simple linen suits, sandals and shorts – and translated that in a casual, relaxed collection with white, black and sand as their main colors. I’m sure there was something for actor Morgan Freeman or Matthew McConnaughey who were attending the show.

But the most dramatic part was the performance of singer Annie Lennox. Dressed in a  huge ballgown she played the piano and acted like a real diva. Her voice sounded better than ever and she sang her evergreens passionately.

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