First View Milan Womenswear SS2014: Living Art

September 21, 2013 by  
Filed under womenswear


Milan fires up full speed ahead with a number of collections that surprise us with a fresh breath of air and a new found sense of opportunism by taking the route towards modernity and digging deep into the opportunities that striding fabric technology is offering. Without betrayal of heritage, Milan tends to stick to its roots, we witnessed activism and experimentation in silhouettes that where alternately mesmerizing, odd and elegant.
Inspirations range from feminism, arts, folklore and techno crafts, subjects that granted these looks authentic freshness as well as a rich content.
No. 21’s tropical spring outfits, show layered street wear with ornate embroidered gauzes in an edgy arty-crafty spirit. The exceptional work of the couture fur ateliers of Fendi delivered a collection boosting with streamlined modernity inspired by the ‘light and lightness’. Careful bits and pieces of preciously crafted, exceptional materials are artfully clustered. At Just Cavalli one seemed to have bumped into London punks during an inspirational trip to Bhutan. Digital prints, animals spots and handkerchief patterns, all Cavalli icons, where mixed in an iconoclast mix.
The most artistic and storytelling was the viagra pills Prada parade, Miuccia Prada making a feminist statement staging mesmerizing girl gangs dressed in sporty city wear with a strong tribal edge. Energized by mural art inspired graphics and accessorized with rhinestone encrusted brassieres these colourful women spread an air of radicalism. ‘Weirdly beautiful’ as Suzy Menkes mentioned.

Stijlspot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

First View Paris Womenswear FW2013: Homme/Femme

March 4, 2013 by  
Filed under womenswear

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No worries, no battles, but the male/female story seems one of this seasons headlines. From “Garçonne”, the boyish look tailor-made for women, to military influences, Bowie androgyny, collegiate prep and just elegant women wearing the pants…

Colors were almost entirely plays on black, in different shades and textures, and with neckties wafting gently, like the soft, full pants. Bespoke tailoring alternates with nonchalance in plus size jackets with cool swagger. Decorative details soften an otherwise severely serious look.

Vanessa Bruno showed the boy stuff in boxy pinstriped jackets; contrast collared shirts and full pleated pants. Raf Simons showed patented perfection with couture class. Dries van Noten, added some collegiate Fred to frilly Ginger, which made a gorgeous cocktail. Lanvin topped youthful innocence on couture looks by adding talkative jewelry.

One thing is clear; no one felt for clashes, this was all love and peace between man and women. This is just the ideal gear for contemporary women; elegant clothes that connect the genders, classic icons of masculinity and femininity, clothes that are comfortable, wearable and decent.

For women well in control of there lives as well as there looks.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam


First View Paris Womenswear FW2013: Craft Allure

March 3, 2013 by  
Filed under womenswear

At first glance serious, plain tailoring reigned the runway offering this season. At second glance it was an ode to artisan-ship. Escaping the rat race to show the it-silhouette,most designers want to be true to themselves. They move back tot where they started and want to show the value of tailoring and fashion. Genuine emotion was fueled into collections where some felt like pure poetry. From rebellious expressiveness, energetic artisan-ship, to inventive and refreshing embellishment. Primal and tribal intensity to cheeky freedom and fun.

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Maison Martin Margiela’s line-up looked like a fresh start, showing expressive crafts carefully embedded in Margiela’s masterful tailoring principles. Dior fused casual flair into a very couture collection by adding a series of chunky craft knits, Dries van Noten was inspired by ballroom dancing and scattered crystals, feathers and flapper fringes. Rick Owens showed rare, but very effective decorative touches that seemed like experimental exercises to explore the ancient crafts of basket weaving.

How crafts add couture allure.

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


First View New York Womenswear FW2013: Going Green

As design goes green and the possibilities of green fashion are being reconsidered the title of this kick-off of New York Fashion Week might give us high hopes. Yet green in New York is the shade of a smart mixture of nature and artifice unified in disciplined outfits with military references and work wear details. Though stern in principle the outcome is ultra feminine and tailored showing a defined, sinuous silhouette. The green hues range from olive, army and loden to tender and marbled leave shades.

Lacoste shows sculpted leather dresses with diagonal zips. Where Richard Chai stages neat tailoring in stern uniforms finished with a glamorous polish.

Rag & Bone has chosen aviation as a starting point in a free interpretation of vintage flight suits and flight attendant uniforms. Urban nomads, dressed by Nicholas K, wear sheltering layers of intriguing textures in a myriad of greens, where the modern-day Amazones of Prabal Gurung show utilitarian city-combat styles. A sturdy look that is inspired by the Ukraine’s Asgarda tribes.

Hopefully this trend symbolizes ‘the green light’ towards excitement.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

First View Paris ss2012: Couture Spirit

The clear read line through Paris catwalk shows is a couture spirit reminiscent of the fifties and sixties. One designer more then the other found ways to translate this precious era in a contemporary and new look. Finding a shared challenge in the search for new proportions yet clearly inspired by the rounded full shaping of that era. Materials where traditional and precious, yet some realised that typical sculptural aspect in novel manmade yet ever so luxurious fabrics. A, I and egg shaped, reduced and iconic, minimal use of details and executed in mostly black and white.

Going back to the archives was what most designers did. Céline created a masterful understated and reduced version and managed to shape couture within a desirable ‘Philo’ mould. Dries van Noten offered grand couture looks in pouf dresses and skirts, finding a way to update by combining these with print and sturdy biker jackets. Rick Owens shifts in all its striking understatement between pillar and egg. Where Balenciaga made the most modern translation by truly redefining couture’s contours. He turned urban wear into couture, so took another road to come to richness by giving city wear the haute treatment. Rochas, how else could it be, took it factual and dived fully into archives using silk duchesse and organza to show the full flavour and grandeur of the couture legacy.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam


First View Paris FW2011: Dark Romance

March 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Paris, Stylespot, womenswear

The last few days in Paris a fantastic myriad of hybrid creatures passed by in a theatrical scenery. Mysteriously clad in dramatic silhouettes in exuberant fabrics and tailoring.

Rebellious and gothic, Amazonian warriors in black clouds of silk slung with giant leather belts. Haider Ackerman showed the most magnificent and elegant approach towards this dark witchcraft in dense burgundies, deep sapphires and intense forest green.

Black boots accessorize dresses and coats in silk, velvet, leather and fur. This feel for dark romance is wide spread on Paris catwalks.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam.

First View Paris FW2011: Surface & Proportion

March 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Paris, Stylespot, womenswear

Paris opens with an almost academic exercise in shape and proportions. Supersize knits in chunky ribbons of faux leather by Balenciaga in contrast with rococo prints on fluid crepe de chine. Miyake shows giant hounds tooth on models wrapped in outsized origami.

Dries van Noten works in clashing king-size graphics reminiscent of Russian constructivism. Pugh and Owens go monumental, composing leather into architectonic and iconic works of art.

But this is not just about the grand gesture. The surprise is in the detail; crafted tailoring, precious surface effects, appliquéd and gilded aspects, embossed and hand coloured leather and ribbon weaves.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam.

First View Milan FW2011: More Lace

March 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Milan, Stylespot, womenswear

There’s more lace to come from Milan! We spotted it in New York and London and got it confirmed now in Milan. Lace is a red thread linking collections, looks and styles.From cobwebby, embroidered, chunky to featherweight. Plasticized, coated, printed and sequined. From antique to high tech and modernistic.

In Milan, it was most of all used the authentic way. Pretty and lady like, refined Chantilly lace.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

First View Milan FW2011: Soft Color

March 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Milan, Stylespot, womenswear

The soft colors that popped up in Milan are definitely an opening towards a new spirit.

A fresh palette launched by Bottega Veneta, Missoni and Etro. Pale precious pastels. Not just soft in shades, also dimensional peach-touch fabrics with lots of knots, curls and pile. Candy coloured yet not that sweet, the unusual fabrics and wild combinations give this look a daring twist that makes us curious to see more of it next season.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

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