Trend Report FW2010: Less is More

August 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, womenswear

Fashion brands Celine and Chloe already set the mood last season, and for fall the minimalistic trend they started, is again huge. The motto: less is more still applies and not only for Chloe and Celine.

Clean cuts, simple silhouettes, hardly any prints and as little accessories as possible: that’s how you would describe the minimalistic trend in a nutshell. And that’s what brands like Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, MaxMara and Dries van Noten did in their collections. Even the Gucci collection looked more simple than ever.

It certainly makes us think twice while getting dressed. Do I really need that printed legging, that bright-colored tunic, that scarf, the belt, the hat and all the jewellery? Should I perhaps keep it more simple?

And that’s exactly what the minimalistic trend is all about. Buy one or two really beautiful, well tailored, more expensive (designer) pieces and let go of all the needless extras.

Uhh..we’ll think about it!

The best of London Fashion Week FW2010

March 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, London, womenswear

After a period in which British brands preferred showing abroad they’ve now come back to London. The city’s fashion week celebrated it’s 25th anniversary last year and is again a popular fashion town. Some of the best British labels have returned to the London catwalks, including Burberry, Pringle, Matthew Williamson, Antonio Berardi, Jonathan Saunders and Clements Ribeiro. Luckily for London, cause Burberry and Williamson were surely two of our London Fashion Week highlights.

Christopher Kane
With the fall collection Christopher Kane presented he is bound to win another Collection of the Year award. The designer used black lace and leather embroidered (by hand!) with floral patterns. A crazy combination, at first sight, but after a few looks we started to like it. The skirts and dresses meant for young women were short like always, but never looked sleazy. Kane worked some Priscilla Presley looks into his collection as well. ‘From the time before Elvis got her hands on her’, he said. Even though Christopher Kane and his sister Tammy are only running the label for four years they’ve already achieved a lot. And we’re sure there’s much more to come. Now let’s just hope he won’t be taking too many extra design job like the ones for Versus and Topshop, cause he already has his hands full right now.

Another successful British designer who is fully booked is Christopher Bailey, creative director for Burberry. Bailey oversees some 60 different men’s and women’s collections each year, including the Prorsum, Brit, London and Sport labels, plus children’s wear, denim, underwear, fragrances, home-wear and all the accessories. Plus he’s responsible for the design of the Burberry shops. But that doesn’t influence the great collections he delivers. His work even tends to get better. The womenswear collection for next fall was a highlight of the London Fashion Week. Not only was it the first show to be watched live in 3D, people could even buy the designs as they came down the runway by simply clicking the ‘Click to buy’ button. And there sure was a lot to love, the coats being the public’s favourite. They came by with military accents and in aviator style, shear ling lined with double collars. So the Burberry show was trendsetting in two ways: (1) The military coats will be a success next year (2) Other labels will soon broadcast their shows in 3D and will let their customers buy their clothes straight from the show as well. Just wait and see.

Matthew Williamson
A show we would have loved to see in 3D was that of Matthew Williamson. Although the man is known for designing bright young things for, well.., bright young things his fall collection seemed a little more grown up. Of course there were the multicolored mini-dresses but Williamson also experimented with a more mature look. We liked it. Romantic ruffles and drapery were seen on his sophisticated dresses. He used beautiful colors from icy grey and blue to warm shades of fuchsia, peach, orange and red. Colorful prints and sparkles gave the collection it’s Williamson-twist. We loved the designs, the colors and the more grown up look. The dresses we’re maybe a bit too dull for his on-and-off girlfriend Lady Gaga, but they are still perfect for his other young customers, like Sienna Miller and Jade Jagger.

The best of New York Fashion Week FW2010

March 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, New York, womenswear

New York doesn’t always have the best brands showing their new collections. Still some labels left a big impression on us at the latest New York Fashion Week during which the fall/winter collections for 2010/2011 were shown.

Marc Jacobs
One of the highlights certainly was Marc Jacobs’ fashion show. Not only did the designer create a buzz around his show by starting a contest on Twitter only three weeks before the show. The beginning of the show was also very spectacular, with the 56 models all standing in a box on the stag  wrapped in brown paper. The show started on time, ’cause there were no celebrities invited and we loved the fact that Somewhere over the rainbow was played. The song brought back good memories while Marc Jacobs brought back old trends. He showed many items of his nearly two-decade repertoire. He stressed the fact that he didn’t want his clothes to look new. They were fashionable but were ‘not trying too hard to be so’. The clothes looked conservative, pure and simple and had a vintage vibe going on. The waists were raised and the A-line was back. And we just let us carry away by the music, the romantic clothes and the serene atmosphere. We loved it!

Another NY show that breathed serenity was Rodarte. The models appeared in beige, nude and floral printed designs, while candles were burning and dripping in the background. The models’ glow in the dark heels represented dripping candles as well. It all fit perfectly with Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s idea of sleepwalking.  The clothes had a suitable dreamlike quality. Rodarte’s craftsmanship was better than ever, the patchworks looked cheerful, and the knits seemed very wearable. Especially the ending was magical when four models in long white dresses stood in the center of the catwalk.

Calvin Klein
From the romantic atmosphere at Rodarte we go to a modern looking Calvin Klein show. And thus we switch from Rodarte’s candlelight to bright techno light moving to the beat of Calvin Klein’s music. Calvin Klein’s show was memorable for it’s diverse models; eighties supermodels like Stella Tennant and Kirsten McMenamy walked alongside young, upcoming models. There were a lot of coats, many designs had round shoulders and we saw some interesting textures. The clothes were also very streamlined, they had sterile shapes and didn’t have a lot going on. And since everyone is so fond of the minimalistic look at the moment, continuing his simplistic and sober style was a smart idea of head designer Francisco Costa.

Michael Kors
A last highlight of the New York fashion week for us was the show of Michael Kors. It was actually quite the opposite of Calvin Klein’s sober collection. Michael Kors’ designs represented luxury and wealth. He showed us how glamorous sportswear can look. His materials looked exquisite, his camel clothes made us green with envy and his enormous fur coats had our full attention. The collection was loaded with must-haves for the rich and famous and Kors proved a winter collection can be very very sexy.

So these four different brands amazed us, made us smile and frown and let us think twice about fashion. The four collections were very diverse and yet equally likeable. It shows fashion is never about just one vision; it can be interpreted in a thousand different ways.

Hermès Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2010

March 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Paris, womenswear

It looked as if Jean Paul Gaultier wanted to stress the origins of the Hermès fashionlabel. There was leather everywhere in the collection, which was inspired by the British 60’s television serie The Avengers.

A not-too-great-looking Lily Cole opened the show in a black leather pantsuit, zipped on the front. The rest of her outfit was made from leather as well: shoes, belt, gloves, bag. Even her bowler hat and umbrella could easily have had some leather parts.

Some crocodile leather followed, on a skirt, a belt, a pair of trousers and a jacket. After that, the leather designs became so thick they seemed more appropriate for men. Especially when the (leather!) ties and the extra-wide pants came by, the show got a very masculine feeling.

Fortunately shades of light gray, camel and brown softened the looks. Just when one of the models came on carrying a New York Times under her arm (slightly pushing Suzy Menkes, who works for the newspaper, to write a good review on the show).

Most of the woolen coats that followed, had leather collars in a different shade. A beige toggle coat popped up out of nowhere, shoulders were accentuated by leather parts and a long leopard printed skirt was seen from under a stiff leather jacket. And though we were happy most labels temporarily said goodbye to this specific animal print it later came by on several dresses, a coat, a blouse and even on one of the two hoop skirts.

There was so much animal material in this collection any PETA activist would have gone mad watching this show. Even we could hardly handle the amount of leather JPG sent off on the runway. Yet we did get very inspired on how many ways there are to wear it.

Valentino Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2010

March 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

For fall Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli got in a very feminine Valeninto mood. Their designs had frills and ruffles from the beginnening till the end of the show and were made out of the most delicate fabrics.

While videos of waterfalls were played on huge screens all over the show area the models worked the runway. The clothes they wore, were embellished with ruffles and floral appliqués. On most designs this looked great, but on a short black leather jacket, worn by Mirte Maas, it felt like ruffle-overkill.

This Valentino collection had a very romantic and classic vibe, still Chiuri and Picciolo succeeded in letting it feel more youthful than before. The fur coats, lace blouses, silk dresses and airy chiffon tops looked smooth. The shades of nude, beige, white and black worked really well with the Valentino red we saw on four dresses and a skirt. Golden studded kitten heels were the perfect detail on every outfit.

Five long evening gowns were the ending of the show. The last one in transparent Valentino red looked stunning. Yet a black lace gown with a butterfly on the right shoulder, worn by Patricia van der Vliet, was even more breath-taking.

Chanel Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2010

March 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Paris, womenswear

Global cooling, not global warming was the inspiration for Chanel’s fall/winter collection. Now don’t think the show was about durable fashion or had something to do with eco-friendly production. No, on the contrary Karl Lagerfeld even flew in an iceberg from Sweden to decorate his catwalk. After the fashion show that iceberg was to be flewn back to Sweden as well. If you ask us, this kind of superfluous actions only increase global warming.

During the show the iceberg was slowly melting, so all models ended up walking in big puddles of water. What a pity for the luxurious clothes! Karl’s long pants, floor-sweeping coats & dresses and his fur boots all got wet.

His fake fur boots, we must say. Cause the whole iceberg-thing might not have been so politically correct, Karl did use fake fur for this collection. He commented: ‘You cannot fake chic but you can be chic in fake fur’ and explained that fake fur, nowadays, looks very realistic. Because you can hardly see the difference between real and fake fur Karl decided this collection was to be a ‘triumph for fake fur’. The fur came in brown, gray, white and black and was seen on the skirts, boots, pants, cuffs, coats, bags and collars.

Other fabrics were leather and the typical Chanel tweed. Tweed was, of course, used for some of the short jackets, but we saw it on some coats, pants and skirts too. The skirts were rather short, compared to, for example those of Marc Jacobs. They ended halfway the upper leg. The collars of almost all designs were high, as were the waisted pants.

Apart from a little bit of red Karl didn’t use any colors. The show ended with the last models all wearing white designs. Even the necklaces and the large rings were white (they were metallic during the first part of the show). It all looked stunning with the real, white iceberg in the background. Yet we think an iceberg from papier-mache would have been just as nice.

Kenzo Catwalk Fashion Show FW2010

March 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

Kenzo’s invitation was a vacuum plastic ‘bag’ with different sorts of dead leaves in it. Kenzo’s catwalk was decorated with what looked like dead palm trees. Let’s just say Antonio Marras wanted to make clear he was showing his fall collection for the brand.

Bourgeois and bohemian styles came together in this seventies inspired collection. Long, wide, dresses were made out of multiple fabrics. Marras chose the most beautiful floral and graphic prints and let those prints come together in his patchwork designs. The autumn colors (light brown/terracotta, light green, yellow and faded pink) he had picked, looked lovely.

Not only different prints were mixed and matched, diverse fabrics were seen in one look as well. Airy floral dresses were combined with fur and sequined waistcoats. Next to the floral dresses we saw checked versions decorated with bibs of feather creations. They were followed by a few darker, striped designs.

The felt hats looked great. Together with the printed scarves, sunglasses and wegde-soled boots they were the perfect accessories for this boho collection.

We read Marras mixed the styles of iconic women like Maria Schneider, Tina Chow and Farrah Fawcett for this collection. But we’ve never spotted these women in such outstanding designs before. And although we liked the show, it wasn’t something we’d never seen before at Kenzo.

Emanuel Ungaro Catwalk Fashion Show FW2010

March 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

After a week of front row appearances Lindsay Lohan was a no-show at the Ungaro fashion show. She didn’t attend the show, she didn’t show her face at the end of the runway and according to the fashion label she wasn’t even involved in the collection.

Yet it is rather strange that at the one show where LaLohan was actually supposed to be, she didn’t even stop by to say hi. We’re sensing some kind of argument between Lohan and Ungaro. Cause, if Lindsay was just not involved in this one collection she could at least have taken a seat frontrow, like she did at all the other big shows in Paris this week.

We can imagine Ungaro wanting to end to collaboration. Last year’s collection was totally slated by the fashion critics, especially due to Lohan’s heartshaped pasties. Yet at this moment nobody knows if she’s still involved or not.

On the Ungaro website we can still read: ‘Lindsay Lohan is appointed as  Estrella Archs’ Artistic Advisor. They will work together using their combined talents, instinct and intuition to define and promote the Ungaro brand.’ Yet if you keep in mind what Estrella Archs said before today’s show: (‘You have up and downs and you learn a lot, more from the downs than from the ups. I feel that I have to work, work, work and work. I’ve been doing this for a long time, with different people and different houses, and I think this is the best medicine’) you know something’s going on.

We’ll keep you posted on this matter, now let’s talk about the new collection. And let’s see if it was any better than that of last seson….

Emanuel Ungaro showed some bright colors (green, red and pink) for fall. Those colors were used for the fancy cocktail dresses, the jackets, blazers and pants. On many outfits a colored waistband was added as well. We, for instance, saw a gold/yellow pair of pants combined with an animal printed coat and a red waistband.

A lot of the accessories came in red. A pink printed dress was finished by red shoes, a red clutch and a red waistband. Though you’d think the colors would clash it looked all right. Except for the black tights and the blazers, those items took away all the fun from the dress.

The collection had many strapless and asymmetric dresses. Some kind of dots in different bright colors were printed on them. The dots also appeared on a jumpsuit, but they never looked great.

Overall the collection was pretty save. There wasn’t anything new about it. The cocktail dresses may be cute, but I think we’ve seen enough of them already. The same goes for the blazers and the jumpsuits; there wasn’t a specific Ungaro style added to them either. Besides, it seemed the brand didn’t realize we were expecting a winter collection. Or maybe they just wanted a second chance at their (horrible) last summer collection, who knows…

John Galliano Catwalk Fashion Show FW2010

March 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

The models at John Galliano’s fashion show represented a tribe of adventuring nomads. They wore large coats with fur accents. Some of them wore enormous hats, others had their hair folded into some strange architectural shape.

Like Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano used different cultural influences in his show as well. Galliano’s nomads were in fact crossing imaginary borders in search of new land.

The show was a true spectacle. Silver glitter fell from the sky and even fireworks were used. We really had to focus not to let that distract us from seriously looking at the collection.

Galliano designed a lot of coats. They first came by in gray, but later on  we could also see some green, yellow, gold and printed pink. As always with Galliano many details and accessories were added to the looks, which all deserved some attention. Tight necklaces, waistbelts, fur cuffs, floral printed trousers, feather jewelry, striped leggings and colored shoes. Not to forget the crazy hats, wigs and bronze make-up. The models looked larger than life in their voluminous designs and oversized hats.

Towards the end the fabrics became thinner and more skin was shown. Light-colored and transparent fabrics were used for more feminine designs. The show ended with a few long, gold and silver-embroidered gowns. Although we think transparencies and fur are not the best fabrics to combine in an evening gown, it sure was fun to look at.

Sonia Rykiel Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2010

March 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Paris, womenswear

Enough of the frizzy red wigs at Sonia Rykiel! This time the models had cute pony tails and large pom-pom headbands. The models were happy about it. At least, they all put on a smile at the catwalk.

Sonia Rykiel herself proved she’s not involved too much anymore by sitting front row, next to Beth Ditto. Her daughter Nathalie had to do it all on her own. And she did a very good job.

She let Dutch model Mirte Maas (we say: excellent choice!) open the show. Mirte wore an XXX-oversized woolen suit and was able to make it work. The cozy knitwear that followed, had soft colors like beige, off-white and different hues of light brown. (What a relief after all the bright Sonia Rykiel for H&M colors we had to look at for months.)

There were dresses with knitted sleeves and woolen cardigans, worn with big belts. A long bright red coat with a huge safety pin looked very comfy. We saw pant suits, fur coats and military jackets. On a lot of the pants a diagonal shoulder strap was attached. It didn’t really hold up the pants, it was just a nice detail. In some designs the shape of the breasts was accentuated by the fabric. Yet it made the models’ tiny breasts look even smaller, but maybe that was the intention.

Halfway the show a pair of cycling pants, left behind from the summer collection, was shown. It was worn over a pair of white tights. Soon after that some colors were introduced. Three outfits had collared stripes all over them and a few other designs came in kobalt blue matched with black. Luckily the collection then turned back to neutral shades. Skirts, dresses and jumpsuits came by in satin, chiffon and a transparent sort of knitwear.

So according to Sonia Rykiel the trends for next winter are: natural colors, oversized suits, suitpants, large woolen dresses or cardigans and ladylike details. We can hardly wait!

The finale was, as always with Sonie Rykiel, a big party. All models came up in light-shaded marabou coats and dresses. They were smiling, clapping and dancing and seemed to have the time of their lives. And Nathalie Rykiel…, she just partied along.

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