Hussein Chalayan Catwalk Fashion Show FW2010

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

When we arrived at Chalayan’s fashion show the building was filled with the sound of busy city traffic. After everyone was seated (in the way too small chairs) smoke was blown in the air and we heard Chalayan paying a tribute to designer Alexander McQueen on his show soundtrack.

The first few models that were sent out on the runway wore some kind of fireman hats with long flaps at the back. Stiff, dark-colored coats, jeans and grey gym shoes completed their looks.

Then the traffic sounds changed into the sounds of birds, a church clock and a tram and models in different styles entered the runway. They wore headpieces like straw bonnets, metal antenna’s with a feather at the end and some face-covering silver Lurex.

A few pairs of glasses, which read ‘mirage’ (also the name of the show) seemed to give us some explanation on the crazy line-up. Were the diverse designs and headpieces made up in one of Chalayan’s fashion Fata Morgana’s?

While the ‘music’ changed to all kinds of radio channels (we even heard Justin Timberlake’s –  Rock your body) models in big ruffled jackets came on. The jackets were purple- and red-colored and had a lot of volume. The ruffles popped up on a pair of shoes too and some models even wore red clogs.

Raincoats- and hats, capes with matching binoculars and high-waisted woolen pants were part of the mirage too. They were followed by long glitter dresses, shown in black, white, purple and blue. At the end of the show several black dresses with black and pink hats came by.

Altogether we thought it was one messy collection. It was only after Chalayan explained that the clothes represented different states in America (New York, Pennsylvania, Dallas, New Mexico, Utah and Las Vegas) the whole show idea became clear to us.

We felt like Chalayan could have explained it all a bit better…But then again, yesterday even Jean Paul Gaultier didn’t manage to portray his different countries so well in his show.

Karl Lagerfeld Catwalk Fashion Show FW2010

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

The latex headbands and leather leggings the models wore at Karl Lagerfeld almost were as shiny as the catwalk that was just polished by hand, right before the show. Powerful modern women walked the runway as if their life depended on it.

They looked like man-eaters attracting men with their sexy black outfits. Their streamlined clothes clearly accentuated their bodies. And it seemed like a flash of their shiny, embellished outfits would be enough to make any men indulge.

The woman must have known how much men like latex leggings, cause they were there in almost every look. Of course these leggings are easy to combine with many different outfits, yet Karl’s combinations – with skirts, dresses and coats – were superb.

Apart from the crystal embellishments Karl didn’t accessorize his looks too much. And that, we think, was a wise decision. Because when you show a collection like this, you don’t need all the extra fuss. All eyes needed to be on the strong, streamlined man-attracting designs.

Cacharel Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2010

March 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

Today Cacharel showed us a lot of what the brand is famous for: prints. They were there on the skirts, tops, dresses and coats and were computer printed. Some designs had small flowers all over them, others had larger patterns. A 16th century French tapestry appeared to be the inspiration for these prints. So Cedric Charlier, whose second collection for Cacharel this was, literally ‘used the history of the brand (the prints) and took it to the future’ (computer prints), like he told the press.

The warm colors (red, gold, burgundy, green) were breathtaking and perfect for autumn. Especially a golden skirt with a red top and a black cardigan looked lovely, and very wearable too!

Made of silk and wool most pieces looked pretty decent. The long sleeved dresses (knee-length), the belted coats, and the skirts (above the knee) were not very exciting when it came to shape. Still the models looked very elegant and well-dressed in it.

The great thing about this Cacharel collection is the fact that almost any woman will find something she likes. And, while the designs are so wearable, she will easily be able to mix and match that item with clothes from her own wardrobe.

Manish Arora Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2010

March 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

I remember helping his models get dressed for a show he gave in the Netherlands. I was amazed by the colorful architectural designs he had created. I loved how his designs were embroidered with crystals and beads. It was all so different from everything I had seen before.

With his fall/winter collection Manish Arora proved he still had that ability to amaze people. We were wowed by an off white dress with eye-catching, padded shoulders and a strange print. A dress with a pink peacock pattern and a gray sequined top caught our attention as well.

Apart from the peacock influences and some floral details Arora used a lot of geometrical prints in every color of the rainbow (all made from beads and crystals). The emphasize of the clothes was clearly on the shoulders and upper arms. Rounded and pointy designs alternated each other.

As if there wasn’t enough color used in the clothes all model wore bright, short wigs and contrasting colorful eye make-up. The last three girls even had a luminous bundle of treads on both side of their heads.

Manish Arora’s show full was a lot of fun to watch. Not all designs will be very wearable, but when you show this much creativity in a collection wearability is not all that matters.

Nina Ricci Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2010

March 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

For the first time since Olivier Theyskens had left Nina Ricci the brand was on the official schedule of the Paris Fashion Week. That must have been a relief for Peter Copping.

With his second Nina Ricci collection he wanted to ‘appeal and relate to different types of women’, he said. Yet the ladies we encountered at his show were not that diverse. In their below the knee dresses they all looked like sophisticated, up-town girls.

The fall collection, inspired by the Belle Epoque/Bausch had the same romantic feeling as the Ricci spring collection, though there was more contrast visible this time. Woollen coats were combined with airy transparent tops. Tulle and leather were mixed in several looks as well.

Many outfits were decorated with flowers and had feminine details like ruffles, pleats and lace. It all looked very graceful. Still the flowers were a bit overwhelming on some dresses.

The final dresses were, apart from some cutouts and transparent parts, very winterproof. They touched the floor and were worn with large overcoats of the same length. Those dresses and coats surely will have to be shortened for the average women, cause even the feet of the tall models were not visible any longer.

Some say Copping still has to learn how to let his own voice speak after many years at Louis Vuitton. But we think he already did a good job. Some of the long dresses might just end up being worn at the Oscars this weekend.

Rick Owens Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2010

March 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

With their hair combed backwards and their black (mean) eyes Rick Owens’ models looked like a tribe of wild, powerful women. Their asymmetrical clothes had the most unusual shapes. Some of the garments even seemed to exist of only a thick blanket in some way sewn to make it wearable.

The show felt dark in many ways. The runway was hardly lighted, the models wore dark make-up and, as always with Owens, the clothes had a very dark edge to them. Yet we must say it was pleasant to see some earthy shades of green, gray and brown, in stead of all the black we saw last season. Owens even used a splash of metallic in some of his designs.

His materials varied from fur to wool and leather. Most of the leather jackets had eye-catching standing collars, which made the models look even tougher.

A combination of a long waistcoat and a hoodie was repeated throughout the show several times. It came by in a gold/beige metallic version and in fur and leather. One of them had geometric patterns all over it. Those patterns and the zigzag leggings felt pretty renewing for Rick Owens.

Many of the clothes were decorated with small pointy pieces of (what looked like) plastic. The small hooks with which they were attached were clearly visible.

The models wore wedge boots and remarkable gloves with fur details. Their big leather belts made them look extra powerful.

So all though ladies will have to make their way to the Rick Owens store next season. Let’s see if they can make those tribal designs work without the crazy hair and make-up from the show.

Balmain Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2010

March 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

Many of us must have thought it would be time for Balmain to say goodbye to the emphasized shoulders. But just when we thought there couldn’t possibly be any more variations to his pointy shoulders and military influences, Christophe Decarnin impressed us with his glittery, sexy, shoulder-emphasized dresses and military jackets.

The dresses were short and came in gold with black or purple. They had some Baroque-inspired floral patterns on them, made from shiny sequins. We loved the dresses and the whole eighties vibe around them, including Prince’s song ‘Let’s get crazy’, which actually proved to be a good catwalk song.

The pointy shoulders seemed to look the best on the short snappy dresses and on some slim cut jackets. We just didn’t get the same glam rock vibe from the three long dresses. But we suppose they had to represent the small ‘winter part’ of the collection, together with a few tight shiny pantsuits.

Apart from the glitters, the gold and the black Decarnin’s designs were colored purple. The color popped up two or three times: on a fur coat, a dress and a tight velvet jacket.

We can not say this Balmain collection was very renewing but it surely had some amazing success-items in it that will keep the sales as sky-high as they’ve become since Decarnin got involved. Never change a winning look?!

Balenciaga Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2010

March 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

The Balenciaga collection we saw today may not have been the most wearable one. Yet we must give Ghesquière some credits for the experimenting he did.

His computer-age inspired clothes were rounded and stiff at the same time. The padded architectural coats added a lot of volume to the collection, especially the ones with the wings on the back. Different materials altered each other in the designs like patchworks. Some were shiny other matte. The skirts were short, the pants tight.

Some outfits looked familiar, but they were always different from what Ghesquière’s has done before. For example the clothes with the colored stripes (pale blue, tangerine, brown, and aqua) showed some resemblance to Balenciaga’s last show. Only this time the colors were less bright (more pastel) than the ones Patricia van der Vliet and Mirte Maas wore in the ad for Balenciaga’s summer campaign. (The two Dutch girls did walk in today’s show, by the way.)

We thought the coats with wings on the back and the dresses with the multi-font slogans were very renewing and fit in with the scientific, computer- age collection just fine. It is with such pieces that Ghesquière’s showed how a designer can push his fashion boundaries while staying true to the values of his brand.

Gareth Pugh Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2010

March 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

Gareth Pugh may have used a softer approach for his fall/winter collection, his models – with black sprayed foreheads – looked as Gothic as they ever did. They wore heavy, stiff, leather designs and some transparent pieces. Many clothes were pointy to the sides and a lot of the fabrics had frayed ends.

Strong were the women on the runway, dressed in Pugh’s long silhouette accentuating pieces. They looked quite the opposite of some of the male models, who were dressed in tight pants and a rigging or a tank top.

Many of the clothes touched the floor as the models walked the runway. Especially the wide legged male pants were floor-sweeping.

A lot of attention went out to the collars of the designs. They came in many variations (pointed, standing, folded) and looked out of the ordinary.

The show pieces in Pugh’s finale must have weighed a few pounds extra while they had lots of gray chains attached to them. We didn’t immediately jump off our seats when we saw those, but they sure fit perfectly with the Gothic feeling of the show.

Calvin Klein Catwalk Fashion Show New York FW2010

February 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, New York, womenswear

For the Calvin Klein fashion show young and old models were united. Doutzen Kroes was in the audience and watched topmodels from the 80’s/90’s, Kirsten McMenamy (1966) and Stella Tennant (1970), strolling down the runway. They walked in the show right next to beginning models such as Karlie Kloss (1992) and Dutch model Gwen Loos (1993).

All girls had the androgynous look (which made McMenamy and Tennant so famous) going on: their hair was combed backwards and their clothes were kind of stiff.

It was clear Francisco Costa let his clothes speak for themselves. He didn’t send anything on the runway that could distract you from that. So, no accessories, no bags, no special make-up, no crazy poses, just Calvin Klein fashion like we know it.

The designer came up with a few non-waisted woollen coats. Their shoulders were rounded and the sleeves were wide. Those coats were shown in black, brown and white. And apart from a blue and a lilac colored dress all designs came in those neutral shades.

Costa’s streamlined shift dresses and coats all ended just above the knee. Besides, his clothes were all pretty loose fitting so the collection did lack some sex appeal. The designer did use some shiny black and white (almost silver) silk for his pants, blouses and dresses. He also added a few sparkles on the last designs of his collection but it didn’t make a lot of difference.

Two good things about the clothes are (1) in a room full of people they won’t attract all the attention towards you and (2) you are never showing too much skin when you’re wearing them. Yet you’d have to have a strong, expressive personality to make some of the looks work.

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