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.

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.

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.

Yohji Yamamoto Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2010

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

Fleece blankets had to be handed out to the audience at the Yohji Yamamoto show. There was no heat in the venue. After Yamamoto filed for bankruptcy protection in October many stores had to be closed. So maybe Yamamoto had to cut down on his heat expenses. Fortunately his fall collection soon made people forget about the cold.

Yamamoto showed a fine collection of navy, black and ivory pieces. He designed lots of sober asymmetrical coats and pinafore dresses. Pleated and netting fabrics were used a lot.

Due to the colors and the oversized shapes not a lot of the designs felt very feminine, yet they all had something special.

The coats in this collection will probably sell the best. And since there were a lot of them Yamamoto needn’t worry about the future of his brand. With more collections like this the Japanese brand will surely survive.

Vivienne Westwood Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2010

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

Fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel, the Sleeping Beauty and Jack and the Beansteak were Westwood’s inspiration for her Prince Charming (fall) collection. Her models wore large colorful crowns, hats and cloaks. Their lips were bright red, their eyes were dark and some models had small mustaches painted on their faces. Very fairy tale-like indeed.

Like children love fairy tales they would have loved this colorful collection. The brightest pieces (in purple, red, mustard yellow and blue) were combined together. Colored leggings, belts, enormous hats and big bags completed the looks. Every item seemed to add more fun to the collection. Yet, apart from a pair of printed black and gold leggings, we probably wouldn’t leave the house soon in any of the designs. The shapes just looked too crazy and many items didn’t look finished.

The emphasized shoulders and the voluminous dresses were two great aspects of the show. Towards the end a white dress with floral prints and a light-colored waist belt looked lovely. An orange/pink gown felt like French couture and would also look perfect on the Sleeping Beauty (plus sleeping is probably the best thing to do in a delicate dress like that).

As in this year’s menswear shows Vivienne Westwood paid some attention to climate change. According to her climate change is, at the moment, the context of everything she does. ‘Like everyone who has woken up to the fact that we are endangered species I try to do something about it. And I wish to understand the world’, she said. Still, apart from a water bottle with the message ‘Stop climate change’ on our seats the problem wasn’t visible during the show.

With this collection Westwood showed a good game of dressing up. But although we knew the inspiration (fairy tales) of the show we didn’t get the one model that seemed to be calling on her cell. We also didn’t understand the dress full of paper streamer. As far as we’re concerned that dress was never worn in any fairy tale. So when we heard ‘If you could read my mind love’ at the end of the show we actually wanted to read Vivienne’s. Caus some parts of the show we just didn’t get.

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.

Anna Sui Catwalk Fashion Show New York FW2010

February 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, New York, womenswear

The first word that came to our minds when watching Anna Sui’s fashion show? Folklore.

With a stained-glass rendering of a Woodstock landscape in the background the models presented the most colorful outfits, the busiest prints and the most unexpected combinations of fashion items.

Every piece of clothing the hippie-chic girls had put on, was screaming for attention. Even Anna Sui’s tights were out of the ordinary. Yet the American designer mixed and matched all clothes and accessories in such a way that it looked all right. In fact, we’d almost belief wearing an embroidered suede dress with a jacquard blouse, printed tights and a big necklace was the only right way to wear it.

The prints had floral, graphic and animal details. And the colors we saw, varied from grey to army green, pink, red, brown, beige and purple. The final looks of the collection all came in white. The dresses in shades of brown, red and beige were our favorites, since they looked so perfect for autumn.

Apart from the colors and prints Anna’s collection was also a great gathering of textures. Suede, silk, crochet, lace and transparent dresses effortlessly alternated each other on the runway. In between those dresses woollen skirts, fur stoles, chunky cardigans and a quilted coat grabbed our attention.

Apart from the tights from her own leg wear line, the accessories in this collection were not made by Anna Sui herself. Jamie Coviello made the knit hats, Adrienne Landau took care of the fur stoles and the necklaces and brooches came from a century old Pottery in Detroit, Sui’s home town.

With this show Anna Sui gave numerous examples of how to mix and match her most colorful pieces. But will others be just as good at the styling job? We’re curious what combinations people will come up with and we doubt they will look as good as Anna’s.

Francisco van Benthum / Orson + Bodil Catwalk Show

February 12, 2008 by  
Filed under Amsterdam, Fashion

There’s hope guys – Francisco van Benthum

There’s really hope for all those young men searching for great, modern clothes! Francisco van Benthum – for the first time showing under his own name instead of  WOLF – presented a very mature yet cool menswear-collection inspired by Dutch fishermen and sailors. HOPE is the theme of his new autumn/winter ’08-’09 collection, and it seems this guy is ready for his international debut in Milan.  Highlights: razorsharp suits. beautifully soft knitwear, airy coats and a great mix between sportswear and uniforms.

Celebration – Orson + Bodil

Alexander van Slobbe celebates 20 years in fashion this year. Not only with a book and exhibition but also with a beautiful wintercollection full of (reworked) classic Orson + Bodil designs. Simplicity reigns at van Slobbe and all outfits have that  hint of luxury couture. Highlights: a black dress with nude-colored collar, full skirts and embroidered voile partydresses.

Pictures below.

Francisco van Benthum

Francisco van Benthum

Francisco van Benthum

Francisco van Benthum

Francisco van Benthum

Francisco van Benthum

Francisco van Benthum

Alexander Slobbe

Alexander Slobbe

Alexander Slobbe

Alexander Slobbe

Alexander Slobbe

Alexander Slobbe

Alexander Slobbe

Alexander Slobbe

Alexander Slobbe

Alexander Slobbe

Alexander Slobbe

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