First View Paris Womenswear FW2013: Bed Time

March 11, 2013 by  
Filed under womenswear

Cosy is not the usual aspect spotted on a Paris catwalk. But nevertheless we met a snug bedtime spirit in Paris with models flaunting out of hotel rooms in silky, lush pyjamas, lace-edged-negligees and flowery dressing gowns. Roomy, soft robes that showed the generous proportions of menswear. Sensual and intimate voluptuous bathrobes lined in marabou. Fabulous, sheltering cashmere wrap-coats in baby blue, pink, camel and blush in smooth, winter-weight woolens and brushed plaids. And thick silk pyjamas printed with English tweed patterns or tender China florals.

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Softness and desire seemed a re-found aspect, in touchable styles that established an intimate dialogue between the masculine and the feminine.

Carven is rounding out with oversize coats in teddy bear textures. Cinematic sceneries at Vuitton, in a film noir esprit, showing various states of dress and undress in a midcentury inspired atmosphere. Stella McCartney goes square, though softened, in snugly, velvet touch robe coats.

We noted a refreshing sense of ease, slightly quirky and off beat and an inspiring invitation to cuddle up.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

First View Paris Womenswear SS2013: Drape to Go

An ode to femininity! Embracing womanhood by wrapping ladies gracefully in luxurious layers of precious draped cloth. Slouchy softness in weighty wrap blouses and full trousers. Knotted and folded décolletées, peplums and roomy ribbons. All draped and dressed up to go in layers of luxurious georgette, soft, dense satins and heavy drape silks. Smooth polished surface looks in a sober and strict palette of pearl, silver, black and white. Wrapped, draped and swagged outfits make powerful statements about femininity and sensuality. Each fold minutely controlled, to realise such perfectionism needs in-depth sculptural knowledge of the human body and supreme tailoring skills.

Céline shifts from geometric minimalism to a much softer silhouette. Maison Martin Margiela drapes carefully and restrained. More statuesque and dramatic folds at Victor & Rolf as inspired by old Hollywood. Vandervorst covers as well as reveals in a way that reminds us of the classical antiquity.

Paris shows us a series of supreme crafted styles subtly sculpted by the grand masters of shape.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

First View Paris Womenswear ss2013: Futurist Foils

All about enchantment, entertainment, fun, freedom and sexiness. This soft side of techno in synthesised sheen. Optimistic vibes that reflect from iridescent surfaces. Sheer foils and parachute veils are layered over plain, cut, as well as printed opaques. Dress-up dresses, most in simple a-shapes, are slashed and cut in graphic shimmery blocks, as well as prettily patterned in luminous florals and arty and decorative abstracts.

Looks like playful exercises, mixing and matching layers and veils to trick and puzzle the eye.

Luminous surface looks add an alienating dimension to pure iconic shapes at Christian Dior. Rue du Mail plays with items, blocks and layers of mixed materials. Dior ’s ball gown skirts in featherweight organza are shot with pearlised reflections. Where Chalayan’s translucent, intergalactic sheen adds a virtual touch to sculpted geometric minimalism.

These futuristic and surreal surface effects revibe even the most classical couture silhouette.

Stijlspot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

First View Paris Womenswear SS2013: the New Sexy

Our first spot on Paris hints at a classical and mature approach towards fashion. Powerful silhouettes in pure black and white. Well known modernist geometry peppered with a swift whiff of sex. Smooth sensual and pure looks that reveal subtle glimpses of skin. All executed with tailored precision.

Expanding on traditional classical beauty and clearly inspired by historical archives but sprayed with modern gloss. Hard edge geometrics and sharp shoulders are softened with curved décolletées, sculptured volants and roomy pleated pants.  Outfits suggest unashamed sex and sensual looseness but are staged with well-calculated sophistication and couture aspiration.

Balenciaga shows icons of sensuality and femininity in lingerie and swimsuit inspired tops matched with high waisted flat pleat pants. Balmain shows hard edge masculinity in broad shouldered power suits covering simple and sexy bandeaus. Carven is truly sculpting in curved sensual tailoring. Where Balenciaga was clearly intrigued by the Antique when shaping this revealing dress with meandering sculpted volants.

Who would ever have thought that the image of the ‘bare midriff’ could be raised up to classical standards?

Stylespot is a colleboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam



Round Up Paris Womenswear FW2012

We have seen some supreme tailoring in Paris, resulting in sensual rounded shapes, exaggerated and challenging proportions and exciting fabrics. The world is clearly connected and the runways as well. Power looks, sculptured contours and very literary historical references were all over the place. Where we first spotted a hint of powder pink romance this was too scarce to be labelled a strong influence. The general feeling of tough powerplay and getting ready to withstand challenging times is ruling. Executed in a careful play with the existing parameters of couture, yet tailored with the contemporary flavor for bold statements. Think big.

It was not just the silhouette that takes on new dimensions this season; there is also the stage. Vuitton and Chanel confirm the feel for drama, stage setting and grand gestures. Catwalks became movie-sets, the models actors and the garments costumes. To quote one of the grand old NY ladies in the wonderful upcoming documentary: ‘Advanced Style’. ‘I dress up everyday for the theatre of my life’. That reflects clearly the attitude of women who opt for the most eccentric looks that where shown in Paris past week. These represent the icing on a cake that tasted very well, but were confirming the fact that the flavors of cakes today are not regionally bound any more. Globalization is a fact in fashion.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam


Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent staged fierce and perseverance. Ferocious, brave and powerful women with a provocative attitude. Forceful shades as black and red gain power by leather sheen, high polish and slick coatings.



Balenciaga and Chanel teamed up showing challenging material with a science fiction character. Priestesses of techno cult in bonded materials, plastics, liquid films and technical coatings and foils.



Lanvin was the master of sculpture. An expression of exalted womanliness with a generous emphasis on the curve. Comme des Garçons took it to an extreme by showing models as paper cut dolls and labeling these as ‘the future in two dimensions’.  The exaggeration of shape, the bringing back contours to the explicit essence, seems key.



Louis Vuitton takes us back in the old days by showing series of costume outfits that stand out by their absolute supreme elaboration and embellishment. Making history relevant once more by showing truly innovative skills and craftsmanship in embellishment, scattering crystals generously.


ORIENT claims that Haider Ackermann has the most sophisticated color sense of anyone in Paris and we just want to confirm this. He seems to reflect on the orient; the passionate shades of the east in subtle monochrome harmonies are stunning and truly inspiring. This combined with the intricate and elaborate patterns Dries van Noten showed are great inspirations for garments that will please the crowd.








Round Up Milan Womenswear FW2012

Milan was all about beauty and redefining feminine presence. The importance of womanhood translated into powerful design. Reports noted clear, modern sensibility and elegance rooted in the classic past, but applied to today’s woman. From linear, architectural statements to rock and roll romance, from virtual princess looks, to pre-Raphaelite twists and martial arts references. Inspiration was well documented and there seems a clear wish to find the context behind these hybrid collections. Where New York mixed identities Milan reinforced them. We spotted impeccable tailoring, love for crafts and embellishment, sublime couture and a daring choice of materials inspired by the wish to tap into the duality of the 21st century woman.

Prada was much more then just ORIENTALIST, with a vibrant collection with strong contrast and  sharp & graphic silhouettes. In these outfits we see a glint of the well spread oriental inspiration shining though with opulent, high tech embellishment. Marni also joined this direction.


Many designers explored a dark color palette, but the DARK VISION of Dolce & Gabbana was at the same time an Italianate vision of palazzo life. They showed, as Bottega Veneta and Aquilano.Rimondi did, a more costume message.


Sportmax explored details in martial arts dress forms and applied these to a TECHNO FORWARD collection, combining natural and tech materials with retro futurist flavor. As did Fendi and Max Mara.


Raf Simons at Jil Sander was one of the designers for whom it was ALL ABOUT BEAUTY, both impeccably tailored and meltingly soft. Bottega Veneta presented a more powerful woman, but also beautiful in every detail.


Missoni, Roberto Cavalli and Fendi showed their NATURALIST character by applying their masterful crafts to nature’s textures, weaving an urban wardrobe out of wood, stone, fur, tree bark, and mica-sparkled minerals.

Milan’s collections where strong, spirited and powerful.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam



First View Milan Womenswear FW2012: Techno Forward


Show reports told us that Ennio Capasa of C’N’C Costume National had “imagined a woman in a virtual metropolis” who is “post-punk, post-chic but above all technological.”

It seems to cover the choice of many: Fabrics, like extra shiny, slick patent leather, seemed to take priority over flattering
fit, as robust outerwear came in boxy shapes with diagonal zippers. It was futuristic and powerful. Uniforms inspire, which shows in mechanical straight lines, Bauhaus minimalism and military and naval tailoring.

Fendi shows harness belts combined with silky sleek tops and flared plisse. C’N’C Costume National shows two girls zipped in square cut shapes combining the high gloss with the soft touch. Where Sportmax was obviously
inspired by the uniform of martial arts: Karate, judo and other elegantly dressed forms of fighting.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

First View Milan Womenswear FW2012: Sharp & Graphic

Pleasure and having a good time was the lead team for some of the designers in Milan this week. It translated itself in a series of glorious graphics and optimistic vibrancy. All had their reasons to come up with the full dose of color, black and white contrast and sharp metallics. The mood ranged from Rock Chick rebellion to retro reminiscence and faint memories of Robocop and Blade runner. Clearly this was not just about having fun. It was serious couture craftsmanship and a minute interest in shape and detail. We saw geometric print, graphic straight-line cutting and embellishment. Next to positively shining metallics, iridescence, shining foils, plasticised embroideries and holographic surfaces.

At Prada the pants made the story, but it was the embroidery in all its glassy glamor that brought an extra dimension to this powerful show, Versace showed some robotic retro futurism, where Moschino threw a parade with cheerleader skirts and uniform jackets, Prada again played with daring color harmonies in optical patterns and Blumarine staged (as well as Fendi) funkiest and artistic furs painted in more than bright colors.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

First View Milan Womenswear FW2012: Dark Vision

Beauty and confidence are what designers wish for their models to spread in Milan.  ‘Importance’ being a more significant message for women then mere ‘power’ as Miuccia Prada stated. And that is what we recognize. Dark glamor in various signatures ranging from soft ‘Goth’ to dark romance and reminiscent opulence. The future is taking refuge in the past and historical icons are wonderfully mutated in futuristic executions. The mood is stern yet the detailing rich and affluent. The spirit dark but generating pleasure rather then gloom. Love for materials is translated into embroidered and bejeweled aspects, laser cut lace effects and lots leather and lush velvets.

Prada shows virtual princes, avatars of fashions digital age – where Etro frames its iconic patterns in androgynous sculptural tailoring, Versace taps into a more sacral and medieval inspiration adding armors, chain-mail and crucifixes. Gucci mutates menswear into fluid classical drama with a smooth pre-Raphaelite twist.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam


Round Up New York Womenswear FW2012

This was an interesting week in New York. This season seemed one big exercise. Testing shapes, volumes and proportions. Trying textures, various embellishments, prints and crafts from different origins and inspirations. Probing periods, from 20s, 30s, 70s to 80s. And the fun factor is that it is hard to guess what comes from whom. It seems ideas are exchanged, copied, re-edited and re-interpreted. Identities mixed, profiles and signatures blurred. Scatter collection snapshots and guess its origins. It will be a wild guess this time!

We spot a feel for the extreme and ECCENTRIC, iconic and humorous as Marc Jacobs showed it, reflecting on grand fashion divas. Altazurra and Libertine are two among others staging artful embellishment and intricate crafts.


Ports 1961 hit on a SCULTPURAL trend, showing a peplum silhouette, one of the favorites this season. But there is more; masterfully executed by the grand master of simplicity Calvin Klein but also Philip Lim, Peter Som and Alexander Wang showed bold rounded silhouettes.


OVERSIZED is an understatement when talking about the Proenza Schouler collection. Also both Donna Karan and Y3 super sized items within their range. Y3 is one of the few collections faithful to sportswear as we were so used to in The Big Apple.


NY was DRESSED UP this season, Donna Karan hat topped ladies dressed reminiscent of Marlene Dietrich. Victoria Beckham shows shapely contouring shifts and Diane von Furstenberg sensual draping.


Friendly and relaxed were the global travellers; modern NOMADS in multi cultural referenced cuddly warps and layers. Rag & Bone, showed city nomads, Y3 global hybrids and Proenza Schouler went east.

This fashion mash-up makes us curious about what comes next!

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam


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