PFW

I’m in complete denial about the A/W fashion season being over. The runway fashion, the street style; I’ve been watching with awe for the last four weeks as the best Autumn/Winter collections have been showcased in front of our eyes. The last port of call was Paris – the city of love – and the fashion capital made us fall in love with fashion all over again.

paris fashion week

After some mixed collections in London and Milan, Paris went back to the more wearable winter colours. Balenciaga – with Alexander Wang at the helm – combined darker and heavier fabrics like wool and leather with bright prints and colours such as purple, orange and blue, all very stylish but sensible. We’re still waiting to evaluate Raf Simons’ performance at Christian Dior but his A/W collection was beautiful. This new Dior is so much simpler than it was under John Galliano with none of the theatrics but this runway collection was clean and desirable – mostly black with splashes of colour: perfect for winter.

paris fashion week

The theme of dark colours with splashes of colour was continued throughout other designer showcases such as Stella McCartney. Her collection was a workingwoman’s dream – suits, dresses and knitwear perfect for the office, nights out and pieces that can be worn from day to day. Paris Fashion Week this season was built on the foundation durability and wearable items and most of the designers fit this brief. Saint Laurent had all the makings of a stylish teenage girl’s wardrobe – angsty and unpredictable. With a whopping amount of looks, Slimane’s models donned black eyeliner, frowns and Wednesday Addams-style pinafores and collars. I want pretty much everything in this collection – my wallet is crying at this stage.

parish fashion week

In a different move, Karl Lagerfeld created a supermarket at Chanel’s runway collection. Instead of the dark hues in a lot of other catwalk shows, Chanel showcased some bright, colourful patterns and colours. Everyone from Cara Delevingne to Joan Smalls partook in the grocery shopping wearing candy shades and futuristic looking dresses. Valentino went a little more geometric and graphic with their patterns, using lots of bright red, pinks and greens to make a desirable collection for every occasion. A personal favourite are the Peter Pan collared shift dresses – chic yet easy to wear. Sarah Burton added that little bit of drama into the Alexander McQueen show, using splashes of monochrome, navy and purple to make a theatrical but beautiful catwalk collection, paired with some pretty random cornrows.

parish fashion week

It’s been a mixed bag of a fashion week season. There has been a clashing combination of colours, cuts and fabric – it seems as though there is confusion between seasons. Nonetheless, our favourite designers came up trumps with some fantastic designs and surprisingly wearable outfits. It’s been a fantastic Fashion Week season for models like Kendall Jenner, who – on her debut Fashion Week season – made friends with Anna Wintour, modelled for brands from Chanel to Giles and got her name out there in the fashion world as fellow model Cara Delevingne did the few seasons before that.

paris fashion week

I’m already looking forward to seeing the S/S15 collections – it feels strange to be talking about winter clothes when it hasn’t even hit springtime yet. Until then, check out all the catwalks and the street style and see how you can update your wardrobe for next season! I’ve already started!

This article was first seen on lovetabii.com.

Photos c/o vogue.co.uk, astairwaytofashion.com

Until next time,

Keep styling,

Em

x

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LFW

ON we go to London Fashion Week and the style got so much better than the week before. The weather brightened, the street style got a hell of a lot better and we saw a flash of something new. The theme of androgyny stuck through LFW but not in the obvious in-your-face way that NYFW liked to portray.

LFW

Our own fashion exports did us proud with some beautiful standout pieces that were fairly Irish weather permitting. Orla Kiely put the focus on some beautiful coats and knitwear – ensuring that the adoring masses would be warm and cosy throughout the A/W season. She kept to a very neutral palette of baby pink, baby blue, cream and black but everything was bang on trend and I ended up coveting everything on the runway! New initiate of the LVMH brand J W Anderson was being watched very closely after his move to new brand Loewe but his style was as innovative as ever. The corduroy was, perhaps, not to my taste but the silhouettes and shapes that he created were beautifully fluid.  

LFW

Another trend that popped up out of the woodwork was lots of colour. I mean, 80s ‘on acid’ colour. One designer who championed this is House of Holland. His designs look surprising easy to wear if you toned down the colour scheme a tad and the introduction of these bright colour for the A/W season was a breath of fresh air. Ashish embraced the colour and the 80s theme too but turned the runway into a prom night with lavender tulle and neon sequins. Maybe think 80s roller disco…better dig out those skates.

LFW

It’s said Alice Temperley headed to Italy for some inspiration and her runway reflected the religious aspects of Italian culture. There were some beautiful prints and blue tones that reminded me of Spode china patterns. The blues and reflective grey hues were reminiscent of the beautiful Italian countryside and there was a slight Middle Eastern feel to the collection. Mary Katrantzou also went back to her floral roots, much to my satisfaction. The colours were much deeper than her usual collections but really were a testament to the way her designs are growing and improving – I was extremely impressed.

LFW

Burberry Prorsum was a cacophony of colour and fabrics, featuring a lot of our favourite models including Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse and Jourdan Dunn. There was a strong Navajo theme running through the show and used very bright colours for an Autumn/Winter collection. Overall the show was a great success but the show of the week went to Topshop Unique. There was a real British theme to the show and it was constantly tweeted and blogged about throughout LFW. The strong colours, the furs and leathers; everything just came together in a gorgeous collection of coveted clothing. Damn my empty purse.

LFW

It was a big week for Cara Delevingne as she revealed her first mini-collection for Mulberry during LFW. She modelled the three pieces at a party during the week and it’s no shocker that the collection went down a treat! Kendall Jenner made the news again by modelling for the Giles fashion show and also making friends with Anna Wintour, something her big sister is famous for being unable to achieve. Bring on Milan Fashion Week but I won’t be the only one that will long for that awesome unrefined British street style now LFW is over!

This article was first seen on lovetabii.com.

 

Photos c/o vogue.co.uk, vanityfair.it, popbee.com, puttheradioon.blogspot.com

Nuclear Wintour Bans Westwood Statue

So its the Met Ball Costume Institute Gala tonight in New York tonight and everyone who is anyone is going to be there! In the last number of years, fashion enthusiasts have been watching as the most stylish celebrities in the world gather for one spectacular event. I’ll be posting about my favourite dresses and the horrors that some celebrities will inevitably wear, just like I did last year (see here).

But of course, before the event starts, there will always be a bit of drama and this year, its courtesy of the editor of American Vogue. Anna Wintour has banned a naked sculpture of Vivienne Westwood that was to be displayed at the Met Ball in New York tonight.

The 40-foot statue of punk designer Westwood made from Styrofoam and laying across an old mattress, was supposed to take prime position at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute but Wintour made the snap decision a couple of weeks ago to cancel the installation.

The glittering fashion ball extravaganza launches the annual fashion exhibition at the famous museum and hosts the biggest stars on the planet. Beyoncé has been named as the honorary chair of this year’s Costume Institute Gala, alongside Anna Wintour herself and designers like Riccardo Tisci, who is in the news, having designed costumes for a ballet production at the Opéra de Paris. Mrs Carter née Knowles had one of the standout dresses last year wearing a sheer Givenchy dress designed by Tisci.

This year’s event is dubbed Punk: Chaos to Couture and a nod to the original punk designer 72-year-old Vivienne Westwood was the obvious choice. However, the infamous editor of American Vogue took offence to the sculpture that was going to have graffiti projections on it and has cancelled its installation, calling it a needless distraction. The demanding businesswoman that is dubbed ‘Nuclear Wintour’, I assume because of the fear she induces in people, made the quick decision to get rid of Westwood’s sculpture.

There has never been evidence of a public feud between Vivienne Westwood and Anna Wintour – but many are speculating after this rash decision to cut her piece from the exhibition. Ms Wintour has never been seen in the front row of any of Westwood’s shows at London Fashion Week and has never attended one of her shows even though she makes the pilgrimage to London town to see other shows by British designers. Wintour, the undeniable Queen of Fashion, favours sharp tailoring and clean lines from designers such as Victoria Beckham.

Fashion photographer Nick Knight, creative consultant for the Met Ball, used a 25ft statue of Naomi Campbell in the same way as part of a fashion event in Somerset House in 2009.

Stay tuned tomorrow when I’ll update you on the best and worst dresses of the Met Ball (in my opinion) and have a look at the fantastic fashion that graces the red carpet of the Metropolitan Museum this year!

Keep styling, Em x

The Designer Highlights of Spring/Summer 2013

It’s been such a long winter in Ireland that everyone is getting a bit sick of the cold weather, the frostbitten hands and the sneezing all over the shop! I’m always so looking forward to the winter, I love wrapping up in warm coats, scarves and hats but there comes a time when even a person like me who is allergic to sunlight has to take a step back and think, ‘My god, I just want to wear a light jacket for once’! So for all those people who are missing the presence of a bit of warmth and want to change up their wardrobe a little bit, here is what we should be wearing this Spring/Summer 2013 season all the way from the major catwalks.

We got a huge mixture of everything for the S/S 2013 shows, from graphics to floral print, pastels to neon and everything in between. It was a season of change, with Hedi Slimane at the helm of the newly named YSL and Raf Simons taking over from Bill Gaytten at Dior (does anyone else miss Galliano?). Even Jil Sander returned to the fashion house she had started in 1973 much to the surprise of many. Throughout all this upheaval, our favourite designers managed to create some show-stopping creations, astound us with their visual displays and reminded us all why we are in this game called fashion.

As always the fun began in New York City and we saw influential people like Anna Wintour and André Leon Tally enjoying the spoils of fashion’s most prominent designers, who didn’t disappoint. Carolina Herrera’s show, a favourite with the fashion elite championed ‘lightness and fluidity’, which reflected beautifully in the cuts and hues of the clothing. There was an Alice in Wonderland-style vibe throughout the runway show, using a powder blues and creams as a running theme. Collared blouses and A-line skirts were the order of the day modelled by up-and-coming stars like Cara Delevigne and the sleeve style on the jackets and cinched waists created a school-girl aura, a look not usually championed by Herrera. The subtle colours continued throughout the show on tea dresses and maxi-skirts. Karlie Kloss finished the show in a three-quarter-length sleeve cream dress with intricate beading on the edges, closing this young but elegant collection with a bang.

Marc Jacobs used a psychedelic style in his collection for this season with the use of horizontal stripes in many different colours from monochrome to candy-red. Every piece had simplicity, like it had been stripped back to basics and started again. Crop tops with shorts were a big part of the show and the midi-trend continued with the use of knee-length skirts. There was the odd ruffled collar and scalloped hem and the psychedelic mood changed from stripes to houndstooth to leopard print, a true sign that prints will be all in this season in all shapes and forms. All the accessories were petite and ‘cute’, something that ran parallel to the sixties theme, a tribute to the days of Twiggy and simplicity.

Tom Ford, the man of the moment thanks to his new Diet Coke campaign, continued the sixties vibe into his show with teased beehives and biker boots. His mixture of glossy biker jackets with upturned collars, buckles and leather this was truly a nod to the days of mod, an era that made James Dean comfortable and makes women to this day feel sexy and in control which is exactly how these clothes are meant to feel. The mixture of black, cobalt and metallic shades made for a contrast made in heaven and the utilitarian feel that moved throughout the show made Ford’s show an uproarious success and will have the Swinging Sixties swing all the way into 2013.

Next was London. Home of the most articulate and grungy designers on the planet and home to muses from Edie Sedgwick to Princess Diana. Here is where we see the use of florals and pastels, showing our European and American counterparts how it’s done in London. Emilia Wickstead told the press she had championed a Truman Capote society woman vibe, slick, polished and most importantly, desirable. Her outfits that would stand out on the set of programmes like The Hour create a marriage of youth and polish and bring it together to output a late 50s aura. The neat, simple hair and the chic Manolo Blahnik shoes made the elegant tailoring complete and the models shows an iron-willed but effortless demeanour in the clothing. There were plunging necklines in demure dresses and full skirts in sherbet shades, combinations that screamed Sunday best but also independent woman.

Mary Katrantzou, although sticking to some of her exquisite printing, had a different style this season. The prints she usually uses have such an intricate and old oriental quality about them and these new styles that Katrantzou uses was a nod to her flourishing style, a more modern approach to printing. The use of money, flowers and postage stamps was a surprising change on styles like shirts and bootleg trousers. Her colours that usually stick to a scheme were fresher, white mixed with metallic blues and blacks. The designers showcased A-line dresses, trousers and blazers mixed with bowling-style shirts. Her oriental-inspired vase shaped skirts haven’t made their usual appearance at Fashion Week for this season but it could be the breath of fresh air that Katrantzou needed for her new collection.

A print overload was had at the Erdem catwalk show. Again with the sherbet shades, we got an eyeful of lemon yellow, oranges and pinks, all adorning pretty, ladylike dresses – an Erdem speciality. Erdem really broke out of his comfort zone with the use of snakeskin and the continued use of textiles, texture and applique. The show was saturated with femininity from demure fitted dresses to umbrella shaped skirts, to pencil skirts. The use of lace and crochet with sheer fabrics and pastels was a signature Erdem move but the show moved forward and made changes that no fashion editor could have expected.

Milan was next on the agenda, the home to high and expensive fashion. The standards are high and the prices are even higher but the Italian fashion capital always comes up with the goods and this season was no different. The monochrome and Oriental trends were ever present in Miuccia Prada’s catwalk show. The silhouettes were boxy and angular from the silk jackets to wraps to Judo-style jackets. The jackets that opened the show were black with a single white flower that looked like it had been spray-painted on with stiff pleated skirts. The flower motif crept into each look that turned the catwalk from the fur coats to the clutch bags, always in either red or white. The shows were golden booties with ribbon details, giving a very delicate feel to the outfits. The mixture of monochrome with pastels was very heavy and has people in two minds about the collection but Prada’s show has triumphed with the critics again who think the use of monochrome in the S/S13 collection works against the sweet colours that after two weeks of fashion shows can start to get a bit sickly.

Jil Sander has returned to the helm of her own ship after Raf Simons moved to Dior and this collection was bound to cause a lot of interest. The modern clean lines has everyone talking and her use of colours like burgundy and navy were a welcome difference to the pastels and patterns of every other collection. The collection was about lines and shapes more than colours and the shirts and jackets had a stiffness and structure about them. The jumpers had graphic lines on the shoulders and sleeves and everything was cinched and tapered – because that’s what Jil Sander does. The contrast between the square cuts and the round necklines was a smart one and Sander returned with style to the fashion elite where she can rightfully take her place. This collection was astounding, not just because of the clothing but the difference between now and last season, under the wing of Raf Simons.

Frida Giannini, the designer who kicked off Milan Fashion Week, opened with a bright pink bombshell in the form of a streamlined trouser suit showing that Gucci was too in a sweet mood. However, the design house was packing a punch and instead of following the crowd, Gucci used expressive jewel colours in their collection. Turquoise, pink and yellow all played a huge part in the show and it said no to the summer pastel unspoken rule. There were double-breasted jackets and shift dresses with patterns and Giannini put a lot of focus on back detailing in this new collection, creating high necklines with plunging backs. We saw beading and encrusted necklines and snakeskin to boot, showing that Gucci likes to give the fashion groupies of the world a lot of options.

It was time to go and enjoy the romantic fashion in the city of love and our last port of call: Paris Fashion Week. Amazing designers have hailed from this city and the beauty that has been created in design houses like Chanel and YSL cannot be beaten. Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton took our breath away as per usual and she has proved yet again why she is the best. There was an erotic feel to the show and Burton described the collection as being about the ‘worker bees’. This led to honeycomb style mesh being used to make pencil skirts and sharp jackets with a beekeeper style hat. Crinoline was the buzzword in this show and we saw extravagant and indescribable corseted gowns that belonged in a Russian society novel. Thick gold belts were wrapped round the waists of the models and the corsets/crinoline style dictated how well the jackets tapered on the waist. Unbelievable isn’t strong enough a word: Burton, you did McQueen proud.

Chanel, a favourite amongst the fashion society, was as always lady-like and fantastic. Lagerfeld used pearls galore in this show-stopping catwalk, on wrists and necklines and clothing, like pollen that had just rested on their clothes. It was one of the simplest shows that Chanel has ever done and that, in itself, is a statement. Lagerfeld showed that the house of Chanel didn’t need fresh blood; it was still the king of the jungle in the fashion world. We saw little cropped jackets, a Chanel favourite but with bell sleeves for a modern twist. There were strapless column dresses with sequin flowers, sequined jackets and huge hats with see-through brims. The wind theme that ran throughout the show was a breath of fresh air both for the brand and the audience and the entire collection was calm, collected and a total classic from Karl Lagerfeld.

Last but certainly not least, the show that everyone has been talking about: Louis Vuitton. The use of neon and graphic print was genius and set this show apart from the rest. Escalators played a huge part in this ingenious designs and created drama. Marc Jacobs focused on stripes for his own show but when it came to Vuitton, Jacobs was seeing squares: plenty of them. The sixties style was evident yet again and the models donned beehives and kitten heels to strut their checkerboard creations down the runway. Pencil skirts and maxi-skirts both played a part with demure jackets and crop tops, a staple in Jacobs’ own show. The designs themselves were simple and elegant but the use of the checkerboard pattern and the sixties theme made this show one to remember.

The designers over Fashion Week gave us a few clear messages: graphic patterns like stripes and squares will be all over the high street this season and don’t be afraid to steer clear of the failsafe pastels and try something a bit bolder or darker. Flowers are all in as a usual spring staple but with a twist and make sure you channel that 50s/60s vibe to your hearts content! Keep styling, Em x

There’s Something About Blake

WHEN Gossip Girl hit our screens in 2007, it wasn’t just the outfits or the backdrop of the Upper East Side that captivated us; it was the beauty of the main characters especially Blair Waldorf played by Leighton Meester and the gorgeous Serena van der Woodsen, played by Blake Lively.

Four years later, Lively is one of the most famous actresses on the planet, has been rumoured to date A-list celebrities such as Ryan Reynolds and Leonardo di Caprio and is a muse and model for Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel.

The actress, born in 1987 in California, has acted in films like The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and the Green Lantern and has won three Teen Choice Awards. But the last couple of years, Lively’s main focus and achievements have been on her fashion career.

In January this year, Lagerfeld chose Blake Lively personally to become the official face of his ‘Mademoiselle’ handbag line because of her youthfulness and spontaneity and in March, her infamous Chanel campaign was launched. The beautiful work relationship between the two began at the start of this year but it was back in 2007, when the Gossip Girl franchise first kick off where she was introduced to Anna Wintour, editor of US Vogue, by Michael Kors and through Anna, she met Karl.

The fabulous star, who is renowned for not having a stylist, certainly has an eye for fashion and although she was offered other contracts, she always turned them down as she was ‘holding out for Chanel’. Since, she has become and style icon and regularly features on the ‘Best Dressed’ list, as well as featuring on the Time 100 Most Influential List in 2011and winning an Elle magazine Personal Style Award.

Every avid watcher of both Gossip Girl and the red carpet knows who Blake Lively is and craves her wardrobe on and off the set. At the end of September this year, she was named as the new brand ambassador for Stella McCartney and will now represent the brand inAmerica, having bonded with the fashion designer over their vegetarianism. She was recently photographed wearing her designs in a magazine shoot and will continue to represent Chanel, fulfilling her quota as the all-American beauty. She has starred in magazine covers the world over including Elle inFrance,SingaporeandJapan, US Vogue and Rolling Stone with her Gossip Girl co-star Leighton Meester. She even has a Louboutin shoe named after her. Not too bad for a 24-year-old girl from California, is it?