Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A look back at 2007 and a glimpse into 2008

Floral prints, feathers, crayola colors, modernist impressions, gleam, beams, and legs - those are the words that come to mind when one thinks about this year in fashion. 2007 has been a very diverse and exciting year marking the anniversaries of the world’s most notorious designers (Velentino Garavani and Ralph Lauren among others), the new age of designer technologies (LG’s Prada phone, Giorgio Armani’s Samsung phone and virtual online store and plenty more innovative ideas), the birth of fashion show extravaganza (Fendi on the great wall of China, Diesel Holographic runway show) and plenty of new exciting designers to be reckoned with just to name a few things. This post proposes to take a step back and look at trends that have marked this years and will, without any doubt, mark the next.

Floral prints
With floral prints showing up on almost every runway, the usual black, white and beige urban uniforms are going to look like a Michael Kors basic on a Galliano show next Spring. From Gucci to Valentino, New York to London, whether they came in single tight demure bouquets or big extravagant pastel blooms, you could have sworn you were on a futuristic resort in global-warming re-invented Tahiti.

Roberto Cavalli


Ralph Lauren

With Dolce and Gabbana going to art school, we didn’t expect to see much sex appeal on the runways this year – save the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and the kick-off of the Spice Girls reunion tour. But Posh Spice will have plenty of choice to show off her legs since Derek Lam, McQueen and a dozen other designers have made legs the new cleavage, thereby moving the erogenous zone south. Only a few will have the legs to pull off some of the styles but if you are among that lucky group why deny men of the pleasure of observation and women of the propensity to envy.


Emporio Armani

Alexander McQueen

Modern Art
Imagine an art gallery when paintings come to life at night in the form of cocktail and pouf-shaped party dresses, ball gowns and chiffons. Dolce and Gabbana obviously comes to mind as the most art-oriented show this year but Prada, Marni, Lacroix and many others featured modern-art inspired pieces on their runways.

Christian Lacroix

Miu Miu

Dolce & Gabbana

Low beams
Shine that blinds is so last season. But not to worry, you will still be seeing some gleam but more subtle than the full-frontal metallics we have witnessed this year. Bright shining pieces are hard to match and therefore less wearable. Introducing low beams from Marni, Prada, Calvin Klein and even Micheal Kors, because true fashion is, ultimately, about wearability.

Michael Kors


Crayola colors
Rumor has it the little black dress sitting in your closet will have to wait a little while longer because this spring the hippest girls in town will be in the most vibrant colors of the rainbow and the brighter and shorter the better. Feel free to pair that with plain or embroidered black leggings to dramatize the contrast.


Jil Sander

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lagerfeld on the Great Wall of China

This 88 looks fashion show extravaganza is said to have cost around $10 million in the making. But LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault (who arrived to the show by pompous police escort), Silvia Venturini Fendi, company CEO Michael Burke or the 500 people crowd gathered for the occasion on China's historical great wall will not regret any penny of it. The looks involved not only select pieces from the Spring 2008 Milan show but also new creations designed specifically for the show. Karl Lagerfeld's inspiration was visibly reminiscent of Chinese culture as well as the construction of the great wall itself. The colors, the silk, the belts and spheres were there to remind the audience, as if they could forget, why they had been brought to such heights (both figuratively and literally). The Era of fashion show extravaganza has officially started. Diesel had a holographic runway but Lagerfeld and LVMH are pushing the production envelope even further.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Project Runway Canada

Already in its 3rd episode - aired later today - Project Runway Canada already is a better version of Project Runway's British counterpart Project Catwalk and that is all due to the the host's vibrant presence not to mention her breathtaking beauty: Iman. If Micheal Kors rather than Heidi Klum is the star of the American version, Iman is definitely the strong figure in this one. She is paired with mentor, Brian Bailey, A star fashion buyer turned successful designer, Bustle Clothing's Shawn Hewson and Rita Silvan, Chief Editor of Elle Canada. And guess what! You will not worry about missing episodes of this show if Monday nights find you away because you can watch all the episodes on the official website. I would just love to have the podcasts too...

Giorgio Armani goes high tech

Late September this year, fashion designer Giorgio Armani opened a shop in virtual world Second Life, the flag-ship location is modeled based on the Milan store. His own avatar was even sent to Second Life to celebrate the opening event. The residents of Second Life are able to buy items in Liden Dollars - the local currency - or be brought back to the real world by connecting directly to Armani's own recently-launched online store. What we didn't know then was that Giorgio had more up his sleeves.
Introducing the new sleek touch-screen Giorgio Armani phone by Samsung: thinner than Prada's LG with an extra Megapixel and a haptic interface (translation: the screen vibrates when you touch certain icons). Add to that a leather carrying case built by Armani himself and the thinner Giorgio Armani phone is the new supermodel that just snatched the Vogue cover from Prada. Old Giorgio is, indeed, the new kid on the high tech fashion block.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Spring 2008 Paris Highlight: John Galliano

In the latest episode of John Galliano's part romantic part maverick imagination world, comes this Sweet Charity / Grey gardens inspired collection that hit the Paris runway on a day where Paris, indeed, was the least bit interested in fashion - the Stade Francais was cheering the heroic French XV. Galliano, nevertheless, in a always actual restoration of historical nostalgia, featured a collection that transported the audience in a world that is a perfect blend of fairy and decrepit. There were twenties frills, floppy hats, flounced jackets, eccentric knotted knits in pastel pinks, printed chiffons or earth-tone metallics - true to Galliano's eponymous label. The setting: a dilapidated part of the seaside, a ramshackle boardwalk past a polythene covered spinning merry-go-round, past Chinese lanterns, a chandelier of spectacles, an ostrich on a pile of clapped out televisions and torn up newspapers.

Valentino menswear

After Valemtino Garavani annouced early September that he will be leaving the group, a womenswear designer was quickly found in the person of Gucci designer Allessandra Fachinetti. Her first collection will hit the runway in March. The group, through the voice of managing director Stefano Sassi, annouced today that it will be appointing a new designer for the Valentino menswear line before he end of the year - preferably of Italian origin. The upcoming Milan Fashion week in January is supposedly to be drawn by the newcomer. Get to it then Mr. Sassi, it's nearly Chrismas

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

V Magazine Under Cover

If you haven't seen the "Under Cover" story by the Italian photo duo Coppi Barbieri in the latest issue of V, featuring model Jasmine Poulton's garters and underthings, you will want to as soon as you see this video from the V site. To witness the genius of stylist Bay Garnet click here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Spring 2008 Milan Highlight: Dolce & Gabbana

It's hard to imagine Dolce & Gabbana's aesthetic doing anything but squeezing as much excess as is humanly possible out of sex and provocation. This Spring, however, Domenico and Stefano decided not to show a nipple on the runway, not even a peep. Dolce & Gabbana collections are usually fetishistic-sexy-sophisticated, perfectly cut for a dramatic Fellini decor. Steven Klein will have a hard time bringing sex into the sumptuous ballet of Medici extravaganza this upcoming season will bring. The collection starts with a dress in plain white canvas before throwing the audience into a trance of Venetian color palettes splashed onto magnificent pouf-shaped party dresses, chiffons and ball gowns. Trop chic for Pret-à-Porter, blurring the line between Ready-to-Wear and Couture : the excess was sill there, we'll give them that.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Spring 2008 London Picks

flowing gown - kristen aadnevik

ropes - emma cook, giles, fahion fringe

greens and purples - giles, basso and brooke

flower buds - ben de lisi, asprey

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Milan Fashion Week

The Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana has annouced that this year's spring fashion week opening this coming Saturday will display a whooping 233 collections with 90 brands featured in 96 shows and a further 143 presentations. Mario Boselli, association president, has even announced that 2009 should be featuring more collections since he will be introducing a new schedule starting from a Wednesday instead of Saturday making the event the first Fashion Week and a half. Since when did the Italians get this French?

Spring 2008 New York Highlight: Zac Posen

After the success of his first major runway show in 2004, Posen was awarded the CFDA Swaroski-Perry Ellis award for ready to wear but his ruffled satin draping and fishtail hems never cease to remind us of Christian Dior's couture gowns. In this year's collection, despite disappointingly simple first pieces Zac ended with a tour de force finish that sent the whole crowd - including Martha Stewart, Lucy Liu, Demi Moore and P. Diddy among others - cheering. The dirt-brown tornado gown - of which Lauren David Paden from the British Vogue said that the sported seams spiraled around the model's torso so well that it seemed that she had indeed been caught up in a dustbowl with very flattering results - was just a warm-up for better things to come. Zac Posen ended with four pieces that he later described as his cloud gowns (Nimbus, Cycolone, Cumulus and Cirrus) which reminded us once more why Zac, 27, is still considered the promise of New York's future in fashion. Judge for yourselves.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Spring 2008 New York Highlight: Ralph Lauren

Donna Karan said after seeing this show: "I am not going to have a show!"; and she was only half-joking. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of his label, Ralph Lauren put up a collection making all Italian and French designers wishing they were from New York. This is by far one of the most well-coordinated collections any designers has put together. In an orgasm of all-time Ralph Lauren favorites the collection opened with thinK breeches, jodhpurs, panama pants, and a smoking hot black skirt suit worn by a bowler-hatted model. From there, he embarks the audience into an exuberant floral-sprigged garden party featuring silky dresses later followed by jockey wear - faithful to his equestrian inspiration. A group of stunningly simplistic and elegant taffeta dresses followed before he ended with stunning beaded dresses and party gowns celebrities will be fiercely fighting over on their way to red carpet events. Unlike Valentino, we're are brought to believe that this is not an 'Adieu' as Ralph Lauren takes his bow to the sound of Frank Sinatra's "The best is yet to come".