Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: 29th July 2017

Pat McGrath Joins British Vogue as Beauty Editor-at-Large” – Fashionista

Since Edward Enninful’s editorship of British Vogue was announced big changes have been underway at the magazine. Not only has he replaced the Fashion Director, but he has been assembling his own dream team, filled with some of the major players of the industry. Honestly, all of the biggest names you can imagine are signing on to work at the magazine. I believe that it will become the leading fashion magazine, at least in insider opinion, by the end of the year. Pat McGrath, everybody’s favorite makeup artist and glitter giver, is now the beauty editor at large, with big names like Charlotte Tilbury and Guido Palau named as beauty contributors. The Fashionista article linked above also mentions all of his new appointments such as Jane How and Marie-Am√©lie Sauv√© in the fashion department and Adwoa Aboah as a contributing editor. I’m so excited to see Edward’s first issue and how it all turns out.

“Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing Sets Up Shop at the Root of His Pop Culture Obsession” – Fashionista

Can you believe that Balmain didn’t already have a Los Angeles store? I couldn’t, but alas Olivier Rousteing has opened up the brand’s one and only LA based boutique on Melrose Place, one of the city’s most desired addresses just off Melrose Avenue. The store launched with an event attended by Kim Kardashian and it was the first time that I have spotted the Kardashians in Balmain for months now. The brand seems to have fallen out of their favor and, with that action, out of the public’s consciousness. It’s a fickle world we live in. Regardless, the new boutique looks like it will be a beautiful store to shop in. The design is very classy and features a stunning outdoor space (photographed above). I think I’ll make a visit to the store when I’m back in LA at the end of summer.

“Warby Parker Does Streetwear, Collaborates with Virgil Abloh” – Refinery29

Accessible and cool eyewear brand Warby Parker has teamed up with fashion industry darling Virgil Abloh for a collection of three pairs of sunglasses. Aptly named “Small Sunglasses”, “Medium Sunglasses”, and “Large Sunglasses” (quotation marks included), the three styles are unisex and priced at just $95. Although I can imagine that the smallest size will sell out the fastest (everybody loves those mini-styles nowadays), I personally prefer the large as I like my sunglasses oversized. As of the launch date (July 25th), I’m still deciding if I want to purchase a pair. It is a pretty cool collaboration and I can imagine there will be a decent resale value. Plus, they look really good.

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Fashion, Shows

Fashion Flashback: Balmain SS09

Continuing on¬†the same vein as last month, I’m showing the Balmain collection from the next season. I just wanted to stay on the same brand because I have noticed something interesting about Balmain recently, and please correct me if I’m wrong. Looking at last month’s Met Gala, I don’t recall a single celebrity being dressed by the brand. That was surprising to me because for the past two or three years Balmain has been a constant presence on the red carpet at events of all calibers. Previously they have dressed Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner for the Met Gala but this year Jenner wore Versace and Kardashian wore Vivienne Westwood. Furthermore, I have actually noticed less of Balmain on social media. It doesn’t seem to be as buzzy a brand nowadays, with Saint Laurent overtaking for the embellished pieces (I’d say). Is Balmainia over? What happened to Olivier Rousteing’s legion of famous friends and fans?

I think the lack of interest in Balmain at the moment is because their styles have been ripped off by fast-fashion brands too frequently for people to want to spend that much money on them now. Look at the off-the-shoulder bodycon dress that Kylie Jenner wore. It retailed for over $100 yet you can buy a near identical copy for $25 online, plus you can get it in just a shirt or in a jumpsuit. Moreover, the expensive embellished pieces seem almost wasteful now as they make so much of an impact that they’ll never be worn more than once. This is fine if it’s just celebrities wearing them on the red carpet but if it is actual customers purchasing the items it seems silly in a way. I could be wrong about all of this because this is just based off of my observations.

In terms of the SS09 collection, I think Christophe Decarnin was at the top of his game. The pieces are every rock chick’s dream. They are super glam but in the coolest way possible. The colors are great. There is a perfect mix between distressed elements and formality. 9 years later, these styles still feel fresh and would not look out of place on the catwalk nowadays. I’m obsessed with the green dress worn by Natasha Poly with the huge shoulder pads and glittering gems. Plus, I’m a sucker for Madonna so I dig the soundtrack of the show. I like how the models all have multiple looks and how the casting is so great (all of my mid-2000s faves in one place). Honestly, there is not too many things I can fault.

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Fashion, Shows

Fashion Flashback: Balmain Fall 2008

Christophe Decarnin’s Balmain is to 2008 what Anthony Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent is to 2017. By that I mean they cater to a very similar customer. The wildly glamourous, slighly rock’n’roll party girl who still shops at Saint Laurent probably moved there after Decarnin departed from Balmain. First fed by Hedi Slimane’s rock chick look, the glamour that this girl lives for is still there but in a more retro, 80s way with Vaccarello. I love all three designers. They all create such cool pieces that I’d just love to wear.

For this collection, I seen a lot of embellishments and I got serious rock’n’roll vibes which is always welcome. I’ve found myself becoming increasingly inspired by rock bands like the Rolling Stones and Blondie. I think the key to longevity in the music business (besides good music, of course) is creating an iconic look. Both of the aforementioned bands have done that. I’d have hair like Debbie Harry if I could work out how to stop it from snapping off.¬†Honestly, I can’t believe this collection is nearly ten years old because I know that if it had been marched down the runway this past season it would’ve gotten a lot of love. I’m surprised that the cool girls of Instagram (Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner etc.) haven’t started wearing mid 2000s Balmain yet. I don’t think Decarnin necessarily gets the credit he deserves for the trends that he started and for the revival of the Balmain brand overall.

Here are my favourite looks:

I really want this at some point in life

Snejana!!

 

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Advertising, Celebrity & Red Carpet

Wolves – Kanye West x Balmain

Wolves is one of the Kanye West songs that I rarely listen to and it’s just because I don’t like Sia’s voice so I usually skip the song once it gets to her part. I’m glad he added Vic Mensa back in though. I like him. However, since the music video/Balmain campaign has been released I felt the need to watch from start to finish. Honestly, I really like it.

The lighting in the campaign highlights the clothes in the best possible way. The model selection is stellar. The art direction is on point. Kim looks beautiful, even when she is crying. Overall, I just found the video so visually appealing. The collaboration with Balmain made sense too and didn’t feel forced or awkward. Everyone looked like they were meant to be wearing the brand, not that they had been forced to, especially in the club scenes.

 

I’m excited to see the actual campaign images in magazines. There have been quite a few released so far via Instagram but it will be nice to actually see them on paper. So far, I think they’re the sort that I’ll tear out of the magazine and stick on my wall. I don’t even care about Kim Kardashian being in fashion anymore. She seems sweet and rather harmless really. Besides, if you had the opportunity to do what she does, wear the designers she does, go to the shows she does, wouldn’t you take that opportunity too?

 

Directed by Steven Klein
Creative Direction (of Balmain) by Olivier Rousteing
Concept and Creative Direction by Pascal Dangin

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Shows

Fashion Flashback: Balmain Fall 2001 Couture

Looking at Oscar de la Renta’s couture collection for Balmain, I can understand why he is commonly called America’s greatest couturier. When I think of the women who would actually buy couture clothing, these are the¬†kind of outfits that I can imagine them in. I can almost guarantee that Anna Wintour owns something from this collection – Oscar is her favourite, right?¬†I am beyond obsessed with the subtle ruching that played a big part in this collection. Also, spot the print of the skirt on the finale look. Dolce and Gabbana did a very similar one a few seasons back. I also love the fur trims, subtle ruffles, and the sparkly skirt suit (my favourite look perhaps). Also, apologies in advance for the poor image quality. I couldn’t find HQ!

I think that because everybody has access to couture shows via social media and sites like Vogue Runway and Now Fashion, we forget just how exclusive couture really is. There are reportedly less than 4000 clients in the world. Unfortunately it is often proclaimed a dying industry, although it is a fantastic marketing tool. You may not be able to afford Dior couture but you can probably afford a perfume or a lipstick, even if it is a splurge.

It truly baffles me how 15 years later, Balmain is such a different brand. I can’t understand how it has changed so much. I guess different creative directors bring different styles. However, for the entire time that I’ve known of Balmain (starting say mid-2000s) it has been rocker chic, glitzy and glam but not stuffy, metallic and very¬†European,¬†bordering on Euro-trash. And that was just under Christophe Decarnin! This article about his tenure is a good read. Since his departure, Olivier Rouesting has stepped in and brought the brand to even higher heights. The Balmania/Balmain Army bullshit is boring to me but it damn sure sells (and the clothes are quite often cool, but tres repetitive). However,¬†I bet the women who bought from this collection will not believe it is the same brand. Perhaps they will have cut the tags out? Well hopefully not, you know, for resale value…

PS – Noemie Lenoir is the baddest.

PPS – This dress¬†is like a low-key version of the Jean Paul Gaultier “robe” that Kim Kardashian ¬†wore to the Grammys.

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Fashion, Opinion, Shows

Balmain X H&M is a slight disappointment, and here’s why

I have to admit something, I am disappointed with Balmain x H&M and I never thought I would be. When the collaboration was first announced I was excited and even wrote about it on here, when the initial campaign images came out I thought it would be good, and when the lookbook was shown I planned what I would buy. Everything was going well until I seen the prices and then I was confused.

Now I know you’re probably thinking it’s a designer collaboration so it won’t be regular H&M prices, and that was something that I was fully expecting, don’t get me wrong. However, I didn’t expect the prices to be quite as steep. Reading comments on message boards and online articles, I realised that I wasn’t alone in my surprise. I think we all had one common thought: who is the target market? If you can afford full price Balmain, you won’t compromise the quality and buy it from H&M; if you shop at H&M regularly, you can’t afford $500 for half-fake Balmain. It is confusing.

There are quite a few beautiful, intricately detailed pieces which I can imagine will be the first to sell out, and these are, as you can imagine, the most expensive ones. Incidentally, these also happen to be the pieces worn in the ads and by the Jenners (and any other celebrity who has worn the label). It is disappointing because I knew they’d be pricey but I didn’t expect them to be so pricey. You see, the embellished blazer that Kendall Jenner wore to the announcement costs over $500, as does this stunning velvet and embroidered dress that Kylie Jenner wore to the launch party (which I really wanted to buy as soon as I seen the lookbook). Basically any of the pieces you’ve seen on famous people are $400+ and the rest of the stuff is cheaper. I didn’t have a problem with paying more for these pieces. I actually thought Kylie’s dress would cost around ¬£200 ($375-ish), and I thought that price was steep but still reachable, so when I seen the real price I felt slight sticker-shock.

The dress Kylie wore in the runway show

It’s just disappointing because of other designer collaborations as of late which have been better priced. For example, the Lemaire x Uniqlo range was affordable for all budgets, as was the Alexander Wang x H&M range last year. Also, recently Olivier Rousteing was interviewed and he said specifically that he wanted the range to be accessible to all the people who commented on his instagram saying they wished they could afford Balmain – I think he has missed a massive chunk of that market. He also said something about wanting to lower actual Balmain prices too (which makes sense as it’s one of the most ridiculously expensive brands out there).

I don’t mean to complain too much. The range is pretty great with almost identical copies of real Balmain pieces (which no doubt has the original owners riled up), there is some jewellery and t-shirts at the lowest price points, and if you’re someone with a fair income who can’t afford real Balmain but wants a piece of the brand, perhaps you’ll be able to afford one of the pricier items. However, for me, a student, and many others who are in the same boat (love Balmain, could never afford it), it is still out of reach. Oh well. Did I really have a use for a micro-mini dress anyway? Sour grapes.

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Fashion, Fashion Week, Shows

Paris Fashion Week Highlights – Spring 2016

Can you believe that fashion month is over? I feel like it has gone simultaneously too fast and too slow. There’s some shows which I’ve been desperate to see for weeks and now that I’ve finally seen them I feel relieved. On the other hand, everything is a blur. I remember New York, I remember a few shows in Milan, I don’t remember London at all, and now we have Paris.

I’ve learned a couple of things this fashion month:

  1. The insta-girls don’t bother me. I don’t care that they’re only being used for their social media following. If they look good in the clothes that’s all that matters. I now follow Gigi Hadid and enjoy looking at her posts, even if they do give me extreme hair envy. I like her sister too.
  2. I am open to colour. I know that sounds really ridiculous, but for the past at least two years I’ve stuck to a palette of neutrals. That sounds so boring but I just did. For a while it was literally just black and denim. Now that I’m seeing some beautiful shades of pink and orange on the runways I want to wear them myself – take this beautiful watermelon at Alexis Mabille as a perfect example. I suppose you’ve got to look more vibrant in the summertime!
  3. Ruffles are destined to stay.
  4. Alexander Wang seems like oodles of fun. His final walk (or should I say hop-skip-and-jump) at Balenciaga was so playful and funny. I love when people are genuinely excited to do what they do.
  5. And finally, Paris is always a good idea. (But we knew that already, right?)

VIONNET

Vionnet is a historic house is often forgotten about when you think of the big names –¬†Dior, Lanvin, Jean Patou, Chanel – and the reason for this is that they haven’t had¬†a “big name” designer at the helm. That is until now, as Hussein Chalayan has been added to the team. He already designed their demi-couture as of the beginning of 2014, but now he also works on the ready-to-wear. The house itself has been bought by different owners a few times over the years. Madame¬†Vionnet¬†is the designer who was famed for the bias cut, a new body-clinging shape, that changed fashion in the 1920s, and that John Galliano reintroduced in the 90s. I think this collection was perhaps prettier than any that Elie Saab has ever done. There was a good mix of floaty and form-fitting gowns, and the show was full of red carpet looks that I cannot wait to see come awards season. There were some looks where I thought “that could be Balmain” or “that could be Saab”, but all of them had a slight edge which separated them from other designers. Soft and ethereal sum it up.

CHANEL

Of course this is a predictable entry on my list, but how could you fail to include it? Just when I thought Raf had the best set of fashion month at Dior, Karl did the airport terminal. Now an airport is perhaps my least favourite place to be – I only like duty free shopping and that’s all – but Karl made the mundane¬†interesting. I thought it was funny how this was the second to last day of fashion month and flying home was probably the first thing on everybody’s mind – Karl, you tease! As always, there were a gazillion looks, many of which were repetitive, but you know that’s what the Chanel customer wants – a version which will suit her (and you have to remember that the customers are of all ages). I felt a bit overwhelmed when I first seen the collection because there was just so much, so many patterns, so many different fabrics but when I looked at each outfit individually I found elements which I really liked (not in every look but often there was a nice top with ugly trousers and vice versa). I really look forward to the Chanel pre-fall show and the film which will accompany it.

CHRISTIAN DIOR

Watching Dior and I¬†gave me a real appreciation for Raf Simons that I didn’t really have before. Ever since, I’ve enjoyed seeing his collections. The set of this show was similar to his original couture set (the walls of flowers), except he took it a step further and built the entire dome out of it – I seen the most incredible gif-set on Tumblr of the set getting made up. I enjoyed seeing lots of simple daywear and, of course, beautifully tailored jackets, most with a nipped in waist reminiscent of the bar jacket but softer. There were some interesting, almost bubbled shoulders on jumpers and tops and sweet scalloped hems. Nothing revolutionary, no, but does all fashion need to change the world or should it simply¬†clothe us?

And the rest…

I loved the rings and hoops on the skirts and dresses at Anthony Vaccarello. They somehow managed to avoid looking Pretty Woman-esque. The show got progressively better as it went on. The looks with the jeans were the best, in my opinion, and Camille Hurel looked insanely stunning wearing them. As terrible as it sounds, I hope Zara copy this collection.

This season’s collection was the first Galliano for Maison Margiela that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I know there’s only been a few but I didn’t adore the rest. I liked the little touches of leopard print on the collars and there was a beautiful bodice on this navy top (it reminds me of something from medieval times, but in a wearable manner). The commercial pieces seemed to be at the start of the show with it becoming progressively less sellable, more collectors items by the end.

I find it quite sad that Kim Kardashian’s lack of attendance at Balmain was so widely commented on – she does not make the show. Once again, another collection by Olivier full of the silhouettes that he is working hard to make his own. You can tell when something is Balmain now, thanks to the huge social media presence of the brand on celebrities. I loved the cross over tops that have been prominent for the past couple of seasons, like this one or this one. The ruffled skirts were a little too flamenco for my liking. Judging by the hype around Balmain as a brand, the H&M collaboration will be a fast sell-out.

Mary Kate and Ashley certainly have a clear vision of their woman at The Row. I really do like the brand but I sometimes feel that there’s just too much fabric and the model is drowning in it. However, I loved these two looks – x, and the suit on the left, y.

The water-soluble paper dresses at Chalayan were insane. He knows how to create a memorable moment. This is one that will go down in history, just like his table dress from 2000. The moment is best enjoyed in video. A lot of the collection was rather nice too (lots of wearable pieces) but I think this just took the entire focus.

I thought this outfit at Paco Rabanne was cool. The trousers are marbled so subtly that upon first glance you might not even notice.

Alexander Fury best described Celine in his review for The Independent.¬†He said it was “utility” in the sense that Philo was interested in making clothes that had a function in daily life. I don’t think I can say it any better because that’s exactly what it was. I adore this coat with the randomly placed buttons¬†and also this jacket (I don’t think the full runway look would work in real life.

Martin Grant had great minimalist, clean shapes but there were some interesting twists. For example, the piping on this coat, the brushstroke/animal print pattern on this skirt, and the glittery feathers on this coat. I can imagine a lot of this collection will be in Harvey Nichols come spring.

I liked the ruffles on this one dress at Lanvin. I think they were done in a way that didn’t make them seem uber-girly, if that’s possible.

The fur stoles at Miu Miu are something I hope catch on, but maybe for the cold weather until April as opposed to in a summer collection (if they haven’t already). I hope to find an emerald green one soon.

Sarah Burton’s Alexander McQueen has never been my favourite show in Paris, but I did like quite a few looks from this collection. For one, I loved the jeans – something that you’d never expect in her show. Paired with the denim wedges and this insane top, this was my favourite look.

The scuba look of this skirt and top combo at Nina Ricci reminded me of the deceptive double-faced jersey at Prada last season, as did the colour. However, I liked the look and I think the top would be a good one to have in your wardrobe as it could be dressed up or down.

I really loved the exaggerated full skirts at Maison Rabih Kayrouz, with my favourite looks being this beautiful black dress (seriously black-tie party worthy, not that I’m invited to events like that) and this strappier but not dissimilar dress.

The Hermes collection was almost exactly how I’d like to dress. I think the review on style.com says more about it than I ever could.

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Fashion News

Balmain X H&M

I know I’m a little bit late writing about this – the announcement was made a week or two ago – but I thought I’d add my two cents. First of all, I’m excited. I love Balmain and I love Olivier, and I predict this collection will be a sell out in hours. You see, Olivier makes smart use of social media to bring people into the Balmain brand. Those who want to be a part of his Balmain army, his gang of hot models and celebrities, but can’t afford the usual Balmain price tag can feel included if they buy the collection. It’s fun. The last collection for H&M that I was this confident about was Versace, because you knew that it would be pure Versace in it’s essence. I remember lusting after the palm-tree printed leggings (printed leggings were so cool at the time and I had a brilliant collection…), and I actually still have a tiny photo of them cut out of a magazine. I never did get them, however. I think I will try and buy something from the Balmain collection.

 

A lot of people are opposed to these high-street/designer collaborations but I think they’re a great idea. It allows people who can’t normally afford these brands or their authentic styles to purchase them for a fraction of the price. Yes, the quality is regular high street, not high end, and the label still says H&M, albeit in a smaller size, but it’s a little slice of the brand in your wardrobe and that’s the most that many of us will ever get. It’s sheer snobbery when people say these collaborations shouldn’t be allowed, that they cheapen the brand, because the collaborations are just a way of bringing designer brands to the masses. If it makes you feel better, the Balmain X H&M is still H&M and everyone who buys it will know it. I do agree that some things don’t go hand in hand (say a Groupon deal for¬†afternoon tea at the Plaza), but this collaboration is no less than someone buying a Michael Kors bag but not his clothes. It’s accessible to people. I do think it’s wild when things sell out and are then sold at grossly inflated prices on eBay. I’d never buy a high-street/designer collaboration on eBay for the same price where you could get the legit brand¬†clothes.

I feel like, unless there’s a lot of effort put into the quality during the manufacturing process, this collection could be a bit of a hot mess, and that’s a worry. You see, Balmain uses lots of embellishments and heaps¬†of silk and satin. If the materials, probably some polyester and whatnot, aren’t right this could look cheap. Moreover, if the seams aren’t sewn correctly or the beading isn’t secure enough, everything could unravel before your eyes. It could really go so wrong, but I’m hoping it goes right.

I don’t want to get too hyped up about the collection like I was for Alexander Wang X H&M because I was so disappointed by it, but if the previews (worn by Kendall and Kylie Jenner) are anything to go by, this will be better. I love the top that Jourdan Dunn is wearing on the red carpet and if that’s a part of the collection, I’ll definitely be buying it (if I can get there/log on early enough).

I think choosing Balmain to collaborate with was a smart business move by H&M. Balmain is a brand that is so hyped up these days, although it often produces some awful clothes (as all brands do I suppose) it also makes clothes that so many girls want to wear. Just look at the social media following or the amount of times a photo of Kim Kardashian, Adriana Lima, or¬†the rest of Olivier’s girls wearing Balmain is liked, shared, and reposted. Social media is a good indicator of something’s success nowadays, especially Instagram, and people are increasingly vocal. Although the majority of teenagers who love Balmain can’t afford the real deal, they can probably afford the H&M collaboration, and with the Jenner sisters endorsing it, it will reach an even bigger audience. You know there’s hundreds of girls clamouring to get their hands on anything they’re wearing, or at least something similar.

So here’s to a probable sell-out collection, on sale from the 5th November! Here’s my runway picks that I’d love to be translated into a cheaper option:

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Fashion News, Opinion, Shows

This Season’s Trends Explained: Spring 2015

Back when the season was Spring 2015, I made a post on how to wear the trends of the season. Looking back on it, the post was rubbish, awful, terrible – any adjective meaning the same thing applies to it. I skipped out making one for the Fall/Winter 2014 season, purely because I forgot about it, but this season it is back and hopefully a million times better than before. I think my issue last time around was that I identified trends that I didn’t necessarily like myself and/or include any runway images to back up my points. Now as of the time of writing (mid-December), the new season collections aren’t yet in stores nor have the high street stores started offering their own takes so this post is really just predictions. Trends are literally created by agencies and by fashion magazine editors: any common thread between all the shows at fashion week creates a trend. As consumers, we can only buy what is on offer meaning that these editors, agencies and, when it comes down to it, designers have great power in determining what we all will wear. Now instead of explaining the concept of trends, something that I discussed in further detail in a post last year, I am going to get ahead and offer you what I have noticed as being the biggest trends emerging for the upcoming season. I’m going to do it a little bit differently this time, separating everything into 5 distinct categories: colours, prints, materials, vibes and styling tips. Hopefully this will break things down further so instead of attacking a trend head-on and looking like a bit of a disaster, there are ways to do things in a subtle manner and in a way that everybody can try.

COLOURS

  • Army Green –¬†Army green, or khaki, is a colour that is always prevalent on runways and is a staple in all wardrobes. This season it cropped up on the runways of the likes of¬†Gucci, Chanel & Jason Wu. There is usually a sort-of military vibe that comes along with this colour but there are many ways to wear it without looking like you’re in the armed forces. Take Jason Wu’s suede dress with the plunging neckline or the belted trench coat from the same collection that made the colour look completely vamped up.
  • Yellow – Sunshine is a key component of summer so clearly yellow would be a no-brainer for this season. Yellow can be a tricky colour to pull off depending on your skin tone but fortunately there is a shade to suit all; it just usually takes a lot of mistakes to find the perfect one. My personal favourite yellow piece from the catwalk is Cushnie et Ochs’¬†stunning gold toned dress with the draped silk bodice: the colour popped with Shanina Shaik’s skin. Yellow could also be found at Balmain, Diane von Furstenberg, David Koma and ZAC Zac Posen.
  • Ballerina Pink – You know that pale, near white shade of pink? The one so beautiful and feminine that you cannot help but love it? I am somebody that wears black every day without fail but I have a soft spot for this colour purely because it makes one look ethereal. Picture it on the catwalks in the form of flowing dresses and skirts, flared trousers and flimsy fabrics. Seen mainly at Narciso Rodriguez, BCBG Max Azria and Alberta Ferretti, it is coincidental that these three shows turned out to be among my most favourites?

 PRINTS

  • Gingham – The classic check, often synonymous with tablecloths or Brigitte Bardot, is back. To be honest, it has never really left. Almost every summertime it comes back around, probably because it brings ideas¬†of sunshine and picnics with it. The pattern was seen most prominently at Diane von Furstenberg who used many different colours of the well-loved print in many different ways – my personal favourite was the gingham trousers, you can get a similar pair from missguided.com just now (linked).
  • Polka Dots – A print that is commonly associated with children or kitsch house decorations has been spotted on quite a few runways. Differing in size and colours,¬†my favourite versions were at¬†Dolce & Gabbana. They were interestingly incorporated into designs, mixed in with florals, lace and mesh.
  • Florals – Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking”. The infamous quote from¬†The Devil Wears Prada is so apt and so telling. It is true that literally every summer season, florals are around. It is totally unoriginal and slightly unimaginative to highlight them as a trend but really, they are impossible to ignore. From classic rose-type prints at Dolce & Gabbana to the beautiful watercolour creations at Chanel to the 3-D hippy-esque styles at Marchesa to the subtler orange print at Altuzarra, each brand offering florals were offering something quite distinct. That’s why it is impossible to ignore the trend. Even if you don’t like the cutesy florals, go for the more digital prints. If you don’t like obvious, stylised florals, look to Chanel’s blurred watercolour ones. Honestly, there is something for everyone.

 

MATERIALS

  • Leather – A material that previously remained exclusive for bikers and the cool kids, leather has now been democratised. For the past few, perhaps 5 years, everyone has owned a leather jacket: now it has gone further. Leather skirts, coats, trousers, t-shirts, dresses, bralets – anything and everything. This season it is not just Hedi Slimane who has been championing the material but also Miuccia Prada, both at Prada (who had the most insane leather trench coats that I have fallen in love with) and Miu Miu (a glossy red trench coat was striking along with an even better turquoise version). According to fashion designers, leather is perfect for any occasion and any season – who cares if it is sweltering hot in summer?
  • Suede – With the heavy seventies influence that has swept like a tidal wave this season, suede is the obvious choice of material for designers. If you can’t wait, have a look at Topman’s LTD line for some brilliant offerings including a bomber jacket and a sheepskin collared¬†western jacket that is very similar to Jared Leto’s in¬†Girl, Interrupted. Yes, I know that Topman is menswear but if you get a small enough size they can be oversized without drowning you – they start at mens XXS. On the catwalk, have a look at both Emilio¬†Pucci and Gucci for their take on the fabric.
  • Denim – Designer denim is back and in a big way. Quite a few¬†brands showcased some jeans with brilliantly encrusted ones from Dolce & Gabbana (my favourite item from the entire season) to¬†regular ones at Gucci (not skinny jeans though, perhaps we truly are moving away from them?) and more at both Fendi and Alberta Ferretti. I even considered saving up to buy the Dolce & Gabbana jeans, until I found out about the $12,500 price tag.
  • Sheer¬†– As always, see-through sheer fabrics rule. Season upon season, sheer fabrics of all kinds are¬†seen on the runway at various brands.¬†Balenciaga featured what I would say is the most with larger fishnet styles of mesh to ruched gauzy material on sleeves and shoulders. There were strategically placed embroideries at Francesco Scognamiglio on some beautiful floor-length dresses. However, I’d say Tom Ford was the most daring with dresses made almost exclusively of gauze with coverings over the model’s modesty…

 

 VIBES

  • Hippy/Bohemian – If last season was all about the 60s, naturally, like the passing of time, we have now moved into the next decade. The seventies are now the time period of choice for designers, reflected in the choice of fabrics, silhouettes and overall feels of collections. However, there are two distinct takes on the 70s: one being the bohemian look of the late 60s that ended mid-70s (it is said to have ended when Nixon resigned in 1974) and the other being the disco, hedonistic Studio 54 style glitz and glamour. For the bohemian look, look towards Emilio Pucci, Marchesa and Tommy Hilfiger for the flower-power inspired designs.
  • Studio 54 – The legendary nightclub was just as famed for its fashions as it was its antics. Images of celebrities such as Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, Andy Warhol, all the supermodels of the time, and basically anybody who was anybody were seen there. It is known for its over-the-top madness and glamour. Look to Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent, Lanvin or Tom Ford this season for what seems like their take on the time period.
  • Ethereal – The definition of ethereal is “extremely delicate and light in a way that seems to be not of this world”. Upon hearing that I imagine pale colours, flowing fabrics and pretty dresses – a look that many designers actually showed this season. Take a look at Alberta Ferretti, BCBG Max Azria, Elie Saab and also Rodarte (think of the flowy, mermaid dresses).

 

STYLING TIPS

  • Obi Belts – Tied like a kimono or a dressing gown, however you choose how to think of it, the belt is a key part of looks this season. Especially important with oversized, floaty garments, the belt ties it in and gives you some shape whilst also adding a nonchalant, relaxed look. It pulls an outfit together without looking like you tried really hard. Look to BCBG Max Azria for my personal favourite take on the trend.
  • Mismatched Earrings – If last season focused specifically on wearing just one earring, this time around feel free to wear two. However, they need not match. Various brands showed models with mismatched earrings in shape, size and colour. So if you’re like me and lose almost every pair of earrings you buy (not even kidding), it is time to pull out all of those odd ones and mix and match.
  • Shoulders Out – Yes, off-the-shoulder styles are a big deal. Sorry if you’re somebody who hates your shoulders because they are revealed a lot this season. Off-the-shoulder looks were prominent at Balenciaga and Balmain but there are also many different ways to wear the trend. For example, interesting straps such as those at Givenchy or halternecks like at Alexander Wang show off shoulders without cutting straight across.shoulders
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Celebrity & Red Carpet

10 Looks From Spring 2015 Catwalks That Nicki Minaj Should Wear

After my near psychic experience with Nicki Minaj and her wearing of the Saint Laurent sequinned leopard print mini dress at the EMAs, I have appointed myself her unofficial stylist. Yes, a bit rich coming from a random person on the internet who has no relation to Nicki at all (although I did meet her that one time), but still it’s just a bit of fun. Nicki is the ultimate person when it comes to fashion just because she is brave. Nicki tries out anything when it comes to fashion, like really the most outrageous costumes are nothing to her. She has zero fear. It is because of this that she can be moulded into anything, fashion-wise. The most avant-garde designers cater to Nicki but everything she wears aren’t¬†always wild. Nicki does crazy, sexy, classic, fun: you name it and she suits it. Anyway, I am going to use this post to choose looks from the Spring 2015 runways that I think that Ms Minaj would wear well – whether it be on stage, to events or just in daily life. PS – Nicki, if you see this and choose to wear any of these looks, get in touch… Let me add this to my CV. Hahaha.

 

I’m going to cheat on my list, instead of just 10¬†looks I’m going to choose 10 designers (some may have multiple looks). Let us commence…

  1. ALEXANDER WANG –¬†Nicki is already a fan of Alexander Wang so it is pretty much a safe bet that she will wear some pieces from his collection. She has already been seen in one of the Stan Smith inspired white and green tennis dresses at the EMAs. She attended the Spring 2015 show, so she will definitely have already seen all of the looks, it just comes down to what ones she will actually want. I have chosen the two below because she typically favours shorter styles and I think the pleated skirts would create great movement.
  2. CHANEL –¬†I have chosen some looks from Chanel because it is a brand that has status and is synonymous with wealth. Nicki has name dropped Chanel in a couple of songs before so it is likely that she would be glad to wear the brand. I have chosen a two piece skirt and top coordinate, worn by Lindsey Wixson on the runway, because of its cropped style and matching print, something that Nicki is fond of. I also chose the cardigan look (leg warmers optional) worn by Gisele because it reminded me slightly of Nicki in the Dazed shoot wearing Marc Jacobs. The knitwear is sexy but in a subtle way. Finally, I chose the mirrored-style cocktail dress with the Chanel belt because of the sheer panels and the belt mainly.¬†
  3. DOLCE & GABBANA РDolce & Gabbana is one of my favourite brands, and a brand that I wish Nicki wore more often. The Sicilian glamour is something that I wish I could embody. First I chose the lacy cami top and bejewelled jeans ensemble because it was probably one of my favourite looks of this entire season. Secondly, I chose the black lace mini dress with the gold and jewels just because it is so beautiful and I can imagine Nicki looking brilliant in it. 
  4. BALMAIN –¬†A Nicki Minaj outfit list would be incomplete without Balmain being mentioned somewhere on the list. I didn’t actually see very much from this collection that I thought would be perfect but I thought that this dress was suitable. Nicki mentions Balmain in the song Anaconda¬†and wears the FW14 collection in the video. However, a new season means new looks and I am sure that Nicki will wear something from the collection. I have chosen this black and white dress.
  5. MOSCHINO – Back in 2010/2011 when Nicki first hit it big, she was famous for her Barbie image so Jeremy Scott’s collection for Moschino seems perfect for her. I mean, the image is much more toned down now, perhaps she has even retired the character? However, I felt that it would be sinful to pass over this collection.
  6. BALENCIAGA –¬†Designed by Alexander Wang, a Nicki favourite, Balenciaga seems like a clear choice. I chose this little back playsuit because I thought the sheer panels were fun and provided the right amount of coverage. I can imagine Nicki wearing this on stage to be honest as it affords her the room to move around and dance.¬†
  7. JEREMY SCOTT –¬†Nicki wore a lot of Jeremy Scott in the past (like say circa 2011) and was actually in an Adidas commercial with him. His designs are so wild and usually unwearable, but often there are a couple of pieces in there, that out of the show context, could actually¬†be worn. I chose this psychedelic print dress first because it is something that I can see her wearing (or has she already worn it?) and next I chose two looks which I intend to be worn together. First, a patchwork bomber jacket and secondly, the matching shorts. Underneath the bomber jacket I imagine her wearing a sheer lace black bodysuit.
  8. VERSACE –¬†Donatella’s woman is strong, sexy and confident. If Nicki Minaj doesn’t perfectly fit that description then who does? The pieces I chose from the Spring 2015 collection are quite varied. For example, the pink shorts suit is a little bit different from what she normally wears but I can imagine her looking great in it. Similarily, pink and red skirt and dress combination are a little different because of the asymmetric length of the skirt. Finally, the large grid mesh coordinates are a little more traditional Nicki and the aqua colour would look brilliant on her.
  9. DAVID KOMA –¬†I love David Koma, I have said this so many times and I will probably repeat it until I feel I have been sufficiently heard. Now, don’t quote me on this, but I don’t think that Nicki has worn David Koma before as he is a relatively new designer. I can’t remember ever seeing her in his designs anyway. I think some of his stuff is similar to Versace, or even the most recent Versus collection. His Spring 2015 collection was so strong that I struggled to whittle it down to just a select few. The ones that I have chosen are pieces that I think that Nicki would actually like herself and perhaps even choose.¬†
  10. ALBERTA FERRETTI –¬†I think if Nicki wore either of these outfits, she would look so pretty: because that’s what they are. These outfits are girly and feminine. I think she would be more likely to wear the crop top and shorts combo but I love the little strappy dress. I think it is stunning. I can imagine her in it and I kind of wish she would wear it. The colours in the dress would make her skin look radiant. Also, I hope she would wear the entire looks with the shoes included because really, the styling of the two are on point.

Now obviously there were many more looks that I could see her wearing but I don’t want this list to be too long. Two designers that she is very fond of, Alexander McQueen and Saint Laurent, were two that I didn’t find many outfits that I could see her in. For Saint Laurent, I think she would definitely wear this dress (linked). As for McQueen, often the clothes that people actually wear are a hell of a lot different than those seen on the runway. For that reason, I think it is important not to rule out an appearance in the brand. If any of my predictions are right, I will be very happy. If this list were anything to go by, I have Nicki dressed for all public appearances for the next few months. I enjoyed making this list, perhaps I shall make another one when the Fall 2015 collections are out? Let me know.

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