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.


Fashion Flashback: Alexander Wang Fall 2009

Now that it is confirmed that Alexander Wang and Balenciaga are parting ways and his final collection for the brand will be shown this month, I thought it was a good time to look back at some of his very best work at his own brand – he hopes to grow it. This show is from 2009. It was only 6 years ago yet look how much has changed for Alexander Wang in this time period. This was one of his early shows (I think it was his fifth or sixth season showing). Bear in mind that he didn’t even graduate from Parsons and was actually very young when he launched his brand.

I think this is quintessential Alexander Wang. It is everything that I’d expect from one of his shows. A booming soundtrack (Welcome to the Jungle is always a good choice, especially as the fashion industry has been compared to one quite a few times), an insane cast of models, lots of black, sharp tailoring, interesting twists, and the cool edginess that made him famous. Don’t you just love it?

I spent hours trawling Vestiaire Collective, looking for pieces from this show (or even just some older Wang) but I struggled to find much beside T stuff. Just show me Natasha Poly’s blazer or Cat McNeil’s coat and any of the hats, and I’m sold. Well, within reason…


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Editorial, Fashion, Opinion

The September Issues – 2015 Edition

Sorry I’ve had this in my drafts for a few weeks and I kept forgetting to schedule it! It is slightly late, but better late than never, huh?


The time has once again come: the September Issues. Famed by the documentary of the same name, this annual issue is often the biggest and best of the year – or at least that’s what the editors hope for. The magazines are thick with adverts, showcasing the latest looks of the new season (and I have to admit, I do love a good fashion ad as much as I do an editorial), and full of interviews, articles, and editorials. I only have subscriptions to three magazines – British Vogue, Elle UK, and Vanity Fair – although I often buy more magazines in September. I’m going to do a little round up of my favourite covers, let me know if you agree!

I’ve been holding off on posting this as I was waiting for the Vogue Italia cover to come out as I just assumed it would be on my list, but actually I’m not a fan. It just wasn’t what I was hoping for. I’m not the biggest Lexi Boling fan nor am I that into this season’s Prada. To me, it looked like a continuation of the ad campaign rather than an entirely new concept because the styling was pretty much the same.

Sadly for me, I wasn’t entirely in love with any of the September issues that I’ve purchased. I don’t know if I’m just not into the trends that they’re pushing this season or if it’s the fact that full runway looks in editorials are boring (I know some brands have a contract which says you can’t mix their clothes with other brands so perhaps that’s why). Either way, I just feel like what I anticipated this season to be like, based on the runway shows in February, isn’t what it is like in the magazines.


Shot by Patrick Demarchelier

Shot by Patrick Demarchelier

For her 49th cover on her native Russia’s Vogue, Natasha Poly wears Louis Vuitton. I really like the burnt orange background as it ties in well with the colours of the coat.


Shot by Steven Meisel

Shot by Steven Meisel

I’m not the biggest fan of Gigi Hadid, purely because of her Instagram fame (which is all magazines seem to focus on nowadays), but she looks stunning in this photo which is kind-of different and daring for a September cover – you can barely see the clothes, for one – and she also has the greatest hair ever. Also the shots inside the magazine are so dreamy (linked via tfs).


Anna Cleveland shot by Juergen Teller

Shot by Juergen Teller

Ok so technically this is the “fall” issue as opposed to September, but I thought I’d include it still. I adore Anna Cleveland. I love watching her career grow, walking Chanel couture, doing campaigns for Lanvin and Bottega Veneta, and, increasingly, editorials in a range of magazines. This cover is fun and I love the colours, my only criticism being it seems more spring than fall to me. Plus, Anna is just her mother’s double and being the daughter of a fashion legend and catwalk queen can’t hurt.


Shot by Mario Testino

I think we can all agree that Beyonce is the queen of the entire world. It’s funny because I never really expected her to be on the cover because really I was expecting someone a little more bland, but I think she looks wonderful. I really wonder how well it will sell and if the cover look will sell too – I didn’t love it on the Marc Jacobs runway but Beyonce looks insane in it, but she always does, right? My one criticism is the wet hair. I hate that look and the only time I’ve seen it in person is when someone is running late in the morning, completely unintentionally.


Elizabeth Olsen by Todd Cole

Elizabeth Olsen by Todd Cole

What can I say? I’m a fan of all of the Olsens. I think Elizabeth looks so beautiful. I’d like to transplant her hair onto my head. Usually I find a grey background rather dull but I think it actually works in this case. Everything seems so tied together.


Lana Del Rey by Steven Klein

I adore Lana. This photoshoot was just so her and I think she stays true to her look – cat eyes, Priscilla Presley hair, and pouty lips. She often seems to bring a glamour to images that many people fail to conjure up nowadays, but when you see candid photos she seems just like a regular girl. It really shows the power of the camera.

Editorial, Opinion

Best of 2014 – All Fashion Editorials

In the increasingly online world, actual paper publications face threat. With the mass of online magazines and blogs ruling the web, it seems unlikely that magazines will remain in print. However, fashion magazines appear to remain triumphant. The mass of editorials doesn’t seem to have slowed in the past few years, even though the digital world dominates. Luckily, due to the internet, people share images in a way that could not be done decades ago. For that reason, I (and all others) have access to fashion editorials from publications all over the world. Language is not a barrier in terms of editorials as it is purely visual. Like my previous post on the Best of 2014 – Vogue Editorials, I am doing a similar thing here and compiling what I consider to be the best of the rest. Enjoy!

Elle UK

“Collections SS14 Road/Shadow”

Model – Cameron Russell

Photographer – Kai Z Feng

Stylist – Anne-Marie Curtis

See full editorial – Road.

See full editorial – Shadow.

Vogue Germany

“Poly Pur”

Model – Natasha Poly

Photographer – Luigi & Iango

Stylist – Patti Wilson

See full editorial here.

Vogue Netherlands

“Super Lara”

Model – Lara Stone

Photographer – Angelo Pennetta

Stylist – Sara Moonves

See full editorial here.

W Magazine

“Field Day”

Models – Sasha Luss, Marina Nery, Malaika Firth & Juliana Schurig

Photographer – Craig McDean

Stylist – Edward Enninful

See full editorial here.

Vogue Russia

“Black Mark”

Model – Vivien Solari

Photographer – Emma Tempest

Stylist – Camilla Pole

See full editorial here.

i-D Magazine

“What an absolute beauty!”

Model – Imaan Hammam

Photographer – Zoe Ghertner

Stylist – Tracey Nicholson

See full editorial here.

Vogue Japan

“La Canzone Del Mare”

Models – Nadja Bender & Dalianah Arekion

Photographer – Boo George

Stylists – Anna Dello Russo & Giovanna Battaglia

See full editorial here.

“Tokyo Love”

Model – Naomi Campbell

Photographer – Nobuyoshi Araki

Stylist – Anna Dello Russo

See full editorial here.

So that is it for another year. Hopefully the new year brings in some exciting new things in fashion. For one, I can’t wait to see Prada Spring 2015 in print. I’m also looking forward to, hopefully, seeing some new faces in terms of models or have some old favourites return (Snejana, Gemma?). What is your favourite editorial? Have I missed it?

Fashion News Rankings has updated their model rankings and as always, the move has come with much controversy. For those who are unaware, is basically an online database of all things modelling (including agencies and clients) and it is wonderful for reference purposes. I mainly use it to look up a model I like an see their latest work as usually all their editorials and campaigns have been uploaded and also a list of shows walked. It is infinitely useful. On, there are various lists which rank models based on their position in the industry (ie. amount and level of work done), money they are making and their popularity. The lists are updated every so often and as always, people have something to say about the changes, myself included. There have been many changes this time around (in regards to rankings, lists and requirements), all of which have caused some buzz. Read on to find out more.


Some of the changes:

  • There are now eleven lists which the models can make their way onto, with many being featured on multiple lists.
  • The supermodels lists are now split into Legends (ie. Kate Moss, Christy Turlington etc) and the New Supers, which I don’t fully agree with many of the entries on that list
  • The Top 50 is no longer ordered, you have the option to view it in alphabetical order, how many covers a model has booked (Edie Campbell having the most), how many campaigns booked (Edie Campbell topping this again), social media followers & latest updates (lets you know when a model has just booked a campaign, show or editorial).
  • There is now a Trending list which measures a model’s visibility outside of fashion, for example in movies or just in the news
  • There is a Social list which takes into account a model’s social media presence and following
  • There is a great new list which measures runway statistics and counts the amount of shows a model has walked in either a single season or a time period between the last year or two years so you can see the top catwalkers (ie. Julia Nobis & Sasha Luss) and it also tells you how many shows the model has opened and/or closed.

I welcome many of the new updates. I like how interactive the website is and how you can filter things down to your own personal requirements and what you want to see. For example, in the Runway list you can choose the time period to measure it by and also if you’re measuring by all shows or top shows (basically the big brands, a list can be found on the page).

I also like how the requirements to be on each list are clearly displayed and that we get to find out how the list actually works.

I like that the Legends list requires at least 15 years of high profile work as it means that only the true Supers can make it onto the list. I think everybody on that list is deserving of their spot, even Tyra Banks as although her modelling career has dwindled now, she is well known and internationally successful for her work outside of the modelling industry (which is another requirement of the list).


I am glad that the likes of Anna Ewers, Ondria Hardin and Elizabeth Erm have made it onto the Top 50. However, I am not happy that Cara Delevingne has been moved to the New Supers list as I don’t feel she is really deserving of that title. Same goes for Kate Upton, I like her but a supermodel she is not. I don’t really understand how someone who has been around for as little time as Cara can be classed as a supermodel before the likes of Natasha Poly, Shalom Harlow, Mariacarla Boscono, Sasha Pivovarova and Kristen McMenamy (TO NAME A FEW!!) who are mere Industry Icons despite the fact that all of the above have been working for at least 10 years and have countless campaigns, editorials and iconic moments to their name (Shalom at Alexander McQueen SS 1999 getting spray-painted anyone?). So I don’t really understand how these models are just icons when Cara for example, is now classed as a Super. That irks me.

The Money Girls and Top Sexiest are really of no concern to me so I have little to say about them. Also, I’m not big on the whole concept of the Social list as I don’t think that the number of followers one has is really an indication of their success. Nor do I have much to say about the Hot List.

What do you think about the new rankings? Are you impressed?


Gucci F/W 2014 Campaign

As the new season is approaching, all the campaigns are coming out – so far this Gucci one is my favourite.

L-R Suvi Koponen, Natasha Poly, Karmen Pedaru, Nadja Bender, Anja Rubik, Joan Smalls & Raquel Zimmerman

L-R Suvi Koponen, Natasha Poly, Karmen Pedaru, Nadja Bender, Anja Rubik, Joan Smalls & Raquel Zimmerman

I think it helps that I really liked the collection this season so was obviously excited to see what the campaign would be like. I think it is beautiful. The hair is tousled and the make-up is that natural yet smoky look that is oh so difficult to achieve.

Natasha Poly

Natasha Poly


I’d say the line-up of models works so well together. And as I am stuck in the mid-2000s with my taste in models for the most part, I am always excited to see Natasha Poly in campaigns. Also, the next time I go to the hairdressers I am taking this campaign for reference purposes because Nadja’s hair is so stunning.

Anja Rubik (and the skirt)

Anja Rubik (and the skirt)

Nadja Bender - see how wonderful her hair is!!

Nadja Bender – see how wonderful her hair is!!

Suvi Koponen

Suvi Koponen

Give me Natasha’s coat, Anja’s skirt and Suvi’s boots and I would be forever grateful.

See all the images here.

Fashion News, Opinion

Love: Mario Testino’s Instagram

Started almost 9 months ago and sadly only discovered by me in this past week, I present to you the finest page on instagram.

I only came across the great photographer’s instagram after he has taken over that of Vogue Paris for couture week, on which he has posted some beautiful snaps and has had me living vicariously through the photos. With the constant updates I feel like I’m there experiencing the shows live. Unfortunately, snapping back to reality, I am actually sitting at home just looking at photos on my phone. Sad really.

Anyway, Mario Testino himself is a famous fashion photographer who has been around for decades now. He has firmly cemented himself as one of the best and is constantly in demand for editorials working for many international editions of Vogue and also top brands for advertisements such as Versace fragrances and Chanel Beauty (you know the one with Gisele Bundchen who Testino has backed for years now).

Here is a sample of some of his posts plus my favourites as of recent, enjoy:

Screenshots Screenshots1


The beautiful Natasha Poly

The beautiful Natasha Poly


Backstage at Versace for Couture Week

Backstage at Versace for Couture Week


Jean Paul Gaultier Couture - simply divine

Jean Paul Gaultier Couture – simply divine


Follow @mariotestino on instagram.