Saturday, 1 October 2016

Top Five: Heels from Next

Can I let you in on a little fashion secret? The AW16 shoe collection from Next is phenomenal! This is their most fashion-forward collection ever and ticks every trend box, from pretty embroidery to must-have velvet, all with surprisingly reasonable pricetags. What more could you want?! I have to admit, Next isn’t the most obvious destination for shoe shopping but trust me, the collection is stunning. Plus, you’re not likely to bump into many people with the same shoes which is a bonus!
I spied these beautiful feather and velvet sandals recently and could not resist them. I’ve been wearing them to death and had SO many compliments. The best part is they’re super comfy; I can wear them all day long – from my flat to the office to dinner and drinks after.
Here are my top five shoes from Next:
  1. Black Feather Trim Sandals - £35The most comfy shoes I have ever owned, admiring glances are guaranteed. I love wearing mine with midi skirts and crop tops.
  2. Black Embroidered Court Shoes - £45  I fell in lust with these shoes as soon as I saw them. AW16 is all about embroidery, especially on your feet. These shoes would look equally good in autumn sans tights and in winter with some thick opaques. Next also do an ankle boot version which is stunning.
  3. Black Velvet Shoe Boots - £40 Another key AW16 trend, these peep-toe velvet shoe boots are just irresistible. I love the cut out on the side.
  4. Signature Pointy Toe Court Shoes - £38 I have to admit, I’m like the Goldilocks of nude court shoes. I had a beautiful leather pair which I wore to death, because they elevate any look and if you score the right shade, make your legs look endless. I literally wore them to death and had to throw them away 6 months ago and I haven’t managed to find a replacement. I like a nude court with a pointy toe, no platform and sleek heel – surprisingly hard to find. This pair is absolutely perfect.
  5. Grey leather embroidered court shoes - £50  Pretty embroidery AND sassy ankle straps, these are the most ladylike heels I’ve seen in a long time.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Paris Fashion Week SS17

Here are my favourite shows from Paris Fashion Week:
Alexander McQueen SS17
Lee McQueen shows were notorious for making your heart skip a beat. Intoxicating and immersive, they drew you into his inspiration for the season, whether it was the Scottish Highlands or Atlantis. For me, that depth has been slightly lacking in Sarah Burton’s collections. However, this season she flew her design team to the Shetland Islands to immerse themselves into the environment and beautiful nature. The resulting collection is a stunning ode to the Shetland Isles, all delicate cobweb wool lace, sturdy lace harnesses, floral embroidery and black-and-white plaid. Sublime.
Jacquemus SS17
It’s no secret that one of my passions is the creativity of emerging designers. Without the expectations of an established brand nor the constraints of creating something commercial, emerging designers can afford to be mavericks. London seems to be the only city which truly nurtures fresh talent, which is why it’s encouraging to see a young brand on the roster at PFW. I’ve silently observed Jacquemus for a few seasons, interested to see how the brand develops against a backdrop of iconic contemporaries. Simon Porte Jacquemus’ spring/summer 2017 collection does not disappoint. Filled with Provencal folk references fused with 80s haute couture drama, the collection felt like a natural progression of a designer just getting into his stride. One of the most exciting and optimistic shows in Paris.
Loewe SS17
The synergy between Loewe and Jonathan Anderson is perfection, it’s like this partnership was meant to be. In a few seasons, he has transformed this once modest Spanish label into one of the most covetable luxury labels, for the discerning customer. Though the quirky elephant bags are cute, the main collection is all beautiful, sumptuous luxury. This season sees Anderson playing with texture, linens, cottons, burlap, fringing, unfinished edges, plisse and of course leather. Accessories were the major taking point, shoes, boots, loafers, sandals and every single bag you could wish for. One of my favourites of the season.
Louis Vuitton SS17
I’m almost tempted to sum up Ghesquiere’s latest collection for Louis Vuitton with two terms – cut-outs and phone cases. The former is a continuation from his sports-luxe Cruise collection, albeit more grown up and sophisticated. A flash of shoulder here, a peek of a hip there in between some beautifully tailored looks, the best of which were slightly deconstructed and dishevelled.  The real talking point was the incredible Petite Malle phone cases, which are already set to the THE must have accessory for spring/summer 2017.
Valentino SS17
This season saw many Creative Director changes in Paris. The most surprising was Maria Grazia Chiuri’s appointment at Dior, parting ways with design partner Pierpaolo Piccioli and ending their extremely successful tenure as joint Creative Directors at Valentino. Over the years, Valentino has evolved into one of a handful of brands which knocks it out of the park each season. I’m glad to say spring/summer 2017 was no different. Inspired by the work of Hieronymus Bosch and London’s very own Zandra Rhodes, the resulting collection consisted of predictably dreamy diaphanous dresses with delicate bird embroidery and developed a super covetable side in luxe daywear. Beautiful.

Milan Fashion Week SS17

Here are my favourite shows from Milan’s hub of grown up luxury:
Bottega Veneta SS17
This season, Bottega Veneta celebrated a double birthday; the brand’s 50th anniversary and Tomas Maier’s 15th anniversary at the helm. The brand had a subtle celebration of sorts, with Lauren Hutton and Gigi Hadid closing the show arm in arm. Hutton was a nod to the past – she carried a Bottega Veneta clutch in American Giglo – and Hadid was a nod to the future, as the undisputed model of the moment. Known for enschewing obvious logos and headline-grabbing pieces in favour of restrained beauty, letting the beautiful craftsmanship speak for itself. The collection itself? Beautiful, seasonless and classic. As we would expect from Maier.
 Dolce & Gabbana SS17
I have to admit, I’m a sucker for Dolce & Gabbana. Each season, the collections are a tad bolder and slightly more Italian. While each seasons Alta Moda show seeks to immerse editors into a regional Italian extravaganza, the RTW collection takes a pinch of said location and simmers it down to a more commercial collection. Little hints of Napoli pepper Dolce & Gabbana’s bold SS17 collection, from the street dancers who opened the show the prints of the sundresses. The light up heels and the D&G logo tshirts were a headline-friendly highlight.
Gucci SS17
Alessandro Michele has a knack for setting the zeitgeist. His must-have Gucci loafers are as much a fashion fixture as Anna Wintour and his advocacy of the glam 70s has long filtered down the fashion ecosystem to the high street. His SS17 collection walks a familiar line between crazy and beautiful but his deft hand guides the mind to see the beautiful. Heavy 70s nightclub vibe, complete with a pink carpet, the collection features sequins, glitz and taffeta cocktail dresses. Sublimely covetable.
Prada SS17
Miuccia Prada can usually be relied upon for intellectual collections inspired by the history of women. Opulent, elegant, more-is-more. This season sees that aesthetic stripped back; the show opened with a distinctly 90s, slightly techno look. The rest of the show unfolded as an ode to Prada’s favourite eras, the 20s, 30s and 40s. Beautiful chinoiserie pyjamas, tiny high waisted knickers and graphic print flared midis, though rather than a ‘greatest hits’ these looks were bought right up to present day thanks to the ostrich and marabou feather adornment on literally everything from necklines to shoes. One of the most beautiful collections this season.
No.21 SS17

No.21 is one of the major new labels to watch. Their simple shoes featuring intricate origami detailing have been seen on every street style star around the world. With Alessandro Dell’Acqua at the helm, it’s no wonder No.21 is creating such covetable pieces. For spring/summer 2017, the brand is all about femininity, in its many guises. Exploring juxtapositions between tough/feminine, sporty/delicate, light/dark, the collection creates a beautiful 


Friday, 23 September 2016

London Fashion Week: Ashish SS17

I love Ashish Gupta, his namesake label can always be relied upon for fun, sparkles and some light relief during the relentless London schedule. His collections also hold a soft spot for me for personal reasons, his show at Hippodrome was the first ever on-schedule show I attended at London Fashion Week some 12 seasons ago.
This season, his collection strikes a chord for different reasons. Almost overnight, post-Brexit Britain has made a lot of ethnic minorities feel uncomfortable - Gupta moved to London in the 90s and said that this is the first time he felt unwelcome in the country he regards as home. His spring/summer 2017 collection is a beautiful celebration of Indian culture with stunning saris and sherwanis alongside the London uniform of tracksuits and urban streetwear – a bold statement about the fusion of British and Indian culture and belonging.
His collection speaks to me due to my own Indian heritage. As a second generationer, I’m acutely aware of walking the line between the culture I grew up with and the culture of my parents and grandparents. I think most people of colour living in Britain are conscious of existing somewhere in the middle of two worlds and trying to carve out an identity somewhere between the two. For me, it’s so beautiful to see a LFW show celebrating Indian culture with Indian styling, including traditional jewellery and plait extensions I used to wear to weddings. To recognise the blue painted faces as the goddess Kali. To see my favourite model Neelam Gill walking the runway.
I also loved the beautiful cast of models, white, black, Indian and pretty much everything in between. While diversity in the industry is a hot topic, I’m still appalled at the lack of Indian models fronting campaigns and walking the runway. Props to Ashish for creating such a beautiful collection and celebrating diversity, unity, Indian culture and being British all in one unforgettable collection. 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

London Fashion Week SS17

Here's a round up of my favourite shows from London Fashion Week spring/summer 2017:

Julien Macdonald SS17
For me, Julien Macdonald’s show is always a highlight of the LFW schedule. More often than not, grey skies and rain make an appearance so it’s a welcome relief to be transported into Macdonald’s high octane, super glam world. This season, Macdonald took his inspiration from Africa, albeit a luxurious molten gold Africa with a rock ‘n’ roll edge. Next season, expect to see the Julien Macdonald girl clad in all shades of metallic with snakeskin and fringing details and cutouts galore. A stunning collection which was opened and closed with model-of-the-moment Hailey Baldwin, but for a show inspired by Africa I would have liked to see a bit more diversity.
Roksanda SS17
At first glance Roksanda Illincic’s vision of summer in 2017 doesn’t look, well, very summery. Long, languid layers in a colour palette of saffron, burnt orange, cool navy and liquid gold seem more well suited for autumn than summer. But with her signature effortless elegance, she has created a beautiful airiness with voluminous silhouettes which make me think of long, lazy days in Capri. A stunning collection.
Mary Katrantzou SS17
This season sees Mary Katrantzou return to form after a couple of tricky seasons. Known for her signature digital prints, Katrantzou diversified away from this aesthetic but spring/summer 2017 sees her return to her roots in more ways than one. Ancient Greek references such as key patterns and vase-like silhouttes merged with psychedelic prints resulting in a bold, sometimes chaotic, collection. Like the Roksanda show layers were key, skater dresses layered with slip dresses, peplums layered over maxi skirts, floaty tunics layered over flared trousers. Ancient Greece meets bold retro prints for huge style statement that is sure to grace the style set next season.
Simone Rocha SS17
Simone Rocha is a master of the artful juxtaposition and spring/summer is no exception. Pretty, white lace and buttercup yellow dresses contrasted with heavy duty rubber gloves and Perspex boots, inspired by Jackie Nickerson’s farm photography. The resulting off-kilter collection lands just on the right side of pretty, with the utilitarian accessories grounding the frothy innocence of the organza and broderie anglaise As usual, a standout collection during the LFW schedule.
Barbara Casasola SS17
Barbara Casasola’s spring/summer 2017 collection offered up a clean palette, a welcome change from London’s inevitable carnival of colour and print. Beautiful 50s Italian vibes echoed through the collection, with full skirts and runic tops alongside signature ribbed knitwear in an earthy, neutral shades.  There was something extremely satisfying about such a clean, beautiful collection which has me yearning for summer. 
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