Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Livestream: Tom Ford AW16

Back to life, back to reality! After a short hiatus, I'm pleased to announce that I'm back to blogging - just in time for Fashion Month! To celebrate my return, I'm partnering with Tom Ford to take you to the front row for his much anticipated AW16 show. Back in February, Mr Ford announced that he will show his autumn/winter 2016 collection in September instead of following the traditional format of showing in February. Menswear and womenswear will be shown together and available immediately after the show, in a move which realigns his business model to anticipate an instantaneous consumer appetite. In a statement explaining the decision, Ford stated, "In a world that has become increasingly immediate, the current way of showing a collection four months before it is available to customers, is an antiquated idea and one that no longer makes sense. We have all been living with a fashion calendar and system that is from another era.".

Tune in at 2.15am GMT / 9.15pm EST to view the show live right here.


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Milan Fashion Week AW16

Here are my highlights from MFW's autumn/winter 2016 season:
Dolce & Gabbana
Inspired by fairytales, Disney and Frozen, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana presented a collection which was saccharine sweet, with a  little twist. While the pretty pink looks and flower-adorned pieces were perfect for Cinderella, the Italian design duo also dabbled in tailored looks, more in keeping with the uniforms of Cinderella’s footmen. A whimsical collection which is full of innocence and happiness, what more could you want on a cold February day in Milan?
 Ermanno Scervino
Ermanno Scervino is fast becoming one to watch on the Milan roster. A relative newcomer in a city which almost exclusively shows collections from storied fashion houses, Scervino’s sophisticated chic is making waves. Scervino doesn’t reference obvious trends or push a certain look home, rather each season builds on and reinforces of feminine, glamorous, beautiful, covetable look.
It’s strange to think it’s only been a year since Alessandro Michele took the helm at Gucci, so accustomed to his delicate renaissance vision of the Italian powerhouse brand. Inspired by Italian art and antiques as well as French couture, his collections for Gucci are a fusion of opulent historical references and super contemporary styling which sets the zeitgeist. This season sees Michele inspired by 16th Century portraits as well as the 80s, by way of reinterpreted Gucci Gs. The more I see from Michele’s Gucci, the more I fall in love with his vision.
This season, Miuccia Prada described the Prada woman as “a vagabond”, with the sumptuous collection conjuring up images of a global nomad, belonging to no one place. Layers upon layers with a myriad of multifaceted references deftly woven into one succinct story for the season, perhaps a reflection of how Prada sees women; “The nature of women is complex and a Russian doll placed inside one another”. Dropped shoulders, fur sleeves, full 50s-style skirts and dresses and beautiful gilded silk cinched in by multiple belts. Utility outerwear, trekking boots, 40s-style cocktail dresses, distressed leather, velvet wedges. The collection was vast in references but concise in feel. Miuccia has done it again.
Sexy and Versace are so synonymous it almost feels like they are one and the same, though in recent seasons that sexiness has been less overt and slightly more restrained. Donatella’s sensual designs are designed by a woman for women, it’s more about embracing sexiness and bringing it into the everyday – evident with the plethora of daywear looks shown this season. Leather trims on suits and coats, oversized knits paired with shiny leather, dresses slashed to the thigh and Gianni Versace-designed prints strutted down the catwalk in kitten heel-clad models. Power dressing is back.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

London Fashion Week AW16

Here are my highlights from LFW’s autumn/winter 2016 season:
Inspired by The Night Porter, Roksanda’s AW16 collection was decidedly subdued compared to her signature vibrant collections. A compelling progression, the collection was full of Ilincic’s signatures from the midi-length silhouette, long and languid aesthetic and pretty flared sleeves. High collars and sunray pleats in deep, romantic shades of burgundy and royal blue completed the collection. The introduction of Roksanda handbags is also worth noting, the doctor’s bag is one of the stand out pieces. Ilincic is a women’s designer, and this mature and modest collection is one of her best.
Simone Rocha
Similar to New York’s Rodarte, Simone Rocha’s collections always have a poetic, dreamlike quality to them. This season, the verses tying her collection together are inspired by her personal journey; taking a month off after giving birth fed Rocha’s creativity. Medical aprons, motherly knitting and swaddling references are all evident in her collection – subtly interwoven rather than an overt reference. As usual, gothic darkness and contrasting texture are the main statements of her collection along with oversized, baggy pockets, dropped shoulders, wisp thin gauze, unravelled knitting and embroidery. Watching Rocha go from strength to strength is one of the highlights of London Fashion Week for me.
Julien Macdonald
Mr Macdonald is a woman’s designer and he likes his women to be strong, confident and above all, proud of their bodies. His particular aesthetic leaves very little to the imagination – high hemlines, backless and slashed necklines paired with fish-scale beading or cobweb knits. The workmanship behind his high octane collections is more than evident. As per last season, a few menswear looks featured in the show, this season with military influences. Unrestrained glamour from Macdonald. 
Alexander McQueen
Sarah Burton’s collection for Alexander McQueen was undoubtedly the show of the season. I knew it would be special as the brand was ‘coming home’ to London instead of showing in Paris but the collection blew me away. Exquisite and almost couture-like, it was a poetic celebration of femininity and epitomises everything that I love about fashion – drama and breathtaking beauty. It gave me goosebumps.
The collection started off slightly more sombre, paying homage to McQueen’s Saville Row roots. It then transitioned into a collection which was undoubtedly Burton – almost as if the designer created a collection to show the evolution of the brand from its beginning to present day. Cobweb knits, fine gossamer layers and pretty tulle, it was the collection of dreams.
Edeline Lee
The beauty of LFW is picking up emerging designers from their early collections and, hopefully, seeing them flourish. There is always a turning point when the designer strikes the balance between creativity and commerciality; this is one of the most pivotal and exciting points in their career. Being a fan of Edeline Lee for the last few seasons she has been showing, I feel like the AW16 collection is her turning point. Slightly pared back in aesthetic, it was a very focused and finished collection which was both well thought out and well executed. Nothing but covetable pieces. 

Saturday, 20 February 2016

New York Fashion Week AW16

Here are my highlights from NYFW’s autumn/winter 2016 season:
It’s hard to believe that Spanish-based brand Delpozo was only given a new lease of life 4 years ago, when Josep Font took the helm. Font was instrumental in the brand’s transition from success in Spain to one of the hottest tickets in the NYFW schedule. A seamless mixture of couture detailing and sculptural tailoring, I’m a big fan of Delpozo’s aesthetic. This season, inspired by Italian artist Daria Petrilli, Font delivers a typically high octane, jewel-toned collection. Touches of Petrelli’s delicate work softened Font’s signature architectural style, while the bold colours, bejewelled opera gloves and two-tone knits.
Oscar de la Renta
Peter Copping’s AW16 collection for Oscar de la Renta gives more than a nod to the house’s history, drawing inspiration from fashion’s Battle of Versailles in 1973 - five American designers went up against their Parisian counterparts. Copping’s collection mixed the American minimalism and athletic aesthetic with 18th-century French influences, resulting in a modern and fresh collection which erred on the right side of what could have been a jarring juxtaposition. Beautiful knitwear which was reminiscent of his time at Nina Ricci, corsetry and unexpected leather pieces made for a bold statement. The gowns, as usual, were perfection.
It’s hard to believe that Rodarte is only just celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Thinking back to early collections, it’s clear that Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s skills have developed and matured over the last decade, but the Rodarte magic is still at the collection’s core. Dreamlike and graceful, the AW16 collection had undercurrents of a darker, gothic edge mixed with pretty lace, bridal looks heavily embellished. I’ve come to expect wisps of dreamy dresses floating down the runway so for me the covetable outerwear was slightly unexpected. The structured leather jackets and shaggy furs were a great addition to the Mulleavy sister’s collection.
The Row
One of my NYFW favourites, designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen definitely have a tried-and-tested formula for The Row. Masters of minimalism, the tone-on-tone looks are almost a blank canvas which let the sumptuous fabrics do the talking – butter-soft leather, double-face cashmere, astrakhan. Once again, a beautiful collection which was expertly tailored and peppered with enough subtle details to keep it covetable.
Sies Marjan
Being the most commercial city in the fashion month roster, it’s rare to see a new brand pop up on the schedule which is why Sies Marjan piqued my interest. Though the brand may be new, you will be familiar with Creative Director Sander Lak’s work. A graduate of Central Saint Martins, Lak started his career at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Balmain before working at Dries Van Noten as Creative Director. His collection, inspired by the 90s, is sure to appeal to the cool, fashion girls and I’m expecting to see
it on the usual street style favourites next season.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

London Collections: Men - Christopher Raeburn AW16

Last season saw Raeburn taking inspiration from Borneo and this season his gaze shifts to Mongolian herders. Voluminous knits and scarves and shearling detailing are gentle nods to his inspiration. The real highlight of the collection was the outerwear in its many iterations, from bombers to parkas, anoraks and the huge snow-camouflage ponchos – real showstealers. 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

London Collections: Men - JW Anderson

Menswear shows can be extremely polarising – either beautiful, formal tailoring or the radical creativity that is synonymous with London. This season, JW Anderson walks the fine line between the two with a restrained collection with more than a touch of London’s unconventionality. Stand out pieces included a smart camel trench with studded collars and snail-printed pyjamas.

Monday, 11 January 2016

London Collections: Men - Maharishi AW16

Maharishi are firmly in their stride after the brand’s revival last year. This season sees the 90s favourite cement their status as one of the shining streetwear stars of the LC:M roster. This season, models were unconventional, shouting and dancing their way down the runway – a very welcome respite from the oh-so-seriousness of the shows. Inspired by global subcultures, the collection featured signature camouflage and military references fused with badges, Lacoste-esque crocodiles and many, many pockets. One of my favourite collections of the season.

London Collections: Men - Casely-Hayford AW16

Building on last season’s collection which was inspired by the contrast between East and North London, this season Casely-Hayford were inspired by the use of military uniform in British subcultures. Clear references, from Sgt. Pepper to 90s ravers, were cohesively tied together with their signature tailoring. A journey through music and culture, stand out pieces included voluminous parkas and brocade dinner jackets. 

Sunday, 10 January 2016

London Collections: Men - Lou Dalton AW16

Inspired by the WWII naval intelligence The Shetland Bus, Lou Dalton’s AW16 collection is a considered combination of sumptuous Shetland knits and contemporary tailoring with a nod to naval agent’s undercover fisherman outfits. Slouchy, relaxed silhouettes, baggy trousers, dropped shoulder blazers, capatain’s sweaters, neoprene sweaters and wet-look leather pieces made for an extremely covetable collection.

London Collections: Men - Astrid Andersen AW16

Evolving from last season’s Shanghai-inspired, cherry blossom-laden collection ,this season sees the focus shift to fabrics including technical fine-gag epolymides, fur, heavy woolsand tweeds from century-old Linton Mill. The collection still had Andersen’s contemporary, sports luxe feel but it was missing her almost signature fusion of masculine and feminine influences, this season is decidedly more overtly masculine with subtle feminine touches resulting in a much more commercial collection.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

London Collectiohns: Men - Hardy Amies AW16

It was new season, new Head of Design over at Hardy Amies for the autumn/winter 2016 collection. After three years at the brand, Darren Barrowcliff took the reins after former Creative Director Mehmet Ali departed after successfully reinvigorating Hardy Amies, making it one of London’s menswear stars. Barrowcliff’s approach continued the brand’s direction under Ali – functional pieces with simple, clean lines. The astutely edited collection was polished and refined collection of wearable, well-tailored pieces in neutral shades. A great debut by Barrowcliff, quietly confident.

London Collections: Men - Agi & Sam AW16

All change at Agi & Sam. The design duo’s signature colour pops are out and a palette of cool neutrals is in. The pared back palette made for the perfect backdrop to showcase their tailoring – oversized knits, elongated sleeves and outerwear reigned supreme alongside the odd cropped jumper or bomber to punctuate the oversized aesthetic. I’m very much hoping the handful of female models in the show signifies a move into womenswear.

London Collectioons: Men - Nigel Cabourn AW16

I ended day one of LC:M at Nigel Cabourn’s flagship store for a very busy, buzzy presentation for this three brands – Authentic, Mainline and Lybro. The 25-piece Authentic collection pays homage to British tradition, with quintessentially British accents including Harris tweeds, wools and quilting. Mainline takes inspiration from military sportswear of WW1, fusing traditional sportswear with modern sweats while Lybro takes inspiration from WW1 ammunition factory uniforms, fusing British and Japanese fabrics and trims.

Friday, 8 January 2016

London Collections: Men - Cottweiler AW16

They say inspiration comes from the strangest places, I don’t think this has ever been more applicable. This season, Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell are inspired by a niche YouTube phenomenon where people trudge through shoulder-high muddy ponds! While the inspiration may be leftfield, the colour palette was decidedly Cottweiler – classic camel, black and grey tones juxtaposed with a dystopian set up for the presentation. The collection was very well executed, totally wearable streetwear which transcends trends.
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