University of Fashion Blog

Category "Fashion Shows"

Remembering Gianni Versace

Remembering Gianni Versace

It’s been twenty years since the senseless murder of Gianni Versace, a day that will always be etched in the minds of the fashion community. The late designer revolutionized fashion with his hybrid blend of  ‘high glamour meets rock and roll.’

Gianni Versace in 1991 (Courtesy of Herbie Knott/Rex/ShutterStock)

Gianni Versace in 1991 (Courtesy of Herbie Knott/Rex/ShutterStock)

Gianni Versace passed away on July 15, 1997 outside of his mansion, Casa Casuarina, in South Beach, Miami. He was shot to death by deranged killer Andrew Cunanan. The fashion world was in shock as the infamous party boy, always flocked by his super-model crew, died in such a tragic and horrific way. Fashion lost its playful innocence and the fantasy world of fashion was shattered.

Gianni Versace's South Beach Miami Home (Courtesy of NY Daily News.com)

Gianni Versace’s South Beach Miami Home (Courtesy of NY Daily News)

Gianni’s impact on fashion and pop culture is undeniable. He was at the forefront of reinventing fashion as a glamorous feast on a global scale. He surrounded himself with celebrity royalty – Madonna, Sting, Bon Jovi, George Michael and Hugh Grant – they all attended his extravaganza runway shows. Supermodels fought to walk his shows – he had all the greats – Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, to name a few.

Naomi Campbell, Gianni Versace and Christy Turlington in 1991 (Courtesy of Gevril.com)

Naomi Campbell, Gianni Versace and Christy Turlington in 1991 (Courtesy of Gevril.com)

Gianni’s looks were sexy and seductive. His body hugging creations were worn by his supermodel friends and celebrities as they partied the night away. Gianni’s skill was to connect raunchy sex with couture audacity – like his iconic safety pin dress, which was catapulted into fashion history by Liz Hurley.

Elizabeth Hurley in the Safety Pin dress in 1994 (Courtesy of Dave Benett/Getty))

Elizabeth Hurley in the Safety Pin dress in 1994 (Courtesy of Dave Benett/Getty)

Gianni was born on December 2, 1946, in Reggio Calabria, the toe of Italy’s boot. Like many of the great designers, Gianni came from a modest background. His father Antonio was a local coal merchant, his  mother Francesca sewed dresses for the elite townswomen, and Gianni made his first dress – a blue one-shoulder evening gown – at the age of nine. Some forty years later, Princess Diana wore a version of that creation.

Princess Dianna (Courtesy of Pintrest)

Princess Dianna (Courtesy of Pintrest)

After studying architecture, Gianni moved to Milan and spent 10 years working  for a variety of mainstream labels, before he came to attention in the late 1970’s when he staged his first signature show in the Palazzo della Permanente in Milan.

From the start, Gianni’s clothes were ground-breaking ; his mix of fabrics were unique and cutting edge – he was known for pairing leather and lace with metal, studs and Swarovski crystals. At the time, mixing all these elements was inconceivable. Gianni also had a keen eye for color and worked with rich sherbet colors. He was a master draper and often referenced the Grecian goddess gowns of Madame Grès as well as Madeleine Vionnet’s bias cut designs that accentuated the body to perfection.

Versace Girls in 1994 (Courtesy of Dazed.com))

Versace Girls in 1994 (Courtesy of Dazed.com))

Gianni’s true genius was in the form of branding. His logo – the Medusa head and the Grecian frieze – became his trademark. Everyone knew the Versace symbol. It was everywhere from his clothing to his lingerie from his bedding to his fine China.

His business grew incredibly fast, creating a fortune large enough to afford his private palazzo on Via Gesù and his magnificent Villa Fontanelle on Lake Como – all containing his eclectic mix of ancient Greek and Roman statuary, Renaissance furniture and modern art.

Gianni Versace and His Super Models in Milan, 1991(Courtesy of Vittoriano Rastelli/Getty)

Gianni Versace and His Super Models in Milan, 1991(Courtesy of Vittoriano Rastelli/Getty)

Gianni was openly gay, living publicly with loyal partner Antonio D’Amico, during a time 20 years ago when many homosexuals were still in the closet. He greatly valued family, which appealed to traditional Italian famiglia ideas. Gianni’s brother Santo ran the commercial side, while little sister Donatello designed the diffusion line, Versus.

At his infamous Miami mansion, friends like Anna Wintour would come to stay with her family and picnic on the beach. But also party animals like Whitney Huston and Bobby Brown would attend Gianni’s  legendary parties  –  and boy did Gianni and his elite friends know how to party! Gianni transitioned from designer to celebrity and attracted the world of Hollywood and music. Being a celebrity comes with a price; you are a target. On the tragic morning of July 15, 1997, Gianni was off on a coffee run and regrettably met his death, shot down by Andrew Cunanan, a failed dreamer who had met Gianni seven years before – when the designer dressed the San Francisco Opera – and felt deep resentment towards him.

His funeral packed out Milan’s great cathedral, Il Duomo. Princess Diana arrived to pay her respects and the entire fashion industry came to pay homage, as well as Hollywood and musical royalty. Within just six weeks, Princess Diana would die in a fatal car accident. Two fashion icons gone in the summer of 1997.

Princess Diana and Elton John at Gianni Versace's funeral in 1997  (Courtesy of Gevril Group)

Princess Diana and Elton John at Gianni Versace’s funeral in 1997 (Courtesy of Gevril Group)

After Gianni was murdered, it was announced that Donatella would become creative director, with a 20 per cent share of the business, and Santo was appointed CEO, with a 30 percent share. (Donatella’ daughter Allegra, who was eleven at the time, was left a 50 percent stake, which she assumed control over on her 18th birthday).

The Versace brand has had its many ups and downs, but today, Gianni’s aesthetic is apparent every season in fashion – with a new generation of creative directors as diverse as Christopher Kane, Riccardo Tisci, Fausto Puglisi and Olivier Rousteing all openly admitting the Versace inspiration, while a new wave of contemporary music icons, including Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj have fallen for the brand all over again.

Donatella has been busy designing the brand while watching her children grow. Her daughter Allegra  has caught the fashion bug as she is working on Versus, which has been reborn as a hothouse of fledgling talent, bringing in young design stars like Christopher Kane, Jonathan Anderson and Anthony Vaccarello, each of whom has gone on to achieve international success in their own right.

This past February, Donatella announced that she has lured Riccardo Tisci as creative director for Versace, a very smart move; after all, Tisci is responsible for all the great success at Givenchy. Retailers, fashion editors and bloggers everywhere are holding their breath waiting to see what Tisci brings to the legendary house of Versace.

Ricardo Tisci and Donatella Versace  (Courtesy of Harper's Bazaar Singapore)

Ricardo Tisci and Donatella Versace (Courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore)

 

Patriotic Fashion

To The Red, White and Blue: The American Flag in Fashion

American Flag in Fashion (Courtesy of  Quora.Com)

American Flag in Fashion (Courtesy of Quora.Com)

Happy Memorial Day! It’s the official kickoff weekend to the summer in the United States.  It’s time to hit the beach and enjoy some fun barbeque smoked food parties. With Independence Day right around the corner, what better way to show national pride than by wearing the iconic red, white and blue flag print.

The first official flag of the United States was introduced on June 14, 1777 and represented our founding 13 colonies with thirteen stripes in red and white and thirteen stars.  The American flag as we know it today has only been around since 1960 (July 4th, 1960, to be exact). It was introduced shortly after Hawaii became the nation’s fiftieth state, and in its long and tricolored history, there have been a grand total of 27 official, government approved versions: As states were added, so were the stars. What has remained consistent, the flags thirteen red and white alternating stripes—representing our original thirteen colonies. Citizens proudly hung their flags in front of their homes, schools and government buildings. They had great respect for their nation.

America was seen as the land of economic prosperity and enabling dreams – “The American Dream”.  This slogan was made popular through intense marketing. The goal was singular: to project America to be the best place in the world to be living in. And it paid off. America became an attractive destination for some of the world’s smartest immigrants and global investment.

Through the years, the American flag has become a fixture in the fashion world all across the United States and even overseas. The fashion world’s homages to the flag over the years have been a little more abstract. It’s most definitely a popular motif, but the banner’s many variations run the gamut from straight-up remodeled – case in point, Givenchy’s spring 2014 men’s tech-y colored jumpers – to Catherine Malandrino’s gauzy iconic flag dress  (which featured heavily in FIT’s 2009 “Fashion & Politics” exhibition).

Catherine Malandrino 2001 (Courtesy of Pintrest)

Catherine Malandrino
2001 (Courtesy of Pintrest)

 

Givenchy Men's Spring 2014 (Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Givenchy Men’s Spring 2014 (Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

Most often it’s a bankable subject – look at Ralph Lauren. The designer has been printing the American Flag image on many variations on his t-shirts for years. You cannot attend a 4th of July party without someone in the crowd wearing a Ralph Lauren iconic flag tee (they can be found in his men’s, woman’s and children’s collections). Tommy Hilfiger is another sportswear giant who incorporated the iconic American symbol as a logo for his collection.

Tommy Hilfiger X Gigi Hadid spring 2017 (Courtesy of  Tommy Hilfiger)

Tommy Hilfiger X Gigi Hadid spring 2017 (Courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger)

 

Denim & Supply by Ralph Lauren (Courtesy of Lyst.Com)

Denim & Supply by Ralph Lauren (Courtesy of Lyst.Com)

 

On the runway, Thom Browne has become famous for his signature red, white, and-blue grosgrain trims, let alone his unconventional runway collections that, somehow, blend country-strong iconoclasm with theatricality and excitement. Meanwhile, Chanel’s pre-fall 2014 rodeo in Dallas extravaganza, Karl Lagerfeld embraced the motto “Everything is bigger in Texas.” The show was a barn-burner of a star-spangled spectacle in all its glory.

 

Thom Browne Spring 2017 (Courtesy of ssense.com)

Thom Browne Spring 2017 (Courtesy of ssense.com)

 

Chanel pre-fall2014 (Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Chanel pre-fall2014 (Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

So in honor of Memorial Day, Independence Day and the start to summer, wear your Flag motif proudly. No matter what your political party is, we should all be patriots.

Miu Miu Spring 2011 (Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Miu Miu Spring 2011 (Courtesy of Vogue.Com

Designers: Ones To Watch

Designers: Ones To Watch

Starting your own fashion label has never been easy, but today, thanks to social media platforms such as Instagram, Fashion Blog Sites and The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, getting your name out there has become easier. Here are ten young labels that we should all be watching.

Ruben Toledo Sketch (courtesy of Ruben Toledo)

Ruben Toledo Sketch (courtesy of Ruben Toledo)

 

 

 

Brock Collection

Husband and Wife design team Kristopher Brock and Laura Vassar Brock were the 2017 winners of the CFDA Fashion Fund and have quickly become fashion darlings. The duo met at Parsons School of Design where they both studied fashion. Kristopher Brock trained as a tailor and pattern maker. At 18, he opened a surf and skate shop and was also a production assistant for photo producer Larry McCrudden. Soon after he began to work as a runway show tailor for brands ranging from Calvin Klein to Diane von Furstenberg.  Meanwhile, Laura Vassar Brock began her career training with celebrity stylist Petra Flannery. She followed her design dreams and interned for Olivier Theyskens at Theyskens’ Theory, which quickly turned into a full-time position. She also worked at Moda Operandi as an editorial and collection stylist.  In 2015 the duo launched their label Brock Collection which offers beautifully tailored staples with a couture sensibility. Their craftsmanship is impeccable.  The collection is feminine, sophisticated and oh so chic, but all with a youthful hand.

 

Brock (courtesy of Vogue.com)

Brock Collection (courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

 

Sies Marjan

Sander Lak launched his collection Sies Marjan in Fall 2016 during New York Fashion Week to rave reviews. Lak is the creative director for the label which is taken from his father and mother’s given names.  He was born in Brunei and raised in Holland. In 2008 he graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London with a Master’s degree. Lak has worked in various design houses in New York, Antwerp and Paris. His collection is cool and effortless, think silk cargo pants and dresses over pants in a nineties throwback of the chicest kind. There are some characteristics that reference his former boss, Dries Van Noten, but Lak put his own youthful spin on the runway. These are real clothes that real woman can wear; he’s sure to be a favorite among the Street Style set.

 

Sies Marjan (courtesy of  Vogue.com)

Sies Marjan (courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

Off-White

Virgil Aboh is a true Renaissance man, he is an architect, creative director and designer. He was born in Rockford, Illinois and earned a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin Madison, he also completed a Master´s degree in Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Soon after graduating, Aboh became the creative director for Kanye West and West´s creative think tank “Donda“. Over the years, he has collaborated with multiple artists such as Nick Knight, Riccardo Tisci, Kim Jones, Takashi Murakami, Olivier Rousteing, Giuseppe Zanotti, and worked with Silvia Venturini at Fendi.  Aboh’s career has been filled with great success and awards, such as a Grammy Award in 2011 for his Album Packaging creative direction with Riccardo Tisci for “Watch The Throne”. In 2015, Off-White was nominated as one of the top eight finalists for the LVMH Prize in Paris. His collection Off-White has exploded for both menswear and womenswear and has been worn by multiple celebrities and street style stars. The cult favorite brand is the perfect hybrid of urban cool and high fashion luxury.

Off-White (courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Off-White (courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

 

Ji Oh

Ji Oh may have been born in Korea, but New York is now her home. The internationally traveled designer studied art and design in London’s Central Saint Martins in 2004. Oh was always inspired by architectural construction in her garments and spent plenty of time at the Tate Modern. In 2005, she completed her studies at Parsons School of Design in New York City. Oh launched her namesake label in 2014. Her aesthetic focuses on uncontrived proportions, effortless shapes and rich texture. Oh balances minimalistic tones with a contrast in great detail and design. In 2015 and 2016, Oh was nominated for the FGI Rising Star Awards.

 

Ji Oh (courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Ji Oh (courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

JN by JN LLOVETT

If you’re looking for a cool novelty jacket, then look no further than JN by JN LLOVET. The label was founded by Jacqueline Llovet Garcia; specializing in leather that is inspired by her world travels, adventure and beauty. Garcia is half German, half Spanish and graduated with a Master’s degree from the renowned fashion college Mod`Art International in Paris. The label came to life after her travels through South America as she created her dream jacket in a leather market in La Paz by a Bolivian tailor. This was the spark that created her label. She creates each unique piece in her studio in Germany and uses only the softest, highest quality Nappa leather.

 

JN by JN LLOVETT (courtesy of JN by JN LLOVETT

JN by JN LLOVETT (courtesy of JN by JN LLOVETT

 

Chloe Gosselin

It’s no surprise that the stunningly beautiful shoe designer Chloe Gosselin was a model for nearly ten years. The beauty is an international “It Girl”.  Chloe Gosselin was born in France; graduated from the La Cambre Fine Arts Program in Belgium in 2007; pursued her passion for shoe design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and in Ars Sutoria in Milan. In 2014, Gosselin fulfilled her dream and started her own namesake label. She divides her time between New York City and Nevada (she’s linked to celebrity magician David Copperfield). Gosselin’s shoes are timeless with a sexy edge.

 

 

Chloe Gosselin (courtesy of Chloe Gosselin

Chloe Gosselin (courtesy of Chloe Gosselin

 

Morgan Lane

Morgan Curtis, the Native New York designer behind the luxury lingerie, sleepwear and swimwear line Morgan Lane, has fashion in her blood; her mother is non-other than the talented and lovely Jill Stuart. Curtis grew up in the fashion world and has always expressed creativity through paining and illustrations. Curtis graduated from Cornell University and attended Central Saint Martins in London; she quickly began designing for the Jill Stuart brand. She launched Morgan Lane in 2014 during the resort season, after several years, her lingerie line is gaining attention and Curtis was one of the 2017 finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Curtis’ collection is inspired by one of her illustrations, a doll named Lanie. The collection has a playful yet seductive vibe as Curtis uses modern fabrics and hardware in her unique collection.

Morgan Lane (courtesy of Morgan Lane)

Morgan Lane (courtesy of Morgan Lane)

 

 

Pyer Moss

Never one to shy away from controversy, Kerby Jean-Raymond uses his runway shows to speak his mind on political matters – from the “Black Lives Matter Movement” to “Bernie vs Bernie”.  Jean-Raymond is a young Haitian-American designer from East Flatbush, Brooklyn. He launched his Menswear collection Pyer Moss in 2013, but to show the versatility of his menswear collection, he uses both male and female models; he is planning on launching a woman’s collection shortly. The luxury sportswear label has everything from street inspired tracksuits to oversized suits.

Pyer Moss (courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Pyer Moss (courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

 

Sabrina Zeng

Sabrina Zeng is a true fashion veteran with 10+ years at Versace, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Natori before launching her own line in 2013. Her contemporary handbags are feminine yet edgy; the made-in-NY label is known for its use of hand-pleating technique, meant to be the perfect fusion of conceptual and wearable art. It all started when Zeng, a free-spirited traveler, found herself in need of a fashionable DSLR camera bag. So she took it upon herself to launch her own line. Each bag is named after a zip code, and carries its own story – her collections are inspired by Zeng’s journeys:  starting with her home in New York, Bali, Tibet and Hawaii to name a few. Zeng brings her travels, spirituality and passion to life in her collection of modern handbags.

Sabrina Zeng (courtesy of Sabrina Zeng)

Sabrina Zeng (courtesy of Sabrina Zeng)

 

Berta Cabestany

 

Wearable couture is how Berta Cabestany describes her namesake label as the emerging designer creates a beautiful and distinctive collection. She is a Spanish designer based in Barcelona. She studied at FDMODA in Barcelona and has taken several courses in Parson’s School of Design in New York and Paris and Central Saint Martins London. In her collection, Cabestany combines traditional techniques with a modern and feminine flare. Playing with intricate embellishments, she perused her passion for embroideries by taking courses at Ecole Lesage in Paris and The London Embroidery School, and now wants to preserve the art of handmade, artisan techniques. Her collection is whimsical yet chic.

Berta Cabestany (courtesy of Berta Cabestany)

Berta Cabestany (courtesy of Berta Cabestany)

 

 

Bridal Fashion Show Round Up

Wedding Bells

Oscar de la Renta Bridal (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Oscar de la Renta Bridal
(Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Here comes the bride…..As bridal fashion shows wrapped up in New York City this week, one thing is for certain, brides have plenty of options for the Spring 2018 season. Trends ran the gamut from traditional, frothy confections to modern minimalist gowns and let’s not forget about pantsuits and jumpsuits. Here is a round-up of the five most influential shows of the bridal season.

OSCAR DE LA RENTA

The most anticipated show of the bridal season was Oscar de la Renta, as Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim (the design duo behind the trendy label Monse) presented their first bridal collection for the house.  The duo lived up to the hype as they delivered a stellar collection. The designers showed traditional house pieces that the de la Renta customer craves such as romantic garden theme embroideries, case in point, a fern foliage motif as well as plenty of delicate floral frocks. For the non-traditional bride, there was a chic pantsuit and a Carrie Bradshaw moment with a denim jacket paired over a logo tulle confection with Oscar de la Renta’s signature, topped off  with a “Just Married” statement necklace. Overall the collection struck the perfect balance between the traditions of the house and an infused freshness that Garcia and Kim have injected.

 

Oscar de la Renta Bridal (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Oscar de la Renta Bridal
(Courtesy of Vogue.com)

VERA WANG

Vera Wang knows a thing or two about wedding dresses. The designer is celebrating thirty years in the bridal business and this spring she is pushing her customer’s further. Inspired by her recent ready-to-wear collection, Wang is offering edgy and cool wedding dresses. The collection ranged from floaty bohemian frocks with a Gothic vibe to chic minimal gowns with architectural silhouettes. Vera Wang’s collection is for the fashion-forward bride.

Vera Wang Bridal (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Vera Wang Bridal
(Courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

Vera Wang Bridal (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Vera Wang Bridal
(Courtesy of Vogue.com)

CAROLINA HERRERA

Timeless beauty is in Carolina Herrera’s DNA and for her spring bridal collection she showcased her natural flare for elegance. Her signature bow appeared on a number of pieces ranging from a dramatic, over-sized shoulder bow to a simple ribbon bow on a lace column gown. Carolina Herrera also played with separates this season as she paired beaded knit top with a tulle ballskirt and a romantic blouse was worn with tuxedo trousers. Overall, Carolina Herrera’s collection was effortlessly romantic.

Carolina Herrera Bridal (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Carolina Herrera Bridal
(Courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

Carolina Herrera Bridal (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Carolina Herrera Bridal
(Courtesy of Vogue.com)

NAEEM KHAN

Naeem Khan is known for his glamorous, over-the-top eveningwear, and for his spring bridal show he did not disappoint. Naeem showed plenty of luxurious gowns from fanciful feathered confections to pastel floral embroideries – there were plenty of rich options for his global clientele. Naeem Khan’s dresses come with a hefty price-tag but these looks are perfect for the bride who flaunts has wealth.

Naeem Khan Bridal (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Naeem Khan Bridal
(Courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

Naeem Khan Bridal (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Naeem Khan Bridal
(Courtesy of Vogue.com)

MONIQUE LHUILLER

Ethereal, fanciful, gowns is what Monique Lhuillier does best and for her spring bridal collection she delivered. The gowns struck a perfect balance between traditional and au currant. She showed plenty of delicate lace dresses, glamorous cascading ruffles and romantic layers of tulle. These are statement gowns that are timeless and forever.

 

Monique Lhuillier Bridal (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Monique Lhuillier Bridal
(Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Monique Lhuillier Bridal (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Monique Lhuillier Bridal
(Courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

Paris Fashion Week: Back to the Future, Female Power & a New Silhouette

- - Fashion Shows

At last, Paris Fashion Week! As we all know, Paris is the ‘birthplace of fashion’ – a la Worth, Poiret, Vionnet, Chanel, Dior, Lanvin, Givenchy- all those great heritage brands that we have come to love and respect. And so, not surprisingly, we saw lots of variety and innovation. Let’s take a look at our favorite looks from Paris Fashion Week Fall Winter 2017-18.

Futuristic Fashion

Some designers have gone from street style to space style. Chanel’s collection was a nod to astronauts and the runway was the launch pad! Lagerfeld created this silver metallic belted coat paired with silver shimmer tights, matching boots and headband – perfect for Astronaut Barbie!

chanel-fw17-rtw-

Chanel (Image Credits: Chanel.com)

In a collection she called “The Future of Silhouette,” Rei Kawakubo stayed true to her design philosophy with this amorphous metallic wearable art piece, a real runway show-stopper! By the way, her work will be on exhibit beginning in June at The Costume Institute at the MET, entitled Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between.

comme des garcons

Comme des Garçons (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Dries van Noten brought the future back down to earth with this classic, old-school, oversized, metallic boyfriend jacket. You just have to love it!

dries-van-noten-fw17

Dries van Noten (Image Credits: DriesvanNoten.com)

Playing it Safe But with Flare

Speaking of playing it safe…While some designers experimented with futuristic fashion, others stuck to practicality. For her first ready-to-wear collection for Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri, (by the way, she is the first female creative director ever at Dior- female power!), served up jeans paired with an asymmetric blouse and accessorized them with a beret, for that quintessential ‘French girl’ style.

dior-fw17-rtw-fall-winter

Dior (Image Credits: Dior via ShilpaAhuja.com)

Our favorite look from Valentino makes this artsy-print maxi dress wearable yet chic by pairing it with a double-slit coat and a practical handbag.

valentino-fw17-rtw-

Valentino (Image Credits: Valentino.com)

Homage to International Women’s Day- Think Red

Perhaps in anticipation of wearing red for International Women’s Day (March 8) Givenchy’s collection was all about RED! This look is both a statement and wearable – a dramatic sequin ruffle jacket paired with matching cropped leggings (so I guess leggings are not démodé after all?).

givenchy-fw17-rtw

Givenchy (Image Credits: Givenchy.com)

This red look, by Giambattista Valli, featured ruffles and the very boldest sleeve treatment ever; one that epitomized the #BeBoldForChange hashtag that flooded the Web during the month of March.

giambattista

Giambattista Valli (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Eveningwear Redefined

Red carpet here we come! Paris Fashion Week is nothing if not the place where we get to see some of the most incredible eveningwear. This stunner, by Thierry Mugler, is a hybrid – a cross between a slip dress and Le Smoking (channel YSL). A pagoda shoulder detail and a daring slit…Angelina is gonna love this one!

mugler

Mugler (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Elie Saab’s best look was this deep amethyst-colored dress with a velvet burn-out sheer skirt, accessorized with a matching belt, fur-trimmed shoes and some very, very, French, point d’esprit hose.

eliesaab

Elie Saab (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Isabel Marant was thinking more along the lines of casual eveningwear with this look. These charcoal grey embellished jeans were paired with a ruffle-sleeved shimmery top and glitter socks.

Isabel-Marant-fw17

Isabel Marant (Image Credits: IsabelMarant.com)

Embellishments and Couture Details

We all know that the couture serves as a design lab for designers to experiment, with some design details trickling down into their ready-to-wear collections. This was evident at Balenciaga where creative director Demna Gvasalia, not only played with house codes, but brought a couture sensibility to his fall ready-to-wear collection with this strapless evening look complete with oversized bow.

balenciaga

Balenciaga (Image Credits: balenciaga.com)

At Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton designed this evening jumpsuit, reminiscent of those worn by Cher (designed by Bob Mackie). Burton updated the look with a feather sleeve and hem trim.

alexander mcqueen

Alexander McQueen (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

A Trip to the Zoo

It seems like animal prints never go out of style. This season was no exception. At Balmain, Olivier Rousteing used snake skin to create the most amazing over-the-thigh boots with matching bodice sash. And at Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière created a patch-work vest in cheetah printed fur, ooh la-la!

balmain-louis-vuitton

Balmain (left) (Image Credits: balmain.com) and Louis Vuitton (right) (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Gotta Have a Gimmick

Gypsy Rose Lee, one of America’s legendary entertainers, had a favorite tagline- “you gotta have a gimmick’ and at Maison Margiela, John Galliano was listening. Check out this outfit and tell us just what you think. Is it a pantsuit? Or is Galliano, along with Rei Kawakubo, redefining what ‘is’ a silhouette?

maison margiela

Maison Margiela (Image Credits: maisonmargiela.com)

Yohji Yamamoto got into the act with this engineered hand-painted belted coat with matching hose. He completes the look with black lipstick, red eyeshadow on one eye and black on the other.

yohji-yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Sheer Love

Whether it’s plastic or georgette, this fashion week cycle certainly showcased transparency. Miu Miu’s piped plastic coat teamed with an all over paillette dress, was then topped off with a fur shawl and a fringed headdress. This is sure to be a fashion magazine editorial favorite!

miu miu

Miu Miu (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

How to update a dress you ask? At Stella McCartney, this embroidered tulle overdress was worn over a sheath dress and what a great idea to update your wardrobe?

stella mccartney

Stella McCartney (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Before Claire Waight Keller left Chloé and headed for Givenchy, she created this sheer, puff sleeved, baby doll overdress paired with a slip dress. So feminine.

chloe-fw17-rtw-fall-winter-

Chloe (Image Credits: Chloe.com)

A Sign of the Times

As Paris marked the end of the fashion week cycle (New York, London, Milan & Paris) a resounding theme remained prevalent throughout the shows…female power! Strong shoulders were showcased next to feminine looks, what a great time to be a woman in fashion.

15 Best Looks from Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017-18

- - Fashion Shows

Fashion weeks are the best places to uncover upcoming fashion trends and style inspiration. Some fashion weeks are more interesting than others. This was the case with Milan Fashion Week. Here are our 15 favorite looks and trends from the runway.

Fashion as Art

What began in Couture Fashion Week 2017 (see our blogpost from those shows) is continuing in Milan. Prada, featured fashion glamour girl prints splashed across this pared down silhouette and brought in another Couture Week trend – feathers. Here in the form of feathered ankle strap shoes.

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Prada (Image credits: Prada.com)

Fun Fashion

Milan Fashion Week would be incomplete without a buzz-worth Moschino collection. Jeremy Scott’s Rat-a-Porter collection didn’t disappoint and you just know that up there in fashion heaven, Franco Moschino was smiling. Inspired by trash and rats, the collection featured looks that literally made trash seem chic. Whether this look was a statement about recycling, or was created just for fun, it worked. It is always nice to see a less serious side of fashion.

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Moschino (Image Credits: Vogue.it)

Fashion With A Social Justice Message

Beginning in the 2000s, many designers began to use their runway shows as vehicles for social justice and to call attention to a particular cause. In 2015, Donatella Verace’s 2015 show donated to Equality Now, an NGO (non-government organization) dedicated to ending violence and discrimination against women and girls. And this season was no exception. Her feminine, flirtatious silhouettes in sheer georgette featured colourful floral embroidery, sequin embellishments and her message… ‘courage’ and ‘loyalty’.

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Versace (Image credits: Versace via ShilpaAhuja.com)

Peek-a-Boo Trend

Fendi reinvented sweater dressing with this peek-a-boo cut out oversized crochet sweater dress worn over a black bodysuit, paired with the hottest red patent leather over-the-knee boots and a red fur-strap bag.

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Fendi (Image Credits: Fendi.com)

Redefining the Classics

Classic pant suits, sweaters, trousers, wool coats and pencil skirts were all seen during fashion week. Some were given a unique twist by designers both in the U.S and in London. In Milan, there was no exception. This look by MSGM, took an otherwise classic pinstripe suit and gave it a tweak, with a smattering of sequins and the now infamous ‘pussy bow’ blouse. A baseball cap and white ‘go-go’ boots completed the look.

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MSGM (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Another twist on a classic is this dramatic tweed jacket with an architectural assymetric collar seen on the runway at Salvatore Ferragamo. Designer Fulvio Rigoni, completed the look with a pair of cropped navy trousers.

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Salvatore Ferragamo (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

At Jil Sander, Lucie and Luke Maier served up a clever take on the classic and ubiquitous ‘puffer’ coat for this stylish over-sized copper metallic version, that works perfectly for either day or evening.

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Jil Sander (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Practical Fashion

While some designers tried to redefine the classics and others filled their collection with fun or social messages, other designers, like Max Mara stuck to practical, wearable fashion. Staying close to their roots of beige and a neutral color palette, creative director Ian Griffiths focused on wardrobe staples in mixed fabrics. Here, a beige sleeveless ribbed turtleneck sweater paired with a pale gold pencil skirt and pumps.

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Max Mara (Image Credits: MaxMara.com)

Female Power

At heritage luxury label, Bottega Veneta, 15-year creative director veteran, Tomas Maier, gave his collection a nod to the shoulder pad! Strong shoulder, strong women, that is what this trend is all about. Here, his wool coat is belted, double-breasted and has a sharply defined shoulder.

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Bottega Veneta (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Themed Collections – Asian & Venetian Invasion

With China as a major inspiration for designers through the ages, at Gucci this season, Alessandro Michele created a cacophonous collection of rich brocades and laces. This look is juxtaposed with a stylized cowboy hat, a pair of white embroidered go-go boots and a parasol that adds to its overall eclectic exoticism.

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Gucci (Image Credits: Gucci.com)

At Alberta Ferretti, Venice was the inspiration behind the collection. Here, the show’s final look was a red velvet cape worn over a red sheer gown – the makeup and filigree earrings gave a carnival feel.

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Alberta Ferretti (Image Credits: AlbertaFerretti.com)

Embellishments, Embellishments and More Embellishments

Dolce & Gabbana’s collection was, as always, rich with embellishments. This look is completely bongers. A sequined jacket with a patchwork of playing cards, paired with playful white graffitied jeans, topped off with a kitchy tiara and blue embellished pumps. Now is that not anti-minimal at its best and the antithesis of ‘less is more’, or what?

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Dolce & Gabbana (Image Credits: DolceGabbana.com)

At Marni, creative director Francesco Risso served up some embellishment with his iridescent coin-shaped sequins sewn onto this off the shoulder sheath dress.

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Marni (Image Credits: Marni.com)

Armani goes New-Age

Who would have ever dreamed that Giorgio Armani, known for simple style made from the finest textiles money can buy, would ever show plastic clothing on the runway? Well he did just that at his Emporio Armani show. Here he showed a pair of laminated checkered pants and paired them with a fur ‘chubby’ jacket. Did you ever?

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Emporio Armani (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

And Armani didn’t stop there. In his Giorgio Armani collection, he also played with mixed textures and materials. This look features a beaded top (or is it a necklace or a shrug?) with hassled details, paired with sumptuous velvet trousers and and a very pretty velvet bow-tie belt.

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Giorgio Armani (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

It seems that Milan fashion had something for everyone: the art lover, fun seeker, classically-oriented, practical and new age fashionista, theme-lover and the growing cohort of socially responsible types. Stay tuned for more fashion week coverage and be sure to send us your thoughts on what you liked best and least from the collections!

Cozy Up to London Fashion Week Trends

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

Fashion week in London has wrapped up for another season. Much like many of the wrapped-up models that walked the runways, the trends veered toward cozy, roomy and bundled-up in yards of luxurious fabrics. From stripes to plaids to polka dots and neutrals to neons, London offered a little something for everybody for Fall 2017. Read More

15 Best Looks from Paris Couture Fashion Week SS17

- - Fashion Shows

While we are currently in the throes of international Fashion Week 2017, we thought we would take a look back at 2017 Couture Week, to get a better perspective of what we are seeing on the ready-to-wear runways and to offer a contrast. Couture will never die as long as  as fashion luxury conglomerates like LVMH and Kering need it to hype their handbags and perfumes. Those of us in the fashion community are grateful, because the couture preserves the art and craft of fashion. Where would we be today without the talented petits mains who so skillfully work their magic in designers’ ateliers? However, this past couture season offered up an interesting mix. Sure there was the ‘over the top’ frou frou of ruffles, embroideries and feathers, but a few new-to-couture designers, introduced bold color, cleaner lines and even minimalistic silhouettes. These elements went a long way in creating memorable couture evening wear that we can’t wait to see on starlets at this weekend’s Oscars.

We selected both timeless and avant-garde looks from Paris Couture Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017 . Let’s take a peek:

Sheer, Embellished and Appliqué

Feathers, sequins, beadwork, embroidery and appliqué set the trend as adornments on evening dresses at Paris Fashion Week. Elie Saab showcased embellished sheer gowns in a beige, pale gold and blue color palette. These dresses were accessorized with slim belts, decorated sunglasses and matching hair scarves.

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Elie Saab (Image Credit: ElieSaab.com)

Givenchy’s cream-colored gown with feathered touches

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Givenchy (Image Credit: Givenchy.com)

Leaving pastels behind, Armani Prive’s collection showcased bright orange as its summer color.

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Armani Privé (Image Credit: Vogue.com)

Minimalistic

While some couturiers were committed to showcasing embellishments, in the true couture tradition (let’s face it, who else but fans of the couture can afford these labor intensive clothes?), Valentino’s collection, in contrast, came as a surprise. Valentino designer, Pierpaolo Piccioli’s red column gown with cut-out slit armholes, focused on clean lines and less structure.

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Valentino (Image Credit: Valentino.com)

At Schiaparelli, Bertrand Guyon is also feeling a more modern couture aesthetic. His white gown, devoid of embellishments, adds drama to this clean shape with the addition of cape that hangs from the shoulders giving the appearance of being suspended from nothing!

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Schiaparelli (Image Credit: ShilpaAhuja.com)

Bridal Gowns

Couture bridal gowns are ‘big’ business. At Paris Fashion Week this selection didn’t disappoint. Zuhair Murad’s offered a peplum-shaped embellished white layered gown with a long sheer veil, something that could also adorn a wedding cake. Victoria’s Secret model, Angel Alessandra Ambrosio, walked the runway wearing Ralph & Russo’s embroidered bridal gown, complete with a full length feathered cape.

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Zuhair Murad (Image Credit: ZuhairMurad.com)

Ralph & Russo : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2016-2017

Ralph & Russo (Image Credit: ShilpaAhuja.com)

The Fantasy Theme

Maria Grazia Chiuri chose a fantasy and fairytale theme for Dior’s new collection, with a pastel color palette, colorful intricate floral appliqués, garden-inspired accessories and tall headdresses.

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Dior (Image Credit: ShilpaAhuja.com)

True to their ‘over-the-top’ reputation, Viktor & Rolf’s SS17 Couture show featured avant-garde Cinderella-like dresses, embellished with randomly shaped patch-work pieces on voluminous tulle skirts.

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Viktor & Rolf (Image Credit: Viktor-Rolf.com)

The Royal Inspiration

Guo Pei’s Marie Antoinette-inspired collection walked the line between museum-worthy and wearable.

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Guo Pei (Image Credit: Vogue.com)

Jean Paul Gaultier, one of fashion’s original ‘bad boys’ and the designer of Madonna’s iconic Conical Bra (which sold at auction for $52,000  in 2012), served up his unique brand of couture with this sheer dress complete with stand-up ruffle collar, circa 16th century. A successful mix of queenly vintage and modern style.

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Jean Paul Gaultier (Image Credit: Vogue.com)

Art Takes the Runway

At Maison Margiela, John Galliano collaborated with tulle artist Benjamin Shine for his artisanal couture collection, featuring a white floor length coat with Shine’s black tulle portrait of a woman dramatically placed across the front of the coat. Does it get any better than this?

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Maison Margiela (Image Credit: MaisonMargiela.com)

Futuristic Fabrics

Dutch designer Iris van Herpen’s couture collection was entitled “Between the Lines.” Van Herpen, known for her artistic collaborations, teamed up with Berlin artist Esther Stocker to explore the design elements of negative and positive spaces, gaps and contours, light and shadow. Laser-cut fabrics and Soft 3D hand-casted PU fabrics were hand-painted in another collaboration with architect Philip Beesley.

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Iris van Harpen (Image Credit: irisvanherpen.com)

Ruffles

At Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld channeled ‘ruffles,’ while attempting to targeting millennials, as his final look was presented on French kid star (Johnny Depp’s) Lily-Rose Depp. A baby pink gown with all over ruffles looked like the perfect prom dress for the wealthy girl whose parents have money to burn.

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Chanel (Image Credit: Chanel.com)

Giambattista Valli’s ruffles adorned the shoulders and hemline. A real show-stopper that is red carpet-worthy, for sure.

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Giambattista Valli (Image Credit: Vogue.com)

Chanel once said, “It is the unseen, unforgettable ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.” Surely today’s designers are creating couture that can’t be forgotten even after the wearers’ departure.

Long Live Couture!
[Top Cover Image Credit: Chanel.com]