University of Fashion Blog

Posts Tagged: "Christian Dior"

Celebrating Women’s History Month: A Tribute to Fashion’s Inspiring Muses

Jean Paul Gaultier and his muse Madonna. (Photo Credit: Herb Ritts)

Happy Woman’s History Month! As we celebrate women and their innumerable accomplishments, UOF would like to pay tribute to the many fashionable women, throughout history, have inspired some of the most influential designers through the decades. Like they say…”behind every great man is a great woman”!

Givenchy and Hepburn go for a stroll together in Paris in an undated photo. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

In the world of fashion, the relationship between designers and their muses is a tale as old as time, a symbiotic dance of  inspiration, creativity and innovation. Throughout history, these duos have shaped the very essence of style, leaving an indelible mark on the fashion landscape. From the glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood to the avant-garde runways of Paris, the bond between male designers and their muses has been a driving force behind some of the most iconic fashion moments. To prove it, we are dedicating this blog to some of these timeless partnerships and would like to hear from YOU as to others you may be in the ‘know’ about and want to share.

PAUL POIRET AND DENISE BOULET

“My wife is the inspiration for my creations, she is the expression of all my ideals,” Poiret said. Here is the designer with his wife Denise Boulet. (Photo Credit: Getty)

At the dawn of the 20th century, Paul Poiret revolutionized fashion with his bold designs and visionary approach. Central to his creative vision was his wife, Denise Boulet. Poiret’s muse and collaborator, Boulet embodied the spirit of his designs, infusing them with grace and elegance. Together, they pioneered the shift from restrictive corsets to flowing, avant-garde silhouettes, forever changing the course of fashion.

HUBERT DE GIVENCHY AND AUDREY HEPBURN

Hubert de Givenchy and his muse Audrey Hepburn in 1988. (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

In the enchanting world of couture, few partnerships have captured the imagination quite like that of Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn. Their collaboration began serendipitously when Hepburn, seeking a wardrobe for the film Sabrina,  crossed paths with Givenchy. The rest, as they say, is history. Hepburn became the epitome of chic sophistication, while Givenchy’s timeless designs adorned her with unparalleled elegance, creating an enduring legacy of style.

CHRISTIAN DIOR AND MIZA BRICARD

Christian Dior’s and his muse Mizza Bricard. (Photo Credit: MilkX TW)

In the aftermath of World War II, Christian Dior emerged as a beacon of hope, ushering in a new era of luxury and opulence with his iconic New Look. Central to his creative vision was Miza Bricard, his muse and confidante. With her impeccable taste and innate sense of style, Bricard inspired Dior to redefine femininity, thus shaping the fashion landscape for generations to come.

COCO CHANEL

Coco Chanel in her Paris apartment. (Photo Credit: Architectural Digest)

Not only male designers had muses. A fiercely independent Coco Chanel was her own muse, embodying the liberated spirit of the modern woman. Chanel’s timeless designs, from the iconic little black dress to the revolutionary Chanel suit, continues to resonate with women worldwide, a testament to her enduring legacy.

YVES SAINT LAURENT, BETTY CATROUX AND LOULOU DE LA FALAISE

Designer Yves Saint Laurent, Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Yves Saint Laurent’s illustrious career was defined by his close relationships with muses Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise. With their androgynous allure and bohemian spirit, Catroux and de la Falaise inspired Saint Laurent to push the boundaries of fashion, creating groundbreaking designs that captured the zeitgeist of the era.

ROY HALSTON AND LIZA MINNELLI

Halston with his muse Liza Minnelli. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

In the dazzling world of Studio 54, Roy Halston reigned supreme, transforming American fashion with his minimalist yet glamorous aesthetic. At the heart of his creative vision was Liza Minnelli, the iconic entertainer whose charisma and allure captivated audiences worldwide. Together, they epitomized the hedonistic glamour of the ’70s, leaving an indelible mark on fashion history.

BOB MACKIE AND CHER

Bob Mackie and his muse Cher. (Photo Credit: Elle)

Few partnerships have ignited the imagination quite like that of Bob Mackie and Cher. With her fearless style and boundary-pushing creativity, Cher became Mackie’s muse, inspiring some of the most unforgettable looks in fashion history. From the infamous sheer gown at the 1974 Met Gala to the elaborate costumes of her concert tours, Mackie’s designs transformed Cher and secured this duo’s place in fashion history books.

AZZEDINE ALAÏA AND GRACE JONES

Azzedine Alaïa and his muse Grace Jones. (Photo Credit: L’Officiel)

Azzedine Alaïa and Grace Jones forged a legendary partnership defined by their shared passion for sexy, avant-garde design. Jones’s striking beauty and fearless attitude inspired Alaïa to create sculptural masterpieces that defied convention, blurring the lines between fashion and art.

RALPH AND RICKY LAUREN

Ralph Lauren with his wife and muse Ricky Lauren. (Photo Credit: Architectural Digest)

Ralph Lauren’s iconic brand epitomizes the American Dream, embodying a vision of timeless elegance and sophistication. Central to his creative vision is his wife, Ricky Lauren, whose impeccable taste and refined sensibility have shaped the brand’s aesthetic for decades, creating a legacy of enduring style and luxury.

MARC JACOBS AND SOFIA COPPOLA

Marc Jacobs and his muse Sofia Coppola. (Photo Credit: L’Officiel)

Another dynamic duo is Marc Jacobs and Sofia Coppola. This creative partnership is defined by their shared love of art, culture, and style. Coppola’s effortless chic and understated elegance inspired Jacobs to create designs that resonate with women of all ages, blurring the lines between fashion and culture.

GIANNI AND DONATELLA VERSACE

Gianni Versace and his muse Donatella Versace. (Photo Credit: Elle)

Gianni Versace’s bold, provocative designs epitomized the excess and glamour of the ’80s and ’90s. Central to his creative vision was his sister, Donatella, whose fierce style and unwavering support propelled the Versace brand to international acclaim, creating a legacy of bold, daring fashion that continues to captivate the world. When Gianni was murdered in 1997, Donatella took control of the Italian Luxury brand and kept her brother’s legacy alive.

HERMÈS AND JANE BIRKIN

Jane Birkin and her namesake bag created by Jean-Louis Dumas of Hermes. (Photo Credit: Wonderland)

The former chairman of Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas met actress Jane Birkin in 1984 and witnessed the contents of Birkin’s carry-on bag fall out while on a flight.  In a 2015 interview with The Telegraph, Birkin recounted that Dumas, who was sitting next to Birkin, said, “you should have one with pockets.” Birkin replied, “The day Hermès make one with pockets I will have that”, and he said: “But I am Hermès and I will put pockets in for you.”  Shortly after the two collaborated, the Birkin was created, becoming one of the most covetable accessories in fashion history. It has been reinvented many times since it was first introduced to the public in the 1980s. The Hermès bag’s classic elements include two rolled handles, a flap top, a touret, a clochette, and four clou “feet” and is available in sizes, 20, 25, 30, 40, 42 and 50 centimeters, some featuring exotic crocodile skin paired with diamond-encrusted white gold hardware. Today, there’s a year’s long wait list with some vintage Birkin bags selling for up to $2 million. Now that’s one successful female muse collaboration!

Care to share your designer muse story?

 

Haute Couture Renaissance: Spring 2024 Collections

- - Fashion Shows

Looks from Chanel’s Spring 2024 haute couture fashion show. (Photo Credit: Su Shan Leong)

In a world marked by fast fashion and fleeting trends, the magnificent realm of haute couture stands as a beacon of unwavering elegance and artisanal excellence. The term “haute couture” itself invokes images of meticulous craftsmanship, exquisite fabrics, and runway shows that transcend mere fashion, evolving into wearable art. As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of style, one cannot help but ponder the relevance of haute couture today and acknowledge its enduring mark on the fashion industry.

Looks from Valentino’s Spring 2024 haute couture fashion show. (Photo Credit: The Impression)

The  words “haute couture” translates to “high sewing” in French, and this meticulous craftsmanship is at the heart of what makes it so unique and relevant. Unlike ready-to-wear collections that cater to mass markets, haute couture is a celebration of bespoke tailoring, where garments are meticulously crafted by skilled artisans to fit the individual client’s body like a second skin. This dedication to perfection ensures that each piece is not merely clothing but a work of art, an embodiment of the designer’s vision, and a testament to the client’s personality.

One might argue that haute couture is an anachronism in our fast-paced, digitally driven world, but it is precisely this anachronism that makes it so significant. In an era dominated by immediacy, haute couture is a reminder that true artistry takes time. The months spent handcrafting a single gown, the attention to every minute detail, and the emphasis on quality over quantity are a stark departure from the disposable nature of contemporary fashion. Haute couture embodies a philosophy of mindful consumption and an appreciation for the art of slow fashion.

Looks from Fendi’s Spring 2024 haute couture fashion show. (Photo Credit: CNN)

Beyond its intrinsic value, haute couture serves as the laboratory of innovation for the fashion industry. Designers who partake in this rarefied world push the boundaries of creativity, experimenting with avant-garde techniques, materials, and designs that often find their way into more accessible fashion later on. The runway shows become a visual symphony, where designers collaborate with skilled artisans, photographers, and makeup artists to create a mesmerizing experience that transcends the mere display of garments and produce some of THE most amazing social media images. Many of these posts are suitable for framing.

Looks from Robert Wun’s Spring 2024 haute couture fashion show. (Photo Credit: People)

The allure of haute couture extends beyond its aesthetic splendor. It is a powerful storyteller, reflecting the spirit of its time. Designers often draw inspiration from cultural, historical, or social influences, using their collections to make powerful statements or challenge conventional norms. Haute couture is a canvas for self-expression, allowing designers to weave narratives that resonate with the collective consciousness.

Furthermore, haute couture plays a pivotal role in sustaining traditional craftsmanship. In an era where technology threatens to replace skilled artisans with machines, haute couture remains a sanctuary for the preservation of age-old techniques. The ateliers are a haven for master embroiderers, seamstresses, and tailors whose expertise has been honed through generations. By investing in these crafts, haute couture ensures the survival of skills that might otherwise be lost in the relentless march of progress.

Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner are seen arriving at the Maison Margiela Fashion show. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

And while Haute couture was filled with celebrity sightings such as Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, the Kardashian and Jenner clan, Rihanna, and Natalie Portman to name a few, the stars did not outshine the triumphant return of Haute Couture at its best.

Looks from Christian Dior’s Spring 2024 haute couture fashion show. (Photo Credit: LVMH)

Of course, there were plenty of beautifully crafted pieces such as airy chiffon and tweed at Chanel, and Dior’s quiet luxury extravaganza. But there were a few shows that really broke the mold and pushed boundaries, that we are highlighting below:

MAISON MARGIELA

Video of Maison Margiela Haute Couture Spring Summer 2024 Collection. Video Courtesy of YouTube FF Channel.

John Galliano is a master at storytelling and for his Maison Margiela Couture Spring 2024 collection, the maestro turned out one of the most celebrated and emotional couture collections for the luxury fashion house to date. The show had it all, theatrical, rebellious, and oh so sexy. According to the house notes —it started with Brassai’s 1920s and ’30s portraits of the night-time underbelly of Paris’s clubs and streets.

This dark yet sexy inspiration turned into a dramatic work of art in Galliano’s hand. The extremely creative designer created a collection filled with extreme corsetry, padded hips, and erotically sheer lace dresses, paired with wildly imaginative hair, chiffon-masked makeup, and eerie doll-like body-modifications. “Galliano also created some scandalous hourglass dresses there was pubic hair to be seen through tulle and lace (they were merkins on underwear, but still bound to stir up a storm)” according to Vogue.

This certainly will be one show that will be praised for years to come as one of Galliano’s best and most theatrical for the House of Mason Margiela. And after years of Quiet Luxury fashion, we are all ready for dramatic fashion again.

SCHIAPARELLI

Video of Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring Summer 2024 Collection.  Video Courtesy of YouTube FF Channel.

In a galaxy far, far away….. Daniel Roseberry had ignited the Schiaparelli house into one of the most sought out brands in only a few short seasons, and for his Spring 2024 Couture Collection, he did not disappoint his A-List fans. His Sci-Fi meets Western-inspired collection came complete with a robot baby and all.

Roseberry looked to both the future and the past for inspiration. The creative director for Schiaparelli melded retro technology, classic sci-fi movies and a nod to his Texan childhood. He created an exquisite exoskeleton dresses and an entire 3D spine inspired by both Elsa Schiaparelli’s radical 1938 skeleton dress and Giger aliens from the Alien movie series. “Dressage braids” inspired the knots on a cream leather suit that nearly looked like it could have been a space uniform from NASA and let’s not forget the nestling robot baby on a model’s hip – she was wearing a white singlet and conceptual couture cargo pants—Roseberry’s tribute to Sigourney Weaver as Ripley. “I’ve watched the Alien series, like, six times,” he said in a backstage interview with Vogue.

As for Roseberry Texas roots, there were silver-tipped Western belt buckles which formed a corset, an intricate embroidered jacket with fringe detail, and let’s not forget the horse-tail gown that Zendaya rocked at the show.

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER

Video of Gaultier by Simone Rocha Haute Couture Spring Summer 2024 Collection. Video Courtesy of YouTube FF Channel.

All eyes are on the Maison Jean Paul Gaultier as the illustrious designer, Simone Rocha takes the helm for the Haute Couture Spring 2024 show, a mesmerizing fusion of two visionary forces.

Simone Rocha, renowned for her poetic designs that seamlessly blend tradition and modernity, steps into the spotlight, bringing her signature ethereal touch to the hallowed halls of Gaultier.

The show opens with a flourish of cascading ruffles, paying homage to Gaultier’s bold and irreverent spirit. The juxtaposition of Rocha’s signature pearl embellishments against Gaultier’s iconic Breton stripes creates a visual symphony that resonates with both innovation and tradition. As each model glides down the runway, the fusion of these two design philosophies becomes a harmonious celebration of fashion’s ever-evolving tapestry.

The collection was filled with Gaultier-inspired pink cross-laced satin corsetry, and paid tribute to the house classics, turning his Breton stripes into a t-shirt made entirely of ribbons and bows.

Rocha also created exquisite haute couture ballgown—romantic-ballerina shapes made from layers and layers of tulle. It was a magnificent show that won the audience over—and according to Vogue, Rocha received a giant hug from Monsieur Gaultier himself.

So, tell us, what was your favorite haute couture show this season?

THE ENDURING MAGIC OF HAUTE COUTURE: FALL 2023

Backstage at the Iris Van Herpen Fall 2023 Couture Collection Runway Show. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Despite the backdrop of Paris protests, as a result of the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk, fashion’s elite indulged in the finer things of life and high tailoring during Haute Couture’s Fall 2023 season. Couture took center stage last week as fashion insiders and celebrities sashayed throughout the most fashionable city in the world. The Paris Couture season, which ran from July 3rd to the 6th, was jam packed with whimsical and fanciful creations and blew up every fashionista’s social media channel.

Cardi B rocks Couture Fashion Week. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Haute couture is the epitome of high fashion, it carries with it a rich history spanning over a century. From its origins in the late 19th century to its evolution into the modern era, haute couture has remained a symbol of creativity, craftsmanship, and timeless elegance. In today’s society, where trends come and go in the blink of an eye, it is worth exploring the roots of haute couture and examining its enduring relevance in shaping the fashion landscape.

THE HISTORY OF HAUTE COUTURE

A gown from House of Worth dated 1882. (Photo Credit: Met Museum)

The story of haute couture begins in Paris during the mid-19th century. It was Charles Frederick Worth, an Englishman residing in Paris, who is credited as the ‘father of haute couture’. Worth’s innovative approach involved creating custom-made garments for individual clients, departing from the prevailing practice of mass-produced attire. By infusing creativity, impeccable craftsmanship, and luxurious materials, Worth elevated fashion to an art form and set the stage for the birth of haute couture.

The early 20th century witnessed the rise of prestigious fashion houses that defined the golden era of haute couture. Designers such as Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent became synonymous with unparalleled elegance and sophistication. These designers crafted exquisite garments that reflected the spirit of their time, capturing the essence of societal shifts and women’s evolving roles. The allure of haute couture grew as these visionaries introduced iconic silhouettes, such as the “New Look,” and groundbreaking techniques that transformed the fashion landscape.

In today’s fast-paced world driven by fast fashion, mass production and rapid fashion trends, the artistry and enchantment of haute couture continues to shine as a beacon of beauty and craftsmanship. Those of us who value the talent of the petit mains who create these masterpieces in every designer’s atelier, know and respect the meticulous attention to detail that goes into creating these exquisite garments that transcend time. In today’s society, where individuality is cherished, the magic of haute couture remains an essential and awe-inspiring force.

THE RELEVANCE OF HAUTE COUTURE IN TODAY’S SOCIETY

Looks from Giambattista Valli’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Acielle)

As another season of haute couture has come to an end and the debate over whether or not couture is still revenant, no one can deny that the artistic expression and innovation was well worth it (not to mention the big marketing opportunities brands gain from  showing a couture collection). Haute couture serves as a canvas for designers to unleash their creative expertise and push the boundaries of fashion. It is a playground of innovation, where new techniques, materials, and silhouettes are explored. The avant-garde creations showcased in haute couture collections often serve as a source of inspiration for ready-to-wear lines, influencing trends and shaping the future of fashion.

A look from Schiaparelli’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Acielle)

A hallmark of haute couture lies in its impeccable craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. Each garment is meticulously constructed by skilled artisans, employing traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations. The use of luxurious fabrics, intricate hand-sewn embellishments, and delicate embroideries creates garments of unparalleled quality and splendor. Haute couture reminds us of the enduring value of artisanal work and the irreplaceable beauty of true craftsmanship.

In a world of mass production, where conformity often reigns, haute couture celebrates individuality and offers exclusivity. Just like a Savile Row suit, each haute couture garment is custom-made for a specific client, ensuring a perfect fit and reflecting their unique personality and style. It provides a luxurious experience that fosters a sense of identity and self-expression, allowing individuals to embrace their distinctiveness in a world of uniformity.

Haute couture plays a pivotal role in preserving cultural heritage and traditional craftsmanship. Collaborations between designers and skilled artisans ensure the continuity of time-honored techniques, from intricate embroidery to hand weaving. By intertwining contemporary design with cultural traditions, haute couture showcases the richness of global heritage, paying homage to diverse craft traditions and sustaining their legacy.

HAUTE COUTURE FALL 2023 SHOWS

Looks from Chanel’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Acielle)

The Fall 2023 Haute Couture season transported us to a realm of unparalleled creativity, innovation, and artistry. From the breathtaking designs that grace the runway to the meticulous craftsmanship that brings them to life, haute couture continues to enchant and inspire. As we witness the magic unfold in Paris, we are reminded of the enduring power of fashion as an art form and its ability to captivate and transport us into a world of imagination. The Fall 2023 haute couture shows leave us in awe, eagerly awaiting the next chapter of fashion’s captivating tale. Here are some showstopping looks from each show that captured the essence of the season.

SCHIAPARELLI

A look from Schiaparelli’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

CHRISTIAN DIOR

Looks From Christian Dior’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Christian Dior)

THOM BROWNE

A look from Thom Browne’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

CHANEL

A look from Chanel’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

ARMANI PRIVE

Looks from Armani Privé’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Acielle)

BALENCIAGA

A look from Balenciaga’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

VALENTINO

Looks From Valentino’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar)

FENDI

A look from Fendi’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER

A look from Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

IRIS VAN HERPEN

A look from Iris van Herpen’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

VIKTOR & ROLF

A look from Viktor & Rolf’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

GIAMBATTISTA VALLI

A look from Giambattista Valli’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

So tell us, which couture show inspired you the most?

 

 

 

8 EXCITING FASHION EXHIBITS TO CHECK OUT IN 2023

Thierry Mugler: Couturissime (Photo Credit: Hypebeast)

Beat the winter blues by immersing yourself in real-life fashion experiences this season as museums around the world are offering plenty of brilliant fashion exhibitions. After all, nothing beats seeing the magic of intricate embroidery, statement-making designs, or avant-garde  silhouettes up-close-and-personal. Louise Wallenberg, the author of Art, Life and the Fashion Museum, perfectly stated, “Costume can tell us more than any other type of museum collection about how people looked, felt, and lived at any particular time. A garment can be regarded as the remaining outer shell of a living person and will reflect that person’s taste, position or way of life.”

Fashion exhibits give us a glimpse of history through garments, as well as a desire to escape into a whimsical fantasy that beautiful clothing can conjure up. Over the last decade, museums and fashion houses have created more fashion exhibits then ever before. In 2019, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams opened at London’s V&A and broke the museum’s attendance records, attracting over 700,000 people across its seven-month tenure (great news: the exhibit is currently showing in Tokyo). Today, at V&A in London, the Africa Fashion exhibition (until April 16, 2023) has proven to be so popular that the museum is looking to hold on to over 70 pieces for its permanent collection. Meanwhile, in 2018, the Heavenly Bodies exhibit at the New York Met, blew past attendance rates out of the water.

Sure, it takes years of work by curators, historians, and creatives, but viewing a curated fashion exhibit can be an eye-opening experience for fashion lovers with people coming from all over the world to see a well curated exhibit. From original sketches to the final result, coming face to face with a designers perfectly lit and positioned creative process is mesmerizing –it’s so rare to have access to these treasures in an industry forever thriving off its exclusivity.

If you’re looking for a list of museums that offer fashion exhibitions, check out UoF’s FREE list located under the Resources tab on our Home Page.

If you’re looking to get educated on the all things fashion industry related, check out the Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry Second Edition, co-written by our founder, Francesca Sterlacci.

So, as you make your plans for the year, here’s a list of the shows you should be adding to your calendar:

Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse

Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) International in Melbourne, Australia until April 16, 2023 (Photo Credit: LVH)

Alexander McQueen is one of the most original fashion designers in recent history. Celebrated for his conceptual and technical virtuosity, McQueen’s critically acclaimed collections synthesized his proficiency in tailoring and dressmaking with visual references that spanned time, geography, and media.

Showcasing more than 120 garments and accessories, Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse offers insight into McQueen’s far-reaching sources of inspiration, his creative processes and capacity for storytelling. Displayed alongside McQueen’s innovative designs are more than eighty artworks – spanning painting, sculpture, textiles, prints, photography and decorative arts – that help to illuminate the interdisciplinary impulse that defined his career. Drawn from the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art – the exhibition reveals common themes and visual reference points that connect his practice with that of artists and designers throughout history. McQueen’s designs were always personal and complex responses to the world around him: he once stated, “fashion is just the medium’”. McQueen’s interests were broad and his inspirations both encyclopedic and autobiographical: he was an avid reader of books on subjects that included, art, design, literature and history. His love of fashion was evident from a young age, and was equally influenced by popular culture as by visits to museums. Throughout his career, McQueen distilled a multitude of ideas and experiences, bringing together seemingly disparate references to create collections that pushed far beyond the bounds of conventional fashion design.

Thierry Mugler: Couturissime

Thierry Mugler: Couturissime at the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York until May 7, 2023 (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

Thierry Mugler: Couturissime is a travelling retrospective that explores the edgy universe of the visionary French designer who created bold silhouettes using unorthodox techniques and materials.

In the 1970s, Mugler defined trends with his acclaimed “glamazon,” a chic, modern woman whose style evolved from the hippie fashions of the 1960s. In the ’80s and ’90s, he galvanized the renaissance of haute couture through his provocative collections and theatrical fashion shows, which involved grandiose locations and the era’s most iconic models.

The exhibition includes an expanded section dedicated to fragrance, centered on Mugler’s scent Angel.

Gianni Versace Retrospective

Gianni Versace Retrospective at the Groninger Museum, in Groningen, Netherlands until May 7, 2023 (Video Credit: YouTube Groninger Museum)

In the Gianni Versace Retrospective, the Groninger Museum brings to life the career of the eccentric Italian fashion designer, one of the most influential couturiers in history. The colorful, daring exhibition takes visitors inside a world of extravagant garments and lavish catwalk shows where clothes, pop music and design come together in spectacular fashion.

Along with couture pieces, the Gianni Versace Retrospective includes books, advertising images, and other objects that show the Italian designer’s versatility and his impact on the fashion world.

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Christian Dior Designer of Dreams at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo until May 28, 2023 (Photo Credit: Luxferity)

The Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibit takes on a new narrative as a tribute to Japanese culture. The major retrospective spotlights more than seventy-five years of the House of Dior, from the artistic influences of the founding couturier to the various artistic directors who have succeeded him: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

The exhibition retraces Christian Dior’s fascination with the creative richness of Japan, which inspired his collections from the outset.

Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty

Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, from May 5–July 16, 2023 (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

A major retrospective of the iconic designer, who passed away in 2019, will examine Lagerfeld’s stylistic vocabulary as expressed through his lines and aesthetic themes that appear time and again.

The exhibition will explore Lagerfeld’s complex working methodology, tracing the evolution of his fashions from the two dimensional to the three dimensional, said Curator Andrew Bolton, “The fluid lines of his sketches found expression in recurring aesthetic themes in his fashions, uniting his designs for Balmain, Patou, Chloé, Fendi, Chanel, and his eponymous label, Karl Lagerfeld, creating a diverse and prolific body of work unparalleled in the history of fashion.”

Andy Warhol: The Textiles

Andy Warhol: The Textiles at The Fashion & Textile Museum, London, until September 10, 2023 (Photo Credit: Texintel)

This exhibit explores the beautiful and fascinating textile designs by the influential pop artist and icon Andy Warhol and his unknown and virtually unrecorded world of textile designs. Dating from his early career as a commercial designer and illustrator in the 1950s and early 1960s, Warhol’s textiles are now considered an important part of his body of work.

The exhibition includes over 45 of Warhol’s textile patterns from the 1950s and early 1960s, depicting an array of colorful objects – ice cream sundaes, delicious toffee apples, colorful buttons, cut lemons, pretzels and jumping clowns exhibited both as fabric lengths, some in multiple colorways, and as garments. Some of the most important manufacturers in American textile history are also represented, such as Stehli Silks, Fuller Fabrics Inc., and M Lowenstein and Sons.

Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto

Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto at V&A Museum, London, September 16, 2023  to February 25, 2024 (Photo Credit: Another Magazine)

 

Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto exhibition will chart the evolution of Coco Chanel’s iconic design style and the establishment of the House of CHANEL, from the opening of her first millinery boutique in Paris in 1910, to the showing of her final collection in 1971.

At a time when Paul Poiret dominated the world of women’s fashion, in 1912 Chanel went to Deauville then to Biarritz and Paris, and subsequently revolutionized the world of Haute Couture, adorning the bodies of her contemporaries with what amounted to a fashion manifesto. The first part of the exhibition is chronological; it recounts her early beginnings with a few emblematic pieces, including the famous 1916 marinière, the sailor blouse, in jersey. The second part of the exhibition is themed around her dress codes: the braided tweed suit, two-tone pumps, the 2.55 quilted bag, black and beige naturally, but also red, white and gold… and, of course, the costume and the fine jewelry that were intrinsic to the Chanel look.

IRIS VAN HERPEN

Iris van Herpen at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, from November 29, 2023 – April 28, 2024 (Photo Credit: Musée des Arts Décoratifs)

Organized as an immersive and sensory exploration into the designer’s universe, this retrospective will merge fashion, contemporary art, design and science, and revolve around eight themes that identify the very essence of one of the most avant-garde creators of her generation.

Founded in 2007, and now a member of the Fédération de la Haute Couture, the Maison of Iris van Herpen is known for fusing technology and traditional couture craftsmanship. Her work contemplates fashion as an interdisciplinary language and dynamic entity, which often results in various collaborations with other creatives and thinkers, such as sculptor Anthony Howe, architect Philip Beesley or even more recently with the artist Casey Curran.

 

So, if you are a designer, or among the ‘fashion curious’ crowd, these fashion exhibitions are activities that you should be adding to your calendar. Who doesn’t need a little design inspiration once in a while.

So tell us, what fashion exhibits are you excited to see this year?

WHAT’S ALL THE BUZZ BEHIND THIS YEAR’S SPRING 2023 COUTURE SEASON?

- - Fashion Shows

Looks from Viktor & Rolf’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Victor & Rolf)

I don’t know about you, but my phone hasn’t stop blowing up ever since Paris couture season started Monday, January 23rd. Haute Couture week kicked off with an unrecognizable, red-crystal-covered Doja Cat attending the Schiaparelli in a head-to-toe 30,000 red Swarovski crystals outfit. The rapper later showed up at the Viktor and Rolf show with eyebrows, a mustache, and a soul patch made from lashes. Looks like the place to be and be seen is Paris Couture Week. So, if anyone thinks couture is dead…think again!

Doja Cat wearing a red Swarovski crystal outfit

Rapper Dojo Cat wearing a Swarovski crystal-encrusted outfit (Image Credit: Marc Piasecki for Getty Images)

Haute Couture, translated as “high sewing” or “high dressmaking,” is a term that is reserved for the most exclusive and expensive garments in the fashion industry. These garments are custom-made for individual clients and are crafted by the most skilled ‘petits mains’ in the business by some of the most renown fashion houses in the world. The question of whether Haute Couture is still relevant today is a complex one, as it touches on issues of craftsmanship, artistry, exclusivity, and luxury. On one hand, Haute Couture represents the highest level of craftsmanship and artistry in the fashion industry, using the finest materials and employing techniques that are nearly extinct. The level of attention to detail and the quality of the finished product is unmatched in the fashion world and yet, in today’s fashion world, where climate change, sustainability, and attempts at reducing landfills is front and center, what purpose does the couture really serve?  If you ask fashion pundits and the fashion flock, you’ll hear that “haute couture is seen as a celebration of the art of fashion and the skills of the people who create it”. And so, it’s no wonder that a brand like Victor & Rolf, whose couture show this season caused such a controversy with their topsy-turvy, upside down and sideways dresses was a huge hit that nearly broke the internet.

In celebration of the art & craft of haute couture, University of Fashion’s social media channels (Facebook  –  Instagram) is featuring some of its couture sewing techniques this week so that you can see just how special the ‘petits mains’ are (little hands) that create these fabulous clothes. Watch as we demo how to make handmade flowers as seen on the runway at Elie Saab, the hand-rolled sheer hems at Victor & Rolf, how to sew lace side seams from Chanel and the art of tambour beading from Valentino.

Looks from Chanel’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Style Du Monde)

In addition to craft appreciation, Haute Couture is about fantasy. And in today’s topsy-turvy world, who doesn’t need an escape hatch? To those who can afford the price tag, Haute Couture is seen as a symbol of wealth and status, for the rest of us, it’s about fantasy and honoring the art, craft and amazing techniques that are used in their creation. Haute Couture collections inspire ready-to-wear fashion designers and although the materials and craftsmanship are well beyond reach for ready-to-wear brands, ideas often trickle down to the mass market, influencing trends within the broader fashion industry.

A look from Elie Saab’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

So, when you hear the buzz about whether the couture is relevant today, in a world where fast fashion and the pressure to consume less is front and center, think of Haute Couture as a living art museum where the most talented people in the world dedicate their lives to preserving a craft, creating art-to-wear pieces that are not mass-produced and sold to stores by the dozens. In sharp contrast to the fast-paced, consumerist culture of today, couture clothes are meant to last a lifetime, will never end up in a landfill – more likely in a museum – and are meant to be passed down to future generations. Viva la Haute Couture!

Here are a few of the most dramatic moments of the Spring 2023 Couture Season:

A look from Iris van Herpen’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

SCHIAPARELLI

Looks from Schiaparelli’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Hypebeast)

Daniel Roseberry blew up the internet with his fake Schiaparelli taxidermy pieces for his Spring 2023 Couture show.

CHRISTIAN DIOR

Looks from Christian Dior’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Grazia)

Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired by archival pictures of Josephine Baker performing at Dior couture in 1951 New York. Baker was a leading light of the Jazz Age cabaret in Paris.

GIAMBATTISTA VALLI

Looks from Giambattisa Valli ‘s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Perfect Wedding Magazine)

Giambattisa Valli is living la vita dolce with a couture collection filled with beautiful colors and plenty of optimism for brighter days ahead.

CHANEL

Looks from Chanel’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Elle)

Virginie Viard played circus ringmaster for her charming Chanel Couture show with a menagerie of mobile animal sculptures and all.

ARMANI PRIVÉ

Looks from Armani Prive’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Style Du Monde)

Giorgio Armani can surely use a lesson in editing as the designer sent out 77 looks for his Armani Privé Couture collection that was inspired by harlequins.

RONALD VAN DER KEMP

A look from Ronald van der Kemp’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Ronald van der Kemp has taken sustainability to a new level as he turned repurposed deadstock into a glamourous and fun couture collection.

VICTOR & ROLF

A look from Viktor & Rolf’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Rolf Snoeren and Viktor Horsting, the duo behind the label Viktor & Rolf sent out a delightfully topsy – turvy collection.

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER

A look from Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Haider Ackerman is the fourth designer to create a one-season collaboration for the house of Jean Paul Gaultier since Gaultier’s retirement. For his couture collaboration, Ackerman created a chic line-up filled with the body-sharp tailoring and scissored draping for which he has become known.

VALENTINO

A look from Valentino’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Inspired by the 1980’s club scene, from Studio 54 to London’s New Romantic Blitz Club, Pierpaolo Piccioli, the designer behind Valentino, offered a youthful take by literally taking couture to the club.

FENDI

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Kim Jones created a ravishingly delicate collection for his Fendi Couture runway show with plenty of lingerie-inspired pieces.

So tell us, when you look at couture do you appreciate the craft and consider it art?

PRE-FALL TRENDS & CELEBRATING MLK DAY

- - Trends

Looks from Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dior)

Happy 2023! As we all look with cautious optimism toward to a post pandemic world, fashion designers seemed to be conflicted when creating their Pre-Fall 2023 collection: practicality vs drama. For non-followers of fashion, most clothes seen on the runway seem frivolous, unwearable and created solely to shock ‘n awe. For the most part, that’s absolutely the truth. Do you ever  watch a runaway show and say, “who’d ever wear that?” Well, you’re not alone. Most runway fashion are created for social media click bait. However, there are moments of wearable/salable fashion and those are featured in a fashion season called ‘Pre-Fall’.

Before we talk about some of the 2023 pre-fall trends, let’s discuss what this ‘season’ actually means.  For starters, it’s the longest-running of all the fashion seasons (Spring, Summer, Resort Fall, Pre-Fall and Couture). It’s open to buyers and press in November and wraps up on the heels of spring couture in January. Usually, pre-fall collections offer more commercial looks, thus giving retailers the opportunity to introduce new merchandise to their customers between the fall and spring collections. Pre-fall, like resort, is an extremely important selling season with merchandise available on the sales floor and on e-commerce sites for up to six months.

A look from Balmain’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

Today it has become increasingly difficult to define a particular season as designers show various interpretations of what exactly “pre-fall” means. The name (pre-fall) refers to autumn, but the deliveries hit stores and shopping sites in the beginning of summer. Confused yet? Designers present everything from fur coats to crochet dresses and everything in between. So, the terminology is perhaps a misnomer to many designers, retailers, and consumers. So shouldn’t the season be looked at as a transitional one? As designers address the needs of clients worldwide, where temperatures vary dramatically, especially as we experience climate change, and depending on what continent you live.

Chanel Pre-Fall 2023 is the first European fashion house to show in Sub-Saharan Africa. (Photo Credit: ID Magazine)Pre-fall can also be looked at as a prelude to the next runway collection; an opportunity to test what works and doesn’t work with clients. For many designers, pre-fall can help lay-out the groundwork for many of the silhouettes , colors, and ideas that appear in the following season.

So, as we continue to contemplate the churning out of merch that leads to more clothes in stores with less than stellar sales and their affect on our planet, here are the key Pre-Fall ‘practicality vs drama’ trends:

Looks from Carolina Herrera’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Carolina Herrera)

 

DARK ROMANCE

Netflix’s series Wednesday is breaking records for the streaming service, so it’s no surprise that Wednesday Adams has become a fashion muse. For pre-fall designers are showcasing a number of black lace looks.

A look from Etro’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Etro)

A look from Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini)

A look from Chanel Métiers d’art’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Stella McCartney’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Stella McCartney)

A look from Batsheva’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Batsheva)

IN TRENCHES

This Pre-Fall season the iconic trench coat is back in a major way, but these variations are anything but basic.

Looks from Carolina Herrera’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Carolina Herrera)

A look from Erdem’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Erdem)

A look from Lafayette 148’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Lafayette 148)

A look from Victoria Beckham’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Victoria Beckham)

A look from Stella McCartney’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Stella McCartney)

POCKET CHANGE

One of the biggest Y2K micro trends has been the return of oversized cargo pockets. From safari-inspired jackets to elegant sequin eveningwear. It looks like the cargo trend is here to stay thanks to its practically and ease.

Looks from Brandon Maxwell’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Brandon Maxwell)

A look from Ser.o.ya’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ser.o.ya)

A look from Et Ochs’ Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Et Ochs)

A look from 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Diesel’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Diesel)

KNIT WIT

Sultry knits take center stage this season from effortless dresses to cropped cardigans.

A look from Givenchy’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Givenchy)

A look from Ferragamo’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ferragamo)

A look from Hervé Leger’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Hervé Leger)

A look from Proenza Schouler’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Proenza Shouler)

A look from Thom Browne’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Thom Browne)

IN FRINGE

Designers are getting frisky this season with a variety of fringe looks from dramatic capes to sexy skirts.

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Roberto Cavalli)

A look from LaPointe’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: LaPoint)

A look from Oscar de la Renta’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Oscar de la Renta)

A look from Hervé Leger’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Hervé Leger)

A look from Proenza Schouler’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Proenza Schouler)

COLLAR UP

Dramatic collars are back this season with a fresh take on the prim and proper motif.

A look from Erdem’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Erdem)

A look from Etro’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Etro)

A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Alberta Ferretti)

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Roberto Cavalli)Balmain

GETTING READY TO CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH

As the Pre-Fall season wraps on January 16th, the Martin Luther King holiday, and as we prepare to celebrate Black History Month in February, UOF wants to highlight a few of our favorite pre-fall looks created by people of color:

A look from Olivier Rousteing’s Balmain Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Christopher John Rogers)

 

A video about Rihanna’s X Fenty upcoming collection. Video Credit Fashion Today on YouTube

 

PARIS FASHION WEEK SPRING 2023: THE THEATRICS OF IT ALL

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

Looks from Dior’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Dior)

Au revoir fashion month! Fashion’s grand finale, Paris Fashion Week, wrapped up Tuesday, Oct. 4th and it was a full 9 days of back-to-back shows, parties, and events. The IRL runway shows were packed with guests and celebrities, and the week was back to pre-pandemic levels. The fashion was magnificent as the French have a flare for the theatrical, ranging from pannier looks (Panniers or side hoops are women’s undergarments worn in the 17th and 18th centuries to extend the width of the skirts at the side while leaving the front and back relatively flat), to asymmetrical hemlines, bra tops, and catsuits.

Paris Fashion Week was filled with just as much excitement on the runways and off.

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

At Loewe, guests were sent a red anthurium flower as the invitation as the bold flower appeared on dresses, modelled as bra cups and breastplates made from metal covered in ceramic paint.

A look from Ester Manas’ Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Ester Manas celebrated ALL women. Her Spring 2023 show notes stated that ‘Everyone is welcome’, this was clear with the collection’s size-inclusive cast.

Stella McCartney and her models celebrate her Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Stella McCartney)

Stella McCartney is one of the biggest designers championing sustainable clothing and this season was her most sustainable collection to date, using 87% conscious materials.

A look from Junya Watababe’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Junya Watanabe returned to Paris with a bang. The models sported fantastic New Romantic wigs and strutted to a soundtrack of Duran Duran.

A look from Balenciaga’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

The set at Balenciaga was an immense dimly lit mud pit that stank of damp soil as the poor models trudged around the perimeter. The show opened with Ye dressed in a multi-pocketed security guard jacket. Demna Gvasalia, the creative director for the brand, described the set as a ‘metaphor for digging for truth’.

Maria Grazia Chiuri on the runway of her Christian Dior Show with Dutch choreographers Imre and Marne van Opstal and their troupe who performed during the event. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Inspired by Catherine de Medici, who is recognized for bringing high heels, corsets, and Burano lace to the French court, Maria Grazia Chiuri riffed on the wide-skirt silhouette from that era for Dior’s Spring 2023. At the center of the runway was a grotto set by French artist Eva Jospin and a performance by dancers and choreographers Marne and Imre Van Opstal and their troupe.

Cher closes Balmain Spring 2023 Runway Show in a custom jumpsuit with designer Olivier Rousteing. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Cher made a cameo appearance at Balmain’s festival at Stade Jean-Bouin. She is the new face of Balmain’s handbag campaign, and the star joined creative director Olivier Rousteing for his bow.

The French artist Philippe Parreno began planning the Louis Vuitton set in June and construction began in August. (Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton)

A huge ‘monster flower’ installation designed by artist Philippe Parreno pulsated at the heart of the Louis Vuitton show, complete with lightbulb chandeliers whizzing about over ahead.

Victoria Beckham poses with family members Cruz, Harper, husband David, Romeo, Brooklyn and Brooklyn’s wife, Nicola Peltz, at her runway show. (Photo Credit: WireImage)

Victoria Beckham’s Paris runway debut brought a sexier edge to the brand, set against the backdrop of the cloisters of Val-de-Grâce. The Beckham family were all in attendance to cheer her on.

Issey Miyake’s runway show. (Photo Credit: Issey Miyake)

The first Issey Miyake show since the founder’s death in August, opened with a portrait of the late designer on big screens displaying one of his quotes, ‘I believe there is hope in design. Design evokes surprise and joy in people.’

Zendaya made a stunning appearance at the Valentino Spring 2023 Show in a sheer crystal embellished bodysuit from the brand. (Photo Credit: Elle)

Zendaya made a stunning appearance at the Valentino’s show during Paris Fashion Week and took a front seat to the runway. The actress wore a sheer bodysuit covered in tiny crystals covering a pair of black short-shorts, all from Valentino’s Spring 2022 collection.

Blackpink’s Rosé attended Saint Laurent in a black minidress. (Photo Credit: WWD)

K-Pop sensation Blackpink took over Paris Fashion Week as bandmembers made various appearances. Rosé attended Saint Laurent in a black minidress, Jisoo paired a black mini with fishnets at Dior and Jennie Kim looked absolutely delightful in a colorful, knit look at Chanel.

Kylie Jenner and Khloé Kardashian heading to Baleciaga’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Kylie Jenner also made a splash at Paris Fashion Week as the reality star popped up in multiple front rows and events. She definitely went out of her comfort zone as she wore bold fashion looks.

Bella Hadid Closing Show at Coperni’s Spring 2023 Collection. Video Courtesy of YouTube The Front Row

In a runway moment that evoked the iconic Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 1999 show, in which Shalom Harlow’s white dress was live-painted on the runway by two robots as she stood on a rotating platform, Coperni designers Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant sprayed a dress onto Bella Hadid before the audience’s eyes. It was a moment very clearly engineered to go viral, but in that respect, it was a massive success: The brand gained hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers in the days after the show, and a post depicting the moment garnered over 2 million likes in just 48 hours, according to Nylon Magazine.

Doja Cat took Paris Fashion Week by storm. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Doja Cat was a front row fixture all month long, sometimes putting the collections on the runways to shame. The entertainer is definitely having fun with fashion.

Off-White’s tribute to founder Virgil Abloh during Paris Fashion Week. (Photo Credit: Off-White)

Spring 2023 marked Ib Kamara’s first, as the art and image director at Off-White in the wake of founder Virgil Abloh’s passing, and the show — complete with a live musical performance and a dancers — was a lovely celebration of the Abloh’s life, work, and legacy.

Thom Browne’s Spring 2023 Runway Cadillac. (Photo Credit: HighSnobSociety)

It doesn’t matter where Thom Browne shows, his runway extravaganzas are nothing short of magic. This season, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez shut down the runway by climbing into a pink Cadillac as Aretha Franklin song of the same name blasted from the speakers.

BIZZAREST MOMENT OF PARIS FASHION WEEK

Candace Owens and Kanye West at his Yeezy Season 9 sow in their controversial shirts. (Photo Credit: Candace Owens/ Twitter)

Kanye West — who legally changed his name to Ye — sparked controversy in his black long-sleeve tee with its statement, “White Lives Matter” which is considered a “hate slogan” by the Anti-Defamation League, during his Yeezy Season 9 event at Paris Fashion Week on Monday, October 10th. His look was on full display as the designer gave a speech during the opening of the presentation. It was also featured in an image uploaded to Twitter by conservative commentator Candace Owens — who wore the same shirt in white to the show.

The fashion industry has collectively deemed Ye’s YZY show as dangerous and irresponsible, and they have also rallied around Vogue fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson after the artist bullied her in response to her critique on the show.

PARIS FASHION WEEK TRENDS

Aside from Ye’s disastrous show, there was plenty of great fashion in Paris and here are a few breakout trends:

HIP PARADE

Everything old is new again, even the pannier – an under-structure used in eighteenth-century fashion that created a shape wide at the sides and flat at the front and back – designers ranging from Dior to Loewe all created modernized versions of the hip-accentuating silhouette.

A look from Christian Dior’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Rochas’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Balmain’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Comme des Garçons’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Lanvin’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

HOOD NEWS

Hooded evening-looks were all over the runways in Milan, and in Paris the trend is going strong.  But in France, the capuche (French for hood) looks more like a cowl or an already-attached headscarf than what you’d see on a sweatshirt. These hooded ensembles can be found on anything from a cropped top to a slinky gown.

A look from Saint Laurent’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Off-White’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Mônot’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Comme des Garçons’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Schiaparelli’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

BRIEF ENCOUNTER

This spring the French Runways were filled with the tiniest of shorts, so go ahead and show off your legs.

A look from Miu Miu’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Chanel’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Alessandra Rich’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Rick Owens’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Nina Ricci’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

LEATHER ALERT

Bra tops have been going strong and for Spring 2023, the French Runways were filled with leather variations of the controversial top.

A look from Givenchy’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Monot’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Saint Sernin’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Koche’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Vaquera’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

CATSUITS

Designers are favoring the one-and-done style of the catsuit this Spring season. From Sheer and sparkling numbers to printed versions, one things for sure, none of these looks are a bore.

A look from Balmain’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Valentino’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Schiaparelli’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Stella McCartney’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Victoria Beckham’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

HELLO MOTO

The moto-bike trend trickled up from the streets to the Paris Runways. For spring 2023, there were plenty of moto jackets that ranged from graphic motifs to minimalistic leather versions.

A look from Chloé’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Off-White’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Isabel Marant’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Junya Watanabe’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Ottolinger’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO

It was a disco inferno on the Paris runways as designers presented sparkling dresses that are perfect for dancing the night away.

A look from Chanel’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Givenchy’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Miu Miu’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Rick Owens’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Valentino’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Sacai’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

THE CANADIAN TUXEDO

The Y2K trend is still going strong as designers are inspired by Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake matching denim looks from the 2001 American Music Awards. An update to the Canadian Tuxedo definitely made its mark on the Paris runways this season.

A look from Chloé’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Miu Miu’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Givenchy’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Courrèges’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Balenciaga’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from AZ Factory’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

SIDE HUSTLE

Another popular Y2K trend is back for Spring 2023, the asymmetrical hemline. In Paris, designers opted to shift mullet hems from to side-to-side for a modern version of the handkerchief dresses.

A look from Thom Browne’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Stella McCartney’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Issey Miyake’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Rick Owens’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Sacai’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

HIPS DON’T LIE

And the Y2K continues with low-rise bottoms. Designers in Paris presented low-rise everything: skirts, jeans, trousers, cargo pants and shorts. This trend is here to stay.

A look from Stella McCartney’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Thom Browne’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Off-White’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Isabel Marant’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Givenchy’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Miu Miu’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

So tell us, after New York, London, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks, which city do you think has the strongest trends?

IT’S SHOWTIME PART 2: PARIS FASHION WEEK FALL 2022

- - Fashion Shows

 Maria Grazia Chiuri’s ‘beauty & protection’ collection for Dior fall 2022  (Photo credit: The Economic Times)

As war rages in Ukraine (since February 24th) and the fashion industry unites by donating to relief orgs and closing retail stores in Russia, sometimes fantasy is what we all need to escape the harsh realities of the world around us. The month-long fall 2022 runway extravaganza is in its final stretch. Paris Fashion Week, which began on Monday, February 28th ends on Tuesday March 8th. At the risk of seeming insensitive to the tragedies that continue to unfold in real-time in Ukraine, we are looking forward to the end of the conflict with hope and in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

At the start of Paris Fashion Week, Ukrainian fashion journalists, now refugees, and Ukrainian designers, used their social platforms to support and strengthen the Ukrainian people. French designer Olivier Rousteing wrote to his 7.6 million Instagram followers, “It’s hard to feel right about focusing on runways and clothes, as we listen with a heavy heart to the latest news.” He added, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainians. We are inspired by their dignity, resilience and devotion to freedom.” Rousteing’s collection consisted of looks that strongly resembled futuristic body armour, as did Maria Grazia Chiuri’s collection for Dior, which consisted of strong shoulder pads and airbag corsets. These designers conceived their collections long before the war in Ukraine began, so are they fashion’s soothsayers? Is protective clothing for a wartime atmosphere going to be fashion’s latest trend?

As volunteer Ukrainian hackers help their country by going after targets such as Russian state-owned bank Sberbank, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become an international icon and yes, an unlikely sex symbol, for his fierce resistance to Putin’s unprovoked war on his country.

 

                                                         President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine – a fierce resistance leader (Photo credit: Vox.com)

Although fashion has always provided us with fantasy and an escape from reality, it also offers a socio-political reflection of the world around us. Giorgio Armani was one of the first designers to react to the war when on February 27th he chose to present his collection at Milan Fashion Week in total silence as a tribute to the suffering in Ukraine. In Paris, Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode released a statement advising people to “experience the shows of the coming days with solemnity, and in reflection of these dark hours.

Designers around the world are showing their support for Ukraine as they post images of the Ukrainian Flag on their social media pages and the CFDA has just created a list of charities and relief organizations to donate to https://cfda.com/news/how-cfda-members-help-ukraine.

At UoF we have chosen to help the children of Ukraine by donating to Unicef USA https://www.unicefusa.org  and are consistently spreading the word on our social media channels.

     

UoF’s Children of Ukraine initiative on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn

 

As the old saying goes “the show must go on”, and yet Paris Fashion Week opened on a somber note with a tribute show to Off-White founder Virgil Abloh, who passed away of cancer on November 2021. Celebs walked the runway in his honor, Cindy Crawford, Kaia Gerber, Serena Williams and Bella Hadid and touchingly, a male model held a white flag reading ‘Question Everything’.

Looks from Off-White’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

So, while Paris Fashion Week is still going strong at the writing of this post, here are a few of the breakout trends thus far:

SPACE ODYSSEY

Designers set their sights on the future, delivering on some pretty and provocative cosmically (and sometimes comically) chic looks, with nods to Sixties icons Paco Rabanne and Andre Courrèges.

.

Backstage at Rick Owens’ Fall 2022 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Malitta Baumeister’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Acne Studios’ Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Courrèges’ Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loewe’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Nina Ricci’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

DARKNESS FALLS

Glamour took a turn toward the dark side in intricate lace dresses and delicate tulle frocks.

A look from Christian Dior’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Balmain’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Zuhair Murad’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Andrew Gn’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Nina Ricci’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

LADY IN RED

Make a grand entrance at your next soiree in eye-catching red gowns that will surely bring on the drama.

A look from Alexandre Vauthier’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from VAlexandre Vauthier’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loewe’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christian Dior’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Zuhair Murad’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

BEASTIE GIRLS

Designers turned a savage eye on fur (both real and faux) offering a playful and modern take on the lavish material.

A look from Rick Owens’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Rochas’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Sandy Liang’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Tom Ford’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loewe’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Malitta Baumeister’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

FORMAL AFFAIR

Le Smoking is back as designers in Paris paid tribute to the tuxedo look that Yves Saint Laurent popularized for women in 1966. Here are some fresh takes on the classic tuxedo.

A look from Saint Laurent’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Tom Ford’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Rochas’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Off-White’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christian Dior’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loewe’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

WHITE NOISE

Designers wiped the slate clean this fall season with an all-white palette that offered plenty of alluring details.

A look from Cecilie Bahnsen’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Alexandre Vauthier’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Balmain’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Coperni’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loewe’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

LET’S GET PHYSICAL

Thanks to Kim Kardashian’s love of the unitard, the sexy, one-piece, body-con look was all over the runways in the fashion capital of the world.

A look from Balmain’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Acne Studios’ Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Isabel Marant’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Victoria Beckham’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christian Dior’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Y2K

The 2000’s trend is going strong, and for fall, designers brought back the confusing dress or skirt over pant look. Although today’s version is a study on layering to perfection.

A look from Marine Serre’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Yohji Yamamoto’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Nina Ricci’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Chloé’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Cecilie Bahnsen’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Lutz Huelle’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

And that’s a wrap! As the fall 2022 runway season comes to an end, please join us in hoping that by next fashion season the Russian dictator will come to his senses and Give Peace a Chance!

Backstage at Balmain’s Fall 2022 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Now that UOF covered the shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, which city do you think had the best fashion?

SPRING 2022 COUTURE: JANUARY SHOWS ARE FILLED WITH BEAUTY AND HEARTBREAK

- - Fashion Shows

Monaco’s Princess Charlotte rides in on horseback wearing Chanel for their Spring-Summer 2022 Couture  collection. (Photo Credit: AP Photo)

We are only a month in and already 2021 has started off as a challenge. Omicron and its new iteration BA.2  is still on the move, infecting even those who are triple-vaccinated. Vladimir Putin is on the brink of invading Ukraine and a number of celebrities unexpectedly passed away, from comedian Bob Saget to legendary singer Meat Loaf. Last week UoF announced the passing of André Leon Talley, the larger-than-life former Vogue editor who died on January 18th at the age of 73. And then 5 days later on January 23, also at the age of 73, the fashion world lost another industry legend, Manfred Thierry Mugler, the visionary French designer who was responsible for having created some of the most avant-garde and iconic looks of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

A photo of the late Manfred Thierry Mugler. (Photo Credit: Stephane Reugere for Mugler)

Mugler’s theatrical designs put him on the map as one of the most creative designers of his generation. He was also one of the first designers to showcase diversity in his runway shows, often challenging racism and ageism, and including non-traditional models such as drag queens, pornstars, and transgender women.

Mugler’s signature looks were worn by some of the greatest music artists, such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and David Bowie, to name a few. There has also been a resurgence of celebrities wearing vintage Mugler, such as Lady Gaga in her music video for “Telephone” and Cardi B, who had a friendship with Mugler, often wearing his vintage designs on red carpets and in her music videos, as well as mentioning the brand in her song “Wild Side”. In 2019, Mugler created a one-of-a-kind dress for Kim Kardashian to wear to the Met Gala.

Looks throughout the years from Thierry Mugler. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Those who followed Mugler throughout his career couldn’t help but notice his ever changing ‘personal look’. The late designer had been involved in several accidents, one of which was a jeep crash which destroyed his nose. He also had his chin reconstructed using his hipbone. The designer-turned-bodybuiler, was once quoted as saying, “I wanted my face to represent progress, because after years of being a thin, charming dancer, I wanted to be a warrior. I’ve done so much in my life. I’ve fought so much. I’m a superhero, so it’s normal to have the face of one.”

Mugler may have left his namesake brand far too early, but he will continue to have an empowering impact on fashion will into the future.

COUTURE SHOWS BRING FANTASY AND HOPE TO US ALL

A look from Giambattista Valli’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Giambattista Valli)

Paris Couture is back and it was spectacular. The couture season began on Monday January 24th and ran through Thursday the 27th. While many couture houses held IRT runway shows, there were a few that opted to present their collections digitally, such as Azzaro and Giambattista Valli. Meanwhile, Giorgio Armani canceled his Privé show altogether.

One of the highlights of any fashion week is the constant parade of street style looks and influencers. Paris couture week did not disappoint. Kanye West (Ye) introduced his new girlfriend Julia Fox to the fashion scene wearing a black leather Schiaparelli outfit  (reminiscent of vintage Thierry Mugler), and he in  trademark moon boots and padded gloves, plus a Schiaparelli black balaclava, a nod to his ex (Kim Kardasian), who worn head-to-toe Schiaparelli to the Met Gala. Oh, and to complete their outfits they adopted a new couple name…’Juliye’.

Julia Fox and Kanye West at the Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring 2022 show in Paris. (Photo Credit: Jacopo Raule for Getty Images)

Here’s a few of our favorites from Paris Couture 2022

ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER

A look from Alexandre Vauthier’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Alexandre Vauthier’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

High-octane glamour was all over Alexandre Vauthier’s Spring 2022 couture collection, as he presented velvet power suits, sequin gowns and plenty of slinky frocks.

CHANEL

A look from Chanel’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Chanel’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

“The idea for the show’s décor came from a longstanding desire to work with Xavier Veilhan,” Virginie Viard, Chanel’s creative director, explained the setting of the SS22 couture show to Harper’s Bazaar, “His references to constructivism remind me of those of Karl Lagerfeld. I like this similarity of spirit between us, now and across time. In addition to creating the show décor with its references to the avant-gardes of the 1920s and 1930s, Xavier wanted to work with Charlotte Casiraghi. His artistic universe is full of horses and Charlotte is a skilled rider.”

The Chanel show opened with Monaco’s Princess Charlotte dressed in a Chanel jacket, riding a beautiful eight-year old Spanish bay horse Kuskus (that would explain the sand runway), first in an elegant “collected walk,” then a trot. A perfect opening that paid homage to the creative director’s ’20s and ’30s Gatsby-inspired modern take on the classic Chanel tweed suit. There were also filmy chiffon and organza dresses with uneven hems, slithering satin evening dresses, and tiny beaded gilets to add an extra dose of glamour.

CHRISTIAN DIOR

Backstage, looks from Christian Dior’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christian Dior’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

This season’s Christian Dior couture collection was a celebration of embroidery: “A symbol of the atelier’s original excellence, embroidery is not just a decorative detail. It gives fabric its structure, its architecture.” According to the house’s show notes. “An inspiring creative dialogue, collective, exalting virtuoso skills, where embroidery is transformed into a collaborative mode of expression, at the crossroads of art and craft“. Dior’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, collaborated with Indian artists Madhvi and Manu Parekh, the Chanakya Atelier and the Chanakya School of Craft, in creating exquisite embroideries and embellishments for her couture collection.

SCHIAPARELLI

A look from Schiaparelli’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Schiaparelli’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A recent red-carpet favorite, Daniel Roseberry presented his latest couture collection for Schiaparelli in a show entitled “An Age of Discipline”. Roseberry took the season as a chance to explore what design really means to him, especially after these chaotic few years. “Designing this collection also made me realize something else,” he explained in his show notes. “There are designers who design because they love clothes. There are designers who make clothes because they love the craft, because they love people. There are designers whose work is indebted to fashion as a concept, or to glamour as a business.”

“But I design in order to make people feel something. When clothes and craft and hair and music and the wearer are in harmony together, when they are all trying to communicate something, we can be reminded why we love fashion— why I love fashion. It isn’t for the celebrities. It isn’t for the likes. It isn’t for the reviews. It’s because, when it’s done right, when it has something to tell us, it can help us feel the inarticulable. It’s because it still has the power to move us.”

And moved us he did, as his collection pushed the boundaries of fashion as art.

VALENTINO

A look from Valentino’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Valentino’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

‘The Anatomy of Couture’ was the title of Valentino’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. As creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli explained in his show notes, he imagined his collection not on one single and idealized house model, but on a variety of women with different body types and ages. He states in his collection notes, “Soft and welcoming in the democratic spirit, and at the same time radical in the approach that rewrites known processes, Piccioli builds the collection as a composite harmony of physical types and the clothes that dress them, studied through a long process, both scientific and poetic. The message does not change in its purpose, which is to convey beauty, but in the welcoming expression.”

Did you have a favorite couture collection?

PRE-FALL 2022: FASHION IS BACK

- - Trends

A look from Moschino’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Let’s face it, the last two years of living in a worldwide pandemic has been tough on everyone. As we rang in 2022, many countries put a stop to festivities as the Omicron variant infected so many and spread so easily, even among the triple vaccinated (myself included). Thankfully this variant seems to be mild and not as deadly as Delta. But as the world watches and waits for life to return to some sort of normal, like the saying goes…the show must go on!

Throughout these past 2 pandemic years, designers and fashion companies have re-evaluated their business strategies and have put a greater focus on sustainability and improving their carbon footprint. In November of 2021, many in the fashion industry ramped up their climate efforts at the COP26 summit. According to the United Nations Climate Change website, “Fashion Charter signatories collectively represent a significant proportion of the fashion industry. There are currently 130 companies and 41 supporting organizations that have signed the Fashion Charter including some of the well-known brands such as Burberry, H&M Group, VF Corporation, Adidas, Kering, Chanel, Nike, and PUMA as well as suppliers such as Crystal Group, TAL Apparel and others.”

However, as the fashion industry tries to come up with solutions to help protect the environment, one thing is for sure, they continue to produce an endless supply of clothes to generate sales (hello, pre-fall and resort collections). For the past 20 years, fashion’s nonstop production cycles have been driven by social media, retailers, the press, and of course celebrity influencers. Celebs sell-out designer looks in minutes. Case in point, Kim Kardashian, who recently elevated Balenciaga’s sales while serving Kanye West with divorce papers dressed in Balenciaga. And, according to Love the Sales (a fashion e-commerce aggregator), the search for Balenciaga dresses increased by 200 percent in less then 24 hours when Kardashian, dressed foot-to-finger in Balenciaga, announced that she had passed the ‘baby bar’ exam. For your info, Kardashian will still have to continue her studies and take a second bar exam. Another influencer opportunity? Stay tuned.

Can’t help but wonder what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wore when she passed her bar exam, LOL.

Kim Kardashian celebrates passing the baby bar exam in Balenciaga. (Photo Credit: MSN)

So, as the industry explores ways to make fashion more sustainable and ‘circular’, enter Pre-Fall. But what is Pre-Fall exactly? For starters, it is the longest-running season open to buyers and press in November and wrapping up on the heels of spring couture week in January. Usually, Pre-Fall collections offer more commercial looks than the major runway seasons, offering retailers the opportunity to showcase new merchandise to their clients in between the Fall and Spring collections. Pre-Fall has become one of the most essential selling seasons, with product sitting on the sales floor for up to six months (usually from June to December).

While the name (pre-fall) refers to autumn, the merchandise actually hits the sales floor in early summer, translating to a hodgepodge assortment of everything from breezy dresses to outerwear.

Looks from Versace by Fendi’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

If this all sounds confusing, join the club. The lingo is perplexing to everyone – designers, retailers, and consumers – so shouldn’t the season be looked at as a transitional one? Shouldn’t it be a season that offers seasonless dressing, pieces that can be layered and worn all year long?

Also, how should designers present their collections? Do they throw a full scale fashion extravaganza like Gucci, Dior, and Chanel, or do they hold private appointments for press and retailers and show their collection via Lookbook images like Prabal Gurung and  Christopher John Rogers?

As our industry continues to contemplate fashion’s impact on climate change, the use of influencers to promote product that will eventually will end up in landfills, and what the Pre-Fall season really means to them, the show must go on, right? Here are some of the trends we’re watching thus far:

VELVET CRUSH

The plush life – for both day and night.

A look from Balmain’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Proenza Schoular’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Jil Sander’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Look from Dsquared2’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

UoF subscribers can learn more about designing and working with velvet here: Introduction to Fibers & Fabrics,  Pattern Layout on Napped Fabrics, Rendering Velvet, Blind Stitch – Double Overcast Stitch, Pressing Tools & Techniques,

PLAID TIMES

Check mate! Designers are going mad for plaid from Oscar de la Renta’s mixed patchwork plaid numbers to Christian Dior’s logo-driven tartans. These ultra cool looks are anything but ‘elementary my dear’.

A look from Christian Dior’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from R13’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Tory Burch’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Looks from Oscar de la Renta’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

To learn more about working with plaid, view our lessons: Rendering Plaid, Pattern Layout of Plaid & Check Fabric, and Matching Plaid.

ROMANCING THE SWEATER

Comfy doesn’t always have to mean casual. For pre-fall, designers looked back to every Y2K girls favorite knit piece and brought back the beloved cardigan sweater. From Gucci’s strawberry motif to Erdem’s crystal button version, these sweaters are the perfect update to transition into cooler weather.

A look from Gucci’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Erdem’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Chanel’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Prabal Gurung’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Ganni’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced knitter, have we got lessons for you! In fact, we have a whole Knit Series.

Start with Introduction to Knit Fabrics and move into our hand-knitting, crocheting and our lessons on cut and sew knits.

 FAIR LEATHER

Real or faux, leather outerwear is all the rage this pre-fall season. From Chloé’s crafty version to Balenciaga’s futuristic coat, this outerwear trend will surely set you apart from the crowd.

A look from Chloé’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Max Mara’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Looks from Brandon Maxwell’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christian Dior’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

If you know anything about sewing, you know that working with leather and faux leather requires a different set of skills. Let’s face it, the material is unforgiving! Not only did our UoF founder write the leading book on leather, Leather Fashion Design, but has produced a slew of video lessons covering the topic in detail, both faux and real. Start by learning about the different types of leather skins and how they are measured in our lesson, Leather: From Tanning to Types. Then check out: Leather Sewing Techniques, Leather: Sorting & Cutting, Leather: Interfacing & Stabilizing Seams, and then watch and learn how a leather jacket is actually produced (filmed at GIII, the world’s largest manufacturer of leather garments) in our 4-part series beginning with Leather Sewing Techniques-Part 1. Also, check out our lesson on Faux Leather, Suede & Patent Leather Sewing Tips.

To learn how to draw and illustrate leather or any shiny material, view our lesson Rendering Leather.

THE RETURN OF THE MINI

The leg-baring mini trend has made its triumphant return! The mini was first introduced in the ‘60s as a playful and even defiant garment representing a shift in societal dynamics (according to Vogue Magazine). For pre-fall, designers have created mini looks in a variety of ways, from Givenchy’s simple black mini skirt suit look to Balmain’s baroque inspired minidress, one things for sure, it’s time to hit the gym and work on those legs.

A look from Balmain’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Chanel’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Givenchy’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Looks from Oscar de la Renta’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

For more on the evolution of the mini watch our fashion lectures: 100 Years of Fashion Rebels & Revolutionaries Part 1, and Part 2.

SCARF-OUT

Vibrant scarf prints took over the pre-fall season, from Versace’s baroque inspired prints to Etro’s ‘70s inspired paisley motifs. These scarf inspired patterns will take you from vacation and beyond.

Looks from Versace’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Looks from Oscar de la Renta’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Gucci’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Etro’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

If the scarf trend has inspired you to re-purpose your old scarves into clothing, then you may need a refresher on how to sew sheer seams and hems. From learning how to sew a French Seam Finish to sewing a Hand-rolled Hem, we have a whole series on working with sheers.

If you are new to cutting sheer fabrics and handling bias, this is the lesson for you: The Art of Fluting. And if you would like to illustrate your sheers and prints, check out Rendering Sheer, Rendering Floral Print and Rendering Zebra.

So tell us, what Pre-Fall trend has most inspired you?