University of Fashion Blog

Posts Tagged: "fashion week"

Milan’s Mix and London’s Lot – Spring 2018 Fashion Weeks Continue

- - Fashion Shows

With so much unease in the world today, we can’t help but cover fashion weeks around the world with a different lens.

Sure, we will always have our eyes peeled for trends, cut and construction. But this season, the motivation behind designers’ offerings seems to take center stage. From resistance to nostalgia, ignorant bliss to clothes built for battle, designers in Milan have made their messages known.

For Spring 2018, fashion’s heavy hitters (read: well-known names, save a few like Emporio Armani and Tommy Hilfiger (who decided to show in London this season) landed in Milan, while lesser-known designers made London their home base. As we review fashion week in Milan, allow us to introduce you to London’s up-and-comers as well. Read More

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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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?).

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?

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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.

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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!

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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?

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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.

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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]

Top 20 Looks from Fashion Weeks for Spring Summer 2017 Ready-to-Wear

- - Fashion Shows

The quickest way to understand the upcoming season’s trends is to take a look at the collections from the international fashion weeks – New York, London, Milan and Paris. The meccas of fashion – they set the mood for imminent style. The fashion weeks just ended, so it comes as no surprise that we pick out our top 20 favorite looks from fashion weeks for Spring Summer 2017 to mark the beginning of conversations about next season.

Some of the looks were about redefining everyday things. Let’s see two such looks by Alexander Wang and Versus Versace. The former look has pajama stripes and collar style to create an asymmetric wrap dress with a thigh-high slit. The dress is paired with white fringe sneakers, which the brand designed in collaboration with Adidas. The latter look is all about brazenness and shock. An orange bandeau top is designed like a belt, and paired with a matching jacket and pants.

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Versus Versace

Versus Versace

This trend brings us to the topic of athleisure. This look from Mugler SS17 RTW collection gives a party dress the cut of a sports-bra, mixing the theme of 70s glamour with it.

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Mugler

The other athleisure look is by Versace. An asymmetric skirt held together with a buckle is worn over an energetic mesh and ultra-lightweight nylon dress, paired with heel-socks.

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Versace

Emporio Armani paired blue track-pants with a matching plunging-V-neck top, a red bag and earrings for a fun yet comfortable look.

Emporio Armani

Emporio Armani

Art was another theme we observed in the SS17 collections. In a dress by Alice+Olivia, a painting depicting Italian towns and landscape takes center-stage.

Alice + Olivia

Alice + Olivia

Another gorgeous dress is this one by Valentino. Inspired by Italian medieval art, the gown has sketchy painting all over its white and pale pink fabric.

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Valentino

Rahul Mishra’s novel machine-washable hand-embroideries feature flora and fauna. The black cotton dress with patchwork birds on it, paired with a zipper jacket with three-dimensional floral applique on the shoulders.

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Rahul Mishra

Another look by Fendi pairs a floral patterned ruffle-neck bodysuit with a sheer organza skirt.

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Fendi

Some of the collections had specific themes. Moschino, for example, had models dressed as paper-dolls. In this unmissable look, a crop top with a bra-print is paired with a pencil skirt that has prints of logo-waistchains, complete with paper-doll-like hair and makeup, and folding tabs.

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Moschino

Dior had a feminist message in its collection. Maria Grazia Chiuri, the fashion house’s new Artistic Director made headlines with the tee shirt that proclaimed “We should all be feminists” – one of Paris Fashion Week’s most talked-about looks.

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Dior

Dolce & Gabbana took the theme of tropical Italy, focusing on Italian foods and music. This look is royal with a younger taste. An embellished black hoodie is paired with a tiara-like embellished headband and sheer knee-high socks.

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Dolce & Gabbana

Gucci’s 18th century-inspired look with ostentatious earrings, large Colonial hat and a floral silk coat and a bag with a contrasting message – Future!

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Gucci

On the other hand of the spectrum, Chanel, with its data-center themed show, catered to the millennial generation with its candy-colored coordinated set and matching baseball cap.

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Chanel

In this tropical forest themed look by Max Mara, a forest-like skirt with large leaf print is paired with a fuzzy sweater that has a large lemur-motif.

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Max Mara

Gowns and evening dresses came as pretty, shimmery and embellished as ever. Our top three include this one by Alexander McQueen – an unconventional gown with a wave of silver sequins rising up from sea-foam-like train, and going up to the neckline.

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Alexander McQueen

This Marchesa gown is similar, but more red-carpet-suitable. Silver sequins cover the top half of a tulle gown that creates an uneven artistic texture, leaving the bottom-half sheer.

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Marchesa

The third one is a Monique Lhuillier gown in mint-blue that comes with a rose-creeper embroidery on shoulders and sleeves.

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Monique Lhuillier

This Elie Saab mini-dress has a 70s theme to it, but presented with a modern taste –pockets and full-slashed sleeves rolling up into the belt.

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Elie Saab

This Zuhair Murad cocktail dress in petal-pink is urban-royal with every inch embellished and three-dimensional rose-shaped sleeves.

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Zuhair Murad

Image Credits: Versus Versace, Alice+Olivia, Rahul Mishra