Paris Fashion Week 2009
This is what has been happening in Paris. Well, there was so much more actually, I'm just showing you my personal selection of the looks I saw on the Parisian catwalks....I hope you enjoy!
I will start with Lanvin! (See above) Just beautiful! Dramatic long sweeping gowns, hints of the 1940s, sublime simplistic coats and masterly configured dresses all transformed with Alber Elbaz’s magic.
Balenciaga and Balmain
Ah! Balenciaga!. Every season my heart skips a beat! This time my highlights are the wrap over dresses made of velvet and silk and the multi-print dresses with the puffed shoulders. And I know many girls that I'm sure will fall in love with the sheer polka dot tights...
It's all about the peaked-shoulders! Balmain's signature is always there, for both tuxedo jackets and glitter dresses. Not easy to choose my favourite one, so I just choose the shoulders. You can really go anywhere with them!
Nina Ricci and Bruno Pieters
Nina Ricci's sculpted forms don't go unnoticed. It seems that every outfit has shoulder pads...even on the hips!
Squares and triangles. There's some Mathematics in Bruno Pieters collection, almost like the clothes were created from geometric forms. Having said that, an applause for the fur shoulders!
Rick Owens and Maison Martin Margiela
These two monochrome looks by Rick Owens are exactly the same. But in the meantime how different they look! From dark to light, layers on layers, almost impossible to count. And his models look like creatures of the Arctic.
At Maison Martin Margiela things were very retrospective, most of the looks we had seen before and many questioned if the great man himself may no longer be designing?
And finally Yohji Yamamoto, never have I wanted a red coat so much! Oh là là!
Posted by Raffaella Cara
Addicted to France
Now, following Vicki's post, I feel my love for Paris is stronger than ever! So, here it is 'Poupée de cire, poupée de son' performed by France Gall, the popular French yé-yé singer. It won the Eurovision song contest of 1965. So it's a perfect soundtrack for these days, as we are all thinking of what's happening in Paris. Paroles et musique: no less than Serge Gainsbourg!
It’s a bit disconcerting when an international magazine highlights UK talent slipping slightly under the radar at home, but this month’s Surface does just that. As well as a cover piece and stunning editorial on Alexander McQueen’s SS09 collection, and another shoot featuring JW Anderson’s clothing and accessories, they also list their Top Ten menswear labels to watch, which includes East London-based Swedes Pudel.
The brand has been around since 2005, and featured on Fashion156 more than once! Their Spring Summer range is as strongly androgynous as ever, with a great mix of clean shapes, monochrome graphic details, and soft sheer elements. Loving the zip-front boots . www.pudel.co.uk
Posted by John-Michael O'Sullivan
Hair trend alert!!!! The top knot
From runway to street, everyone is going nuts for the slicked up top-knot. From doughnut forehead buns at Nathan Jenden to giant bobble ties at Erdem, to the folded bun at Emilio de la Morena, this look is hitting hard this fall.
My outgrown bob struggles with this new season do’ but I gave it a crack at LFW anyway. With the full support of some bobby grips and hardcore hair spraying, I managed to slide my mop up into a high ponytail and knot proficiently. Feeling quite proud of myself in achieving a decent slicked effect, I strutted into Fashion Week only to find models, stylists, assistants, and journalists alike, having also jumped onto the trend. Later that evening at the WAR! magazine launch party, it seemed everyone was still keeping hair up.
To conclude, this proves A) how quick trends take off B) originality is almost indefinitely hard to come by and C) if I didn’t have a bob a month ago, I could have been one of the first on this trend.
I hate it when a trend becomes dead to me before it even gets chance to spread its wings and fly. This is a lie! I am blatantly going to wear this style to the office everyday!
Posted by Kellydeene Skerritt
Gerhard Richter Portraits
I’ve been meaning to make it to the National Portrait Gallery to see the Gerhard Richter Portraits exhibition for what feels like ages- but the mayhem of fashion week, which seems to have gobbled up all my time these past few weeks, means I haven’t managed much more than a longing stare whilst driving past on the bus. But I’m determined to go this weekend, come rain or shine (but preferably the former…)
Richter is one of my favourite favourite favourite contemporary artists, producing a prolific number of paintings in a career that has spanned almost fifty years. This landmark exhibition, which brings together key portraits from the 1960’s to the present day, is an amazing opportunity to view Richter’s compelling yet unconventional approach to painting.
I’m especially excited to see his early black and white paintings, which were so inspirational for me when I was a student, and also the special installation of ‘48 Portraits’.
Posted by Vicki Loomes
Girls On Film
The love affair between fashion and film is a fairly recent one, in a world where the photograph has always reigned supreme. Over the last few years, though, sites like Showstudio have really pushed the boundaries in this area, and brands have started to explore the potential of the medium.
Sarah Chatfield’s YSL films, with actors like Simon Woods and Nicholas Huston have become an integral part of how Stefano Pilati presents their menswear collections.
These will screen at the ICA next week as part of the Birds Eye View festival celebrating women filmmakers, alongside other collaborations like Jamie Isaia’s dreamily evocative shorts for Swarovski, Dazed&Confused regular Toyin for Replay, and most excitingly photographer Katerina Jebb for Givenchy - her dark, collaged images are stunning, and it’ll be intriguing to see how this translates to film.
The variety on show is incredible, from CassettePlaya’s colour drenched techno piece T.I.M.E., to Ruth Hogben’s eerie Insensate collaboration with Nick Knight and Gareth Pugh.
Fashion Loves Film, ICA Cinema 1, 12th March 9pm
Gareth Pugh AW09/10
A black and sinister figure appears from a white background spreading his wings: this is how Gareth Pugh's unusual show started yesterday in Paris, a short film instead of the typical catwalk show.
There's no doubt that the video enhanced the clothes, you had the chance to see them in movement thanks to the artificial wind. So here they come massive cloaks, high waisted trousers combined with platformed boots, oversized quilted coats and panelled dresses. Leather and fur, black and silver, and the same model shaking and moving to the beats of a hypnotic soundtrack. I just can't help but watch it over and over again. We posted the video on our blog earlier, you can watch it here.
London College of Fashion & On|Off
A few weeks back, London College of Fashion MA Graduates were debuting their final year collections at the V&A. Up for grabs were a number of prestigious prizes, including a new prize - ‘On|Off Reinvents’. The prize demonstrated On|Off and the London College of Fashion's mutual desire to highlight the importance of sustainability.
Winners, YUN JU KO (Kate) (Womenswear), ROHAN KALE (Menswear) ,HSIANG JU KUNG (Womenswear), MANJIT DEU (Womenswear), were set to work to create outfits using On|Off‘s 10th season celebratory banner from September 2008, which measures over 35 metres in flagnet material.
The designs were displayed at On|Off’s designer exhibition during fashion week. I managed to grab a few shots and loved the half sleeved face of Hilary Alexander on one of Rohan Kale suits!
I’m dreaming of…. Paris
Whilst I was sulking like a stroppy teenager, lamenting the fact that I couldn’t go to Paris and see Gareth and Loewe and Balmain and Balenciaga, I came across a rather fabulous book that belongs to a lovely friend of mine. And I was immediately cheered.
What is this amazing miracle cure, I hear you cry? Well…it’s lavish celebration of Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette. The images are just stunning and, rather fittingly, something about this film always reminds me of my favourite trip to Paris- when the sky was a perfect shade of powder blue, and I discovered a beautiful carousel outside the Louvre. A mix of decadence and frivolity, Marie Antoinette sums up the characteristics of Paris, as it exists in my head.
I’m sure it will distract me from all the modern day finery that’s currently parading down the catwalks in Paris.
Well for at least half an hour anyway...
Behind The Scenes With Carolyn Massey - Part 2
Yesterday's post saw Carolyn Massey document the last few days before her solo show at London Fashion Week. Here we catch up with the designer again but this time the waiting is over...
These shots document the final push where there is just time to decide on final looks for the boys, followed by one last run through and grooming and then it is showtime. With Chris Brooks documenting everything we are to become voyeurs as all of those long days and sleepless nights came to a head to create something truly beautiful.
All images supplied by Chris Brooks Studio. Thanks again to Carolyn Massey for somehow finding time to keep this record for fashion156.
Gareth Pugh AW09/10
A stunning short film was unveiled in Paris today in place of Pugh's usual runway style presentation. Words are not needed really, just watch this footage and be amazed!
Video courtesy of The Daily Telegraph. Hilary Alexander "the great" gets all the insider information!
Ligia Dias, Florian and Scott Wilson for Repetto…at Colette
Uh-oh. Something new to add to my wish list for SS09.
French ballerina shoe brand Repetto’s collaboration with three talented jewellery designers is a match made in shoe heaven. Jewellers Scott Wilson, Florian and Ligia Dias have taken the iconic pump as a starting point and re-designed a shoe in their own unique style….and- joy-of-joys- created a necklace to match!
It’s difficult to decide which is my favourite- Ligia Dias’ Electric Bourgeoise, Florian Neobaroque inspired pump, or Scott Wilson’s Discopop Queen…if I’m honest I want them all. But what’s got me inspired are the window displays at my favourite Paris boutique Colette (see above images), which have been unveiled in time for Paris Fashion Week (are you keeping up!)
We spoke to Sarah from Colette to find out some more….
How did this collaboration with Valery Demure's designers come about?
I think Valery had this idea for a while and I'm very happy she made it happen. It's a perfect collaboration for us because we both love Repetto's BBs and these designers...
Which shoe is your personal favourite?
Oh, I love them all 3! They’re all very strong and individual.
Will you be co-ordinating your shoes with your jewellery now?
I hear there are some exciting plans for the Colette windows to coincide with the launch. Can you tell me some more about it?
For such special project, of course the windows are here! We tried to mix young designers like Alexander Wang, Giles, Phi, to match the specific shoes.
I believe this is Repetto's first ever collaboration with Colette. Are there any other collaborations you would like to see?
Sorry to correct you but Repetto did many collaborations with us - Comme des Garçons, etc. The next one for April is Karl Lagerfeld...
Paris Fashion Week is almost upon us. Which shows are you looking forward to seeing?
And finally…does Colette have any other exciting plans for Paris fashion week?
We'll celebrate Barbie's 50th Anniversary with many exclusive products!
Behind The Scenes With Carolyn Massey at London Fashion Week – Part One.
As this was Carolyn Massey's first solo show at London Fashion Week all eyes were on her and even with the added pressure of the heightened expectation she truly delivered. Massey closed the extended menswear afternoon in true style.
Sharply tailored trench coats and capes offered the edge, whilst knits provide an element of calm and romance. It is most rare to leave a show with the desire to own every single look but this show had that effect on me. As a continuation of the featured article within the LFW Preview Issue here is Massey's collection of thoughts and images during the final preparation for the show....
Where do I start? Last week blurred into one long day, so I doubt these are in order -I just picked up my camera every time something vaguely interesting was happening/I remembered, but nevertheless it’s an insight in the goings on before the show…I cast the show quite early- there is always mass order/disorder running through the studio and due to there being so many people/elements being involved with the show, you can never truly tick anything off the list…
We cast on Friday 13th and styled on the same day- this gave me time to figure out shoe sizes/alterations that needed doing etc. I had done research before into what I wanted from the show, which was the exude a sense of honesty- that in a way some of the guys would come in looking like they’d just walked off the street. I'm Personally not to into this sense of uniform that we are seeing so much of on the mens catwalks at the moment- The utilitarian uniformity that devoids the sense of self, rendering the boys to robots.
Also for me with the socio/economic situation forces a sense of humanity back into everything, and I wanted to reflect this with the show. Subsequently we worked a lot with the natural personalities of the boys to come through – rather than to try to turn them into something they were not. This was very much the brief with Alex Box and James Rowe, who did the makeup and hair respectively.
I borrowed some amazing loafers from GH Bass, a brand which I had spotted on the internet. It was a shame as I approached some pretty big traditional shoe brands, but sadly none of them had the vision to see that I was attempting to give them some coverage… Frustrating. Luckily I can always rely on Topman’s Press Department and the wonderful Gemma to help me out, and also a friend who is a footwear designer. Also my good friend Stelios who leant me his boots that he had been given whilst doing national service in the Cypriot army…I was also sponsored by Tabio- the Japanese sock brand, who in my opinion make the best socks around. My boyfriend is also now happy (being a sock-a-holic) has a new sock wardrobe!
We spent a long time making up the boards that would sit at the end of each rail with the boys looks on them- Here is the lovely Nic making them up… Making sure that all the details were photographed for the dressers…
Last button undone… 1.5cms showing at cuff (if possible-of course in RTW this depends on the length of the chaps’ arm) I love the formal specific-ness of menswear and the codes that surround this. The scarf/tie brand Peckham Rye also kindly leant us their ties, of which I was most excited about the Norwiegan Masonic ties, which we used in the show.. I had a spare morning so popped into Topman to see the launch area of the new LENS collection, which looked cool…
Back to the studio and invites to write to all the buyers, which I insisted on handwriting myself (all 200 plus of them equalling sore hand and grumpy Massey) This was aided by the vast amounts of chocolate we appeared to have in the studio…And Tea. Then things suddenly started to get very real, and with quite a few sleepless nights and 4am starts I got through the map of the show sent through from 9PR who handled production. Eek!
Part two will follow on the blog tomorrow.
All images supplied by Chris Brooks Studio. With thanks to Carolyn Massey for somehow finding time to keep this record for fashion156!
Walking through forest image features the Carolyn Massey collection AW09/10 as seen on the runway at LFW.
House of Flora
The Czech architect Adolf Loos and his 1908 essay, ‘Ornament and Crime’, is the inspiration behind House of Flora’s sublime AW09/10 collection, which is an exercise in simplicity, intelligence and frugality. Futuristic accessories, produced in collaboration with Danny Flynn (from Astonish Me Press), feature laser cut text, stamped rubber belts and mesh. I love the metallic fixtures- polished steel press-studs- that add a strong industrial aesthetic to the pieces.
Quiet and understated this collection is tough, yet elegant.
There’s also a fabulous film, ‘Letterhead’, produced by the talented Ponyboy which accompanies the collection. The centrepiece of the film is Dress No.2 (constructed by Gulsum Metin), a beautifully cut coat-dress with detachable sleeves- deliciously feminine and perfect for day to night dressing.
fashion156’s top ten LFW shows
London fashion week is over for another season....yes, we can all breathe again! Having been on auto pilot all of last week and having just about recovered from my London Fashion Week hangover, it’s back to reality here at fashion156.
But before we turn the page and wave a final goodbye to LFW, I’d like to leave you with some of our favourite fashion week moments...
So while it was a tough decision, we’ve eventually come to a unanimous vote. In no particular order then, our top ten shows at London Fashion Week were: Carolyn Massey, MAN, Tim Soar, Louise Goldin, Emilio de la Moreno, Ashish, Osman Yousefzada, Topshop Unique, Roksanda Illincic and last but not least.... Fashion East. These shows stood out in both terms of design originality and overall production, hair, makeup etc. Click here to see our final edits...we hope you enjoy!
Having launched Raeburn Design in 2008, Christopher Raeburn is certainly one of London’s newest innovative design talents and here at fashion156 we’re loving his work. Having featured the Parachute Poncho and Pop-out Parka from Christopher’s new AW09/10 collection in our London Fashion Week Preview Issue I think it’s about time that we go and meet this young man properly.
Greeted with warm smiles, Christopher talks me through his collection. He explains that his new collection was inspired by his graduate battle dress range, with designs originating from military parachute fabrication. As Christopher tells me, “my designs are based around military, good quality, durable performance outerwear.”
Each garment is specially crafted using wind and waterproof technology and designs are duplicated into black pieces made from British wool. The collection has a truly autumnal feel with gold and olive green parachute macs and the black woollen jackets are great for winter. Key pieces include the Pop-out Parka with a reversible quilted inner jacket and the Parachute Hoody & Detachable Shrug.
Christopher Raeburn showcased his collaboration collection with newcomer British designer Tim Soar at the final day of London Fashion Week. Four key looks dominated including the Duck Down quilted jacket, parkas/trench coats, t-shirts and parachute trousers. For more details on this designer collaboration see our full show report here .
Milan Fashion Week
So, considering my Italian origins, it seems only natural that I should say a few words about what's going on in Milan. But I won't annoy you with boring reports, I know you have already read them! So let me just show you my highlights so far:
Prada is at the top of my wish list. I know it sounds an obvious statement but what can I do about it? I just can't resist their wide -topped leather boots and their wool shorts worn over cardis. Who knows, maybe I will win the lottery sooner or later so I can order the whole collection!
My flatmate just flew to Milan to see Moschino’s catwalk show and told me it was amazing! I just found a floral patterned dress and a tailored coat that made me think she was right. I bet she will be coming back to London wearing one of these!
Not sure how I would look in the Missoni hippie style... but I would happily go for the spider-web jumper dress and the mohair cardigan scarves. Yes, I think I would make this sacrifice!
This oversize waistcoat and the loose striped blouse matched with leggings patch-worked in suede and leather are my favourite Gucci looks. 80's reminiscence. Sooner or later I will be brave enough to try a slicked-back hairdo!
Gianfranco Ferré is a name every Italian can be proud about it, thanks to his famous architectural shapes ( they called him ' architetto stilista', architect of fashion). The pagoda-shouldered coat with seams lined in tiny gold studs and a stand-up Elizabethan collar doesn't need any introduction.
Ana Belen Meroño
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the winner of Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) at London Fashion Week, Miss Ana Belen Meroño. We were impressed by her sophisticated and highly polished designs, and so was the jury! You can see her creations below: the structured jacket with a digital Op-Art print, and the cosmic cloud print dress.
By the way, it seems that it's the third year running that the Nottingham Trent University, where Ana comes from, has won the top prize. Is it maybe a creative pool of new talents?
Mr Hare Shoes
His debut collection is called "Purest Form" and his passion for fine shoes is even more obvious in this collection than on his blog... he certainly has created shoes you can attach some romance to. Handmade in Italy using the softest calves leather Mr. Hare has put elegance and craft back into an industry which in many instances sacrifices quality for gimmicks.
UHU Gareth Pugh?
Over the last week, rumours have been flying all over the Net about changes at Dior Homme - Kris Van Assche, who’s been in charge since 2007, is an amazing designer, but his soft, elegant aesthetic hasn’t been able to maintain the excitement of Hedi Slimane’s groundbreaking vision.
The heir to the throne? Allegedly, Sunderland boy Gareth Pugh, who closed January’s Fashion Week in Paris with a spectacular show, supported by the LVMH Group. His combination of Gothic drama, dazzling innovation, and razor-edge tailoring, would be the perfect choice to bring Dior back onto the frontline.
Who knew that when he first shuffled into public view as a shy graduate, driving mentor Neil Barrett to distraction on Channel 4’s Fashion House just 5 years ago, that he’d leapfrog from reality TV runner-up, to Fashion East darling and clubland fixture, to Wintour-endorsed enfant terrible, to one of the most iconic posts in mens fashion?
If it’s true, then what an amazing end to a fantastic month for British menswear, and it shows the possibilities not just for Pugh, but for the incredible new menswear talent on display at LFW last week. Come on the boys!