Alber Elbaz's Parisian Perfection at Lanvin

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Alber Elbaz understands a woman better than any other male designer alive. Elbaz’s designs for Lanvin are everything a woman wants when she gets dressed: elegant, beautiful, sophisticated, and simple. Only Alber can design pieces that at first glance appear streamline and neat, but closer up the artistic and technical excellence  are apparent thanks to his “cutting the fat” approach toward designing. Alber’s latest collection for Lanvin was inspired by a trip to Buenos Ares, where he was inspired by the unique dressing of the women there. The Latin eroticism of Argentina is apparent throughout the collection, opening with a black dress, which featured a single constructed ruffle. The structured LBD transformed into sexy suits, tuxedo dresses, and jumpsuits; flaunting Alber’s extraordinary talent for incorporating masculine construction and influences in a very feminine way.
The starting themes of masculinity quickly gave way to much more feminine clothing  the minute the first pink chiffon dress hit the catwalk. Pinks were followed by yellows, organzas, peaches, nudes, and other colourful that evoked youth and optimism wearable for any age. However, bright colours did not take away from the effortless construction of the dresses; leather dresses appeared as light as their chiffon counterparts. Pleats, draping and ruffles on dresses were always sleek and sexy, never over-the-top. If you weren’t stunned by the astounding clothing yet, Alber had one more trick up his sleeve. Great fantasies of the ancient antiquity danced through the closing few dresses, which look like draped cloth from Cleopatra’s lost tomb, featuring exquisite beading, jewellery shaped like statues and sculptures and Grecian draping. After another stellar collection, the question remains: Can Alber Elbaz do no wrong? After the jump are my favourite looks from the collection!











Posted by : Ted
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Now Playing: Dior's Film Noir

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John Galliano’s latest collection for the house of Dior combined several elements he has refined over the past few seasons. Transparent chiffon dresses from Spring and Fall 2009? Check! Underwear as outerwear from Fall 2009 Couture? Check! This might seem all too simple, coming from the grand couturier himself, but he injects a hot shot of drama into the collection, à la film noir. The starting point for Galliano’s latest collection were images of Hollywood stunner Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart meeting with Christian Dior, as he was designing the New Look in 1947. With hair and makeup inspired by Bacall and the stage set as a short film, the sensual and glamorous clothing played the lead role.
The show opened with several wartime trench coats (cropped, due to rationing) which provided as a perfect canvas to contrast with the delicate, transparent dresses. “le slip illusion” described the dresses, which took lingerie shapes, featuring built-in camisoles, knickers, teddies, and babydolls. Fabric added a whole other level of sensuality, transparent lace, satin, and chiffon danced on model’s bodies. Don’t let her delicacy fool you, the Dior woman is no damsel, she is the same dangerous, femme fatale as always! See my favourite looks from the collection after the jump.












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Balmain's Disco Cavewomen!

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     The world as we know it today would be a helluva lot less chic if it weren’t for a certain man. Karl Lagerfeld? Marc Jacobs? No, no Christophe Decarnin, the designer of Balmain is the man who has the most impact on the fashion industry ever since Wall Street crashed. “Balmania”, a term used to describe the first post-recession all-out fashion craze, is the obsession by many women ranging from Paris Voguettes including Carine Roitfeld and Emmanuelle Alt to pop stars Beyonce and Rihanna. These women are infatuated with Balmain’s broad shoulder jackets, sequined microdresses, and the through-the-roof prices that entail don’t seem to scare away buyers. Not only has Decarnin’s designs struck gold for Balmain, every chain retail store in the developed world has made a fortune off of Balmain inspired clothing. With such success weighing on the (very chic) shoulders of Balmain, the hype was running overload for the Spring 2010 show.
     For spring, the Balmain woman is trading in the disco dance floor for a prehistoric battlefield. The show kicked off with military waistcoats embellished with chainmail and medallions mixed with clawed cut-outs, bullet holes, and ripped hems on skinny pants and slutty tees. T-shirts gave way to Grecian draped dresses and destroyed loincloth skirts. Bullet belts mixed with sequins to boggle the eye, and created a disco cavewoman look. Check out my favourite looks from the destroyed, stained and holed collection after the jump!




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Balenciaga's Patchwork Sci-Fi Tribe!

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Throughout the years, the house of Balenciaga has produced directional collections all over the map, but the one constant is incredibly luxurious and conceptual clothing. With a vast house archive and futuristic fascination, Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière can deliver a sci-fi futuristic collection as well as he can a Parisian Yves Saint Laurent tribute. His Spring 2010 collection was in many aspects near middle ground for the designer. With a magpie of references (none literal, in true Ghesquière fashion) the nearest description of the collection words can form is a patchwork warrior from a sci-fi tribe. Another futuristic collection may not have seemed innovative, but the youthfulness and wearability of the clothing was new territory for Ghesquière.
The start of the show looked like what would happen if Alexander Wang had a top Paris atelier working under him. Hooded vests and skin-tight denim appeared at first look, but after a second glance the charm and mesmerizing details of Balenciaga was prevalent. The jeans were actually vegetable-dyed leather, and the hoodie was jersey, leather and nylon foam. Similar detailing was applied to paneled vests and skirts. The cocktail dresses (the highlight of any Balenciaga show) didn’t disappoint either. Mini-kilts, shifts and tunics were adorned with patchwork of silk, nylon, and leather in ravishing colours, including lime, pink, orange, turquoise and yellow. One of my favourite pieces was a pair of pants that looked like they walked off a Jackson Pollock painting. After the jump, see my favourite looks from the impossibly chic collection!


        

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Sicilian Fantasies at Dolce & Gabbana

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Note: I have just returned from my trip to London. I understand my reviews of these shows are weeks behind, but I think it is important I review them nonetheless.
The last few seasons at Dolce & Gabbana have been a little lacklustre, increasingly stale, and in need of creativity crucial for a successful show. Each show followed a paint-by-numbers cookie-cutter simplicity along the lines of this. Step 1: Choose a fabric (most recently tweed, pyjama silk, painted florals and Marilyn Monroe prints) and make the entire collection in that fabric only. Step 2: Design a mediocre collection with a gorgeous finale of 3-5 floor length corseted dresses. Step 3: Invite three Hollywood actress, two supermodels and a photographer to sit front row. Step 4: Choose the most repetitive sixteen minute techno remixed song possible for the show’s soundtrack.
For Spring 2010, Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce decided to break the mold, and move forward. Interestingly enough, the move forward was fuelled by looking back, back to a time when Stefano and Domenico were on the top of their game. When Dolce & Gabbana first hit the scene, they were famous for their extremes of masculinity and femininity in their designs, inspired by their lives growing up in Sicily. This same concept was recreated for Spring, manly tailoring, skinny tuxedos, and waistcoats contrasted with feminine underwear, lace and corsets featuring orange flower and red leopard prints to created a sexy, powerful look. The collection may have gone too harsh and conceptual but soft trench coats and pencil skirts kept the collection grounded. Further, fresh shapes and Latin influences provided a breath of fresh air. This collection may be my all-time favourite collection by the designers, check out my favourite looks after the jump!

               

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