Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Why wear black when you can wear Mary Katrantzou?

Rumour has it February the 17th is the date it finally arrives. Topshop has merged with London Fashion Week’s favourites Nicoll, Kane, Goldin, Jensen and Koma in the past but it’s now Mary Katrantzou turn. Hail Mary! I am so excited. I’m hoping they have a dress similar to the kite runner piece from S/S12 collection which left me speechless.  Here’s a sneak peek.

Kite Runner printed silk-jacquard dress

The recession has hit so in eyes that means invest in a key piece preferably a print. The summer catwalks were overflowing with graphic prints to choose from. That means Versace, Stella McCartney or Mary Katrantzou. With prints all over the summer catwalks, Katrantzou's are the most showstopping. There’s just something about Katrantzou that makes me gawp. Each dress is an astounding fusion of style and colour, creating a luxe fashion statement. Each design is unbelievable- sooo good it belongs in Tate Britain.

The Greek designer uses bold loud trompe l'oeil prints and structure to form her collections. Each line have been ”thematic”, inspired by perfume bottles, vases, interiors and the 18th century therefore showcasing a maximalist aesthetic. Energetic colours are always on display with a unique variety of prints - floral, baroque, renaissance, birds, fish, and bows whilst still managing to maintain a classic appeal.

Her Spring Summer 2012 collection played with her signature silk digital prints but switched up the silhouettes. This season saw flat and stiffer formed structures e.g. peplums. Her vivid flora and fauna prints were celebrated across her trailing chiffon gowns. Brightly coloured lips completed the look which amazingly didn’t clash with the prints. I loved The blue lips-they really suited the model. Everyone seems to be wearing Katrantzou and even Erik Madigan Heck, New York artist, is fascinated by her prints. Katrantzou is collaborating with luxury bag brand Longchamp and alongside Henry Holland has one the British Fashion Council‘s 2012 Fashion Awards. Rightly deserved. I love browsing through her lookbooks-I want everything gorgeous piece in my wardrobe. Be blown away by her masterpieces. Counting down the 
days Topshop!

Mary Katrantzou Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearMary Katrantzou Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearMary Katrantzou Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearMary Katrantzou Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear  
Mary Katrantzou Fall 2011 Ready-to-WearMary Katrantzou Spring 2011 Ready-to-WearMary Katrantzou Spring 2011 Ready-to-WearMary Katrantzou Fall 2009 Ready-to-Wear0930alexa-chung-mary-katrantzou_fa.jpg0930keira-knightley-mary-katrantzou_fa.jpg


Gossip Girl, Blake Lively, Mary Katrantzou

The Best of Paris Haute Couture Week

Versace made a return to Paris Haute Couture Week after eight years since 2004. The return highlighted its plan to show that in a recession fashion is still relevant. Versace clearly means business by showing that fashion can survive in a changing world. It’s comeback in couture when the emerging economies e.g. Middle East, Asia and Brazil are investing in luxury clothes. Armani reported a rise in sales for couture of 50% in 2011 compared to 2010 and Valentino's couture sales rose 80%. Yet it’s also paying attention to the other end of the market due to its successful collaboration with H&M. (Long may it continue)
The intimate Atelier Versace show at the Ecole des Beaux Arts had stars such Cameron Diaz, Diane Kruger, Abbie Cornish, and Anna Dello Russo in attendance. Instead of walking down the runway, a supermodel filled (Karlie Kloss, Lindsey Wixson, Arizona Muse, Karmen Pedaru, and Josephine Skriver) were among those who showcased the 15-look collection on a presentation platform.
The collection was signature Versace, recognizably sophisticated with its silhouettes accentuating the beauty of a woman’s figure with a dramatic glamazonian twist. It had highlights of the mermaid theme SS12 Prêt-à-Porter and the bold tones in Versace for H&M.

I was enchanted by the daring and beautiful designs. Versace mastered elegance with corseted metallic glittery gowns packed with high slits, sheer detailing and lace but with a 3D futuristic look.  The corseted pieces, led by Kloss, had sheer panels, gold metal insets, armoured plastics, high shine and geometric details. Such a sharp contrast, but it worked. The cutouts, heavily textural feel, and architectural details were eye catching. I can’t imagine seeing many on the red carpet. Gaga perhaps? There were hot orange and lime mini dresses, floor sweeping grey dresses and bodysuits with jackets to keep things interesting. I thought the armoured shoes were outstanding. Sometimes transforming themselves into thigh-high boots. Every piece presented was teamed with high ponytails, seductive smoky eye and nude lip which perfected every look.
My favourite? Hard to choose as I’m in love with every structure, curve, bone and fabric. I love the intricate detailing on the gold one that Arizona Muse wore. Love the last fire-orange gown, the sheer fabric is remarkable.  But I’m drawn to the short acidic yellow piece that only good legs can sport. So inspiring. I bought a structured neon neoprene dress from ASOS BLACK a while back that I have not worn. I will now.

Other Notable Mentions

Christian Dior was complete U turn to Versace, more of a classic old Hollywood look for real women with real figures. The collection seemed more sensible: floor length gowns, pencil and peplum skirts, organza 50’s cocktail dresses. It featured voluminous sheer skirts, elbow-length gloves, and houndstooth separates in basic tones with embroidered subtle beading. Gaytten did a good job but I missed the drama of Galliano. Dior heritage was noticeable- The 1947 New Look Bar jacket came in black and white. Karlie Kloss was in my fourth favourite look, a sheer light white puff sleeved organza dress with detailed black beading. Loved the simple understated tulle ball-gowns in purple, nude and black plus the final red look. My two favourites are the two below. The gradual change of tone is magical. I WANT!

Dior HC RS12 1305Christian Dior Haute Couture S/S 2012
Amy Winehouse was Jean Paul Gaultier's muse and like Amy the collection didn't fail to disappoint. It was a fitting tribute with a vibrant pop culture feel teamed with an acapella quartet. The theatrical show had cigarette-smoking retro pin-up models sporting beehives, winged 50s eyeliner and silk veils. Some were more masculine with draped jackets and trousers. Nothing had been overlooked. My favourites? The tough structured bustiers and cone bras coupled with bright loose trenches and embellished veils.

Jean Gaultier Haute Couture S/S 2012
Jean Gaultier Haute Couture S/S 2012

Elie Saab's collection brought good old fashioned romance to Paris and was a reminder that the Oscars are just around the corner. Fairy tale inspired, candy coloured (we'll see loads of that this summer), embellished vintage looking dresses was a sweet interpretation of couture. The gowns had splashes of shimmer, tulle flowers and leafs with plentiful crystal embellishment. Yet every piece appeared weightless. The colour palette consisted of cotton candy, peaches, power blues, peppermints. Saab and Versace were the only collections that I wanted every single look.

Elie Saab Haute Couture S/S 2012
Elie Saab Haute Couture S/S 2012                                                                                                                 
Elie Saab Haute Couture S/S 2012
 Elie Saab Haute Couture S/S 2012    

Favourite individual looks

Chanel Haute Couture S/S 2012
Chanel ( I always said i needed a cocoon coat)
Valentino Haute Couture S/S 2012
Giambattista Valli Haute Couture S/S 2012          
Giambattista Valli
Valentino Haute Couture S/S 2012

Monday, 30 January 2012

Style Shrine of the Week

What do Chanel Iman, Victoria Beckham, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Diane Kruger, Nicola Roberts, Emma Watson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Blake Lively, Nicole Ritchie, Miranda Kerr, Chloe Sevigny, Kate Bosworth, Solange Knowles, Kirsten Dunst, Whitney Port, Olivia Palermo, Emma Watson, Alexa Chung, Kourtney Kardashian, Michelle Williams, Kate Moss, Gwen Stefani, Rihanna, Heidi Klum, Elle Macpherson, Florence Welch, Zoe Saldana and the Olsens have in common? Well they are a few of my favourite present day style icons. Every week I intend to pay homage to those that influence style and fashion.

I'll start with Olivia Palermo. Coming from an influential family helped Olivia gain ground in the fashion industry. And I quote “I may be a young girl, but behind every young girl is a powerful father."(I love her honesty) She's one of the world's most watched fashionistas and dubbed the Italian American princess. A fixture on the Manhattan social circuit, Olivia Palermo rose to fame (knocking off Tinsley Mortimer as New Yorks No. 1 It girl) and became the antagonist of MTV’s The City. 


Not only is she absolutely stunning. Her polished, well put-together outfits are unique as she personalises key trends.  To be a style icon with a dress on the red carpet is simple but the beauty of Olivia's style is her off duty casual outfits. She is epitome of street chic. Her ensembles are incredibly versatile, refined ,never cluttered or overstyled. Each layered look exhumes luxury and she is rarely seen in a single silhouette. Olivia often opts for a structured jacket, blouse, skirt and statement heel accessorized with Ray Bans and a Hermes Birkin.  

What's amazing about Olivia’s style is her ability to mix classic high end labels with young, edgy ones yet she doesn't shy from high street. She's blended H&M, Marchesa, Chanel, Hermes, Zara, Kurt Geiger, YSL, Topshop and vintage pieces all to establish her looks. She is queen of mixing colours, textures and patterns together and often looks effortless chic in a combination of neutral tones with a pop of colour in the jacket or shoes. Which keeps each ensemble looking fresh.

Influenced by masculinity she often pulls off a black suit, white shirt and tie. But gives the tux inspired outfit a feminine touch showing some ankle with cropped trousers or leather skinnies with a lace or sequin top. She loves her blazers and tailored pants but includes a heel to elongate her figure. 

Olivia trans-seasonal piece is the maxi skirt. In the day she  keeps it basic with a jersey tee in the summer or a poloneck  knit in the winter. At night with a fur lapel and quirky statement heels and clutches. With bags, Olivia avoids the obvious labels (Louis Vuitton) and sticks to classic shapes. She clearly adores statement necklaces especially Lulu Frost and always wears cat-eye sunglasses e.g. Tom Ford or Celine Audrey sunglasses to finish her casual outfits. Her greatest accessory- her boyfriend Johannes Huebl. Phwoar.

Olivia gets the first spot on my list... simply because she said London is one of her favourite cities. Her must visit stops are the V&A museum and Chelsea Antiques Market. Where's Croydon on that list Olivia! Just Joking.