SUMMER IN THE CITY

With fashion week season kicking off in New York this week, I thought it was about time that I published a post about my fabulous trip to the Big Apple at the end of last month. Luckily enough there was no fog or mist this time round, there was nothing but the glorious summer sun and the whole city was shining like the top of the Chrysler building.    I revisited some of my favourite spots from my last trip in January, including the Empire State Building and Grand Central Station, however I made a conscious effort to explore some of the other wonders that the city has to offer. I even ventured over to Brooklyn to admire the cities skyline from across the Hudson. I loved exploring the West Village this time round, which has now become one of my favourite areas in the city. Visiting Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment and Magnolia Bakery was a joy for such a huge Sex and the City fan as me.

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This trip brought with it so many more wonderful memories that I will cherish. A personal favourite of mine was exploring the High Line. To walk the High Line, which is a 1.45 mile long walkway with gardens built on top of an old rail line, was a magical experience that I would recommend to anyone visiting the city. The juxtaposition of the calming gardens with the urban city skyline was wonderful to witness. With it being summer, I was also able to spend a lot more time exploring Central Park, visiting Strawberry fields and revisiting the Boat House for brunch. Despite the rats and the city skyline it would be easy to forget you are in one of the world’s most densely populated cities when taking a stroll around Central Park. Another one of my highlights from the trip was the sunset cruise on the Hudson river. It was truly magical to witness the sun set over Lady Liberty whilst the city lights began to twinkle in the background. It is something that I will never forget.

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Whilst my feet have never ached so much after a holiday before, it is safe to say that this was one of the best trips of my life, I love this city with all my heart and I am still suffering from a severe case of post-New York blues. I hope to return to this city again soon so that the New York shaped void in my life is filled.

Some of my favourite pictures from the trip can be found below, with pictures from Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between exhibition at The Met.

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My prayers and thoughts go out to all those affected by the tragic attack on this city and on liberty 16 years ago today.

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The High Line

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The West Village

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Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between

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Till next time NYC…

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THE BEST OF NYFW FW17

As I sit in the stuffy concrete slab that is the university library, stylish men and women from across the globe scurry like mice from show to show whilst fighting the icy winds of a very snowy NYC. Determined not to let the freezing climate compromise their style, show-goers immerse themselves in the fashion frenzy that is NYFW. It all began with the return of one of my favourite fashion duos, Raf Simons and Pieter Mulier, at their debut Calvin Klein Collection show and it all ended with Marc Jacob’s old-school hip-hop inspired finale.

Calvin Klein Collection FW17

Raf Simons and his right-hand man Pieter Mulier kicked off their domination of the all-American brand, Calvin Klein, in true American style, literally. This colourful collection was a celebration of America’s past, present and future littered with motifs and symbols of its diverse history. Stiff denim shirts, oversized leather jackets and wrap shirts fashioned out of the American flag hit a home run when paying homage to the nations rich culture. Raf provided the brand with the exact regeneration that it needed. This collection offered a true insight into the brands future under new leadership.

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Marc Jacobs FW17

Marc Jacobs’ diverse array of models hit the streets of New York, utilising the concrete sidewalk as his very own catwalk to parade his ‘70s hip-hop inspired collection. It appears Jacobs took on board the backlash that came with the dreadlock controversy of his SS17 collection. Jacobs ensured his army of models comprised of those representing diverse cultures and origins. The neutral palette collection made up of oversized corduroy jackets, bellowing bell-bottom trousers, oversized ‘70s inspired bling accompanied by large Stephen Jones hats. Jacobs ended fashion week with a bang and set the standards high for London.

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 Coach 1941 FW17

Those attending Stuart Vevers’ FW17 show found themselves immersed in a post-apocalyptic derelict world were the all-American brand appeared to be the surviving attire. As always there was a star-studded front row with the likes of it-girls Emma Roberts and Selena Gomez making an appearance. Vevers signature floral patchwork dresses and oversized outerwear, made up of bombers, leather-clad jackets and varsity jackets, graced the runway once again. The British creative director has certainly found his voice at Coach, securing the brands new distinct style and establishing the brands prestige among the stars.

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Anniesa Hasibuan FW17

Anniesa Hasibuan has made history once again with her new FW17 collection. Hasibuan made the headlines following her first diverse collection, which was the first collection to be presented with hijabs at NYFW. This season the Indonesian designer made the conscious decision to only employ immigrants and second-generation immigrants to walk in her show following the controversial Muslim immigration ban put in place by the Trump administration. Enabling a sense of inclusion, acceptance and unity to be found following the implementation of the immigration ban. Hasibuan conveyed the true beauty of Islam with her exquisite collection and her bold casting criteria.

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Yeezy FW17

I must admit I have never understood the Yeezy attraction. The rapper’s ability to plagiarise and merely merge the signature looks of hottest brands of the moment has resulted in the production of bland collections which lack any real uniqueness. However, in Trump’s new America where bans and walls are put in place to keep diversity at a minimum I could not help but admire the rapper’s choice to use a female Muslim model who chooses to wear the hijab. A clear message that diversity and love will triumph in Trump’s America.

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THE GOLDEN GLOBES – BEST DRESSED

And so it begins!

Award season is finally upon us. With months of red carpet glamour to come our January blues can be kept at bay. This weekend kick started award season with the Golden Globes, which was dominated by the most anticipated movie of the year inspired by old Hollywood musicals, La La Land. And last night’s award ceremony was a real City of Stars, with so much glitz and glamour on display. Emma Stone and Lily Collins really stole the show in elegant, flowy, dazzling, pale pink gowns from Valentino and Zuhair Murad. Sarah Paulson, Michelle Williams, Ruth Negga and Kerry Washington were also among the best dressed at last night’s glamour-fest.

Emma Stone

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Emma Stone’s performance in La La Land may have bagged her the award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, but it was her stunning, starry, pale pink Valentino gown which was the real show stopper last night. When asked about her gown on the red carpet the actress responded “it’s pink and there are stars on it” which some may say is an apt description, but does not give this exquisite gown enough credit if you asked me.

Lily Collins

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Lily Collins wore a romantic, pink Zuhair Murad Couture gown, littered with intricate floral embroidery that was fit for a princess heading to the most exclusive of balls, never mind the Golden Globes. Lily stole the limelight in this beautiful feminine gown which was  perfectly accompanied with a bold red-lip, subtle rosy-pink eyeshadow and a braided-do that Rapunzel herself would envy.

Runners-Up

Ruth Negga – Louis Vuitton

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Sarah Paulson – Marc Jacobs

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Kerry Washington – Dolce & Gabbana

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Michelle Williams – Louis Vuitton

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FAVOURITE COLLECTIONS FROM NYFW SS17

And so it begins…

There’s a slight chill in the air which can only mean one thing… Spring/Summer ’17 fashion week season is upon us! My phone becomes (even more so than normal) a further extension of my arm, my battery life severely suffers and my Instagram following count rapidly increases. It all starts in the city that never sleeps, America’s capital of culture and arguably the world’s fashion capital, New York. With over 100 shows, events and presentations in such a short, snappy period I can only imagine the week is a blur of glitz, and glamour for those lucky enough to attend. NYFW wouldn’t be the same without some drama and controversy and this season was no exception. We were reminded that even models make mistakes like us mere morals when Bella Hadid took a tumble during the Michael Kors show, and tension was high following the use of dreadlocks in Marc Jacob’s show with no recognition of the culture who provided the iconic look. I could ramble on endlessly about all NYFW had to offer, but do not fear, I have resisted the urge to do so and I have disciplined myself. I am only going to share my thoughts on six of my favourite collections from NYFW.

Marc Jacobs SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Thursday 15th September 2016

First and foremost, is the electro-pop inspired Marc Jacobs SS17 ready-to-wear collection. Marc Jacob’s is in hot water after the use of pastel coloured dreadlocks from Etsy during Thursday’s show and has been accused of cultural appropriation. The designer’s response to such backlash has caused further outcry by failing to credit the black culture for the iconic look. Whilst I don’t agree with those in privileged and influential positions not using their status to address pressing issues; I can’t help but admire this fun, vibrant collection made up of sequins, suede, satin and more. Jacob’s inspiration from the party goers of the late ‘80s and ‘90s and their dedication to the cause wasn’t only evident in the killer ‘spice up your life’ platforms but also in the staging. The contrast of the pastel pallet with the dark and grungy runway, peppered with neon lights and accompanied by Underground’s Born Slippy in the background ensured homage was paid to the gritty urban rave scene of the ‘90s. This collection made me want to plaster myself in glitter, wear the brightest eye shadow I could find, grab my platforms and head to the club whilst bopping along to Insomnia by Faithless.

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Thom Browne SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Monday 12th September 2016

 Thom Browne threw a pool party that would rival that of Gatsby himself. This elaborate show, set in an underground space turned into a 1950s bath-house, filled with energetic colour-blocking which seemed to reflect the pop-art movement of the era, was sure to mesmerise its spectators. The trompe l’oeil effect merging the masculinity and femininity of the pieces in a single smooth seamless transition is both aesthetically pleasing and intriguing. The show stopper has to be the dog mirror embroidered headpiece, a homage to Browne’s dog – Hector, which reflects a love and commitment to man’s best friend that only fellow dog owners will truly understand. Needless to say Browne’s collection further solidified the relationship between fashion and art.

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Libertine SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Monday 12th September 2016

God save the Queen! Libertine’s SS17 collection consisted of a tribute to the anarcho-punk days that took our nation by storm in the mid-1970s, Bob Marley and other key culturally influential figures in society. It was the former that particularly caught my attention as it evoked nostalgic memories of my days at secondary school when I carried out a project on the British punk movement in textiles (I still have my final piece). The show was littered with prints of Liz herself, Union Jacks, neon rhinestones, hot pink fur and jackets embezzled with non-conformist slogans, all calling into question the conventional idea of beauty. Libertine is known for its creativity and this collection was no exception, reigniting the fire in the heart of any former punk.

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Coach SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Tuesday 13th September 2016

Stuart Vever’s Spring collection was the polar opposite to his preppy fall 2016 collection. This grungy, archaic look was unlike anything presented by the brand before and I have never really given the brands previous collections much recognition. It was a bold move but nonetheless a successful one, demonstrating the fluidity and diversity of the brand. Non-conformity to traditional values of beauty is a reoccurring theme of this season and this gritty, edgy collection complete with a runway peppered with automobile relics and destruction clearly received the memo. With multitudes of leather, silk, mesh there appeared a tribute to the 90s, along with a tributes to the collections muse Elvis Presley after the brand successfully acquired the rights from the singer’s estate. This collection also saw the return of the creepers, these iconic shoes made a re-appearance in 2010/11 and much to the dismay of my mother I jumped on the bandwagon and strutted round town in a pair of black suede creepers. I doubt I will dig them back out now they have graced the runway once again, I’m just grateful that this proves I wasn’t completely delusional since they have been given recognition on the runway. Whilst, I love admiring the art of fashion, I love it even more when a I come across a collection that is artistic but also extremely wearable and its safe to say the Vever’s spring collection has achieved such a balance. My favourite pieces from the collection being the silk embroidered bomber and the soft pink fur coat (as you will learn I love jackets and coats and I believe you can never have enough).

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Altuzarra SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Sunday 11th September 2016

Coach was not the only brand distancing itself from the norm in regards to its previous collections, Altuzarra followed suit. The SS17 collection was worlds away from its normal sharp business-like attire with this fun, youthful collection, full of bright, vibrant colours, flamingo style dresses and skirts and snakeskin blazers embroidered with varying mediterrian fruits. The retro ‘80s style hoops dangling besides the models perfectly symmetrical faces further fuelled the fun and playful theme. This collection reminded me of holidays in Spain and made me want to jet off to some exotic destination for a bit of fun in the sun.

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Monique Lhuillier SS17 Ready-To-Wear -Tuesday 13th September 2016

This collection is bound to make any girl lucky enough to own a piece feel like a princess with the candy pink colour scheme, the bellowing ball gowns sprinkled with silver heart embroidery here and there and the sequins, one must never forget the sequins! I hope this elegant collection will incorporate its way into the next award season, these dresses would be a perfect accompaniment to any red carpet and golden statute. They epitomise Hollywood glamour and I will be gravely disappointed if they are a no show at the coming award season.

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It is clear that NYFW had a lot to offer from gothic, grungy get-ups to fiesta attire to elegant ball gowns, and I can only hope London, Milan and Paris will match NY by offering an equal amount of diversity.