FAVOURITE COLLECTIONS FROM PFW SS17

The Grande Finale

PFW ended this lavish season with a bang! With robots and robberies, Paris provided a week like no other that was definitely out of the ordinary. There was a sense of change and progression in the air as well-established fashion houses were not afraid to demonstrate that they are more forward-thinking and well adapted to the times. We saw the first female Creative Director of the 70-year-old French fashion house Dior unveil her first collection full of feisty feminist slogans offering a sense of girl power. And we saw the fusion of fashion, femininity and technology in Chanel’s SS17 show which saw the Grand Palais transformed into Karl’s Data Centre. This week was full of fashion firsts changing the face of the industry that can often appear to be rigid and unaccommodating of the views of the modern millennium. Whilst there are rules and regularities that are here to stay (for now) this week has demonstrated how designers are not afraid to steer away from the status quo every now and again. And when they do they are sure to make a lasting impression.

Dior SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Friday 30th September 2016

This exquisite collection put together (in only six weeks!!) by the established fashion house’s first female Creative Director , Maria Grazia Chiuri, was a tribute to women everywhere. With simple slogan t-shirts that read “we should all be feminists” and princess evening gowns that oozed femininity there was no shortage of girl power. The juxtaposition of the fierce fencing jackets and the dainty flowing dresses conveyed the many guises of a feminist embodying the idea that anyone can be such. Homage was also paid to the founder himself with tarot-inspired and astrological embroidery, both said to have been an interest of the designer. This beautiful collection is sure to inspire the modern woman representing female progression and power in a female dominated industry in which only a third occupy the top jobs.

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Miu Miu SS17 Ready-To-Wear -Wednesday 5th October 2016

Groove is in the heart! This retro inspired beach babe show, which was the final show of the season, was bound to make show-goers feel as though they had been transported back to the 70’s and yearn for the return of summer already. We saw glossy swimwear grace its way down the runway accompanied by flamboyant floral rubber swimming caps. Popping with vibrant colours and full to the brim of groovy floral prints and patterns this was sure to make any 70’s hippy feel nostalgic.

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Chanel SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Tuesday 4th October 2016

Karl Lagerfled likes to ensure his shows make a lasting impression jumping from one extreme to the next with his themes. And this season did not fail to disappoint. Karl provided an insight into the future conveying the relationship between fashion, femininity and technology in his SS17 collection unveiled in the Grand Palais which was transformed into his very own Chanel Data Centre. This collection blew the fuse with cable woven tweed, neon laser beam prints and edgy urban snapbacks making an appearance on the runway. Robotic models opened the futuristic show strutting their stuff in Coco’s renowned tweed ensemble, this ensured that this classic piece was viewed in a whole new light making it timeless and immortal. Karl clearly had the next generation of Chanel shoppers in mind and it is clear that the German designer recognises the need for the industry to adapt to the demands of modern society.

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Kenzo SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Tuesday 4th October 2016

Miu Miu wasn’t the only collection that offered a blast from the past. Whilst the 80’s was full of fashion faux pas this season has seen the return of many of its finest trends. Kenzo’s SS17 collection was full of puffed sleeves, boiler suit jumpsuits and a metallic pallet. There was also a hint of the 90’s with military wear, oversized tees turned into dresses and the parka coat all making a return to the runway. This retro collection is bound to appeal to any 80’s/90’s kid looking to channel their days as a teen.

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Alexander McQueen SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Monday 3rd October 2016

Sarah Burton never fails to embody the late Alexander McQueen in her collections, ensuring homage is paid to the talented designer and founder in each and every stich. This gothic/punk inspired collection with grungy mini-kilts, delicately embroidered evening gowns and leather jackets skilfully painted with floral motifs merged Parisian and British fashion to create a beautiful hybrid. Tribute was paid to the founder’s origins with the lavish grounds of the Jardin du Luxembourg littered with symbols and references to the Scottish Highland with woven and taatit rugs lining the bumpy runway. Each and every piece seemed to contain a hint of McQueen’s heritage with Shetland lace, Fair Isle knits and chunky steel toe capped boots making their way onto the runway. This collection full of attitude, elegance and high-end craftsmanship stood out among the seemingly conventional Parisian fashion houses.

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I haven’t singled out a collection from this week that I would like to see grace the red carpet this coming award season as no single collection stood out as such. Rather, I felt there were exquisite pieces from multiple collections which would be suitable attire to any red carpet event including ones that I have discussed above such as Dior and McQueen and ones not mentioned including Valentino. Below are some of the pieces I would like to see strut down the carpet:

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Paris provided a seemingly splendid end to what has been an exciting and eventful fashion-filled month. So the fashion frivolities may have come to an end until next season (Jan/Feb 2017) but in this constantly evolving and fast-paced industry we will not be short of new developments keeping us on our toes in the meantime.

Fin

FAVOURITE COLLECTIONS FROM LFW SS17

Mind the gap!

Its Saturday 17th September, day two of LFW, whilst I’m sat on the tiled floor of Euston station there’s a chill in the air, the temperature has plummeted to below mid-teens and the wind is starting to feel icier, you can feel the cold creeping into your bones – pathetic fallacy perhaps because I’m leaving my favourite city, during fashion week nonetheless. But it wasn’t just the weather that embodied a sense of change, it was the fashion too.

This week in our nations capital there was a theme of regeneration on the runway, with smaller fashion houses making waves within the industry, fresh talent being revealed at the Kingston University Ma show and Burberry unveiling its highly anticipated ‘see-now, buy-now’ collection. In a city that was in utter dismay at the heart of a divided country following the vote in June, LFW offered a sense of unity and patriotism that seemed to have disappeared following the Brexit vote. It was out with the woe with a celebration of British talent, enabling us to have a more positive future outlook. Like NYFW, LFW was full of surprises with bejazzled crocs creeping onto the runway in the Christopher Kane show housed in the former Bankside Power Station, now Britain’s finest and most acclaimed Modern Art Gallery… wait does that mean bejazzled crocs are art?! Hmm it’s a no from me, but I can’t deny they were one hell of a fashion statement! Again, I could ramble on about all London had to offer this season, but I won’t! Placing myself under strict instructions to be as concise as I can, I am only going to share my thoughts on my favourite collections from this absolutely fabulous and marvellously British week.

Burberry SS17 ‘See-Now, Buy-Now’ – Tuesday 19th September 2016

Its safe to say that every LFW the Burberry show always acquires the most hype and this weeks was no exception. If anything this Virginia Woolf inspired show was probably the most highly anticipated in Burberry’s history as it was the debut of the brand’s ‘see-now, buy-now’ collection. All eyes were on Christopher Bailey’s landmark collection set to change the seasonal fashion calendar and it did not fail to disappoint. Despite its Elizabethan style, this gender fluid collection was sure to appeal to the modern millennial. The collection based on Woolf’s classic Orlando: A Biography which follows the journey of a poet as he transitions from a man to a woman embodied and embraced modern values and societal acceptance of gender fluidity. This collection also saw the merge of furnishing and fashion with curtain tassels, carpet patterns and luxurious silks and satins making an appearance. The disused book shop which housed the show was like a scene from a British stately home, floored with elegant olive green carpet, accompanied by a live orchestra and choir perfectly conveying the theme. This was a truly British send off to a truly British week.

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Mary Katrantzou SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Sunday 18th September 2016

*sings* Who put the glad in Gladiator? Mary Katrantzou’s SS17 collection certainly did! This vibrant Grecian collection immediately caught my eye, evoking memories of the good old days sat in front of the TV watching Disney’s Hercules on repeat. I could see the muses in the Grecian vase prints, Megara embroidered in iridescent sequins and on closer observation (Look 1) an embroidered Hercules himself accompanied by his trusty companion Pegasus in the Temple of Zeus. There was a juxtaposition of old and new with ancient Greek prints on pop-art geometric prints. This groovy Grecian collection was a treat for the eyes and I enjoyed the nostalgia it brought with it.

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Ashley Williams SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Friday 16th September 2016

This ‘80s inspired collection completely disproves the phrase “Acceptable in the ‘80s”, which implies that the unique style of the era should remain, well, in that era. This collection brought back the very best fashion trends the ‘80s had to offer with puffed selves, varsity jackets, blinging diamond earrings and tributes to ‘80s heartthrob River Phoenix, Malibu Barbie and the hit show Saved by the Bell. This fun, vibrant collection is sure to evoke a sense of nostalgia in any ‘80s teen. The super cute stuffed animal accessories, sparkling chokers and clips keeping in the ‘80s dos were also not to be missed. Looking through this fun, energetic, youthful collection had me subconsciously humming Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun and made me want to pop round to my grandparents to find some ‘80s treasures they’ve been hoarding away.

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Ashish S17 Ready-To-Wear – Monday 19th September 2016

The Brexit vote this summer not only divided the country but further alienated members of the community. The rise of racial attacks and hatred following the vote made many valued members of society who had migrated to Britain feel unwelcome in their own home, this is something which no one should ever be made to feel. However, the rise in hate crimes did not stop Indian-born designer, Ashish Gupta, who migrated from Delhi in 1996, from paying homage to his roots and demonstrating how Britain thrives from a rich, diverse, multi-cultural society. This collection saw the fusion of Eastern and Western cultures with delicately embroidered churidars partnered with preppy slogan t-shirts. This collection truly was a celebration of the migrant community in Britain, who I hope know are very much valued by many.

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Temperley London SS17 Ready-To-Wear -Sunday 18th September 2016

Temperley London’s flirty candy coloured collection contextualised the conventional idea of beauty. Filled with intricate floral embroidery and sparkling sequins, I hope this collection, like Monique Lhuillier, graces its way onto the red carpet this coming award season. These dazzling pieces would make any girl feel like a winner, whether or not accessorised with a golden statue in hand.

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Kingston University Ma SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Friday 16th September 2016

The Kingston University Ma show offered a breath of fresh air and positivity which ousted the doom and gloom that has lingered following the vote to leave the EU in June. This celebration of British talent offered an insight into the creative and unique minds of those who may just be the next McQueen, Westwood or Bailey. From asymmetric floral embroidered coats to vibrant and one-of-a-kind prints and patterns, the future of the British Fashion Industry is looking very promising and offers a sense of hope in these dark and uncertain times.

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LFW was full of fresh new talent and like NYFW was littered with diverse and unique talent. This week has truly been a celebration of British talent and has provided a positive insight into what the future holds.

Next stop – Milan, which can only mean one thing… GUCCI!!

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.