Thursday, 24 July 2014

Dior Couture Fall/Winter 2014-15

I came across the Christian Dior campaign photographed by Barry Lategan in 1981 just a couple of days ago and have somehow become infatuated by this image. 'Heritage is Your Dior' is stated above the two sleeping models, a mum and daughter with bouncy curls tied in a pink bow. For a statement so bold, it felt so fitting for the recent presentation from Raf Simons for the Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-15 season. Simons is one to look to the future, the undiscovered and mystical almost and to push society to reach out and grab it while wearing NASA style jumpsuits with applied traditional embroidery. While heritage may be your Dior; Dior is the future. Yet Simons looked back to the Marie Antoinette and the aristocratic French court of the 18th century but there was the 19th century Edwardian long coats involved too and the roaring 20s flapper dresses. This is a collection about history; iconic moments in fashion throughout history, brought forward by influences of the cutting-edge rock band, Sonic Youth and Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. There was no weighted past, burdening this collection; in fact a collection that had lightness surrounding it. Weightlessness; as if there was no gravity. See the full collection here.

Photos Courtesy of and

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Lanvin Fall/Winter 2014-15

Oddly enough, the Lanvin Fall 2011/12 campaign came to mind the other day, out of no reason. I remembered the playful awkwardness surrounding Raquel Zimmermann and Karen Elson dancing to Pitbull, decked up in the Fall/Winter 2011/12 season. Fast forward three seasons and Lanvin are celebrating 125 years of the label. The original mother-daughter logo that stood proudly above the Lanvin title is reflected in the latest campaign. Tim Walker takes a new spin to the fashion house's campaign and shoots model, Edie Campbell and her family as well as a star appearance of Dolly; Edie's horse. The campaign illustrates the caring and loving side that comes from family but also draws on the playful and eccentricity that always comes hand in hand with family. As Edie and her family greet each other, fool around and arrive in their latest Lanvin, Alber Elbaz demonstrates, it truly is a celebration of family affairs. 

Photos Courtesy of Lanvin

Monday, 14 July 2014

The One and Only

On this early Monday morning, I've came across another impressive and equally elegant and beautiful editorial by the ever so talented Tim Walker. 'The One and Only' editorial featured in the Vogue US May 2014 issue paying tribute to Charles James, the late designer regarded as the "America's first couturier". Tim Walker's photographs are reminiscent of Cecil Beaton's work of Charles James voluminous gowns; which are some of my favourite images. The photo above shows the models dressed in dramatic paper dresses leaving me feeling reminiscent about pattern cutting. That feeling when you are ready to visualise and realise ideas with paper patterns and scraps of calico or draping directly on the stand to get those first ideas out. 

Photo's Courtesy of Tim Walker and Vogue US

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Giambattista Valli Couture Fall/Winter 2014-15

I'm currently captured by F Scott Fitzgerald's 'Tender is the Night' where the scene takes place in the South of France on the French Riviera where we meet the glamorous couple, Nicole and Dick Diver and a barely 18 year old Rosemary Hoyt, the rising star. Fitzgerald creates a love triangle against the corruption and dark secrets that holds the Divers and their friendship group together causing their glamorous, rich and beautiful lives to slowly begin to tarnish. First published in 1934, the novel is set in the great Jazz Age of the roaring 20s in a beautiful French Riviera hotel which has sent me in a dreamy state of mind underneath the hot rays of the sun. Upon the presentation of the Giambattista Valli Couture Fall/Winter 2014-15, I knew I'd fall instantly in love with our leading lady as she walked out in a grey and white striped pyjama shirt with gentle folds and twists of the fabric for a skirt, stopping below the knee. Her hair was tossed up and hidden underneath a white cloth holding the mess together with large shades covering her eyes. She tossed on her heels from the night before and went on search for a strong, cup of coffee. Giambattista Valli presented a collection reminisment of a exclusive beach club set against the Classical era of Hollywood, something similar of the French Riviera where Nicole and Dick Diver and Rosemary Hoyt would be found. You could imagine one waking up to the bright sun after another night full of laughter, champagne and glamour, consuming yourself with the bed sheets around your naked body with the heat of the day beginning to pour itself into the hotel bedroom. This was demonstrated through the great folds of dramatic Fifties dresses or a long, light flared dress in white to be worn when there is a slight wind to let the fabric hug the edges of your body while the remaining trails behind. She finds her cup of coffee, served in the gardens of the hotel surrounded by great flowers of wisteria, daisies and geraniums blowing in the sea breeze, falling onto her lap and graceful shoulders. You don't have to think twice that this was the imagery Valli was aiming for with his collection. It may not have been exactly the fall and winter we were expecting but in fact ready for the summers ahead of Str. Tropez, Cannes and Monaco. With heavily embellished florals applied to white silk with bathing suits bottoms hidden beneath, the pyjama style pants, coats and dresses and from the gentle to great and drama filled folds and wraps; this collection was about rehabilitation. It was about those moments by the calmness of the sea and the breeze that comes with it, when matters become clear and there is a sense of tranquillity. Yet there was exclusiveness, richness and heat in this collection too reflecting on the Alhambra Gardens, Valli had visited a few years back. This collection held itself high without gracefulness with an almost grown up feel attitude yet still had a feel of eccentricity and a tasteful take of sexy. As I continue 'Tender is the Night', I can't help but imagine each scene played out with Nicole Diver in the pinstripe pyjama pants and a white peplum top with large white folds with applied purple flowers absorbing the shoulders and neckline, almost a wrap of a scarf of flowers as she lays underneath her parasol on the beach, looking on at her children and husband playing. Enters Rosemary Hoyt, the leading starlet in a black and white striped body hugging bathing suit with red and black flowers applied to a white transparent silk dress reading to steal to heart of Dick Diver. See the rest of the collection here.

Courtesy of

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Atelier Versace Couture Fall/Winter 2014-15

A case of sophistication was in the air at the Versace couture show as Miss Versace commented backstage; "I love the Fifties couture. For me, it was the most perfect in cut and construction." It may have not been completely nipped waists and flared poodle skirts but Versace demonstrated that sophistication through the refinement of techniques and construction. It was shown in the tailored fit of boned-waist jackets and fitted bodices creating perfect corseted silhouettes yet kept a sense of ease and exlcusion of restriction. Deconstruction and asymmetric cuts were key to this couture collection shown through cuts and slices into fabrics forming missing sections that shown bare skin creating a sulky sexy mood. With this there was simple but equally stunning falls of the fabric and if not that, great, deep folds wrapped round with buckles in place. Twists and pulls of simple t-shirts, embellished with crystals with rolled up sleeves in place adding the usual punk-glamour edge to this Versace collection. "I am Versace, I have to show it to the world." Donatella added backstage. See the rest of the looks here.

Photo's Courtesy of VWD.