Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MFW Spring 11: Marni

When some designers do a theme like sportswear it can come across as derivative, cliche or costumey and whilst being appealing it often doesn't explore much that is new. Consuelo Castiglioni at Marni on the other hand manages to infuse athletic and aquatic references with that inherent Marni aesthetic - intellectual, strange yet still ultimately wearable.
I love the scuba and swimwear references, for once they seem to be appropriate for things other than editorials or the beach. Abstracted floral lace and ruffled peplums add feminine touches to what could otherwise be too much athletica.

And the shoes, as always, are amazing. So solid, so orthopedic, so Marni!

Topshop Unique Coming to The Department Store... TOMORROW!

As if any of us need a reason to go visit The Department Store (I can easily lose a whole afternoon there - and it's quite a treat when I have the time to do so) there is going to be a new incentive as of tomorrow when Topshop Unique arrives to join the Topshop stable on the upper floor. We will be getting the collection that hit the runways for winter, but it will be very easy to transition into our spring wardrobes as it features light palettes and delicate prints. The collection draws on the outdoors, an earthy aesthetic and a rural Englishness - with delicate prints, homely knits and shearling details. The shoes, as ever, will be uber popular (I swear 80% of the females at the Ruby show last week were wearing Topshop shoes). These two looks are not only some of my favorite from the collection, but would be some of the best options to fit into our spring and summer wardrobes down here in the southern hemisphere.

Source: Georgie @ Showroom 22

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jil Sander Spring 11

Raf Simons is one of the designers I do truly worship. Everything he does for both Jil Sander and his namesake line always has such intense clarity, precision and confidence. Not to mention sumptuous quality and finishing. The house's spring collection manages to combine minimalism with couture-like maximalism in one swift, deft blow. The womenswear is evocative of the acid brights he showed for the menswear weeks ago, yet has more of a refined simplicity and elegant luxury to it. Readers (and friends) will already know that I'm obsessed with colour right now, so naturally the acid brights here are very appealing. I love how they have pared so many looks back with simple white tshirts - the ultimate classic and democratic item - which acts as a laidback foil to all the dramatic (in size and hue) skirts and trousers. Even the monochromatic looks had a freshness - and the slash of bright pink lipstick did them the most justice.

Simons didn't hold back with colour layering either..

With Karen Walker, Prada and Raf Simons at Jil Sander all doing acid-charged brights for spring, I'm itching to get my hands on something of that kind. Bright hued yet tailored and slick - far from the eighties brights that were hanging around obnoxiously a couple of years ago when Aggy was and American Apparel were being worshiped. This new generation of brights is more high end, high quality and perfect finishing. Ladylike, simple and tailored. It's strength rests on high quality fabrics in beautiful, rich hues.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Backstage: Karen Walker Spring 11 "Perfect Day"

The backstage shots from Karen Walker's New York show are inescapably cheerful - you really can't help but feel smiley and happy and ready for spring. I'm really into colour at the moment, and this inspiration is buoyed by the improvement in weather here. Bright, pops of colour are definitely on my list for spring. In particular, that marigold skirt. Must have.

Click through for some more lovely, cheery shots..

NZFW 2010: Stolen Girlfriends Club "Last Night's Party"

So I half wrote this post... And then promptly fell asleep. Today has been my first day off in weeks and weeks - quite a shock to the system (especially after all the uncharacteristically late nights at fashion week).

Speaking of late nights, the Stolen Girlfriends Club lads always put on a good show. And despite the hour long wait to get into the Mercury Theatre for their thursday night show, everyone was in very high spirits. Gosling, Moore and Harwood didn't let anyone down with the killer soundtrack, pumping lights and clothes that radiated sex appeal.The boys have a very loyal fanbase by now and the label trades on a desirable image that mixes sex with rock star swagger and clever collection themes. Their winter collection "Last Night's Party" did just this and remained true to their aesthetic whilst still showing development (denim and tshirting appearing in only limited doses). This title of this collection explained it all really, with  every look evoking a morning after a debauched night - think prom dresses, black eyes (literally), cigarette butt and hydrangea prints and good girls gone bad. Their look is something I tend to admire from afar and appreciate on others - I've never been comfortable wearing short, tight things (I am so not comfortable enough with my body for that, unfortunately) but there are definitely some pieces that appealed to me. The sexy twist on the turtleneck sweaters were great - I've been loving this garment for a while, but it's so hard to do right (ie not look like a grandma) as were the little white tees. So simple and a good foil for the edgier pieces.

The long black skirt (dress?) with the slit up to their is sexy without being over the top or showing every single lump and bump you (unfortunately) may possess.
The big, oversized sweater is a nice, simplified development of last winters killer knitwear.
And the fur pieces would do Anita Pallenberg proud.

The show ended with an ironic, rock and roll twist on the classic "bride and groom looks" that used to finish high end fashion shows. Except this one was more "November Rain" and the confetti explosion that followed was pure Stolen Girlfriends Club.

Friday, September 24, 2010

TwentySevenNames Winter 11 "The Fearsome Five"

One of my favorite shows of the week was TwentySevenNames, as expected. Rachel and Anjali took their youthful muse back to school for winter - with a collection that payed homage to all the cliques and subcultures of the microcosm that is high school. Ubercool letterman jackets featured alongside nerdy bowties and preppy blazers, with the monochrome colourways making them look slick and modern (as opposed to looking to literal). And of course there were the light, sweet dresses that the label does so well, this season featuring horizontal pleating to great effect - it's a design feature I've been really loving lately (and incorporating into my own uni work this semester).

The velvet spotted dress was one of my favorite pieces. I love it's awkwardly elegant tea-length and the cut out on the back.

And of course I love the polka dot pieces - the whimsically random patterning of the spots is refreshing and fun.

Beauty shot source: MAC

Runway shot source: Hilary Johnston

Backstage Beauty

There has been some lovely beauty work done at fashion week this year - less gimmicky and unwearable as previous years. And refreshingly few smokey eye / red lip combos.

Juliette Hogan
So ladylike, so retro, so beautiful. I posted way to much about Hogan's show - but it's worth it. I'm going to start wearing more winged liner on my eyes and ribbons in my hair - easy, pretty, stylish.

The tailoring and nautical references at Zambesi were tempered by by painterly tribal makeup. It was perfectly matched by the killer soundtrack.

The hair at Ruby was lovely - soft, bouncy, natural. And I'm still thinking about that long, fine wool dress.

Beautiful, pale red heads backstage at Nom*D (before the gothic spectacle of their presentation). 

Colour images courtesy of MAC
Black & white images are Olivia Hemus for Stephen Marr

NZFW 2010: Jimmy D

Apologies for the intermittent posting - between going to the shows and doing trend reporting for Front Row Diary it's been hard to stay on top of everything. Let alone find time for meals and sleep! One of my favorite shows of the week was Jimmy D. It was so nice to see James Dobson's work back on the catwalk after a five year hiatus - and he came back with a slick, tight, cohesive collection (which some other designers could learn from). The first five or six looks that came out were definitely my high points - they combined his more typical aesthetic with athletic and preppy influences. Those cropped tops are definitely one of my picks, and I love how they add a bit of sex appeal to his loose, dark collection.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

NZFW 2010: Ruby "The Adventurers"

Ruby's sweet, civilized breakfast show was a lovely way to kick of the wet, windy day that was yesterday. Wind, rain and hail (like actual hail) did nothing to stop the show. The collection was an ode to explorers, adventurers and TinTin - seen through a lens of nostalgia. This show was a nice development for Ruby - not only because it was their first outing at NZFW, but also a step in a slightly more sober direction. There were plenty of their typically feminine, girly pieces (which will satisfy their loyal customer base) but there were also a good deal more pared back pieces - which is definitely more me.

My favorites of the whole collection were these fine charcoal wool pieces - sheer and delicate yet still appropriately wintery. Sombre, dramatic and wearable - yet still with the femininity that is so part of Ruby.