Displaying items by tag: Paris
Saturday, 23 April 2011 18:57

Nicolas Andreas Taralis: from drone to moan

Written by Daniel P Dykes

We're back in the Palais de Tokyo. Let me tell you now that the name is something of a misnomer as, despite being in a different part of the same Paris fashion week venue to where we found ourselves earlier today, this is yet another room whose walls and floors have been stripped bare. This is also yet another space lit in non-palatial manner: it's dark, light illuminating scant little of this square space. It also is another space set up to ensure that the acoustics set a mood, and a low hum penetrates the chatter. Whoever thought it would be a good elemental touch probably isn't here to endure the sound, however. Either that, or they've left early, the drone having either lapsed them into a coma or triggered a migraine. It permeates the skull and it's potentially less pleasurable then a hangover.

The reason it is used to introduce the collection I can only guess. And my guess is this: it's an odd choice, and odd choices of music will soon follow to introduce each theme of Nicolas Andreas Taralis's autumn / winter 2011 collection. A collection that opens with medieval inspired chants, transitions into death metal (surely you saw that transition coming?), before finally offering up something more melodic, more centre of the road.

For the most part, the clothes also match the musical choices.

Nicolas Andreas Taralis autumn 2011

Cowled tunics inspired by the medieval period make up the collection's first component. As the sound of a man attempting to pass his lungs through his throat death metal begins Nicolas Andreas Taralis's collection transitions into one that is darker, heavier, more alternative. Demographic in mind, the aesthetic is precise, and in this dimly lit space it's easy to close your eyes and imagine precisely the sort of person that'll be wearing the collection in the coming seasons. The final, centre of the road brings something more commercial and eye catching, winter colours set against nudity. I've phrased that rather blatantly, but accurately so: exposed before us was a model in a one shouldered dress cut with a plunging neckline in such a way that her right breast is barely covered by her long tousled hair; hair which sits so firm that it's clear a hair stylist has clearly tried to use a lot of hair spray to hold it in place.

The real gem of the collection is, however, in a number of its cuts. Boyfriend shirts are cut so high at the side that they waft up with each step promising to reveal a perfectly formed derriere, a cut which takes thigh high splits to the nth degree. Dresses feature the same sorts of splits, but rising up either leg. Trousers are tailored without pockets, showing off a hint of thigh in an overt take on the cutaway trend.

It's sexualised, but less so then a fully exposed breast. It's also far more engaging then the droning hum which both opened and closed this showing.

You can see all of the photos from Nicolas Andreas Taralis's autumn / winter 2011 / 2012 collection by clicking on the thumbnails below.

Published in pictures
Sunday, 10 April 2011 08:50

harryhalim: urban edge

Written by Daniel P Dykes

Every city has its own unique dress code across any of its fashion weeks. Admittedly you'll find run of the mill dressers in each of the city, but take the centre away and what you're left with are those who dress to a certain vibe. Here at Paris fashion week that sees an aesthetic that parts of the rest of the world would view as sitting somewhere between flamboyant and alternative. And so it is that the city's catwalks cater to such a vibe, with harryhalim bringing to his fall 2011 a look that sits resolutely amongst the darker side of the 'alternative' aesthetic.

harry halim fall 2011

Halim's choice of Paris to show this collection is no mistake. It's not the first time he's unveiled a collection in the city, but with his Indonesian heritage and his past shows having been held in Singapore, it's a clear statement of who Halim sees his potential customer as being.

Thus he's crafted a collection that leans towards the urban alternative. One of blacks and olives. Of open weaved knits and sheer panels. Of suedes and leathers. Of splits and slits. Of high necked collars and floor scraping hems. And all with an alternative slant. One that you know isn't mainstream, but (predominantly through the women's component) still isn't as outlandish as most collections that receive the 'alternative' moniker. Hence the urban prefix - this is a collection with a an alternative heart, but one that the mainstream palette can easily cherry pick from for winter 2011's dark days.

You can see all of Harry Halim's autumn / winter 2011 / 2012 collection by clicking on the thumbnails below and browsing through the photos.

Published in pictures
Thursday, 17 March 2011 03:28

Anne Valerie Hash: feeling the magic

Written by Daniel P Dykes

Be it at Paris fashion week or elsewhere, it's not the sole aim of a catwalk to give you a visual overview of a collection. Sadly, in this fast-paced century where collections can often be seen in full on sites such as Fashionising.com and Style.com in less than an hour after they have shown and half a year before you can buy in to them, it certainly feels as if the visual is all that matters. But a catwalk is more than just a visual unveiling. From the music to the crowd, from the lighting to the very way the clothes move with the frame of the model, a catwalk should breathe essence into the birth of an interpretation of a coming season. Some catwalks miss that point altogether, others keep it front and centre.

Take Anne Valerie Hash's fall 2011 showing as the perfect example of working to communicate that a catwalk showing is about more then just creating a moment for the perfect, straight-down-the-centre photo to be taken.

anne valerie hash fall 2011

By way of the show's notes, that coveted document that explains to the media and buyers alike the vision behind a collection, Hash communicated her collection's major point: the sensuality of it. Put another way, Hash noted that she has created a collection whose intent is that the feel of the material creates a "touch" that warms against "the harsh winter's cold." And that's something that's hard to communicate through photos alone.

From photos you'll come to understand much about a collection. Peruse those of Anne Valerie Hash's below and you'll see the nonchalance of the cut, you'll have a hint of the elegance infused into the collection when you sight its fur, and you'll note that it's all crafted from winter colours and prints. But you'll never spot the fact that what appears to be a cotton is in fact a cashmere. You'll never spot the way the velvet was cut to caress the skin as opposed to bounce in reaction to each step its wearer takes. And you'll never see just how feminine the ruffles are as they gather at an exposed shoulder and waft gracefully.

This is the conundrum of a fashion collection such as Anne Valerie Hash's, and a problem for the industry at large. Its true magic can only be felt in person, the mood properly set. We can allude to the feel of it all, inform you as to how we encountered it, but to really understand where the brilliance of its designer lies, to really 'get it', the adage is true: I guess you just had to be there.

You can see all of Anne Valerie Hash's autumn / winter 2011 / 2012 collection by clicking on the thumbnails below.

Published in pictures
Saturday, 26 February 2011 16:44

The throng at Dior

Written by Daniel P Dykes

If you wanted to get inside Dior's fall 2011 this is the unending throng that you had to push through. Mario Testino did. Grace Coddington did. Anna Wintour got her driver to go through an alternate entrance.

dior crowd

You can see all of Fashionising.com's other coverage of Paris fashion week by following the link.

Published in pictures
Monday, 14 March 2011 03:32

Karolina Kurkova: the hair detail

Written by Daniel P Dykes

Seemingly with less on her plate then when we encountered her at Dior's Paris fashion week, Korlina Kurkova was more than happy to offer the photographers assembled outside the Viktor & Rolf showing a pose or two. And while I'm sure there were plenty of great snaps to be had, the devil was in the detail: the plait that remained in her hair even once the shows faux-plaited pony tail had been removed.

You'll find a close up snap after the jump.

Karolina Kurkova hair

Karolina Kurkova hair

Published in hair
Friday, 18 February 2011 20:47

Claudine Ivari: very ready to wear

Written by Daniel P Dykes

Do a tour of the European and North American catwalks and you might find yourself somewhat jaded at the tail end of it. Having paid witness to the unveiling of the better part of 100 collections (at least that's the figure I'm given) you see so much of the alternate, so much of the ostentatious, that it's easy to forget that the down right wearable has it's place in the market too. In fact, it is the market. And wearable is precisely what designer Claudine Ivari unveiled for her autumn / fall 2011 collection at Paris fashion week.

Amongst the gilded walls of a baroque room in which the Arc de Triomphe served as the backdrop through impossibly tall windows, Ivari unveiled a collection that was at once feminine and wearable. When it comes to a fashion week the latter quality may seem out of place, but Paris is this week hosting a ready-to-wear catwalk and Ivari has created something that is precisely that. She has also created something that proved she knows her customer, with piece after piece receiving applause or was cooed after.

But just who was that customer? And what did they like?

Claudine Ivari autumn 2011

For a start they felt somewhat older. Fashion week collections generally have a flirty youthfulness about them, but Ivari's designs seemed to have something of a matureness about then. And that's not maturity in the aged sense (even if the majority of the women in the front row were approaching twice my own age and my companion for the evening suggested I label this as a collection suited to those 45 plus), but it is at least in the tastes sense. Each piece seemed more Sophia Lauren at her peak then they did Bridgett Bardot in her youth. I'm also most certain that will make little sense so let me elaborate: Ivari has hit on a style that is sexualised without depending on youth, one for the fuller figure where large chests may freely apply (and were readily cast) and the cuts aren't dependent on waif like figures to flatter them, a collection that seemed rooted in European tastes from far east of Paris.

For such a customer Ivari revealed a collection that came out fast and feminine. I'd have worked 'thick and fast' into that sentence, but the opposite is true. Despite being an autumn / winter collection this is one that is far too feminine to feature the heavier box cuts the season will be offering up. Instead it's a collection of sheer dresses, plunging necklines, and figure hugging mini dresses. The piecse that worked best, however, were those with a lavish femininity applied. That lavishness began with a feathered dress and climaxed with the sheer, ruffled piece you can see pictured above.

As ready-to-wear as this was, there were still those pieces which fell short of the mark. Longer dresses may have had a good cut to them, but the digital prints applied to them missed the mark - and that wasn't just to my eye, the applause that welcomed other pieces was noticeably missing when each of the prints made its way onto the catwalk. Also confusing were some of the cuts applied to the collection's leather pants: both I and the young lady to my right swear they had a cut that purposefully showed what appeared to be not one but two visible-panty-lines. It appeared as if a seam had been added for detail but had instead created an undesirable crease.

You can take in all of Claudine Ivari's autumn (fall) / winter 2011 / 2012 collection by clicking on the thumbnails below and browsing through the photos.

Published in pictures
Thursday, 17 February 2011 06:14

Steffie Christiaens: experimentally strong

Written by Daniel P Dykes

You have never seen a fashion crowd move with so little fervour. Here we were assembled in the forecourt of the 18th century Monnaie de Paris, while inside was to be the showing. It was not just doors that separated us, however. For today mother nature gave this city its first true glimpse of spring 2011, the wind still and the sun gently warming, and this group of visual appreciatives simply opted to bask in the moment. A moment made longer by French champagne and initially interrupted by little else than the sound of a waiter struggling against the laws of physics as his tray and its glasses found themselves connecting with the cobble stones.

Somewhere nearby a bell tower heralded the arrival of three in the afternoon, door men begged us to go in, and slowly people awoke from this sun kissed Sunday siesta. Buyers marched to their seats, ever eager to take their front row position, while the rest of us did little more than meander away from our source of assured warmth. Was it a sign of things to come? Not for a moment. We were here to witness the unveiling of Steffie Christiaens' fall 2011 collection and while it was to include some electric colours, it offered little in the way of what you might describe as 'winter brights'.

steffie christiaens

Instead it was a collection you might describe as progressive. Experimenting with shape and texture, Christiaens' collection certainly isn't straight down the centre nor main stream, but at the same time it isn't what you'd typically term 'alternative'. Instead it leans towards futuristic, with a heavy infusion of experimentation thrown in for good measure - this is, after all, Christiaens' first solo collection.

And as a first collection it's a strong opener; Christiaens has a history that includes work at both Balenciaga and Maison Martin Margiela and it shows. Where pieces emerged as interpretations of basic concepts there were always an added element or two; high waisted women's trousers in a powdery ash colour were shaped largely as you'd expect them but came with the a wrap waist and a bow at the rear. Crocodile skins were ingeniously cut across shoulders, the texture and dye giving the impression that you were beholding armour and not a decadent quantity of an exotic leather. Such strength, however, wasn't consistent. While experimentation in the women's part of this autumn / fall 2011 collection lead to stand out dresses such as the near-avant garde, cobalt blue piece pictured above and others of a similar ilk, there were those pieces which felt like experimentation for the sake of it. And in some ways that's an unfair criticism: they'll appeal to someone and Christiaens no doubt had her vision for the certainly-avant garde pieces, but they never came off as feeling of the same calibre of other pieces within the offering.

As a first collection it still remains strong however, and we look forward to seeing exactly where this Dutch designer is able to take her career. You can see all of Steffie Christiaens' autumn / winter 2011 / 2012 collection by clicking on the thumbnails below and browsing through the photos.

Published in pictures
Saturday, 29 January 2011 12:23

Louis Vuitton's fetish-cum-fashion

Written by Daniel P Dykes

I'm still finalising my thoughts on what I can only describe to you as the most impressive of all the fall 2011 fashion show products. Louis Vuitton hosted their showing to a t: it started on time (the first show I've ever been to do to that), the staging was epic, the sheer number of models were epic, and Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton managed to bring Kate Moss back to the catwalk despite her having retired from that part of fashion quite some time ago.

But just because I'm still formulating where I see Louis Vuitton's next collection offering as figuring into the season, doesn't mean you can't indulge in it now. You'll find all the pictures from the collection at the bottom of this article.

louis vuitton womens fall 2011

You can see all the pictures of Louis Vuitton's autumn (fall) / winter 2011 / 2012 collection by clicking on the thumbnails below and browsing through the gallery. You can also see their men's collection for the season by following that link.

/images/201105021653263299.jpgThe set at Louis Vuitton (10.3.11)

Published in pictures
Sunday, 20 February 2011 16:53

Redspiration: achieving the right contrast

Written by Daniel P Dykes

Our publication's editor, Tania Braukamper, recently ventured off to her hair stylist in order to live up to 2011's hair trend adage of 'just change it'. Her blonde locks were to become red ones. Things didn't quite go as planned and the strong red that Tania wanted, the kind you see captured in this street style snap, came out closer to strawberry blonde. A trip back to the salon ought to fix that and when it does black will clearly be a colour of strength for Tania as it is for all red heads.

Red hair, you see, remains something of a rarity in a sea of blondes and brunettes. It thus demands contrasting with colours that really make it pop; blacks, blues and greens.

red head punk

Cut with a fringe and worn with all black and a pair of aviators, as it is above, red hair takes on another life of its own. It needn't even have a hint of the punk to it for that hint is easily drowned out by the dominance of the hair. And after so many years of derision, now that it finally is a hair colour trend, that's precisely what red hair needs to do.

This particular street style look was snapped in Paris by The Sartorialist.

Published in hair
Tuesday, 01 March 2011 06:36

Amaya Arzuaga's architectural curiosities

Written by Magdalena Kapuscinska

Wearable geometry of urban designs is the main signature of famous Spanish designer Amaya Arzuaga. Her latest collection for the fall 2011 season presented in Paris fashion week; the designer's hallmark architectural fascinations presenting the new definition of chic looks with sculptural femininity. The palette of the collection is saturated with bloody red, turquoise, orange, stone and grey colours accompanied with black or showcased solo. The selection of merino wool, felt, silk, knit, stretch leather and transparent jersey composes the modern vision of woman with the DNA of Amaya Arzuaga. The collection is predominantly inspired by fashion mathematics of shapes, curves and surfaces ranging from linear pieces defining the silhouette, osseous structures, ovoid and elliptical profiles, and wavy pleated figures to butterfly volumes and outfits resembling the delicate structure of an Arthropod shell. The designs amaze with the discreet fusion of practicality and a futuristic touch.

amaya arzuaga fall 2011

Visit amayaarzuaga.com.

Click on the gallery below to view the rest of the runway coverage from Amaya Arzuaga's Paris fashion week show.

Published in pictures
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