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Sunday, 20 March 2011 06:22

The king is gone

Written by Daniel P Dykes

He stood outside for hours. A solitary figure under the shadow of the wall of Musee Rodin, while the rest of us basked in the sun that was warming this Paris fashion week afternoon. The crowds went in and the crowds came out, and he was still there. A man with a message. The king is gone: one man's tribute to the passing of John Galliano from the house of Dior.

galliano king dead

Igor, the gent in the picture, was but one part of a day that I can only describe as a circus. A day in which the streets were teaming with spectators, the media, paparazzo and guests alike. A day in which the transport meant to take models to their next show simply failed to materialise. A day of drama.

Published in pictures
Thursday, 24 March 2011 11:34

Martin Grant: pared down

Written by Daniel P Dykes

If I were to mention the 70s 'glam' soundtrack that backed this catwalk it might leave you with an impression of clothing that sits between glam and sexualised. That is, after all, the most common interpretation of the 70s revival that we've encountered since we started our tour of fashion weeks back in January. Yet, showing at Paris fashion week Australian designer Martin Grant avoided the cliche that the choice of music implied. In many a way the pieces were far more Parisian, far more Collins Street (Melbourne, Australia's home to international, luxury boutiques) then they were Milan. They were young, yet leaned towards elegance as opposed to the wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am the music implied we were going to encounter.

martin grant

Grant instead left the head turning aspect to what felt like no more than two obvious details per garment. A brown trench, sitting as part of the collection's brown and black component, featured a split up the back that seemed to open teasingly with each step. The split played second fiddle to the to the trench coat's shiny, plastic finish and paired together the those two details ensure that nothing else stood out. It was a similar story of dresses; some featured pleats and a repeating check pattern (close up this check pattern of repeating shine and matt the light adding life to garments whose pleats already gave them plenty), others paired strong tonality against high dress splits - yet that feeling of nothing being over the top, of no design being cluttered by too much detail, remained.

The aforementioned shine of a plasticated finish may have been repeated throughout a collection, though the browns and blacks weren't. As the music changed into something another 70s song, one that spoke of street life and had the woman to the left of me left tapping and bopping away in her seat, the collection moved from winter hues to winter brights. Head turning brights. Reds that would stop even the most jaded of people. None were pure red, and some were pared down against creams, but a shiny, off-red trench coat would have been a show stopper were it not for the fact that it hit the catwalk half way through the show. Red being red, and these reds being so bold, Martin Grant's autumn 2011 collection moved into something far less demure, far less toned down then what we'd been privy too. It never abandoned its ability to avoid the clutter of excess details, but this is a part of the collection that is far young, far more spirited.

I was only able to secure some detail photos of Martin Grant's autumn / fall 2011 collection, which you can see by clicking on the thumbnails below. We'll bring you the full catwalk collection if the photos come to hand, if not Grant's collection is one we hope to capture again when it shows at next year's Melbourne fashion festival.

Published in pictures
Thursday, 07 April 2011 22:17

Hakaan's hotness

Written by Daniel P Dykes

Where it was masculine, it was oversized. Where it was feminine, it was sexualised. From it's leather mini dresses to oh-so-short feathered ones, Turkish designer Hakaan Yildirim walked a fine line between the masculine and the feminine at his autumn / fall 2011 showing.

hakaan fall 2011

With it's palette sweeping across the standard blacks and whites and infused with the head turning red typical of the season, it was naturally the feminine pieces of the collection that acted as the show stopper. But it was equally as easy to appreciate a subtle mix between futurism and 20th century classicism amongst Hakaan's autumn 2011 offering as well.

You can see all the photos of the Paris fashion week showing of Hakaan's autumn / winter 2011 / 2012 collection by clicking on the thumbnails below.

Published in pictures
Friday, 04 February 2011 04:36

Leonard's Far Eastern modesty

Written by Daniel P Dykes

Leonard's fall 2011 collection was always going to have a soft edge to it, that much was was clear from soft pink colour akin to a late season bloom of roses that bathed the catwalk. Opening to the beat of a military soundtrack that quickly transformed into a piece of 1980s pop from the Pet Shop Boys, Leonard offered up to their Paris fashion week guests a collection that was indeed feminine but, with its full cuts, was largely modest. Save for the odd piece of sheer and plunging neck line, this was a showing free of the excesses of youth.

That lack of youthful excess was evident in all the cuts. Piece after piece came out, some slender, some boxy, but never did they play up to the skin baring trends of the season. Trim pieces had their place, but they were so taughtly cut that they clung to the torso so much so that even as one of the show's models moved her shoulders as hard as she was moving her hips, she failed to elicit even the slightest movement from the two pieces she was wearing. It wasn't all rigid, however, with the maxi dress pieces from Leonard's collection spot on in their movement and lines even if they were a little close to spring / summer in their prints.

What it lacked in overt youth it made up for with winter prints and embroidery aplenty. Opening with embellishments of Far Eastern peonies (and a large selection of models from the same region for good measure - I'm unsure if this was purposeful thematic choice, a simple casting of the best model for the job, or a statement of Leonard's target market), the collection also had something of a South American component; angled lines juxtaposed against circles, all in different colours, had more than a hint of the Aztec about them while this components cream base worked well with the pale skin and blonde locks of the Eastern European models on the catwalk.

You can see all the photos from Leonard's autumn (fall) / winter 2011 / 2012 collection by clicking on the thumbnails below.

Published in pictures
Saturday, 29 January 2011 10:03

Valentin Yudashkin: the perfect tone

Written by Daniel P Dykes

He might have opened with an attention grabbing ushanka set against some decidedly unwintery prints (a subdued statement for fall 2011 if ever there was one), but it was Russian designer Valentin Yudashkin's play with a masculine edge set against the feminine elements of frill necks and lace panelling that really set the tone for his Paris fashion week showing.

valentin yudashkin

And that's saying something given this was a collection of immodest splits and some of the best winter brights we've seen for the season.

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

Published in pictures
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 13:27

Chanel's fine balance

Written by Tania Braukamper

Karl Lagerfeld doesn't do anything by halves. A runway lined with hot coals that were so convincing, people tiptoed over them after the show for fear of burning their new-season heels. Two enormous white Chanel gift boxes from which the models emerged. A foggy backdrop of an enchanted forest. Such was the setting for Chanel's Fall 2011 runway show at Paris fashion week, and like all good Chanel shows it was suitably epic.

For the coming fall, Chanel's girl is truly wearing the pants. At times skinny and rock-chic, at others wide legged with a dandy masculinity; even under skirts and frock-coats were there pants. Much of the time they were paired with flat, lace-up shoes or heavy boots for an even fuller masculine look. Boots that will be seen on many an off-duty model. Boots that rock. There's also a kind of Gothic twist to it all rounding out the enchanted forest theme and culminating in mid or floor-length capes that are heavy and dark.

But while the masculine is very much in force for Chanel that doesn't mean the feminine details are neglected. As with a number of other shows this season it's all about the balance, and for Karl Lagerfeld that means weighing up masculine cuts with delicate fabrics, embellished takes on the classic Chanel tweed, and lashings of rich lace.

chanel fall 2011

And the bags? Typically structured and chain-handelled, they're given an antique twist by way of aged metal fittings - and overall have an understated elegance that will no doubt put them on the arm of many a Chanel girl come fall.

You can see a selection of photos from the Chanel autumn / fall 2011 / 2012 showing by clicking on the gallery below.

Published in pictures
Tuesday, 01 March 2011 02:50

Elie Saab: red carpet calling

Written by Tania Braukamper

Elie Saab's Paris fashion week showing started out with black - and lots of it, and mostly with sophisticated tailoring. It almost seemed as if Saab's usual array of show-stopping frocks was not to make an appearance. But then, all at once, there they were: flowing, form-fitting, with many a thigh high slit. The red carpet options in Saab's fall 2011 collection are plentiful, and even the tailored pieces with sharp pants or knee-length skirts and peplumed hips seemed better suited to an evening occasion. The stand outs, though, were probably the fiery red numbers, and some black all-over sequinned frocks that dazzled like a starry night sky.

elie saab fall 2011

Click on the thumbnails below to view all of the runway coverage from Elie Saab's autumn / fall 2011 / 2012 collection.

/images/201105021652083211.jpgBackstage at Elie Saab (15.3.11)

Published in pictures

Written by Daniel P Dykes

Of all the fashion shows I've been to this year few have stood out like Louis Vuitton autumn / fall 2011 showing and, if I'm honest, no other has come close to being on the same level in terms of just how sumptuous the setting was. Louis Vuitton, you see, went to the effort of erecting a temporary structure within the walls of the Louvre that was so immersive, so impressive, that it seemed like a crying shame to think that so much craftsmanship boiled down to a 20 minute lifespan. As I remarked to my photographer after the show, it was a shame that more people wouldn't get to revel in the setting thus we briefly went about attempting to document it. Thankfully, the creatives at Louis Vuitton thought much the same of their handiwork, and while you may never get to walk its chequered floor nor ride in its lace iron lifts, you can still immerse in it thanks to the wonders of technology.

louis vuitton catwalk

If you point your browser of choice to fashionshow.louisvuitton.com you can now engage, and I don't use the word lightly, in something of a virtual reality tour of the fete that Louis Vuitton pulled off on the day. You'll be able to use your computer to walk the same entrance steps that we did on the day, sans the fetish maids and their dusters, watch a commentary of the show narrated by Marc Jacobs and Katie Grand, take in the backstage action and rehearsals, and naturally watch the show itself. If there's anything this immersive reality experience is missing, it's the ability to download the catwalk music to your iPod - something I can't be alone in wanting to do.

You can see a preview of Louis Vuitton's catwalk by clicking on the thumbnails below, but for the head experience you'll need to take in fashionshow.louisvuitton.com.

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