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Milan Fashion Week Spring 2013

I adore the designers who show at Milan Fashion Week – The clothes are inevitably dramatic, womanly, and sexy sexy sexy. This season was no exception, the collections shown were color, extravagant, and downright spectacular.

Versace:

The Versace woman is never afraid to show some skin and this Spring she’ll really be putting her fabulous figure on display in an assortment of mini skirts, dresses, and shorts in mesh, nude lace, and sheer fabrics.

Low slung belts, studded cross-body bags, midriff baring tops, and knee-high gladiator sandal-boot hybrids were the accessories de jour, all in blacks, nudes, and vibrant Spring colors. I especially liked the sleeveless shift dresses and the studded belts which added a dash of rock n’ roll to the looks.

Salvatore Ferragamo:

Leather and skins were highly featured at the Ferragamo show, and while other designers showed flowy silhouettes, bright colors, and prints & florals, Ferragamo was structured and tailored.

The black, white & nude collection included fabulous outerwear, slim pants, lacing, metallics, lace, mesh fabrics, snake-skin, boots, and studs, buckles & grommets.

Alberta Ferretti:

Delicate. Ladylike. Romantic. Those are all words that I usually associate with Alberta Ferretti and this Spring collection is no different. I might even add dreamy this season.

Between the beading, shimmering, feathers, lace, and wet-looking slinky fabrics this collection was a treat for the senses, you wanted to reach out and touch all the aquatic-inspired designs!

Prada:

‘Dramatic’ and ‘florals’ may not seem like they are two concepts that go together, but at Prada the dark, moody hues made the Japanese-inspired florals really pop.

From red poppies to black & white dandelion silhouettes, these florals were modern and dramatic rather than your usual hippie-inspired, Spring-appropriate florals.

Fendi:

Printed and colorblocked separates, dresses, and outerwear marched down the Fendi runway in colors from black & white to yellow, brown, and blue.

While there were a few solid-colored frocks among the looks sent down the catwalk, it was the dramatic and eye-catching futuristic prints that really caught my eye. The exaggerated silhouettes and interesting draping, folding, and tailoring were also outstanding.

Moschino:

The Moschino collection was absolutely killer! I’m a huge fan of mod-inspired looks and this collection was all about the 60’s – From amazingly flattering black & white pieces to swoon-worthy brightly colored prints & stripes.

The dramatic, embellished silver sandals, the retro hats, oversized sunnies, shift dresses, and chic, colorful jumpsuits & rompers with contrasting colored piping were all totally wearable. The separates and dresses had a great retro vibe but were still totally wearable for a modern girl if styled right!

Dolce & Gabbana:

Bright, fun & kitschy – Just the way we like it!

The old school Italian themed show was full of fun colors, extravagant prints, stripes, oversized earrings, scarves, and the classic, retro silhouettes that the pair do so well. It was interesting, eye-catching, and wearable.

Roberto Cavalli:

This primarily black & white collection included hints of pink, green, and orange among the dreamy crystal, gem, and jewel-encrusted dresses, gowns, and slim suits.

From delicate lace, mesh, and sheer fabrics in crisp white to abstract florals in palest pastels to dramatic beaded pieces in black. Slinky, sexy, and dramatic – These designs were simultaneously powerful and delicate, a feat few designers can manage.

Marni:

Though there were bold patterns featured in the Marni collection, there were also great white, and solid colored separates and dresses, all in the preferred, exaggerated silhouette of Consuelo Castiglioni.

Wooden brooches and ankle-strap platform sandals were also featured, both adding a down-to-earth feel to the collection. What I liked best were the cocoon -haped coats in bright prints and the peplum adorned dresses.

Gucci:

Think PINK! The Gucci show opened with a handful of bright pink looks, followed by blue, green, and yellow before the final black & white evening looks.

Brilliant colors, retro 70’s styles, and flattering, womanly silhouettes. The collection was dramatic and eye-catching while still being fun and wearable. The whole affaire was bold and sexy, one of my favorite collections!

MaxMara:

The relaxed, Out of Africa style collection from MaxMara showcased slouchy knits, shirt dresses, safari inspired outerwear, and a host of somber colored prints, plaids, and stripes.

They delivered a collection of easy, low-key separates that could easily be paired together or mixed n’ matched with other pieces that you already have in your wardrobe.

Giorgio Armani:

This collection was all about shimmering, shiny, science fiction-inspired fabrics, textures, and colors. Silvery blue-grays, tie-dye inspired aquas, and sparkling navy were all heavily featured.

The flowy, somewhat exaggerated silhouettes were universally flattering and the chic, simple sandals were pure Armani. I always love Giorgio’s habit of sending two girls at a time down the runway, such a fun way to space things!

Versus:

This was a fun, bright, playful extravaganza – From candy-like prints & patterns to vibrant pinks, yellows & blues to cheeky silhouettes & fabrics.

I especially liked the interesting fabrics and textures that Christopher Kane showcased, as well as the use of exposed zippers and the fun prints. It was a really youthful and energetic collection of pieces.

Missoni:

The knits that marched down the runway for Missoni spanned the color spectrum – From crisp whites to playful corals to Springy greens & blues. Taste the rainbow!

The breezy dresses and structured separates were wearable and chic – Perfect for a Spring full of exotic locations, days spent reading by the pool, or picking your way through foreign flea markets. They had a rich feel to them, like a luxurious vacation to far away lands come to life!

Sources: Style.com, Fashionologie, The Stylist, & Tom & Lorenzo

Previous Milan Collections: Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion, Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012, Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion, Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part I & Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part II.

Additional reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: Fashionologie’s Bags! The Best From Milan’s Spring 2013 Runways, Harper’s Bazaar’s Milan Fashion Week Spring 2013 Looks & Derek Blasberg’s Insta-Diary From The Fashion Week(s).

What’s your favorite designer from the Milan Fashion Week lineup? Do you look forward to any shows season after season?


London Fashion Week Spring 2013

Today I’m going to be sharing reviews of some of the lovely collections that came off the Spring 2013 London Fashion Week catwalks – From the big names like Burberry and Mulberry to the well-loved but somewhat less established designers like Matthew Williamson and Christopher Kane.

Enjoy!

Burberry:

Color, color, and more color. The Burberry runway show was a veritable rainbow of color-drenched trench coats, dresses, and separates. Christopher Bailey also played with textures and fabrics including shimmering metallics, tinted plastic, and shiny holographic prints – Giving the classic brand a fun, futuristic twist.

Capes, hotpants, puffy capsleeves, swimwear, cropped jackets, leather, dramatic belts, lace brilliant metallic handbags, and colorful open-toed heels added to the brilliance of the collection.

Mulberry:

Fabulous outerwear seemed to be the name of the game in London and while Burberry was bright and festive, Mulberry was a bit more demure, however no less ornate. Bronzy gold, peachy cream, minty green, and blues from pale to midnight.

The brocades, embroideries, and patterns were phenomenal, very earthy and flora based, something of a mix between Fall and Spring. I loved the use of florals on the clothing, handbags, and shoes simultaneously, rather than be over the top it was totally chic. I also loved the outerwear – The oversized silhouettes and large, upturned collars were perfection.

Acne:

The clothes at Acne were bold – Dramatic stripes, bright colors, graffiti prints, colorblocking, black leather, straps & buckles, adapted gladiator platforms, and parachute silhouettes.

All in all a very wearable collection of interesting and eye-catching separates perfect for the Acne girl. I especially liked the maxi skirts, vertical stripes, and buckle adorned vests.

House of Holland:

This 90’s grunge inspired collection was one for the books – The dark, moody colors were perfectly suited to the dramatic checkered patterns, graphic tees, beanies, skater shorts, and maxi silhouettes.

These were great pieces that immediately made me nostalgic for the music of my Junior High and High School days – Especially the shrunken baby tees, slouchy knit caps, and midriff bearing tops.

Erdem:

Python prints on retro silhouettes may not sound like a winning combination, but Erdem proved that it could work and even infused the collection with hints of neon and lace.

Little details make this collection really pop – Driving gloves, sheer lace, pleats, floral applique, cut-outs, high-necklines, coat-dresses, and intricate beading. Overall the collection was prim and proper but with a fun, wild side.

Pringle of Scotland:

Pringle started as a knitwear brand and this season they returned to their roots showing a lovely collection of separates which included a number of variations on their typical belted twinset.

When you say Pringle of Scotland what comes to my mind are clean lines, a preppy vibe, belted separates, and argyle, and this collection showed great versions of all of those staples.

Matthew Williamson:

Fun prints, brilliant colors, and dramatic details are what we’ve come to expect from Matthew Williamson, and this season’s collection really delivered.

Easy separates appeared in tie dye prints and with eye-catching embroidery and beading. His party girl clients will live in the float a-line silhouettes, mini skirts, and jeweled dresses paired with gem-encrusted belts and his new shoe collection.

Peter Pilotto:

Print lovers will have something amazing to look forward to from Peter Pilotto come Spring – Digital prints, mixing & matching patterns, and bright, bold prints.

Dramatic, eye-catching, and one-of-a-kind. The pieces shown at Peter Pilotto were extraordinary, I especially enjoyed the pants, oversized peplums, and dramatic, Latin-inspired ruffles.

Preen:

Preen made a triumphant return from the New York Fashion Week with a blue and white collection highlighted with hints of yellow and red, and covered in all-over prints.

The patchwork-like use of swatches of prints, combined with the tailoring, dramatic slits, verticle white stripes, and long, lean silhouettes gave the collection an architectural, structed feel.

Christopher Kane:

The Christopher Kane show was surprisingly delicate and sweet – A full 180 from previous collections full of black, slashed fabric, and safety pins.

Pale colors, light fabrics, dramatic drapes & folds, sheer pieces, clear plastic, and slits & cut-outs that somehow appeared elegant and refined despite the skin peeking through.

Mary Katrantzou:

The Queen of Prints returns! Taking banknotes and stamps as her visual inspiration she put together a unique and dramatic collection of dresses and separates covered with intricate patterns.

These pieces could never be confused with having been created by another designer – They were utterly one-of-a-kind – Simultaneously exotic and modern but with an old-fashioned air. I adored the matching pant & tunic sets, they were divine and I can’t wait to see how Hollywood interprets them to the red carpet.

Temperley London:

The Temperley London collection was all about bright colors, fun prints, nautical stripes, and retro silhouettes for this coming Spring – All the pieces fun but a little formal, and utterly wearable.

The sundress was reworked with a 50’s vibe and paraded down the runway in a variety of colors, patterns, and fabrics. There were also jumpsuits, lace & embroidery covered dress & gowns, shirt dresses, sweater sets, and too chic for words sun hats.

Sources: Style.com, Fashionologie, The Stylist, & Tom & Lorenzo

Previous LFW & Spring 2013 Collections: New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part I, New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part II, New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part III, New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Street Style & Front Row FashionLondon Fashion Week Fall 2012, London Fashion Week – Street Style & Front Row Fashion, London Fashion Week Spring 2012 Round-Up, and Streetstyle & Front Row Fashion – London Fashion Week.

Additional reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: The Best Looks from London Fashion Week: Spring 2013 from Harper’s Bazaar, Our 10 Favorite Looks From London Fashion Week from Refinery 29, and Runway Recap: The Best Shoes From London Spring 2013 from Fashionlogie.

What’s your favorite thing about London Fashion Week? The chic outerwear, bold, innovative prints, or the retro, ladylike touches?


Emmy Drama

Nothing quite like a red carpet event to bring out the fashion drama in Hollywood! Here are my favorite picks from the main event, as well as the more low-key events that preceded it.

Emmy Awards Performers Nominee Reception Red Carpet:

It’s casual for the red carpet, but it’s a great Little Black Dress that’s flattering, chic, and suits her to a T so there’s nothing to complain about.

This is a beautiful color on her and the subtle draping and one-shoulder neckline both look great on her.

This is fun & sassy, two things that the red carpet frequently doesn’t see because people are so afraid of ending up on a worst dressed list.

EW Pre-Emmy Party Red Carpet:

I like that the cut and silhouette are prim and ladylike while the eye-catching color is fun and youthful – It’s a great combination.

I love a little white dress when it’s worn right just and this one is pretty spectacular – I love the interesting neckline and bust.

This is a very cute, flattering sheath dress – Someone petite like Ginnifer can really make this style work.

You know me, I’m a sucker for a cute shorts suit. The double-breasted jacket is too perfect and buttoned-up heart print blouse was a great choice.

The 2012 Emmys:

Stunning. Just plain stunning.

She cuts quite a figure in this dress – She’s just oozing old school Hollywood glamour and elegance. J’adore!

This is nothing short of phenomenal – I love the cut, silhouette, and the amazing disco-futuristic fish scale like sequins. She looks amazing!

Miss Tina Fey isn’t one of the women who usually pops into my mind when I think of red carpet all-stars, but this dress is killer. It’s a gorgeous color on her and the embellished neckline is perfect – interesting and unique but not too dramatic.

I love a print on the red carpet and I think this gown is just beautiful. She looks radiant and chic, well done.

When you want drama – You go to Zac Posen. January Jones loves a fashion-forward look and this Posen gown really served up the drama last night. Very few women could have pulled this off but she looks great.

I don’t have the slightest idea who this actress is, but I made an audible “oh” when I saw this gorgeous tangerine number that I knew I should include it!

Clearly Allison is favoring the great Oscar de la Renta right now and I have to say that I fully support that choice in this case. Wow!

Stunning color and I like that between the all-over pleating and the unique neckline it’s not a basic red gown.

Striking color and suits her perfectly. I think that the belt and collar were right on point but where’s her cuff???

What a gorgeous, unique dress. I love the detailing and I’m glad that she held back on the accessories and let the dress take center stage.

She looks great here – It’s a fun, flattering color and the style suits her really well. Good choice. Now change your hair to a color found in nature! 🙂

Fabulous color! This goes to show you that a killer color can overcome a basic – even boring – style.

Kerry Washington was another sequined stunner this year, her Vivienne Westwood gown definitely have Lucy Liu’s Versace number a run for its money!

I was thrilled by all of the stunning dresses on the red carpet this year – Everyone did such a fabulous job choosing their gowns. But if I had to pick my favorites from the dresses above I think I’d have to go with Lucy Liu in silver Versace, Julianne Moore in yellow Dior, and Allison Williams in green Oscar de la Renta. Well done ladies, well done!

Source – Tom & Lorenzo

What were your favorite dresses from the red carpet? Did you like all of the bright citrus colors and brilliant jewel tones or do you miss all of the lace and sheer fabrics from last season?


Looks of the Week

Welcome back to another Looks of the Week Monday! I hope that everyone had a great weekend and is wringing every drop of Summer fun out of these August days as they can. Let’s start our week out right with some fabulous fashionistas showing off everything from statement jewelry to mixing prints to bright colors.

Enjoy!

Nothing says Summer as effortlessly or stylishly as a white dress. And while this drapping, asymmetrical white dress is stunning it’s Kristina’s accessories that make this look stand out so well. The studded red Zara shoulder bag and killer gold spiked collar from H&M are both incredibly striking & eye-catching, they really bring this look to a whole other level.

This is a low-key but striking and sassy combination that should really motivate you to spice things up before walking out the door. Colorblocking is a great way to make a look really POP.

A sweater can be tough for men to make work for them, but this is a great example of how to put together a clean-cut, stylish look using one. Navy pants + white button down + a sweater with a flattering pattern and cut. Bonus for the killer accessories – Retro shades, white watch strap, and fabulous bag.

Love love love! This is a fabulous look from head to toe. The Versace for H&M studded top pairs beautifully with this nude, pleated leather skirt. And to top it all off, I couldn’t have picked a better clutch or more fabulous booties to add to this outfit.

This is an interesting and really eye-catching look despite the fact that there’s not a lot of color. The sequined stripes are great and I love that she chose a looser, more relaxed top to mix with the dramatic midi-length skirt. Well done!

The art of wearing lady pants is something every woman really should master. Finding the right cut and silhouette to suit your figure can take years of trial and error. If you’ve ever felt like giving up, you’ll enjoy this shot of the perfect pink pants. And those are definitely three words I never thought I’d write. 🙂

High-Low hemlines aren’t always my favorite style but I couldn’t take my eyes off of this look. The colors, the prints, and the textures are so eye-catching and deliciously Summery that I couldn’t tear myself away from the screen. Nothing short of fabulous!

Neutrals don’t have to be boring as this look proves. Stunning Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel shows us how to put together a relaxed, but fashionable Summertime look with this nude pleated mini, a basic white t-shirt, and cute braided sandals. 

Why not make your shopping trip or errand run a bit more fun with some bold color or printed separates? This basic shorts & tank look is fun and stylish with the addition of a killer handbag, flattering green shorts, and animal print flats.

This makes me miss Fall SO MUCH. I love a great coat and this corset belted olive-green military coat is killer. Her accessorizing – bowler hat & high boots – make it even more eye-catching and cold weather-appropriate.

Chic! I love a great Summer dress and this is a phenomenal color on her. And after finding a great color & style, she personalized it and made it more “her” with the tooled leather Rebecca Minkoff bag and fabulous 3.1 Phillip Lim gladiator sandals.

And just in case you missed the fabulousness that was the Team Supermodel walk during last night’s Closing Ceremonies in London, here are some pictures and great commentary to console you – Team Supermodel Strikes Gold In London!

{Click on images above to visit the original source}

Which picture is your favorite of the shots above? Does seeing fun new looks put together by stylish people motivate and inspire you to mix things up when you’re planning your own outfits?


Looks of the Week

Welcome back to another Summer edition of MCLV’s Looks of the Week. This week’s top looks come from around the globe – From New York City to Spain to Paris to Russia.

And let’s start this out with a fabulous girl of summer!

Girl of the moment Miranda Kerr has done a fabulous job street style wise over the last year or so, putting together killer look after look. Great bags, great shoes, great sunglasses – great looks!

Love this! The colors in this look and the gold accents are fabulous, it’s really chic and well put together. I love the zebra top but it’s really that day clutch that caught my attention, tres chic!

Feeling the Zebra love after seeing this look? Check out this too cute sleeveless zebra tank or swoon-worthy nude clutch like Lovely Pepa’s!

Mixing prints is an art, but it takes a master to mix animal prints – And we all know that models are the mix n’ match masters!

I’m not even sure I can narrow down what I love most about this look… The colors are great, I love the colorblocking, those heels are killer, and that gold rope necklace is phenomenal.

The first thing I thought after seeing this look was, I need a skirt just like that one!

This is a fabulous shade of blue and I love the top, but it was the chunky chain link necklace with crosses, pearls, beads, and chains that first caught my attention. J’Adore!

Need. That. Necklace.

Color color color! Leave it a chic Italian to find the best ways to pump up the drama for in a Summertime look with brights and colorblocking.

I think that a fun patchwork dress is a must have for Summer!

I know that I featured a similar floral wrap skirt two weeks ago on Miss Ashley Madekwe, but it’s such a perfect, low-key, but stylish Summer staple, I just couldn’t help myself when I saw this one!

Whether you prefer mini or maxi, a tropical print skirt is a great addition to any Summer wardrobe.

This is a great look overall, but I have to confess that what I love most are the details and individual pieces. That ornate antique gold collar is phenomenal, the open-backed sweater is a great twist on a traditional top, and I love anyone who can rock sequins during the day – that clutch is killer!

Why not take a tip from this shot and find yourself a fun, unique top that can be paired with all your fun Summer prints and patterns?

So. Cute. I adore the pussybow polka dot blouse and while the shorts keep it casual, the heels are beyond fabulous.

My first instinct after seeing this fabulous look was to snag myself a similar blouse, you can’t have enough polka dots in your closet, trust me!

Such a great, casual but ultra fashionable look for sightseeing. That hat is fabulous all on its own, but I really do like the oversized sweater paired with that phenomenal necklace.

This collar necklace is killer and really helps make this look come together!

This is perfection, from top to bottom – As always from Miss Wendy. The top is chic and minimalist, while the pants add texture and print, and those accessories? Swoon!

I love the fun, retro vibe of this look. The tassel loafers and pleated floral skirt are a perfect combination and the oversized tan messenger bag is a great, vintage finishing touch.

Why not add a pair of cute loafers to your flats collection?

{Click on images above to visit the original source}

What’s your favorite look of the above? Is there a specific trend, or two, that you haven’t been able to stop wearing all Summer long?


Couture – Front Row Fashion & Street Style

For me, a big part of the fun of a week of runway shows – like the Fall 2012 Couture collections –  is seeing the street style looks that the lucky attendees put together for the shows, dinners, and parties. Seeing how the various designer collections translate to “real life” is inspiring, motivational, and downright fun.

Fabulous! I love the whole two-toned look and how she picked materials and silhouettes that keep it from being too casual. J’adore!

The volume of this mini takes it up a level so she’s right at home sitting front row at the Dior Couture show.

A pretty printed dress is the perfect look for a Dior show and I think that this beautiful flocked knee-length frock is ideal for Couture.

A lipstick red suit it cute enough but when you turn a suit top into a chic little tee with a contrasting black pocket I’m all yours!!!

Little Black Dress + Sequined Clutch + Saddle Shoes = the understated French je ne sais quoi.

Parisian street style chic at its finest – Whether they’re wearing ripped jeans, chic black & white, or a midi, these ladies know how to mix & match their separates for maximum impact.

Bright, flirty florals, a demure silhouette, and a too chic peplum. What a fabulous frock, I’m in awe.

The Russian fashion ladies are stylish and their looks vary dramatically between them. Such great contrasts!

I love a short-suit and this is a stylish example, I really like the chic cut of the jacket and the subtle ruffle along the hem of the shorts. And those shoes… Wow.

Elizabeth von Guttman, Alexia Niedzielski, Shala Monroque, Elena Perminova and Ulyana Sergeenko – All distinctly different looks for Giambattista Valli, but all very chic, well put together, and appropriate. From solid colored separates and midriff-baring tops, to printed suits and floor length florals, the front row is almost as fun as the runway!

The ladies spiced things up for the Versace show and chose edgier outfits, from lace cut outs, to leather, to dramatic stitching. Donatella would approve!

In addition to seeing the looks that celebrities, editors, and other fashion insiders put together for their front row appearances, I love to take a look at the (often heavily made-up) models as they run between runways shows or head out to parties. Model street style is always a great combination of pieces & styles, since they have the opportunity to see so many collections and have exposure to so many designers. Jealous!

I love a colorful maxi skirt and this combination – the basic white tee paired with the metallic pink oversized clutch – is flirty, fun, and perfect for Summer.

Only Hanneli could make a couture Valentino gown look so low-key and street-appropriate.

AMAZING coat + killer heels, what more does a girl need?

I adore the layering here! Cut-off white shorts, a blue & white button-up PJ top, a tan leather motorcycle jacket, ankle booties, retro round sunglasses & a killer two-toned clutch. Such an unexpected combination of pieces, but it works!

And finally, a fashion favorite of mine, hit it girl!

She’s going to couture shows in Paris. French designers. In Paris. I mean, could she have picked a more adorably over-the-top French look?

Sources: Harper’s Bazaar, Tom & Lorenzo, Cristina’s Blog & Mr. Blasberg

 

What’s your favorite look here?


Couture Couture Couture

Phenomenal. Breathtaking. Eye-Catching. Dreamy. Unbelievable. Divine.

Those are all words that I could easily use to describe the Fall 2012 Couture collections that were shown in Paris this past week. The locations ranged from the Grand Palais to the Ritz Hotel to the Musée Bourdelle, and the themes ran the gamut from old school glamour to futuristic to Game of Thrones.

Yes. Game of Thrones.

The big story this season was Raf Simons’s inaugural collection for the house of Christian Dior after leaving Jil Sander at the end of last season. The show began with classic Dior colors and silhouettes, elegant suits, ladylike dresses, and then ball gowns that I can guarantee will feature heavily on the red carpet in the coming year’s award season.

The collection was anything but boring though with metallic belts, gorgeous embroidery, dramatic peplums, oversized pockets, opera-length gloves, bold collars, tie dyed pieces, tweeds, and reach-out-and-touch-them textures. It was soft and elegant and oh-so-Dior, but with a dramatic, extravagant edge.

Divine!

I’m not sure if I can put it any better than the fabulous Mr Blasberg who proclaimed: “In the last 13 minutes, Raf Simons just single-handedly altered the contemporary haute couture landscape.” Curious how the phenomenal flower-strewn setting was created for this show? This video gives you a fabulous backstage peek at the process of creation.

New Vintage was the theme for Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel Fall 2012 Couture collection  – “Vintage is depressing, but ‘new vintage’ is something to come. It’s preparation for something that could last.”

Bold plaid & checkered patterns, metal-tipped pumps, traditional tweeds, metallic silver tights, chunky knits, shimmery separates, slouchy sequined caps, oversized outerwear, maxi skirts and full pants, velvet coats, pussy bow blouses, Peter Pan collars, and dresses adorned with feathers, chiffon, tulle, and sequins all had a sassy retro feel with modern and sometimes futuristic-feeling details.

Givenchy‘s Riccardo Tisci is nothing if not detail oriented. His collections are traditionally small in size and he and his design teams & seamstresses really focus on making each look unique, one-of-a-kind, and highly intricate. His Fall 2012 collection focused on beading, heavy embroidery and brocades, leather working, fringe, and even sequins.

The restrained extravagance of this collection perfectly complemented the earthy, folksy theme that was somewhere between Little Red Riding Hood and Maid Marian. And I couldn’t have envisioned a more appropriate background than the lush green forest that these looks were photographed against.

While there was some of the famous Valentino red at the end of this show, the colors de jour were navy and creamy pink. The thick brocades and heavy embroideries in cream, peach, and pink played perfectly against the sequins, sheer panels, and flowing silks in varying shades of moody blues.

The details in these pieces were phenomenal, from delicate accordion pleats and metallic-laced brocades to dramatic floral cutouts and sheer chiffon ruffles. Chiuri and Piccioli have been getting their footing over the last few seasons and this couture collection seems to be the coming out party for the new Valentino – An opulent, dramatic twist on the old school glamour and romance that Valentino is known for.

In the world of couture Giorgio Armani’s Fall 2012 Armani Prive collection offered up something wholly different. Wearability. Given that couture is considered an art form and that pieces in these collections can range anywhere from $20,000 to $2,000,000, wearability is hardly the word de jour. But with the full, flattering cuts, cool, pale silks, and touchable, midnight dark velvets, wearable was just what he presented.

These looks were all about textures – Soft, sleek, touchable fabrics that you could almost feel against your skin. The jeweled and beaded veils were one of my favorite parts of this collection, they added serious drama and brought out a mysterious quality in the clothes that took you to another time and place.

The Versace show at the Ritz Hotel was wild and fun – Xena Warrior Princess meets Couture Barbie. The Versace woman is strong, fierce, and fearless, she embraces her sexuality and loves to show some skin. These clothes are not for the faint of heart, they were all about dramatic peek-a-boos, slashes, and slits.

Wide, tooled belts, multi-strap & buckle adorned heels, sheer cloth, sequined netting details, and spiderweb thin mesh gave this show unabashed shimmer, shine, and sex appeal.

The Versace girl is bold, uninhibited and in these clothes, she’s ready to party!

I always look forward to Giambattista Valli‘s collections – His esthetic is divine and I love how he always adds a little edge to his classic, ladylike silhouettes. And his second couture collection made me say to myself for a second time, Valli was made for couture.

And here in this dreamy place far away the moody reds and greens, organic prints, and flowing cuts & ruffles were all borrowed from nature; all-over muted floral patterns, applique and embroidered plant life, ruffles, flares, folds, and thick lace were all born of the outdoors. And with jewelry, accessories, and hairpieces evoking bugs, butterflies, and leaves, the theme was complete throughout the collection.

Rather than a fairy princess vibe the earthy tones and themes brought to mind wood nymphs and dryads – Woodland creatures who personified the various aspects of the natural world that they watched over; strong and eternal.

Sources: Fashionologie, Style.com, Tom & Lorenzo, TopCoat & FabSugar

If you’re curious to see what these designers have shown on the couture catwalk in seasons past here are a few links to try – Spring 2012 Couture and Fall 2011 Couture.


2012 amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS

One of the brilliant events at the Cannes Film Festival each year is the amFAR Gala. This is a great fashion event and many Hollywood stars, models, fashion insiders, designers, bloggers, and photographers who don’t attend the Film Festival itself will make the trip to Cannes for this party alone.

This Elie Saab gown is about glitz and glamour rather than dreamy romance as with many of his creations that we see on the red carpet. And Nina couldn’t have chosen a more dramatic or eye-catching gown, it suited her to perfection. Definitely one of my favorite gowns of the evening.

This space-age inspired gown from the Versace Spring 2012 Couture Collection is absolutely amazing. When else would you be able to pull off a gown like this other than the MET Ball?

You can see the original gown here on Style.com worn by model Ros Georgiou on the Milan runway last year.

Interesting backs are my favorite part of a dress and this Emilio Pucci gown did not disappoint. The beading and sheer detailing on the front, high boatneck neckline, and draped back made this a gorgeous gorgeous look.

I loved the delicate fabric, square neckline and buttoned-up back on Kylie’s red siren gown. These details made it really unique and memorable.

Karolina’s gold Roberto Cavalli gown was intricate and beautiful, featuring sheer fabric, sequins, and an adorable matching jacket.

Drama Drama Drama. If you watch the video below you’ll see how amazing, and scandalous, this gown looks in motion. GIven her public persona and her function at the event, I couldn’t have picked a better gown for her.

Diane “the Queen of Cannes” Kruger wore another gorgeous Chanel creation, this time choosing a knee-length retro style number. Not my favorite look of hers from the Festival but eye-catching without a doubt.

Louis Vuitton seemed to be Kirsten’s go-to designer for all of the Cannes events this year, and this was another triumph. The covered up neckline, dramatic floral belt, and sweet tiers kept things interesting.

This white Versace column gown is anything but minimalist with the buckled straps across the back and shimmering silver detailing.

Source & Source

This year was even more special than in the past because Miss Carine Roitfeld hosted the “Perfect Black Wardrobe” Fashion Show where 25 top models walked the runway in black gowns, dresses, and suits submitted by the world’s top designers and design houses – from Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel to Ralph Lauren and Mr. Giambattista Valli. You can even watch some clips from this amazing runway show here from FashionTV.

Curious how it might be to be an invitee to the Cannes Film Festival attending all of the amazing events and parties? Read Erin Wasson’s Cannes Style Diary over at Harper’s Bazaar for party pictures, outfit details, invitations, and much much more.


Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012

While I am dying to attend New York Fashion Week and seeing the Paris shows (and attending the Vogue costume party!) would be a dream come true, there is a special place in my heart for Milan Fashion Week. Not only do I love Italy and Italian fashion, a large part of my personal style was developed when I was 21 and living in Rome so I personal relate.

Shall we start the Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012 coverage off on a funky note? Here we go…

According to designer Christopher Kane and his benefactor Donatella Versace, the Versus show look the original center of punk and grunge as its muse – the area known as Camden in London. The collection composed primarily of dresses came out in deep cranberry, cobalt blue, fuchsia, blue and yellow, all with a little bit of a rock n’ roll. flair to them.

The leather details & mini skirts, lace-up pants, cut outs, sheer panels and over-the-knee boots embraced the edgier side of the collection while there was still something soft in the prints, cocoon coats and babydoll dresses. The Versus girl clearly knows how to have a good time, but also has a sweet side.

Drama Drama Drama. The Versace show was a little bit Marilyn Manson and a little bit Girt With The Dragon Tattoo. Donatella showed everything from a studded black leather dress to a corset covered in a giant blue crystal crucifix to neon yellow halters to vinyl trimmed fish net tights to chain mail and buckle-covered combat boots. All worn with Rooney Mara’s über short, blunt bangs.

Dramatic and eye-catching, that’s for sure. The devil, so to speak, was in the details though. The studded leather bags were gorgeous, up close the embroidered crucifixes almost looked like flowers, the giant belt buckles had a superhero-style V in the center and the chain mail details were extraordinarily intricate and beautifully made.

You can see more pictures here and watch the runway show here.

Moschino was fun, youthful and cute. Bandleader jackets paired with cheerleader skirts and beehives? In bright yellow, red and blue? Only Moschino could pull that off in Milan, that’s for sure. But pull it off Rossella Jardini did.

Her irreverent collection also included black velvet Stetsons, military-style double-breasted thick wool pea coats, adorably retro shift dresses in black & white, fun checks, houndstooth & plaid, and some good old-fashioned gold Italian embroidery.

For more pictures check out Fashionologie.

Per usual the Roberto Cavalli show was all about glitz and glamour. Vibrant animal prints, shimmering sequins, iridescent scales, fur and feathers, embroidery and brocades… All the over-the-top lux that Mr. Cavalli loves. The details of this collection were really breathtaking. The tailoring and hand-stitching and attention to every tiny facet of the clothing and accessories. Truly impressive.

My favorite pieces were the leopard print lace-up booties, purple elbow-length leather gloves, the brushed velvet-looking cropped jackets and the gold sequined peplum cocktail dress.

The unquestionable highlight of this show? Miss Naomi Campbell closed the show!

Leather & lace. The Salvatore Ferragamo collection can be summed up in two words – leather & lace. Massimiliano Giornetti showed gorgeous looks in contrasting fabrics, cuts and moods. Tough, military-inspired belted jackets paired with soft, flowy skirts in chiffon and lace. Gorgeous knee-length coats with brass buttons worn over lacy and sheer tops. Chunky knits with leather skirts and pants.

The jackets and coats were by far my favorite pieces of the collection. The buttons and details on the collars and pockets were divine. You can get a feel from looking at them that the  designer does menswear as well.

The Giorgio Armani collection titled “Easy Chic” ran the gamut from sexy grey suits to brightly patterned separates to sherbet colored dresses, all worn with wide-brimmed hats set at a jaunty angle and fingerless gloves in plaid and leopard print. It was a surprisingly youthful and lackadaisical show compared to what we’ve come to expect from Giorgio Armani, but still appealing to his usual sophisticated clientele.

You can see more pictures over at Fashionology.

The dark and ominous collection that Frida Giannini showed for Gucci was sexy and decadent. She used sumptuous fabrics and vibrant colors to highlight the black, olive-green and navy that made up the background pieces. She showed a wide range of pieces – wide leg, flowy pants with a pajama-like feel, dark floral maxi dresses, body-skimming long-sleeved dresses in velvet and brocade, sheer blouses paired with leather pants, embroidered Jodhpurs tucked into knee-high riding boots and dramatic gowns with velvet belts and plunging necklines. 

What caught my eye most were the extras. The soft wool capes, glossy patent leather bags, and sexy strappy heels.

You can see a video of the Gucci runway show here and more pictures here, or read The Cut’s thoughts about the dark-hued collection here.

Marni was all about color this season rather than the fun, cheeky prints that Consuelo Castiglioni usually sends down the runways of Milan. But don’t worry, there was still plenty of the lovable quirk Marni is known for. Outerwear, separates and dresses marched out in reds, blues, yellows and black & white, all with a slight retro feel.

 

I liked the white tights paired with gold-tipped Mary Jane’s, the drop waisted belted coats,  I also loved the blunt Vidal Sassoon bangs, too cute. 

The Sartorialist has more pictures here and you can see the runway video on Style.com.

Angela Missoni’s Fall 2012 collection for Missoni was all about Mother Nature and the great outdoors. She evoked this theme by pairing the traditional Missoni knits with other fabrics, leathers and furs to create layered looks that appeared to be made from bark and leaves and stone.

The marbling on the knits and the tightly wrapped layers were quite beautiful, at once both traditional Missoni and innovative.

You can see these earthy knits in action here.

The Dolce & Gabbana collection was intricate and sumptuous, filled with dramatic gold detailing, lace accents, sheer panels, tiaras-like lavishly beaded headbands, exaggerated earrings, dark hued Baroque inspired florals, cacoon shaped capes and lace knee-high socks.

Overall the show was dramatic and surprising. The ornate gilding of the clothes created almost a Papal feel while the sheer lace and tiered white dresses were a combination of innocence and understated sexuality with a old-world influence.

You can see all the drama in motion here or see more photos at Fashionology.

Gone was the vintage feel from her Pre-Fall 2012 collection, gone were the whimsical prints and floaty silhouettes from her Spring 2012 ready-To-Wear show. Alberta Ferretti’s Fall 2012 show was more masculine than we traditionally expect from her and more overtly sexy – with sheer blouses, leather body-con dresses and strategically placed translucent panels on gowns.

Alberta Ferretti always delivers beautiful, wearable dresses – my favorites here had layers of paper-thin, textured chiffon – but this season she also gave us gorgeous outerwear. Some in masculine pinstripes, some belted, some with leather collars, some with shearling trim, some hip length and some floor length.

FabSugar has more pictures here or you can see the photos on Black Studded Fashion.

Giorgio Armani called his Fall 2012 Ready-To-Wear collection for Emporio Armani “Little Winter Follies” but I didn’t see many follies. The show was awash in color for fall, in addition to black & white, there were splashes of brilliant coral, bright cobalt blue and luminous purple. Yes, each look was composed of many pieces and the styling was perhaps borderline excessive, but when you took apart the individual pieces there was a lot of sharp, wearable clothing.

I absolutely LOVED the stylish young French lady vibe from the collection, especially the first section full of blacks, whites and greys. The cute little hats, smart but fun blazers with lacy hems or black on black polka dots, chic bags, gloves & tights and comfortable flat shoes were mouth-watering!

Need more Armani in your life? FabSugar and Fashionology have you covered.

The Bottega Veneta show was all about dark elegance. From beautifully tailored coats and skirt suits in black, navy and a somber dark purple to sexy, body skimming dresses in black, cream, lavender and brilliant prints – some had demure capsleeves & boatneck collars while others had dramatic, plunging necklines.

There were plenty of details worth getting a better look at as well – bright crystal embellishments, large retro brooches, stiff looking knee-high riding boots, feathery chiffon boleros, abstract florals and bright plaids, sleek elbow-length leather gloves and ankle boots and strappy pumps over visible socks. Oh, and a collection of handbags that I would KILL for.

You can see more pictures from the Bottega Veneta show here and check out the runway video here.

Fendi was all about mixing the unexpected in interesting and new ways. Black leather with brown wool, navy tights with a midnight black dress, grey snake-skin leggings with a black patent crocodile skirt, contrasting colored spats on ankle boots, skirts composed of pleats and silk or leather, and giant prize-fighter style belts over sleek fabrics. 

Want to see these looks in motion? Check out the runway show here or see more pictures at FabSugar or from Garance Dore.

Prada’s Fall 32012 collection was heavy on the outerwear, even the dresses and long, draping tops had a coat-like quality about them. The tailoring and fabrics of this show were divine, the intricacies beautiful and timeless. The sequins, stones, embroidery and embellishments on the clothes gave them almost a vintage-feel while the hair and makeup evoked a futuristic reference.

I really enjoyed the bright retro patterned fabrics and the cropped pantsuits. Very chic. If you’re dying for more, you can watch the runway video or scan more pictures.

The scene at MaxMara was sleek, monochromatic and masculine, and as always the suiting and outerwear was to die for. The show started with olive-green then seamlessly transitioned through black, camel, white and grey. The feel of the collection was a little bit military and a little bit sailor, with stripes, aviator jackets and caps, peacoats and greave-like sock &  buckle accoutrement on the legs.

I loved the incredibly soft looking coats, worn open with popped collars, but I was absolutely smitten with the silky, loosely draping pants – in both cropped and full length. They were absolutely stunning!

Fashionology has more pictures or you can watch the show in action and see why I’m dying for a pair – or ten – of those pants.

The last show for Raf Simons at Jil Sander received a standing ovation on Saturday, much deserved adulation for the designer after seven years at the label. The collection was filled to the brim with beautiful coats and dresses, from the palest ballerina whites & pinks to black, navy, bold crimson and shimmery tinfoil silver.

The dresses were classic and body conscious while the coats had a much larger and more dramatic silhouette, mostly without buttons or ties, loosely draping or even held closed by the models. I loved the clean lines and that way color was used to make a statement rather than prints or layering. My absolute favorite part? The two strap heels that look like they were inspired by point shoes.

The whole collection looked like it could have been tailor-made for Audrey Hepburn’s turn as a runway model in Funny Face.

You can see this beautiful runway show here or more photos from FabSugar over here.

In the mood for more from the Italian runways? Check out the top looks from Harper’s Bazaar and Harper’s Bazaar UK, or you can see photos or videos from other shows that I didn’t have time to review: Etro, Emilio Pucci, Just Cavalli & Moschino Cheap & Chic.

Or you can check out just how far all of these Italian designers have come since their last collections: Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part I, Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part II and Milan Fashion Week Fall 2011.

 

Be sure to keep an eye out for Moi Contre La Vie’s Giveaway after Paris Fashion Week!

 

*** Please note that I do not advocate the use of fur in fashion and personally make an effort not to wear or carry fur, exotic skins or leather. I believe that in this day in age there are many beautiful alternatives to these products which are cruelty-free and should be utilized instead.


BAFTA & Grammy Goodness

While the rest of us (or maybe just me) were wishing we were in New York for Fashion Week the rich and pretty were busy giving us something new to talk about. 🙂 The 2012 BAFTA Awards (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) were this weekend and the Brits were out en masse – along with the rest of Hollywood. Gowns gowns gowns!

Berenice Marlohe looked slim & statuesque in white Dior. Stunning!

I mistakenly assumed that Miss Holliday Grainger's dress was Elie Saab, but who can blame me? This beautiful gown is actually Versace. Lovely!

Christina Ricci was a vision in gold Givenchy with a dramatic slit. Her earrings were my favorite of the evening.

Vivienne Westwood isn't who I automatically think of as the go-to designer for Meryl Streep, but this is virtually perfect. Brava!

 

Is it just me or is this just adorably British? Colin Firth looked sauve as always in Giorgio Armani & Livia Giuggioli was perfectly chic in Sir Paul Smith. Love her shoes!

The next red carpet event on the way to the Oscars was – drum roll please – The 2012 Grammy Awards. One thing that I love about the Grammy’s is that no one plays it safe. It’s all about impact. Remember Jennifer Lopez in Versace? Lil Kim in… Um… Barely anything?

Exhibit A – This is a Grammy’s gown.

Am I right? Now on with the show…

Simple, chic & classic - You can't miss with black Armani. Perfect.

 

Lily Aldridge chose the perfect gown - Don't all expectant mothers wish that they could wear flowing Gucci during their pregnancies?

 

Rihanna's sexy black Armani gown was all about the drama with gorgeous gold cuffs & bangles, and a sleek metallic clutch.

 

Black cutout dresses were all the rage and Gwenyth wore one of my favorites. The severe style suits her and the flashy gold belt was the perfect finishing touch. Dramatic earrings would have been perfect though!

 

Love love love the back of this Zuhair Murad gown. The high neck and cap sleeves make this a unique look and the bronze & gold detailing is really striking. Way to go Taylor!

 

This dress is soft & pretty, but still dramatic - quite a feat. I love the earrings & cocktail ring.

Source, Source & Source