The S/S 13 season was eventful to say the least: Twitter feuds between Hedi Slimane and NY Times fashion critic Cathy Horn, Ready To Wear debuts at the houses of Saint Laurent and Dior, and between it all, some wonderfully accomplished collections.
Twin looks back at which collections made us say je l’adore.
Presented in a setting of solar panels and wind farms instead of a crystal landscape, Karl Lagerfeld went a bit more down to earth this S/S 13 season. A-lines, bolero jackets and rounded silhouettes with floral embroidery in every colour under the sun were topped off with oversized pearl necklaces. Like its staging, the collection was the perfect mix of technological linearity and natural materials and forms.
Raf Simons may have already shown us his haute couture offerings for the house of Dior, but nonetheless there was still a great anticipation for what the Belgian designer would bring to the Ready To Wear table. The answer? Expert tailoring mixed with modern femininity. Pleated office attire was given metallic panels, sequined evening gowns a sheer overlay and nude shift dresses an exposed neon lining. With so much love for detail, it’s hard not to give Simons a congratulatory thumbs up for his efforts.
Comme des Garcons
In fabrics of toile and velvet, Rei Kawakubo crushed, sculpted and draped an intriguingly beautiful collection. Save for a flash of royal purple or fire red, the collection kept mostly to CDG signature colours of black and white. While the surrealist-style crowns designed in collaboration with artist Graham Hudson and linear white make-up may have given the models an otherworldly look, there was still something beautifully fragile about the body — and person — in these clothes. As with all things Kawakubo, this collection is definitely worth a second look.
With attitude by the bucketful and insanely catchy songs like 212, Azealia Banks has undoubtedly left her mark on the music industry. It looks like she is no less short of conquering the world of fashion as well.
Already counting the likes of Karl Lagerfeld as fan and having performed at Chanel’s pop up store party in Tokyo, the rap star can now include the house of Alexander Wang on her list of fashion collaborations. For the new Fall 2012 T by Alexander Wang campaign video directed by Daniel Jackson and styled by Alastair McKimm, the 21-year-old performs her latest song Van Vogue whilst decked out in the brand’s casually cool threads.
It seems that the world can’t get enough of Azealia Banks right now and with projects and tunes like this, it’s easy to see why.
This year’s Autumn/Winter 2012 haute couture shows were another testament to signature style. Be it the modern romance of Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli or Giambattista Valli’s ever-enticing plays on volume and silhouettes, the one unifying factor throughout every collection was a representation of each brand’s true essence, underlined by highly-refined tailoring and draping.
Twin selects our favourite personal visions of the season…
Couture cool is Jarrar’s calling card and although those expecting overtly dramatic ball gowns or extravagant embellishments from couture may be disappointed, her softly draped tunic dresses and forties-esque trench coat top and A-line, knife-pleated skirt combinations add a modern yet elegant touch to the couture circuit. As they say, sometimes less is more.
This season Karl Lagerfeld saw it as his mission to put a new spin on vintage. While the collection managed to revamp classics such as the tweed suit, tea dresses and peter pan collars in a colour palette that included soft shades such as petal rose and cream, its true appeal was in the unmatchable craftsmanship of the house of Chanel. Hundred upon hundreds of hand-sewn sequins and a breathtaking feather, lace and tulle finale dress were just two examples that further solidified the label’s spot at the top of couture pyramid.
Couture week undoubtedly belonged to Raf Simons. Although he might have not been the most obvious successor to Galliano’s theatrical showings, the Belgian designer’s minimalist aesthetic has proved the perfect partner to Christian Dior’s original elegant and strongly feminine designs. Peplum waist tops and dresses paired with straight cut trousers, not to mention the two-sided evening gowns with crystal embellishments put a refreshingly modern spin on New Look-esque silhouettes.
Nymph creatures and a fairytale narrative were woven into every fibre of Valli’s designs. Rich emerald greens and ruby garnet florals were printed on high-necked ruffled cocktail dresses and evening gowns cinched in at the waist with gold ivy belts. With a beautiful play of volume and colour, the collection was an all-round dream.
Riccardo Tisci’s tribal warrior was equipped with face-obscuring sunglasses and menacing dogs, but that didn’t keep the collection from being feminine and alluring, thanks to halter necklines and iridescent ombre fringing. In short, it was a well-balanced mixture of elegance, urbanism and the beauty of nature.
Maison Martin Margiela
In the light of the brand’s upcoming collaboration with high street retailer H&M, some fear that the house of Margiela will succumb to commercialism. However this collection was a piece of avant-garde artistry. From the crystal face masks to the dynamic collages of fabric and textures. Refreshing and original, it proved why Maison Martin Margiela more than deserves a permanent spot on the haute couture schedule.
Midnight blue dresses, fully-sequined, brocade printed and embroidered cocktail pieces, as well as floor-length pleated chiffon gowns made this collection one of typical Valentino glamour, whilst canary yellow, magenta and blood red added rich pops of colour. In our eyes, Chiuri and Piccioli can do no wrong.
One jacket, a multitude of stars. That’s the premise behind Chanel’s new Little Black Jacket exhibition at Toyko’s G-building in Aoyama. Featuring over a hundred beautiful and talented faces from the fashion jet set, styling out one timeless Chanel tweed jacket in their individual way, this is about icons wearing an icon.
The exhibition is an exciting preview for Chanel’s new book The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld which hits bookstores this autumn. While the images are chic in the Chanel way its adoring public demands, the project is a testament to the star pulling power of the fashion house and the endurance of great fashion design.
Featuring Chanel perennials like Laetitia Casta to striking characters such as jeweller and actor Waris Ahluwalia this is more than just an ode to feminine elegance, it’s a document of modern style culture right now.
Little Black Jacket is at G-building, Tokyo until 15 April 2012 chanel.com
To many, Paris is the city of love. More importantly however, it is the city of fashion, which could not have been made more clear than through the variety of awe-inspiring runway shows this A/W 12 season. Twin recounts our favourite collections of Paris Fashion Week….
Oversized visor/sunglass hybrids, shaggy fur trimming and heeless, leather strap boots were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to Sarah Burton’s extraordinary A/W 12 collection for Alexander McQueen. As always, there was no shortage of craftsmanship and detailing. Victorian ruffle collars, rolled pleating, laser leather cutouts and delicate floral appliques and embroidery heightened the luxury of the alpine white, pale pink, rose lavender and fuchsia pieces.
Despite the collection’s at times very voluminous silhouettes, silver waist-cinching belts and shorter hemlines still let the sensual side of the McQueen woman shine through. With gravity-defying silk chiffon standing away from the body like a sea anemone, intricately reworked velvet bearing floral shapes and marabou feather hems, Burton even managed to add a touch of earth to an otherwordly collection.
Phoebe Philo’s vision of the Celine woman has always been a modern and streamlined one. This season, she added a dash of athleticism and bold colours to that equation.
The designer’s signature colour palette of black and white was amped up through the addition of azure blue, fuchsia, rose pink, aubergine and vermilion red, while oversized wool coats, double piping on front-pleated trousers and striped crew neck jumpers gave the collection a more casual feel. But in fabrics such as supple leather and fur, each piece still had that unmistakable touch of Celine luxury.
In this collection, intricate prints resembled the hasty stroke of a painter’s brush, and paint Hussein Chalayan did with colours including crimson, teal, camel, tenné, emerald, fluorescent orange and green.
The silhouettes were streamlined in the form of oversized single-button coats, tunics and shift dresses, but always good for the unexpected detail, he added large cutouts, as well as rectangular bands in contrast collars to cinch in pieces at the waist and bust, not to mention reflective silver lamé panelling, trousers and brogues. Whether artistic or futuristic, every piece bore the Chalayan signature.
Considering the high value that Karl Lagerfeld has in the fashion industry, it was only a matter of time before he produced a collection inspired by precious stones. If the set design of oversize crystals jutting out of the ground wasn’t hint enough, this season’s Chanel colour palette was all about the emerald greens, amethyst purples, ruby reds, golds, antique silvers and sapphire blues.
Whether interwoven with the house’s signature tweed or sewn into the sleeves, pockets and breast of a flared wool coat dress, Lagerfeld’s chromatic approach this season only heightened the luxury of the gemstone, feather and lace-crafted pieces. Their point of inspiration may date back to the beginning of time, but thanks to a mixture of architecturally sculpted and relaxed silhouettes, every look was pure modernity. Topped off with crystal eyebrows and Perspex-heeled pumps, this collection proved (once again) why Coco and Karl are the perfect match.
If anyone still associated the name Stella McCartney with The Beatles before, then this collection broke that bond once and for all. Working with colours of black, cyan, hot pink, charcoal, dark brown and white, it was a milestone in her journey from famous daughter to design star in her own right.
McCartney’s time at Saville Row made its mark in the tailoring of padded hips, oversized, rectangular cuts, and rounded shoulders, giving every piece a strong sense of structuring while offsetting the more feminine elements such as foliage embroidery and curve-tracing colour blocking. Her tribute to English style didn’t stop there: cozy waffle knit cardigans and dresses worn over Oxford button-downs, as well as A-line skirts in fabrics such as tweed, wool, mohair, crepe paid tribute to McCartney’s heritage. Balance being one of her strong suits, hip-slung, wide-legged trousers, streamlined clutchs, and contrast-coloured pumps and ankle boots gave everything an urban twist.
Yesterday marked the end of the Spring/Summer 2012 couture shows. The proverbial creme de la creme of fashion, only allowed to show during this three-day short Fashion Week through a Chambre Syndicale De La Haute Couture membership – haute couture doesn’t mean high dressmaking in French for nothing – showed a degree of craftsmanship and attention to detail all across the fashion spectrum.
Twin recounts our haute couture highlights from Paris…
Proving that haute couture doesn’t have to keep to a demure palette, Mabille punched up the colour factor with his neon designs. Inspired by photographs of Lisa Fonssagrives and Christy Turlington, the creations in fabrics ranging from metallic lame to guipure lace proved that even when it comes to couture, girls just want to have fun.
Working with crepe de soie, fur collars and wide-legged tailored trousers, Jarrar’s collection was a take on casual luxe. A bit of tomboy and a dash of urban sophisticate resulted in a whole lot of effortless cool.
No couture week is complete without Karl Lagerfeld’s latest mind musings. Taking the double Cs to a more ethereal place this time around (airplane runway, anyone?) resulted in a collection of beautifully hand-embellished pieces in icy blues, ivories and midnight blacks.
Elie Saab is the go-to designer for anything feminine and delicate, and this season was no exception. Lace and crystal embroidery on nude, pastel pink and pale lemon high-waisted dresses and A-line skirts made being a woman that bit more enticing.
It may only be Valli’s second showing on the haute couture circuit, but the Italian designer proves that he can hold his own among fashion’s heavyweights. With a plethora of expertly tailored feather, lace and embroidered pieces, he’s as couture as they come.
Jean Paul Gaultier
In a beehive and winged eyeliner tribute to Amy Winehouse, Gaultier sent out a collection that was every bit as eccentric and nonchalant as the late singer herself. Encompassing pieces such as back to black shirt-tail hem skirts, leather varsity jackets and silk kimono coats tied at the waist, Winehouse probably wouldn’t have wanted her couture any other way.
Maison Martin Margiela Artisanal
Leave it to the house of Margiela to put an unconventional spin on couture. Rope, braided bracelets and hundreds of pearlescent buttons were turned into knee-length trench coats, colourful micro dresses, and slouchy blazer and pegged trouser combos, proving that recycled fashion doesn’t have to be drab.
It has only taken a few seasons for Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri to fully establish their trademark of girlish and graceful designs at Valentino. Marking a sweet end to haute couture fashion week, this collection of chiffon, lace and tulle in fine floral prints had a glamourised Charlotte Brontë/Jane Austen novel feel to it. Piccioli and Chiuri clearly have a talent for capturing fashion daydreams.
We love Alice Dellal for her irreverent beauty and punk attitude and it seems Karl Lagerfeld is a fan too. Chanel have now confirmed that the model, and Thrush Metal drummer, will be the new face of their Boy Chanel handbag collection. With Chanel declaring the Boy Chanel collection will strive to subvert conformist notions of femininity, it’s clear why Alice is the perfect muse.
The campaign has been styled and shot my Karl himself and at the moment all we’re getting is a sneak peek within the design house’s rococo walls, but we can’t wait to see what edge Alice brings to a Chanel skirt-suit.
The Boy Chanel campaign will be revealed in March 2012. chanel.com
As with gourmands (edible fragrances), I can now admit that I have been somewhat prejudiced towards celebrity fragrances. This wasn’t without reason; a lot of them genuinely were cheap, formulaic, derivative, overtly saccharine and obvious. Like gourmands, I reasoned they were often created with a young, uninformed, unsophisticated demographic in mind. There was very little artistry involved in the creation of these perfumes. But of course the minute you dismiss a genre of fragrance (or well anything in life really) something comes along and narkily disproves you. In this case it was Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely – which is really such a classy fragrance that it could be Chanel – and that’s a compliment indeed.
Anyway that was a few years ago now and hundreds of celebrity offerings have debuted since then. I can now admit there are one or two that I quite like – they are not all execrable. Namely Kate Moss’s Vintage Muse, which came out last winter. If you look at the notes on paper it does not bode well: plum, rhubarb and chocolate. It sounds like another sugary confection aimed at impressionable pre-teens. However when you actually smell it it’s really quite sophisticated – you get the tart, sour facets of rhubarb and plum rather than the juicy plumpness and it’s actually quite recherche.
It actually reminds me of how a stylist friend of mine used to smell – she blended her own oils – in other words not obvious and sweet but something a fashion insider might like. The other perfume that landed on my desk recently and that’s really okay, but maybe not great is Kim Kardashian’s debut. Now I had expected to hate this, not being afan of Kardashian herself (another fake tanned talentless wannabe famous for no reason) but it’s actually quite nice. What you get is a huge dose of tuberose – reminiscent of Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower or Michael Kors’ eponymous offering. I love tuberose as much as the next person – what I’m slightly ambivalent about is the chocolate note used to underscore it which make it a very rich, dense sweet tuberose. I might have preferred a more translucent take on the tuberose, but then that might have been a bit too derivative or Kors and Malle.
In addendum to my post a few weeks ago about beauty shopping online there is another destination that I have only recently discovered that is absolutely amazing for beauty brands. Unexpectedly, it’s amazon.co.uk. It’s usually my number one stop for books – the marketplace for second hand books is excellent – the only place that rivals it is Abebooks for older, rarer titles. Anyway Amazon also happens to stock some fabuloulsy recherche French haircare that you could previously only find in Harrods. I’m talking about Leonor Greyl, which I know Chanel muse Lady Amanda Harlech used to rave about and disappeared from these shores several years ago. But who knew!? Amazon are now stocking it, and they produce some magical oils and treatments that are worth tracking down. They’re also home to another cult French haircare range called Rene Furterer which I discovered years ago in French pharmacies. It’s cheaper than Greyl – their shampoo is about £7.50 – and equally good for treatments and day-to-day haircare. I’m really surprised I didn’t know about Amazon‘s health and beauty department before – they also have French pharamcy staples such as Klorane and Biotherm – another two of my favourite brands – Klorane‘s dry shampoo is unsurpassed. Another shop to bookmark on your browser for competitively priced beauty shopping.