London Fashion Week AW14/15 Series: Mary Katrantzou

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Mary_Katrantzou-AW14-styleonthecouchMary Katrantzou proved she was worth more than digital prints with her latest collection. For AW14 Katrantzou brought us  embroidery and embellishment; short shift dresses emblazoned with 3D fabrications and long, heavy evening gowns spliced with pleats.

“Lean, ankle-grazing long-sleeved gowns were meticulously pieced together by crocheted symbols. Katrantzou was thinking about language, ideas of nationality and political allegiance, notions of uniform, and badges of honour from military medals to scout patches. It was hard to see what every single one of those motifs were; they varied from Stop signs to other insignias but in the end, it didn’t really matter, the resulting effect was exceptionally beautiful.

Elsewhere, a series of chainmail dresses suspended from brace-style straps, spliced with silk pleats took their cue from butcher’s aprons – but were so elevated into new realms of desirability one would never have known.” – Vogue.com

The colour palette for the show was equally as majestic as the clothes. Navy blues, wine, silvers and greys gracefully shimmied and shone along the catwalk.  Accessories took the form of box-style bags inspired by builders tool boxes and vintage camera bags, continuing the multi-functional, industrial theme seen elsewhere (for example at Alexander Wang).

Images: Dazed Digital.

New York Fashion Week AW14/15 Series: Prabal Gurung

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Prabal Gurung once described his ideal customer as “a thinking man’s sex symbol.  A beautiful woman with brains, a lethal combination.”  Here again he presents a highly polished New York Fashion Week collection for precisely the women he worships – goddess like, bold in colour and rich in layers and texture.

This season is directly inspired by Nepal, and the richly mythical and legendary culture it celebrates.  Sari-like cloth sat swathed around the sensual elements of the female body; the neck, waist and hip.  Feather and fur, silk and muslin-type fabrics were synonymous with the inspiration behind AW14/15.

Photos: Dazed Magazine and Sonny Vandevelde.

New York Fashion Week Series: 1. Rag & Bone

In the first of my Fashion Week series, where I’ll be talking about my favourite spring / summer 13 collections from amongst the recent runway presentations in New York, we have Rag & Bone.  I’m usually wholly more interested in the menswear aesthetic at Rag & Bone – I like their crisp military inspired notion of tailoring, a brand signature.  However SS13 has some strong looks for women – slouchy leather trousers, a coral parachute style dress and some stunning shirt dresses.

On Dazed Digital, designer Marcus Wainright talks about the themes and ideas behind the collection:

“[It was] The Paris Dakar Rally, a rally with race cars and trucks and bikes. The idea is a motorsport thing against the desert Bedouin tribesmen clashing. That’s where the hardness of the military and biker thing against the soft white and billowy Bedouin lightweight fabric thing came from. I think that’s a signature of our general inspiration for the brand when we’re designing collections; it’s all about the clash between hard and soft and uptown and downtown. That’s effectively the way girls dress in New York, the way our girl dresses. They’re not all done up and our girl is not necessarily all feminine either, but sometimes she is. I think that balance between the two is what we try to get out of the show.”

I can’t help but think of a modern-day Penelope Pitstop when I look at these images. I am a huge fan of the implied speed in the designs. A pair of their trousers with the racer stripes is high on my wish list.

Rag & Bone have me sold on the hoods and the visor style sunglasses (a collaboration with Oakley - Dazed also noted the Blade Runner connection).  The only thing I’m not sure about is the amount of layering for the summer months. I’m personally used to dressing in simple, form-fitting styles for my own body shape I guess.  I also liked the major injection of colour with the neon green and blues along with the use of interesting fabric textures. Very refreshing.

Images: Vogue.