Paris Fashion Week AW14/15 Series: Isabel Marant

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IsabelMarant-AW14-styleonthecouch-5If there is one thing I have learned from having a best friend who is French, it is the power of the a silk t-shirt or blouse, slim jeans and ankle boots.  Yes, that just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-can’t-be-bothered look, done so well by the French woman with that je ne sais quoi – whether it’s last night’s clothes (slouchy tee, grey jeans) or that perfectly coordinated designer outfit, the French woman always seems to look positively wonderful.

This is why, Blog Reader, Isabel Marant somewhat frustrates me.  Try as I might, as an Englishwoman, I have never quite been able to perfect her blend of essence-of-tomboy and bohemian chic.  Vogue says of Marant: “Equal parts confidence and nonchalance—that’s what makes this Gallic girl so enviable, and no one captures it better.”

For AW14, Marant ushered in understated power dressing:

“If you’re her kind of girl, you’re free-spirited, bohemian, cool and casual with a dishevelled chic that blurs the lines between what you got up to in the day and what you got up to at night. Today, that’s exactly what we got for military styles incarnated in evening shimmer, khaki knits, short skirts and big shoulders – in a stole-your-boyfriend’s-jacket meets Decarnin’s Balmain way.

The shoulders got bigger and more pronounced as the collection continued and a combination of trophy day-dressing ensued. A simple shirtdress rendered in silver metallic suddenly had nighttime appeal, while camouflage flourished in sequins, knitted trousers were punctuated with shimmer, and a sparkly T-shirt came worn with a supersized fluffy cardigan.” – Vogue.com

I really liked the paper-bag waist trousers, the quilted pants and the boots wrapped, bondage style, with leather straps.  If only I could just morph myself into this look of perfectly tousled French cool, I’d opt for a wardrobe full of Marant.

Photos: Sonny Vandevelde.

 

New York Fashion Week Series: 3. Rodarte

Kate and Laura Mulleavy – the sisters behind Rodarte - have a special place in my heart for their quirky and romantic designs.  I always feel they offer something unique and ethereal season after season and this September was no exception.

Opening Ceremony’s blog described Rodarte’s spring summer 2013 collection as “a bit Dungeons and Dragons” combined with a little punk rock and new wave.  They continued:

“Structured bodices, shimmery fabrics, hologram sculptural shoes, fringed vests and leather grommet pants are all part of the look.” ~ Rory Satran, Opening Ceremony.

Vogue observed a sci-fi lean in the collection.  I thought it was an interesting mix of inspirations from different eras and worlds; medieval times, intergalactic battles and elvish charm.  (My lovely Twitter friend Krista suggested that Arwen might approve of the gowns).  Dresses came complete with body-armour – shoulder and breast plates – and chain mail style belts.

Karlie Kloss and Lindsey Wixson on the catwalk gave the show a helluva lot of oomph.

Finally the accessories get honorable mention this season. Dragon ear cuffs and rose necklaces, you say?

Kate Mulleavy told Dazed Magazine:

There were so many layers to this and to pull it all together one of things we thought we were going to need more of was metal jewellery. It was based on bridging this idea of something that is rooted more in baroque and making it modern.”

Once again, I’m more than a little in love with Rodarte’s new collection. Now pass the sword, who’s for live role play?!

You can view the entire spring summer 2013 by Rodarte on Vogue.  Catwalk images here, also Vogue.

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.