Monday, 16 October 2017

SS18 Trend Report - Mondrian

Has there ever been a colour palette that packed more of a punch than this? Piet Mondrian proving to be all kinds of popular on the runway for SS18, references to the Dutch artist were seen at: Ralph Lauren, Aquilano.Rimondi and Christian Dior - all adding a large dose of abstract art to their latest collections. Colour blocking is nothing new, but in primary colours it has serious impact. Block colour separates work well for an all out 'look at me' look, whilst stripes with injections of black make for a slightly softer, yet still edgy, look.

Phillippa x

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Saturday, 14 October 2017

Jennifer Lawrence - Mother! Promo Tour

She's Hollywood's most sought after star...with a red carpet wardrobe to die for - yes I can only be talking about Jennifer Lawrence. Recently hitting the red carpet promoting her latest film, Mother!, JLaw wore a stunning selection of dresses. Styled to perfection by her stylists Jill Lincoln and Jordan Johnson, Lawrence looked effortlessly flawless on every occasion. Which was your favourite look from the Mother! promo tour?...
1. Christian Dior - New York Premiere
2. Christian Dior - Paris Premiere
3. Atelier Versace - London Premiere
4. Christian Dior - Venice Film Festival
5. Sally LaPointe - The Tonight Show
6. Dolce and Gabbana - Toronto International Film Festival
7. Sally LaPointe - Toronto International Film Festival Press Conference
8. Ralph and Russo Couture - Toronto International Film Festival

Phillippa x

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Outfit of The Month - October

Prince of Wales check is a huge trend for Fall 17, as seen at Off-White amongst others. Whilst at first I wasn't sure how I felt about it, namely because I kept seeing it on suits and oversized jackets which are not my thing, I completely fell in love with numerous mini skirts I had seen in this fabric. If you have been following my blog for some time, you will know I fully champion the humble mini skirt. And for me that is the great thing about fashion trends, we can all fully get on board with a trend but we just have to find our own way to stamp our mark on it! I usually team a mini skirt with a slim fitting polo neck, but this season I am loving a chunky knit. Tucked in at the front of the skirt, but left loose at the back for a super casual look. This season I am also in love with pointed toe sock boots...I know i've jumped on that bandwagon as well! I'm usually a flat ankle boot kinda gal, but the pointed toe boots, inspired by Balenciaga, are rocking my world right now. They are sexy and slimming on the leg, but with a smaller heel means they are actually super comfortable. A military style coat and cute cross-body bag complete the look.
Phillippa x

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Saturday, 7 October 2017

Paris Fashion Week SS18 - Top 5

So thats a wrap! Yet another fashion month over - where does the time go? Here is my 'Top 5' review from Paris Fashion Week...
Ok, so it's pretty clear that i'm a huge fan of J.W.Anderson - both his namesake brand and his work at Loewe. Anderson's attention to detail is extraordinary, always seeking to develop new and innovative textile applications and crafts. This season the Loewe woman was a traveller, more bohemian than previously seen. Patchwork was a key theme, with fabric swatches representing the kind of souvenirs the Loewe muse would collect on her travels. My favourite looks in the collection, were the handkerchief hem dresses, complete with frills and paisley prints. An earthy colour palette with soft pastels was beautifully feminine, without being twee.
Phoebe Philo has the undeniable power of creating timeless collections which are full of classic investment pieces. This season was no different. Prior to the show, Philo explained that she wanted the collection to be personal and optimistic. Inspired by the early 80's, we saw oversized belted trench coats and long pleated skirts in khaki colours. As always with Celine, there was an exceptional level of craftmanship - whipstitched leather coats, sequin dresses and feather embellished shirt dresses. With this being Celine, the accessories were very covetable, including sock boots and rimless sunglasses. Beautiful from start to finish. 
Louis Vuitton
Talk about saving the best for last! I honestly don't think there has ever been a collection by Nicolas Ghesquiere which I haven't loved. Closing Paris fashion week, the Louis Vuitton show took place in the Louvre. Many of the key pieces in the collection were inspired by historical royal clothing, but such pieces were styled with relaxed athletic shorts and statement trainers. The coats were made from the most exquisite woven jacquard fabrics complete with floral prints and gold thread. They were works of art. Some of the edgier looks in the collection were the knitted striped bodycon dresses and Stranger Things tee. I adored the styling of long sleeved tops and blouson blouses underneath sleeveless dresses. Key Items - waistcoats, vinyl trousers, small frame cateye sunglasses (the biggest eyewear trend of 2017, which will continue into 2018).
Alexander McQueen
Sarah Burton explained that the McQueen SS18 collection was inspired by 'the healing power of nature'. There is always a strong element of nature in a McQueen collection and this season floral cross-stitched dresses and handcrafted floral gowns were amongst the standout looks. Of course there were ruffled dresses, off-the-shoulder leather bustier dresses - both with an underlying sex appeal. Belts and harnesses featured throughout, as did plaid textiles and statement jewellery - all the classic elements of a McQueen collection were clear to see and I for one loved every single look. Key Accessory - embellished biker boots.
You may remember a while back, I profiled Off-White on my blog - charting the rise of one of the most coveted new brands in fashion. Whilst primarily seen as a streetwear brand, for SS18 Virgil Abloh has taken his brand beyond that. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death and that was, believe it or not, the inspiration behind this collection. Everyone remembers Princess Diana's sartorial choices, and Abloh was reinventing her key looks for the modern woman. This may not have seemed like an obvious choice of inspiration for the man who is more used to dressing the likes of Hailey Baldwin and Bella Hadid - but they are the style icons of today, in the same way that Princess Diana was in the late 80's early 90's. Afterall, there is a huge 90's revival happening right now so in a weird way it seemed kind of fitting. Power suits, epic shoulder pads, mom jeans - the references were there to see. To modernise the collection, leather jackets and sporty wrap sunglasses with branded Off-White cords were styled with the vintage inspired pieces.

So that completes my reviews of the SS18 collections...but do not fear as starting next week my SS18 Trend Report Series will be starting on my blog. Each week I will be documenting a different trend emerging from the catwalk. This will include print trends, colour, fabric and accessories - so stay tuned for that! 

If you want a more extensive look at the SS18 collections, then be sure to follow my Pinterest. There you will find a very in depth look at each runway collection. (details below)

Phillippa x

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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Milan Fashion Week SS18 - Top 5

Now this is more like it....more colour and print than you could possibly imagine! With a background in textiles / surface design you can see why I look forward to MFW so much. Whilst I wouldn't necessarily wear many of the collections, as they don't reflect my personal style, from a design perspective they are music to my ears. Versace fully stole he show this season...but more on that in a minute. Here are my top 5 collections form Milan...
WOW...was quite simply my first reaction as I clicked through each look in the collection. Marni silhouettes are often oversized and when printed with inky florals I was left in awe. Francesco Risso explained that these florals were 'English gardens, as seen though the eyes of Tim Burton' cue the fantasy prints in cartoon-like colours. The oversized proportions reference historical garments, which you would find in the 20's and 50's. Full duchesse skirts were seen throughout and came both printed and in block colours of luxurious satin. Corset tops added intrigue to the collection and were an awkwardly sexy addition to the collection. Key features - fur bags and frayed hems.
The show that got everyone a pretty MAJOR way. 2017 marks a poignant year for the  Italian fashion brand, it marks the 20th anniversary since the infamous murder of Gianni Versace in Miami. So how did Donatella choose to mark this milestone?...with a 90's inspired print fest that's how! Pulling prints directly from the Versace archives of the early 90's, Donatella delivered a knockout collection of show-stopping looks one after the other. Shells, starfish, gold Baroque motifs, leopard print, butterflies, Warhol prints - I mean talk about impact. Growing up in the 90's I remember these prints fondly. It also wouldn't be classic Versace without embellishment, silk scarves and killer accessories. But there is one thing that stole the show more than anything else - the return of the most iconic 90's supermodels: Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen and Cindy Crawford who all wore gold chainmail dresses.
This offering was everything that we have come to know and love from an Alessandro Michele Gucci collection. The glam rock 70's vibes were present in the form of the emphasis on shoulders, sequinned fabrics and appliqued musical notes - all inspired by Elton John's archive stage outfits. Of course the 'new Gucci' is not to everyone's taste, its OTT and garish, but you simply can't deny the fact that Gucci are major power players in the world of fashion at the moment with everyone desperate to get their hands on piece of the action. For that Michele has to be applauded for his undeniable ability to create a triumphant collection season after season.
Bottega Veneta
Firstly, the colour palette as presented by Tomas Maier at the SS18 presentation was sublime. Beautiful dusty shades of lavender, blue and taupe were seen on the runway but for me it was the choice of fabric which really brought the colours to life. Suede and silk being the two key fabrics, both of which were seen, at times, strewn with eyelets and paillettes. Another key theme in the collection was the use of fringing,  complete with micro beads - the frocks in question were simple in their cut and tailoring. This was a collection that was made to be wearable...and practical. Even the evening gowns were straightforward in their cut. Hints of python skin were also seen. 
Miuccia Prada was expressing her thoughts on women, since the election of Donald Trump, in her latest collection. She wanted to create a 'militant woman' - a collection about power. We saw lots of layering and varying silhouettes all on a backdrop of a dramatic dark colour palette. Prints were taken from manga artists, and interestingly were screen-printed onto the fabric over creases to allow for a rough-and-ready feel. Such detailed and illustrated prints were juxtaposed with graphic spots and zebra patterns. Super slimline cateye sunglasses were a key part of the collection - one accessories trend which is going from strength to strength.

My Paris Fashion Week review will follow soon...

Phillippa x

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Saturday, 30 September 2017

London Fashion Week SS18 - Top 5

Living in London, and working in fashion, there is always something exciting about the prospect of LFW. This season Emporio Armani and the powerhouse that is TommyXGigi were added to the schedule. Brit designers are known for their experimental approach to design, not afraid to take risks and play with colour and silhouette. Here are my top 5 from LFW SS18...
Jonathan Anderson referenced the 'need for sanctuary' in his show notes, with a feeling of serenity washing over the collection. You may remember that Anderson recently curated his first exhibition at the Hepworth gallery in Yorkshire, and perhaps as a nod to this Anderson used many natural fiber's this season: linen, cotton and nappa leather. Previous collections have consisted of architectural silhouettes, and whilst Anderson's love of art was still present this season the collection on a whole looked more composed. Stripes and cross tied detailing were key features.
Christopher Kane
At a glance you wouldn't be able to second guess that Kane's latest collection was inspired by an infamous 1980's South London brothel...but take a closer look and the references were all there. The tailored pieces, which opened the show, were a nod to the well-to-do gentlemen who may visit such an establishment. However take a closer look and the models were wearing chokers. Elsewhere, patent leather was a nod to a powerful dominatrix. As the phrase goes 'no one knows what happens behind closed doors' and Kane toyed with this unassuming nature of his muse by creating trims from household cleaning material such as mops and cleaning cloths.
Mary Katrantzou
I have been a fan of Mary Katrantzou from day one. I fondly remember her joyful printed collections of seasons past, and for me this SS18 collection harks back to those early days. This is the Katrantzou that I love - colour, print and volume. Billowing silhouettes opened the show in high-shine fabrics and glorious OOT prints. The collection was inspired by the designer's childhood, more specifically the toys she used to play with. Most notably in this collection was the use of Hama beads - which were used as embellishments on dresses. There was also a hint of sportswear in the collection, with the addition of parker jackets with elasticated cord pulls.
Peter Pilotto
It wouldn't be a Peter Pilotto collection without a splash of colour or an eye catching print - this season was no different. However, for SS18 the colours were less vibrant and instead in a beautiful array of pastels. The two key prints were stripes and stylised florals -  the later of which was inspired by a trip the design duo took to the island of Okinawa, Japan. Whilst I felt at times the large scale florals looked a tad dated, or vintage, I felt they worked well when patched together on a slightly smaller scale. I also loved the ultra feminine use of tailoring: ruched panels, knot details, off-the-shoulder tops and flowing asymmetric hems. The Japanese influence was also present on some of the Kimono-style dresses. Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos also added athleisure looks into the collection, with silk tracksuits. 
Erdem Moralioglu's latest offering was inspired by Queen Elizabeth. It was on a research trip to Windsor Castle that Erdem found his starting point for SS18. Suitably royal fabrics including brocades were used multiple times in the collection - all in rich colours. Many of the pieces were conservative in their cut, with high necklines and below the knee hems, however as the collection progressed, bustier dresses and floor length revealing lace gowns made an appearance. The emerging trend for balloon-skirted gowns was also seen here on the runway. The prints were beautifully hand painted florals, with exquisite elements of embellishment.

Be sure to follow my blog so you don't miss my Milan and Paris fashion week reviews...

Phillippa x

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Monday, 25 September 2017

New York Fashion Week SS18 - Top 5

As I do each season, I am once again reviewing my top picks from the new season collections. First up is New York. Two of my favourite designers, Rodarte and Proenza Schouler, have recently departed NYFW instead opting to join the couture schedule in Paris...hence why they are missing from this review. And whilst I did miss their presence on the schedule this season, there were many other designers whose collections caught my are my top 5 from NYFW...
Marc Jacobs
Certainly not a collection for a shrinking violet...but when does Marc Jacobs ever do anything by halves? For me this was undoubtedly the standout show from NYFW this season - The colour, print, embellishment, glamour, excess - it was all there loud and proud. where to start! Firstly we have to discuss the prints - both oversized and psychedelic. The trippy patterns were real showstoppers and came on floor sweeping dresses, which had a retro feel to them, and also on sporty outerwear for a more modern look. There was also a naivety in the way in which they had been drawn. Then there were the turbans, as seen on most of the models. Tapping into the current sports culture in fashion, the collection included: silk trackpants, sliders and cross body bags. Throw in a tonne of sequins and embellishment into the mix and you've got yourself a pretty MAJOR SS18 collection.
Calvin Klein
The American artist Sterling Ruby, provided a key source of inspiration for Raf Simons latest offering for Calvin Klein. If you are familiar with the artists work, then you will recognise his spray paint style artwork adorning rubber macs and skirts. Simons explained his obsession with film and tv also played a part in his collection, hence the somewhat sinister feel to the aforementioned garments - 'American horror, American dreams' Simons explained. In a further nod to Hollywood, Andy Warhol prints of the actor Dennis Hopper were printed on dresses. Ladylike 1950's silhouettes were modernised by the use of waterproof nylon. Above all else, what I liked the most here was the use of colour-blocking. Striking colour combinations of orange/black and yellow/pink will no doubt be influencing my Spring 18 wardrobe.
Prabal Gurung
Prabal does proportion exceptionally well, and this season was no different. Beautifully feminine silhouettes, with slashed details and delicate rouleau buttons were key features. The colour palette was simply music to my ears, with fuschia and neon pink being constant throughout the collection. I loved the injection of an edgy asymmetric plaid, along with the most wonderful floral print. Leather and corset waists toughened up the collection and offered something a little more dramatic to the collection... perhaps for a consumer who wishes to take a few more sartorial risks with their look.
Distinct references to college and sportswear were made during the latest Monse runway presentation. Baseball-style shirts, complete with slogans, and stitched detailing were present throughout. Signature stripes worked perfectly with the theme of the show, and complemented the star prints perfectly. Of course with the theme being what it was, a colour palette or red, white and blue worked harmoniously with the collection. Track pants and bomber jackets were elevated with the use of off-the-shoulder tailoring. Monse is still proving to be one of the must-have new brands on the fashion scene!
Jason Wu
Wu explained prior to his show that this season his collection would offer something more casual than in previous seasons. Loosely draped silhouettes, in ultra-soft colours, were the order of the day. The introduction of jersey, as a material of choice, further ensured the relaxed feel to the collection. Despite the cutout details and sheer panels, there was a rather effortless feel to the collection. A tropical floral print, in acid brights, injected personality into the collection. 

For a more extensive look at all the collections from NYFW, be sure to follow my 'Runway Favourites' board over on my Pinterest (details below).

Stay tuned to my blog, as my London Fashion Week review is coming on Saturday...

Phillippa x

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