Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shrinking away from the limelight

I know I just posted on Miranda Kerr's looming transformation from runway-Angel extraordinaire to high fashion editorial darling, but it seems she's got another transformation on her hands. Last week she flew into Sydney to do a cover shoot and spread for Grazia, and the photos show a startlingly different Miranda to the commercial lingerie model we're all used to. British tabloid the DailyMail has ran an article commenting on her apparent weight loss, putting it down to her ambition to make it in the high-fashion world. The pictures below show her cutting an extremely thin figure, rib-bones and vertebrae galore. This is a fashion, not a weight, blog, but Miranda is a favourite of mine so I hope she springs back to her normal self soon!

The latest issue of Grazia featuring Miranda's exclusive interview hits shelves tomorrow, so make sure you grab a copy to see the Sydney rooftop shoot. I've had a little sneak peak on the Grazia website, and weight issues aside, Miranda is flying high at the top of her game (helium balloons don't hurt either!)

Paris wind-up: favourites of Spring 2010 prêt-à-porter

The end of Paris fashion week signals the end of the Spring 2010 season, and just in time for our very own Australian summer! The culmination of the shows heralds the end of runway party-season, with buyers for boutiques and departments stores the world over collating their lists of what exactly women will be wearing come summer. This season's in-store picks definitely won't disappoint- with the designers serving up an extremely wearable array of collections (amongst a few not so wearable... McQueen's amphibian woman instantly comes to mind here!) Below are some of my picks of the Paris collections that will have the biggest buyer appeal this season.


Phoebe Philo's latest showing for the French label will have women clamouring for the strong yet clean lines that have followed on from the fall shows. Minimalism was definitely the key trend, with the designer wanting to 'clean it up,' saying her aim was to make the collection 'strong and powerful.' Mission accomplished. The collection epitomised the contemporary woman; sharp tailoring paired with leather-everything; from the not-so-predictable jackets and capes to skirts, tops, dresses and shorts. Crisp whites and midnight blues perforated the neutral palette, which will ensure this collection packs a staying punch with the power-players.

Stella McCartney

Sticking to her 'what women want' aesthetic in a way that would've made Mel Gibson proud, saw Stella emerge from her boyfriend-blazer cocoon with the return of the waistlines. McCartney has always been one to focus on chic wearability as opposed to the showy artiness some designers can't get away from, and this aspect of her design is sure to please her clientele (and attract new ones) for many years to come. The blazers didn't disappear completely (thankfully!) but they were taken in a new- more shapely tailored- direction. Expertly placed ruffles were played down with pleats and belted waists, while also adorning bust and hemlines of print and flare-heavy skirts and dresses. As a cohesive collection, one can see how the woman McCartney designs for could easily move from day to night, office to weekend. Her chicly tailored separates enable wardrobe versatility; an aspect that couldn't have arrived during a more convenient summer.


With a mainly monochromal palette, Riccardo Tisci is another who's nailed the combination of geometric shapes and soft drapes. The program notes alluded to a roman theme; and while the toga-esque lines were a highlight, the Catholic inspired priest hats were not! The overall look was all clean-lined and refreshingly simple, and each piece had the sort of detail and craftsmanship you'd expect from one of the biggest names in Parisian couture. The handful of sheer, lightly draped dresses often complete with beaded shoulder accents were cleverly juxtaposed with the resounding strength in other silhouettes, creating a collection which will heavily - and successfully- target the edgy youth market.

Karl Lagerfeld also focused on accentuated waistlines paired with rising hemlines- a feature that also showed up in his collection for Chanel. This time around we saw a much more playful version of the label- in both the show and the clothes. Karl's current obsession, Lily Allen, kept the country theme rolling along, whilst the models waltzed (and in some cases, rolled) down the runway amongst bales of hay- whilst wearing clogs! Let's hope this part of Paris doesn't translate off-runway anytime soon. Lanvin's overt embellishment, whilst showing disregard for the recession, was a resounding favourite for the fashion-sweet tooths, while everything at Balmain will continue to be quick sellers, and feature on many a fashionable celebrity I'm sure. With the doom and gloom of winter behind us, this summer will shape up (quite literally) to be a buyer-blowout.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Not so angelic...

Miranda Kerr walking for Balenciaga

Naomi Campbell, making a comeback?

Russian success story: Natalia Vodianova

Aussie's favourite mainstream model, Miranda Kerr, has been spotted out and about in Paris this week, making her debut on the high fashion stage with a spot in the Balenciaga lineup. As noted in my earlier post, she was miles away from her cherubic self in Ghesquiere's latest showing for the famed Spanish house, rocking futuristic winged eyeliner- and not the sort you'd see on a Victoria's Secret runway. With no glitter or feathers in sight, Miranda was barely recognisable in a grey leather vest and textually pleated skirt. Wonder whether we'll see her lovely face on the runway again before the week's out?! It wouldn't be the first time an Angel has traded their halo for haute couture- my favourite, Natasha Poly- started her career walking for the lingerie label, before being snapped up by the editorial world.

Speaking of transitions, Naomi Campbell proved why she's a part of the original supermodel club, also taking to the Paris runways this week. Nearing 40 (!) Campbell is more than twice the age of half the girls out there, proving longevity isn't just a myth in the modelling industry. She walked for Russian designer Igor Chapurin, and also made an appearance at London's Fashion Week- closing the show for Issa. It seems the '90s are not over- with Russia's Cinderella success-story and Calvin Klein's long-time muse- Natalia Vodianova walking for Stella McCartney.

With the models-as-household-names phenomenon long gone, let's hope the modelling industry has finally turned over a new (green) leaf and starts using their recycling bins a bit more....

photos: and zimbio

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Paris begins... ohh la la!

We're finally into the last, but by no means least, stage of fashion weeks for the summer 2010 collections; Paris. While the prêt-à-porter shows aren't what couture-loving Parisians look forward to most on their yearly fashion calender, they sure know how to make clothes women actually want to wear, that's for sure.

A prime example of a designer who is known for his often avant garde couture is Dior headhunter John Galliano, and his ready to wear collection was just that. Amongst all the overtly '80s inspired collections of late, it was refreshing to see inspiration from a new era emerge. Forties film stars reigned supreme; with shiny red pouts and bouncing waves offsetting feminine yet structured trenches amongst a collection of underwear-as-outwear; a trend single handedly put on the fashion map by Galliano.

Christian Dior

Other highlights at Paris so far have been Balenciaga, the greatly-anticipated Balmain and designer-for-the-cool-kids Isabel Marant. Ghesquière's latest showing is an obvious departure from his drape-heavy fall collection, with not a soft layer in sight in this urban-cool collection for Balenciaga. This show was all about stepping out of the box- it even featured our very own Victoria's Secret angel Miranda Kerr, who was without her feathered safety wings in a street-inspired schoolgirl get up. Leather hoodies, skin tights pants and modern patchwork were combined in a genius way that will definitely prove hard for chain store labels to rip-off; a problem still continuing to plague the next designer.

Christophe Decarnin has really set the bar in terms of sexy deconstructionism; combining military jackets with sequins and barely-there hemlines in a way only Balmain could. While the follow-on from previous collections is obvious, space age has been replaced by a sparkling disco dancer emerging from the caves. The aesthetic is more closely related to Decarnin's own style than previous lines, with the leather jacket and skinny army pants combo he donned himself looking like a piece from the same collection. With the bold-shouldered trend resting upon his own, it's going to take an army (probably dressed in Balmain) to knock him off his well-deserved perch.


Newcomer to the high-fashion circuit Marant proved yet again why she's established herself amongst the cool crowd, with her relaxed boho style retaining that street edge from fall; her collection is extremely wearable. Not only is it wearable as a cohesive whole, one can see how those going for the model-off-duty look can add pieces into their existing wardrobes. With more colour than the greys of fall, one has to be leggy to pull off some of these pieces: loose minis with fringed boots, draped grey marle pants and skinny pinstripes. Still on the strong-shouldered bandwagon, it's obvious why the Marant fan club is recruiting members and a speedy rate.

Isabel Marant

Moroccan-born Israeli design genius Alber Elbaz took drapery and ruffles to a new, and unforgettable, level with his latest showing for French house Lanvin. No amount of journalistic genius can do this vision justice; the show was an array of gorgeously constructed garments where intricate design and textualisation were moulded together to create a visual delight for those who made the trek to a shed on the outskirts of Paris. This cult like following, revelling in the build up of beaded brilliance, is testament to the mind who lured them there. With the week just started, Paris is sure to be one we won't forget for a very long time, just as they intended, I'm sure.


Milan's turn at that thing known as Fashion Week

Fashion week has just wrapped in the fashion capital of Italy, Milan, proving once again why everything with an Italian label oozes glamour and sensuality. In Milan, the designs are a world away from the cool-factor of London, where the summer 2010 collections, and rightly so, are hot hot hot.

Frida Giannini followed on the sparkling success of her fall collection, this time taking Gucci on an athletic road less travelled, and staying there with conviction. The collection revolved around the figure-hugging silhouette of a layered bandage dress, with the designer herself emerging at the end of the show in a tightly wound little black number. Past shows like Wang in New York and Macdonald in London spring to mind upon the emergence of Natasha Poly poured into a startlingly bright white multi-strap dress. With the white starting block fading to grey around the bend, it was typical Gucci-girl print up the back straight and sharp, dark beading on sleek dresses bringing it home. A definite highlight of not only Milan, but the entire current season, with the streak of modernism Giannini finally deciding to play paying off in spades.


Fellow Italian glamourite Donatella Versace, poster girl for the fun and frivolity of '90s fashion, took the label back it its roots with shorter-than-short hemlines, wild prints and colour. And what a time to do so- with hemlines on the rise the world over, Donatella stepped up to the plate and showed them all how it's done. Psychedelic, geometric prints splashed in zesty neons over a figure-hugging silhouette formed the basis of this Alice in Wonderland themed collection. When she wasn't skirting the issue, Donatella threw in a sleek, tailored jacket or two, just for good measure. Ending with floor-length chiffon gowns in a rainbow hued array perfect for the up and coming awards season, Donatella proved why she's the go to girl for quintessential Italian glamour.


Other Milanese highlights, and also fans of colour's reemergence, were Emilio Pucci and Prada, the latter's take on colour reverberated through to the showstopping glossy pouts. Taking a break from the swirling print side of Pucci was Peter Dundas with his debut collection built upon the water-loving scuba trend. However, it wasn't just a line full of body dresses that one might assume makes up a summer 2010 show; Dundas cleverly incorporated many varying trends of the season within the limits of a single show. There were deconstructed tees done Decarnin-style, softly draped safari pants, strong shouldered jackets all mixed in with the vibrant, flowing dresses a Pucci girl would love. Miuccia Prada took a step back from the leather-punch, presenting a strong-lined collection revolving around a "business-to-beach" idea. And I mean this quite literally: sleek office wear was branded with a seaside pattern, pared back with monochromal, tech-looking separates.


Over at Dolce & Gabbana, the crowd was treated to a different kind of finale- an upheaval from past endings of voluminous ballgowns. After a latina-themed, overtly lacy show, the models took to the runway in a'40s inspired lingerie-clad-bunch, lead by all-round favourite Natasha Poly. With a sexy and glamorous, but always classy week done, we're now on the home straight of the ready-to-wear summer 2010 season, and let it be known Paris won't let us down!

Natasha Poly leading the pack at the Dolce & Gabbana finale
photos:, Zimbio, Coutorture