Monday, November 30, 2009

Spring/Summer 2010 off-runway

Since the ready-to-wear collections were unveiled in New York, London, Milan and Paris in September, there has been the usual flurry of excitement by (mostly celebrity) stylists, buyers and all those well-connected to get their hands on pieces before they hit stores.

It’s always interesting to see how the looks are translated off-runway, especially by celebrities who have copious amounts of help with all their ‘people’- so there really is no excuse for getting it wrong! I’m still undecided as to whether Jennifer Lopez, shown at the American Music Awards in Gucci rocked it or wrecked it. Although Natasha Poly in the collection’s first look pulls off this season’s cut away body-con-plus-sculptural-platform-combo with ease (as if there’s any doubt), I’m not sure copying the look one-for-one was a wise move for Jenny. Perhaps different shoes (and definitely different- or no - earrings) could’ve worked in JLo’s favour. However, credit has to be given where credit is due; this woman’s body is amazing (twins anyone?!)

Meanwhile, Sandra Bullock chose Alberta Ferretti for the screening of The Blind Side in New Orleans earlier this month. The almost-casual look she’s got going on- with the loose waves and the flowing chiffon of the dress- is surely going to be called “too relaxed” by those dreaded “style police,” but props for Bullock for wearing it differently to Edita on-runway.

Taking one of the moore (haha- too, too easy) wearable pieces from the Viktor & Rolf collection was Julianne Moore, who chose look 17 from the collection for the New York screening of The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. How glad I am she didn’t pull a JLo and opt for matching shoes; while knee length rosettes are borderline avant garde on runway (and will look amazing in editorials), only someone like Tanya Dziahileva (i.e. a 6 foot tall model) could pull off both. I love how the sculpted sleeves and sharp lapels of the original juxtapose the softly draped chiffon, and wonder why Moore removed them.

And, finally, how could we forget Daphne Guinness in THAT Alexander McQueen, who co-hosted the release party of François Nars’ (yes, the man behind the make-up) new picture book. She plucked look 24 straight off the runway (paired with more sinister shoes, no less), looking right at home in the footwear that would make many a model cringe, shrugging “I’ve had years of practice.” If anyone can wear McQueen with conviction, she can.

And, just because, here’s some pictures of Viktor & Rolf’s (ready-to-wear?!) collection from Paris. Cannot wait to see the fun the photographers have with the background choices for all the hedge-trimmed tulle.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Underwear as outerwear continued...

It appears that the similarities between high fashion and the commercial world of Victoria's Secret doesn't end with the models. One of the most reoccurring, dare I say-trends- to show up in the Spring/Summer 2010 collections was that of underwear dressing. Homage was paid to the overt femininity UK's Harper's Bazaar cites Stella McCartney as being responsible for, through the subtle and not-so-subtle use of lace, sheers, ruffles and pretty detailing. More obvious forms of the trend were displayed in what seemed like two piece pantsuits- often without the namesake item. In an effort to move away from (but by no means escape!) the power-loving structure of seasons past, the resurgence of underwear as outerwear is obvious.

Lace and soft suiting make a winning pair at Stella McCartney

Spearheading the revival (regardless of who started it) during the fall couture season was John Galliano for Christian Dior, who carried it through to spring with his old world screen siren inspired collection of silky trenches, lace-paneled under-layers and cinched waists. Want a more literal interpretation of lingerie dressing? Look no further than the boys of Dolce & Gabbana. Their 40s-inspired, latina-esque prints, lace and corsetry screamed lingerie but at the same time oozed glamour and sex appeal. And when talking about literal interpretations of underwear, we can't (as much as we'd like to) ignore the disaster that was the 'artistic advising' of Lindsay Lohan at Emanuel Ungaro. Love heart nipple covers? Really??

Ladylike glamour at Christian Dior

Natasha Poly leading the lingerie-clad pack at the Dolce & Gabbana finale

To fully embrace underwear as outerwear, subtlety is key. Some of this season's looks, especially in Paris, looked downright unfinished- almost like the models ran out onto the runway in only half a pantsuit. I'm all for injecting a bit of femininity into daily dressing, but some of these looks were more 'diaper' than 'doable.' Although many of these pieces are sure to pop up in the next year's most creative editorials (just as the designers intended), rest assured there are wearable waters to navigate. Collections from Dior, Stella McCartney, Vanessa Bruno and Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi embracing all things pretty yet doing so without the shudders the word "pretty" is usually associated with. However the collections aren't just about wearability - where would we all be without a bit of theatrics? - as we saw at the finale of Dolce & Gabbana, and of course the hedge-trimmed tulle of Viktor & Rolf. Whether it's a ruffled shoulder a la Lanvin or a lace-trimmed Dior slip, one thing is certain, and for once the focus is not so sharp (literally.)


Kat Doll (or Katarzyna Dolinska as she was known in ANTM) for Vanessa Bruno

Friday, November 27, 2009

Australia’s Angels

Luckily Victoria’s Secret isn't something one quickly tires of, seeing as VS was the post-de-jour for both yesterday and today! 2009 was the second consecutive year we saw three Aussies walk in the show; the fourth since the first Australian walked for the lingerie label. That initial model, and ‘Angel,’ as she has been for the past three years now, is none other than Miranda Kerr. Kerr started working with the company in 2005, and made her runway debut in 2006. A year later, she was named an Angel, with the likes of Heidi Klum, Adrianna Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. Her fourth runway appearance caps off a successful year- she remains the face of retail giant David Jones, released her own organic skincare line; Kora, and made her debut at Paris Fashion Week after being hand-picked by designer Nicolas Ghesquière to walk for Balenciaga. (The latter I’m hoping is a sign of things to come!)

Another Aussie who appeared on the runway, after making her debut last year, was Melbourne-born Abbey Lee Kershaw. Abbey Lee, as she is simply known in fashion circles, is by no means runway-shy. After winning the 2004 Girlfriend CoverGirl Model Search Competition (a year after fellow Australian success story Catherine McNeil took out the title), Kershaw has been a regular fixture on international runways, as well as landing exclusive editorials and advertising campaigns-she is the face of the Gucci fragrance “Flora.” has her ranked as equal 13th in their list of 2009’s top 50 models- tying with fellow VS pal Sessilee Lopez. Although this year was only her second working for Victoria’s Secret, 2009 has been a stellar year for the catwalk queen. She was named as Fashion TV’s ‘First Face’ for the Spring/Summer 2010 season; opened for Versace in Milan, closed for Fendi in Paris and appeared on nearly every runway in between.

Our third model export featured in this year’s show was Australian Vogue’s November 2009 cover girl Elyse Taylor. Riding high after her success as the face of Sydney’s Fashion Festival, she replaced fellow Aussie Sarah Stephens who walked for VS last year. Taylor has also worked for Just Jeans and Sportsgirl as well as Tommy Hilfiger Jeans before walking for designers such as Roberto Cavalli.

Photos: fashionologie

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The not-so-secret faces of Victoria.

A bit late on the posting for this I know, seeing as the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show has already been filmed in NYC, but it seems as though the VS to high fashion transition is reversing. Among the handful of existing high fashion faces including Isabeli Fontana, Maryna Linchuk and Australian Abbey Lee Kershaw is John Galliano favourite Chanel Iman. Chanel, and Britain's Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (former face of Burberry) make up two of the five official new Angles, who also include Emanuela de Paula, Lindsay Ellingson and Candice Swanepoel.

Chanel Iman backstage at the 2009 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

Iman's foray into the commercial world of Victoria's Secret is a stark contrast to a few years ago where names such as Raquel Zimmermann, Carmen Kass and Natasha Poly made their winged debut before graduating to high fashion.

Raquel Zimmermann for VS and as the face of Jean Paul Gaultier's Fall 2009 campaign

Natasha Poly for VS and walking for Chanel Ready-To-Wear Fall 2009

A quick (and probably unreliable) Wiki search shows that this newfound high fashion - VS switch isn't all that uncommon. Faces more likely to be recognised on the runways of Paris and Milan including Anja Rubik, Anna Jagodzinska and Eniko Mihalik have also made their debut for the lingerie giant this year.

High Fashion Newcomers: Anja Rubik, Anna Jagodzinska and Eniko Mihalik

Another new face is Californian native Kylie Bisutti, who won her place in the 2009 lineup via public vote in the statewide VS Model Search. Tune in for the December 1 screening to check the credibility of Wikipedia (either that or to witness the spectacle featuring the world's most genetically blessed strut their winged stuff)

Photos:, Zimbio, Fashion Gone Rogue

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wishes can come true.....

Premium fashion directory archfashion was recently established to profile Australian (and international) brands and designer labels. Some of the labels recently profiled on archfashion include (my personal favourite) Zimmermann, Ginger & Smart and labels of Adelaide-born darlings George Gross and Harry Who. It's a great place for anyone who wants to find out a bit about a certain brand or label- without the monotonous Google searching.

I was lucky enough to be a contributor for archfashion, and my profile on one of Australia's leading boutique-brands, Wish, now features on the website. Head to to check out my profile, oh, and also to peruse the latest collection from Wish!

photo: Wish