Paris Fashion Week 30th September - 8th October
This month my high point has been having a good look at the collections on show in Paris for Spring-Summer 2010. From the opening of the first shows it was pretty clear that the focus is really on simplicity. After the amazing spectacles of couture week back in July this year these collections where in many cases more simplified than pret-a-porter has been in years.
At Christian Dior the quality and cut in Galliano's collection was very evident but what struck me was how easily these pieces translated to day wear, often casual day wear, for the patrons of the house. Beautiful, wearable but very discreet luxuary. As always the Dior evening dresses where a treat. My favourite this season, was the purple dress. It has two layers. The main body of the dress is a beautiful mini dress in dark purple or midnight blue. The overlay that gives the wonderful floating effect is a voluminous purple lace creation that on closer inspection has it's own intricate design. Heaven, I wish to be floating to a ball in something similar next year, wish me luck!
I noted lace was used in other parts of the collection to give hints of the boudoir - look that continued from the Couture show in July 09 and are a favourite of Mr Galliano. I think lace can be many things, playful and romantic but also light and innocent.
When I saw the Chanel show I was giggling by half way through. The reason was I totally fell in love with the playful spirit of the collection. The sentiment that I took from the show was a real feeling of 'go out and play'; the sun is shining, put on something fun and have fun in it. The pieces that came out in front of the impromptu farm-stead where stunning in their detail and easy to visualise as 'that special something for a day in April, May or June'. You could indeed go to Barn Dance, a Garden Party or afternoon tea with your grandmother and/or girlfriends in many of the day time pastel coloured outfits. Although most of the skirts are above the knee I think there are at least six pieces that could look very well placed at the races.
I think this is another example of classic Chanel genious where many very versatile pieces have been brought out to give clients stunning quality with value further added by great versatility. Another Chanel triumph with lots of girly prettyness, a big round of applause from A Blush of Rose.
My 'Picks' from this collection would be firstly a nude coloured dress with embroidered flowers that cross diagonally from the shoulders across the chest. There is more embroidered detail in two chains that interlink around the waist and the skirt of the dress becomes pinafore shaped at the front. The skirt sits ontop of a layered ballerina style skirt. At one side there is a large bow in two colours that comes out from the petticoat to the side of the dress. I wish I could wear that to the Ballet!
My second favourite is a white embroidered dress with black trim. The beautifully embroidered bodice is supported by two straps in the Chanel handbag chain design. At the waist there is a black and gold embroidered chain that cinches the waist above the flowing skirt that shows amazing detail and workmanship. The style, to my eyes, seems to reference broderie anglaise heavily and I love it that something so down to earth and English has it's place in the high fashion world. The outfit is completed by a whispy light black lace stole and a beautiful necklace that can coordinate with hair piece or would stand alone if worn by someone with short hair.
I think the chord running through the Valentino collection was ruching and roses in satins and silks. Very pretty, very nice. I thought the collection was absolutely beautiful and I think that the order book will fill up very quickly. Chiuri & Piccioli have made beautiful creations that seem like something from a modern fairytale.
I would describe the essance of this collection for me as 'gypsy moth' meets 'girl about town' heading to the ball. I think what was very S-S 2010 about this collection was maybe not so much the designs but the subtle use of colour. In many of the collections, there is a definate restraint in colour. In this collection from Valentino, aside from black, the palette ranged through pinks, peaches, blues and grey all toned down with what I would describe as a silver-sepia effect.
I think if I was to have a screen goddess moment my 'Pick' would be moleskin coloured satin dress. Nude straps on the shoulders give a strapless effect and there is a large bow in the front at waist height. That is definitely a 'go anywhere' dress and will look timeless in your collection for many years to come.
If paired down minimalist chic is your thing I think you should take a look at the Paris house Akris. I've never adopted a 100% minimalist wardrobe for work or leisure but this House produced a collection that made me look at minimalism in a new way. In this coolection there was a light almost blue-grey trouser suit that I adored. There are also some stunning dresses and dress coats. Akris is not a name that my friends away from fashion know but I think this house is going to become much more well known in the next few years. Albert Kriemler certainly knows how to work wonders with line and symmetry.
November 2009 - Winter is coming!
As autumn has stamped its mark on London pretty firmly now I'm looking back on the main things that has struck me this season. My autumn must-have is a Red Dress, Cardinal Red to be precise, but scarlet will also do. Think Hobbs, minimal detail but good cut and finish. I bought a wonderful Anne Klein scarlet red cocktail dress a couple years ago in the Harvey Niks Sale and I'm hoping for another invitation so I can wear it again.
I'm seeing a lot of women wearing simple styles and adding many layers to fight the cold. I think a key aspect of dressing in a more elegant manner is not to ware too many colours at the same time. I think four is about enough and three often works best for a day time office or social outfit. Simplicity and style usually go hand in glove.
I'm loving H&M's endless variety of wrappable cardigan/sweater tops and GAP has a ton of Cashmere wrapables aswell. I'm layering up. Trying to avoid the Mrs Tiggywinkle look, but actually she's not too far wrong.
As for maquillage I think right now simple freshness is the order of the day. Usually Autumn heralds bold lipsticks and stronger statements around the eyes, shadow, liner and mascara. Not this Autumn. I think clean and simple is the way to go and it's what I'm seeing. Well moisturised skin, that sets off a dewey glowing look complemented by a warm toned blusher and subtle eye liner. A small amount of shadow or mascara and the look is almost done. Gently dab on some rose hued lip blam (see products page) and press a little of your favourite spring time colour onto your lips, ideally heading towards pink and apricot shades and you're there.
For the finishing touch complete with a perfume that is confident, but not overpowering, and radiates your inner fabulousness.
(C) Angela Cliffe 2009-2013.