October 2010 Paris

Pret a Porter Pritemps et Ete 2011



The month opened with Pret a Porter in Paris. I saw a lot of wonderful collections and I've been lucky in getting pictures from some of my favourite Houses in Paris.


Christian Dior


Dior's Spring - Summer 2011 collection launched on 1st October was a journey to the South Pacific Islands. There was a strong nautical theme referencing South Pacific the musical and 'On the Waterfront'. The collection contained lots of wearable pieces that will fit into any wardrobe for next year. The main themes where floral, nautical, strong bold patterns sheer floaty numbers and vibrant colour bursting out across the collection.  

































































































































































Valentino Chic was on display in full force and another strong collection from the young Italian Designers now at the helm swept the catwalk. The themes for the collection where the chemise and fragile but dangerous. There is a nuance of danger in the elegance of this collection.


The shape is maintianed with the cut, nothing is heavy, Romanicism is there in spades with straw and Chantily lace mixed but always light. Maria and Paulo explained that as a Couture House they want to retain the image of Valentino Haute Couture and bring it's excellance to the Ready to Wear lines and they have done it.


Here are my key looks form the collection. These are pieces from Valentino that can be worn daily if you're very lucky and/or perhaps working for Vogue in one of the world's capitals. In truth though they can be worn anywhere and make, as classic Valentino, great occassion wear too for those special days in the Spring - Summer social calendar.

































All images (C) Valentino. Above looks from left 1, 25, 7 & 20.


Each one of these piece is something I would wear. My top pick is piece 25, second from left above. It's beautiful black straw and chantilly lace bodace-chemise and fitted skirt accentuating the figure. Perfection. The detail in these pieces is fantastic look carefully at the pictures and see the layerng of the chiffon.


































Above looks 33, 32, 41 & 36.

As day moves into evening these next pieces above look to Black tie and Red Carpet occasions, or they could also be worn for special dinners and Gala events. Either way you won't have to struggle too much to find reason to wear them. The first piece on the left is made with embroidered hand-painted Golden threads. It is light, I am told in weight and almost clouds the wearer in elegance rather than being a weighty heavy shift.


Three of the above dresses have the beautiful light gold chain wrapped delicately round the waists. This gives a little individual definition to the wearer and allows the form of the dress to move more closely with your body as you wear it. I love the use of dotts and spotts in some of the designs too. It's fun and very chic. These dresses make me think of going to the Races or the Polo, fun in the sun, with gorgeous high heeled shoes. 


This was another triumph from Maria and Paulo for Mr Valentino. The dangerous elegance of the Valentino ballerina girl of Spring - Summer 2011 won huge applause from the catwalk audience including Alexa Chung, shoe designer Charlotte Dellal and Bianca Brandolini, and after that she danced away into the night of Paris.  




Anne Valerie Hash


Anne Valerie Hash produces modern fashion for international women with her own trade mark mode of Paris Chic. Sharp and refined there is something in her collections for every woman. Her cut is both generous in it's draping and close cutting ot the figure of the woman wearing them.


(C) All images Anne Valerie Hash. Below pieces 19, 12, 5 & 14.


































All of these pieces are fun and wearable and lend well to the busy modern schedule of Women in New York/Paris/London and anywhere. I think that Anne Valerie Hash is one of the most innovative of the new Houses that have come to fore in recent years in Paris and her clothes are very much with these times. It's a look I would call millenial chic. To me there's something very 21st Century about her clothing.


The palette here is neutral and subtle to ease you gently into the summer season. The colours are referencing lighter earthy tones that give the collection a clear simplicity. This is a contrast to the technical excellence of the draping and ruching an folding that is everywhere in the collection. Each of these pieces are a technical masterpiece for fashion students to pour over and for buyers to envisage in the wardrobes of their clients.


Below pieces 7, 22, 3 & 9.
































There is a sporty feel, not hurried but the look lends itself to a woman on the move.

Jackets, Tunics, one - piece, two - piece or many pieces, Anne Valerie Hash has built a wardrobe for the summer that could be worn on a New England Campus just as easily as it would fit into a Career Woman's day to day wardrobe in Florence or Rome. This is a versatile, practical collection that retains the beauty of the woman in the delicacy of it's cut and fabric.



Vivienne Westwood Gold Label


Following her Ready to Wear collection in London Vivienne Westwood launched her Haute Couture collection in Paris to raptous applause.





































The collection showed a broad range of looks that mixed tradition fine English tailoring with a wild and anarchistic take on wearable British Women's fashion.




Karl Lagerfeld gave Chanel was another spectacular at the Grand Palais. The collection was unveiled against the epic backdrop of a Palace Garden setting. There was a real feel of Fashion history about this setting and many responded very warmly when they recognised former Chanel Model Ines de la Frassange make her return to the catwalk with Chanel. Models weaved their way around a garden maze set with fountains.


Stella Tennant, one of the British models most closley associated with the House in it's recent history, opened the show in a beautiful long motheaten-knitwear cardigan and a white shirt-dress with a thin belt. The moth eaten look gives a new spin on the antique look and poppoed up in several places in the collection. Stella and many of the other models wore Roman style platformed sandals and accessorised with a signature necklace and bracelet. Below is an image of one of the bracelets from the show.




















To see looks from this collection please click here to see my Press Day Report from Chanel on 10th November.  


The hair and make-up look was a little futuristic - industrial meets Japanese. Models had ink-lined partings and black lined eyes and Khaki eye shadow. It looked very like the colour I had been given by Chanel and I can attest that this is a good colour for any time of the year.


Look 3, worn by Ginta was a really great all-in-one dress.Again the moth-eaten look was in eveidence and there was a lot of mettalic trim in the tweed that gave the piece a very powerful finish. This collection is Ready to Wear that looks like Haute Couture. Ginta also wore a an antique themed hair clip that matched the themed bracelets.


All in one wearable dresses are a strong theme for this collection. Looks 4, 5, 6,12 and 13 are pieces that could slide very easily into the wardrobe as understated staples. For ladies looking for their next classic Chanel suits there is plently of choice in the pastel Spring-Summer palette. While there is plenty of references Mademoiselle's traditional Black and White with metallic Grey, colour has a part to play in next season's look too.



Looks 14, 16, 17, 18, 20 and 22 are strong suits in pastel with braid or feathered trim, amazing heeled sandals in either a Roman style or a brocade style and insome cases feather - trim bags. Look 15 worn by Frida used both brocade trim and a feathered necklace and coordinating feathered bag.


The suits moved on into an series of Kackets with hot-pants in muted greens, and Metalic Pinks and Greys. Chanel's ripped faded Grey jeans where also very much in the picture matched with both new and classic-style Chanel shirts and jackets. 



Floral prints made an impact in the collection. Bold colours printed on a Black back-ground where teamed with pieces in classic Chanel tweed fabric, Looks 38, 39 and 40 have a fun play with this theme. There are Summer floral dresses a-plenty in this collection. Kat Hessen, Emily D, Liu Wen and Imogen all drew admiring looks in their just-above-the anckle floral pieces. 



The looks, that I would have from this earlier part of the collection are 13, the black 'Jumper Dress' worn by Amanda (Harlech?), 16, the pink suit with small feather trim around the base of the jacket. Look 22 worn by Eniko. A wonderful Baby Blue-Marine dress with feather detail. Look 51 worn by Lauren was a gentle neon print folded in delicate pleats and with a Japanese style tye sitting gently on top of the waist. I loved the Grey patch-worked jacket and bag of Look 53 and would probably team it with a Black, White or Grey dress. I thought the bag was heaven patchworked from beautiful Chanel fabrics.  



As the collection moved into evening wear, skirts where layered with lace in a ballerina effect and shawls accentuated the antique - historical vibe running through the collection. I would take looks 55 and 57 and I love the Japanese jacket worn by Kinga in look 56. Many of the evening wear pieces are absolutly fascinating to see close up. My favourites are Looks 59, 60 (worn by Jacquetta Wheeler) 70, 71, 76 (worn by Ines de la Fressange), and finally the sheer lace and satin pieces of looks 80 and 86 worn by Stella Tennant taking a second turn on the catwalk as model and muse. I would definalty have the puff pink bag from Look 67 too. It was girly heaven.


This was a collection that left eyes wide. There where so many different permutations in this collection and several key influences from Japanese, to Antique and florals and neons meeting the traditional tweed. Everyone found pieces in this collection to add to their wish list. It was lovely to see Ines with Chanel again. I remember her from my childhood memories of the fashion world and she still looks amazing. Also like Gabrielle Chanel she has roots in the Auvergne in her family tree, another subtle connection in the tapestry of Chanel's history.



Yves Saint Laurent


Alive with the colours of the Maroccan landscape that Yves Saint Laurant knew as a boy the YSL Pritemps et Ete 2011 line from Stefano Pilati. There are many pieces that I would chose to add to my collection. The first would be look 6, Purple Trench and coordinating heeled sandals. The first variation of Le Smoking debut's in look 8 and shows that classic perfect lines that we love Yves Saint Laurent for. 


Looks 14 and 16 are playful takes on a Peasant chic look with a dress in Aqua Blue sheer detail and knee length village-girl meets meets catwalk Queen ruched decolette number. I would wear both to a Summer Fair or Summer ball. Looks 21 - 27 are sleek numbers in Caramel-Kharki, Black and Black and White print. With a classic neat definition these pieces can be worn around town, at leisure and also from day into the evening. They are staple 'Key Look' pieces that you could wear beoynd next season and always look 'Au courant'. The cut is clean and flattering and absolute Lady-Chic. Feathers make an appearance and then  it's ontp the evening.


Le Smoking makes a return to the collection in several new incarnations. My key looks would be 29,30 and 33. 29 and 33 are two variations of Le Smoking that I absolutly love. I think there is something about the baring of the shoulders in these pieces that really accents the feminity of the woman and her figure. Look 30 is a daring Body-dress swathered in Purple Chiffon. If you wear this piece to a party next summer you are bound to get heads turning in your direction.


The collection encompases the creme of what we know of the Style of Yves Saint Laurent and the House that he created. There is a strong nod to the years of collaboration with Helmut Newton. This is the YSL woman at her strongest, in Paris or whatever city she knows as home touching the places that she goes to with her Grace and Style. 





Louis Vuitton


Marc Jacobs introduced us to a Lady who had just landed from Shanghai and had brought her playful camp-chic wardrobe to town with her. There was a lot to love in this collection. The show opened with a classic Chinese silk jacket-dress with beading peacock - eye detail and the same theme was repeated in dazelling style in Look 5 with a dark berry suit.


The palette moved through Black and Beige into crisp bold colours the lend themselves well to being under the lights of Shanghai. Tassels featured in Looks 4,6 &7 and took everyone back to the swinging party city of the 20's, 30's and 40's. Under-wear becomes outerwear with chic lace LV monogram detail used in big knickers and figure hugging wraps. 


Mix in bold colours and huge lace fans and a clutch bag and you have a very neat ensemble. Make-up is bold with dark Cerise-Noir lips and dark smokey eyes worthy of a Chinese movie star.


There was a definate nod to an almost cubist-art deco feel in Looks 13-15 pocket borders are cut large and square and stand out against the colours of the jacket. The traditional Obi to tie the Kimono waist makes a re-emmergence in the outsized belts that flow down from the waist over the hips. These pieces sit on-top of many chainmail style pieces mid way through the collection. These women are prepared for battle, or a Gala.


Looks 25, 26 and 27 use the Hyacynth print against bold colours cut to exquisiste madarin jackets, with or without collars, and trailing skirts. As the evening dresses sailed down the glistening black catwalk from Looks 29 - 35 the brightness of the colours against the floating delicasy of the material as it moved over the models figures, had pens poised to make orders and write reams.  


Tigers and Girraff's made appearnaces on knitted sweaters and Zebra print dresses in a myriad of bold colours gave an exciting alternative the floral inspired pieces. As the collection closed Look 52 paid homage to China's most famous resident, the Giant Panda. Conservation and fashion in one colection but here Marc Jacobs was showing there is plenty in China's past and present to give it a central place in Fashion's future. 




Jean-Paul Gaultier


Beth Ditto opend the show wich soon launched into an early 80's punk inspired trip around the Galaxy on a starry fashion quest. 3D glasses where the hot accessory to be seen the audience at this show as many of the prints where best viewed this way to allow for the clever print effects to be fully visible.


Look 6 with big corseted knickers over a lace body stocking and knee high boots matched with a high impact military-esque jacket gives the edgy Punk-Rock look. I love the bow detail at the centre of the corsetted knickers. Look 9 is a bold mix of denim and lace. I love the lace used throughout this collection. Looks 13 and 14 are pretty sharp suits with cigarette pants and highlighted hems. Once again the lace body stocking is very much in use. This could be a new universal must-have.


The Breton sailor Jersey re-appeared in a myriad of new incarnations referenceing back to classic J-PG. Look 22 with an oversized Obi - style belt and sweeping leather look jacket wrapped over a body stocking was, for me, one of the most attention grabbing looks of the collection. The Cross moteif also pops up in many places in the collection as a necklace accessory item. Look 26 uses lace wear over a ruched white shirt in what almost looks like a punky take on a school uniform.


I love look 30, it's a Cream/White puffball playsuit. hat may not be the best way to describe it but please look this piece up on line. A garden of temptation awaits as pieces move into a wooded green palette showing leaf-print shoft tops and vest and long Grass-Green legging with elaborate braid detail and green lace body stockings.


Antique-feel flower print and lace make an appearnce as dresses and chemises combined with lace trousers. Ruching is used in the lace as well as the shirt detail to cpmplete the antique look. Looks 41, 43 and 45 are highly romantic and gothic looking.  


Night time Boudoir chic dominates the final looks of the collection with leather and black lace and structured black-chord giving an edgy sexyness to the high impact pieces.  





Alexis Mabille


Alexis Mabile is one of the most exciting young designers on the international stage right now. His creating as at the cutting edge of modern, fun, young luxury. I was captivated by his Spring - Summer 2011 collection. There was girly fun and city chic. There was retro 50's puffed skirts andnew millenium classic cutting.


My key looks are No. 1, a modern twist on the halter neck with quilted fabric detail. No4. A beautiful combination of a copper-gold embroidered chemise and a full white satin skirt to below the knee with lots of embroidery and copper-gold (that's my name for this amazing colour) sailor-like stripes. The outfit is completed with a stripe detail ribbon around the waist. 


Look No.7 is bang up to date with dark charcoal jean fringed with metallic gold. A figure hugging bustier and a gold heavily embroidered bolero jacket. Dark shades are a must with look to carry off an effortless air of mystery. Look  No.11 plays with tradition edging a traditional quilted suit with Copper-Gold satin and trimming the skirt with danger chevrons and lace, just above the knee.


Look No. 15 is party chic waiting to happen. This is a must-have dress and I would be tempted to wear it at any time of the year. The fringe detail of ribbons and flowers and sea anemone-like wisps thatwaft over the knee are captivating. It's wonderful to sea such detail in Ready to Wear. The main body of the dress is made of a shimmering copper-gold material that seemed to give out it's own light as the model glided up and down the catwalk. 


Look No. 23 is pretty versitile. A white shirt and flower pattened black and white skirt. You could wear this to work of an afternoon into evening lounge-suit social. Perfect for summer in the city, a relaxed get together in the country or at the coast. In a number of looks through the collection Alexis is playing with the theme of a ribbon of two colours and some times with the chevron edging to the otherwise conventional pieces. It's challenging and I like it. And it also means there's something here for every girl. Some of us do play safer than others and Alexis is designing for us all.


Looks 26, and 28 are classic light summer numbers. The collection then moves into a different mood. Pieces are more structured and envoke a little of the art decco era as in Look No. 30. I really like Look 36 dress. I love the way the effect of the bow has been used to modestly cover the area below the neckline. I also love the Aqua-marine necklace that the outfit is accessorised with. Look 39 is also a key evening-wear statment piece combining taste, elegance and a hint naughtiness and still the wonderful Aqua-marine necklace with diamonds. Jewels from the sea. I think look No. 43 is a wonderful evening dress and will be gracing many occassions next year. Perfection.





The Vogue Paris 90th anniversary Masked Ball.


This was an invitation to be savoured and the promise of an unforgetable evening was kept. I don't know where to begin. First, I don't have any pictures from inside but I do have all the news on what people where wearing. 


Carine Roitfeld teamed up with Jean-Paul Gaultier to host an extravaganza based on the theme of the Stanley Kubrick film 'Eyes Wide Shut'. As the Editor of Vogue Paris she shone like a star in a dress that gave an impression of the animal print that she find so fun.


The lady who's image you may have already seen was Charlotte Casiraghi. She wore a wonderful dress, I believe it was Chanel, and she glided along in a mini-kimono print dress with a very secure over sized Obi-belt. Her clutch looked like it was Red Satin Chanel and she wore the lightest large-weave veil. 


Caroline Seiber wore a White veil to compliment the train of her White dress. It was a Black and White ball but I couldn't help but wonder when I saw her if she was trying to tell us, or the special man in her life, something about what's coming next.


Giselle Bundshen had the most beautiful mask of the evening. It covered half her face and arched away to cover her hair in a tear drop shape. She wore a beautiful long black gown, cut away at the back to suit her perfectly and she wore a beautiful smile inside the party. Natalia Vodianova wore my favourite dress of the evening. An anckle length sheer (dentelle) Lace creation that suited her figure perfectly. She looked fantastic and I believe that she was much photographed before she came into the party.


90 years is a Landmark for any publication and most reders of this web magazine will be familiar with it in one way or another. For myself, I know that I look at Vogue Paris in a different way from other publications. It has it's own unique character within the Vogue Stable. To be located at the Heart of Fashion industry in Paris must be some sort of heaven and I can only think it must be an absolute joy (and a lot of seriously hard work) to work and create that finished article that delights men and women the world over each month.




Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood is always making headlines. Here is a picture of Helena Bonham-Carter in one of her pieces at the recent premiere of the film about King George VI. Helena plays the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.































Belstaff leather clothes and accessories and Raris jewellery and clothing.


I was delighted to be attend the Joint Press Day for Belstaff and Raris at an Art Gallery close to Oxford street in London. Raris is a new lable with some excting design features. The lead designer is, herself Italian, and she is now selling her work online and in select locations in the UK.


Belstaff have been best known for making Aviation jackets and hardy practical combat-worthy wear. If you hvaen't worn their clothes yet you will probably have seen then in a number of films over the years and on the backs of professional sportsmen and women. They have however branched out and now produce an interesting line of accessories such as great carry-all bags. Originally designed for men Belstaff Jackets, Shirts, Karki's and Jeans do have serious Borrow From The Boyfriend potential and the clothes are great for hardy out doors adventuring, be it in the mountains or in the country side. 

































































































(C) Angela Cliffe 2009 - 2011.






A Blush of Rose

       October 2010

Beauty, Grace & Style



I love the five above pieces because for me you can wear these anytime, anywhere around town, at the Harbour, on the beach, to an event. The short skirted dress with a belt or cinched waist definition is a key look in the collection. There is a lot of scope to accessorise with these pieces and the Christian Dior range of shoes and bags offer an infinite number of options for mixing and matching with these pieces.


As day moves into evening colour becomes bolder and brighter with neon hues coming to dominate the pallette. The putfits become more playful with playful embroidary detail and a sheer effect. The love the floaty sheer lace-chiffon look in the pieces below, it's very light and girly. Chic perfection. The models where styled after Betty Page the 50s pin-up with a deep Scarlet pout, gently arched eye brows, a neat fringe and hair gently curled around the shoulder line.  




























There is another theme in this collection that I found very interesting, the use of structure in the pieces. There's a structural moteif almost referencing the girdle or the corset that you can see in three of the four pieces below. It's interesting that this has been worked into pieces that are very free flowing.
































I think this collection is playing with the ideas of freedom of movement of the form. We all imagine the Pacific as a remote and free paradise, there is also a symetry and structure to the beauty there. These embroidered elements that give a structure to the pieces also take their reference from local traditional costumes.


My absolute favourite piece is the blue-marine dress above with the bold orange feather necklace with little tropical fish- like additions suspended from it. The show was wonderful and all eye where on Kate Moss as she entered. The Captain himself John Galliano took his salute at the end of the show and we where left wondering where we would be sailing off to next summer. 









The catwalk show began with white sailors hats and fitted jackets over pretty fringed Hula gowns. Practical and playful met here. I think these two looks to the left capture the feel of a journey of escape on the High Seas. The white hats such as in the piece to the left are a nod to Brando and musicals of the post war-time era.


The second piece to the left is a pretty useful outfit for sailing or for any outdoor activities in the summer.


The six inch heels may need a rethink if you are going on-board in choppy waters but it's worth taking the plunge with these shoes if you can because the details is exquisite.


The shoes are tied in navel chords and adorened with feathers perhaps found on some exotic island.


(C) All images Christian Dior.


I love this dress. It's very classic Vivienne and also it compliments the Royal theme of very well. The skirt of the dress puffs out to echo the voluminous ball gowns that the late Queen Mother would have worn on many occassions and the fitted bodice of the dress is in Stuart tartan.


But this is a modern piece, skirt falling to the knee showing the classic hour-glass figure at it's best and matched with a pair of black raised platform heels.


Helena looks wonderful here but this really is an outfit you culd wear for a lot of occassions. It's bold so you need to have some sparkle about you but then Vivienne is an expert in making pieces that make women feel amazing and confident so I think most of us could pull of this look.

Samantha Cameron talks about her inspiration.


Samantha Cameron has spoken of who has been the greatest influence on her as a business woman and her response was unhesitatingly to name Camila Batmanghelidja the founder of KIDS Company. Samantha said that this woman was her Ultimate Inspiration.


Although she may not be house hold name she certainly deserves much wider recognition for her work. KIDS Company is a charity that supports vulnerable children and through this organisation one woman has helped touch and change the lives of literally thousands of children.


Samantha visited the project herself in March this year and said simply to reporter in London recently that 'If we all did a fraction of the works that Camila does, the world would be a much better place.'


I love hearing stories about people who use their own good will and force of personality to make thigs a little better in the world for other and as SamCam is out leading Fashion Icon in the UK, I feel that this is a fashion related story. Helping others never goes out of fashion. Please look KIDS Company to learn more about their projects and what they are doing.




Tamara Mellon, Jimmy Choo Super Woman, receives her OBE at the Palace.



Tamara Mellon received her OBE a Buckingham Palace on 20th October to celebrate her contribution to building a British brand that is now recognised all over the world. After leaving school and some time working at Vogue Tamara was driven to build her own business empire and work hard, and she has succeeded


Tamara is a role model for many young women in business as she didn't have a business degree but she did have her ideas, a path she knew she should follow, and she did it and did it well.



Rene Gruau in London at the Fashion Illustration Gallery and Somerset House.


The Fashion Illustration Gallery will be hosting a series of illustrations made by one of Christian Dior's closest friends through November 2010. It celebrates the work of Msr. Rene Gruau for the Magazine International Textiles. This is a retropective focussing on his association with the Magazine for half a century.


Meanwhile over at Somerset House Gruau is showcased in a major retrospective focusing on his work with the House of his close friend Christian Dior. Rene Gruau and the Line of Beauty will run at Somerset House until January and I strongly advise a visit or, if you can't come over to London, try to order the catalog online.


Christian Dior Parfums and John Galliano have collaborated to provide some of the pieces that are on display here. Haute Couture dresses from the House of Dior and some designed by Galliano himself have been used in the display alongside Vintage perfume bottles and illustrations and Magazines from the Christian Dior archives. One particular special piece is a Couture Dress designed by Galliano in memory of Gruau. Truly a special piece that deserves to be at the centre of such a special collection.


It is well worth a visit, many of these pieces can only be seen in museums and some cannot be viewed by the public at all so be careful to book your tickets in time for an early Christmas fashion treat!










(C) Angela Cliffe 2009 -2013.