The Glory of Impressionism

Pieter Brueghel

Impressionism - what a wonderful arts movement that glorified nature and manmade in the timeline of history. Now, drawing on the unforgettable style, Christian Louboutin has produced a lookbook worthy of hanging around the house. The iconic red-soled heels are scattered amongst the photographs, being easily deceived as paintings, and rather than being hidden, they complement the spirited floral arrangements. 

Claude Monet

The photographer Peter Lippmann has captured the shoes perfectly, ensuring that the artistic style of famous Impressionist artists have been honoured. Artists such as Paul Cézanne, Henri Fantin-Latour, Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet have been paid homage to throughout the lookbook, it's up to you to figure out which images do so. The quaint grandeur of Impressionism has definitely been reinterpreted with effortlessness with this lookbook.

View the complete series of fashion paintings at Vogue Italia

Images courtesy of Vogue Australia


The Fun of Fashion

Through the chaotic atmosphere of the multitude of things that are occurring within the fashion industry, it is unfortunate that the seriousness of it all overshadows the fun that is fashion. Now, there is no doubt that there is always one collection that stands out amongst the rest, and Prada proved to be the one that will lead the way in the Spring/Summer 2014 season. The fashion house's latest womenswear collection is a colourful expression of the gaiety that is often missed within the more playful streams of fashion, featuring portraits of cartoon women, vivid bedazzled dresses and outerwear, elements of the now strung out Hawaiian trend and the risqué leg warmer. Although the campaign features the models donning mundane expressions and conservative poses, the film (watch below) is nothing but an extension of this season's ideology, with all the models emphasising the visually entertaining clothing by being entertained themselves. The house has hit the spot by not relying on exotic locations, unnecessary poses and photographic enhancements, to an extent, to present their collection to the fashion-conscious mass.

Image courtesy of We Are So Droee
Video courtesy of the official Prada Youtube channel


Creative Director of Givenchy now on Nike's team

Luxury fashion-high street collaborative lines are not hard to come by nowadays, with H&M, Target, Adidas and Nike being the main partners of luxury fashion labels who want to target the highly fashion conscious generation of today. Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy has garnered much attention for his monumental change of direction for the historical label, which started with the infamous Rottweiler and Panther prints from the Fall/Winter 2011 season, even though his tenure at Givenchy started much earlier. Mr. Tisci has finally decided to join the movement and announced the release of a collaborative line with iconic sports brand, Nike

After a period of being illusive as to exactly what to expect from the line, the Creative Director has revealed that the collaboration is a redesign of Nike's Air Force One sneaker. Nike R.T., a stylisation of the partnership, not only includes the classic hi and low styles of the shoe, but a mid and even knee-high version, perfect for the more daring sneaker freakers. The new sneakers have been deemed as "universal yet somehow personal", and rightly so, as there is a style for every fashionista. The duality of luxury and street brought by the two labels only brings more approachability to the intimidatingly famous brands.

The Nike R.T. Force One Collection will be available in all styles in global retailers and online in Spring 2014. All styles will be available in white from March 1 and in black from April 1.

Images courtesy of Freshness Magazine, Vogue UK and Nike


Paris Men's Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2014

Umit Benan, designer for his namesake label, protesting against racism

The deeper meanings behind what is presented by most fashion designers the world over are sometimes, or even most of the time, overshadowed by people's preference to disseminating what they'd like to wear and what seems weird and unattractive from that collection based on superficial reasons. Fads come and go within trends of fashion, but clothing is also a self-expression of yourself and what you believe no matter what is seen as vogue, and quite a few designers in the Parisian scene have done so throughout their Autumn/Winter 2014 collections. Besides this, designers have decided to tweak their aesthetic in interest of diversifying - an interesting accompaniment to the messages conveyed.

The Raf Simons "Fathers" jumper, aimed at America's powerful influence today

Raf Simons was the first designer to present a protesting collection, blatantly obvious that what was in question was America's reign of supremacy. In collaboration with artist Sterling Ruby, the pair presented a runway decorated with stars and stripes banners tied clumsily, and clothing baring pop culture symbols, surface images of the Moon defaced with fabric swatches and the word "Fathers" slapped mockingly throughout. It seems as though Raf is making clear how ridiculous it is that most people praise what America offers and not what their own culture does, and in essence, this collection is also mocking those who leave their homeland to pursue "The American Dream", whatever that is to that person. The combination of his expertly tailored garments with derisive symbols and words are true Raf Simons, but this time a more political stance has been taken.

Rick Owens' signature leather shoes

Rick Owens decided to show an appreciation towards traditional Middle-Eastern culture and acceleration of the unisex fashion movement that he propelled forward at the beginning of the 21st Century. Models wore headdresses reflective of the Hijab (or even Hindi or Christian religious headwear), a gender-bending element that is contrary to the fact that these are men, and possibly a stab at beautifying this cultural headwear that has stupidly offended narrow-minded people who believe that this is a sign of a terrorist. To finish off the looks, the men wore high knee leather shoes that are masculine, despite the common association of this style to women's fashion. Cutting gender stereotypes in fashion is tough, and sometimes is an acquired taste, I mean, look at J.W. Anderson's menswear collections. But, Rick has pulled this off with consideration of the fact that masculinity overshadowing femininity is more appealing to the mass. With an already complex vision that Mr. Owens holds, a collection that manages to reflect what men's fashion is nowadays - against the norm - is just what many fashion enthusiasts would've expected from this designer.

Paul Smith used Middle Eastern patterns throughout his collection

 Another designer that expressed their fascination with Middle Eastern culture is the kooky Paul Smith. Popular amongst young fashion conscious men who don a highly tailored but want comical elements throughout, the British designer has merged this identifiable design ethos with patterns derived from Kilim and Turkish rugs. Paul's signature eccentricities are also apparent, with a pieces of footwear and panelled garments featuring iridescent sequins. This collection is a incredibly reminiscent of Kenzo Takada's work - a mixture of iconic cultural pieces to celebrate multiculturalism and racial acceptance.

Thom Browne makeup

Issey Miyake's psychedelic patterns

Two designers that always stand out amongst the Paris scene are Thom Browne and Issey Miyake - the first consistently showing artwear collections that prove avant-garde is not limited to Haute Couture and womenswear, and the latter effortlessly executing minimalism with stylishly outrageous detailing. For Fall/Winter 2014, the two have somehow bounced off each other unknowingly, with pieces within their collections representing the modern hippy. The regained fascination with nature and its wonders in health, which has sparked the movement of veganism, is shown through Thom's ethereal florals and makeup. The visual culture that is associated with vegan, hippy and new age beliefs is seen in Issey Miyake - with a surprisingly more psychedelic collection than previous ones. 

Givenchy fashion show finale

View the complete collections on www.fashionising.com or www.style.com

Images courtesy of Fashionising and Style.com


Milan Men's Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2014

Dolce & Gabbana's Kings of Fashion

Milan has not brought the flurry of changes to menswear as anticipated almost every year, with most designers managing to keep their signature aesthetic but struggling to progress. Maybe the toll of 2013's undoubtably spectacular collections has come down on the designers, and they have nothing to prove except the quality of their garments rather than displaying the flashiness that can be achieved in men's fashion design, who knows. But of course, a few have emerged as victorious in pushing their label forward whilst sticking to their famed focus on quality, ethos and aesthetic.

Calvin Klein is now on board for the logo-mania trend

Predictably, most of the trends shown during London Collections: Men have flowed right into the collections of Italian designers, including a heavy accentuation on scarves, the re-emergence of plaid - likely to be a bouncing off of the gingham trend within womenswear thanks to Céline, beatnik turtlenecks and statement sweaters, particularly Calvin Klein, all featuring names of popular perfumery within their brand.

Salvatore Ferragamo finale

The colour selections of various Italian designers seemed mundanely uniform, all splashing shades of blue, woody browns and shocking reds throughout their collections, with Salvatore Ferragamo and Gucci achieving this without desperation to bring attention to their collection, unlike a few designers. Black is obviously an essential within the Winter wardrobe, and hints of gold, both shiny and matte, were seen in MSGM and Vivienne Westwood, and more so in the garments of the Kings of Style of Milan; Dolce & Gabbana.

Backstage at the Gucci show

Themes amongst the collections are a given, and for this season the most prominent was old country western and royalty. The wild, wild west was apparent in the collections of Versace - baring more than the eye could handle, MissoniPhilipp Plein and subtly throughout John Varvatos's clothing. But even despite this, no clear relevance can be disseminated - is it just spectacle for the sake of spectacle? Or is this theme simply an honour to the recent Chanel Métiers d'Art show? I hardly think crotchless leather chaps will make a comeback. Maybe Missoni's ponchos will emerge as the only trend to be taken on from this theme, as fashion consumers focus on wearability and lifetime nowadays. Besides, cowboys were outshone by the Norman Kings of Italy, who made a seemingly resurrected appearance in Dolce & Gabbana's collection, and was no doubt the show and collection that emerged as the best during the week.

Missoni's ponchos presented during the finale

To view all the looks from the fashion shows, head to www.style.com

Images courtesy of This Hearts On Fire, Senatus and Fashionising


UK's New Fashion Hub

There are many fashion hubs around the world that almost everyone knows - London, Milan, Paris, New York being the obvious examples, but there are some that have been forgotten amongst the monumental influence of the major cities. The resurrection of a once flourishing London Borough whose textiles and fashion industry was the centre of the capital city, named Hackney, is underway. The Hackney Fashion Hub (pictured above) is set to be the new home for young and emerging fashion designers, as this centre provides support for start-up fashion businesses, training and mentoring for passionate entrepreneurs in the industry, apprenticeship and training opportunities and work spaces such as The Stitching Academy and The Sampling, Alteration and Manufacturing Unit. Along with this, a trust will be set up to promote fashion events, initiatives and businesses within the area. On-site work has just began and the fashion industry worldwide is waiting eagerly for the hub to open.

For more information on Hackney Fashion Hub, head to www.hackneyfashionhub.co.uk

Image courtesy of Hackney Fashion Hub


London Collections: Men Autumn/Winter 2014

Jonathan Saunders Autumn/Winter 2014

British menswear is unlike any other men's fashion scene in the world. British men have a style that is eclectic and vibrant yet they have nothing to prove - they dress this way because they love to, not because they have to. London Collections: Men gives an opportunity for British menswear designers to showcase what they have conjured for the coming Autumn/Winter 2014 season, and I have created a series of photo-mosaics of the key pieces from the designers' collections of the best from the three day event:

The orderliness of E. Tautz upcoming collection is balanced with a hint of boldness, due to the eye-catching geometric prints that appear on the garments all throughout, whether pieced together or discreetly in the form of an accessory. The varied colour palette of dark blues, grey, camel and vivid red only emphasize this balance of high sartorial and noncommittal approach to minimalism and artwear, and is perfect for men who are not as confident in showing a bit of flare in their fashion sense.  

Mixing minimal and the outrageous seems to be quite a knack that some designers are displaying as of late, with one such designer being James Long. Throughout the collection, pieces such as well-fit track pants, monotone sneakers and sunglasses are uniform, whilst outerwear takes on a more resolute role. Oddly quilted coats and spray jackets  and sweaters featuring prints reminiscent of the cyberspace of Tron couple with the uniform, reflecting the trend of lone statement pieces within men's outfits, but in futuristic style.

The tiniest details are what have always stood out in Matthew Miller's collections, alongside the eye-blinding colour choices, but in his Autumn/Winter 2014 collection, a darker turn has arisen. The darker colour palette consisting of greens, blues and blacks is rarely chosen by this designer, but he has done so successfully by ensuring the garments still have elements of the adventurous. The outstanding detail throughout the collection is the stitching together of the same coloured materials in the trousers, subtly altering the boxy silhouette of men. 

Oliver Spencer's signature style is once again shown flawlessly in his Autumn/Winter 2014 collection. A mix of casual and formal, yet keeping to vivid colours such as bright orange, heathered grey and differing shades of blue, is typical of this British designer. The odd print here and there is present, to complement the tailored looks with movement and interest.

Fast fashion isn't always a stampede of trends coming at you, as Topman proves with their designer collection every season. Topman's collection is focused on the quality of the garments, with a specially curated few dictating over the usual turnover of trends within its stores. This season's collection relies heavily on the slightly risky turtleneck, textural trousers and altering men's highly sartorial silhouette. 

Following Burberry's leopard and hearts prints from the Spring/Summer collection, a more calm yet subtly patriotic collection was shown. An emphasis on silk scarves, wrapped around the collar of the men, questionable totes and dynamic outerwear, was easy to spot. The presence of the mesh wife beater did not hinder on the spirited pieces throughout the collection, including scarves with London maps, but rather complemented them, and even diversifies the collection into a trans-seasonal one. 

For a preview of all the British designers' collections, head to www.londoncollections.co.uk

Images courtesy of Fashionising
Mosaics by Christoffer Aguilar


Moschino's "Vuoto" Exhibition

The 30th Anniversary of the legendary Moschino label has been marked with an exhibition of some of the late Franco Moschino's paintings. This is a rare opportunity to gander at art originally created for the labels 1989/1990 Autumn/Winter campaign and for the 10th Anniversary of the fashion house. All the paintings give an insight into the vision of the late designer's fascination with Surrealism and Dadaism, which successfully flowed into his fashion collections. Fashion paintings are a given, but other subjects are touched upon, including cultural relations, Romanticism and even the parody of the famous René Magritte painting "The Son of Man". The exhibition is held at one of Rome's illustrious shopping strips, right near the landmark Piazza Di Spagna, until 31st January.

View the complete series of paintings at www.cameramoda.it

Images courtesy of Camera Moda