Thursday, 17 July 2014

Fresh: Haute Couture in Paris

Une semaine de la mode et de la couture. Une semaine d’exquisément et de joie. C’était la semaine qu’on n’a pu pas ignorer...

My scruffy French skills may not be all that, but the Fall/Winter 2014-15 Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris, honestly was. Intensive beading and ethereal gowns with a contrast of futurism and simplicity prominently depicted yet another successful week of wearable art.

We all know Paris is the soul and heart for all things fashion. The early days of July certainly had the quaint and culture-rich town buzzing with stylish fashionistas and experts. From a small town in South Africa, the anticipation exploded within our wakes as we waited for each show’s revelation. It was everything and more.


Giorgio Armani Prive seduced us in red and black. Chanel showered its garments with expertise. Elie Saab continues to strike us with awe. Maison Martin Margiela’s masks lives up to its vibrant colour palette. Viktor & Rolf reminds us the powerful passion that lies within the colour red. Elegant Christian Dior diversifies the runway from clean to comfy in one collection. Versace, Giambattista Valli, Valentino, Stephane Rolland, Zuhair Murad... All equally practice with expertise on a completely different level.

Atelier Versace

Luxe, glamour and the essence of sensuality – a mere description of Atelier Versace’s collection. Versace’s collection caresses the silhouette of a woman, with deep and bold shades, clinched-in waists and strong structures. Donatello outdid herself, as she always does. This is a collection for the strong women with an eccentric and feminine twist.


Giambattista Valli

A shirt, sunglasses and a twisted turban is all you need to be looking out for with Giambattista Vali’s Haute Couture. The soft silhouettes move with each model’s movement, and the overall monochrome with its hints of colour and detail, creates a statement collection.



Chanel

Le Corbusier, who added concrete as an essential part of modern architecture, was Karl’s main inspiration for this season’s collection. Pieces resembled moulds and mosaic-like tiles, and statement items consisted out of luxurious coats, dresses, skirts, maxi skirts and shorts. Again, Karl went anti-runway with his addition of fashionable flats. Careful embroidery and attention to detail strikes the audience with Chanel’s essence.


Elie Saab

It’s all in the name. Elie Saab is a master in designing for women. This season, he continues to reach and depose our expectations. Versatile embroidery, whimsical allure of fabric and just an overall ethereal dream; a description of this season’s haute couture. Each creation that walked down his runway, shined with the extraordinary talent that depicts Elie Saab.  Without further ado, the pictures speak for themselves; simply exquisite.



Zuhair Murad

A jaw-dropping, colourful spectrum of evening wear, and perhaps even a rival of Elie Saab. From gowns and jumpsuits to suits and minis, he covers all there is to wear as formal attire. His level of design reaches the likes of other leading maisons de mode, and we cannot wait for his next collection.

Dior

Dior’s collection illustrates a mixture of history. Hosted by the Rodin Museum, this season’s haute couture travelled the fashion timeline and cultivated each item to today’s trends. According to vogue.co.uk, Raf Simon – creative director of Christian Dior - took inspiration from Eighteenth century French court, Edwardian tailoring through to the modern day. The collection deems to be a success, as Simon creates yet another memorable manifestation of history.


Valentino


Ancient Rome is brought to life by Valentino Garavani’s artistic hand. The models resembled the goddess statues from the banks of the Tiber River, with pale skin and flawless elegance – and it’s no coincidence. The collection is packed with references to this glorious city and its traditions. Culture flourishes in the prints, designs and footwear - here, one can see Ancient Rome as a personification through fashion. 



Stephane Rolland


Dramatic gowns, unconventional beauty, striking designs and daringly bold backs. Yes, these are what we decided to describe Stephane Rolland's collection with, and that’s what it comes down to. Every outfit looks like a piece of art. The structure of each piece simply screams such an artistic value due to its unconventionality and simplicity. The mechanics of painting are resembled by some of his looks, which give the collection the artistic nature previously mentioned. 



Source: vogue.co.uk

Oh.My.Word (G-M)

As promised, we’ve brought the 2nd part, in the four-part miniseries of posts titled Oh.My.Word. This week we’ve gone and dug deeper and brought you more buzzwords and fashion terms you need to know as an active member in the fashion society. So kids, here’s another lesson in Fashionography from G-M. Buckle up sweeties.

 G
  • Gaucho - Wide legged pants or divided skirt reaching mid-calf and worn with boots. They’re worn from the waist to the ankles sometimes.
  • Ghagra - A traditional Indian skirt that usually has a lot of triangular shaped panels to give it an extra flare.
  • Gladiators - Open-toed T-bar sandals with a lot of straps running across the foot in a way designed to look like the footwear the ancient Roman gladiators wore. They can be high-heeled or flat. The straps can go all way up to just below the knee as opposed to just going up to the ankle bone like gladiator sandals.
  • Gliterati - This is the popular crowd. These are the beautiful, dirty and rich.
  • Grunge - This is a style of dressing. It is characterised by plaid flannel, beanies combat boots, a lot of coffee and big sunglasses. It’s the messy I-don’t-care style of dressing made famous by the Olsen twins.
 H
  • Halter - This is a dress, top or shirt that has material that fastens/meets behind the neck. You find this style in a variety of ways, thick straps, thin straps that tie to draped fabric that crosses at the collarbone and meets behind the neck.
  • Handkerchief Hem - A dress or skirt where the hem falls in a way that looks like a scarf.
  • Haute Couture - A word used to refer to High Fashion. A French term, meaning exclusive, custom-fitted high fashion clothing as produced in Paris, and imitated in other fashion capitals such as New York, London, and Milan – made for individual customers from high quality and expensive fabrics. Side note: All things expensive and hideous aren’t ‘haute couture’.
  • Hero item - This is the one item that takes our whole outfit from zero to hero.
  • Hidden Platform - A shoe sole similar to a standard platform. The difference is that the upper portion is attached in a fashion that the thickening of the sole is not apparent when viewed from the side.
  • High Neck - Almost a turtle neck but not quite, it’s not folded like a turtle neck but it also goes all the way up to the neck. This style is a cross between an Asian collar and a turtle neck.
  • Hipsters - These pants are very low-cut pants with a waist that is below or on the hip. A look that once took over the world, and now the ‘cool kids’ who believe in medical marijuana and world peace wear them. So 80’s.
  • Hobnailed boots - Boots with hobnails (nails inserted into the soles of the boots), usually installed in a regular pattern, over the sole. The nail is used to protect the soles of the boots.
I
  • Item du jour - French for 'item of the day'.
J
  • Jewel Neck - A high round neckline resting simply at the base of the neck, no collar.
  • Jelly shoe - A sandal or pump made from brightly coloured or translucent moulded plastic that looks like jelly (not that spread that Americans call jelly). 
  • Jumpsuit - This is a garment that incorporates trousers and a sleeved or sleeveless top in one piece. The bottom can either be shorts or full-on trousers. The top part has a variety of styles ranging from halters to high necks. Make sure you do all your bathroom breaks before wearing this baby.
K
  • Kangaroo Pocket - A pocket formed by sewing a piece of the cloth over the garment leaving two open ends.
  • Keyhole Neck - A tear shaped or round cut-out that fastens at the front or back neckline.
  • Kimono - A long robe with wide sleeves traditionally worn with a broad sash.
  • Kitsch - A style of dressing that is supposed to combine a lot of elements from pop culture but seems to succeed in doing anything but that. A lot of colour and prints all combined in a sufficiently tacky way.
  • Kitten Heel - Kitten heels are a short slender but narrow heel. We do not know where the kitten comes in.
  • Knee-High Boot - The upper portion is closed in the front, back and sides, and covers the foot extending up to the knee or just below the knee.  Also, sometimes referred to as ‘hooker boots’ but we’ll just forget that one.
L
  • Lapel - An extension of the collar in a jacket that folds out.
  • LBD/Little Black Dress - As the name suggests, it's a short (and tight) black cocktail dress. The LBD has become a fashion must-have after being first introduced by Coco Chanel. Every season, designers try to come up with trendier and edgier versions of it.
  • Lining - The inner layer used to cover the inside of garment.
  • Lita boot - These are high-heeled ankle boots with a platform heel. Pronounced ‘litter’, not ‘liter'.
M
  • Mandarin Collar - A short, unfolded collar derived from the close fitting upright Asian collar.
  • Mary Jane - A ‘Mary Jane’ is a shoe very similar to a ‘pump’ with an additional strap running horizontally across the middle of the foot from one side to the other.  Side note: This isn’t the ‘Mary Jane’ you’ve heard some stoners talk about.
  • Moccasin - Moccasins are soft leather slipper shoes. They’re made of deer skin or any other soft leather. They’re sides are made of one piece of leather.
  • Monk - Monk shoes are moderately formal heel-less shoes. They’re closed by a buckle and a strap.
  • Monokini - A one-piece bathing suit worn by a woman (preferably).
  • Mermaid - The mermaid silhouette is a close fitting dress through the bodice, down through the hips and to about the mid or lower calf where the skirt flares out.  No, it doesn’t come with a fishtail. I was disappointed too.
  • Mid-Calf Boot - This boot is usually half way between the ankle and the knee.
  • Mule - It’s a shoe that is backless and usually closed-toed, but it can also be open-toed. Mules can be any heel height.
  • Mullet Dress/skirt - The word says it all. Just like the hairstyle, a dress or skirt is pretty much the same. ‘Business in the front, party at the back’ it’s short in the front and long at the back.



We hope you’ve learned some more in today’s class and we’ll be sure to update you with more words next week. Go on with your badly educated self, until next time. Tah!


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

You are what you wear

Playing dress-up is something I never grew out of. Mommy’s high heels or her string of beads said something as I imagined myself at an older age. It challenged an aspiration of how I saw myself. The high heel physically extended only my legs. Mentally, however, it gave me a sense of stability and confidence.

Clothing is much more a part of who we are than just an article we conveniently put on display. We are what we wear.

vogue.co.uk
Clothing plays a major role in society. For a while now, clothes have no longer solely been an absent body that hangs in a closet. It’s a way of self-expression. It conveys our emotions. Clothes are there to create a certain first impression of ourselves, other than our attitude. By what we wear, we can influence other’s impressions of who we truly are. Be it positive or negative. 

First impressions can make or break a lot – most prominently, work opportunities. People immediately make judgments on first impressions. If you walk into a corporate interview with messy hair, untidy clothes and just a scruffy overall look, the chances may be dim that you’ll land that pristinely polished position. That goes for accessories as well. According to careerbuilder.com, attributes such as piercings and tattoos may limit an employee’s career potential. Then again, other fields freely accept tattoos.

myfriendned.co.za

Clothes are able to manipulate who you truly are as well. A study published by psychologytoday.com, concluded that clothing can create a false impression. The study was carried out with 300 adults. Images were shown of a man in a well-tailored suit and a man in a very similar off-the-peg suit – the differences were minor. After just three seconds of exposure, they were judged by the candidates. The man, in the bespoke suit, was more favourable, and described as confident and more successful – all by judging the model on his clothes. Fake it till you make it, right?

Dressing incorrectly influences our emotional well-being and mood. If you wear too-tight clothing, it can make you feel bigger than what you really are. You’ll end up feeling uncomfortable and unhappy. Dressing influences our mind sets and attitudes. For example, a dirty appearance sends a negative message and this may affect your confidence as well as other’s confidence in you.


Stereotypically, we can easily identify people from sub-cultural groups, all based on the way that they dress. People also tend to biasedly judge others by distinguishing them to these sub-cultures.  To this day, we call these groups by its different names – Punk, Grunge, Emo, Hipster, Bohemian, Hippie, etc. The graphic designer with his flannel jersey and SLR camera has to be a Hipster. The girl with a flower crown and a tie-dye shirt – she’s probably a Hippie. Jean Paul Gaultier opted that Grunge is “nothing more than the way we dress when we have no money.” Clothing is such an incredibly huge part of our being that it created its own genres!

Let’s face it – fashion is a vital part of who we are. Whether you’re its biggest fan or worst enemy, a fact stays a fact. We subconsciously express our most inner selves through our choices of clothing. It’s grand, really. Where else do we get the chance to speak so loudly without uttering a word?


Imagery Source: weheartit.com