Elie Saab Fall 2013 Couture

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Elie Saab’s Fall 2013 couture collection was filled with stunning, yet simplistic gowns. This season, he took his inspiration from precious gemstones. Ruby reds, deep emerald greens, and soft light greys consisted of the main colour palette. Here are some of my favourite ensembles:

Ensemble No. 4. Extracted from www.style.com.

Ensemble No. 4. Extracted from http://www.style.com.

This gown is so simple, yet the gradient of embellishments from top to bottom transforms it into an elegant work of art. The flattering bodice and elegantly draped skirt serve as the blank canvas for the exquisite detail.

Ensemble No. 16. Extracted from www.style.com.

Ensemble No. 16. Extracted from http://www.style.com.

This gown is so ethereal in with its soft grey chiffon delicately graced with silver embroidery. The embroidery is remarkably well-placed to flatter the body, drawing the attention to the waist and the bottom of the dress to lengthen the legs.

Ensemble No. 34. Extracted from www.style.com.

Ensemble No. 34. Extracted from http://www.style.com.

This rich emerald green is simply stunning. I was never too fond of V-necks, but Elie Saab makes me rethink them – he executes them in such an elegant and complementary way that I find myself falling in love with this silhouette. The lavish embellishments are showcased beautifully against the minimalistic, sheer bodice and the continuation of the embellishments at the hips narrows the waist and creates a lovely hourglass silhouette.

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Christian Dior Fall 2013 Couture

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Overall, I found Raf Simons’ third couture collection for Christian Dior was somewhat all over the place. I understand that he was trying to appeal to different audiences, though I feel that the collection could have used more continuity and consistency so that the ensembles would feel more related rather than completely separate. Nonetheless, there were some interesting pieces. Here are my favourite ensembles:

Ensemble No. 34. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 34. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

I love the idea of taking the classic Dior silhouette and transforming it into a quirky modern art piece simply by changing the fabric. This colourful mesh is so fascinating and certainly modernizes the look. The stripes are also extremely flattering and emphasize the lovely hourglass silhouette.

Ensemble No. 48. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 48. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

Another interesting reinvention of a classic Dior silhouette. The modern aspect comes from the beautiful asymmetrical bodice and the way the pleats in the skirt have a slightly cluttered and spontaneous look to them.

Ensemble No. 52. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 52. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

I adore the way Raf Simons can reinvent a simple black dress over and over again, with his trademark sleek architectural silhouette. This dress is just stunning.

Armani Fall Couture

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I am so excited that the Fall 2013 Couture show images are in! So far I’m off to a good start with Armani Privé. Armani channeled 30s movie star glamour in elegant, decadent dresses with simplistic and fluid silhouettes that draped beautifully across the body. Here are my favourite ensembles:

Ensemble No. 21. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 21. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

This ensemble works so well for me and I adore the nude colour palette. The sheer pants and top add a modern twist to this vintage look. The sequin rose embellishments on the top are just stunning and so well placed. This is understated elegance at its finest.

Ensemble No. 29. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 29. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

There’s not much fabric but it manages to be enough to create such an exquisite and extremely flattering silhouette. The black sparkly strips of fabric that hang down to the bottom of the dress are so glamorous and the black dots of fabric add eye-catching detail.

Ensemble No. 36. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 36. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

The silhouette of this dress is so effortless. It has such minimal fabric yet it is absolutely stunning the way it is cut and hangs off the body perfectly. Armani has the great ability to restrict himself as a designer and not get carried away in the embellishments, and this dress is a perfect example of letting the fabric speak for itself and doing what is most natural and fitting for the fabric.

Ensemble No. 42. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 42. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

The sequin details in this dress are beautiful, but not so overpowering that they take away from the delicate, almost ethereal look of the lace. The lace is laid so perfectly atop the tulle in a simplistic pattern that is minimalistic yet with the decadence of couture. I love the way the skirt hangs so well off the body, just floating away from her legs as she walks.

Bottega Veneta Fall RTW

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Tomas Maier’s Fall ready to wear collection for Bottega Veneta had a 70s glamour feel to it. The colour palette consisted of vibrant oranges, reds, with muddy browns and lots of black. The silhouettes were simplistic and effortless. Here are some of my favourite looks:

Ensemble No. 8. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 8. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

The tailoring of this dress is completely ingenious. The strong, architectural shoulders hang beautifully off the body. The cut is so clean and minimalistic, sculpt a modern take on a retro silhouette.

Ensemble No. 10. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 10. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

I love the spontaneity of this mixture of prints – it looks like a lovely modern art piece that perfectly complements the collection and accents the curves of the dress. The boxy, geometric sleeves are my favourite part of the dress, though. They add a necessary modernity and originality to the retro colour palette.

Ensemble No. 13. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 13. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

I love the muted colour palette of this ensemble. I wouldn’t think an entirely brown outfit would work, but Tomas definitely made it work. The reversed pleats on the skirts hang so beautifully and add detail to the minimalistic look.

Balmain Fall RTW

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Balmain’s Fall ready to wear collection was filled with strong, bold shoulders and edgy, structured fabrics. There were a lot of harem pants and stunning jewel tones as well as leather and brocade fabrics. Overall it was an inventive and impactful collection full of wearable, yet original ensembles. Here are some of my favourites:

Ensemble No. 2. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 2. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

I adore the brilliant execution of the minimalistic aesthetic in this ensemble. It is so simplistic yet impactful. The structured leather bodice with padded shoulders perfectly complements the pleated harem pants.

Ensemble No. 16. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 16. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

The top in this ensemble is so edgy and modern. The embellishments are stunning and add the perfect amount of eye-catching detail to the ensemble. It is so wonderfully fitted and tailored, with each bold geometric seam contouring to the body.

Ensemble No. 30. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 30. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

The shoulders are an interesting break from the heavily padded, rectangular silhouette. Yet they still retain an architectural, geometric feel that is structured and bold. This ensemble is reminiscent of an edgier take on brocade, pairing the delicate gold with a striking leather top.

Ensemble No. 38. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 38. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

The heavy beading works so well with this structured jacket. The way the sleeves taper from a wide shoulder and elbow to the wrist is so elegant and surprisingly flattering. The front of the jacket lies flat in such a lovely way, contouring to the waist and flaring out at the hips to create a dramatic look.

Alexander McQueen Fall 2013 RTW

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The Alexander McQueen Fall 2013 ready-to-wear collection was a stunning assortment of dramatic renaissance-inspired couture pieces. The attention to detail was impeccable and the jewelled headpieces were stunning. Here are my favourite ensembles:

Ensemble No. 5. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 5. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

The renaissance-style silhouette and ruff are reinvented into the twenty-first century with a hint of edgy, gothic glamour. It’s certainly an interesting oxymoron – punk fit for a queen. I love the irony and extreme degree of contrast infused into this one piece.

Ensemble No. 8. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 8. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

It’s interesting how this dress still retains a heavily period-influenced feel to it. But what makes it modern is the exposed shoulder. The embroidery on the bodice is absolutely stunning and the signature McQueen hourglass silhouette is emphasized with the skirt that cascades from the structured, flared corset.

Brilliant Canadian Designers

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I would love to highlight some talent from my home, Canada, seeing as Canadian designers work extremely hard and are very talented – not always gaining enough recognition for their work in the fashion industry. Being a fashion designer in Canada is extremely difficult because Canada is not exactly a well-known place for fashion. But thanks to many talented people, Canada is definitely gaining more recognition for its fashion industry.

Lucian Matis is a Toronto-based fashion designer with a tremendous amount of talent. His designs are stunning and dramatic in their flawlessly tailored execution. Yet his designs are always very detail-oriented. His extreme attention to detail and perfect construction sets him apart from other designers. Here is an assortment of photographs from his ad campaign and recent runway show.

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Another brilliant Canadian designer is Sunny Fong of VAWK. He is brilliant in his artistry. The construction of his garments is always flawless and the detailed work involved with them is impeccable. He has an effortless feminine aesthetic that is always original and modern. He brings an inventive and chic luxury sensibility to Canadian fashion like no other. Here is an assortment of my all-time favourite clothing from VAWK.

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Greta Constantine, made up of the ingenious duo Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong, is one of few labels that has been able to put Canadian fashion on the map – definitely not an easy task. They have a unique avant-garde style of design that incorporates masterfully tailored silhouettes and stunning details. Their collections always have an original point of view and story to tell. They treat each garment like a sculptural work of art, as it should be. Here are some of my favourite ensembles from Greta Constantine.

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Carlie Wong is yet another ingenious Canadian fashion designer. Her designs are classic and possess a wonderful artistry to the way they are executed. Her dresses have a beautiful couture-like construction to them and incorporate stunning embroidery. Her couture-like designs defy traditional ideas of Canadian fashion and are not as casual or marketable as the majority of Canadian fashion – which is what I love about her. Here are some of my favourite ensembles from her Spring 2013 Bridal and Couture Collection.

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Amanda Lew Kee has a unique sensibility – she incorporates ready-to-wear with an artistic execution of original prints and designs. Her designs are wearable, but entirely original and modern. They are visually balanced, executed like a work of art – taking colour, shape, and texture into consideration and laying them out in perfect harmony with one another. Here are some of my favourite looks from her.

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I apologize for not being able to include more designers. I hope this gives you a broader perspective on Canadian fashion designers and how talented they must be in order to be successful.

Structured Minimalism at Dior

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We must all thank Raf Simons for continuing to maintain Dior’s reputation as one of the top fashion houses in the world. I love how he stays true to the classic feminine 50s silhouette that established Dior as a coveted and respected brand, but he puts his own twist on it to pull it into the twenty-first century – a more minimalistic and architectural version in comparison to their silhouette during the golden age of haute couture.

Ensemble No. 28. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 28. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

This dress is cut so beautifully. Raf has stripped away the piles of tulle from the 50s silhouette and reinvented it – transforming it into a modern-day silhouette, but still retaining the original feeling and structure – just a lot lighter. I never thought that I would want anyone to modernize the typical 50s dress probably using 100 yards of tulle – but this is exquisite and, let’s face it, fashion always needs to move forward and think in the present. This is such a modernized dress and I cannot believe how much I love it… Raf Simons, you are a genius.

Ensemble No. 45. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 45. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

I adore the way that this tulle falls so effortlessly like this sculptural masterpiece. What a perfect example of how construction of a garment can do wonders even, when working with less fabric. Raf proves how you can use less fabric and it can look even better than the dress using 100 yards of fabric (which would also be ridiculously heavy). That’s the brilliancy of perfect construction.

Ensemble No. 50. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 50. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

Even though this is so simplistic, I love it. This fabric has the classic floral element to it, yet it is in this bizarre metallic colour that makes it so unique and modern. The silhouette is loose and effortless – so wearable yet stunning.

Sporty Architectural Looks at Hussein Chalayan

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Hussein Chalayan’s collection was minimalistic, but had a sculptural feel to the design that made the clothes feel very unique. The fabrics were somewhat odd and used in ways that you would not typically associate with that fabric – that added an element of modernity and inventiveness to the collection.

Ensemble No. 17. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 17. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

This dress is so beautifully constructed and I cannot get over the fact that it is made of a sporty mesh-type fabric that I would never associate with this type of a look. I love it when designers can do something remarkable with a fabric that you would never think of using. Chalayan is so ahead of his time with this dress.

Ensemble No. 35. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 35. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

I love this photographic collage print – it looks so beautiful in this outfit. It has such a lovely effortless silhouette that is so modern and refreshingly original.

Ensemble No. 38. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 38. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

Once again the material is so unbelievable. I cannot believe that Hussein Chalayan is convincing me that thick shiny transparent plastic is beautiful and can be made into a sculptural work of art such as this top.

Ensemble No. 41. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 41. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

This is a work of art. It floats iridescently across the floor, draped across the model in perfect harmony with the silhouette of the female form.

Ensemble No. 44 Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 44 Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

This dress uses such interesting patterns and textures – so minimalistic, clean, and modern. Yet it has an sort of movement to it within the textile – like marble or electric currents or tree branches in stark black and white.

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Glamorous 50s-Inspired Silhouettes at Carven

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Carven’s Spring 2013 collection combined modern cut-outs with 50s silhouettes and Toile de Jouy prints – wearable and light but still beautifully executed and tailored. Here are my favourite looks:

Ensemble No. 14. Extracted from www.vogue.com.

Ensemble No. 14. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

I adore this dress – the silhouette is reminiscent of the 50s but it was a weightlessness to it that flows nicely and is simplistic and easily wearable. The silhouette is transformed into a modern-day look with an altered and more geometric style sweetheart neckline and an interestingly shaped cut-out.

carven-rtw-ss2013-runway-24_083721820228

Ensemble No. 24. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

I question whether the cut-out was needed in this particular dress – it looks slightly out of place and is somewhat of a visually puzzling detail. However, the silhouette with the curved panels at the bottom adding volume is an interesting modern detail. And I love the Toile de Jouy print – it is so classic and I love to see something so old revived into something fresh and new.

carven-rtw-ss2013-runway-26_083722910755

Ensemble No. 26. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

This all red ensemble works somehow and I think that the way these different shades of red were put together is completely ingenious. Only when you examine it for a longer period of time do you realize that the entire outfit is monochromatic and that it is done in such a visually balanced way that it does not strike you as anything out of the ordinary at first glance. I have never liked red very much, but this outfit is pretty convincing.

carven-rtw-ss2013-runway-36_083730283041

Ensemble No. 36. Extracted from http://www.vogue.com.

This is how you do a metallic fabric – it doesn’t look odd or overly synthetic and eye-catching, but it has a classy and glamorous almost medieval look to it. The cut-outs are reminiscent of stained glass and the sculpted aesthetic of this dress is stunning.