Milan is burning!

As summer is wrapping up, we’re getting ready to put the shorts away. Bikinis will go back to their spot in the back drawer of the closet. Espadrilles will take their seat on the bottom shelf.

Neverthless, here are some snaps from the 2013 Spring collections – fresh from Milan – that could give you something to look forward to.

Wang, deconstructed.

A few years ago, when I first visited Hong Kong, I discovered Joyce – the HK version of Barneys. I was going around looking for a birthday present from myself to myself.. finally got a black leather shoulder bag without knowing anything about the brand. That was the day i put Alexander Wang on my watchlist.

A true master of garments – his cuts, structures, textures, shapes… so beautifully crafted. Talented, intelligent and most certainly inspirational to many. Here are some fave pieces from his Resort 2013 Collection.

Stéphane Rolland

Here’s a new designer I came accross while checking the Fall 2012 shows. With no doubt, Stéphane Rolland seems to be an impeccable couturier – he was trained in the Balenciaga and Jean-Louis Scherrer schools. In 2006/2007, he was awarded the Molière Award of best costume design for Amadeus.

Here are a few of my faves from his Fall show.

PS – that black jumpsuit is one of the most impressing pieces of clothing i’ve seen for some time.

CÉLINE. J’adore.

CÉLINE has been constantly impressing me since its new creative director debuted three years ago.  In a world where designers contend to show off creativity and inspiration on the runway, where textiles wow us, designs surprise us.. there is also Phoebe Philo who – I believe – actually cares about building a wardrobe for women. Each collection presents a wardrobe concept – there are basics and then some more. No unneccessary extras. These shoes are the shoes to wear, these bags the bags to carry.

Here’s some snaps from the RTW 2012 Collection. It’s all about the shapes and proportions – kind of reminding me of 50s/60s silhouettes. It’s beautiful. Every piece is wearable. So simple yet so elegant. Basic colors, suddenly surprising yellows, reds, stripes, leather, belts, pleated tops, super-wide pants, envelope clutches, those heels.. vraiment chouette. Simply great-great-great-looking.

Take a look!

as Haute as Couture can get

Quite unusual for a Fall/Winter collection, Givency’s Ricardo Tisci does it again. Naming “purity” as his inspiration, Tisci presents light, airy, heavenly pieces of art. Beige, ivory, white.. tulles, chiffons, shimmering pearls, feathers, crystal drops, ankle straps, white China beads, waterfall of fine golden chains.. his world is heavenly, his work is sculpture-like. 

Pieces made entirely by hand in the Givenchy workshop (one piece took over one month to make in working hours), these pieces looks like what angels would keep in their wardrobes.

Inspirations: Elie Saab

There is not much to say about Elie Saab and his Haute Couture world. The Lebanese designer has long been a leading name with his romantic, crystal-encrusted gowns. His couture signature is brightly colored silks, chiffons, pearl beading, flounces, fringes…  and of course sequins.

Below are some snaps from the Elie Saab Fall 2011 Couture Show. From his signature sequin textured gowns to colors, from the U-shaped décolletés to the embroidered lace, it’s breathtaking and dreamlike.

Inspirations: Dries Van Noten

Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten presented his debut collection in 1986. Garnered so much international press that Barneys New York immediately picked the brand up.

Here are some snaps from the Fall 2011 Collection. Textures, layers, art-inspired signature prints – all developed in-house, menswear tailoring, military fabrics, 50s and 60s ladylike shapes, sweatshirts. Wide legged trousers, incredible coats.. rich colors, lush textures, brilliant prints. And of course, the socks! It’s all about the socks.

Dries Van Noten will give you what you want. And effortless. Casual yet formal enough – completely wearable fashion. Shuffle as much as you can.

Misela: In Between the East and the West

To a dearest friend who has always been a true inspiration to me…

A journey between East and West, a smooth mix between chic and casual, a perfect blend of colors and textures.. Misela is all about details. Founded by Serra Turker, a textile design grad from RISD and an ex-New Yorker, the brand aims to transform its collection into timeless art pieces that are not meant to be on the wall but could as well be carried.

Rich colors and textures that combine the ethnic touch of the East as well as the modern look of the West, influenced by Moroccan tiles, New York interiors and the antique soul of Istanbul, blend in perfectly to give a bold feminine look. The collection, with a diverse range of designs, textures and colors, can accomodate any style and event.

Sea snakes, leathers, furs, vintage trims, special-cast metal accessories, handmade antique chains, custom interiors, zipper pockets… I don’t want to tell you all about it. Here, discover Misela yourself. (You can also shop online at http://www.shopmisela.com/ )

In addition to the accessories line, Misela also offers a home collection consisting of pillows, trays and other decorative objects. Again, colors, textures and signature prints dominate the line. In addition to taking custom orders for the home line, Misela also works on personalized interior design projects.

Seventies with a Touch of Forties Glamour

Rainbow of colors, energy, vibrance, ethereal, fur, emerald green, lime, teal, rust, exotic skins, chiffon, organza, citron, polka dots, feminine belts, red lips, brimmed hats, croco clutches, fedoras, draped gowns…

Welcome to the overwhelmingly sexy Gucci Fall 2011 RTW. Every single piece is to be adored.  Vraiment chic.

 

Proenza Schouler: An Uber-Cool Kaleidoscope

Definitely among my greatest discoveries during my time in NYC, Proenza Schouler is my definition of cool. It’s young, it’s comfy.. yet still edgy. Textiles are stuning, motives are genius, graphics are bold, color palette is extremely accessible. It is spec-ta-cu-lar.

Although the talented duo, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, has been in business only since 2002, they’ve come a long long way. Inspired by a road trip they took to Santa Fe, where they were attracted to the beauty of Native American blankets, they designed their own prints on the computer. Obsessed over Japanese shibori dyeing techniques and the process of making guipure lace, they then “exploded and pixelated” these prints themselves.

The result: kaleidoscopic.

I’m head over heels in love with their Autumn RTW 2011 Collection.

And some snaps from the Pre-Fall 2011 Collection..

From the Front Row: Elif Cigizoglu

Some people, through their vision, have the ability to take you somewhere else.. to make you imagine, to make you dream. Well, Elif Cigizoglu is surely one of them.

I won’t be telling you about Elif Cigizoglu only as a part the audience who watched her fascinating 2011-2012 Autumn/Winter Collection last night, but also as a friend. It is not surprising for such a lively person – full of laughter, joy, courage, compassion, determination, imagination – to put together a collection that is a journey of colors, textures, shapes, curves, waves, forms.. simplicity yet details.

Her collection last night not only amazed me, but without a doubt impressed everybody present at the show. Colors started off from different tones of brown, khakis.. ranging to red, orange.. and concluded with white. The collection offered skirts, pants, dresses, coats, blazers, half-pant-half-skirt pieces.. The orange eye make up of the models looked amazing on their pale skin – was in line with the khakis and oranges, yet shouted silently with the whites. The music was two thumbs up – one moment the upbeat highlighted the motion of the curves and textures, the next, the downtempo electronica slowed the movement of the eyes. Not to mention, Oliver Koletzki ft Fran – Hypnotized was a great choice of track at the very beginning. Rather difficult to put it into words, I would simply like you to get a glimpse of the Elif Cigizoglu runway with the below slide show.

But before that, here is my favorite piece of the show.

And the ravishing finale…

A friend that is a true inspiration to me, and a designer that is able to create different worlds at once.. Elif is a true artist.

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For more information on Elif Cigizoglu, her designs and contact information, visit http://www.elifcigizoglu.com/.



Inspirations: Céline

I really appreciate brands that know how to renew their look. While some brands take a wrong direction in doing so, some really succeed in gaining a fresh look and a brand new face. Céline is one of them. It never took my attention until a year or two ago – when I saw an amazing display in one of its boutiques in Hong Kong. It’s neat, classy, impeccable, simple, chic… it’s feminine yet slightly masculine.

Originally launched in 1945 as a children’s shoe business, the French luxury house expanded during the 60s with adult footwear, handbags and women’s ready-to-wear collection. Founded by and helmed for over 40 years by Madame Céline Vipiana, Michael Kors took over in 1997. Upon his departure in 2004, the collection lost much of the buzz that was brought to the label by Kors. The year after, ex-Burberry designer Roberto Menichetti struggled as head designer. He was succeeded by Ivana Omazic, and in September 2008 the label announced that ex-Chloe visionary Phoebe Philo would step in, beginning with a Fall 2009 collection.

Below are some snaps from Spring 2011 RTW and Resort 2011 Womenswear. Colors, simplicity, cuts, fabrics, décolletés… it simply amazed me. Not to mention its Classic Box Bag has been my fave since its launch in Spring 2010.

On another note – the black jumpsuits, you shall be mine.

This is a Mad, Mad, Mad Men’s world.

I rarely get hooked on TV shows. Yes, there are a couple of them that I watch but this one… this one is different. Probably it’s the first TV show I watch so excitingly, the first TV show I enjoy this much and the first TV show which really takes me elsewhere. There’s at least one unique piece that gets stuck in my mind after finishing each episode – a song, a scene in the office, the print of a dress, a drink, a NYC moment… No matter what, that shot stays in my mind until I watch the next episode – which, in most cases, is even better than the previous one. 

Mad Men is set in the 1960s, first at the Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York City, and later at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce starting from the 3rd season. The main character of the series is Don Draper, the creative director of the agency, the incorrigible ladies’ man and the American Dream incarnate,  the husband of Betty Draper and a father of three. Although he suffers from a masculanity crisis, Don is always impeccable. No tears no blood on his suit. No close ties to other man. What is it that makes him so captivating? He appears to have the world at his feet as the first season begins – a beautiful wife, the perfect 60s house and a job that sees him at the height of his creative powers.

Each 50-minute-or-so episode takes the audience to the 1960s America – the changing moods, social mores and political correctness. I can’t help but wonder:  Can people really live such lives? Sexism, racism, status symbols, office politics, four-martini-lunches, misbehavior, cheating, 9-am-bourbons, chain smoking, loveless marriages, loveless affairs, mysteries.. Are men today different at all? Or women for that matter?

Why do I love Mad Men so much? Fashion! Costumes! The big bows, hats with veils, white gloves, the Jackie-O-style swing coats, prints, pencil skirts, high heels, fitted blouses.. Betty Draper reminds  me of Grace Kelly with her Hitchcock style blond hair and full skirt dresses. Joan Holloway also so impressive! How perfect can one look be? As for men, so lovely to see them in hats and suits. The drinks! No wine no beer. Real drinks Ladies and Gents – a Brandy Alexander, a Manhattan, the Harpoon, a Bloody Mary, an Old Fashioned, a Gibson Martini, and a Tom Collins. The music! Julie London singing Fly Me to the Moon, Vic Damone crooning On the Street Where You Live, Ella Fitzgerald doing her best to (I’ll Take) Manhattan. The 60s witnessed some great music and Mad Men does the most with it. And.. The Nostalgia! Clothes, cocktails, Madison Avenue – this is the style of the show.

Mad Men is a drama that encompasses so many original themes – and does it with such intelligence. It is funny, entertaining and stylish. Give it a try if you haven’t watched any. If you’re done with Season 4, just sit back and wait for the new season to come. In the meantime, you can go to madmenyourself.com to style yourself on in a chic red dress, gloves and pearls… or else indulge in a coctail.

Manhattans, anyone?