Tag Archives: Stella McCartney

Luxury Kidswear: The Next Big Market for Luxury

Gucci Kids SS 2017

In this current retail climate, luxury brands are downsizing. That is to say, they’re creating kid versions of their adult lines, catering to an ever younger market through luxury kidswear. Thanks to millennials and the growing number of celebrity couples churning out million dollar babies, the resulting social media frenzy from the Beckhams, Wests and Jolie-Pitts have changed the conversation from one of discovering new mediums for consumer engagement to now appealing to an entirely different class of consumer – the kids, through the most emotionally compromised shoppers on the planet, their parents.

Business of Luxury: Childrenswear, The Next Big Luxury Market

When popular English footballer David Beckham arrived at JFK airport in New York City in 2014, little was said about him, many of the reports were focused on his young daughter Harper and her chic hat and peacoat ensemble.

From Kingston and Zuma Rossdale (Gwen Stefani’s kids), to the scions of English Royalty: Prince George (UK Kidfluencer Prime according Forbes no less) and Princess Charlotte, fashion influencer clout is no longer wielded by over-exposed parents like Kim Kardashian but rather their celebrity offspring: North West, Suri Cruise and the like.

Left: Harper Beckham arriving at JFK with father, David. Right: Kingston Rossdale, son of Gwen Stefani

Their innocence, wrapped in a trapping of luxury, style and sometimes, attitude contributes to the appeal of whatever ensemble they happen to be rocking at the moment and luxury brands are only just beginning to entertain the idea of luxury kidswear, especially in developing economies like India, China, Indonesia and Singapore.

Luxury Brands taking Baby Steps

According to The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, the luxury kidswear market in India is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20%, hitting 95,000 crore or US$14 billion in 2016, making India one of the fast growing markets for the luxury kidswear segment.

All aboard the luxury childrenswear train. Image: Gucci Kids A/W 2017

Similarly, the luxury kidswear genre is also growing in China, fuelled by twin phenomena – the now defunct one child policy, which led to parents indulging in lavish gifts for their progeny as well as the issue of that of fu er dai – a Chinese term which literally refers to the second generation wealthy, millennials used to growing in such opulent lifestyles that the children they sire, also lead similar lifestyles and a propensity towards luxury. These are trends which statistics from the China Research Centre for Children’s Industry also reflect where the projected baby boom through till 2021 will see the mainland’s under-16 population grow over 400 million. In the Asia-Pacific region, luxury kidswear is expected to grow at a pace of 5.3% per annum in Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore as well.

The phenomena of burgeoning luxury sales in the children’s segment is reflected not just in the numbers but in media as well. According to Business of Fashion, Hypebeast, an industry pioneer in online luxury streetwear commentary launched Hypekids in March 2017, a new children’s vertical when Founder Kevin Ma, saw big data trends in his Hypebeast audience growing up and having kids.

“I think it’s a natural progression for us,” – Kevin Ma, Founder, Hypebeast

Launching with Kids Foot Locker as a sponsor, Hypekids will include style news and features on designers with their kids, as well as sell children’s items on Hypebeast’s global e-commerce platform, HBX. The site further posits that millennial parents — who are dressing their children in the same clothes as they dress themselves — are the driving force of the industry.

Balmain Kids

Additionally, rising purchasing power serves as another driver growth in the luxury kidswear segment and the market for designer childrenswear has also been spurred by increasing brand consciousness and the proliferation of online digital platforms which not only grow interest for ensembles for million dollar babies but also serve as a kind of new status symbol – you are no longer judged by what you wear but also what your kids wear, that aside, the reality is that while many millennials aren’t too fussy with what they wear, they certainly are cognisant of the fact that their children are growing up in cultural environs vastly different from that for their era.

 The Business of Luxury Kidswear

In 2013, the first Global Kids Fashion Week launched in London to mixed reception but even with social criticism, the genre continued to grow, encouraged by Burberry, an early adopter, selling $91 million in luxury kidswear in 2014, encouraging the entry of major luxury brands into the arena of childrenswear: Gucci, Armani, Fendi and recently Karl Lagerfeld in 2016 (UPDATE: Givenchy has just launched their kids line) have each launched clothing and accessories lines targeted specifically at children. Given that high street apparel brands like Zara, H&M and Marks & Spencer had found lucrative business in the childrenswear genre, it was only a matter of time before the bigwigs caught on.

Marc Jacobs Kids, officially – Little Marc Jacobs 2014

Gucci Kids 2017

According to Singapore Tatler, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands Singapore was leading the charge in children’s luxury retail, opening a slew of standalone boutiques in 2014 –  Baby Dior, Fendi Kids and Ralph Lauren Children; and then adding to their portfolio of luxury children’s stores: Dolce & Gabbana Junior and Armani Junior in 2015-16.

“In today’s environment of exclusivity and quality, the retail experiences that the market is catering for adults and children are on par, this can be seen in numerous aspects, from the calibre of designs released by renowned fashion houses, to the extensive selection of apparel, right down to the VIP treatment.” – John Postle, vice president of retail at Marina Bay Sands to Singapore Tatler

In China alone, as many as 90% of kidswear labels have their own standalone boutiques but the rise of e-commerce is threatening to move this major market online: Net-a-Porter, a trailblazer in luxury eCommerce, registered the Petite-a-Porter domain name in 2013 (Though nothing has been launched at the moment).  Currently, former Vogue editors Sylvana Ward Durrett and Luisana Mendoza, have themselves launched Maisonette, a Farfetch-style platform that sells a curated selection from children’s boutiques.

Oscar de la Renta kids 2017

That said, while luxury childrenswear is booming, it isn’t exactly a new segment. In the early 70s, Dior and Ralph Lauren were pioneers to the kidswear genre but it must be said, they were likely too early as a nearly four decade drought persisted until Burberry, Chloe and Marc Jacobs reignited the furore. They were followed by Stella McCartney, Lanvin, Marni and Gucci, the latter being the most aggressive (by definition of campaign marketing). Even Oscar de la Renta is in on this, there’s no doubt that every self-respecting designer needs to have a children’s collection under the auspices of their brand. Surely a decisive strategy of building brand loyalty early and deepening their relationships with existing customers.

Currently, European and North American markets account for a major slice of the global kidswear market.  According to Euromonitor, 2015 sales for luxury kidswear reached $135.6bn worldwide and accounted for 12% of the overall clothing market, Meanwhile, research firm NPD Group Inc expects the luxury childrenswear market to hit US$ 173.6 billion by 2017 at CAGR of 4.2% driven by aggressive growth developing economies, particularly India and China where a healthy and growing middle class as well as targeted marketing by brands, increasing social media engagement and a spurt of international travel has created a cocktail of elements driving on luxury childrenswear consumption.

Will luxury watch brands follow suit? Image: Romain Jerome Hello Kitty

That said, rising labour costs do not bode well to the two largest consumers of luxury childrenswear as more and more luxury labels are forced to maintain margins by heading to Bangladesh where Zara, Massimo Dutti, Marks & Spencer, G-Star Raw and H&M are already present. Still, markets like Thailand and Taiwan are largely untapped and growth potential is immense and more importantly, imminently renewable as parents will attest to how quickly the little tykes outgrow their outfits.

 

Designer Christmas Trees To Be Auctioned For Charity

The biggest names in fashion, art and design will design 30 Christmas trees to go under the hammer later this month. The ‘Designer Christmas Trees’ charity auction is set to for November 21 at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, France, in what happens to be the 21st edition.

All proceeds from the holiday auction will be donated to fund cancer research, under the patronage of Professor Khayat, oncologist, President and founder of the Paris Charter Against Cancer (Charte de Paris contre le cancer). The festive auction event was founded by fashion journalist and producer Marie-Christiane Marek, who still leads the organization of the event. ‘Designer Christmas Trees’ celebrates creativity, design, and high-end expertise – all for a good cause.

This year’s event theme is ‘Gold and Light’. Designers from notable fashion houses and labels will be creating their own unique Christmas trees, based on their personal take on the theme. For the first time, the designers will be invited to also create gifts to place under the tree. Event attendees will be able to take pictures with each designer’s Christmas tree, as well as sculptures, photo prints and works of art.

Chanel, Dior, Chantal Thomass, Christian Lacroix, Elie Saab, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Jean Paul Gaultier, Lancel, Prada, Ungaro, Stella McCartney, Francis Kurkdjian, Christian Ghion, Jean-Jacques Ory, Olivia Putman, Rachid Khimoune and Marlène Mocquet are among the artists and designers signed up to take part in the 2016 event.

This 21st edition of “Designer Christmas Trees” includes three main events. First, the switching-on of the Christmas lights in Paris’ Avenue Montaigne, November 18. Next, the unique Christmas trees will go on public display, November 19 and 20, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, ahead of the gala evening and auction (by invitation only), November 21, also at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.

Stella McCartney Unveils First Menswear Collection

London’s Abbey Road studio that was made famous by Paul McCartney and his fellow Beatles, played host to Stella McCartney as she unveiled her first menswear collection on Thursday. The designer referenced the strong connection that her father and his band-mates had with the studio. “It really means a lot to our family this studio… seeing and hearing what’s been created here, the best music in the world” said the designer. “It’s such an iconic place. So many people have recorded here,” she said.

Like the iconic band on its 1969 album cover, models at the show paraded over the same white stripes. The collection featured both playful casual wear as well as more formal tailoring. The designs included blue pinstripe pyjama-like shirts and bright yellow socks as well as a black suit with camel overcoat. Though McCartney has become a household name in the world of fashion, the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design trained designer has just entered the world of menswear.

“The challenge has been just to look at how men dress but also not over thinking it,” said McCartney. “We want them to be a bit freer and having more fun with their wardrobe and also have timeless beautiful pieces at the same time.” Apart from the iconic location, the show also saw several British creatives such as Anna Friel, rapper M.I.A, models Kate Moss and Twiggy enjoy the show. The collection was accompanied by music performances by Run-DMC, who played the well-known track “Walk this way”. McCartney also unveiled her womenswear collection for spring 2017 at the event.

Creating Fashion that Sells Isn’t a Sin

What is the point of high fashion these days? Is there a reason that designers still get to sit on their high horses when the most talked about brand these days is Vetements, with all its nonstop talk about “clothing people actually wear”? It’s really an issue of the industry failing to catch up with the times, which is strangely ironic considering that fashion is supposed to represent and extol the times it lives in.

In the aughts of haute couture, and really since before the time of Charles Frederick Worth (considered the progenitor of high fashion) and Marie Antoinette, what fashion represented in the zeitgeist and times was desire. Plain and simple, it was about elevating and making clothing so beautiful, flattering, and jealousy-inducing that it was a means to a social end. Fashion is so strikingly bourgeois and hierarchical today precisely because it has, for so many years, represented a certain degree of sophistication and, indeed, wealth.

Selling isn't a sin: Chanel

Chanel

So what is high fashion for today, if Chanel is no longer haughtily pronouncing items of clothing démodé and instead, planting emojis onto accessories and clothing? If a brand as vaunted and intellectual as Prada is selling bags straight off the runway, can it still maintain a cachet of luxury and intelligence without the stink of shilling products (perhaps by making customers wait for the rest of its seasonal fashion direction)?

Selling isn't a sin: Balenciaga

Balenciaga

I posit that high fashion today is returning to its core, plain and simple, all over again. It is about beautiful clothing, wonderful things people feel an urge to wear, and representing the cultural values of the times. It is why Balenciaga under Demna Gvasalia feels so… right. With its post-modern melding of old-world techniques and new-age street-wise tricks, it has been vaulted right back into the fashion consciousness – and it is worth paying attention to again. With the advertising and PR money of fashion, it sometimes becomes difficult to differentiate what’s worth the time and what’s paid for. The purest reaction, then, is clothing that can convince customers to part with money to put on their back.

Selling isn't a sin: Vetements

Vetements

The ’90s were all at once the best and worst time for intellectual fashion, but that’s gone down the drain now. Conglomeration of brands and companies meant that fashion as an art and a means to an end was becoming monetized. Think of LVMH, Kering and Prada group’s expansions at the time.

Today, LVMH’s brands are represented in a good half of all fashion magazines’ front bumper of ads. Louis Vuitton, Dior, Céline, Loewe, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Fendi – even jewelry and watch brands such as Bulgari, Chaumet, Hublot, TAG Heuer, etc. Kering rounds it up with Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, etc. Where did the mavericks like Helmut Lang and Martin Margiela go?

In an environment where people simply demanded more and more clothing, it became hard for such intellectually-driven and conceptual designers to continue – never mind that the clothes they designed and created were eminently wearable and beautiful. But it was tricky, because the old shows from Prada, for instance, were such subtle exercises in decryption. Meaning was layered and veiled, and it took a trained eye and mind to pick apart what exactly Mrs Prada was saying each season. Today, a collection like its FW16 vagabond girls-on-the-run one is, while beautiful, almost obvious to interpret. In recent seasons too: fast cars and sweaty glamour, stiff Stepford wives’ tailoring, duney desert travellers. They make big political and cultural statements, but they’re plain to see.

Selling isn't a sin: Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent

Therein lies the problem. When fashion becomes grounds for intellectual concepts, customers get frustrated. It was famously hard for people to grasp Craig Green’s debut SS15 collection with flowing judoka quilts and banners bound to the models. But it struck a chord with the industry collective viewing the show – inspiring some tears, even. Here was a collection set against an Enya soundtrack, resplendent in creative liberty and in the luxury of time it took to craft. It was beautiful and it sold. Next season, he did a similar thing – line and silhouette were only slightly different, but there was a complete reversal in the reaction of the press. Lambasts of similarity and repetition abounded, and it became clear that the industry was on the same page as its readers’ attention spans. Never mind giving designers time to develop an idea and letting it stew, mutate, evolve and be felt out. We wanted more and more of the new.

Selling isn't a sin: Prada

Prada

So where is intellectual fashion’s place in today’s fast-paced commercial churning environment? It is a conundrum that is hard to solve. Perhaps that is why Vetements is so successful – because it makes you feel like you’re thinking and being smart about things while contributing no effort at all. Perhaps it is why Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent was such a runaway commercial success – because you didn’t have to think while wearing his clothes, you just had to partake in his vacuous vein of L.A. grungy cool. Perhaps it is why Phoebe Philo’s Céline is so influential – women don’t have to think about what they’re representing to the world because Philo’s clothing whispers refinement for them. Perhaps it is why Alessandro Michele’s Gucci is so refreshing – they’re simply fun to wear (the same, season after season) and don’t offer much by way of a political or cultural message.

I am not against any of this.

Selling isn't a sin: Jacquemus

Jacquemus

On the contrary, it is the way fashion is today, and to whine about time gone by is to be astoundingly near-sighted – rather, rear-sighted. Karl Lagerfeld has been so good for Chanel exactly because he takes to the times he lives in like a cultural sponge. There’s a respect to the historical foundations of the brand, but even more surely a perspective of today.

Selling isn't a sin: Gucci

Gucci

What I’m saying is that “commercial” isn’t necessarily a bad word. We’ve been wary of the financial beast for long enough; it’s time to be smart about it and synthesize what we know with what we want. There’s a reason designers such as Christian Lacroix went out of business despite his reign in the ’80s and ’90s in Paris: extravagance and bonanza dresses stopped becoming relevant. After sobering financial crashes, actual plane crashes and a global worldview of uncertainty, the dream was over.

Selling isn't a sin: Dries Van Nolen

Dries Van Nolen

Today, the new dream is perhaps clothes that slide right into daily life. A note: I’m not saying poorly designed and poorly made clothes with nary a thought or smarts should get a pass for being easy to buy and wear. I’m talking about fashion that has a contextual place in contemporary culture and represents a designer’s point of view. Ultimately, that’s the place of fashion: on our backs.

This article was first published in L’Officiel Singapore.

Fashion Awards 2016 Nominees Revealed

What do Bella Hadid, Stella McCartney and Self Portrait have in common? No, that is not a value judgment on our part. Self Portrait is an emerging label sharing the Fashion Awards 2016 spotlight with Hadid, McCartney and many other luminaries. Each has been nominated for an award, which will be presented to winners December 5.

The British Fashion Council has revealed the nominations for the prestigious awards ceremony, which features nine different categories focusing on both British and international talent. These consist of British Emerging Talent, British Menswear Designer, British Womenswear Designer, British Brand, International Business Leader, International Urban Luxury Brand, International Model, International Accessories Designer and International Ready-to-Wear Designer. The nominees for four additional international special recognition awards are yet to be announced.

The list of nominees, which was voted for by 1,500 key members of the fashion industry earlier this year, covers rising stars such as the fledgling label Self Portrait, shortlisted in the British Emerging Talent category, alongside established heavyweight designers such as Gucci’s Alessandro Michele and Donatella Versace, both up for the title of International Ready-to-Wear Designer. You can read more about Self Portrait over at L’Officiel Malaysia, which has a lovely piece on this subject.

Other highlights include Grace Wales Bonner, who hit star status earlier this year when her brand Wales Bonner won the LVMH Young Fashion Designer 2016 award, and the French collective Vetements, which has made waves in the industry for its unconventional approach to statement fashion.

Held annually in London, the Fashion Awards have become one of the most important dates in the fashion calendar, celebrating the best of the industry’s talent. Last year’s big winners included the designer Tom Ford, who won the “Red Carpet” category, Jourdan Dunn, who took home the trophy in the “Model” category, and the fashion mogul Karl Lagerfeld, who was presented with the gong for “Outstanding Achievement”.

This year’s Fashion Awards, held in partnership with Swarovski, will act as a fundraiser gala for the British Fashion Council Education Foundation charity, which offers scholarships to prospective students at the UK’s top fashion universities and offers funding for apprenticeships to develop much-needed industry skills. The winners will be announced during a ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall on December 5, 2016. For a full list of nominees, see the Fashion Awards website.

Faces of Denim Fall 2016

Many Faces of Denim Fall 2016

A wardrobe staple that can be worn for days (hygiene conditions permitting) and through almost any season, denim was a trend we recognized on the runways for fall. The unmistakable denim look was featured in both clothing and accessories. In fact, it was so unmistakeable that plenty of news outlets have pointed it out. We take a look at ways that the versatile and durable material has dominated the season’s catwalk shows.

Paul & Joe Fall 2016

Paul & Joe Fall 2016

Even major-labels jumped on the bandwagon by featuring whitewashed denim either on its own or with a mix of materials such as tweed. Brands also crafted pieces such as long coats with the fabric. At Miu Miu, denim was everywhere, in various tones, from shirts to long skirts, jackets and light extra-long coats, which were then decorated with badges, pearls or lace. Paul & Joe opted for a more subdued look by using it in jackets and trousers resulting in a masculine style reminiscent of the late 1970s, while Stella McCartney honored the fashion perennial by showcasing it in washed-out form for a button-down dress and an oversized jacket worn like a coat.

Chanel Fall 2016

Chanel Fall 2016

One unexpected brand that featured denim was none other than Chanel. At its show in Paris, the French label brought out numerous pieces in the material, which is not something that Chanel typically does. Of course, Karl Lagerfeld added a modern twist by combining it with pink fuchsia tweed. At Chanel’s show, denim had never looked so smart, finding its way into tailored jackets, bags, hats and gloves, and combined with tweed, silk, embroidery and pearls. The collection was anchored in the fashion house’s DNA, but had a fresh, modern feel with touches of sportswear.

13 Shades of Blue: Fall/Winter 2016 Trend

The seasonal wardrobe update is just around the corner and it seems that blue is set to reign supreme. In numerous shades, such as electric blue, pale blue, turquoise, navy and lavender, the color is now a “must-have” for the upcoming season.

Electric Blue: Tory Burch, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent and Courrèges

Electric Blue: Tory Burch, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent and Courrèges

Proving to be a favorite among designers and fashion brands, the shade will be seen in designs that are set to be lively, feminine and sensual while retaining hints of rock’n’roll. At the latest fashion week shows, Louis Vuitton used the shade in numerous forms while Saint Laurent splashed electric blue on fur coats, shoes, dresses that were included in its retro, rock’n’roll style. Another brand that utilized the shade, was Courrèges who chose to pair it with touches of white.

Dark Blue: Dior, Prada, Kenzo and Stella McCartney

Dark Blue: Dior, Prada, Kenzo and Stella McCartney

Skipping black, the darkest blue was also another shade to be seen this season for womenswear. From New York to Milan, London and even Paris Fashion Week, the runways were filled with the hue. Kenzo was won over by this deepest of blues, choosing it for suits and coats, as a head-to-toe look, and combined with a tiger print, while Sonia Rykiel and Dior opted for a glittering, sparkly version of the shade. Stella McCartney unveiled two-toned dresses and midnight blue puffer jackets. In a more classic form, the color was in evidence at John Galliano and was chosen for military-inspired jackets at Prada, Jason Wu and Chloé.

Light Blue: Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi and Missoni

Light Blue: Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi and Missoni

For fall, the colour will be seen in pastel and bright shades such as azure, sky blue and turquoise. On the catwalk, Missoni paired the most audacious tones of blue with other bright colors, balcks and greys. Over at Fendi, the palestblue was seen on its thigh-high boots and fur while Balmain and Dolce & Gabbana added touches of sky blue to their collections.

Blue on Blue: Versace and Diesel Black Gold

Blue on Blue: Versace and Diesel Black Gold

Three brands deserve a special mention, for having blue as the dominating shade in the collections. Versace, used all kinds of blue as a head-to-toe look, combined with other colors, and mixed with hints of pink. Diesel Black Gold and Byblos Milano took a similar path with a whole range of pieces in the colors of the sky and the ocean.

Alexander Wang X Adidas Rumored Collaboration

It is a brand known to merge high fashion with its sporty DNA so it comes as no surprise that Adidas may be courting designer and Zoolander 2 punchline Alexander Wang for a new collaboration. Rumor has it that the pairing will be announced at New York Fashion Week, on the heels of Wang’s Fall 2016 runway show on September 10.

Known for his attitude-laden urban street style, Wang seems like a perfect choice for the brand. Following his departure from French Couture house Balenciaga in July last year, the designer has been focusing on his eponymous label, becoming CEO recently. While there is no word from either party to confirm any sort of partnership (making this story pure grist for the rumor mill), this will not be the first collaboration for Wang.

In 2014 he collaborated with Swedish retailer H&M to produce a capsule collection. His focus on leggings, crop tops and bodycon dresses showcased the sporty undertones that we expect to follow with Adidas, should it be confirmed.

Since 2004, the initiative by Adidas has seen Stella McCartney, Rick Owens and Raf Simons led their vision and designs to the brand. With McCartney, the sports wear brand saw a successful high-end sportswear line. However, Adidas collaboration with rapper-designer Kanye West has been its most high-profile celebrity designer to date. With the launch of his Yeezy collection in 2013, the rapper has been the subject of both admiration and controversy, which has ultimately helped bring Adidas into the spotlight of the fashion world.

World-Famous Designers Dress Rio 2016 Athletes

The hype is on. It is finally 2016, and the Rio Olympics is fast becoming an increasingly discussed topic, for good and otherwise – even in the world of fashion although happily, the news is all good here. With less than a month left on the countdown clock, world-famous designers have been tapped to dress athletic teams. May the odds ever be in the best team’s favor.

Stella McCartney for Team Great Britain

rio-2016-olympic-kits-1

Following her work for the London 2012 Olympics kit, the British designer has once again been roped into designing for the opening and closing ceremonies of her hometown team. Featuring a high-tech fabric from Adidas that is 10% lighter than that of the 2012 kit (she collaborated with the sports label on that occasion), the athletes receive a boost to go further and faster. The collection also incorporates the red, white and blue of the Union Jack flag, as well as a specially commissioned Coat of Arms.

Polo Ralph Lauren for Team USA 

rio-2016-olympic-kits-2

Who else, really, but Polo Ralph Lauren, the quintessential American athletic brand? Marking their fifth partnership with Team USA (they’re pretty much veterans themselves), the collection melds the label’s signature preppy style with the classic red, blue and white of the American flag (a lot of flags use this color combination). Supporters would be pleased to know that the looks are up for purchase here, with all proceeds going to USOC, a non-profit organization that sends American athletes to the Olympic games.

DSquared2 for Team Canada

rio-2016-olympic-kits-featured

Formal meets casual athleticism with Dean and Dan Caten, designers behind the world-acclaimed Canadian brand DSquared2. For Team Canada’s opening ceremony, the label injects its country’s red, white, black and iconic maple leaf emblem into a range of jackets, shirts and pants. Described as modern yet traditionally Canadian, replicas of the collection are available at all Hudson’s Bay locations across Canada, and online here.

Armani for Team Italy

rio-2016-olympic-kits-3

A reprisal of his role in the 2012 London Olympics, Giorgio Armani once again lends his creative talents to Team Italy this year. The Italian designer taps on his iconic color of midnight blue in this collection of tracksuits, waterproof jackets, polo shirts, pants and beyond. On top of tapping on his elegant style, the range also includes the inscription “Fratelli d’Italia” (Brothers From Italy) as well as C-Cube technology (Carbon Cushion Control) for maximum comfort.

Stella McCartney Designs First Menswear Collection

Long regarded as one of Britain’s most talented designers, Stella McCartney has dressed some of the world’s most elegant women. While the likes of Kate Middleton and much of Hollywood have donned her designs, it is the men who have yet to strut out on the red carpet in her creations. Come November, McCartney will be expanding her vision to include collections for both genders.

The men’s collection will debut with the latest women’s spring 2017 line at a special fashion presentation. The designer’s Summer 2017 collection will hit the runway October 3 during Paris Fashion Week, prior to the unveiling of the highly anticipated Spring collection for men and women.

Those looking forward to the brand’s new menswear collection will be able to shop the designs when they arrive in stores in early December at selected Stella McCartney boutiques. The collections will also be made available to customers online and at major Stella McCartney retailers worldwide.

Yellow Fever: Trending Color at Cannes 2016

The Internet is awash in comments and stories about yellow gowns dominating the Cannes Film Festival 2016 but there are really only four examples to speak of. Not since Coldplay and The Simpsons has yellow been so hyped up…

Kirsten Dunst Cannes 2016 Jury photocall

Girl-next-door Yellow

Kirsten Dunst has jury duty this year and manages to look chic, contemporary and demure as can be in this lemon yellow shirtdress by Dior, seen here at the Festival’s jury photocall. The crisp collar and longer-length sleeves give the piece a “retro Riviera” air, while the golden metal Dior Couture belt keeps things utterly modern. A sleek blowdry and a lick of red lipstick are all that’s needed to polish off the look. Also, it helps to be a star (who also happened to actually rock the red carpet in pink Gucci number).

Jessica Chastain in Armani Prive Cannes 2016

Classic Yellow

A natural redhead, Jessica Chastain naturally shines in yellow, as this Armani Privé gown demonstrates. Obviously an ode to old school glamour – think Veronica Lake – the gown has already drawn praise for the myriad ways it plays to Chastain’s strengths, including that uncomfortable looking structured bodice. Where another person might look like a popsicle wrapped in cheap plastic in something like this, she pulls it off.

Anna Kendrick in Stella McCartney at Cannes 2016

Fearless Yellow

Like a tulip, Anna Kendrick stood out on the red carpet in this Stella McCartney number. She also had a nice accessory in the way of Justin Timberlake. Kendrick demonstrates that a bold dress like this one needs to be owned, otherwise, it will own you. If you want to be clever in yellow, don’t forget that.

Amal Clooney in Atelier Versace

Timeless Yellow

In the best accessories department, Amal Clooney beats them all so drawing attention to that with a Grecian-inspired lemon silk chiffon Atelier Versace gown was a great idea. If you’ve got George on your arm you can go starkers if you please. Nevertheless, the gown offers an object lesson in matching elegance and sexiness, as other observers have also noticed.

6 Runway Accessory Trends Maximizing Impact

The fashion runways churn out an impressive number of style stories with their trends and designs. Today we take a closer look at the accessories that don’t need to try too hard to catch your attention — simply because you can’t miss them. Bigger is always better it seems with the looks we’ve seen on the catwalk and we can’t wait to share some of our favorites, which are also the favorites of L’Officiel Singapore, who put together this piece.

Bold & BeautifulBold-And-Beautiful-Max-Impact-LO

Statement necklaces and arm parties have seen their day. With so many designers cutting away garments to reveal necks and shoulders, it only makes sense to draw more attention to these areas via a pair of huge, sweeping shoulder-dusters.Make them the focal accessory by going for interesting details and colour combinations, lots of sparkle, or an arresting sculptural shape.

Chain ReactionChain-Reaction-MAx-Impact-LO

Fashion’s fallen head over heels for this punk-tinged hardware, but given it a decidedly feminine touch. Alexander Wang used gold chains to embellish the dainty mesh bags in his romantic all-white Balenciaga collection. Miuccia Prada used them on retro, ladylike pieces in her rich, tactile collection, while Armani and Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen draped them on the body to offset light, delicate clothes.

The All-ClearThe-All-Clear-Max-Imapct-LO

Plastic truly is fantastic. Designers as varied as Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha, Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel and John Galliano at Maison Margiela all offered versions of the transparent stuff plastered on bags, heels, sandals and hats. The most directional pieces, though, came from Jonathan Anderson who used it on garments at his eponymous label and on plastic Puzzle bags, pouches, jewelry and even trousers at Loewe.

Crowning GloryCrowning-Glory-Max-Imapct-LO

If you’re looking to indulge your inner princess fantasies, now is the time to do it. The girls at No 21 wore bands of sparkling stones atop their dreamy white looks. The Rodarte sisters wove medieval-looking gold leaves into their models’ hair, while Dolce and Gabbana crowned their glamorous Italian girls with fruits, crystals and flowers. Not everything was so princess-like though; both Miuccia Prada and Hedi Slimane showed actual tiaras at Miu Miu and Saint Laurent, respectively, but their girls and the clothes had an alluringly rebellious vibe.

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Sandals are a fail-proof summer staple but they’ve now been given a fun fashion twist via luxe materials, bright punchy prints and, most importantly, an elevated standing thanks to a sturdy flatform or a low chunky block heel. We love Fendi’s graphic leather slides, Ferragamo’s strappy ones with pop-coloured soles and those printed Chanel sandals that light up like an airport runway.

White LightWhite-Light-Max-Imapct-LO

For Spring/Summer ’16, designers have chosen to make their biggest statements in white. The effect is clean and chic, but far from minimal. At Balenciaga, Alexander Wang sent out rucksacks, totes and clutches in beautifully delicate silk satin, lace and woven leathers. Phoebe Philo’s white Céline bags were graphic with interesting hardware details while her Chelsea boots had a chunky, mannish appeal. Massimo Giorgetti’s sandals at Emilio Pucci on the other hand were romantically dotted with pearls.

Story Credits

Text by Jeffrey Yan

This story first appeared in L’Officiel Singapore. 

Fendi Turns 90 with Fourrure Show

Back in 1926, Fendi opened its doors in the Italian city of Via del Plebiscito. 90 years later, under the watchful eye of Karl Lagerfeld, the fashion house is now a powerful name in the fashion industry with an illustrious history. To celebrate the milestone birthday, the Italian label will be hosting a “haute fourrure” fashion show in Rome on July 7.

“An haute fourrure show in Rome is the best way to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Fendi to express our roots and our DNA while transmitting bold creativity and the unique expertise of fur,” said the brand’s CEO Pietro Beccari.

The decision to host a fashion show with a focus on fur is a controversial one to say the least. In recent months, several other key fashion brands such as those owned by Giorgio Armani and Hugo Boss have announced plans to go fur-free. Other fur-free fashion labels include Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Stella McCartney. Animal rights activists have been pushing for the fashion industry to readjust their policies and a move such as this probably will not sit well with those supporting the fur-free moves. However, this is Fendi and fur is a central part of the brand’s offerings so the anti-fur lobby was never going to get onboard anyway.

Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani: Fur No More

The next time you see fur in Armani’s collections, it will not be the fur of an animal subjected to cruel and inhumane practices. Instead, the design house is opting to use machine-made synthetic fur in a move that is likely to impact not only the fashion world but animals as well.

This historic move by the designer comes after his announcement in 2007 to steer the fashion house away from its use of animal fur. Speaking of this decision, Armani, 81 said that the advancement of new technologies allows designers to find cruelty free ways to use fur in their collections without supporting animal cruelty and the trade of animal fur.

Working together with the Fur Free Alliance, the brand will see its luxury and ready-to-wear brands, join other fashion houses such as Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Stella McCartney. Fur has long been under scrutiny with several animal rights groups educating the public on what it takes to produce the luxury item that was once a staple of every fashionista. With fur now slowly making its way back into the world of fashion, this could just convince other designers to move in a similar direction.

10 Top Trends for Autumn/Winter 2016-17

The end of fashion collection shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris, completes the full range of Autumn/Winter 2016-17 trends. With the fashion world still split on whether pieces in collections should go for sale immediately during the season or whether a delay is required to make the best of what they have, it seems that some designers are inspired by this tussle to mix it up a bit. Spring styles seemed to have bled a bit into Winter, among other stylistic ambiguities that made for an interesting series of Fashion Weeks.

Dreams of Spring

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Dark and neutral shades such beige, white, brown, black, and blue are the normal palette staples for a wintry and cool hue but this time, spring came through. The cool hues were still dominant but lighter melds and more springlike tones intruded. Liselore Frowijn, Chanel, Fendi, Gucci and Francesco Scognamiglio cheered winter up with pastel explosions, bolder brights, and gay color. New York, though, stood apart from the rest, as, other than a few (notably Michael Kors), that Fashion Week kept to the dark, muted palette.

 

Blue is the new Black

AW1617-Trends-BlueFrom petrol blue to pastel blue; from midnight and electric blue to navy and lavender – all these served as counterpoints to timeless black. Versace, Diesel Black Gold and Fendi went big on blue while Rahul Mishra, Eudon Choi, Marni, Dolce & Gabbana, and Missoni presented looks in the color or used blue in smaller touches. Just see how much blue you can spot in this very story!

Denim, normally a famous blue, was less present than previous seasons but still featured in collections from Chanel, Stella McCartney, Blumarine and Ujoh.

 

Eye-Catching DetailsAW1617-Trends-Embellishment

Continuing the eccentric vibe of the season are eyecatching embellishments mixed with outstanding patterns sitting alongside and contrasting with minimalist designs. Such occurs normally with the clash of multiple trends but in this case such details featured in almost all labels’ collection to some extent. Dolce & Gabbana flashed it up with diamanté, alongside golden, mirror-effect embellishments and metallic Lurex while Saint Laurent used bold detail in a different way more suited to the collection’s retro stylings.

 

Flashy FursAW1617-Trends-Fur

Fur in color was another staple among labels, whether finished with multi-colored horizontal stripes or vivid shades verging on the fluroscent, or packed with prints. Fendi set the tone with pieces, detailing and accessories all made from brightly colored fur while Ermanno Scervino brought smaller touches of it to hoods and collars. Ellery finished fur in red, pink and burgundy, while Saint Laurent went for electric shades.

 

Winter’s OuterwearAW1617-Trends-Outerwear

To combat the cold, coats, jackets, parkas and down jackets are firm fixtures of the season. Going the whole range from classical and functional to extravagant, outerwear this season is sure to fit all kinds of tastes, leaving something for everyone. Zips were a key feature for many, sometimes used as embellishment, but other times allowing big coats transform into lightweight outdoor garments. One key trend — seen in particular at Léa Peckre, Burberry and Narciso Rodriguez — is a masculine coat with a long, wide cut, worn over a lightweight dress, a sure sign of designers thinking beyond traditional seasons. Oversized coats will be big news this winter but down jackets and parkas with touches of fur or color — as spotted at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Rag&Bone — will be popular too. Chanel went for a more classic, highly feminine padded jacket.

 

Gender BendingAW1617-Trends-Unisex

Beyond the seasonal mix-up came unisex silhouettes and garments inspired by menswear. On the whole, though, the trend was still highly feminine looks with a few masculine details. Collections involved in the masculine/feminine trend include Paul Smith, John Galliano, Paul & Joe and Victoria Beckham. Some showed suit jackets with big shoulders and wide-cut trousers. Lots of other labels though — like Gucci, Mugler and Elie Saab — previewed more feminine, sensual collections.

 

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Lingerie and sleepwear made their appearance on the runways as outerwear in autumn/winter collections. Lingerie-style dresses worn under thick, heavy coats, like at Sonia Rykiel, as well as dressing gowns and pajama pants were also spotted on the catwalk for a laid-back daytime look. This trend was mostly seen on the Italian catwalk, at Trussardi, Missoni, Gucci and Roberto Cavalli.

 

Land-Sailors

Edie Campbell

Other designers rode on a sailor or seafaring theme with sweaters, pants and sailor-style buttoning, all in a palette of navy blue, red and yellow. Cédric Charlier went particularly big on sailor chic in a collection inspired by old photos of retro seamen. Y/Project, Prada and Tommy Hilfiger also showed nautical looks.

 

Size MattersAW1617-Trends-Oversized

Wide, baggy, and even oversized pants were prominent, although skinny cuts were still present. Chalayan went for wide-cut leather pants, Jacquemus matched them with a huge-shouldered XXL jacket, Giorgio Armani printed them with patterns and Ralph Lauren gave them a high waist. Shiatzy Chen, on the other hand, had loose-cut pants with patterns and transparent effects.

 

Sleek SportinessAW1617-Trends-Sportswear

Some brought hints of a sporty style to their autumn/winter collections, while others jumped into sportswear head first. Among those adding a few sportswear pieces to feminine, urban collections, or leaving discreet touches of sportiness are Carven, Alexis Mabille, Alexander Wang and, of course, Tommy Hilfiger. There were some interesting collaborations in the sportswear arena too, such as Fenty x Puma by Rihanna.

All images are courtesy of AFP.

5 Memorable Looks from Paris Fashion Week

Nine days, 90 major runway shows for Fall/Winter and a boatload of designs later, Paris Fashion Week has finally come to a close. While we would love to relive each show and share the collections with you, it would be impossible and quite honestly exhausting. In place of that, we have come up with an alternative that still keeps you in the loop. Here are the five memorable looks from Paris fashion week.

The ‘80s

We saw the decade make an appearance at Saint Laurent. Hedi Slimane didn’t hold back at the Maison’s show with the shoulder pads, big belts, bows and earrings. He even threw in a few mini-skirts that seemed to travel their way through time to be there. Other designers influenced by the ‘80s glamour, were Kenzo, Lanvin, Maison Margiela and Giambattista Valli.

Kenzo at Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

Kenzo at Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

Warrior Chic

From bikers to cowgirls and Indian braves, the runways were filled with the “no-nonsense” woman. Brands such as Louis Vuttion and Loewe featured black leather bustiers; Vuttion even paired it with skinhead and dominatrix boots for a tough-as-nails look. The armored look didn’t merely encompass the bustiers but even extended to toughened up tutus by Valentino.

The Bourgeoise

The gothic Victorian look had a spot in the limelight amidst the aggressive glamour. With a twist on the 19th century coats and suits, it’s not difficult to imagine the liberated gentlewoman wrapping herself in pieces from Lemaire, Veronique Branquinho and Stella McCartney.

Stella McCartney at Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

Stella McCartney at Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

The Thigh-Highs

High boots are definitely in. Males excited by this may like to know they are indeed for walking all over you. From thigh-high Puss in Boots to skinny, cavalier, lusciously soft suede, riding boots and S&M, they were everywhere. Balmain, Rick Owens, Ungaro, Barbara Bui, Wanda Nylon, Masha Ma and Luis Buchinho built much of their looks around them.

Shine Bright like a Diamond

Paris has a new sheen again and it is not just from all the leather. From the first day when Anrealage debuted its symphony of space age grey, to Dries Van Noten’s deliciously judicious use of gold lame to Saint Laurent’s flashy uptown girls, the catwalks have gleamed with shiny fabrics and surfaces. It reached a pinnacle in Haider Ackermann’s jewel-toned glitter ball of hard-edged glamour.

Saint Laurent from Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

Saint Laurent from Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

Stella McCartney Goes Pop with New Perfume

Stella McCartney unveiled a new fragrance last week, a tuberose and sandalwood scent named Pop according to published press reports.

Inspired by the next generation of women, McCartney created the floral and woody fragrance to give them both “a voice and a fragrance”, and describes the new scent as being for young women who are “popping, and ready for the next phase”. Popular fashion news site WWD broke the story and wire services (including this one) picked it up.

The fragrance will also be accompanied by an advertising campaign featuring the singer Claire Boucher, better known as Grimes. Three models are also still to be announced in the coming weeks on the brand’s social media channels.

As well as a fragrance the range will also include a body lotion, a shower gel and a 7.4-ml. rollerball fragrance dispenser. To be sold alongside it, McCartney has created a special capsule collection of products including new colorways of her Falabella bag, a keychain, T-shirt, sunglasses, a version of her lace-up platforms shoes, and lip-shaped iPhone cases.

Pop will launch in the U.S. later in March 2016 at Sephora, Stella McCartney stores and online.

Stars Turn Out for Stella McCartney Blowout

Fashion designer Stella McCartney turned the record store Amoeba Music in Los Angeles into a gigantic nightclub for her eponymous label’s Fall 2016 presentation January 12. Throughout the show, the sounds of David Bowie rang out in tribute to the late great and some of the biggest names in Tinseltown rubbed shoulders among aisles of CDs.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow (causing fashion ripples with a pair of eye-catching blue bootsies) and pop star Katy Perry headlined the A-listers who turned out for the presentation of Stella McCartney’s Fall 2016 collection Tuesday in the heart of Hollywood.

Actresses Kate Hudson and Melanie Griffith, and British singer-songwriter Kelly Osbourne, were also in attendance, as was Kiernan Shipka, of Mad Men fame. And there was Ringo Starr, the former Beatle, too.

“We just want to have some fun, celebrate fashion and music,” said McCartney, 44.

“This collection is about what do we really need in our wardrobe, what do we wear for glamour, or for the daily routines of life, and how do we mix them,” the Briton told AFP.

Touching on her decision to choose Los Angeles for the occasion – a notable departure from New York or Paris – she added: “It’s an interesting part of the world because it has this laid-back culture, there’s this climate, but it has a lot of art.

“It was always about entertainment, but now fashion, music, art are playing a big role (here).”

Stella McCartney FW15

Stella McCartney Takes to Scotland for Fall

Stella McCartney FW15

Stella McCartney’s eponymous brand has released the first teaser trailer for its advertising campaign starring famous Russian model Natalia Vodianova.

Shot in the Scottish Highlands by Harley Weir, the campaign represents a return to nature with a touch of wildness, in line with the winter 2015 collection itself. Both elegant and luxurious, this new collection is in fact comprised of understated but chic designs in natural tones.

The first images from the video, which alternate between blistering fast and deliberately slow, show Natalia Vodianova becoming one with untamed nature and the surrounding countryside. The model is wearing sophisticated outfits, occasionally accessorized with pearl necklaces.

This is not the first time that Natalia Vodianova has modelled for Stella McCartney; she was also the face of the spring/summer 2015 campaign.

The gorgeous Russian regularly graces the covers of top magazines, and she has recently featured in campaigns for Guerlain, Theory, and Aspesi.

Stella McCartney opening Ibiza pop-up

Stella McCartney Spring/Summer 2015

British fashion designer  is to open a pop-up store in Ibiza on Wednesday.

According to WWD, the new store, located in Marina Ibiza, will carry the designer’s ready-to-wear and accessories.

The store design will focus on natural materials such as recycled wood and wool, while an LED display in the store windows will show her latest runway collection. The pop-up will remain open through October.