Tag Archives: fashion show

Calvin Klein Merges Men’s, Womenswear Shows

Calvin Klein will show its men’s and women’s collections together at New York Fashion Week reports WWD. The American fashion powerhouse joins an ever-growing number of fashion labels ditching separate shows for menswear and womenswear, including Bottega Veneta and Gucci.

The fall 2017 runway show will take place on February 10 at 10 am and will feature both Calvin Klein’s men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and accessories. The location of the show has not yet been announced.

The highly anticipated collection will be the first from new chief creative director Raf Simons, who moved to the brand in August after heading up French fashion house Dior.

New York Fashion Week takes place from February 9 to February 16, 2017.

Bottega Veneta Merges Men’s, Womenswear Shows

Luxury fashion brand Bottega Veneta took a page out of the Gucci playbook (a corporate stablemate at Kering) and announced that going forward it will combine its menswear and womenswear ready-to-wear shows. Well, so reports British Vogue and the AFP.

The change is set to take place in February at the brand’s Milan Fashion Week autumn/winter 2017 womenswear show. After this point the brand will show both collections at the womenswear fashion weeks in February and September.

The news comes after many other design houses have decided to shake up their schedules, with DSquared2 and Burberry also now opting for co-ed collections combining both menswear and womenswear.

Like Burberry, other high-profile designers including Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren have also announced that they too would also be adopting a a see-now, buy-now capacity.

However because Bottega Veneta have chosen to combine its collections in its womenswear slot, rather than a month earlier, product will remain on the shop floor for longer. Creative director Tomas Maier had already commented to Vogue back in September that the brand “remains committed to a timing of presentation and launch that gives production the time necessary to create a sophisticated handcrafted collection that conveys a dream even before it hits the boutiques.”

Japan Fashion Week: Koche Invades Harajuku

Up-and-coming French label Koche took over Tokyo’s famous Harajuku district for a show of street-meets-boudoir style for Japan Fashion Week.

The two-year old brand from Paris-based designer Christelle Kocher came to the heart of Japanese youth culture with a purpose other than gimmickry. Her label is described as streetwear infused with couture elements. When you think about it, the Harajuku setting – a district known as the hub of Japanese youth culture, with boutiques teeming with girls in school uniforms, where self-expression is revered  – fits perfectly with Koche’s DNA.  

Anyway, Kocher took the concept of street fashion quite seriously for the show, which was held on the streets of Harajuku, literally bringing traffic to a standstill. The open-air runway was lined with lanterns and she cast real Japanese people, including a DJ, a photographer and a designer. Her models really did look like they were handpicked from the street, as they showcased 40 looks for summer and winter.

Those 40 looks included delicate negligee-style slip dresses and vest tops, paired with denim or sports wear, fabrics with sequins and feathers, and crepe ruffled shirts (for both men and women). This of course is what prompts us to call Koche style street-meets-boudoir. No, we’re not just being facetious. The catwalk also showcased looks consisting of net leggings, jogging bottoms reimagined as lace flares, patchwork dresses cut on the bias and textured cream silk trousers – again for both men and women.

“The idea was to bring the energy of Paris together in Tokyo,” Kocher explained to reporters backstage after the show. “We wanted to have this really powerful, symbolic connection between the two countries and show that we can be altogether.”

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Ritz Paris Hosts Chanel Metiers d’Art Show

It seems that Chanel is taking a break from its exotic travels abroad. Following Rome, Salzburg, Dallas and Mumbai, the Metiers d’Art show this year will be held within the confines of the iconic Ritz Paris this winter.

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Choosing The Ritz wasn’t by chance – Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel lived in the hotel for more than 30 years, even decorating the luxury apartment herself. Located at the French capital’s prestigious Place Vendome, the Ritz underwent a four-year facelift that saw a new ‘terrasse’ and fewer rooms (from 159 to 142) so guests can enjoy a more spacious experience. And because the Mademoiselle herself made The Ritz her home away from home, the hotel has also added the world’s first Chanel spa to its already-extensive list of uber-decadent facilities.

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The 12th Chanel Metiers d’Art show, “Paris inRome”
© AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS

The Chanel Metiers d’Art show has long been a platform to honor the Maison’s longstanding dedication to craftsmanship and artistry in each of its collections. The show also pays tribute to the workshops, with its artisans and partners involved in the laborious process of creating the clothes – all the way from the drawing board to the runway. This would, however, mark the second time the French label has chosen to focus on Paris. Its 2015 collection – “Paris in Rome” – was an homage to both Parisian theater and the rising fashion capital.

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Cunard Debuts First Trans-Atlantic Catwalk

Fashion is about to set sail on board the Queen Mary II, as luxury cruise liner Cunard debuts a week-long fashion-centric itinerary that sees runway shows and exclusive designer sneak peeks before New York Fashion Week.

The inaugural trans-atlantic catwalk at sea will present collections by rising designers who recently graduated from the illustrious Royal College of Art. The newly remastered cruise liner, will make its way across the Atlantic Ocean as British designer Dame Zandra Rhodes debuts her latest collection. If her name rings a bell, it is because the celebrated British fashion icon has dressed many a rich and famous, including international stars such as Freddie Mercury, Jackie Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor. Fashion historian and commentator Colin McDowell and New York Fashion Week founder Fern Mallis will also be on deck as special guests.

This isn’t the first time high fashion has found its way onto cruise ships; many house retailers aboard cater to affluent guests who want to indulge in a little retail therapy. The skies have also been home to runway shows, with Southwest Airlines being the most recent to turn their airplane into an airborne catwalk to showcase its new uniforms. Virgin America and Spanish carrier Vueling have also partnered with fashion brands Banana Republic and Stradivarius respectively for in-flight runway shows in the air.

And in a fitting way to end its stylish voyage, the Queen Mary II will dock in New York on September 8, just in time for New York Fashion Week.

Catwalk on Water: Fendi Stages Trevi Fountain Show

Shimmering models wearing the latest Fendi creations appeared to walk on water last week at a fairytale show in Rome’s Trevi fountain to mark the luxury fashion house’s 90th anniversary. The show has already taken the Internet by storm and you can see the video at the bottom of this story, if you missed the livestream itself. The action begins at the 9:20 mark.

Above the sparkling waters of the Baroque fountain, models wearing hand-painted dresses in pale pink, blue and cream, adorned with hand-stitched flowers or starlit scenes, glided across a transparent catwalk in the basin. If this sounds familiar to you, it might be because the show was heavily promoted, even though invitations only went out to 200 guests.

The soft, luxurious collection of 46 outfits was inspired by Danish fairytale illustrator Kay Nielsen, who painted color plates for the book Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen in 1924 and also later worked for Disney, including on sequences of the film Fantasia.

Glittering evening gowns with slits up the sides transformed their wearers into modern-day fairy tale characters, the reflection of lights scintillating in the turquoise waters echoing the shine of pebbles glinting in the moonlight (think Hansel and Gretel) or even cobblestones, if one is in a Wizard of Oz frame of mind.

Dresses were nipped in at the waist or featured a bell skirt, the house’s trademark fur coat made an appearance in lynx, but what wowed the 200 exclusive guests was a patterned cape, in grey silk, which opened at both the front and back.

Bags looked like they were made of fur but were actually tiny pieces of silk, sown together to look like snakeskin.

As the models, including Americans Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid, wound up their catwalk, designer Karl Largerfeld, wearing his trademark gloves, came out to take a bow along with the Italian house’s accessories designer Silvia Venturini Fendi.

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Reaching the middle of the glass bridge he threw three coins over his shoulder into the fountain with a grin — a tradition that is said to ensure a return to the eternal city.

The fountain, made famous by a scene in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita in which Anita Ekberg wades through its pristine waters, was restored last year in a clean-up funded by the fashion house, which first opened its doors in the capital in 1926.

Commissioned by Pope Clement XII in 1730, it is the end point of one of the aqueducts that supplied ancient Rome with water.

The tradition of throwing coins into the fountain was made famous by Frank Sinatra’s rendition of “Three Coins in the Fountain” in the 1954 romantic comedy film of the same name.

Fendi, now part of French luxury giant LVMH, said it wanted to capture the romance of the nearly 300-year-old monument, visited by millions of tourists every year, where tradition has it visitors can ensure eternal love by drinking its waters.

For those not lucky enough to bag tickets to the show, the house put on a sumptuous dinner for 600 guests at in the city’s Villa Borghese park, decorated for the occasion with Roman fountains.

As part of its anniversary celebrations, the fashion giant is also hosting an exhibition in the Square Colosseum, its headquarters in Rome, from July 9 to October 23.

Entitled “Fendi Roma: The Artisans of Dreams”, the show explores the creative history of the Italian house through a video installation and drawings by Lagerfeld of his most prized creations.

Fendi Celebrates 90 Years at the Trevi Fountain

On Thursday, Fendi is set to host a fashion show “Legends and Fairy Tales” at the iconic Trevi fountain. The show is held in conjunction with the luxury fashion brand’s 90th anniversary; as such the chosen location of its hometown is a fitting tribute.

Having opened its first boutique at Via del Plebiscito in 1926, the brand featured a small fur atelier and leather goods workshop. Today, it is a world-renowned brand that hosts in-house ateliers; highly skilled artisans who produce finely crafted pieces from Italy. The backdrop of the show, unique in its own right

With the help of the Trevi Fountain’s water and, the brand is set to unveil a catwalk that features the effects of water and lights — co-ordinated to infuse a magical atmosphere to the show. “A Fashion Show in Rome at the Trevi Fountain is the best way to celebrate Fendi’s 90 years anniversary as it expresses our roots and DNA while transmitting daring creativity and craftsmanship. The Trevi fountain is a unique place and its represents Fendi preservation of values, tradition and historic patronage while looking towards the future,” states Pietro Beccari, Fendi Chairman and CEO.

Playing on the concept of water, the brand has also launched a new mini-site to countdown to the show. Along with the countdown, the site will provide daily content in English, Italian and Chinese that detail its journey over nine decades. The site will also host the live coverage of the show on July 7.

 

Change is Coming: Paris Men’s Fashion Shows

Following on the heels of London and Milan, it will soon be the French capital’s turn to showcase its Spring-Summer 2017 collections for men. We have the latest news on the newcomers, the big names who won’t be there, and some changes in store.

Will Paris be the only fashion capital to resist the far-reaching changes shaking up the ready-to-wear and luxury fashion industries? Whatever happens, its men’s shows will give us a first glimpse of the fashion of the future.

Upheaval in London and Milan

There has recently been a move away from tradition, with designers and luxury fashion houses increasingly combining their men’s and women’s collections and moving into “see now, buy now” as they believe there is too long a delay between the shows and the clothing going on sale, given current social media trends. The consequences of this move were seen in London from June 10 to 13. Few of the big-name fashion houses were present, and Burberry – which is normally a leading light at the event – cancelled its show in order to combine its men’s and women’s collections together next September. This was a major shakeup to the London schedule.

Milan will also be impacted by this upheaval. The number of shows is slightly down compared to last year (just five shows less), but a number of big names – including Ermenegildo Zegna, Roberto Cavalli and Bottega Veneta – will not be there. Some of the houses which decided against a fashion show, chose instead to provide a simple presentation, while others decided not to unveil their collection at the event. Fashion fans can console themselves with the fact that Prada, Missoni, Vivienne Westwood, Marni, Versace and Giorgio Armani will all be there.

Paris is resisting the trend

The French capital seems to be fighting these changes, for this season at least. Although one major announcement caught everyone by surprise this month. Saint Laurent announced on June 7 that Anthony Vaccarello, its new creative director, will not be presenting a show during men’s fashion week in Paris. The designer’s first collection for Saint Laurent will be unveiled during Fashion Week in September. Is this the first in a long list of no-shows or is it simply because the timeframe was too tight for Saint Laurent’s creative director who was only appointed last April? Only time will tell.

Songzio, which has put on a runway show in Paris for several seasons, will also not be there this time. However, the unveiling of the brand’s SS 17 collection was not cancelled, as it was organized in London, on June 13.

In the meantime, the newcomers seem to be unaffected by these seismic changes in the fashion world. For the first time, the Sean Suen brand will present a collection as an official member of the event (on June 26, at 15:00), as will Facetasm (on June 22, at 11:00) and Off-White (on June 26, at 17:00). Three shows worth watching in light of what’s going on.

And the heavyweight fashion houses will still be present, including Dior Homme, Lanvin, Hermès, Balmain Homme, Cerruti, Berluti, Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, and Valentino.

Bright Idea: Louis Vuitton Cruise 2017, Rio

Over the weekend, the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum played host to Louis Vuitton’s Cruise 2017 show. With the brand’s guests and muses in attendance, the show was set to be one of the highlights in the world of fashion. While the collection brought to life the French art of living to Brazil (and was the payoff of months of anticipation) it also paid tribute to two of Brazil’s major artists: Helio Oiticica and Aldemir Martins. Louis-Vuitton-Cruise-article-1

Constructed 10 years ago, the museum’s corridors acted as the runway on which Nicolas Ghesquière’s creations were presented. The collection featured the lively and vibrant free spirit inspired by the city and its art with the help of various textures, materials and silhouettes. The laid back vibe was evident with the embroidered skirts that were wrapped around the model’s waists much like a beach towel. Trousers featured slashed stripes that helped to lengthen the body.

With the likes of Alicia Vikander, Adriana Lima and Jaden Smith in attendance, the influence of Oiticica and Martins was evident on the parkas and cape-dresses (lightness inspired by Oiticica) as well as the prints used in the collection (Martins’ work) on several Louis Vuitton classics. With bright colors dominating the collection, leather also had a strong presence in various forms.Louis-Vuitton-Cruise-article-2

“In Rio de Janeiro, what I saw most of all was movement and an explosive energy that lives somewhere between modernism and tropicality. I was fascinated by the constant duality between nature and urbanism and the pictorial explosion it creates” said Nicolas Ghesquière, creative director. He also added “ For me, the main question was how to incorporate into my collection all these elements that are part of Brazilian culture, without forgetting that I am just a visitor who brings his own Parisian and French cultural references to the moment.

Raf Simons at Pitti Uomo Immagine 90

Since ending his stint at Dior, Raf Simons has concentrated on his own eponymous label. To unveil his Spring/ Summer 2017 collection, the designer will head to Florence, Italy.

At the city’s Pitti Immagine Uomo 90, Simons will be part of a special collaboration for a show titled “Florence Calling: Raf Simmons”. This is not the first time that the designer has collaborated with Pitti Immagine Uomo. Back in 2003, Simons helped to curate the event’s 2003 exhibition “Il Quarto Sesso. Il territorio estremo dell’adolescenza.” Last year, he used the event as a platform for a fashion show, video installation and book to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his brand.

Running from June 14 to 17, Simons presence at the event is a coup for Pitti Immagine. “I believe that Raf Simons, like no other person in fashion, is able to grasp the restless spirit of youth, its lights and sounds, along with a nostalgia for youth, which is a vital and positive acceptance of maturity,” says Lapo Cianchi, Pitti Immagine Director of Communications and Events.

This story was written in-house, with an AFP image to illustrate and report as the source.

 

Penang Fashion Week 2016 Partners L’Officiel Malaysia

Now ongoing, Penang Fashion Week is one of the most talked about upscale lifestyle events in the northern region of Malaysia and this year, L’Officiel Malaysia and Men’s Folio Malaysia (under the Heart Media Group) will be media partners.

Held from 15th to 24th April 2016, this year marks the second instalment of the state’s biggest fashion extravaganza and will be taking place at Penang’s iconic Gurney Paragon mall.

You can find out more about it here.

 

Chanel Rocks Haute Couture, Top Exec Rocks Chanel

In the wake of a highly praised haute couture show January 26, Chanel barely had time pop the champagne for creative director Karl Lagerfeld’s vision before management pulled the plug on the party. The day after the show, news broke that Chanel and its global chief executive officer Maureen Chiquet had broken up, thus upending what should have been a triumphant week for the iconic French luxury. The company released a statement January 27 stating that Chiquet would leave the firm at the end of January because of “difference of opinion” over strategy.

At the time of the announcement, the world was still reacting to Lagerfeld’s “breezy couture” runway show at the Grand Palais. It was like a choreographed play featuring living dolls in dramatic makeup dressed in lean skirts, voluminous capes and fanciful shoes, going about their business in an artificial garden with artificial skies. It even ended with all the models in a sort of life-size doll’s house… it was amazing to behold, even if we only could only do so electronically.

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Even as we wondered what to make of the clothes on display, some of which featured wild cotton and wood chips as Lagerfeld swung the pendulum of high fashion firmly towards eco-consciousness, we were blindsided by the Chiquet announcement.

Chanel said in a statement it was “grateful” to Chiquet for what she had done to bring “Chanel into a new era of its development”, adding that she had overseen the “successful international expansion of the House of Chanel, enhanced its luxury positioning and image and grew the business in each of its categories”.

This luxury positioning was perfectly represented by Lagerfeld, whose stylistic excesses are well documented, at the Spring 2016 Haute Couture show. The show began with tweed suits of course but eventually ditched classic silhouettes, with bejeweled dress coats and elaborate 1920s-style beading taking over. There were silk skirts in midnight blue, ruffled organza blouses and split-layer dresses featuring soft chiffon with 1970s-style crocheted Kaftan overlays. Sequinned tops, bell sleeves and tulle skirts gave the collection a dreamy softness as the theme slipped slowly into eveningwear, featuring billowing floral maxi dresses and a black jewel-encrusted number sported by Kendall Jenner.

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A series of fine, hazy capes were showcased with silky jumpsuits and sparkly dresses in creamy taupes, while cocktail dresses with fan sleeves contributed to the drama. To finish, there was a bridal-style cocktail dress and bomber jacket ensemble complete with train, offset, of course, by those signature cream pumps.

The dreams on show may prove to be short-lived though. It is unlikely that majority shareholder Alain Wertheimer, who assumes the helm and takes over the operational management of the company, will make any drastic changes pending the appointment of Chiquet’s replacement. That said, these are strange days indeed for the mainstays of couture, with Christian Dior operating without a Creative Director while Chanel soldiers on with interim business leadership.

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This story was produced in-house, referencing wire services and external reports, and uses images from the AFP.

Christian Dior Delivers for Haute Couture 2016

In our Twitter post on the Spring 2016 Haute Couture show for Christian Dior, we wondered if a collection can be called haute couture, or indeed couture, without a designer at the helm. In fact, not only is Raf Simons gone, as has been widely reported, but his number two, Pieter Muller, is also out. Well, the design team at the luxury icon answered our question emphatically with a collection that was both true to the house’s heritage and to powerful trends sweeping runways everywhere. In short, the creative team stitched up exceedingly beautiful clothes.

Presented Monday January 25 in Paris, that collection struck a poised balance between the elegant and the risqué, featuring the house’s signature lightness of touch and sensual approach to women’s fashion, in the words of the AFP report covering much-anticipated show.

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Staged at the Musée Rodin, the show opened with graceful monochrome ensembles featuring geometric necklines and cutout skirt details, with austere black overcoats flapping open to reveal diaphanous dresses festooned with ostrich feathers. Then came the miniskirts, featuring doodle-style black-and-white sketch motifs and floral panels. The hemlines grew longer, dropping gorgeously to below the knee in an asymmetrical fashion, and skirts teamed with nothing but an open blazer to give the look a raw edge.

The designers played with volume, nodding to the current trend for outsized coats with a camel jacket featuring structured sleeves, and a floral midi dress that flared out at the hips before tapering back in along the leg. A midi strapless dress with a stiff ruffled neckline was actually revealed to have full-length sleeves and cold shoulder blouses were given extra structure thanks to the addition of puffball volumes. Frothy hemlines peeked out from underneath sharp outwear for an added dash of fancifulness.

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Monochrome prints were livened up with bold flashes of color for a modern edge while semi-sheer fabrics gave the collection the dreamy, whimsical air the house does so well. A quick nod to the underwear-as-outerwear trend meant that the final tailored, structured looks did nothing to quash the collection’s magical and very Dior-like effect.

In the end, the clothes shown were unmistakably Dior but, as Vogue reported, perhaps not entirely couture. Still, we look forward to what Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux, credited with the collection, will deliver in the years to come in what will hopefully be long and fruitful careers.

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Cavalier Swagger Returns to Paris Catwalks

French fashion is back to its swashbuckling best and the designer leading the charge is a young mixed-race man determined to give post-attacks Paris a new swagger.

“I want to make all men feel like princes again,” Olivier Rousteing declared January 23 after his dashing, unashamedly masculine show for Balmain. Not since the days of the Charge of the Light Brigade has there been such an onrush of braid, breeches and boots.

Rousteing’s models were not the pallid sexless automatons of so many shows. Instead, they were dashing hussars and Cossack officers you half expected would pull cavalry swords from their gorgeous scarlet and leather cummerbunds as they thundered through a Parisian mansion.

Half of them looked like they had come straight from the ball the night before Waterloo in their silk and velvet breeches, with big brass-buttoned greatcoats thrown on their shoulders, and fur and tassels flying. Actually, Rousteing has delivered on this vision before, as seen below. Despite wanting the romanticism of associating the collection with some sort of defiance against terror, the cavalry has clearly been waiting in the wings for Balmain for some time.

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“Paris is the City of Light and those lights should continue to shine,” the 30-year-old designer, a favorite of pop divas Beyonce and Rihanna, told AFP.

“I want to bring back the dream and beauty that is Paris… and make all men feel like princes again. I want to show the diversity and colors of France and to show that Paris has a past, a present and it will have a future,” he added.

Rousteing (pictured above and below), who was adopted by his white parents when he was a one-year-old, said his show was an ode to the racial and cultural diversity of the French capital.

A symphony orchestra, playing live to a hip-hop soundtrack, provided the musical tone.

“Mixing Kanye West and Rihanna with a symphony orchestra is my universe. I am French in a French fashion house with a couture tradition which also has a very international influence. That for me is Paris – it is that internationalism and the richness of the mixing of cultures.

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“This singular eagerness to embrace a diversity of cultures and ideas… enrages intolerant minds both here and abroad,” he said.

An Internet darling, with 2.1 million Instagram followers, Rousteing has become a reference for stars as diverse as Jane Fonda and Nicki Minaj, who even rapped on the venerable couture brand’s name as sales have soared.

Rousteing’s high-cheekboned good looks, social media savvy and friendships with stars such as West and his wife Kim Kardashian has led to him being called a “selfie-made man” – a joke he appears to delight in.

Earlier in the day there was a similar defiance against giving in to fear after the November massacres from Dior’s Kris Van Assche. Leading the charge for the Dior man was the millionaire skateboarder, as seen below. Old World cavalry officers were a no-show at Dior Homme.

Although much of his collection was in black, it was not the black of mourning, Assche insisted.

“The events mean that we have to be stronger to make people dream. The darkness is so omnipresent that as a designer who have to go further. You need more power and strength,” he told AFP.

“In fact I like the idea of darkness pushing creativity,” he said, echoing the sombre luxuriance of Dries Van Noten stand-out line, and fellow Belgian creator Walter Van Beirendonck, whose show was simply called “Woest”, which means furious in Flemish.

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Paris-based label Etudes – whose studio is near the Bataclan concert hall were 90 people died in November’s attacks – seemed almost to be on a war footing in their Saturday show, with a collection largely comprised of military-inspired and camouflage outfits, fighter pilot fatigues and parachute suits.

There was a similar ready-for-anything air in newcomers OAMC, whose nifty high-end functional streetwear is also created only a few blocks away and is replete with the spirit of Parisian resistance.

But if you were looking for a sign that “Paris will always be Paris”, look no further than the Hermes show on Saturday night. All the elements of ineffable casual French style were there, the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie personified.

Only that dried-blood red, a color that crops up across the collections like a wound, would lead you to believe that anything untoward had happened.

In Pictures: Burberry AW16 Menswear

The London Collections menswear showcase was disrupted by the passing of David Bowie last week, followed shortly after by Alan Rickman’s death. Nevertheless, the fashion beat marches on and digital powerhouse Burberry, as previously reported, even found a way to include a moving impromptu tribute to Bowie in the autumn/winter 2016 show itself. The show brought a mix of styles together with aplomb, drawing on casual, sportswear and military influences. This is actually the first look the world gets at how Burberry will merge its Brit, London and Prorsum lines, which explains the mixing of styles in practical terms.

Even with the discomfiting pairing of tailored jackets with track pants, some things stay the same. Military detail has been seen everywhere at this year’s London autumn/winter menswear shows and this trend is a fixture at Burberry. This time jackets and coats led the way with metal military buttons and double-breasted cuts (as seen above). Dark colors reigned supreme, with navy blue, burgundy and dark green shades setting the tone.

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Fur is back and is already dividing critics…

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The parade of different looks made for an entertaining runway show, despite the funereal tone

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It is immediately obvious that the newly combined styles may not work so well in stores

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We end the story on a high note. This bomber jacket has been receiving rave reviews everywhere

 

This report was compiled by in-house writers, in combination with a wire report and images from the AFP.

Refugees Rule Catwalk at Pitti Uomo

Welcome to fashion without borders, where refugees make themselves useful as fashion models. Asylum seekers from Mali and Gambia strutted down the catwalk January 14 at Florence’s prestigious Pitti Uomo exhibition, kicking off an initiative to school would-be migrant fashionistas in Italy’s top art.

In a fashion world first, farmers and construction workers who made the perilous journey by boat to Italy in May took center stage in Tuscany’s capital, modeling everything from sharply-tailored suits to tasseled jumpers and outlandish hats.

Despite initially appearing a touch overawed, they pulled off the trademark model walk – one even shooting the cameras a smoldering look worthy of a supermodel as he stopped to pose at the end of the runway.

The men, aged between 19 and 27, who could not be identified for legal reasons, were handpicked for the show from their reception centers by the ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative, which mentors young emerging designers from Africa.

“As we are in Italy and have a huge refugee crisis we also want to show that migrants are a resource,” EFI head and founder Simone Cipriani told AFP backstage before the event, which featured four collections by African stylists.

“We are setting up a training center for refugees and migrants in Italy to work in the industry of fashion and be enabled to go back home and set up their own businesses there,” he said.

The project is being launched with Lai-momo, an Italian association which raises awareness of migration issues and since 2014 has been involved in running a series of reception centers in and around Bologna, in Italy’s center-north.

Asylum seeker in a suit

Five long-legged men with chiseled jaws were chosen from the centers for the fashion challenge, with two taking part in a photo shoot on Wednesday and three walking the catwalk in a converted warehouse, along with professional models.

Nigerian-American designer Wale Oyejide, whose Ikire Jones brand plays on a juxtaposition of African figures and classical Western art, said working with the debutantes had been a perfect way to illustrate his fashion philosophy.

“Clothing is just a vehicle, I’m much more interested in discussing these issues… of migration, of borders being crossed.

“If I take an asylum seeker and put them in a suit, people perceive them in a certain way, which hopefully allows them to think of them as an equal human being, not as someone less than them,” he said.

As two of the first-time models apprehensively took their seats in the make-up studio, the third was given a one-to-one tutorial in how to speed up his swagger to match the pumping beats of the catwalk.

Lai-momo president Andrea Marchesini Reggiani said the plan was to tap into the Made in Italy resource to tackle one of the greatest problems plaguing those waiting for their asylum applications to be processed: boredom.

“It’s very difficult to work with migrants today, it’s very difficult for them to integrate, because their numbers are very high and we are faced with a very deep economic crisis,” he said.

But while many of the 140,000 migrants who arrived in Italy in 2015 are stuck doing nothing in centers, “we already have small-scale collaborations with guests who are skilled in couture or design.

“The idea is to develop those skills in a dedicated laboratory, and maybe even produce garments as well,” he said.

10 Most Unusual Hair and Makeup Looks 2015

We love looking back on out-of-this-world beauty ideas from the fashion houses, especially because we do not cover it as much as the fashion looks themselves. While they are less common than eccentric outfits, totally crazy hair and makeup was very much in vogue on the catwalk during the fashion weeks in London, Paris, New York and Milan. Along with the AFP, we brought together some of the most unusual looks of 2015, which includes some of the usual suspects (hello Gareth Pugh and Rick Owens).

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Marko Mitanovski

You might call this one an alternate look for the X-Men’s White Queen or white-on-white crime… The Serbian designer went for a 100% white look for both face and hands – London Fashion Week fall-winter 2015-2016.

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Gareth Pugh

This British designer appears twice on this list and this look is the more conservative of the two choices, believe it or not. Gareth Pugh called upon an army of warrior models for his show. They strode down the catwalk with a large red cross painted on their faces, symbolizing Saint George’s Cross which is depicted on the English flag – London Fashion Week fall-winter 2015-2016.

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Maison Margiela

Fashion insiders may be surprised by the appearance of this house, led today by fallen angel John Galliano, which typically avoids calling attention to personalities and models. For its fall-winter show, Maison Margiela hesitated between a dark, shady look and highly colorful makeup, as seen here in the form of broad brush strokes in fluorescent shades – Paris Fashion Week fall-winter 2015-2016.

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Rick Owens

The American designer is famous this year for making the models themselves wearable – perhaps a commentary on wearable tech – and sending them down the runway as accessories for other models. We find this particular look quite arresting and it totally slipped past most observers who were understandably distracted by the aforementioned stunt. For the Paris Fashion Week fall-winter 2015-2016 show, Rick Owens opted for futuristic makeup, covering faces in gold flakes, which is delightfully festive.

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Jeremy Scott

The People’s Designer got a lot of press this year, thanks to a feature-length documentary but the Missouri-born designer also had some notable moments on the runway. Bright orange lips and a retro look for eyes – and hair – at the Jeremy Scott show turned heads at New York Fashion Week spring-summer 2016. Also, Gigi Hadid…

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Vivienne Westwood

The original queen of punk fashion remains an unstoppable fashion-forward force. She also seems to be channeling urban warrior aesthetics (like Pugh), going with ultra-wide smokey eyes, at London Fashion Week spring-summer 2016.

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Gareth Pugh

Speaking of whom, here he is again. Pugh opts for an exaggerated look with this half-clown half-disco make-up that is almost unreal at the London Fashion Week spring-summer 2016. Seriously, we are not even sure if this model is a real person…

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Missoni

At Missoni, the eye makeup could not be accused of subtlety as it took the form of a brightly colored extra-wide line from the lashes to the brow line. This was seen at the Milan Fashion Week spring-summer 2016.

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Olympia Le Tan

The French designer is known for her literary inspirations and we would like to know what book or books inspired what is seen here, from Paris Fashion Week spring-summer 2016. Red was dotted around the outer corners of the models’ eyes and combined with a scarlet lip or a mask.

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Issey Miyake

Another one of the original fashion forward mavericks, Miyake retains his ability to push boundaries. Colored prints that looked like tattoos decorated the models’ faces at the Issey Miyake show at Paris Fashion Week spring-summer 2016. Perhaps this was yet another look inspired by either an impending zombie apocalypse or urban tribal warfare.

Louis Vuitton Resorts to Rio for Cruise

The world’s major fashion houses do like to put on a good show, as seen every year at Chanel for example (including one right we attended in Singapore). Next year, Chanel is going Cruising in Havana, Cuba (we wonder what Fidel thinks of that) while Louis Vuitton will be showing the Cruise collection in Rio de Janeiro. Women’s Wear Daily reports that the Nicolas Ghesquière-helmed brand has selected the city of Christ the Redeemer for the 2017 Resort collection. In a non sequitur of sorts, the original AFP story we drew this information from cited Louis Vuitton as an Italian brand; AFP is course a French wire service. In any case, the service also reports that Gucci is going fully Occidental for its fun-in-the-sun show, heading to London of all places. Gucci, incidentally is an Italian brand, but under French ownership via the Kering Group.

Tom Ford Menswear Catwalk show set for London Debut

British fashion gets a boost in January 2016 with the inclusion of the first full Tom Ford catwalk show at London Collections Men.

The designer is one of the many top brands registered to showcase their Autumn/Winter 2016 collections at the prestigious fashion event next year. The event combines designer showrooms by some of the UK capital’s top menswear talent with runway shows, covering both ready-to-wear and accessories.

A provisional schedule released by the British Fashion Council reveals that heavy hitters Alexander McQueen and Burberry will also be hitting the runway. Other highlights will include shows by returning brands Moschino and Pringle of Scotland, while J.W. Anderson and BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund winner E. Tautz will also host catwalk shows.

London Collections Men marks the first time that Ford has put on a show for his menswear collection anywhere in the world, breaking his established pattern of showing new collections via private presentations.

Hardy Amies, Paul Smith and Richard James are among the brands displaying their luxuriously tailored collections via presentations.

London Collections Men will also feature the BFC Newgen Men initiative, which shines the spotlight on the city’s emerging design talents. Agi & Sam, Bobby Abley, Craig Green, Liam Hodges and Nasir Mazhar will host a catwalk show, while Alex Mullins, Cottweiler and Pieter will all hold presentations.

Launched in 2012, London Collections Men is a biannual event focusing solely on British men’s fashion. This season’s show will run from January 8-11, 2016. The final schedule will be announced on December 7.

Runway Revisit: 10 Trends for Fall/Winter 2015/16

The Fall/Winter 2015/2016 shows seem so long ago but since winter is coming, we thought we would revisit the top trends. Among the many fabrics, colors, cuts, motifs and inspirations seen on the runways, what are the essential fashion items of the season? Which accessories should take pride of place in your closet and in particular, what items should be banned from your wardrobe? These are the pressing questions facing fashionistas in the northern hemisphere as the big chill looms…

A model presents a creation for Lanvin during the 2015-2016 fall/winter ready-to-wear collection fashion show on March 5, 2015 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOT

A model presents a creation for Lanvin. AFP PHOTO / Francois Guillot

Coats take on a longer dimension

Vests and bomber jackets are to be kept on hand throughout the upcoming months, though long and even extra-long coats (as seen at Lanvin above) are essential seasonal pieces this year. In terms of fabrics, leather, sheepskin and faux fur dominated designer collections. The color palette includes black and red with various vibrant shades and a large selection of motifs. As seen profusely in the fashion shows, hooded coats and jackets are a definite wardrobe staple.

Leather is chic

Winter 2015 will exude a very sixties vibe with, in particular, the return of leather to the fashion scene, both chic and very rock’n’roll. The noble material is used on every wardrobe piece from dresses and skirts to coats and tops. The season calls for classic colors like black (as seen at Hermès below) and camel hues as well as a vibrant array of bright shades.

A model presents a creation for Hermes during the 2015-2016 fall/winter ready-to-wear collection fashion show on March 9, 2015 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND GUAY

Hermès. AFP PHOTO / Bertrand Guay

Immaculate white

Though the winter color palette is generally darker in tone, this year white was at the heart of a number of collections. An all-white ensemble gives a refined, fresh and chic look to any silhouette.

Other color trends to note are a return to red, as seen at Hermès, Alexander McQueen, Elie Saab, Christian Dior, John Galliano, Shiatzy Chen, Iris van Herpen, and Valentino. Beige – running to nude – also figures prominently, with some lovely shades on show at Chloe (of course), Nina Ricci, Alexander McQueen and Allude. The AFP also found violet hard at work at Moon Young Hee, Chanel, John Galliano, Kenzo, Issey Miyake and Emporio Armani. Finally, touches of yellow and orange found their way into the shows at seen at Kenzo and Miu Miu in particular, but also at Louis Vuitton, Shiatzy Chen, Valentin Yudashkin, Vanessa Seward, Esteban Cortazar, Akris, Céline, Givenchy, and Rochas.

A model presents a creation from the Burberry Prorsum collection during the 2015 Autumn / Winter London Fashion Week in London on February 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL

Burberry Prorsum. AFP PHOTO / Leon Neal

Fringe

Often associated with summer festivals, and in definite supply on the spring/summer 2015 runway shows, fringe is a key detail this season, as seen above at Burberry Prorsum. Dresses, skirts and coats are all embellished with fringe for an edgy bohemian-chic take on winter.

A model presents a creation for Chloe during the 2015-2016 fall/winter ready-to-wear collection fashion show on March 8, 2015 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK

Chloe. AFP PHOTO / Patrick Kovarik

The cape

A big hit last winter, capes (seen above at Chloe) move to the top of the winter must-haves this year. Whether in block color or printed material, they add a retro touch to any outfit and can be worn over a dress or pants.

Quilted details

The fall/winter collections of 2015 ooze a decidedly retro spirit with a strong presence of quilted pieces.  A signature detail of the Chanel fashion house, quilted details, in particular on bags, vests and dresses, are a definite fashion “do” this winter. The possibilities with this trend are endless and include very avant-garde interpretations.

Sleeveless trend

Once relegated to the darkest corner of your closet, puffer jackets, gilets and sleeveless quilted vests are back in the limelight. Dresses are preferably sleeveless or made from completely different materials, playing on contrasts. Some designers have even created removable sleeves on a number of items.

A model presents a creation for fashion house Gucci at the women Fall / Winter 2015/16 Milan's Fashion Week on February 25, 2015 in Milan. AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE

Gucci. AFP PHOTO / Giuseppe Cacace

Transparency

Much more subtle this season, transparent details remain a key trend for a sensual and sexy style. Not to be used extravagantly, discreet touches are all that is needed to convey sensuality. Opt for transparent details in dark fabrics with a focus on the arms, back, thighs and bust.

High-waisted elements

For fall/winter 2015, the waist is showcased for a sophisticated and ever-so-retro look. All major pieces are cut with a high-waist including suit pants, skirts and dresses. The waist is often embellished with a belt, either wide or narrow.

Model Natasha Poly presents a creation for fashion house Versace at the women Fall / Winter 2015/16 Milan's Fashion Week on February 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

Versace. AFP PHOTO / Filippo Monteforte

Logos

The names and logos of fashion labels appear in XXL lettering on even the most sophisticated ensembles, oftentimes in bright eye-popping colors for better visibility and “wow” factor. The trend should without a doubt continue into the coming season.