Tag Archives: Gucci

Prints: Resort 2017 Runway Trend

Monochrome and graphic color blocking are so last season. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at the latest resort 2017 collections to have hit the runways. From abstract, animalistic to floral, the trend is certainly going to excite those who have never been drawn to the plain and safe choices of seasons past.

Edun Resort 2017

Edun Resort 2017

Of course, that isn’t to say that all the prints are loud and vibrant to the point of no return. Fashion — as it always has — provides us with a vast range to choose from and this trend has something for everyone. Those who veer towards minimalist fashion should look to Edun. Inspired by the iconic image of Diana Ross in the 1970s as she lounged by a swimming pool in Palm Springs as well as the Gio Tribe of Northeastern Liberia, the brand has brought out a whole host of colors. Producing a stripe pattern, Edun brings ecrus, rose pinks and soft pale blues together with vibrant yellows and reds.

Michael Kors Resort 2017

Michael Kors Resort 2017

Don’t care too much for color? Michael Kors is your man (or designer). With the help of contemporary houndstooth, tinsel-style stripes and polka dots, the designer shows us how prints can be done in style. Alternative aesthetics are available in the form of floral and feminine motifs from the likes of Carven, whose Prairie-style skirts were livened up with colorful embroidery, and Rochas, whose dainty take on the tropical herbarium saw fluid fabrics dappled with printed orchids, hibiscus, jasmine and wild geraniums.

Dior Cruise 2017

Dior Cruise 2017

Continuing the floral theme was Dior with dainty tea dresses showcasing tiny blooms. A surprising move was from Gucci, whose loud Britannia-loving collection that was filled with Union Jacks and tartans also made way for the girlish and flowery maxi skirts. Of course, the bold and the fashionable are also richly rewarded this season thanks to Moschino. Embracing prints of every kind, the brand channelled the 1970s with full-length animal prints. Another who followed the path of the bold prints was Emilio Pucci who brought palm tree prints, while Roberto Cavalli favored a whirlwind of kaleidoscopic patterns and colors. Even the normally restrained Chanel threw caution to the wind at its Cuban resort show, unveiling patchwork printed jumpsuits and glitzy shift dresses on the catwalk.

23 Stories X Condé Nast, Gucci Create Film Series

23 Stories, an award-winning advertising unit of Condé Nast has partnered with Gucci for an original film series featuring the Italian label’s Pre-Fall 2016 collection.

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The four episode series is the first branded program of its kind for the two established firms. Under the critical eye of acclaimed director Gia Coppola, the modern interpretation of classic Greek romance “The Legend of Orpheus and Eurydice” retells the Greek tragedy, set in modern day New York. French personality Lou Doillon (who also happens to be Jane Birkin’s daughter) is styled in creative director Alessandro Michele’s charming, elaborate designs, including a dramatic custom 10-foot wedding veil. Supported with original music courtesy of Devonte Hynes, the atmospheric film is 10 minutes of pure cinematic delight, and perfectly encapsulates the romance and eccentricity of the Seventies.

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Marco Bizzarri, Gucci President and CEO, commented “Through the authority and reach of the six Conde Nast brands that are part of this pioneering initiative, we are able to take advantage of highly original and qualitative content to engage with a broad, but targeted audience across geographic regions and platforms in an authentic way.” Bizzarri continued, “Digital narrative – whether through film, social media or native journalism – is the way that Millennials in particular like to be engaged today. Consequently, this type of innovative approach to digital marketing will certainly play an increasingly important part of our strategy going forward.”

The full series will be available exclusively across Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, New Yorker, W Magazine, Pitchfork and Gucci, and will be marketed globally across leading Condé Nast digital brands.

 

4 Beauty Looks That Ruled Resort 2017

Chanel might have showed a spectacular Havana-inspired collection and Dior channeled the spirit of travel, but nothing got us more excited than the beauty looks. There’s a lot to be hyped up for Resort 2017, and if you’re doubtful you can achieve these looks, think again – they’re surprisingly easy to score. From ephemeral glowing skin at Louis Vuitton to fiercely-defined eye makeup at Dior, here are four of the biggest looks the transitional season has to offer.

Chanel

Chanel Cruise 2017_cuba

Usually a look only reserved for the beach, Karl Lagerfeld made loose, low-slung ponytails chic again at his Havana-themed show. A dash of apricot-hued blush and hint of dark eyeshadow on dewy, bronzed skin completed the breezy look, and gave off a vacation-vibe that had us wishing the holidays were here sooner.

Louis Vuitton

LV Cruise 2017

The girls at Louis Vuitton went au naturel this season. Strong eyebrows framed the otherwise clean faces, each positively glowing thanks to a dash of shimmer on their faces and lips. Their hair, flowing and loose, were kept untreated for a carefree and insouciant vibe, which helped draw focus to the athletic-inspired apparel.

Gucci

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Gucci continued channeling geek chic with a confidently understated look – think lightly powdered matte skin and pale matte lips. The simple look is complete with curled lashes (without mascara, mind you), to open the peepers for the statement eyewear that accompany the looks.

Dior

DIOR CRUISE_ BACKSTAGES_03@Morgan O'Donovan

Things at Dior got fiercely amped up with bold eyes and tightly scraped back hair. The dark exaggerated eyes were juxtaposed by ungroomed, haphazard brows, creating a look that was both empowering and feminine at the same time. The French Maison completed the look with lightly glossed nude lips to prevent the look from becoming too wintery.

 

 

Gucci Cruise at Westminster Abbey

Held in the same venue that hosts the coronation ceremonies of the British monarchy and that sealed one of the most popular unions for the British royal family in the last two centuries, Westminster Abbey played host to Gucci and the brand’s Cruise 2017 collection. Filled with prints, colors and a truckload of materials the collection was all kinds of fun. It may have even given many a new appreciation for granny-chic.

To learn more about the collection and to see our favourite looks, head to L’Officiel Singapore.

Alessandro Michele Tailors Gucci Sneakers

Donning the ornate and flowery motifs of Gucci’s famous creative maestro Alessandro Michele, intermixed with white or shiny textures, these sneakers are unique and exclusive in their design. Coming in both male and female versions, each one will feature laminated snakeskin on the heel.

You can check out more over at Men’s Folio

Guide: Suit Up for Age of Disruption

In the season finale of Billions, hedge-fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod had to pound the streets to win back former clients, failing miserably. It wasn’t until he ditched the designer suit and tie in favor of his regular business attire — hoodie, t-shirt and jeans — that he regained his mojo and started speechifying for the win. Dressed down (in high casual), he looked in control and ready to lead, and not just another guy in a suit begging for money. Quite the turn-on-head on Mark Twain’s “Clothes make the man.” To put it another way, expensive suits no longer denote business success.

The intention of a well-dressed workplace is to foster an image of professional success, and for the longest time the business suit embodied that confidence. Axe even said before his attire change (as if to convince himself): “Do you know why we wear ties? To signify seriousness of purpose. Ours is not to question why, but to do.” But clothing as a symbol of (self-)expression has evolved with the times. Office attire no longer distinguish management from workers. Silicon Valley’s “tribal uniforms” displaced the monotonous conformity of the workplace to create a more heterogeneous look. Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson notes that Twain was addressing the 19th century when dressing proper was important, whereas in many business setting today a clean pair of jeans, wrinkle-free shirt and pair of sneakers fit right in. So how did the business power suit lose its, well, power?

UNIFORM POWER

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio seen on the set of new film 'The Wolf of Wall Street' in New York City

The history of office wear in the 20th century goes something like this: Suits, suits, suits, suits, khakis. Indeed, the formal suit and tie has been quite the tyrant in its time, keeping a death grip on corporate business for decades by having generations of junior executives sedulously following the dress code of their bosses. The sartorially-inclined might argue that not all suits are made equal, but they’re just being pedantic; a suit is a suit, no matter the peak of its lapel or the fit of its cut.

While the suit’s provenance is likely too far-flung and complex to trace back, the modern look is said to have come directly from Europe at the turn of the century, where business titans donned custom-made frock coats complete with vest, pocket watch, striped trousers and top hat. The working class soon seized upon the fashion for work wear, but not before lobbing off the silly tails and shaping the garment into a more leisurely lounge suit. Mercantile tailors then made the suits slightly different every year (because we all know that’s the best way to get people to buy more clothes), leading to the proliferation of styles through the decades.

The indomitable suit survived the Depression and war, though cloth austerity led to the demise of the double-breasted. It gained personality with loud patterns when European designers insinuated themselves into business fashion, got cut from brave new synthetic fabrics, and paired up with ties that screamed color and size (with knots the size of babies’ fists). Then came Wall Street, the era of conspicuous consumption and flaunting power, where it lined the executive wardrobes of American gigolos and psychos. It became a corporate douchebag with suspenders, and made Armani a boardroom staple. It shrunk and billowed, all the while keeping the same basic shape for the last 100 years — a testament to the strength of its design. Such was the enduring value of the suit, and its monopoly on office dress codes seemed unshakeable.

CHANGING CODES

Alessio Jacona  Flickr 3

Then something radical happened in the 1990s. Blame it on the rise of the tech geeks, preceded by a little creative marketing by The Gap and Levi’s (via Dockers), but suddenly the suit has succumbed to khakis and jeans as the standard corporate livery.

It all started with an innocuous trend called Casual Friday. What human resources thought would be a fun (and free) employee perk turned out to be the seed that eventually inspires office drones to cast off the yoke of their slave-suits. This newfound sartorial freedom left workers slightly stranded at the beginning — many were at a loss without the safety of suits — but with the help of opportunistic brands like Dockers, the new business casual paradigm was established and the (somewhat oxymoronic) relaxed-yet-proper appearance of khaki slacks became de rigueur.

The advent of the Information Age soon gave the traditional business suit its quietus. Technopreneurs liked nothing better than to rant against it (“If you don’t have anything to say, wear a suit,” Bing Gordon, co-founder of Electronic Arts, once told Fortune magazine), while Silicon Valley titans like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Sergey Brin ostensibly rejected the garment as anti-tech, uncreative and living in the past — in other words, dull. And when you run the world like these guys do, you can wear whatever the hell you want to the office, even hoodies and jeans.

This shift in dress code wasn’t just a matter of comfort or convenience, but signified a deeper change in the way people conceptualized professional success. The intense technological revolution has freed people from the confines of the workplace, leading the new generation of business graduates to believe (and decide) that working in a garage, in jeans, with the potential to make millions via a new startup, is more interesting than working in a glass and steel office at the bottom of a rigid corporate ladder. Suits were neither new nor modern, and companies that required them were thought of likewise; to put on a suit was to trail the bandwagon of self-made billionaires pushing into the future.

NEW HYBRID

Gucci

Gucci

In the new millennium, the confidence to dress informally and to disrupt traditional business codes only grew. Zuckerberg famously turned up to his Facebook IPO roadshow in his standard, nondescript uniform, causing consternation among Wall Street veterans. But what corporate conservatives don’t seem to understand is that the “CEO Casual” look is not about age (the lack thereof) or disrespect, rather it’s about presenting a modern, independent, innovative message. Moreover, dressing down only showcases how much power he commands; just because investors disagreed with his fashion choice, doesn’t mean they’re going to stop fighting for a piece of his company (in fact, Zuckerberg’s going to stick to his casuals, and investors are going to like it).

Burberry

Burberry

But as waves of hoodie-wearing millennials flooded companies, it’s hard to tell who’s truly innovative and who’s merely posing. And once everyone in the workplace is wearing t-shirts, sartorial individuality is poised to stand out. Hipster-dandies rose to revive the suit, but with maverick cuts to demonstrate that they’ve got the stuff to pull it off (case in point: The abominable shrunken suit — which originated from Thom Browne — worn with exposed ankles). There’s also a hybridisation of dress codes of sorts, either in the ensemble (suits worn with sneakers) or in the garments themselves (drawstring suit trousers, or technical-fabric suits like Z Zegna’s Techmerino).

Dior Homme

Dior Homme

The new emphasis on originality and freedom meant that anything goes in the office, really, insofar as it is polished and presentable. At the end of the day, the trend towards informality doesn’t actually get away from the traditional business emphasis on appearance and presentation. It simply replaces one standard with another that is, in its own way, just as preoccupied with appearance. At the very least, men are finally able to say that they wear suits when and how they want to.

 

 

This article was originally published in Men’s Folio Magazine

Gucci Teams Up with Net-a-Porter

Those looking to restock their wardrobe with the Gucci’s latest designer threads can now do so in the comfort of their homes with the help of the luxury online retailer Net-a-Porter. This collaboration will see designs from Gucci being sold exclusively by the site. Collaborations such as this, is another way in which Creative Director Alessandro Michelle is steering the brand in a youthful direction.

For more information on the collection, click here.

Alessandra Faccinetti Leaves Tod’s

Another one is out the door. Tod’s announced Friday that Alessandra Facchinetti will be leaving the brand. After three years of leading the team behind the Women’s Collections, the former Creative Director has decided to pack her bags and concentrate on endeavours that had been set aside “to be able to achieve Tod’s strategies.”

The former creative director of Valentino and Gucci also counts Miu Miu and Moncler as former employers. She joined the brand in 2013, replacing Derek Lam and leaves the company on good terms. Alessandra Facchinetti stated: “I will now focus on other projects that I have put aside in order to be able to achieve Tod’s strategies. It has been an honor to work with this extraordinary family company which puts quality, craftsmanship and excellency at the center of its business and I am grateful to Tod’s and especially to Diego and Andrea Della Valle, who have given me outstanding support and who will remain dear friends.”

In a statement released by Tod’s, Diego Della Valle, Chairman and CEO of the Group said ““I would like to thank Alessandra for her contribution to Tod’s. We wanted to develop the Italian Style as well as a strong point of view in fashion, presenting a show not to be missed in Milan and we have reached these objectives. I have given much consideration to this decision; we came to this conclusion after a thoughtful conversation and I wish Alessandra all the best for her future endeavors.”

Sould Facchinetti be on the hunt for a job, we hear that several major labels are keeping their eyes peeled for talented creative directors.

Fashion Impressions: Gucci Publishes Epiphany

A limited edition impressionistic book featuring photographs taken by Ari Marcopoulos has been released by Gucci for a run of 1,000 copies. Marcopoulos is well known for his raw and loose style and his involvement in youth subculture, and he took the pictures in Milan while Alessandro Michele was showcasing menswear and womenswear collections. A perfect blend of fashion and immediacy – Epiphany will be launched at Dover Street Market in New York on May 5.

For the full story you can check out Men’s Folio.

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.

Easy BoostEasy-Boost-Max-Imapct-LO

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. 

9 Fashion Muse, Designer Pairings 2016

Muses. In Greek mythology, they were believed to be naiads (or water nymphs) and the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Ethereal and enigmatic, these goddesses of inspiration kindled the flames of thought and creativity in the realms of literature, science and the arts, and were invoked at the beginning of lyrical poems so that they might speak through the poet’s words.

Here they are among us, still. Manifested in the form of beguiling celebrities and models, the muses have ruled the cosmos of couture since time immemorial. One only has to mention “Givenchy” to recall one of the most sublime iterations of the designer/muse dyads – that of Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn, who were acquainted with each other in 1954 on the set of the Billy Wilder film, Sabrina. A mutual success for both parties, the pairing propelled the brand and actress alike towards powerhouse status, one recognised as the quintessence of feminine and elegant style, the other transformed into an international icon.

That was only the beginning. The alliance between designer and muse has persisted fixedly: Joni Mitchell and Yves Saint Laurent, Madonna and Jean Paul Gaultier, and, more recently, Sofia Coppola and Marc Jacobs, Lady Gaga and Donatella Versace. In the following pages, L’Officiel Singapore celebrates its ninth anniversary with nine of the most exciting and current designer/muse pairings.

The muses have arrived.

Saint Laurent

Former creative director Hedi Slimane’s muses are one of a kind. They love music, know a good party and are virtually inseparable (think Julia Cumming, Lida Fox and Grace Hartzel, who have gone from being fresh faces to superstar models). This Spring/Summer ’16, the designer’s cool-girl squad enlists new names Amelia Rose Akerhielm and Staz Lindes, who share their It list exclusively with L’Officiel Singapore.

Amelia Rose AkerhielmAmelia-rose-akerhielm-Saint-Laurent

Agency

“Next Management.”

Favorite music band

“Animal Collective.”

Your meeting with Hedi Slimane in three words

“‘Word bank insufficient’!”

Your favourite book

“Diary by Chuck Palahniuk, or maybe Brave New World, or The Archaic Revival by Terence McKenna. My favourites change every day.”

Your favorite number

“Zero.”

Your favorite artists

“Mark Ryden, Lori Early, Alex Gross and Matt Dangler.”

How did you get discovered?

“I was scouted by Mary and Jeff Clarke of Mother Model Management while photographing matching groups of blonde girls and women in neon pink.”

Was the Saint Laurent Spring/Summer ’16 show your first one? How was it?

“Yes, and it was an amazing experience. Though my flight was delayed and I hadn’t slept for a day, arriving in Paris and being at the Grand Palais seemed like a dream.”

Are there any models in the industry you look up to?

“Dita Von Teese – she’s lovely.”

What are your plans for the future?

“I have many vague plans but nothing definite; the future is blurry but colors leak through. I’d like to further my art career and do more live painting, learn to animate, act, write music, refine my poetry and own a chameleon.”   

Describe your personal style

“Eclectic. I don’t value pieces based on their age or price, but for their history and the feelings they evoke.”

Staz LindesStaz-Lindes-YSL

Agency

“Elite.”

Favorite music band

“Best of Doo-Wop Compilations.”

Your meeting with Hedi Slimane in three words

“‘Surprising’, ‘easy’, ‘100 degrees’.”

Your favorite book

“The Life and Times of Little Richard: The Authorised Biography.”

Your favorite number

“Four.”

Your favorite artist

“David Hockney.”

How did you get discovered?

“My band, The Paranoyds, was playing at the opening of a show for my brother.”

Was the Saint Laurent Spring/Summer ’16 show your first one? How was it?

“Yes. It was very surreal and exciting. I felt so lucky.”

Are there any models in the industry you look up to?

“Lily McMenamy, Lili Sumner and Georgia Pratt – they do their own thing and stay true to who they are.”

What are your plans for the future?

“Having fun, whether with travel or settling down on a big ranch with all the animal friends I could dream of.”

Describe your personal style

“It depends what kind of a day it is, but I’m either very feminine or very boyish. Sometimes mature, but mostly adolescent.”

GucciKaren-Elson-Gucci

Muse: Karen Elson

Alessandro Michele might not have specified his official muse, but if we had to put money on it, we’d say it’s model-musician Karen Elson. One of Michele’s ardent supporters, the 37-year-old has been present at all the creative director’s shows since his Cruise ’16 presentation in New York, and was even the star performer at the after-show party. If that isn’t proof enough that the flame-haired beauty is Gucci’s muse, how about this laudation from Michele himself: “Above and beyond being a model, Karen is a woman with an outstanding character and a strong personality… the personification of what beauty means to me.”

Louis Vuitton


Lea Seydoux Louis Vuitton
Muse: Léa Seydoux

Talk about playing with the big boys. The 30-year-old Parisienne, who has been hailed as “Bardot meets Binoche”, has worked alongside Quentin Tarantino (Inglorious Basterds), Ridley Scott (Robin Hood), Woody Allen (Midnight In Paris), Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), and Sam Mendes (Spectre). Why wouldn’t a brand that always aims for the finest quality choose a muse of an equally exquisite calibre? “I feel extremely proud at the thought of representing such a strong symbol of French elegance, an iconic brand whose initials are known the world over,” Seydoux has said. “I deeply admire Nicolas Ghesquière’s work, especially his modernity and his incessant search for novelty.”

ChanelKristen-Stewart-Chanel

Muse: Kristen Stewart

Call it a stroke of pure serendipity – Kristen first met Karl Lagerfeld in January 2012 during a photo shoot in Paris, during which she was decked out in Chanel Haute Couture. Soon after, in 2013, the star of Panic Room, the Twilight saga, and On The Road became the face of the Métiers d’art Paris-Dallas 2013/14 collection. Last year, the 25-year-old Certain Women actress was part of Chanel’s “3 girls, 3 bags” handbag campaign, shot by Lagerfeld himself. “It always felt like a privilege to wear Chanel and to be around Karl who is an artist that, for me, constantly inspires,” Stewart has said.

BurberryMay-and-Ruth-Bell-Burberry

Muse: May & Ruth Bell

Cara Delevingne, James May, Edie Campbell, Tom Odell – just some of the names that have inspired Christopher Bailey. This season, the spotlight falls on twins May and Ruth Bell. “Shooting our first Burberry campaign was surreal – you don’t ever really think that you’re going to do something like that,” they’ve said. “You wish you will one day, because when you think of who has been in Burberry campaigns in the past, they’re just on a different level!”

Diane von FurstenbergKarlie-Kloss-DVF

Muse: Karlie Kloss

“Karlie was a perfect choice to represent – and celebrate – the multifaceted nature of today’s woman,” says Diane von Furstenberg. “She is a supermodel, she is an entrepreneur, she gives back, she is a student, she is close to her family. She’s passionate, constantly improving herself, fearless. She knows who she is and is never afraid to show it. She is the woman she wants to be. Together, we invite all women to find this spirit and confidence in themselves.”

Tod’sTODS-Muses

Muse: Antonine Peduzzi, Chelsea Tyler, Chloe Norgaard, Cora Corre, Giulia and Camilla Venturini, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Langley Fox Hemingway, Lizzy Jagger, Louisa Gummer, Mae Lapres, Polly Morgan, Quentin Jones, Sonia Sieff, and Tea Falco

When the muses speak, one listens. In the case of Tod’s, the brand has taken heed of 15 of them – all strong personalities from the fields of music, art, film, fashion and photography. Collectively dubbed Tod’s Band, the ensemble includes fashion’s newest darlings, twin sisters and artists Giulia and Camilla Venturini, as well as Chinese-Canadian model Mae Lapres, illustrator Langley Fox Hemingway (great-granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway), and celebrity offspring Louisa Gummer and Lizzy Jagger (daughters of Meryl Streep and Mick Jagger, respectiviely).

Kate SpadeJourdan-Dunn-Kate-Spade

Muse: Jordan Dunn

Crowned Model of the Year at London’s British Fashion Awards last November, the 25-year-old brunette leads a colorful cast of characters in Kate Spade New York’s Spring 2016 campaign. Says Deborah Lloyd, the brand’s president and Chief Creative Officer, “Similar to our customer, Jourdan is a woman who wears many hats, as a model, mother, philanthropist and chef. She embodies the spirit of the ‘Kate Spade New York girl’ perfectly, and we’re excited to share this spirit through our spring 2016 campaign and collection.”

Giorgio ArmaniCate-Blanchett-Armani

Muse: Cate Blanchett

How does one turn a fragrance advertisement into an impassioned short film worthy of an Oscar? Have two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett as a source of inspiration – and the star – of course. Always a vision on the red carpet, the 46-year-old Australian is the face of Si, Giorgio Armani’s eau de toilette fragrance. “Working with Cate Blanchett, on and off the screen, has always been a highlight for me,” Giorgio Armani has said. We couldn’t agree more.

Story Credits

Text by Justin Cheong & Kenny Loh

This story first appeared in L’Officiel Singapore.

Insight: Androgyny in Contemporary Fashion

It is fatal to be a man or a woman pure and simple; one must be a woman-manly or a man-womanly. This was Virginia Woolf’s damning verdict on defining men and women as the intransigent black-and-white opposite of the other, with no space for individual freedom of expression in between. She created her famous androgyne Orlando to challenge this fatality, but even he (eventually she) could not escape the strict gender codes of dress. Because while Orlando selects and sheds genders as she does garments, with each outfit she acquires the associated posture and role to suit her activities. Dress codes dictating how men and women ought to think and act are as prevalent now as ever before.

ca. 1973, Manhattan, New York City, New York State, USA --- David Bowie, in his persona of Ziggy Stardust, sings during a concert at the Radio City Music Hall in New York, ca. 1973. --- Image by © Neal Preston/Corbis

David Bowie, in his persona of Ziggy Stardust

The avant-garde in fashion, however, has enjoyed a long and colorful history of flirting with androgyny. Victorian dandies, Marcel Duchamp’s self-duplication in Rrose Sélavy, and of course the seminal stirring of the pot by Jean Paul Gaultier when he sent skirts for men down the runway in 1984 (a scandal equivalent to trousers for women). Not to mention the otherworldly glamour of David Bowie, the wild flamboyance of Mick Jagger, and the Japanese revolution that Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo brought to Paris – all have at various points tipped the gender divide.

Leigh Bowery

Leigh Bowery

Meanwhile, the 1980s pushed androgyny into an era of high camp as the subcultural hotbed of London and New York’s club scenes spawned the exaggerated trans-gendered theatricality of men in frocks. This stylized pantomime expressed extreme (bordering on perverse) stereotypes of doll-like femininity, propelling practitioners – most notably Leigh Bowery and Boy George – into the unhinged and deliberately absurdist heights of the surreal.

Kurt Cobain

Nirvana

Perhaps in response to the comic excess of camp, the post-party androgyny of the 1990s adopted a more understated ambiguity in the form of grunge. Moving away from a statement about sexuality to a broader expression of freedom and individuality (Kurt Cobain was publicly nonchalant about his taste for off-the-cuff cross-dressing: “I like to wear dresses because they’re comfortable… if I said we do it to be subversive then that would be a load of s***, because men in bands wearing dresses isn’t controversial anymore.”), it had less to do with men and women swapping wardrobes as sharing them. And it wasn’t just the clothes that were shared, but the figure as well – that (lifestyle-assisted) skinny-hipped, flat-chested silhouette that could be applied to either sex.

Boy George

Boy George

CROSSING DRESS

The androgynous figure continues to be a mainstay in contemporary fashion, simply because its very nature confers a playful subversion that separates from the banality of everyday life (fashion loves to disorient its audience after all). Dozens of designers shared their perspective on Gaultier’s skirt for men, from Vivienne Westwood and Dries Van Noten, to most notably Riccardo Tisci, whose Givenchy leather skirt arguably sparked the modern incarnation of the trend. Elsewhere, Jonathan Anderson dressed boys in frills and high slits in his iconoclastic menswear, while Hedi Slimane’s obsession with the atrophied grunge look displaced traditional beefcakes with wispy waifs on the runway. It goes on: Slimane upped the ante by shooting his debut menswear for Saint Laurent on the very gamine Saskia de Brauw; transgender model-muse Andrej Pejic slotted seamlessly into female line-ups (but not as a hyperbolic drag queen); and menswear in general started proffering high-heeled boots, chiffon blouses and a proclivity for pink.

14 Nov 2011, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA --- Jay Z and Kanye West bring their Watch the Throne tour to the BankAtlantic Center near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. --- Image by © Sayre Berman/Corbis

Jay Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne tour

Such miscegenation occurred during a time when menswear was undergoing a sort of revolution, in part due to masculinity and conventional ideas about the roles of men (at work and at home) rapidly unravelling in the new millennium. But while the discourse on menswear expanded, it never once feminized men (fringe fashions notwithstanding). Rather, when men picked something seemingly from a woman’s wardrobe, they reinterpreted it – indeed emphasised it – according to old-school codes of manliness; so a pair of leggings quickly turned sporty, or skirts are worn on top of pants or with a buff bod. Celebrities like Kanye West, Jaden Smith and G-Dragon pushed this notion onto the mainstream by co-opting it into their looks, and for a while it seemed that the collective consciousness was getting comfortable with experimentation. Then Gucci’s Fall 2015 menswear happened.

Jaden Smith

Jaden Smith

GUCCI’S GAME-CHANGER

When Frida Giannini unceremoniously exited Gucci and then-head accessories designer Alessandro Michele post-hastily appointed as her replacement, no one could’ve expected a willowy boy with long blond hair in a red pussy-bow blouse to be the next incarnation of the brand, especially when it has always had masculinity so firmly on its agenda. This sudden embrace of effeminacy (perhaps following the urgent brief to make Gucci younger and fresher again), with an homme-femme as delicate as the silk he wears, left the fashion world reeling: Confusion, applause, hysteria, excitement. But Michele’s androgyny was less about the reverse polarity of men in dresses as it is about the free-flowing, inter-gender fluidity that unifies aspects of both sexes in a number of integrated aesthetics. He clarified this vision in his subsequent collection for Spring 2016, citing “détournement” (or recontextualizing) as the driving force – “Clothes are clothes. A man can wear something from a woman. We don’t have to put too many rules on the customer.” And so, the pussy-bow blouse finds new meaning on men.

Alessandro Michele Backstage

Alessandro Michele Backstage

The new Gucci made androgyny the talking point again, an androgyny that had a renewed sense of playing with sartorial codes and disrupting gender boundaries that clothing creates and reinforces. It was a theme that pointed towards genderless fashion and the convertibility of man and woman through neutral clothing (a concept that closely mirrors the unisex aesthetic of 1990s grunge), and its effects were immediately apparent in the following season (Spring 2016). Just look at Burberry’s convincing use of lace as a menswear fabric, or the mixing of menswear and womenswear on runways like Prada and Armani, where both male and female models dressed in more or less the same looks. In fact, Burberry has announced plans to replace its current four-show calendar with two season-less, integrated menswear and womenswear collections on the runway, skipping London Collections: Men altogether; “The changes we are making will allow us to build a closer connection between the experience that we create with our runway shows and the moment people can physically explore the collections for themselves,” explained chief creative and CEO Christopher Bailey.

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Gucci Fall/Winter 2015

The storied fashions of androgyny articulated many questions about gender and sex but in the end provided no final answers. Its aim was to prove that fashion need not be separated by gender, that it’s about fighting simplistic labels rather than creating them. It’s certainly not about drag (leave that to the professionals) nor is it a “crisis of manhood”, but a graceful visualisation of a woman-manly or man-womanly, as Woolf puts it. Time is still needed to reach the point where the general mass breaks down the barrier of what is masculine and feminine and just wear clothing they feel comfortable in, but fashion’s braver provocateurs like the messianic Michele are leading to this new dawn. Perhaps one day it’ll no longer be about androgyny at all. “People always think it is,” says Jonathan Anderson (about his eponymous brand), “But it isn’t at all; it has always been about the idea of a shared wardrobe.”

Story Credits
Text by Yong Wei Jian

This article was originally published in Men’s Folio

Gucci to Merge Menswear, Womenswear Shows

The fashion world has been wracked by turmoil since the advent of new strategies like the ‘see-now-buy-now’ model of presenting collections. Well, you can add ‘fashion show fusion’ to the list of new strategies. Brands such as Burberry, for example, have decided to try for two ‘seasonless’ shows per year, as of September 2016 and now, the sanctity of separate menswear and womenswear shows has been challenged. Gucci still intends to uphold the traditional schedule of ‘see-now-buy-later’, but the Italian label is fusing the menswear and womenswear shows.

“It seems only natural to me to present my men’s and women’s collections together. It’s the way I see the world today,” said Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele. This choice can be read in a multiplicity of ways. It could be a statement about the ambiguity of gender in a more accepting world. It could also be a strike out at long-standing traditions in the fashion industry. Obviously, it could also have nothing to do with either. Most likely, it is done for practical reasons.

“Moving to one show each season will significantly help to simplify many aspects of our business,” said Marco Bizzarri, president and chief executive officer of Gucci. Through this act of streamlining, it definitely seems to be a weight off Gucci’s chest if they only have to prepare singular collections rather than dual collections. Significantly less logistics may be the underlying concern. Alessandro Michele also noted that “it will give me the chance to move towards a different kind of approach to my storytelling”.

The unified show will come into play starting in 2017. By that point, who knows how many other houses are going to test out alternative strategies as well? The future of fashion, from this point of view, is set to be highly interesting.

Interview: Sang Woo Kim

A sense of purpose plays a crucial role in helping an outsider settle into a foreign environment. Think of a youngster, a second generation South Korean living in London, modeling for British luxury house Burberry. It was obviously designed, at least in part, to be scorned by your average fashion devotee. Yves Saint Laurent who once quantified that “a good model can advance fashion by ten years.”  That same sort of dynamic applies in the case of Sang Woo Kim, where fashion works like a frivolous panacea for the well-being of creative types.

The observant are likewise mindful that Diesel’s recent Spring/Summer campaign doesn’t just feature a pursed-lips Joe Jonas and model Trevor Signorino. It also stars the South Korea-born Sang, who has become an unconventional poster boy for forward-thinking labels, thanks to his unique Asian features.

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Gucci cotton jacket, cotton shirt, cotton pants, leather belt; stylist’s own tie

A better question: why are labels like Kenzo, DKNY, Vivienne Westwood and Dolce & Gabbana giving shine to an outlier like Sang? The hip factor of how progenies of the Asian diaspora have integrated themselves has clearly leveled the playing field.

Growing up in London after his parents emigrated when he was still a toddler, Sang’s career began on the front-lines: he joined Prada as a public relations intern in South Korea. Working in this position quickly dispelled any idealized notion of glitz and glamour.  He realized that to make it in the industry involved lots of hard work, and a commitment to professionalism on a daily basis.

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Louis Vuitton wool knitted top, silk pants, silk scarf

It also got him noticed. Evidently, the 22-year-old doesn’t look like the typical runway model, even by Asian standards. Yes, he’s tall and lanky. And his lack of muscle definition renders him the perfect muse to self-classified avant garde designers. But his resting expression is that of a perpetual annoyance that looks like the physical manifestation of a fisheye app replete with caricature-like single-eyelids and impossibly defined cheekbones.

Here is a pensive young man with slicked back hair who spends balmy days studying at Central Saint Martins (CSM). He excelled at painting and still considers himself, first and foremost, an artist by refusing to be pigeon-holed as a human mannequin. The Goldsmith Fine Art student channels his inner-being onto canvas using colors, giving expression to his personality. It took a while to rediscover his schoolboy skills but Sang enjoys every moment, taking advantage of his new lifestyle and contacts to showcase his other portfolio. And part of the reason he acts the way he does – the attitude, the nose ring – is to exasperate the haters. If no one is going to give you a hard time, then why bother.

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Louis Vuitton wool jacket, silk shirt, wool pants, silk scarf

“Although I’ve always been seen as ‘different’, I never felt different,” he says, gesturing emotively like he usually does, while his words are ironically laced with self-depreciating Brit charm. It is equal parts nature-versus-nurture, and equal parts millennial self-assuredness. Indeed, he has a distinctive face, to say the least, and it was an X Factor that got him one a foot into the door of London’s Select Model Management. “I have to thank my parents for the way I look,” he jokes, mentioning that his father returned to South Korea when Sang was a teenager due to work commitments.

There are some who are unconvinced, and he shrugs off the occasional racism on what is now his home turf of Hampton as something that comes with the territory. And he feels it’s kind of the point. “The best thing about being at university was that students would mingle freely and converse without any preconceived prejudice,” he explains. “We had absolute freedom to express ourselves creatively.”

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Louis Vuitton, leather jacket, silk shorts

When he travels, you can add cross-culture cacophony, considerable jet-lag, and advanced dehydration to the formula. As he moves from one “adventure” (a word that he uses often) to another, he gets caught up in the flow of meeting new people and new experiences.

Evidently, where others would quail with apprehension or throw up their hands in despair when segregated as a minority, Sang sees the challenges as good opportunities to learn and grow, and to emerge a self-actualized individual who isn’t about to be blatantly demographed and rejected as a matter of principle.

What prompted your start in modelling?

I studied at Central Saint Martins (CSM) and many of the fashion students were friends who asked if I could be a model for their projects and assignments. Normally, they’ll buy me coffee or lunch as ‘repayment’, which I gleefully accepted! This became a regular occurrence and a friend of mine, who was a photographer, urged me to walk into a modeling agency. Everything else happened quite naturally right after.

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Louis Vuitton silk shirt, silk scarf

You have very unique facial features? Do you think they will affect your career in fashion in the long run?

I’ve lived in London since I was six months old when my parents migrated to London from South Korea. Naturally, I was an ethnic minority and looked different to most of my friends and peers, but college was a creative hub where people strived to be different. I do not know what the future holds, but there were never any expectations of what I needed to achieve at such a young age. Hence, my only concern is living in the present. This is the very same mindset when I got my start and it has served me well.

Growing up in London, did it help with being connected to the scene?

Being able to converse and maintain relationships with right people has been important. It wasn’t done intentionally because the individuals that I’ve maintained relationships with are my genuinely friends, regardless of whether they are in the fashion industry or not. The only advice for any aspiring model is just to be true to yourself. Also, treat people with respect and do not take anything for granted. Every opportunity is a blessing in disguise. It’s the experience and journey that matters.

How did your love of painting come about?

To be honest, I’ve loved painting ever since I can remember. It’s always been a part of my life so I cannot imagine living without it. Modeling is hardly my lifelong goal as I’ve always wanted to be an artist who thrives in difference disciplines such as drawing and photography. I’m just luckily that fashion modeling came about without me having to think about it. The fact that it blew up into something bigger than I can ever imagine is a plus. The challenge in the future is to achieve similar success as an artist, which will be challenging and exciting in equal measures.

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Dolce & Gabbana cotton T-shirt, cotton pants, woven belt

Art and fashion seems to influence one another, if you have the option work on a project combining the both, what would it be?

I would love to work and collaborate with my university mates. It is so refreshing and exciting to see them branching into the industry and working in the same field in different capacities. I would love to create an ecosystem for all of us to be able to work and collaborate constantly on different projects.

You are one of the most recognizable faces in the fashion world. Was it hard getting to where you are? Is there pressure to keep evolving?

I like to believe that I don’t view myself as how the ‘fashion world’ sees me. For sure, I am very fortunate and appreciate of the blessings and opportunities that came my way. Have I actually accomplished anything? It’s debatable. There are clearly more important things in life than what I’m doing. It gets difficult when people see you differently. I guess that has always been the struggle because when your physical identity is constantly on display, yet the voyeurs don’t actually know you, there will be preconceptions of what you’re like as a person. I don’t feel any unhappiness as a result of this, simply because they have no right to judge me. I don’t need to conform to what society tells me to do. I’ll be perfectly contented if it all ends tomorrow as I’ll be on the lookout for my next adventure.

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Gucci silk jacket, cotton shirt, silk pants, leather sandals

The shelf life for a model is relatively short, have you considered what you want to do after? 

I feel that there will not be an ‘after’. The modeling happened incidentally while I was living life the only way I knew how. As I said, it’s about what happens now and not dwelling on the past or overthinking about the future. The present is literally a gift. It’s the only time when I know that I’m alive in this world, and that’s important to me.

What does your family think of your prissier vocation?

They are happy that I am living the life that I wanted. I don’t really know (or want to know) what they actually think of my job per se. As long as they are happy and they know that I’m happy, that’s all that counts. I would say they are ‘proud’ of the fact that I’m earning my keep in this manner, because I look just like them [laughs].

Story Credits
Text by Jason Kwong
Photography by Nil Hoppenot/Silver Lake Photography
Styling by Steven Doan/Wilhelmina One
Fashion Direction by Titien Wang

This article was originally published in Men’s Folio

6 Designer Sunglasses for Spring/Summer 2016

With the summer sun upon us, intense light is a further burden to those of us already braving the heat. Spring/Summer 2016 eyewear collections have elegant and innovative designer shades on offer, allowing one to stay fashionable and comfortable, without having to squint all day long.

Offering up a big dollop of high-glitz glamor, Jimmy Choo’s Vivy shades feature round nude colored or gloss black acetate frames with Swarovski crystals as decoration. As an added plus, the jewels are fully detachable, allowing you to adapt your style for any scenario.

Jimmy-Choo-Designer-Glasses

Vivy by Jimmy Choo

With the geek chic aesthetic brought back into vogue by the likes of brands like Gucci, Tom Ford has decided to tap into that with the Greta model. These shades sport thick geometric frames in retro inspired colors such as ‘transparent pink’ and ‘honey/brown’.

Tom-Ford-Designer-Glasses

Tom Ford Greta Sunglasses Pink

Fendi takes a leap into the future with its Eye Shine collection, yet still holding within it a bit of the retro vibe. Ingeniously featuring a ‘frame within a frame’, these round glasses have a 1970s color scheme of golden yellows and turquoise blues, but have a cat’s-eye silhouette.

Fendi-Designer-Glasses

Eye Shine collection by Fendi

On the other side of the spectrum, Moncler went all the way back to the 1950s with a stylized range of butterfly shaped lenses in pastel colors like taupes, corals, and mint greens. All perfect for a laid back feminine vibe.

Moncler-Designer-Glasses

Moncler Spring/Summer 2016

The ultra-modern Chanel went for style blended with technology by having a flat-mirrored eye-mask/visor like design engraved with laser padding. This Plein Soleil 2016 line uses colors subtly based on acetate to allow for slipping back and forth from black to blue on a solar cat’s eye, or from black to white on an oval optic.

Chanel-Designer-Glasses

Chanel Eyewear Spring/Summer 2016

Finally, we take a look at Cartier. Popularly known as aviators, the Panthére de Cartier features the Maison’s emblematic panther making an unexpected appearance in the lens. The three-dimensional jeweled panther is completed in gold or platinum with black lacquer, much like most of the eyewear. Choose between a golden flash or graduated grey lenses with silver toned reflections for a sleek and polished look under the sun.

The Panthére de Cartier

The Panthére de Cartier

Images courtesy of the brands.

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

AW1617-Trends-Spring-Colors

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.

 

Nightwear for DaytimeAW1617-Trends-Nightwear

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.

Dior: London Show May Unveil New Creative Director

The fashion world waits for no one. So if you thought you could catch a breather after Fashion Week, we have news for you. Fashion house Dior has already set a date for its next show in London and might have something special in store…

Taking place May 31 at Blenheim Palace, the show is making the news for one reason. Word has it that Dior will use the show to not only unveil its 2017 cruise collection but also the debut of Dior’s new Creative Director. Said to be taking over from Raf Simmons after his departure in October of 2015, is Jonathan Saunders.

Like Bouchra Jarrar in the days leading up to her new role at Lanvin, Saunders has closed his own well-known brand. Having left Pollini in December 2015, many are speculating that the event will be a perfect way to showcase not only Saunders but also his influence on LVMH’s luxury fashion brand. Dior’s show in London will take place two days before rival Gucci’s own display on June 2 at Westminster Abbey.

Fashion Week: 5 Beauty Trends to Follow

The clothes were not the only things we kept a look out for during Fashion Week. Beauty looks and accessories draw just as much attention, and with good reason. Trends seen on the runway tend to have a major impact for the next season and if the beauty looks we’ve seen at the Fall/Winter 2016 ready-to-wear shows are any indication, drama is key.

We start with the crowning glory: The Hair. We can say goodbye to sleek hair, as designers chose big-attention grabbing hair. While Gucci in Milan featured voluminous hair, models at Rick Owens in Paris donned hair nests that some felt bordered on the conceptual. Other designers who went for the volume with the hair, was Manish Arora as he complemented his designs with crimped, wavy bouffant locks piled high.

Manish Arora at Paris Fashion Week

Manish Arora at Paris Fashion Week

Volume was not the only hair trend seen on the runways. This fall may see us take a break from the straightening irons with many such as Altazurra in New York and Giorgio Armani in Milan championing the curl. Fendi was another label to favor the look, with tight curls. One designer who put a different spin on the look was Vivienne Westwood where she pinned curls to the models’ heads for a subtle historical spin.

Fendi at Milan Fashion Week

Fendi at Milan Fashion Week

An instantly dramatic trend that some followed is that of the bleached brow. Varying levels of camouflaging and lightening were seen on the runways of Milan, London and Paris. While Armani chose to scuff out the brows of his models, Givenchy chose bleached eyebrows that seemed to appear invisible.

Irina Shayk for Givenchy's Fall/Winter 2016 collection at Paris Fashion Week.

Irina Shayk for Givenchy’s Fall/Winter 2016 collection at Paris Fashion Week.

Fashion Week took a trek back in time to revisit urban grunge with the help from the extreme smokey eye. In Paris, Saint Laurent treated guests to a visually captivating beauty look with models sporting thick-winged eyeliner flicked up to the temple. Others such as Tadashi Shoji and Dries van Noten opted for a softer, smudgier interpretation that was still striking.

Saint Laurent from Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

Saint Laurent from Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

The last of the beauty trends was the dark lips. Glam-goth was the name of the game at Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma show in New York as models walked down the ramp with black lipstick. Marc Jacobs followed suit though designers chose to lighten it up in London with deep red tones. In Paris however, Dior and Louis Vuitton sealed the deal with the former choosing a lacquered black lip.Fenty-Rihanna-NYFW-2016

 

All images are courtesy of AFP and Saint Laurent.

Interview: Alessandro Michele for Gucci

As with everything else, and very much so in fashion, timing is everything. In this seasonal trade, the relevance of any collection undoubtedly moves with the times. By the words of English author, critic, curator, and fashion historian James Laver, “When a trend is in fashion, it is ‘smart.’ A year before this, it is ‘daring.’ And 20 years later, it becomes ‘ridiculous.’” Fashion clichés aside, in this rapidly changing business, what’s in may be out faster than you think.

Timeliness is demanding and that’s all part of the business. Most of us don’t get the opportunity to witness this creative process, but we can appreciate the intricate affair of combining foresight and craft to produce collections. Before any designer showcases his or her collection for the world to see, he or she has the daunting task of forecasting what’s in for that season before he or she starts to design the pieces.

It’s this notion of timeliness that Gucci’s No Longer/Not Yet exhibition explores. Curated by its creative director, Alessandro Michele, and Love magazine’s editor-in-chief, Katie Grand, the exhibition invited seven artists (Cao Fei, Li Shurui, Jenny Holzer, Rachel Feinstein, Glen Luchford, Nigel Shafran, and Unskilled Worker) from all over the world to offer their takes on what is contemporary through their creative works including paintings, photographs, sculptures showcased in separate rooms at the Minsheng Art Museum in Shanghai. The exhibition also includes a piece by Michele titled The Boy In Red.

Since Michele took control of the house, he was inspired by the attitudes of youth and the contemporary images presented by great fashion photographers. According to the designer, “it is a state of temporal flux, where relics of the past merge with signs of the future, and where there is freedom to construct new meanings at this intersection of divergent paths.” It is with this appreciation that Michele’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection encapsulates traces of pre-existing worlds and glimmers of worlds in the making.

According to Michele, his work has been largely influenced by the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s take on the subject. “Those who are truly contemporary are those who neither perfectly coincide with their time nor adapt to its demands… They are never at home in the present moment.” With the prevailing theme of exploring the notion of contemporary as well as Agamben’s writing as a starting point, the seven artists got to work.Gucci-Tian_Full-View_Courtesy-of-HE-Yuchao

How did the two of you put this exhibition together?

Alessandro Michele: It began with a brave idea – we did not have a lot of time to tell the story. I wanted to show my personal approach to what time and contemporary meant. It is not a very precise idea, but I shared it with some people, and we began with this idea. When you have to work on a show, it is such hard work. It is about long hours, people waiting, and focusing on all the minute details. You see a beautiful picture that people love – and this is an accumulation of effort. I understand people just want to see the posh side of fashion, but it is something that comes with a lot of work. When I started working at Gucci, I tried to destroy everything and create something new. We changed the space completely, and the way we worked transformed with the space, along with our working attitudes. I tried to push another design language as well. It was a bit of a crazy place to be at the time, but if you want to create something new in the fashion or art world, you have to go a bit mad first. That’s when you can start your own little revolution.

Katie Grand: And this is something extremely different to what Gucci was before, where it was greatly focused on luxury and travel.

AM: I wanted to liberate Gucci from the cage that is fashion. I was very inspired by the attitudes of youth and the contemporary images presented by great fashion photographers. This was the beginning where I felt like I needed to clean up Gucci. But I am not a minimalist designer, I am more maximalist. I need more and more. It is a way to communicate, I feel. I like this invention of a super sleek language.

What does the title of the show, No Longer/Not Yet, mean?

AM: It is about the now. It is a beautiful sentence that says, “I need to talk about the present, the contemporary.” My point of view on this is very personal. If you want to talk about what is contemporary, you can’t use something succinct and present, you also have to look to the past, which I do with my designs. It is a way to see where we are now. It is a philosophy that I follow, even though it’s difficult to explain.

Katie, what is your take?

KG: When people talk about modernity so much in fashion, it becomes a word that has been used too often.

AM: People in the fashion industry are very sensitive to the future, but I am not too much. My work is much more of a process. I really love talking about what is contemporary; in the way everyone can use a minimalistic expression to explain what contemporary means to them. The future is not something I am interested in very much, because I see value in using what is in the present to build the future instead. You can dream about the future, but the most inspiring thing about the present is truly the now.Nigel_Courtesy-of-XIE-Yingjie

There is a piece by you, Alessandro. What is it about?

AM: I decided to talk about the idea of beauty, and decided to construct a space with a cube to translate the illusion of beauty. Placing it inside a mirrored box and coupling it with a reproduction of an old Tudor painting in my home. I wanted to let the past talk to the present. I tried to put some meaning to allow differing points of time to communicate – beauty becomes an open space and it becomes an idea that the beauty you value is the one that you don’t wholly understand.

Your works amplify the effect of gender-blurring. So is this a reflection of how you think we dress ourselves?

KG: I think it is interesting as when I first walked into the Gucci store, and it was the first time Alessandro’s collection was in the store. And for someone like me who knows the brand inside out, I was confused as to whether what I was seeing was for men or women. And he answered, it is whatever you want it to be. It’s an elegant way to merge differing aesthetics that we adopt into our daily lives.

AM: It is a way to live. I try to push the question of gender, and I think it was very clear in my show. My personal idea of beauty is reflected in this statement. Even when I shop in my own time, I find myself being drawn to beautiful pieces from women’s collections. It is to say that you can liberate yourself, and be free without prescribing to gender norms. If you’re free, everything is fun.

Story Credits

Text by Lance Lim

This story was first published in Men’s Folio.