The Nature in Spring Fashion ’16

5 Apr

A Secret Garden flourishes with new life this spring fashion season 2016. Designers are inspired by Mother Nature and her bustling kingdom of flora and fauna. A vibrant kaleidoscope of color is a welcome reprieve from the dull grey color of winter and opens our eyes to a view of rich fields of fashion options.

An enchanted wilderness of vines, flowers, birds, rainbows, and blue skies, spring’s collections were entwined with the beauty of the season. Gucci’s spring RTW 2016 collection featured mythical designs and exaggerated landscapes. Forbidden forests laid grounds of oversized flowers that adorned leather, silk, and chiffon. A leather moto jacket and mini skirt ensemble was embroidered with brightly colored peonies, honeycomb, and ivy as butterflies danced in and about the inlaid garden. A serpentine winds sinuously up the pant leg of an outfit or, more obscurely, hiding in an intricate pattern of vines. A brown mink intarsia coat creeps up with sprouts from Jack’s bean stalk.

Floral patterns were pervasive in the spring collections but the way they were done was anything but expected. Brock’s RTW 2016 collection featured a black and white silhouette of flowers and vines. It was modern and clean-a departure from the usual brightly colored floral presentations. Giorgio Armani did a maxi dress of silk chiffon decorated with ivory peonies against a salmon background-powerful and feminine at the same time. The more usual florid designs included a brightly colored car wash ensemble from Chanel. The motif and movement of the dress pulsated with pure excitement and anticipation of the warm weather ahead.

Fashion took flight with bird and butterfly motifs. What could be more synonymous with the advent of spring? Alberta Ferretti created the most magical gowns that mimic monarch butterflies in her spring 2016 collection. Diane Von Furstenberg for spring RTW 2016 used gold thread to weave frolicking butterflies which danced all along cream chiffon dresses. Marc Jacobs embellished a blue pantsuit with two kissing swans-everlasting love for sure! Sonia Rykiel’s spring collection used brightly colored birds flying in a midnight sky with a sunshine colored fur boa to pull the whole look together. Snow White and her song couldn’t romance the feathered friends more effectively if she tried.

Accessories became a fun way to bring in the outside. Dolce and Gabbana’s spring RTW 2016 was themed off of a Roman holiday. Oversized flowers pinned on hems and in the hair, it was a key accessory to be worn with just the right amount of whimsy and attitude. A colorful fur clutch, dangling oranges made up earrings, sandals decorated with roses and fur pon poms, and big, bright sunglasses completed the romantic notion and dreams of a warm weather vacation come true. Starfish, crabs, stripped umbrellas, and pineapple appliqués were reminiscent of a sea side vacation. All you needed was the fruity drink with an umbrella in it.

After the wind and the rain, a Technicolor view is within our reach. Spring 2016 is on the horizon and promises to breath fresh air into our fashion routine.

Fur-sure Fall Trends 2016

1 Apr

Want to turn your fall fashion 2016 into something altogether amazing? Well, we’re here to help. Why not start off with a must have mink intarsia walking coat, or maybe pick a fox fur collar for your statement piece, or how about a dramatic fur cape to swoop in and show off your unmistakable style? Just make sure you layer things on, prepare for what old man winter throws your way and show him who’s boss.

From a frenetic pace of fall fashion show reviews from New York, London, Milan, and Paris, there were a few signs of reoccuring signature styles that are here to stay. Fashion mandates that fur is not just a luxury item in your closet reserved for only special occasions. It is a must have essential in your wardrobe. As the thermometer drops, we track the trends and chart a course  to destination high fashion…… is it getting hot in here or is that my fur keeping me warm?

The season’s most stunning combinations from the catwalk can fold seamlessly into every day, wearable chic. The designers have created the perfect balance to keep today’s modern woman warm and stylish. Here’s a few of our favorite picks!……

Mink intarsia topper coats have taken center stage as a key piece for cold weather dressing. Form and function, these coats are made to endure a full season of wearability day to evening. Their slim lines make them comfortable to wear, easy to travel in, and allow you layer all you like. The colorful patterns and artistic flair of intarsia design shows the singular style and sophistication of the woman who wears it. Chuck your everyday boring wool coat and replace it with a glamorous mink intarsia coat. It’s investment dressing that will take you around the block, around the clock and around the globe in first class fashion.

Great news! ….Capes aren’t just for superheros anymore. Welcome to the season where wardrobe choices are gloriously bold and the impact on your look is just as big. The timeless style of a cape shows an effortless, fashionable appeal that can be worn just about anywhere. Thrown over your shoulders, it tells the world, “yes, I do wake up looking this glamorous.” Created from fine mink in black or brown,  this style cape looks very old Hollywood. Saint Laurent went full tilt including a sweeping 3/4 long black mink cape with a regal metal closure. Take that, Game of Thrones fans! Pick a shearing and leather design for daytime chic with a tough girl appeal. Add beads and a fox fur collar and this cape has you front row at the opera. No matter your lifestyle, a fur cape is a cool girls guide to today’s modern trend.

Boho chic in a mixture of fur pelts is the new way to neutral. Pattern mixing is here to stay and when it includes color combinations of white, brown, tan and black, it becomes a versatile basic you can’t go without. Provenza-Schuler,  a designer known for sleek fashion engineering even introduced their own version of this gypsy mash up.  Marrying rabbit, fox, and lynx furs promises a life long commitment to luxury and style that say’s “I do.”

The fox fur collar is the absolute first and last word on luxury.  It would be faster and more efficient to name which designers didn’t feature this look somewhere in their collection. Whether it adorns the lapel of a walking coat or blazer, it is the finishing touch that says you’ve arrived. Sonia Rykiel hardly had a look that was missing this trend.  A detachable collar with a ribbon to fasten it about your neck is the modern accessory that takes that place of a necklace. Roksanda made this a must have and a go anywhere piece that sets you head and shoulders from the crowd.

What’s especially exciting about the trends emerging from the fall RTW 2016 collections at home and across the pond is their versatility. The furs have an everyday ease that are made to work and endure a season of wear. Introducing ideas like fun fur accessories and intarsia top coats show how easily these little extras reinvent your wardrobe.

 

Check out my Pinterest from some inspiration…..https://www.pinterest.com/niemannnichole/fur-shure-fall-trends-2016/

 

 

 

 

 

Fall 2016 Fur Accessories

27 Mar

While the blur of fall’s RTW fashion week 2016 remains fresh in our rear view mirror, with eager anticipation we focus on the road ahead towards spring.   As we navigate that transition, it’s always useful to review critical designer cues that will keep our multi-seasonal style on the fast track to sophistication – and this year, it’s all in the accessories! The rule of three when getting dressed goes like this- top, pant, accessory! It’s the finishing touch that makes the look. We break down the looks and parse out what’s important. Here’s your road map to success in adding accessories to take your look across the finish line…..

A jacket is NEVER NOT an awesome idea and completes your look EVERY TIME. It’s a power player in a wardrobe and the designers gave us a multitude of options. For example, a fur bathrobe coat from Cavailli or Brock can be wrapped like a blouse, a dress, or a topper over your shoulders. For the adventurous and exotic girl who likes to live life on the edge, add a jacket made from a skin. It’s lightweight, durable, and coordinates from day to evening. Leave it to Cavailli to be skin-tastic! A jacket with fur sleeves was a popular favorite among the designers this year and is a twist on the ordinary. Colorful fox fur sleeves were added to tweed and leather coats and the combination was really a dominate take away from the shows. Prada, Antonio Marras, and Suno perfected this look. They ever popular moto coat showed up time and again. Diesel Black Gold and Mulberry used silver hardware to toughen up the approach. Anyway you look at it, a jacket is key piece that gives you maximum mileage for your investment. It is the first and last word on a must have accessory.

Make a statement without saying a word. Designers Lanvin, Sally La Pointe and Givenchy add a fur boa to RTW that inspires and turns heads. Long, luxurious, and powerful, this accessory gets you past the velvet rope and into your own VIP section. Thrown over one shoulder, this is a simple way to style it and it’s very effective. Drape it around the back of your neck, put a belt at your waist, and you’ve got a shawl collar that’s killer. Wrap it around your neck and add a rhinestone pin and this is a necklace of epic proportion.

Designers Versace and Lanvin put a tail on it! A rabbit or fox tail make a great addition to purses. Pin these pieces and show your fun and whimsical side. It’s also a tactile treasure to play with if you don’t have a toy poodle tucked in your bag.

The fall RTW fashion shows gave us great styling options. Your formula for fashion success begins and ends with a great fur accessory. Today’s top designers give you the newest color combinations, daring silhouettes, and luxury beyond expectation. Add a jacket, boa, or a tail and you have a recipe for fashion success. Fur is a unique material that is in a class of its own. It’s eye catching with its wistful appearance, refracting light and air. It defines the silhouettes with a subtle halo effect and most of all it begs to be touched.
Your imagination is your limitation.

Here’s a link to my Pinterest for some inspiration:

 

 

 

Ring in Spring 2016

24 Mar

The forecast for spring predicts partly sexy with a chance of fun.  As the temperatures rise, let the layers melt. Soft feminine fabrics, girly designs, and bright colors all make us giddy with excitement. The Spring RTW 2016 collection is blooming with limitless options.

Persephone ascends  from the underworld and breathes new life into terra ferma and her offspring. Flowers burst on the scene and are in full view inspiring fashion. Floral patterns adorn boxy crop tops, midi skirts, and topper coats. Fashion mirrors nature as we shed the dull grey’s away. A sunrise combination of colors, exotic patterns and a perfect vacation dream come true. Nicole Miller, Elie Saab, and Alexander McQueen were just a few of many who made a special delivery with floral prints. Grab a colorful curly lamb hair purse and you’ve got the look nailed!

The color white is as ubiquitous to spring/summer as are pool parties and barbeques. Each in its own way, they are always fun even though somewhat expected. This season the designers gave white a revamp by adding texture. Long forgotten are the crisp, white men’s wear shirts and now eyelet and lace add lady like glam. Elie Saab and Rochas used a geometric, 3D effect that was modern and uber cool.  But leave it to Dennis Basso to deliver the fait de complis…..his lazer cut white leather and fur pieces leave you breathless and enchanted. Basso’s craftsmanship and his imagination is second to none.

The moto jacket is here to stay forever and ever amen. It’s a must have in black leather first and then pick it up in distressed brown with shearling lining. Trust me, no regrets! What to pair it with for spring?…….Move over skinny pant and make way for your more voluptuous cousin because the wide leg trouser is taking center stage. In soft, flowing fabrics, this is the perfect silhouette for this season. A carefree yet classic style, this pant is a breath of fresh air. The white palazzo pant is a key piece and can be paired with a crop top, tight tee,  or a blouse knotted at the waist. Leave it to designer Ralph Lauren to nail this look. A vertical stripe trouser is your secret weapon to make you taller and thinner than ever before. It’s up to you if you want to share the secret. Any way you style it, these pants are a winner in every way.

Ladies, listen up because here’s the key piece for decades to come. Sophia Loren made it famous, Anna Wintor uses it as her go-to, and now you can join in their ranks…..a lightweight cheetah print or pony hair walking coat is your secret weapon to complete style domination. Designers Saint Laurent and Bally highlight this look and make a lasting impression. The cheetah print and cow hide makes up today’s modern trench and is the perfect complement to your busy lifestyle. Black pants, jeans, or your LuLu Lemon leggings, this topper coat completes any look.

Spring fashion is such a welcome friend and reminder to live footloose and fancy free. Fluid fabrics that dance in the wind and bright colors that shine new light, warm weather dressing is about loosening the tension, opening the window and let the spring fever begin.

A few pics from my Pinterest:https://www.pinterest.com/niemannnichole/spring-trends-2016/

 

 

 

 

Paris Spring Couture 2016 Wrap Up

10 Feb

 

Whether you were inspired by the styles, moved by the colors, or entertained by the Hollywood like productions that fashion shows have become, we are reminded that ultimately Paris couture fashion week is all about quality in custom creations. This kind of old world craftsmanship, painstaking attention to details, keen selection of fabric, and threads spun of real gold, couture is the pinnacle of luxury.

Quite the contrary, “fast fashion” should be considered the red headed step child hidden under the stairs to it’s relative “couture.”  “Fashion fashion” defines clothing collections which are based on the most current trends.  Cheap and affordable clothes are mass produced in rapid pace and distributed to stores in the fastest way possible.  The consumer eats, digests, and regurgitates these pieces like the #1 value meal at McDonald’s.  It looks good in the pictures and seems like a guiltless pleasure but in the end it leaves us dissatisfied and empty. Retailers flood the stores with racks upon racks of gotta-have-it now colorful tees, jeans, and paper thin sweaters and jackets. This is a problem for the fine art of couture fashion.

After watching a full week of shows in Paris, I feel like I’ve been to every museum and cultural event in town. Each piece comes to life on the runway like art in motion. Every elegant outfit is a wearable work of art that must be revered and admired as if were as precious as a master’s painting hanging in the Louvre.

_VAL1164 _VAL1137 _VAL0383Viktor & Rolf Spring 2016 CoutureViktor & Rolf Spring 2016 Couture

Speaking of masters, the couture house Valentino and its spring collection and over all brand are just that- master works of art. This spring, Valentino wistfully recalls the romanic medieval times. Juliet style silhouettes of fine silk and brocade which frame the feminine figure in a soft, elegant line as if she were stepping out of a Mid Summer Night’s Dream.

The theme of fashion as works of art continued with Viktor and Rolf’s couture spring collection. Statuesque models moved as if almost petrified in cubist art designs. Picasso himself would have been moved by such an interpretation. To make fabric crease, cut, fold, mold, and lay at such attention shows how the hands of a genius can create given the space.Zuhair Murad Spring 2016 Couture

Zuhair Murad’s collection titled “Amour-en-Cage”-love in cage- was exactly that. Boning in corsets and skirts was skillfully used in the construction to frame and shape the fabric. Lace overlays and floral appliqués looked like a garden of flowers and butterflies under glass.

Guo Pei Spring 2016 CoutureGuo Pei Spring 2016 Couture

What was equally exciting was Guo Pei’s Paris Couture debut. She was made famous by designing the gilded gold robe that Rihanna wore to the Met Gala last year. All eyes were on this custom designer who has gone viral and she didn’t disappoint. How befitting that her background  was in costume design which made creating a couture collection come as naturally to her as any gifted and inspired artist.  Use of fine details like feathers, crystals, tassels and touches of fur, Pei showed no restraint to adorn each piece as if were made for a diva herself.

Paris Spring Couture 2016 reminds me a renaissance waiting to happen.  Skillful artisans using age old techniques with fabric, thread, beads, and patterns. Sewing is an art. Designing fashion is a true talent. Using the finest material the trade has to offer is the standard. Combined, this is what couture is all about- an appreciation for the fine art of fashion which shouldn’t be rushed or reduced, rather it should be respected, preserved, and revered.

Evolution of Fashion Week

10 Feb

This year’s VIP list for Fashion Week 2016 includes Anna Wintour, Beyoncé, The Olsen Twins, Kim Kardashian, and YOU! These shows used to be “invite only” events but this year The British Fashion Council, BFC, launches an industry wide initiative in London to open the shows to the public.
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“Fashion Weekend” will be held at the Saatchi Gallery, a 70,000 square foot building located in central London on the famous Kings Road. Featured in London’s Fashion Weekend will be designers Emilia Wickstead (http://emiliawickstead.com/welcome/), Holly Fulton (http://www.hollyfulton.com), Mary Katrantzou (www.marykatrantzou.com), and Temperley London (http://www.temperleylondon.com/). Each day, one designer produces a runway show that is repeated two to four times throughout the day.

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This shift isn’t exclusive to London. Other fashion capitals of the world have taken notice, sparking conversation around making the shows of fashion week more accessible. CFDA, The Council of Fashion Designers of America, has hired Boston Consulting Group to assess the demand and the impact this change would have on the industry.

Historically, every city’s fashion week has been a closed event. Top magazine editors, photographers, celebrities, and the fashion elite go beyond the velvet rope leaving the general public behind. Hand delivered invitations and secret show locations were just a few of the elite marketing tactics used by designers to create buzz around their collection. But this exclusivity is being questioned.  Designers feel that reaching their customer directly will benefit the bottom line.  “Since I started showing in 1983, I have always had about 50 percent consumers at my shows. It gets the customers excited and gives them some incentive to buy,” said Dennis Basso, luxury designer.
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An underlying problem of fashion week has been the time lag between the collection and the season.  February shows highlight next fall’s offerings which is a disconnect from the “buy now, wear now” demands of today’s consumer.  If the designers want to start to produce fashion shows for the customer and not the editors, the collection needs to be “in season”. Lisa Sugar, founder and president of PopSugar says the current set up is confusing to consumers.  “When our audience sees something they love on the runway or spectacular street style, they expect to be able to buy it right away. In fact, through our proprietary research PopSugar Insights, 71 percent of our audience have made a purchase immediately upon reading about a new product online,” says Sugar. If this is true of the majority of the public, having shows where consumers see the product, want the product, and then buy the product could mean a big pay day for designers.

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Taking a page from the auto industry, Fashion Week can model their event to combine a large scale expo that attracts consumers and buyers alike. The Auto Show travels from city to city highlighting today’s car trends and tickling the imagination of future design. Similar to the what the fashion industry has done for years, the Auto Show hosts a “First Look” invite only event which reaches the elite crowd of dealers and media, maintaining the cache of an exclusive event. What sets the car industry apart is that later in the week, the doors open to the public. The showroom floods with consumers, successfully creating buzz and excitement. If designers modernize the fashion show model by making their customers part of the process, it can only translate into increased brand awareness, loyalty, and revenue.

Paris Couture 2016 Spring part 2

3 Feb

Get ready to drop a few dimes and dress like you mean it. The lineup of designers midweek include Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Elie Saab, and Stéphane Rolland. With the name comes a reputation and expectation to be “wowed” and I’m still speechless. A feast for the eyes! Titillating creations! Ethereal fabrics! Sexy! Yes, Paris Couture Fashion Week 2016 has hit its stride. 

Midweek shows appeal to the girl who considers herself a traditionalist. Timeless style, elegant fabric, and a penchant for details, this group of designers, overall, stayed true to their roots-expected tweed from Chanel, risque and racy from Gaultier, fragile luxury from Saab, and sexy sophistication from Rolland. Even though predicated and expected, there is something to be said about a solid brand that doesn’t disappoint. 

Exercising control and restraint in a world that demands new and improved is hard for the tried and true fashion houses. Finding a balance between these polar opposites challenges even the most seasoned designers. Karl Lagerfeld, for example, keeps in step with the suited styles of tweed but his modern twist was to add a hip belt to carry your Iphone. 

Elie Saab’s collection was consistent with rich decadence that just looking at it made your teeth hurt. The finest laces, jewels, and trims reminded me of opening a Maharajah treasure chest. Saab added jeweled combat boots and rockstar jumpsuits to make it more “of the now”.

The fashion show setting and staging has taken over as a signification part of the production. Creating a mood by using elaborate backdrops is a vast departure from the historical white paneled staging of yester year.  Chanel’s show manufactured a grassy garden with a Japanese style wood bento box erected in the Grand Palais.  Gaultier didn’t disappoint either. His setting was a hedonistic night club.  What made this even more interesting was the models’ “chewing up the scenery”- a choreographer’s term to define overacting on stage. 

A model wears a creation for Jean Paul Gaultier's Spring-Summer 2016 Haute Couture fashion collection presented in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

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There is one collection that still languishes in mind like a pheromone perfume inviting a night of sexy seduction. Stéphane Rolland’s collection was interesting, exciting, sophisticated, sexy, powerful, and feminine-a full range of details that have left me thinking. Rolland takes a lot of fashion design staples and puts them together in a modern way. The black bow, high/low hem line, and origami pleated details combined to make it interesting to the eye mixing little girl charm with womanly sophistication.

Blending past, present, and future is what it’s all about this week in Paris. Iconic designers mixing their old trade artesian craftsmanship with steely tech savvy creates couture that’s out of this world.