Milan to Paris

The wearable and innovative trends from London and New York continued through to Milan, a city known for its decadence and extravagance, with more fur, gold leathers, lamés and sequins on the catwalks. Here are my highlights from Milan.

 

Fendi with the amazing Karl Lagerfeld didn’t disappoint. Cara Delevingne opened the show wearing a sleek, fur-hooded coat, carrying a white handbag in one hand and in the other, what looked like a voodoo doll – but what was actually a doll version of the Kaiser himself. I want!

 

The show as usual, was strong on the fur this season, attached in little patches on sleeves and on the front of coats, details on bag handles, tufts in contrasting colours on bags, or more prominently on  some luxurious coats with matching hoods in brown and white fox fur. This was mixed with black and dark green velvet dresses embellished with crystal constellations, and finished with long white gloves, white boots and fresh white orchids on a green fur collar. The ultimate in head-to-toe fur dressing.

 

There was shearling spilling out under panels of gold leather at Prada, (pictured left) setting shearling as a major trend for autumn/winter 2014. It even featured on organza silk dresses in racing stripes. The collection showed a series of grey jackets and coats, mannish and a little oversized with seams of shaggy Mongolian fur. They were teamed with loose Seventies shirtdresses and finished with a thin silk scarf, and a pair of pumps lifted up on wedged soles.

 

For Moschino, American designer, Jeremy Scott’s first show (pictured right) was bound to be interesting. He is said to be a designer known for his loud and proud attitude to fashion, he is all about fun and making a statement, which teamed with Moschino’s tongue-in-cheek caricature style really would be interesting!

 

This collection was all about pop culture and the world of fast food. The collection transformed a model into SpongeBob SquarePants, a server at McDonald’s, a packet of biscuits, or a Hershey’s chocolate bar turned into a ball gown.

 

The models carried served up trays with quilted bags in fast food chain shades and the McDonald’s ‘M’ into the Moschino heart. It was overall a love-in of fast food and fast fashion – every girl’s dream, surely?

 

Following its Byzantine collection for fall 2013, and its Sicilian temple-inspired collection for spring 2014, Dolce & Gabbana presented a collection gilded and lavish, with helmeted knights, medieval gowns and fairytale-inspired looks.

 

This was one of the more unwearable collections but beautifully crafted, with jewels and black floral appliqué, plus more fur. Amazing accessories included little golden, gem-encrusted boxes for handbags and sparkling pointed ballet flats, conveying a kind of like a fairy tale Game of Thrones set.

 

Finally onto Paris… As one of my favourite brands, the Balmain collections are always exciting to see and this show had a theme heavily influenced by safari. There was a lot of olive, front-pocketed utilitarian jackets and cargo pants, and loads of leopard and zebra. Plus, luxe leathers, sumptuous silks and gold chain inlays. The silhouettes went between slinky and mannish, with waist-accentuating fit-and-flair tops and dresses, to oversized, slouchy leather jackets and loose jumpsuits.

 

Chloé showed big sweeping wrap coats, which were unstructured and pillowy, in padded leather or made entirely of marabou feathers. There were even padded and quilted boots to match.

The leather was tan and tissue-thin, which looked amazingly soft with lots of statement, flirty silk dresses. The prettiest was in vanilla silk, tiered and ruffled with flowing batwing sleeves.

 

Karl Lagerfeld is all about the modern, his Instagram and Twitter show his love of gadgets and obsession with current pop culture, so this guaranteed the show was going to be different.

 

He created his very own Chanel (pictured left) shopping centre, aisles with Chanel-branded pasta, meats, cleaning products, home goods, and so much more. And as inside a real supermarket, there were all types of women, from hip and young, to polished and sophisticated. There were girls in crop tops and leggings and of course the trademark black and white tweed, to older ladies in classic skirt suits.

There were girls in crop tops and leggings and of course the trademark black and white tweed, to older ladies in classic skirt suits. Some of the models even carried metal baskets trimmed with the brand’s signature bag chain, while others had quilted black headphones wrapped around their necks. He has big plans this year, including a new flagship store opening on Regent Street, where everyone can buy a mini Karl! Who knows what’s next, maybe a Karl supermarket in every town?

 

So, to add to my AW14 wish wardrobe from the Paris and Milan catwalks – lots and lots more fur, more shearling, head-to-toe outfits in one trend, and of course, a voodoo Karl bag, to carry to the Chanel superstore.

London to New York city

The Fashion weeks have arrived….. city by city – each with a their own week long extravaganza known for producing some of the world’s most exciting and dynamic fashion talents and trends.

NEW YORK was up first, a city that this year became crowned the most fashionable in the world by the Global language monitor, taking the title from London who came first in 2011 and 2012, but third this year. Paris ranked in second place; Los Angeles came in fourth – the first time that the city has made it into the top four. Barcelona was fifth, followed by Rome and then Berlin.

So what better place to start the Fashion rollercoaster of trends than the big apple:

NYFW has always been not so greatly known by the fashion press for its circus-like and expensive atmosphere, but this autumn/winter shows had been restricted and some even pushed to show in Brooklyn, this toned down attitude was reflected also in the collections shown, resulting in wearable, gorgeous, new and exciting clothing……, the odd pop of colour or print but overall a grown up and clean style in a muted, inexpensive way.

So here are the highlights from New York:

Diane Von Furstenberg celebrates 40 years of her iconic wrap dress this year with a worldwide programme of celebrations, her show, Entitled Bohemian Wrapsody, had all emphasis on the wrap. She showed wrap blouses and wrap cardigans – some long and lean, others cropped and embellished in diamante sunbursts. They were partnered with bias-cut maxi velvet skirts and long jersey trousers, her collection was surrealist inspired with pattern and colour, lots of gold, the wrap dress itself was renewed in graphic blk and white floral, or abstract and patchwork, overall a beautiful collection.
Next the DKNY show entitled, new York mash up, “OLD school, new school, chic with street… sick to slick’ Donna Karan sent out a wardrobe of perfect hipster wear urban staples, including quilted black parkas with furry hoods, and striped shearling details, classic yet cool, In addition to plenty of black her palette was injected with colour combinations of navy and Bordeaux and yellow and grey. neon lace minidress’s mixed with fur, black and white, emblazoned slick leather, camo print sneakers, loose sweaters, and grey suits, Donna Karan’s designs tap into a youth, urban culture while remaining confident and sexy,

, Victoria Beckham’s collection moved away from the success of the signature dresses that she built her brand upon to a longer, more fluid line. A little bit masculine, a lot nonchalant She said this collection was thought about in 3D, This vision reflected in a beautifully-cut long line coat, which had chiffon box pleats at the back; pleats and other details a recurring theme which felt new With small elements of decoration added to this sophisticated simplicity; a chunky gold chain side fastening, to backless halter neck tunics. Frothy ruffles on sheer tops and curious abstract prints on lean and fluid, rippled and folded fabrics, chain detail fastenings, the message was understated sex appeal, using pleats, bubble folds to create an elegant confidence.

Alexander Wang’s models walked with hair slicked down, combed tight to heads looking like sci fi man-mannequins from a digital age. Wearing a series of stiff tunic dresses with hard leather collars and moulded 3D storage compartments, this collection was all about construction and technology to create the detail, Bags took on a similar feel, which were more like belts slung over shoulders streaming in flask holders. An impressive finale of heat-activated looks that changed colour before fashion spectators’ eyes, while whirling around on a conveyor belt was the highlight.

Marc by Marc Jacobs first collection since he left Louis Vuitton was the funnest of the shows with bizarre references to ninjas, samurai and BMX icons, which looked very cool.

An Alice and Wonderland theme set the scene for the bold collection where Jacobs & co. installed wooden ramps to create a skater park.

Looks were either rebelliously masculine — sharp-shouldered blazers and draped trousers tucked into knee-length socks and tall, chunky sneaker-boots — or kitschily feminine — blouses adorned with giant bows and big, pleated skirts. Monochromatic looks in a palette of beige, taupe and cornflower blue, felt like a soft space-age uniform. Every piece — tunics, keyhole dresses, leggings — all appeared designed to be mix-and-matched for easy dressing. Shearling-trimmed bomber jackets and ombre’d versions painted in pretty pastels paired with cropped pants in rich browns and tans. The sparkle and wow came in, crystal embellished dresses with gorgeous ruffles of washed-out organza ruffles, The Marc Jacobs girl has grown from the pretty, clever, confident girl we’ve seen to date, into something more rebellious, aggressive and cool in an overall wearable and commercial collection.

MARC JACOBS’s main collection heralded a strong new beginning for the designer’s brand – as he now focuses all of his attention on his main label. It was a palette of nude luxury with long stretched hemlines, pastels, rich browns, sky values, leather and fur like care bear colours, Kendall Jenner was a talking point as she made her catwalk debut at the show,

Other highlights included

Calvin Klein whose amazing knitwear was strong in blk and white, knitted homespun sweaters, with textures, and frayed edges,
Ralph Lauren’s bohemian look featured flannel plaids, floral skirts, but still with an all American look, a soft palette of almost fifty shades of grey,
Prenatal schouler, showed prints, abstract and textured in woven miniskirts and layers of graphic red, white and black.
Micheal kors, again stuck to the neutral theme with luxiourious fur and cashmere, and flowing chiffon.
Rodarte one of the most talked-about collections with block Black, white and blue, shine and metallic, lots of turtlenecks, and a random but inspired finale of retro feel of intergalactic, Star Wars prints, featuring the likes of Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, R2-D2, and the Death Star, translated in beautiful ruffled, silky dresses in washed out tones.
Vera Wang showed all black, large checks on silk, bugs and beetle prints,
Tory Burch inspired by medieval metal, chain belts, fur muffs, rich tapestries, bejewelled embroidery and opulent Prints
The Row All Oversized oatmeal, cream and black, smart tailoring, inspired from their own style and very masculine in design
Phillip lim showed dip dyed fur, cherry and lavender tones, large checks in both masculine and feminine styles and big knits with giant ruffles
Alexander Wang, stuck to tomboy dressing, Boxy and mannish tailored shapes worn with sporty jackets, His knits and textures patterned with zig zags, armour like shapes and crazy utility style bags,
Rag and bone showed heavy fair isle knits, oversized gingham, winters off whites, browns and olives, artful splattered print dresses,

London next first whose reputation has changed from being a harbourer of creative, but often commercially unique designers, to a place that nurtures emerging talents and puts them on a global stage.

New to the schedule this season were Whistles, Joseph and Marks & Spencer – Joseph celebrates the 25th anniversary of its famed Fulham Road store this season, ( the very place where I started my career into fashion as a Joseph shop girl many years ago!) by launching a capsule collection created by labels such as Giles, Balmain and Jonathan Saunders.

Highlights from LFW shows were:

Preen who did Star Wars too! They opted to showcase Darth Vader splashed across their dresses. Much more modern than the Rodarte versions, these featured kaleidoscopic prints and laser-cut-looking techniques. Star Wars prints on silk soft English tailored suits and fur trimmed military coats, this will be a trend copied on the high street very soon

Mulberry unveiled a new bag range named and designed by Cara Delevinge, The new must have bag is a three-in-one: It can be worn as a backpack, over the shoulder or handheld. It comes in a variety of sizes, fabrics and colorways, including camo hair calf, black quilted leather and “silky” taupe leather. Delevingne added personal touches to the classic styles with features of lion rivets and heart patches inspired by her infamous tattoos.

PAUL SMITH’s collection was like a visual biography of his career, currently the subject of the exhibition ‘Hello my name is Paul Smith’ at the Design Museum, it was mannish and effortless with lots of British lounge appeal. He sent out loose pyjama shirts and bottoms worn comfortably and easy. He then elaborated on this idea with pyjama all-in-ones that tied, dressing gown-style, at the waist. This Lounge wear was designed to be worn out and about, inspired by wallpaper, tapestry prints and paisley patterns on cropped trousers, loose dresses and single-breasted blazers. There were polka dots and pinstripes for masculine suiting and there were colourful bursts of shearling accessorised with looped light scarfs tied loosely and worn with oversized satchels across the body.

Topshop Unique show Anna Wintour, Sir Philip Green, Kate Moss, and her little model sister Lottie in the FROW the only high street brand that commands such attention, This season it was all about English heritage and a “rebellious streak”, which meant this was a girl gang at its fashion best. The styling especially – a mix of the belted and bunched , It was a true reflection of how girls want to look and how they wear their clothes – something Topshop has always been good at doing. They showed cropped little knits over gymslips and super cool, padded puffa parkas in steel and navy. Pinafore dresses and then prom numbers with bare shoulders, sheer, sequined dresses with squared-off necklines. Sweatshirts were beaded with fake fuzzy shearling – colourful and patch worked to give a romantic quality to the whole thing. A mood of Modern bohemian with fur and suede.

Christopher Kanes show was such a huge catalogue of ideas it was astounding. He showed mannish tailoring, in a cropped double breasted jacket partnered up with slouchy trousers. Then came a series of techy nylon outerwear, puffa jackets in new silhouettes, breezy drawstring parkas and cagoules with glossy front pouches, some partnered with coloured corduroys with patch pockets. Glossy black patent miniskirts and pea coats with pink Mongolian lining. Then the knits came in neon green fisherman ribbed styles a series of wool crepe suiting, embroidered with crystals, Evening wear was baby doll dresses,. Decorated in organza, and edged in contrasting colours. And a Christopher Kane sporty chic with fur and lots of texture and pattern. The eight-piece line up of the designers first handbag collection featuring styles crafted in calfskin, python and crocodile, This year comes the designers first store too!

Mary Katrantzou,: surprised us with not a digital print in sight.. The designer who built her brand on a strict formula of amazing and unique bold prints showed a collection all about language, ideas of nationality and political allegiance. There were notions of uniform, and badges of honour from military medals to scout patches, ultra-mini cocktail dresses emblazoned in fantastic prints. Lean, ankle-grazing long-sleeved gowns were pieced together by crocheted symbols. the overall effect was exceptionally beautiful. Her chainmail dresses suspended from brace-style straps, with silk pleats, all in a palette of navy, and Bordeaux, beautifully crafted, incredibly worked pieces, texture and detail on all silhouettes, A collection that needs to be seen up close to appreciate the detail, work and beauty.

Burberry didn’t disappoint with Hand painted, flowers, graphics, pastel watercolour outfits in autumnal tones all partnered with the dome shaped bag. The collection Inspired by the “Bloomsbury artistic set” of the early 20th century was a gentler, more bohemian collection. No stiff, shiny trench coats this time; instead they were decorated with skins and fur; and soft-flowing dresses and cosy shearling jackets and coats, many of them hand-painted with floral motifs. Scarves and ponchos featured worn around the neck and held in place with a belt. The must have Burberry cover-up this season was not the trench or biker or the cape – but a chic sheepskin, which was hand-painted with simple florals, leaves and abstract decoration in gentle faded brushstrokes.

So the Overall trends from the two fashion weeks and what everyone will be wearing come Autumn were plaid/ oversize knits / fur everyway and anyway / shearling, Funnel necks , Sixties silhouettes , and emblazoned sequinned football jerseys,

So for my AW wish wardrobe I need a soft pink, multi fur oversized coat with shearling detail please? …………….and to be bang on trend I can dream I am wearing it with a Burberry customised scarf with my initials on…. and a Mulberry Cara rucksack to carry my star wars light sabre in😉 …….but what have Milan and Paris got in store to add to my dream wardrobe……………………..