Monday, May 07, 2007, Edan drips his ink...
It's been two seasons since I last updated this blog. Ever since I started using LiveJournal I haven't been touching this blog much, but I realise now that I seriously need to revive this blog if I want to have any hope of getting a job as a fashion journalist or editor. Yes, big dreams. Oh well.
Since S/S 2007 is now passing I think I'll just skip its collections for now (although I'll admit that there were several strong collections for S/S 2007 - and both Lagerfeld and Galliano appeared to be in top form for that season, especially the latter, whose HC S/S 2007 collection was simply out-of-this-world - the way he combined the theme of Madama Butterly with Dior's original silhouettes is just pure genius). Soooo let's move on to the up-and-coming F/W 2007!
How would I describe the whole season in general? Well, I'd say there was a strong significant deviation from the norm for many designers. This coming season is special in that a large majority of designers did something radically different from what they showed in the previous two seasons.
Let's begin with the biggies. How about Galliano for Dior?
For about three seasons, Galliano has been creating (somewhat) wearable pieces for Dior's RTW collections. S/S 2006 used a nude palette and soft, translucent fabrics like tulle, featuring highly desirable dresses, pants and jackets; F/W 2006 took on a rock-and-roll theme showed biker-style coats and jackets with fur trims and heavy lining, bleached grey leather pants and reptile-skin variations of S/S 2006's Dior Gaucho handbag (highly definitive fashion statement favoured by the likes of Kate Moss and Mischa Barton). S/S 2007 was refreshingly refined, featuring sleek suits, well-cut skirts, elegant red-carpet-friendly draped bias-cut dresses, and killer heels.
Then, F/W 2007 comes along. Suddenly, all the modern wearability of the previous three seasonns become history. Galliano introduces croc-skin jackets with thick fur trims and dresses with features that mimic origami. The dresses are no longer as toned down as they were in F/W 2006 or S/S 2007 - they've become so elaborate, so colourful and so strikingly structured that you can't think of them appearing anywhere else except at black-tie events that call for quirky glam.
Whatever does this signal for the ordinary person who can't afford a genuine Dior dress without breaking the bank? Two words - get quirky! It's about time you stopped dressing like everyone else. Here are some of my ideas on how to get quirky without ending up looking like a surrealistic art-piece.
1) Try wearing an accessory that appears a little out of place but matches your outfit somehow. How about an African necklace to go with a cocktail dress? Things that seem out of place and yet match your outfit perfectly (in terms of colour or shape) act a strong touch of quirkiness without spoiling your look.
2) Play with shapes and sizes. Wear a pair of large chunky heels with a short skirt and leggings. Or wear a voluminous jacket with a tight-fitting blouse. Or how about really large earrings with really short hair?
3) Combine ordinary everyday objects into your look. Got some extra mailbox keys that you don't use anymore? Why not turn them into earrings? What about that old chandelier in the attic? Why not pick out the baubles and other shiny bits and glue or sew them onto your cocktail dress for a bit of shine and glam? And for the carnations you got that haven't withered yet, why not adorn your strappy heels with them for the night? Anything and everything can be made into something fashionable with a little bit of imagination.
The above ideas are, of course, not exhaustive. No matter what idea you use, don't be afraid to just experiment. Nothing is set until you step out the front door, so don't be afraid to try out different things with your outfit and checking out the effect in a mirror. Modern fashion is all about experimenting!
Labels: f/w 2007
Tuesday, August 08, 2006, Edan drips his ink...
In truth, this post isn't about Louis Vuitton at all. "Louis Vuitton Takes Flight" is a mnemonic for remembering Fall/Winter 2006's biggest trends:
Layering, Volume, Tough, and Fur.
Indeed. These four trends dot the pages of every fashion magazine dealing with Fall/Winter 2006 trends.
Let me now provide a look-see into each of these trends:
It's all over the place. For fall and winter, keeping warm is essential to keeping healthy and alive. And what other way to do it than to do it fashionably? Fall/Winter 2006 is all about piling on the fabrics without worrying about looking like something out of Galliano's Dior S/S 2003 haute couture collection. Instead, it's all about looking chic.
Master of urban-grunge chic Marc Jacobs shows us how to layer clothing without looking like an exfoliating rock. Here, layering is all about showing the right bits of the lower layers as seen in the picture on the top, where a cosy grey cashmere sweater peeks out of a chic khaki coat. Layering is also all about contrasting the sombre with the shocking - in the outfit at the bottom, a loud leopard print pair of shorts is worn over a solid khaki pair of pants. This season, layering's all about What Lies Beneath To Peek At Or Shock You.
Jean-Paul Gaultier at Hermès shows us how to layer and still manage to be elegant and classy at the same time. The key here - layer in pastel tones and vary the darkness of the pieces. Also, keep to earthen shades such as copper-red, brown or light brown bordering grey - but avoid green, of course. The first outfit shows how tying a scarf of a light fabric around the neck helps to soften the look and make it more elegant. The second picture shows how keeping the layering simple and without excess texture or patterns can maximise the classiness (and to some people, the primness) of an outfit.
Alongside layering, volume is another trend this coming Fall/Winter 2006 season. The most memorable silhouettes this season come in all sorts of inflated shapes - bubbles, poofy dresses, outcroppings that exaggerate the figure, etc.
At Alexander McQueen, volume is an element of the heavy classic and traditional costume theme of the collection. It is a throwback to the crinolines that dominated the dress of the classic Victorian, even Edwardian woman, as seen in the picture on top. The puffy volume of the dress is given an illusory boost by cinching the waist with a belt. It is the shapely woman alright, but in an exaggerated way that is hinted at by very smooth and wide curves rather than a blatant hourglass figure. Another possible reason for volume being trendy might be how it makes a woman seem much more imposing - take the McQueen dress above, in the bottom picture. The addition of a cape gives the outfit more impact. Perhaps it is linked to the Tough look trend, which I will look into later.
Similarly, at Balenciaga, volume works as a throwback to an earlier period of time. Nicolas Ghesquière based his Fall/Winter 2006 collection for Balenciaga almost entirely on the great couturier's most memorable silhouettes. Indeed, both outfits shown above have their roots in Cristóbal Balenciaga's original creations. Assuredly, however, volume here isn't merely used as a time-travel device - a skirt with an exaggerated volume (especially around the hip area) juxtaposed with a cinched waist (or narrowly-cut one) creates the illusion of a smaller waist and hence more feminine figure - this is seen in the example in the second picture.
This coming fall/winter season, it is no longer fashionable to be girly, soft and cute. Instead, the tough look is in, manifesting itself in various forms on the runway. Fall/Winter 2006's tough girl includes the rocker girl and the military-attire-decked girl.
Rocker-chic in its various forms. From top to bottom, they are from Christian Dior, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Versace respectively. It's quite clear that rock'n'roll this season has many manifestations, depending on the mood and theme of the collection. Dior by John Galliano has gone for full-on rock'n'roll, with red lighting, bandanas, and sunglasses going with practically every outfit. Rock at Dior is grunge-heavy, almost gothic; colours used are very traditional rock / goth colours, including blood-red juxtaposed with black, purely solid-black pieces, various hues of brown and grey, and a lot of angsty broodiness in general.
At Gucci, however, the mood is a little less sombre. It's still rock'n'roll, but more of glam-rock rather than goth-rock. Gold, psychedelic purple, techno red, etc. - it's all about neon colours and metallic materials (polyester as an example, I believe. Leather too, of course).
Alexander McQueen's rocker girl, strictly speaking, isn't a rocker girl at all - she's more of your typical rebellious teenager. What makes this "rocker" girl look rock at all is her unapproachability - she looks like an innocent schoolgirl, but the fact that she's wearing a pair of plaid pants rather than a girly ruffled skirt says otherwise. Furthermore, she is secure in a large black suit that would've been stuffy if it wasn't for the fact that it fits her form almost perfectly, gently nipping into the waist and then moving outwards in a smooth curve that subtly accentuates the hips. She's unapproachable alright, but very alluringly so.
At Versace, Donatella's tough girl goes retro. The palette is made up almost entirely of black, dark purple, and varying shades of a slightly muted psychedelic blue. The outfit shown above carries with it a little bling-bling factor (just look at that belt SHINE!) that just barely reminds us that it's not really the 60s. The retro-rock girl look here is further toughened by accessorising the clothes with leather boots and gloves. Together with the sunglasses, you get a retro version of Dior's angsty rocker combined with Gucci's glam-rock girl - not exactly suis generis, but the look is strong enough to be recognisable as part of this F/W 2006's Versace RTW collection.
The military look is another form of the Tough look trend this coming season. One of the most characteristic features of all military-attired-based pieces for Fall/Winter 2006 would be the [generous] use of large brass / copper / any other flashy metal buttons. Most military-influenced pieces are coats (either cropped, normal-length or trench - i.e. in every possible form a coat can be in) or boots (which is a staple accessory for this fall/winter season). The coat and any accompanying apparel pieces should fit the body snugly, or at least enough for there to be minimal wrinkles or gathering of the fabric - being prim and neat governs nearly all military looks sent down the runway this season.
Fur this coming Fall/Winter 2006 season is no longer just an accessory or decoration. This season, fur constantly presents itself as being integral parts of clothing - especially lining the edges of coats or around the collars. Fur is no longer a luxurious white elephant someone carries around on the shoulder or neck; it IS the clothing itself.
On top, we have Burberry Prorsum by Christopher Bailey while in the bottom picture, we have Louis Vuitton by Marc Jacobs. At Burberry, fur has a lot more practical purpose - it is used to line the edges of coats or used to cover skirts entirely. Fur is clearly no longer solely for decorative purposes - it CAN be literally part of the clothing. The fur used is a dark grey tainted with varying hues and shades - it is very luxurious, but somewhat grungey. At Louis Vuitton, however, the use of fur is still somewhat random, popping up at places in shapes that one would least expect them. As shown above in the picture on the right, the fur's light colour creates a striking contrast with the overall grunge-and-grey urban-chic mood of the whole collection. Fur is still in the stage of being a playful embellishment; it lacks the stability and practicality of the fur used at Burberry. Clearly, fur is very flexible and able to convey different moods and overall themes, including opposing ones.
And having just finished my little insight into fur for this season, my exposition of what I believe to be Fall/Winter 2006's four biggest trends is completed. Hope my comments have been useful! Feel free to tag on the tagboard or comment using the comments link below this post.
Sunday, July 30, 2006, Edan drips his ink...
No reviews for this post; instead I've decided to post a series of videos I found on YouTube related to Dior.
First up is a video that Acid of TFS took of the finale of Dior Haute Couture F/W 2006:
Next is the Elle.com video of the same haute couture collection posted onto YouTube by SweetRus of TFS:
Here's something a little more special - it's a television commercial of the perfume Poison by Christian Dior from the 1980s (o_O):
Another television commercial - it's the J'adore commercial done by Carmen Kass. She's absolutely fabulous - and my - she's GORGEOUS in this video! *heart*
Last but not least, the full runway video of Dior RTW S/S 2005, posted by justinleaddict of TFS - this collection, I believe, remains one of the plainest and most commercial collections done by John Galliano for Christian Dior.
That's about it. Will keep searching for more fashion-related videos on YouTube.
Friday, July 07, 2006, Edan drips his ink...
Now I will proceed to a part of Christian Dior's Fall/Winter 06.07 Haute Couture collection that appeals to me - much more than the topiary-based (read: walking lettuces) designs that I last introduced in my previous post.
If the information that this collection is also based upon the Zodiac aside from the classic French movie Les Visiteurs du Soir, I am sure that this piece above is based on the sign of Capricorn. Egotistically speaking, that's my Zodiac sign ;) Frankly, though, the above piece is dark and brooding, yet the heavy use of fur is a sign of luxury mixed in between - like many of the collections I have a reviewed before, it heavily suggests the theme of decadence.
Do permit me my little indulgences - one of my favourite models, Snejana Onopka =] That aside, I must say I love this piece because it's so ... decadent-grungy, if there's such a word. The dirty brown fabric appears to be satin - or perhaps even polyester. It's amazing because even if it's very glamorous, it looks dirty and grungy and is definitely part of the whole idea of decadence.
The draping work is just stunning. It's very simple, but the colour, the fabric, the way it is draped ... it adds a lot to what is otherwise simply a piece of fabric.
And I continue to shamelessly plug my favourite models. It's Natasha Poly in a suit that's tailored to look like that of a 17th century Renaissance soldier. The suit is clearly based on what was worn by men but here, it doesn't look overtly masculine - to the contrast, in fact, its curves suggest a femininity. And the wrist armour pieces - how could I ever forget that Galliano WANTED to feature women as knights? Also, the suit has such a powerful texture - it's grunge again, but a very pop-out-at-you sort of grunge.
I've realised how all the armour pieces so far can look so military and yet effortlessly feminine - they all use elliptical shapes to form the layers. The curves ensure that the armour pieces don't get so angular that they forget totally about the body; what's enticing and beautiful are the curves, after all, since they create a lot of movement and fluidity which are characteristic of feminine pieces. This piece above, however, doesn't need those curves - the salmon pink colour, intricate embellishments and panelled trimmings do the job of creating femininity just as well. But what creates the most beauty and fluidity is the dress itself - the draping and securing of the dress in the front looks simple - yet the dress is able to fit itself around the body such the waist is clearly outlined and no excessive fabric balloons anywhere in the outfit to ruin the flowing silhouette of the gown. The fabric is sheer, slightly translucent - it seems to capture light within itself and radiate a little bit of it in the form of a light salmon pink glow.
The first of the large finale gowns. It appears to consist of a shiny polyester fabric with another layer of black fabric below. I suspect this gown is a throwback to the first outfit on the runway for this collection - the black one with lines of "stars" running vertically downwards and Medieval and / or Renaissance motifs embellishing the front. The armour pieces return but this time complete with a helmet in the style of the Ancient Greek phalanxes (complete with feathers streaming out from the top).
The second of the large finale dresses. The helmet is no longer of a Grecian style but appears to be ... a modern military one, except in brown? More feathers snake out from the helmet. The beautiful part of this piece is how the colour transits from yellow down to a greenish blue at the bottom. I cannot fathom the dyeing work needed to get the whole colour gradient right.
The fourth of the large finale gowns. No, I haven't miscounted - I only picked those that are truly eye-catching and worth saying something about. I picked this piece because I am totally bowled over by the amazing way the large trench suit is cut and how it fans out from the waist down. The silhouette is imposing and the large collar and sleeves with the complex but very rich decorations around the edges. And the armour piece has shifted down to the right leg instead. And the military suit-gown is cut to fit the figure almost perfectly! I am completely overtaken.
I am speechless. Having just complimented the previous piece so much, I risk repeating myself.
What I can say though, is that at last, the armour pieces are no longer all over the place; here we have almost a full set. The craftsmanship of the piece is beyond description and the gold embellishment goes perfectly with the black armour. Phenomenal.
Breathtaking. The beauty and magnificence of this piece speaks for itself. The piece transits from dark blue around the décolleté area down to a very light sky blue around the edge of the dress. The message is simple: it's dawn, and the ultimate fashion fantasy of the stars and constellations has ended.
Overall, a majority of the pieces in this collection were amazing, the details were meticulously done and the craftsmanship was beyond professional. The only qualm I have about the whole collection is that it's a little too eclectic, making it difficult to reconcile any differences.
Thursday, July 06, 2006, Edan drips his ink...
Couture season's here again - and how can it pass without me ranting about Dior? Permit me to present a run-down of Christian Dior Haute Couture F/W 06.07 Paris.
The runway for this season's show appears to be a tiled stone path while the backdrop and background props seem to be a hedge labyrinth in a garden somewhere. The set suggests "the gardens of Versailles", or perhaps a European idyll - possibly even a European fantasy world. The opening outfit certainly seems to agree - at least with the point of fantasy. It features an elaborate crystal headdress that hangs around the sides of the head like an Egyptian headdress while the long black gown is embellished with faint vertical dotted lines which look like stars haphazardly arranged across the night sky while medieval and art nouveau motifs front the piece. The large armour piece on the right shoulder suggests knights - of course, Lisa Armstrong of The Times (timesonline.co.uk) did state that:
The notes for Dior’s show yesterday revealed that John Galliano, Dior’s creative director, had been inspired by a late-night viewing of Les Visiteurs du Soir, a classic wartime French film set in the 15th century. Women dressed as knights, jousters and hedges grappled with stupendous trains, corsets, wimples, heraldic headwear and skirts comprised of whorls of chiffon that quite miraculously resembled moving bits of topiary.
(Above reference taken from this post on TheFashionSpot.com)
Aha, now we know. We can expect more of these knightly women, then. And in case you're wondering, yes, Galliano DID use the "moving bits of topiary" idea. But before we go there (I'm reluctant to do so hahaha), let's see some of the next few outfits first:
The second outfit of this collection. I am very very blown away by the gold embroidery over the sheer pale gold dress - it's luxurious, glamorous yet elegant and beautiful at the same time. And the armour just fails to take away the outfit's femininity - in fact, the armour piece adds an edge to it. And the gold headdress is exotic.
Bleh. The first of the outfits that I do not like. This is part of what I referred to on TFS as the "red-and-black-dying-remains-of-last-season's-couture-outfits" - in other words, it's like the red-and-black outfits from last season's couture isn't willing to go away and is struggling to make a reappearance in this collection - unfortunately, they've failed very badly. Aside from the clown-ish makeup, the headwear is just incomprehensible - is that supposed to be a bat, or a deformed bow ... ? And I'm sure the dress could be a little less angular, no ... ?
I'm still not very keen on the headwear or the makeup and the red streaking over the black dress looks very rough but I love the creative way Galliano has chosen to play with the red belts - they're tied around the body in a way that pulls the top close to the body at where the curves are. Last season's silhouettes had nipped waists formed from large belts - this season, though, the waist is no longer the point of focus but rather ... rather ... hmm it seems too much is going on in the collection for one to be able to determine one or two definite points of focus.
Another theme of clothing appears to have been moved into - no more glamour or brooding darkness - instead, we have an exquisite and executive professionalism. It's the office lady with a couture fantasy twist. The combination of blue and gold is commendable and the meticulous detail of the gold patterns in the front is just stunning. The cut of the suit accents the waist to suggest feminity - in this respect, it reminds me of the suits tailored by Cristobal Balenciaga that similarly place emphasis on the waist to create a strong femininity.
One of the pieces from the "lobster" set. To be frank, I'm not very thrilled by this - I don't like the fact that it's salmon pink or that there's this weird lobster tail "growing out" from the head but I must admit the layering and pleating work done on this outfit is impressive.
The first of the topiary ideas. The idea is interesting, but the manifestation isn't, unfortunately. The makeup is way too ghastly and the yellow-and-purple striped top is just too ... circus-y. And the large puff of green creates an awkward, clumsy silhouette which just isn't too pleasing. The whole collection is so elaborate that it borders on kitsch - most of the collection successfully stays on the pleasant and couture side, but this one above steps straight into the crazy, psychedelic world of kitsch.
No no no no no! The puffy green part just causes the whole silhouette to go wonky and the trumpets with flags hanging down from them just look out-of-place. And Vlada is made to look painfully short because of the weird silhouette.
Nope. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
But let's be fair - I'm sure the green parts took a lot of patience and skill to make, especially the first one. The shape and neat arrangement of the curls probably took ages to be perfected.
It's already past midnight so I'm off to bed. Will continue this review later.
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Design by Edan Chrysler (a.k.a Callsign_Magpie).
Contact E-mail: buch_nachte AT hotmail DOT com
Photos from Foto-Decadence. Brushes from various sources; creators welcome to e-mail me so I can credit them. Thanks to Fabfouk for helping with the French translation!
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