Gimme Good Style

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Givenchy Spring 2015

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Today’s women are tough, smart and determined. On the other hand, they are also soft beings with sensible aura and sexiness the males craved for every single day. That’s how the world goes, people. And that’s how Ricardo Tisci perceived his collection for Givenchy.

With so many designers choose to go soft and summery this season, Tisci’s tough warrior rock-and-roll collection blasted the Paris Fashion Week runway and set Fashion Instagrammer in fire. Impeccable monochromatic dresses with heavy detailed jackets or tight leather pans with couture tops are not what I usually imagine for summer, but fashion is about getting out of your comfort zone, right?

While many people think this is the sexiest collection from Paris, I personally think this is the most badass-girls-who-don’t-care-about-men collection. There are different explanations for ‘sexy’ and Givenchy Spring 2015 screams ‘rock’ louder than ‘sexy’ for me. The girls look strong and confident, but they don’t invite my brain to imagine more. Alas, you can blame my insensitivity for these strong words.

Nevertheless, this is an undeniably strong collection. I still feel it needs more colors though. Black, white, crème and dark brown look really great, but yellow and red can be nice unexpected surprises in the sea of monochromatic boredom (talking about New York Fashion Week, yawnnn…) I know that this collection is all about tough women… Still, being tough doesn’t mean you need to wear black and white dress with laces and studs everyday.

Anyway, this whole rock-and-roll show also means that Ricardo Tisci is not going anywhere this season or next season or any other season in the near future. Givenchy is still his soul mate and perhaps we need to wait a long time before seeing the cool designer takes his last bow and starts his new adventure outside Givenchy. I have no complain though, not even one.

One Night Abroad Project

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I blame the incoming exam week for my intense daydreaming lately. I have been longing for the great escapade for a month now, since the very first day of college, which is like an evolved form of high school.

The subject of my daydream is usually Paris, in the middle of the night.

In my vivid imagination, Paris doesn’t have pickpockets, lovers shoving each other’s hands, or drunken Asian tourists yelling nonsense to invisible men. My Paris is calm, a bit cloudy, vintage, and charming. More Woody Allen than Tim Burton.

Stores were open 24 hours with no one sitting inside and the servants were sleepily whisking cappuccino for no one. I would enter the first cafe with yellowish light, vintage wooden bar, and squeaking old table. The waiter handed me a menu with beautifully selected dishes, and I would pick some kind of latte (cappuccino…. Oh, I know! Hot Belgian chocolate with less foam!) No phone is allowed in my dream. No Instagram. No Twitter. No pop-up emails, just me, that servant (and a barista, I suppose) and Paris. Quiet, with one or two automobiles pass by frequently. Umm, did I mention that in my dream we are all in 20s and automobiles are happening? Well, you got it now.

After finishing my cappuccino/hot chocolate, I would walk down slowly along the Seine. Listening to old violin (Moon River) playing in the background by an old man wearing huge Oxford blazer and an old beret. My next stop was Louvre, of course. The beautiful Louvre basking in dim lights, securely keeping all of the masters’ artworks inside it’s twisting corridors.

I would sit in front of the Pyramid, looking up at the cloudy sky and stare at it so long, thinking about life (so…. romantic! I am a philosopher in this story) and death and what it means for us. Getting a little bit bored with all of those metaphysical questions, I stood up and made my way to Paris little alleys with beautiful little plants hanging above your heads. Strangers in black tuxedos and friendly eyes waved at me from the distance, asking me to join them. Nah, I waved back. I entered a gloomy bar with a sleepy old man sitting in one of the chairs. I ordered some beers for him and me. We talked all night about Paris; the culture, the people, the charming little alley I just passed, and the government, perhaps. He would tell me all about his life in stuttering English with some French slangs slipped from his mouth (in this case I used Google Translate or even better, Smartling). Events he had seen with his own eyes, events that he hope he can see.

After an hour or two I stand up lazily and say my goodbye. Slowly, I make my back to the hotel. The weather feels warm because of the beer and the same violin player is still playing a slow melancholic melody. So sad, it makes my heart ached knowing that, in less than a minute, I will wake up and face the real world.

Nonetheless, it was a perfect night.

(This is a post for One Night Abroad Project by Smartling, a website translator that helps you minimise the language barrier wherever you are!)

Missoni Spring 2015

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Sometimes our great-great grandfathers achievements can surprise us in surreal ways. My great grandfather happened to live in China in the age when empires were fighting to gain supremacy. Don’t ask me what part he played though; I don’t have the slightest idea. Missoni, on the other hand, has a way cooler great grandfather, a pirate. A pirate in a quest to find freedom and change Madagascar to his own utopia (not all Madagascar, I guess.) He might not be as popular or well dressed as his great-great granddaughters, but at least he inspired their latest spring collection.

That’s right, Missoni theme for this season is summery utopia, complete with maxi dresses, flowing skirts, see-through tops, and loose turbans. I have to say, Missoni plays it well this time for choosing a clear theme, not a mix of spring and summer other designers choose to collide resulting in heavy coats and uncertain layering style that no one can pull off during hot days/nights of next year’s summer.

Flowers are, of course, included in the collection. Printed with beautiful soft colors in expensive multicolor silk. The real star of the collection is the pattern though. It reminds me of Balinese ‘barong’, a traditional thin t-shirts with fading colors and complimenting prints. True reminder of blue sea, golden sands, red-and-white giant umbrellas, and the sound of summer right outside your door.

I can easily imagine the dresses flying out of Missoni’s Milan shops to rich girls’ wardrobes in Miami or Rio de Janeiro, but I have a hard time imagining them out on the runway. The whole collection is just too… relaxed.

Perhaps, that’s the entire message of the show. To be the relaxed tourist strolling on the pavements with expensive stores waiting to drain your wallets out. Still, I hope Missoni put one or two cocktail dress to push the envelope into Hollywood crazy influential stylists’ noses. That would be the brand’s new utopia, if you ask me.

See full collection here

Images taken from Style.com

Prada Spring 2015

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It would be a sin, if we don’t talk about Prada when we are talking about Milan Fashion Week. The show is the only reason why Anna Wintour flies a thousand miles from London every single year. Well, this time she is not disappointed. No one is, in fact, should have even a single dissatisfaction with Prada Spring 2015 collection.

The main theme of the show is how disaster turns water to sand dunes and how the models are portrayed as women who are stitching their old clothes together to face the new environment (they have done a really good job, by the way). Global warming issue? Perhaps. But that’s not important. The more exciting points are a) Miuccia is not pleased with her ordinary menswear collection b) She is back with her beautiful unique vision about fashion.

You see, for Prada beauty is not a thumping show with extravagant haute-couture strange-looking dresses. Its about the subtle movements of the fabrics, the vintage rusty looking dresses, the elegant models wearing belted coat dresses, shaped skirts, and a sleeveless trouser with silver geometric detailing. All of those small impeccable styles that make you green with envy.

Yes, there is no denying that for a designer that fancies feminine clothes so much, Prada collection feels a little more conservative this season, even though not as boring (!) as the menswear. Well, I would say that it is more ‘wearable’ than ‘conservative’, but you will be the judge of that.

See the complete collection here

Images taken from Style.com

Mary Katrantzou Spring 2015

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A few days ago, Jean Paul Gaultier announced his resignation from the ready-to-wear world in order to focus on haute couture. Even though it is true that the designer always prefer the glistening vision of expensive gowns and otherworldly shows, the shock still echoes around the industry. With another great designer stepping off the most affordable market of high fashion, who will replace his colorful design, attitude, and –most importantly- the excitement Gaultier always gives in his ready-to-wear show?

The need for young talent has never been higher. This time the industry is looking for the next high fashion ready-to-wear designer, which requires higher levels of talents, visions, experiences and stability in each collection. Requirements most of young designers don’t have. Except for Mary Katrantzou.

After experimenting with fabrics, patterns, prints, and movements, the beloved British designer took the pride of being the new ‘high-fashion’ designer. Fancied by Vogue’s Anna Dello Russo and Anna Wintour, plus getting a list of hot celebrities as frequent costumers, it feels just right to put more pressures on the young phenomenon’s shoulder.

This season Katrantzou put us in a planet called Earth. Ancient Earth. With newly formed tectonic plates, deep challenging sea filled with unknown creatures, and endless inspirations to pick from.

This time, however, she ditched her signature extra powerful prints and came up with entirely new approach. Sandy colors dominated the post-erupted-volcano runway, while straight clean pants and peek-a-boo dresses waved curiously around the models. A clean, simple, wearable collection. I can imagine young celebrities like Emma Watson (huge possibility), Dakota/Elle Fanning, Taylor Swift and Iggy Azalea waiting to get their hands on the collection.

It is hard to believe that a few years ago Mary Katrantzou debuted her first collection featuring buildings and gardens as prints for the fabric. A proof Mary Katrantzou is more than a bunch of colorful prints and pattern play. The designer took the risk of getting slammed for leaving her signature move. And I appreciate the courageous act. However, there is an undeniable feeling that Katrantzou is still exploring her own limits. A reason that makes her collection so unexpected yet feels undone.

I can’t wait to see Katrantzou final metamorphosis. Is it going to be on Fall 2015? Spring 2016? No one knows. But everyone is anticipating the Big Bang.

See the full collection here

Images taken from Style.com

McQ Alexander McQueen Spring 2015

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There is a drastic difference between main label and secondary label. Secondary label acts as a bridge to reach wider costumers, from young teens to fresh graduates looking for more mature style, whilst main label contains the core of the house’s images and design aesthetic. Alexander McQueen’s soul are dramatic clothes and avant-garde designs. However, if you take off all those laces, embellishments, and crazy theatrical shows, you will find McQ. Effortless, very-British, and stylish McQ clothes.

This season the collection gets even simpler with just clean one-piece dresses, greyish sweaters, jumpsuits, and hologram/foil shorts. I think it’s a bit silly to write how punk the collection is, since the style originated from UK itself and still shows its impact upon the country’s lifestyle until today.

While the overall collection is fun (especially the foil print shorts), there are several pieces that look really basic to me. Jumpsuits with pink-and-black patterns and simple black blazer with matching pants? I can find those kinds of clothes at H&M winter sale. Although fun as a whole look, I don’t think people will bother to buy them individually. There are not enough ‘McQueen’ in them. Perhaps, that’s what you get for creating secondary label.

Nevertheless, this is a strong collection for McQ. Stronger than any other ‘affordable’ labels high fashion designers built these past few seasons. I just hope that next season McQ will put a tiny dose of drama in their collection. After all it is what makes the late designer so beloved by the fashion crowds.

See the complete collection here

Images taken from Style.com

Anne Leibovitz and Marc Newson TASCHEN Project

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Before we dive into London Fashion Week beautiful mess, I think it is more than necessary to see what’s going on in the other side of fashion world. Well, the only one that I can think of right now is Anne Leibovitz’s new Taschen book. A book filled with her (again) extraordinary works selected and curated carefully, including some of her iconic works (John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Scarlet Johansson, Richard Nixon etc.)

A must buy for fashion photographer wannabe or/and fashion students.

Not only we can study Leibovitz changing style from the days she reported for Rolling Stones into one of the most dramatic fashion photographers for Vogue, we also get a chance to admire Marc Newson’s special tripod for the book. Even though I have to admit, some people may find the tripod not as luxurious as the book.

Anyway, you can buy Anne Leibovitz Taschen book around US$ 2500 or US$ 5000 dollars for Art Edition. Hmm, a gigantic investment for the brain or another rich people luxuries? I think you already know the answer.

Images taken from Selectism

Marc Jaobs Spring 2015

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There is something wrong with my computer the moment I streamed Marc Jacobs show live. The atmosphere was strangely silent. No small whispers, no dance music, no movements. I thought there was something wrong with my laptop audio.

Little did I know the whole audiences were silent because they were busy listening to the show through their Beats by Dre headphones attached generously onto their seats and giant pink house stood before their eyes. Once again, the quirky designer proved the eager crowds that he is one of few American designers with extreme futuristic, out-of-the-planet imagination.

The collection however, feels not as free as the designer’s mind. Taking shapes from military uniforms, complete with giant pockets and absence of bold colors, the whole looks focus more on functionality. Practical coatdress dominated the runway with metallic brownish color (and gigantic pockets) while the models still look cool and chic with messy bob hair. Perfect for those effortless girls strolling Central Park with hot dog in their hands.

There was also no sight of cocktail gowns or something close to evening wears. Jacobs ditched the whole feminine vibe for stronger, grittier (yet still beautiful) simple dresses with minimal embellishments and maxi skirts with cropped tops.

The show might not be as feminine as Altuzarra or as colorful as Novis, but the whole looks feel solid, wearable, and new. Giant pockets with jumpsuits? That’s new! Maxi dress with oversized parka and messy punk-ish bob haircut? That’s cool!

Based on my (again) untrained observation, among other designers in New York Fashion Week, Marc Jacobs has the most chances on dominating next year’s street style and fashion editorials.

I guess congratulation is more than necessary.

Images taken from Style.com

See full collection here

Proenza Schouler Spring 2015

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My high school uniform is a clean white shirt with bluish pants for boys and pleated greyish skirts for girls. Sometimes we put a simple black sweater or parka when the air conditioners get too cold or some idiots forget to turn them off after school ends. According to my untrained eyes, those clothes were boring. According to Proenza duo, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, those are classic American sport wears that become the core of their Spring 2015 collection.

Sure, the collection only consists of pleated skirts, polo shirts, parkas, blouses and some nice shirts. However, all of them have been deconstructed and reconstructed with Proenza own materials, resulting in a heavier, cooler after images.

Leather is back on Proenza runway again. This time as colour-blocked pants that will definitely fill the front page of my blog in several weeks. After the great return of leather (I also spotted cool polo shirts with leather crocheted seams), the next great surprise came from fringe. Shaped as a whole dress rather than a standard classic-American accessory, the tricky overused material in the past injected some exciting twists to the collection without changing the whole concept.

Now, the everlasting question is whether this is a great collection or not.

Well, frankly speaking, there are some hit and miss for Proenza this time. Even though, I have nothing against leather, those red-and-black color-blocked leather pants are just plain silly for me. Even Style.com admits the bitter fact. And I do notice, like Jonathan Simkhai, Proenza has some look-alike pieces from their Fall/Winter collection. Not that it is a sin whatsoever, but sometimes consistency can be a huge downfall for a designer.

It would be nice, if next season Proenza can come out of their too-cool-for-school image and do something more… out of their box, especially with LVMH eyeing to get ‘minor’ shares from Proenza Schouler. That means a huge financial back up and possibilities to open new stores all over the globe. A tempting once-in-a-billion-lifetime offer.

Except for the mismatched color blocked pants disaster (or the next big thing whatever you want me to call it), the collection is a parade of cool wearable clothes with thrilling ‘New York’ atmosphere. A small reminder that your basic cool uniforms can be cool in the hands of Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. My salute to you boys!

Images taken from Style.com

See the complete collection here.

Novis Spring 2015

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There is no denying every thing has to be black and white in New York Fashion Week. Sure, there is a bit of colors here and there, but those two neutral colors are still in every designer’s mind. Well, everyone except Jordana Warmflash of Novis.

Inspired by Tom Wesselmann’s Pop Art, Jordana created a whole collection based on the artist’s extreme use of colors, patterns and Wonderland-like environment. The result is a big bang like explosion in the middle of black and white runways of New York Fashion Week.

Fresh jacquard knit summer dresses decorated with bewildering colors (mostly blue and brown) and Wesselmann’s flashy works become the main attractions of the show. Even though, simpler more summer-appropriate pieces, like clean straight white skirt, are presented in the collection as well, some people still say that Novis collection only belongs to MoMA exhibition rooms and overly enthusiast art geeks. Well maybe, but we are all art geeks at heart, right? 

Nevertheless it is a nice collection, strong, bold, and refreshing. I can imagine real people (and celebrities, to be fair) wearing them on the street, not just as fancy street style but also summer essentials.

Although, I kinda hope the finale would be more… powerful. Two plain cocktail gowns and one wedding-dress look alike are such boredoms compared to highly energetic opening numbers. Again, those gowns are the ones that make Novis becomes Taylor Swift’s favorite. So… I guess it’s a fair play?

Images taken from Style.com

See the complete collection here.

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