Friday, 31 October 2014

Brands To Know - Mansur Gavriel

I've been wanting to talk about this super cool brand for a few months now, but somehow it just kept getting side lined with the reviews and the travelling and the god knows what! Anyways, Mansur Gavriel is a hip, new, New York city based label founded by two friends, Rachel Mansur & Floriana Gavriel who design handbags that are currently the biggest rage amongst the fashion flock. Everyone from Karlie Kloss to Sussie Bubble to Eva Chen have been spotted with a Mansur Gavriel.

The bags come in three main shapes - tote, bucket and backpack and are pretty much sold out everywhere especially the bucket bags. The silhouettes are relatively simple and minimalist with a teeny tiny logo in gold. The black models come with the contrast coloured interiors and are so just so beautiful to look at. What I also love is the price factor. It's very rare to find a bag made from superior quality Italian leather and made in Italy that too to have such an affordable price tag. No, it doesn't have to set you back over one lac rupees. Try a range of 40,000 - 80,000 INR depending on the model. 

Bags that are made in Italy, highly coveted and affordable; it's a no brainer why these babies are sold out! Oh by the way, there's a stunning white bucket bag still available on net-a-porter. That was just an FYI :) I've put myself on the wishlist for the red one and am really keeping my fingers crossed!


Paris Fashion Week Round Up - Loewe

Loewe SS15

Being a big J.W Anderson fan, I was quite looking forward to seeing his debut womenswear collection for Loewe. And I'm glad he didn't disappoint. Whilst referring back to past collections from the Spanish house to compare, I noticed that even though there were beautiful clothes, there was also some restraint. Not this time though. J.W. Anderson seems to have liberated Loewe by adding his signature to it. Staying true to the house's codes, the designer used a lot of leather throughout, but focussed on lightness and fluidity at the same time.

A caramel coloured suede dress opened the show with patches of leather appliqued onto it and a bunch of colourful tops that came in the middle featuring the same leather patchwork were edgy with somewhat of a primal feel. I also loved those tailored yet slightly slouchy judo pants in various colours. The house's archival scarf prints were transferred on to latex tops which was a bold move. Personally I'm not a latex clothing fan, but it's interesting to the note the various different textures Anderson played with. Other fabrics like silk and linen also made their way through to the collection. A knitted silk and gauze maxi dress,  a pleated linen skirt and a baby blue Merino wool jumper were so simple but beautiful.

I never paid much attention to Loewe bags before, but that has changed since seeing this collection. Not only has J.W. Anderson designed some lovely clothes, but some pretty cool bags too. The new shapes include a super soft hobo ish bag called the Bounce bag and also a gorgeous tote that comes in delicious colours called the Puzzle bag. But perhaps the most desirable purse was the one with patches of fabric stitched on to it just like on some of the clothes. I can't wait to see this collection in stores.

All in all, a fantastic debut for J.W Anderson as the new creative director at the Spanish label. He has beautifully reinvented the Loewe woman and I'm loving her.

Loewe SS15

Loewe SS15 Bounce Bag

Loewe SS15 Bag

Loewe SS15 Puzzle Bag


Thursday, 30 October 2014

Paris Fashion Week Round Up - Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten SS15

Light and breezy does it with the Dries Van Noten SS15 collection. The DVN girl doesn't need to try hard. She sort of puts on her clothes with the greatest of ease and is good to go. And that is exactly what we saw. The ensembles were almost effortless, and crafted from the most luxurious fabrics some of which were actually created for the collection. There were jackets, bound to sell out like hot cakes - like the opening jacket in what looked like silk jacquard or a tribal-esque embroidered black zip front bomber or even a bi-colour sleeveless piece in raw silk and beautiful pink embroidered flowers.

There was an undeniable Indian feel all over especially with the use of printed silk, brocade and  those slouchy trousers that reminded me of jodhpurs/patialas. One look in particular that consisted of a round hemmed silk tunic worn over loosely fitted trousers almost looked it was a short kurti and a Patiala suit. Colourful, striped clothes like a wafty, tiered maxi, a see through shirt worn under a sleeveless vest or the cropped trousers were fun and extremely desirable. There was of course the designer's signature masculine touch seen in the knee length shorts. But one look that bowled me over was a semi-sheer tank maxi, featuring a rich brocade bust and a thigh high slit paired with a pair of jeans that had a gold cuff. Bohemian doesn't get chicer than that. Also, the jewellery, a simple branch, held together by the most delicate gold chain - I'll be damned if I don't buy that next year!

Dries Van Noten SS15


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Paris Fashion Week Round Up - Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton SS15

There are some shows that linger on in your head for a while to come. This was one of them. Whilst I can't talk about the set which many deemed to be the best of the season, I can certainly say that the clothes most definitely were. Ghesquière played with texturing and used some phenomenal construction techniques as was seen in the knitwear throughout the show. Leather was cleverly intertwined in the necks of knit dresses and tops that opened the show. I especially loved the high necked ones where the leather hung like a shoe lace. In the middle of the show, there were a bunch of really edgy dresses with soft, curvy folds on the skirt made from either intricate, laser cut leather (at least it looked like that) or a combination knitwear and leather. The green, white and black number in particular was a favourite. Glitzy yet sporty (because of the zip front), heavily sequinned dresses worn over tights were perfect for the eveningwear category.

The designer has used skins extensively in this past two collections for Louis Vuitton and it was no different this time. From the series of looks made out of eel skin, a red, yellow and black sleeveless shift stood out. However, the most talked about pieces are no doubt going those printed ensembles with fun items like salt/pepper shakers, the petite malle bags, nail polish, rotary telephone and eyelash curlers amongst other things. The printed jeans are definitely going to grace the cover of almost every big shot magazine come next year.

Being a leather goods house, bags were naturally a crucial part of the show. Shoulder bags were either boxy & structured or were soft with a fold over design. There were new variations of the Petite Malle and also a very large version of the Alma. However, my personal favourite was one that looked similar to their Chantilly cross body bag. Except this had an extra strap to hold it as a shoulder bag (you can also hold is as a cross body) and a cool clasp closure.

Louis Vuitton SS15

Louis Vuitton SS15 Bags

Louis Vuitton SS15 Bags

Friday, 24 October 2014

Paris Fashion Week Round Up - Christian Dior

Dior SS15

When Raf Simons presented his couture collection a few months ago, I was left mesmerised by not only the clothes but how he looked to the past for the future and reinterpreted it in the most original manner. For next Spring, the designer continued the theme and transformed the haute couture clothes he showcased, into ready to wear. “For this collection I wanted to continue; I thought there was more to explore. By beginning with the ingredients and the form language of the couture, but going further, I wanted the ready-to-wear to feel more modern, more dynamic, more real – I wanted it to be made available to a wider audience ” explains Raf in the press release.

There were lighter versions of the pannier dresses that were previously a part of the couture collection. Except this time the bodices were in the form of racer back knit tanks. Embroidered 18th century court coats and gilets, most of which had like a ribbon closure along with long Edwardian coats were worn over skater shorts, beautifully combining the old and the new. A powder blue velvet jacket (forming an inverted V from below the bust because of a wrap-over construction) with pretty colourful buttons and another in coral linen with black embroidery were my favourites amongst the outerwear. Dresses crafted from plaited ribbon (Monsieur Dior loved ribbon) looked fresh and modern. Pant suit jackets and coat dresses with buttons on the hips were reminiscent of Dior's New Look. There was lots of white used throughout the collection. The lightly embroidered shirt dresses towards the end resembling nightdresses from the Victorian era looked really cool especially when worn over contrasting coloured hand-knitted boots.

A collection inspired by a very rich past, but modern and light enough to wear now; is it any wonder why Raf is currently one of the greatest fashion designers today.

Dior SS15


Milan Fashion Week Round Up - Prada

Prada SS15

As much of a traditional design house Prada is, it’s stood apart always for a distinctive edge. An edge of being ahead, of being unique and being offbeat-the offbeat that very uncharacteristically turns mainstream. The spring summer presentation by Muccia Prada accounted for the same but not as much the same. If it wasn’t as provocative, as out there and as vivid as the last few it had its own unanticipated character of restraint and stark straight forwardness. This reflected in the full sized A-line dresses and coats in black with contrast top stitching that progressed towards an infusion of print and leather detailing and culminating with complete print on print and full leather treatment of the garments. The trick lied in the solid construction of the clothes, but these came with eccentricities that blended in as much as they juxtaposed, for instance, the almost knee length socks, that were worn throughout the show with the not so petite wooden clogs. The tattered edges and the frayed detailing that went hand in hand with all that showed the restraint.

This is how the expected conjured- the controlled treatment that was the leitmotif but it never could sustain at Muccia’s Prada without what counters it throughout. If there were pockets bursting out at the waist, there were also diamonds and brocades. Only if you look close you realize where the genius lies in the details and where the shocking takes shelter behind the deceiving normalcy on the face. And there you have your quintessential Prada.    

Prada SS15
Prada SS15 Bag

The must have Prada SS15 shoe

Text by Nitiz Kaila

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Milan Fashion Week Round Up - Jil Sander, Antonio Marras

Jil Sander SS15

Jil Sander - Whenever a new creative director joins a label, the fashion flock is always excited to see the latest offering. Especially when the brand has been through a bit of a rough patch, like Jil Sander leaving her own brand for the third time. The theme here was androgyny, or rather how to dress like a boy. Crisp, finely tailored shirts (most of them worn under sweaters) that would do well in stores marched down the runway. Personally, I liked the blue one that sort of scrunched at the waist.

There were the boxy shirts too, but those looked a little too frumpy for my liking. And so did the boy shorts. I'm all up for androgyny, but a hint of sex appeal doesn't hurt. Those boy shorts had this whole ugly aesthetic thing going on which I wasn't on board with. What I did enjoy were the skirts, in both the graphic print and leather with the whole diagonal slit thing going on. Very wearable, streamlined and well, true to the brand's minimalist motto. Rodolfo Paglialunga played it relatively safe as a new creative head at Jil Sander. What I do hope is that he ditches the whole frumpy/ugly look for next season. There's no rulebook that says androgyny can't be sexy.

Jil Sander SS15

Antonio Marras - At Antonio Marras, the clothes were just plain beautiful. There were lovely dresses, some dripping with 3D embroidered flowers, others with floral and abstract prints. A series of striped ensembles marched down the runway that were paired with Japanese blossom type prints or colourful embroidery. My favourite was a straight cut dress (very Japanese looking actually) cinched at the waist; the front layer was orange with a print that looked a 3D version of splashes of blue paint (or at least it looked like that to me) and the back side consisted of stripes.

Things got a little surrealist from there onwards as creepy looking hands, complete with red nails (inspired by Italian artist Carol Rama) decorated the clothes. They were seen in abundance on a blue ankle length dress or simply caressing the neck of a model in a tailored, pristine white romper. Towards the end of the show, there were these pretty pleated skirts (it could have been part of a dress too, it's difficult to tell looking at photos) with strips of different fabrics stitched on in various angles. Those skirts were extremely well crafted, almost like a work of art. A black sweater with those freaky hands and flowers embroidered on to it, was high on my must have list.

I liked the little darkness that came with this collection. It added a little bit of an edge. And surrealist prints, all said and done are a dead on recipe for success. For now at least. All in all, a truly lovely collection for next year.

Antonio Marras SS15

Antonio Marras SS15


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Milan Fashion Week Round Up - Tod's

Tod's SS15

Tod's SS15 collection was one any woman can easily relate to. There was a very relaxed feel to it and most of the clothes could be incorporated into daily wear wardrobes almost effortlessly. Leather silhouettes dominated the show. And what I loved most was how Allesandra Facchinetti gave the material an everyday appeal. From the leather series, loosely cut dresses with giant pockets (some came with laser cut holes), the boxy tops (some with embellishments) and skirts seemed easy to carry. Normally leather silhouettes have this rigid/restricting vibe which wasn't the case here.

There were pant suits too, but not the super tight kinds. Beautifully tailored jackets were worn over slightly loose cropped pants and came in a tropical print, bright colours (the blue one in particular was beautiful) and even denim with exotic skin pockets. And cotton numbers like a baby blue jump suit and a pristine white skirt were just perfect for those excruciating hot summers.

What I also noticed was the very fresh take in bags for the coming season. Normally, I find Tod's bags to be a little too mature for my taste, minus the D-cubes which are quite cute actually. However, this collection featured some very fun shapes especially those bucket bags which are on my wishlist for next year along with their very funky marble and crystal jewellery.

Tod's SS15


Milan Fashion Week Round Up - Moschino

Moschino SS15

It takes a little while to fully grasp Jeremy Scott's collection for Moschino. They're so high on shock value. And at first, one can't help but think, "oh god, these clothes are so trashy". But once you get beyond the initial jolt, loosen up a bit and take a closer look, you realise that fashion shouldn't be taken so seriously. And before you know it, you've succumbed to the hedonist inside of you and hit the "purchase now" button on the Moschino website to pre order parts of this collection so you can have it before anyone else does. I did that right after their Fall show. I was probably the first few to be seen in India with the Moschino French Fry cover.

Moving on, this season, it was the immortal and the epitome of perfection, the Barbie doll that served as inspiration. Various avatars of the Barbie paraded down the runway. The show opened with a Biker Barbie wearing a bright pink jacket resembling the much sought after biker jacket bag with a matching leather skirt. There was cowboy esque Barbie with those boots in bubble gum pink and plastic white followed by vacation Barbie in her shiny zip dress (suitcase in tow) or in an abstract printed top and skirt complete with a yellow camera round her neck. Beach Barbie had a swimsuit pattern stitched on to her dress or came in a terry cloth robe with large inflatable handbags and giant plastic accessories (the oversized, bright pink chain link necklace, sigh). One cannot miss the tongue in cheek Chanel spoofs throughout the show. The quilted leather skirt/shorts suits (resembling Chanel suits), the leather intertwined in chain detailing and the quilting on the bags were so cheeky. Jeremy Scott also continues the Moschino logomania with belts, colourful necklaces and bracelets spelling the label's name.

Every now and then, we need a break from the seriousness that comes with international fashion weeks. It's always about analysing collections and techniques and what not. Just too grim! Jeremy Scott's show put a smile of people's faces. Almost like a breath of fresh air. And that's exactly what it was. Fresh.

Moschino SS15

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Milan Fashion Week Round Up - Fendi

Fendi SS15
After seeing Fendi's show, I considered selling my car and using all that money to go shop their SS15 collection. Whilst most collections have a combination of hits and misses, at Fendi, there were only hits. Here was a brilliant combination of technique, creativity and beautiful clothes.

Cara Delevingne opened the show in an orchid printed shift dress with strips of matching fabric resembling gashes stitched on to the dress. The orchid motif was seen throughout the show and in various forms. Embroidered on a shaved fur jacket, or on a peek-a-boo bag, printed on a new breed of trousers (they had something like a skirt overlay) or even appliqued on leather like the white dress Malaika Firth was wearing. There were jackets that will make you weep with lust. Beautiful slick leather numbers like the floral appliqued dark grey jacket or a lighter grey with an intricate laser cut geometric pattern all over or the baby blue suede one with architectural bands on the arms and below the bust resembling half a rib cage. You can add those leather tops, that had vertical slits and some artsy print on them, the denim and suede jodhpurs and the skirt made from giant strips of suede to the MOST WANTED list too.

Finally, when it came to the accessories, apart from being a creative genius, Karl knows how to make things that will sell out in minutes. The bag bugs and karlito were prime examples. And so was the Karl Barbie (not Fendi though). On the runway, there were mini versions of the Peek-a-Boo bag, exotic By The Way bags and the coolest, a hybrid between the 2Jours & By The Way. Crocodile leather bangles were on the wrists and orchids with tails adorned the models' hair, whereas teeny tiny Fendi Baguette bag charms decorated the bags.

Not only was the collection aesthetically outstanding, it was also very commercially viable. I guarantee that you will be on the wait list for most of the accessories if not the clothes. Meanwhile, I'm still contemplating selling my car.

Fendi SS15
Fendi SS15 Accessories

Fendi SS15 Bags

Monday, 13 October 2014

Milan Fashion Week Round Up - No. 21

No. 21 SS15

At No.21,  a trio of khaki looks belted at the waist opened the show indicating the military trend that started in New York is going strong. Silhouettes were predominantly masculine as was seen with the oversized shirts in organza and shiny macramé. There was also a grunge influence in the collection. Clothes, in a tartan print were crafted out of various fabrics complete with shiny embellishments. A pinafore style midi dress in organza, a boxy shirt cinched with a belt (the fabric looked like wool) and a bralet that closed the show (all in plaid prints) were some of my favourites. A series of clothes made from sheer organza or see through lace induced a seductive feel to the collection. I didn't much care for a bra top that exposed a bit of the nipples. I doubt many would consider wearing that in public unless it's Rihanna. Meanwhile the perforated trousers worn under the top, and a perforated dress in another look rated high on my must have list.

Finally, the shoes, with bows tied on one side; you either loved them or hated them. They were in plain leather or came in Duchesse satin with giant surrealist style embellishments (an eye in one case). With the crazy fashion flock, my instinct says, these will probably sell out. Personally, I'm not sure which side of the continuum I belong to.

No. 21 SS15

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Milan Fashion Week Round Up - Fausto Puglisi

Fausto Puglisi SS15

Fausto Puglisi's show was one that I was truly looking forward to reviewing from the Milan shows. His SS 14 collection and even his Fall line for that matter left a lasting impression and I was expecting the same for next Spring. However, this time around, I had mixed emotions.

Whilst I loved the geometric prints, there were some looks that had way too much going on. Top to bottom circles and squares, chunky embellishments with bejewelled sliders or studded gladiator sandals in a single look all screamed for attention at the same time. The effect was almost dizzying!But once the excess went away, there was some really good stuff in the collection.

The mixed breed skirts (with pinafore style straps attached from the waist) were rebelliously cool. The zippered gowns especially the white one with beaded holes and a yellow layer underneath and a blue number where the sides of zipper were embellished from top to bottom were so fresh and relaxed. And I absolutely loved the clothes with metallic gold especially the bustier paired with a monochrome skirt, the magnificently cut gold jacket with a matching bottom and the black and gold printed skirt worn under an orange bra top. Apart from geometric prints dominating most of the show, a lot of the looks had holes cut into the fabric (resembling the cheese you see in cartoons) out of which a leather top worn over a colour blocked mini skirt was a favourite.

Personally, I'm a huge fan of Puglisi's aesthetic and admire his rebellious/punk streak paired with a little Gianni Versace style bling. With Anna Dello Russo as an ardent supporter, one can only expect great things from the designer. Lets hope for his next collection, he eliminates a little bit of the excess he used this time. Then, I'm sure it will be a flawless one!

Fausto Puglisi SS15

Monday, 6 October 2014

Milan Fashion Week Round Up - Gucci

Gucci SS15

It was hard to pick a theme at Gucci. Was it nautical, oriental, retro glam, or a bit of everything perhaps? All I know is that it was not just good, it was amazing. The jackets and vests in my opinion stole the show. Vests were made from colourful Mongolian lamb or fox whereas shorter jackets were seen with 3D embellishments and python skin paired with the fur. One could not miss the sheer beauty of a nautical inspired number complete with gold stripes and buttons on the sleeves. Or the couture like craftsmanship on a patchwork jacket crafted out of fur, python skin and Japanese silk. I wonder if Roohi Jaikishan will be the first one in India to be seen in that patchwork jacket.

Daytime/casual silhouettes included cropped, relaxed fit jeans along with a variety of cool girl dresses which are without a doubt going to be a major hit. From the denim series, a slick A-line ensemble  with large gold buttons and a woven leather belt rated high on my must have list and so did a bicolour shirtdress featuring yellow top stitching and crochet style emboridery on the sleeves and bust. Oversized lace up closure detailing was seen throughout out the show, with my favourites being a dark green nappa leather dress and another in red cotton voile, both featuring broderie anglaise on the sleeves and skirt. For evening wear, hemlines were shortened to knee length with oriental inspired embroidery and sparkling crystal trimmings.

For next spring, the bucket version of the Jackie Soft seen in the show was honestly to die for. Bucket bags are so hot right now and the colours that Gucci has are delicious especially the burnt orange one in suede. Juxtaposing a large canvas shoulder strap against luxurious leather was an interesting contrast and one that I really liked.

Gucci SS15
Detailing on the patchwork jacket

Jackie Soft Bucket Bag

Thursday, 2 October 2014

London Fashion Week Round Up - Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane SS15
‘It was understated Kane’ was the impression left at Christopher Kane’s for Spring Summer 2015. The context of understatement here found its heart in his attempt to pay homage to Professor Louise Wilson of Central Saint Martins (owing to her demise recently).  It was a balancing act for Kane wherein he tried to live up to the beloved teacher’s idea of his style and finding his own voice from within that idea. That’s earnest belief. The idea: a refined and sophisticated modus operandi, that the designer made his own with his singular treatments.

The results, put on display, were cleaner palettes of red, black and some mauve and refined silhouettes consisting of fine cut trousers, structured tops and dresses, and interspersion of sheer with varying patterns. But Kane’s imprints were all over them in the form of blown up patterns and ropes that weaved through the outfits (the oxblood tulle dress where they crept up like snakes) and at times binding them together like in the case of a sheer shirt where they were left dangling from the edges. The ropes again were an extension of his experiments from his fledgling days in fashion at Central Saint Martins.

Tulle peeking out from unexpected places like conical folds on either sides of a dress or a skirt for example was both playful and a creative. Meanwhile, those soft and boxy bags look like they're going to sell out as soon as they hit the stores. Overall, a rather restrained but extremely pleasing offering from Christopher Kane.

Christopher Kane SS15

London Fashion Week Round Up - Erdem, Mary Katrantzou

Erdem SS15
Erdem - It's a jungle out there! Out there meaning high fashion of course and in the mind of Erdem. This time, the designer turned to Victorian biologist and botanical artist Marianne North for inspiration and the collection was mind blowing to say the least. Where on the one hand there were fronds (creeping up the body kinds) embroidered on dresses, on the other, there were turquoise and bottle green florals that decorated Victorian style floor length gowns. Meanwhile, Erdem's obsession with feathers was reiterated though a magnificent, dark green coat bursting with plumage (also seen a few days later on Jane Keltner de Valle) and a series of dresses covered in feathers. . A high necked blouse featuring the most intricate hand work of feathers, embroidery and small chiffon patches carved into floral shapes made me feel like this was work commissioned to the atelier of Maison Lemarie. Anna Dello Russo wore the top with the matching skirt for the Dior show in Paris.

There was drama in this collection, but none of it was excess. Perhaps the matronly like, yet sexy broderie anglaise ensembles or the simple tweed dress balanced the rest of the collection. Whatever the case, Erdem was the king of this jungle.

Erdem SS15

Mary Katrantzou - Ancient history... Prehistoric times... Nope. How about Pangea, a supercontinent from the late Paleozoic era! An extremely interesting and unique inspiration for Mary Katrantzou's latest collection. The queen of digital prints has been experimenting with more complex garment construction, playing with various textures and some intricate embroidery and it has paid off big time. This was another spectacular delivery from the London runways.

Medusa's hair like serpents, and shiny cut outs representing the earth's tectonic plates were amongst the key details seen on the clothes. A series of dresses caught my eye especially the ones with delicate snakes intertwined in one another on the bust and a honeycomb like cage below along with the shirt dresses covered in flora and fauna embroidery. A beaded black dress featuring some sort of strange creature embroidered on it was one of the coolest outfits in the show. Embellished sculptural blouses with linear cut outs worn over loose fitted trousers felt fresh and glamorous just like the semi-sheer gowns that closed the show.

Mary Katrantzou SS15

Mary Katrantzou SS15