New York Fashion Week round-up: Spring Summer 2014

Rita Ora for DKNY SS14

Rita Ora for DKNY SS14 Instagram/RitaOra

Firstly apologies for no blogs for some time! I have been working with the very lovely team covering as their Acting Web Editor for the interim but am now back to my normal routine as a freelancer. And the next few weeks will see some exciting changes to my schedule, but non more so than heading back to view the latest instalment of collections for Spring Summer 2014 at London Fashion Week. However, before the jet set fashionistas hit London they of course contend with the multitude of talent in New York at the bi-annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Designers to have already shown consist of Diane von Furstenberg, Thakoon, DKNY and Derek Lam amongst others. Aside from the return of the monochromatic palette there has also been a surge in gingham, yellow and navy. DKNY (who recently shot Rita Ora for their upcoming ad campaigns) is of course celebrating its 25th anniversary this year harking back to its original street style showcasing playful twists on denim, sports luxe and bright colours. The R.I.P singer also made an appearance on the catwalk showcasing Donna Karan’s forthcoming 90s inspired designs for next season.

Victoria Beckham followed suit with a phenomenal addition of bright colours amid crisp white shirts and jet black hues adding in amazing triangle prints and softer and looser silhouettes, making the perfect combination for both work and play for her SS14 range, while husband David Beckham, daughter Harper and Vogue US editor-in-cheif Anna Wintour all watched on from their front row seats.

Victoria Beckham SS14 Collection

Victoria Beckham SS14 Collection

First Lady fav Alexander Wang also impressed with his clerical collars, super-mini kilts, boxer style shorts, muted palette and stellar front row (Kanye West, Courtney Love and Terry Richardson) while one of my all time favourite designers (who creates amazing red carpet pieces) Monique Lhuillier opted for bright tangerine and cerise tones amongst a contrasting white, cream and gold backdrop… simply stunning.

NYFW continues until Thursday 12th September 2013…


Atelier Versace opens Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week 2012

This luxurious Italian brand has not shown in Paris since 2004 and yesterday, as editors from around the globe disembarked upon Paris, Atlelier Versace was re-born to show their latest collection at Haute Couture Fashion Week.

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Showing their spring/summer 2012 range under a scrutiny of famous faces which included U.S. Vogue Editor Anna Wintour, actresses Cameron Diaz, Diane Kruger and Abbie Cornish designer Donatella Versace looked on calmly as a cascade of warrior style women approached the catwalk. To start Versace teamed sci-fi style biker jackets covered in lace and lined panels with matching hot pants; both adorning gold metal trims and complete with thigh-high lace boots (or what seemed to be a mixture of lace half cut stocking over fabulous high heeled courts). This then ensued with almost felt style bodices in bright sunshine yellow; again with futuristic designs and tailoring.

The designs then proceeded onto a selection of short cocktail dresses with ruffled peplum waists and brocade materials in gold, glacier blue and greys all encased with intricate beading, sequins and detailing that would not have looked out of place on Xena: Warrior Princess.

For eveningwear Versace slightly toned it down in a palette of pillar box red, lime green, orange and cream hues on a selection of full-length gowns, again all in a complex mix of high-tech and sophisticated designs which had clearly taken months to assemble by hand.

Hair stood its own ground with on-trend scraped back high ponytails and powerful dark sultry eyes complete with nude lips. Donatella was a woman on a mission and judging by her designs she had clearly won the battle with haute couture.

BODYAMR autumn/winter 2011 collection at LFW

From Louise Redknapp in the front row to Amber Rose modelling; the BODYAMR autumn/winter 11/12 show was a star-studded affair.

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Back stage Efi Davies directed the Toni&Guy Session Team to produce models with whimsical hair that was sleek at the front and dropped perfectly at the back. This design was done simply by using a round brush to blow dry then a dash of label.m professional hair care to finish; providing texture in all the right places. Make-up was flawless but dramatic with big red lips and sultry egyptian eyes.

The collection in itself was inspired by the middle east; and after the dramatic build up of violin concerto music the lights dimmed as police style flash lights (like the ones used to call Batman!) appeared circling the room. Models then started to protrude into the windy catwalk that was set-up via two rooms in the Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue as Moroccan-influenced music played.

From rich chocolate browns to cream and gold hues, mulberry and maroon, the colour spectrum switched adding teal, black, sun-set orange, silver, grey and mustard. Textures included jersey, satin, silk, velvet and beading with key pieces coming in floor length silk kaftan’s, black bolero jackets, Mongolian wool stole’s and jackets, low slung jersey v-neck tops with long sleeves, jersey turtle necks, and tops and dresses that incorporated diamante studding.

The highlight of the show however was a floor length see through black hooded dress; which doubled up as a veil. The model wore yellow studded diamante hot pants underneath; alongside this there was a navy chiffon flowing gown. Low-cut at the front with beaded detailing around the cleavage, but effortlessly glamorous; something like you would imagine Queen Rania of Jordan to wear to a Royal Engagement with family and friends.

To continue with the eastern theme models adorned Fez hats, chiffon neck scarves – which draped to the floor – and high collared necklaces and oversized jewellery.

This was definitely one of my favourite shows of London Fashion Week.

Aquascutum autumn/winter 2011 collection at LFW

Designer Joanna Sykes should be patting herself smugly on the back after her autumn/winter 2011/12 collection for Aquascutum showed at London Fashion Week yesterday. The collection was a step up from the usual mac’s and signature checked bags that are found in store, allowing room for vast improvement in an array of colours and styles.

View the collection here

Soft tailoring, shearling wool, lined jackets and taupe blue trousers accompanied bright dashes of orange which lined skirt suits, and were worn as wool jumpers and silk dresses. The most interesting bit was how she adapted shearling wool to the front of a skirt – which almost indicated it was inside out – but, nevertheless still looked cosy and warm enough to want to purchase right now.

And she shouldn’t worry about sales; Harrods fashion and beauty director Marigay McKee was front row to witness it all. I’m sure the collection will be flying off the shelves come winter…


Paul Smith autumn/winter 2011 collection at LFW

Held in the luxurious newly refurbished Lancaster Ballroom at the Savoy Hotel, London, yesterday evening, Paul Smith’s autumn/winter 2011/12 collection harked back to a 1980s Wall Street era. Power suits with loose white shirts and quirky printed ties were accompanied by large geek chic glasses on models, and the colour palette stretched from fat-cat pin strips in navy and blue to opulent jewel tone pinks, burnt oranges and muted yellows.

Yuppie yacht club blazers and chinos were also on show alongside working wardrobe pieces such as lapel less coats, and an array of knits. Smith’s tailored signature pieces were as strong as ever, but he also managed to produce new pieces such as a concrete grey maxi dresses adorned with flowers.

Quintessentially English as always; Paul Smith at his best.

New York Fashion Week: Rodarte A/W11

Designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy presented the latest collection for their label Rodarte on Wednesday, with an eclectic front row.  Kanye West and mini blogger Tavi were there, as well as actress Kirsten Dunst, who has long been a fan of the design duo, wearing their creations on the red carpet.

The show took place in a clinically white gallery, filled with light and neon light sculptures, it had a futuristic feel.  This contrasted with the elegant clothes which proceeded to glide down the runway.

Inspiration came from American Plains, the designers looked at landscapes, prairies and wheat fields at different times of day, using dawn, sunset and stormy weather as colour references.  There was a story being told within the collection, starting off with the dawn of the day with pale cream prairie dresses, referencing historical costume and hand crafts such as macramé and folky embroidery.

The collection had a rustic, collage feel to it, using quilting and patchwork techniques with horsehair, lace and tulle.

The drama built, introducing azure blue and stormy greys, as if the clouds were rolling over the hills.  Long draped gowns in fluid shades then gave way to two dramatic scarlet looks, sequinned and structured, referencing a beautiful red sky at sunset.

When Hilary Alexander caught up with Anna Wintour at the show, Wintour said that Rodarte have the potential to become the next Alexander McQueen or John Galliano, a huge compliment for the designers and the gold stamp of approval from the ice-lady of fashion.

View the Rodarte A/W 11 collection here

By Vanessa Woodgate

New York Fashion Week: Alexander Wang A/W 11

The fashion world’s new darling, Alexander Wang, showed his Autumn/Winter 11 collection on Sunday to rave reviews.

Alexander Wang A/W 11

Alexander Wang A/W 11

Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington of American Vogue were on the front row as his decidedly cool collection marched down the catwalk.

The show consisted of neoprene ponchos, fur bomber jackets, leather drainpipes and fur-lined sweaters in a sleek colour palette of black, grey, white and blush pink.

Wang then moved onto conceptual evening wear with oversized tuxedos and sheer, androgynous shirts, followed by feminine maxi dresses made out of satin ribbons slit to the thigh.

This extreme sportswear collection almost poked fun at the fashion industry and it’s love for all things luxe and decadent, by using the finest fabrics and furs in a sexy, tough-girl way on biker jackets and ponchos.

It was a brilliant combination of high-end luxury and urban sportswear, seen in merino wool hoodies with functional zips and quilted jackets with tailcoats.

Outfits were worn with fur-covered sandals, metallic ankle guards, and high-shine loafers mixing the soft, feminine textures with a hard, urban edge.

The show was a great success ahead of the opening of Alexander Wang’s new flagship store in New York next week.

View Alexander Wang’s A/W 11 collection here

By Vanessa Woodgate