Milan Fashion Week opens: Gucci spring/summer 2012

Gucci Shop in Wien

On Wednesday as London Fashion Week said goodbye to its last collections for menswear , Milan Fashion Week also opened to show its spring/summer 2012 collections.

Amid rife and rumors that Gucci had requested staple models hours before shows started in London, designers spent most of its short-lived fashion week in a chaotic panic.

It all started with Marc Jacobs whose design team had lost important time during Hurricane Irene when it hit the East Coast of America. Having to push his show back made everything drop out of sync, and models were left waiting till the last hour on Friday – when the London shows started – in New York to see whether they were still being cast or not.

Then came a further blow on Friday as major Italian brand Gucci, and creative director Frida Giannini demanded a pre-casting request in Milan. Models were expected to fly out for the casting, then fly back Saturday to meet with Giannini again if they were successful and stay over for fittings the next day. This then created a mess because models were pulled from shows without designers being told, or just not turning up to fittings.

This comes as no surprise though as for years London has been fighting against time schedules with New York and Milan, being squeezed of hours/days each and every season. This time however it seems that the UK based designers and model agencies have had enough and are threatening to boycott London Fashion Week if the British Fashion Council does not step in and intervene.

However, from London to Milan Gucci did kick off in style yesterday with Giannini’s chosen models adorning dropped waist flapper dresses drenched in gold fringing and beading with copious amounts of black satin. The look was 1920s flapper girl met with bellhop attire for day wear that was reminiscent of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Art Deco style lines were used throughout the collection, alongside floaty chiffon dresses and tops, worn with skinny piped black trousers dressed with gold buttons on the ankles. Drop wait tuxedo-style jackets with smart gold chain’s attaching them were also paired with monochrome trousers and tops worn with statement quiff hair and dramatic dark eyes. Green and orange hues also appeared throughout: one thing is for sure though Gucci’s opulence will continue no matter what the economic downfall may be.

Milan Fashion Week continues this week with catwalk shows from designers such as Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Prada.

London Fashion Week: Jean-Pierre Braganza spring/summer 2012 collection

Designer Jean-Pierre Braganza put on a sport lux and architectural display for his spring/summer 2012 womens wear collection this afternoon.

Jean Pierre Braganza SS12 collection
Jean Pierre Braganza SS12 collection

Taking inspiration from the Cornish coast, Braganza referenced such artists as Ben Nicholson (a British painter of abstract compositions) alongside architect Mies van der Rohe and swiss surrealist H R Giger showing clothing that was architectural in design and pattern, and mixed with geometric shapes with sharp and neutral colours. .

Key pieces came at the end of the show with geometric printed dresses, and a fabulous coral pink 70s style key cut halter neck jumpsuit; all wearable and fun. Fabrics were light and airy and included jersey, silk and cotton, producing draped and tailored pieces in a palette of black, lemon, white, pinks, and dove grey.

Jewellery and shoes were also strong combining suede and leather cut out heels and shoe boots with some lace up fronts, powered with over exaggerated long and thin leather clutch bags in grey and black, combined on occasion with statement bib style jewelled necklaces.

Hair was again overseen by Indira Schauwecker for TONI&GUY and emulated an almost bouffant style front on some models, with others adorning a side parting, leading to what seemed like a tight high fish tail plait at the back, however, this style was carefully constructed by using label.m volume moose to layer and manipulate the hair into shape, along with redirection style dust to distress two pony tails together in a tight plait which hung perfectly as the models strode down the catwalk. Make up saw striking 80s blush in almost fuchsia pink smeared across cheekbones with nude lips and white powder under the eyes to contrast the strong hues below whilst eye brows were sleek and strong.

In his release Braganza added that “Fashion is about capturing emotion in a glance. My challenge is to create the most esoteric dress for that exact moment, ” – which he clearly has done for spring/summer 2012.

Shows continue later today with Basso & Brooke and PPQ amongst others….

London Fashion Week (opens): Caroline Charles spring/summer 2012

London Fashion Week was officially opened this morning by London’s mayor Boris Johnson, with the British Fashion Council once again setting up home – and hosting – at Somerset House.

Apart from Paul Costello (whom let his six sons model on the catwalk) and Corrie Nielsen, whom showed her collection under an installation of amazing glass lighting, only Caroline Charles has shown so far, producing a wonderful Riviera inspired collection which included an array of boating hats, panama’s and sleek summer dresses.

Charles opened her show with a selection of navy, coral and orange wool trouser suits that were nipped in at the waist and added a certain Chanel-esque appeal, reminiscent of what mademoiselle Coco Chanel herself might adorn, especially when the skirt suits came out and were paired with short lace gloves and straw hats.

Next Charles focused on smart day wear that would be extremely appealable for work wear, alongside a selection of pearl beaded shirts, silk jumpsuits with spot patterns also mixing in flared palazzo pants and collar-less jackets. After this came evening wear which was a mixture of sequined print snake print dresses, with dropped hems along with beaded or sequined tunics and trouser combinations. Finally the designer ended her show with a combination of beaded jackets that dazzled in the catwalk lights in a more monochrome and navy palette. A certain hit for the French Riviera next summer….

Richard Nicoll autumn/winter 2011 collection at LFW

Minimalistic but modern was the look of the evening as Richard Nicoll sent his models down the catwalk at Old Billingsgate Market yesterday.

The usually colourful designer toned down his signature block colour hues – a move he started to make via his spring/summer collection in September last year – for more earthy tones instead in mustard, camel and white. However, there were flashes of vibrant tango orange; but the rest was a surge towards black with PVC and wet-leather looking pieces. Soft tailoring ensued with dresses that were cut short at the front with a long flowing tails, whilst jackets and tops appeared oversized, circa 1990.

The centre piece of the show though had to be his luxe bomber jackets and Parkas with raised collars, which fanned from shoulder to shoulder, and revealed a luxury style gold lining. I’m betting that will be chic and warm come next winter…

Markus Lupfer autumn/winter 2011 collection

During London Fashion Week it’s always nice to take five minutes out of the craziness and reflect on something new. So I was delighted when I was invited to Markus Lupfer’s autumn/winter 2011 presentation, which was held through a kaleidoscopic afternoon tea party, yesterday in the Billiard room at the Sanderson Hotel.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Instead of viewing models on plinths, or plastic ones dressed as window dummies, Lupfer opted to style live models as they sat poised on a stage for all to see.

His cute collection of signature sequined jumpers (which spelled out ‘YOU LOOK REALLY GOOD TODAY’), red wool coat, and printed silk dresses were as cute as the scones and jam, cakes, champagne and Alice in Wonderland style miniature bottles (which were all tagged ‘Drink me’) that adorned the tables.

I can’t wait to see the collection in store and online…

Kate Middleton’s designer shows at London Fashion Week

As Kate Middleton’s chosen designer for ‘that’ engagement dress, Brazilian designer Daniella Helayel had all eyes upon her to see how her current autumn/winter 2011 collection would pan out.

She should not have been worried though, as Helayel went back to her archives to view what patterns and prints she had used over the last decade, and to help celebrate her 10th anniversary of showing Issa. The result was a ‘British-Brazilion’ mould were models came out in a funky explosion of prints and 70s inspired pieces. These ‘recyled’ patterns consisted of feathers, shells and animal patterns, with a spectrum of colours ranging from jeweled tones such as amber, cobalt, scarlet and emerald-green to monochrome shades.

Helayel also produced grecian style goddess gowns which are her usual signature pieces, and looked fab.

Middleton however was not front row. Instead the line up included model Yasmin Le Bon, who took to the runway to model the designs instead.

London Fashion Week: Jaeger autumn/winter 2011 collection

Albeit a quiet start to the second day at London Fashion Week, a few celebs turned out to watch Jaeger’s latest autumn/winter 2011 collection at Somerset House early this afternoon, which included T4 presenter Jameela Jamil in the audience, in a cute peach strapless dress.

T4 Presenter Jameela Jamil attends LFW

T4 Presenter Jameela Jamil attends LFW

The collection was a nice change from jade and pink – which has been seen at quite a few shows – and brought fresh innovations, such as the mohair lapels on tux jackets, and aforementioned sleeveless gilets-type waistcoats.

The colour palette was mustards, khaki, black and tweed, with models wearing sleek pony tails and minimal make-up. A country-esque nod came from the Harris style tweed jackets and trousers, but the most promising piece was a long black wool maxi coat which flowed softly behind the model as she walked.

There was also an array of accessories which consisted of fur-lined beanies and elbow-length gloves, and towards the end came flashes of burnt orange skirts and jackets, along with a slashed fuschia shirt. Who says winter has to be dull?