Paris Fashion Week: Chanel Spring/Summer 2012 review

Karl Lagerfeld at the Red Cross Ball in Monaco...

Image via Wikipedia

It seems that ‘under the sea’ is a re-occurring theme for next season and apart from similar showings at Holly Fulton, Mary Katrantzou, Versace and Givenchy, it now seems that Karl Lagerfeld has got in on the act for Chanel too. 

As always Chanel’s collection was held at the Grand Palais with a bleached white set decorated with oversized shells, sea horses and sea weed – which were positioned to climb up the huge glistening curtain that was containing it all. 

Clearly money being no object, for his spring/summer 2012 Chanel collection, Lagerfeld turned to the ocean for inspiration and brought a new lease of life towards a futuristic style mermaid. Models wore pleated organza tops with PVC style trousers alongside PVC suits, however this quickly changed to more transcendent pearly hues with the iconic Chanel tweed suits, jackets and cardigans being emblazoned in pearls and translucent sequins which shimmered a sea green colour in the light. 

Accessory wise Chanel brought new pearl encrusted hand-held clutch bag on to the floor – a desirable hit no doubt for next summer – as well as flat silver pointed shoe boots and signature double ‘C’ logo pearl pendants; strings of pearls were also added to models waists to create belts. 

Jellyfish style skirts in mint and pale pink conjured up sea-like movements in tulle and lace as the models walked down the catwalk and were teamed with tiered chiffon vests; these were also worn with athletic shorts. Swimwear was starch white in full body swimming suits and structured bikinis; Lagerfeld also added in a clear and navy PVC option complete with matching rain coat perhaps for the glamping festival type in us. Silver lame skirts with drawstring waists and dropped hems with ostrich feathers were also apparent.

Lagerfeld left no stone or coral patch unturned as he added scale printed dresses in cream and pink tones to the show, making next season all very chic and all very Chanel indeed. 


Autumn/Winter 2011/2012 fashion trends

pencil and pastel sketches drawn by Brian Ston...

Image via Wikipedia

So, the weather has finally switched back to drizzly and instead of donning our favourite LSDs (Little Summer Dresses) we’re actually pulling out the leggings and old jumpers in despair; but fear not, as the high street is already brimming with looks to fit autumn/winter 2011/2012 trends perfectly.

If you’ve already swatted up on your trends then you’ll know exactly what to buy, but for those who haven’t read a magazine in weeks – and for all my lovely friends and family who are asking – this guide is just for you!

Let’s start with what I think will be the biggest, and most wearable, hit this season – the forties. The forties trend was practically reinvented by Gucci and shown throughout the fashion catwalks. Kate Moss set the precedence when she opted to adorn Miu Miu’s orange sequin and embroidered tea dress on the front of Vogue U.K.  August 2011 edition. However, day dresses, cocoon skirts, pencil skirt and jacket combinations and mid-length pleated skirts alongside cinched waists, skinny belts, fur collars, fedora hats, pearl necklaces, three-quarter length leather gloves and mary-jane heels were all spanned across Donna Karan, Louis Vuitton, Marni, Gucci and Jean Paul Gaultier.

Best 40s hot spot on the high street: Dorothy Perkins

Next up is jewel tones. Also pushed through by Gucci for next season but shown at Roksanda Ilincic, Lanvin, Ralph Lauren et al with colours ranging from sapphire to citrine, emerald to ruby and more. Structurally you can wear silk shirts by day and billowing silk dresses by night for added opulence.

Jewel tones shown already: River Island and Zara amongst others

Tartan was also another winner in the style stakes, harking back to Scottish tradition with designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Burberry Prorsum and Moschino Cheap & Chic  all checking it into their collections. Karl Lagerfeld used his version to update the classic Chanel tweed coat with MaxMara also adapting their tartan-check coats with sequins that shimmered perfectly in the light.

Best on the high street so far: Marks and Spencer and New Look

Spots were also huge via Stella McCartney, showing off sheer panelled dresses with spots encompassed throughout. Cheryl Cole already adorned one of McCartney’s short white versions for her birthday party earlier this year but the black versions will be fabulous for Christmas season. Diane Von Furstenberg also exaggerated her spots into oversized holes with netting underneath on a classic silk black maxi dress whilst Marc Jacobs produced a skirt-trouser and top-skirt combination that was adorned in polka dots.

For an array of spots head to Max C

Other major trends to covet the catwalk came in the form of fetish clothing. PVC, leather and lace which were all used to create erotic looks. Straps, capes, boned corsets along with sheer and leather panelled dresses were either dressed up for night with sequined under garments a la Dolce & Gabbana, or dressed down for day time wear with night-porter caps and elbow-length gloves – as seen at Emporio Armani.

Get the look: Anne Summers & La Senza

Finally masculine tailoring was brought back to life by Michael Kors, Temperley, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger – the latter producing a 1930s spin-off mobster/gangster pin stripe suit effect. Style your look up with oversized suits for day and tuxedos complete with tails and cumberbunds for night.

Try menswear stores such as Jaeger,, Austin Reed, Brooks Brothers et al

RE-CAP AUTUMN/WINTER 2011/2012 MAIN TRENDS ARE: Forties glamour, hints of 1960s and 70s, jewel tones, tartan, spots, monochrome, a flash of 70s, cocoon dresses, floral prints, fetish clothing, masculine tailoring, aquatic looks and shimmering metallic.

2011: David Beckham for H&M


Image via Wikipedia

Football and soccer legend, and now father of four, David Beckham has just announced that he will be launching a clothing line with Swedish high street chain H&M.

Beckham’s new collection will be named Beckham’s Bodywear, being sold in over 1,800 stores worldwide. It is not sure what designs will be included but as Beckham has been the pin-up for Armani underwear before we are sure that this may contribute somewhat to his new collection.

In the past H&M have collaborated with such greats as  Karl Lagerfeld, Lanvin and Madonna, however, Beckham’s designs are not set to be a one-off collaboration noting that his new collection will be the start of a very long partnership with the company, adding new products every season.

Beckham has stated that, “Over the past year, I’ve been developing my Bodywear range with my team and I’m extremely positive about what we have designed and produced.

“The final piece in the jigsaw was a retail partner who has the vision and capability to distribute these products globally. In H&M we have found the perfect partner to collaborate with going forward, I’m excited and looking forward to showcasing the range to H&M customers from February.”

Beckham’s Bodywear Collection is expected to launch in H&M stores on Valentine’s Day 2012: I think an obvious choice as a great present for your loved one…

2011: Amy Winehouse tribute

Amy Winehouse performing in Berlin in 2007

Image via Wikipedia

As if the car bombing and massacre in Norway which took the lives of over 70 innocent victims last Friday wasn’t disturbing enough news, Britain then took a step back in horror when it was revealed over news sources and Twitter that Grammy Award winning singer Amy Winehouse had also died on Saturday afternoon from a suspected drugs overdose at her home in Camden, North London.

To some there is no comparison, with remarkably insensitive comments appearing on social networking sites about Winehouse’s struggling past with alcohol and drugs, however, these ‘haters’ should be aware of one major similarity, and that is all parents included in these tragic events – including Amy’s father Mitch, who battled so desperately to help her through everything, have all lost their children far too young.

Messages flooded Twitter including those closest to Winehouse such as producer Mark Ronson – who worked with Winehouse on her 2006 album Back to Black producing hit singles such as Rehab, Tears Dry on Their Own and Valerie – tweeted “she was my musical soulmate (and) like a sister to me. This is one of the saddest days of my life.”

Winehouse however, will also be remembered for her own quirky street style and trademark beehive hair and black wing eyeliner, and for collaborating with brands such as Fred Perry creating her own clothing range; thus this news of her death has devastated the fashion world whom had taken her in. Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld had even once referred to Winehouse as a ‘style icon’.

Music channel Viva had already started playing Winehouse’s long list of catchy and iconic songs as a tribute before 11pm Saturday evening, reminding us what a fantastically talented singer she truly was, and making a poignant point that this is exactly what she will be remembered for.

Kanye West launches a range of scarves

Kanye West

Image via Wikipedia

Oh how we have missed Kanye West.

The once potty-mouthed front-row fashionista, who originally shot to fame with a musical rapping career, (which seemed to span a lifetime –  and had the fashion credentials to boot ) lost it all in the blink of a drunken-Taylor-Swift-moment live on stage, shocking us all, and then disappearing off into the night like Batman to his Bat-Signal. And so, we thought he had gone out of our lives forever. But how wrong we were, as Kanye was just off doing another ‘ol internship (this time for Karl Lagerfeld-designed fashion house Fendi).

So, instead of keeping his word swearing he would never create a celebrity/fashion line after Linday Lohan’s efforts – ‘Did you not see the Lindsay and Ungaro collection? That was 9/11 for celebrities doing fashion. After that I thought: ‘Well I can’t do a line now’ – it seems that even the great Mr West can change his mind.

It is reported that Kanye’s new fashion line of scarves were inspired by the artwork from his last album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, where he collaborated with artist George Condo West, and has since been reworked by M/M art direction and graphic design duo Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag, who approached West themselves and wanted to ‘remix the artistic elements into a range of silk scarves pairing their baroque-style letters with [artist George] Condo’s images, such as a severed head wearing a crown and a naked sphinx straddling a likeness of West.”

The limited edition range is set to be sold exclusively at the Colette boutique in Paris, France and online at

Maybe instead of playing the Blame Game, and being Lost In The World, Kanye has finally found his fashion-calling?



Fendi autumn/winter 2011 collection at Milan Fashion Week

You wouldn’t have expected the master couturier Karl Lagerfeld to have designed this collection for the Fendi auutmn/winter 2011/12 show but you can get an understanding of what he, and design partner Silvia Venturini Fendi, were attempting to achieve; day time glamour for those city chic women who want to wear oversized clothing to hide their ‘mummy-tums’ and more, but also stay stylish and bang on-trend.

Models were flanked in fur and layers in earthy tones, and adorned ribbed tights in cream, mustard and red to compliment skirts; fur ‘bibs’ and chiffon blouses – with what looked like paint-flick effect – were teamed with skirts and trousers and under dresses.

Comfortable knitted sweater pants matched with turtle neck jumpers and a huge flannel mustard coat, were complimented with Mary Jane heels and scraped back hair: sounds awful but looked hot-as-hell.

And for evening wear, dresses were turned back to front highlighting the sweetheart neckline on backs; and as the show ended Lagerfeld sent out a Victorian style gown, split down the back, with a sexy ruffle at the front showing his traits were still en-vogue.


London Fashion Week: Kinder Aggugini autumn/winter 2011 collection

Kinder Aguggini autumn/winter 11 collection

Kinder Aguggini autumn/winter 11 collection

The show took place in a beautiful venue in Grosvenor Gardens, the light airy space was a stark comparison to some of the crowded basements other designers chose to show their collections in.   As I walked up the grand marble staircases and past suspended purple orchids, Jefferson Hack strolled past to take his seat.

Also on the front row were singers Marina, of Marina and the Diamonds and Sharleen Spiteri.

As the intimate show begun, the models weaved in and out of the benches, in Kinder Aggugini’s beautiful collection entitled ‘Peggy’. Inspired by Pegggy Guggenheim, a flamboyous yet elegant woman, Kinder presented a mash-up of 50’s French couture and 80’s Japanese conceptual fashion. By fusing Modernism with contemporary technologies, Kinder used laser cutting, bonding and dip dyeing techniques on luxurious cashmere and silk.

As the models navigated their way round the catwalk, they wore deconstructed wool jackets, in black, yellow and red and later draped silk dresses which were held in place by beaded strips across the body, like glamorous harnesses.

The hair was perhaps the most amazing thing about the show, pony tails were pulled high off the models head, defying gravity and transparent hats in red, yellow and blue perched on the model’s heads and they wore glitter-covered heels in orange and blue.

The show was truly inspiring and when Kinder Aggugini showed his face at the end of the show, he received a well deserved round of applause.

View the Kinder Aggugini autumn/winter 11 collection here

By Vanessa Woodgate