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The first 48 hours of my new kickstarter — Kristin Ashford Bags.– is doing great. Thanks to all those who have donated so far. I’m extending the Early Bird Special one more day! Check it out here.
I love the excitement and fervor new beginnings bring. They remind us that passion and joy still rage within us. While Natacha Ramsay-Levi isn’t a newcomer to fashion, having worked at Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton for Nicolas Ghesquière, her Chloe Spring 2018 collection is her first as creative director for a house. The results were smashing!
Ramsay-Levi politely nodded to her predecessors while infusing the collection with an “urban cool girl” chic all her own. Painted silks for Karl Lagerfeld, both Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo were big horse fans, and she lifted a sense of weightlessness from Clare Waight Keller with the wispy micro-floral print and cream dresses.
Chloe is a new girl! She is no longer just a bohemian. She revels in tailoring (her vests, layered and solo, are divine), linear shirt-and-pants combos, jeans cropped and cuffed below the knee, snake-skin prints in clothing and accessories and details, such as, rings piercing the bodice of linen tops and dresses.
Speaking of accessories, look for Ramsey-Levi’s cannage leather boots, python booties and double strapped and double-decker handbags to make a strong impression in editorials, and show up on street style savvy bloggers soon!
On March 6 Sarah Burton debuted one of her most breathtakingly exquisite Autumn 2017 collections. One galvanized from an outing taken with her clan to Cornwall, England where she spied a Cloutie tree (on which people tie rags and ribbons as they make wishes), visited the ruins of castles and medieval churches, and where a subculture of paganism and healing witchcraft is said to still exist. From there she was off and running with her imagination and research (which she is wont to do) into the creative communities that inhabit these walls, its traditions, their ancient signs and symbols, and the power that laid within the landscape.
The Cloutie tree inspiration, a prominent theme throughout the collection, was witnessed from the very first look of floating ribbons on a whipstiched black leather coat. It then made its way onto bodycon-ribbed knits, and as wisps of threads streaming from embroidered patches of flora patterned dresses. It was present via the extra long cinched belts on a few of the softly tailored pieces made from cashmere felting. These black/grey pantsuits with their extra long jackets, paired with thick-soled sneakers seemed fit for a modern-day priestess.
Burton wove her Cloutie theme all the way through to its final evening looks. The last 2 exits with their glistening silver sequin embroidery, and their sleeves and hems trailing in black or cream feathers were pure beauty. When the day comes that I finally get married, I’ll happily walk down the aisle in either the cream with green, blue and beige flora and fauna embroidered dress, or the final silver sequin and feather frock. Maybe a visit to the Cloutie tree is in order for me.
Giovanna Engelbert in a Prada // Irene Kim // PFW Street Style // Sayo Yoshida // Mlle Yulia // Alexandra Lapp in Hermes & Bruno Manetti // Street Style // Street Style // Teddy Quinlivan // Hailey Baldwin // Yasmin Sewell // Fil Xiao Bai
I want to live in the dresses of Pierpablo Piccilo’s Autumn 2017 collection. And, while I’m inhabiting his daydream, clothed in his tunics and frocks, I’ll reside at the Hotel Salomon de Rothschild where he unearthed his romantic, strong and vibrant collection fit for a modern-day princess.
Piccilo’s mood boards were a study in the fusion of opposites: Victoriana and Memphis Group — an Italian design and architecture group founded in Milan by Ettore Sottsass in 1981, and inspired by Art Deco, Pop Art, and the emerging postmodernism movements. Nathalie du Pasquier and George Sowden were cited by Piccilo as his main influencers, with fabric designer Pasguier priming his numbers, serial florals and hand motif graphics.
There were plenty of the beautifully intricate, high-waisted and high-necked Victoriana dresses that have been a house staple of late, but it was the Memphis inspirited dresses that really stole my heart. The flowing, waistless, knee-length dresses in lemon yellow satin, colorful sequins, and black and white patterned prints, along with the hands and numerals print maxi dresses, paired with rugged to-the-knee boots that will surely be touted in all the upcoming fall fashion magazine issues.
Now excuse me while I go buy my lottery tickets, a girl has to finance her daydream somehow.
Valentino’s To Die For Accessories:
See the entire collection Valentino Autumn 2017 Collection here.
Some of my other favorite from the Paris collections.
Christian Dior // Dries Van Noten // Loewe // Nina Ricci // Balmain // Mugler // Balenciaga // Off White // Rochas // Chloe All Autumn 2017
There is a new freedom to what strong, powerful women are wearing in the work place. Gone are the days when the “Power Suit” — the Armani and Tom Ford’s Gucci suits of the 90’s — was the epitome of a woman’s work uniform. This abandonment of “appropriate” dress codes gives way to a fresh, modern creativity around the office.
The Paris collections offered many distinct choices for millenial working girls’ wardrobe: flashy metallic suits; jackets with volume and plenty of structural detail; boots and flashy shoes replacing the everyday pump. Turtleneck knits, tops with zipper details and loose fitting tees replace the basic button shirt.
And this is as it should be, after all, it isn’t the clothes that convey authority, it’s one’s attitude and willingness to take risks.
Shop the look below.
Emanuelle Ungaro // Courreges // Dries Von Noten // Balenciaga // Cedric Charlier // Dries Von Noten // Christian Dior // Chayalan All Fall 2016
Maison Margiela Silk Chiffon Paneled Wool Blazer // Finery Belgrave Jersey Culottes // ASOS Trapeze Sweater Dress // Theory Sedela Linen Crepe Vest // Finery Boxmoor Pleated Peg Trousers // Zara Short Blazer W/Zipper & Jumpsuit
The departure of Alexander Wang as creative director from Balenciaga saddens me. I loved what he did with the house in three short years. No one who is talking is saying why he left, we are all left to speculation. Perhaps we will never know, and perhaps it doesn’t matter why. Maybe we just thank him for the beautiful clothing he created while at Balenciaga, and wish him good fortune in taking his eponymous label to the next level. Rumor has it (per The New York Times) he is about to land a minority outside investor, and when one invests a lot of money they want to feel the love!
As for his farewell Balenciaga collection, it was a softer, freer collection than he has created for the storied house. A single color, off-white, lingerie feel in luxurious silks, cottons and linens, infused with a street attitude that reads — Alexander Wang was here! Yet, plenty of work went into this laid back collection, as witnessed in the smocking, ruching, and ladder stitching. “When you know it’s your last anything, you say, ‘Let’s take a risk,’ what do you have to lose?” Wang said backstage. “At a house that’s known for innovation, I thought, ‘Let’s think about it the opposite way, let’s think about fabrics and shapes that feel supple and simple, but approach them in an artisanal, couture way.’ ”
I for one will will miss witnessing the two sides of Wang, but delight in the anticipation of what lies ahead for him and his brand.
Speaking of soft and simple, Raf Simmons previewed another breath taking collection for Spring 2016. He mused about his motivation backstage, talking about keeping things quiet and less elaborte: “It’s a calm one, and very soft—away from the overdone. I didn’t want to embellish. So I was thinking about the South of France—rainbows and the simple things. And there’s a bit of Victoriana: something of that film Picnic at Hanging Rock. With a slight sexual undertone of darkness.”
At the core were scallop-edged handkerchief cotton dresses or tops and shorts in sheer cotton organdie. The latter visible under neath bias-cut organza dresses, shapely black bar jacket, with a delicate pleated hem, thrown-on parkas, one with a flourish of 3-D flowers, and cropped knits, fitted and over sized.
The sexual undertone he alluded to came in the form of tight scarves and chockers, each carrying a single jewel and dangling a metal tag, some of which read 1947, the date of Dior’s revolutionary New Look collection.
Fringe has caught my fancy. Once I saw the collage of fringe earrings in last Sunday’s New York Times Style Magazine I knew I had to have a pair. I’ve always been a fan of Art Deco, and the roaring twenties style, and this season it’s as simple as pie to obtain a pair.
Tassels of beads, metal links and frays of fabric…… the selections are plentiful and the looks varied. My favs are the gun metal pair by Tom Ford, and Marc Jacobs Acanthus blue multi earrings which utilizes an innovative technique of printing directly onto metal chain.
Chloe Delfine Gold-tone Fringe Earrings // Tom Ford (888) 866-3673 // J Crew Beaded Fringe Earrings // Bauble Bar Gatsby Fringe Earrings // Tory Burch Fringed Disc Drop Earrings // Marc Jacobs Geetysburg Blue Multi Earrings