Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Met Costume Institute Gala 2016

The theme for this year's Met Costume Institute Gala celebrated two pivotal movements within the fashion industry at the moment, the combination of fashion and design in the age of technology 'Manus X Machina'. 
This wasn't just futurism through colour, shape and proportion, this was looking more at the finer side of the craft of fashion and seeing how technology has influenced the techniques used by fashion powerhouses, whether it be hand-made or machine-made. Take Chanel's Lesage, a group of the best couture embroiderers who produce the most intricate and beautiful hand-worked details used in the house's haute couture collections; like the golden Guipure lace train of one of the house's most formidable bridal gowns, featured in the exhibition. 

You, my dear readership, are probably still questioning the theme. A theme which has provoked an array of pertinent albeit poignantly desirable set of looks. Think leather, chains, metallic and plenty of extra-terrestrial fabrics, not forgetting the emphasis on obliques. However, which A-lister will come out tops and which will fall to the ground a victim of a digital fashion disaster? 

Firstly, I'd like to dedicate this moment to Beyoncé (aka God), my one true love.
Bey, you have given me a new lease of life with Lemonade and now you've added even more heavenly goodness with this dress too. Here, Queen B looked reckless in her Givenchy dress, naturally. She chose a shrimp pink latex gown with Victorian puffed sleeves and added pearl embellishments. I have no words to describe how sumptuous she looks. However, one thing is for sure, she's one of the best dressed and we all know that! 10/10!

Moving on to Kim and Kanye (Kimye). I am blinded by the sheer amount of metallic I see before me. This is a lot to take in, even for me, lest you worry, we will get to the mess which is Kanye in a minute. I applaud Kim for embracing the theme 110%, although I do feel that this gown looks rather rigid on her petite frame, also I did not like the neck-line she chose either. She's well suited to the plunging or strapless neck-line rather than a simple scoop, it just looks rather unflattering. Her makeup look, on the other hand, certainly makes up for the neck-line. I just adore her bleached eyebrows and wet, slick-back hair. Sheer lusciousness. 9.7/10
Kanye on the other hand, uh oh. Is that double denim, do you mumble with the greatest uproar? Unfortunately, you are correct. He has chosen to wear denim to a black-tie event. Now, I am not sure about you but I consider this to be a social sin, and frankly unforgivable. Also those suede cowboy boots, come on darling, throw those in the skip. Oddly I find myself being conned by his attractive stare due to those icy blue contact lenses, how perplexing. 4.4/10

On the topic of Balmain, we have Kylie Jenner. (Hands down my best dressed of the night, even beating Beyoncé and that's extremely difficult to do!) She wore a custom Balmain gown encrusted in Swarovski crystals and it was, without a doubt, one the most beautiful gowns that Olivier Rousteing has ever produced. The attention to detail is devastatingly ravishing. To me, she mirrored a decadent tassel one would find at the palace of Versailles. 10/10!

As we all know, Madonna is never afraid to wear something risqué out in public. Did she pull it off this time around? NO.
She wore a custom Givenchy ensemble comprising: black lace tights and a body, with straps of black material which wound around her legs and arms resembling kinesiology sport muscle tape. She might be wearing a floor-length skirt, but there is fabric missing over her breasts and derriere, so the look leaves very little to the imagination, as per usual. She actually radiates an air of Courtney Love, how tragic. 5.6/10

Taylor Swift intrigues me profoundly. She seems to be going through her Goth phase aged 26. She embraced the oblique revealing trend in a metal-coated crocodile print dress from Louis Vuitton accompanied by a pair of gladiator sandals, embodying a summer sci-fi warrior. I actually quite like this look yet I think it's innapropriate for the Met Gala. When we think of the Met, we think of black-tie and long gowns. Kudos to her for taking hold of the theme and owning it. 7.9/10

I was slightly underwhelmed by Kendall Jenner's choice of attire for the evening. If we think back to last year when she wore that jade green bejewelled Calvin Klein with that cheeky bit of sideboob, she completely stole the show. However, this year she went for a sports mesh cut-out gown, cross-hatched with squares of blue glitter by Versace. I feel like the complexity of all the different elements intertwined, made it difficult to make the gown look flattering, even on Kendall. 8/10

Lily-Rose Depp. Oh how I wish I was 16 and wearing Chanel Couture. I feel like the dress itself is a bit age-innapropriate, almost as if she is 16 going on 30, which may not be a bad thing. I adore that bolero jacket, regardless. Just cast your eyes on those details, talk about eco-friendly- matchsticks, coated flowers and of course, diamonds. 8.4/10

Willow & Jaden Smith are literally the internet personified. They are just so cool that no one can knock that. Willow wore a Chanel ensemble including capri pants, which we all love, secretly and a black satin lined tweed blazer. Jaden looked sartorially swank in a Louis Vuitton two-piece. I want his jacket 8.9/10

Brie Larson, the dark horse of this year in terms of film and fashion. She chose yet another oblique-embracing gown, which actually resembles Taylor Swift's dress but longer. Brie is wearing Proenza Schouler and looks flawless. 9/10

Claire Danes perfectly married the two concepts of tech and fashion with this light-up Cinderella inspired ballgown by Zac Posen. Truly on my list of the most breath-taking gowns of the entire night, it certainly earned its spot on all the best dressed lists. 9.9/10

I feel bad because I love Demi Lovato, but I hate this dress with a passion. She unfortunately decided to sport a custom Moschino gown, which deemed severely tacky, in my opinion. The tri-tone colour palette and overhaul of texture is just too much for any sane human to handle. The theme was also not embraced, it's a no from me. 6/10

I am so glad that Emma Watson brought our attention to the ethical fashion debate. She has only just decided to start taking the stand in campaigning for the ethics in fashion and by doing so, she is now only wearing clothing which has been sourced conscientiously. With that in mind, this gown (Calvin Klein) is made up entirely from recycled plastic bottles! How incredible. She has brought that dose of modernity with the tapered trousers worn under the long skirt, combined with the elegance of the fitted bodice and off-the-shoulder sleeves. 9.9/10

Rita Ora, of course had to show some skin in a silver plated feather gown by Vera Wang. I hate to admit it, but I really am starting to gravitate towards her and her style. She's hit the nail right on the head with this one. It's the right amount of luxuriousness as well as sublimity needed for this kind of occasion. 9.8/10

Lady Gaga is the first person you would mention when talking about fashion in the age of technology. Think of Artpop, Famemonster, all those crazy outfits: the meat dress, the aluminium foil costume, the bubble dress. She does not disappoint.
This year she decided to sport something seemingly paired back for Mother Monster. A Versace ensemble including; a leotard, circuit board jacket ( yes real circuit boards from computers) and to top it all off, a pair of 9 inch booties. 9.5/10

Oh dear Katy Perry. What an absolute car crash, I look at this in horror. Her bag clips onto her dress- I have nothing to say. 2.5/10

Jourdan Dunn is potentially my favourite model of all time. She is strong, powerful. really influential and oozes beauty. For the Gala, she wore an audacious metallic Balmain gown which closely mirrored armour. Everything she wears just looks so natural and effortless on her, even the more structured nature of a highly convoluted Balmain creation can be carried with the greatest ease. 10/10

Gigi Hadid & Zayn Malik. Well, I don't know what to say about this one to be quite honest. Zayn evidently took the theme a bit too literally and executed something bordering on ridiculous. Gigi, on the other hand, disappointed me. This Tommy Hilfiger gown (who knew Tommy Hilfiger could make evening gowns?!) came across lack-lustre and a bit basic. Her $2000 chrome manicure slightly made up some ground. Even so, this is definitely not what we expect from the supermodels. 7.5/10

Karlie Kloss wore a custom gown by American designer, Brandon Maxwell.
Just look at this, breathe, and then applaud. Everything about this is pure perfection, so angelic, so captivating. Exemplified yet again is the most prominent trend of the oblique reveal. Goals 9.9/10

Bella Hadid represented the house of Givenchy in a ballooned tulle gown. She looks ethereal in head-to-toe black. I especially loved those thigh-high boots, adding a sense of youth to an already very sophisticated and mature look. 9.8/10

Selena Gomez. No, sorry, no. It is just unacceptable to wear clodhopper boots on a red-carpet, especially at the Met. What game is she playing? We get it, your spokeswoman for Louis Vuitton, however I do not agree with plucking an entire look off the runway and wearing it to a formal event, where's the imagination?! On another note, her makeup is on point. 5.7/10

We have reached the epitome of the fash disaster, yes that's right. Solange Knowles was, without a doubt, the worst dressed of the night! She wore some sort of sunshine yellow fanned chiffon monstrosity with coordinating latex leggings and Perspex shoes. I am just wondering what she thought when she tried this on, looked in the mirror and had the epiphany, 'Yes! I'm going to wear this to the Met'. One thing's for sure, she definitely let Beyoncé down. 2/10

Sarah-Jessica Parker, I am bewildered by this. Am I meant to like it or hate it?  If this outfit was on anyone else, I would have loathed it. However, on her I think this melange somehow works, anyway it is SJP afterall. Currently lusting over those turquoise Manolo Blahnik's. 7.5/10

Zoe Saldana wore a Dolce & Gabbana gown I actually liked, perhaps because it doesn't radiate sheer tackiness. Can we just take a moment to appreciate that train, how magnificent?! 9.3/10

Lastly, I conclude with the host of the evening, American Vogue's Anna Wintour. She embraced digitalism through the 3D quilted neoprene details of her floor-length Chanel gown with added tassels. I am a big fan of this. 9.7/10

Please Note: I do not own any of these images, courtesy of Vogue.co.uk, thehollywoodreporter.com and Getty

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Sports Luxe: Love It Or Loathe It

Sportswear has always been a rather dominant movement within the fashion industry, especially during the 80s and 90s . However, now it's back and all over the forefront of the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter 2016 runways. From Balenciaga's business-like cagoule paired with sartorial suit trousers and Versace's Après-ski look consisting of ski pants and clumpy clodhopper boots draped in chains, to Louis Vuitton's luxury body-skimming onesie. I think one can certainly say that the athletic look was out in full form.

Balenciaga's trans-seasonal cagoule

Donatella Versace's Après-ski looks

If I say tracksuit, what do we all think of? Yes, that's right, an iridescent two-piece mess worn by a mass of typically British teenagers brandished as "chavs". However, do we continue to think like that? On the most part, yes. Although, there is now a quite sizeable majority who are embracing leisure-wear not just for practicality and accessibility purposes but also because of the fact that influential fashion powerhouses like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel have all started embracing said trend, giving the nod to anyone daring enough to wear jade green sweats with floral adornments out in public.

The Gucci tracksuit

Susie Lau of StyleBubble

If we think back to 10 years ago, no one would have dared to step out of the door wearing Reeboks, cuffed trackies, an oversized hoodie and a seemingly solemn looking cap - unless you were a member of a suburban cult group that worshipped Vicky Pollard. However, nowadays this has become the norm. We would now actively encourage people to wear hoop earrings, sweatshirts and Adidas trainers as a means of softening our style sensibilities and making everyone look 'edgy' and 'cool'.

Jourdan Dunn in an Adidas mesh overlay

On the other hand, I still believe that there is a fine line between what the general consensus of our nation considers as formal and informal. I simply refuse to believe that such a thing called the 'formal' jogger exists. Nothing about a pair of sweatpants equates to classy, no matter the fabric choice, brand or whether it's styled correctly. It still remains an item of the greatest informality.
At this point in time I am yet to gravitate into the vicinity of sport luxe, with the one exception of my trusty white Stan Smith's (a wardrobe staple in my view). I am certain that over time with the right amount of creative development and confidence we will all be able to happily pull off a turquoise two-piece and wedged trainers with considerable ease.

Please Note: I do not own any of these images, courtesy of Vogue.co.uk & Getty

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Body Diversity: Will The Fashion Industry Embrace It?

Body image has always been a rather taboo subject within the fashion industry. However, due to recent events, the issue has finally been addressed. Designers are taking the steps necessary to try to diminish the gap between the abnormal size 0 and plus-size and that is a monumental breakthrough not just in fashion but art, culture and our modern society.

It was only this February during the fall/winter 2016 presentations that we actually started to see glimpses of change. A handful of different designers took the word diversity and explored it from another angle. Racial diversity still remains a prominent issue in ethical fashion; however, we now have had the spotlight reverted back onto body diversity - an issue that would seem so loud but, in actuality, is so quiet.

With designers such as Olivier Rousteing at Balmain introducing collections solely created for the more curvaceous woman, one would only begin to assume that the industry is going through a body shape revolution. Balmain is only one out of a select group of brands embracing the fuller forms; take H&M Studio (the high-fashion diffusion line of H&M) or rather Miu Miu, who, this season cast an all-star array of models with much more realistic and resplendent body shapes, a definite contrast to the lack of diversity seen by the house throughout the years.

Gigi Hadid & Lara Stone backstage at Miu Miu

Another poignant moment from this season's fashion week was the H&M Studio fashion show. H&M chose plus-size model Ashley Graham to walk for their show just days after her seemingly controversial Sports Illustrated cover was released. Unfortunately she was body-shamed for said cover due to the fact that people were close-minded to the idea of having a model of a bigger size grace the front of a swimsuit magazine. In fact she was the first plus-size model in 52 years to be the cover star of SI and now that is a historical statement.
Interestingly, nowadays plus-sized models are considered to range from a size 8-16 which is just ridiculous because that means - based on these measurements - we are all 'plus-sized'. There is no doubt that a size 8 or 10 is the norm, however according to the industry's unrealistic standards we are unfairly made to think that it's 'big' and it's not at all.

Ashley Graham at H&M

It is not just the designers who are taking a stand for body diversity, but also the models themselves. Take Gigi Hadid, who made her thoughts about body diversity clear after being targeted by body-shaming trolls. She said in an Instagram post, "No, I don't have the same body type as the other models in shows... I represent a body image that wasn't accepted in high-fashion before, and I'm very lucky to be supported by the designers, stylists, and editors that I have: ones that know this is fashion, it's art; it can never stay the same." With this in mind, more and more models of different shapes and colours are being welcomed into the business and it's owing to these powerful creative voices like Gigi's being heard. Over time I feel like fashion will converge and become more accepting to these new ideals.

Fashion will never be a healthy creative outlet as long as we stop simultaneously shaming people for their appearance.

Gigi Hadid at Versace

Please note: I do not own any of these images, courtesy of Vogue.co.uk & Getty images

Monday, 28 March 2016

Miu Miu Fall 2016

The trend of today seems quirkly playful and all out eccentric, which is certainly what Miuccia Prada brought to the table with this season's Miu Miu collection. 
With the current grannified eccentricity vibe we are seeing at Gucci, it is no wonder that more and more designers are becoming intrigued by this movement and eager to explore the niche hype of 'heirloom dressing'.
Today, Miuccia toyed with the ideas of eclectic V modern- factoring in the old and the new. We saw the revival of the late 70s, early 80s with of course a generous dose of 50s Hollywood glamour. Think carpet tapestry maxi skirts, velour evening wear and wide array of taffeta dresses. There were also hints of the more dandy, gentrified look- waxy parkas with furred up forearms, (seen on Kendall) tweed suits + jodhpurs and lastly topped off with sartorially shaped military proportions.

Tapestry maxi

Adriana Lima

Kendall Jenner

Tweed jodhpur suits

A contributing early historical element also came into play. More a melange of the romantic and medieval era than anything. Hence the highfalutin silk velvet brocades coated in subdued pinks and turquoises, transposed onto 50's opera coats or on the full-skirts.
Although extremely romanticized, we still had a lot masculinity. Pinstripe shirts, boxer shorts, (seen on Taylor Hill) and utility jackets all worked well with the feminine pieces to mitigate the formality and at the same time up the luxuriousness.

Silk velvet brocades
Masculinized proportions

Taylor Hill

I adored those small touches that radiated this sheer sense of opulence; from the Baroque upholstered fabrics and the jewel-toned bags, to those divine ballerina dresses with asymmetrical hem-lines. Those little motifs completed the heirloom way of dressing. It is almost as if the woman has picked up what she has found at her Grandparents' house: a string of pearls, fluffy slippers, family jewels, pocket squares and copious amounts of fur.

Baroque upholstered fabrics

Ballerina Dresses

Miu Miu, being the last fashion show of Paris Fashion Week, gave us a good indication to what's in store for the future state of the house. Diversity seems to be the most accentuated trend of them all this season and it was so good to see that Miu Miu casted more models of colour. Especially models of much more resplendent, fuller shapes as well.
This was by far my favourite Miu Miu collection to date.

Please Note: I do not own any of these images, courtesy of vogue.co.uk

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Oscars 2016 Red Carpet Critique

Ah that time of the year has finally arrived, the 88th Academy Awards, the most prestigious event in the Hollywood calendar. Now, before I begin I must put out a disclaimer just in case you admire one of the celebrities and/or their attire and I do not. I am deeply sorry if I offend thee, now let us begin:

I think we shall start off with Rooney Mara who wore this darling gown by Givenchy. 'Have I seen it before?' Do I hear you mumble... YES, yes you have! I don't know what her game is but she definitely wears the exact same Givenchy dress to every single red-carpet appearance, it's the same cut and silhouette although maybe a different fabric. It is almost as if she's trying to embody a ghost bride. She actually exuded a positive emotion- a hint of a smile which is shocking because Rooney always looks like she feels pain.
Rooney, darling come on, you look divine darling but it's getting tiresome now... its a 7.9/10.

Olivia Wilde in this exquisite Valentino Couture has to be one of my best dressed of the night. Yes, yes we shall address the fact that she has actually brush contoured her breasts in a minute.
This dress, on the other hand, is truly sumptuous. Can we take a moment to appreciate those pleats- cut into perfectly proportioned pieces that add to the sheer ethereality factor.
Now shall we mention the torso? Hmm I think not. 9/10

I adore everything about Alicia Vikander. Her awards season style has been exceptional, not forgetting her simply outstanding performance in The Danish Girl. (which saw her take home best supporting actress)
We've really seen her red-carpet style evolve; as spokeswoman for Louis Vuitton it only seems wise that she has chosen some of the most extraordinary gowns created by Nicholas Ghersquiere at Vuitton.
I, however, feel like she has let herself down at the last hurdle with this buttercup yellow mullet dress. I do not like how Ghersquiere has transposed those futuristic embellishments used in last season's SS16 collections onto the gown and I feel like he could have cut the hem-line instead of ruching and folding it up into the interior body, because frankly it looks like those tacky duvets one purchases at Argos. 6/10

If I was the stylist who decided to put Heidi Klum in that, I would have fled for my life. It seems that Halloween has come early this year, however in the form of Disney meets My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. I feel like someone must have told her that she can wear anything and pull it off...this though, uhuh. I can venture a guess how innocent Donatella Versace felt when Heidi suggested that she wanted to sever her couture creation and let her arm breathe.. it did not go down well. Who knows, perhaps Heidi suffers from extreme perspiration? Seems perfectly logical to me. 3.6/10

Cate Blanchett was undoubtedly my best dressed of the night. She wore this Armani Prive gown embellished with soft Swarovski pastel flowers. She epitomizes perfection on every single level. 10/10!

I was rather let down by Kate Winslet. I do not, and I repeat, do not like this dress! Essentially Ralph Lauren has made her a black bin bag or space latex, one could interpret this dress in a multitude of ways. It does nothing for her figure, it just looks frumpy- I'm afraid to say.
It seems there were many political campaigns at this year's Oscars, and I think Kate represented the BP oil spill campaign. Tragic..5/10

Julianne Moore looked immaculate in this Chanel Couture gown. Apparently Karl Lagerfeld and a 22 person strong team took 500 hours to create this dress and lordy has it paid off?! Layer on layer of black lace made up the main body of the gown, followed  by the X neckline encrusted in semi-precious stones. J'adore.. The only piece of criticism I have is with those O earrings, they just did not work. 9/7/10

Rachel McAdams tragically exemplified why women at these events cannot sit down. Why? Because they'll grease their gowns and that is what she's done here. However, I think in terms of it being Rachel McAdams she looks a firm 8/10. She has definitely come a long way:

Lady Gaga sneaking a cheeky jumpsuit in when everyone thought it was a ball gown. She looks darling, like a polished wishbone. Loving the normality of everything Gaga is trying to emulate at this current moment also. 8.4/10

Saoirse Ronan shows us how to slay the red carpet. She chose this angelic Calvin Klein Collection emerald green jewel-tone gown. Saoirse is the embodiment of the CK woman- muted colour palettes and a minimal yet restrained way of dressing 9.8/10

Last but not least we have Brie Larson, winner of the Best Actress categories throughout this entire award's season for her powerfully emotive performance as Joy in Room.
Her red-carpet style this season has been flawless. From the bejewelled Calvin Klein,  deconstructed Atelier Versace to this deep marine blue Gucci- she has chosen well.
This dress, surprisingly, is actually quite refined for the house of Gucci. With the appointing of new creative director Alessandro Michele, we have seen a vision we thought we would never see in Italian fashion- eclectic, androgynous, grannified, quirkly vintage and a suppressed profound luxuriousness.
I love this marine colour on Brie, it perfectly compliments her skin tone. I also admire how Michele has put subtle references from his collections into the gown, like those paper thin ruffles and the floral adorned belt. It's a 9.9/10 from me.

Please Note: I do not own any of these images, courtesy of Vogue.co.uk