NARCISO RODRIGUEZ SS13 – PERSONAL BEST

One word: Perfection. The casting, the soundtrack, the venue, and most importantly the clothes, Narciso Rodriguez came correct, brought it home and delivered one of his and the seasons best collections.

Casting Director Jennifer Starr opted for a well-balanced mix of buzzed-about new faces (Ji Hye Park @ELITE, Irina Kravchenko @FORD, and Kelly Gale @DNA), rising stars (Maria Bradley @DNA, Marie Piovesan @MARILYN, and Marte Mei Van Haaster @IMG) and the estblished (Kinga Rajzak @IMG, Kati Nescher @DNA, and Julia Nobis @FORD). You could tell the girls felt the music as they strut confidently to an aggressive and gritty soundtrack consisting of “Wut” and “Yup” by rapper Le1f, which contrasted nicely with the uber posh simplicity and refreshing nature of the clothes. The “simple but effective” angle ran rampant throughout every exit, from layered pantsuits, sexy sheath and sexier slip dresses, to beautifully embroidered tees and muscle shirts – it all just felt so easy. I’d be more than satisfied if every woman dressed like this day to day, or at least took cues. The oversized two-tone clutches were divine, coupled with those sickening wedge sandals.. hurt me. Let’s not forget that delicious colour palette… #chictothenextlev. I could go on, but why not just see for yourselves:

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ALEXANDER MCQUEEN FW12 – TO MARKET, TO MARKET

So, this shield visor better retail, or else… They’re even bigger (+better) and will block significantly more hate than these Rick Owens SS12 shields I’ve been tirelessly trying to acquire. Absolute front row necessity.

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LANVIN FW12 – DON’T FUCK WITH THE PHOTOGS

Or, you get heckled, aggressively. Following Alber Elbaz‘s 10th anniversary collection for Lanvin last week in Paris, his finale bow took the form of a few words and a song (a snippet of Que Sera, Sera), on a stage which opened up behind the runway backdrop post models clearing the runway. The show goer who shakily lensed this video was amongst the roaring audience and close enough to the photographer’s pit to capture the madness. Starting from 10:00 (below), you can hear the photographer’s wrath, “asking” people to sit down, as their lenses were obstructed. First in French, “Assirent! Assirent!“, then in English, “Sit down! Sit down!!” (how thoughtful), and even throwing in a “please”, which leads into a collective chant (back to French) – they have each other’s back. Keeping in mind these are the people who shoot the archival images I revel in on the daily, I would’ve sat the fuck down.

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TREND ALERT: THE PEEKING TROUSER

The two biggest shows (Prada & Louis Vuitton) in the two biggest fashion capitals have spoken: skirts over trousers is the way to go for Fall 2012.

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MARNI X H&M – THE TWO-TONE IS MINE

None of the VersacexH&M pieces made it into my closet as hideous, tickity garb is not welcome within those confines. This beautifully simple two-tone leather shopper from the Marni for H&M men’s collection, released on Thursday March 8th in Canada, will surely be joining the ranks (if my main #T @andrewcoimbra has time to cop one for me). Considering it’s made of real leather, the 79,99EU (approx. $104CAN) price tag is apropos and very doable. My current sac has adopted frayed edges and faded colour which is cramping my style [yeah, I said it], aka time for this #chictothenextlev replacement.

The rest of the men’s collection didn’t really speak to me, apart from this lovely two-tone tie (what’s with me and two-toned accessories?) which I may throw into my basket as well.

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BALENCIAGA FW12 – COLOUR IN CASTING

Despite donning the most colour-infused looks of the collection, Jeneil Williams (at Nathalie) and Liu Wen (at Marilyn) represented all the colour for their counterparts during the Balenciaga FW12 show, being the only two girls of colour to walk in the sky high office space. A trend I’ve noticed, specifically with Ashley Brokaw, top casting director who’s clients include Balenciaga, Prada, Proenza Schouler, Tommy Hilfiger, and Rag&Bone, is that her casting for Balenciaga is limited to one black girl, who changes every season, and the invariable Asian girl, Liu Wen, for the girls of colour – that’s it. The rest, a vanilla sea mixed with newcomers and the established. See for yourself:

FW12 – Jeneil Williams | Liu Wen

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ANTHONY VACCARELLO FW12 – I’M SEXY AND I KNOW IT

One would have to be (AND know it) in order to rock these clothes, as they are certainly not for the faint of heart (or for anyone not bearing the measurements of a supermodel). Anthony Vaccarello certainly made a splash last season, with his sexy (major understatement) leg-baring designs landing coveted print and red carpet spots (Anne V in this SS12 look at the 2012 Grammy Awards (below left), and Gwyneth Paltrow covering the March 2012 issue Harper’s Bazaar in this show-closing number from last season (below right)). For FW12, legs were still in abundance with plenty to spare, as were single bare arms with a covered/tailored significant other. Tailoring (the main message in this collection) could have been better executed (twas almost premature for him to venture into the craft so soon), but thankfully it failed to take away from the ooze of quintessential Vaccarello sex appeal, which is what we come for.

There wasn’t a single drop of Continue reading

PREEN FW12 – SPRING IS IN THE AIR (NIPPLES TOO)

Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, design duo behind Preen, must have gotten their feet stuck in September as their FW12 offerings reeked of springtime clichés, mostly during the first half of the show; fern and apple greens, sharp orange-reds, snow whites galore, botanical floral fusions, and abstract butterfly motifs (their Pre-Fall collection read better for the fall season than these first 18 exits). Despite the undeniable beauty and freshness they evoked (g-r-eat colour blocking), there was a total disconnect leading into the second half of the collection.

The procession continued and eventually dove into looks that translated into what we deem Continue reading

COFFEE DATE WITH RAF SIMONS – WE’RE TIGHT LIKE THAT

Because I’m a very good friend of Raf Simons, we went for coffee the day after he presented his eponymous FW12 collection in Paris two weeks ago. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the show for reasons I cannot disclose. I won’t go into details from our conversation (to respect his privacy), but he had 3 things to say about his collection (which we scrolled through on his iPad via the style.com app):

1. Culla. In a sea of black and muted neutrals, stand the fuck out somehow.

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EYEWEAR IS THE GATEWAY TO THE SOUL – FW12

Oh sunnies, how I do adore thee. The eyewear offerings this FW12 season came in a slew of shapes, finishes, and contexts, representative of each collection and, ultimately, the man wearing them. The classic aviator shape ran rampant throughout, naturally, but were pushed and played with in the better collections. In the way of lenses, we saw gradient (1,4), mirror (4),  solid (3), and clear (5, 6). Speaking of pushing and being playful, Kris Van Assche (5) channeled geek-chic by adding splash guards on the temples of his clear frames, which resembled safety goggles and fit seamlessly with the tone of his collection.

  1. Gucci
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CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION FW12 – CROC ME GOOD

Slowly, but surely, I’ll begin to both sing praise and brutally thrash the FW12 menswear collections. The weekend is now upon us, which means I have some time to sit down and carefully go through the shows and construct an opinion. Calvin Klein Collection is always a favourite, and Italo Zucchelli delivered another home run. Apart from the flawlessly foward-thinking, minimalist aesthetic-bearing, ultra luxury-evoking clothes (all the croc paneling/separates and those matte iridescent pieces), the casting was the other impeccable story here. From the current face of Givenchy, Simone Nobili, to past faces of Calvin Klein, Dmitriy Tanner and David Agbodji, to the runway favourites including O’Shea Robertson, Simon Nessman, and Sebastian Sauvé, the gorgeous-faced exits didn’t stop. Exclusive to CK this season were the highly buzzed about Australian twins Jordan & Zac Stenmark, who opened/closed the show (Zac opened, Jordan closed). Dear Jennifer Venditti (casting director for this and other high profile shows), thank you. Gushing about a well edited and beautifully executed collection is one thing, but watching it for yourself is another:

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SHOULDA, COULDA, PRABAL – 2012 GOLDEN GLOBES

Sunday night’s wears at the 2012 Golden Globes really ran the gamut from famous couture houses (Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman in Atelier Versace, and Evan Rachel Wood in Gucci Première), to lesser known designers (Meryl Streep in Alessandra Rich and Jane Lynch in David Meister), and, of course, the red carpet regulars (Charlize Theron and Mila Kunis in Dior, Lea Michele and Shailene Woodley in Marchesa). Prabal Gurung, who’s highly praised Spring and Pre-Fall 2012 collections both included award season ready looks, was one designer missing from the lineup this year (Bring back Hailee Steinfeld!). Three looks, in particular, from his most recent collections would’ve made this carpet next level:

1. Iconic Meryl Streep (pictured right in Alessandra Rich) has been around long enough to know what works for her on the red carpet, which is always a practical long-sleeved gown. This deep emerald silk-satin number with tastefully plunged neckline from Gurung’s Pre-Fall 2012 collection (perhaps done in black at Meryl’s request) would’ve garnered rave reviews, as opposed to the sad-looking bag she chose to don around her lower half (not that she needs it, but it’s always nice to get that nod as a seasoned vet). Continue reading

I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE BALENCIAGA IN PRINGLE OF SCOTLAND

Left: Pringle of Scotland PF12 -- Right: Balenciaga FW10 (click to enlarge)

After four years as head of show collections under Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga, the label’s unmistakable aesthetic and identity is sure to embed itself in one’s DNA. Alistair Carr, current design director at Pringle of Scotland, proved with his latest and first Pre-Fall collection for the famed knitwear label that you can take the man out of Balenciaga, but you cannot take Balenciaga out of the man.

I couldn’t help but draw distinct parallels between Pringle’s Pre-Fall 2012 (left) and Balenciaga FW10 (right), which he would’ve been overseeing during his tenure. The  shirt collars are high and done up, worn under delicate sweaters laced with intricate, geometric patterned detailing, which carries into short skirts (click image to enlarge and see matching detailing, especially on the Pringle skirt). Finally, bare stems make the trip downwards into relatively colourful above-the-ankle footwear. Coincidence? Hardly. Influenced? Surely. Pringle appointed Carr to move the label forward, while still remaining true to its 200-year heritage, and there is no other forward-thinking, innovative, complexly alluring label like BalencyB (yes, that’s what we #T’s call it – #dealwithit).

Check out the entire Pringle of Scotland Pre-Fall 2012 collection, here.

P.S. I would do unspeakable things for that bomber on Magda; that is all.

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NYASHA X NUMÉRO – TRIPLE THREAT

There’s only one song that can accurately express my sentiments towards Nyasha Matonhodze  (click here – sidenote: this song goes out to one my #T’s, @RyCatney, since he dedicated his BBM profile to yours truly – haha). Apart from her flawless complexion, posing, and statuesque regality in this Paco Rabanne feature for Numéro 129, what really gives me serious fever is that she was cloned twice – triple the chocolate scoop. How the fuck is she only 17? When I was 17… well, I don’t really remember what the hell I was doing at 17, but I surely wasn’t gracing the pages of high fashion editorial glossies and being compared to a budding Naomi (as much as I would’ve like to). Pardon the digression, but she’s killing it/me. Lensed by Rene Habermacher and styled by Rebecca Bleynie, who also styled Nyasha’s November story, the shot brilliantly embodies the drama and evolution of the (re-launched) Paco Rabanne woman, with the beloved London showman Manish Arora at the creative helm of womenswear.

Rebecca (stylist) chose three show-stopping frocks from the SS12 collection (above), none of which were donned by Continue reading

PREVIEW: GIVENCHY FW12 MENSWEAR – JAWS

From Birds of Paradise to Jaws? Apparently, that’s how the story is playing out, going into Riccardo’s FW12 collection for Givenchy. Preview images of the brand’s coveted tees for FW12 have been released, with the collection set to show during the menswear shows in Paris, beginning January 18th. If these tees are any indication of what he’ll send down the runway, it’s sure to be bloody great.

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SID NEIGUM SS12

The dimmer switch seemed to have been tampered with since Sid Neigum‘s heavily aphotic FW11 collection, as spots of colour (literally) make an appearance for SS12, along with an overseas call to the Orient. My personality calls for a bit of colour, although I do admire those devout to an all-black-everything wardrobe.  Also, I’m not a super edgy Rick Owens-type cult member or an “experimentalist” who looks to “challenge convention and question tradition” as Neigum claims he/his brand’s “raison d’être” is.  However, my wardrobe and I are looking to adopt a more adventurous aesthetic for next season. Therefore, this collection strikes a great balance between my current comfort zone and pushing the/my envelope.

After scrolling through the 21-look lookbook (see below), I was immediately struck with fixtures of Oriental culture. The model’s long hair worn in a topknot on his head, along with his heavy facial hair, is evocative of the “Samuarai-style” way noble class men of Okinawa (Japan) wore their hair prior to the modern era. The long black pleated skirt comes from… Continue reading

JOSH GOOT AW12

” …to make it here, or more precisely on the runway, he’ll have to develop a more pointed design message, and leave the primary colors down under”, wrote Nicole Phelps, Executive Editor at style.com, about Josh Goot‘s NYFW debut, showing his SS07 collection. He must’ve really taken note of that particular review, as the Sydney-born designer has come a long way from his notable days of tailored cotton jersey. “Since then, simplicity, a graphic sense, sport references, and perhaps our consistent presentation of a girl have become signatures”, stated the designer in an interview with Oyster Magazine. I’d say his AW12 collection (see after the jump) definitely embodies and exemplifies this recently acquired sense of direction.

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