Sunday, 2 December 2012

Resort 2013 Refresher: Valentino

Finally, summer is here (in the Southern Hemisphere that is!) and I am excited.

The days are long, the nights are warm and everybody is happy to be alive. With Christmas only a few short weeks away, everyone is going from party to party, finishing up work for the year and getting ready to take a well-earned break. The anticipation and excitement in the air has me thinking about the 2013 Resort collections shown earlier this year.

I LOVE the Resort collections - they are a celebration of the impeccably chic and a pleasant reminder that summer has arrived! 

Jovial and fresh, the Resort collections are designed to encapsulate one's feelings when away from the demands of everyday life. They are a chance for a designer to show creativity and imagination in a less pretentious, more casual environment. Don't get me wrong though, the Resort collections are still big business. With year-round relevance, and the opportunity to appeal to those living in warmer climates (and of course to those of us who like to travel to such destinations to escape the confines of the winter season - and looking superbly stylish while doing so), the Resort collections are highly anticipated. 

To celebrate the coming of the season, I am going to spend the next two weeks sharing my highlights of the 2013 Resort collections. And to start off, I am going to revisit my number one favourite collection for 2013 - Valentino.

In my humble opinion, Valentino was utterly flawless. The colour palette, the silhouettes, the fabrics, the patterns - Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri truly embodied the Resort philosophy - fresh, casual and light. Each piece was totally unique and sublimely stylish - and a distinct departure from the edgy, leather inspired mood seen in their autumn collection.

Valentino's 2013 Resort collection was simply stunning in its execution and quite breathtaking in its beauty. Below are a few of my personal favourites from the collection, although I could have put them all in without question.

What self-respecting lady would not want to be seen in the Valentino gown above? Embedded on the most delicately sheer lace, the seasonal colour palette and the intricate floral pattern is full of life and optimism for the prospects of a new year. The gown sets the tone and mood for the entire collection - a collection that is built around a sense of understated individuality and bourgeoning irreverence, the hallmark of the late 1960s.

I LOVE the look above. The punchy pink is magnetic to the eye. Valentino's collection is defined by pieces, such as this one, that are demure and feminine yet bold and adventurous. Accented with the starkly contrasted white collar and cuffs, the dress has the ability to lend itself to any number of situations, whether formal gatherings or an evening under the stars on a balmy summer's night. The sheer arms, the thin line belt and the über cute low-cut heels only add to this looks style supremacy.  

Valentino's collection is cleverly built upon the use of the perennially beautiful citrus colour palette. Lime greens and soft yellows are a gentle reminder of youth, femininity and the genesis of life - and are a perfect current to run through any Resort collection. Valentino has taken these hues paired them with delicately embroidered lace to add a real porcelain quality to the collection - like a whisper, each piece is preciously soft and light as a feather. The look above the two below are prime examples - and I am totally loving the matching clutch bags.

There is no denying that an all-over print can drown the wearer and end up looking unflattering and très occupé! But once again, Valentino has pushed the boundary and has created something truly inspiring. The softness of the print and the demure colour palette has allowed this dress the opportunity to come alive. Again, the collar and cuffs define the direction of the look, and the golden belt helps to break the print and give the dress a natural focal point. Love it.

Above: SUPER CUTE! The Valentino girl leaves no prisoners - everybody wants to be her!

Below: The lacework again may be the winner, but the Valentino girl wearing this amazing dress is truly the star.

Above: Loving the injection of leopard print. Valentino = always surprising.

Below: I can't be the only one who thinks this look is super special. The black sheer top, again defined by the collar and the cuff, is provocative and enticing. Team that with the pink pinstripe skirt, the pink bag and heels (rocked up with the jewels), the look is transformed from merely provocative to inherently individual.

Above: do I have to say anything? Ok, I will. Love it. The floral, the belt, the lace trim - all of it screams the advent of flower power and the rise of individual freedom, all while still being disguised within the confines of current yet crumbling social inhibitions. Valentino channels the mood of the sixties and transforms the mood into something that is totally current and utterly enviable. The Valentino girl has two faces - you never know which one is facing you.

Below: Hot.  

The injection of the forest green, backless lace dress above is bringing sexy back and bringing back in a big way - the Valentino girl is always evolving.

Above: Victoria Beckham - is that you? Surely you can't squeeze any more sophistication and sexy into this look? No, no you can not.

Valentino is continually surprising. The Valentino girl is feminine, self-assured and desirable. She takes great pride in not only the way she presents herself, but in the way she thinks and feels. She likes to feel pretty and delicate as well as exude confidence and a sense for seasonal fashion.

Piccioli and Chiuri have developed a Resort collection that not only inspires, but one that challenges. It challenges because it ticks so many boxes. Where to from here? That is an exciting thought.

brandmaker (SC!)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Downton - a breath of aristocratic, divinely superior air!

Fashion is always moving.

Change is a perquisite in the fashion industry and, for the fashion conscious, this fast-paced environment can be frustrating (and tiring!) to manage.

One thing can be safely assumed though – to be fashion forward you almost always need to look to the past. 

Series three of Downton Abbey has aired in the UK and from the glimpses I have seen, it is hard not to be totally taken with the incredible thought and detail that has been put into the wardrobe for this series.

Set in the post-war early 1920s, the residents (ie the wealthy ones) of Downton leave nothing to chance when looking their absolute best as they go about their daily lives of entertaining, walking the grounds and being dressed or groomed by their array of household staff – all while facing the threat of financial ruin! 

Shirley MacLain makes an appearance as Cora's crass yet superbly elegant American mother.

So Lady Mary finally gets her way?  One thing is for sure, her wedding dress is nothing short of demure, understated and unbelievably chic.

Always dapper, Lord Grantham never fails to impress. I love a straight man who cries fowl at not having his gay personal dresser/assistant/butler/stylist by his side at all times. Kudos!

And let's not forget Lady Grantham - ever beautiful in her delicately crafted couture gowns and sublimely radiant hats. One can only dream!

Poor Lady Edith - unlucky in love, unlucky in life. I don't want to give too much away but her luck does not seem to improve this season. But to her credit, the exquisite pieces that she is fortunate to grace are nothing short of sumptuous. Intricate hand stitched embroidery, delicately sheer and expensive fabrics, and long, flowing dresses - Lady Edith, you are one lucky girl (besides the whole spinster thing).

Lady Mary - self involved, spolit and frankly, a bitch. I love her. She exudes radiance and style, and this season is no different. Be ready to marvel at her amazingly lavish and expensive outfits, from dresses, to jewellery, to headwear - Lady Mary is a dream as she glides the halls of Downton. Shame about the personality :(

Is there marriage on the cards for Lady Edith after all? The tables may be turning. And yes, you could say she looks simply beautiful in her dress for the big day. But, I am afraid to say, once again, Ladies Mary and Sybil absolutely steal the show. Their soft lavender and blue dresses, cleverly adorned with sheer, embroidered lacework, are nothing short of stunning. Loving the lace gloves too. 

So British, So Chic - Downton Abbey is a must for lovers of fashion. Check it out.

See in Australia on Channel 7.

PS - need I say more about the season 3 boys of Downton (Branson is looking Irishly good, Thomas is looking bitchingly good, and the new butler Jimmy, good, good, good)


PPS - watch out for the always eager Thomas fall for the dreamy new butler boy - gurrrrl!

brandmaker (SC!)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

MEN'S WEEK - Milan 2013 - Marvellous Moschino

Talk about bang!

In 2013, the Moschino man is set to make his mark - and it is going to be smack-you-in-the-face-and-grab-your-attention good.

The Moschino SS offering is rebellious and hypnotising - and definitely pushes the boundaries of style to their very limits. Love it or hate it (I personally love it) - the Moschino runway is a sensory force du jour!!

I really like the look above. Punchy colours with sub-tropical highlights, preppy shorts and the dramatic faux V neck make for a powerful look. Designed to garner attention, the look, overstated with contrasting colours and brought to life with the lemon-yellow belt, is visual feast. For me, the hat is a bit much - perhaps I am being a little conservative?! 

Who hasn't wanted to dress in the discarded wrappers of various household products at some point? (*cricket noises) Well, Moschino is helping to make that dream become a reality. Some would find the flamboyancy of it all leaning a little to much on the novelty side, but I love it. It's unconventional and free-spirited - and yes, even a little sexy. (I do love that fresh linen laundry smell after all!)

Somehow I think the model above (and below come to think of it)
would look good in anything... 

In fashion stakes, I am actually very much liking what's going on here. The accented collars and cuffs I love as they breathe a little personality into otherwise conventional (conventional as in silhouette conventional!) looks. The tartan pattern across the waist above is a great contrast to the placid tones and traditional patterns on the shirt and pant and give the look a more hipster feel. Can't say I like the shoes but I can see why they're there. I think the fabric of the shoe is wrong and would have perhaps preferred lace-ups like the ones below (except in a blue and pink colour combination to highlight the tones throughout the look).

The look above and the ones below are borderline outrageous and I love them. In your face and daring, the colours are loud and obnoxious. The hat works better on these looks that the first as they help to give the full length look an even greater distinction, and fits with the overall pimpster vibe. I LOVE the colour of the pants above - cut just above the ankle, matched with the canary socks and grass-green shoes, they're just fabulous.

The look below is just über cool. Seventies, peace-loving, orgy-attending, street-strutting, free-spirited cool. Unafraid of individuality, the Moschino man below is out to score in life - and with that deep yellow vest, aggressively-orange pants and sly smile - score he will!

I want those trainers. So cool.

Moschino has certainly turned a few heads with this collection and I dare say anybody wearing any pieces from the collection will turn heads too. Like one big, exciting, secretly enjoyable and addictive bag of Skittles - the 2013 SS Moschino collection is definitely not for the faint of heart!

Visit  OR

brandmaker (SC!)

Friday, 19 October 2012

MEN'S WEEK - Milan 2013 - And yes, I mean MEN

You have to love the Italian designers...

Or in the very, very least... their models!

Enjoy... Milan SS 2013 is hotttt!



Hello! @ Versace

Hey gurrrrrrrl! @ Versace




Vivienne Westwood - mmmm!

Emporio Armani



Backstage at Emporio Armani - hallelujah!

Clothes... What clothes? (I am actually loving the Armani!)

No need to thank me!

brandmaker (SC!)