Sunday, 30 September 2012

Milan Fashion Week SS 2013 FashWrap - Blumarine

Anna Molinari's dream continues to inspire.

Inspire not only her own personal design aesthetic, but a generation of free-flowing, utterly desirable Italian chic. 

Blumarine's collection was one of my favourites at Milan Spring Summer Fashion Week for 2013.

The soft pastel colours and delicate prints embody the fresh breezes of the Mediterranean coastline and warm rays of the sun on a lazy Spring afternoon. Comfortable and stylish - Blumarine has come to represent a generation of women who live in the moment and who have the confidence to mix casual ease with high fashion luxe. 

The fresh sorbet pastel shades of demure yellow, lime, pink and purple can be seen throughout the collection, matched with fresh floral prints and the sheer beauty of chiffon and pleats.

Each of Blumarine's pieces is a contradiction of youth and elegance. It is easy to be intimidated by fine fabrics and sleek design, yet Blumarine's collection is anything but intimidating - the words covetable and inviting 'spring' to mind! (pardon the pun!)

Each cut and line represents yet another layer of effervescence, as each piece breathes life into the collection as it strolls confidently down the runway. 

Blumarine, as it seen in the looks above and below, has used uninhibited lines and cuts, the transparency and elegance of sheer, and free-flowing, loose silhouettes, to ensure that each look remains light and breezy. Blumarine has also kept a soft base colour palette of pale whites and greys and dusty pinks and blues, which assist in giving the collection an overall cohesive feel and sense of definition.

In amongst the pale shades and sorbet pastels, Blumarine has still managed to surprise and delight with a number of punchy pieces designed to lift and inspire one's Spring wardrobe. The striking pink piece above being a prime example.

Playfully cut just above the ankle, matched by colour and appeal in the strappy Roman heels, and the addition of the (very current!) elegantly oversized in the top, the entire look adds an air of confident individuality and expression to the Blumarine collection. This look is destined to turn heads while holidaying on the picturesque Amalfi Coast in 2013.

The above-knee cut on this look gives it a real youthful, rock-chick vibe.

Speaking in analogies, Blumarine more than lives up to its name. The life of the sea, especially the Mediterranean, conjures many images, colours and feelings. Throughout the collection, Blumarine appears to have harnessed the life of the sea and has fully enlisted the spectrum of colour and feeling that so enchants us. Blumarine's silhouettes are creative and energetic, and are reminiscent of the giant kelp forests which rise towards the sun and flow effortlessly in the currents of the warm, tropical waters. 

The shades, the fabric and the v cut, pleated top make this piece something to remember.
Yep, sexy IS the word!
I love this.
Like an artist's canvas, brought to life through the glow of watercolours, the looks above are an evolution of colour and sentiment. Soft and cool (with the one below matched with an über chic dusty pink bag) these looks neatly sum up Blumarine's Spring Summer collection for 2013. Love.

To discover more of Blumarine, visit 

brandmaker (SC!)

Monday, 24 September 2012

Milan Fashion Week SS 2013 FashWrap - Prada

Milan Fashion Week for Spring Summer 2013 has once again delivered some amazingly beautiful collections by some of the world's best designers.

All this week, I will be taking a look at some of my very favourite womenswear collections shown in Milan this year. 
(Next week = Men's week!)

I can think of no better label to get you excited for 2013 than the forever fabulous - Prada.

Undoubtedly, year after year, the house of Prada always captures my imagination and reminds me why I love fashion so much.

Fashion forward yet undeniably classic, Prada is the perennial oxymoron. 

The first impression of anything Prada always conjures lucid fantasies of sophisticated class and über confidence. Embodied by the essence of high-fashion, Prada is defined by quality and style. Clean lines, bold prints and fresh imagination are all hallmarks of Prada's brand.

Prada's 2013 Spring Summer collection is another testament to the skill, understanding and ingenuity of Miuccia Prada (and her gifted team) when it comes to pushing the boundaries while staying true to the Prada brand and ideal.

Prada's collection is exciting.

Prada has used exceptional Italian tailoring to bring to life a Japanese, origami inspired journey of the senses. 

The floral motifs used to emblazon the collection are abstract and isolating as they channel the marriage between Prada's esoteric prints and the pop cultural aspirations stemming from the land of the rising sun. However, cleverly, despite this contemporary interpretation, the floral motifs break the hard edge of the origami look and give each look an injection of Prada-inspired femininity. 

The footwear gracing the Prada runway are a treat in themselves.

Japanese-Geisha-esque socks tied with ribbons, at times 'accessorised' with Japanese-style clogs, give the entire collection a youthful yet traditional yet revolutionary yet futuristic feel - again proving Prada the house of addictive contradictions.  

Freaking LOVE the hot pink socks with this look!

The use of contrasting shades of black, grey and white, and the way each shade has been engaged by the team at Prada, is something truly special. Inherently chic and off-the-charts stylish, the look above is to die for. The mid-thigh cut of the skirt and the three-quarter length sleeves lend itself to the essence of Spring and Summer. However, although dark, the contrasting cool shades refine this look, and others in the collection, into a realm of utmost sophistication and finesse. 

To finish off, the look above can only be likened to that supremely divine sorbet used to cleanse the palette after an incredibly delicious meal. Immediately, I was taken with this departure from the the origami cuts of the previous looks, in terms of both colour and feel. Like a breath of fresh air, the look is simple yet packed with punch and vigour. Feminine and sultry, the cut of the short and the sleeve, the sting of the red and the power of the black bag has left an everlasting impression. 

Prada continues to remain an icon in fashion and each collection leaves me wanting more, 
so much more...

brandmaker (SC!)

Images courtesy of Vladimir Potop and

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Fashion Houses of Paris - Heaven!

So you're in Paris.
You love fashion.
Cliché, cliché, cliché.
I know.

But you can't deny it - Paris is the place to be when it comes to high-end fashion.
Be prepared to want more and more and more as you walk past some of the biggest, most desirable fashion houses in the world.

Store after store of fresh-off-the-runway looks, bitchy sales assistants and exclusive price tags (in Euros).

This is pure Heaven.

So where to start?

Let's go quintessential French fashion and head to the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré - the street to end all streets (and to max out the credit card without even leaving the block! No kidding!) Every designer and every fashion house is here, and none more prominent or imposing than the home of French brand, Hermès.

Standing in the same position where Charles-Emile Hermès first opened his workshop in 1880, the Hermès flagship store is a feast for the senses. 

A multitude of colours, fabrics, shapes and sizes, a walk in and around the store is an experience in itself. Glove wearing sales assistants delicately present the handcrafted bags to eager tourists, dying to buy a Hermès original from the birthplace itself. So many bags are on display, it is easy to become caught up in the rush of excitement and hype that surrounds the small percentage of those in the store who will actually buy one.  

Hermès ties all neatly lined up,
 a mosaic of colour and pattern,
all waiting patiently for an exclusive new home.

There is no denying it, Hermès is the monarch of the Rue du Faubourg, sitting majestically above all those hurriedly competing for their chance in the spotlight. You can't mess with a classic.

Chanel - the epitome of Parisien chic.

The home of the Little Black Dress.
The icon of women's fashion.
Under the hype that is Rue du Faubourg - Chanel, as ever, sits supremely understated amongst the buzz of design houses competing for presence.

Never to be outdone - Chanel stays true to its brand and vision of high-end quality and exclusivity. 

Coco Chanel revolutionised women's fashion in the 1920s with her accessible and flattering (and comfortable) ready-to-wear collections and haute couture designs.

Today, Chanel is still as revered as it once was - with an air of grace and exceptionality, Chanel is on a pedestal not to be reached by many others. 

Givenchy - another Parisian stalwart, also sits comfortably amongst the traditional giants of the fashion world on the Rue du Faubourg.

Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and of course Givenchy himself have all designed for this very French label - and what a shame it would be to come to Paris and not go gothic-chic with something fabulous from this fashion-forward house of design.

Along with other great design houses, such as Dior, Yves St. Laurent and Louis Vuitton, French fashion still beats to the sound of its own drum - and what a beautifully chic drum it is.

Ok, ok - so you don't just come to a Paris to visit traditionally French founded fashions houses (although I think I would be happy to do just that!) It seems, on almost every corner, including the ever sophisticated St. Germain de Pres, there is a label on every corner. Paris really is a dream. 

Valentino on the Rue du Faubourg

Ports 1961 - Love.

Etro on the Boulevard St. Germain. 

Obviously, for most of us, the great fashion houses of Paris are a little out of our league in terms of 'shopping spree' capabilities. Perhaps a scarf here, a fragrance there, maybe even a pair of shoes here, there and everywhere.

But, Paris does have its fair share of 'fast-fashion' outlets, which, except for maybe a wavering on quality, still produce ready-to-wear clothes that, for the most part, engender a sense of style and flare for a reasonable penny.

However, when browsing through such a 'fast-fashion' outlet in the über-trendy Parisian arrondissement, Le Marais, I did come across this little gem, a printed jumper, which did leave me wondering...

brandmaker (SC!) (sadly, back from Paris)

Thursday, 13 September 2012

There’s no other city in the world like…


The City of Lights. The City of Love. The City of Style.

Everywhere you look, there is inspiration begging to be had.

Architectural. Artistic. Abstract.

In the word of fashion, there is no greater mecca. It is a place where style is truly effortless, as the pulse of each Parisian beats to the hum of the runway. There is no greater joy than walking the grand boulevards, the small streets and the vibrant parks of Paris and seeing the fashions of the city come alive. People watching is the number one activity to do on any visit to Paris, especially from the vantage of an outdoor café in St Germain de Pres or Le Marais. Even lying in the Luxembourg Gardens on a glorious Autumn afternoon is a veritable feast for the senses as Parisians young and old come out to relax and soak up the atmosphere.

The most magical aspect of being a fashionista in Paris is not (necessarily!) the plethora of high end designers that call the city home, or the ability to take that quick trip to Milan or London on a weekend whim - it is the inherent sense of style and understanding that comes with living in the fashion capital of the world. There is no pretense. These people are stylish – and they know it.  

Ok, ok, a huge generalisation. Perhaps I am buying into the clichéd idealism people from outside of France are led to believe. Holding a country, a city, in such high esteem that it can do no wrong. Scratch the surface and you will find Paris has its own fair share of the issues any metropolis across the globe can relate to. And well, maybe, just maybe, not every single Parisian looks as though they have just walked straight out of a fashion house window on the Champs Elysees.   

Who cares? If you have been to Paris, you know, this place is special all the same. If you have not been to Paris, everything you’ve heard is true. Walking the city during the day or cycling the city at twilight – Paris is one place that exceeds all expectations and more. 

When coming to Paris, you must revel in the awe that is the Eiffel Tower sparkling majestically in the night sky, or the overwhelming beauty that is the Louvre, or Notre Dame, or the historic banks of the River Seine, but above all, on any trip to the French capital, always endeavour to discover the unseen feel of the City - listen, smell, feel, hear and see its heart and you will soon discover that Paris' heart beats faster than any other. 

Just remember - in Paris, do as the Parisians do - wear layers, stick with a base of neutral colours (especially black!), add a splash of colour or pattern here and there (polka dots are making there way back!) and always, always have a scarf handy to add a sense of flair and aforethought to any look.

PS - what’s in vogue this autumn in Paris? Designer Coke Light of course!

brandmaker (SC!) - from Paris :)

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is here - YAY!

With the stunning Spring weather already making an appearance this week, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is the icing on a deliciously good cake.

Walking past the MSFW @ City Square marquee only adds to the excitement being generated around the City for all the events taking place this week.

So where to start...?


Watching all of Australia's hottest designers showcase their amazing Spring / Summer collections will definitely get you in the mood for warmer weather. There are four 'Designer Series' runways over the week, and Runway 1 kicked it all off last night with a gorgeous show! Throughout the week, you will see fashion-forward designers such as,

Aurelio Costarella

Aurelio Costarella
Lui Hon
Tony Maticevski
Michael Lo Sordo

(I was there!)

TONIGHT, there is another HUGE night to feast your senses, with

YB J'aime

Alice Euphemia
Arthur Galan AG
Carly Hunter
Jayson Brunsdon
Manning Cartell
YB J'aime

(I'll be there too!)

For a little contemporary urban, check out Friday night's line-up,

White Suede

Friend of Mine
Strateas Carlucci
White Suede

And finally, on Saturday night, a magical line up to take the week out,


Alice McCall
Dress Up
Megan Park
We Are Handsome

The Designer Series runways are only the tip of the iceberg.

The RMIT Student runway is showcasing some amazing talent on Thursday night, and the student exhibition is open all week in Little Lonsdale Street.

Back to the MSFW @ City Square marquee, the City Square runways are real highlights of the week, including catwalks by David Jones (which was Monday!), Wittner (yesterday!) Sportscraft and TS14+ (Thursday) French Connection and Levi Strauss (Friday), Target, Decjuba and Seed (Saturday) AND on top of all that, Kevin Murphy will be holding workshops all week.

There is so much more going on through the week and throughout the City - read more and plan your 'must see' events at

So excited.

brandmaker (SC!)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Christian Dior this Spring / Summer - bliss!

Christian Dior is bliss.

The ultimate in high end design and style, Dior pieces are timeless and classic.

We in the Southern Hemisphere have the benefit of having seen and experienced the collections of the great design houses six months before our seasons come around. We are able to covet (and perhaps save to buy) our favourite pieces before the world turns our way.

Well, Spring is officially here and our time has come to seriously think about the Spring / Summer collections for 2012 and 2013. There is not better starting point than the amazing, Christian Dior.

Pleated silk chiffon dress with lace details and belt embroidered with glass mosaic. 
Dior uses classic silhouettes and enlivens them with the fresh colours of the season and exquisite craftsmanship. The allure of Dior's chiffon dresses, with their fine detail and understated accessories, is unmistakeable. It is simple elegance and tailoring that draws the eye and helps each piece shine in a collection worthy of its stature. The pleated silk chiffon dress above, with its clean lines and complementary colour palette, and the positioning of that gorgeous glass mosaic belt, accentuates the wearers height and speaks definitively of summer chic.  

Linen and silk organza dress embroidered with opaline and pearly patches with silver chain belt.
In the warmer Spring and Summer seasons, less is always more. They are the seasons to let off a little steam - show a little leg here, a little shoulder there. It is also the chance to play with bolder colours, heightened patterns and playful accessories. However, in amongst the excitement of experimentation, the need for sophistication and style consciousness remains. Dior's linen and silk organza dress above epitomises this marriage. Sleek and refined, flowing and full bodied, the black silhouette, defined by the silver chain belt, is the ultimate in class. However, in keeping with the jovial seasons, the dress is embroidered with contrasting opaline and pearly patches, which revolutionise the look and create an earthy, natural feel in reverence to the sun and its majesty over the coming months.

Printed organza drape dress.

Pleated nude silk chiffon dress with contrast lace detail and tube-embroidered belt.
Watching Dior's pleated nude silk chiffon dress walk down the the runway, you are left entranced by its beauty. The lace detail sways and bobs in rhythmic elegance and leaves a lasting impression long after the dress has moved on. Once again, Dior has used seasonal considerations in the most subtle and refined ways. The single strapped shoulder, with the gold strapped shoes and accessories, give this look that very hint of seasonal personality that is inherent in the Spring and Summer collections. The contrasting colour palette, between the black lace detail and the nude silk, is current, and most importantly, flattering - we all love flattering.

Printed silk and wool dress with crepe jacket and leather belt.
Luxury has so many connotations. Gold. Quality. Rare. Exclusive. Dior is all of these. The printed silk and wool dress above, with the contrasting checkered crepe jacket and accompanied with the thin leather belt, is as luxurious as it is stylish. The v-line sheer cut of the jacket adds another layer of youthful essence and the strappy shoes again give this look a springtime feel.

Soft lambskin top embroidered with opalin and pearly patches.

Cotton and silk reps with fringe details and leather belt.

Silk and wool crepe jacket with leather belt.
At some point in our lives, we have all wished we were French. Haven't we? Well, in the very least, we have all wished we were born with that inherent French ability to make everything look exclusively chic and supremely enviable. Dior is the master at capturing this French quality. An all black look in a Spring and Summer collection cannot always be pulled off, but the above look has been superbly tailored and the volume added to the top lifts this entire outfit to another level. Dior has cleverly kept the length of the pant legs and the sleeves at a level that brings the look back to the warmer seasons it represents.

The House of Dior really can do no wrong.

For more, visit 

The video of the runway showcasing the above collection is available on the website and is a great way to see these amazing looks come to life - highly recommended!

brandmaker (SC!)