TOM FORD S14.
“TOXICALLY BEAUTIFUL” – TIM BLANKS.
TOM FORD S14.
“TOXICALLY BEAUTIFUL” – TIM BLANKS.
VOGUE AUSTRALIA FASHION EDITOR CHRISTINE CENTENERA WEARS PETER PILOTTO & CHANEL IN MILAN PHOTOGRAPHED BY THE STREET MUSE.
Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2013 RTW Collection/Milan Fashion Week
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana used the golden mosaics of Sicily’s Cathedral of Monreale as a starting point for their new Fall collection. They presumably made that design decision months ago: As they put it in their press notes, “the art of mosaic-making is a slow and precise one.” They never could’ve known that, in the wake of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation and in the days leading up to the conclave to elect his successor, new shadows would fall on the Church. Amidst headlines in Italian papers this week about sexual intrigue in the Vatican, Dolce & Gabbana sent out a dozen dresses printed with Monreale’s famous Byzantine and Venetian mosaics, and just as many lacy frocks in cardinal red. For jewelry, rosaries.
Theirs is a romanticized view of the Catholic Church, to be sure, one far removed from the tawdriness of contemporary scandals. And in terms of fashion, that vision proved compelling here, blessedly less kitsch than last season’s. Credit for that goes in part to the rather more earthly herringbones and checks they used for skirtsuits and coats and one errant pair of bloomers. The menswear materials made for a brief interlude, though. Soon the designers were back at the icon worship, cutting lace dresses with the wide sleeves of altar boys’ garments, crafting a bustier from altar-chalice gold, and, in a task that might prove as labor-intensive as those twelfth-century mosaics, hand-beading the evening numbers with religious figures. Their fans will raise an amen to that.
Recent sitings of colour at Fashion Week. Accessories go bright, and so does US Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour. Love!
all images from Jak & Jil by Tommy Ton.
Challenging clothes — thank God! Because fashion needs challenge. Often when clothes appear demanding on the runway it’s the result of savvy styling that adds detachable outrage to tried-and-true silhouettes. Not so at Jil Sander, where Raf Simons delivered another stunner, one all about cut, shape and zero models — only panache. Simons’ boldest gestures are genuine proposal rather than ruse. He started from the couture sensibility of spring, but here invoked the precision bravado of Sixties haute in a lineup focused firmly on daywear. Two lean black stirrup-pant looks introduced a chic ski motif anchored by techno-pinhead hooded sweaters — part of a major knit story that included abstract intarsias and waffled pullovers. He then stated his expansion plan. The clothes were, well, big, sometimes shockingly so, cut in dense, solid, bold-toned fabrics with considerable self-structure. Simons amped the volume with a broadened dropped shoulder that fell into neat folds in back. He used this technique for coats and dresses, and while he sometimes contained the shape with loose half-belts in front or back, he never disguised it. Rather, he found alternate ways to expand, even puffing up some dresses and separates with down. Difficult? Most girth-enhancing ideas are. Volume is not an easy sell these days, nor can everyone wear it. Ditto solid blocks of brights. No matter how much fashion professionals might invoke the need for color, seeing someone in neck-to-knee marigold or fire-engine red tends to startle. By working his collection around major volume and bold color (along with gorgeous teal, gray and black), Simons is taking a firm stance against mass luxury. High fashion, he’s suggesting, needs some high-mindedness.
“Miuccia Prada wanted to capture a wide-eyed innocence,” said makeup artist Pat McGrath backstage at Prada of the show’s blushing fall faces. The wide-eyed look was masterminded through matching eyebrows to model’s natural hair color and leaving lashes mascara-less. Those youthful, blushing pink cheeks came courtesy of Max Factor’s blush applied to not only cheeks, but eyelids and lips too, worked on top of Max Factor’s Xperience Weightless foundation base. Redken stylist Guido Palau matched Prada’s childlike faces with a nonchalant pulled back do. After separating a section at the top of the hair to create the style’s prim front, Palau secured the remainder of hair into textured ponytails using long silver slides at the nape of the neck using Redken’s Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray. “After seasons of a very stylized look at Prada, we’ve moved away from this. This is stylized, but in an innocent way,” said Palau.
Don’t you love it when fashion gets political? Even faux-political, serving up talk-worthy snippets beyond which clothes you love or hate? It hasn’t happened often as of late. Enter Miuccia Prada. At her preshow press conference on Thursday, Prada offered a sound bite that could trigger days of conversation. The intent behind her engaging school-girlish collection was to make “glamorous and sexy materials” (python, sequins, fur) “more innocent and fresh.” “The collection is not exactly childlike, but more ingénue….It’s fun, with a cartoon effect,” she said. “Women should look…more innocent, rather than making girls look like women.” Come again on that last one? Even in this crazy industry, few people would take issue with the second half of the statement; what non-SVU episode type champions adolescents tarting themselves up before their time? As for the first part: Women should look charming — check. Witty — if a gal’s got it in her. But more innocent? If Prada is proposing that women feign innocence and dress like overindulged majorettes, why? Because, just like injectable fillers and core-strengthening classes, a Peter Pan collar helps women deny the ultimately futile notion that we can turn back time? Or because said Peter Pan collar and its juvenile associations play to certain yearnings in men who may still be intimidated by strong women, and still carry a torch for the eighth-grade hottie? Maybe. Or maybe Prada thinks women should look more innocent because change is core to fashion, and a year ago she showed an ultrawomanly collection that focused on the bust. Whatever her reasoning, Prada keeps fashion interesting; she triggers conversation. Long lauded (and sometimes mocked) as a fashion intellectual, she’s also willing to risk high silliness in the name of style. (Spring banana skirts, anyone?) It works because behind all the provocation is a rare talent; season in, season out, Prada makes powerful statements with her clothes. For fall she did indeed go girlish. But show us the chic woman who couldn’t find a winning coat in this lineup. Yes, one saw an Olive Oil (or was it Orphan Annie?) waft to graphic, low-belted dresses, all mixed box plaids, outsized borders and giant buttons. But plain silk versions looked ageless; both stood up to inventive maryjane-python boots. As for those shimmery fish-scale paillette numbers, Prada seemed on the same wavelength as Marc Jacobs (it’s happened before). But while he went arch, she worked the gentle, sweet side of plastic adornment. And Prada’s cocktail dresses are descaled in back, for ease of sitting. What girl or woman could argue with that?