Today’s round up includes Lanvin, Balenciaga, Carven, Balmain and Barabra Bui.
BALMAIN PFW FALL/WINTER 2014
Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing is preparing an army of woman warriors, mixing tribal flair with fiercely structured streetwear reimagined as armor. Clad in laced together black leather, leopard and zebra prints paired with utility greens, Balmain’s collection was set for modern urban safari, taking to the runway and the city streets for whatever adventure awaits. A mostly-neutral palette struck chords with pops of that blood orange and emerald green that are having a major F/W trend color moment, as well as rich navy, teals, and canary yellow. Strong shoulders, cinched waists, and structured peplums were balanced with cargo-pocketed tailored trousers, tiered pencil skirts, and leather-paneled skater skirts that were nothing short of ready for battle. And don’t forget the macramé meets modern art knitwear pieces. The ensembles paired perfectly with boldly detailed ankle boots and textured collars and cuffs. The look was bold, brazen and utterly Balmain.
–Sarah Bertness is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer covering the arts, music, fashion and culture. She has a love for all things avant-garde, late night rock and roll, wanderlust, and a good dose of fringe and gold sequins. You can follow her musings on Twitter @sarahbertness
CARVEN PFW FALL/WINTER 2014
A nod to the 1940’s was vastly apparent in Guillaume Henry’s Fall 2014 collection for Carven as numerous dainty tailored cropped jackets came out one after another, all belted and cinched at the waist with piqued shoulders creating the ultimate feminine and complimentary silhouette. The inspiration continued to flourish with buttoned up swing coats, fur snoods and pillowy clutches that the girls clung to their chests with their leather driving glove-covered hands.
Even the colors mirrored that of the 1940’s with magentas, mauve and mustard yellows that were shown in mainly silks, twills and velvet allowing for touches of animal prints that highlighted pockets and collars to stand out against mostly monochrome ensembles. There were a couple of spurts that contained head-to-toe prints which provided a nice shake up throughout the show as they appeared in boxy pea coats slung over the models’ shoulders paired with thigh high dresses or in belted dress coats. Jolts that swiftly brought us back to the present were the bold silver zipper trims, an embellishment in the shape of cupid’s arrows and the slouchy patent leather platform boots bringing an exciting punch of edgy sex appeal in such a perfectly updated and playful “lady-like” collection.
By: Jillian Magenheim
Jillian Magenheim is a writer, editor and a digital media/PR consultant for multiple fashion and beauty brands. You can follow her thoughts on twitter @Magenhaz
BARBARA BUI PFW FALL/WINTER 2014
This season took Barbara Bui to an edgier place; a place full of figure-skimming leather, oversized coats slung nonchalantly around shoulders and where super-sharp tailoring became rock and roll.
Sticking to a monochrome palette where only a rich cream warmed the black and white ensembles, emphasis was firmly on tone on tone looks where texture did the talking. A giant cable knit poncho opened the show, worn over long-johns. Later, fine-gauge knits were revisited, seen in matching outfits with an ethereal, x-ray-like abstract print. Another pairing saw super-tight leather teamed with fur – used as voluminous sleeves on a biker jacker or in layers as the show drew to a close. The finale saw a complete leather outfit, with a studded panel down the front of every item, even the pointed Chelsea boots, displaying not only this designer’s unfaltering attention to detail but also relentless craftsmanship.
By: Sarah-Leigh Wade-Bunting
Based just outside London, Sarah-Leigh Wade-Bunting is an editor and brand consultant working with trend forecasting organisations and international retailers, specialising in digital media. Sarah-Leigh launched her popular eponymous blog Sarah-LeighsStyleFiles.com in 2009 and is an advocate of emerging talent, vintage fashion and the arts. You can follow her on Twitter @sarah_leigh_b
BALENCIAGA PFW FALL/WINTER 2014
In his usual coy but highly evocative sartorial patterns of presentation, Alexander Wang opened his collection for Balenciaga with a line-up of architectural coats and jackets – some were knitted with incursions of leather, latex or fur, some were polyester jersey, but all highly structured and accessorized with contrast, large-scale zippers. In fact, there was no restraint when it came to zipper decor – dresses, tops and trousers were often embossed with full length, frontal, construction zippers, tallying up Wang’s typical futuristic characterizations.
Wang is certainly elevating the brand’s street-aware sensibility with his straight, decidedly tailored silhouette, signature semicircle shoulders, and sharply cut cigarette trousers. His color sequence, although not surprising, is still moderately artistic with monochromatic grays, navy, reds, and signature jade greens with a splash of neon yellow. A stand-out for us was a fisherman-inspired knit coat paired with cobalt blue gloves, and red-on-grey knitted, a-line skirt.
He ends the show with his own reference to ball gowns – some not gowns at all, but rather sleek separates: pencil skirts with billowing pearl encrusted tops, satin knotted bodice with straight pants, and oversized coat dresses.
Although still new to Balenciaga, Wang delivers an undeniably relevant collection with recognizable Wang-isms – a true testament to designer’s talent and originality.
By: Andrea Mestrovic
Andrea Mestrovic is a multi-lingual, multi-talented, but modest multi-tasker who has lived on both sides of the Atlantic. Andrea has a sure-footed instinct for discovering magnificent finds all over the globe. You can follow her on twitter @AndreaMestrovic or read all her posts on http://oliviapalermo.com/author/andrea
LANVIN PFW FALL.WINTER 2014
From the moment Alber Elbaz’s models began to walk down the dimly lit runway in yesterday’s show, it was clear that the 10 minutes to follow would be focused on the clothing and only the clothing. The show opened with a selection of raw-edged layered pieces, rich in pattern and texture. In an effect that confirmed the designer’s ingenuity, the models’ faces remained obstructed by feather trimmed wide brim hats and fringed riding helmets, allowing the designs to shine amongst the darkness. While aesthetically distinct from the calf-length silk frocks and fur adorned suiting that followed, these pieces shared a particular unrefined quality with their counterparts. Contemporary blazers and skirts made of heavy silk were trimmed in feathers, while crewneck mini dresses were embellished by asymmetrical ombre fringe. If Elbaz’s layering hadn’t provided enough ornament to each look, weighty hardware—in the form of necklaces and belts—were wrapped around the Lanvin girls. Needless to say, the collection did more than evoke our inner 20’s flapper; it called to mind the extravagance and grandeur we know as the house of Lanvin.
By Sara Micelotta
Sara Micelotta is a New York-based contributor with a background in fashion public relations, marketing and event production. Follow her shopping and dining trips on instagram @saramicelotta