Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Spring Summer 2012 Couture

Christian Dior

I realise the January Couture shows seem like a distant memory with fashion week fully upon us but as I wasn't blogging back then, I feel like posting this article I drafted for my university's paper. 

Haute Couture 
Fashion’s finest displays of artistic design and craftsmanship took to the catwalks of Paris last week for the biannual Haute Couture shows. 

Simplicity at Dior 
Christian Dior
The absence of John Galliano in Christian Dior’s atelier was more noticeable than ever in the iconic house’s recent couture show. It was a classic affair featuring 50s style clothing, a clear nod to the famous Dior New Look,  a predominately monochrome palette with houndstooth prints, sheer skirts with flower embroidery and pencil skirt suits accompanied with long gloves. All-in-all, a rather wearable collection; a word one would never associate with Galliano’s grandeur. The closing looks seemed to pay homage to the British designer’s creations with gigantic gowns exploding into layers of monochromic, deep purple or light red tulle with feather embellishment and sparkling gems. Rewind 12 months and Galliano’s last couture show was a theatrical spectacle; you name it, he had it. The simple beauty of this collection cannot be denied, but one can’t help but secretly miss the show-stopping splendour Galliano’s couture shows never failed to deliver us. 

Jean-Paul Gaultier
An homage to Amy
Her signature beehive, distinctive eye-liner and quirky style were key looks in Jean-Paul Gaultier’s latest couture offering as he took influence from the late singer, Amy Winehouse. There were looks ranging from 40s style skirt suits, a baseball jacket paired with a black satin skirt and lace leggings, snakeskin bustiers, 80s shoulders, exquisitely embroidered bustier dresses and black veils. Every idea Gaultier could imagine appeared, making clear reference to the array of styles Amy would put together. 
The show has received considerable criticism, with Amy’s father, Mitch Winehouse, believing that the designer acted in “bad taste”. Perhaps the show was too focused on the singer, but it seems that Gaultier was simply inspired by the woman he dubbed “an icon of fashion”. Though the collection displayed his fashion mastery, it seems it may have been more fitting for the ready-to-wear runway, as tightly fitting underwear isn’t exactly the epitome of Parisian couture. 

All aboard Chanel Airways 
Lagerfeld took us on a journey this couture show aboard an aeroplane, a setting that puts his peers to shame, as usual, but we can’t help but feel like we haven’t quite reached the divine destination that Chanel couture usually transports us to. 
It’s not that the clothes weren’t beautiful. Lagerfeld offered us dresses exquisitely encrusted with delicate jewels, especially in the evening wear section which gradually progressed from the lighter blues of the collection’s first phase, but it was rather hard to see past the models with their hands in pockets over half way down their bodies. This bizarre silhouette, particularly odd with the pockets on sheer skirts paired with black puff-sleeved jackets, spurred images of teenagers with jeans half way down their thighs, not the usual image associated with Chanel elegance. Yes, 1920s -style dropped hemlines are a Chanel signature and it was this more casual look which its founder pioneered, but we were left too focused on their overt use, rather than on the manifestations of Couture expertise that we know and love from the French fashion house. 

The best of the rest…
Elie Saab
Elie Saab gave us a collection of gorgeous and desirable pastel-coloured gowns; Valentino also offered an array of pretty floral chiffon dresses, whereas Alexis Mabille’s paired his brightly coloured frocks with matching face paints and gigantic hats. Versace made its return to la semaine d’haute couture and proved Donatella can do couture just as well as high-street collaborations with a 15 piece collection featuring tight-fitting and show-stopping pieces in bright colours, silvers and golds. Finally, Ricardo Tisci at Givenchy delivered understated drama with white, brown and black gowns made from crocodile skin or delicate tulle, together with exaggerated jewellery and rather peculiar nose rings. 

All images from vogue.com or style.com 

Monday, 27 February 2012

Oscars 2012 - The Awards

So, The Artist was the big winner and I'm actually really pleased. I was hearing a lot of criticism from those around me (namely my family who haven't even seen it because it's "in black and white with no words") about The Oscars being too predictable because The Artist walking away with the biggy was a shoo-in, but who cares? It wasn't because people were jumping on the bandwagon, but because it was the best film of the year. Admittedly I haven't seen all the best pic nominees, I regrettably missed Hugo at the cinemas, but I think it's pretty incredible that a black and white silent film can still charm a 21st Century audience's heart, especially when we're constantly being bombarded with 3D all the time. This film isn't going to spur a new wave of silent films, but it truly deserves to be rewarded for bringing something different to the table that it is brilliant in its own right.

C'est formidable!

Jean Dujardin wins Best Actor - His smile said everything; not only does he have a great name, but doesn't this man seem so lovely? You could tell that he, along with his other French co-stars, were genuinely ecstatic to be there and even though I've now found a love for Mr. Clooney, I'm pleased the Academy didn't give to "Hollywood Royalty". Apparently, he's the first French actor to get an Oscar, which makes his win even better.

Octavia Spencer wins Best Supporting Actress - Now, I'm sure she's great in The Help, but from what I've seen, it seemed like the predictable Oscar-winning performance. I knew it never would have have happened, but I was secretly rooting for Melissa McCarthy who was just brilliantly funny in Bridesmaids. At least she was nominated though, as comedic performances can tend to get overlooked; I'm thinking James Franco in Pineapple Express and Zach Galifianakis in The Hangover. 

Meryl Streep wins Best Actress - I can't really say much because I haven't seen this performance, but this woman has such class. I just adore her. I do love Michelle Williams too, but I'm sure she'll get another shot to take away the golden statue. 

Films I still need to see from this year's Oscars: Hugo, Moneyball, The Help, The Iron Lady, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (just to see if it really is that bad) and My Week with Marilyn 

P.S Thought Billy Crystal was brilliant. 

Oscars 2012 - Red Carpet

What a night. The Oscars has to be one my favourite evenings of the year and luckily, it did not disappoint. It started off quite stressful as I attempted to live tweet/blog for three accounts whilst actually keeping up to date with the Red Carpet, but I really enjoyed it. First to the fashion, where the Hollywood stars really kicked it up a notch, making it rather hard to choose a worst dressed for the live blog I was doing. I was happy to see that the majority didn't just stick to blush hues, I was bit worried with the few first looks that they would all play if safe with this trend, but we saw some colour (no black for Rooney - shock of the night), interesting silhouettes and a few daring designs. Here are my top few:

Gwyneth Paltrow - This Tom Ford creation came onto my screen later in the night, once I'd already decided on my best dressed, and it literally took my breath away. The simplicity of the white column dress coincides perfectly with the daring, fashion-forward cape which Gwyneth pairs perfectly with a simple pony tail. 

Jessica Chastain - Immediately recognisable as McQueen, the nominated actress looks absolutely incredible in this black silk organza strapless dress with gold hand embroidery. She accompanied the dress perfectly by keeping her make-up natural with her red locks flowing gently behind her. She's had a few misses in this year's Red Carpet shows, but Jessica is absolutely going out of this award season with a bang.

Michelle Williams -  Every time I look at this Louis Vuitton peplum dress, I fall more in love with it. Its coral hue, as opposed to the red shade that seems to appear is in image, brings some always needed colour to the carpet and its suits the quirky Michelle down to a tee.

Octavia Spencer - Winner of the Best Supporting Actress award, Octavia Spencer once again, and with good reason, entrusted her styling with Tadashi Shoji. This shimmering ruched dress extremely flattered and accentuated her body.

Other favourites: Milla Jovovich in Elie Saab, Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace (though I don't think it's her best), Stacey Keibler who stepped out of Clooney's shadow in a statuesque Marchesa gown and Rooney Mara in Givenchy.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Proud to be British

2012 is really our year. Not only do we have the Olympics this summer, but London Fashion Week last week proved we're a force to be reckoned with. It seems LFW used to be seen as a launch-pad for young, and relatively inexperienced designers as they tested out their looks on the catwalk, but with the return of Burberry a few years ago and these young designers now becoming household names, LFW has definitely become my favourite fashion week behind Paris. I find New York, bar Marc Jacobs, to be relatively dull and even though Milan shows the sexiness and glamour of Italian fashion, it always leaves me slightly disappointed (apart from Raf Simons' last collection for Jil Sander yesterday which was just incredible). It'll take me too long to review each collection I loved from LFW, so here's a quick round up of my favourite shows:

Burberry Prorsum - A beautiful autumnal palette as Christoper Baileys offers us a piece of Burberry's classic British heritage with an added youthful touch and fashion forward silhouettes.

Erdem - Mr. Moralioglu goes from strength to strength as he continues to show beautiful floral prints, but by experimenting more with fabric and form, he proves he doesn't just make pretty dresses.

Peter Pilotto - One of my favourite London-based brands, Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos are also bettering themselves on each offering. The pair continue to deliver their distinctive psychedelic prints but this time they're creating more interesting pieces, including puffa jackets and peplums. 

Jonathan Saunders - A collection of richer fabrics, colours, more tailored silhouettes and just beautiful wearable clothing proves this man is 100% deserving of his BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund. 

Matthew Williamson - For some reason, Williamson's collections sometimes slip under my radar, but I won't let that happen again. I think the pictures speak for themselves. Beautiful. 


All images are from vogue.com 

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Blog time.

So here we go. It’s taken a while to write this first post, with all the uming and ahing about whether I have enough time/can be bothered, but I have finally bitten the bullet. “Megan’s Muses” (naming this thing was half the problem) will focus on my true loves: fashion, music and film. Observations about university life and notes on language loves (well, mainly hates) will probably creep in too, being a student of French and Italian. I’m not an expert in any of the areas listed above, just a normal girl who wants to write about lovely things. Off to sleep now, must be well rested for Oscar Sunday.