Global fashion is a constantly moving dynamic and
as some distinctions stay other styles die, some get pared down and still newer fresher dimensions are
added. Top fashion designers strive constantly to reinvent the way we look
in clothes. Detailed on this page are highlights of
fall/winter 2005/6 shows of a small selection of world renowned fashion designers.
This year Roberto
Cavalli, Galliano at Dior, Gaultier and Fendi all used lavish quantities of
fur in their
fashion designs. The
looks and colours
of the season are discussed on earlier pages, but the fascination with
traditional folkloric work both
Russian and Inca continues for many designers. However it might be
wise to give Armani's knickerbockers a miss unless you wish to appear
to be sporting Elizabethan costume!
Main Looks are here, but pencil skirts were a familiar sight at Cavalli, Moschino,
Versace and Vuitton as were capes and cloaks from Giles Deacon to Valentino
to Galliano. The fall colours designers used for 2005 hang on Prussian and peacock
blue, copper and gold tones, golden burnt oranges, chestnuts, magenta deep grape, cranberry and wine reds,
silvery steel and mauves through purples and of course black and creamy
whites. See my
Mood Boards on colours here. See autumn/winter colour, pattern,
print, texture and knits
In my opinion Galliano is one of the great living designers of couture today. His mark is already made in fashion history. The man
knows his stuff and can recreate new and fresh ideas out of old, like no other today. He brings a theatrical touch to all his shows as he appears to be able to visualize the mood of a whole show in its
entirety. No sooner has he created one collection than he is off at a tangent creating even newer looks for a range of collections he is involved with.
John Galliano at Dior set the tone for this fall when he used Edie Sedgwick
the beautiful muse and inspiration for Andy Warhol of iconic 60s fame. Galliano has used the beat theme in his last 2
collections at Dior. In fact Galliano always likes to use costume
history as a reference for his couture shows. The attention his shows get
is so great, that the trickle down to the mass branding can easily
accommodate his lavish spectacles. Dior is in profit. Glorious retakes of Dior's
Look set the tone for a celebration anniversary show.
At Dior there
are hip cowls on straight skirts. Aviator leather suede pinafore dresses for
day were complimented by Aviator by night screen starlet thirties Harlow
Toes on shoes have chopped off points at the toes making them long
and sharply cut about 1 inch across. Dior handbags were trimmed with
fur. Collars were frequently set as double collars.
created interesting trouser features that had revolutionary quality and
included buttons on ankle lines of trousers especially on narrower trousers.
Jewellery at Dior is ornate and oversized and Dior chandelier earrings are
extra long. Colours favoured at Dior were mustard, limey khaki green,
taupe or natural aviator tan, warm mauve aubergine. Dirty raspberry pink
Dior bags were used to complement no end of ensembles.
take for the autumn winter ready to wear fashion collection coincides with
news of the filming of Factory Girl which will document the days of Edie
Sedgwick’s life. Films past and present are frequently a stimulus for
also offered over large prisoner stripe knits teamed with baker boy black
beatnik caps. Striped knits in similar relaxed easy wear style are sure to be a big hit
this season. Other designs from him included Directoire style dresses
that owed much to the film Vanity Fair. Jackets were cropped and frock
coats had opulent panache.
Gaultier looked to
the rich heritage of the Ukraine to fire his imagination to create a
fairytale costumed extravaganza. He reworked the design basics of
tribal and national costume from the Russian steppes into an opulent
luxurious interpretation of the original. This is
Russe Luxe a theme
much favoured this autumn where fur is used to excess as a trim and combined
with ornate braiding, trimming, floral and folkloric appliqués, traditional
Ukraine paisley style trypilian patterns and embroidery. Intense
colours and lush velvets, gold brocade, fringe and lace made for spectacular
Kiev for the Eurovision
2005 Song Contest and he was captivated by the rich design and ornamentation
of all he saw.
responsible for the screen starlet Hitchcock Heroines look mentioned
here. The strongest
feature of this collection may well be
McQueen's Novak bag. The bag is
representative of bags used by ice queen cool, blonde groomed ladies, such as
Kim Novak in Hitchcock films. The bag is part of a new move in fashion
toward demi-couture since ready to wear designer wear sported by the masses, is no longer
the elitist stepping stone to couture it once was. The Novak bag has
a waiting list and prices range from around £600 to £6000 dependant on
the skin used with crocodile being the priciest. Read more about the
Hitchcock Heroines look
For couture the
models were clothed in dramatic black floor grazing capes. Cloaks and coats
bedecked with fur and feathers revealed the palest to deepest pink couture
gowns beneath. The airy feather
light tweeds at Chanel are a world away from heavy tweeds of 40 years ago.
Little dresses were a mainstay - a shift not always in black, but pastel oyster pink bordered with
lustrous pearls around armholes and on pockets.
Ghesquière is very creative and cut slim evening gowns and the narrowest of
coats. The once revered Balenciaga label has for some time been one of
the smaller brands owned by Gucci and it's hoped Ghesquière will bring the
label into profit. His styling was a lean cut.
Since the master
retired, Stefano Pilati now designs for Yves St. Laurent. One YSL fitted coat
was opulent in its abundance of luscious dense fur trim at the hemline as
was a knee length embroidered coat. You may already have seen the advert for
a signature YSL handbag with the expansive generous soft leather bow. Tying knots and bows in items is par for the course this fall.
Lanvin is now a very hot label since Alber Elbaz the highly regarded
43 year old Israeli designer joined them. His designs are luxurious
and very elegant ready to wear. They are not hand sewn couture or tailored
almost perfectly to an individual, but women love the garments.
Ralph Lauren still
captures followers with his classic use of soft expensive colours like dove
grey, camel and tan. Lauren is a master of glamour and columnar like
eveningwear decorated with beads of black silver and pewter charcoal. These
fashion textiles look chic and timeless. He uses distressed leather, the finest grey
brown cashmere and this autumn his range pays homage to the
with a rich dark close fitting belted and zipped leather flying jacket set
off with a generous fur collar.
Michael Kors is a
popular designer who has contributed to the
military theming in clothes
this season. He uses small metallic buttons set against contrast
red piping seamed between black and teamed with black boots laced in red.
Other coats such as a futuristic looking pastel coat with bound hems, have a
Sergeant Pepper feel.
Oscar de la Renta
loves an opulent approach. The rich folkloric peasant
skirt is pure story book pretty peasant glamour. Sumptuous and opulent rich wine
velvet Romanov dirndl skirts are worked with richly impressive ornate
buttons, beads, appliqué, braiding and embroidery. This is teamed with a
fulsome white peasant blouse that creates a fantasy look sure to be
emulated. Real babushkas never quite looked like this. I'll take the
fantasy over the reality any day. Design house Oscar de la Renta produced
one of the few puffball skirts I adored.
Caroline Herrera a New York designer took her show as a moment to reinvent
the film star fabulous forties. She concentrated on narrow jackets,
fishtail hems and tweed.
Tweed was lifted with a lamé trim and worn with
block print blouses. Her evening gowns were subtle yet dramatic and
perfect for red carpet occasions. Strong, but richly expensive colours
like purple or yellow that hit just the right colour tone to keep them
within the realms of good taste made them show stopper dresses.
Couturier of the
future Roland Mouret grows better each season. His restrained
hugging tight pencil skirts complete with waspies might be too much in model
format for the average woman, but the toned down style elements are sure to
be copied elsewhere. Glamorous 40's stars like Lauren Bacall were the
inspiration for these precisely tailored ladylike suit ensembles that said
groomed glamour. Modesty, decorum, refinement and elegance is back
Bailey at Burberry created knitwear with a tailored touch with its
epaulettes and brass buttons. The check overcoats in fresh colour schemes
were belted and the belted coat is a seasonal style for sure. A trench
from Burberry will set you back £700, whilst a trench from the hot Spanish
owned fashion shops Zara (that never keeps any stock on Zara shelves longer
than one month), will cost £89.
showed camel coats and cashmere trousers that were subtle and conveyed quiet
confidence. They were expensive looking. The use of chevron
patterning in the design was often repeated as garment types changed from
jacket to gown.
Paul Smith has
a unique British style and a huge following for his wearable yet fashion
conscious clothes which sell very well globally. He uses cashmere and
finest wools and it's not hard to see why the many pleasing items sell so
easily. The styles are always of the moment and totally wearable.
His fresh cute and pert green plaid short kilt is a likely winner of the season.
35 year old Giles
Deacon studied at St. Martins. He showed his third collection with floor
sweeping skirts in marvellous evening gowns and hooded velvet cloaks with a
mysterious regal feel lost in the realms of Arthurian times. It's clear
velvet is much fancied by designers everywhere this season. For a modern
Deacon took the tuxedo suit with narrow leg pants, cutting the jacket
sharply. The subtle inclusion of velvet panels brought the tux bang up
to date. Other silhouettes also embraced the new volume with bulbous
skirts teamed with complex knits.
Betty Jackson has
been supplying the fashion world for almost a quarter of a century. Her shows are always well
accepted as she designs wardrobe components women know they really need and
wear. She went with two opposites - the Directoire empire line or the drop
waisted dress, long to knee shorts and a more fulsome generous volume to the
cut of many items included box pleating. Always showing a quirky touch
amid easily slot into your wardrobe ensembles she had hats with bobbles and woolly
knit scarves worn with appliqué motif adorned coats. Her take on the folkloric
theme meant velvet skirts with silver embroidery bands. She has
variations of this look at Debenhams' Designers range.
Cavalli made hems
and cuffs heavy with contrasting texture by smothering items in
deep fur. He used wonderful velvets with distressed gold and silver
embellishment. His clothes are
some of the most desirable around at the moment and are totally in tune with
Tom Ford departed
Gucci well over a year ago and the buzz the shows generated before has been
lost. The latest (2nd) successor at Gucci is Frida Giannini. The
first new designer was Alessandra Fachinetti who had been with the house
some years and who stayed with the standard Gucci look set with Ford and
concentrated on reworking the look typically associated with Gucci styling.
She focused on
slim pencil skirts, sleek narrow trousers, pleated collar jackets and
embroidered military coats. Dove-grey or jewel tone silk jersey and
satin dresses were designed for the cocktail hour with their cling and
reveal body cut. OTT was visible in over decorated
shoes and boots studded with beading and hardware. Whilst metallic and
decoration are certainly in favour on footwear some at Gucci was just
excessive. The main problem was that it was all old style Gucci and a mood
seen often before. Even so, the preoccupation with hardware filtered
into mass produced fashion goods 2 seasons ago and I've no doubt we will
all be assessing if there are quite enough studs, buckles and fringe or fur on shoes and boots as we shop this autumn.
show did not show enough understanding of the current trends in fashion and
the move to more subtle decorum in dress. Gucci cannot afford
to get stuck in a time warp and needs to move on. But it obviously
knows this as the latest designer to replace Fachinetti
at Gucci is Frida Giannini.
Gucci places a great deal of importance on the sales of bags and Frida once
designed for Fendi.
Attempts have been made to revive the
importance of the Gucci Logo and it
has been impressed into some glossy leather accessories.
Versace looked to the glamour of the 1950s with her tailored coats and big
collars. It is a relief that Versace seems to have cottoned on to the idea
that too much exposed flesh is now thought rather trashy and that a modicum
of decorum in dress makes some items less 90s and more noughties.
But there are always hot numbers at a Versace show and some waist to neck
may well have created one of the season's interesting new catwalk garments.
Her velvet tulip shape skirt with a
puffball hemline will either have fans madly following the style if fashionistas decide to adopt the new volume.
Swinging Sixties London and homage to Jean Shrimpton's look was the path
taken by Dolce & Gabbana. Those taking part were surrounded by
sixties images of the Shrimp and they certainly caught the mood. There were
fur mini skirts, baker-boy caps and fur busbys, pleated skirts, hotpants
made in tweed, and fur and feather cloaks. Make up was a la 'Shrimp',
smoky eyes and very sixties with the Jean Shrimpton look the make up focus of the
show. Musquash fur, rabbit fur and crocodile were all used with abandon, but
with funky style.
Always ahead of the pack Miuccia Prada and a great
influence in the world of fashion. Prada's ideas almost always work
down into mainstream fashion. Much of the autumn collection Prada
consisted of little black
dresses. Just what every woman wants when she is wondering what to wear for that 'difficult' event. You can read all you want about fashion trends yet half the time nothing feels more
right in certain settings and occasions than the LBD or black trousers or well cut black suit.
Resist if you can, but I am sure you won't miss this
opportunity to add a little more black to your already overflowing wardrobe.
Let's face it you wouldn't even be reading this if you were not already a
fashion addict however much you say it's not important to you. Somehow
last season's trousers are never cut quite the same as this seasons however
much we convince ourselves that we have just found the perfect classic as we
part with our money.
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