I’ll Have a Diet Coke with that Moschino

Jeremy Scott has outdone himself.

The theme of Moschino’s Fall 2014 collection is blatantly obvious –  it is centered around the most American of all American brands (i.e. McDonalds, Sponge Bob, Hershey’s..). It is so obvious in fact, that I couldn’t help but wonder if there is anything more, well, less obvious lurking behind it. And there most certainly is!

In case you have not seen the extreme Moschino-ness of this collection, here is one of the first looks. Just to give you a taste:

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But once you look past the McDonald’s red and yellow, even the McDonald’s logo reconfigured into the classic Moschino M, it is easy to recognize something odd. Namely, this look is inspired by Chanel. Stripped of all garishness, the structure of this clothing is sophisticated, demure, and quite honestly, quintessentially Chanel.

For some reason, I find the sunglasses in this look chilling. They make the model seem as if she is looking at the world the way McDonalds wants her too, as if that brand’s influence had crept into her very core.

Here, again. The belts, quilting, and gold are also inspired by Coco.

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And now another theme behind the collection becomes apparent. By plastering the epitome of sophistication, Chanel, with brand names, logos, and colors, Franco is criticizing the destructive aspect of mass consumerism. And he plays with our prejudices. When I see the McDonalds logo, I do not think of quality. So when I see it on clothing, I immediately think of it the clothing as cheap and disposable, even though it is not. I constantly have to remind myself that this is Moschino, and that the looks are therefore of the highest quality. In this way, Franco is demonstrating, to each of us, how brand name recognition has subconsciously seeped into our minds and impacts our judgement.

I was struggling with the extreme belt-ness (new word) of this look. Then I realized that the model is symbolically chained, or bonded, by a specific brand.

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You guys deserve a break with the symbolism now I think. Only a truly daring individual could pull off one of these complete looks (like Katy Perry did). I, for one, would prefer not to walk through NYC dressed like an advertisement (and maybe McDonald’s would gift me a free meal). But, if the shoes, belts, and clothing are viewed separately they are superbly wearable and make great statement pieces!! So yes, even though the collection looks extreme, I predict it will be a great retail success.

The evening-wear was so fun! The dresses were inspired by candy wrappers and nutrition labels. Franco manages to critic society’s tendency to view women as candy in this very creative way.

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Basically, this collection left me with a huge grin on my face. And I can’t resist saying it – Franco left me hungry for more.

Excuse my jokes. 🙂

xoxo,

Chiara

p.s. Do you agree with my analysis? Or am I just seeing things that aren’t there?

Valentino Goes Mod

Valentino is my absolute favorite brand. It captured my heart years ago with its swoon-worthy, fairy-tale like gowns, skirts, and dresses. And that iconic red! *faints*

Side Note. I’m 16, so I’ve only really been following Valentino since Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have taken its helm. I have heard that there was some drama before Chiuri and Piccioli came to the scene… End Side Note.

I always look forward to the Valentino show – it transports me to an ethereal, sophisticated land where all women wear lace and the only drama that ever takes place is caused by an overly red jumpsuit. Sigh…

The first look was a complete, utter shock. I expected it to be the usual couture-similar, ladylike clothing with the usual powdering of Valentino lace. Instead:

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It was sixties / fifties! And un-apologetically so. To be honest, I was horrified. This look contradicted the very essence of what I believed constituted the core of Valentino. But I have changed my mind. The craftsmanship is of the same quality, there is the pop of Valentino red (and even pink), and the structure is of beautiful, yet original, simplicity.

For those of you interested in art, Chiuri and Piccioli were inspired by female artists such as Giosetta Fioroni, Carol Rama, and Carla Accardi.

The next few looks elaborated on this mod theme, and were accompanied by this shoe:

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I predict this will be both a huge retail and editorial hit.

As the show progressed, the clothing still possessed a certain edge of mod, while still referencing the more traditional Valentino designs. Butterflies emerged as a major theme. In fact, I thought these butterflies were a floral pattern instead until I looked closer. A non-traditional print that fools the viewer into viewing it as traditional? Bravo!

Here is an example:

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There was a lot of evening-wear, I might even say more than usual. But in this case quality trumpeted quantity. It was absolutely stunning:

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This gown is so sheer, but still possesses the classic Valentino aura of virginal purity and innocence.

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This pink needs no explaining.

Valentino’s dresses contain a sort of emotional quality. They are, in their own way, heart-wrenching.

This gown is interesting:

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Look at the pattern: it is composed of animals. Doesn’t that remind you of the Dolce & Gabanna collection I recently reviewed? Trend alert.

I could go on and on but I’ll spare you. I’ve already used way more pictures than I usually do – but it was so hard to choose! Forgive me. 🙂

To conclude, Valentino’s Fall 2014 collection was initially shocking and a departure from what Chiuri and Piccioli have usually done. But they are both innovators and keep pushing the boundaries of what they do. This show is only a representation of this. All in all, absolutely breathtaking.

And honestly, because both Valentino and Louis Vuitton have gone mod we will be forced, voluntarily or involuntarily, to wear mini-skirts and flats in the near future.

xoxo,

Chiara

p.s. I’d love to hear from you! Is there anything specific you want me to post about?  ❤

Quasi-Review: Help! McQueen is Stuck in the Past!

Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely adore Sarah Burton. She is an exquisite designer with a unique flair for detail and cutting edge design. But for the last few seasons, her collections for Alexander McQueen are more and more entrenched in the past. More specifically, the Elizabethan age with high collars, pouffy dresses, and extreme femininity.

But, you might argue, isn’t McQueen all about extremes? Yes and no. Alexander never had extremes in mind when he designed, rather, he designed what he loved and what resonated with him. He did not let others shape his path; he was fearless. This is why his clothing left such indelible marks on his audience. The clothing was not only almost heartbreakingly beautiful but contained emotional depth as well. 

Classic McQueen, Spring 2010:

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You never knew what to expect with McQueen – except to expect the unexpected. 

Now, all too sadly, I know what to expect. Namely, costume drama appropriate clothing. Of course, it is still stunning, intricate, and taken separately, even wearable. But Burton is in a rut! She needs to stop looking back and start looking forwards. I know she can do it because she has proven herself capable so often in the past. This is probably just a hiccup along the way. 

Here is one example from her Fall 2014 collection (it reminds me a bit of her Fall 2012 collection in fact):

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So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for next season. Please, Ms. Burton, surprise us once again!

xoxo,

Chiara

p.s. Do you agree with me? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments! ❤

14 Years after Marc Jacobs

Ghesquière is back! And with a quiet, determined vengeance. He was sorely missed during the one and a half years after he left Balenciaga.

Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2014 collection was perhaps the most anticipated of this season. Of course, there is the no small matter that Marc Jacobs has left. But then there is also the fact that Louis Vuitton is one of fashion’s foremost powerhouses and the prize jewel of LVMH. Anything that appears on the Louis Vuitton runways, even if mediocre, is certain to predict at least one major trend of the next season. Combine these two factors and you have fashion editors hyperventilating with anxiety.

I loved Louis Vuitton under Marc Jacobs, and his final show last season was very emotional and beautiful. He has left behind a legacy of theatrical runway productions, innovative designs, and the ability to tame wilder fashion and turning it palatable for mass consumption. This is very difficult. All too often designers attempt innovation for the sake of innovation, or wearability for the sake of wearability. 

Ghesquière is known for his innovative and refreshing, though perhaps less wearable, designs. This collection, however, is wearable in the extreme. So much so that I was shocked at first! But it makes sense. LVMH would not gamble on a designer that produces designs unfit for the Louis Vuitton customer base. I am sure that they had a talk with him  and made this very clear…

The overall theme of his collection is the sixties. This is a fitting tribute to Marc Jacobs – the sixties / seventies are his favorite eras. The structure of the clothing is certainly less than revolutionary, but the absolute luxury of the material is stunning.

Here, for example, this coat could not be any more luxe:

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The skirts are classic minis, though rendered even more risqué with the zippers up the sides (trend alert). This is a classic Ghesquière touch. 

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Ghesquière is known for his life (and diet) changing pants and these did not disappoint. Here is a great example, but there were others in more daring floral prints as well. 

 

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Some more classic mod, with a zipper up front. Notice the shoes and the bag. Very retail friendly but also unique.

 

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I loved the clutches in this collection. Ghesquière incorporated the classic Louis Vuitton monogram in a very tasteful, non-tacky way. There is nothing I hate more than a brand logo splashed all over a design (see my review of MBMJ.

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Overall, this is a very promising collection. Ghesquière is now catering to a very large audience. He played it safe – everybody loves luxury. I predict that his next collection will be more daring, right now it is more important that he establish himself and garner the respect of the company. 

Meanwhile, time to whip out those minis! Let’s hope for a warm fall….

xoxo,

Chiara

Chanel in the Supermarket

“The Art was an art supermarket, because art has become a product, no?” – Karl Lagerfeld, on Chanel’s Fall 2014 Collection

Lagerfeld is truly incomparable. What other man can be at the helm of Chanel, Fendi, and his own personal brand while infusing all three with a truly unique, refreshing aesthetic? And then he is a photographer, involved with art, constantly on the social scene…. and he makes funny jokes! I am in awe.

This collection has me in awe as well. It is both traditional and rebellious. I even believe that Lagerfeld is introducing a new silhouette to fashion. I am referring to this new look, previously introduced in Chanel’s Spring Couture 2014 Collection, which comprises of an extremely accentuated waist with a wider top and bottom. This may even include a corset. Very risqué, but curiously old-fashioned without being démodé. Lagerfeld obviously believes he has hit on something, because he is reintroducing it in the Fall 2014 collection.

Here, an example from Spring 2014 Couture:

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For this collection, the runway became a supermarket aisle and the backdrop transformed into checkout counters and fully-stocked displays. The supermarket highlighted the concept of casual, even careless dressing. Because who dresses up when going grocery shopping? hint: maybe me 

As Lagerfeld explained, “The whole thing is related to Pop Art”. This is clearly an allusion to Warhol’s interpretation of mass-market goods and advertising such as Campbell soup. It is easier to interpret the entire collection in this light.

So there are sweatpants, though obviously in luxe fabrics since this is Chanel. And even some in tweed! The opening look is the most extreme, featuring dingy moth holes, though it is all covered up with a beautiful coat. Perhaps, Lagerfeld is suggesting, even the most polished fashionistas have their own unfashionable secrets. You only have to look beneath the beautiful coat, and there you see:

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Delevigne, Look 1

There are also black vinyl pants resembling trash bags and beautiful leather purses shrink-wrapped in cardboard containers.

It is also very colorful, almost like the candy aisle in a supermarket. Like here:

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And notice the return of the sneakers. It is already daring to pair sneakers with looks on the runway, but Lagerfeld could not stop there. He had to reinvent the concept of sneakers! And I dare say that he is succeeding. Here they are in a sort of boot / sneaker / sock hybrid:

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There are also variants on this shoe in vibrant colors. I predict that we will be finding these all over magazines and especially street style in the future. And honestly, most New Yorkers at the show were probably inwardly swearing because Lagerfeld had not introduced these before the snowy, slushy NYFW a few weeks ago. No need to resort to awkwardly stumbling along in stilettos on slippery ice with these in the stores!

The pants and dress / tunic look is also back. Actually, cross that, layering is back.

For example:

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The show ended with some beautiful evening wear in shades of pale pink, black, and red. And some in print of course. This dress will probably be seen on the red carpet by some of the more daring stars:

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I love how the structure is classic, even 1920s, while the feathers, mesh, and sneakers completely modernize the look.

Honestly, I could go on and on analyzing this collection because there is so much happening. There are 78 looks after all! This also makes it a bit harder for me to review this collection  because I can’t address every single issue in the clothing without boring you to tears. 😉

Some people responded to this collection by saying that Coco Chanel would be rolling in her grave. I can say with certainty that she would not. Chanel was all about challenging tradition, revolutionizing fashion, and empowering women. She succeeded in doing so, and ushered in a new era (sartorially speaking). Karl Lagerfeld is following in Chanel’s footsteps. He is not emulating her style and exact looks, but rather building on them to create something modern that befits, and challenges, our times. Chanel has never been conformist, and never will be. It is in this respect that Lagerfeld truly respects Chanel. Ironically, he would be disrespecting her legacy by merely reinventing her signature looks.

So I can say in all confidence: Coco would be proud.

xoxo,

Chiara

p.s. What do you think? Don’t be scared of challenging me! I love debate. ❤