riga fashion week: tiina talumees

(images via rfw)

for her s/s 2011 collection, estonian designer tiina talumees looked back to the era when her grandmother was young, around the time of world war 2.  titled “women of the republic”, the show was meant to celebrate the behaviors of that age, as well as the individuality in dress. 

founded in 1998, the atelier is still quite small—with only 7 employees—and works mainly with couture pieces, although the rtw collection is presented once a year in the fall (what we’re debating today).  each of these pieces are available for purchase at the studio in talllinn, as well the aforementioned bespoke garments and wedding gowns. 

seeing wartime-style designs isn’t particularly rare, but what i find special about the collection is its honesty: yes, these women are glammed-up, but by a method that seems to suit the day, rather than the ridiculous overabundance of colour and bling someone like john galliano at dior is likely to do (you know what i’m talking about; he touches the era often, but usually with 10 cm platforms, billowing cotton candy pink skirts, and shrugs weighted down under the crushing piles of attached crystals). 

in other words, this luxury has a subtlety to it that seems rather to suit the period, when people were more conservative about displays of wealth and didn’t always have a logo attached to each seam.  this helps to give each garment a more authentically vintage feeling that is at once quite modern with the sleeker fabrics.  it’s close to an homage, but never gets to the point of costumery.  

that said, i would have liked her to bring out some lighter pieces, as most of these are quite dressed up; where are the relaxed looks for day?  i’m sure the top two are meant to be for work or day, but they have a glamour most of us don’t always need in today’s especially carefree dress coded society.  that is a sort of shame worth exploring in itself, but no matter how much i like to adhere to ideas of all of us making more effort, there are days all of us need a thoroughly casual outfit. 

fashion week zagreb: jelena aleksić

(images via dfwz)

there isn’t really enough available from jelena aleksić’s s/s 2011 collection for us to go into full review mode, nor was i able to uncover any sort of webpage for the designer, so we’ll have to content ourselves with these few images and whatever pithy remarks i can drum up about them in the space of a few minutes. 

most of her looks were sort of variations on a sexified heidi (this one, although i’m sure there are a few other chicks we’re aware of with this name that might want to get in on this as well), climbing over the alps & looking sufficiently ready to turn peter on should their more family-friendly activities grow tedious after a while. 

i suppose that was successful, in as far as the above remark that there are no short supply of girls looking for new ways to spice up their wardrobe, but maybe it didn’t (at least in the limited number of picture i was given access to; thus the entire collection might have solved this problem) always need to be so explicit.  these images raged costume-y, and it’s a shame, because who doesn’t want a trendy pair of lederhosen?  but not always, you known, for “heidi’s exxxciting adventures”. 

on another note, what was with the hair in this show?  maybe if the girls didn’t always look like second-string adult film starts just finishing their auditions in an alley behind a video store, the line would have had more cache.  hmm.  really, in the end, i don’t mean to be so harsh; i do like the idea of edgy lederhosen (how many girls in park slope or silverlake would flock to this idea?), and the image above comes closest to making it a reality.  perhaps she’s just getting started and i’ll give her that, but next season we should expect to see something a bit more wearable. 

fashion week zagreb: louis de gama

(images via dfwz)

another amazing lesser-well-known fashion week is upon us, and comes in the form of one of my favorites…the type of european city that ushers in dark, brooding, and artistic fashion!  to celebrate the opening of fashion week zagreb in croatia, we also get to start straight away with the splendid louis de gama!

his s/s 2011 collection is the type of thing i’ve been waiting so long for designers to bring back, a sort of cleaned-up version of the courtney love of 1994 or so.  indeed, a few kids here and there have introduced something of the sort, but i’ve thus far been surprised none of those in paris or new york have trotted it out; indicating that while they may, they certainly won’t be amongst the first. 

anyway, homeboy created a bunch of babydoll-ish dresses, all peter pan collars and soft lace alongside tougher elements: a panty flash (above), leather, and more than a couple rugged, military moments that were more indicative of the late nineties than those days courtney ruled as queen.  however, it was nice to see more of a general inspiration than any too-heavy takeoffs of her exact wardrobe of yore. 

ironically, when looking back just now to my review of his fall work, i said much the same thing; though this is rather softer than anything he was doing some six months ago, his core girl feels very similar.  perhaps he’s never too far from imagining what courtney would wear in some incarnation or other? 

last round, i also poked a bit of fun at his rather proud commentary regarding his own work and though i can still laugh a bit at some of those remarks, he is rising in my estimation as one of the stars of the zagreb fashion scene (even if he is based in london and showing at the latter for indeterminate reasons of his own). 

although i’m not generally beholden to designers, trying to base my opinions on their work at hand, rather than ideas of who is my “favorite”, he does show himself to be a solid artist, offering out beautiful options for the type of girl a bit different from the ones we so regularly see on the catwalks at chanel & vuitton, a girl that might appreciate someone like courtney (or her interesting riot grrl counterparts) instead of the those girls (kate hudson, gwyneth paltrow) always to cover vogue & elle.  thus, until i see a collection to disappoint, he is now positioned near the top of opt’s list. 

fashion week zagreb: bryce aimee

(images via dfwz)

actually from london, bryce aimee’s s/s 2011 collection is the kind of arresting collection that—while not exactly pretty, neither encourages one to look away.  ah, back to fashion. 

because we’ve apparently done very bad things in a past life to force us to go continually ‘round in the leggings-sphere, we got them in spades one again…monochromatic, patterned, floral, jester-like and cut in half with colour.  these topped some rather peculiar shoes that were not without their roots in ice skating boots and blouses that really brought the whole of the thing together. 

once again, this was a show more about styling; perhaps telling a story, of that lone girl who is so desperate to display her real personality that the miasma of all things eccentric in her closet brought together is what we’re going to experience until she has another, more solid sartorial revelation.  and like that girl, yes, there were decent pieces to be found, but if you’re going to rock them with any real insouciance, please do it in your own vein. 

(enjoy some show footage here)