fashion week zagreb: ivana popović

(images via dfwz)

back during the s/s 2011 season is when we were first introduced to the work of ivana popović at fashion week zagreb, and though i was left then more perplexed than really anything else, i am happy to report that for her latest effort, f/w 2011, she seems to have centered her concentration, offering up a more cohesive—if slightly madcap—tale. 

although the pictures (as we’ve discussed previously) aren’t of the best quality this season, they do seem to tell the story of a traveling performance troupe or circus, with various acrobatics performed onstage amidst the catwalkers traipsing along to present the designs.  tumbles and flips ensued all the while, and one can spot some rather entertaining heaps of bodies behind the models in most shots (including my favourite, at top, which rather looks like a corpse, resulting from the infinite strain of runway work). 

the collection itself was particularly colourful, with shades of crimson, pink, black, white, and aqua (sometimes embellished with arty floral prints) filling in a lot of puffy pants, jumpsuits, and dainty little tops.  zany headgear, ruffled neckpieces, metallic embellishments, and a striped, caped one-piece were among the more outlandish offerings of a range not necessarily defined by its demure nature. 

nevertheless, many of the pieces could be quite wearable in situations where they were styled down; the tops were especially pretty and would jazz up a good skirt or pair of jeans.  meanwhile, the wide-legged trousers (especially the white pairs) were among the better bottom offerings, while the clown-style puffy pants the less adventurous types might wish to avoid. 

ms. popović feels more at home here than in her trashy-sexy exploration of last season, amidst the hubbub and artistry.  perhaps i can’t give the range a rousing endorsement, but i can say it was a solid step and before long, should she continue along this path, she will be where we like.  yes, a little strange today, but all the same, mostly the right moves. 

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rafw: guanabana

(images via fashionising)

you’re probably aware, if you live in the world, that artist vincent van gogh once cut off a part of his ear.  you may not know any more about him than that one fact (and maybe that ‘the starry night’ now graces credit cards), and even when books are reluctant to mention that topic, they still know it’s a topic that may not be utterly ignored (one book i read even gave readers the page number of the ear story in the first paragraph, so as to dispense with the less serious students). 

anyway, guanabana’s s/s 2011 show at rosemount australian fashion week in sydney had its own ear story, in a way: the snake model shanina shaik (below) sported on the catwalk.  clothes (or fine paintings and drawings) aside, nothing (such as, say, fine art) is more exciting to ruminate on at length than a snake (or partially-severed ear)!  so, like the aforementioned book, i’m going to throw that business out there now and leave those who wish to goggle over the snake at it, and the rest of us will move on to other pastures. 

anyway, the spring range, titled ‘casablanca’, was a festive affair, with most models sporting headdresses or headwraps and statement jewelry.  framed in a palette of black, dusty-sandy neutrals, pale pink, and aqua, a vein of tribal-chic ran throughout, with mosaic-like prints and long, bohemian maxi dresses.  sheer panels, draping, and loosely-fitting (sometimes asymmetrical) pieces were included amongst the other key trends. 

“We have used a lot of luxurious fabrics this year including silks and a lot of embellishments such as sequins and chunky jewellery,” designer linda bergskas told the newcastle herald

registering at a rather scant 15 exits, although the show was satisfying, it nevertheless left something to be desired.  for example, though the swimsuits were charming, it would have been a pleasure to see more, as well as different cuts of dress—options for a wider variety of body types.  however, given that tedium can overtake an audience quickly and i’ve too often seen the same repeated if the designer feels it a success, it’s probably better to leave us grasping for more that fidgeting in our seats.  still, though, it’s a designer’s job to understand where that line lies and though i’m not left unhappy exactly, i do feel a little unfulfilled. 

(see some catwalk/backstage video here)

lodz fashion week: michal szulc

(images via marek makowski)

perhaps less covered than some of the others at fashionphilosophy fashion week poland in lodz, michal szulc’s f/w 2011 collection was no less impressive, with plenty of wearable offerings sporting unexpected details and a runway presentation that gave way to a much more avant garde feeling than what was, perhaps, actually present. 

titled ‘leaving you’, the frequently barefoot models (occasionally sporting shiny black kitten-heeled pumps) padded across the runway, hair brushed directly into their eyes to obscure faces (a favourite technique of mine, given that i think we’re all—including me—too often preoccupied with who rather than what is on the catwalk). 

I did not want to annoy, but to force viewers to think about why I chose this stylization.  This collection is not meant to be acetic…More items could distort the show.  And the shoes I resigned because I simply have not found those that fit into the collection,” the designer (trans.) explained to gazeta lodz, which may have stripped some mystery from the presentation, but made it no less beautiful. 

typical of many of the polish shows we’ve recently seen, mr. szulc’s offerings were rather dark, with black, deep purple, gray, and ultramarine among the colour choices. some beautiful velvety floral dresses were prime choices, while many of the pieces would function well in the day-to-night scheme of things, both a little daring and sophisticated enough to appeal to more than just the catwalkers’ peers.  as lovely as it all was, i only wish i could have seen more. 

(watch some show video here)

updated: with new images

rafw: little joe

(images via fashionising)

i’ve been trying to move at least a little away from yakking about models, their figures (and ages), and castings all the time, as it gets a little disheartening and frankly we all get tired of hearing it, but still there are sometimes a point flashes across which grabs my attention.  such as the spring 2011 little joe show, presented at sydney’s rosemount australia fashion week, in which veteran supermodel yasmin le bon opened

interestingly, in practically every other review i read as research for this piece, ms. le bon’s name was the first thing to be broached, before the clothes or anything; news, apparently, of the highest order.  perhaps it really means nothing, or simply a hint at an interesting tidbit, but reminds me that models are far more important than the fashion industry passes them off to be, as simple purveyors of clothing.  no, they’re more than that, often garnering more attention than the collections themselves, putting some kind of personality to the pieces.  one wonders what might come if the fashionies actually took the time to mull that over, trying to reinvent the wheel in some wholly new direction besides younger and thinner. 

but back to the show at hand.  set to the strains of “you can’t always get what you want”, designer gail eliott explained to marie claire the collection was inspired by “(t)hat 70s Boho Mick Jagger look,” all flashes of the decadent bohemian girl the fashion world loves so well (mick and his ex-wife bianca having served as muses for at least three resort 2011 shows in the past year: chanel, 3.1 phillip lim, and emilio pucci).  however, i will give ms. eliott that her range had perhaps a freer quality than those going before, a little more roughshod and without that ‘precious object going quaintly hippie’ that some of the luxury labels tend to (rather unintentionally humorously) incorporate. 

anyway, there were all those trends one might expect of the patchouli-scented concert-going girl; peasant blouses, fringe, paisley, macrame, off-the-shoulder styles, and a few western notes for good measure.  of the prints, the designer explained to marie claire, “(o)ur prints are all designed in-house exclusively for Little Joe Woman,” giving them syrupy boho titles such as ‘love in exile’, a butterfly motif(all that she’d need now is to give the girls temporary tattoos of such, or perhaps wings on their backs). 

surprisingly, the runway wasn’t as colourful as one might have expected, with a lot of pale tones (although equally pretty) worn alongside black; peach, white, light blue, beige, and mauve.  always ready to easily sum up the key runway themes and looks, fab sugar described the range as “take-me-to-the-the-nearest-beach,” pulling out many of the aforementioned styles, as well as suede, jumpsuits, leopard print, “Navajo inspired silver crucifixes”, lace, and steson boots. 

beauty looks were pretty much in-line with what one might expect of such a theme, with makeup director michael brown for lancôme aiming for what bella sugar calls an “edgy but feminine” look, completed with smokey eyes finished with kohl liner.  meanwhile, hairstylist brad ngata used the designer’s own aesthetic as a base for his creations, giving the girls dry, but loose curls which could hang seductively in their eyes, creating the impression of just enough dirt under the fingernails to be truly interesting. 

(see the catwalk finale video here)

fashion week zagreb: ana kujundžić

(images via dfwz)

approximately a year ago, i came across one of those rare collections i was so taken with, i scare knew what to say.  then, as i began my pilfering through the images of croatia’s fashion week zagreb, i encountered another such show—the kind in which every piece instantly becomes among the best you’ve seen, should you know the feeling—and had a flash back to the prior work, wondering if (though i’d by then forgotten the designer’s name and even the city) whether it could by chance be the same person. 

interestingly enough, it was!  although ana kujundžić’s f/w 2011 range is in some respects rather far removed from her f/w 2010 work, the melange of colours, the arts-and-crafts vibe, and the slightly bohemian aesthetic draw the shows together, uniting them as some of the better garments i’ve seen out of  lesser-well-known (or, indeed, even the big four) fashion weeks, cementing (at least in my mind) the idea that we need look beyond the designers known to vogue

for fall, the designer seemed to work from the idea of the quilt (or something very like it), patchworking various pieces of fabric together to create rainbow, layered dresses which very often had some character of their own, thanks to contrasting prints (second from bottom), a jellyfish texture (top), appearance of bags sewn together, or elizabethan ruff-inspired look.  

in a surprise move for the event, if not the designer, this was a runway filled with all imaginable hues (black being the favoured—or possibly required—tone at dfwz), crimson, gray, mauve, yellow, taupe, cornflower, and tomato among them.  in contrast to a year ago, the skirt lengths were a little longer—about midi, which is actually on-point with the season—but apart from the errant jumpsuit (again, ripe for the moment, given all we’ve seen coming out of sydney), dresses were again the focus. 

enticing and lovely as the collection was, if i could offer a criticism, it might be that the weight of the garments (in fact, in some cases, it did really seem as though a quilt had quickly been transformed into dress format) was a bit heavy, with the silhouettes adding much bulk to the models’ thin frames.  one would, of course, have to inspect the pieces in person to better understand how to handle the problem, but it does preliminarily suggest added substance to the figure, something most fashionies fear more than lobotomies, cancer, or public speaking. 

of course, with all that in mind, i’m now going to give my heartiest of approval, saying that this is, for me, a collection that reminds me of why i started liking fashion in the first place, and all those hours of research worth it.  as ever a good reminder to stick with it and know that the truly awesome needn’t always be discovered by a well-known publication first.