moscow fashion week: cyrille gassiline

(images via vogue)

well!  over the first couple of seasons of opt’s acquaintance with russian designer cyrille gassiline (Кирилл Гассилин), i’ve previously stated that we’d known him to be “black and fluttery or tailored and minimalist,” (as f/w 2010 & f/w 2011), but for the s/s 2012 season, we began to see homeboy breaking out of his darkened and severe aesthetic cave for something with a little more colour, humour, and playful femininity.  and it would seem that the designer is continuing his sartorial trek, for his f/w 2012 offering as presented at moscow fashion week reminded me at times rather strongly of haider ackermann (especially s/s 2012) by way of anne-valerie hash circa f/w 2010, and if it looked very good, it was still worlds apart from the place we left the man a year ago. 

anyway, this time around, according to elle, the (trans.) “theme of the collection…was Odysseus, but not Homeric, but a mix between ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and Kubrick’s journey between the past and the future. The invitation to the show was designed as a mirror…dark colours interspersed with shiny fabrics prevailed in the collection…The futuristic spirit of the collection is fully reflected in the images: the volume of the o-shaped silhouette of a jacket or a blazer and mermaid skirt. It looked very theatrical, but it is comparable to real life. The look involuntarily reminded me of last season’s collection of Viktor & Rolf. Another futuristic component of the Odyssey was the iridescent fabric evoking associations with the starry sky.”

“The overall impression of the Odyssey of Cyrille Gasiline was more than positive,” they summed up.  “The theme was revealed in the production of the show: from light to bright images, and then to a dark and shining in the final output, and in the architectural cuts, and in the choice of fabrics. And, most importantly, despite the [concept] and as a consequence, innovative silhouettes and a theatrical style, absolutely all the things the collection can be worn in real life, as well as the veil that covered the face of models, which you can start wearing now, as an alternative to Jil Sander’s hats, which areso popular today.” 

elsewhere, you in style reflected that there were hints of both the 1920’s and 1960’s in the collection, adding that (trans.) “(t)he coats, dresses, skirts look as if they were created in the twentieth century with the technologies of the future. Girls marching confidently in silver sandals and shoes on huge platforms. Narrow pants in sparkling silver, gold, and dark red in translucent llama fabric. A close-fitting short coat with wide pleated skirt, repeating hourglass silhouette. Dresses and capes with white fur. Trousers with high waists. A beautiful combination of colours – purple or dark blue to emerald green. Skirt of silk and llama. Long dresses – purple-blue sparkling, form-fitting dresses, the space age. The emphasis shifted to the collection of the shoulder girdle. Asymmetric capes with geometric or, alternatively, soft folds. Each model is decorated with twinkling diamond-mesh veil, a cocoon, covering the entire head.”  

and my favourite-named russian site, procapitalist, made the interesting point that although we’re seeing a much more dazzling (at least colour and fabric-wise) side of the designer, all the same, the (trans.) “recognizable styles of dress, cut sleeves and many elements more did not disappear, manifesting themselves in new forms.”  they then went on to argue that we were actually seeing a vision of the twenties as viewed through the glitzy eye of the eighties, during which “(j)ackets with shortened skirts surround the waist, extending to the hips by a series of interesting tucks that make skirts look like flowers, and even coats are similar to the dress. Pants became transparent, and only the quilted ‘jackets’ were free and shapeless, allowing one to wrap up as they’d like.” 

ultimately, i find it rather interesting to see where all the reviewers are coming in in terms of references, and although i can pretty much get behind the sander one, i’m not so sure about the russian site moda avowing that there was a strong scent of karl lagerfeld’s chanel to be found in the collection, during which they claimed that (trans.) “(t)he introduction of semi-transparent shiny pants in the context of dresses and coats was a clear borrowing from Karl Lagerfeld and a great Design course.”  um.  yeah, i dunno.  we’ve seen those many, many places, not the least of which was that aforementioned (and lovely) show of ms. hash’s. 

in other assessments (and one i find is probably totally correct), the livejournal blog uliana-brut opined that things looked much sharper and lovelier in person, imparting an extremely wearable quality to the brilliance and flash, and similarly the blog, malena m came in on much the same terms.   and although i was initially a little concerned about the designer’s longterm (and more minimalist-friendly) customers being frozen out, i’m not sure that’s ultimately the case—actually, when one looks closer, there are plenty of more neutral-hued, matte pieces mixed in with the glittery sheers (like that slightly rounded, tailored navy jacket, above).  but it does appear he’s making a play for the sander customer (at least as she existed under raf simons, and maybe that’s the point), all the same. 

but i’d like to close with the livejournal blog silver-fancy’s thoughts on the subject (trans.); “(c)omfortable clothing for practical everyday life is made of transparent shimmering fabrics, creating a light bohemian look. Like many Western designers, Cyrille Gassiline…offers dresses and pants combination that simultaneously make clothing feminine and comfortable….Hems of dresses and coats flared and a narrow waist is emphasized. Also in the collection, the bulky down jackets are made of shiny fabric waterproof.
The designer remains true to his trademark detail – multi-layered, interesting cut of the sleeves and coats. The palette…was pleasant – purple, cast gold, silver, metallic blue and red cherry. Not without its classic beige, black and gray. The designer confidently combines the incongruous in the form of his pieces breaking stereotypes” (see additional show images at yandex & glamour).

(watch the catwalk proceedings here)

fashion week zagreb: bARBARA Ì gONGINI

(images via dfwz)

so, in what i suppose i would call ‘this bitch’ type news, danish designer bARBARA Ì gONGINI finally decided to show up somewhere to showcase one of her collections, and that somewhere was fashion week zagreb with her latest, for a/w 2012.  now, frankly, i’m not sure whether to be dismayed (mostly because since the a/w 2011 season homegirl has all but disappeared, leaving copenhagen fashion week for…basically no other pastures, and i’ve been kind of pissed about her abandonment) or pleased (and that’s mostly thanks to my hardcore love for her in the past). 

now, actually, of all the visiting designers to show up in croatia, and although ms. gongini’s work has a definitive danish air about it, i must say she is nevertheless probably the best fit, thanks to her embracing deep hues, layers, and some of the most avant garde-leaning pieces west of tokyo (save maybe on occasion in ukraine or the balkans).  and its toughness, in my mind, settles in nicer in the latter place (where we are just now) than the former. 

anyway, for those of you unfamiliar with her work, i’d call ms. gongini something of a sister designer to ann demeulemeester, but if the belgian designer tends to make her customers look like glamourous-cum-gothy versions of patti smith, the danish one prefers a little more rugged (and sometimes almost homeless) look.  it certainly isn’t for everyone.  and i want you to remember it’s conceptual (and much better in person). it’s easier to understand that way. 

unfortunately for us, however (and probably because her work is so difficult to understand) not a lot of reviews were forthcoming on the subject.  thus, we’ve only cromoda’s short write up, which explained that (trans.) “Barbara’s brand is usually divided into two lines: bARBARA Ì gONGINIas the main line, and the second, The Black Line.  These two lines are usually the opposite, but in this collection, they were acting as a coherent whole. The prevailing colour is black, asymmetrical lines and androgynous, torn material and zipper details and unusual leather boots with a full heel are definitely something to be noticed!”

the designer likes to play with her transparencies, and this season they were particularly strong, along with a lot of juxtapositioning of various textures, like knitwear, fur, cotton, leather, silks, and what appeared to be some semi-shiny material (something like a ripstop, which one might line a coat with?).  she also worked some patterns into her knits, as well as a few delicate stripes (as on the knee-length anorak, third from bottom), which made for some slightly more approachable elements. 

as ever, however, i’d say that for most people the only wearable pieces would be some of the outerwear (as the aforementioned anorak, below).  the designer is actually quite skilled with her draping here, and makes some lovely pieces that fold and twist about the body, and away from some of the ripped and layered items that are most likely to scare the larger part of the crowd away, they’d actually work just marvelously, though you’d have to remember to introduce some colour and elements of that nature. 

but in the end, i must say what i’ve come to appreciate about ms. gongini is that she won’t give up, won’t turn her vision into something more commercial (as yohji yamamoto has done to arguable degrees in some of his collections).  it’s her art, and it may not be beautiful to everyone (it is to me, but i’ve always had something about garbage bags and ripped black layers), but neither is she trying to break into the mainstream.  she’s just quietly doing what she does, helping us to question the form, texture, materials…but if you don’t like it, also remember you might not install this little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home in your lounge, either.  but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a greatness. 

(see the ‘behind the scenes’ video of models…shooting the lookbook?  i think?  here)

alexander mcqueen resort 2013

(images via vogue)

mostly, for the most part, i must say i’m impressed with the work sarah burton has been doing at the house of alexander mcqueen (see s/s 2005, f/w 2010, resort 2011, s/s 2011, pre-fall 2011, f/w 2011, resort 2012, s/s 2012, f/w 2012), and i don’t want to crash into my review of homegirl’s resort 2013 collection for the house with a downer, saying i don’t like something she’s done, because i do (mostly, at least) like it. but…i couldn’t help but feel like the present range was cut for…runway models and tilda swinton.  and that’s basically it.  because beautiful as all the clothes were, seriously, they favoured that totally boyish, talltalltall physique. 

so maybe we can just appreciate it on the scale of an artwork, as we tend to do most things we look at here on opt.  and i want to encourage you to do that very thing, because really, the clothes (especially that most-wearable-of-the-show slightly deco-esque geometric gilded halter-neck dress, above) were gorgeous as ever.  thus, i suppose, we can expect the critics to be drooling over them, as was fashionologie in explaining that “(t0he ’70s style of David Bowie and the paintings of Gustav Klimt inspired the form-fitting, metallic-patterned [collection]…fabrics and treatments — like an art deco metallic jacquard or intricate gold embroidery — …helped serve as a feminine response to the collection’s more masculine pieces.”

elsewhere, style reported that “‘I wanted to bring everything back to the body,’ Burton said…’The proportions are extreme: high waists, an elongated leg, a peaked shoulder. There’s a harder, more precise, masculine edge that’s a reaction to the roundness and the sickly-sweet femininity of the last collection.’ And so, unsurprisingly, the anchor of the new lineup was the trouser suit, in a masculine/feminine iteration that led Burton inevitably to David Bowie’s door. (Check the back cover of Hunky Dory if you’re curious.) She acknowledged that, because the collection was the most rigorous she’d ever created, it was more difficult to make it beautiful, especially given that, however ‘sickly-sweet’ her last outing might have been, it also ravished the eye to a degree that is rare in ready-to-wear. It was a challenge she addressed with her usual facility with extraordinary fabrics and embellishments.”

“The most rigorous parts of the collection,” they continued, “were the tailored black pieces. Look closely, however, and their lapels and piping were actually trompe l’oeil encrustations of beading. Still, they were demandingly spare. Hard looks for hard times, perhaps. The eveningwear was long and lean, too. Which is where the Burton Effect came to play, as an extravagant, yes, hyper-feminine counterpoint. A strapless jumpsuit, lavished with avian and floral embroideries, had a forgiving volume. Burton called it a ‘banana leg.’ Even more winning: another jumpsuit, also strapless, in a drape of fiery orange jersey so voluminous it threw shade on Bowie’s most extreme Kansai Yamamoto outfits. The only possible accessory? The shoes whose rounded transparent heels were filled with glitter.”

and vogue, meanwhile, yipped on about the late mr. mcqueen’s savile row training, before finally coming to the point that “(w)hat he came out with was the ability to adapt the template to his own version for women, often topping it with a fairly swaggering tailcoat or topcoat. Now his own apprentice is adapting it further—changes brought about by time moving on, and perhaps the fact that the perspective is more female. There are no bumsters in this collection, for instance—Burton’s pants reach the waist (and sometimes higher, in one case, to be cinched with a wide patent belt inset with a jeweled chain). Although trouser legs are bootcut (as many of the McQueen originals were), the fabric Burton uses for her most stunning black tuxedo pantsuit with white revers is a drapery crepe, not McQueen’s favorite more rigid menswear material.”

The shoulders are peaked,” they summed up, “but the gradual softening of structure Burton is bringing to the collection continues. And, when it comes to the chic combination of a tunic dress over fluid pants seen halfway through the collection, that’s an innovation of her own…It goes without saying that there are dresses in great variety—pleated, gold-pailletted, and one a feat of marquetry-like patchwork on metallic snakeskin, all familiarly McQueen. It’s just that the eye always focuses more on the new. Which brings us to another point of McQueen evolution in this collection—the jewelry. It appears as chain links on shoes as well as on belts, and there’s a new crystal circlet necklace, which is bound to be an instant object of lust.”  so in the end, everyone else is happy.  i guess that means we should be, too?

rafw: bec & bridge

(images via fashionising)

so the recent shows at rosemount australian fashion week in sydney have been inspiring me to play free-association with the imagery contained within the individual collections, and before you rain on my fun, i’ll allow that yes, i’m aware practically any existing collection could be compared to something we’ve seen elsewhere before.  but with that in mind, the regularly-evolving aesthetic (but ever ‘girls’ girls’-type designers) of bec & bridge (see s/s 2010, s/s 2011) has, for the s/s 2012 season, taken me to comparing the organic, nature-y work with the s/s 2012 range of russian label viva vox (largely in the prints department), as well as the s/s 2011 stella mccartney show (thanks to both the botanical motifs and the cuts of frocks such as the one above, which evoked her famous citrus dresses from that collection, although i’d say in general this range owes her vision quite a lot). 

anyway, to give some background information on the current spring collection, just prior to the show, the site sassybella talked to designers becky cooper and bridget yorston, and they related that it was called ‘paradiso bianco.’  “We’ve been inspired by the Amalfi Coast and the Island of Capri. Bec holidayed there last year and her photos and descriptions of the place, rich in history, set our imaginations alight. The vivid colours, landscapes, architecture, wild bougainvillea and pure white light with a constant sea breeze have all inspired us in one way or another. We really just wanted to develop a collection that is super easy to wear. Effortless and elegant without being too casual. It’s a slightly more sophisticated direction for us and one we think the Bec & Bridge girl will really identify with,” they noted.  

working against, as stylehunter points out, “a beautifully flower-adorned backdrop, lilies and carnations,” the designers showed a palette that was largely based around the same clean white shade that was so big in australia last year, with pops of cornflower, navy, coral, and pale powder blue, as well as the kind of floral motifs that for me so evoked last season’s viva vox show, as well as some stripes and geometric prints.  the australian site nine to five noted that the house’s textiles this season included denim, crochet, chiffon, cotton, and silk, with plenty of sheer and diaphanous fabrics cropping up to give the pieces a relaxed sensuality, with peeks of skin showing through either in the transparent blocks, or faintly through the scarf-like patterns. 

as for the pieces themselves, a lot of them reminded me strongly of what ms. mccartney has put out there in seasons past—particularly when it came to the tailored menswear-style blazers (often teamed with sweet and girly little pairs of shorts, items we’ve seen the british designer working heavily in past collections).  otherwise, the tissue-like floaty dresses were the most important story of the collection and, in their various incarnations, could possibly double as workwear (the sheath-like midi versions, at least) with the right jacket or cardigan, would make an alluring poolside date look in the flirty slit-skirt incarnations (as at top), or made for some delicious summer day dresses in the maxi and more demure midi silhouettes. 

and in their usually helpful manner of briefly summing a collection up, the australian website fab sugar related that other staples included the cropped trousers, prettily feminine dresses, menswear-style shirting, “knitted peplum tops and angleise-edged suiting,” with the range accessories including “(m)inimal white snakeskin t-bar stilettos and two-strap flat sandals.”  they also pointed out that the show had a lot of texture, but other than the pretty anglaise eyelet and bits of mesh that pervaded throughout to add some dimension (and maybe that necessary touch of bec & bridge-style insouciant sensuality), i’m not sure i totally agree with them.  i’d say the collection was more about getting the lightest, summery weight one could manage whilst still looking chic and very, very pretty. 

for some reason that i’ve yet to discover, i’ve always found that the australian shows’ beauty looks are much commented on (at times more than the clothes themselves, or so it might seem), and this one was no exception.  with cosmopolitan squealing over the “relaxed [and] sophisticated” vibe the models exuded, the australian site bella sugar opted for an in-depth documentation on the hair: “‘It’s poolside sophistication,’ Alan White (ghd) said…’She lives on the Almafi Coast, she’s jumped in the pool and she’s lounging in the sun letting her hair dry naturally.’…He was putting S-bends in the hair with the ghd mini styler before loading up the hair with ghd Smooth & Finish Serum to create the damp look. ‘We want that indentation with the bend as it will help to define the hair when it’s got all the product in.’”

meanwhile, lifestyled gave a minutely detailed descriptions of the beauty routine, quoting stylist gina schatche of opi explaining that “(a) sheer white nail colour was applied to the fingernails and toenails to complement the cool sophistication of the Bec and Bridge Collection,” in the shade don’t touch my tutu, while vogue relayed all of the makeup steps at length, pointing out that the overall idea was one of “(d)eck chair divas glistening in the sun.”  “Make-up director for M.A.C, Nicole Thompson,” they continued, tells us: ‘The Bec & Bridge girl has just stepped out of the Mediterranean and is glowing and gorgeous. We’ve used really nice, natural tones like sun-kissed bronzes with a little bit of a rusty edge.’”

and so, in the end, while i wouldn’t really say we saw anything new here, that hasn’t been the label’s reason for existence ever.  rather, like, say, isabel marant (or, arguably—at least in her pre-collections—stella mccartney), they’re more about conveying the overall image of the cool, chic, and ‘real’ girl going about her day, with (at least most of) the wardrobe items one needs to pull this off.  true, the aforementioned paris-showing designers sometimes tend to be a bit more varied in their arrays, and if i were to offer a criticism here, it might be that bec & bridge played a little heavily on the sweetly sexy frock idea while letting go a bit too much some more professional or polished looks, but do you know what?  whatever.  girls are going to be screaming for this collection.  and i can see why.  they’ll look good while not dying of heat come summertime.  and that’s a feat unto itself these days (see additional show images at vogue).

(check out the final walk-through video here)