Fashion

THE SIX YARD WONDER

Santiago Fashion December 5, 2016

By Sheetal Mafatlal

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Sari has often been called the most refined form of couture dress. This closet chameleon offers a plethora of styling options, which always make it of-the-moment and relevant in the ever evolving style landscape. It could either be tied with precision, emitting a polished, sophisticated look, or it could be draped in a wildly imperfect style, exuding an incendiary, sexy insouciance. Several decades of Indo-Western fusion have helped catalyse the saris remarkable evolution. Whether you require a pre-stitched version, ideal for an exotic destination, or a colourful  wedding or beach sari, evoking fun visuals, sari have all your looks covered.

I have always enjoyed wearing sari draped in a traditional, pure and unmitigated style. I believe that the soul of the sari lies in its ability to help the wearer add her own unique twist to it, which makes it the most democratic piece of garment that ever was. It accents the right parts, hides the parts you do not want seen, thus making it a flattering piece for all body types. The on-trend net saris are versatile and, if heavily embroidered, can be worn with the basic style drape or open pallu, to accentuate its beauty. The Mumtaz drape (inspired by Bollywood actress Mumtaz of yesteryear) stands out in sheer fabrics like georgette or chiffon. On the other hand, the mermaid style drape works well with a heavy border sari and enhances the embellishments when draped around the body.

Of all the sari styles, I have a particular liking for the timeless and charming sari, lehenga, which has its origin from the South Indian half sari silhouette. The dupatta is draped creating an illusion of a sari pallav. Modern Indian couturiers, like Manish Malhotra, have revolutionised this classic and presented it in the form of an intriguing hybrid, which captures the grandeur of a lehenga and also combines the sexy drape of a sari. Designers across the board have modernised this basic silhouette by using contrasting materials. Highlighting its borders, playing with diverse textures and adding ornate elements like tassels, have all added to its au courant feel. Pallavi Jaishan and Rohit Bal are integral to the revival and modernisation of the sari, whereas Varun Bahl and Suneet Verma, are famed for their modern twist of the six yard wonder.

India is the land of diverse textile weaves, each taking birth from a unique loom, and offering a variety of styles. There is the pre starched Jamdani sari, which is structured and non-conformist; the crushed Bandhini drapes; the nine yards Navvari sari, a draped sari mimicking the bifurcated capri style and finally the simplistic cotton Mundu sari, with its gold border from Kerala. Today the sari is even worn with a bikini, expressing the modern Indian woman on holiday, at a wedding or on honeymoon. Indian designers have infused a healthy dose of irreverence and lightness by reworking the ways in which to wear a sari. Today, it is tucked into a pair of trousers, clubbed with a tennis blouse or even worn with a pair of shorts, also known as a ‘sarini’.

By toying with sari gowns, which beautifully fuse the Indian and Western silhouettes, designers have created another means of incorporating the six yards wonder. Be it one-shoulder or off-shoulder, and at times full surface texturing and beading, the sari gowns have become the metaphor for evening glamour. Luxe labels like Hermès, Jean Paul Gaultier and Marchesa have presented the sari in their own ways over the years. It is no surprise that the sari often ends up becoming a great canvas for weaves: prints, embroideries and embellishments, lending ample scope for experimenting with silhouettes or draping techniques.The fact that one may choose to opt for a pair of sari pants or wear one with a bikini blouse, proves its timelessness and versatility as well as its incredible scope for innovation.

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

Santiago Fashion December 5, 2016

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By Lucia Hwong Gordon

The September sultry hot weather of New York City carried through from the gorgeous summer where many were coming back from Europe or the Hamptons. People were not ready to get out of their beach wear and flowing skimpy summer garb. But the undeniable buzz of the Big Apple had ladies getting back into dramatic make-up and high heels to race around the city for NY Fashion week.

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

VICTOR dE SOUZA:

Victor De Souza runway show was staged at the Gansevoort Park Avenue ballroom. The excitement of seeing his Believe in dE Impossible show with cutting edge fashions for male and female and people who like to mix a little of both. Beautifully embroidered garments for both sexes floated down the runway. Unicorns, masked suits, embroidered kilts and billowing chiffon created the fantasy. The angel and vixen moment was personified by Amanda Lepore strutting in a wisp of chiffon and jeweled nipple covers and strappy bikini bottom, followed by a delicate blond in a dreamy red chiffon ball gown embroidered with a fanciful unicorn who closed the show. We gathered for the afterparty at the rooftop peppered with cross dressing guests. One stunner was decked in pumps who flashed muscular legs and topped the look with a blond mane and groomed mustache over cherry lips believing in dE Impossible.

DESIGUAL

Making my way to the Desigual show downtown at The Arc at Moynihan Station on the westside, the traffic was so packed bumper to bumper that I dashed in one minute before the show began to my front row seat. Fashion veteran, Deborah Hughes oversaw the fashion flurry and gave the signal for showtime! A parade of riotous color, pattern, fabric and textures ensued. It was a fresh juxtaposition of florals, stripes and color. The daring fierce look of tie dyed, crocheted with bare skin showing through was the order of the day. Dangling earrings, cool flat embellished shoes and embroidered bags accessorized the look. The cool and hip look made us want to head back to the beach
and islands.

MALAN BRETON

From there I sauntered up the street to Malan Breton and his show, Sanxiantai, at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Inspired by a journey to Taiwan, brocade abounded for both women and men. The frothy fabric found manifestations topped by leather and slit up to the thigh. Printed chiffon dreamily swished down the runway. The beautifully tailored fringed jacket modeled by Frankie Grande, brother of Ariana Grande opened the show. The brocade, gold and fringed jackets flashed a sophisticated and masculine relaxed chill attitude. Gorgeous Conseulo Vanderbilt Costin glided in a metallic floral gown. Also on the catwalk was Mason Grammer, daughter of Kelsey Grammer. Malan took his bows on stage in an exquisite red brocade suit beaming at all his fans with NeNe Leakes in a sequined gown and dramatic cape. Dashing backstage to congratulate Consuelo and style guru, Montgomery Frazier, who co-produced and co-styled the show. We took an entourage photo with MTV legend, Downtown Julie Brown. We squeezed through the throng and made our way to the step and repeat where Malan was holding court with photographers, interviewer and well wishers and joined in for a photo and hug!

NICOLE MILLER

At the Skylight on Washington Street, NICOLE MILLER inspired by indigenous exotic patterns of Panama, she gave a stunning show that never disappoints. Flowing gowns with sheer chiffon and cut outs complimented the body’s curves and movements. The colorful graphic patterning and body skimming cuts gave a sensual air to the spring line. The embroidered and tiered details in a black and white gown, making it effortless to go looking stunning from beach to dinner party. Rushing backstage to congratulate Nicole, friends Janna and Zoe Bullock were there, and we raised our glasses of champagne to toast Nicole.

VIVIENNE TAM

Vivienne Tam drew from science and the stars in her NASA inspired runway show. She utilized the full spectrum of color in her Spring/Summer collection uniting earth and space and technology of Lenovo/Motorola. The show began with a broadcast message from International Space Station Mission Control followed by the models in metallic silver denim and techo-mesh designs sauntering in with the attitude of Space Cowboys. Houston rodeo inspiration was translated into ruffled fluid dresses offset by embellished denim jackets festooned with butterflies and NASA logos. In the front row with me were, Tracy Stern, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Margaret Luce, Laura Eastwood gave a standing ovation. Susan Shin who handled the PR, beaming from the excitement and assembling an A list crowd. The afterparty at Skylark was the perfect New York venue. Perched on the rooftop amid the skyscrapers we sipped wine on the terrace. Paola Bacchini pulled out her iphone and we took fun selfies and photos. Rose Billings, the photographer who gets everyone to smile for the camera, documented the glamorous guests. Everyone welcomed a luxurious setting to lounge after a day of fashion shows.

DENNIS BASSO

All the loyal fashionistas clamored to Dennis Basso, for his show at The Arc. Modern world voyager was his theme and everyone was coveting to own every piece. Flowing chiffon, suede cocktail dresses and pants, and unfussy exquisite details is made for the woman who goes effortlessly glamorous from one adventure to another. The minimal palette of dove gray, silver, champagne and camel and hints of black chiffon painted elegance to the maximum effect. From the standing ovation we rushed backstage to congratulate Dennis and Michael Cominotto glowed with pride. Celebrity and social photographer, Rob Rich was capturing pictures of the international celebrities and socialites grabbing a hug and kiss from Dennis. All making mental notes which dress from the Spring/Summer collection they are wearing to the next gala.

ZANG TOI

Elegance is always supreme at Zang Toi whose show at Pier 59 Studio was packed and people waiting in line for standing room. Jean Shafiroff, Chiu-ti Jansen and I posed in our seats while photographer, Eka Halim snapped pictures of Zang’s loyal clients, where I wore a classic Zang Toi red chiffon dress. A hush came over the crowd as the lights went down. Inspired by Monet’s gardens at Giverny, his wisteria patterned palette of violet and lavender streamed down the runway. Gorgeous black satin trench dress with violet wisteria lining was breathtakingly fresh, giving the classic shape an edge with cut and color. Zang’s architecturally topped the purple sheath dress with a jeweled collar transformed the look to a regal affair. Gowns flowing in lavender and purple with wisteria headpieces was romance with a capital R. Wisteria cascaded over the shoulders of beautifully tailored jackets and bodices of Loro Piana cashmere. Zang took his standing ovation walk with his model in purple and lavender hand embroidered gown floating down the runway like a Monet dream.

My dear friend, Lauren Day Roberts took me to Naeem Khan’s afterparty at another downtown club, Blond, along with Sheila Rosenblum who owns the first female racing syndicate of winning race horses. A cool fashion crowd assembled to sip tequila drinks to cap off another fabulous day of fashion. So here we are, three brunettes at Blond, celebrating the diverse fashion and creativity in New York!

Unique style LE FRANCAIS Personal Shopper

Santiago Fashion May 7, 2015

‘Fashions fade, style is eternal’.

Yves Saint Laurent

Welcome to a taste of French style in the heart of London. Le Francais Personal shopper is a personal shopping service established by French native Florian Perrault dedicated to helping people with there style needs weather it be a wardrobe revamp, A special occasion, or perhaps a gift for a loved one Le Francais Is here to lend a helping hand.

Offering a unique service that supports anyone’s style needs that may not have the time to go shopping or is just looking for some style advice. We demonstrate our vast knowledge providing each of our clients with not only a personal shopper but also special services including Colour Analysis in order to understand what colours best suit your skin tone, as well as a body mythology so that you can comprehend what looks the best on your body shape allowing you to feel and look your best based on your natural look all included in the same package.

Our services are available for both men and women and you have the choice of what package you would like to go for such as the complete personal shopping experience or an emergency service that you may require for an event or special occasion that you have coming up.

For men we also offer the same services as well as specific options such as Accessories, Bespoke tailoring, Leather goods, and support on the best Barbers in London in order for you to look great from head to toe.

Our French touch is the distinctive factor that permits our clients with the experience of France right on there door step such as guidelines on how to combine the elegance of French style with their own personal charm.

The First Consultation will be done in a location of your choice so that everything is done on your own preferences and comforts. During the first meeting we will chat over a French breakfast that we will provide and discuss what it is exactly that you are after, we will then talk about your colour analysis and body mythology, and draft up a list of the best stores and boutiques in London that will cater to exactly what you are want then Le Francais is off to the shops either with you or alone whichever you prefer.

So if you are looking for a unique and personal service catered just for you Contact Le Francais Personal shopper or visit our website www.lefrancais-personalshopper.com and you could be on your way to French chic.

LUI’S SPRING SUMMER 2015 – “URBAN JUNGLE”

Santiago Fashion March 26, 2015


 3 lowLui’s is a contemporary womenswear label that combines conceptual ideas with contemporary form. Kiki Lui founded the label after graduating from the London College of Fashion in Fashion Design in Womenswear.

The brand was launched in 2013 after her graduation and after winning both the best womenswear award and becoming the overall winner of “ASOS LTD 100 Collection“. Her clothes run the gamut from ready to wear to evening wear. While still studying, she worked in high-end fashion houses such as Luella, Giles and Vivienne Westwood.

Her background is her foundation in developing contemporary fashion and concept building, and is also present in her signature elements in design details and silhouette, inspired by architectural building.

The label is based on the principle of bringing out the character in contemporary women. At its best, fashion is an exploration of the inner self by clever use of materials and shape and further refined in the cutting and details.The essential components of the label are simplicity and clean outlines, with masculine colours in the details.

Lui’s inention is to create the image of contemporary women by developing new ideas about materials and cutting. Her couture is designed to create a way of exploring modern womens’ character in a way that expresses their individuality .

Last but not least, Lui’s ready-to-wear collections include timeless luxury pieces with innovative designs in which classic feminine shapes and modern structures are blended. The brand represents contemporary women who seek both elegance and beauty. These and more can be seen on www.lui-s.co.

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PARIS HAUTE COUTURE WEEK

Santiago Fashion March 26, 2015
Christian Dior Haute Couture.

The spring collection, designed by Raf Simons, proves that his inspiration, vision and conceptual perception of fashion are unbeatable.

As a creative director for Dior, Christian managed to represent more than just himself. For him, creating beautiful gowns was not enough: he embodied the very history of Dior itself. Now, all eyes are on Raf Simons as he faces the daunting challenge of taking over.

Simons often trawls the musical archives for inspiration. His haute couture collection was originally inspired by the image of David Bowie. The Belgium designer was less interested in Bowie the rock icon; it was the his protean ability to transform himself that he admires.

“He’s a chameleon, able to reinvent himself but he’s also the materialization of something else. More than a man-an idea.” Raf Simons, for style.com.

For the 2015 spring collection , Simons created multi-layered designs using materials of differing transparency. In particular, he chose materials like plastic, PCV, glittery embroideries and the delicate filigree of lace. The effect was sensational. Certainly, this must have been the first time in haute couture that a plastic look has found its way onto the catwalk.

Another of the collection’s intriguing elements were thigh length vinyl boots in varying, vibrant colours. This style of footwear recalled something of the inventions of Mary Quant and the mood of the sixties. This plastic look added an interesting,futuristic look to the collection.

Pastel shades blended with vivid reds and greens in a range of vibrant patterns, decorated with silver and black, recalled the seventies – further proof  of his creative imagination. Incredibly, the show managed to blend the romanticism of the fifties, the shock of the experimental sixties and the space age 70’s in a visual harmony that worked. The catwalk was replete with beautiful gowns, romantic and luxurious as befits the image of Christian Dior.

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Zuhair Murad

Visitors to Zuhair Murad’s haute couture show in Paris were captivated by a fairy tale ambience – as beautiful as it was feminine.

Since childhood, Zuhair Murad has always dreamt of escaping into a world of fantasy. His spectacular style of feminine couture aims to present the beauty of the women who wear them in its purest form.    

Murad’s spring collection 2015, set out to create an almost mythalogical mood. All the models appeared to float down the runway like ice queens – princesses from myth and legend.

Each piece has wonderfully detailed craftmanship, recalling the best traditions of Parisian haute couture.

The whole collection of gowns evokes different states of water, signifying purity and a new beginning; some like waterfalls; others like frozen sculptures; others again like beautiful white clouds.

‘’(…) rippling embroidery, pleating in waves around the waist, Watteau backs mimicking waterfalls, whirlpools of tulle at the shoulders, plunging necklines, a swimsuit bodice with a crystal-encrusted mermaid overlay, and, as if that weren’t enough, embellished boat necks’’

Amy Verner, the contributor of style.com.

Each and every dress was different. Nothing was exaggerated; all elements combined to create a rich visual tapestry. Harmony and breath-taking beauty are the words which best describe Zuhair Murad’s 2015 spring fashion  haute couture show in Paris.

Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier has assumed a pre-eminent position on the fashion scene : not merely in contemporary terms but as a dominating influence on the whole history of fashion. Paul’s designs always suggest a hint of surrealism; these are dresses for powerful self confident women who demand nothing but the best. Often feminine, cccasionally androgynous, Gaultier’s forceful designs can also reflect a macabre sense of humour. His collections seem eclectic, but once the inspiration behind the creative process becomes clear, the audience gets the point immediately.

Jean Paul Gaultier’s haute couture collection for spring 2015 was inspired by the classic white dress of a bride. However, nothing on this catwalk has much to do with wedding dresses you’ve seen before.

‘’The bride wore a lace bomber and tulle ball skirt… the bride wore shorts… and the bride wore blue jeans.’’

Nicole Phelps, executive Editor of Style.com.

Also worth mentioning is the selection of the models themselves. An infinite variety of feminine beauty was on display: different skin colours and age ranges perfectly  set off this spectacular collection. A bride in Jean Paul Gaultier’s eyes is not like a fairy tale princess, robed in pure white. On the contrary, his bride is a full blooded woman, the kind that does not necessarily follow socially accepted norms, but one who is open minded and aware of her body. The woman he presents knows herself and what she wants.

From the start of the show, Paul presented his favourite masculine-feminine hybrid creations. At the same time, there was no shortage of corsets, crinoline cages, plus a lot of snake skin and satin.

In reaction, the audience, cheered almost  every one of Jean Paul Gaultier’s creations to appear on the catwalk. This speaks louder than any words by critics. Beyond all doubt, the fans were far from disappointed..   

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