Monday, 23 April 2012

Yahav Ron designs! (Yes he can haha)!

Dear Parisians a Melbourne!
As you know, I don't just connect beautiful people with beautiful fashion, I can create a little thing or two myself, and there is nothing like a quiet morning or afternoon to grab some fabric and pins, approach one of my mannequin friends (of which there are now 6) and whip up some sartorial goodness! (Long sentence indeed!)
Lately I've been quite active in this way, and the pieces are made from the same two fabrics, as I purchased quite a lot of each. They are a variation of each other, a beautifully soft silk satin with the faintest of self stripes woven through, and the lightest finest silk/cotton 'voile' I daresay, both in the most glorious burgundy. The satin has a lot less body than others and as such drapes amazingly, and the voile is a little 'crispy', but in the good way of course.
Perhaps you may know I am on the lookout for the perfect industrial sewing machine, so if you know of any going, don't hesitate to get in touch! With that in mind, everything has been lovingly hand stitched with a secure back stitch, which also looks beautiful on the oustide, it swirls back and forth onto itself, lovely.
I am also one for garments that subtly change the way in which they're worn, give you 'options' if you will. So there are breaks in the stitching, secondary armholes which affect the way the dress drapes. I'll stop describing and start showing, please enjoy!

The long and short of it. Both pieces are made from a single rectangle of fabric, there is not one cut in it at all.

The draping backs. With a body inside, the pieces cocoon and taper at the knees, a little bit Poiret I've been told!

Voila, 'le gown', option 1. Arm through the first armholes, creating a pointed bell at the wrist and a draped triangular sleeve.

Option 2. Same pointy bell (though I should have shown you through the end armhole which when the arm is raised, makes a perfect triangle from arm to ankle, love it!) The upper is in armhole two, which creates a circular drape.

The back minus belt, any wind blows and all your shape is 'hugged' by the dress. Come and visit and try it on to see ;)...

Draped with a belt, oh the possibilities! (Shown with Brain Reyes waist belt, its tiny...)

Boom! With the little extra stitch in the front drape, the dress can be worn as a complete one shoulder, and it balances, the arm seam essentially becomes a centre back seam!

Graceful and elegant with a belt again :)

As seen on a real girl! A good friend of mine indeed!

Hope you like, and there will be more, I'm working on continuing to use this method of construction for a while, adding leather, gathering, pleating, it could all be quite cool, tell me when you get over it of course!

Ah, and the short, sheer version (which when belted becomes a top), is now SOLD! (Yay, pat on the back haha).
xx till next time!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

New cool weather lovelies!

Hello and welcome back '99ers,
Im preparing you for my long absence in June/July by the long spaces between my posts. Well not really haha!
But yes I will be off to the USA to schmooze and meet and greet and discover, all in the name of the perfect pieces, its true!
There is lots going on here at the salon; designing, making, speaking, visiting, and of course bringing more beautiful sartorialities for your viewing (and wearing indeed) pleasures!

Here are some things floating around at the moment, they are somber, sexy, refined, playful, many words to describe. I hope you do enjoy!

This Carolina Herrera jacket is actually less boxy than you might think. It fits just beautifully in all places and the detailed top stitch acts as an illusion to make the body appear more slim. Who doesn't like that! It goes with a dress, which I have chosen not to show together, as separately both pieces are much stronger and more fresh!

Duro Olowu has been showing his collections in London since the early '00s, and everything is always made from the most sumptuous fabrics. Dresses are pieced together from vintage scraps, and fabrics in limited supply so that each piece is an edition of its own. This dress just glides onto the body and someone told me she'd never want to take it off (but then found something else haha)! There is even a secret hidden 'pouch' for a belt or just to rest your weary hands in the softness of it all,

Costume National. Ennio Capasa makes clothes with strong beautiful lines. Feminine but with a touch of hardness, gorgeous leathers, great pants, futuristic but oh so Italiano. This dress is all shifty simplicity, panelled together at the front; demure, covered up, in a lovely olive grey.

And then BOOM! Turn around and we have the split which demands the best underwear (or perhaps for you frisky friends none at all, though it is pretty darn sheer I must add) and a good bit of nerve. But that's Costume, unexpected, minimal, but with a touch of rawness and savagery, all in good taste. So a lovely little dress leaves the audience wanting more ;) !

And another example of Costume. This mini hounds-tooth woollen mini skirt is appropriate for the office. Its a little short, a little low, a little tight, beautifully cut and lined, and certainly shows you have a sense of fun and naughtiness.  Plus if you have a smaller behind, it will absolutely change that!

Another unexpected little skirt, this time from Christian Lacroix. Designed to be worn on holidays in Hawaii or Florida, or a fabulous sunny lunch anywhere else, there is more than meets the eye. The two centre slits are more revealing than one might expect, but that is Lacroix's naughty sense of humour that takes the mundane and turns it into a party!

Marni suede T-Bar shoes with raw edged folded silk trim, a little rough around the edges, just how Consuelo Constiglioni like it.

Those who know me, know I do love my Tuleh. A now defunct New York duo whose creations were (and if seasonality is no bother to you, still are) perfect for the Upper East Siders both young and seasoned. A little playful, a little darker than most American labels but with just as much attention to detail and perfection in finishing, is this, what I guess we would call evening jacket, perfect with the sharpest and littlest little black dress. Made from an almost 3D jacquard from the the most royal of blues interspersed with silver, it sits off the shoulders for the 'couture wrap' feel, but is brought a little closer to earth with the leather buttons. I love it, and so should you, Tuleh, look them up :)

Finally another master, one you know well. Jean Paul Gaultier's somewhat 3D trompe l'oeil double breasted tuxedo jacket, is actually closed in the front and has to be pulled on, like a jumper! Don't worry, it still fits like a glove and you will be reckoned with, all feminine power you. Love it!

Hooray, now stay tuned tres bientot for my own newly made dresses (well, top and gown)! xx

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Big post coming!

Hello dear '99ers!
It has been a while! Hope you've all had lovely holidays over Easter, Passover and any other spiritual celebrations.
I too have been busy preparing a whole lot of new fabulous wintery and also summery goodnesses for your viewing (and trying on of course) pleasure.
This will be put on ASAP, do watch this space, and for a special preview just call and drop by the salon, too easy and much more satisfying of course!
xx to all!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Fall/Winter 2012 Favourites!

Voila Paris '99ers!
Here are my Top 12 shows of Fall/Winter 2012/2013, a season I consider to be spectacularly strong all around the world.
First cab off the rank was as always New York. Reds, reds, reds of all sorts!
My favourites, a mix of the old and the new;
Altuzarra, the new kid who this season truly 'arrived' as they say, sending out a multicultural swashbuckling adventure dripping with coins and shearling and stitched tight in high waisted leg lengthening skirts and fabulously tailored jackets.

Calvin Klein Collection by Francisco Costa truly captured the mood, great soft volumes that seemed to float with the body in the deepest, boldest and sharpest tones (while maintaining his simple and elegant minimalism).

Thom Browne, known for his clean cut menswear, sent out a truly upside down collection; huge sprawling shapes, protrusions, history and drama. Sometimes things don't have! to be worn, just appreciated for their astounding conceptualisation.

Now before you start on me, New York was full of amazements; Proenza Schouler, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, and then some, but I am choosing collections from all across the spectrum, not just those that will influence what Zara and H&M will have in stores in two weeks, if not already :S
Enjoy!! (all images will be taken from thanks a lot for being there for us :))

Thom Browne.


Calvin Klein Collection


So as we know London Fashion Week is all about the newest, wildest, most out there, small scale, next big thing place to be. Just think, Chalayan, Stella, John (in better days) Lee Alexander (RIP :S), and more recently Gareth and Christopher, Mary, you all know who I am talking about. Let's see what this season brought us.

My top 3 from the Queen's city are:
John Rocha, a man who has been showing for years, and though unfortunately most commonly known for his designers for Debenham's collaboration is actually a lot more weird and wonderful. Like all good storytellers he continues in his own vein with a little tweaking. This season was grand, textural, romance-goth, and for the first time he appeared on, making gathering images of the show a lot easier than in the past!

Christopher Kane showed a collection steeped in sex, violence and seedy murky worlds with shady characters and shadier acts. Moire (ay), one of my favourite techniques, appeared in hyper, with fabrics in bold, almost electric blue and blood red looking as if they had been shot, the contrast was so vivid. The floral beading and embroidery was so dense but looked anything but glamorous, the whole collection was a deep dark look at this otherwise happy go lucky designer. I loved it!

Finally in London another gentleman with a stellar career thus far. Bottega Veneta, Emanuel Ungaro, a stint at DAKS and of ocurse his own fabulously dark collection its Giles Deacon. A man whose collections always stem from a narrative, usually one with a bit of a macabre twist, next winter is no different. A country manor is burning down and the household have to gather their things and escape, some with minor textile damage!
The prints are so rich in detail, tapestries featuring unicorns and other fantastical creatures, roughly shredded edges look to have been burnt and beautifully  balanced gowns literally have digital holes within the print as if a hot ember has fallen from above. Fabulous!

Milan (o)!

The powerhouses of fashion pulled out all stops. There was '60s, military, winter white, fluro fur, something for everyone. Of course the tear jerking finale at Jil Sander brought the end of the Raf Simons era, and it shall be interesting to see where he heads next. His collection makes my cut (and every other best of list, and for good reason). Using the palest of palettes; blush, cream, ice and smoke, highlighted with a deep deep pink, red and black, Raf conjured the most perfect shapes for an every day, and evening, wardrobe with what looked like a simple wave of his hand (and that's the best minimalism) but of course every seam, dart and fold would have been painstakingly re-examined and refined to reach this final resolution.

Ironically neither Raf Simons nor Jil Sander are actually Italian; respectively Belgian and German, but my next highlight is potentially the epitome of what we think about the Italian designers. Donatella Versace has had her ups and downs, personally and professionally, but this season she blew it out of the water. A collection that would have had her late brother Gianni smiling from fashion heaven, it in fact dedicated to him and the direction of his last Haute Couture collection just before his untimely murder. There were Byzantium crucifixes, the iconic metal mesh, bold bright colours, the lot. But it was all very restrained when in the past Donatella could take those elements and come up with something far too, well, much. For me she found the groove which fits these unstable times, and hopefully lots of people agree and buy it haha!

Finally a new kid on the Milan block, and this is not an easy thing to be given the long and outstanding histories of most of the houses. Gabriele Colangelo has been around for 3 years but his cutting and way with fabric, print and embellishment does not show his youth. His tailoring is precise, his dresses curve hugging but through clever use of fabric (no stretch here) and his embroideries are layered densely and create new 3D fabrics of their own. There was fur, both 'ringed' and finely shaved and draped, and a bold bright red which you all know I love. See what you think, and look back at his earlier work too!

Et voila, Paris!
The end of the month long circus brought some outstanding collections from the powerhouses of Paris, all in some sort of flux as Stefano Pilati's contract came to an end at Yves Saint Laurent. He will be replaced by none other than Hedi Slimane, who of course was the menswear designer in 1999-2000 while Alber Elbaz designed womenswear until Tom Ford took over. The rumour mill suggests that Raf Simons may take over Dior although long time Galliano assistant Bill Geytten may just start to settle into the role. Anyway its all flippity flop, but here are my best of Paris for 2012/2013, and boy was this hard to choose!

Perhaps its biased given that I spent almost a year with them, but A.F Vandevorst showed one of their strongest collections to date. All the elements were there; the trench, asymmetric knitwear, long velvet, military, medical, lace and fur, but there was an undeniable heightened elegance, and the Stephen Jones fedoras, I want one!

Martin Margiela, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christophe Lemaire. Three men who have helmed (and currently doing so) perhaps my favourite ultimate haute luxurie Parisian house; Hermes.
Lemaire's collection this season was one I just didn't want to end. Sweeping suedes in all colours of the earth, perfectly nipped jackets in one look, cascading draped three piece suits in the next. Even looking at it on the computer screen, flat as a pancake, I could just feel my hand melting into the fabrics upon touching, and you know touching is what I love most! The clashing prints, the generous leather pants, everything was amazing. See for yourself :)

So, what is the pick between Alexander McQueen, where Sarah Burton remembered her master with optimism and lightness, Alber Elbaz's 10th anniversary party at Lanvin, Rick Owens' soft, long and lean collection lit by columns of fire or Nicolas Ghesquiere's return to form at Balenciaga? The pick, as hard as it was, goes to Sarah Burton for the absolutely stunning cutting and her overall evolution in making a label so connected with hardness and pain just as beautiful while looking for the happier things in life.

The intricate cutting of the leather lattices then covered in fur pompoms, the beautifully undulating chiffon of the last series of 'explosions' and the absolute control of all her materials makes this collection, for me, the most perfectly executed collection of the season, conceptually and technically. Perhaps you agree, perhaps not, but one thing is for sure, in this day and age in fashion, anything goes, as long as it is done with truth and conviction!

Coming up next, in not too long indeed, a few new things on the Paris '99 block :)