Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade
- Aug 12, 2017 - 9:33:46 AM
Impressionist painter Edgar Degas is well known for his late 19th
century paintings of Parisian dancers and racehorses. What he is perhaps
less known for is his fascination with the quotidian details of modern
life in the French capital, including high fashion hats and the women
who crafted them.
Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade
currently on show at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, explores
this infatuation which inspired a visually compelling body of work that
subtly documents the effect that hat-making had on turn of the century
Parisians, from working women to high society men and everyone in
The Beret Story
- Apr 21, 2017 - 2:29:44 PM
The French beret long associated with artist Pablo Picasso
living in Paris during the early 1900’s, revolutionaries and made
stylish by actress and fashion model Brigitte Bardot in the 50’s has
returned as one of the hottest luxury fashion looks for spring.
Now with its rebel history and look, it has recently appeared in the
runway designer collections of Yves Saint Laurent, Isabel Marant, and
Dior. Given a makeover with bright colored textured wools to all black
leather with colored stones, the best beret looks on the fashion models
were with their hair up...
The 80’s Fashion Trends Love Affair for 2017 Has Begun
- Feb 8, 2017 - 9:16:24 PM
If you lived through it, you’ll probably remember the 80’s as a
decade when fashion was larger-than-life. The 80’s fashion trends
introduced us to bold female silhouettes defined by colorful oversize
blazers with shoulder pads, big permed hair with heavy makeup and risqué
low cut sequin dresses with thigh-high slits. Needless to say, it was
one of the more influential style periods in recent memory.
Many fashion designers look to the past for inspiration and their
love affair with 80’s fashion trends is everywhere for spring 2017.
Watch for the following 80s style influences, some which we may soon see
on our city streets...
Simon Barth Couture: Dark Seduction 2016
- Dec 9, 2016 - 12:35:01 AM
When he showcased his first collect at Berlin Fashion Week nearly ten
years ago, Simon Barth realized he didn’t quite fit in with the
minimalist aesthetic of the German fashion scene. The fact is Barth
lives for creating intricate embroidered haute couture dresses and, in
2013, the German-born designer moved to Vienna, Austria where today he
is handcrafting exquisite floor-length evening dresses for the women of
the Viennese ball.
Steeped with aristocratic tradition and home
to the most extravagant and romantic balls you will find anywhere in the
world, Vienna is one of Europe’s oldest capital cities. During ball
season, which begins each winter and runs until Ash Wednesday...
Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style
- Nov 11, 2016 - 10:26:50 AM
The Seattle Art Museum (SAM)’s exhibition
Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style
a unique retrospective of the work of one of the most influential
French haute couture designers of our era.
The exhibition takes visitors through Saint Laurent’s
legendary career and reveals both his artistic genius and his creative
process as an haute couture designer. On display at SAM is an exemplary
collection of 110 ensembles, many of which have never been shown in
public before, showcasing the tremendous achievements of his 44-years in
the fashion industry...
International Looks for Spring / Summer 2017
- Oct 30, 2016 - 12:09:31 PM
For RozeMerie, designing was a predestination. A photograph of her late
mother sitting behind a sewing machine inspired her to create pieces for
herself throughout her teenage years in Vancouver. RozeMerie enrolled
at ESMOD and moved to Paris to study design and pattern making.
With passion, focus, determination and skill, she returned to Vancouver
in 1986 and developed Jacqueline Conoir, a line of women’s power suiting
and evening wear.
JAC identifies as accessible luxury: unique design, playful clean lines,
versatile and easy to wear with rich fabrics at a moderate price...
Eymeric Francois: Midnight in Paris
- Jun 24, 2016 - 9:51:14 AM
Photo: Simon Lau
Mixing classic couture looks with daring lingerie details, fashion
designer Eymeric Francois is reimaging French couture. His Autumn/Winter
2016 collection, entitled Midnight in Paris, combines elegant long
evening dresses with tight corsets and transparent lace body suits to
give us a sizzling sensuality not normally expected in luxury fashion.
Vancouver Fashion Week I had the pleasure of interviewing this young
designer to learn more about his vision of French elegance for today’s
woman.Trained under couture designer Thierry Mugler, Francois produced
his first luxury collection in 2000 in Paris and has not looked back
since. Today, at 35 years of age,he brings to the timeless elegance of
French style a sensualism that features bareskin, transparent lace,
strong sexual undertones and more than a hint of fetishism...
Armani: Designing for Women in a Digital Age
- Mar 17, 2016 - 2:37:28 AM
Melding his signature clean lines with colourful digital designs,
Giorgio Armani unveiled “New Pop”, his Emporio Armani Autumn/Winter
2016-17 collection, at Milan Fashion Week. In pursuit of a younger
Italian woman, the collection was an homage to the high tech era,
offering splashes of fluorescent colour and emoji-like prints on funky
“New Pop” proved that “King Giorgio”, as he is known to his
colleagues, is equally at home designing youthful, trendy pieces as he
is producing elegant gowns for the red carpet. Armani, now 81, embraced
the new digital generation, showing black fabrics printed with
geometrical motifs made up of squares, triangles and circles in bubble
gum pink, lime green and citrus yellow.
Eye-Catching Colourful Stripes Take Us Into Spring
- Feb 17, 2016 - 7:42:32 PM
Keep an eye open over the next few months and you’ll notice a
playful new twist on a spring fashion classic. With the onset of the
warmer weather, women will be immersed in the graphic lines, zigzagging
patterns and dynamic colour combinations of bold, bright stripes.
represents a fascinating evolution from a look that dominated women’s
wear just a few seasons ago when European luxury designers presented
more traditional patterns such as houndstooth and pinstripes...
Sleepwear Becomes Day-Wear in Spring Fashions
- Jan 12, 2016 - 10:49:43 PM
There is an underlying sensual fever with the new spring fashions.
Lingerie-inspired looks of embroidered silk and lace, soft flowing
ruffles and sexy bare shoulders have emerged from the luxury designer
collections of Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta and Givenchy. Sleepwear,
it appears, has transformed into day-wear.
Creative director Peter Copping, of Oscar de la Renta
has taken his inspiration from the culturally rich flamingo dance of
Spain and delivered a vibrant red-hued ruffle ensemble that was a runway
showstopper. His use of a sexy black Chantilly lace tank top under a
poppy jacquard capelet, paired with a matching pencil skirt, is an
exquisite example of the new sexual chic ...
The Making of a Perfume: Go Big or Go Home
- Dec 15, 2015 - 11:00:20 PM
It’s the day before Mother’s Day in the year 2000
, and Norwegian
Geir Ness was about to make his grand entrance at the Nordstrom Beverly
Hills store to launch his first fragrance
Just a few weeks prior,
he was haggling at a garage sale for a five-dollar suit that he was
wearing and a small piece of red carpet to stand on. A colleague, a man
named John, was playing the role of paparazzi, but could not even afford
film for his camera. On cue, two young female friends were ready to
scream hysterically as Ness made his appearance on the floor.
That was then...
Pantone Color of the Year brings us two pastel hues
- Dec 9, 2015 - 9:20:25 PM
The Pantone Color of the Year announcement is closely observed by the
fashion and design industry as their decision can have influences on
consumers for many years.
For the first time ever, the
Pantone Color of the Year
is a pair of inviting shades,
a pale pink, and
a baby blue hue for 2016.
What first comes to mind with these two pastel colours is that it’s all
about babies, but Pantone denies that. More so, it’s probably the
turmoil we face in our world today that has Pantone selecting a
harmonious pairing of colors for warmth and tranquility as we enter the
Green Embassy: Glamorous fusion of couture and nature
- Oct 27, 2015 - 11:51:37 PM
Green Embassy celebrates the earth’s mystical rain forests and
the treasures that they hold with a new haute couture collection for
spring 2016 filled with dazzling romantic dresses in a lush palette of crimson,
cream, purple and yellow.
It has been a year since I last interviewed Australian
fashion designer artist, Zuhal Kuvan-Mills at Vancouver Fashion Week, where I
first discovered her exquisite couture collection that is both luxurious and
this collection is visually
stunning. Several of the outfits have high collars taking us back to the
classic Victorian era...
The renaissance of the luxury jewelry brand, John Rubel
- Oct 9, 2015 - 7:11:04 AM
The legacy of John Rubel began 100 years ago when two brothers, Jean
and Robert Rubel arrived from Budapest to open their first atelier a
few doors from the Place Vendome, Paris. Skilled jewelers, their talents
were quickly recognized and in demand by luxury retailers such as Van
Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron.
The brothers were legendary as
their famous “Roses” bracelet made for Van Cleef & Arpels displayed
at the Exposition of Modern and Decorative Arts in Paris won a Grand
Prize in 1924.
In 1939, the Rubel brothers followed Van Cleef & Arpels to America where they were trusted to manufacture their jewelry...
Versace Couture: Romantic and Oh So Sexy
- Aug 28, 2015 - 12:29:01 AM
For many years, Versace couture was about the hard rock party girl. This
fall she’s more romantic with soft feminine chiffon layers, pastel
colors and sparkling jewels. And yes, she’s still very sexy.
discussed in previous columns, there has been a move over the past two
years towards a softer look with the luxury fashion designers such as
Louis Vuitton and Armani.
Donatella Versace has always crafted
garments that enhanced a woman’s figure. It was always more than just
revealing a hint of leg or cleavage; there was sense of toughness
combined with sizzling sexiness that has made the brand successful over
the past several decades...
Saving the world never goes out of style
- Aug 20, 2015 - 10:37:43 AM
My title is the tag line from the re-booted popular 60’s television series
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
movie, which brings us back to the era of the cool secret agent style that has influenced men’s fashion over several decades.
For those of you who miss it,
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
television series is about two agents, American CIA Napoleon Solo and
Russian KGB agent Lillya Kuryakin working together at a global
intelligence agency to save the world from an evil organization called
Swimwear just got a whole lot sexier!
- Aug 7, 2015 - 12:44:41 PM
If you have ever strolled along the South Beach Boardwalk
in Miami Florida, the air is filled with high energy Latin pop music from the
historic pastel colored art deco hotels. Some call this America’s Riviera, for
it’s much more than just sun, sand and surf for college students. It’s where
top fashion designers and buyers come together on the beach for the annual
Miami Swim Week.
Florida’s summer heat was the Chromat swimwear show with its sensual graphic
cut out suits for the woman in charge. Not afraid of showing off your
gorgeous tan, these strappy suits will take you from the rooftop pool to
the beach party scene in style...
Dolce & Gabbana Alta Mode: Dreams do come true
- Jul 30, 2015 - 2:29:03 PM
The world’s uber rich descended on the picturesque seaside town of
Portofino Italy recently for Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Moda, the
ultimate surreal couture fantasy of the season.
Inspired by Shakespeare's play
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Dolce & Gabbana invited three hundred billionaires and a few
millionaires to four days of fashion parties held at their private cliff
Speaking with a colleague in attendance who asked
to remain anonymous, invitations to this exclusive men's and women's
couture event held twice yearly are for their most exclusive clients...
Audrey Hepburn: Life of a fashion icon
- Jul 9, 2015 - 2:36:02 PM
Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon, a major photography exhibition exploring her fascinating life and career has just opened at the
National Portrait Gallery,
This exhibition chronicles the rise from her early years in the
Netherlands, and as a dancer and chorus girl in London’s West End, to
her becoming a stage and screen icon, and culminating with her
philanthropy work in later life...
Gucci takes us back to the Italian vintage era
- Jun 25, 2015 - 1:09:42 PM
Gucci’s Cruise 2016 collection takes
us back to a vintage era filled with rich colors and fine
embellishments, reminding me of one of my favorite memories, young
women flirting in front of the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
While only at the helm of Gucci for a few months, this was creative director Alessandro Michele’s second
collection for the label. He was previously their head accessories designer.
This cruise collection is very
girlish, filled with librarian-style pleated skirts and tailored suits that run from ladylike to racy...