Azzedine Alaia: 1980s and beyond

31/01/2013

Azzedine Alaia: Paris

30/01/2013

Azzedine Alaia working on a skirt from his spring 1992
“I don’t think I am a great designer. I’m good, but great is another matter…

Azzedine Alaia: the early years

29/01/2013

Azzedine Alaïa / Elle US 2000

28/01/2013

Karolina Kurkova wearing Alaia Elle US September 2000 (photography: Gilles Bensimon)
I could write an ode to Azzedine Alaïa choosing the most poetic and beautiful words in attempt to explain the genius of this man who filled fashion with ideas, inspired some of the most influential designers, created iconic pieces and made women feel beautiful in their own skin. And yet… never self-promoted himself, used PR companies or advertising… created collections based on his own schedule regardless of the seasons… had been in fashion for around 50 years and still remains a mystery.

Karolina Kurkova wearing Alaia Elle US September 2000 (photography: Gilles Bensimon)
Karolina Kurkova wearing Alaia Elle US September 2000 (photography: Gilles Bensimon)
Alaia is an extraordinary figure, a unique being and one-of-a-kind. I first heard his name in mid 1990s when Russian Elle published an article about a fashion designer who knew the secret of crafting a dress with ability to mould around female body like no other.

Karolina Kurkova wearing Alaia Elle US September 2000 (photography: Gilles Bensimon)
Karolina Kurkova wearing Alaia Elle US September 2000 (photography: Gilles Bensimon)
Karolina Kurkova wearing Alaia Elle US September 2000 (photography: Gilles Bensimon)
Since then I’ve become fascinated with Azzedine Alaïa and his work wishing that one day I’ll get a chance to wear something made by him. The dream may never come true, but the love for Alaïa’s art and talent is a good enough reason for me to dedicate this fashion week to him.


Karolina Kurkova wearing Alaia Elle US September 2000 (photography: Gilles Bensimon)
Karolina Kurkova wearing Alaia Elle US September 2000 (photography: Gilles Bensimon)
Karolina Kurkova wearing Alaia Elle US September 2000 (photography: Gilles Bensimon)
Photo source: Karolina Kurkova wearing Alaia Elle US September 2000 (photography: Gilles Bensimon)

Emperor’s new clothes or am I going mad?

25/01/2013

 Juliana Imai wearing Dior by Galliano Fall/Winter 2010 in Numero China November 2010 (photography: John-Paul Pietrus
This blog was created to discuss and share all things beautiful, fashions that inspire and stories that preserve the past and the present. However once in a while I make an exception because I need to share the other kind of thoughts, get them out of my head, straight into the web-space that I made my own.

Over the last few months every time I saw another Dior fashion show and read a review that followed I felt like that little boy in the Andersen’s tale who seemed to be the only one seeing no real clothes. I had so many flash backs and noticed so many similarities in what Simons is currently presenting as his innovative designs that it hurt my eyes and made my heart cry for help, hope, anything... My mind was also struggling whenever I saw another interview or story praising “the new Era of Dior” and the house's new designer.

And the questions kept popping up in my head…

Look at the images below, look at the seasons they come from. If this is the future of Dior then why so many looks resemble Dior and even Jil Sander collections from the past? Is Simons even capable of designing for such a unique and historically important fashion house like Dior? Does he even have the gift of visualising fashion and making it evolve while preserving the legacy of the Maison, not blindly copying some of the past designs that made history? Or is his own imaginary world is, in fact, empty, just like that Emperor’s closet? And what is the real reason for the Dior bosses to keep him?

I know everyone deserves a second chance and creating one’s very first collection is always a challenge, but Simons had three attempts already and yet failed to impress and inspire. The feelings of emptiness and disappointment that come after each show have such a strong and bitter aftertaste that I no longer plan to think of Dior as one of the houses that’s worth talking about or falling in love with. It’s sad, but it’s true.

In his latest interview Simons said that with his latest collection he was hoping to “re-connect with the company's long-timers” (as if he can’t forget the effect Slimane’s collection had on the YSL audience – something he is yet to achieve). I am afraid if he continues the way he does, not only the old school will be gone forever, but the younger generation will also join them. I booked my one-way ticket already. You?

Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013 (by Raf Simons = RS)
Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013 (by Raf Simons = RS)
Christian Dior Spring/Summer RTW Spring/Summer 2013 (RS)
Christian Dior Spring/Summer RTW Spring/Summer 2013 (RS)

Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2011 (RS)
Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2011 (RS)
Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2007 (RS)
Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2007 (RS)

Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012 (RS)
Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012 (RS)
Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2012 (RS)
Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2012 (RS)

Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013 (RS)
Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013 (RS)
Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2012 (RS)
Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2012 (RS)

Christian Dior RTW Spring/Summer 2013
Christian Dior RTW Spring/Summer 2013
Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012 (RS)
Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012 (RS)
Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013
Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013
Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2009 (RS)
Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2009 (RS)

Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013 (RS)
Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013 (RS)
Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2008 (John Galliano = JG)
Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2008 (John Galliano = JG)

Christian Dior RTW Spring/Summer 2013 (RS)
Christian Dior RTW Spring/Summer 2013 (RS)
Christian Dior RTW Spring/Summer 2010 (JG)
Christian Dior RTW Spring/Summer 2010 (JG)

Christian Dior RTW Spring/Summer 2013 (RS)
Christian Dior RTW Spring/Summer 2013 (RS)
Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2005 (JG)
Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2005 (JG)
Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2011 (RS)
Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2011 (RS)

Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012 (RS)
Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012 (RS)
Christian Dior RTW Fall/Winter 2005 (JG)
Christian Dior RTW Fall/Winter 2005 (JG)

Now, part 2 of the Ballet of La Merlaison... Not only Simons arrived at Dior with a handful of designs from his Jil Sander days, he also brought yards and yards of the yellow fabric overstock... Every little helps, as they say.

Christian Dior Fall/Winter 2012
Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013
Christian Dior Fall/Winter 2012
Christian Dior Fall/Winter 2012
Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012
Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012
Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2007
Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2007

And these are just a few examples – I’ll let you be the judge.

Photo source: Juliana Imai wearing Dior by Galliano Fall/Winter 2010 in Numero China November 2010 (photography: John-Paul Pietrus), other photos via style.com & sylebistro.com

Stylish quote

23/01/2013

Anja Rubik wearing Dolce&Gabbana in Harper’s Bazaar US January 2010 (photography: Greg Kadel, styling: Katie Mossman)
"Fashion today is fifty per cent attitude - and what makes you feel sexy, modern, or old, interesting or squalid is only attitude."

Domenico Dolce

Photo source: Anja Rubik wearing Dolce&Gabbana in Harper’s Bazaar US January 2010 (photography: Greg Kadel, styling: Katie Mossman)

Best Spring 2013 campaigns: Akris

22/01/2013

Alana Zimmer in Akris Spring/Summer 2013 campaign (photography: Karim Sadli)
Every season I look forward to the new campaigns. It’s always such an exciting moment to see the images and think of the idea behind each story. Last year I liked so many that I had to pick the best of the best and combine them in one post instead of spreading the joy of visual pleasure over weeks of blogging space.

Sadly, it’s no longer the case as the quality of the imagery seems to be going down. Perhaps, this is just me, but I can’t help feeling disappointed pretty much every time I see something new. I cannot understand why it is so important for some companies to hire a famous photographer who seems to be more concerned with his fee rather than the concept or a model who doesn’t have the face or emotions to portrait the beauty of the collection. I also absolutely cannot understand the need to keep using old Versace campaign as a template for the new ones – last year it was Cavalli, this time Balenciaga decided to adopt the same approach to creativity and picked Versace Spring 1993 ads.

As a result I chose the favourites and decided to create a post for every single one of them. Hermes was the first one and today it’s Akris – simple, radiant and elegant reflection of beauty.

Alana Zimmer in Akris Spring/Summer 2013 campaign (photography: Karim Sadli)
Alana Zimmer in Akris Spring/Summer 2013 campaign (photography: Karim Sadli)
Alana Zimmer in Akris Spring/Summer 2013 campaign (photography: Karim Sadli)
Photo source: Alana Zimmer in Akris Spring/Summer 2013 campaign (photography: Karim Sadli)

Short and sweet in Vogue US 1994

21/01/2013

John Galliano is BACK!!!

18/01/2013

I just saw the news on Vogue website and cried with so much joy in my heart that I cannot describe in words. John Galliano will be joining Oscar de la Renta in his New York studio to spend the next three weeks preparing for the fashion show. Although de la Renta doesn’t discuss any further plans, it’s fantastic and wonderful to know that Galliano will be welcomed in such a beautiful and creative environment and receive the love and support he deserves.

"John and I have known each other for many years and I am a great admirer of his talent," de la Renta said. "He has worked long and hard on his recovery and I am happy to give him the opportunity to reimmerse himself in the world of fashion and reacclimate in an environment where he has been so creative." said Oscar de la Renta in his short interview.

Photo source: John Galliano in 10 Magazine Spring/Summer 2010

Diane von Furstenberg and the Tale of the Empress’s New Clothes

17/01/2013

diane-von-furstenberg-the-empress-new-clothes-camilla-morton-cover

“We all do the same things. What makes us different is how we do them.”

Diane von Furstenberg | Camilla Morton, The Empress's New Clothes

A month or so ago as the seasons changed, a new book landed on my bedside table. The third fashion fairy tale by Camilla Morton called The Empress’s New Clothes was about Diane von Furstenberg. After reading The Tale of Sleeping Beauty and The Elves and the Shoemaker I was really looking forward to Camilla’s new story, excited about new discoveries and seeing Diane’s illustrations and couldn’t wait to cocoon myself in beautiful words.

diane-von-furstenberg-the-empress-new-clothes-camilla-morton-2

Having read Diane’s autobiography and writing about her in the past I wished and hoped that the fairy tale, a creative blend of Diane von Furstenberg’s memories and an imaginary story of a young empress based on the classic Andersen’s “Emperors Old Clothes”, would be good enough to portrait this wonderful iconic woman and have an impact even on those people who don’t know much about the designer.

diane-von-furstenberg-the-empress-new-clothes-camilla-morton-3

The book didn’t disappoint. It was an enjoyable and enchanting story full of love and beauty.

Read it on a quiet afternoon when the light outside becomes soft and sleepy and the shadows wrap the world in a blanket made of fantasies and stars. Immerse in this fairy tale and allow yourself to dream savouring each sentence and, maybe, a cup of ginger tea, one of Diane’s favourite.

diane-von-furstenberg-the-empress-new-clothes-camilla-morton-4

The Empress of New Clothes is available on amazon, Matches, Net-a-Porter and my-wardrobe

Stylish quote

16/01/2013

Kim Noorda wearing Dolce&Gabbana in AnOther magazine Spring/Summer 2008 (photography: Chad Pitman)
"We cannot limit ourselves to a single style, it's not natural, no one wants to be always and only the same."

Stefano Gabbana

Photo source: Kim Noorda wearing Dolce&Gabbana in AnOther magazine Spring/Summer 2008 (photography: Chad Pitman)