Paris, Jun 23 (AP/UNB) — It was quite literally the final curtain for Kenzo's Carol Lim and Humberto Leon at Paris Fashion Week on Sunday, after the duo's eight successful years at the creative helm of the house came to a close.
With a 100-meter (110-yard) curtain on set, a surprise performance by singer Solange and thousands of guests in attendance, the duo's departure was a farewell to remember.
Here are some highlights from the final day of spring-summer 2020 men's and co-ed collections from the Kenzo show and others by Lanvin and Paul Smith.
A MONUMENTAL KENZO SHOW
For their final show, Leon and Lim went back to the homeland of house founder Kenzo Takada: Japan and its legendary seas.
More specifically, they paid homage to the Ama, a dying community of aging Japanese females who free dive into their late 70s.
"For over 2000 years (they) have dived to the ocean floor to forage for seafood such as shrimp, urchins or even pearls... They have become known as the last mermaids," Leon said.
An accessorized neoprene suit began the show, heralding the aquatic-theme with ankle bracelets in pearly coral clusters.
Men's bags were fashioned in wide netting.
A loose-fitting blue suit had a wrinkled look and white markings that suggested it had been dried on the sand and bleached in the sun. It was a beautiful piece.
In the co-ed show, the female models sported floor-length hairpieces while wearing anything from swimsuit hybrids and Japanese Okobo sandals in sea-lily print, to a silver dress that had segmented pieces around the bust to resemble shells.
Typical of Leon and Lim, the mermaid look was capped contradictorily by blue jeans and sneakers.
Still, it felt as if many of the exhaustive 74 designs had been seen before.
KENZO DESIGNERS' FINAL CURTAIN
A large seascape-covered curtain served as a powerful element in the show.
The monumental installation by photographer Yamazaki Hiroshi charted the sun's course over the ocean using a long exposure lens.
The visual metaphor for the passing of time had guests spellbound and called attention to the end of an era for the duo of American designers who've made a deep mark on the Paris fashion industry.
Loud bass music reverberated around the warehouse venue before the curtain was sucked up into the roof in a split second, as if by magic. The audience gasped.
The surreal air defined the entire presentation, as dancers moved by bending forward and back on Japanese "geta" clogs.
Solange, wearing alien-like beaded jewelry, appeared out of the darkness while conducting a brass band. She then sang "a capella" on the catwalk to raucous whoops.
LANVIN IS NAUTICAL BUT NICE
Inside a lofty indoor swimming pool, Bruno Sialelli unveiled his highly-anticipated sophomore collection for Lanvin.
Given that the former Loewe staffer is the storied house's fourth designer in four years, there are lots of hopes pinned on him to rescue the world's oldest continually running couture maison from the creative wilderness.
Channeling styles that might be described as "sailor punk," Sialelli did just that — rising to the challenge with a show that overflowed with clever ideas.
Rich color — which seems to be Sialelli's touchstone thus far — was used with panache in a carefully stage-managed set that featured men's and women's designs. The pale blue swimming pool doors and multicolor wall mosaics were visible in the background.
A saffron hoodie accompanied a pair of baggy indigo waterproof pants. A duffel coat was fashioned in Air Force blue. And a white sailor's collar looked like a large, almost diagonal lapel in the Asian style.
Elsewhere, the collection was just plain fun, with a boat print on what resembled a silvery loose pajama.
PAUL SMITH'S SHOULDERS
The ultra-wide shoulders that defined London in the late 1970s were the focus of British fashion icon Paul Smith, who used the exaggerated style in a pared-down collection.
High, retro-looking buttons on a suit jacket also stood out, as did oversized pockets that looked like a separate layer of clothing.
Smith is a master colorist.
For spring, women's shades included maize, pastel gray, dandelion and baby pink. The men fared just as well in vivid auburn, sage and blood red.
An ochre coat with crimson lining had perhaps the most sumptuous color combination seen this season.
Paris, Jun 23 (AP/UNB) — A frothing cherub fountain constructed of striped fabric drew the eyes and camera lenses of VIP guests at Thom Browne's fantastical Paris Fashion Week show on Saturday. Here are highlights from Browne and other designers for spring-summer 2020 menswear, including the many houses showing co-ed collections.
THOM'S SENSATIONAL SHOW
The incredible fabric fountain led the gaze of guests, who included NBA star Serge Ibaka, inside the Ecole des Beaux-Arts on to a line of frozen human mannequins decked in dramatic A-line doll costumes.
Standing on alabaster plinths, they sported bowling balls for shoes.
A male ballet dancer suddenly appeared wearing a tutu, tailored suit and tie and ballet shoes instead of the balls. His sublime performance enthralled guests, as the human mannequins were slowly undressed, to begin the show.
The fashion house described it as the designer's "secret garden."
Such sensational and transgressive spectacles are why Thom Browne so quickly garnered a reputation since moving from New York to Paris in 2017 as one of the most exciting tickets of the fashion week calendar.
Against the backdrop of the fitted, tailored suit that is the house's staple garment this season, Thom Browne took historic fashion items and humorously subverted them.
The codpiece, a covering flap or pouch attached to the crotch of men's pants, was fashioned atop tailored shorts in pale seersucker and a tennis skirt-tutu hybrid.
The oversized "pannier" skirts Marie Antoinette made famous with help from rigid undergarments was the idea behind a giant pair of culottes and a coat which spread out horizontally like the dramatic silhouette of the 18th century French queen.
It's a style that at Thom Browne also spawned ribbed American football helmets, which were sported by models wearing ballet shoes in this highly inventive spring collection.
The message behind the 38 looks was clear: Rules pertaining to culture, gender and history are only there to be broken.
Model Gigi Hadid headlined the Berluti men's show earlier this week, decked out in womenswear.
Moments like these, in which female models are seen showcasing womenswear styles during the so-called men's calendar, are now common at Paris Fashion Week.
Givenchy, Saint Laurent and Kenzo are among the brands that have gone co-ed while showing recent designs.
The Paris fashion industry proudly considers itself to be gender fluid, a forward-looking approach critics have feted.
But the reasoning behind gender-bending in Paris might not be simply a matter of style. New data suggests a financial analysis is at play.
"Simply put, our metrics show that men's collections that feature women get a whole lot more media attention, and that means money for the houses," Jessica Michault, a fashion journalist and senior vice president of industry relations at data analytics company Launchmetrics, said.
"Fashion shows these days are mainly intended as advertising for the brand, and going co-ed pays. Houses do it so stay relevant," Michault added.
What do untied bow ties, combat jackets, zebra prints, sandals, denim shirts and tulle have in common?
Sacai threw the normally unrelated facets of fashions into the creative mix for an eclectic co-ed show at Paris Fashion Week.
One of Japan's most lucrative fashion houses, Sacai has built a reputation for the avant-garde and quirky.
In Saturday's collection, it took the staples of black tie dress — such as the white shirt, bow tie and pocket outline — as a starting point and then had fun with both men's and women's designs.
The palette was muted, mainly black, white and khaki, but the contrasts in the 57-look show were delivered through the intentionally contradictory styles of dress.
A silken bomber jacket paired with shorts followed a grungy shirt worn with office pants and comfortable zebra sandals.
There were some great individual pieces, like a double-layered white shirt with a collar resembling a hoodie.
But this season, did the house's designs lack a little visual punch?
A dash of geometry — through '80s prints, stripes and checks — spiced up the tasteful luxuriance of the Hermes man this season.
Spring saw styles loosen up.
Firstly, this meant loose silhouettes: Such as in baggy smoky or gold-brown pants, or in a pink knit sweater with a diagonal stripe.
But it was also a looser vibe: With sandals and a half-buttoned, white-coffee-colored jacket worn on naked skin.
Beautiful leather bags furthered the show's geometric detailing and honed its mastery in color — with indigo, Prussian blue and black forming the segments on one stand out design.
Veteran designer Veronique Nichanian, it seems, can do no wrong.
Paris, June 22 (AP/UNB) — Dior brought art to Paris Fashion Week on Friday as designer Kim Jones used a monumental plaster sculpture on the runway to inspire his architectural show.
Guests including Kate Moss, Christina Ricci and Kelly Osbourne marveled at the giant artwork by American artist Daniel Arsham that spelled out “DIOR” in broken up plaster with jewels surreally glimmering beneath.
Here are some highlights of spring-summer 2020 menswear shows.
Dior’s goes back to past
“It’s quite incredible,” exclaimed Osbourne. “The artist puts real crystals inside his work.”
The metaphor of the jewel hidden inside the sculptures provided Dior Man with its theme: Beauty unearthed from the past.
It was the starting point of a collection that went back to the past of Christian Dior, who revolutionized the global fashion industry after World War II with his sculpted, couture styles. These were evoked throughout the 49 looks.
Softly sculpted suits — single and double-breasted, and in pale shades — sported long contrasting silken strips that cleverly evoked the shading of the real sculptures on the runway.
Stiff, sanitized coats that were A-line and in white, meanwhile, referenced the house’s popular saddle bag by using the item’s curves here as storm flaps.
Elsewhere, the newspaper print first used by former designer John Galliano two decades ago featured on socks, saddle bags and sheer shirts.
The overly-referential designs are a frequent downside for Dior — but Jones ensured he didn’t lose his own identity.
Indeed, the collection’s strongest looks — like a simple T-shirt with a whoosh of blue watercolor on one shoulder — looked just like Jones exploring his own artistic self.
Berluti’s color vision
The scent of flowers that seemed to float into Berluti’s venue — the resplendent Luxembourg Gardens — was so intoxicating it had fashion insiders guessing that the perfume was, in reality, artificial.
The show itself by designer Kris Van Assche, which seemed inspired by the bright colors of a tropical forest, had a similar problem.
There is courage in putting men in bright hues — a point which should be duly credited to the Belgian who’s been at the helm of the Berluti house one year.
He’s certainly succeeded in bringing a new aesthetic to the storied 19th-century brand, a former Italian shoemaker, since arriving from Dior.
But the yellow citrines, vivid blues, electric oranges and electric reds that were chosen for the spring-summer looks were so eye-poppingly industrial they seemed to distract from all else.
The dazzling hues came on suits and long, loosely flowing sleeveless jackets.
And instead of being broken up with more neutral colors, for instance, or used sparingly, they were sometimes splashed across “total look” ensembles. It looked rather heavy-handed.
Still, the show had some great one-off moments — including one from model, Gigi Hadid, who closed the show in a verdigris pant-look speckled with matching diaphanous embroidered feathers.
Ecology escapes paris fashion
The art of the chic invite is still very much a staple of Paris fashion.
Houses compete to produce the most eye-catching, inventive and flamboyant show invitations delivered often by gas-guzzling courier to each guest’s personal or professional address with little thought for ecology.
The little works of art sometimes provide a hint as to what the collection has in store. Often, they are just plain wacky.
The invite to Louis Vuitton’s boyhood-themed show was a giant box containing a complete kite construction kit.
The edgy it-brand Vetements sent out an actual condom in a plastic packet that some fashionistas opened in the belief their seating placing was contained inside. They were wrong.
While, the house of Berluti sent out a chunky wooden block, as was historically used in the construction of classic footwear, with their show details on top.
Juun J.’S variations
Korean designer Juun J.’s spring collection was called “Module,” a term that describes independent units used to construct a more complex structure.
The units in this show of oversize designs comprised: Huge utilitarian pockets, triangular hoods, sharp shoulders, cinched segmented waists on voluminous pants and some gargantuan, statement fanny packs.
They were all used like a puzzle across the 40 looks in varying rates and intervals. It produced a diverse, yet coherent, series of variations — or modulations — on a theme that worked well.
Juun J.’s go-to color palette of black, white and khaki began the show — moving into some space-age sheens of silver and pink that were on female models. Their billowing skirts seemed to melt down the body, artistically.
Balmain sparkles again
Shimmer, sparkle, stripes in the intoxicating style of the ’80s — that was the essence of designer Olivier Rousteing’s spring collection for Balmain that didn’t break any mold. And why should it?
The 33-year-old French designer’s tried-and-tested formula for bold, big-shouldered opulence is financially successful.
This season, he loosened the silhouette and put on a fashion show with dramatic black and white stripes as well as all-out looks comprising embroidered mirrored pallettes and dazzling silver space pants.
To say that this collection didn’t tread much out of Rousteing’s comfort zone demonstrates how totally he has redefined the aesthetic and reputation of the age-old Parisian house founded in 1945 by icon Pierre Balmain, a contemporary of Christian Dior.
Balmain’s democratic fashion party
Balmain’s show is being billed as part of Paris’ annual all-night music celebration, la Fete de la Musique. The event_as much concert as runway_is being held inside the French capital’s historic, 384-year-old Jardin des Plantes.
For the final moments of sunshine on the longest day of the year, it will take place outdoors and will be followed by musical performances, kicked off by Gesaffelstein.
Earlier in the month, 1,500 free tickets to the event were available, free of charge. Designer Olivier Rousteing said it was his way of “democratizing” fashion. Money is being raised for (RED), a charity that helps fight AIDS.
The holy month of Ramadan has a spiritual meaning to our lives. We try to prohibit ourselves from all the wrongdoings and excesses of human nature and express our gratitude to the Almighty by offering prayer five times a day. After a long day of restraint, it is just so peaceful to break the fast with our beloved families at Iftar.
After a month of fasting, Eid ul Fitr comes to spread joy among friends and families, bringing every one closer to each other.
To all the ladies out there, I know how important Eid is for us. Instead of the busy schedule of Ramadan, we try to make time to get the perfect dress, accessories & makeup for this special day. I know how hectic it can be going from shop to shop finding that perfect dress, matching shoes , and trying to figure out ‘the look’ we want to pull off on the day, with our make-up.
So I may not help you with the first two but let me assist you in the last one. For me make-up is an accessory. Just the perfect amount can make your look complete and overdoing it, can do the exact opposite.
But don’t worry I am going to help you step by step. Let’s start with a morning make up for eid day.
I know you all ladies buy a dress just to wear in the morning after shower - I call it ‘THE AFTER SHOWER DRESS’ - it’s basically a simple dress which is comfortable enough to attend guests but also the perfect amount of fancy for what is a special day.
So with a simple dress you want to keep your make up minimum also fresh since its morning and you are at home. You want to avoid layering tons of product on your face. Just stick to a light foundation and a loose powder to set it. Just a little amount of shades on your eyelids to make it pop, light wash of color on your checks and the right amount of your favorite highlighter to give you that healthy glow. You can also go with a thin line of liner or skip it entirely, depends on what you like. But don’t skip mascara because it will give your lashes just the right amount of lift. Ladies just make sure you add your own attitude to it.
New York , May 30 (AP/UNB) — From a tiny bottle of nail polish, a luxury fashion empire was born.
Designer Christian Louboutin says he was experimenting in his factory one day when he suddenly seized his assistant's bottle of red polish to blot out the usual black soles and try some bright color.
The experiment stuck, obviously. And now Louboutin's red-soled stilettos, featuring sky-high heels and fetching sky-high prices, are "utterly iconic as a symbol of erotic femininity," says Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at FIT — explaining why Louboutin has been chosen as this year's honoree of the museum's Couture Council.
The prestigious honor, awarded each year at the beginning of New York Fashion Week in September, usually goes to a clothes designer. But, Louboutin told The Associated Press this week, fashion lovers have a special relationship with shoes — more than with clothes, or at least different.
"The woman carries the clothes. But the shoes? They carry the woman," the Paris-based designer said Tuesday in a telephone interview. "So it's a very different interaction." The shoe, he said, "is a pedestal. But this little thing on your feet is also making you a different person, in a lot of ways. It's affecting the entire silhouette and the way you're going to walk and move."
There's another advantage, he adds, to footwear: The wearer can see it. "If you have a dress, you can't see it unless you have a mirror. But if you have a pair of shoes, you can still look at your feet. All the time."
Steele, at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), says shoes have always been an important part of the museum's voluminous collection, which includes some 4,000 pairs "and counting."
"People really obsess over their shoes," she says. She calls Louboutin's red soles "a stroke of genius — what a simple and yet effective thing, because red is coded for us as the color of passion and seduction and love ... but who would have thought to have put it on the sole of a shoe?"
Louboutin also designs men's shoes, but it's women's footwear he's famous for, especially the heels (though he designs flats, too). They range from hundreds of dollars per pair well into the thousands, depending on the adornment. They're loved by celebrities; "I'm throwing on my Louboutins," goes the chorus of a 2009 Jennifer Lopez song.
Louboutin, 56, says his career began with a childhood hobby of sketching shoes.
"When adults asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, I said I wanted to draw shoes," he says. "But I didn't think it was a real job."
He'd been designing for several years when he discovered the red-sole idea in the early '90s. A few weeks after the nail polish experiment, he says, he was in his Paris shop, watching a couple consider a pair of shoes with typical black soles. His female co-worker felt the man was "very handsome," Louboutin says, and watched as he turned over a pair of shoes to find nothing interesting on the soles. When the couple left, the co-worker remarked that she should have put her phone number on the soles.
Louboutin took that as a sign, he says, "that the sole should have its own identity."
He considered changing the color every season, but then realized that red — the color of blood, he points out — was unique. "I had many customers who would only wear black, but they wore red on their lips or on their nails," he says.
Louboutin's shoes are worn by fashionistas around the world — first lady Melania Trump seems to be a fan, often photographed in Louboutins like a towering yellow pair she wore recently in Japan.
Louboutin says only that he enjoys seeing who wears the shoes, and how. "My job is designing shoes and producing an object of desire for women," he says. "After that it's no longer in my hands, and I'm no one to judge who is wearing them or how you should wear them."
He adds that although celebrities are obviously good for business, his preference is to discover someone he doesn't know, looking good, in his shoes.
"I'm walking in the street, and I look at the shoes and they look good and I'm almost jealous," he says. "And then I look and it's a red sole, and I go woo-hoo!"
The Couture Council luncheon on Sept. 4 coincides with a new exhibit at The Museum at FIT: "Paris, Capital of Fashion," running Sept. 6 to Jan. 4.