J’adore Paris!

Bonjour MCLV readers

Paris fashion week was dark and elegantly gothic this season, and I don’t just mean the clothes. At Dries Van Noten the models slunk through a cavernous cathedral-like space that brought out the opulence of the collection. At Mugler the models (including Lady Gaga) were barely visible through a dim forest of columns erected for them to snake through. Even Chanel presented its dark hued collection against a gloomy and evocative postapocalyptic background. In Paris I felt that, even more than in New York, London or Milan, you were truly transported to another time or place for the duration of the show. There is really no question why Paris remains one of the reigning fashion capitals.

Mugler: Photo from http://www.garancedore.fr/en

 

As you know the line-up in Paris has increased dramatically over the years, especially with British heavy hitters like Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen (RIP!) and Gareth Pugh moving their shows to Paris. As such, I will not be providing a review of each and every show, rather my goal will be to present to you some of the major trends and themes present throughout.

Gareth Pugh's futuristic black body armor inspired designs and strappy stiletto combat boots showcased beautiful stitching, especially through the upper body, and an overall flattering line.

The Dries Van Noten show was a whirlwind of colors, patterns and fabrics. Rich gold embellishments, billowing silks and a unique mixture of cuts really made this collection stand out.

Zac Posen was uncharacteristically restrained with his second Paris collection and the results were streamlined and beautiful clothes, most of which could easily have walked right off the runway and onto the streets of Paris.

The Nina Ricci show was unabashedly romantic. A predominately black palette was mixed with splashes of creamy pastels, floral headbands adorned the heads of the fresh-faced models and the skirts boasted nipped waists and slim cuts.

No one does rock n' roll chic quite like Balmain. Citing Ziggy Stardust as an inspiration - as did Dries Van Noten - you could see Mr. Bowie's glitz, glitter and glamour sprinkled throughout the collection.

The Givenchy show was a testament to the dualities inherent to both life & fashion: a traditional pencil skirt was presented in sheer black fabric, cheerleader-style mini skirts were done in black leather and pretty printed pieces were edged in bold black patent leather.

Phoebe Philo presented another very wearable collection for Celine, filled with slim fitting trousers and beautiful outerwear, including cropped bombers, swing coats and ankle-length driving coats.

In addition to the ubiquitous draping gowns in exquisite fabrics, I thought the Lanvin collection boasted some truly eye-catching accessories: wide-brimmed hats, saddle shoes, riding boots, structured handbags and ornate collar-style necklaces.

I thought that the Akris show was gracefully minimalist while simultaneously luxurious. This camel colored, drop-waisted, aviator inspired look was gorgeous, especially the buckle and collar details.

The YSL show was spectacular, the clothes prim and buttoned up, but oh so sexy. Traditionally conservative fabrics and patterns played against short skirts, knee-high boots and cheeky sheer blouses.

Valentino was similarly right on trend showing ladylike silhouettes deconstructed into something sexier and edgier with sheer panels, lace insets, high boots, leather trim, studs and feathers, among other adornments.

Against a backdrop of scorched rocks, steam and dramatic music, Chanel presented a collection that touched on the boy/girl trend, as well as showing beautiful cocktail frocks, gowns and pantsuits, all seemingly aimed at a younger demographic. I adored this look with the cropped, jewel-toned knit jacket over a button-down boyfriend cardigan with pockets.

Miu Miu showed great outerwear and dresses, but what really caught the eye were the prints. Dandelions, wildflowers and birds adorned the flattering dresses, worn with armored Mary Janes.

Louis Vuitton was all about military-inspired attire and showing off miles of leg in short shorts, minis, coat-dresses and sheer skirts. And don't forget the patent leather Mary Janes!

Things to look for in stores or drag out of the depths of your closet for fall? High-neck blouses, outerwear in bold hues, camel & white basics, cocktail dresses with interesting details (think lace, sheer fabrics & (faux) leather embellishments), structured handbags and Mary Janes.
 
If you make one purchase for this fall I would suggest a pair of Mary Janes, both Milan and Paris proved that this style will be pervasive. Basic black or navy, patent leather, stilettos, exotic skins, bright colors, chunky heels… They all made an appearance!

Valentino

As you may have noticed neither the Christian Dior nor the John Galliano show were reviewed/discussed above. Given the media frenzy surrounding both lines, as well as Mr. Galliano himself, I would like to devote an entire post to these shows. So please keep an eye out if that is of interest to you.
Au revoir!
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Ti Amo Milano

 

This photo is courtesy of the brilliant Garance Dore

Milan fashion week was truly a beautiful affaire. Dark, romantic, womanly and perfectly seductive, all of the trademarks we’ve come to expect from the big Italian design houses. Suiting, yummy menswear inspired designs, ladylike cuts and gorgeous outerwear were all present.

Marni showed a slightly more minimalist style this season, and although the clothes retained Marni's trademark quirk, it was full of very wearable pieces.

 

Dolce & Gabbana presented a new take on the boy-meets-girl look by showing models in masculine clothing with side burns added for the occasion. And while D&G's did use some of their signature animal prints, stars were the print de jour.

Armani's theme was "Boudoir" and this suit showcases that hint of bedroom in the satin and swing of the cropped pants.

Fendi showed the color-blocking trend to perfection, emphasized through accessories & outerwear: Mary Janes, colored tights, headbands, sumptuous coats and structured bags.

Prada showed models in clothes that were a little bit mod, a little bit doll-like, and a little bit dreamy. And don't forget the Mary Janes with thick socks!

Alberta Ferretti's daywear came in bright colors and covetable silhouettes, all paired with over-the-knee velvet boots and chic sideswept hairstyles.

Opaque tights, T-Strap heels, formal updos and 60s flairs evoked Hitchcock's cool blonds at the beginning of the Bottega Veneta collection.

While the darker & more deconstructed fabrics later at Bottega conjured a sartorial juxtaposition between Grace Kelly & Ms. Havisham.

Jill Sander's show continued to play upon the Hitchcockian theme with this sportswear inspired collection that called to mind Audrey Hepburn's ski resort look in the first scene of Charade.

Both the Moschino and the Moschino Cheap & Chic shows were fun, with a dose of funk. Bows, structured ladylike bags, loafers, opaque tights and socks, plaids & nautical stripes all made an appearance. This look was one of my favorites from the two shows, I like the combination of a silky, flirty skirt with a wintry, knobby knit.

But the runaway hit from Milan was the Ferragamo show, filled with curve hugging silhouettes, pin stripes, pencil skirts, suits & dresses that all said: “I am woman, hear me roar!”

Trends to keep an eye on for next fall: boudoir laces & silks for cocktail frocks, 60’s cuts, attention to accessories & outerwear, thick tights, stockings and socks worn with heels and suits, suits, suits!

Ciao for now!

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We love you Oscar

 

MCLV is here to bring you a quick overview of some of the great dresses on the red carpet this weekend, where many couture gowns made the cut and pale hues and bright jewel tones were both dominant.

Cate is someone who I always look forward to seeing and she didn't disappoint in this Givenchy Haute Couture gown. She kept the hair, makeup and jewelry simple and let the unique gown speak for itself.

Michelle Williams looked chic in Chanel Haute Couture, her oh so on trend pixie cut the perfect accessory for this shimmering gown

Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld looked picture perfect and age-appropriate in her custom Marchesa, which she helped design.

Mila Kunis was an ethereal dream in her lavender Eli Saab Couture gown. Mila frequently dons bright hues so this gown was a beautiful change of pace for her.

Amy Adams wore a formfitting deep blue gown straight off the Fall 2011 L'Wren Scott runway. I especially love the emerald Cartier jewels. The whole look was really a stunning departure from all of the pale gowns we saw on the red carpet.

Pregnant never looked so good! Natalie Portman was an absolute vision in Rodarte, who incidentally designed the costumes for her Oscar winning role in Black Swan.

 

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The day has finally arrived…

Rachel Zoe has released previews of her soon to be launched women’s clothing collection. According to Vogue, the celebrity stylist’s new eponymous line is 70’s inspired and heavily influenced by her personal vintage collection.

Included in this small but interesting collection are cocktail frocks, adorned with ruffles and sequins, chic pantsuits, military-inspired outerwear, and of course, plenty of fur. The faux kind!

And, as with anything Rachel Zoe puts her name on, this line is already receiving raves & tons of media attention. Personally, I couldn’t be more excited to see these pieces in person – The coat the bottom is on my Must Have list!

{The cut & design of this sweater are casual & classic, but the sequins step it up a notch. I could see this over a romper or mini during the warmer months & with cigarette pants for a fun twist in the fall.}

{Military buttons & a neutral palette will make this suit wearable in seasons to come and immediately brings to mind the legendary Yves Saint Laurent’s smoking suits.}

{I adore the silhouette of this look – The structured, hooded sweater with double-breasted buttons juxtaposed against a soft, full skirt is a truly beautiful combination.}

{Pictures from Style.com}

Are you as excited as I am for this new collection to hit stores?

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New York Fashion Week Fall 2011

 

Welcome to Moi Contre La Vie my fashionable friends!

I come to you today to share some highlights from New York Fashion Week’s Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear shows earlier in February.

Designers showed lots of silhouettes, lots of fur and lots of outerwear for fall. The really standout looks were striking in their intricacy, it was the embellishments that were truly eye-catching. Many designers have gone back to basics and embraced the history of their houses over the last few seasons, and while those cautious approaches continued, we also began to see some new life being breathed into the lines. You’ll still be able to find classic lines and minimalistic pieces in stores, but next fall we’ll get a bit more variety through unique fabrics, patterns, embroidery, stitching and embellishments.

Below are a handful of looks and trends presented that I believe can be transitioned into your closet (as opposed to those oh so gorgeous designs that belong in museums rather than in department store displays).

These pictures are courtesy of Style.com, where you can also find full reviews, videos and additional pictures for each of the NYFW shows.

Classic Alice+Olivia: A well cut dress with a mix of flattering and fun textures and patterns, and 100% ready to wear

Behnaz Sarafpour presented a familiar silhouette, slim on the bottom & more exaggerated on the top, a look you can easily carry over from this past season

DKNY: Skinnies, check. Stripes, check. Tuxedo inspired coat, check. See how the details on the outerwear and two-tone booties completely update the look?

Marc by Marc Jacobs: Leave it to MJ to make the hard-to-pull-off wide leg pant trend absolutely wearable and bow-necked blouses less intimidating

Michael Kors: Neutrals never looked so good! There were lots of nudes, tans and whites on the runway for fall, as well as lots of suits. MK presented a combination that was sleek, modern and little bit sexy

Erin "Feminine" Fetherston's new more affordable line ($195-$600) had some versatile looks, including this one that could go from summer to fall with tights and darker accessories

 

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