Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012: Part I

 
Milan is one of my favorite fashion weeks, with brands running the gamut from long-standing and traditional like Missoni and Armani to fun and funky collections shown by Roberto Cavalli and Versace to the romance of Alberta Ferretti. You never quite know what you’re going to get, but you know it’ll be gorgeous.
 
So without further ado, I present Part I of the Milan shows. (Yes, I said Part I, I had trouble narrowing it down. So sue me.)

Armani's collection was shimmering and liquid, lots of sheer fabrics, plunging necklines, thick belted waists and neutral pastel shades with periodic splashes of navy and black.

The new co-heads of Gianfranco Ferre showed a dramatic collection filled with severe cuts mostly in stark black & white.

Roberto Cavalli had a spectacular show, never one to suggest his girls be wallflowers, his collection was brimming with sequins, gold, lace, sheer panels, animal prints & exposed midriffs. If you need a party dress, look no further!

 You can see this stunning runway show in all its glory here.

The Salvatore Ferragamo woman will be dramatic and bright for spring, in beautiful draping dresses with powerful, sexy cuts.

The Missoni collection was sexy and wild, a departure from some of the more sedated shows of the past. Animal prints, Latin flares and skin baring cuts all stalked down the runway this season.

Sophia? Is that you? Dolce & Gabbana channeled the Italian film goddesses of days gone by in this gorgeous, womanly show. A full 180 from the girl-meets-boy looks our favorite Italian boys show for fall.

At Marni they picked up on the sheet underskirt trend from fall, but updated the look and made it fresh with bright colors and sweet, summery silhouettes.

Bottega Veneta was bold and bright, with great cocktail frocks and fun separates. And of course, yummy handbags. YUMMY. I liked the juxtaposition of this cropped, geometric sweater with a dramatic leather pencil skirt, it was fun & unexpected.

While Alberta Ferretti showed her usual beautiful gowns and great suits, I was drawn to the almost Fall-colored safari dresses. The prints were muted but dramatic, and the dresses seemed utterly effortless as a result. Very wearable!

Ciao for now darlings, back soon with more eye candy from Milan!

Pictures from Style.com. Check out last season’s MFW here.

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Paris – Oo la la

When I last left off on my vacation overview I was leaving London for the city of lights. We arrived in Paris Tuesday night and left Thursday afternoon so it was, as with London, a very brief visit. Finally over our jet lag we focused our energy on sightseeing and sampling the local cuisine.

And by cuisine I mean wine & beer. 🙂

My brother & boyfriend at the beginning of our first night in Paris

Cheers! My family at lunch. Seriously, lunch.

Vin rouge

Fashion: I am still shocked that I didn’t have any major accidents while walking down the streets of Paris considering I don’t think I was looking where I was going for more than 30 seconds the entire time we were there. Some stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason and the women of Paris did not disappoint (I’ve been to Paris before, but I wasn’t as fashion oriented at the time). They were chic and thin, there wasn’t a tennis shoe or a pair of sweats as far as the eye could see. Lots of flats and low heels, probably due to it being a walking-intensive city. Lots of layering and fun silhouettes, lots of high-low mixing & matching and lots of not-so-basic black. The accessory de jour? Le pliage bags from Longchamp, they were everywhere! The other, not so chic accessory in every woman’s hand? A cigarette. I spent most of the time in Paris sneezing!

Food: Honestly, I wasn’t blown away by the food while we were in Paris. Neither my boyfriend or I eat bread so most restaurants were something of a challenge during our short stay, though he usually ended up with poulet of some sort. We supplemented our smaller meals out with petit casino finds like nuts, goat cheese, apples & little Tupperware containers of tabouli. And yes, I made up the phrase petit casino to mean corner store. And I think it makes perfect sense! 🙂

Fitness: So much walking! Lost wandering, church steps, hills, exploring and walking between our hotel and the areas where the rest of my family was staying. Exhausting! We had a nap the second day and still barely made it to our pillows that night before crashing.

Lodgings: Our hotel wasn’t really anything special, but the location was great, we were across the street from the scenic Jardin du Luxembourg and we had a cute little cafe on the corner.

Cafe on the corner

View from our hotel

Sights: My family was spread out all over Paris which gave us a unique chance to check out all of the different hotels and fun neighborhoods. My aunt and her fiance stayed at the sumptuous Park Hyatt in central Paris, while my cousin & brother stayed in the Latin Quarter and my parents rented an apartment in Les Gobelins.

My Auntie & her then fiance and now husband at Sacre Coeur Basilica

Travel: My family rented cars for our from exit Paris and seven of us piled into a van Thursday morning for a five-hour drive south to Lanouaille lead by Mademoiselle Garmin. You’d think they’d get someone who can pronounce the French words to be the voice of the GPS… 

I still have nightmares. At the next round-about, take the second exit.

Highlights: Most of our rowdy group really enjoyed the food in Paris, from thin crust pizzas & giant beers to roasted chicken & steaks w/ pomme frites. I ate the frites. 🙂 My favorite part? The fashion of course. With big cities like this you get to see a lot of street traffic even during a short stay, and I really enjoyed the people watching. Oh, and I loved seeing everyone carrying their groceries home each night with the inevitable baguette sticking out the top. Too French!

Back soon with Milan Fashion Week!

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Streetstyle & Front Row Fashion – London Fashion Week

Between the shows of London’s Spring 2012 Fashion Week there were plenty of events and celebrity sigtings. The feel was more low-key than in New York and the looks more Fall-oriented, due in no small part to the weather I’m sure. Enjoy!

Poppy Delevingne exiting the Burberry show in London - Captured by Craig at Models Off Duty. This is a great early fall look, showing off the legs & cute booties while staying warm!

This seriously cute 70s inspired wool suit is right on track for fall. I'll take one in each color please!

An adorable bright, mod look for fall outside the London shows

Holy vampy red lipstick Batman! Candice Swanepoel and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley look stunning & statuesque at the Moet & Chandon Etoile Awards

At the Moet & Chandon Etoile Awards Sienna was striking in sequined white scallops

Sienna looked great in both her high and low looks during London's Fashion Week. Here she is dressed down for Burberry, I especially like her bootie & bag.

Rosie loved her red this week and donned a knee length red leather trench to the Burberry show (she’s the face of their new perfume!)

And none other than Miss Pippa herself was seen sitting front from at Temperly, check it out here.

Need a lesson on the 10 Degrees of Sophistication from Garance during her trip to LFW? Read away….

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London Fashion Week Spring 2012 Round-Up

London Fashion Week was a bright affaire and despite the somewhat gloomy weather the designers did their best to give us brilliant shows. The looks had lots of traditional Spring flares but also had lots of structure, something that I love about British designers.
 

Burberry was a fun, funky twist on the classics. I loved the lengths, colors, patterns and accessories, especially the beaded chunky sandals.

 Burberry Prorsum Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Mary Katrantzou's collection was a bright extravaganza, the end result nothing short of art.

Christopher Kane's collection was light and airy, with interesting fabrics and unique silhouettes marching down the runway in chunky floral sandals.

The Peter Pilotto show was another one filled with bright splashes of color and innovative prints. This tech inspired snake-skin dress was to die for, a sophisticated and chic way to wear both color & prints.

The gorgeous Peter Pilotto show through a lens wielded by Garance Dore.

The separates at Matthew Williamson really caught my eye this season, there were lots of great shorts, mini & maxi length skirts and gorgeous blouses.

The Erdem show was sweet and floral, I adored the matching blue floral gloves with this dress.

Overall there was lots of color, lots of prints – which ran the gamut from pretty, traditional spring florals to wild ethnic prints in unabashedly bold colors – and lots of cool separates. Stay tuned for more from London and the Milan and Paris shows.

Pictures from Style.com.

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Restaurant Review: Manna

My first day in London included a wonderful dinner at Manna in Primrose Hill. I was looking forward to trying this restaurant after reading Evan’s review over at The Wannabe Chef and one of my colleagues was kind enough to indulge me. I’m always nervous taking non-vegetarians/vegans to restaurants that have a plant-based menu, but the three omnivores who accompanied me all enjoyed their meals.

We ordered four appetizers and shared them, which was great because I was having trouble deciding which one I wanted! The basil & cashew cheese croquettes were excellent, really flavorful with a great crispy shell. My favorite starter was the spiced jerk tofu, plantain & sweet potato kebabs, which were both savory and sweet, and had a really great flavor combination. We also got two orders of the quesadillas, which were good but nothing too special.

For my main I ordered the organic bangers and mash (come on, it was just too traditionally British to pass up!) which included  fennel and pumpkin seed sausages with greens and a delicious parsnip and carrot mash. I especially liked the faux sausage since I like trying new non-soy based fake meats, and this was a great version. My boyfriend ordered the enchilada casserole which was absolutely delicious, I definitely snuck a few bites from his plate. Our two dining companions ordered the spaghetti & meatballs, the faux meatballs were admired and shared, and the ravioli, which they both seemed to enjoy.

The restaurant was packed for a Sunday night and I even heard one of the waiters tell someone on the phone that they were completely booked for the night. It’s always nice to see a vegan restaurant that is doing so well!

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