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Milan Fashion Week Spring 2013

I adore the designers who show at Milan Fashion Week – The clothes are inevitably dramatic, womanly, and sexy sexy sexy. This season was no exception, the collections shown were color, extravagant, and downright spectacular.

Versace:

The Versace woman is never afraid to show some skin and this Spring she’ll really be putting her fabulous figure on display in an assortment of mini skirts, dresses, and shorts in mesh, nude lace, and sheer fabrics.

Low slung belts, studded cross-body bags, midriff baring tops, and knee-high gladiator sandal-boot hybrids were the accessories de jour, all in blacks, nudes, and vibrant Spring colors. I especially liked the sleeveless shift dresses and the studded belts which added a dash of rock n’ roll to the looks.

Salvatore Ferragamo:

Leather and skins were highly featured at the Ferragamo show, and while other designers showed flowy silhouettes, bright colors, and prints & florals, Ferragamo was structured and tailored.

The black, white & nude collection included fabulous outerwear, slim pants, lacing, metallics, lace, mesh fabrics, snake-skin, boots, and studs, buckles & grommets.

Alberta Ferretti:

Delicate. Ladylike. Romantic. Those are all words that I usually associate with Alberta Ferretti and this Spring collection is no different. I might even add dreamy this season.

Between the beading, shimmering, feathers, lace, and wet-looking slinky fabrics this collection was a treat for the senses, you wanted to reach out and touch all the aquatic-inspired designs!

Prada:

‘Dramatic’ and ‘florals’ may not seem like they are two concepts that go together, but at Prada the dark, moody hues made the Japanese-inspired florals really pop.

From red poppies to black & white dandelion silhouettes, these florals were modern and dramatic rather than your usual hippie-inspired, Spring-appropriate florals.

Fendi:

Printed and colorblocked separates, dresses, and outerwear marched down the Fendi runway in colors from black & white to yellow, brown, and blue.

While there were a few solid-colored frocks among the looks sent down the catwalk, it was the dramatic and eye-catching futuristic prints that really caught my eye. The exaggerated silhouettes and interesting draping, folding, and tailoring were also outstanding.

Moschino:

The Moschino collection was absolutely killer! I’m a huge fan of mod-inspired looks and this collection was all about the 60’s – From amazingly flattering black & white pieces to swoon-worthy brightly colored prints & stripes.

The dramatic, embellished silver sandals, the retro hats, oversized sunnies, shift dresses, and chic, colorful jumpsuits & rompers with contrasting colored piping were all totally wearable. The separates and dresses had a great retro vibe but were still totally wearable for a modern girl if styled right!

Dolce & Gabbana:

Bright, fun & kitschy – Just the way we like it!

The old school Italian themed show was full of fun colors, extravagant prints, stripes, oversized earrings, scarves, and the classic, retro silhouettes that the pair do so well. It was interesting, eye-catching, and wearable.

Roberto Cavalli:

This primarily black & white collection included hints of pink, green, and orange among the dreamy crystal, gem, and jewel-encrusted dresses, gowns, and slim suits.

From delicate lace, mesh, and sheer fabrics in crisp white to abstract florals in palest pastels to dramatic beaded pieces in black. Slinky, sexy, and dramatic – These designs were simultaneously powerful and delicate, a feat few designers can manage.

Marni:

Though there were bold patterns featured in the Marni collection, there were also great white, and solid colored separates and dresses, all in the preferred, exaggerated silhouette of Consuelo Castiglioni.

Wooden brooches and ankle-strap platform sandals were also featured, both adding a down-to-earth feel to the collection. What I liked best were the cocoon -haped coats in bright prints and the peplum adorned dresses.

Gucci:

Think PINK! The Gucci show opened with a handful of bright pink looks, followed by blue, green, and yellow before the final black & white evening looks.

Brilliant colors, retro 70’s styles, and flattering, womanly silhouettes. The collection was dramatic and eye-catching while still being fun and wearable. The whole affaire was bold and sexy, one of my favorite collections!

MaxMara:

The relaxed, Out of Africa style collection from MaxMara showcased slouchy knits, shirt dresses, safari inspired outerwear, and a host of somber colored prints, plaids, and stripes.

They delivered a collection of easy, low-key separates that could easily be paired together or mixed n’ matched with other pieces that you already have in your wardrobe.

Giorgio Armani:

This collection was all about shimmering, shiny, science fiction-inspired fabrics, textures, and colors. Silvery blue-grays, tie-dye inspired aquas, and sparkling navy were all heavily featured.

The flowy, somewhat exaggerated silhouettes were universally flattering and the chic, simple sandals were pure Armani. I always love Giorgio’s habit of sending two girls at a time down the runway, such a fun way to space things!

Versus:

This was a fun, bright, playful extravaganza – From candy-like prints & patterns to vibrant pinks, yellows & blues to cheeky silhouettes & fabrics.

I especially liked the interesting fabrics and textures that Christopher Kane showcased, as well as the use of exposed zippers and the fun prints. It was a really youthful and energetic collection of pieces.

Missoni:

The knits that marched down the runway for Missoni spanned the color spectrum – From crisp whites to playful corals to Springy greens & blues. Taste the rainbow!

The breezy dresses and structured separates were wearable and chic – Perfect for a Spring full of exotic locations, days spent reading by the pool, or picking your way through foreign flea markets. They had a rich feel to them, like a luxurious vacation to far away lands come to life!

Sources: Style.com, Fashionologie, The Stylist, & Tom & Lorenzo

Previous Milan Collections: Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion, Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012, Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion, Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part I & Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part II.

Additional reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: Fashionologie’s Bags! The Best From Milan’s Spring 2013 Runways, Harper’s Bazaar’s Milan Fashion Week Spring 2013 Looks & Derek Blasberg’s Insta-Diary From The Fashion Week(s).

What’s your favorite designer from the Milan Fashion Week lineup? Do you look forward to any shows season after season?

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New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part I

Every season I’m at a loss as to how I should approach the fashion show reviews. There are so many that I don’t know where to start, how many I should try to review, or how to justify which shows I choose over others. It’s oddly stressful considering I’m sitting in front of my laptop in San Francisco and NOT running around the cobblestone streets of New York City in stilettos with a 50 lbs handbag.

So this season I have come up with a plan of attack. I’m going to publish four separate pieces for New York Fashion Week:

  1. The NYFW Institutions – i.e. Oscar de la Renta, Diane Von Furstenberg & Carolina Herrera
  2. The more reasonably priced or secondary designer lines – i.e. J.Crew, MARC by Marc Jacobs & Alice+Olivia
  3. New up & coming brands that I’m just discovering or which are new to the tents – i.e. Z Spole by Zac Posen, Thakoon Addition & Victoria by Victoria Beckham
  4. And finally the street style & front row fashion of the NYFW attendees

So without further ado – Welcome to the fabulous runway fashion of the New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 Ready-to-Wear shows:

BCBG Max Azria:

This collection was an interesting juxtaposition of hard against soft. The dresses all had a harness-like construction on the bodice, evoking a tough, bad-girl vibe that contrasted with the softer colors and flowing silhouettes.

Black, white, grey, and coral were the colors de jour and all the looks were paired with a wide ankle strap adorned heel in black or white. The fitted, midi and maxi-length skirts were equipped with high slits in the thin, wispy floral, lace, and paisley prints, making them utterly perfect for hot summer nights.

Peter Som:

This sweet collection was filled with great prints, bright colors and pastels, florals, flowy silhouettes and just a touch of lace. It was structured and well put together, but relaxed and fun – New York City girl meets boho chic.

The prints were chic and I loved the cropped pants – of course – and the hippie vibe throughout. I don’t think that I can say it any better than The Man Repeller: “Peter Som is punk rock tea party infused with tigers and ponies.”

Derek Lam:

I heard the phrase “sporty luxury” to describe Derek Lam and couldn’t get it out of my head – That’s the perfect description for this master of chic sportswear and exquisite tailoring. These clothes were modern and chic, I can easily picture them on streets all over the world.

Interesting fabrics and textures, bold prints, and slouchy silhouettes were the hallmarks here. Knee-length skirts and sheath dresses in brightly colored leather, all-over geometric prints, separates, and the retro-inspired midriff baring tops that were all over the runways in New York all made an appearance.

Calvin Klein:

The collection that Francisco Costa presented may have been primarily black and white but it was a far cry from boring. And a far cry from the slinky pastel numbers favored by Hollywood starlets on the red carpet last season.

These looks were sleek, body conscious, and strikingly sexy with dramatic cuts and a variety of reach-out-and-touch-them fabrics and textures including lace, satin, mesh, and leather. No florals or pastels for the Calvin Klein girl this coming Spring, she’ll be breaking out killer heels and wowing everyone with her confidence and daring.

Ralph Lauren:

The Ralph Lauren show was a combination of make-believe and reality. There were costume-like pieces inspired by Spain and Latin America – fringe, matador jackets, and ponchos – and there were chic, wearable pieces that I’m sure we’ll be seeing soon on the red carpets and sidewalks of Hollywood.

I absolutely loved the flowing, ruffle-adorned maxi dresses and skirts in stripes and bright florals, as well as the vaguely Parisian looking prim A-line skirts paired with fitted jackets, and the double-breasted, oversized suits with dramatic shoulders.

Ole!

Thakoon:

If I had to pick a single word to describe the Spring 2013 collection presented by Thakoon it would be beautiful. The cuts & silhouettes were flattering, the fabric & textures were interesting, and the prints & details were nothing short of divine.

From pretty, colorful, whimsical prints for daytime outings to daring but still utterly chic lace, eyelet, and sheer fabrics for nighttime.

A collection like this one really illustrates the difference between a designer like Thakoon and one like Lee McQueen – While I’d call them both artists the wearability of a collection like this one is unparalleled. I wait with bated breathe for the McQueen shows and gasp at the artistry and showmanship, but I can picture every single piece of this collection in my wardrobe, not something most of us mere mortals can say about McQueen.

Diane Von Furstenberg:

Who knew being a techie could be so darn stylish? DVF went geek chic this season and sent her girls down the runway in brilliant colors, prints, and flowing caftans paired with the brand new Google Glasses.

Glasses aside this collection had a classic DVF feel – Great 70’s styles & prints, flowing silhouettes that would be right at home in Saint Tropez or Marrakech, and eye-catching accessories like oversized earrings, brightly colored sunglasses, and matchy-matchy handbags. The whole collection had a delicious retro vibe that made me nostalgic for the heyday of Miss Diane herself.

Victoria Beckham:

I always look forward to the Victoria Beckham show, I adore her personal style and that chic, timeless style always shows up in her collections. And while I love – and would die to own – all of her sexy, second skin sheath dresses, I was thrilled by the amount of separates and slightly less body conscious pieces that she sent down the runway for Spring.

Everything was still sleek and sexy, with little color or prints per her usual aesthetic, but somewhat more relatable for the non-Hollywood set. I especially liked the A-line skirts and high-necklines, and the black, white, and the brilliant orange color scheme suited the austerity of the designs.

Well done!

Tommy Hilfiger:

Stripes! Stripes! Stripes! But we’re not talking about your basic, boring stripes for Spring, these are chic, retro stripes adorning flowing suits, maxi dresses, and separates in red, white, and navy.

The devil was in the details of this collection – The drama of a double-breasted, oversized suit jacket, delicate chevron prints, bright piping on a two-toned blazer, contrasting denim on denim pockets, thick weave cable knit sweaters, gold rope detailing, and flowy silk shirt-dresses. You’ve got to admit, nothing says All-American quite like Tommy Hilfiger.

Jason Wu:

Jason Wu may be best know for dressing Michelle Obama, but when a runway show starts with Carolyn Murphy strutting her stuff in a black leather mini dress you know the collection is heading in a different direction than usual.

While the primarily black & white collection was filled with leather & lace, his red lipped models also wore some killer separates and pieces with exquisite tailoring. But even the prim looks amped up the sexiness with mesh, sheer panels, studs and animal prints.

Donna Karan:

City girl Donna Karan presented an unusually soft and sweet collection pulling inspiration from the ballet which gave the pieces ethereal undertones that were further emphasized by the pale color palette.

The soft, gauzy looking fabrics, flattering drapping, sweater-sets, and pastel satins were sugary sweet and picture perfect for good-girl actresses like Reese Witherspoon, Ashley Greene, or Nicole Kidman. Among the draping and flowing fabrics were two numbers that caught my eye though – A sharp white sheath dress with a matching cropped jacket and a sexy sheer panelled navy gown perfect for a siren like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley during her next red carpet appearance.

Zac Posen:

Calling all supermodels!

The Zac Posen show was the place to be when the audience was surprised by Naomi Campbell, Angela Lindvall, Karolina Kurkova, and Coco Rocha all hitting the catwalk in his gorgeous, retro-inspired designs.

The dresses were phenomenal – From floral fifties inspired day dresses with sweetheart necklines to second-skin suits with his trademark dramatic bodice cuts, to sleek gowns in satins, florals, and chiffons. I could picture the likes of Eva Mendes and Emma Stone wearing the chic, but prim daydresses, and I guarantee that the rest of these gowns will be all over the red carpets come awards season.

Marc Jacobs:

There’s a reason that no one could stop talking about the Marc Jacobs show – It was amazing. Fabulously retro and evocative of the stylish Warhol girls of the 60’s, without appearing costumy or over the top, the kind of clothes you can really picture yourself wearing.

Loads of stripes – from thick to thin & horizontal to vertical – interesting lengths, cute separates, matching handbags, low-heeled shoes, and chic outerwear. I loved the long jackets with the high collars, the tiny shifts that us non-supermodels would need to wear slim trousers under, and the adorable pointy toed kitten heels.

Michael Kors:

Another show that emphasized stripes and had a Mod feeling to it was Michael Kors, which was brightly colored, bold, and very sporty. While it may not have been innovative, this collection showed piece after piece of very wearable clothing – For both men and women.

Stripes, colorblocking, contrasting collars, flats, wide low-slung belts, matching suits, tank & shift dresses, and separates all made lovely appearances. I may not be able to live without the green tunic & matching shorts set, it’s one of my favorite looks so far from the NYFW collections.

The menswear was fabulous – Full of color, great silhouettes, and classics styles. The men also got the stripes treatment and he showed great suits, white boat shoes, separates in the form of slacks, shorts & sweaters, and killer outerwear.

Carolina Herrera:

This light airy collection was filled with pale hues – from peach and aqua to olive-green and daffodil yellow – All perfectly ready for Spring. There were shorts, midi length skirts, trench coats, maxi dresses, gowns, and some sweet separates.

As gorgeous as CH’s gowns always are, the separates and short coats were what really caught my eye. They were chic and well-tailored, but more approachable than her collections have been in the past. The wide strap heeled sandals worn by all came in every color imaginable and thin belts cinched all of the waists. And interestingly enough, not a piece of jewelry could be seen!

Oscar de la Renta:

What I love about ODLR is his consistency – Each show will inevitably cater to a handful of crowds, from high-powered businesswomen & ladies who lunch to the fashionable young things & “It” girls that compose the celebutant set.

The splashes of colors in this collection were shocking yellow, pink, and teal – An interesting choice that worked surprisingly well. The collection was vibrant and fun with lots of beautiful textures and fabrics, and a great separates that I can imagine a few fashionistas in. Personally I’d be first in line for the thin striped dress paired with the black & white plaid coat and the sequin encrusted retro tunic & slim cropped pants – Tres chic!

Jill Stuart:

I’m always excited for a collection that pulls from Kim Basinger’s Veronica Lake look-a-like character in LA Confidential as it’s inspiration – The old school, golden age of Hollywood was such an extravagant and glamorous period fashion-wise.

You could really see that in the boudoir-feeling of the silks and slinky satins, and in the sequins, lame, and metallic brocades. While this wasn’t a “real woman” collection, there were beautiful dresses, gowns, and a few separates that will cater perfectly to a certain set.

Alexander Wang:

Wow.

Cut outs, netting, mesh, beading, lucite, sheer fabrics, leather, and garments that glowed in the dark when the lights went down. Cool club kids of the world unite! The pieces were minimalist and simultaneously dramatic and eye-catching, a feat few designers can manage.

Architectural and structured, but still fun and irreverent, all of the looks were paired seamlessly with strappy sandal-boot hybrids in black, white, or clear lucite. Definitely not looks for the average woman to wear walking down the street, but something that the cool girls that love Wang dearly can wear for a night out on the town.

{Sources: Style.com, Fashionologie, The Sartorialist, & Tom & Lorenzo}

Previous NYFW Collections: New York Fashion Week Fall 2012, Pre-Fall 2012 Part I, Part II, Part III, and NYFW Spring 2012 Round-Up.

Additional reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: The Man Repeller – NYFW Day I, The Sartorialist – Boy by Band of Outsiders, Tom & Lorenzo’s Tadashi Shoji Spring 2013 Collection, Late Afternoon’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Diary, or check out IFB’s Spring 2013 Pinterest Board.

What’s your favorite collection that I’ve reviewed so far? If you could go to New York City for Fashion Week what would the number one show on your list to see in person be?

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Hippie Love

As Hippie Chic is one of the most highly viewed posts since MCLV started last spring, I decided to do a follow-up post to celebrate the fabulous 60’s & 70’s inspired looks that are all the rage this fall.

Now follow me down the rabbit hole and let’s revisit some of our favorite hippies of all times… (Cue the Jefferson Airplane soundtrack)

Boho-Chic:

Boho is short for Bohemian, which is defined as: “a person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices. ” The boho styles of the 60’s were more than just a fashion statement, they were an escape for women from the confinement of the clothes and social norms prevalent in the 50’s. They were free, loose and created a new style that trickles down to us today.

Original boho-chic icons: Janis Joplin, Talitha Getty, Stevie Nicks & Steven Tyler

Characterizations of the style: Loose layers, beads, tinted round sunglasses, bright colors, tie-dye, vests, boots, headbands, chunky jewelry, scarves, stacked bracelets, floppy hats, patchwork

Modern day equivalents: Kate Moss, The Olsens, Sienna Miller & Johnny Depp

Fashion Show Love: Matthew Williamson Fall 2011 RTW

Matthew Williamson Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

What to buy for Fall: Maxi & midi length skirts & dresses, flowy blouses and boots.

{Aqua Paisley Dress – $110 @ Bloomingdale’s}

{Polka dot blouse by Free People – $100 @ RevolveClothing.com}

Mod: The other fashion sub-culture of the 60’s was known as Mod, short for Modernist, which originated in London and was heavily influenced by the music of the time and the all night dance clubs that started appearing.

Original Mod icons: Twiggy, Edie Sedgewick, Jean Shrimpton & The Beatles

Characterizations of the style: Shift dresses, mini skirts, go-go boots, monochromatic suits, flats, knee socks, plaid coats, colored tights, Peter Pan collars, fake eyelashes, exaggerated eyeliner

Modern day equivalents: Nicole Richie, Zooey Deschanel & Alexa Chung

Fashion Show Love: Prada Fall 2011 RTW

Prada Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

What to buy for fall: It’s all about the dresses & outerwear, think shifts & dropped, belted waists. Love!

{Ali Ro Printed Shift dress – $140 (on sale) @ Neiman Marcus}

{Faux-Fur Collar Peacoat – $100 (on sale) @ Victoria’s Secret}

Rock n’ Roll Hippie: The hippie trend of the 1970’s was a continuation of the 60’s Boho style, with some serious rock star additions, and was incredibly popular with both the men and women of the psychedelic rock era.

Original Hippie icons: The Grateful Dead, Stevie Nicks, Debbie Harry & The Rolling Stones

Characterizations of the style: Bell bottoms, suede, fringe, halter tops, hip huggers, leather, bandanas, jean jackets, studs, chains

Modern day equivalents: Taylor Momson, Avril Lavigne & K$sha

Fashion Show Love: Emilio Pucci

What to buy for fall: In a perfect world we would all be ready to hop up on stage to channel our inner rock star with this bag, but given the price tag I think we can live with more – ahem – reasonably priced accessories…

{Top left: BebStu Riga belt – $65 @ Zappos.com, Top right: Martin & Ricci Gunmetal Plated Feist Bracelet – $90 @ Max & Cleo, Bottom: Rockstar Wristlet – $70 @ Bebe}

Disco Era: Drugs, sex & rock n’ roll! 70’s disco was all about music, dancing all night at clubs and was heavily influenced by the smaller factions that it was composed of (gays and minorities like African-Americans & Latinos). If you visualize one thing when you hear the word “disco,” it should be STUDIO 54!

Original Disco icons: YSL, Bianca Jaggar, Ziggy Stardust (aka David Bowe) & John Travolta

Characterizations of the style: Platforms, sequins, glitter, wrap dresses, hotpants, le Smoking Suit, high-waisted jeans, lamé suits for men & women

Modern day equivalents: It’s still ALLLLL about Iman. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Fashion Show Love: Balmain

What to buy for fall: Diane Von Furstenburg wrap dresses & anything by Halston Heritage. Fine, those were the easy answers. But honestly, I’m loving all of the disco-inspired separates out there, that way you can inject a little glam into your wardrobe without risking overload (and please, for the love of all that is holy, only resort to this if it’s a Halloween costume. Thank you. From all of us.)

{Karen Kane Sequin Blazer – $180 @ Bloomingdale’s}

{Martinez Valero ‘Chase’ Sandal – $75 (on sale) @ Nordstrom}

{Runway photos from Style.com}

Still in the mood for some more inspiration before you hit the stores to stock up on hippilicious goodies? Here’s some help from The Outnet and TopShop.

Now be off my little hippies – Peace!

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