Paris Couture Week – Valentino, Gaultier and Elie Saab

Paris fashion week was full of beautiful outfits, catwalk surprises and star appearances, and the shows of Valentino, Elie Saab and Gaultier had all three. From the buttermilk shades on display at Valentino, to the mixture of Punk 76 and Moulin Rouge Gay Paris 90s at Gaultier, the shows had colour, drama and, with the male model bride that closed the Gaultier show, the ability to shock.

As expected, the front rows were filled with stylish fashionistas sporting a sea of black outfits. Dita Von Teese made appearances at both the Jean Paul Gaultier and Elie Saab shows, wearing her trademark Black Dahlia look. Catherine Deneuve was also front row at Gaultier, showing that real style is endless and ageless, whilst Alexa Chung and Caroline Sieber were perfectly colour coordinated on the Valentino front row,

Valentino – Soft and floaty

This was a beautiful collection from Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccoli. It featured soft and ethereal designs in buttermilk, nude and caramel shades that seemed as light as air. There were delicate frills, lots of lacy Elizabethan style high neck ruffs, and lots of scalloping for edges and frills that gave the impression of waves on costumes.

There were romantic ruffles and pretty butterflies and flowers added onto dresses like applique, and there was a lot of sheer fabrics used in this collection.  The overall impression was of pale and interesting, although there were some striking splashes of colour, including the beautiful red dress that I would love to see Kirsten Dunst wear. I thought that this collection was beautiful, but eminently wearable. Think stars like Natalie Portman, Thandi Newton and even Tilda Swinton,whose bone structure would look amazing in the rose-coloured scalloped frock coat.

 

Jean Paul Gaultier – revisiting can-can and Punk in One show.

Who else but Jean Paul Gaultier, the original enfant terrible of French fashion, would use the influences of Moulin Rouge era Paris and London 1976 punk in the same show? There were fish nets stockings, humbug striped can can dresses and Mohicans on display, as Gaultier showed his schizophrenic side. Hot model Lindsey Wixson bought to mind a young Angela Lansbury starring in ‘The portrait of  Dorian Grey’ with her doll-like features and stripy gay 90s tight hobble style dress. This era was also evoked by the rich colours, the multitude of feathers and the cartwheeling catwalk show. I particularly loved the bright orange frock coat style orange dress.

 

Lindsey Wixson

 

But this was also a collection heavily influenced by the birth of Punk in London in the Summer of 1976. Models were sporting Mohicans and brightly coloured zoot suits, whilst designs had names like ‘The Clash’. There was also some bondage style outfits like those sold by Vivienne Westwood in ‘SEX’, these reminded me of Madonna’s blonde ambition outfits from 1990.

Gaultier ensured his show would gain extra column inches when he used supermodel Andrej Pejic as the bride in his catwalk show. Andrej is a tale, beautiful blonde who also happens to be a man. I feel that this was a controversial gimmick that a show as visually exciting as this didn’t need, and that the attention it has received has been at the detriment of the clothes. Still, you can never accuse Gaultier of taking the safe option!

Elie Saab – Simply stunning!

The first thing I want to say is – Expect to see lots of these gowns on the upcoming red carpets. This was a collection that just screamed grown up sophistication. A range of beautiful gowns that went from chic little cocktail hour dresses to those that fully deserved the title full length and fabulous, there was a real feeling of couture about this collection.

There was a good mixture of romantic dresses in soft peaches/golds and whites, but also more dramatic looks in blacks and reds. My favourite shade was the stunning periwinkle blue dresses. There were VaVa Voom designs that would suit Jessica Rabbit, or her alter ego Dita Von Teese, but this is also the collection I would love to see Kate Middleton wear, albeit with some modifications.

As you would expect from an Elie Saab collection, many of the dresses are exquisitely beaded. There are sheer panels, but with beading that spares the blushes and stops the dresses from moving into more risqué territory. Elie Saab is the undisputed master of red carpet dressing, and this collection confirms this.

 

I would love to see Kate Middleton in this dress!

 

 

The great curves debate – why it matters.

Christina Hendricks

Image via Wikipedia

The great curves debate – why it matters..

Read about the year of the curves breakthrough, led by Christina Hendricks, Crystal Renn and Beth Ditto, – and why  I believe this is so important. By fashion-mommy’s alter ego.

Fabulous Fashion- A review of October.

Jimmy Choo shoes.

Image via Wikipedia

October has been another wonderful month for fashion. We’ve seen the return of the X Factor, bringing high fashion and couture into our homes every Saturday night.  The curves debate had continued, with Look magazine at the forefront of embracing real models, using Crystal Renn has their lead model in the High Street fashion show, whilst Jean Paul Gaultier had Beth Ditto both opening and closing his Paris shows with a glass of champagne in her hand. Jimmy Choo‘s Tamara Mellon was awarded an OBE for services to fashion. Here’s a round up of all that Fashion-Mommy loved this month.

There have been some super stylish fashion moments this month, and non more so than on the X Factor. Saturday and Sunday nights must watch programme has debates raging about who wears it best, and to my money, Danni Minogue just edges Cheryl Cole in the judges fash-off. Cheryl has been accused of being ‘tangoed’ due to her slightly orange appearance, and I was frankly not impressed with her ‘Beryl the Peril‘ tights during her live performance. Danni, on the other hand, has not put a foot wrong, especially in her choice of Victoria Beckham dresses. She wins the title of yummiest mummy on the box in Fashion-Mommy’s eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What has been even more fascinating about this X Factor has been the emergence of Rebecca Ferguson as a real fashionista. Danni described her as her ‘style crush’, and with her Jessica Rabbit looks and long, elegant dresses, she has definitely been one to watch. I loved her Mango dress in the first live programme. I have also been impressed by the transformation of Mary Byrne from Tesco checkout to glamorous diva. She is a true inspiration to curvy 50 somethings everywhere, with her elegant outfits and high gloss appearance.

 

As a fan of all things Kate Moss related, I was really excited by the news that she has possibly got married. But I must admit to be being a tad disappointed that no pictures of emerged of the new Mrs Hince in her allegedly see through wedding dress. No one wanted Kate to do a 10 page spread with OK magazine, but this is the wedding dress that most of us would kill to see. Still, you have to admit her new fringe looks fab!

There have been other fashion looks to admire this month. I always admire the style of Eva Mendes, and love that she rocks the 50’s look with such panache. Sarah Jessica Parker is another fashion icon who rarely puts a foot wrong. She looks so beautiful here in caramel shades at a New York Ballet Gala.

David Koma got mixed a  press reception for his Hubcap style dress as worn by Cheryl Cole in the last series of X Factor. However, he is a truly promising designer, as was shown when Kylie Minogue wore one of his designs whilst promoting her ‘Aphrodite’ album. She looked totally gorgeous, and age-defying!

Kimberley Walsh is the curviest, and some (my future brother-in-law for one!) claim that she is the true beauty of Girls Aloud. As well as launching her own jewellery collection this month, she looked stunning whilst supporting Cheryl Cole at her own jewellery launch.

Key buys

Fashion-Mommy loved all the great mid-season sales that have been taking place throughout October. This was the ideal opportunity to pick up a few Christmas presents, or just to give yourself a guilt free treat mid month. I picked up this amazing peach vintage looking dress from River Island for just £20, and have already worn it twice, so it is double the bargain.

Debenhams was selling Henry Holland book bags for just £3. They would make an absolutely fab eco shopper, or a school bag for a fashion conscious teenager. Primark also has a cute range of eco shoppers with a pretty bag graphic on the front.

 

Can you believe this was just £3!

Christmas has hit the shops this month, and as someone who really wishes it could be Christmas every day, I have been really excited. I found these true fashionista Christmas cards this year, and think I will have to buy them for all my fashion friends. They are from BHS and cost just £3.50 at the moment.

Fashion-Mommy has also found some great vintage finds in charity shops this month. These included a pretty 1950’s dot dress for £3.99 from Age Uk, and an amazing pair of Charles Jourdan brown suede heels and a cream Jackie Kennedy style bag from a new discovery – The St Katherine’s house The Big Shop. This is another amazing charity store where you can find amazing bargains. My Charles Jourdan heels were just £7.50!

Great reads

Fashion Mommy loved the Vanity Fair feature that paid tribute to Funny Face. This used the stunningly beautiful young actress Kaya Scodelario, who you may remember as the stunning but strange Effie from the cult series Skins. She made an amazing Audrey Hepburn in a stunning photo feature that celebrated the greatest fashion movie ever.

My top read this month was definitely ‘Luella’s guide to English Style’. Although I don’t agree with all the choices of top English birds (Kate Moss only a runner-up?, Princess Anne beating Princess Margaret to appear in the top ten?) I just love the book, especially the illustrated book plates. The book sort of resembles an old tome you have dusted off in a long forgotten library, and is quirky, funny and irreverent a bit like Luella herself!