PRE-FALL COLLECTIONS 2013 : 1ALICE + OLIVIA - JASON WU
The Pre-Fall Collections for 2013 are coming to an end gradually this week, but of course, what with one thing and another, I have been delayed in picking my red carpet predictions from these runway shows...however, I have got my thing together and here is part 1, looking at the collections of Alice + Olivia, Badgley Mischka, Carlos Miele, Carolina Herrera, who was responsible for the amazing gown above, Christopher Kane, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel of course, Donna Karan, the Houses of Emilio Pucci and Gucci, and finally Jason Wu...ALICE + OLIVIA
Here's a new name to this journal, but not new to Hollywood of course - designer Stacey Bendet is the very last word in cutting edge cute - she is similar to what Alice Temperley used to be to the young London set a few years ago...short mini-dresses with full skirts embellished with bits of lace and beading - you may remember the gorgeous little cocktail dress that Zendaya Coleman wore to the American Music Awards last November - she was the third star to wear that particular dress, and the latest star is Rumer Willis who wore a black and silver diagonal stripe gown to the People's Choice Awards this week - all Alice + Olivia designs !!
From her Pre-Fall collection, I have picked out a small selection of sure-fire dresses that all have that winning quality for a red carpet appearance, in my view...firstly, a couple of dinky little shorties :-
Secondly, three amazingly sophisticated full length evening gowns which I love, especially the slinky beaded number with a beautifully cut matching leather jacket, both in cherry red.. BADGLEY MISCHKA
The design duo Mark Badgley and James Mischka drew inspiration from ancient Mayan art for their Pre-Fall Collection, with astoundingly beautiful results !! I loved these designs, but I think it will be a confident personality who needs to wear them successfully, as they are very bold, especially the black/gold and red/gold dresses - the gold designs are fanciful, but pretty big and strong. Geometrics usually makes for a memorable dress, so the Mayan-inspired designs will be for someone who wants to be remembered on the red carpets this Spring.
Otherwise, there were quite a few really beautiful black dresses which will also be winners, especially the one with a cape, decorated with fine chains across the shoulders - how unusual !!
Here's an interesting take on one design, done in two very different treatments - the first is a straightforward print in gold and silver on white, and the second is the same design exactly, done in a glittery finish, maybe be beading ? We need a really good close-up shot to see.. CARLOS MIELE
Carlos Miele went down a much softer route after all his bright animal prints of the Spring 2013 Collection, and this is a direction I really love for him - the finely pleated chiffons and gauzy fabrics with subtle-toned prints, some of them set off with quite bold beading on the bodice, were an absolute delight - I particularly loved the third dress in soft blue-grey with crystal beading all over the bodice and the fine pleats falling softly from that diagonal seam - really graceful and elegant !!
His prints were watery shades of aqua, turquoise, blue-grey and mocha, mixed with metallic tones of copper and gold...and many of the necklines and bodices were embellished with heavy beading in colours to match !!
He also had some black dresses of course - these were the two best ones:- CAROLINA HERRERA
Carolinas Herrera came out with a 1950s inspired collection featuring several big-skirted gowns with interesting prints, especially the second one in here, with its over-sized spots of various shades, all overlapping to make new colours - how interesting and unusual - and a really great red carpet dress !!
Here are two beautiful midnight-blue dresses embellished with sparkly crystals and star motifs at the waist.
This last pick from Carolina Herrera is this amazing, big and bold, black and white floral print - a real eye-catcher for the Oscars maybe?!! CHANEL
Wow - just wow !!
I loved this collection with a passion, even though I would be willing to bet my entire month's salary
that nothing from it will get anywhere near a red carpet !!
Inspired by the Scottish Highlands, it is so
costumey and theatrical that most of it will feel like a dressing-up box - but no matter !! It's marvellously sumptuous and rich, and gives the impression that we have been transported back into Tudor times, so fans of historical costume will love it all....
Fittingly, the runway show was held in Linlithgow Palace, up near Edinburgh, which was where Mary, Queen of Scots was born. The show itself was held in the ruins of the Great Hall (now open to the sky after being blown to kingdom come back in Hanoverian times !!) After the show, everyone went down to the huge marquee set up outside for dinner - all 400 guests !!
Of course, Karl Lagerfeld is an absolute master of this kind of themed collection, and the choice of venue was so
inspired - here's what he had to say:-
"I loved the location and I must say the way the show was staged was exactly what I wanted. It was very interesting to use it for a show. I wanted the rough romance of this beautiful place."
Coco Chanel had links with Scotland herself of course - she made herself the queen of Scottish fabrics during the time she spent in the country between 1924 and 1931, when she was the companion of the Duke of Westminster, and busy defining a new age of fashion. She was strongly influenced by Highland colour, inspired by her aristocratic lover's wardrobe of tweed and Fair Isle knitwear. Her Scottish tweed jackets became her defining signature look.
For this collection, the designs used dark and subtle tartans, traditional plaids in beautiful heathery colours, interestingly textured tweeds with sparkly threads running through them, silver lace collars, white jabots, and even pheasant feathers for rich decoration, and everything coupled with Argyle print tights and big brooches - imagine modern womens-wear designs using the tradition menswear of Tudor times as inspiration - oh, Dame Viv would be proud of these !!
There was a whole selection of heavy-weight Winter-white dresses with an Empire-line shape with slashed sleeves and heavy good embellishments running down the seams - amazing stuff !!
Not everyone will relate to this collection of course, but there will be many people who will love the sheer historical romance of it all - and the regular customers of Chanel will take individual pieces and make them their own, as they always do.CHRISTOPHER KANE
Christopher Kane has given up his position at Versace, designing for their diffusion line 'Versus' and the reason given was for him to concentrate on developing his own brand - so this is the first time he has presented a Pre-Fall Collection, using many spare ideas that spilled over from his Spring 2013 show. The best for the red carpet, in my opinion, were these floral print designs in electric blue and emerald green on a black shadow-stripe background, with sheer panels and the occasional over-sized zip... DONNA KARAN
Donna Karan carried on with the deceptively simple shapes theme from her Spring 2013 Collection, and produced a Pre-Fall Collection centred round black, grey and white, with interjections of dark subtle shades of terracotta brown for evening wear. For some unfathomable reason, the models wearing the suits remind me of Anna, the Alien leader in the Sci-Fi drama 'V' - these designs are exactly the sort of thing she would wear, I feel... EMILIO PUCCI
Peter Dundas was inspired by Mia Farrow back in the 60s, when she was a big star with a trendy waif-like appeal, and his collection for Pucci reflected that 60s style perfectly, with black and white graphic prints and short little mini-shift dresses with big sheer sleeves, and beading in narrow and broad bands round the body...
I was also massively taken with his enormous, and heavily gilded Rococo mirror, in front of which he presented his models - simply marvellous !!
He also designed a great little selection of full-length dresses with the same 60s look - I loved the sheer printed kaftan and the elegant cream satin wrap-over dress at the end !! GUCCI
It appears that Karl Lagerfeld wasn't the only designer to be inspired by the Scottish Highlands this season - the Gucci collection featured quite a few red and black plaid outfits, including one evening dress below. The rest of the collection was mainly elegant and very ladylike designs with wide open necklines (flattering for everyone), tiny nipped in waists with neat belts, and long gloves. I liked the leather suits, in autumnal shades of olivey-green and heathery-pink - more highland influence possibly... JASON WU
Jason Wu has clearly been trying to shake off his ultra-ladylike reputation this time around, as he went all out for a glamorous and dangerously sexy look, echoing the late 70s/early 80s era. Using sleek and shiny black eel-skin for his shorter designs, and gold and black bugle beading in zig-zag stripes, coupled with sheer fabrics embellished with sequins for his longer evening-wear designs, he produced an amazing and fabulous collection, perfect for any red carpet.
Well, that's part 1 of my look at the Pre-Fall Collections, and I will try and get Part 2 up before the weekend is out - and as you may or may not know, the first really major red carpet event is just round the corner - the Golden Globe Awards for 2013 are being held on Sunday evening, so watch out for that...
There will be a new event and date list in the side-bar being put up today, so that will be your guide to what's happening and when, should you want to go and watch the events as they happen.
Also, I have to say a big Hello to everyone who has come here to have a look from the recent Friendzy posts that have been up on my other journal, and a few others too - you are very welcome to come and have your say...