Francine Ballard's Rantings of the Accessory-Obsessed.
Karl Lagerfeld is a genius. That’s almost all I can say about the Chanel show he put on yesterday. Everything outside of the clothes—the set of mile-high windmills with a solar-paneled runway, the models, the soundtrack—came together to serve as the perfect backdrop for Karl’s tour de force. It was evidence of Karl’s ability to, as my mother says, “ make like Frank Sinatra and turn it out time, after time, after time.”
What makes Karl so good is his ability to stay true to the Chanel brand while playing with it, almost poking fun at how revered it is. For example, he took the iconic quilted bag and injected it with style steroids, blowing it up to a hula hoop size accessory (that I cannot wait to see on for sale up on Designer Social eventually; fingers crossed!). He also played with the traditional tweed, using large sleeves and fringe to make the formal material looser and more playful.
The above are my four favorite looks from the show. It was hard to narrow it down, given that Karl sent 80 down the runway, but I think these were the standouts. The white jacket look is supremely wearable; I’d pair it with jeans and heels for a night out (and with the fabulous necklaces and bracelets from the show, if I could get my paws on them). The green jacket looks like something from an Audrey Hepburn film—ladylike, adorable, and perfectly cut (duh). The floral dresses Karl sent out at the end had me swooning…they were simply gorgeous, allowing the print to take center stage while not overpowering the model.
And that hula-hoop bag…I’m sorry, but how could it not make my favorites? It’s wild, it’s bold, it’s funny, it’s totally killer.
So bravo, Karl. You’ve kept the Chanel standard as high as ever. While sending out an eco-friendly message at the same time. I dig it.
The above photos are just a tease of what’s new this week at Designer Social, because there’s plenty more where these Louboutin, Prada, Manolo, Chanel, and other fab designer’s treasures came from. Check out the full selection here. Happy shopping, and remember:
“The stiletto is a feminine weapon that men don’t have.” -Christian Louboutin
Hedi Slimane proved he was up to filling the huge shoes left vacant by Stefano Pilati at the newly rebranded Saint Laurent. The whole collection was divine, but this is my favorite look. Bravo, Hedi, you nailed it.
So into this Anita Ko white gold and diamond ring. It’s a piece with a sense of humor; the lightening bolt shape, while beautiful in and of itself, is also very tongue-in-cheek. It says, “I am fabulous. And somewhat dangerous,” so I’d slip this on my finger in a second. Plus, if you need to punch someone, you’d leave a great impression.
This suite of four mini dresses paired with black shorts appeared about halfway through the Dior Spring 2013 show.
Here’s the thing. The yellow and lavender ones are lovely, but the pale mint green and pink ones are clearly less successful and the show would have benefited from some editing here. -RS (Images via Vogue.com)
Raf Simons showed his first pret-a-porter collection for Dior for Spring 2013 this past week in Paris. It was super highly anticipated and while it did gain wonderful reviews, and there are many, many looks and ideas here that I love… for me it was not as intuitively excellent as what he showed for couture last June.
Simons opened the show with looks in black, jackets with full peplums that swayed gently over skinny trousers, and variations in dresses that were essentially modified double breasted jackets. The silhouettes were a nod to some of Dior’s original shapes and did well revisited here. The show moved into some lovely dresses in embellished fabrics that photographs will not do justice.
Some of the black dresses in the second half of the show were my favorites- the best version of that hi-low hem I’ve seen appeared towards the end, as well as some ankle length tulle overlays on beaded sheaths that were ladylike but very fresh. The looks Simons showed with mini dresses or asymmetrical draped tops over black shorts were some of my favorite.
My one real issue with the collection was color. There were color combinations in certain looks that just blatantly did not work and the palette of the show overall was not focused enough. Fortunately, the shoes (the black pointy heels go on my wishlist asap) were awesome enough to balance everything out. -RS (Images via Vogue.com)
…because we haven’t checked in on le streetstyle for a while. Here are some shots by Phil Oh for Vogue.com. -RS
Nina Ricci has gone through a bit of an evolution the last few seasons, and Spring 2013 was a bold statement about the brand’s direction. Peter Copping, the creative director, has been known to favor soft colors and gauzy fabrics worked with subtle details. And he did retain much of that with this collection, but it was injected with a dark sexiness that revived some of the limp colors shown lately. Nina Ricci got kinky!
The suite of black trousers, dresses and extremely skinny pencils skirts that opened the show were adorned with zippers (some functional, some pure embellishment) and layered with strappy bondage accessories. There were tons of plays with transparencies, gorgeous blush and acqua chiffon dresses skimming over the body and revealing some very sexy lingerie underneath. And let’s not forget the sexy librarian looks (sweet buttoned up cardigans paired with seductive skirts and styled with french twists and eye-glasses).
While the fantasy/fetish/bondage tropes referenced are far from risque at this point, in Copping’s vision they still worked. You felt the energy of this woman, of this story unfolding as the show moved along into evening-wear that seemed to literally break free from the ties that bound (skirts and pants so tight one imagines a fetish with cutting off circulation perhaps?) earlier in the show, and culminated in looks with shimmying fringe and cloudy layers of billowing chiffon. -RS (Images via Vogue.com)
Sexy accessories at Nina Ricci Spring 2013.
Sure, they’re a little dark for Spring but at least they’re a refreshing break from all the florals! -RS (Images via Vogue.com)
Carven had some weird cut-outs going on in Paris today. Personally, I wouldn’t be that into wearing a dress that had holes right above my chest, but to each her own. The coats had beautiful lines, but again, I have to question their practicality: why would you want cut-outs in your winter coat? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose? I mean, even beyond the usual leaps of fashion? At least the prints were pretty…
What would you wear with this beautiful YSL Leather Muse bag we just got in? Here’s an idea…
A.L.C. knocked it out of the park with this look. I’d wear it straight off the runway.