A Thought for Fashion

A Blog for all Your Fashion Thoughts by George Fracasse

Tag: fashion blog

Chanel, Carb-Free: Fall 2014

Grocery shopping? In your gym clothes? It may seem entirely passé, but only Karl Lagerfeld’s infinite brand of creativity could conjure up such a spectacle for Chanel’s Fall 2014 collection.

I say brand because Chanel is a global brand, with a global reach that rivals that of many of its just as old competitors. They also have global money to play with, which meant that this season, the Grand Palais was converted into a Chanel grocery store. What could be better than showing a collection in a grocery store filled with Chanel branded products: Chanel pain grillé, Cambon Jambon and Coco Chocó biscuits (even Coco Carbone, a necessity for the most fashionable of drivers). Why limit yourself to clothes when you can have your Chanel carbs and eat them too?

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But as always you can’t wear a set, and it’s just one facet in this gem of a Chanel collection. Beyond that was an interesting idea that toyed with grocery stores as a place to people watch, being a melting pot of rich and young, old and new, bright and dark, and commercial and exclusive. Commercial in the sense that this grocery store offered a lot of great ideas, exclusive in the sense that after all the pomp and circumstance, this is a Chanel show.

Chanel’s couture collections have a tendency to foreshadow their prêt-a-porter siblings. It was no surprise that the tightly corseted silhouette Lagerfeld showed back in January teamed with sports-couture sneakers resurfaced today. It made a lot of sense: women don’t shop for groceries in stilettos. It also seemed tactical, as sneakers are a super hot commodity in the world of street style.

It started with an array of après gym shoppers lead by Lagerfeld muse Cara Delevingne. Leggings worn with matching cropped tops and billowing 80s sleeved tweed jackets were accompanied by matching trainers. It set the pace for the rest of this 78 piece collection.

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Next was the workingwoman, who wore a Carhartt inspired jumpsuit in a fantastical orange citrus tweed. Tightly nipped at the waist, the proportions were daring and fresh; a softer yet still powerful pink tweed suit that followed rivaled the practicality of that orange jumpsuit, however.

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The futurist shopper wore oversized jackets with matching, heavily embroidered pants or holographic metallic leggings, offering a cool aspect to the show. Not to mention the new Chanel accessory du jour: shopping baskets iconically interlaced with leather clad chain links for the most discerning of shoppers.

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The classical, preppy Chanel woman. Perfectly perched in her tan, dropped shoulder zip twin set with burgundy braid. Perhaps inspired by peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that are just as iconic as Chanel. As for the prep, check out her sneaker boots.

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The gallery girl modernist, with her abstractly colorful skirt with black line color blocking and a bright green jacket lined in a matching fabric, was the most modern and chic. Delicious is a word that comes to mind too, especially with regard to the faux candy necklace she was wearing.

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The minimalist was the most striking aspect against all the excess: shown in quilted navy, the simpleness of a zippered shift dress and a swing top worn with a zip front skirt resonated as the most wearable aspect of the show.

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Next, the woman who lunches, her driver carrying her Chanel shopping bags. The epitome of Parisian elegance in a matching Strawberry milkshake pink tweed suit, right down to the shoes. We’d get hungry too after the shopping spree she went on.

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The gothic, music obsessed punk rocker, clad in a leather frock with red trim that riffed on the couture silhouette Lagerfeld showed back in January. Equally raunchy was a leather look paired with matching headphones, quietly poking fun at a pearl necklace from the spring 2014 collection that looked eerily similar to headphones.

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And finally, the evening girl, off to a soiree with a lover, remembering that she inadvertently forgot a last minute necessity for her night out. Like liquid silver, one of her dresses flared out with a small mermaid hem, the other resembling pink chain link with an explosion of strawberry shortcake hued frills spraying out from the décolletage, pockets, and hem of her dress.

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It was a lot to take in, but at the end of a very serious and often boring fashion month, it offered and lot of life and a lot of fun. Without the guilt!

The 100 Word Review: Lanvin Fall 2014

Texture, movement, darkness. These are the themes that resonated in Lanvin’s Fall 2014 collection. Alber Elbaz played with an alluring militant theme that wasn’t entirely obvious, but incredibly important.

 Hats adorned with marabou feathers were paired with ruffled skirts and frayed tweed jackets. This season, the tweed was oversized and nubby, shown in many sophisticated incarnations.

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 That feeling echoed throughout strong leather dresses, lax silk dresses, luxurious fur jackets, and skirts with enough flounce for even the danciest of wearers.

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The ending contrasted the staunchness of the beginning: fluid, poetic fringe dresses offered a cool factor.

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 The takeaway: darkened glamour.

The 100 Word Review: Anthony Vaccarello Fall 2014

Anthony Vaccarello unabashedly celebrates the female form. Known for sexy, sometimes unwearable cocktail hour approved frocks, his Fall 2014 collection offered a menswear inspired break that retained the brands energetic sex appeal.

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Often shown in gray and black, pants laid low on the hip and worn with fur bomber jackets offered a wearable approach to Vaccarello’s appeal.

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A patent Twizzler red bomber jacket worn with a matching turtleneck and mini dress was easily the freshest update to Vacerollo’s muse.

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Equally covetable, mini dresses adorned with triangular cutouts on the bust often exploded with silver metallic ruffles.

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The takeaway: sexual sophistication.

Present Perfect: Prada Fall 2014

It’s not uncommon for Miuccia Prada to employ foreshadowing into her menswear shows. In this case, we got a taste of what the Prada woman could expect back in January, when leather 70s inspired shirtdresses and fur jackets in jarring colors came into the mix of her unfussy men’s Fall 2014 collection. She called that Act 1. With Act 2, a more dramatic and sensual side is revealed to the Prada woman that is conspicuously readable as capable and smart.

 The antithesis to Prada’s wildly ornate Spring 2014 show, a simple black silk shirtdress over a black turtleneck opened the show with ease. A simple idea it was, but made entirely sinewy by a silk necktie, offering a mannish, gender-bending edge in true Prada form that was prevalent throughout the collection.

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 Long, lean 70s silhouettes ruled on the runway, accompanied with oversized double-breasted blazers, their shoulders dropping off the wearer and squaring off the fluidity of sheer organza dresses, adding a sense of mystery to this darkly powerful show.

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 And in a season so focused on outerwear, Prada offered the most imaginatively commercial jackets in a sea of competitors: leather coats trimmed in jewel tone colored shearling played nicely with a complimentary sea of silk dresses. It was just the right amount of wrong.

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 Those silk shirtdresses also rendered a grand sense of sophistication to the often addlepated mess of oddly placed sheer organza shift dresses trimmed with thin metallic straps. They were an interesting idea, but realistically untranslatable for the consumer.

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However, they also worked in a way that only Prada could get them to: they made the good stand out. Structured dresses done in wild 1920s Art Deco prints, with their thin metallic harness straps, seemed like a chic way to go in comparison to their sheer, often oddly trimmed in fur mates.

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 That was another important aspect to this Prada show, print, as it is in any Prada show. Like an intriguing conversation with an old friend, Prada’s seemingly retired brand of 90s quirk is revived for a new generation of people looking to dress intellectually. The archived prints that established Prada as a house planted firmly in the now of the 90s seemed almost more relevant today than it did yesterday. Perhaps that’s because of how much broader Prada has become as a brand. Surely, brand visibility is a good thing, but so many lose their identity on the ride there. Thankfully, Prada is a house with identity planted firmly on the ground.

The 100 Word Review: Simone Rocha Fall 2014

Known for dramatically oversized silhouettes, Simone Rocha focused on the punkier side of colonial chic. Waists were lowered and attention was given to the idea of pannier dresses, embroidered with dense crystals and pearls.

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Python coats received similar treatment; their giant ruffles impractically placed at the elbow. Cunning like a snake, but also bitingly smart.

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The show took a turn for the intellectual sweetness Rocha’s known for. A pink frock in open windowpane check felt modern with an embroidered drop waistline panel, while the inclusion of jarring tartan became sweet against soft ruffles and embroidery.

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The takeaway: abdicate boring.

The 100 Word Review: Christopher Kane Fall 2014

Ask yourself: would you wear a cropped garbage bag puffer vest accompanied with a black mini dress? No? Think again, because it’s the type of quirky utilitarian chic that only Christopher Kane could cook up.

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 In classic Kane fashion, his bitingly sweet knits in bright linden green had a striking toughness poised next to the austerity rendered in his laser cut garbage-chic skirts.

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 But it’s not all sensible: ribbon candy sleeves? Yes, please. Does it get any more delicious?

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 It does?! Kane’s genius is again revealed in his 3D geometry lesson of frothy organza frocks.

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 Kane’s message: see things differently.