One Month, One Style: Statement Feathers

This season we found a new way to build up an outstanding look and to add flair to your wardrobe: feathers is our choice for October. From the fashionable cities like New York, London, Milan, and Paris to the catwalks, these fluffy 1920’s details have been seen everywhere and it’s crystal clear that this trend is making a major comeback. You can add some drama to your outfit by wrapping yourself in fluffy feathers, as seen in Balenciaga’s fall 2017 RTW, or treat your little plumes as fashion accessories with feather trims as seen in PradaAlexander McQueen, or J.W. Anderson, that added a glamorous laid-back vibe to the modern collection.

We are totally agree that wearing feathers can be tricky, the key is balancing it with more relaxed styles, so you can make a fashion statement without looking over the top. Below, five creative ways to add feathers in a fresh, new way to your fall wardrobe :

Alexander Mcqueen, Balenciaga , Prada

Like a bird

If the idea of wearing feathers intimidates you, there is a subtlety option: Feather details that appear on the sleeves. It’s lighter than fur and adds a texture that can upgrade a simple top. A cotton shirt with a little plume is a classic take on the trend and also the easiest to wear. You can pair it with jeans for a casual day look or team it with a fancier skirt for a night out.

Credit: Style Du Monde

Move it move it

Another way to take the classy piece to a whole new level is by adding feather to the bottons of your pants. The fluffy embellishment would totally evoke a uniqueness in a fresh way. It’s a new mix that brings some movement and playful elements to your outfit, but it’s also appropriate enough to function as a day wear, as long as the feathers are delicate and come in a solid colour.

Credit: Style Du Monde

 Bohemian soul

If you still need some time to get used to this new feather trend, there are some subtle ways to welcome them into your wardrobe. Feather embellished jewelry in a variety of colours and lengths, as earrings or necklaces, will give a bohemian-cool vibe to the overall outfit. It is also a great way to refresh your daily office outfit.

Credit: Free People

 Fluffy feet

Another big trend this season is feathered shoes. Fluff embellished stilettos were very popular on the fall/winter catwalks and among celebrities and fashionistas like Gigi Hadid, Rihanna, and Leandra Medine. The extraordinary details are fun alternatives to an evening wear and also unique enough to get noticed. You can balance it with a polished suit or pair it with a fluffy coat for a full impact.

Credit: Harpers Bazaar uk

Showgirls  

Feather trimmings,  added to the hem of a skirt or all over the garment, are a bolder way to add a youthful charm to your appearance. The flirty skirt allows you to channel your inner fashionista and embrace the playfulness of loud textures. To maintain a sophisticated feminine look, stick to black, but keep in mind that vibrant colours like pink can be also a great choice, since they evoke glamour with a pinch of sex appeal, especially for a fashion-forward girl.

Credit: Neiman Marcus – LFW

 

Runway to Reality

From vivid colors worn head to toe to feathers and ruffles attached to every imaginable item alongside futuristic silhouettes, the runway is everything but boring. The trends that we see on the runway are extravagant and inspirational, but there is one conflict: how can we interpret these trends so that they are appropriate for our daily and unglamorous life? We believe that by beefing up your out of the box thinking skills, even the most variegated runway look can be made office friendly. We decided to take five catwalk trends and show you the best ways to pull them off in real life.

Working girl

The pin-striped suit of power and formality and a touch of masculinity is back. From observing the Fall 2017 RTW collection, it seems that the checked grey prints are becoming must-have pieces for every fashionista. The tailored suit borrowed from the boys’ fashion handbook is no longer limited to the Wall Street banker. Designers like Calvin KleinDries van Noten, Céline, Mulberry, Stella McCartnery, Balenciaga, and many more pushed the power suit forward through more relaxed silhouettes. To make the pinstripes everyday-ready, they have to be comfortable and roomy. A poor fit can make it look cheap, so it’s smart to pay more attention to the proportion and silhouette. You can break up the suit and pair the tailored blazer with a pair of flattering jeans or a fun blouse for an off-duty look. You can also play with contrasting and team up a vibrant color top with grey check trousers; another option is to pair it with a white polo neck for a youthful and fresh take.

Runway v. Reality (left: kelvin-klien; right: Nordstrom)

NASA is calling

It all started when Chanel transformed the runway to a space center with models who wore Space influenced versions of the brand’s classics. Metallic details and futuristic elements were also present in Saint LaurentPaco RabanneChristopher Kane and more — apparently designers adore the future and we are all waiting to lift off. But before we do, let us help you prepare in style. For a casual look, focus only on one high shine piece or limit the number of flashy fabrics. For instance, look for metallic pieces like geometric jewelry in silver or gold, or choose a sassy winter coat that evokes the Space look. For a subtler look, pair metallic booties with relaxed denim and roll up the hemline, or make it office appropriate with a monochrome outfit in muted colors.

Lady in red

It’s about time we say hello to the most powerful color of the season: Red. This fall, we spotted head to toe red in a variety of shades like crimson, cherry, and wine. Needless to say, red was a favorite among designers at fashion weeks from New York to Paris. Designers like Max Mara, Jil Sander, Bottega Veneta, Dior, and Fendi showcased the confident color in many variations, which is an indication that it’s about time you add some of the sensual red to your wardrobe. The good news is that red happens to be the most flattering color on all skin tones. The key is to find a way to make it work for your daily outfit. For an office look, break up the monochromatic appearance by pairing it with natural tones. Avoid cheap fabrics and opt for silk or wool for elegance. Keep it ladylike with a cozy red coat that will upgrade your casual outfit. For an evening look, velvet is a great option and it will bring a sophisticated sex appeal to your overall look.

Matrix

Welcome to the dark side of fashion. Since its release 18 years ago, the Matrix trilogy has inspired and continues to inspire fashion designers today. And look no further than this season to witness the Matrix’s reach. Think all black clothing, leather trench coats, crocodile prints, Neo’s bondage pants, catsuits, skinny bug=eyed sunglasses, and even more futuristic elements, all in sexy silhouettes. On the catwalk, Vetements, Balenciaga, Alexander Wang, and Balmain dialed the Matrix vibe to the fullest. The movie inspired look may be challenging for an everyday look, but it’s not an impossible mission. A leather trench coat can feel more practical when styled with a pair of skinny black jeans; or wear head to toe black with a pair of futuristic statement sunglasses. Whatever you do, just make sure to keep the look minimalistic and highly tailored.

Runway v Reality (left: Alexander McQueen; right: Aritzia)

Craftwork

This fall, arts and crafts seemed to inspire designers among all the fashion capitals. Multiculturalism and heritage craft ruled the runway, evoking folk influences blends with carefree and free spirit. The current season, the heritage craft reflected through American and British countryside traditions with rich colours and fabrics that look as if they have been woven from tapestries. Erdem, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Valentino showcased floral embroidery dresses, while Etro and Prada drew inspiration from the 70s with patchwork jackets.  On the runway it’s always looks exciting and colourful, but for daily life the traditional crafts prints can be a bit tricky to wear, especially head to toe. You can start small by spicing up a basic outfit with a decorative handbag or add a folk style scarf.  If you consider yourself as a fashion risk taker, you can bring out the vibrancy of the handcraft piece by using bold coloured basics in the mix.

This season, arts and crafts seem to have inspired designers in all the fashion capitals. Heritage craft ruled the runway and pointed to folk influences, which blended well with a sense of carefreeness. The current season showcases crafts that evoke the American and British countrysides with rich colors and fabrics that look though they were weaved like tapestries. Erdem, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, and Valentino showed floral embroidery dresses, while Etro and Prada drew inspiration from the ’70s and showed patchwork jackets. On the runway, it always looks exciting and colorful, but for the everyday, the traditional craft prints can be a bit tricky to wear, especially head to toe. You can start small. Spice up a basic outfit with a decorative handbag or add a folk-style scarf. If you consider yourself a risk taker, bring out the vibrancy of a handcrafted pice by adding bold colored basics to the mix.

Runway v. Reality (left: Erdem; right: Anthropologie)

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Mastering the cool girl style for summer 2017

If you’ve ever had a secret wish to be the coolest person in the room (or on the beach) this summer, there are a few signature styling nuances that have already been identified (or adopted) by it girls around the globe. In order to master the concept of coolness and spice up your current wardrobe, here are some of the most eye-catching accessories and garments we spotted on Instagram. They will boost your style to the next level by keeping you up-to-date. 

Credit: Theatlantic-pacific.com

Wide brim straw hat

Wide brim straw hats are no longer an indicator of social status or just functional item that protects the skin from the sun. There is something about a straw hat that gives off a glamorous beach vibe with a country style twist, so no wonder it’s the hot trend for summer 2017. It’s a great way to express our individual style especially if the hat is embellished with tassels, colourful pompoms, or fun slogans. The choices are endless: You can offset a feminine oversize floppy hat with a “borrowed from the boys” look or pair a Panama hat with a girly gingham skirt and a linen shirt. Nothing says summer better than a custom-embroidered straw hat. 

Credit: Julia-friedman.com

The Basket bag

Another straw obsession is the basket bag, which was captured just about everywhere this summer. The basket bag which has been seen in Balenciaga, Mark Cross, Dolce & Gabbana, and — the favourite bag among it girls — Alexa Chung and Jeanne Damas, has become a must have accessory staple. We couldn’t help but think that you should follow their fashionable lead and consider swapping your everyday bag for a basket one, which is also very Instagrammable. The good news is that there are many versions of the stylish bag that will also meet your needs: from a rectangular one to a circular one, from structured and boxy to a big fluid tote. Due to its popularity the bags are almost out of stock almost everywhere, so get your hands on it as quickly as possible before it’s too late. 

Credit: Thegirlfrompanama.com

Big statement earrings

What better way to inject some fun to high summer looks than a few colourful pompoms, tassels, and fringes? The statement earrings are having their moment right now and the bolder they are the better. Adding a punch of colour to your outfit may not be suitable for everyone, but it certainly makes fashion more fascinating. Pompom earrings are very strong on the street and on the high fashion scene this season, especially in a spectrum of vibrant hues, which ensure that the outfit will be noticeable even from afar. To bring attention to your ears, make sure to keep everything else simple and avoid wearing a statement necklace.  

Credit: SomeWhere, Lately

Gingham style

One of the biggest hits this season is one always associated witch picnic tables. Apparently it’s possible to wear this childish pattern and still feel sexy. A brief overview on Instagram proves that gingham is completely appropriate for grown-ups. The girly gingham received a quick makeover and has been injected with a dose of cool. To work the trend properly, don’t hesitate to bare your shoulders or rock it with asymmetric crop tops. You can also choose a refreshing colour combo as an alternative to classic black or blue and white, like electric purple and forest green. Another option is to accent the print with bold accessories and neutral tones.

Pool slide sandals

The pool slide, known as the ‘ugly’ shoes of the summer, still remains a huge hit among the coolest fashionistas. Not only because of the effortless comfy feel they evoke, but also because the average cool girl loves out of the box pieces and these shoes definitely meets her needs. High-end designers like as Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton have already come out with their interpretations of the sporty slides, but you can also always get your hands on the classic brands like Fila and Adidas. This season you can wear it in just about any way your heart desires. Just remember to open your mind to unexpected combinations. Rock the look by adding a pair socks or wear them with fancy dresses. The slides are not limited to rubber soles: We saw them in vivid colours and with delicate floral or 3D embellishments, in leopard prints, with fringes and pompoms, and even covered with a lot of fur. 

Credit: Topshop blog

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The Novella team picks their fave trends for spring!

Fashion, like all forms of art, is about self-expression. It’s about taking colour, pattern, texture, shape, and style and making it all your own. This season saw some of the freshest and newest collections to date. Giving all of us here at Novella a reason to cheer over. There was no shortage of extremely wondering and eye-catching pieces. From beautiful coats to soft ruffles and baby pinks, our picks for best spring trends are sure to get yours and our spring wardrobes feeling as fresh as the springtime scenery that’s to come.

 

Chris Zaghi, Fashion Editor

Photos: L’Uomo Vogue | From L to R: Louis Vuitton, Angelos Frentzos, Juun. J

Berets

Berets are happening and they’re happening in a big way. They’ve been everywhere for spring/summer and fall/winter. Every designer under the sun, from Louis Vuitton to Christian Dior, gave the fashion world its take on the iconic Parisian staple. After having witnessed season after season of floppy hats and wide brim felt hats, the understated beret uses its touch of whimsical flair and elegance to add a special touch to casual looks, while giving more formal looks an ease of wear that only the french can pull off.

Shades of Icy Blue

My absolute favourite colour is slowly, but surely, making its way into a slew of designers collections this season. And with perfect timing too. Spring is the season of pastels. Light pinks and soft yellows dance with mints and orange sherbets in the most delicate dance. Spring is the season of floral blooms and all the colours that come with them. So it comes as no surprise that with the softness spring’s blooms come with their softest colours. At Angelos Frentzos, icy powder blues add a calming and luxe appeal to heavy streetwear looks. Giving the harshest of streetwear scrutinisers a reason to praise.

Extreme Trenches

The trench has been a rainy day springtime staple since its inception back in the 1800s, remaining unchained for centuries until today. The new trench now comes in whatever colour, shape, and style you can imagine (and desire) This season’s trend for extreme trenches came during Juun. J‘s fall collection. Where extreme duster lengths and avant-garde proportions are perfectly balanced with one another to create a modern yet classic silhouette that’s only sure to grow and evolve as time goes on.

Liat Neuman, Fashion Contributor

Bright colours

Super bright colours were playing a bold part in the capital fashion cities of the world, from Balenciaga to Celine and Phillip Lim, all brought a lot of energy to the runway, with a collection that contains all the shocking shades we can think of. There is no doubt that these rainbow colours bring your outfit to live – For me it’s much needed after all these gloomy days we were dealing with.

See-Through Garments

I am so fascinated over this big trend, that is also the most risqué one. See-through garments like tulle skirt and dresses, which were taken from the ballet world, has been seen in Dior, Rochas and Valentino and are very popular among the Londoner’s fashionistas. I adore the way it can blur the line between party outfit and a casual day look, evoking a romantic feeling blend with an edgy touch.

Ruffles

The ruffles continue to be a major hit this season and the bolder the better. I love how the ruffles creating a fierce statement. Well appreciated designers have included ruffles in a sophisticated way in their current collection, create unexpected layers, like ruffles with lace or with asymmetrical and voluminous pieces. The layer upon layers of this frilly fabric provides feminine flair to any springy look.

Natasha Grodzinski, Arts & Culture Contributor

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Tory Burch, Stella McCartney, Balenciaga.

Stripes on Stripes

In the past few seasons, we’ve occasionally seen a bit of pattern-on-paten action. While certain houses like Dolce & Gabbana still put out here combinations, the new buzz for Spring 2017 is about matching striped suits. I’m always interested in borrowing from menswear and a striped suit is a real classic. I love the idea of making it contemporary through feminine tailoring and fresh colour. Spring uniform? I think so.

Statement Tees

A good t-shirt has always gone a long way, but lately they’ve been at the forefront of trends. Aside from the slew of vintage band tees gracing almost every street style blog, multiple designers put out statement t-shirts, from Dior‘s feminism tees to the “No leather” number seen at Stella McCartney. In our current social and political climate, designers are taking notice of the importance of self-expression and individuality. If fashion is an introduction without words, a statement tee is an introduction and the opener of a debate.

Big Shoulders

I mean. I mean. I’m in love with the amount of 80s inspiration seen on the spring runways. As mentioned before, I like to borrow from the boys, and a good shoulder padding can cut such a crisp, strong look. (I’m thinking specifically of the looks in Working Girl.) Since I am somebody with naturally broad shoulders, I was often told to steer clear of added shoulder padding. But what if I went the other way, and drew a bit more attention to it? I’ll likely not be at the Balenciaga level, but I’m ready to play around with a padded jacket or two.

Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief

Photo Credit: L to R: Wooyoungmi (Vogue Runway), Gucci loafer (GQ UK), Haider Ackerman (Vogue Runway)

Check Mate

Squares and checks were all over the runways this season. One of my favourite brands Wooyoungmi paired widowpane  checks of varying sizes together and gives men more options to play with other than the standard pinstripe staple. I will definitely be rocking this trend this spring.

Two-in-one Shoes

With the growing popularity of  Alessandro Michelle‘s new Gucci, the two-in-one shoes are a must-have this season. The fold down back feature flattens underneath your foot to make the shoe into a mule. You don’t have to have be rich to rock a pair. Zara‘s has more a more affordable pair for any budget.

A Touch of Pink

Pink is always one of my go to colors during the spring/summer season and it was spotted on many runways. From light pink at Haider Ackerman to dusty rose at Gucci, each designer offered many ways to add a burst of pink to your wardrobe. 

Claire Ball, Editorial Contributor

Photo Credit: L to R: DKNY (Vogue), Yeezy (Vogue), Rag & Bone (Vogue)

White dresses

I’m not usually one to wear white. It takes a special piece of clothing to make me want to be that risky. But I find this trend to be so enticing because it’s almost romantic in such a chill and casual way. Since I’m already a big fan of shirt dresses, I love that the right shape and hemline can turn a rather boring white dress into a spring essential.

Khaki

Thanks to the many designers that tackled the look on the runway, I have recently developed a new appreciation for the utilitarian look. I don’t have an explanation why, but thankfully I no longer associate khaki with my dad’s wardrobe.

New Athleisure

GIVE ME ALL THE ATHLEISURE! I am seriously obsessed with this trend (shocker). The welcoming of sweatshirts into the fashion world has now opened the door for all facets of sporting style to be acceptable (#blessed). I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy, and I grew up playing sports, so I L-O-V-E that all my casual athletic wear is chic now. Time to get in the game, it’s officially warm up season folks!

Is Haute Couture Still Relevant?

Is haute couture still relevant? That’s the question many fashion industry heavyweights have been asking as of late. As a flurry of rising fast fashion powerhouses, online shopping and now the emergence of see now buy now collections become a major trend within the industry, Parisian haute couture has been seeing a slow decline in customer interest and even industry interest. With many iconic houses opting to shut down their haute couture operations and others only being kept on the official schedule out of good grace and respect. Many believe that the iconic couture industry will, sooner that later, die out. But there’s an underlying question that can help answer the big question in regards to the current state of haute couture, and that’s why. Why is haute couture in such jeopardy of becoming the next big fashion faux pas?

Mme Jeanne Lanvin fitting a model photo from Style Magazine

To start, the biggest factor that’s come to affect couture is most definitely the rise of pret-a-porter. For the better part of human history, most clothing was either handmade or at least sewn on a machine but made to fit the customer like a glove. The idea of ready to wear collections that came in standard sizes was unheard of. Whether a person was young or old, rich or poor, someone was most likely making clothing meant to fit their specific measurements. That was truly the essence of haute couture. Whether a garment required the diligently trained hand of a master couturier to sew pearls into a silk bodice for an aristocratic woman or the caring hand of a mother making a dress for her child, couture had a way of coming into anyone’s home. Now some may argue that true couture started in the ateliers of Belle Epoque masters like Madame Lanvin and Monsieur Patou, but couture has truly been around for centuries, from the togas fashioned by the Greeks long ago, to the panniered gowns of the French court. Couture has been present throughout human history for ages.

Models backstage at Christian Dior Haute Couture ss12 Photo by GoRunway

So why put all that wonderful history to waste in favour of ready made garments. It comes down to cost. Historically, haute couture has been attributed to the rich upper echelon of the world and as the human population began to grow and go through revolutions in business, trade, and technology. The need for previous industries to quicken their production speed and product output was essential, causing the first real blow to haute couture. As time went on people forgot about the idea of handmade clothing and began to equate it with something only out of touch old money and nouveau riche people cared for. From then on the fashion industry began to grow into a commercialized form of revenue. Iconic houses like Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior had no choice but to begin incorporating pret-a-porter collections after designers like Yves Saint Laurent hit massive success in the market when he introduced his first ready to wear collection.

Christian Dior fitting a model Photo by Keystone/Getty Images

Another main reason why the fashion community has slowly lost interest in haute couture is due to the sterilization of individual style within the industry itself. As trends become the norm, luxury fashion houses are forced to create collections based on the year’s biggest trends as opposed to collections based on innovation and creativity. For example, the legendary house of Christian Lacroix dominated the world of fashion from the late 80’s up until its final collection in 2009. However, even though Lacroix was one of the most iconic and innovative designers for his time, his brand failed to ever turn any profit and was ultimately forced to close its doors due to massive debts and waning public interest. Likewise, design houses like Ungaro, Hanae Mori, and most recently Saint Laurent, have all halted their production of haute couture due to the massive expense it takes to create and the lack of clientele to justify its production.

A look from Christian Lacroix’s Haute Couture ss09 collection Photo by Marcio Madeira

With all that said, it seems that the future couture has been decided. With its slow but relentless decline in popularity and need, in a few years, couture may become completely obsolete. This, in turn, brings the argument back to its initial question, is haute couture still relevant? And the answer is yes. Couture should undoubtedly still be considered relevant. In an industry that’s become so obsessed with profit as opposed to artistic expression, wouldn’t it be important to keep something that showcases the art behind fashion? Rather than pumping out uniformity all year around, couture should be preserved alongside ready-to-wear to keep the craftsmanship and artistry alive. Like Simon Porte Jacquemus said, “I would like to see more poetry, less industry; because fashion is nothing without poetry.” Another very important reason to keep haute couture alive is for the sake of the seamstresses, tailors, and ateliers that devote their lives to perfecting their craft. Since couture must be made by hand, there are hundreds of ateliers working in various couture houses which carry the knowledge and the expertise to create extravagant creations that cannot be duplicated by a machine. Putting these valued and respected team members out of work would be a grave injustice to them and a grave injustice to the fashion industry as a whole. If the fashion industry rids itself of couture and the experts who make it possible, a piece of valuable knowledge would be lost for future generations. Who would be there to teach aspiring couturiers their secrets? Who will be there to uphold the artistry and standards that legends like Christian Dior and Cristobal Balenciaga created decades ago? Who will be there to take our wildest dreams and bring them to life?

A look from Giambattista Valli’s Haute Couture fw16 collection Photo by Alessandro Garofalo

In the end, questioning the relevance of haute couture is question fashion itself. Without couture, fashion itself becomes irrelevant. The storytelling becomes irrelevant. Without couture, the fashion industry becomes just another industrial engine, pumping out factory made clothing that doesn’t represent anything other than profit and uniformity.