Video games have long been associated with nerd culture, which is often seen as the opposite of fashion. However, if one were to look past what was on the surface, they’d realize that both industries and worlds are deeply rooted in design, and visual and emotional stimulation. While one stimulates by using technology, interaction, and visual stimulus to immerse players into a dream world separate from their own, the other uses visual stimulus, texture, and the promise of luxury and exclusivity to take fashion lovers into a different world. Yet, even though these two worlds are far apart, many designers, both game and fashion, are coming to realize how important one another’s industries are. Nicholas Ghesquiere realized this a few seasons back when he had Louis Vuitton collaborate with legendary video game developer Square Enix for a Final Fantasy themed ad campaign, which was the first ever fashion & video game crossover and opened the doors to an entirely new niche market where video games and fashion come together.
Ivy Valentine — Soul Calibur
Soul Calibur’s voluptuous English femme fatale is as deadly as she is stunning. Having been a staple character within the Soul Calibur universe, Countess Isabella Valentine has been featured in all of Soul Calibur’s cannon games as well as many of the game’s spinoffs. And for good reason. Ivy is one of the most easily recognizable characters within the game’s universe, not just for her iconic whip sword or bra size, but for stunningly designed outfits that are equal parts dominatrix and regal, perfectly matching her dominant and savage personality. Emulating Ivy’s look is simple: Look for something with equal parts sex appeal and regal dominance like Redemption.
Dante — Devil May Cry
Being born to a demon father and a human mother may come with plenty of struggles, but dressing well isn’t one of them. Since the release of the first Devil May Cry game, Dante has been the spitting image of a rock and roll badass. Now many other video game heroes have donned the go-to leather jacket and combat boot combo, but none have done it with hellish flare like Dante. In his newest incarnation, Dante sports his usual leather get up, but adds some runway flare by making his look less costumey and more realistic, mimicking what’s been seen on the runway time and time again. Recreating Dante’s iconic look is pretty easy, opt for something with nods to rock and roll like John Varvatos.
Bayonetta — Bayonetta
Being a witch comes with its perks. Sure mastering gunplay and demonic witchcraft may sound cool at first, but when you realize that Bayonetta uses a portion of her magic to manipulate her own hair into turning itself into an outfit, you realize just how amazing being a witch can be. Imagine never having to buy clothes again. Instead, you can create any outfit your heart desires, from Dior gowns to Alexander Wang jeans — the options are endless when your hair is as malleable as silly putty. To best emulate Bayonetta’s style, look for designers who use heavy weaving and tassels, like Julien Macdonald.
Alucard Tepes — Castlevania
What happens when you’re the son of Dracula? Well, you end up with an astounding taste for vintage clothing and gothic romanticism. Alucard Tepes main claim to fame may be his endless fight against his villainous father in the Castlevania universe. However, his historic bloodline shouldn’t be the only thing he’s known for. His character design is among one of the most fashionable and charming within the world of video games. Taking direct inspiration from all things gothic, Alucard emulates the perfect vampire, equal parts handsome and stoic, dark yet inviting. To recreate Alucard’s iconic style, try opting for vintage John Galliano.
Princess Peach — Super Mario
You don’t become the single most recognizable female video game character in the world by riding on the coattails of a man. No, you grab him by his coat tails and throw him off the arena. And you do it all with style, grace, and a healthy amount of pink! That’s what’s kept Princess Peach from the Super Mario universe so relevant throughout the many decades she’s graced screens around the world. Not only is she badass in the sweetest way possible, having gone from damsel in distress to racecar driving and fry pan wielding heroine, she’s managed to do it all in her iconic pink ball gown and pointy red pumps. Without dropping her jewelled crown even once! For her look, you’ll have to take a flight to Paris, because this princess’s personal style goes hand in hand with Galliano era Christian Dior. How glamorous is that?
One interesting thing that most people don’t know about is that many of the world’s most beloved brands and fashion houses actually make the majority of their profits through accessories. Brands like Prada and Dior are tasked with creating new and exciting bags, shoes, jewellery, and more to drive sales through the roof.
Some brands are even blessed with the gift of having almost their entire yearly revenue derived from the sales of their non-clothing goods. That just goes to show how important accessories really are to the fashion industry itself. They aren’t just afterthoughts or cherries on top to add “a little something” to the collection. They’re there to seal the deal on whether one loves a collection or skips it. Here are Novella’s top picks for best accessories of fall/winter 2017.
Prada: As she does every year, Miuccia Prada released a coveted selection of bags that are sure to end up on everyone’s must have list. Ranging from all black and all baby blue shoulders bags, green ostrich feather handbags, nylon satchels, and python skin to fur-covered confections and printed leather bags, Prada outdid itself once again in creating an innovative and versatile collection of handbags for every occasion. However, one bag stood out from the pack. A bag that clearly played off the brand’s fall 2017 collection of book bags. Like its predecessors, this new bag resembles a leather bound book, but this time the entire bag is comprised of velvet, giving the bag a quirky 70’s feel.
Miu Miu: Just like her bags at Prada, Miuccia’s Miu Miu bag collection is another beautiful example of how well-rounded a designer she really is. This season, Prada’s younger sister released a groovy collection of bags that mirrored the collection’s feminine 60’s flare. There were bags with fur handles and bags with large glamorous brooches. But the most interesting pick of the collection was a selection of bags that had “Miu Miu” stitched all over the bag in a stunning psychedelic swinging 60’s font.
Jacquemus: Simon Porte Jacquemus has been one of the only designers of late to actually produce worthwhile collections. And although the statement may seem a little extreme, it’s completely called for in Simon’s case. For his fall 2017 collection, Jacquemus gave the fashion world one of the most creative and innovative bags to date. Gone are the days of his “haricot” bags and wallets — his newest offering comes in the shape of an upside down envelope, mirroring the bags a bourgeois woman of the 1950’s would have worn in Paris. The greatest thing about this bag is that it carries (no pun intended) all of the things that define French clothing (like the gold chain and old world shape) and literally turns it on its head, thereby making the bag distinctly Jacquemus yet still very much French in design.
Chloe: Chloe has always been a staple in exceptional bag making and this season just another testimony to that statement. This season’s it girl bag has to be Chloe’s white sand coloured circle crossbody bag. The adorable bag is the perfect run around bag that matches any outfit, plus the brass coloured metal handle adds that perfect bohemian touch that Chloe has always been known for. And the best part is that the bag looks as if it will be available in a multitude of neutral and dark colours to suit any preference and need!
Altuzzara: The last bag on the list is by far the most traditional of the bunch, but that isn’t to say the bag is in anyway doughty or matronly. This Altuzzara handbag came in a stunning array of complementary colours that suited every look in the collection perfectly, which is also a plus. But the best part about this season’s Altuzzara bag had to be its simple design and decoration. There were no gimmicks here. Just a beautifully designed leather bag with an accompanying flower that would make even the most elite of New York’s Upper East Side squeal with delight.
Gucci: Leave to Alessandro Michele create a cowboy inspired 80’s ankle boot that actually looks amazing. During his latest Gucci show, Michele sent out a real throwback of a shoe that was completely off colour to what has been going on at Gucci. The bright white bootie comes complete with an almost Wild West/almost Eastern European embroidered floral design that fits the brand’s outstanding new vision perfectly. On top of that, the boot itself is perfect for the 80’s revival trend that has been sweeping the fashion world this season.
Tory Burch: Tory Burch is a brand that has more recently been associated with wealthy soccer mom chic, rather than high fashion fallal. But this season, the American brand looked as if it was trying to shed its current plateau and engage new customers. And the shoe of the show did just that. This beautifully ornate Tory Burch heel burst onto the catwalk with one thing in mind — to make a statement. And that it did. The stunning heel pulled out all the stops to command attention; the sculptural heel, European style brocade pattern, and a beautiful oversized bow harked back to imperial French court glamour. It’s safe to say that Tory Burch is finally making fashion and that’s a wonderful thing.
Maison Margiela: The incomparable John Galliano has made a new name for himself at Margiela since his arrival at the iconic Belgian house. Every season it seems that Mr. Galliano has fresh and innovative ideas for his clientele’s eyes to feast on. For this season’s Margiela show, Galliano presented a knee length boot in an ever-so-relevant 70’s inspired silhouette. The boot, which features an ultra feminine pencil thin heel and deep ochre coloured python print, resemble the same heeled boots that independent and fashionable women wore back in the 1970’s, making it an instant buy on any trend followers must have list.
Rochas: Rochas has always been spot on when it comes to gloriously elegant women’s clothing. This season at Rochas, viewers were treated to the most darling of pumps one could ever imagine. The shoe, which looked to have taken inspiration from 1950’s fetish heels and Marie Antoinette court shoes, are as prim and proper as any shoe can get. And that beautifully placed heel makes the entire shoe look even more delicate and glamorous.
Thom Browne: Thom Browne has never been one to shy away from designing things that many would consider outlandish, but that’s exactly why he’s on this season’s “best of” list. For his winter wonderland inspired show, Browne created a heel that features his trademark all-American brogues crossed with an interesting hollow wedge heel made to look like a figure skater’s blade. The shoe is a testament to how amazing a designer Browne is. Not only is the shoe perfectly designed to fit, it also carries one of Thom Browne most easily recognizable trademarks. On the front of the shoe, a small shirt and tie can be seen peeking out from right under the ankle, showing any potential customers that Thom Browne’s quirky suiting is never too far away.
Christian Dior: Berets have been the go-to headpiece of the season and the hardworking ateliers at Christian Dior were definitely paying attention. For fall 2017, Dior had berets coming down the runway in full force. Part French go-to, part pro-feminist statement. The berets conjured up images of strong warrior women ready to fight for female freedom and independence.
Loewe: Jonathan Anderson has been wowing audiences in London and Paris for quite some time now, so it comes as no surprise that the British wunderkind presented another spot on collection for Loewe this season. The collection itself is a mishmash of all of the most beautiful things that Anderson has designed in the past, with the tiniest hint of European village life. This is where the hat comes in. The darling straw hat isn’t overbearing and ostentatious like many straw sunhats that have been shown on the runway. This adds to Anderson’s rendition’s charm. Rather than making the hat comical and theatrical, the small brim size gives the sunhat an air of authenticity and realness.
Coach: Coach is another one of those brands that ran into an extremely commercial plateau for quite a while. However, recently the brand has beefed up their designs and created relevant and exciting collections to lure would-be buyers in. For fall 2017, Coach has managed to design a wonderfully trendy hat for the young streetwear wise dressers of the world. With its fluffy shearling outer layer, the hat seems like the perfect alternative to a beanie for those chilly New York nights.
Adam Selman: Now this may not be the most traditional hat, but that doesn’t take away from how interesting a topper it is. At Adam Selman’s show during NYFW17, audiences were treated to a quirky little birdcage fascinator that was equal parts adorable and badass. Like 1950’s motorcycle gang chicks, the models stormed out with powerful little flowers on their heads and the best part about them is their versatility. Not only could you wear them with jeans and a leather jacket, but you could easily pair the fascinator with a beautiful black cocktail dress for more formal events.
Marc Jacobs: Marc Jacobs has always been fashion’s little rebel. Taking everyday trends from past and present and turning them into high fashion concepts. For his fall collection, the inspiration was clear. 70’s and 80’s urban and hip hop culture reigned supreme on the runway and it was perfectly evident in Jacobs accessories. This puffy hat is a perfect alternative to your traditional winter beanie. Instead of having a regular old boring knitted winter hat, you can have this interesting oversized retro beanie instead.
Anna Sui: Anna Sui is one of those designers who has and will always march to the beat of her own drum. Since the early 90’s, Anna has been creating collections that are distinctly her own. This season’s Anna Sui sunnies follow in her great tradition of doing her own thing. The blue sunglasses feature a theatrical angular cat eye that is only further enhanced by their bright cobalt shade. The glasses also perfectly compliment the collections 1920’s/1970’s bohemian chic aesthetic, giving the wearer the glamour of a traditional cat eye with a bright pop of a mod colour.
Acne: The beauty of Acne is in its simplicity. While other brands thrive off of creating elaborate shows and collections, Acne has blossomed into a fashion powerhouse by infusing Swedish minimalism with high fashion appeal. And this is perfectly evident with this season’s sunglasses. The shades for fall/winter 2017 were simple in their construction. Two thin silver arms hold the angular coloured lenses in place to create a psychedelic feel to the glasses. Think John Lennon à la 2017 high fashion mod. But the quirky simplicity of these sunglasses aren’t the only selling points here. The glasses are actually quite versatile. They can be paired perfectly with a casual pair of jeans and a band t-shirt or glammed up with a silk neck-tied blouse, wide leg pant, and a floppy summer hat.
Anya Hindmarch: Anya Hindmarch’s entry into the industry as an accessories designer must be what pushes her to create an interesting range of accessories that are completely relevant, on-brand, and desirable outside of her own already spectacular clothing lines. Her fall 2017 sunglass collection just goes to show that she understands what her customers want. She could have easily made a pair of sunglasses with a simple frame and lens for her collection, but instead she chose to create a fur trimmed pair of sunglasses that more closely resembled a pair of skiing goggles. The fun, fur trimmed sunglasses add that perfect wintery feeling to an accessory that’s usually associated with warmer weathers and the summer months, giving the overall look a high fashion après ski feeling.
Fendi: Fendi is an accessory giant. Like its other Italian contemporaries, Fendi owes much of its success to its sales in trendy and in demand accessories. Usually known for its outlandish designs, Fendi presented a surprising take on sunglasses by creating a clean and perfectly polished pair of circular sunglasses. The posh specs fit spectacularly with the cool and composed vibe of the collection. It just goes to show that sometimes simplicity really is key!
Sacai: Sacai is a brand that has garnered a huge following over the years. And it’s easy to see why. This season’s sunglasses are in fact the most visually stunning, adorned with a number of butterflies framing the arms and lenses. These Sacai delights are perfect for commanding total attention when walking into a room. The one possible downfall of these sunnies may be their theatricality, but that’s also their the biggest allure. The beautifully decorative butterfly wings add an old world whimsy to the glasses that has slowly been coming back into fashion. And why not enjoy these shades all year-round? They would make the perfect winter pop of summery colour and the perfect summer conversation piece.
‘Small gift, big smile’ is the mantra that the iconic Hello Kitty has been selling to us since its birth on 1st November 1974 in London. On Saturday, the rising star fashion designer Ryan LO in collaboration with the Sanriocompany made a tribute to the ‘you-can-never-have-too-many-friends’ philosophy that Hello Kitty embodies.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, he said: “I was born in Hong Kong so Hello Kitty was part of my everyday life. I went through the archives of their prints as I wanted to use Hello Kitty in an unexpected way – not just pictures of the cat or cherries that they are known for. It is such a cool company and I am obviously very touched to have been chosen.”
At the presentation of his Fall-Winter 2017 collection during London Fashion Week, the trend-setting Harajuku district in Tokyo had also a strong presence. Childhood nostalgia met his present, so the street style and the Japanese pop culture from the nineties resulting in extravagant cartoonish designs.
The romantic fantasy that is the consistent theme in the life and work of Ryan was injected in the sassy girly looks spotted on the catwalk. Organza and tulle ruffled dresses, as well as oversize childish sweaters were displayed in candy and hot pinks, which worked perfectly with the boyish edge added by pump style trainers.
A myriad of camouflage prints combined with polka dots, stars, and Hello Kitty patterns, competed with shaggy shearling jackets. All of them, the stars of the collection by Ryan LO who draw a rapper’s female posse where innocent met badass.
In times when the immigration crises are dramatically growing across the world, designers’ voices become more inspiring than ever. Fashion is a reflection of the times that we live in, and yesterday Haizhen Wang nailed the message.
‘In Transit’ was the name of the AW17 collection that the young designer presented at the Swiss Church during London Fashion Week. The whole presentation embodied a philosophical view on the idea of fashion as a product of transition. Nothing new, but something worth a word, or an image in this case.
The models walking in between cardboard boxes showed slogan badges reading ‘fragile,’ ‘handle with care,’ ‘priority,’ and ‘air eligible.’ A statement of, not only the underrated sense of stability in the fashion industry but also behind human transit.
Ever since he graduated from Central Saint Martins with an MA in Womenswear and established is own brand in 2010, in London, Haizhen Wang has been mastering the art of deconstruction in fashion design. Raw edges and gender fluidity – or ‘masculine femininity’ in his words – are the essence of his work.
Oversized peplum corsets wrapped the waistlines with extra long seat belts, as we would tie up our luggage. Another hint to the idea of transition that reflects the talent of Haizhen Wang as a designer, and as a communicator.
The key elements of his AW17 collection: warm earth tones such as dark blues, red, black, ochre and khaki, and flat double wools as the star fabric. The cut? Sharp tailored pieces to dress an incredibly self-confident woman, almost, as strong as Haizhen’s voice.
New York and London have just finished presenting their takes on fashion’s fastest growing trends. Designers had their hands in everything from florals to plaid, creating a fashion wonderland for all to see and appreciate. However, not every trend was something worth cheering over and not every trend from last year had the staying power to push into this season. In spite of all of that, five trends managed to dominate the runway this season at NYFW and LFW. Some of them are interpretations and modernizations of trends that have been going strong for a little while now, while others are fresh and following the beat of what’s going on around them.
Here are the 5 trends that swept the stage during New York and London fashion weeks:
The staple print of the 1970’s is back again with a vengeance this season. After slowly sneaking into almost every collection under the sun over the past year, this season’s take on the iconic intersecting stripes seems to have a bit more bite to it.
It seems that mustard is the go-to plaid punch colour this season. Designers like Marc Jacobs and Osman have created their own takes on mustard plaid coats that look beautifully modern, yet nostalgically retro.
Now mustard may have been every plaid loving designer’s sweetheart this season, but many other designers opted for more neutral tones instead. At Anna Sui and J. JS. Lee, Prince of Wales check coats and suits came in simple yet punchy neutrals of black and tan that pumped the heritage look of the check with a little youthful pizzazz.
Political injustices that have been sweeping across the United States has inspired a plethora of designers and artists to push past what’s been socially acceptable as a collection to create what are now being dubbed “protest collections.“
This season has seen countless designers present their personal opinions against the current U.S. presidency by incorporating graphic and stylistic design elements into their collections. For example, graphic tees and sweatshirts were the highlights at Creatures of Comfort, PrabalGurung, and Ashish. Models strutted down the runway in garments that either directly quoted many of Donald Trump’s ludicrous catchphrases or directly opposed them by sending messages of peace and empowerment.
However, one collection really stood out by breaking down walls and really pushing the boundary of what politically charged fashion can be. This season at Gareth Pugh, models were dressed in military inspired outfits that so closely resembled modern Nazi uniforms that it felt uncomfortable to even watch the show — which was Pugh’s brilliant intention. Model after model stormed the runway in haunting makeup and beautifully tailored military garb that represented Pugh’s vision of what America’s future may look like if a fascist government sinks its teeth into it for too long. The runway music was a cacophonous array of jumbled songs, speeches, and easily recognizable American media that mimicked CIA audios of torture used on prisoners. The collection did not break from a completely black colour scheme, only adding to the doom and gloom that Pugh wanted to express. In the end, the collection is a strong representation of creative visions that designers will start to express as the world around them become little less bright as time goes on.
These aren’t your grandma’s delicate peony prints! Fall/Winter 2017 saw some of the most creative and downright unconventional floral prints seen to date. Colours were vibrant and outlandish, designs were ostentatious and gaudy, and the best part was that audiences loved every second of it.
Season after season, designers have slowly built up fashion lover’s appetite for more shocking floral prints. At Preen, one of the last biggest trends, the puffer coat was given a bright injection of watercolour florals. While at Christopher Kane, beautiful budding blooms exploded from simple slip dresses, adding a whimsical fairytale touch to the collection.
At Ryan Lo and Erdem, traditional English florals were spun into unconventional silhouettes to give a modern update to old world Victorian charm.
The Reimagined Suit
Gone are the days of the 90’s power suit. Women now have a plethora of unique and interesting styles that are perfect for the boardroom. At Theory, Thom Browne, and Mulberry, plaids dominated. Adding a retro crispness to the modern suit. But the modern suit doesn’t just rely on a fresh print for an updated look.
At Mulberry and Delpozo, silhouettes were given exaggerated proportions to modernize the everyday suit’s silhouette. Broad shoulders and widened flared arms hark back to exaggerated Dynasty power suits, without leaving a tacky taste in your mouth.
However, the real winner has to be Thom Browne. For his fall 2017 collection, the master of suiting once again deconstructed the traditional suit and put it back together. Giving women the option of strong menswear-inspired looks as well as Edwardian era newspaper boy suits in whimsical gingham check. The collection presents an interesting take on the modern women’s suit. It showed that suiting doesn’t necessarily have to be cold and stoic — it can be interesting and even comical without taking away the commanding effect of the suit itself.
The New Trench
It goes without saying that this season has been the season of the trench coat. Designers in every fashion capital have stormed the runway with their interpretations of floor-length trench coats, giving them modern updates, and unconventional silhouettes for the modern fashion aficionado to enjoy.
The most colourful of the bunch came from Derek Lam, who presented a lovely trench coat in red leather, conjuring up images of 1940’s Dick Tracey zoot suits. Meanwhile, Margaret Howell, The Row, and MM6 all opted for more traditional hues.
The most intriguing part of the modern trench coat is definitely the new proportions designers have given it. At The Row, trench coats were given extremely streamlined silhouettes by going sans buttons. While trenches at MM6, infused with traditional Japanese designs and tied at the waist with a very thin belt, almost resemble an unfinished kimono. Designs like these give the modern trench a fresh and exciting twist. This isn’t just your dad’s old London Fog coat anymore!