Gotta Have it! Must have show stopping accessories from the fall 2017 runway

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.

The Bags

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Prada, Miu Miu, Jacquemus, Chloe, Altuzzara

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.

The Shoes

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Gucci, Tory Burch, Maison Margiela, Rochas, Thom Browne

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.

The Hats

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Christian Dior, Loewe, Coach, Adam Selman, Marc Jacobs

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.

The Shades

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Anna Sui, Acne, Anya Hindmarch, Fendi, Sacai

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 HindmarchAnya 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.

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Haute Couture Spr 2017 Highlights

Couture week is one of the most anticipated weeks on the fashion yearly calendar. It’s that special time of year when designers can truly flex their designer muscles and showcase exactly what they’re made of. It’s in these two weeks that the biggest and most illustrious fashion are given the budget and the audience to create the most elaborate and extravagant of collections. But it isn’t about creating sellable collections, as most spring, fall, resort, and pre-fall collections are about. No, Couture week is about creating a fantasy. It’s about weaving a dream together and wrapping that dream in a neat bow for the houses’ exclusive list of clientele. This season, audiences were treated to some of the greatest haute couture produced in recent years. Designers must have taken note of the underwhelming response they were getting from fashion lovers around the world because this season marked the return of theatrics to the haute couture stage; something that hasn’t been seen since the heyday of Galliano at Dior and Valentino Garavani at the helm of his namesake brand.

Photo by Marcus Tondo

Schiaparelli

Bertrand Geyon of Schiaparelli truly is a force to be reckoned with. Since his debut at Schiaparelli not too long ago, Bertrand has managed to not only recreate Elsa Schiaparelli’s iconic graphic aesthetic, he’s also found a way to make the brand fit in perfectly with today’s contemporary fashion trends. Geyon’s strong east Asian influences are bright as day when held against the collection’s crisp whites. Patterned garments are smartly sprinkled throughout the collection, to ground the audiences in between the sea of pristine white and scarlet. Another standout aspect of the collection is the emphasis on tailoring. As all great couturiers do, Bertrand has created a collection with such precise silhouettes and cuts that it’s impossible to find a garment that looks disproportionate on the model’s body. The suiting, in the case, works in perfect harmony with the tailoring to create a streamlined silhouette that’s bound to suit the wearer, no matter their size.

Photo by Marcus Tondo

Guo Pei

Guo Pei has solidified herself as the reigning queen of haute couture. Her impressive rake on modern couture is by far the closest humanity has to recreate the extravagant costumes and pieces once produced in Paris many moons ago. This season, Pei took her audience on another extravagant trip to the land of pure extravagance, when she chose to recreate classical renaissance and romantic paintings for her collection. The collection saw giant masterpieces by renaissance masters come to life right before the audience’s very eyes. Rich tones of gold were intricately woven into every outfit, making the entire collection glow, like a gilded frame of a masterpiece you’d find in the Louvre rather than the runway. However, even with its heavy influences, Guo Pei’s venture into spring couture wasn’t heavy at all. The charming outfits had a rather light-as-air feel about them that added to the magic of the show. A perfect example of this was Pei’s reinterpretation of the classic bubble skirt, made famous by fellow couturier Christian Lacroix, which billowed out and bobbed around the model like a chandelier made of clouds, as opposed to a tangle of fabric and boning.

Photos by Yannis Vlamos

Chanel

It really is the moment every fashion lover around the world has been waiting for. After having to endure multiple seasons of lackluster collections,  Karl Lagerfeld has finally hunkered down and produced a collection for Chanel that would stop any critic dead in their tracks. Gone are the days of fashion critics asking “what happened to Chanel? What happened to Karl?” because the legend himself has created a monumental collection that returned the historic French house back to its roots. There were no overly elaborate runways and no gimmicky props, instead, Karl relied on the pure esprit of Coco Chanel to create a collection that manages to be modern and fresh, while retaining a sense of old world elegance. The classic Chanel tweed suit, seen in the sweetest shades of candied pastel, are brought back to life with retro styling via thick belts and hats, giving the classic silhouette a Jem and the Holograms-esque feel. However, the true stars of the show are the feathered numbers. Countless gowns came waltzing down the runway topped off with marabou accents that made the models look as if they were floating on a bed of air rather than walking. These feathered concoctions were the pinnacle of the show, proving that in one way or another, Uncle Karl’s still got, and whatever it is, he’s not letting it go anytime soon.

Photos by Ralph & Russo

Ralph & Russo

Always being a Couture week favourite, couture week newcomers Tamara Ralph and Micahel Russo seem to always hit the nail on the head when designing new collections, and this season was no exception. Opting for a wonderfully pleasant mix between edgy and classic, Ralph & Russo’s spring collection was a dazzling display of craftsmanship that keeps true to what couture is known for. Every garment that came down the runway was perfectly poised and ready to become a red carpet showstopper. But unlike previous collections, this season’s Ralph & Russo show seemed to be created with white in mind. Countless gowns billowed down the runway in a variety of fabrics that showcased unmatched embroidery against a creamy white canvas. But that isn’t to say that colour didn’t play a vital role in the collection. Sprinkled throughout were confections in navy, emerald, black and red along with soft pastel blues and lilacs that helped break up the multitude of white gowns that were storming the runway. One interesting look that really stood out from the pack was a sparkling metallic cocktail-length dress that looked as though finer optic lights had come to life and attached themselves to a dress, dancing at every chance they could.

Photos by Imaxtree

Yumi Katsura

While not officially on the couture week schedule, designer Yumi Katsura still managed to show a collection which burst at the seams with the same glamour and prestige that any of the big couture houses are known for. Which raises the question —  can couture still be couture even if it isn’t officially part of the group? The answer is yes. Even though Katsura’s brand isn’t part of the official couture roster, it still embraces and exemplifies the same high-quality craftsmanship that the big names do, which is enough to ensure Yumi a spot on this list. For her spring 2017 collection, Katsura took us on a trip through the time. Specifically Japan during the swinging 60’s. Now many designers have sought out Japan as an inspiration for their collections, but Katsura is really the first designer to showcase Japan’s western influences right after the war. 60’s style min-dresses were given a bold overhaul, with asymmetric hems and graphic Japanese silks, while traditional silk kimonos were paired with beautifully tailored silk pants and blouses, giving the collection a relaxed and retro feel that compliments the entire collection.

Photos by Yannis Vlamos

Maison Margiela

When it seems as if John Galliano has finally peaked, he comes back and hits the fashion world with another jaw-dropping collection, and spring 2017 artisanal was no exception. Drawing on the obsession with today’s youth and technology, it seemed that the collection was somewhat rooted in the contemporary obsession with oneself. Traditional Marginal deconstruction is met face to face with well. . .a face. Clothing seemed to take on a life of its own, it became sentient; a physical representation of our current obsession with ourselves. Faces were everywhere. They were crudely mapped out or delicately sewn into coats either using bits of string, any yarn, or clouds of black chiffon, sending a strong message about our times. Are we so obsessed with ourselves that even our clothes have to be a physical representation of how we see ourselves? Will we stop at nothing to prove to the world that we too fit its ideal of beauty? Who knows, but one thing is for sure — Galliano’s collection on the modern self ends with a warning. If we keep up our personal obsession with ourselves we just might end up emptier than when we started. We may end up formless and dark, like the foreboding black that closed the show, which although beautiful, wasn’t hard to see that that seemed to just swallow everything around it.

Photos by Alessandro Garofalo

Ulyana Sergeenko

Fashion, for the most part, has sadly been a man’s game. Yet sometimes a woman is able to slip through the cracks and prove to the world that women belong behind the scenes just as much as they belong on the runway. Ulyana Sergeenko is one of these women. Her couture collections are a constant reminder of the sheer brute force that a woman at the helm of a fashion house can be. She understands the essence of couture, the importance of cut and fit and understated luxury. She’s a woman who understands what women want from clothing, who adapts to her clientele’s needs and produces relevant and outstanding collections as a result. For her spring 2017 collection, Sergeenko relied heavily on corsetry and surprisingly, mixed it with sweet yet rebellious 80’s silhouettes, giving the entire collection a bubblegum pop star-meets-Russian aristocrat vibe that works beautifully for Ulyana. And even though the visual stimulation of the collection was enough to leave potential buyers wanting more, the true selling point of the collection is the haute couture itself. The tailoring and fit of the collection were undeniable. The corsetry and breast cups molded beautifully to the model’s bodies while the draping and ruffles seen throughout gave the collection the opulence it needed. A true Russian triumph in the world of couture.

Photos by Redemption

Redemption

For designer Bebe Moratti’s first collection at Paris Haute Couture, he asked a simple question. What’s couture without a little rock and roll mixed in? The answer, nothing really. That’s because haute couture is essentially rock and roll. It’s the fashion version of a great heavy metal concert where anything goes and any mistakes are just part of the party. And what a party it was. For Bebe’s spring 2017 couture collection, the designer created a collection that marries two completely different eras harmoniously. On one hand, Moratti has the rococo. Known for its softness, its beauty, and its love for pastels and romance. And on the other, the cold steely blade of 70’s and 80’s rock. The two come together beautifully and create a collection that is perfectly Redemption. The mix of rococo inspired poet shirts, pants, and jackets pair seamlessly with the miniskirts and mullet dresses of the 80s. Creating a pure Steven Tyler-esque fantasy that everyone has, at one time or another, connected to. Yet even with its rebellious aesthetic, Moratti’s collection is still rooted in the same luxurious quality that couture should be rooted in. Making the eyes of a fashion lover, and a champion in the eyes of a libertine.