Milan & Paris Spring 2018 Trends

As good as New York and London are, nothing compares to the powerhouse duo that is Milan and Paris during fashion month. For decades now, the final stops during the whirlwind that is fashion month seemed to have always been the cherry on top. The trends came through at an astounding rate this season, with countless brands taking a stab at the contemporary trend game. There were sequins galore, pops of colour, tones of duality, and a hint of modern cool that rarely falls within the walls of the European cities. The 4 trends picked for this article are sure to hit mainstream stores immediately for the holiday season and next year’s warm weather, so watch out for them and start planning your dream wardrobe right away!

Glitter In The Air

Sequins seem to have made a comeback during Paris and Milan fashion weeks in a very big way this season! The shiny little buggers were everywhere on the runway in the last two weeks, ranging from demure to daring in a slew of different colours. Most prominent of all were silver and soft champagne sequins. However, colourful jewel tone sequins seemed to pop up in a few shows as well, breaking the sea of singular shine here and there. Yet sequins weren’t the only eye-catching sparklers seen in Paris and Milan. Chainmail and high-shine beading also took the runway by storm, giving fashionistas a different take on glitz and glamour.

Two Tone/enoT owT

Duality seemed to be a big trend in Paris and Milan this season. Designers sent multiple looks that played with stark contrasts in colours down the runway. Sometimes black was offset with florals or jewel tones, while other times a simple pairing of black and white did just the trick to create a visual contrast on the models’ bodies. This may have very well been an evolution of the colour-blocking trend that swept the fashion industry a few years back. However, this time around, it seemed as if designers really wanted to showcase a harsh vertical split with their designs, leaving one half of the body plain and the other lively and colourful.

Icing Pastels

What’s a spring collection without pastels right? The runway of Paris and Milan seemed to be caked in ice cream coloured hues this season. But these weren’t your aunt’s pastels from the ’80s. No, this time around the pastels took on a far more mature and refined look, leaving behind the traditional notion that pastels are juvenile or overly frilly. Sharply tailored suits and streamlined silhouettes complemented this season’s more grown-up aesthetics by pairing powdery pinks and yellows with modern office daywear and adult eveningwear.

Plastique Fantastique

Very rarely does such a kitschy material take hold of the big European fashion capitals the way PVC did this season. For two cities extremely concerned with tradition and glamour, it was a surprise to see so much plastic on the runway. Countless designers seemed to have evolved the sheer trend of summer into outright translucency. Gone are the days of soft laces and meshes creating alluring see-through silhouettes and here are the days of complete and honest transparency! The trend was seen in every way conceivable: Dresses, trench coats, boots, stiletto pumps, and hats all had their shining moment of PVC wrapped goodness in Europe. This is a trend you’ll be sure to see on the global catwalk in the months to come.

*All photos courtesy of Vogue Paris Runway*

The Best of Milan Fashion Week Spring 2018

Milan seemed up in its spirits this season. Of all the major fashion cities around the world, Milan has has a harder time with reinventing itself and finding its signature aesthetics. While the city’s designers are still looking for their voices, it seems that the soul-searching has led to a signature Milan-look. The Spring collections were filled with pretty things. Frilly white frocks were cut and sewn into delicate silhouettes, while pops of color and pattern introduced a light dusting of excitement throughout the week. In the end, it’s good to see that Milan is moving in this direction. Here’s hoping Milano sticks to the pristine angelic ensembles that graced the runway this season. Pretty suits the city.

Versace

Versace is an Italian powerhouse and has been for more than two decades. Celebrities and the elite have tripped over their own two feet to wear the iconic Medusa head on their bodies. But it seems that the world craves Versace now more than ever. Which seems like the perfect timing since this year commemorates Gianni Versace, who died in 1997. Donatella created a collection that took the spotlight away from the horrific murder and once again focused on her brother’s designs. The collection celebrated Gianni’s affinity for sexy mini dresses, cropped bolero jackets, gold chains, and seashell motifs. Versace’s designs were never intended to feel serious and uptight; they always felt fun and celebratory, like joy in printed fabric form, which is exactly the kind of carefree joy the world needs right now.

Missoni

Missoni is one of those brands that have become synonymous with Italian fashion. Since its humble beginnings back in 1953, brand has never ceased to surprise with its signature zigzag knits. Now some may think that keeping alive house codes created back in the ’50s is a recipe for disaster, but that isn’t always the case. With so many designers abandoning the things that made their brand famous back in the day, it’s refreshing to see brands like Missoni reinvent itself without throwing away its foundations. This season, Angela Missoni presented a collection with a bohemian flare. But the collection didn’t rely soley on boho-chic to get by — many contemporary trends came into play. Sheer gowns and oversized cardigans looked right at home beside completely on-trend oversized sunhats, giving the collection a vintage yet contemporary feeling.

Elisabetta Franchi

Kudos to Maria Grazia for attempting to pull off a modern western vibe at Dior a few months ago (better luck next time!), but it looks like Elisabetta Franchi has the entire look covered. Franchi, who’s mostly known for dressing Italy’s well-to-do in elegant and refined clothing, often opted for traditional glamour than take the route of over the top fashion designer or high fashion extremes. However, this collection marks a very interesting moment for the designer. Diverging from her usuals, Franchi chose to create a whimsical and very mature take on vintage western clothing. Large black straw hats were paired alongside flirty rompers and micro mini dresses. Long billowing gowns had pretty historic touches sewn throughout — they’re versatile and can be worn as they were seen on the runway or on their own. The accessories used throughout the show also emphasized the old world decorative dressing. The belts had a particular beauty about them, with their strung pearls and gold dangling delicately at the waist.

Prada

Arguably the most important designer in Italy (maybe even the world) Miuccia Prada lives and breathes fashion. Look at the last decade and try to find a collection that wasn’t in one way or another infleuntial, artistic, innovative, and beautiful. It’s likely that you won’t. And that’s what sets Miuccia and Prada apart from the pack. Prada has always been known as the brand that’s years ahead of its time. Elements from collections that Miuccia created years ago continue to pop up in other designers’ collections season after season. Luckily, Madame Prada commands enough respect to never have her designs completely ‘borrowed’. This season’s collection follows suit. Classic, the Prada-ism that put the brand at the top of the fashion game, with touches of forward-thinking design makes for a modern collection fit for fashion’s most progressive dressers. The collection itself was a crossroads of interesting designs, mixing beatnik vests and shirting with flirty in-your-face Prada patterns that the brand is known for. The bright pops of tomato red fit in perfectly with the season’s biggest color trend. And the accessories, as per usual, are simply to die for, with the brand’s signature graphic handbags once again on center stage.

Luisa Beccaria

Ethereal beauty reigned supreme at Luisa Beccaria this season. Everything seemed to be touched by a fairy godmother’s wand. Sheer gowns were strewn in embroidered flowers, eyelet lace, pastels, and fancy little polka dots. The show felt very surreal with models walking through a courtyard dotted with petals to the sound of classical music. The color scheme was very soft and delicate, mirroring the overall feeling of the show. Yet the delicate colors didn’t feel fragile but inviting and warm. Even the cool baby blues somehow managed to come across far more sumptuous and warm than cold and icy. Another major factor that made this collection stand out from the crowd of soft and pretty runway shows was its effortless sexiness. Many of the collection’s looks featured barely-there shorts and almost all of the gowns and dresses that walked the runway displayed various levels of transparency. But the collection never felt like it was trying to look sexy — Beccaria managed to infuse grown-up sexiness into the collection by manipulating the levels of sheerness throughout. It wasn’t about provoking by exposing the models’ breasts through gauzy fabric or by revealing a panty underneath a long gown. It was about dressing a woman in a natural, carefree, and self-loving way.

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Most Fashionable Video Game Characters Of All Time

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

Photos: Wikia | Vogue Runway

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

Photos: Wikia | Vogue Runway

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

Photos: Wikia | Vogue Runway

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

Photos: Wikia | Vogue Runway

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

Photos: Wikia | Vogue Runway

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?

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Art x Fashion: Fashion inspired by history’s most stunning gowns

Fashion and art have always worked hand in hand like a hall of mirrors. When one creates something, the other reflects it. For centuries, art and fashion have danced with one another. Creating memorable images in either fabric or paint form. When I chose to venture into art and fashion in the first “Art x Fashion” article, the comparisons made between the artwork’s and the clothing was based on colour, print, pattern, etc. Now, the comparisons are based on some of the most stunning gowns ever painted throughout history.

Ann Demeulemeester x Thomas Hudson

Ann Demeulemeester fw17 by Sebastien Meurnier | “Portrait of Lady Frances Courtenay, wife of William Courtenay, 1st Viscount Courtenay” by Thomas Hudson | Photo: Vogue Runway

Until recently, black was a coloured reserved for mourning, not elegance. So when it came to finding a gown that matched today’s modern obsessions with the shade, a deep dive into the world of classical art was the only way to go about it. Luckily, I stumbled upon Thomas Hudson‘s beautiful painting “Portrait of Lady Frances Courtenay, wife of William Courtenay, 1st Viscount Courtenay” which showcases its main subject wearing a beautiful black gown. The sheen on the black fabric, white ruffled collar, and sleeves was mirrored by a look that walked the runway at Ann Demeulemeester this season, which featured a black dress and white shirt. The two gowns almost look like doorways. One leading to the past, the other, the future.

Loewe x Giovanni Boldini

Loewe fw17 by Jonathan Anderson | “Madame Charles Max” by Giovanni Boldini

Powder blue, not only was it named the colour of the year last year (along with rose quartz) It has steadily filtered its way through everything from fashion, to home decor, and even car colours. What sets this colour apart from other blues on the lighter spectrum is its softness, its cleanliness, its elegance, and it’s ability to remain an extremely dominant colour without looking juvenile. At Loewe, a stunning powder blue gown came down the runway looking like a clown in the wind. Immediately Giovanni Boldini came to mind. The effortless brush strokes of the blue dress in Boldini’s “Madame Charles Max” look as light as air, mirroring the billowing blue gown on the runway.

 

Calvin Klein x Thomas Cooper Gotch

Calvin Klein fw17 by Raf Simons | The Lady in Gold by Thomas Cooper Gotch

Gold is one of those colours that will always be associated with royalty. It represents the thrown, the sun, wealth, extravagance, and the God-given right to rule a kingdom. In Thomas Coop Gotch‘s painting “The Lady in Gold,” we can see how gold plays a vital role in creating an elegant and domineering atmosphere. Not only is the dress itself a beautiful hue of yellow gold, the entire painting itself is painted in various hues of warm yellow. Giving the woman in the painting a sense of sheer importance and status. At Calvin Klein, A stunning gold coat walked the runway. The gold fabric and cleave PVC overlay looked made the garment look like liquid gold. Twisting and swirling onto itself. Truly a modern take on an old royal favourite.

 

Gucci x Frans Verhas

Gucci fw17 by Alessandro Michele | “The New Bracelet” by Frans Verhas

Call it lilac, periwinkle, or lavender, or aubergine, but no colour can match the unbridled intensity of purple. Which screams “look at me!” regardless of which hue is being shown. In Frans Verhas The New Bracelet,” a soft lilac jumps out from the canvas against a neutral background. It’s clear that the intention of the painting was o put the gown itself into focus while letting the background fade away. And what a perfect colour to do just that. However, at Gucci, this purple gown was one of the only colours that was featured entirely by itself. The dominant colour creates a mesmerising look that needs little more than a lustre in the fabric itself to stand out. Just like Frans Painting, this Gucci dress captures the eye and lets the background fade away.

Chika Kisada x William Ross

Chika Kisada fw17 by Chika Kisada | “Princess Feodora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg” by William Ross

What do you think of when you think of pink? For me, I see candy, extravagance, sugar, delicateness, and power. Now, most people would agree with candy and delicateness, but why power and extravagance? It’s simple, pink is one of the strongest colours on the colour wheel. It gives off an intensity without ever experiencing any muteness in its hues. Whether it’s baby pink or fuschia, pink lights a fire unlike any other colour on the spectrum. In William Ross‘ “Princess Feodora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg,” we can see that even though the pink chosen for the gown is the softest imaginable, it still draws the eye to it. Dominating everything around it in the painting. This is also the case with this stunning pink dress at Chika Kisada aw17. The mix of bubblegum pink and dusty rose creates levels of excitement and interest in the dress. Pulling your eyes towards the harness on the model’s chest, and drawing it all the way down to the train.

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Recap: Fashion Week Beauty Trends

Fashion Weeks have come and gone, but we often forget the ingenuity of many designers within the presentation of their lines. A lot of work goes into presenting a product, with specific hair and make-up designs to accompany each model. We have pieced together some of our favourite beauty trends from New York, London, Paris, and Milan Fashion Weeks to inspire you through the coming months and set you on the right track.

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

                  

COLORFUL CAT-EYE

Perhaps the most talked about beauty trend from NYFW, Prabal Gurung’s monochromatic cat-eye left us reminiscing on the days when we first attempted to recreate scenic visions of model makeup from the catwalk. While Diane Kendal has more precision with her styling, we reminisce on the early days we once spent in front of the mirror, playing with bold colours and patterns, hoping to copy the handiwork of industry professionals. Not only are we obsessed with the shape of this look, we are consumed by hues of sky blue, green, and orange. The models wore sleeked back hairstyles to accentuate this beauty trend. Gurung’s line was inspired by powerful women within his life and emphasized messages such as “We will not be silenced.” Not only did Gurung manage to present an ethereal physical beauty within his Fall 2017 line, he also inspired an inclusiveness and empowerment for women everywhere.                  

 

BOBS, BUZZ, & BOYCUTS

A major trend of New York Fashion week was found through shorter hairstyles ranging from precise bobs to buzz cuts. Alexander Wang beautifully displayed this trend and proved that women can rock boy cuts better than men. This display brought a nostalgia for the early 90’s and proved its timelessness. While long, luxurious hair has certainly been a desired trend for women everywhere, we often forget the power behind a bold, short haircut. For all those inspired to finally take their scissors and complete their long-awaited desire for a shorter do’ — we salute you.

LONDON FASHION WEEK

                   

SMUDGED LIPS

For all the times you have unsuccessfully or incorrectly applied your lipstick, you can now think of it as a style choice, rather than an unfortunate run-in with your applicator. For those who have spent a long night out on the town and caught a glimpse of yourself in the window of the McDonalds you often frequent in the early morning, this is for you. For women who are on-the-go and have daringly applied dark shades of lipstick on a moving subway car, or quickly in the back of a cab before a “chance” run in with your ex and his new boo, this is for you. Preen by Thornton Bregazzi makes “accidental make-up” a way of the future and celebrates cherry red lips with an indirect application.          

BLACK VELVET RIBBON

Emily Wickstead artistically reinvents the black ribbon within a half-up, half-down hair style. Also seen during Marchesa, the black velvet ribbon is a 2017 style trend that we can get behind. A staple to any collection, the ribbon brings a sophistication to a quick and easy hairstyle choice. The ribbon can be used as a ponytail, or, alternatively, it can be restyled as a choker.

PARIS FASHION WEEK

                 

HAIR HEADBANDS

At Issey Miyake, hair is multidimensional, and once you add temporary hair-dye, greatness is achieved through it. Taking inspiration from the Northern Lights, Pecis created a hair headband on his models by adding blue, purple and green hues. This style choice reflects different colours when the model walks the runway as the colour will shift in the light. Our childhood fantasies of having bright, shimmery hair have been envisioned into a precise hairstyle that is as beautiful as it is bold. For those looking for an edge this year, or if you are simply looking for a way to keep your hair out of your eyes, take note.               

FRESH FACE

A major trend throughout all fashion weeks was found in the “no-makeup, make-up look.” MUAs, designers, and models ditched their plentiful products and sought out a more natural, minimalistic canvas on their faces. Lanvin took note of this trend and brilliantly executed a fresh-faced design to his runway. While there are times in which we find solace in our layers of foundation, concealer, contour, and highlight, the “no make-up” trend is telling us to love the skin we are in.

MILAN FASHION WEEK

            

GLITTER LIPS

Gucci inspired an unexpected beauty trend that reinvents the way we see lipstick. Shying away from a staple red or pink lip, Gucci took a step in the right direction by inspiring a dark lip that compliments its Fall 2017 line. With an exaggerated cupid’s bow and an edge of glitter, Gucci makes our gothic dreams to a beautiful reality.

DEEP SIDE PART

Designers like Bottega Veneta and Salvatore Ferragamo took inspiration from a deep side part. Within Veneta’s collection, models were layered with jeweled hair pieces to accompany their perfectly styled hair. This classic hairstyle goes a long way with subtle accessories. Whether you decide to dress it up with an accessory or keep it simple, you can’t go wrong with this hairstyle.

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