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 can argue that Paris truly is the birthplace of modern fashion. It’s stars, both in fashion and entertainment, have inspired droves of people around the world to adopt a way of life and a way of dressing that is distinctly Parisian. And with countless style muses to chose from (Bridgitte, Jane, Lea, Carla, Carmen, Soko et al.) one really can’t go wrong when looking to the streets of Paris for style inspiration.
One of the most striking things you’ll see on the streets of Paris isn’t the flashing lights or beautiful architecture because Parisian dressing really isn’t about the flash or glitz, or all the bells and whistles that some other cities may require a person to wear to get noticed. Paris is about an organic style that comes from one’s environment, from their childhood, and from what feels right in the here and now. So it isn’t rare to see simple looks that incorporate small details that nod to the wearer’s personality. Whether that be a print or a family heirloom necklace, the French know that keeping the outfit simple and fresh always allows the details to come to life.
Chanel, Chanel, Chanel!
Now Chanel may be out of most people’s price ranges, but nothing says Paris like Chanel. Ever since Gabrielle set out to change the face of women’s fashion in France decades ago, Chanel has been the most recognisable symbol of French fashion. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that wearing Chanel around town could possibly be the most Parisian thing one can do besides visiting Paris itself.
Très Chic, Très Féminine
While most of the time Paris can be the land of sharp Mugler suits, and pristine Dior dresses, it’s also the city that brought us candy coloured pastries and Pompadour gowns. The old courts of Versailles can still be felt in Paris to this day in the ultra feminine clothing seen around the city. Ruffles, pastels, and sequins are all fair game on the streets of Paris, just as long as the outfit is tres chic. Because the Parisian fashionista doesn’t dress feminine to look childish, they dress feminine to exude a softness and delicate strength that comes with feminine clothing.
The Higher the Heels, The Closer to Dieu
Paris is the city of A. the classic Chanel flat or B. the most daring (and likely uncomfortable) of heels. Apart from Russia, France seems to be a safe haven for heel lovers and nowhere is that more visible than in the city of lights. Every time fashion weeks rolls around, it’d be surprising to see women walk around down with anything but the most pencil-thin stilettos. The beauty of super high heels is the boost in confidence it can give a person and the fashionistas of Paris are never one’s to walk the world on their shoulders.
Paris is a city built on romance and with that romance comes romantic dressing. Now you don’t have to run around dressed as if a Harlequin novel threw up on way, but a little throwback frill can go a long way. One way to make sure Parisian romanticism works when putting an outfit together. Instead of going full on Edwardian high-neck glamour. One should opt for something vintage yet sexy. Think Moulin Rouge in 2017. One of the greatest pros to dressing with romantic flair is the versatility of it. Victorian and Edwardian can easily be paired with lingerie or athletic wear, which adds a modern flair to any outfit.
Joie De Vivre
The “Joy of Life” is a concept that is distinctly French. It represents living life in a way that allows one to be who they are and live how they want. It’s about striving for self-love and happiness. The colourful Joie De Vivre of native Parisian’s can easily translate into everyday outfits with cheerful and thoughtful pops of colour. Stripes, patterns, polka dots, and florals can all add an effervescence to anyone’s wardrobe. Just be sure to always wear colours in a very chic way. The Parisian fashionista wears colour and pattern as an extension of their own cheerfulness, not for the sake of getting attention or attracting the cameras of photographers.
Resort season is one of the most overlooked seasons in the fashion world. While fashion lovers around the world pine for spring, pre-fall, and fall collections, resort seems to fall behind in the eyes of the fashion community year in and year out. Luckily, this season, it seems that designers around the globe were bitten by a creative bug and produced some of the most successful and innovative resort collections to date. And the best thing about fresh and innovative design is that it pushes new trends forward, giving fashion aficionados around the world new inspiration that breathes life into their cold weather wardrobes.
The Printed Knee-High
Now, to some (I’m talking to you private and Catholic school girls), knee-high socks are the bane of humanity. They’re fussy, tend to always fall or roll down. and generally come in either black, navy, grey, or whatever ridiculous hue of maroon or mustard your school colours were. But don’t dismiss this posh staple just yet. This season’s knee-high stocking was more than just an accessory. Unlike their academic sisters, the knee-highs at high fashion houses Prada, Thom Browne, and Gucci came in printed patterns and interesting hues. Marrying the traditional sock with blogger-it-girl street style, they transformed the good old scholastic knee-high sock into one of the most in-demand accessories of the season.
Shades of (Navy) Blue
Resort and cruise collections are created with the sole purpose of giving high-fashion clientele luxurious options for their jet-set vacations. Instead of throwing on a gauzy sarong, resort collections offer up the option of opting for luxe ensembles made especially for the warm summer months, the yacht, or the country estate. And it seems as if the designers visited the same luxurious and exotic locations as their clients when they designed their collections. No colour seems to have popped up during resort season more than deep ocean blue and nowhere else was it used better than at Pringle of Scotland, Delpozo, and Versace. Rich and luxurious shades of indigo and navy dominated the design landscape, creating daydreams of the deep blue oceans that surround the world’s most heavenly rivieras.
Mix and Match Rock & Roll
Back in the days before rock music began influencing fashion, one could be called out or even ousted from social circles if they chose to sport a particular rock clique attire for the sake of style. It was a rock & roll travesty to merely wear a studded leather jacket for the sake of looking punk or a Slayer t-shirt because you wanted to look like a metalhead. Fast forward a few decades and the walls of music (and fashion) have come down. It’s no longer a sin to want to mix and match styles from the various eras and genres of rock music around the world. Designers took that notion into full account this season. At Mugler, I’M Isola Marras, and Acne Studio, rock saw its various style meshed with one another to create a perfect cacophony of textures, layers, and colours. Punk mesh was mixed with grungy florals, while oversized blazers were paired with pop rock hoodies and eyeliner, and goth trenches were paired with clean Bowie-esque slacks, giving a new look to the traditional rock ensemble.
Green With Envy
Emerald, pea green, evergreen, mint, lime, avocado: It doesn’t matter what your favourite colour of green is because you don’t have to choose this season. From the look of it, green seems to be the next big trend in colour right after navy blue. At Vivetta, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, and Vionnet, green played a vital role and added a fresh and crisp summer look to many of the garments in the collections. Taking the designers’ resort wear from regular vacation attire to bright and exotic à la Jennifer Lopez at the Grammy’s in Versace. And what woman wouldn’t want to have her own JLo moment?
Rock & Roll Florals
Resort 2018 seemed to be the season of turning tradition on its head. At Badgley Mischka, Preen by Thorton Bergazzi, and MSGM, florals were placed front and centre. But these weren’t your average florals. This season’s floral called for something a little out of the box. Instead of having the same old soft and summery pastel florals, the designers opted for prints that brought a little edge into the mix. Dark background colours added to the pops of crimson, teal, and gold that wound around one another to create florals that were a little more ’80s glam rock than garden party pristine. Making these prints the perfect mould breaker for a fashion lover who wants to go somewhere a little darker and a little harder with their pretty petaled prints.
Trends are often hard to mimic, (and even harder to distinguish from one season to another these days) which has always been a drag. Fortunately for all of us, this season’s Paris and Milan fall 2017 shows have brought out what are some of the best (and most wearable) trends in fashion for a very long time. There is something trending on the runway this season that almost anyone can get into, which is really something to be excited about. Whether your personal taste revolves around wearing sweet pastels or sharply refined shoulders, Paris and Milan had you covered with a plethora of pieces geared perfectly to fit your favourite look. Here are Novella’s favourite trends from Paris and Milan fall/winter 2017!
Metallic’s popped back into style this season once again, with various designers opting to showcase looks that shone just as bright as the spotlights that bathed the runway. But this season’s metallic hues came with a twist. Rather than going for the traditional gold, silver, and copper. Designers instead chose to use fabrics that used fabrics that not only had interesting colours choices, they also gleamed with a silvery sheen that added a youthful spark to every look. For example, Dries Van Noten chose to showcase oil slick metallics instead of the traditional metallic colour choices to add a chic and modern twist to his throwback collection.
Not very many colours can provide you with the elegance and freshness that navy blue does. Luckily, designer’s this season were busy getting inspired by the countless various of midnight blue there are in the world. Collection after collection sprang up in Milan and Paris showcasing the regal colour in all of its dark sapphire beauty. At Chanel and Dior, classic silhouettes were constructed in navy fabrics to give the outfits a crisp and clean look that transitions perfectly with between spring/summer nights and fall/winter days. One great way to pull off the perfect navy outfit is to pair it with a crisp white grounding piece like a white buttoned down shirt or a white turtleneck and beret.
Black Leather / Vinyl
Black leather and vinyl dominated the runway on this season’s Milan and Paris runways, giving hardcore 80’s fans and excuse to rock those vintage leather pieces they’ve been hiding away in the back of their closets. Houses like Saint Laurent and Hermes relied on the full 80’s rundown to create the perfect all black leather and vinyl looks, while Haider Ackermann chose to create a leather look that more closely resembled a high-speed motorcycle chase outfit Trinity would have worn in the matrix. Now leather may seem like a daunting material to wear. But the look doesn’t necessarily have to look exactly as it does on the runway for you to achieve this at home. A simple faux leather outfit and leather pant with a band shirt or bright coloured dress shirt can create the perfect throwback look for your wardrobe this fall.
Pastels have always been a staple of spring fashion no matter what city you go to. But fashion movers and shakers around the world have felt that some rearranging had to be done in recent years. Thus, we now have the ability to wear whatever we’d like during whatever time of the season. This spells good news for brands like Gucci, who’s eccentric patterns and colours help the brand hark back to a different time where fashion seemed so effortlessly quirky and chic. At Alberta Ferretti, pastels took a more regal appearance in the form of paintings by various famed artists. This ethereal take on pastels conjures up images of the Rococo, a time period where pastels were used for everything from room paint, to ladies ball gowns.
The 1980’s are one of those time periods that is constantly coming back into fashion in one way or another. This season, it seems that designers are strongly leaning towards gaudy prints and elongated shoulders to create the perfect 80’s silhouette. At Moschino, party dresses were made using a fabric whose print looked like the decorated school notebooks of an 80’s high school student, while Mugler and Stella McCartney chose to express their love for the 80’s through the use of statement shoulders a la Dame Joan Collins in Dynasty. Unfortunately, hardcore 80’s inspired looks aren’t the easiest to wear day to day (and are often times highly unrecommended to wear during the day) but fret not. You can still rock the 80’s trend by taking the most lavish and extravagant 80’s inspired looks to the club or a fancy party; just to turn heads.
Paris is widely accepted as the pinnacle of fashion around the world and for good reason. This season seems to be no exception, with designers pulling out all of the stops to present some of their most exciting and iconic collections yet. There were designers who celebrated milestones by walking down memory lane, while others expressed their takes on modern feminism by pulling from the past. There was even a utopia created completely out of fabric that transcended words. With that said, Novella is proud to present the best of Paris Fashion Week!
Dries Van Noten
It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a runway show sport such an outstanding roster that it sends me into a flurry of nostalgia with every passing model that came into the camera’s view, but that’s exactly what Dries Van Noten did for his 100th show in Paris. Models from all over the globe strutted down the runway in his creations for the show (some whom have walked his first shows back in the early 90s) in a show of support for Dries’ 20-year long breadth of work. Apart from having the pleasure of seeing the likes of Nadja Auermann and Malgosia Bela strut down the runway, fans around the world were treated to a whirlwind of prints that came straight from the brand’s archives. Noten’s paisleys and florals were dusted off and brought back as a celebration of the brand and its iconic designer. One interesting (and completely appropriate for our current times) aspect of the show was the heavy emphasis on menswear. Coats and suits carried a masculine air that made each of the runway veterans shine with a sense of feminine empowerment.
Sometimes a collection comes along that is so underlooked by the those in the fashion industry that it’s almost maddening. Such was the case at Vera Wang‘s Paris show. The New York native presented her collection in Paris last week only using model Mariacarla Boscono as her muse and beautiful historic building as her background. The entirety of the collection seems to be inspired by the queens of the world, with a heavy emphasis on Napoleonic-era military and aristocratic garb. The beauty of Vera‘s understanding of the female form and understated elegance is completely evident here in the draping and gold embellishments that hark back to a time when what you wore showed the world who you are. And Vera’s woman is that the top of the echelon. Some of the most stunning pieces that came from the collection are an Edwardian empire waist gown that cleverly comes paired with wool sleeve military jacket sleeves and a beautiful gold dress with shearling outerwear sleeves that exudes a sexiness that commands attention. However, dresses weren’t the only thing Ms. Wang had in store for her collection. Various different aspects commanded equal praise through the collection. One important piece that comes to mind is a beautiful ensemble featuring a delicate blouse with exaggerated proportions topped off with a shearling capelet that was grounded by a beautifully tailored pair of French legion style military pants.
The new king of Parisian design has once again outdone himself for his fall 2017 collection. I remember when a young Simon Porte Jacquemus began showing his collections in Paris. His designs seemed extremely easy going and effortless in comparison to the taught (and sometimes pretentious) standards that Paris demands of its designers. However, the idea of a young self-taught designer pushing through the fashion status quo to present original and inspired ideas was quite exhilarating. This season, Simon struck gold again with another solid collection based on the love story between a rich Parisian woman and a gypsy man from the south of France. The collection features Jacquemus’s tell-tale simplicity, which, as always, tells a far more interesting story than something with unnecessary glitz and sparkle. The collection is riddled with effortlessly fashionable “French-isms” like the simple Napoleon hats and the large gold brooches, that all bring us back to the iconic houses on Place Vendôme that put Paris on the fashion map. Apart from the all-around well-designed clothing, Jacquemus still manages to add his signature touches to the collection in the form of outstanding tailoring that plays on the brand’s fun-loving take on tailoring. Some of the best looks in this collection are the simplest in terms of design and styling — a black coat with a built-in peplum waist and suit ensemble that slightly twists at the waist.
A lot of people (myself included) are beginning to become weary and tired of seeing Vetements-isms riddle the runway. It seems as if every designer and their mother are pumping out their own alternatives to the elongated sleeve, oversized everything, puffer-jackets, oversized logo everything. The list goes on and on at this point. Now Off-White is one of those brands that sprang up with the insurgence of the streetwear dominated industry, so it came as no surprise when the brand had its fair share of Vetements inspired pieces in its collection. Fortunately, this season came with a wonderful surprise, designer Virgil Abloh createda fantasy world that echoed the modern freshness of the Off-White client while standing far enough away from any of the overused trends of the past two seasons. His collection left a lasting impression by just exhibiting well made and well put together ensembles that stay relevant to French design and European trends. Two exciting trend that was easily spotted on the Off-White runway was Prince-of-Wales check and denim; the two was intricately mixed with one another to create a complementing look that nestled somewhere in between casual elegance and sports chic. In the end, some visible Vetements-isms were still in the collection, like the mini puffer and hoodie, but they were toned down and given relevant and refreshing reimaging that made sense with the collection, rather than fighting it.
Miuccia Prada never fails to wow me. While some designers opt for taking the ideas they presented for their main brands and just altering them for their side ventures, Miuccia consistently delivers news and separate ideas for Miu Miu that only ever rarely echo what Prada is doing at the time. She understands that Miu Miu girl is not her Prada girl and both women need clothing that best represents them, not a mishmash of “either or“. This season, Miuccia created a candy coloured whirlwind for Miu Miu’s fall 2017 collection. The collection, which showcased fur-clad twenty-somethings flouncing down the runway in 60s inspired outfits (an ode to the ladies that launched the first wave of feminism maybe?) presented an interesting and relevant idea. “I am a woman, a Miu Miu woman, and I’m here to be seen!” As every woman should be, which is refreshing in a moment where women’s empowerment is being expressed by how masculine she can dress. The best examples of the what Miuccia is trying to express with feminine strength come later in the show when silky mini dresses were decorated with 3-D fuzzy flowers, wild 60s prints created a strong and imposing silhouette, and pastel coloured furs left a soft yet dominating impression on the viewer.
I remember distinctly ranting and raving about this collection to our Editor-in-Chief Drew Brow whilst sipping a beer at Toronto Men’s Fashion week. The exact words I used were “I don’t think I’ve cried watching a runway show in such a long time! I was fanning my eyes Drew, I was so emotional!” And it’s true. It really has been years since a designer’s collection made me feel emotional enough to feel my eyes water, but that was exactly the case at Undercover this season. Designer Jun Takahashi presented what may be his magnum opus for Undercover at Paris fashion week last week. The collection was a cornucopia of beautiful looks that were meant to represent the residents of a kingdom or utopia built on extravagance and elegance. Now, while other designers have been rushing to pump out trend heavy and streetwear relivant collections it seems that Jun is in no way, shape, or form willing to water down his vision to accommodate the status quo. His collection was a remarkable ode to the days of Alexander McQueen, Christian Lacroix, and John Galliano at Dior. Where designers were more interested in telling a story through a collection rather than creating a collection whose sole purpose is to feed the retail industry’s need for new trends every season. But enough about the technicalities of the collection, because the clothing far outshines any written explanation that can be given to describe it. There were knitted gowns with accordion sleeves, and draped and gather military coats, velvet pie crust bomber jackets, oversized cable-knit dresses, beautifully printed opera coats, and a queen wearing and accordion pleated ball gown skirt that outshone anything that has been presented on the runway in the past few years. To be completely honest with everyone, no words I write can express the beauty of this collection in all of its regal glory. I implore you to watch the runway video of the show to see just exactly what I’m talking about. You can thank me later.