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*

Paris Fashion Week Spring 2018: The Highlights

 Moncler Gamme Rouge

Giambattista Valli is a powerhouse when it comes to design. His year consists of designing 4 ready to wear collections both of his ready to wear labels, 2 couture collections for his couture house, and 2 collections for Moncler’s couture house. Altogether, that comes out to 8 collections per year. Without counting accessory design and any other creative venture each brand partakes in. It comes without a doubt that the man is astoundingly busy. However, this constant whirlwind of creative design can sometimes lead designers into the realm of reproduction, where minor labels take on the mirror image of their parent brands. But luckily for Valli, his creative spark and talent persevere in even the toughest of situations, creating stunningly unique that differ from one another wildly. This season, his always vibrant and whimsical collection for Moncler (which is always themed after some sort of outdoor sport) took an interesting turn. Rather than continue on the well established outdoorsy path that Moncler Gamme Rouge is known for, Valli decided to base the collection on the rehearsal uniforms of ballet dancers. Kitschy leg warmers and ballet flats stormed the runway whilst simple t-shirts and leotards were accented with tulle skirts (the famed tutu if you will) which created an elegant yet wonderfully young and playful take on on modern luxury athleisure apparel. What definitely stood out from the pack the most had to be the array of down filled jackets and outerwear. Some coming in the form of marshmallow life down puffer coats, while others came in the form of translucent windbreakers and belted coat dresses.

Dries Van Notten

What can you say? The man knows his way around a piece of fabric. Fashion legend Dries Van Notten returns again this season with a stunning collection filled with his signature knack for patterns and stunning silhouette. If there were certain colours destined to be the colours of the season, this collection didn’t focus on just that. It was more concerned with the playfulness of bringing together bright and hardy jewel tones and mixing them in with neutrals and earth tones. Creating a pleasantly warm (but never doughty) collection fit for the modern fashion-forward mogul. The collection, though very rooted in Van Notten’s signature silhouettes, seemed to have a hint of softer feminity to it. The usual suspects were all there. Van Notten’s suits in strong wool plaids and his elegant slips. However, this season Van Notten added the simple yet extremely effective addition of almost-invisible embroidered sheer tunics to cover some of the stronger looks. Giving the collection a soft and ethereal vibe that the designer doesn’t often turn to. Another great aspect of the collection has to be the pieces which featured handkerchief draped scarves adoring various sides of the ensembles. This simple addition the designer not only softens the looks but adds a sense of romance to the designs. Something that has seemed to be really lacking in the fashion industry outside of a few designers still willing to commit to old school romance in favour of harsh contemporary design.

Jacquemus

After flexing his design muscles season after season, what’s a more appropriate term to describe Simon Porte Jacquemus of Jacquemus than fashion wunderkind? His unique ability to fuse haute Parisien design with modern sensuality is something very little designers, French or otherwise, can manage to do within the realm of good taste. However, Monsieur Jacquemus masters the art of balance with a such a keen precision and lust for life that not many designers in today’s industry could touch when it comes to creating a stunning collection. This season, his inspirations were clear. The beauty of south of France, with all of its sunshine, yachts, and toned bodies is paired beautifully with the Spanish flare and Jacquemus always apparent love for Picasso. As per usual, Jacquemus injects his raw feminine sensuality into the collection with the ultra-short hems of his dresses and beautifully body-hugging fabrics that always look as if they’ve sprung to life and wrapped themselves around model’s bodies. Yet for all the Jacquemus go-to’s within the collection, this collection seemed to be a step in a different direction for the designer. Whilst his usual designs often tend to lean towards the more avant-garde and out-of-the-box realm of design. This collection seemed to be a step towards the world of everyday wearability. Which is in no way meant as a negative. Often times designers have to explore the more abstract realm of fashion to create interest in the brand before releasing a tamer and far more commercial collection once the designer has solidified their position in the industry. However, this is where Jacquemus plays his cards differently. Since the humble beginnings of his label. All of his collections have been commercially successful yet wonderfully abstract and unique. Which is wonderful to see in an industry that’s hell-bent on either pumping out trends or creating collections with the sole purpose of selling clothes. Not art. This is clearly not Jacquemus’ view of his brand and it becomes extremely evident when his array of beautiful black models come waltzing down the runway in draped mustard yellow skirts, dresses that resemble tied travellers scarves, his iconic circle and block-heeled sandals and his wonderfully abstract and oversized sunhats. A clear evolution of his previous season’s Provencal farmer hats, which could be spotted at many runway shows around the globe these past few weeks.

Undercover

Undercover‘s Jun Takahashi has solidified himself as one of Paris’ major players when it comes to fashion. After his glorious collection which explored a queen and her court last season. Jun comes back once again with a collection deeply rooted in a larger than life narrative. Dealing with the duality in human nature. Takahashi shows his audience and clientele the light and dark of human nature, the good and bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Which often doesn’t present itself in the world of fashion very often as a comparative. For Takahashi, the vision was clear. Rather than have a linear show that showcased the transition from one point of human nature to the other, the designer opted for a runway show which showcased models in pairs (some of them twins) walking hand in hand on the runway. Each representing the two extremes within a singular person. To put the concept more simply, one model walked onto the runway with a dress that had the nighttime sky printed on it, while the other dress showcased a bright daytime sky on it. the concept was far more visible with the pairs that exhibited extreme differences within their paired looks. The most striking of these was a pair of twins who eerily resembled the two little girls from the Shinning. On one twin, the innocent looking baby blue dress seems familiar and innocent, while on the other, the same dress is strewn in red fringe that resembles blood. Reminding the audience of the poor girls’ fate. The duality may seem a little overdrawn and exaggerated for some, maybe even verging on costume rather than fashion. But what truly makes this collection on the best of the season is Takahashi’s fearlessness when it comes to design and telling a story. There are far too many designers these days that could use a lesson in creating memorable and unique moments from Mr. Takahashi.

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?

Continue following our fashion and lifestyle coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Couture roundup: The best of Fall 2017 Couture

Couture, to some, may seem like an excessive waste of fabric and embellishments. But to some, to the true lovers of fashion, couture is more than just an expensive piece of clothing. It’s a living organism capable of transforming itself. Coiling around the body of the wearer, transforming them from ordinary human to extraordinary living artwork. This season, Paris once again sprung to life with the beauty of haute couture. Taking ordinary clothes and turning them into living fantasies.

Viktor & Rolf

Photo: Alessandro Garofalo

Speaking of fantasy. No one does it quite like couture duo Viktor & Rolf. For their Fall 2017 collection, Viktor & Rolf created a bobble head dream world based on diversity, individuality, and the ability to change oneself into something new without sacrificing who you were in the beginning. Bobble headed models opened the show, showcasing their diverse heads in every skin tone. The diverse cartoon cast paired perfectly with the swishy reworked bomber jackets that made up everything except the pants and shoes of each look. The concept itself of showcasing diversity in a lighthearted and creative way was already a strong concept in and of itself, but what came next was truly the icing on the cake. After their first round about the runway, the models then shed their cartoon heads and walked the runway in the same outfits during their prior walk. However, with their beautifully unique and diverse face showing, their outfits had to match each girl’s beauty. Which lead to the outfits being opened up and unfolded. Releasing beautiful gowns, ruffles, and bows. A perfect example of growth and change without the compromise of oneself.

A.F. Vandervorst

Photo: Kim Weston Arnold

A.F. Vandervorst is a brand many would associate with contemporary rock and roll clothing. The edgy silhouettes, the affinity for all black, the Vandervorst line embodies the current evolution of what it means to be a modern headbanger in terms of fashion. Yet surprisingly, the Vandervorst’ team created a collection steeped in eclecticism and colour for their first couture outing this week. The collection was based heavily on the notion that anything can be made into something beautiful through the processes of repurposing and reusing the material. This was evident through the creative use of plastic like materials, mix and match fabrics, and clothing worn in non-conventional ways. Giving couture a modern and relevant edge geared specifically for the young elites of the world that may be looking to the world of haute couture for options tailor-made to them.

Iris Van Herpen

Photo: Yannis Vlamos

The queen of movement celebrated her 10 year anniversary as a designer with a stunning collection based heavily on aquatic life living in the world’s oceans. Various jellies took the form of dresses. Billowing out behind the models as they walked passed four musicians submerged in tanks of water. The collection gave it’s audience exactly what they expected from an Iris show. Movement, shape, texture, and a three dimensional nature that looks alive. What’s most striking about Iris’ show this season was her affinity for all things sheer. Now Van Herpen is no stranger to sheer and nude illusions, but this season proved that her skill with fabric illusion is incomparable. To create so much depth with the sheerest of fabrics is no small feat, even for the most seasoned of designers.

Giambattista Valli

Photos: Yannis Vlamos

Giambattista Valli has quickly risen to become the alpha and omega of the couture world. Every season, the Italian designer sets out to create cohesive and expressive collections that stay true to the world of couture while still remaining relevant and extremely fresh in terms of design. For his fall 2017 collection, Valli gave his collection a nod to old world extravagance. With floral embroidery and his famous voluminous tulle taking centre stage once again, in a way that feels new every time. The most striking of his creations this season were of course, his tulle ball gowns. However, a string of beautiful column dresses seemed like well though out stylistic break from Valli’s signature Valli-isms. Proving the designer is capable of covering a braid spectrum of design when he’s ready and willing.

Ulyana Sergeenko

Photos: Marcus Tondo

She really does give it to you every time! Millionaire socialite turned grand couturier powerhouse Ulyana Sergeenko once again proved that her expertise as a couture customer taught her well as a couture designer. Sergeenko’s affinity for 1940’s and 50’s silhouettes is a refreshing throwback to the hayday of Galliano couture at Dior. But it’s the raw sexual female dominance she presents in her shows that really set her apart from the couture pack. In all fairness, if Sergeenko set her own namesake brand aside for a little while, she would have no problem taking over a brand like Dior or Lanvin. The couture house codes are already running in her veins.

The best of Paris Men’s Fashion Week

Men’s fashion weeks around the world sometimes get a bad wrap as being mere fillers used to hold the fashion market between the ladies’ shows, which, to some extent, is true. With fashion being a predominantly female-focused industry, designers sometimes ended up creating menswear as a quick fix to engender male buyers’ interest in the brand. The result: lackluster and uninspired collections that really had nothing to do with the brand apart from carrying its name on the label. However, it seems as though many designers are finally understanding the power that a solid menswear line can have. Every season, it seems that more and more designers are popping up on the men’s week schedules, all with their own styles, twists, and innovative designs aimed at changing the face of menswear around the world.

Thom Browne

Photos: Vogue Runway

It looks as if the biggest trend this season is genderless clothing, the mixing and matching of men’s and women’s to create a new range of clothing that fit the term “humanwear” rather than menswear. At Thom Browne, the air was heavy with the idea of gender non-conformity. What was once seen as women’s clothing was quickly turned into a collection of genderless formal wear, at once crisp and heavily based on traditional tropes of masculinity, but also made soft and feminine through the use of tailoring and length. Thom Browne created a double image, almost like two images placed on top of one another. It isn’t either or, it’s about humanity and its similarities rather what makes what gender what.

Dior Homme

Photos: Vogue Runway

Now it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the spring collections are riddled with shorts. The whole point of a spring collection is to provide the customers with a seasonally appropriate outfit as the weather starts to warm up. However, it seems that, over the past few seasons, men’s shorts seemed to have been getting shorter and shorter. This is most likely due to the fact that menswear is only very rarely affected by the rules of masculinity and femininity. So it wasn’t in the least bit shocking to see designer Kris Van Ashe send out a flurry of cropped hems on the runway at Dior Homme. The beauty in this collection comes from the casualness of the shorts. Instead of creating a traditionally formal look for menswear, it creates a much more youthful and carefree silhouette.

Undercover

Photos: Vogue Runway

Jun Takahashi is no stranger to creating interesting and fiercely modern knitwear for his collections at Undercover. His post-apocalyptic ’90s cyberpunk collection is very relevant to what’s been happening over the last year with the massive influx of punk, grunge, and metal in menswear. But it isn’t just the heavy knits that make this collection something worth looking into. The outerwear is exceptionally well made and eye-catching. Oversized garments also seemed to be a big selling point throughout the collection. Exaggerated trapeze style coats walked alongside massive, overstretched flannels, and sweaters add to the “I don’t care, I wear what I want!” attitude of the collection.

Lucien Pellat-Finet

Photos: Vogue Runway

“How do you do preppy in 2017 without having to resort to beige cargo shorts and a candy coloured polo shirt?” That must have been the question designer Lucien Pellat-Finet must have been asking himself when he designed this fun take on the varsity jock’s go-to for his Spring 2018 collection. What’s interesting about this collection is the subtle yet completely recognizable throwback to the early ’90s jock — the inviting pastels as well as the velours and gauzy prints that scream varsity loungewear. Think Mark Paul Gosslear in Saved by the Bell, just far more high fashion. Another statement that jumps out here is one that was being made at many of the other collections. There was a real sense of soft femininity which may have either been brought on by the pastels, or the subtle change in fit. While most of the garments looked to be normal length, some were designed to fit a tad bit on the cropped size; an ode to womenswear for sure.

Juun.J

Photos: Vogue Runway

One of the biggest surprises to come out of Paris menswear week this season had to be designer Juun. J’s “formless and genderless” collection. The collection, which featured men’s and women’s clothing, was created with the ultimate goal of being interchangeable, the line between menswear and womenswear virtually indistinguishable. There were clear men and ladies influences. The hard pinstripe suiting and outerwear and the soft flowing shirting and caftan style dresses meshed and interchanged beautifully with one another. The collection showed its audiences that interchangeable unisex collections aren’t something of science fiction. They’re very now and seem to be a driving force behind the engine that is fashion. Take the army green hoodie paired with the long white caftan dress that walked the show. The entire look is completely wearable for both men and women without altering the look of the outfit itself.

Continue following our fashion & lifestyle coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.