Runway to Reality

From vivid colors worn head to toe to feathers and ruffles attached to every imaginable item alongside futuristic silhouettes, the runway is everything but boring. The trends that we see on the runway are extravagant and inspirational, but there is one conflict: how can we interpret these trends so that they are appropriate for our daily and unglamorous life? We believe that by beefing up your out of the box thinking skills, even the most variegated runway look can be made office friendly. We decided to take five catwalk trends and show you the best ways to pull them off in real life.

Working girl

The pin-striped suit of power and formality and a touch of masculinity is back. From observing the Fall 2017 RTW collection, it seems that the checked grey prints are becoming must-have pieces for every fashionista. The tailored suit borrowed from the boys’ fashion handbook is no longer limited to the Wall Street banker. Designers like Calvin KleinDries van Noten, Céline, Mulberry, Stella McCartnery, Balenciaga, and many more pushed the power suit forward through more relaxed silhouettes. To make the pinstripes everyday-ready, they have to be comfortable and roomy. A poor fit can make it look cheap, so it’s smart to pay more attention to the proportion and silhouette. You can break up the suit and pair the tailored blazer with a pair of flattering jeans or a fun blouse for an off-duty look. You can also play with contrasting and team up a vibrant color top with grey check trousers; another option is to pair it with a white polo neck for a youthful and fresh take.

Runway v. Reality (left: kelvin-klien; right: Nordstrom)

NASA is calling

It all started when Chanel transformed the runway to a space center with models who wore Space influenced versions of the brand’s classics. Metallic details and futuristic elements were also present in Saint LaurentPaco RabanneChristopher Kane and more — apparently designers adore the future and we are all waiting to lift off. But before we do, let us help you prepare in style. For a casual look, focus only on one high shine piece or limit the number of flashy fabrics. For instance, look for metallic pieces like geometric jewelry in silver or gold, or choose a sassy winter coat that evokes the Space look. For a subtler look, pair metallic booties with relaxed denim and roll up the hemline, or make it office appropriate with a monochrome outfit in muted colors.

Lady in red

It’s about time we say hello to the most powerful color of the season: Red. This fall, we spotted head to toe red in a variety of shades like crimson, cherry, and wine. Needless to say, red was a favorite among designers at fashion weeks from New York to Paris. Designers like Max Mara, Jil Sander, Bottega Veneta, Dior, and Fendi showcased the confident color in many variations, which is an indication that it’s about time you add some of the sensual red to your wardrobe. The good news is that red happens to be the most flattering color on all skin tones. The key is to find a way to make it work for your daily outfit. For an office look, break up the monochromatic appearance by pairing it with natural tones. Avoid cheap fabrics and opt for silk or wool for elegance. Keep it ladylike with a cozy red coat that will upgrade your casual outfit. For an evening look, velvet is a great option and it will bring a sophisticated sex appeal to your overall look.

Matrix

Welcome to the dark side of fashion. Since its release 18 years ago, the Matrix trilogy has inspired and continues to inspire fashion designers today. And look no further than this season to witness the Matrix’s reach. Think all black clothing, leather trench coats, crocodile prints, Neo’s bondage pants, catsuits, skinny bug=eyed sunglasses, and even more futuristic elements, all in sexy silhouettes. On the catwalk, Vetements, Balenciaga, Alexander Wang, and Balmain dialed the Matrix vibe to the fullest. The movie inspired look may be challenging for an everyday look, but it’s not an impossible mission. A leather trench coat can feel more practical when styled with a pair of skinny black jeans; or wear head to toe black with a pair of futuristic statement sunglasses. Whatever you do, just make sure to keep the look minimalistic and highly tailored.

Runway v Reality (left: Alexander McQueen; right: Aritzia)

Craftwork

This fall, arts and crafts seemed to inspire designers among all the fashion capitals. Multiculturalism and heritage craft ruled the runway, evoking folk influences blends with carefree and free spirit. The current season, the heritage craft reflected through American and British countryside traditions with rich colours and fabrics that look as if they have been woven from tapestries. Erdem, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Valentino showcased floral embroidery dresses, while Etro and Prada drew inspiration from the 70s with patchwork jackets.  On the runway it’s always looks exciting and colourful, but for daily life the traditional crafts prints can be a bit tricky to wear, especially head to toe. You can start small by spicing up a basic outfit with a decorative handbag or add a folk style scarf.  If you consider yourself as a fashion risk taker, you can bring out the vibrancy of the handcraft piece by using bold coloured basics in the mix.

This season, arts and crafts seem to have inspired designers in all the fashion capitals. Heritage craft ruled the runway and pointed to folk influences, which blended well with a sense of carefreeness. The current season showcases crafts that evoke the American and British countrysides with rich colors and fabrics that look though they were weaved like tapestries. Erdem, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, and Valentino showed floral embroidery dresses, while Etro and Prada drew inspiration from the ’70s and showed patchwork jackets. On the runway, it always looks exciting and colorful, but for the everyday, the traditional craft prints can be a bit tricky to wear, especially head to toe. You can start small. Spice up a basic outfit with a decorative handbag or add a folk-style scarf. If you consider yourself a risk taker, bring out the vibrancy of a handcrafted pice by adding bold colored basics to the mix.

Runway v. Reality (left: Erdem; right: Anthropologie)

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What’s In Store? End Of Season Transitional Sale Items

The excitement of end-of-season sales, especially for a shopaholic like me, may lead to unnecessary purchases. However, the temptation to buy dozens of trendy pieces, just because it’s related to two magic words, final markdowns or clearance sale, will ultimately make me end up with a closet full of unworn clothing, hanging there with the price tag still attached and a real guilty feeling.

Before going on a shopping spree, there are a few things you should be aware of. The most important thing is trying to focus on the items worth buying, like fashion pieces that you can still wear next season or basic garments that will never go out of style. One way to control an impulse buy is to ask yourself whether you would wear this piece more than once and if would you consider owning this item if it wasn’t on sale.

To help you approach sales in a smart way, here are five outfits I have tried, from the summer collection, that are worth the investment and will make the transition from summer to fall more smoothly:

Rock ‘n’ roll vibe: Zara

If there was ever a garment that can be worn all season long, while maintaining a cool vibe, I would definitely say it belongs to the rock ‘n’ roll tee and the leather jacket. They are both versatile pieces that look great with classy high waisted trousers, as well with a denim mini or skinny jeans. A leather jacket is a timeless piece for any wardrobe and it’s also an integral part of our fall wardrobe. To make a statement, you can wear it with red jeans, that infuse colour into your everyday wardrobe and can works for multiple occasions.

High quality pieces: Club Monaco

The best time to buy quality and value piece is during end-of-season sales, when the prices are affordable. It’s better to look for trans-seasonal pieces which you can wear now by itself or layer later, when fall arrives. Here is my pick from Club Monaco, a lightweight, 100% silk dress with a unique paisley pattern and a versatile day to night silhouette. You can pair it with flat sandals or sneakers for an effortlessly casual look, or wear it with high heels and a fancy clutch for an after hours look.

Back to basic: COS Store

Buying trendy pieces for half price at the end of a season is tempting, however investing on timeless minimalist pieces will be the smarter option. Try to focus on clothing that will last for a longer period of time and can take into the early days of fall. COS is the perfect place to find clean-lined classic pieces, that will always keep you looking sophisticated. I opted for relaxed fit trousers with pleated hems in green and paired it with a basic top.

Black and white with a little twist: Topshop

You can never go wrong with clean and modern black-and-white look, especially when it’s organized into patterns like checkered or stripes. Since black and white goes with everything, I paired the striped crop top and lace skirt with a furry pink sandals, which injected some fun vibes to the polished outfit. The fluffy material continues to be a big hit for fall 2017 and it also allows you to get in the mood for coziness, that resembles the fall days ahead.

Florals Forever: French Connection 

Floral print, especially tropical ones seem to always be attached to spring/summer collections. By adding cool neutrals, the print can be transferred easily from summer to fall. Additionally, floral print is no longer exclusive to the blooming season, so you can carry your favourite prints into the cooler weather. These statement skinny jeans are definitely suitable for a chilly climate. Simply wear it with a cozy sweater or with a cropped puffer jacket and finish the look with an ankle boots.

 

What’s In Store? 5 Must-Have Items On Sale Now And Perfect For Spring

With the colder temps, spring seems so far away. However, there is no better time than now to freshen up your wardrobe by taking advantage of the end of the season sales. By splurging a little now, you will save later and put that money toward something else.

I decided to make things a little easy for you and went to several brands to select the top fashion pieces that will continue to shine in the next season. I collected five trends that promise to make the transition from winter to spring smooth and stylish .

Racing stripes – Zara

The athleisure trend for Spring 2017 is all about stripes in any size and colour, with a strong primary-hued stripes and racing flag details. Be sure to make a statement with standout colourful stripes and don’t hesitate to mix and match different stripes together. The look above features a sweater and pants from Zara and is the perfect example of how to combine different size of stripes in a classy way while maintaining a sporty vibe.

Ruffles on ruffles, Cos Stores

I hope you aren’t fed up with ruffles because this trend isn’t leaving anytime soon. Frills and ruffles were all over the runways. And this spring, it will be more about layers that create a more voluminous statement.

Of course it doesn’t mean that you need to go crazy with ruffles, but I do believe that a little extra fabric here and there never hurt anybody. With this thought I went straight to COS and chose some items from the sales department. These shoulders gave me an edgy look, while the mini skirt with the cute frills on the side brought out my feminine side.

Back to the 80’s, Aritzia

These Aritzia asymmetrical pants in khaki beige are a modern version of the 80s high waisted trousers with a roomy fit on top, tapered at the ankle. The pants made my smile even wider when I found out that they are on sale. It’s the perfect mix of easy to wear item and chic. I paired it with vintage inspired blouse to add a luxurious touch.

Fifty shades of pink, Topshop

Get ready to reveal your girly side, because this sweet colour is going to be everywhere this upcoming spring. The good news is that any shade of pink will work. From baby pink to bubblegum hue or even fuchsia, simply pick the shade that works best for you.

I decided to take the trend one step further by creating an outfit in head to toe pink. I picked up a sweater, coat and skirt from Topshop‘s sale section. There is something about this rosy hue that presents strong sense of femininity and boldness.

Flower Power, Club Monaco

This trend has caught my eyes because it’s like a little note from spring saying “don’t lose hope, the blooming season is on the way”. Florals are often a staple print during spring and summer, and this upcoming season will be no different. Don’t be afraid to cover yourself with everything from traditional to abstract floral prints — the louder the better.

My artistic essence came to life in a form of pants and dress I found in Club Monaco at an amazing sale price. This allover floral print dress will no doubt take you from winter to spring with minimum effort while giving you maximum style!

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Celebrating 2016’s Top Models Of Colour!

As fashion takes bolder and more progressive steps, designers are now becoming more fluid in the way they plan their runway shows and campaigns. In the last few seasons, designers have now incorporated more models of colour into their creative processes than ever before. With models hailing from all over the world, never before has there been more representation among racial and cultural minorities within the fashion industry. Designers are now finally understanding and accepting the beauty that has been all around them for so many years. And for that same reason, Novella is compiling a go-to – in no particular order – list of the most successful and celebrated models of colour of 2016!

Photo: Models.com / Zara

Lineisy Monteiro

Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Lineisy Montero broke onto the scene in early 2015. Being booked for everything from Prada to Dior, Louis Vuitton to Celine. Her iconic debut at Prada instantly landed her a coveted spot in Prada’s fall/ winter 2015 campaign, solidifying her as a Prada girl. Since then, Lineisy has walked every major show in the world’s fashion capitols, as well as landing coveted spots on countless fashion magazine covers. Recently, Lineisy was chosen to star in campaigns for Chanel, Givenchy, and H&M. However, her most amazing feat is the whopping 219 shows she’s walked in since her début. Making her one of the most in demand models  on the runway in recent times.

Photo: Models.com / Tom Ford

Mica Arganaraz

With an astounding 23 campaigns under her belt for 2016 alone, Argentinian Mica Arganaraz has swept the fashion industry this year. With her signature messy fringe becoming one of the most copied and coveted hairstyles of the year, Mica has dominated this year’s “cool girl” trend category. Since her debut, Mica has become a permanent staple in Paris couture shows, having walked everything from Chanel to Valentino. On top of all of her work so far, Arganaraz has 24 editorials under her belt for 2016 as well as being the only girl to star in a Prada campaign solo since model icon Sasha Pivovarova.

Photo: Models.com / Bobbi Brown

Bhumika Arora

India’s newest model sensation has been sweeping runways, and the hearts of fashion lovers around the world in 2016. Her strong bone structure and striking eyes have won over dozens of fashion heavy weights this year. Earning a coveted spot in Bobbi Brown’s fall/ winter 2016 ad campaign, as well as spots in major magazines like Teen Vogue, Vogue Italia, and W. In terms shows, Bhumika walked a healthy number of shows this season for the likes of Elsa Schiaparelli, Balmain, Chanel Cruise, and Armani Prive; establishing her as one of the most recognisable and in demand models of the year.

Photo: Models.com / Marcs

Fernanda Ly

Louis Vuitton’s it girl has been winning over the fashion world this year. After highlighting Nicolas Ghesquiere’s first show for Louis Vuitton, Ly has gone on to walk every Louis Vuitton show since. Apart from the shows she’s walked for Vuitton, Fernanda has starred in every “Series” themed ad campaign for Louis Vuitton since her debut for the brand. In terms of international work, Fernanda has graced the covers of countless fashion magazines like Vogue China, Vogue Japan, L’Officiel Malaysia, and CR Fashion Book. Another important staple in Fernanda’s career for 2016 is the coveted H&M holiday campaign. Which not only comes with a great deal of exposure, but a hefty paycheck as well!

Photo: Models.com / Balmain

Joan Smalls

From runway darling, to blue chip campaign powerhouse. Joan Smalls has become one of the most recognisable models of colour in recent years. Having quickly climbed through the ranks of models in the fashion industry since her debut. Joan is no stranger to booking high-profile campaigns and shows, with the most recent being the coveted Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. But her presence isn’t only reserved for commercial work these days. Joan still nabs highly sought after campaigns from the biggest designers around the world like Givenvhy, Marc Jacobs, Balmain, and Moschino. Joan has also dominated the editorial game this year, with stunning editorials for LOVE, Vogue, Glamour, I-D, and W, to name a few.

Photo: Models.com / Topshop

Imaan Hammam

Nothing says “in demand” like a beauty contract and Imaan Hammam has just that! Having landed a priceless beauty contract with make-up heavyweight Shiseido, Hammam is quickly showing the fashion world that she has staying power and star power. The highly sought after model has also landed multiple campaigns for the likes of H&M, Topshop, and Givenchy, as well as an astounding line-up of runway shows including Nina Ricci, Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, Tom Ford, and Mugler. In terms of editorials, Imaan is sweeping the ranks, with 5 editorials in American Vogue in only 3 months.

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