London Fashion Week Spring 2018: The Highlights

The usual ebb and flow of London’s fashion week hit a bit of a snag this year. Like New York just last week, London faced the daunting task of having to reinvent itself or suffer becoming irrelevant. With the fashion world once again putting all of its eggs in Paris’s basket, cities like London, Milan, and New York are starting to see its big names uproot and make way for the City of Lights. This has left many fashion capitals in a bit of a limbo. Luckily, London and its designers carry a resilience about themselves that allows them to push forward, to spin the wheel of reinvention time and time again. Which in today’s day and age, is the only way to stay relevant and in business in the ruthless fast fashion dominated landscape.

Emilia Wickstead

Often times, it’s the most unexpected combinations that are the most rewarding when paired together. At Emilia Wickstead, the idea of mixing early settler pilgrim garb with hints of contemporary casual worked wonderfully. The designer, who embodies the aesthetics of England’s well-to-do women, focuses her designs on prim and proper frocks. However, this season seemed to incorporate a far more costumey and playful sensibilities to her usual designs. Long 17th-century gowns were made fresh and interesting by translucency that exposes the model’s breasts, while sheer dress coats were paired with high-waisted denim pants, echoing the big denim boom that’s taken hold of the fashion world for the past two years. When it came to the more formal evening gowns, the same wisps of first settler fashion were felt with just a touch more glamour. One of the real stars of the show was a beautifully bright floral gown that can be worn separately from the soft bowtied sweater, though the sweater adds that perfect hint of modern femme and makes the gown so charming.

Ralph & Russo

To the complete and utter joy of many couture lovers around the world, Ralph & Russo have finally created their first ready-to-wear collection. Not only does this mean that lovers of Ralph & Russo couture can stock their closets with everyday creations, but those with the means to buy designer can opt for a piece of R&R’s luxurious pie. One very important thing that should be taken from the design duo’s step towards becoming a year-long, four-season brand is the notion that the big dream is not dead within fashion. Sure there are tons of fashion houses that pop up throughout the year, receive a quick following, then sadly disappear as quickly as they came. But there hasn’t been a full fledged fashion powerhouse that’s managed to grow to the level of Ralph & Russo’s fame in quite some time now. But the growth is well deserved. Designer Tamara Ralph knows exactly how to dress a woman perfectly, without any fuss or smoke and mirrors. Her designs are pure modern glamour, pairing relevant metallic leathers, with vintage draping that rivals the greats of fashion’s yesteryear. And what a better way to appeal to the growing group of millennial rich kids than to modernized and translate their parents’ luxury into something familiar to them?

Nicopanda

This season, Nicola Formichetti’s label Nicopanda came out with a big surprise. Now, the brand may have made waves within millennials since its inception. It sadly fell into the luxury streetwear category almost immediately due to its penchant for creating very wearable and often comical athleisure collections. However, this season seems to have marked a change for the designer. Nicopanda showed a collection that not only adds far more runway flare, but also even more high fashion digestibility, opening the doors to an entirely new fashion crowd for the designer and the brand. The real highlight of the collection is its completely visible and satisfying linear story, which echoes a modern high-schooler’s athletic wardrobe. It takes the trend of luxury athleisure and injects a much-needed dose of high fashion appeal. Ruffled tracksuit skirts and shorts add a hint of whimsy to what would have been a standard athleisure look, while oversized varsity sweaters became dresses with the addition of wispy chiffon skirts, giving the look a grungy millennial art school vibe that’s sure to sell out in stores immediately. One interesting look that came down the runway was what could only be described as a matchy-matchy red Peter Pan collard leotard, thigh highs, and beret combo, which came fully embellished with chains and knick knacks, bringing to light Formichetti’s high fashion spark.

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Swimwear trends to try this summer

Shopping for swimwear can be daunting, no matter what kind of shape your summer bod is or isn’t in. The key to the ultimate summer wardrobe lies in a killer swimwear collection. Even though the weather isn’t quite swimsuit acceptable yet; summer is just around the corner, so it’s time to shop now and wear later. If you’re someone who struggles to pick out or find swimwear that you like, we have the ultimate guide to assist you with your swimsuit shopping this summer. This year’s styles seem to be more daring than ever. With cut-outs and high leg bottoms that cut up to the hip, it sure is going to be an Instagram-worthy season for bathing suits. So make a statement by the pool and at the beach and shop these styles to slay all summer long!

Mesh

Photo courtesy of bethrichards.com

The best thing about this trend is that it can be incorporated into a bikini or a one piece. Adding a hint of mesh allows you to bare some extra skin without giving too much away. This season, find a suit with some flirty cutout accents that are covered with mesh. Find the right style for you to enhance your shape, and make your new bikini or one piece a little bit more interesting.

Beth Richards Bardot One Piece in black $350

Straps and Laces

Photo courtesy of perfectpeachswim.com

Last summer was all about the crochet detailing, this year it’s all about the laces and extra criss-cross straps. Amp up your bikini collection by adding some intricate lace-up detailing to a simple bikini.

Perfect Peach 2nd Base bikini $131

Wrap Tops

Photo courtesy of mondayswimwear.com

Now you can channel the wrap around crop top look in a bikini as well! This sexy spin on a classic looking top is sophisticated and comfortable.

Monday Swimwear St. Barths in Olive $118

High Thigh

Photo courtesy of northamerica.triangl.com

Reveal a little extra leg and hip with a high cut bottom. This look accentuates the legs making them appear longer. The high cut bottom is the perfect way to add some subtle retro flair to your swimsuit collection.

Triangl Camille Velvet Scoop Crop and High Cut bikini $120

White

Photo courtesy of vitaminaswim.com

We always see our share of bright colours, but this season the standout shade is stark white. Simple and clean, there’s a shade of white for every skin tone.

Vitamin A Leah Bodysuit in Eco White $196

Seoul Fashion Week Fall 2017: The Highlights

Seoul is one of the best-kept fashion gems in the world. Like Japan and Sao Paulo, Seoul keeps itself pristine and pure. It rarely wanders into the realm of knock off fashion trends. And if it does resemble something we’ve seen on the runway before, chances are that the trend may have just originated there and not come in after the fact. The beauty of Korean fashion comes from its authenticity. Nothing really seems forced and that’s a horribly difficult thing to come by in today’s fashion industry. This season came with some of the freshest collections to date. The authenticity is there, the style is there, and that’s what makes Seoul Fashion Week such a joy to review — Here are its biggest stunners for fall.

Miss Gee Collection

Photo: Seoul Design Foundation

Have you ever wondered what Blair Waldorf would have looked like if she would have gone back to her old stomping grounds and became dean of Constance? Well here is your chance. At Miss Gee Collection, a clear private school influence was seen. With streamlined pantsuits accented with coloured trims and mock school crests and emblems. This collection screams Upper East Side private school couture, which, for one, I am in love with. There’s something so functional yet whimsical about collections that are based on school uniforms. It paints a story for you. You can almost see the Ivy covered walls of an elite private school neatly tucked away behind a set of giant elms and wrought iron fence when you see this collection.

Beyond Closet

Photo: Seoul Design Foundation

Now you can’t have ladies varsity style without throwing some men’s looks as well. For this season’s Beyond Closet show, models were sent out in outfits that would definitely put your local private school bad boy to shame. The great thing about this collection is that it refrains from solely showing uniform clothing; instead, a great mix of streetwear is woven in and out of the collection, giving the show a very relaxed and New York feel which works with the fashion industries’ current love for athleisure streetwear.

Kiok

Photo: Seoul Design Foundation

Berets have been everywhere this season from Paris to New York, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the world is following suit. At Kiok, berets, Parisian flare, and strong deconstruction are all tied together in a neat little package. Many of the denim looks are outstanding and very relevant to today’s fashion trends. However, the best looks came in the form of polka dot print dresses, blouses, and blazers. The polka dots give the collection a comedic freshness that is sadly avoided in the fashion industry. Another really interesting thing about the collection is how well it’s styled. The layering between outerwear, formalwear, and sportswear perfectly mirrors what’s going on in the fashion world today.

J Koo

Photo: Seoul Design Foundation

Formalwear and evening wear are some of the most difficult pieces to design because they usually follow certain guidelines. For example, you can design a tuxedo made out of jersey, but it still wouldn’t be considered formalwear. At J Koo, the notion of formalwear and evening wear is revisited and reworked with knits and trenches. Giving the collection a very soft and casual feel without actually taking away from its elegance. Chiffon is sprinkled throughout and mossy greens break up the neutrals seen throughout the collection, allowing the evening wear to go beyond the realm of black, white, and jewel tones.

Kumann Yoo Hye Jin

Photo: Seoul Design Foundation

Herringbone is one of the greatest patterns ever invented. It’s fun, it’s bright, it’s eye-catching, and it’s elegant in its own right. So it came as no surprise when it showed up on the runway at Kumann Yoo Hye Jin. The beautiful citrine stone green pairs beautifully with the soft wool texture of the outerwear in the collection. However, herringbone isn’t the only pattern available in the collection. A great majority of the show’s outerwear is presented in sumptuous plaid wools that hark back to a more retro idea of outerwear. Denim and velvet also made spectacular appearances in the form of separates and dresses, which helped break up the various plaids and neutral tones throughout the show. Giving its would-be shoppers a wide variety of choices to mix and match with, which is a plus in anyone’s books.

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

One interesting thing that most people don’t know about is that many of the world’s most beloved brands and fashion houses actually make the majority of their profits through accessories. Brands like Prada and Dior are tasked with creating new and exciting bags, shoes, jewellery, and more to drive sales through the roof.

Some brands are even blessed with the gift of having almost their entire yearly revenue derived from the sales of their non-clothing goods. That just goes to show how important accessories really are to the fashion industry itself. They aren’t just afterthoughts or cherries on top to add “a little something” to the collection. They’re there to seal the deal on whether one loves a collection or skips it. Here are Novella’s top picks for best accessories of fall/winter 2017.

The Bags

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

Prada: As she does every year, Miuccia Prada released a coveted selection of bags that are sure to end up on everyone’s must have list. Ranging from all black and all baby blue shoulders bags, green ostrich feather handbags, nylon satchels, and python skin to fur-covered confections and printed leather bags, Prada outdid itself once again in creating an innovative and versatile collection of handbags for every occasion. However, one bag stood out from the pack. A bag that clearly played off the brand’s fall 2017 collection of book bags. Like its predecessors, this new bag resembles a leather bound book, but this time the entire bag is comprised of velvet, giving the bag a quirky 70’s feel.

Miu Miu: Just like her bags at Prada, Miuccia’s Miu Miu bag collection is another beautiful example of how well-rounded a designer she really is. This season, Prada’s younger sister released a groovy collection of bags that mirrored the collection’s feminine 60’s flare. There were bags with fur handles and bags with large glamorous brooches. But the most interesting pick of the collection was a selection of bags that had “Miu Miu” stitched all over the bag in a stunning psychedelic swinging 60’s font.

Jacquemus: Simon Porte Jacquemus has been one of the only designers of late to actually produce worthwhile collections. And although the statement may seem a little extreme, it’s completely called for in Simon’s case. For his fall 2017 collection, Jacquemus gave the fashion world one of the most creative and innovative bags to date. Gone are the days of his “haricot” bags and wallets — his newest offering comes in the shape of an upside down envelope, mirroring the bags a bourgeois woman of the 1950’s would have worn in Paris. The greatest thing about this bag is that it carries (no pun intended) all of the things that define French clothing (like the gold chain and old world shape) and literally turns it on its head, thereby making the bag distinctly Jacquemus yet still very much French in design.

Chloe: Chloe has always been a staple in exceptional bag making and this season just another testimony to that statement. This season’s it girl bag has to be Chloe’s white sand coloured circle crossbody bag. The adorable bag is the perfect run around bag that matches any outfit, plus the brass coloured metal handle adds that perfect bohemian touch that Chloe has always been known for. And the best part is that the bag looks as if it will be available in a multitude of neutral and dark colours to suit any preference and need!

Altuzzara: The last bag on the list is by far the most traditional of the bunch, but that isn’t to say the bag is in anyway doughty or matronly. This Altuzzara handbag came in a stunning array of complementary colours that suited every look in the collection perfectly, which is also a plus. But the best part about this season’s Altuzzara bag had to be its simple design and decoration. There were no gimmicks here. Just a beautifully designed leather bag with an accompanying flower that would make even the most elite of New York’s Upper East Side squeal with delight.

The Shoes

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

Gucci: Leave to Alessandro Michele create a cowboy inspired 80’s ankle boot that actually looks amazing. During his latest Gucci show, Michele sent out a real throwback of a shoe that was completely off colour to what has been going on at Gucci. The bright white bootie comes complete with an almost Wild West/almost Eastern European embroidered floral design that fits the brand’s outstanding new vision perfectly. On top of that, the boot itself is perfect for the 80’s revival trend that has been sweeping the fashion world this season.

Tory Burch: Tory Burch is a brand that has more recently been associated with wealthy soccer mom chic, rather than high fashion fallal. But this season, the American brand looked as if it was trying to shed its current plateau and engage new customers. And the shoe of the show did just that. This beautifully ornate Tory Burch heel burst onto the catwalk with one thing in mind — to make a statement. And that it did. The stunning heel pulled out all the stops to command attention; the sculptural heel, European style brocade pattern, and a beautiful oversized bow harked back to imperial French court glamour. It’s safe to say that Tory Burch is finally making fashion and that’s a wonderful thing.

Maison Margiela: The incomparable John Galliano has made a new name for himself at Margiela since his arrival at the iconic Belgian house. Every season it seems that Mr. Galliano has fresh and innovative ideas for his clientele’s eyes to feast on. For this season’s Margiela show, Galliano presented a knee length boot in an ever-so-relevant 70’s inspired silhouette. The boot, which features an ultra feminine pencil thin heel and deep ochre coloured python print, resemble the same heeled boots that independent and fashionable women wore back in the 1970’s, making it an instant buy on any trend followers must have list.

Rochas: Rochas has always been spot on when it comes to gloriously elegant women’s clothing. This season at Rochas, viewers were treated to the most darling of pumps one could ever imagine. The shoe, which looked to have taken inspiration from 1950’s fetish heels and Marie Antoinette court shoes, are as prim and proper as any shoe can get. And that beautifully placed heel makes the entire shoe look even more delicate and glamorous.

Thom Browne: Thom Browne has never been one to shy away from designing things that many would consider outlandish, but that’s exactly why he’s on this season’s “best of” list. For his winter wonderland inspired show, Browne created a heel that features his trademark all-American brogues crossed with an interesting hollow wedge heel made to look like a figure skater’s blade. The shoe is a testament to how amazing a designer Browne is. Not only is the shoe perfectly designed to fit, it also carries one of Thom Browne most easily recognizable trademarks. On the front of the shoe, a small shirt and tie can be seen peeking out from right under the ankle, showing any potential customers that Thom Browne’s quirky suiting is never too far away.

The Hats

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

Christian Dior: Berets have been the go-to headpiece of the season and the hardworking ateliers at Christian Dior were definitely paying attention. For fall 2017, Dior had berets coming down the runway in full force. Part French go-to, part pro-feminist statement. The berets conjured up images of strong warrior women ready to fight for female freedom and independence.

Loewe: Jonathan Anderson has been wowing audiences in London and Paris for quite some time now, so it comes as no surprise that the British wunderkind presented another spot on collection for Loewe this season. The collection itself is a mishmash of all of the most beautiful things that Anderson has designed in the past, with the tiniest hint of European village life. This is where the hat comes in. The darling straw hat isn’t overbearing and ostentatious like many straw sunhats that have been shown on the runway. This adds to Anderson’s rendition’s charm. Rather than making the hat comical and theatrical, the small brim size gives the sunhat an air of authenticity and realness.

Coach: Coach is another one of those brands that ran into an extremely commercial plateau for quite a while. However, recently the brand has beefed up their designs and created relevant and exciting collections to lure would-be buyers in. For fall 2017, Coach has managed to design a wonderfully trendy hat for the young streetwear wise dressers of the world. With its fluffy shearling outer layer, the hat seems like the perfect alternative to a beanie for those chilly New York nights.

Adam Selman: Now this may not be the most traditional hat, but that doesn’t take away from how interesting a topper it is. At Adam Selman’s show during NYFW17, audiences were treated to a quirky little birdcage fascinator that was equal parts adorable and badass. Like 1950’s motorcycle gang chicks, the models stormed out with powerful little flowers on their heads and the best part about them is their versatility. Not only could you wear them with jeans and a leather jacket, but you could easily pair the fascinator with a beautiful black cocktail dress for more formal events.

Marc Jacobs: Marc Jacobs has always been fashion’s little rebel. Taking everyday trends from past and present and turning them into high fashion concepts. For his fall collection, the inspiration was clear. 70’s and 80’s urban and hip hop culture reigned supreme on the runway and it was perfectly evident in Jacobs accessories. This puffy hat is a perfect alternative to your traditional winter beanie. Instead of having a regular old boring knitted winter hat, you can have this interesting oversized retro beanie instead.

The Shades

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

Anna Sui: Anna Sui is one of those designers who has and will always march to the beat of her own drum. Since the early 90’s, Anna has been creating collections that are distinctly her own. This season’s Anna Sui sunnies follow in her great tradition of doing her own thing. The blue sunglasses feature a theatrical angular cat eye that is only further enhanced by their bright cobalt shade. The glasses also perfectly compliment the collections 1920’s/1970’s bohemian chic aesthetic, giving the wearer the glamour of a traditional cat eye with a bright pop of a mod colour.

Acne: The beauty of Acne is in its simplicity. While other brands thrive off of creating elaborate shows and collections, Acne has blossomed into a fashion powerhouse by infusing Swedish minimalism with high fashion appeal. And this is perfectly evident with this season’s sunglasses. The shades for fall/winter 2017 were simple in their construction. Two thin silver arms hold the angular coloured lenses in place to create a psychedelic feel to the glasses. Think John Lennon à la 2017 high fashion mod. But the quirky simplicity of these sunglasses aren’t the only selling points here. The glasses are actually quite versatile. They can be paired perfectly with a casual pair of jeans and a band t-shirt or glammed up with a silk neck-tied blouse, wide leg pant, and a floppy summer hat.

Anya HindmarchAnya Hindmarch’s entry into the industry as an accessories designer must be what pushes her to create an interesting range of accessories that are completely relevant, on-brand, and desirable outside of her own already spectacular clothing lines. Her fall 2017 sunglass collection just goes to show that she understands what her customers want. She could have easily made a pair of sunglasses with a simple frame and lens for her collection, but instead she chose to create a fur trimmed pair of sunglasses that more closely resembled a pair of skiing goggles. The fun, fur trimmed sunglasses add that perfect wintery feeling to an accessory that’s usually associated with warmer weathers and the summer months, giving the overall look a high fashion après ski feeling.

Fendi: Fendi is an accessory giant. Like its other Italian contemporaries, Fendi owes much of its success to its sales in trendy and in demand accessories. Usually known for its outlandish designs, Fendi presented a surprising take on sunglasses by creating a clean and perfectly polished pair of circular sunglasses. The posh specs fit spectacularly with the cool and composed vibe of the collection. It just goes to show that sometimes simplicity really is key!

Sacai: Sacai is a brand that has garnered a huge following over the years. And it’s easy to see why. This season’s sunglasses are in fact the most visually stunning, adorned with a number of butterflies framing the arms and lenses. These Sacai delights are perfect for commanding total attention when walking into a room. The one possible downfall of these sunnies may be their theatricality, but that’s also their the biggest allure. The beautifully decorative butterfly wings add an old world whimsy to the glasses that has slowly been coming back into fashion. And why not enjoy these shades all year-round? They would make the perfect winter pop of summery colour and the perfect summer conversation piece.

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Milan & Paris fall 2017 trend report!

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 Sheen

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton, Max Mara

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.

Navy Blue

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Christian Dior, Chanel, Aquiliano. Rimondi

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

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Saint Laurent, Hermes, Haider Ackermann

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

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Miu Miu, Gucci, Alberta Ferretti

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 80’s

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Mugler, Moschino, Stella McCartney

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.

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