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What’s Trending This Week? (x2)


Last week was the week of all things ridiculously (but justifiably) expensive, luxurious and extravagant. It was of course, Couture Week! With Dior designer-less, the final walk was taken by a collection of in-house young faces, who did an absolutely brilliant job of creating an effortless, modern and rather nonchalant offering, with full-skirted dresses paired with shrugged-off shoulders and an air of romanticism to every piece.

Karl Lagerfeld’s white and encrusted pieces took a turn for the eco, with pieces of wood being used on dresses and the finale featuring a futuristic, wooden dolls house that induced gasps. It also appears models have been choosing favourites, with Cara appearing front row at Chanel, and Gigi Hadid leading the runway at Versace.

Ralph & Russo (the only non-Parisian couture show) was closed by glamazon Isabeli Fontana who looked insane, but an event of the week that was perhaps more shocking than the amount of crystals on Fontana’s dress was the departure of Global CEO Maureen Chiquet from Chanel. Regardless of the drama, it was a beautifully tranquil week for attendees, with the word ‘exclusive’ at the core.

Hate having to answer a call from an unknown number? Then imagine how Hailey Baldwin felt on Monday when her phone number was leaked and she was met with a cascade of rather nasty messages. Responding via twitter, she commented, “Honestly my number being leaked is whatever. Just a headache. I’m just genuinely shocked at the things that were texted and said to me.”

LK Bennett has collaborated with Bionda Castana to create a highly covetable – and colourful – shoe collection that would make a great addition to any wardrobe. With fans including Karlie Kloss, Alexa Chung and Dakota Fanning, Castana’s leap into accessible luxury is bound to sell out in hours, and will probably appear in a few (thousand) Instagrams or two. “I love the raspberry chequerboard Jerry high-heeled sandal,” Castana smiled, despite always trying her best not to play favourites among styles. “It embodies both the LK Bennett and Bionda Castana worlds by using our signatures of laces, graphic prints and the thinner stiletto.” Launching instore and online at LKBennett.com on February 10, be sure to grab a pair to inject some much needed colour, luxury and vibrancy into these (often depressing) winter months.

There is a new print brand that you need to check out. NOW. Lily & Lionel, founded by Alice Stone in 2010, has moved on from digital print silk scarves to launching a ready-to-wear line. “Since launching the collection, the feedback we have had is that it feels like a natural progression for the brand, which I think is really positive. Of course, scarves will always be at the heart of Lily & Lionel, but it’s exciting to see the business grow and take on new challenges,” Stone explained. Featuring an array of gorgeous florals, unique animalistic prints and the classic leopard prints, these beauties can be found (at the moment) within Liberty, Harrods and on their website. With loose, flowing shapes, any piece from their collection would make a fabulous addition to your (and my) summer wardrobe.

Bye bye ready-to-wear! Hello couture! Giles Deacon announced this week that he will be temporarily departing from the official London Fashion Week schedule, and swapping it instead for a slot in the Paris couture schedule come July. “With couture, it means I get to show fall in July, with delivery in September. My clients will be getting their pieces in season,” said the designer to WWD, who revealed that his pieces will retail for between £3,000 and £5,000 for a bespoke dress and £50,000 to £70,000 for red-carpet creations. Very expensive indeed, the question is: will his pieces be worth the price tag? (Knowing him, they most likely will.)

There’s been soooooo many rumours in the fashion world at the moment. The most interesting one: that Sarah Burton may be taking Raf Simons place at Dior. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this never-ending game of musical chairs is getting ridiculous; surely, if you are a designer who wants to work for big brand, the most important thing should be that your aesthetic meshes well with the aesthetic of the brand, instead of salaries or who-you-get-on-better-with or some other factor. It’s probably a highly simplistic view of the industry, but shouldn’t the creative be at the core?

La Perla (aka luxury lingerie giant) officially appointed Pedro Lourenco as Creative Director on Tuesday with immediate effect. “The talent, style and creative maturity of Pedro Lourenço are the reasons of our choice”, said La Perla chairman Silvio Scaglia of his new protegé. “His approach and style relate to our founding values and reflect the path overtaken by the brand in the last two years. The sartorial excellence and sensibility for the female body combined with a quest for innovation are pillars of La Perla and match the skills and talent of this young designer. La Perla, together with Pedro Lourenço, will blur the boundaries between lingerie, beachwear and outerwear, extending its natural focus on sensuality, elegance and preciousness.” Replacing Emiliano Rinaldi (who departed the label in June 2015), I can’t wait to see what Lourenco has to offer!

MUST ATTEND ALERT: Yves Saint Laurent addicts will soon be able to delve into the late designer’s private design space as part of a new exhibition staged by the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent. Held within the label’s former couture house at 5 Avenue Marceau, Paris, it will include an unprecedented volume of artefacts – from original sketches, prototypes, warehouse records, and more than 5,000 haute couture garments and 15,000 accessories. The constantly updated exhibition will aim to give visitors an insight into the designer’s prolific creativity over the 40 years that he helmed his eponymous label. I honestly cannot wait! Fancy a trip to Marrakech? The foundation is also setting up a museum which will contain a permanent display of Saint Laurent’s work – as well as space for temporary exhibitions, an auditorium, a research library and a café and restaurant, situated in a place that gave so much inspiration to the great designer. Forget ‘Diamonds are forever’, it appears Mr Yves Saint Laurent will be remembered forever thanks to this foundation.

whats trending 8 feb 2016

Brooklyn Beckham: teenage heartthrob, football addict, photographer for Burberry – wait, what? Burberry enlisted none other than Brooklyn Beckham for its next Brit fragrance campaign just shot on the 30th of January. It seems this mini Beckham has had a passion for photography for quite a while, but many never realised (like me)! This move sees the Beckham-Burberry relationship grow further, after middle-child Romeo starred in a series of advertisements for the brand.

The Barbie doll has often been scorned for being the source of many young girls self-hate, but it appears the brand is hoping to change that. It was revealed this week that Barbie will now come in four body types (tall, petite and curvy as well as the wasp-waisted original), seven skin tones, 22 eye colours and 24 hairstyles including afros and a sapphire blue style. “Barbie has always given girls choices – from her 180 careers, to inspirational roles, to her countless fashions and accessories,” said Evelyn Mazzocco, senior vice president and global general manager of Barbie, in a statement. “We are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand. These new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them – the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them.” Find these new-gen Barbies on the cover of the Time magazine, as well as available to order via Shop.Mattel.com. I don’t know about you, but there’s still something about the Barbie doll that doesn’t sit quite right with me.

On Friday Zayn Malik (aka ex-directioner) unveiled the highly anticipated video for his first solo track, Pillowtalk. With 51 million views on YouTube alone so far, this artsy video is sure to be a H U G E success. Oh, and it features (and solidifies the relationship with) his model girlfriend, Gigi Hadid. It’s a must-watch.

Want to make your Insta more charitable? Just copy Cara, who posted a selfie on Thursday with smudged, pink makeup, in aid of the Smear For Smear campaign – an initiative raising awareness of cervical cancer and the importance of smear testing. It’s super easy to do, and with Cara nominating a collection of her besties (and sisters) to join the campaign – such as Kendall Jenner and Georgia May Jagger –  you may as well smudge your makeup quick and nominate your besties before they nominate you.

Zoolander No.2 has been released into cinemas and I honestly cannot wait to see it! Throughout this week Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson (aka the iconic Zoolander models) have been travelling across the globe to promote the ‘fashion’-films release: from posing on London’s famous Abbey Road – in heels no less – to more posing in the windows of Valentino’s Rome store, as well as using the longest selfie stick ever made at the film’s premiere in London on Thursday. Zoolander FEVER is now officially a thing, and I most definitely have it. Do you?

Everything you thought you knew about fashion week is ALL about to change. On Friday Burberry became the first major brand to announce changes to its current fashion-show model. The British fashion giant intends to amalgamate its womenswear and menswear shows as of September this year into two annual shows, the items from which will be available to purchase immediately in store and online after the catwalk show finishes. “The changes we are making will allow us to build a closer connection between the experience that we create with our runway shows and the moment when people can physically explore the collections for themselves,” Burberry’s chief creative and chief executive officer, Christopher Bailey, told WWD. “Our shows have been evolving to close this gap for some time. From live-streams, to ordering straight from the runway, to live social media campaigns, this is the latest step in a creative process that will continue to evolve.”

Tom Ford has also followed suit, announcing that he has cancelled his planned presentations at New York Fashion Week and will instead come back onto the schedule in September. Merging his menswear and womenswear collections into one show and adopting the “see-now-buy-now” model, just like Burberry, Ford will show A/W16 come September. One thing, though this idea seems like it’s going to help the fashion industry, imagine how the transition will be: seeing a Ford A/W16 show in the morning and then a Donna Karen S/S16 show in the afternoon. #majorlyconfusing

Always adored Alexa Chung’s style? Wanted her androgynous sweaters, floral dresses and peter-pan-collar blouses in your wardrobe. Well, your wish is Marks & Spencer’s demand, as the high-street retailer has allowed the IT girl into their archives to create a new collection named: Archive by Alexa which comprises of 31 ready-to-wear items. “It was so fun to be given the keys to the Marks & Spencer archive and such a treat to get to cherry pick the very best of their vast collection of pieces”, Chung told Vogue. Launching in April, the whole fashion world will be waiting for a modern, ‘Alexa’ take on the – some say – outdated M&S lines; and with her success with AG Denim (with pieces selling out immediately), it’s sure to be just as profitable.

Remember the Dolce & Gabbana / Elton John gay adoption fiasco? On Saturday Stefano Gabbana Instagrammed a picture of D&G’s new line of simple bags and t-shirts, all of which are adorned with happy-looking cartoons of same-sex couples holding children. A change of heart indeed…

There are so many collaborations at the moment, but I can assure this is one well worth checking out. & Other Stories has created a collection with NY jewellery label Faux/Real (with an ethos rooted in contrasts). In the 14-piece collection – comprising earrings, rings and necklaces – matte meets shiny and natural materials merge with man-made textures resulting in a feminine aesthetic with an interesting architectural twist that I personally adore. “When two opposites collide and meet in the middle there is something very special – an unexpected idea is born. That’s the key element for the brand,” they told Vogue, hoping to bring their aesthetic to the masses. With famous fans (think Björk, Courtney Love and Lena Dunham) and a price tag that doesn’t exceed £55, this is the perfect collection for any Valentines gift; and with the campaign featuring model couple Svea Berlie and Jenny Ray, this collaboration signifies a new direction for & Other Stories.

Olivia Palermo is constantly envied for her style, and now you can dress like her, thanks to her new collection for Nordstom. Called Olivia Palermo + Chelsea28, the collection features 32 utterly fabulous pieces – from tailoring and dresses to denim and separates – all of which you can easily imagine Palermo wearing day-to-day. With prices as low as $68 (under £50), and UK shipping available, I may just be getting up a little bit earlier on February 8 to grab my favourite pieces (such as that awesome navy buttoned blazer and matching wide leg trousers).

Manolo Blahnik has opened a new store at Burlington Arcade, 51 Piccadilly, London and it looks beautiful. The boutique comprises of three floors of shoe heaven reaching over 1,000sq ft and is just as pretty as the shoes it houses: with antique-inspired detailing married with splashes of Blahnik’s signature brights. “I don’t belong to this kind of crowd who have money injected by big companies or conglomerates, I never wanted to do that, but we did want to open another shop. I always knew that I wanted to wait until I found somewhere that meant something to me, and this place did,” Blahnik said, gesturing towards the buildings Georgian features. From what I’ve heard, it’s definitely a place to check out if you want some fabulous shoes, or just want to see a fabulous building.

On Wednesday Stefano Pilati stepped down as Creative Director at Ermenegildo Zegna with immediate effect. “I now wish to focus on other projects that I had put aside in order to achieve our common goals with Zegna Couture. It has been an honour to work with this extraordinary family company that puts quality, craftsmanship and excellence at the centre of their business,” said Pilati on his exit. There’s so much movement in the fashion industry at the moment, I’m finding it hard to keep track!

It was revealed this week that Gucci will be showing its pre-Spring/Summer 2017 show at Westminster Abbey in London on June 2. “Creative director Alessandro Michele has chosen one of London’s most historic and beautiful settings for his cruise 2017 fashion show: the Cloisters at Westminster Abbey.” Gucci will be the first fashion house to host a runway show in the historic location – one that has previously hosted some highly prestigious events, such as the marriage of Kate & William in 2011. I bet Michele is very happy indeed!

By India Hunnikin

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