A New Start!

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I’ve avoided the daily updates from what was formerly known as Fashion Week –  I have now dubbed it Fashion Month –  and I don’t care what the critics say.  Let’s be honest here, you are going to sites like Fab Sugar, Vogue and Style.com to get your image updates because, well, they are bossy and stream the images directly from the shows to their sites.  And let’s face it, Combustion isn’t quite there, yet!  But, there is one show that I needed to cover, in my own words, on my own time, in my own chair, on my own computer.  And that also happens to be the most eagerly anticipated show of the month long adventure, Louis Vuitton.  Why you ask?  Because Wednesday, at sunrise in Paris, the city of love, marked the end of Paris Fashion Week and the close of Fashion Month, and this was done single handedly, by the one and only Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton. 

With a ravishing front row line up at the Cour Carrée of the Louvre, Nicolas Ghesquière made history with his debut collection for none other than Louis Vuitton.  The former Balenciaga designer decided to return from his year and a half of MIF (missing in fashion) and what better fashion house to land in than Louis?  Being the last show of this month long journey, the spot light was fully on Ghesquière and he had to deliver like never before.  The crowd was on the edge of their collective seat wondering how Ghesquière was going to take all 15 years of his Balenciaga knowledge and experience and make a flawless transition to this epic fashion house that has just blossomed for the last 16 years under the creative watch of Marc Jacobs.  But, after that first beat dropped and the metal shutters flew open, right there in front of hundreds of fashion mavens, Mr. Jacobs sat back and watched as Louis Vuitton set a new beat to the Nicolas Ghesquière drum.  

And what did he show us?  There were cropped sweaters and beautiful A-line skirts, suede and leather, floral and fur, belts and bags.  Overall, it was reserved in the silhouettes department but, fireworks when it came to fabrics.  He mixed suede with leather and tapestry floral prints, knit vests with black lamme leggings.  He was, as we should have expected, true to the heritage of the House with designs that women will love to wear.  LV is first and foremost an accessory brand and he hit a home run in that department as well.  Go check it out for yourself, at Vogue.com, because I cannot even begin to describe the fabulousness to you. 

Safe to say Nicolas Ghesquière is back in action!

Images thanks to Vogue.com!

Home Run!

Ciao, 

Annie

What Was At Walker?

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Oh yes, I am completely aware that NYFW is finifshed and it’s all happening across the pond right now in London, and that’s quickly coming to an end as well.  I’m sure many others in the industry would agree that there is just not enough time in “Fashion Month” to go around.  With an average of 10 shows a day I always feel like I am playing catch up.  Never the less, that’s what it’s all about, the chaos and the excitement.  Designers, buyers, bloggers and industry personel spend months prepping for fashion week and it’s gone in the blink of an eye as preparations begin for the next one.  Having said that, let’s think back to Day 5 of NYFW and the Karen Walker show.

 
Pier 59 Studio was the setting for Karen Walker’s Fall/Winter 2014 fashion show debut and it was out of this world, as per usual.  Cutting a long story short, this collection came straight from the veins of Walker herself.  Being one of my personal favorites of fashion month thus far, the Walker runway doors opened up and spit out easygoing silhouettes, looking comfortable, yet cutting edge.  The abundance of needlepoint rose patterned fabric incorporated with maxi’s of a wine colored velvet burnout kept the crowds attention.  A bit of old school vintage struck me during this viewing.  Between the cropped balloon pants and the retro-styled, bold, black and white graphics of broken hearts, hands and wrenches, this collection certainly flashed us back.  The oxford poking out of the dress and/or sweater, the come back of the turtleneck under a sleeveless dress, oh and Walker puts a special twist on a suit, am I right?   But the most pleasing component for me were the accessories.   I wasn’t sure what to focus on first, the sunglasses or the sleek and stylish clutches.  She featured bags and sweatshirts with catchy phrases that were humorous and ready to suit your mood, such as “Hello and Goodbye” and “Young Willing and Eager”.  The line was a knock out and I loved every minute of it.
 
My attire:  Jacket, jeans, blouse – Zara.  Headband – Vintage.  Sunglasses – Tom Ford.  Necklace – Urban Outfitters.   Cross body bag – Marc by Marc Jacobs.  Shoes – Dolce Vita.  
 
Images thanks to Style.com and me!
 
 
Faster Better & Stronger!
 
Ciao, 
 
Annie

 

Mara Hoffman And Her Camels

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Well, everyone’s on the New York Fashion Week grind again and I’m way behind, as usual.  I over slept a little and arrived (fashionably) late to the partay.  But, don’t worry, I’m awake now and ready to rock. 

Decked in “Official” Zara from head to toe I floated in to Lincoln Center to support the launch of Mara Hoffman’s FW14 Collection.  As expected, she put her signature boho stamp on each look, but added a twist this time with a fairly monocromatic pallet.  Mara stated backstage before her show that, “this is the most black I’ve ever sent down the runway”.  Coming from such a bright and colorful designer we were eager to see how she would keep the Hoffman trend going without her vivacious pallet, but she did it and did it without a hitch! 

Inspired by North African artifacts like Moroccan rugs, Egyptian camels and Bedouin jewelry she flashed us numerous patterns that filtered throughout the beautiful, yet neutral collection.  Texture played a big roll in the intricacy of this collection.  Full on sequins and detailed beadwork added a punch of color.  My personal favorite was the beautifully braided silk caftan etched in fringe, that’s at the top of my “want it or I’ll simply die” list, for sure.  Detailed patterns kept reminding me that we were, in fact, at a Hoffman show.  They were so detailed and interesting that I didn’t know where to look first, my eyes were jumping from one delightful spot to the next.  As for her flowy maxi dresses, they were simply stunning.  The fabric floated around the models as much as on them, so softly I just wanted to grab the material and rub it up against my cheek (Is that weird?) 

Overall, even in the mix of all that sophistication, there was that light hearted and carefree spirit that embodied each and every look, reminding us, lest we have doubt, that Hoffman’s still got it going on!

My attire:  Beany – American Apparel. Skirt, sweater, booties and jacket – Zara.  Necklace – Mango.  Sunglasses – Tom Ford.  Clutch – Cole Hann.

Runway images thanks to style.com!

Mara the camel has one hump!

Ciao, 

Annie

Bill Gaytten For John Galliano!

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Talent: John Galliano
 
If asked to a pair of feet, “What is the most comfortable thing for you?”, sneakers would surely be their response.  Having said that, Bill Gaytten, creative director of John Galliano decided to trickle from the feet up.  He thought, “Why not bring the grooviness of the sneakers up the body?”  Strange, but brilliant inspiration.  He’s on to something though, sneakers come in all colors, patterns and fabrics, that all have a certain sass and spirit to them all on their own and don’t need an outfit to make them stand out.  So, Gaytten decided to create a collection of techy, sporty daytime wear that is derived from true street style.  The vivacious colors and 3D effects that just popped out at you made for such an interactive and eye catching collection.  The colors, the colors, the colors, they too popped, quite literally.  Soft airy laser cut fabrics on asymmetrical dresses and cropped skinny pants came in pistachio and shocking orange.  There were perforations alongside eye-catching 3D detailing.  Then those beautiful raspberry pink and charcoal grey dresses were so light and elegant you almost forgot that street style was the drive behind all of this.  It was just a touch of graceful elegance that could be worn for any special occasion.  And the shoes, they are a whole different story for a whole different time.

Ciao,

Annie

Christian Dior, Damn They Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore!

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Talent: Christian Dior

Raf Simons of Christian Dior took the meaning of garden party to a completely different level, actually, he took it totally off the charts.  This jungle-like sea of softly draped hanging flowers of all shapes, colors and sizes, layer after layer from all angles along the stage was pure eye candy.  There must be something with designers this Spring/Summer 2014, they seem to be pushing the limits of no return.  Raf wanted the vibe to be, “twisting, turning, and pushing Dior,” so that “a beautiful rose garden becomes poisonous.”  And he did so by slightly removing the very obvious feminine touches and, how do you say, spicing it up, giving it a little kick.  Each outfit had it’s own element of surprise, whether it was an out of place keyhole or an army patch, how about that cut out cross weave type thing and that pleating on the bias?  But, just when I was starting to get worried that the heart of Dior might be going in a different direction I saw those classic princess like dresses that belled out ever so slightly and were charming and gracious, like they have been for years, and to complete the look their was a shield-shaped emblem made up of glittering jewels that has Dior’s iconic hound’s-tooth check present and standing proud.  Still super lady-like Dior, but with an edge.

Images thanks to Vogue.com!

Ciao,

Annie

Back to Balenciaga!

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Talent: Balenciaga 

Last year was Alexander Wang’s first shot at taking over the house of Balenciaga with the aim of carrying on an iconic legacy.  By most critic accounts, he did a fine job.  This year Wang took a different approach with a collection inspired and driven by sportswear.  This was most certainly a large and perhaps even overwhelming task to weave the essence of Cristobal Balenciaga with his own fresh approach to fashion.  He nailed it!  He managed to keep the structured vibe that is Balenciaga and marry it to his trademark relaxed street fashion story. 

First to come through the double mirrored catwalk was a collection of structured, rounded, leather biker jackets – a bit boxy looking (especially on the stick thin models) – this look was inspired by one of the pieces in the Balenciaga archives.  The truth is that it’s not all about how well Wang can recreate Balenciaga history, but rather can he please his clients, keep the old ones coming back for more and new ones chomping at the bit for his new collections.  Was it different enough to excite while still evoking that over the top feeling that comes with this fashion house?  According to Wang they are like day and night, “Mine is deconstruction and irreverence, and Balenciaga is precision and balance.”  The collection, if you ask me, was dynamite, he had the extremes of silhouette, texture and the element of cleanliness and precision, really tying two completely different worlds together as one.

Images thanks to Vogue.com!

Ciao, 

Annie

 

The Wild Things – PFW Take Two!

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Talent: Emilio Pucci

Paris Fashion Week has got to be the most high-strung week of the year, I mean let’s get real, all the big dogs are playing here.  We’ve got names like Donatella Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, Oliver Rousteing and Emilio Pucci being thrown around like they belong to your next door neighbor.  And they are all trying to catch the interest of chicks like Rihanna, Cara Delevingne and any of the hip, of-the-moment young gals who are the heavy weight champs of the fashion world right now.  Yes, Riri Bad Girl, is among the clientele that they’ve got to blow out of the water and how better to do it than with an uber-sick, totally hot, ultra young, fast and furious collection of glamour?  Pucci’s very own, Peter Dundas took the brand’s luxury standards and added his special spice of hip-hop style back into the game. Those signature Pucci radiant prints were in full force on seriously sexy harem pants, bustiers, cropped tops and oversize jackets.  There was beautifully detailed Masai inspired bead work going on, which was unusual for Pucci, but so nice to see.  Tiny leather athletic shorts, welter weight champion looking large emblem belts, baggy shorts and revealing mesh top were among the street style, athletic looks that we loved.  Perhaps not what you’d grab to wear to the gym, but there are many bad girls out there waiting to bust a move in these fresh new styles.

 

 

Talent: Moschino

Bringing those disco days back, Moschino’s creative director Rossella Jardini ventured back to the ‘80’s to find inspiration for the 30th anniversary of the brand.  This very iconic show brought back Moschino’s favorite models, Violetta Sanchez, Gisele Zelany, Jodi Kidd and many more to re-live the glory days of this playful brand.  They stepped to the beat of the Gloria Gaynor anthem, “I Am What I Am”, and out came their true personalities and characters.  Jardini showed us the most memorable Moschino designs like the coat topped with teddy bears (Fall 1988) or how about the one made of garbage bags (Spring 1994)?  History repeating itself really got the crowd going, brought the sass back to the brand and reminded people how the spirit of the brand lives on.  Then there was that good girl, bad girl vibe as pairs of models walked the runway side by side.  Dueling models strutting down the runway in opposition to one another; the bad girls in cropped jackets, leather, black, gold and short bottoms and the good girl all feminine, prim and proper in whites and florals, soft fabrics, tailored and oh so innocent.  In case you were confused, their belts spelled it out very clearly for you – good or bad.  Some things were strange – the croissant necklace comes to mind – but that’s just the Moschino way.  To close the catwalk the last models out of the gate were adorned in a collection that was an homage to Franco Moschino himself for all the amazing history he created for the brand.

Images thanks to Vogue.com!

Spread love it’s the Milan way!

Ciao,

Annie

Milan FASHUN!

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We have finally reached the Home Stretch, more formally known as Milan Fashion Week.  Can you believe that almost three weeks of this hopping from country to country and fashion show to fashion show is nearly at a close?  It feels like just yesterday that we were in New York anxiously awaiting to see what Spring/Summer 2014 had in stores for us.  And here we are, in Milan.

 

Talent: Fendi

Karl Lagerfeld is known and loved around the world as the face of Chanel, but is there more to him than that?  Hell ya!  He just so happens to be one of the gears behind that well-known machine called Fendi, along with Silvia Venturini Fendi herself.  So what did they have in store for us this go around?  Talk about putting those Italian artisans to work, this was conveyed through intricate details of furs, laser cutting, detailed organza and more insanely detailed workmanship.  That beautiful ombre organza tiered dress in warm red tones on Fashion Week’s favorite model, Cara Delevingne or the subtle laser cuts on the ever so soft organza fabric that just billowed off the models.  It was nice to see such an array of color for a change, bold hues that really screamed at you.  And those geometric shapes left no doubt that Lagerfeld was the master behind this amazing puzzle.  Accessories were another stand out here; new to the runway was a double heel, how about the color splattered fox fur handbags and those fuzzy earrings, whoa!  At times, I do admit, it kind of looked like they were carrying a fluffy little Shih tzu puppy, but that’s totally ok!  

 

Talent: Roberto Cavalli

Mr. Cavalli says without hesitation, “Is a movie. Is a dream. Every collection should make you dream. I don’t know if you dream in black and white. I don’t know if you dream in color. For me it depends on the day. I’m dreaming in color now because it’s a very good time for me.”  When you live a life like Roberto Cavalli, similar to the movies, it’s pretty close to the average man’s dream, so why not design that way?  The collection was triggered by old Hollywood/Gatsby-esque/1940’s/hint of Native American high-voltage glamour with a bobbery of reptile print, beading, shimmer and more.  There was so much clashing of colors, fabrics and textures that it was one heaping mess of fabulocity.  The faint touches of sea foam green and faded salmon really added a sense of elegance and lightness to the collection.  It was so fierce in such an understated and busy way.  The neutrality and repetition of textures and colors flowed perfectly off of one another.  So over the top, yet so accessible.  It truly was a dream unto itself. 

Images thanks to Vogue.com!

Perfecto!

Ciao, 

Annie

The Last of London!

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Talent: Adidas by Stella McCartney

Still fixed on London Fashion Week, because it simply goes way too fast for me to keep up, let’s talk about that Stella McCartney.  You were expecting maybe heels and ball gowns?  Leave them at home in favor of sneakers, swimsuits, yoga pants and some seriously stylish athletic gear.  Since women don’t sweat, they glisten, Stella realized that they ought to look good doing it.  If you thought Lululemon was a stylish upgrade, this line takes athletic duds to a whole new level.  Working with Adidas, Stella created a collection for fashionable women to stay fashionable right through their ass kicking workouts.  Whether you are a runner, swimmer or gymnast you could find your ultra-feminine look right on this gymnasium floor, where garments were being modeled by athletes in action.  Brilliant idea because we saw not only how great the clothing looked, but also how well it functioned.  There was a fabulous jacket that was appropriate for whatever sport you please made of lightweight double mesh fabric, some with neoprene inserts and others with two-way zips.  Sleek black cutout swimsuits that would leave Michael Phelps splashing around in the pool while you head for the medal stand.  Downward doggies will rejoice over the sexy and stylish yoga pants worn by models suspended by ribbons doing aerial yoga.  A very interesting, practical, and yes – super fashionable line to remind us we can work out and look great doing it! 

 

 

Talent: Peter Pilotto

Pre runway show, there was one majorly, sickly, insanely, awesome announcement and that was that our next Target collaboration will be with my buddies Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos.  BAM!  Now, do you think that took away from the show a little?  People sending text messages to the world, tweeting, facebooking, instagraming…pshh, I think not!  This dynamic duo shipped out a moonlight collection of modern day excitement.  As mentors of London’s young and fun crowd, these two showed us a light and airy collection with colors like mint, spring yellow, meadow green, shocking blue and fabrics like lace and simple patchwork (a little psychedelic at times, but hey!).  And it’s always astonishing to see how designers end up showing digital prints in new and creative ways.  It was impossible for your eyes to rest any where for too long as there were so many layers, angles and fabric treatments going on it was just delightful.  And, like New York Fashion Week, white was right and midriffs were poppin’!  It was big and it was cool.  For now – get jazzed for the Feb. 9th debut at Target, until then, check out the video of this Spring/Summer 2014 collection on Combustion’s Facebook Page!

Later London!

Ciao,

Annie 

The Brilliant, Tom Ford!

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Talent: Tom Ford

I don’t pop molly, I rock Tom Ford – and hell –  this is one fierce and fiercely unattainable collection for most of the world!  Monday evening in London the fashion world, as we know it, was reminded of just how extravagant Tom Ford can be and why we lust after his designs oh so much.  With an exquisite handpicked guest list, vases of calla lilies, a low-lit room lined with mirrored walls and the sickest Spring/Summer ’14 collection of straight sex appeal out there, Ford really blew us away.  He designs as he likes to see; long-legged powerful sexed-up women, the dress-to-impress type, the ones who don’t f*** around, it’s for the extreme and very unpractical.  If you’re more of a practical type then forget it, you’d be lucky if you could so much as walk in one of his creations, but really, who cares – they’re meant for you to stand there and look as sick as hell.  These clothes are created to perform and believe me there is a swath of daringly bad bitches out there who would crawl to the depths of the earth for one of these insanely luxurious designs. 

The first models out of the gate were rock solid, broad shouldered beauties, so shaped and toned that the quilted mini, leather, skintight dresses and skirts looked like they were made on them.  Ok, so he did have a shot of classic runway in there with a tuxedo or two and a set of stunningly cropped furs, but other than that the garments were form fitted, snug tight, to the body.  How about those sheer dresses that looked like ribbons were just wrapped around the models and they were tossed on to the runway – a bit Herve Leger-ish, but way more ferocious.  And those tight long sleeved high collared mosaic mini dresses and pant suits – works of art.  And then there was the lace, oh my, it really doesn’t get more dazzling than that.

He astonished, no he did more than that, but I just don’t have the words.  In this high fashion world you have to cater to everyone and Tom focuses on those super wealthy, young, egotistical socialites who are fresh, fierce and fashionable and all eyes are on them.  He’s a genius, and if and you want to make a serious fashion statement there’s only one place to go… straight to Tom Ford.

Images thanks to Vogue.com!

Sickest of them all!

Ciao, 

Annie