Once upon a time Roksanda Ilincic was dubbed the new “Queen of the cocktail dress” but while her eveningwear remains elegant as ever, the past few seasons have seen the designer branch out into everyday attire too. This is excellent news for anyone with great taste and a big budget because as it happens, Roksanda’s take on day dressing is every bit as inspired as her red carpet looks.
Ever since being inducted into the world of Roksanda during our fateful (and highly eventful) trip to Doha a couple of years ago I’ve been nurturing an obsession with her uncanny knack for combining bold colour combinations with immaculate cuts. Her Pre Fall 2013 collection is a prime example. Marrying clashing brights, acid hues and vibrant plaids with monochrome shades and conservative hemlines, Ilincic delivers a unique take on high fashion cool. Despite being a First Lady favourite and expert at “doing demure”, there is a playful side to her collections that makes me love them even more. Case in point: those supersized clutch bags. Are they practical? No! A little bit ridiculous? Maybe. But do I want one? HELL YES! It’s couture worthy construction meets London quirk with subtle geek chic undertones. Sounds like a recipe for carnage I know but as you can see, in the capable hands of Roksanda Ilincic it’s pure, sartorial gold.
Love Ella. X
With every collection Amy Smilovic designs, Tibi gets one step closer to unequivocably becoming the coolest brand in the world. That sounds like an overstatement I know but take a gander through the past few season’s offerings (and the many, many style setters snapped wearing them on the streets) and you’ll most likely find yourself agreeing with me. I’ve been a Tibi fanatic for a while now and think the Pre Fall 2013 collection might actually be their best yet. Beautifully negotiating the fine line between fashion forward and wearer friendly, Amy has delivered an array of FROW-worthy ensembles that exude New York nonchalance.
Flirty, thigh-skimming mini dresses and sleek pencil skirts are perfectly offset by boyish grey marl sweatshirts, varsity jackets and super slick tailored trousers. Prints have always been a Tibi staple but in recent seasons they’ve been of the graphic, rather than girlish variety. This time around we’ve been treated to contrast coloured stripes, monochrome geometrics and acid hued reproductions of the Manhattan skyline. Smilovic has an uncanny knack with leather (remember the laser cut confections in her SS13 collection?) and for Pre Fall 2013 she’s gone for oil slick black and applied it to everything from A-line t-shirt dresses to immaculately cut cigarette pants. In short, I want ALL OF IT!
Love Ella. X
Oh Carven, let me count the ways I love you. If there were ever a brand more synonymous with Parisian cool I’d like to see it. Every time I lay eyes on one of Guillaume Henry’s collections I think he can’t possibly out do himself next season yet somehow he always manages it.
For Pre Fall 2013 the designer has concocted an array of elegant separates, sweet shift dresses and slouchy-yet-sleek outerwear that simply exude inousouciance. Texture play is a major theme with mottled wool coats teamed with print silk dresses and chunky ribbed tights prepping up luxe leather pieces. As usual there are skirt suits a’plenty but as well as the geek chic styles we all know and love sat a sculptural, quasi futuristic metallic green ensemble. Cute collars, another Carven trademark, also feature highly adding a quirky edge to tailored camel wool and exquisite lace confections. But while Henry has stayed true to the design motifs we all know and obsess over endlessly I’d say this (pre) season, he’s decided to get a little more experimental. Skirts and biker jackets have been given a modern twist with slick, cut-away sides and feminine frocks are awarded an air of androdgyny by way of oversized, boyish parkas. As for the red leather tuxedo style number… Frankly, I’m speechless. For a designer credited with turning a long-forgotton couture house into one of the hottest contemporary brands around, these deviations from the adored Carven DNA was something of a risk but boy, hasn’t it just turned out beautifully?
Love Ella. X
Just last week Scottish fashion wunderkind Christopher Kane released his first ever Pre Fall collection, although one would be forgiven for thinking otherwise, such is the level of creative and technical prowess evident in each and every look included in this delectable selection. Among Kane’s many sartorial skills is an uncanny knack for taking normally non-fashionable things (rubber, sweet wrappers, Princess Margaret style twinsets) and turning them into catwalk dynamite. I was lucky enough to be invited to his SS13 show and got to witness this talent first hand. The designer drew inspiration from Frankenstein’s Monster to deliver an ingeniously original collection that combined plastic wingnuts, ruched plastic and injection moulded rubber with pastel hues, pencil skirts and oversized chiffon bows. You’d have thought after that he’d be out of ideas but as Christopher Kane’s Pre Fall offerings confirm, his supply is limitless.
Far from using the pre season to trot out an array of commercial, wearer friendly style staples, Kane appears to have viewed it as an opportunity to let his imagination run wild. Sculptural suede bomber jackets sit alongside double breasted velvet trouser suits, flippy chiffon minis and floor length gob-smackers in a palette of inky blacks, purples and rich cobalt blues. As always with Christopher there’s something slightly off-kilter, think unfinished hems, sepia toned floral applique and semi-sheer fabrics giving off an eerie sheen. Equally characteristic is the fact that this high risk hint of subversion makes those pretty printed cocktail dresses infinitely more interesting.
Love Ella. X
In theory, a collection that infuses Nepalese prints with a futuristic edge should be a disaster. In the oh-so-skillful hands of Prabal Gurung, it’s nothing short of magnificent. Clean lines, sleek silhouettes and luxe jersey fabrics give intricate prints an air of elegant effortlessness. As you know, I’m a sucker for colour so Prabal’s kaleiedescopic palette which spans every conceivable shade from bright turquoise and candy pink through to apple green and sultry purple is right up my street. Delicate floral motifs sit alongside modern metallics and high shine silks while slinky floor-sweeping Goddess gowns are given a 2013 makeover with leather harness detailing. Prabal’s inspired juxtposition of exquisitely embellished evening confections and louche day dressing makes this the kind of collection that oozes fashion cool while still being pretty enough to illicit squeals from girly girls (i.e me) everywhere… In other words, it’s genius.
Try as I might, I just can’t decide on a favourite look! Sculptural silver, floral applique or pretty-as-a-picture pink printed silk… Which one would YOU pick?
Love Ella. X