H&M X BALMAIN

With 17 international labels – including Versace, Marni and Karl Lagerfeld – already having come on board, H&M’s designer collaboration is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the fashion calendar. Queues snake around the block on the morning a new collaboration drops into stores and the collection itself will sell out within hours – it was claimed that the Versace collaboration sold out in 30 minutes.

And now the 18th tie-up has been announced and it is perhaps the most intriguing so far. Balmain is most famous for its beautifully crafted (and eye-wateringly expensive) haute couture pieces and so is perhaps not the first label most people would imagine partnering with the mighty Swedes. But the result might surprise you.

We’ve already gotten quite a few sneak peeks at the hyped-up Balmain for H&M collaboration. Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn wore pieces from collection to the Billboard Music Awards back in May, followed by the release of an ad campaign with Gigi Hadid in September. The lookbook was released officially last week — but not before someone leaked its contents on Instagram.

Well now, the mystery is over. We got our hands on images of every last piece that will be for sale when the collaboration hits stores on Nov. 5th. This is not H&M’s cheapest collaboration, with a few items surpassing the £300 mark.

I’m especially sorry to say it, but this ‘limited edition’ embellished dress worn by Gigi Hadid to a NYFW party. Price tag: £399.99.

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But there are still plenty of items under £100 for those with champagne taste on a beer budget, or, you know, Balmain taste on an H&M budget.

Prepare to fall in love with Olivier Rousteing

At just 29 years-old and already the creative director of an established fashion house, Olivier Rousteing is a trailblazer in the fashion industry – and he’s also extremely lovable. In the latest interview clip released by H&M in anticipation of the collaboration launch he speaks about what fashion means to him. “I was in an orphange, I didn’t know my parents,” he says.
“…so I always used clothes to actually identify myself. When you wear clothes, you create a world, you create your own world. I think Balmain today is a vision of the new world.”

“I think confidence is the most important thing. But also I think sexy and powerful,” he adds. “I think Balmain DNA is all about unique, and I can’t express how much I’m so excited and how much I enjoy it.”

What is most delightful about Rousteing, as comes across in this clip, is his love of fashion – he doesn’t take it too seriously, and that’s exactly what it should be about. (It also helps that he has cheekbones that could slice ice and a pout to make Rosie Huntington-Whiteley jealous, of course.) Anyway, prepare to see a lot more of this young man over the coming months and to love him a little bit more each time.

So here it is – Your Balmation Collaboration:

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Autumn/Winter 2015-16 No.21

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“The mood, the situation, is aristocratic. Like the Luchino Visconti films of the 1950s mixing with sportswear elements. I like to mix and match. But this season it was more about the mixing of romantic femininity with a legerity and masculinity” said designer Alessandro Della Acqua backstage before his show.

Over the years, Della Acqua has become quite an impressive fashion mixologist. He has always been on the hunt for new ways to bring masculine and feminine, sportswear and sophistication, and minimalism with maximalism together.

This season he found a perfect blend.

In one of his strongest collections in recent memory, the designer produced a lineup of asymmetrically layered ensembles that gave his more familiar sartorial ingredients a new kick. The almost avant-garde arrangements of fabrics that moved from flou to fan pleating and flouncing across the ensembles were masterfully done. And the juxtaposition of rich gold brocades woven into grey knitwear was unexpectedly delightful.

The textural and proportional transitions, a beige beauty that started with a cropped nubby-wide lapel coat and grew into a layer of fur which then hovered over panels of plan knee-length wool fabric on one side and to a lace-edged fabric on the other – all of it worn over a pair of slim pants with a razor pleat at the front and hick heeled red ankle boots – were seriously impressive.

Other takeaway items in the collection included the lovely Patrician tapestry outerwear, shimmering with embroidered jacquards. A blue marble effect mohair ensemble and the semi-sheer bird-embellished pieces were other winners in a show filled with strong options.

David Bowie was singing “Let’s Dance” on the show’s soundtrack.

It’s good advice.

This collection deserves to be celebrated.

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Spring/Summer 2015 Marc Jacobs

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A BUBBLE GUM pink suburban house sits on pink gravel in the Park Lane Armoury. The audience are seated on banks of shagpile pink carpeted benches and each given a pair of Beats by Dr Dre headphones to wear for the show. Through the headphones a disembodied voice intones instructions: “Bring out the crooked smile and the backpack”; “Go into the house and take a shower”.

Is he talking to the Marc Jacobs army parading around the exterior of the house in military serge with their mandarin-collared jackets and oversized buttons? Is he controlling the girls with their shaggy black bobs and their satin-belted army style? Who is he?

Fashion shows as theatre is something Jacobs is a master of and possibly it distracts from seeing the clothes for what they are. Certainly some of the details like the huge resin buttons, the macramé lace inserts, the rich luxury of the wool and linen were of the highest quality. It didn’t look much like a spring/summer collection but the glitter-strapped sliders will no doubt be on everyone’s wish list any day now.

To become part of the Marc Jacobs army click below and shop Spring/Summer 2015 Marc Jacobs now:
 

 

 


Spring/Summer 2015 Givenchy

WELL, there can’t be many one-year-old babies with their very own front row seat at Paris Fashion Week. The current count tallies to one in fact, at Givenchy, where mademoiselle North West, dressed in a custom-made full-length Givenchy black sheer dress took her seat alongside parents, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, dressed in a plunging, sheer black lace jumpsuit. It was a family affair with Kendall Jenner on the runway.

The family certainly looked the part as the show opened with a series of graphic, sexy black dresses with trussed up corseted bodices and lacy sheer skirts. It was hard-edged and yet… romantic.

It’s an odd parallel but part of Riccardo Tisci’s appeal is in his ability to meld those two disparate worlds so convincingly. These are dresses that are all-out fierce, a little bit slutty (further enhanced by the thigh-high boots they were partnered with) but all of that is counterbalanced by the divine craftsmanship at play. The lace here this evening was so fine it looked like it could have floated right off, up into there air were it not anchored with leather strips spliced into those pleats, or harnessed down with backless waistcoats crafted from stiffened leather with crocodile panels.

Pirate blouses flounced about like ship’s sales, while humbug black and white striped narrow-shouldered jackets festooned with corseted lacing kept the silhouette tight and lean. With legs clad in leather leggings or spray on jeans, the detail was all about up top.

The only sighting of colour amongst this entirely monochrome collection came in the shape of a fleshy pink leather dress, plunging, tight to the body with a pleated and ruffled skirt. Severe, and yet… oh so pretty.

To shop more Givenchy click below to explore the Spring/Summer 2015 Givenchy look: