Friday, 18 June 2010

All Eyes On Firenze Pt. II - Pitti Uomo #78

Another special event presented in line with the 78th edition of Pitti Uomo was Raf Simons' Prêt-à-porter collection spring/summer '11 for Jil Sander, which was held in the topiary gardens of Villa Gamberaia, another picturesque Tuskan setting at the outskirts of Florence, yesterday, 18th of June 2010 at nightfall. Jil Sander also livestreamed the show on their website.

As Jil Sander is said to be the queen of minimalism and pure aesthetics, the brand's men's wear designer Raf Simons, stuck to the fashion houses concept at least concerning the shapes and cuts of the garments: The familiar raglan shirts, simple blousons, tight fitted cotton pants, slim fitted trench coats, creased shorts. In terms of colour however, you name it, it was there. The entire rainbow spectrum seemed to have found its way into the collection. Peach coloured and sunny yellow shirts, multi-coloured stripes, bright floral prints, bubblegum pink or turquoise jackets, (very) short pants in apple green and royal blue, trench coats with nested sleeves in poppy red and navy - just to name a few. The gaiety of colours seemed endless and gave a strong contrast to the rather romantic backdrop of the show. The colourful shirts, jackets and beautifully belted trench coats were often also combined with creased, fitted cotton pants and classic black and navy Oxford shoes. A rather nice eyecatcher were the soles of the shoes, which stood out in bright colours like orange, green or blue as well as the appliqués at the waisted trench coats and jackets.

The combination of electric colours with simple cuts and fabrics was powerful and very Jil Sander. The collection is definitely appealing and, singly worn and combined with a plain complementing garment, the pieces still are statements in their own rights. Raf Simons managed the balancing act between creating something strong, however stuck to the Jil Sander aestetic masterly. The collection is a representative example for one key trend that has been emerging from Pitti Uomo #78, as numerous designers have been offering a mentionable colour palette.
Spring/summer '11 promises to become a vivid season.


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Thursday, 17 June 2010

All Eyes On Firenze - Pitti Uomo #78

With Pitti Uomo's 78th edition opening its gates from the 15th to the 18th at Fortezza da Basso the fashion crowd, will one more flaunt the streets of the Renaissance metropole at the Arno river for the next days. The theme, which will be framing this years' edition of the world's most important men's wear fair is "Design Watching". With 972 brands showcasing 1047 collections - out of which 75 collections and are part of the Pitti W Woman pre-collection another record has been established.

As usual, apart from the exhibition itself, there is always a vast array of goodies and events not to miss in and around Florence. On of this years highlights must surely have been Haider Ackermanns Carte Blanche event "Opium" as part of Pitti W Woman, which took place yesterday, 16th of June at the Palazzo Corsini and combined a sneak peak of his pre-collection of women's wear with pieces of his eagerly anticipated men's wear debut. The designer who usually showcases his collections in Paris was offered an entirely different stage for his defile and a great opportunity to add a bit of excitement, fresh inspiration and a drama to his premiere in men's wear.

The atmosphere had been created all-embracingly in the oppulent palazzo. The abundant feasting tables overflowing with fruit arrangements and decanters full of wine as if they stood there ready to witness a bacchanal. Some dignified glory and the charms of a by-gone era, which emanated from the wall frescoes. Ackermann's defile took place open-air, in the atrium of the late-baroque Palazzo Corsini, where, under sumptuous chandeliers, the fashion crowd was taken away by his vision and the flair he had created around his collection. Jamie Bochert playing piano and singing was just the icing on the cake to this overall setting.

“Between force and fragility, between masculinity and femininity, the Ackermann women, with a distant gesture speaks about beauty, about melancholy, about wandering, about escaping a certain nostalgia…about love… for men whose gesture are as « lointain », élégant, masculine, illusive, decadent, reserved, debauched…his heart on the run… Carte blanche, named « opium ».”

Haider Ackermann sent his men and woman on a journey, where with flowy fabrics in plum, black, nude and grey shades, the draping and layers from his previous collections were picked up, yet, transformed by obi-inspired knots (woman's collection) and eclectic voyage wardrobe, with nomad-style layered shirts, male kimono-influenced waistcoats and brocade jackets, loosely fit embroidered pants in the men's wear collection, accessorized with Indian inspired slippers with peacock feathers and shawls that had a rather Middle Eastern air.

A wonderfully inspiring and cohesive collection and a bold and brave move into the male pret-a-porter, presented in an atmospheric picturesque setting. However, as much as I like the fact that he made a statement in his first men's collection, I very much prefered the simpler designs, which were quite wearable and a lot less costume-y than the brocade jackets. It surely will be worth keeping ones' eyes open on how Haider Ackermann will proceed with his male collection.


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Friday, 4 June 2010

Accolade for Karl Lagerfeld

- Hand the kaiser what is fit for the kaiser -

The fashion industry will have to consider swapping Karl Lagerfeld's much-cherished term of endearment "Kaiser Karl" to "Commander Karl" in future references, as Karl Lagerfeld has been decorated as Commander of the French Legion of Honor by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the Elysee Palace in Paris, yesterday, June 3rd 2010. The order ( Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur), once established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 is the highest civilian decoration of France and comprises highly acclaimed members of the likes of  Queen Elizabeth II, Laurence Olivier, Walt Disney and Clint Eastwood as well as fellow designers Ralph Lauren, John Galliano, Giorgio Armani, Valentino and Yves Saint Lauren.

Being the over-achiever he is - keep in mind, that Karl is currently designing for Chanel, Fendi, his eponymous collection, plus has earned himself a reputation as a photographer and recently debuted as a director for his short film  "Remember Now", obviously, Mr. Lagerfeld did not bother with trivia and skipped straight to Commander of the Legion of honour, which is the 3rd of 5 classes of the order.

The outstanding designer with German origin, who has quite successfully transformed himself into a well-recognized brand all over the world, can surely call 2010 a good year, as it also has been announced that he will be honoured by the Couture Council of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology with a Special Visionary Award later this year.
Furthermore the multitasker has he been tapped to shot the much anticipated 2011 Pirelli Calendar, which will be unveiled on the 30th of November in Moscow and is likely to feature amongst others Karl's favorites Iris Strubegger, Heidi Mount, Natasha Poly, Elisa Sednaoui and Magdalena Frackowiak as well as some until now unknown male models (Anybody up for a bet that his muse Baptiste Giabiconi will be amongst the lucky bunch?!).

Back to his new title - I have to say Commander of the French Legion of Honor goes very well with Karl Lagerfeld's royalty status in the fashion world and am happy to congratulate him to this much deserved honour!


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