Saturday, 4 June 2011

Must see of the moment: l’exposition "Madame Grès, la couture à l'oeuvre"

What is it that makes the setting of the exhibit "Madame Grès, la couture à l’œuvre" in the Bourdelle museum in Paris so perfect? Or what do Germaine Émilie Krebs and Antoine Bourdelle have in common? It is the fact that both Germaine Émilie Krebs and Antoine Bourdelle were sculpturors? One worked with stone, whereas the other one worked with fabrics.
 At first glance, it might be a challenge to depict similarities. Among the mighty statues of Antoine Bourdelle, Madame Grès' rather filigrane gowns appear very delicate and abstract. Yet, the formally trained sculptress, whose signature was the sensual austerity, felt that several analogies could be drawn between her haute couture designs and classic sculpturing.
“I wanted to be a sculptor. For me, it’s the same thing to work the fabric or the stone” she is famously quoted.

The retrospective dedicated to Germaine Émilie Krebs - Madame Grès and Alix Barton were her alias names - is showcasing 80 pieces, which make the spectator travel through 50 years of her life's work starting from 1934 (her "Alix" period) until her last gowns from 1989, which at that time had been commissioned by Hubert de Givenchy. To round off the mise-en-scène of the sculptures of fabric, a large number of drawings and original photographs of her garments have found its way in the exhibit and stress the unbelievable timelessness of her evening dresses.
All made of jersey, the elaborate robes endure through time without appearing anyhow outdated or old-fashioned. Quite the opposite even: Somehow, the draping and folding techniques complement the natural silhouette to an extend where the fluidity of the jersey merges with the movements of the body. None of the components is dominating the other - neither the dress nor its wearer is in the foreground - it is the blending of the body's characteristics with the natural properties of the jersey fabric that makes the overall appearance so coherent and everlasting.

Following a very modern approach for her times, Madame Grès refrained from the use of confining corsets and constricting materials. Instead, she created coats and dresses that followed natural shapes and worked out particular features and volumes through braiding, draping and billowing of the fabrics. Folding of cloth played a major part in her designs - the “pli Grès”, a folding technique that made upper parts of dresses fit like a glove and resulted in dozens of layers of fabric cascading into elegantly voluminous skirts. 

Daring cut-outs, assymetrical necklines, columnar evening gowns that are referencing Greek or Roman godesses and draped capes with hoodies; due to her immaculate draping skills, the perfect balance between exposing and covering of skin, every item in this exhibit is breathing and testifying elegance, savoir-faire, couture, precision, minimalism and sophistication. 

Her appointment as "Honorary President for Life of France’s Chambre Syndicale", the governing body of the French fashion industry shows the influence she had on French couture. Also, she had dressed important society ladies like the  Duchess of Windsor and Jacky Kennedy as well as actresses like Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo. Yet, despite being the no less reknown contemporary of Gabrielle Chanel Jeanne Lanvin, Madeleine Vionnet and Elsa Schiaparelli, Madame Grès' name has sadly faded in their comparison.

Madame Grès died in solitude 1993.Only one year later, her passing was announced in Le Monde. She had turned her back on the fashion industry after she had to sell her brand and name rights in the late 80ies.

The exhibit “L’exposition Madame Grès, la couture à l’œuvre" is a beautifully staged tribute to her talent, artistic contribution to the fashion industry and to her strikingly timeless designs, which deserve to be acknowledged way beyond her death.

“Madame Grès: Couture at Work”
Through July 24.
Musée Bourdelle
16 rue Antoine Bourdelle, 75015 Paris


Picture Sources: Sneha Meghe aka Yang Chen jun. (Merci, cherie!!!)
Special thanks: Merci for that beautiful day!!!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Bittersweet symphony - MET honors Alexander Lee McQueen with a retrospective

Last night, May 2nd 2011, the annual Costume Institute gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was all about a bittersweet farewell. The gala was the opening event to the annual exhibition of the Costume Institute, which this year is dedicated to Alexander Lee McQueen. From May 4 until July 31st, the MET will be hosting "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" - a tribute to the late designer extraordinaire and his prolific career.
From his graduation from Central Saint Martins in 1992, where his long lasting confidante Isabelle Blow bought his entire first collection to his final one, which was shown posthumously in March 2010, the exhibition shows a careful selection of his magnum opus.

The exhibits were primarily selected from the Alexander McQueen archives in London and complemented by pieces of private collections and the Givenchy archive in Paris. Two production designers of his fashion shows - namely Sam Gainsbury and Joseph Bennett - have been serving as creative director and production designer for the exhibit, which clearly suggests that the setting of the exposition will not only display the remarkable garments but also the poetic narrative behind every collection.

Also, the setting of the Costume Institute gala was fit for McQueen. Scottish bagpipes paid tribute to the designer's Scottish origin, while a replica of an oak tree in the Great Hall of the MET referenced to the ones on McQueen's property in Sussex, England.

Just as the title, which already epitomises the designers inner conflict and his subsequent perception of aesthetics, "Savage Beauty" is an exhibition which displays the omnipresent duality Alexander McQueen has mastered to build his collections around like no other. Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute, tells that Lee McQueen sometimes referred to himself as the Edgar Allan Poe of fashion, yet besides the strong narrative, the craftsmanship and creative mind of McQueen are highlighted throughout the exhibition. The exhibition is fragmented into themes - The Romantic Mind, Romantic Gothic, Cabinet of Curiosities, Romantic Nationalism, Romantic Exoticism, Romantic Primitivism and Romantic Naturalism - and takes the visitor through the different stages in the designers career. His different inspirations and fervours like art, painting, history, literature are paid tribute throughout every theme. Also, the staging of the garments is accompanied by footage of his ten most iconic fashion show moments, which again underline his talent as a storyteller, his sense for a grand entrance and his - in the fashion world- unmatched cinematic showmanship.
The MET's blog offers a beautiful selection of video excerpts of Alexander McQueen's fashion shows and a brief illustration of the exhibit by curator Andrew Bolton.

The MET gala - which marked the opening of the exhibit devoted to the British designer usually has a lot of gloriously glamorous fashion moments to offer...this year however, the priviliged attendees excelled by flaunting a ravishing array of Alexander McQueens late designs. Also, some other spectactular robes - i.e. Zac Posen, Givenchy, Pucci & Stella McCartney supplied that extra dose of glamour and drama. My personal favorites - and this time it was truly hard to pick were: Karolina Kurkova in Jean Paul Gaultier, Christina Ricci in Zac Posen, Crystal Renn in Zac Posen, Giselle Bündchen in Alexander McQueen and Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen.

Quote of the evening: When asked how McQueen would have reacted on a gala and exhibition hosted in his honour, Philip Treacy, one of the designers confidants dryly responded "He would not have come".


Picture Source:,

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Newcomer to watch - Yiquing Yin

Yiquing Yin, French designer with Chinese descent knows how to design collections that dreams are made of. That is one reason that makes her one of the interesting emerging talents to have on the radar for the future.

The garments of the 25-year-old, who graduated of the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in 2009, have the surreal appeal of dreams and feelings shaped into sculptures. They express both the designers technical skills as well as her personal fragility and inner emotional conflicts.
Yinquing Yin manages to instrumentalise movements of the body and combine them with the fluidity of fabrics to an ensemble of texture, volume, structure and proportion that is intricate, elaborate and yet possesses an incredible softness.

Yiquing Yin was one of ten young artists, who annually take part in the Festival International de Mode et de Photographie à Hyères, where the designer reached the finals with her S/S 2011 collection "Exile". The internationally reputed festival gathers once a year under the patronage of an international panel of experts of the likes of Raf Simons, Tim Blanks, Lazaro Hernandez & Jack McCollough, Cathy Horyn, Carla Sozzani (jury cast of 2011) to provide emerging designers with a platform and support.
Also, Yiquing Yin was awarded with the Grand Prix de la Création de la Ville de Paris in the category upcoming designer.

As a special perk during Paris Fashion Week A/W 2011, she was amongst a selection of eight young Parisian designers, which were picked by French Vogue to showcase a selection of their most significant pieces at the first edition of  Petit Salon des Jeunes Créateurs at the Hôtel de Crillon. Selected pieces were also featured in the March issue of French Vogue and footage about the designers was featured on the Vogue website.

The garments Yiquing Yin has presented so far channel her past, which was characterised by her life as a child of refugees, who came to France when she was four years old. "Exile" translates her emotions, identity and self-perception that is dominated by her destiny as a refugee as well as her grief and puts it into the dreamy constructs that her garments are.
Cocoon-shapes and sophisticated flowy drapes accomodate her desire for protection and appear like a soft armour. While fabrics float and caress the silhouette,  the delicate materials enwrap the body like a second skin.

We are surely looking forward to seeing more of Yiquing Yin and very much hope she will be able to keep up the delicate sensuality of her garments and continue to transport her emotions in her collections.


Picture Source:

Monday, 21 March 2011

Model of the moment: Arizona Muse

Fashion weeks are over, brands are fêting their praise of the industry (chez Prada, Alexander McQueen, Fendi, Haider Ackermann et al), are licking their wounds if their efforts have not been appreciated ( Maison Martin Margiela) or are busy resolving scandals and their effects (Dior).

Meanwhile there is plenty of time to take a closer look at the model that emerges on the top of the list after the fashion week marathon and whose name is on everyones' lips: Arizona Muse.
How can you not become famous with a name like that?!
Obviously, it does help if you have the abstract beauty, expressive wide-set eyes, strong eyebrows that make Muse's recognition value and being absolutely ubiquitous during New York and Paris Fashion Week does help to push a career as well.
The 20-year old American who was born in Arizona - hence her name - was discovered in 2008 already, as she had a baby break, she stopped modelling for 1.5 years, only to return to modelling in 2010 and take off after the A/W 2011 shows.
During her second season, the 5'10'' tall Arizona already scored all major designers and could be spotted during every big name's show. Galliano, Dior, Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton, YSL, Versace, Burberry...the list is endless. Despite the numerous catwalks the American beauty scored, she is also featured in two major campaigns this season: Prada's adorable colourful spring/summer campaign, which was photographed by Steven Meisel and which truly unfurls its full good-mood effect in its appendant campaign film.
Furthermore, Arizona Muse ran off Daria Werbowy as the face of YSL's current print campaign and was also selected for the spring/summer campaign film under the creative direction of Stefano Pilati, which was shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin in Marrakech.
Being a relative newcomer, it is quite remarkable that Arizona is ranked 23rd on Counting Vogue covers, a 60-pages fashion editorial as well as four different covers of the March issue of Dazed & Confused magazine, it is pretty obvious, that the fashion industry has found the face that we can expect to see a lot more of in the not so distant future.


Picture Source:,

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Doing her mentor proud - Sarah Burton shines with her Alexander McQueen fall 2011 RTW collection

“The Ice Queen and Her Court” was the magical title of Alexander McQueen's fall 2011 collection and the show did not fall short of giving us every single ounce of drama we have been craving to see on the catwalks of this year's fashion weeks and instead got so plenty adjacent to them.

Sarah Burton combined the duality of Romanticism - the delicate, light and fragile world of beauty and innocence with the dark, twisted and dangerous side of mysticism.
The venue of the show was La Conciergerie, former royal palace - and prison of crowned heads like Marie Antoinette before her execution- whose gloomy medieval halls had already hosted one of Alexander McQueen's spectacular shows in 2002.

Classic McQueen silhouettes - which Sarah Burton called the "heritage silhouettes" of the brand dominated the collection, yet, their execution was exquisite and had plenty of nouveau elements.
Inuit influenced fur details in stone grey or black that were sewn along hems and cowls, numerous zippers that were carefully integrated into the structure of garments, or alternatively lacing that was enhancing both the cut as well as catering as eye catchers.
Flowy dresses paired with leather harnesses that reminded of a Viking goddess and various types of fur and feathers combined to a harmonious structure of a dress.

The real spectacle of the show however were the skillful honeycomb structures that had been carefully crafted of organza and silk, forming exquisite flouncy skirts and dresses. Another ravishing detail were the elaborate fitted bodices made of mosaic china fragments.

The intricate fabrics and  the blending of soft and hard textures - leather elements were combined with feathers or fur, chiffon was ornated with rivets and a stiff surface of china fragments was combined with the most fragile looking trail of tulle and silk.

The styling comprised of a mixture between Tilda Swinton's appearance as Jadis, the White Witch in the Chronicles of Narnia with her mythical and theatrical beauty and a modern day warrior, which was complemented by the up-does that looked like a helmet formed of barrettes.
Chokers, collars and over knee laced platform boots mitigated the delicate look and gave it some edge of the real world.
A collection that would be fit for a costume designer and one that convinced the last skeptic that Sarah Burton was an excellent choice to perpetuate the challenge in succeeding Alexander Lee McQueen's reign at his eponymous brand.

The exquisite garments with their dark romantic touch that would have done Hans Christian Andersen - author of the fairy tale "The Snow Queen" proud.


Picture Source:,

Friday, 4 March 2011

The Gaga Show - Nichola Formichetti's debut at Mugler

March 2nd 2011, from 9pm onwards, one could witness Nichola Formichetti's debut as creative director at Mugler via live stream on facebook.
The Mugler A/W 2011 RTW collection surely was one of the most anticipated events of Paris Fashion Week after Nichola Formichetti -  Lady Gaga's acclaimed stylist, fashion director of Vogue Japan, fashion director of Uniqlo and creative director of Dazed and Confused Magazine had been named creative director of  Mugler next to also newly appointed designer, Sebastien Peigné.

 After some additional Twitter frenzy over Lady Gaga walking Formichetti's show, quite a number of people logged on to facebook to watch the Mugler A/W 2011 RTW show live. Over 40 mins, one could peek behind the stage and watch numerous activities previous to the show from various camera angles. Admission, make-up, models, Lady Gaga, friend, muse and favorite pet of the stylist getting ready and practicing her last moves. Two of the titbits - may they have been spontaneous or rehearsed - were Lady Gaga announcing laconically that it would be even good press if she would vomit on stage and secondly that she just wants the public to say that she is a beautiful woman after the show (oh come on - still not over the polemic, are we?!).

The scenery for the runway was a mixture of an enchanted forest and a gothic cathedral, which set the stage for a show that ressembled a mixture between fashion, Lady Gaga self-promotion and a chaotic hide-and-seek game in dim flickering disco light. The models were half strutting, half stumbling on the platform wedges (the only one who mastered them effortlessly was Gaga) putting on a show that was composed of clutching along the pillars, lip synching a medley of Lady Gaga's latest album - featuring her "Born this Way" anthem- clenching their teeth, displaying their figurative claws and striking a vamp-y pose for the photographers. Check the official directors cut here.

Many of the garments of the show called “Anatomy of Change Femme – Mode Sans Frontiers,” featured Thierry Mugler's signature giant epaulettes, which had made the designer famous in the 80ies. Otherwise, the clothes featured a lot of sheer tops, or tops with sheer cut-outs revealing the bust or tiny synthetic bustiers. Skin tight membrane-looking clothes took turns with avant-gard garments which seemed futuristic and outlandish. Glossy elements were combined with natural textures - creating a look that made me think of the Borg of Starship enterprise - a fictive civilisation, which strives to be a superior race by sometimes brutally assimilating nature with technology. An association which might also be explicable by the fact that the Nichola Formichetti named Rick Genest aka "Zombie Boy"as his latest inspiration at the brand Mugler.

Nichola Formichetti, darling du jour of the industry surely gained some more momentum by this fabulous show and may just have promoted his vision of outlandish and eccentric beauty (I actually really think the time has come to pass the word gaga-esque as part of our vocabulary) a little more. Also, he managed to communicate his vision of the future of fashion brands, which is a seemless blending of showmanship, media communication, fashion, lifestyle and a sentiment, attitude and atmosphere at the same time.
The showmanship of the event was surely convincing and could live up to the hype. The limelight however was rather on Lady Gaga and the overall show elements than on the clothes. Also, the lighting, the labyrinthine scenery and extrovert posing and lip synching of the models was that much input that it took away attention from - what used to be- the actual core of the show: the collection.

All in all a successful publicity stunt that surely brought Lady Gaga, Nichola Formichetti and the label Mugler into many headlines. (One of the first headlines after the show being that Lady Gaga, already "bought" the entire collection ...surprised anybody?!)


Picture Source:,,,

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Filling a void - Dior's bird of paradise ousted

After John Galliano's rapid layoff at Dior on the eve of Paris Fashion Week following a line of unpardonable and allegations of racism and anti-Semitism, the fashion industry is holding its breath and standing as curious onlookers waiting to watch how a former golden child is falling from grace.
Luxury conglomerate LVMH rapidly executed its zero tolerance policy and suspended the couturier from his post as creative director at Dior on Friday, 25th of February 2011.
After cumulative accusations, which have peaked in the release of a rather shocking video on youtube, where the obviously intoxicated couturier is mumbling Nazi sympathatic remarks as well as anti-Semtitic abuses, he was finally let go of his position at Dior on February 28th.
Natalie Portman, newly crowned Academy Award winner, Dior ambassadress and new face for Miss Dior Cherie who in a strong official statement distanced herself instantly from John Galliano and declared that she "is proud to be Jewish" and "...shocked and disgusted..." by the designer's action and wishes to disassociate herself clearly from his persona.
How quickly the public distanced itself from designer extraordinaire was also reflected by how few celebrities sported the brand Dior on the red carpet of the Academy Awards this sunday - only Nicole Kidman and Sharon Stone adhered to their robes designed by John Galliano.

Finally today, Wednesday 2nd, John Galliano's much anticipated statement was released by law firm Harbottle & Lewis:

“I was subjected to verbal harassment and an unprovoked assault when an individual tried to hit me with a chair having taken violent exception to my look and my clothing. For these reasons I have commenced proceedings for defamation and the threats made against me,” Galliano said in the statement. “However, I fully accept that the accusations made against me have greatly shocked and upset people.”he also said that he''ll take full responsibility for the “circumstances in which I found myself and for allowing myself to be seen to be behaving in the worst possible light. I only have myself to blame and I know that I must face up to my own failures and that I must work hard to gain people's understanding and compassion." 
"I have fought my entire life against prejudice, intolerance and discrimination having been subjected to it myself,” he further stated. “In all my work my inspiration has been to unite people of every race, creed, religion and sexuality by celebrating their cultural and ethnic diversity through fashion. That remains my guiding light.”

Fellow couturier icon Karl Lagerfeld added fuel to the facts of the case stating the following to WWD: "I’m furious that it could happen, because the question is no longer even whether he really said it. The image has gone around the world. It’s a horrible image for fashion...". Also, Lagerfeld pointed out that fashion is "...a business world where, especially today, with the Internet, one has to be more careful than ever....". He ranted on to be furious with Galliano for being ungrateful and having seriously harmed CEO Bernard Arnault's pet label of conglomerate LVMH.

Irrespective of the negative short term ramifications this incident and subsequent media pandemonium will have on Dior, the long term impact of Galliano's departure on the legacy of couture house Dior remains to be seen.
Having been in charge of Dior since 1996, John Galliano unmistakably left his signature fingerprint and fused his creative genius and showmanship with the brand. The fashion world is already starting to speculate who might be capable of stepping into John Galliano's larger-than-life creative footprints at Dior who bestowed some of the most dramatic, memorable and remarkable couture moments on us during his 14 years of creative reign at Dior.


Picture Source:,,

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Reminiscent yet modern - Versace A/W RTW 2011

The venue that was selected to host the Versace catwalk show - Via Gesu Milan, the couryard of her deceased brother Gianni's Milan mansion - already suggested that Donatella Versace would be walking down memory lane with her current collection.

Apparently, Donatella had grappled with the maison's history and archive recently and processed this in her garments, which seemed more to the point than usual and less flashy at the same time.
The ubiquous sexiness that is the predominant streak in every Versace collection was pleasantly reticent and consequently more appealing. A signature baroque Versace curlicue was rediscovered and echoed in bold colourful snaky details that meandered around the otherwise plane and sleek garments. The colour palette comprehended a lot of black and white and was spiced up with purple and petrol shades as well as the occasional canary yellow. Quite startling that in a season where most big Italian brands went fur and exotic skin galore that of all things Versace went a little more low key than usual and won us over with a sleek sexiness that was less brash and in-your-face.

Versace blended feminine cuts with military style and created beautiful jackets that convinced with their sharp cuts and simple bold details like gold buttons with the Medusa signature emblem and golden belt buckles. The angular sharply tailored assymetric dresses with the sexy side slits and smart back cut-outs were as simple as they were effortlessly stylish. The balancing act between sleek restraint and sexy decadence  - reflected in particular by the leather outfits which comprised black pleated glazed leather skirts -was nicely managed and spiced up with beautiful peep toe boots in various executions - ranging from laced glazed leather boots to patent leather ones - as well as desirable hobo bags. The usage of furs and exotic skins seemed rather dosed compared to other collections during Milan fashion week - who would have thought that this is something you might ever write about Versace?! Also, observable was that this collection paid significantly less attention to the eveningwear than usual but the few pieces shown were a direct hit.

The combination of simple yet sharp cuts and bold Versace signature details made the collection striking and powerful.


Picture Source:,

Monday, 21 February 2011

Blending Boho - Matthew Williamson A/W RTW 2011

British Designer Matthew Williamson's inspiration this year was one of Russia's premier avant-garde artists: Francisco Infante-Arana, who made himself a reputation by blending mirror installations into nature to evoke a visual fusion of nature and modern materials.

The contrast of textures, the antagonism of surfaces was mirrored in Williamson's collection, which seemed to be an artsy approach to his grown up bohemian girl.
Like the artist Infante-Arana, Matthew Williamson indulged in a mix of textures, reflections, graphic prints, which echoed in a toned-down way in the wool and leather outerwear.

The recognition effect of Williamson's sophisticated hippie woman, which reflected in Mongolian vests, embroidered dresses and woolen outerwear was combined with leather biker trousers and skirts as well as some sheer synthetic blouses. The weak points in the show were the combinations of plain cut trousers in graphic prints with semi-translucent blouses as well as the assymetrical wrap skirts, which did not transport the otherwise light effortless feeling of the collection. At the same time, some of the coats with fur lining, graphic prints and embellishments seemed too forced.

A collection with interesting silhouettes, sophisticated combinations of textures and materials which left room for lightness and glamour at the same time.


Picture Source:,,,

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Severe with a twist - Marc Jacob's A/W 2011 RTW

  If one had to brainstorm compatible materials for a collection, latex and lace seems like an odd choice - not for Marc Jacobs apparently - which he proved today in his fall/winter 2011 ready to wear collection.
Jacobs, who triggered the big 70ies boom that has strongly been channeled during New York Fashion Week this season, has clearly moved on from this homage to Yves Saint Laurent's glamour hippie look and is displaying quite a contrast in his current collection.
Strict silhouettes, strong cuts and prim necklines replaced last season's effortless fluidity and left a far more rakish and sexy impression as one might expect from those buttoned-up styles at first glance.
Marc Jacobs paid tribute to himself by reviving some themes of previous collections - the polka dots for example were an ode to his first collection, which was showcased 20 years ago - and spicing them up through an eclectic mix of textures and fabrics. Fake fur met synthetic materials, latex met lace, vinyl met real fur. Jacobs managed to deliver a strong collection which looked serious and kinky at the same time - feminine, elegant shapes with an undeniable ironic twist to them - i.e. a rubber dress that was processed to look like sequins.

The girlish polka dot theme resurfaced in every imaginable and unimaginable material and size - from tiny spotted socks to three dimensional vinyl buttons and polka dot embellishments in a wide array of textures and materials. The colour palette ranged from classic navy to burgundy, grey and black combined with the occasional white shirt.
Sharply tailored outerwear emphasised the fitted silhouettes of the skirts and dresses and added that dash of sophistication to the outfits.

Despite the prim and austere look, accessories like the short gloves, playful mini-baretts and pill box hats that were fixated with a tight chin strap were just the coquettish icing on the cake of the collection.

J'adore! A very smart-looking collection which managed to conjoin seemingly contradictory materials and statements to a very contemporary and elegant look.


Picture Source:

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

LVMH carving out its territory at Hermès

Could Hermès International one day possibly collaborate peacefully with its most rivalling competitor LVMH Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy - personified by CEO Bernard Arnault? After fighting out the circumstances of the equity swaps - which resulted in LVMH owning 20.2% shares of the family-owned company publicly, one may doubt so. Despite Bernard Arnault's previous assertions that LVMH's intentions were "peaceful" and of "friendly nature", he recently added in a press conference, that he does not intend to remain a passive shareholder in the company.

Currently, French market regulation is still examining the exact circumstances of the equity swap, which did not only arouse numerous questions within the hereditary family of Hermès but also rose the question of stricter regulations within the French market.
As a consequence to the rather surprising intrusion, the founding family has recently created a holding company, which will enable the family to pool the approximately 70% of shares which remain in its possession and hinder further purchases by external stakeholders.

Despite delivering a more than solid performance in 2010, the LVMH share fell on 4th February after LVMH failed to exceed analysts' expectations. Profits from recurring operations rose by 29% percent to 4.32 billion euros in 2010. The revenue of Louis Vuitton brand drove the profit, with its raised prices and new product lines like the "Monogram Empreinte" collection. LVMH is surely relying on China's growing appetite for luxury within the next years.

The year ahead will surely give direction to the "battle" between Hermès and LVMH and their nip-and-tuck-race in consumer favour.


Picture Source:

Prada gone bananas

New year (well, let me wish you a happy 2011 and a happy new year of the rabbit!!), new season, new fashion ahead and about time to be bold.
Bold colours, bright patterns and campaigns that are everything but discrete are a great indicator that the crisis is over and we are back to go bananas with our fashion statements. Miuccia Prada took this quite literally in her spring/summer '11 campaign and added bright colours with prints that range from cherubs to monkeys ...and yes, you might have guessed so ...bananas! From bright tangerine, deep emerald and cobalt blue to vivid stripy combinations, Prada went decisively bold with the colours and even a little cheeky with the beautiful ad campaign photographed by Steven Meisel, which converts the collection's mood even better in the video.

As opposed to the previous collections, the clear cuts were loosened up by ruffles or tassles that round off the clear cut of skirts or dresses that are tightly fitted up to the knee. As it seems, Miuccia Prada is over the bossom already, which she played to the gallery last season. In spring/summer 2011, Prada is buttoning up and favoring bateau necklines and v-necklines complimenting skirts and dresses which are all knee lenght. The looks were accessorized with wedged sneakers, brightly striped fur stolas and sun hats.
Prada is seeking to dedicate a lot of attention to the Chinese market in the future and developed a luxurious edition of the spring/summer '11 collection especially for the Chinese market, where most of the cotton pieces of the Milan show in September were replaced by radzmire silk and a special touch of sequins was added to most outfits.

Major topic amongst the glamourous audience however was the fact that Prada is most likely to finally go public after years of flirting with this option and postponing the plans due to global market conditions. “Up until now we haven’t made a definitive decision. At this point, we think a listing in Hong Kong is the most opportune solution. In the coming months, we will evaluate the timetable and the details.”stated Patrizio Bertelli, husband of Miuccia Prada and CEO of Prada.
A clear strategic signal where Prada sees the highest growth potential in the future - last year's revenues of Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Macau) rose by 75% to 389 million euros, already representing nearly 20% of the group's total turnover. Also, Prada decided to open two new design studios - one in Paris, one in Hong Kong a rather unusual yet contemporary move for an Italian fashion house to embrace new talent and new inspirations from different creative hubs.

The year of the rabbit is supposed to be a favorable year of international relations - let's see if it will favour Prada's strategical expansion plans.


Picture Source: