Thursday 29 March 2018

Parte 3 - An Aussie in Europe

Bonjour fashionistas. It is an interesting time in fashion as the industry has been forced to consider the cost effective merger of men's and women's designs on the one catwalk (honestly I do not know why it has taken this long) and the photographers are following suit by not only shooting the fashionable lasses on the street, but also the gents, giving way to real integration of fashion. The fashion sphere is definitely leading the way for diversity.

A true highlight of the trip and example of diversity was an invite to attend The Globe-Trotting PR, A Caring Experience at Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris that the provided the chance to discover wonderful pieces from the middle east. Supported by Founder and Chairman of Ghribi Luxury Fashion Brand, Kamel GHRIBI, the event hosted a number of brands including Le Monde de GHRIBI who focus on both men's and women's made in Italy leather goods creating aesthetically pleasing bags. Also in attendance were media partners, influencers, socialites and international buyers from Europe, USA, UAE and Gulf. The line up was well thought out and showcased the strengths of each designer from foot ware designers af Klingberg , men's dapperly dandy shoe brand Maison Corthay through to Zambezi Grace. To me the spectacular designs from the delightfully elegant Tunisian Mehdi Kallel stole my heart. His gowns are so breathtakingly beautiful and romantic you can imagine an angel descending from the clouds in them gracefully. This man understands the female form and the proportions in which to create drama with lashings of bead work and intricate layering. A true example of how to show the female body without the need to reveal too much. It was such a wonderful event and The Globe-Trotting PR team deserve a stylish standing ovation. 
 GHRIBI Mehdi Kallel Paris Fashion Week


Bouncing between shows that are all over Paris in all different venues, it is important to pit stop for a delicious coffee and take a quiet moment away from the fashion pack. Tucked away from the tourist central spot of The Ritz is a quaint Le Castiglione cafe that serves the most amazing club sandwich I have ever had and their coffee is simply liquid black gold! Perfect people watching location as well. 


From coffee's to sashaying models in svelte original silky creations I returned to Jean- Louis Premiere Classe to devour the talent and scout some rising superstars. It is easy to see why the trade show runs for four days as it would be impossible to meet with every brand in a shorter time. Coming from Australia it was so refreshing to see so much volume, sparkle, feather and unique designs that our Industry rarely embraces. No need to despair in Paris, especially with Laure Welfling. My audience of instagram followers certainly shared their equal excitement by sending lots of direct messages when I highlighted Laure Welfling on my stories. Laure spends her time between Paris and Tangier which clearly influences her designs of colourful bold prints, luxurious embellishments and delicate nods to tradition. The collection was so stylish and elegant both in men's and women's that it was hard to not be enthralled by the gorgeous materials used to create show stopping garments. A clear favourite of mine and yours.  

 Laure Welfing Premiere Classe

Laure Welfing takes paris over 2018
Images supplied :Laure Welfling 
Paris Fashion Week 2018

And just as fast as Paris fashion week arrived, it ended as showgoers departed Paris in droves and the skeleton of the marquees were in the final stages of being deconstructed. So what to do in Paris? You simply cannot go to Paris and not shop! If you are looking for bargains there is nowhere better than LA VALLÉE VILLAGE which a friend directed to me as soon as she heard I was heading to Paris. For Australian shoppers forget everything you know about discount shopping and what you have experienced so far!

Outlet shopping French style does not mean you need to be digging through a bin or trying to find your size in a pile of twisted garments whilst being starred at by an angry shop assistant. The stores at LA VALLÉE VILLAGE are beautiful, clean and merchandised just as good as their more expensive city stores. The only difference is the amount of tourists at the outlet, the fact it is last seasons stock and you will be pleasantly surprised by the level of professionalism, passion, products and people in this one stop, must shop, shopping destination. This location is not just for the ladies. So ladies and men, grab your wallets and keep a day aside to jump on the shopping express transfer.

Djebeli shoe trends 2018

This European adventure reminded me of just how much I love and enjoy fashion (and not just because of the champagne). I had the chance to attend many shows and it is impossible to write about each and every one, who I met and all the wonderful shopping, but the good news is, there is always next season.

Au revoir.

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Parte 2 - An Aussie in Europe

Paris is known throughout the world to be one of the most beautiful cities with its undeniable charm and impressively detailed buildings. The fairy tale tree-lined avenues and parks, bistros and cafes, are a spectacular back drop for emerging talent and fashionistas to contrast against. An hour and half flight from Milan and I landed in the epicenter of the fashion world, Paris. 
Photographer: Irina Krupovich

It wasn't long until I spotted my first blogger having their photoshoot  on a well known Paris corner. Fashion is everywhere in Paris and you can see why it is the fashion capital of the world and why It is instagram worthy. The city exhales chic style and it flows through the city just like the water in the Seine.

On the streets heading to my first show at Hotel D’Evreux for the Fashion Week Studio presentation, I had my first taste of the Parisian street style. The below zero temperatures influenced lots of layering and statement outerwear, with a focus on coats that resembled doona covers and plenty of lens grabbing furry textiles.

The designer presentations held by Fashion Week Studio were a throwback to the more intimate elegant showroom presentations of yesteryear with elegant gold chairs, high ceilings and romantic decor in the picturesque historical plaza. A true Parisian fantasy of allowing the audience to be up close with the designs and study them in a personal setting. The designer showcase suited perfectly to the location and I must commend the organisers for creating a fantastic program that really did compliment each designer.

Nathanaelle Couture, an Italian fashion designer born in Belgium but based out of Los Angeles displayed an elegant and glamourous collection worthy of any red carpet with flowing hemlines and delicate embellishments. One of my favourites was a full length long sleeve pink number with high neckline. Pure talent. Her ability to work with delicate fabrics in to create such feminine silhouettes is a true skill that will surely have women beating on her door.

 Nathanaelle Courture Paris Fashion week 2018

Miriam Budet was another notable standout with her ability her ability to combine colors, prints and textures that attract the eye. She definitely is a designer after my own heart with her unapologetic bold style that is so pleasing and refreshing to this Aussie's eye. 

Tuileries gardens was energetic setting for Premiere Classe and Paris Sur Mode trade shows that showcases high-quality and high-end jewelry, footwear, leather goods and many accessory designers (you can never have enough accessories) and labels that are chosen for their originality and creativity. Noteworthy was Trisha Paterson who produces limited edition dresses (who wants something that a thousand other people have?). Trisha designs her creations in Paris and uses the finest materials whilst having the Italian eye for quality craftsmanship which creates a unique blend between the Italian and Parisian fashion cultures resulting in fabulous exclusive designs.

Trisha Paterson hits Paris Fashion Week in style
Trisha and her models

Oxford Fashion Studio was presenting collections by independent designers at Le Grand Hotel Paris. The standout from this show, besides the beautiful room was Esha Sethi Thirani whose collection was outstanding in design concept, theatrical appearance and quality. Its female power driven ensembles with masucline and feminine details was pure art and fantasy yet totally wearable. Round of applause for this highly sophisticated collection. Yasmeen Jiaw deserves a notable mention for her feminine display that I could see on many a woman. Especially her lovely pieces involving capes! Equally Marisa P Clark displayed a mature collection that would fetch well with the late 20's to early 40's crowd with a mix of fashionable suits and flirty individual pieces in wonderful colours. Oxford Fashion Studio should be commended for their event planning and sharing the creative designers with the fashion pack not only in Paris but all over the globe. What a fantastic initiative to support emerging talent. 

Esha Sethi Thirani a sensational fashion designer
Image supplied

Venturing back to Tuileries gardens to the captivating Paris sur mode trade show. I do adore a runway but there is something to be said meeting with designers and representatives from brands who will take the time to speak with you. A fine example was a lovely artisan, Krasnova Modiste who creates amazingly chic beautiful hats all crafted by hand who works at her own atelier in Paris making bespoke millinery. Her graceful style is a throwback to the glamour of early Hollywood with statement accessories that wow and thrill. 

 Krasanova Modiste a talent to watch in fashion 2018
Milliner extraordinaire: Krasnova Modiste

Krasanova Modiste the Milliner to fashionistas

Hat: Krasnova

The streets are filled with photographers trying to capture the street style. Both on duty and off duty around well known Paris monuments. The number of photographers who jump out from behind a barrier whilst you are shopping, leaving a cafe or lighting a cigarette is quite humorous. Always be camera ready when you are in Paris and be prepared to say Bonjour to a telescopic lens. 

Treading the pavement from show to show you did see mainstream "influencers" in attendance who are clearly paid to attend and wear their sponsored clothing. I have to admit I was more enthralled with the individuals who showcased their own personal style and by the time the week was up, I was considerably bored of seeing the same "influencers" mainly due the repetitive same look. I really do hope there is a shift from "influencers" to people who inspire with their diversity and style as there is plenty of inspiration on the street. The street style scene is morphing into gimmicks with twins, triplets and matchy matchy couples.

Most people think of French style as stripes, wearing a beret, oversized sunglasses, red lipstick, overalls and looking like a mime. This is the cliché and one that is rarely seen on the streets.

Breaking down the wardrobe rules of the French was considerably easier than the Italian counterparts. They have non! Everything they do is chic, if it is going to the laundromat, out for dinner, to a fashion show or riding the metro to go to work. These women and men radiate in their clothing. Dressing well is about feeling good in what they are wearing.

Like the Italians, they do not focus on tacky trends, they set them. A key difference I noticed between the two styles is whilst the Italians flaunt their figures, the French flatter. Either way, I appreciate that both styles empower and make the wearer feel good. 

What else makes you feel good in Paris? The shopping!!! Stay tuned for parte 3

Thursday 22 March 2018

Parte 1 - An Aussie in Europe

Milan is known for being the fashion capital of Italy and for good reason. Italy is home to a number of the biggest brands and creative genius in the fashion arena. This is why I boarded my flight from Melbourne, Australia and ventured to this busy and fast paced city for Milan Fashion Week to absorb all the wonderful talent on display.
Milan Duomo Cathedral

As a solo traveler heading to Milan for the first time I am feeling the atmosphere of the city buzzing and humming with an appreciation for the finer things and LOVED IT. I am not sure if it is like this all year around or if the city has more of a pulse due to fashion week. Standing in a café (or Bar as they are regularly called), I cannot help but enjoy the energy of the people here as I order my shot of espresso. It is as if the whole city is radiating a sense of energy, bouncing of fabulous architecture and onto fashionable Europeans strutting below. Some people described Milan as a dirty city to me prior to leaving Australia. However, I did not encounter this as I wondered around the streets between fashion events (which I will get to in a moment) looking at the stunning architecture, pure fashionable window displays and so many inviting spaces that call your name to explore.

Photo: Lacki Singh

 Immediately one of the first things I have noticed about The Milanese people is there addiction to shoes. They take particularly pride in their shoes I am feeling right at home. They do dress impeccably well with such a flair for sharp lines and silhouettes. Even pounding the pavement on their way to work they look stylish! I have not seen one ill-fitting suit or a pair of active wear leggings since I arrived in the heart of the city.

I was lucky enough to be invited to see a young and upcoming designer(you all know I enjoy an emerging talent) who displayed her A/W 2018 collection named ‘Nona’. 
Chanel Joane Elkayam presented a mature collection with classic lines and elegant pattern, fine details and a few show stopping voluminous pieces. Chanel who is studying at Central Saint Martins University in London, notably  displayed her strong use of neutral colours and classic black suited the elegant sophistication of the pieces. For such a young talent there is a large amount of talent in her restraint to create such classic items. Chanel's clearly understands a woman's body and how to dress it so elegantly to compliment the woman and not distract from their natural beauty. One to watch!
Antonio Marras the compelling storyteller who has the ability of mixing fashion, art and performing art into a single run way is a force to be reckoned with. In contrast with Australian catwalks, this was completely mind blowing. The garments of course are lush and exquisite but the overall energy of the show and telling a story through the lifespan of the 20 minute presentation is divine with its intermissions creatively narrating the story. Not only a women's runway, the Men’s looks featured bomber jackets with black embellishments, sophisticated coats with stylish details that highlighted the high skill of Italian tailoring. Not to be outshone the women's was bold daring with a hint of old world charm in new modern embellishments, embroidery and lots of sparkle. Mr Marras and his superb coats and full skirts are purely breathtaking. If you are on a fashion diet, Antonio Marras in totally binge 
 Milano One Trade Show 2018
Samuele Failli was another highlight. His razor sharp stilettos and shoes are a shoe addicts dream. Raised in Tuscany and studying in London he has definitely cemented his mouthwatering style of beautiful craftmanship and unique materials. This fella is on the rise, stand up , preferably in his heels and pay attention!

Taking some time out from the catwalk I headed to the One Milano trade show. A flash of the press pass and I was transported into a haven of ridiculously amazing goods from shoes, to bags, belts to hats and everything in between. The main attraction here was fur. There was fur absolutely everywhere! The quality is outstanding and you can see why Italian craftsmanship is so highly regarded. Even the traders who were not Italy based had a level of commitment to providing a level of detail and luxury to their goods. ubbing shoulders with the forecasters and fashionable buyers, it has been great to stop and speak to so many people who have traveled from all around the globe. Not everyone in Milan speaks English well and I was not very polished in my Italian so it was terrific to be able to converse over the love of a fantastic pieces after my first 48 hours. 

Prancing between The One Milano trade show and the hotel to change for the evenings events, I have stumbled across a delightful little slice of Italian culture with Apéritifs. I could easily get used to this and I see some weight gain in my future. They occur everyday in the late afternoon to the early evening. For a few euros, you can get a drink and some food served buffet style, perfect for a fashionista on the run. 

And run I did. Off to the Tb Milano showroom for their Spativm Moda - Salon Presentation with an assortment of luxury designers showing off their wonderful goodies. At an intimate salon presentation you experience the products up close and personal and are able to inspect the details and hear about the design process, directly from the designers themselves. Taerus PR put together a wonderful showcase which was an elegant affair that truly was a nod to the old school elegance of intimate showcases. I fell completely in love with the utterly classic and divine brand Fvcina. The epitome of luxury with their use of animal skins, precious metals and stones. Anything in animal print usually gains my attentions, but there is nothing like the line and look of python to unlesh your inner poisoness bite.  Unmistakeably bold and modern. Fvcina is a refreshing brand on the luxury market. 

 Heading downtown to the flashy fashion district, a crowd of fashionistas indicated I was in the right spot for an evening fashion week party. After a few days in Milan the buildings do start to look the same but thank god for the so many unapologetic statement-making fashionistas leaving their mark, not just on Milan but on the world. It is so captivating. The party was a great people watching experience and i was devouring all the wonderful people, atmosphere and of course outfit perfection.

After a few days of the city and popping from venue to venue, switching outfits every few hours, it was time to board the bus and travel the 84km to to the scene stealing Lake Como which is the playground to the rich and famous. Celeb-spotting aside, it's jaw-dropping natural beauty pressed against elegant villas that adorn the surrounding hills makes it one of my top 3 instagram worthy spots from this trip. There is no where like Lake Como. The elegant people of Como are breathtaking. Watching the women step out from behind large doors in their fur coats and fancy heels immaculately presented is a moment that will stay with me. 
Their distinct Italian style of knowing the fashion rules in order to exquisitely bend them and choreograph their style is a lesson I have learnt. Italians definitely do not pay attention to seasonal tacky trends and enjoy their timeless silhouettes. Italians don’t wear ‘things’ for the sake of it and have a certain level of Nonchalance, looking like they haven’t tried and literally “woken up like this”. They dress impeccably well with such a flair for sharp lines and silhouettes. Even pounding the cobblestone pavement on their way to work they look stylish!