The Fashion Critic

Looking at the worlds most beautiful fashion through the eyes of a critic and with the heart of a clothing connoisseur…

NYFW – The Best of The Best

I had a lot of thought’s about New York Fashion Week, not all of them good! An overcrowded schedule, too many similar and overly commercial collections and the spawn of Kim and Kanye causing front row drama (could someone please explain to the Mr & Mrs West that a toddler is not an accessory!) meant that the real fashion almost took a backseat. However, there were a few stand out pieces that had my heart all a flutter – check out my full review of the best of the best at NYFW over at The BIte Mag here.

Donna Karan ALWAYS brings it and this season was no exception. Elevating the working woman’s wardrobe one beautifully cut skirt at a time.

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Marc Jacob can of course, always be trusted to deliver theatrics. Ultra feminine silhouettes offset with masculine fabrics and some seriously hideous makeup (ugly pretty is, sadly still a thing)!

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Every season there’s always one show that everyone waits for with bated breath and this years was undoubtedly Peter Copping’s debut at Oscar De La Renta. Beautifully rendered, well cut and true to the brand, it was a stunning debut.

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The Couture Cape

Capes, are no longer the stalwart of superhero’s, if this weeks Couture offerings are anything to go by. Now whilst I can’t deny that Christian Bales ‘Batman’ oozes panache, I’m not usually moved to borrow from his wardrobe. Capes, whilst directional in theory, rarely translate on any type of female figure, rendering what was undoubtedly a super chic ensemble in your head look more tent like than trendy.

But after consuming show after show this Couture week, it’s evident that the cape is set to receive quite the makeover, having been rendered beautifully on the catwalks of Ralph & Russo, Valentino, Giambattista Valli and Zuhair Murad. These beauties firmly kick Little Red Riding Hoods crimson cover up to the kerb; there’s a new statement to make and it’s all about delicacy.

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Valentino offered both gentle and moody florals, contrasting a sheer chiffon overlay, scattered with hand crafter buds, with a darker, deep red number over an embroidered column dress. The floral theme continued over at Ralph & Russo, with their opalescent, ‘new look’ throwback dress & cape combo causing serious palpitations. This is one ensemble worth re-mortgaging the house for – perfect for frolicking no?

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Giambattista Valli offered lashings of frothy fur whist Zuhair Murad contrasted lace and beadwork with powerfully sensual silhouettes, firmly establishing the type of mindset a cape demands. Whilst the floral themes were abundant, this isn’t a trend for wallflowers – swagger is essential! The Couture shows are always a wonderful little precursor to what we can expect come Fashion Month and I am pretty damn excited to see how my favourite couturiers develop the cape silhouette for their Pret-a-Porter collections this February.

Golden Globes ‘Style’

Is it me, or was the Golden Globe style a little ‘meh’ this year. Beautiful dresses were plentiful, but nothing really caught my eye in the ‘I am sensational, look at me now,’ way that one would hope when all of Tinsletown’s beauties flock to the red carpet. With newspaper and magazine columns so mocking of the those they deem having gotten it wrong, it’s no surprise that the stylists of Hollywoods finest are hiding beneath the folds of a full chiffon skirt, lest they incur the wrath of the ‘worst dressed’ pollers. But It’s sad – dressing up to the nines is as much about experimenting as it is about glamour and really, with some of the worlds most talented designers at your disposal, why wouldn’t you jump at the chance to wear something audacious, fantastical and over the top. Red carpets were most definitely made for pea cocking!

There were a couple ladies who had me all a dither over their bold choices. Jennifer Lopez definitely brought the golden age glamour in her bedazzled Zuhair Murad caped gown and frankly I could’ve gawped at her all evening (not that I did, that would be weird). Amy Phoeler looked super chic and demure in a simple Stella McCartney column gown, proving how enticing simplicity can when paired with a punch of nonchalance. (It’s the pockets that did it I think, I’m obsessed with pockets! All clothes should have them, for the nonchalance giving properties they so fabulously display here.) And Amelia Warner – just bloody beautiful. Glamorous, different and accompanied by Jamie Dornan, she was exquisite in every way. I’m practically drooling into my keyboard…

golden globes

Oxblood is the new Black

I’m having quite the love affair with oxblood of late. Complete with all the moody and sultry tones of black but with a more seductive depth, there’s something fabulously grown up about the hue. The obsession began with a gorgeous new Bayswater and suddenly it seems the shade is seeping to all areas of my wardrobe.

So banish any thoughts of school uniforms firmly to the back of your mind and embrace oxblood like a trusty neutral – black won’t be offended, promise.

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Another Week, Another Designer Collaboration

Something like waiting for a bus, after a quiet few months on the designer collaboration front, this week saw the announcement of not one but three upcoming collaborations all at once.

Following the success of their pairing with Isabel Marant, it was only a matter of time before H&M thought up another frenzy inducing partnership. Interestingly however, this time, rather that pairing with a behemoth luxury design house as with previous collections, they’ve pipped for the rather contemporary Alexander Wang. Whilst he’s quite the darling of the fashion industry it’ll be interesting to see how someone know for a easy, slouchy, contemporary aesthetic will translate his designs for the high street. A luxe t-shirt, sweatshirt or bomber are all staples but without the expensive fabric to give the pieces the luxury factor, how will the designs hold up against H&M’s own offering of sports inspired basics. Whilst a collaboration with him through Balenciaga may have produced more inspired silhouettes, it will be interesting to see how the collection plays out none the less.

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A collaboration that’s more intriguing is the pairing of Banana Republic and Roland Mouret. Renowned for his beautifully cut dresses, designed with flattering the female form in mind, Mouret has said “It’s not a copy of my clothes in a less expensive [version], but the experience of a fitted dress for the Banana Republic customer.” Banana Republic are already apt at producing quality  (for high street standards), well made garments so it’s likely that the collection will be quite successful with women looking to recreate the expensive, feminine look of the his famous Galaxy dress.

The third major collaboration of the season is between Mary Katrantzou and Adidas, promising to be a commercial riot of print and vibrant hues. Known for her ultra feminine silhouettes and fantastical prints, Katrantzou will undoubtedly bring a rather fabulous dimension to the sportswear brand. Whilst Stella McCartney’s line for the label follows a clean but expensive looking cut, Katrantzou’s can be expected to scream colour and digital prints. Launching in November, the collaboration is said to be long standing so we’ll have a few seasons for her to really get her teeth into the project. Gym attire is definitely about to get kicked up a notch!

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Stay Tuned – Whether these collaborations are gorgeous or hideous, they’re definitely set to cause long lines, hysterical shoppers and endless headlines.