Christian Dior Resort 2018

Published for Blouin Artinfo

May 2017

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Campaign for Dior Resort 2018

Maria Grazia Chiuri presents her first cruise collection for Dior, in the middle of Mother Nature aptly living up to the theme of the collection on May 11, 2017. The show was held on a super-remote mountaintop, in Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, in Calabasas, California.

The designer dug deep into Dior’s archive for muses starting with the Ovale line designed by Christian Dior in 1951, whose form alluded to primitive female depictions such as the Venus of Willendorf. Dior’s forever love for heritage and reinventing the past lead Chiuri to come to with this 2018 Resort collection inspired by the cave paintings and bringing fresh vitality to femininity.

Her idea of infusing the past, wild and ancient femininity with shamanic intuition that celebrates instinctive spirit and today’s state of the art.

This collection draws direct inspiration from Wolves painted in the prehistoric cave paintings and some modern day inspiration from the work of American painter Georgia O’Keeffe and feminist shamanic healer Vicki Noble, infusing new life into Monsieur Dior’s beloved art of divination.

The collection has more than one influences, “For me, I found it close to L.A. You think L.A. and you think Hollywood, Oscars, the red carpet, but honestly I feel people love this place because you feel in contact with the natural elements” says Maria Grazia Chiuri for the Dior sense of design.

These profound prints were placed onto silk jacquards and rich textured fabrics. At some places, these prints were made into sequined embroideries in earthy shades.  The entire collection Proportions and lengths are adjusted to a contemporary landscape in which sport mixes with haute couture and tradition becomes ornamental abstraction.

Other than the primitive prints, the dresses flowed long with breezy breezy silhouettes. The color palette was mostly golden ocher contrasts with blacks along with military greens, brick reds and the classic white.

The collecton had a very tasteful muted bohemian vibe. The color tones kept earthy, but the details were chunky fringes, human patterns and colorful feathered dresses. A very prominent use of robes and long jackets over dresses was showcased along leather boots.

The designer wonderfully put across the importance of contemporary essence in her designs to resonate well with the women today. In terms of keeping up with today’s scenarios, an inevitable touch of luxe sport spirit was evident in the collection along immense feminity.

“If you feel too much of the history, you get stuck in a box.”

 

Louis Vuitton Cruise 2018, Kyoto

Published for Bluin Artinfo

May 2017

Louis Vuitton Cruise 2018, Kyoto
Looks from Louis Vuitton Cruise 2018, Kyoto

Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton Creative Director for Women’s Collections, presented his fourth Cruise collection for the house on May 14, 2017 at the Miho Museum in Kyoto, Japan. He fused fashion, nature and architecture expressing the spirit of travel and being on the road, the 2018 Cruise Collection showcases the designer’s love affair with Japan.

“It was one of the first places I travelled to when I was seeking inspiration, some twenty years ago, and I’ve been a regular visitor ever since. (The Collection is a) culmination of what Japan has given to me for a very long time,” says Nicolas.

The unique location chosen by the designer as he believes that it encapsulates Japan’s “fusion of urban and natural.” Miho Museum is located on mountain one hour outside of Kyoto. The museum is revealed through a spectacular metal tunnel and a futuristic suspension bridge, designed in 1997 by I.M.Pei.

The cruise collection had various prominent Japanese influences throughout, majorly paying tribute to designer Kansai Yamamoto. Yamamoto created icons, symbols, and characters for the accessories, which featured Kabuki mask-like designs. These inspirations are translated in the Cruise collection in accessories, prints and make-up. The models wore dramatic eyebrows, exaggerated winged eyeliner, and colorful face as the Kabuki masks.

The garments had a blend of classic motifs native to Japan, inked landscapes, ceremonial dress, samurai clothing, the keikogi robe-like outfit worn for martial arts, as well as cinematic influences from Japanese directors Akira Kurosawa and Takeshi Kitano. There were pantsuits and tunics featuring Hokusai-like prints. Leather sweaters reminded one of the Japanese warriors.

The collection along depicted the culture of Japan also evoked the question of evolution.

 

Gucci Cruise 2018, Florence

Published for Blouin Artinfo

May 2017

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Looks from Gucci Cruise 2018

The grand Gucci Cruise 2018, was held in Florence at the Palatina Gallery at Palazzo Pitti on May 29, 2017. The venue was an apt choice for the kind of muse Alessandro Michele had while putting together this collection.

The collection was everything Renaissance, bought in the modern world with absolutely no rules. Right from the paintings hung on the walls to the embroidery on the chairs helped to build up the mood for what followed.

The Cruise line offered some women’s gowns and fur coats along dresses, skirt and shorts. The men’s pieces were injected with graphics, slogans and embroidered details if not quilted.

There were prints, paired with prints worn under a layer of some more prints. Leopard-spot turbans, head scarves, bandeaux, nerdy tinted spectacles, glittery-framed sunglasses, medieval hairpieces and loads of bling. Pearls were woven into flowing tresses and at an instance adorned over the face. Embellished, glittery monogrammed GG tights and socks that went along many looks.

The major highlight of the show was the sparkling “GUCCY” typo on one of the model’s chest.  This trans-seasonal collection urged the viewer to unleash all norms of fashion. Slogans like “GUCCIFY” or “GUCCIFICATION” made sure this collection was like the one that was showcased never before.

The models had minimal makeup on with flushed cheeks and glistening eye-lids. The collection was an interesting mix of the renaissance art and 21st century fashion.

Everything about this Cruise collection was “GUCCIFIED” right from the personal invites, to the grand venue to the glorious collection.

 

Prada Resort 2018, Milan

Published for Blouin Arinfo

May 2017

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Prada 2018 Resort fashion show, showcased on May 7, 2017 was held at Osservatorio, Fondazione in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan.

AMO prepared the set for the show of in-betweens (spring-winter). Where everything, right from the ambience to the collection lived up to the essence of in-betweens.

Models walked along the windows, glowing in the afternoon sun, suspended between the sky and the ornate iron dome that acted as the silent backdrop for the show. The set was conceived as a confrontation between real and manufactured moments.

Synonymously the collection was mix of classics in a fresh take, sporty athleisure trend interpreted in the most signature Prada style.

The range was made in a delicious palette of subtle pastel; mint, peach, pink, pale blue along the classic white, black and navy blue. The garments followed a slim line silhouette with lots of sheer fabrics and layering as one of the primary directions.Sheer tunics, shirts, overskirts, underskirts, shirtdresses were adorned with a hint of Prada’s intricate embellishments. There were pleats, crystals, feathers and zippers all packed in one collection.

Athleisure trend was predominantly beautified. The models walked the ramp in Tube socks pairing them with heels or Velcro shoes worn with jackets, skirts and dresses. They were given one or more fishtail braids along natural eyes and stark red lip colour.

Like any other trademark Prada show, details were an important aspect, on dresses, on bags, on accessories and headgears. There were feathered hemlines, scalloped edges, patterned socks and textured knits along traces of psychedelic florals and rabbit’s prints.

This collection did make up for the long break of Resort fashion shows that Prada took. We hope to see the brand more often, because we can never have enough of Prada.

Get a sneak peek of a few looks from the Prada Resort 2018.

Ghost Restaurants

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Sorry readers, this isn’t what you think this is!

A new business model in the food industry, which shows you a restaurant online, also delivers fast and yummy food, but in reality there isn’t any.

To the extent of staying true to this spooky-sounding-tasting-yummy concept, these restaurants might even have a mouth-watering Instagram feed.

These kitchens supply and deliver food either through their own online avatar or to a multi cuisine restaurant that technically doesn’t exist.

Green Summit found by Peter Schatzberg is one of the leaders of this concept in the US. The company employs around 50 chefs between 2 commissary kitchens in NYC to operate eight restaurant brands in, without a single dining room.

Leafage and Butcher Block, are two of its non-existent eateries delivering in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Chicago.

Another company Good Uncle  is contributing to the trend with its own commissary kitchens.

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This model cuts down the cost significantly, saves on over heads but most importantly extends the liberty of offering multiple cuisines from a single kitchen set up.

As for the consumer the restaurant is certainly relevant as long as it offers FOOD and you can follow its feed online. Banking on the millennial approach, ordering food on smartphones will be hassle free making this latest trend resonate very well.

Prevalent in India since many years, these virtual kitchens have been feeding masses.

Sounds like the India Tiffin culture has dressed up in an English suite and has decided to conquer the New World.

 

GAP brings your teenage cool back!

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GAP 90’s Archive Re-issue Collection

Fresh in 2017, wondering whether the fashion crushing over the 90’s is over yet?

GAP clearly hasn’t gotten enough of nostalgia yet, releasing a limited-edition 90’s Archive Re-issue collection they bring back the classics from the yesteryear.

The collection is both for the men and women featuring iconic styles from the ’90’s including the Bodysuit, Reverse Fit and Easy Fit Denim, Pleated Khakis and the timeless Pocket Tee.

Starting from Feb 7, the collection will be available online as well as select stores globally.

To launch the collection, Gap collaborated with director Kevin Calero to create ‘Generation Gap,’ a film that is the ultimate contemporary homage to the iconic Gap ads of the ’90’s with references to “Mellow Yellow,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Just Can’t Get Enough” and updated with a modern twist.

I believe, that no other brand can Re-issue themselves with such iconic styles and nostalgia as Gap does! It is the love for Gap then and it is the love for Gap now!

Why do we need last year’s Lifestyle trend more than ever?!

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Lifestyle Trend 2017

Lagom, “enough, sufficient, adequate, just right” is the latest buzz word ready to take over as the lifestyle trend of the year 2017. This is second time in a row that a phonetically taxing Scandinavian ethic is directing the world to the art of living life. (Last year it was Hygge)

 

In the past six months the word ‘lagom’ has seen a huge rise on Google searches and has been tweeted about 13,500 times.

 

Post a remarkable 2016, in times of such global economic uncertainty, Lagom seems to be an apt pseudo-philosophical way of life. This trend accentuates frugal living, intensifying the significance of recycling in our lives. An idea that we can strike a healthy balance with the world around us without having to make extreme changes, and without denying ourselves anything.

 

This trend was proposed by Swedish furniture giant, IKEA which often drives global design directions. They started a three year long initiative called ‘Live Lagom’ helping people know “how to make sustainable living easier, more affordable and attractive.”

Synonymously the Pantone color of the year 2017 “Greenery” also exemplifies the growing trend and shift towards sustainable living.

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Lifestyle Trend 2016

 

Though 2016 was all about Hygge – a new word added to the Oxford English Dictionary and a major contender for word of the year. This lifestyle trend has already had its moment all over world.

 

“Hygge” means cosiness.  Everything from cardigans, chocolates and candles that indulged you to feeling cosy was relevant.

 

Though what reached the world was more of Brygge (Britain marketed products using the Hygge trend).

 

Is it now time to find hygge in the lagom living?!

 

Though concept of suitability, nurturing environment and green initiatives have been prevalent for a while. It is now time to find contentment in doing the same. This might bring fundamental change the world is waiting for.

 

Let’s live it right!

 

 

 

 

 

Bizarre Trend: Food to Face Trend

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We might soon feel ambiguous about being alive in such vivid times to experience a mind boggling trend – Food to Face.

It might have emerged in bits and pieces, but saw a commendable rise when blogger Newton explicitly Instagram video showcasing the use of your most usual kitchen stuff for make-up.

Cacao powder as eyebrow filler and eye shadow, honey as primer, burnt tips of coconut husk as eyelash, flour as a brightening under-eye concealer, beets and coconut oil as lip color and red gelatin powder as blush.

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This trend was taken way too seriously by Frito-Lays when the brand entered the cosmetics market. They launched a bronzer called Colour de Cheetos which happily claimed to give users the perfect shade of Cheetos orange.

 

Cheetos also launched a fragrance, Cheeteau Perfume, which the brand describes as being crafted from hand-extracted cheese oils.

 

Last year another food giant, KFC also entered the cosmetic market with the launch of its peculiar fried chicken scented sunscreen and edible figure licking nail color.

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“Make-up” makes up a large segment of the market and a key direction for the skincare industry has been an inclusion of food ingredients in skincare products. While this usually an inclusion of fruits and vegetables is incorporated, Cheetos into beauty products provides a new, comical take on this trend, and could appeal Millennials.

‘Cycling’ its way into Fashion!

Published for FFT

April 2016

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A lifestyle change often influences fashion, especially if it is the healthy sort and inspires a large number of people. That is exactly what happened with cycling.

Cycling to work, cycling to exercise, cycling to be part of a movement, or simply cycling for the sake of it! That is something that has inspired many in countries like Netherlands and Denmark, who have become the undisputed leaders in terms of the number of cyclists. Not only do these countries have long cycling traditions, they also have the necessary infrastructure for it. Again, in Shanghai (most populous city in China), about 60 per cent of the locals pedal their way to work everyday. The city is home to 9,430,000 million bicycles and 19,213,200 people.

However, an increasingly large number of metropolises, as well as second-tier cities, across the world are now seeing a sea-change in their infrastructure, paving the way for more and more people to ride the healthy vehicle.

Thanks to this lifestyle change, there has been a major boom in the cycle manufacturing industry around the world, and that includes even India.

Hero Cycles had posted a turnover of around Rs 3,000 crore during the last financial year, producing around 5.5 million cycles. With its recent announcement of entry into the European market, the brand aims at growing up to Rs 8,000 crore by 2018, hence benefiting from the currently booming cycling trend.

Although, this is undoubtedly a rapidly growing lifestyle trend, India still lags behind on the infrastructural end, needed to provide for such a huge shift.

Siddhant Mangotra, a cycling enthusiast from Delhi, who habitually cycles around the city, often covering around 30-40 km a day, says “I have separate sets of cycling gear for winters and summers, and I need to change every time I reach office.”

Another cyclist, Supratim Pal, who is associated with a cyclist enthusiasts’ society Discover on Wheels, Kolkata, also cycles to work. “A major problem faced by cyclists is the lack of dedicated cycle parking space.” Very few MNCs in India support or encourage cyclists to take up this mode of transportation. Hence, there are no proper dedicated parking spaces or changing rooms for cyclists. However, there has been a growing demand for these in recent times, which have silently and surely put pressure on companies to make arrangements for them.

Along with this lifestyle trend, the lines between casual clothing, office-wear and high performance gear have gradually become blur. Propelled by the growing popularity of transit and urban riding, along with an ever-broadening definition of how bicycles fit into our daily lives, apparel makers are throwing the boundaries of cycling’s sartorial territory wide open.

Minimalistic-ally Sporty

For decades, bold graphics and bright colours have defined the image of road cycling, owing mostly to infused sense of safety along with functionality.

However, with the new minimalist approach to aesthetics, the essentials of performance and comfort are increasingly being taken into account

Clothes are designed such that they can be carried off without any awkwardness all day long.

In the pursuit of this minimalist aesthetics, there has been a discreet, and almost seamless transition from the road to the daily modern living, with a remarkable shift towards fine knits, muted solids, and subtle touches, such as hidden vents at the collarbones and stylish quilt stitching at the shoulder.

The market today provides a lot of options. The Proviz’s Reflect360 jacket is an example, whose outer shell normally appears grey, but is exceptionally reflective of light. This innovative clothing, released in 2014, continues to be the brand’s best-seller. The brand is now trying to incorporate more features into it like making it more breathable.

The London-based cycling start-up Nakeid’s apparel range is hot on wearable technology, incorporating activity monitor, but most importantly its minimalist aesthetics, included in its jerseys, shorts and tops, made from wicking fabrics and Elastic Interface Tech pads that use anatomic 3-D shapes and dual density construction for comfort and protection.

Truant shorts from Giro could pass as street-wear, and that’s one of our favorite things about them. But don’t let the everyday appearance fool you: there’s plenty of tech-packed into these nylon/spandex shorts, including velcro waist-adjusters, a stretch-knit rear yoke and a mid-thigh zip pocket.

The 14″ inseam and wide leg openings promise kneepad-friendliness.

Women-sensitive designs

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female commuter cycling

A significant trend that dominated the apparel industry was to remake every piece of men’s clothes for women by means of changing their colour to pink. But gone are those days. Now, the women’s riding apparel is reshaping the spirit of design. Many companies have realised that the era of remaking men’s garments in the stereotypical pink hues and women’s-only sizes has come to an end.

Young, often-urban entrepreneurs are now reaching out with a more fun and fashion-forward approach.

SOAS Racing, a women’s specific endurance clothing brand, has launched four new 2016 designs: Aquarius, Byron Bay, Red Geo and Ultramarine.

“They’re created to help women achieve their personal performance goals in comfortable, functional apparel that’s infused with a unique sense of fashion and fun. We’re thrilled to introduce our 2016 collection and to start seeing these vibrant new designs in action on women around the world,” says an official statement by the SOAS Racing.

While some brands like Gore, creator of some of the most technical waterproof and windproof textiles in the market, have come up with street-inspired Power Trail Lady range that lays particular emphasis on the fact that the range isn’t just a scaled-down version of the Men’s Power Trail range, but has been designed for women from ground up.

Modern retail is picking pace in India, including in small cities, much to the delight of the brands, suppliers and retailers of sportswear and sports lifestyle products. Even then, the most game-changing brands like Puma and Nike hardly have a dedicated line for cycling. Even if brands like Adidas do, there is still the lack of their awareness and availability, and hence a possible path the brands could tread to create a major segment for themselves.

Interestingly in India, the sports apparel industry has seen a 13 per cent year-on-year rise in sales, accounting for Rs 600 crore worth in business in 2015. This should be sufficient cue for retailers, suppliers and brands to safely venture into the industry with positive assurance of growth.

Unrealistically Lo…ng!

Published for FFT

March, 2016

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The oversize trend has been on the rise for quite some time now. Ramps have been overrun with anti-fit clothing and designers have been obsessed with larger than life silhouettes. This trend has gained much attention, and done well for both women’s and menswear styles.

This trend has, in fact, been carried forward to this season as well, only to be re-invented with a new perspective. The sleeves have become Unrealistically LONG!

How long will it stay?

Like every other trend in fashion, this too has now reached its peak, and will eventually pass. The pendulum will once again swing away from volume. But, let’s not forget that this trend, like most others, has travelled a long way to reach this level of largeness, and it may be long before it comes around again in the way it exists today.

Anything could become a “thing”, when a lot of designers start believing it’s a “thing”. But have the designers gone too far with the trend just to satisfy the insatiable appetite for something new?

Indian designer Druv Kapur of DRVV also does not seem to believe that this trend is going too far and says, “I find it a little bit too involved with just fashion for that moment, as it serves no function whatsoever. The only thing it’s doing is reiterating the oversize trend.”

Aki Choklat, Chair & Associate Professor at Fashion Accessories Design, said, “It’s already so over-done this season that I would almost categorise it as a fad. I don’t think this would be a popular thing as I believe it has a little taste and smells like a quick trend.”

The trend was most certainly all over the ramp this Fall. Designer Shweta Kapur of 431-88 thinks, “This trend adds a touch of casualness to the outfit. In the Winters, it can be easily carried off with long sleeved sweaters to cover your wrists and in the summers, the sleeves become extra loose for airiness, and the cuffs of the shirt cut longer to protect the hands from the sun.”

Only the coming seasons can tell how practical or impractical the trend has turned out to be; but for now it surely is the most relevant one.

Where did it come from ?

This trend came to be know as Vetements sleeve in the fashion industry parlance.
“Its a trend specially for the young market, targeting teenagers and the tweeny market. Designer Vetements is probably the leader of the trend,” says Johannes Egler, Professor at Polimoda and Senior designer at Rosso35.

Vetements has undoubtedly injected some young energy and fresh direction to the sedate world of fashion. The brands Fall 2015 collection was a fair mix of classic boxy suit, blazers, bombers, and leather jackets, which had fabric that hung below the fingers and sometimes as long as the knees.

Raf Simons, in his first collection for his eponymous label, showed some dramatically oversize sweaters, but most notably the sleeves that dangled almost till the knees.

Budding Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy’s showed a slightly less exaggerated proportions on the jackets. But it was interesting to see how Thom Browne, Hood by Air and Rihanna’s FENTY x Puma came up with collections that gave us ways to style the sleeved garments we already owned in our wardrobes.

Though, it was seen on the ramp more than once, building up the ambiguity of the trend’s origin was Raf Simon’s press note for his collection, wherein he named Margiela as an inspiration. Martin Margiela, the label’s founder, caused a sensation with experiments in proportion back in the 1990s.

No matter how far the origin goes, what we do know for sure is that proportion is one of the most determining factors of a designer’s toolkit while striving for freshness. Shorten here and extend there, or tighten up to get a completely never-seen-before collection.

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Why did it become a ‘thing’?

We will be telling you nothing new if we were to begin with how the 90’s trend is coming back. What we would, however, be telling you is how these ultra-long sleeves relate to the era.

Sloppiness is the prime grunge determinant, it sure is a Declaration of Independence. Your body (read yourself) is hidden away in large unjudgmentable pieces of luxury.

Another reason is the rising touch of androgyny that is driving the silhouettes to be larger and more carefree. Oversize clothes are, in a way, a sign of how content one is — so carefree that you don’t need to dress up for anybody but yourself, anymore…