At a recent shoe signing Manolo Blahnik spoke criticalyl of designer collaborations with the high street, so naturally the news about his collaboration with J. Crew came as a surprise to many. Interestingly, though, the news was a shock to him too.
"I was recently contacted by J.Crew to do something with them, so I sent them over 45 pairs of shoes, and they announced we were doing a collaboration. I had no idea about it!" While that may be true, it does make you question why he sent the shoes over if mass-market collaborations isn't something he would be happy about doing.
Kate Middleton was under fire last week after this image emerged showing her wearing what looked like a real fur jacket. After the International Fur Foundation posted a note on their Facebook page complimenting the Duchess on the coat, PETA was quick to criticise her leading the Palace to release a statement refuting the reports. "Her Royal Highness was not wearing fur," they confirmed. "The coat was not lined with fur. We therefore insist that you remove the photo from your social media page and issue an immediate public retraction of your claim."
The Just Cavalli collection started off on the conservative side compared to the designer's usual more-is-more aesthetic but that wasn't a bad thing. The colour palette was monochromatic and came on striped floaty dresses, spray on houndstooth leggings, feminine blouses and a great checked coat with sheer sleeves.
As the collection progressed, though, the Cavalli signatures began to emerge. Leopard print was everywhere and came in various shapes and colours on blouses and skinny trousers teamed with gold lurex blazers with black satin lapels. While the statement pieces will no doubt go down well with his young party loving customer, I was disappointed that he didn't push the signatures forward. The brand's fall 2011 collection proved what could happen when he does just that, so it was a shame to see him slip back into the brand's comfort zone this season.
The Max Mara show was really strong this season. The brand always manages to stick with it's signatures, like their emphasis on outerwear and camel toned classics, whilst also introducing new themes and references.
For fall, this was an interest in military which was a fitting reference considering the emphasis on outerwear. They came in the oversized scaled up styles that we've seen a lot of this season with great bell sleeves styled over army green shirts, tailored shorts and a crocodile belt. The sailor references translated on the hats and striped tops that came along with dungarees or tucked into cropped tailored trousers.
Gucci isn't the only brand in Milan taking a walk on the dark side. For fall Donatella Versace continued the Gothic aesthetic that brother Gianni Versace had begun to explore before his tragic murder in 1997. Crucifixes came on everything from black velvet coats to oversized clutch bags and just in case the reference wasn't strong enough, all of the models' hair came with what Guido Palau called the 'fugly fringe'.
Alongside the gothic theme was a feeling of strength and the clothes serving as an armour. This was particularly true on a studded leather corsetted strapless dress and coat in a similar style, as well as a killer biker jacket which wouldn't have looked out of place on Rooney Mara in 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'. Even the orange and yellow pieces that came towards the end of the collection had a similar strength.