While Marchesa may be loved by women everywhere, not many people can afford the hefty price tag that naturally comes along with their clothes. Compared to other luxury brands the high price points at Marchesa do make sense to certain extent. After all, far from offering up expensive jeans and t-shirts (hello Balmain), their collections don't often extend beyond bridal wear and red carpet worthy gown, which are generally things you would expect to shell out on. If new reports are anything to go by though, that's all about to change.
This morning WWD confirmed that the brand are in talks with LF USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Li & Fung, about launching a new contemporary line and while both parties are staying quiet at the moment 'an announcement could be imminent.'
The line is definitely a good step. In this current climate accessible lines are a proving to be a real earner for even the big brands so it was only a matter of time before Marchesa followed suit. The brand is so well known for glamour so I'm sure that women will buy pieces from the collection to try and tap into that spirit. How designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig will translate the aesthetic of the mainline onto an affordable collection is the challenge.
Last week I wrote about the prevalence of cropped tops in the S/S12 shows and anyone that read the post will remember that I've officially sold into the trend. Based on these images from Coachella over the weekend, our favourite models and celebrities have embraced it too. Rihanna went full out with a tiny 'Peace' top from Topshop and Chanel Iman tapped into the trend by rolling a simple t-shirt up. My favourite look definitely comes from Dree Hemingway, though, who went for a more subtle version sporting that red peppers cropped top and midi skirt from the Dolce & Gabbana S/S12 collection.
As editors go Kate Lanphear is one of my favourites. I mean, what's not to love. Her unique style continues to attract a herd of street style photographers at the shows and she managed to make the cast of 'High School Music' look interesting in American Elle and that's not easy by anyone's standards. You can imagine my delight then when I heard that Ruffian designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais invited the editor to have an interview with them as a part of their La Vie en Ruffian Lunchtime Interview Hour.
In the interview Lanphear spoke about the rise of street style photography, the effect of her Southern upbringing on her style and why there's a disconnect between retailers and editors.
I must confess, while I've always tuned in to watch the Victoria's Secret shows, I was amongst the cynics on the critical side when the Angels started moving into high fashion. With that said, it would be far fetched to say that I saw any of them as a source of style inspiration. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against any of the Angels. When it comes to schmizing (a la Tyra Banks) and looking incredible in a swimsuit of ridiculously expensive underwear, nobody does it better, but the commerciality of the whole thing isn't something that I've ever been particularly drawn too. Over the past year, though, Miranda Kerrhas really evolved and come into her own style wise.
Gone are the days when she appears wearing something that you would imagine US Weekly favourites like Jessica Simpson wearing and instead, over the last year her style has come on leaps and bounds and now inspires wardrobes much in the same way as people like Kate Bosworth do. Admittedly her outfits work well on her model-like frame but there's no denying that her new look works. She carries off simple shorts and jeans teamed with classic blazers and blouses with ease, epitomising the model-off-duty that none of us can seem to get enough of.
So what do you think? Is Miranda Ker's new look rocking your boat?
Last week we posed the question of what will happen to Bill Gaytten now that Raf Simons has been hired as the creative director at Dior. At the brand's couture show in Shanghai over the weekend, it was made clear that the collection was the last we will see of him at the French house.
This doesn't seem to be something that Sidney Toledano, president and CEO of Dior, seems to be worried about. Rather than focusing on praising Gaytten for the work he's done at the house during this difficult time, his attention centred around the future of the brand under Raf Simons' leadership. Talking to WWD he said that the appointment marks a 'very exciting time' for the brand. 'I always said that te right person would come along when all the strs aligned and that's exactly what happened last week,' he said. '[Simons] has already begun to lay out his vision for where he can take Dior in the future and I think we are all very excited by that vision.'
It's true. Raf Simons at Dior is exciting and there's no doubt that he will flourish there in the same way that he did at Jil Sander. That being said, Toledano's comments must be a hard pill for Gaytten to swallow. He's never disguised the fact that he wanted the big job so to have the attention at his last show pushed in another direction, especially after the fairly good job that he has done under the pressure, must have been difficult.
While the economy in Europe might look better today than it did six months ago, there's no denying that we're not quite out of the storm just yet. On the contrary, things aren't all doom and gloom for it is this storm that is serving contemporary brands really well. Today accessible brands like Zadig & Volatire, Sandro, Maje and Comptoir des Cotonniers that are gaining serious traction. Sandro, for example, is expected to take in €200million this year compared to €15 million back in 2007. Not bad for a brand that has been criticised for not breaking new ground, eh? Along with Mother of Pearl, Gallery 4 is helping to fly the flag for the contemporary accessible brand on this side of the pond.
Recently I caught up with Louise Rhodes, the brand's head designer, to find out more about the line and see the full collection and was instantly I was sold. 'When I was given this opportunity I really wanted to create a high-end product with accessible prices,' she said - and she is definitely onto something. As the wealthy pull back on their spending and the former high street purchaser looks for quality and a return on their investment, it is brands like this that are really helping bridge the gap. 'All of my friends want something like this because we don't necessarily have the money to get the pieces we want.' And it's true. As a fan of all things Scandinavian I was instantly drawn to the boy-meets-girl minimalist aesthetic of Rhodes' clothes. Unlike other brands like this who are riding the minimalist wave at the moment, Gallery 4 is available at a fraction of the price without compromising on quality.
At a recent talk in Browns L'Wren Scott said that for her, it's all about helping her customers build their wardrobes rather than indoctrinating them with trends and that's a sentiment that Rhodes clearly proscribes to. With Louise it's not all about tapping into trends. Instead she plans to rework their prints whilst building on their signatures. With that said, expect wardrobe staples like simple blouses, blazers and shirt dresses to come reworked with a modern twist that will hold you in good stead season after season.
Karl Lagerfeld is known for making a statement with the set design for the Chanel shows. For pre-fall he took us to India and for Fall 2012 we went out of space. As you would expect then, the brand's resort 2013 collection is going to be a big production too.
Last week Chanel confirmed that the show, which will be presented on May 14, will take place at the Palace of Versailles but have kept the rest of the details under wraps. But this won't be the first time that the palace has served as a backdrop for a big show. Back in 2007 John Galliano chose the venue to host Dior's 60th anniversary couture show and back in 1973 American designers like Oscar de la Renta and Bill Blass went head-to-head against French designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior in the Battle of Versailles.