The launch of Carine Roitfeld's new magazine, CR Fashion Book, hasn't been without its controversies. As you will know, Condé Nast reportedly banned several photographers, models and stylists from collaborating with the former Vogue Paris editor but despite all of that, Roitfeld is flying high. The preview of the issue has gone down well and this weekend, just about everyone turned up to congratulate her at the party she hosted to celebrate the debut issue.
'It's very different from my last party,' she told The Cut, having a look at the guests in the marble-floored atrium of the Frick Museum. Around the same time last year Roitfeld through a karaoke party to celebrate her Barneys campaign at a strip club on the West Side Highway so basically the polar opposite of this year's swanky 'do. 'I want to do something different, more classic,' she said about the formal Mercedez Benz-sponsored black tie event. 'After all, I am a grandma now.'
Alongside all of the embellishment and prints this season thanks to Miuccia Prada and Marc Jacobs, black leather had quite the comeback. I know what you're thinking: when did it ever go away but if you cast your mind back to this time last year you'll remember that block colour was still having a moment but black leather is officially back on the agenda this season.
This season was just a lot darker on the whole. Riccardo Tisci, who is undoubtedly the king of all things darkly romantic, was one of its biggest protagonists teaming his equestrian themed collection with those heel-hidden boots that everyone's rightfully raving about right now. Gareth Pugh is someone that always plays with leather and this season it came on more wearable asymmetric jackets with oversized lapels and at Gucci, Frida Giannini incorporated it on outerwear too but on cropped bell shapes instead.
As with everything, this is a trend that you can embrace with varying degrees. If you're not afraid of going full hog, invest in a coat like the ones at Versace or do like Kate Moss and buy a long sleeved bod con dress but beware. If you're going to go that way make sure to invest in quality pieces as they can quickly start to look cheap. For those of you that aren't so bold, opt for a shirt with a leather collar or follow Kanye West and Kate Moss by bagging a pair of leather trousers. That's one piece that you can count on season after season.
Despite the ever-continuing success of his brand, the last few months haven't been the most ideal for Alexander Wang. Since March his name has been in the headlines but for all of the wrong reasons after thirty of his workers filed a $450 million lawsuit against him for allegedly running a sweatshop. Based on recent developments, though, the dispute has come to an end.
This week a New York judge dismissed the lawsuit after both sides managed to reach an undisclosed settlement two weeks ago, WWD reports. 'We are gratified that this matter has been dismissed, as the allegations were unfounded and completely false,' Wang's spokesperson said in a statement, while the the lawyers of the two main claimants opted not to comment.
The trouser suit has long been a stalwart piece in women's wardrobes. Since Yves Saint Laurent created his 'Le Smoking' women's tuxedo back in 1966, the piece has no doubt morphed into one of the single most transformative pieces of women's wear and for A/W12, it made a serious comeback. Just like Saint Laurent, this season designers seem to be more attune to the fact that women need clothes that make sense as much as they appeal aesthetically and as a result, we're spoilt for choice.
You can generally guage what the big trends will be by watching the Prada show and this season Miuccia Prada made a big statement. At both Prada and Miu Miu the trouser suit dominated sending a clear message that if there's anything you need to buy this coming season, it's that.
Throughout the shows in February there was a lot of talk about the clothes being like an armour, preparing women for the tough world out there right now and it's true. At the rate things are going, we can all do with as much help as we can get and there's no denying it's transformative powers. Even Caroline Issa spoke about it recently in the latest issue of ELLE UK. Talking about her recent Tom Ford suit purchase she said: 'When I wear it I feel like the chicest person alive - it is wearable art.' Whistles CEO Jane Shepherdson shared the sentiment. 'It's about authority,' she said in an interview with Karen Dacre about the suit's power in the workplace. 'If I feel I need 'armour' any day, then I will pull on a trouser suit. It let's people know you're serious and not to e messed with.' My-Wardrobe's founder Sarah Curran said the same thing. 'There's definitely an attitude that goes with wearing one,' she told Dacre. 'There is something about a trouser suit that gives an air of confidence that a dress could never do.'
From top left: Acne, Dries van Noten, Miu Miu, Todd Lynn, Todd Lynn, Alexander Wang, Celine, Elizabeth & James, Miu Miu and Prada
Azealia Banks has been courted by just about everyone on the fashion scene but it was her partnership with Alexander Wang for the Met Gala that really made sense. Like M.I.A. and Zoe Kravitz, who have both attended the event with the designer in the past, Banks represents that effortlessly cool vibe that Wang has become synonymous with.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the pair have decided to collaborate again. This time it's for Wang's T line, as the rapper has been announced as the new face of the line. Azealia 'exudes a certain rawness that makes her a very unique talent,' the designer told Style.com. 'I loved working with her on this video for T Fall 2012, and think the collaboration captures a collision of energies.'
Last week the lovely Abi Marvel invited me, and four of my favourite bloggers, to play dress up at The Outnet offices. The idea behind the afternoon was for us to pick out our favourite pieces from the retailers' current offerings that reflected how we would dress for three specific summer occasions.
The first was a day out shopping and I opted for a bright pink neon Christopher Kane dress from a few seasons ago, which, after a lot of convincing from the girls and the Outnet team, I fell in love with. As someone who doesn't tend to steer to far from black, opting for pink and neon was a big step out of my comfort zone but I'm now convinced.
Next up was a festival theme so true to form I chose a fringed Maison Martin Margiela gillet, teamed with a simple tee from Alexander Wang, lattice tank from J. Crew and the most amazing chain mail necklace from Fiona Paxton. Saying that, my favourite outfit of the afternoon was a black Emanuel Ungaro halter neck dress that I still can't stop thinking about.
If there's one sale worth checking out each season, it's Net-A-Porter's. While it's fair to say that the pieces are generally still in the three digit and up range, there are some good bargains to be had especially from the more accessible brands like 3.1. Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang and Derek Lam.
It's not all clothes though, as the sale line-up features great accessories like the highly coveted YSL arty ring, great rings from Kenneth Jane Lane and iPad accessories from Michael Kors and Marc by Marc Jacobs.
Have a look through the gallery to see my picks from the sale. Have you bagged any bargains?
If Alexander Wang's Fall 2012 collection was heavy, his offering for resort 2013 is definitely a palette cleanser and that's something that we've seen across the board this season.
Going through the the collection it quickly became hard to remember the time when we all used to complain about the additional pre-season collections. While the clothes were completely different to what he showed for fall, Wang delivered a perfect offering of relaxed and easy pieces to keep our appetites satisfied before S/S12 comes around again.
Shorts and cropped trousers came in lightweight fabrics, sweaters were ribbed and cool and dresses were often sheer coming in simple button down styles or as a something to throw over other pieces. What works so well is Wang's ability to upscale the basics that he has built his empire on by focusing on details. Crocodile detailing came on the straps of cropped tops and on panels on leather skirts and black jackets and the stamped leather tops that were styled alongside classic tailored trousers help add that little bit extra.
When Alexander Wang was hit with those sweatshop allegations back in March, things were bad and ended up in his SoHo store getting egged in what many thought was a response to the allegations. Things quietened down recently but the issue is back in the headlines this week, as the company officially field a denial in court.
According to WWD, the company officially rebutted the claims of thirty former employees who allege that they were made to work 16-hour days in windowless rooms without overtime. The denial presented in court says that the company 'complied with all applicable wage and hour and leave laws, and there is no basis whatsoever for plaintiffs’ frivolous and entirely unsupportable accusations that defendants have harassed them or discriminated against them on the basis of their race, or on any other protected basis.' Wang's people went as far as to argue that the defendants are no more than 'digruntled former employees with axed to grind' so are simply trying to 'exact a substantial settlement from the defendants.'
Since Net-A-Porter launched The Outnet, it's now hard to imagine a time when it didn't exist. The days where your favourite brands were inaccessible if you didn't have deep pockets are long. This week new e-commerce website, Covetique, launched with exactly that in mind.
The premise of the site isn't new. Sellers are able to upload their pre-owned designer pieces online in an easy, hassle-free way. What is different about Covetique, though, is the extensive range of designers on offer. The site includes great clothes from brands like Burberry, Isabel Marant, Louis Vuitton and Alexander Wang and accessories from the likes of Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin. Unlike similar sites, the prices are incredibly low with tops from Isabel Marant coming in at only £100 and Jimmy Choo sandals being sold for £130. To celebrate the launch, Covetique have also teamed up with a number of key industry figures to guest edit the site and showcase their favourite pieces and first up this month is Louise Roe.