Rihanna chose a showstopping white asymmetrical gown from Marchesa's Spring '11 collection for this weekend's MTV Europe Music Awards in Madrid. To balance out the ruffles and cutouts, she opted for a simple, sophisticated updo.
How does she look?
We've just wrapped up Paris Fashion Week, and already, the rumours of next season's campaigns are starting. According to Fashionologie, Gisele could be the star of the Spring '11 Balenciaga campaign - which would make sense, considering that she walked in the show. Will other supers from the show, like Stella Tennant or Carolyn Murphy, join her? It can't be confirmed just yet.
Fashionologie also reports that Alessandra Ambrosio is racking up Dolce & Gabbana ad rumours, now that she and Stefano Gabbana have been tweeting feverishly. (Ambrosio has remained coy about it all during interviews.) In addition, Givenchy-runway-exclusive Izabel Goulart is thought to be lined up for the label's spring campaign, starring with Riccardo Tisci favourite Mariacarla Boscono.
Who would you like to see in the spring ads?
Jean Paul Gaultier's swan song for Hermes was a leather-filled, equestrian-focused, highly streamlined collection that we would imagine caters very well to those with Western fetishes. To put it another way, it was form-fitting, sleek and carefully tailored - or all we imagine the label to be. Gaultier drew steeply on the line's heritage in his last runway show for Hermes before Christophe Lemaire takes over, and we have to say, we'll miss his instincts to pull from the past.
If you had to remember one piece from the collection, then it should be the leather basque, which turned up in a variety of looks - even over the few voluminous blouses Gaultier added to the predominantly silhouette-skimming range. The Wild West leather jackets and blazers on the Hermes runway seemed a more translatable version of Ralph Lauren's Western pieces from the New York shows. But whether or not we'll be seeing copies of it on the high street, we like Karlie Kloss' black bondage-inspired number the best. After all, nothing helps a designer go down in history like a little sex appeal.
It's easy to set out before a collection so highly anticipated as Alexander McQueen and already have a notion that the replacement (McQueen's protegee Sarah Burton) won't stack up to the original (the late designer himself). In terms of fashion-world status, Burton was joining the Beatles post-Lennon and had big shoes to fill. Fortunately for both the line and the legacy, she did an impeccable job on Tuesday at Paris Fashion Week, where she managed to pay tribute to the brand's heritage and - we hope - dispel any doubts that she was the right designer to fill the role.
Burton described the feeling of the collection as "tender," and true, the painstakingly constructed gowns on her McQueen runway felt a bit more feminine than typical. She maintained some of the sculpted shoulders and hips from the past few seasons, along with the low-rise trousers that often accompanied them. The strong, nature-based prints too were intact. However, the romantic, breeze-through-the-wind dresses (both in solid white and printed with blazes of orange and amber) spoke to a softer customer.
Our highlights from the collection? A woven-bodice, feather-skirted number that moved surprisingly well for something so intricate, and the high-neck Elizabethan ostrich-feather gown with panniers twice as wide as Nimue Smit. A bit of drama, a bit of emotion, with everything perfectly nuanced: that was, after all, the essence of McQueen. We look forward to seeing Burton place her own twist on Lee's strong foundation in the coming seasons.
Karl Lagerfeld is always known for making his own rules, and this season at Chanel, he kicked away every other designer's idea of minimalism with a biker boot-clad heel. The heritage tweeds that made it into the collection were hole-ridden and weathered - bonus points for when they were paired with cut-off gloves and tough-to-the-bone jewellery. The sweet and girly feeling we sometimes get with the line? That went one of two ways: either blown out to magnificent proportions with feathers, ruffles and frills; or zapped of innocence with gothic accents and biker-bar appeal. If the younger Chanel customer is a prim and proper debutante, then she's slipping on leather shorts underneath her cocktail dress to slip out the window and visit her boyfriend.
Besides turning out an all-hail-worthy collection, Lagerfeld had a big season in terms of runway appearances. He put aside any beef he might have had (for the past 20 years) with Ines de la Fressange and brought her back to the catwalk, and he let his former muse, Brad Kroenig, bring his 2-year-old for a little turn. As if we needed to mention it, Baptiste Giabiconi was there. But then again, he wouldn't miss it.
Salma Hayek attended the Alexander McQueen show at Paris Fashion Week wearing this nude and black lace minidress, toughened up with sculpted shoulders. She finished her look with black tights and sky-high heels.
How does she look?
Confession: I wanted to be a ballerina when I was a girl. Just like so many others, I'm sure. Although I don't spend my days in toe shoes now, Hannah MacGibbon at least has offerred up a wardrobe that could feed my latent desire to get my Swan Lake on. This season, the Chloé designer dressed each of her models as if they were headed for dance practice. Think open-back leotards with sheer tutu-style skirts, or pleated skirts all in neutral and blush tones. Pair this with the simple ballet flats the designer chose for the runway, and you have an off-duty dancer ready to go.
The collection was simple and girlishly charming, and even a bit racy at moments, such as with a sheer black number that would get most aspiring performers kicked out of the studio. And adding to the minimalistic feel of the season, MacGibbon offerred pared-down coats in neutrals, black and crimson; demure day dresses in ivory chiffon; and tonal top-and-trousers combos in fawn brown and burnt sienna. And to appease dancers who need to go to dinner after their performances? A free-floating, asymmetrical chiffon gown - as understated and delicate as could be. For little girls who grow up in or out of the dance studio, MacGibbon created a dream this time.
When Ennio Capasa set out to create his own minimalism for Spring, he did it with a bold voice and plenty of colour. The Costume National designer cycled from nude through a series of bold shades (turquoise, orange, red and blue) before finally settling back to black. Where silhouettes were boyish and sparse, Capasa made up for the simplicity with rich fabrics: couture-inspired, laser-cut and sometimes done in three layers of silk.
Capasa took his inspiration from a recent job with the band OK! Go, and accordingly had an element of what he calls "pop chic." We could imagine off-duty performers jetting around in the designer's nude leather trousers, then slipping into a sheer black top for stage night. But even for the non-pop stars among us, there are plenty of wearable pieces in the collection. And that, after all, is what a real design star shoots for.
We wouldn't expect anything else than understated sophistication from Phoebe Philo, and this season at Celine, she gave us just that. In a mostly crisp palette of white, cream and neutrals - save for a few pops of cobalt blue and sienna - the designer kept true to her au courant minimalism, while loosening up a bit for her fans.
Handcrafted details, like quilting and silk worn woven by a seasoned French tailor, added a personal touch to the Celine show, and pops of geometric prints on silk tops and trousers catered to the understated hippies among us. Although parts of Philo's show channelled the pared-down, clinical feel of Prada (the Celine show, too, included some scrub-like silhouettes), we were more impressed with the subtle cocooning of a capelet blazer all in ivory. We doubt too many fashionable followers will wear the style with a totally sheer top and no bra, but it should make a statement all the same.