Friday, September 23, 2011

Spring 2012: Runway Beauty: Colourful Hair

Spring’s exuberantly bright colors and shining metallics extend literally head to toe, with bold hair appearing on several runways in New York and London.

While we’ve been seeing the colors for some time – from designer Chris Benz’s neat, neon-pink ‘do, to Kate Bosworth’s blue tips – the trend shows no signs of slowing. A new look, however, is the gold-plated one, as seen at Topshop Unique, where an Egyptian theme ruled, and hair, nails, jewels and clothes were gilded a la Tutankhamun.

Clockwise from left: pink streaks at Mulberry; cool blue at Narciso Rodriguez; pink-encrusted locks at Thakoon; two tones at Peter Som; gilded hair at Topshop Unique.

Crystal Renn For Dutch Vogue

With regards to Crystal Renn, there is more, much more to discuss not least of which concerns her story in Vogue Deutsch October 2011 photographed by Sebastian Kim.

Crystal boasts a bit of a reputation for transforming before the camera in ways unimaginable by other models let alone actors. This Katie Mossman-styled story titled “As Time Goes by,” which clearly means something in German, is no exception and in fact presents the Barney’s Carine’s World Fall 2011 campaign model in an old Hollywood style that calls to mind Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford, and Katharine Hepburn.

As if to demonstrate such 1940s styling can seduce again (verführt aufs Neue), which it clearly can, Crystal wastes no time in her brief and is seen wearing for her first look a knee-length dress with floral prints by Balenciaga by Nicholas Ghesquière, narrow belt by Salvatore Ferragamo, earrings by Camilla Dietz Bergeron; ring by David Webb, and pinching in her left hand a cigarette holder by Lynn Ban.

The story continues for another dozen pages and with each look ever more glamorous than the previous. Hair by Franco Gobbi accentuates the elegance at every turn. Standing astride a statue of a greyhound dog, a blond Crystal is seen wearing a black, high-slitted silk chiffon dress with sequins and narrow belt by Salvatore Ferragamo, earrings by RJ Graziano, diamond bracelet by Roberto Coin, diamond rings on left and right hand by Carla Amorim and Buccellati respectively, and sandals by Jason Wu.

For her final look, Crystal wears a floor-length, high-knecked dress with fur trim by Nina Ricci and various jewelry by Lynn Ban and Nicky Hilton. Suffice it to say this story, its style, and flawless execution are not only seductive, but are also personal favorites of the model herself. Considering the brilliant editorials Crystal Renn has done over the years, that speaks volumes. It is also clear from the story that no wire hangers were used. Ever.

Credits include: Vogue Deutsch Oktober 2011; Title, “As Time Goes By”; Photography, Sebastian Kim; Styling, Katie Mossman; Hair, Franco Gobbi at Art Department; Makeup, Lisa Houghton at Jed Root; Manicure, Michina Koide at Art Department; Set design, Anne Koch at CLM; Styling assistance, Eyob Yohannes.


London Fashion Week Trends Spring 2012

At a glance, here's what you need to know for next years hottest Spring / Summer  styles from the Episode offices.

Graphic Effects

Do not adjust your screen. Intentionally distorted patterns in London extended the graphic trend that seared retinas the week before in New York. Members of the geometry club included Peter Pilotto, who combined multicolor, repeating, yet not repeating patterns to dizzying effect, and Clements Ribeiro, who surely required serious computer power (or a Spirograph) to realize his optic visions.

From left: Pringle of Scotland, Clements Ribeiro, Burberry Prorsum, Peter Pilotto 


After New York’s bold expressions of flower power, London designers took the floral trend down a romantic path make that a mist-shrouded country lane. From the watercolor botanical dresses at Richard Nicoll to the eccentric English-garden mix at Erdem, the blossoms brought a day-in-the-country spirit to clothes that could charm any modern-day Jane Austen. Green thumb optional.

From left: Nicole Fahri, Richard Nicoll, Christopher Kane, Erdem

Granted, June Cleaver never flashed as much thigh as some of the ’50s-evocative looks London runways revealed, nor was she as badass as the tough-chick looks that walked at Acne this season. But below Fashion Week's modern fabrics, bright colors and va-va-voom sexiness, the Leave It to Beaver era shone through with New Look silhouettes, buttoned-up crispness, and an infectious optimism.

From left: Jonathan Saunders, Daks, Acne, Erdem

Space Age

Is the ray gun Spring’s hottest accessory? Nothing would pair better with the space-age looks that landed in London. Antonio Berardi explored the trend with geometric cutouts and high-tech fabrics, while Richard Nicoll did Barbarella proud with clear-plastic layers. But it was Giles Deacon and his liquid-metallic flapper skirts, some beneath far-out photo prints, who really took one large step for fashion kind.

From left: Richard Nicoll, Peter Pilotto, Giles, Antonio Berardi

Frida Giannini On Gucci

“We must move on, move on, move on,”were the instructions Frida Giannini gave her staff when, in 2005, the accessories designer added womenswear to her job portfolio at Gucci.

Alex Sarginson For Vogue December 2005

A year later, Giannini assumed full creative control, bringing calm and profitability to an Italian house that had been roiled by upheaval. Giannini’s dramatic rise followed the sensational exits of, first, Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole, and then Ford’s immediate successors, Alessandra Facchinetti and John Ray.

“Creativity must create business,”said the pragmatic Giannini, whose designs soon got the cash registers ringing again—while occasionally also irking Ford-friendly critics. With her long hair and doll-like face, the young Roman designer presented a stark contrast to Ford (a handsome Texan with an artful stubble, whose hard-edged “sex sells” approach revived Gucci in the mid-1990s, making it a business-school case study).

The transition from the Ford to Giannini eras was an aesthetic volte-face, as well, but most of the naysayers eventually came to see, as a headline in The Australian put it, that “inimitable does not mean irreplaceable at Gucci.

Her History;


Frida Giannini born in Rome, the only child of an architect father and art-history professor mother. As a young child Frida will visit many museums. Architecture and interior design are her second passions in life, she later says.


Begins riding, eventually becoming an accomplished show jumper.


Falls in love with chic shoes. “I got my first pair of Gucci stilettos when I was 16, she later recalls.


Commits a big fashion faux pas as a student at the Accademia di Costume e di Moda: “I tried imitating Madonna,” she will admit in 2008. “Extremely ambitious, because who in the whole world can pull off Madonna apart from the Material Girl herself?”


Accepts a job at Fendi. “I was only a bag designer by accident. After studying fashion in Rome, I went to Fendi as a ready-to-wear designer and then was asked, out of the blue, to go into the bag department. I think they saw I have a flexible hand.”


September: Joins Gucci as design director of handbags, working under Tom Ford.


As Gucci’s creative director of accessories—a specially created post—makes a splash with the Flora line.


Launches accessories collection to benefit Unicef. March: Adds womenswear to her responsibilities and is given four weeks to create a cruise collection. July: Marries Giovanni Battista Guidi in a dress of her own design. September: Makes her runway debut with a spring collection inspired by a postwar photo of her grandmother, who in later years owned a fashion boutique.


Takes over full creative control of Gucci. June: Her first menswear show is inspired by Peter Sellers in the sixties. November: Giannini appears on The Wall Street Journal’s list of “50 Women to Watch.”


June: Named International Designer of the Year by the Fashion Editors Club of Japan. Honored as Fashion Designer of the Year at the British Glamour Women of the Year Awards. October: Receives Fashion Group International’s Design Star award.


February: Recognized by Wallpaper for her innovative spring menswear collection.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Karl Lagerfeld - Baptiste Giabiconi: The Beauty Of Violence

The Beauty of Violence is Karl Lagerfeld’s portrait of Baptiste Giabiconi acting out an erotic seizure of myriad facial and corporeal expressions. Giabiconi is a theatrical chameleon: he hides coyly behind a lock of black hair, adopts a Classical contrapposto pose, bunches his limbs vulnerably, and attempts to stuff his fist into his mouth.

He alternatively confronts the camera’s presence with a provocative sultry stare, or withdraws from it into a state of wilful self-absorption. By teasing out the facets of Giabiconi’s athletic youth, Lagerfeld removes the threat of violence and suggests its seductive, indeterminate beauty.

The Beauty of Violence is both the exploration of an intense persona and the latest chapter in Lagerfeld’s ongoing photographic exploration of architectural forms made material by light, whether his subject be man-made structures, landscape, or the human form.

Karl Lagerfeld To launch Fragrance That Smells Like Books

You know print is in danger when it suddenly is exotic enough to inspire a perfume.

Designer Karl Lagerfeld  the eccentric creative director at Chanel and Fendi, as well as his own eponymous label  has announced  a new fragrance called Paper Passion, which will smell … like books. (Whether it will smell like the freshly printed and bound trade books you find at Barnes & Noble or the musty old things you unearth while rifling through used-book bins is uncertain.) His marketing company  reports that the perfume will come packaged in a hollowed-out hardcover tome.

Lagerfeld has long been known as a voracious reader: His enormous personal library  contains about 300,000 books.

Marc Jacobs Spring / Summer 2012

A giant curtain wall of gold lamé opened to reveal Marc Jacobs's collection in its entirety: 46 girls frozen in Bob Fosse attitudes on an arc of bentwood chairs—like the bar hawks in the Big Spender scene in Sweet Charity, or the flappers proffering an invitation to the Cabaret.

A fading antebellum dance hall in the Deep South was evoked by the wooden runway with the posts and beams of its central structure garlanded with yellow light bulbs (and in the many scaled gingham prints and the Amy Winehouse-ian do-rags), but although that Cabaret-era dressing informed the general silhouette of the show—the drop-waist chemise dress of indefinite shape—this was not another playful twist on period dressing (the Jerry Hall seventies or the comic-strip fifties of recent seasons for instance).

Instead, it provided a master class in classic Jacobs tailoring and enchanting dressmaking, ignited by some futuristic adventures in fabrication along the way.

The gleam of that curtain was echoed in the shimmering effect of sequins and tinsel and reflective fabrics galore—from thick, shining taffetas to something that looked like the colored translucent plastic in which florists wrap their blooms. Tiers of cellophane organza were shredded like raffia for the shimmy flounces of skirts (a device echoed in the trim of paper-thin leather coats and cardigan jackets with a Coco Chanel flavor) and leafy sequins were embroidered so thickly they resembled windswept fur. Even the shoes (in textile mixes that often included clear plastic)—pumps with a classically elegant heel, and no-nonsense two-tone loafers—and the boxy bags (in mid-century diner colors—like ice blue, maroon, lemon, and Nile green) were pragmatic in their streamlined utility.

After the Betty Page heroines who trotted the Jacobs runway last season with their hourglass jackets and hobbling pencil skirts, this collection represented a return to Jacobs’s softer side—a thrilling way to end the New York Fashion Week.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Episode Backstage : The Fashion Show Week Reports

Its one of the busiest times of the year in fashion. Spring / Summer 2012 showcases this week in New York with all other world players following suit.

This October we will be giving a detailed  account of whats hot, whats not, who's in and who's out. From Galliano's replacement at Dior, to Lagerfelds structured 50's inspired dresses. Every hot trend and style you need to look effortlessly chic next year will be here as Episode Fashion Management's very own  Charley Daniel McDonald and Lisa Keenan report from the Capital of fashion, Paris herself, directly from the shows. Along with guest interviews, the latest trends and gossip.

Look out for our fourthcoming 'Urban Cleansing' shoot, with up and coming English model, Kayleigh Jo Daffern, modelling for us  from  the sunkissed Baroque Captial of Catalunya, Barcelona.

Fashion Week Shows Schedules

Fashion shows and Fashion Week dates for New York, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Tokyo and other cities around the world;

September 6-9, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Montreal Fashion Week
Spring/Summer 2012 Collections

September 8-15, New York, NY
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Spring 2012

September 13-18, Vienna, Austria
MQ Vienna Fashion Week
Spring/Summer 2012 Collections

September 16 -21, London, United Kingdom
London Fashion Week
Spring/Summer 2012 Collections

September 16-22, London, United Kingdom
Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden
Catwalk Event

September 19-25, Washington DC
D.C. Fashion Week
Spring/Summer 2012 Collections

September 21-27, Milan, Italy
Milan Fashion Week
Women's Fashion Spring/Summer 2012 Collections

September 27-October 5, Paris, France
Paris Fashion Week (Mode à Paris)
Ready-to-Wear Spring/Summer 2012 Collections

October 14-21, Los Angeles, CA
Fashion Week Los Angeles
Spring 2012

Date TBA, Seoul, South Korea
Seoul Fashion Week
Spring/Summer 2012 Collections

Janie Taylor For Chloe

The Prima Ballerina Models the Fashion House’s Ethereal Collection

New York City Ballet principal Janie Taylor road tests Chloé’s dance-inspired spring / summer 2011 collection with choreographer and corps de ballet member Justin Peck in today’s short by director Bon Duke. Set to Philip Glass’s “String Quartet No. 3, 'Mishima': IV. 1962: Body Building," the impassioned routine was conceived by Peck in a bid to capture the multidimensional aspects of the performance on camera. “You always see ballet from the front,” he says. “Here was an opportunity to show it from the side, from the back, from every angle, and create a really unique viewing experience.”

Staged at NYCB’s studio at Lincoln Center as part of a fashion shoot for Canada’s The Block Magazine the film was styled by creative director James Worthington DeMolet, who was adamant about securing Taylor for the project. “I did some serious research because I wanted to work with one of the best dancers in America. I became obsessed with Janie,” he says. Taylor, now 30, has established herself as one of ballet's premier leading ladies in her 14 years with NYCB. Currently she is in rehearsals for the upcoming spring season, beginning in May, though she doesn’t yet know what parts she’ll be dancing. “They like to keep us on our toes,” she says.

John Galliano : The Verdict

The coda to John Galliano's six month legal nightmare lasted all of six minutes. The disgraced ex Dior designer was found guilty of “public insults toward persons on the basis of their religion or origin” in the same wood-paneled Paris courtroom with tall windows and gilded fresco of Lady Justice on the Seine where his emotional seven hour trial took place in June. Though Galliano captivated a full courtroom with the tormented details of his very personal downward spiral on June 22, he was not present this time to hear the verdict. He would have liked to be, the lead judge told the court, but he said wanted avoid the press.

The court found that Galliano—despite the “triple addiction” to alcohol, Valium, and sleeping pills that he told the court he suffered from—was sufficiently conscious of what he was saying when he showered vindictive words in October 2010 and again in February 2011 on fellow patrons of La Perle café and that, therefore, his words were intentional. Galliano's lawyer, Aurélien Hamelle, had argued the designer spoke so softly those drunken nights on the crowded terrace of the popular bar in Paris's Marais district that his insults may not constitute “public” insults at all. (“Private” racist and anti-Semitic insults are less serious in the eyes of the law and have a statute of limitations that would have thrown the October case out.) But the judges didn't buy that, either.

Still, when Hamelle tells his client the news, the designer may take solace, as did his counsel, in the court's leniency. A six-month jail sentence was never actually a possibility, but fines and damages could have been much higher than the judges decided. In fact, unless Galliano re-offends in short order, he will pay no fine at all, which Hamelle called “a strong sign by the court.” The judges decided on 6,000 euros in suspended fines. Plus, Galliano will have to pay symbolic damages (1 euro) and legal fees for each of the three Perle patrons and each of the five anti-racism groups that joined the civil case, for a total of 16,513 euros. That's far less than the 220,000 euros ($307,000) in damages plaintiff Philippe Virgitti asked for after Galliano called him a “f---ing Asian b-----d.”

The court gave several reasons for its clemency: The insults were indeed public, but the extreme publicity they received in the world press was not Galliano's doing. Virgitti himself, the judgment said, told the court he believed Galliano was “not racist or anti-Semitic” and that this “argument in a bar” did not “merit this degree of media attention.” The defense produced attestations from Galliano colleagues vouching for the “values of respect and tolerance to which the defendant generally adheres” and a doctor's certificate confirmed the couturier was pursuing treatment and was in “total and stable remission” from his addictions. It was the Galliano's first criminal offense and, the court emphasized, he apologized to the victims at trial.

Outside the courtroom after the verdict was handed down, plaintiff Géraldine Bloch's lawyer, Yves Beddouk, said he was satisfied with the result, slim penalties and all. “Seeing someone in that state of weakness [at trial], talking about himself in the third person, so really in a sort of mental disarray, it cannot but be taken into account by a jurisdiction,”

“He isn't here as a far-right activist for racism and anti-Semitism. He comes as a drunk, a sick person.” Beddouk, who only asked for a symbolic euro in damages, believed Galliano already paid extraordinary penalties. “He has paid. He lost several million euros. He lost his brand. Are you going to stroll around with a t-shirt that says Galliano in Gothic lettering today? No. It would be in very bad taste,” Beddouk argued. “So, voilà, he has lost. But he lost that himself,” he said. It was not the court that took that from him, Beddouk emphasized. “He shot himself in the foot on his own.”

Of course, the bitter truth for John Galliano is that Thursday's verdict was virtually moot. Indeed, there was curiously less tension in the Paris courtroom than there was three months ago at trial. With Galliano a no-show, the press presence was thinner. Only one plaintiff sat behind the phalanx of black-robed lawyers representing the plaintiffs and the rights groups. Géraldine Bloch, whom Galliano was accused of calling a “dirty Jewish face,” was more casually dressed than at the June hearing where international media outlets were dying for a look at the woman Galliano was said to have taunted so mercilessly about her style and physique. At the verdict hearing, she appeared more relaxed in a long-sleeve, black v-neck top, orange patterned jeans, a chrome-studded black belt, no visible jewelry, and her hair loosely swept up with a clip.

The fact is a not guilty verdict wouldn't quite have absolved Galliano in the court of public opinion. The video that The Sun posted online, in which a visibly inebriated Galliano proclaimed his love for Hitler, would have lingered in many people's minds as proof enough that Dior was right to oust its iconic leader. Ironically, the incident in the video was not directly on trial. But the tape was played for the court in June, censor beeps and all, and deemed corroborating evidence in the final verdict.At the courthouse, Galliano's counsel called the decision virtually absolving his client of fines “a wise verdict.” Speaking for the absent designer, Hamelle said Galliano was “looking forward to a future with understanding and forgiveness—hopefully—and to put all of this behind him.”

As the fashion world moves on and with New York Fashion Week beginning, fashionistas are giddily debating every rumor about Galliano's impeding replacement at Dior. Many are championing a star like Marc Jacobs. But Galliano's most faithful fans have their fingers crossed for a comeback and they're putting a lot of stock in that Hamelle's 'hopefully'.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mary Portas : Fashion Queen

Television fashion guru Mary Portas is to star in a new Channel 4 series – called Mary Queen of Frocks.

It follows Mary, whose last show was called Mary Queen of Shops, as she launches a fashion range for over 40s.

The determined High Street champion, 49, was turned down over the venture by retailers including Marks & Spencer and John Lewis.

But she eventually struck a deal with House of Fraser – and the clothing range, called Mary, was unveiled by the chain as an in-store shop earlier this month.

The three-part series will air in the autumn.

Harry Potter Stars Model For Band Of Outsiders

Harry Potter stars Rupert Grint and Tom Felton have landed themselves a new gig as models for Band of Outsiders' fall campaign. The ultra-hip retailer tapped the duo to recreate their mischievous Hogwarts days at Hollywood's famous Magic Castle. Shot by the label's creative director Scott Sternberg on a vintage Polaroid camera, the campaign captures the twosome exploring sorcery in preppy attire.

Clearly excited by the shoot, Tom took to his Twitter to thank Band of Outsiders and poke fun at his friendship with Rupert, saying "Thanks to @bandofbrothers for letting our bromance flourish. It was a truly magical day...kissing shots to come!" As some may recall, Rupert recently wore an I Heart Tom shirt to the Rise of the Planet of the Apes premiere. How bromantic!

Of course, Rupert and Tom aren't the only Harry Potter alums with ties to the fashion world. Following her campaigns for Burberry and lines with People Tree, Emma Watson is now also the face of Lancome's Tresor Midnight Rose fragrance.

Perfect Pastels : Seasonal Trend Reversal For Men

Rebel against the coming darker colours of autumn and embrace this seasons softer side.

Mix one key pastel piece with your autumn wardrobe for a fresh look, as sported by champion of the high street, Topman.