Catwalk Inspired Dresses: Phase Eight

     

From head to toe lace, appliqué detail and heavy embellishment, we see an array of classic, intricately detailed gowns hitting runways across the globe every season. Such creations, by the likes of Alberta Ferretti, D&G and Elie Saab, to name but a few, have managed to inspire fashion around the world, regardless of the fact that they are not necessarily ground breaking, but rather breathtakingly beautiful instead.

It is, however, difficult to find such intricately detailed dresses on the high street, because, let’s face it, it will probably always remain a dream for most of us to own any of the dresses we see gracing the runways.

But, it seems we needn’t worry any more, because over the last few months I have taken a shine to British brand Phase Eight’. Every time I pass their designs I note their likeness to high end designers in excitement, from Dolce & Gabbana’s Rose print to whimsical florals at Alberta Ferretti, let alone their signature ‘tapework’ and lace detail that stands them a part from most High Street brands for their high quality occasion wear and a brilliant attention to detail.

Below are a few of my favourite pieces from their collection, which can be found online here or here, though I would recommend visiting them in store (or at Debenhams) to see the full effects of such gorgeous detailing.

This dress reminds me a lot of the ethereal feel at the AW Alberta Ferretti show
Women's Red Paige Tapework Full Length Dress
The classic red, lace gown, reminiscent of one stunning dress showcased during the AW14/15 Tadashi Shoji show.
  Shimmering Tapework embroidery is a signature style at Phase Eight.
Whimsical florals, reminiscent of the designs at Alberta Ferretti.

Alberta Ferretti at MFW

We have seen many designers over fashion week change the direction of their brand’s usual aesthetic, but Ferretti has done this the best so far. The usual Ferretti collection would be romantic, light and airy, but at MFW yesterday the collection took a darker turn that led to a luxurious, almost couture, runway show. Inspired by an ‘animated forest’ the collection was full of rich textures, prints and colours to give an enchanting, ethereal feel. With simple and natural silhouettes, the collection’s many textures spoke volumes- we saw feather lined hems, fur lined collars and bark like textures that were created through the layering of felt, silk and chiffon across the whole collection, where even sandals were adorned with soft feathers. This, mixed with the luxurious hand painted prints, intricate embroidery, mossy green shades and dark metallic hues, gave us an inspirational collection that reaches to a wide audience. From fluffy green jumpers, gorgeous ethereal gowns and the clever vine like sandal straps that twisted around the ankles of models, Ferretti managed to outdo herself with this collection, thinking outside the box to create a wearable, but couture inspired, collection.

                        

Alberta Ferretti SS14

The runway shows for SS14 had some standout designers for me this year, but my absolute favourite show has to be Alberta Ferretti, simply for it’s colour, femininity and playful charm. The styles weren’t too complex, but instead gave pretty and youthful looks that are easy to wear (and copy, for those of us who can only dream of buying the real thing). Maybe I was more drawn to her collection, because of the way it reflected glorious summer days through white broderie anglaise, brightly coloured embroidery (and ribbon), pretty florals and candy stripes-an absolute dream for the ultimate ‘girly girl’ like me!

So, below is a run down of the main elements of the show- a must read, because it was such a beautiful show- so, enjoy!

White and Brights

White chiffon and broderie anglaise dresses, blouses and skirts were mixed with brightly coloured embroidery, ribbons and florals in a rainbow of colours, giving a pretty, youthful glow.

Summer Brights

From fiery reds and oranges to leafy greens and cobalt blues, these chiffon dresses, bright sandals, and ruffle skirts were reminiscent of summer evenings, especially with that gorgeous floral embroidery (a lovely thought on such a drab December morning).

Pretty Patterns

Think candy stripes and pretty florals in skirts and dresses, both long and short, cropped blouses and bralets in silks and chiffons. Although this all sounds like a playful take on Spring/Summer, the patterns at this show gave polished and feminine finish, but still managed to keep it’s youthful edge!

Black is Back 

The darker side to SS14 is of course the colour black in the form of silky ruffle skirts, lace dresses and sheer materials, with Ferretti’s added twist of coloured floral embroidery. Although I try and steer clear of black during Spring/Summer usually, Ferretti has changed my opinion a little. If it’s teamed with a colour pop of embroidery or a pair of bright sandals then it can really transform a look, although that doesn’t mean to say her all black lace ensembles are any less beautiful!