London Menswear: Favourite Collections

Coach

By combining dark greens and deep berry tones with more neutral creams and rich browns, the colour pallete at Coach made this collection an instant winner for me.

       

Hardy Amies

Offering a mixed bag of gorgeously tailored suits, cosy cashmere coats and warm accessories in an array of colours, from dark greys and navy blues to pops of bright yellows and cobalt blue, this collection (as usual) did not disappoint.

      

Tom Ford

This campaign is simply stunning and is mainly why I’m so sold on this as one of my favourites, not forgetting the actual collection, of course.

     

Pringle of Scotland

A chunky knit layered on top of more chunky knit is a definite winner for me, especially when combined with more structured outerwear.

      

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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.

Dolce & Gabbana say so…

Dolce & Gabbana says:
The Classic White Shirt
Why we agree:  
Who knew this staple wardrobe item could look so good with embellished red hotpants? Granted, it isn’t an everyday look but I’m looking forward to taking the white shirt away from the office!
How to wear:
Okay, so we won’t all be wearing the white shirt in such an extravagant way, but how about taking a tip from Gucci ( sorry, not sorry about the constant Gucci name drop) and wearing this classic piece with an A-line leather mini? I’ve recently bought a burnt orange patent leather look skirt from Primark and I can’t wait to pair it with a crisp white shirt, black tights and over the knee boots or even simple black flats.

Dolce & Gabbana says:
Embellished Jeans
Why we agree:
Could this look a little garish to the untrained eye? Of course, but who really cares when you’ve got jewels all over your jeans? Plus, I love that you could actually make this even more unique with a little DIY, I like this video for inspiration.
How to wear:
Once embellished your jeans can take you from day to night! Keep the rest of the pieces simple though, not everything will work with such a bold pair of jeans!

Close Up 94


Dolce & Gabbana says:
Red Roses everywhere
Why we agree:
I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want to wear fresh roses in you hair everyday, but these lovely floral decorations (in hair, on shoes and embroidered onto dresses) add a bold dimension to a pretty, feminine look. Did I mention it reminds me of the Mediterranean sun?
How to wear:
Firstly, put them in your hair! Secondly, embrace the oversized rose print and then if you’re feeling really brave, use them to embellish your accessories.. but not  all together though, I think that might be a little too much…

Dolce & Gabbana Says:
[Almost] Flat Shoes
Why we agree:
Heels always look really glamorous, but let’s face it we all love a good flat shoe because they’re pretty and nearly always comfortable. And look! The D&G versions are still glamorous with all the embellishments and the cute Mary Jane style strap! Now I just need to find a more affordable dupe..
How to wear:
The show was for SS15, but I think they’re a great substitute over the AW period for when it is a little too warm to wear boots. Do as D&G have and wear with loose fit jeans and mini dresses (add tights for the cooler weather

Couture AW14/15: Elie Saab

I don’t think there will ever be an Elie Saab collection that I won’t be entirely captivated by, whether it be Couture or Ready-to-Wear. Every single show is full of beautiful, intricate detailing, and it is refreshing to see that the designer focuses on what he does best every season, rather than being too trend focussed.

  

Their AW14/15 Couture show may be arguably everything you’d expect from Elie Saab, but it nevertheless impresses me every single time. The show was obviously full of fairytale inspired gowns that consisted of light, sheer materials, silk and tulle, the majority of which was beautifully encrusted with pearls and crystals and somewhat inspired by the mystery of the ocean (seen in the lace black gowns and pearl encrusted deep blue dresses) and even an enchanted forest (in one instance a moss green was offset against colourful crystals and pearls). Whilst keeping to his usual pretty, romantic roots the designer used a rainbow of colours in his tone-on-tone approach to his underlays and embellishments to create a soft, natural and feminine collection.

And of course, the latest show cannot be spoken about without the mention of the beautiful finale wedding gown, although so many of the white, silver and cream gowns displayed were enough for any bride-to-be- or any woman for that matter- to swoon over!

  

 You can view the full pictures from the show here or watch it in full here !

 

Faves of MBFWA

By Johnny

     From ice cream shades to vibrant hues I absolutely loved the use of color in this collection, which showcased abstract shapes, block color and candy stripes. We also saw metallic details and sequins, which made for a glamorous edge.

Kahlo

    With clean silhouettes and a heavy focus upon metallics and soft, luxe leather we saw a much more masculine vibe from this collection. Sports luxe was a strong theme (think structured leather crops, brogues and tennis style dresses), but my favorite part of the collection has to be the clean cut metallic coats that hung over the shoulders of the models.

Aurelio Costarella

    From waist cinching belts, feathers and heavy embellishment this collection showcased pretty, feminine and glamorous pieces, from sheer gowns to brightly colored mini dresses and playsuits. Not only this, but the collection showed us that we can in fact be ‘matchy matchy’ from head to toe and it will look good (something I’ve always been a bit dubious about).

Topshop Unique at LFW

As a contrast to their AW13 show, which saw lots of powder pink hues, Topshop Unique’s most recent show had a more tomboy edge. Opening the show came all blue looks, with smart woolen coats casually hanging off the shoulders of models for a disheveled, tomboy charm, which was only highlighted by the occasional appearance of sports inspired puffa jackets. Whilst a feminine element could be seen through the light, soft materials, pastel pink was no more in this new collection, but instead a new pastel colour emerged in the form of lemon yellow. This pretty, bright shade added a youthful, playful edge to the collection, with silky blouses and fluffy yellow furs, but when mixed with tan and darker shades of yellow the look made for a classic, but playful, approach to dressing. And, of course the show didn’t come without major trends that have been spotted throughout fashion week, including knee high boots (in grey and burgundy) as well as patchwork fur, that was seen in sweaters, coats and vests. I loved the femininity in their AW13 show, but this collection has been really clever in showcasing what their youthful, edgy customer wants- a chance to dress in a subtle, but sexy way, without losing their tomboy charm.

                     

                     

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi at LFW

It seems a mix of traditional and modern prints was the inspiration behind Preen’s most recent show in London this week. We saw Moroccan tiles digitally printed onto coats, dresses and skirts in either bright orange hues or in charcoal grey, but the modern twist came in the form of Darth Vader being printed on top of these traditional Moroccan tiles. Despite how odd this sounds, it actually seems to make sense- we’ve seen sweatshirts with all kinds of motifs and logos, and Preen have obviously taken this concept a step further by printing a sci-fi inspired logo on light, airy materials.

As if Darth Vader didn’t give enough of an edge already, there was a mix of both feminine and masculine elements. Inspired by Annie Hall, there were  tailored suits and faint pinstripes, giving an androgynous feel to the collection, but this was softened by the feminine shapes of the skirts, dresses and blouses. Despite the use of black and white in the more tailored parts of the collection, the star of the show has to be the use of fiery hues in creating bold cashmere coats, fluffy oversized sweatshirts, a gorgeous velvet dress and, of course, the Moroccan tile print. The great part about this whole collection is that it is so wearable- we could buy a lot of it now and wear it now- especially those fur trimmed, shiny khaki parka coats and black knee high boots (a huge trend across fashion week so far).

Victoria Beckham at NYFW

At Victoria’s Beckham’s most recent NYFW show we saw the designer had finally moved away from her signature dresses, instead showing a more masculine collection that is now being compared to the likes of Celine. Fluid lines are a sharp contrast to her previous ‘body-con’ structures, and whilst masculine shapes are present in the form of over-sized cashmere coats, tailored silk trousers and gold chain detailing, the designer softened her collection by adding dramatic ruffles on fitted chiffon blouses and delicate pleating on the backs of coats and the hemlines of both dresses and skirts. The monochromatic theme only added to the simplicity of the collection, although a rare abstract print (another surprise element from Victoria) and a few pops of red brightened the designs, somewhat.                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Altuzarra at NYFW

                                

It is unlike Altuzarra to create such a vibrant, colourful collection, but during his show at NYFW yesterday the designer contrasted bright pops of cobalt blue, fuschia pink and orange against his usual, more classic shades, of black, grey, white and cream. The double faced cashmere coats were stand out pieces, with contrasting shades of navy and cobalt blue, as well as the brightly coloured patchwork fur coat, which added a whole new youthful edge to the, usually more formal, collection. Altuzarra usually gives us sophisticated, but sexy, runway looks, which is why it came as a refreshing surprise to see the soft fringe detailing that adorned many of his  dresses, skirts and tops in various colourful combinations. As the designer’s most colourful collection to date, it is questionable why he hasn’t been more experimental until now, but it is for certain that his more colourful hues are bound to attract a more youthful customer.