Dolce and Gabbana Milan Fashion Week AW 2014

Dolce and Gabbana Milan Fashion Week a/w2014 -15
Dolce and Gabbana Milan Fashion Week a/w 2014 -15

Once Upon a Time in Sicily…

There’s only one way to describe Dolce and Gabbana’s A/W 2014 collection and that is a beautifully told fairy story. With such a decadent and indulgent colour pallet, a beautiful mixture of fabrics and textures, bejeweled, embroidered and adorned, with lots and lots of brocade looking – royal in gold and refined in black, you wouldn’t be wrong to assume yourself thumbing through the illustrated pages of a giant fairy tale book.

Maid Marion meets Little Red Riding Hood immediately comes to mind as you imagine outer -wear made spectacular embellished with giant golden skeleton keys and sumptuous hoods made from velvet and fur, in that ever so striking blood red or the deep and sensual purple.

For those a little less intense, billowing floor length dresses that fluttered were dreamy, sheer midi length corseted dresses were ever so damsel in distress and chic shift dresses were toughened up with metal boots of armour.

How could we help but imagine our own ‘Happily ever afters’ when the models appear so proud and protected in this ever so opulent and rich collection of armour, tough enough to shield us from reality.  

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

An Ode to the Givenchy Bambi Sweatshirt?

Charms of a Dandizette takes a look at what the Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt says about its wearer…

Givenchy-Bambi-Sweater-Celebrities

The sweatshirt gained its advancement from gym garb to key wardrobe piece in 2011, emerging as a simple grey sweatshirt. In 2012 the sweatshirt was still trending, however it became bolder and braver, establishing itself as a refined and investment worthy piece of vesture, hence the Kenzo Tiger sweatshirt. Everyone that was anyone was either coveting this tiger headed sweatshirt or were pounding the fashion week pavements adorned in said sweatshirt with the bold Kenzo letters emblazoned across their chests.  Now the world is coveting the Givenchy neoprene Bambi print sweatshirt. The ‘It’ sweatshirt of the moment, with a price tag of £750, worn by the likes of Beyonce, Milan street style queen Anna Dello Russo and Lilly Collins. You know you’re a member of the privileged fashion community if you already own or personally know anyone that owns the Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt, the t-shirt, the tote or the clutch.

As fashion’s only promise is change, it could not have been predicted that the sweatshirt would remain so a la mode three winters in a row and wrack up such an expense (for a sweatshirt?). However, to remain as coveted as it is, it was only expected that the sweatshirt had to be changed up a little, evolve and push the boundaries. Of course stranger things have happened, but I am pretty confident in saying that nobody ever expected to be on the waiting list for any fashion item that concerned Bambi, let alone a sweatshirt. Having said that, Ricardo Tisci’s idea to place the adorable Disney character on the front of t-shirts, sweatshirts and even handbags was clearly a phenomenon we didn’t know we were all waiting for. The likes of Matches, Selfridges and Net – a – Porter could barely hold on to the ‘It’ sweatshirt – in fact retailers across London have all sold out of the wistful and warm Givenchy item.

Funny that, isn’t it? That this wistful and warm sweatshirt, ultimately as sexy as a Disney film, has within seconds become the wardrobe piece of the season. Who’d of thought we’d want to wear Bambi printed garb? Admittedly we’re accustomed to seeing Disney icon Mickey Mouse printed on t-shirts and sweatshirts every now and then, usually of the vintage nature. Nevertheless, this is still a pretty bold move in itself. No matter how respected the Walt Disney company might be, most wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing garments with Walt Disney’s anthropomorphic mouse friend printed on them.

Mickey Mouse ultimately acts as an emblem for the Disney company, a company with such a strong sense of branding that it can overpower any outfit and communicate messages we might not be prepared to express via our clothes. Disney is magical, whimsical, a little childish,  appeals too easily to the masses  and therefore  isn’t necessarily considered high culture or high fashion. We want our clothes to say that we’re stylish, socially and fashionably aware, sexy, serious, individual or confident. So what are we communicating when we wear Walt Disney’s Bambi on our clothes?

Let’s be truly honest, we’re not wearing Bambi on any old piece of clothing here, are we? Wearing a Bambi sweatshirt from the Disney Store communicates something very different to wearing thee ‘Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt’. Of course the Bambi print on this garment evokes a sentiment, a sense of nostalgia, memories of our childhood and a cause to recall this sad Disney tale, but this is all an after thought. First and foremost this sweatshirt is Givenchy and its wearer will wear it for no other reason than that it is Givenchy, it’s fashion and most significantly because this item is totally and utterly frivolous – Anna Dello Russo wearing this garment is evidence to this. Only those that can afford to be totally frivolous with their money would pay £750 for a sweatshirt with a Disney character printed on it, the Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt, that will be just as recognisable ‘as so last season’ next season as quickly as it has been recognised as the ‘It’ sweater of this season.

As I have demonstrated, this sweatshirt fascinates me and peoples reactions to it has fascinated me just as much. I don’t get it – why Bambi? Would I wear this sweatshirt? Do I even really like this sweatshirt? The truth of the matter is I love the concept, probably moreso than I actually like the sweatshirt. I love how creative and unpredictable the design is and I like the fact that I find it so thought provoking – so I suppose fashion is art, then? And for all those reasons I do like this sweatshirt. Having said that, I gave up on conspicuous consumption after my Chloe Paddington bag was no longer deemed the ‘It’ bag and wearing the ‘It’ sweatshirt says exactly the same thing the ‘It’ bag does, ‘Look at me, I’m part of that club. I can afford to spend ridiculous amounts of money on fashion because I’m privileged.’ Do I want my clothes to say that about me? It’s just as crass as the nineties logo mania, but it’s also just as fashionable as Anna Dello Russo.

I sit somewhere between the two – I like fashion for its language, it’s power and it’s beauty and for these very reasons I enjoy dressing and like to look as though I enjoy dressing. If my wearing the ‘Givenchy Bambi Sweatshirt’ secures my fashion savoire faire then I’m all for it. And of course I want to be part of ‘that’ club. I’m just as aspirational as the next person and my dress also communicates that too.

 

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

Keep checking back at Charms of a Dandizette for more fashionable charms.

Be charmed, stay inspired!x

The Victoria’s Secret Angels…

Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambrosio at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012
Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambrosio at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012

For many a reason the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show is a very special and unique kind of fashion show. The typical runway show is ultimately all about showcasing the design and craftmanship and style of a new collection, admittedly designers might put on a show with an elaborate set, think Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel with his motif of icebergs and crystals mise en scene,  or use the garments to tell a particular story, think Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton autumn winter 2012 runway show inspired by the golden age of rail travel.

But let’s be brutally honest – the Victoria’s Secret show, although a beautiful show, is not about beautiful garments, imaginative sets or enthralling tales. The Victoria’s Secret Show is about the enjoyment of being a woman and feeling beautiful and who embodies this? Well, we all know that at the heart of a Victoria’s Secret show is an angel – the Angels, the celebrated Victoria’s Secret Angels –  and as one might expect, they are celestial.

Unlike the models we are accustomed to seeing on fashion houses runways, that are almost blank canvasses, ready to embody and showcase whatever garment or ensemble they are draped and fitted into – there’s nothing blank about the likes of Miranda Kerr, Chanel ImanAlessandra Ambrosio, Candace Swanepol and Lily Aldridge. Or even Brit’s very own Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delevigne, who made their debut walking for the lingerie brand in this show. I watched the show absolutely captivated by these extraordinary looking women and their perfectly trim bodies, but what I loved most about the show was simple – it was watching these women delighting in their womanhood!

 So here’s to feeling beautiful!

Victoria's Secret Angels
Victoria’s Secret Angels
Miranda Kerr at Victoria's Secrets Fashion Show 2012
Miranda Kerr at Victoria’s Secrets Fashion Show 2012
Miranda Kerr
Miranda Kerr
Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambrosio at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012
Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambrosio at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012
Barbara Palvin at the Victoria Secret Fashion Show 2012
Barbara Palvin at the Victoria Secret Fashion Show 2012
Cara Delevingne at Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012
Cara Delevingne at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012
Izabel Goulart at Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
Izabel Goulart at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
Lily Aldridge at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012
Lily Aldridge at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012
Candace Swanepoel at Victoria's Secret Fashion show 2012
Candace Swanepoel at Victoria’s Secret Fashion show 2012

Be Charmed, Stay Inspired! x

Balmain a/w 2012-13 Fashionising for the Girl About Town…

Balmain -Winter 2012-13 Runway Show…

Balmain 2012-13 velvet embellished dress

It’s over the top, I mean it’s very very embellished. I don’t know quite where you’re going wearing those clothes, but if you have the life for it, I envy you.’ Said Cindy Weby Clearly from Instyle Magazine at the Balmain’s a/w 2012-13 runway show.

As I begin to write this post I am realising how ironic and funny life can be…I am even deliberating the theory that life would have it that we are all literally walking talking contradiction – if you’re not, I know I definitely am.

When I first began writing this post I had a future set out in front of me with my partner – marriage, children, a house in Sicily where I’d write my novel and buy beautiful clothes and a house in London where I’d come to see family and friends …of course these are all ideals and I am summarising. Something happened in between the time I started writing this post and I completed it. When I began writing this post I was at a point in my life when I was literally hanging up my dancing shoes and was mentally assembling a wardrobe for myself that resembled neat and clean Celine and Parisian chic, all accompanied with the versatile, sexy but practical court shoe. I was writing style posts that referred to my new refined approach to fashion as opposed to my uniform of little black party dresses and sky scraper heels perfect for partying.

What happened between the time in which I began writing this post and today (the day in which I am completing it) is life-changing. My partner and I split up after seven years. Parties and social opportunities began to arise in abundance, whilst civilised dinners and drinks almost disappeared off my radar.  As did the ties to my future and even my life as I knew it. Ironically, on the top of my shopping list now is a new pair of dancing shoes. Fashion and life is ever so interchangeable, when I began writing Charms of a Dandizette I swore I would never wear a pair of brogues – when I graduated from my Masters and found myself a job that involved commuting daily I realised how impractical navigating my commute in six inch heels was and what did I do? I purchased myself a pair of brogues. I may have written extensively about a recent refinement in my life, and equivocally my wardrobe…but with my loosened ties to my future that I once envisioned comes a looser approach to refinement and a far more stringent approach to having fun.

Of course, the best lives are those that are balanced – so although the glamorous approach to dress finds itself at the forefront of my mind and my dancing shoes and party dresses have once again found themselves at the most accessible regions of my wardrobe…I’ll still keep it cultivated and totally inspired by this alluring and majorly desirable Balmain collection.

After all, isn’t that how every single girl out on the town wants to feel?

Balmain-Fall-Winter-2012-RTW embellished dress and waistcoat runway look

Balmain 2012-13 velvet embellished dress

Balmain winter 2012-13 cream skirt and jacket ensemble

Balmain Winter 2012-13 velvet embellished suit

Balmain Winter 2012-13 velvet embellished dress

Balmain-Fall-Winter-2012-RTW-collection

Be charmed, stay inspired! X

Gucci a/w 2012-13: The New Direction…

Source: gucci.com via Ayesha on Pinterest

Whilst the Fashion gliteratti celebrates the collections of spring summer 2013 the civilians amongst us are still very much in 2012, feeling the weather growing colder by the day. So…the research for the amalgamation of my winter wardrobe has begun. Before I head to the high street or make any major purchases, I get a feel for the key trends and the overall tone for the season by  going straight to the source – the catwalk. So let’s start with Gucci – because I always do.

Gucci’s a/w 2012 collection is sensuous, decadent and opulent. It’s a collection to fall in love with, if it were music it would be the perfect soundtrack to an intense winter romance. Regardless of how different this collection might feel to the clean and sharp lines we are used to seeing at Gucci, Frida Giannini never disappoints…

Source: gucci.com via Ayesha on Pinterest

Source: gucci.com via Ayesha on Pinterest

Source: gucci.com via Ayesha on Pinterest

Source: gucci.com via Ayesha on Pinterest

Gucci a/w 2012 -13 Ad Campaign

Gucci a/w 2012 Runway Show with commentary

Bellissima…x

Inspired by: PRINT-CESS Mary Kantrantzou

spring summer 2012 runway look by Mary Kantrantzou

If, like me, you’re not tickled pink by the sherbet candy colour pallet seen in the likes of  Louis Vuiton’s spring summer 2012 collection, then it’s likely that you’re all wrapped up in the scarf prints at D & G, blown away by the beautiful floral prints at Dolce and Gabbana or swept off your feet by the oceanic sea star and seashell prints at Versace. The point is…for spring summer 2012, if it’s not lace or leather then it’s definitely patterned or printed.

I’ve never been one to play around too much with pattern and print, at least not since the devastating logo mania nineties, when it was paramount that all my skirts and jeans had to be from Moschino and had to be covered in crazy Moschino prints! (Please don’t judge me…then again isn’t that what fashion is all about? Judge away if you will!)

Since then however, asides from the staple breton stripes and polka dots, my wardrobe consists of a considerably small amount of  print and pattern, mainly dominated by Leopard print, leggings, jeans, a skirt and two dresses, all funnily enough  from Zara. One black white and yellow art deco inspired dress by Holly Fulton (which is possibly one of my favourite items of clothing), a vintage thirties dandelion print dress from Portobello road (which is one of my greatest buys at £5!), a star patterned dress inspired by Dolce and Gabbana’s a/w 2011 collection and a snake print dress inspired by Chloe’s a/w 2011 collection, both thankfully from Primark, as I am sure that by a/w 2012 I’ll despise them both!

With my research into the world of pattern and print I have naturally fallen in love with Mary Kantrantzou and would like to crown her the Print-cess of Spring Summer 2012!

Mary Kantrantzou spring summer 2010 
Mary Kantrantzou Spring summer 2012

Mary Kantrantzou ss2012

Mary Kantrantzou spring summer 2012 Mary Kantrantzou spring summer 2012

Mary Kantrantzou autumn winter/fall 2012
Mary Kantrantzou a/w2011

 Mary Kantrantzou autumn winter/fall 2011 Mary Kantrantzou autumn winter/fall 2011 Mary Kantrantzou autumn winter/fall 2011

 Mary Kantrantzou spring summer 2011
Mary Kantrantzou spring summer 2011Mary Kantrantzou spring summer 2011

So…fashion is art? x

Christian Dior – “Wonderful Couture”

Simply Wonderful…

I wanted to dedicate an entire post to this magnificent dress from the Christian Dior Haute Couture ss 2012  collection, because the moment I laid eyes on it I was blown away by the the  dreamy layers of cascading tulle in this exotic warm  coral colour.

Christian Dior spring summer 2012 Haute Couture Collection
Christian Dior ss 2012 Haute Couture Collection

Bill Gayten has done Dior proud – Simply Wonderful!

Gucci Spring Summer Collection 2012

Never has the drop waist dress looked so fabulous…

Gucci SS 2012

When people who work in fashion ask me who my favourite fashion designer is, I always say Balmain or Azzedine Alaia, however, the truth is it’s Gucci. It always has been and as long as the likes of Tom Ford and Frida Giannini are behind the design it probably always will be. I say Balmain because Gucci sounds so cliche. There was a time when everybody and their neighbour owned a Gucci wallet, Gucci trainers or a Gucci bucket bag and I should know because I happen to own all three, so I say Balmain to sound a little bit more fashion savvy.

I hold Gucci very dear to my heart, it has sentimental value. My first pair of designer shoes and my first designer handbag were Gucci. Gucci made me fall in love with high fashion and since this love affair began a Gucci collection has never failed to have my heart beat racing and always inspires my wardrobe choices. The Spring Summer 2012 Gucci collection is especially special to me as it is clearly inspired by my absolute favourite era, the Roaring Twenties.

Nicole Phelps at Style.com mentions The Great Gatsby in her Gucci catwalk report, which naturally excites me even more so. The collection features a gorgeous new take on drop waist dresses that literally make me want to go back in time to live that infamous Jack Clayton Great Gatsby party scene, dressed in one of those mirror embroidered drop waist dresses. Amidst the shimmering dresses are a myriad of statement jackets, some with frog latches, some with art deco prints and others inspired by equestrian dress. The collection is a stunning, typically Gucci glamorous and powerful one that will definitely inspire the wardrobes of those of us who work hard but like to party even harder.

Victoria Beckham a/w 2011-12 – A Stylish Journey

From Posh, to Wag, Fashion Icon to Respected Fashion Designer…This is undeniably a very stylish journey…

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 Victoria Beckham Collection autumn/winter 2011-12

It was seven years ago that I employed Victoria Beckham as my fashion icon, during the epoch when she championed the trucker hat, baggy jeans and timberland boots ensembles. At the time I was, ashamedly, an avid consumer of OK! magazine. The publication fitted in well with my major consumption of trash culture and my distinct desire to live my life like a celebrity. In my defense, I was nineteen years old, in the early stages of my university studies and had almost no self awareness. I would pull all the pages that featured Victoria Beckham from the magazines and use them as inspiration for my own dress. Her style evolved and I emulated it; I journeyed with her in the Frye Campus boots and denim shorts, the Rock and Republic bootleg jeans worn with men’s leather belts, sandals, camisole tops and sunglasses outfits, to the dVb skinny jeans that sat perfectly over the almond toe platform YSL Laurent court shoes or the Christian Louboutins, often put together with long line vests or t-shirts that either fell off the shoulder or were part tucked into the jean’s waist band.

Jeans, court shoe and t-shirt ensemble

This was the look she was donning around the time the revised print of ‘That Extra Half an Inch’ was released – which still sits proudly in my book shelf, with pages indexed and my notes written in the back and the last VB look I would ever emulate entirely. Victoria’s style transformed once again, at moments oversexed in thigh high fetishistic boots, bodices with no lower garment and tiny dresses or she was demure, but sexy, in knee length skin tight pencil dresses and skirts. She accessorised her attire with Hermes Birkins and Croc Kelly’s and wore shoes that rendered a woman a cripple.

It was at this juncture I realised the relationship I once had with Victoria Beckham’s style had to come to an end.  I was at the end of my academic career and at the beginning of defining myself as an adult, being functional at this part of my life was absolute paramount.  I couldn’t wear those shoes running for a train in the morning, I couldn’t ‘mind the gap between the train and the platform’ with those pencil skirts that bounded your legs together at the knees and I don’t think I could ever justify purchasing a handbag that costs more money than my car, let alone afford one.

Nevertheless, my affection towards Victoria Beckham’s style has never dissipated. I continue to follow her career, to purchase all the magazine covers she features on and every now and again I Google her attire. I suppose, with my twenty seven years under my belt, a developing self awareness and a deep desire to understand life and the human condition, it is no longer my concern to emulate someone else’s style, but to understand how one’s style is formed and affected by internal and external occurrences.

In Victoria’s interview with Avril Mair in the Elle Collector’s magazine it’s apparent that her style has been influenced by her age, her lifestyle and her self confidence. These elements are likely to have an impact on most people’s style, however, style still manifest differently for each individual. When I realised I could no longer emulate Victoria Beckham I began to explore fashion beyond the OK! magazines. I studied the designers Victoria was associated with, Dolce and Gabbana, Azzedine Alaia, Marc Jacobs, Roland Mouret and I began a journey that was inspired by Victoria, that would eventually form my own style.

Victoria Beckham not only defined my love affair with fashion, but her approach to style lead me to discover my own. She inspired a journey that exposed me to the work and creative processes of wonderful designers and gave me the tools to discover what works for me. Picking, choosing and refusing what works for me and what doesn’t, whether it’s on the catwalk or not, whether she wears it or not. I suppose this is the self confidence she mentions in her interview, the same self confidence that has driven a magnificent fashion career and yet another impeccable a/w collection.

Read Avril Mair’s interview with Victoria Beckham in the Elle Collections magazine a/w 2011

Dolce and Gabbana Catwalk Report: Sicilianita’

It is impossible to speak with the Sicilian artist about their work without them slip into a profound nostalgia of their land and its spirit in their creations. Their devotion is thrilling, poignant and undeniably powerful, all the core ingredients that created Dolce and Gabbana’s collection this season.

The two Italians managed to communicate an affectionate homage to Sicily and the fashion house’s core essence by creating classic Dolce and Gabbana; perfect tailoring and seductive femininity. The show was entitled ‘Sicilianita’, translating Sicilian-ness, the quintessence of Sicily.

Amidst the minimal chic humdrum, it had seemed that the woman had been robbed of her real meaning. Thankfully, Dolce and Gabbana served up a beautiful myriad of dresses, made from Sicilian lace, velvet and satin that brought sexy back. The dresses were breathtaking to the eye, made from materials that were sumptuous to the touch.  Knee length fitted leopard print and polka dotted dresses, form fitting and to the knee were extraordinary.  Underwear as outerwear appeared in an array of sensuous 1950’s inspired body suits. Bustiers and French knickers peaked out beneath tailored jackets and caramel coloured corsets were decorated with contrasting black lace. The theme here was not minimal, but intense and dreamy, just as rich and alluring as Italian ice cream.

There was a constant dance between logic and emotion, romance and reality. Whether the Dolce and Gabbana woman wore the classic tailored short suit, or played on the under wear as outer wear, in feminine lace and sheer materials, there was a sense of the strong Sicilian woman in every ensemble.

The Italian Sicilian duo redefined and distinguished, with total clarity all that is exquisite about the continent, the island and the woman. It was an assemblage that set apart the Dolce and Gabbana woman from any other woman this season and presented her with what it truly means to be a woman’s woman; sexy, sensuous, classy and elegant.

The collection kept its strength, it remained Sicilian, it remained classic and extremely ‘sexy woman.’ If there was ever a moment for the Sicilian to be proud, now would be as good as any.

With Miss Campbell taking respite from her diamond debacle on the island, Sicily is only seconds away from becoming the next destination a la moda.

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