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Who are fashion shows really for?

runway

The September fashion shows have come to an end. This is the time when designers showcase their new looks for Spring/Summer 2018. Well, most of them do. Some showed “see now, buy now” looks ready for immediate purchase.

As the fashion industry contemplates the future of fashion weeks, the shows, and the guests, I think the styling of looks has, in many cases, gone beyond aspirational and is now so “artsy” that as they appear, these looks are not wearable.

I have been a Burberry fan for years. I love the tailored looks, heritage and quality construction that the House produces. In an attempt to push the envelope this year, creative director Christopher Bailey took show attendees on a wild ride. In my opinion, too wild. It was difficult to think this is the same House who brings us the well-crafted, highly coveted trenches that have been the Burberry staple for years.

This September’s show was received with high praise from the fashion industry, however I wonder how many women really felt inspired to rush out and make purchases.

Burberry FW 2017

Burberry, September 2017

The looks had way too much going on to really see the offerings clearly. This look (left), for example, shows four different prints under a plastic raincoat. Firstly, I don’t know anyone who could pull off this look as is. Secondly, I’m sure each piece is exquisite, but so many things are piled together, it’s difficult to really appreciate any one piece. It’s a big jumble. A hot mess, really – the kind of look that would have landed the wearer on “What Not to Wear.”

Contrast this with the elegant Sonia Rykiel House, and their Spring/Summer 2018 show in Paris, just a few weeks after Burberry.

Sonia Rykiel SS 18 2

Sonia Rykiel, Spring 2018

This look also uses multiple patterns, but the styling is more refined and focused. This is a look that most women I know could pull off. It’s easy to see the top and skirt, and they look cohesive.

Not that anyone from these houses care what I think, but I’m hopeful that as the fashion industry considers the future of fashion weeks, they think about staying in touch with their customers.

I’m much more inspired to look to Sonia Rykiel than Burberry.

How about you?

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My favourite brands

vintage shoppingDo you have favourite brands that you gravitate to when shopping? Is it the fit? The silhouette? The style?

Most often it’s all three, but many women don’t consciously understand why the choose the styles they do. Fit is king. It’s the absolute number one criterion for selecting clothes. Silhouette and style are related to your style personality: how you express yourself through fashion.

When you understand your style personality, you can quickly see the brands who make styles to suit you. For me, I’m a cross between an Elegant and a Romantic.*

Elegants are chic dressers, typically in monochrome, for whom pearls, diamonds and gold are accessory musts. Elegants love high fashion brands with sophisticated styling:

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St. John

CH spring 2013

Carolina Herrara

Chanel, Hermes, Carolina Herrara, Oscar de la Renta, Burberry and St. John. These are my “dream” brands. When that lottery win comes in, I know where I’m headed! In the meantime, I can achieve similar looks with Ann Taylor, Elie Tahari, Anne Klein dresses, or the Ralph Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein mass lines.

 

Romantics love lace, ruffles, florals, and details, details, details. It takes a practised eye to ensure that fashion choices don’t migrate to boho or costume – something that can easily happen. Romantics look to Marchesa for inspiration, and shop at Anthropologie, and Francesca’s whenever I’m in the US.

Ted Baker sheath

Ted Baker

Ted Baker is probably the ultimate Romantic brand, known for its use of florals. I tend to express my romantic style through accessories and layers that might include a lace topper, for example, or a feminine Ted Baker floral handbag or pumps. Kate Spade also carries feminine, and sometimes quirky, looks that can make fun additions to an outfit.

 

*There are seven universally accepted style personalities: Sporty, Traditional, Elegant, Romantic, Dramatic and Alluring. If you want to understand your style personality, book a consultation.