Runway Show

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VS Fashion Show 2016

SUPER AWESOME IMAGE LED POST ALERT!

I’ve held off with this post for a little but because I know your timelines will be filled with pictures of the VS Angels and those super elaborate wings already, but I can wait no longer!

The 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show took place in Paris last week and boy was it good!  With a record number of Rookies, looks and wings, the show set out to wow followers from the very beginning.

We were treated to the casting videos, the #TrainLikeAnAngel campaign videos to make us crave the new sportswear range, and the rehearsal runthrough.  By the time Show day came round, we were literally on the edge.  With the huge Grand Palais transformed into a rhinestone covered showspace with the longest glitter strewn runway the brand has had to date; the biggest VS Fashion Show to date began with a bang.

Performers Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga and The Weeknd provided the musical entertainment but it was the Angels who took centre stage; you just need to look at the stills for the ultimate gym motivation.

The VS Fashion Show always produces a few stand out high points and this year they weren’t in short supply.  I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite moments…

1. Veteran Angels Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio showed The Rookies how it’s done.

2. Jasmine Tookes looked psyched to be wearing the $3 million Fantasy Bra.

3. Bella showed Abel what he could’ve won.

4. Izabel Goulart put everyone to shame with her freaking amazing abs.

5. Maria Borges. ‘Nuff said, this woman is rocking my world right now. 💙

So Voyeurs, whilst you wait for the UK screening on 4Music next week, here are some of the best images from the show itself and I’ll follow up with a Behind the Scenes post later this week to keep that anticipation building.  You’re welcome.

But for now, I’m headed to the gym with a picture of Izabel goulart as my screensaver for inspo….

Pixie xo

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Love Niche FW16 Collection

Twice yearly, in line with the off-schedule fashion calendar, Newcastle based Fashion Designer Nisha Vedhara curates and prepares a multi tiered collection to present to the fashionistas of the North.

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Nisha and I have been friends for a few years now and although I’m probably biased, I speak the truth when I tell you she puts on a formidable show.  Each season Nisha partners with a local charity, suicide prevention and support charity If U Care Share was selected as the partner for The Art of Style FW 16, with a proportion of funds raised going to benefit local families affected by suicide.  Having been affected by suicide in my family, I can’t give enough props for this. 🙌🏼

Nisha’s approach to her collection is three dimensional; her signature Love Niche line is actually designed and made by her, from sketch, to completion.  She scours the globe for fabrics, prints and anything else she can use in her collections with inspiration coming mainly from India and the vivid, rich colours and textures available there.

Love Niche Paris is Nisha’s most popular collection.   Curated and bought in according to trends on the runway by Nisha with a focus on the outfit as a whole, rather than single pieces.

Her third, more affordable collection is Love Niche London.  A diffusion line selected by Nisha to make the brand accessible, but still desirable.

This year, the Love Niche Fall / Winter showcase took place at The Assembly Rooms in Newcastle and for the first time ever, featured bespoke occasion wear designed and made by Nisha for real clients.  Not only was I invited along, but I was actually asked to model in the second part of the show!  Taking on a new format, the show was split into ready to wear, worn by models and then after a short interlude, bespoke occasion wear, worn by the women the garments were created for. (i.e. Me)

The show,  called The Moonlight Season, opened with Nisha’s own Cruise collection of bespoke kaftans and resort wear.  Models walked the candlelit runway wearing striking flower crowns made by Kathryn Russell.  Miss Junior Teen Great Britain, Harriotte Lane opened the show and told me afterwards that there were just days to go before she handed the title over to her successor.  I took my seat with my photographer pal Hannah Todd, to take in the North East’s premier runway show….

First up, resort wear.  A pretty awesome collection of cool kaftans, cover ups and swimwear.  From racy fishnet throw on dresses, to soft, floaty full length waistcoats, the collection didn’t disappoint and was a lot more fresh and urban than Nisha’s usual classic offering.  With the darker theme this season and topped with flower crowns, models looked like they’d strode straight off a Lana Del Rey video shoot.

Love Niche Paris gave us structured dresses, fur stoles and palazzo pants, armour for the modern day girl boss and like nothing else you’ll find on the high street.

Love Niche London is probably the most anticipated collection purely because of its affordability and wearability.  Think runway trends re-spun for the highstreet with a classic vibe.  The collection was full of stripes and separates finished off with hats, city gloves and chain belts.

Nisha’s high end signature line, Love Niche was a collection of high octane occasion wear for urban warrior women.  Guaranteed to create drama and turn heads, the collection garnered applause and a collective ‘ooooooooh’ from the sell out crowd.  The stand out piece?  A floor length dress coat with a nipped in waist and flared skirt worn by Miss Durham GB, Taylor Hamilton which opened and flared as she strutted the runway.  TDF 😍

Next up, my turn.  After being asked so many times about her bespoke collection, Nisha decided to enlist the help of the women she’s created one off pieces for.  For the first time ever, Nisha’s actual clients took to the runway in one off, show stopping creations designed in collaboration with each client and made by Nisha.

 

Our outfits were styled in the way we’d wear them ourselves so that the audience could see the versatility and personality in each piece.  I wore my long sleeved sequinned top with a full skirt from Coast and a black velvet cape - very gothic princess.  The bespoke luxe runway show also featured PR gurus Claire Barber and Sarah Hall and Rita Gray, a lady who’s become a friend of mine after Nisha introduced us a few years back (she calls me Carrie Bradshaw ❤️) and it added a new dimension to the show which showgoers agreed afterwards, allowed the audience to see how Nisha’s creations might be worn in ‘real life’.

The Moonlight Season was certainly darker and a lot more edgy and relevant than previous seasons.  The collection felt like more of a ‘journey’ than it has done before.  Maybe it was the venue, or the fresher cast of models but the show seemed slicker and told the story of the collections effortlessly.  Resort wear was a highlight, it was clear from the first outfit that Nisha had upped her game and come out stronger than ever before.  With a whopping 83 outfits on show at The Midnight Sessions, I can’t wait to see how she tops this in Spring / Summer 2017.

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Image Credit: Keith Fusco, KIS Studios

If you fancy checking out the ready to wear collections, then head to Love Niche Studio, a show space that feels a world away from the busy city and the hustle of the Grainger Market beneath it.  Nisha also offers her bespoke dressmaking service from here or a personal styling service if you’re not sure where to start and she’s her own best advert, she rarely wears anything other than Love Niche and damn, can she put an outfit together.

Pixie xo

 

Models walk the runway during the Victoria's Secret fashion show in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Brad Barket)

Introducing The 2016 VS Fashion Show Rookies

We know that it’s just days until the 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show takes place at Paris’ Grand Palais, home to the famous Chanel runway show during Paris Fashion Week and with it come a whole new pack of Angels for us to adore.

That’s right Voyeurs, the 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will feature eighteen rookies and it’s all part of a plan masterminded by Ed Razek to win back fans and viewers after 2015’s slump.

We’ve all seen the casting videos for the show but who’s earned their wings?  Lets find out…

1.Bella Hadid

Everyone in the world knows that Bella made it through the process and will appear on the runway.  In lingerie.  With her recent ex-boyfriend performing live.  And her sister, who is rumoured to be pissed about the whole thing.  Awks.

2. Alanna Arrington

Super in demand runway model whose stock is rising.  With every runway season Arrington grows in popularity, if you think she looks familiar that’s because she was a regular fixture on the runways of NYC, London, Paris and Milan during Fashion Month SS17.

3. Brooke Perry

Hailing from Montana, Perry is the quintessential girl next door.  She’s been the face of Victoria’s Secret Pink  for just over a year now so was an easy choice for the VS Fashion Show.

4. Camille Rowe

Another girl already familiar to Victoria’s Secret having featured in several of the brands lingerie campaigns and instore visuals.  Looks a little like Behati Prinsloo no?

5. Dilone

Dilone is a force to be reckoned with in the modelling industry.  Ruling the runway by day and rapping by night, that’s right Voyeurs, this girls got skills!  She brings the cool points as the urban choice for the VS Fashion Show

6. Georgia Fowler

New Zealand born Fowler has tried out for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show five times already and cried for two straight days when she found out she’d made it through.

7. Grace Elizabeth

A regular in Vogue, this rising star covers both commercial and editorial modelling work, something only a few can do well.

8. Herieth Paul

You’ll recognise her from the Maybelline New York campaign, she’s no stranger to modelling with six years of experience under her belt.

9. Irina Shayk

As famous for her love life as she is for her modelling career, Shayk is no stranger to the runway.  Famously binned Ronaldo for Bradley Cooper, well, you would wouldn’t you?

10. Jourdana Elizabeth

A recent change to Jourdana’s appearance has seen her propelled into the limelight, much the same as when Karlie Kloss cut off her long locks, Jourdana sheared her long dark curls, reached for the bleach and earned herself a spot in Antony Vaccarello’s first runway show for Saint Laurent.

11. Keke Lindgard

A regular on the campaign circuit, Keke has already appeared in major billboard campaigns for DKNY, Gucci and Ralph Lauren, the Victoria’s Secret gig looks set to push her into the mainstream.

12. Lais Oliveira

Another Brazilian beauty joins the line up, already a regular in the Victoria’s Secret catalogue, Oliveira has dreamt of donning the famous wings since she was 13 years old, which, coincidentally is when her modelling career began.

13. Lameka Fox

Only 18 years old, Fox was scouted through the Instagram We Love Your Genes campaign.  Since then she’s walked the runways of major designers such as Burberry, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger and Miu Miu.  She also opened the SS17 Yeezy runway show.

14. Luma Grothe

Brazilian, beautiful and with cheekbones and brows to die for.  Convinced by a friend to enter a local modelling competition the rest is history.  Grothe is currently a L’Oreal spokesmodel and has featured in a Dolce & Gabbana billboard campaign.

15. Maggie Laine

After being spotted on FaceBook Maggie was given a model contract and said at the time that she’d set herself a goal of walking the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.  Achieved within two years, this all American girl looks set to go far.

16. Megan Williams

Williams needs no introduction, already known for being a Guess Girl, British born Williams regularly appears in Sports Illustrated.  She’s no stranger to getting her kit off.

17. Xiao-Wen Ju

In July 2012 Ju was ranked 22 on the models.com Top 50 Models list, she’s a seasoned pro and has already walked for Thierry Mugler, Luis Vuitton, Prada, Dior and Kenzo.

18. Zuri Tibby

The first black model for Victoria’s Secret Pink line, Tibby is fun loving and fresh looking.  She was discovered in a shopping mall and says that walking the VS Fashion Show is a dream come true.

So there we have it, a record number of eighteen new recruits have earned their wings in the Class of 2016 and you can watch the full show in early December.  If you’re in the US, CBS will screen the show at 10pm on Tuesday December 8th.  While the UK will have to wait an extra day to catch up on Wednesday December 9th when the show will air on 4Music at 9pm.

In the meantime, if you just can’t wait and need a little VS fix, check out my posts on the 2014 VS Fashion Show, The History of the Fantasy Bra, and Everything we know so far about VSFS 2016.

Ciao for now!

Pixie xo

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The History of the Victoria’s Secret Fantasy Bra

The 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is right around the corner and with it comes the Fantasy Bra.  An exquisite piece of craftsmanship which takes all year to design, make and fit to the chosen model.

A firm fixture in the Fashion Calendar, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show wasn’t always quite so prominent.  Starting life as a trade show in the 90’s shown right before Valentine’s Day, back them the show was a very different story to the huge feathered and rhinestone studded production of today.

Every year since 1996, one lucky VS Angel is selected to showcase the multi million dollar Fantasy Bra; now the centrepiece of the show and the equivalent of NASA’s launch pad for the Angel chosen.  What you might not know is that between 1996 and 2000, the Fantasy Bra was a catalogue only item as it was deemed too expensive to be worn on the runway (none have ever been sold).

From the first ever show held at The Plaza Hotel in New York in 1995 to 2016, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is probably the best example of clever marketing that you’ll ever see in the fashion world.  From the pre-show #TrainLikeAnAngel campaign that flogs the brand’s sportswear line, to the YouTube broadcast castings and subsequent fittings, the whole thing is a well oiled machine masterminded by Ed Razek, with a little pre-show help from Russell James.  James photographed each of the Angels nude for a $250 book to accompany the show.

I was lucky enough to be invited to the 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show held at Earl’s Court in London and everything, and I mean everything is a slick operation.  It’s a world created entirely for the viewer.  Everything you witness as a member of the press is created for just that purpose and the Angels are more than willing to perform.  it’s a fascinating thing to watch and the duties of an Angel are so much more than just walking the runway, I could dedicate an entire post to the production of the show but this is about the Fantasy Bra.

So Voyeurs, whilst we wait for the 2016 VSFS, which will surely be bigger and better than anything before it, here’s a rundown of every Fantasy Bra that’s ever been shown by Victorias Secret.  You’re welcome….

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1996 - The first Fantasy Bra was worn by Claudia Schiffer and unveiled in print on the cover of the Valentine’s catalogue.  With 100 carats of diamonds it was given the title ‘The Million Dollar Miracle Bra’.

1997 - Don’t be fooled by how understated this Fantasy Bra appears.  Costing a cool $3 million, the bra was worn by Tyra Banks and featured a 42 carat pear cut diamond at the very centre.

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1998 - The VS creative team took things up a notch with this $5 million ‘Dream Angel’ Fantasy Bra worn by Daniela Pestova.  Featuring a whopping 330 carats of pear and marquise cut diamonds, set amongst 77 carats of marquise cut rubies and mouldable platinum.

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1999 - The year that the Fantasy Bra became a ‘costume’ and people sat up and took notice.  Very visibly different to anything else in the catalogue, the ‘Millennium Bra’ was worn by Heidi Klum and with over 4000 diamonds and sapphires, the price tag was a cool $10 million.

2000 - This $15 million ‘Red Hot’ Fantasy Bra set a Guiness World Record for Most Expensive Piece of Lingerie (until 2006).  Encrusted with over 300 Thai Rubies the Red Hot Fantasy Bra, worn by Gisele, gave Victoria’s Secret the idea to start including the Fantasy Bra in the annual show.

2001 - Heidi Klum was the first Angel to walk the runway in a Fantasy Bra.  The ‘Heavenly Star’ demi bra was made up of pink sapphires with a 90 carat emerald cut diamond in the centre.  At $12.5 million you’d think they could have made one to fit…

2002 - The ‘Star of Victoria’ Fantasy Bra was created to give the look of an English country rose garden, studded with rubies and emeralds galore, the bra cost a whopping $10 million and was worn by rising star (at the time) Karolina Kurkova.

2003 - Wearing her third fantasy Bra, Heidi Klum took to the runway in the (slightly better fitting) ‘Very Sexy’ Fantasy Bra costing $11 million and featuring the second largest diamond in the world at 70 carats.

2004 - The £10 million ‘Heavenly 70’ Fantasy Bra was worn by Tyra Banks and was for print only as the off schedule Angel’s Across America show took place that year.  Featuring  diamonds set in white gold with an awesome 70 carat pear cut diamond at its centre.

2005 - Gisele took on the ‘Sexy Splendour’ Fantasy Bra and this show really embraced themes, shaping the show as we know it now, with a 101 fancy-cut swing diamond, the bra was valued at $12.5 million.

2006 - Now on to her second Fantasy Bra, Karolina Kurkova wore the $6.5 million ‘Hearts On Fire’ Fantasy bra featuring over 2000 single diamonds and a huge 10 carat stone as the centrepiece.

2007 - The ‘Holiday’ Fantasy Bra was worn by Selita Ebanks and was the first year that the costume featured a garter, barrette & cuff as part of the ensemble.  Encrusted in diamonds, yellow sapphires, rubies and emeralds, the bra was the first to embrace the Holiday season.

2008 - Starting to look familiar Voyeurs? Introducing Adriana Lima as the Angel she was meant to be.  Wearing the $5 million ‘Black Diamond’ Fantasy bra, Lima took centre stage for the first time and the world sat up and took notice.  With over 1500 carats in this fantasy Bra, this shaped the show as we know it.

2009 - The $3 million ‘Harlequin’ Fantasy Bra was worn by Marisa Miller and was made up of 2355 diamonds with a 16-carat heart shaped diamond pendant centrepiece.

2010 - The ‘Bombshell’ Fantasy Bra was Adriana Lima’s second outing wearing the coveted showstopper.  With 60 carats of white diamonds as well as blue topaz and sapphires, the bra was valued at $2 million and cemented Lima at the top of her game.

2011 - The ‘Fantasy Treasure’ Bra was worn by Miranda Kerr and incorporated Victoria’s Secret’s famous ‘wings’ or in this case, a piece fashioned to resemble an oyster shell.  with 3379 stones including yellow and colourless diamonds to the tune of of 142 carats, citrines, pearls and aquamarines, the bra was valued at $2.5 million and was finished with a pearl centrepiece.

2012 - Alessandra Ambrosio wore the $2.5 million ‘Floral Fantasy’ Bra, moving towards the full VSFS costume we’re used to seeing today the style featured floral wings and panniers secured with a diamond chain belt, and over 5000 gems.  Amethysts, rubies, sapphires, tsavorites and pink, yellow and white diamonds made up the intricate floral design and just like Adriana Lima, Ambrosio became a household name.

2013 - The ‘Royal’ Fantasy Bra was a sight to behold, worn by Candice Swanepoel, the bra and belt topped out at $10 million and featured over 4200 gem stones including diamonds, rubies and yellow sapphires with a 52 carat pear shaped ruby swinging from the centre.  Hand set in 18 karat gold, the ‘Royal’ saw the Victoria’s Secret Fantasy Bra elevated to the Big Leagues.

2014 - For the first time ever, Victoria’s Secret made two Fantasy Bras for the UK show named the ‘Dream Angels’ fantasy bras.  Worn by Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio, it was widely speculated that the girls were set to retire after the London show and that this would be their parting gift - this was not the case.  valued at $2 million each, the ensembles were dripping in 16000 blue sapphires, diamonds and rubies set in 18 karat gold.  I was lucky enough to be at this show and got within touching distance of both of these backstage!

2015 - The modestly priced $2 million ‘Firework’ Fantasy bra was worn by Lily Aldridge and is one of the tamest to be seen in recent years.  It left fans of the VS Fashion Show underwhelmed and was criticised on social media.  Made up of white diamonds, blue topaz, yellow sapphires and pink quartz and set in 18 karat gold, the wings and matching panniers were created to replicate the effect of fireworks on July 4th.

2016 - This year marks the 20th anniversary of the VS Fantasy Bra and the brand wanted to bring something new.  After suffering a 35% drop in ratings in 2015 which has been hurtful to the brand, 25 year old Jasmine Tookes was selected to wear the ‘Bright Night’ Fantasy bra.  Made up of 9000 gems and 27000 Swarovski crystals set in 18 karat gold and valued at $3 million, the bra is a step away from the Fantasy Bra’s shown in recent years - a conscious decision for the brand.  Unretouched pictures of Tookes’ Fantasy Bra shoot were also leaked online - rumoured to be a ploy by the brand itself.

“The energy is going to be amazing in Paris, everyone is so excited—it’s going to be one of the best VS shows yet!”  Jasmine Tookes, VS Angel

So there you have it Voyeurs, your definitive guide to the Victoria’s Secret Fantasy Bra.  All that’s left now is for you to sit tight and wait for the 2016 Paris show to be screened on TV.  With Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and The Weeknd confirmed to perform at this year’s show it looks like it’s set to be a doozie….

Pixie xo

VANCOUVER, BC - SEPTEMBER 23:  A model walks the runway wearing ALEX S. YU at Vancouver Fashion week on September 23, 2016 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Arun Nevader/Getty Images for VFW Management INC)

Key Micro Trends from Vancouver Fashion Week

The 28th consecutive season of outsider Vancouver Fashion Week only just finished and six key trends appeared from what is considered one of the world’s top gateway fashion weeks.

Our very own Monarchs Prince William and Kate Middleton were in the host city during VFW, obvs they didn’t attend the shows, however the FROW was notably  celeb packed, cementing VFW as a fashion fringe event to pay close attention to.

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Silver appeared in several collections with Alex S. Yu, Evan Clayton, JKline and Maryam Niyazi all giving SS17 a silver spin on dresses, jackets and separates.

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We al know that the 90s were the best era for both fashion and music and that trend shows no sign of abating,  90s rave influenced a handful of collections including Angus Chiang, Balaclava, Lillz Killz and Naovoe. Acid colours, playful shapes and attitude in abundance moved this trend from the fringe to the frow.

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Texture clashing was prevalent across multiple designer shows – plastic pailettes, leather, metal, faux fur and cotton was combined, layered, juxtaposed and manipulated to create awesome contemporary looks.  With Alex S. Yu, Clio Page, HUY-HUY and Moon Choi leading the charge.

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Simplicity came in the form of purest white – swing dresses, shirts and daywear gave a nod to purity.  With Vestige Story, TKC Design, GH by German Hernandez and Zi Xia leading the pack on all things pure and simple.

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Pale pink was elevated from girly to focal and ended up in an array of collections as an accent colour or focal hue. Alogon, INSOMNIA, Angus Chiang and JKline pinked up their palettes to perfection and remember the golden rule, on Wednesdays, we wear pink….

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Ruffles, if ever a trend was created with Lawrence llewelyn-Bowen, this is it.  Solid hues, patterns and a deconstructed shirt saw ruffles taking centre stage and not small, understated ruffles, these were super sized and in your face, made to be seen ruffles.   Hannah Vanderveen, Moon Choi, Alex S. Yu and Nuska added one of fashion’s oldest embellishments to their spring/summer collections.

With another Fashion Month over we’ve been moderately treated to a variety of new trends and even in some cases a new way of buying.  With a relatively underwhelming start to show season (mentioning no names NYFW), London came through with the lift we needed.  After Scout, MFW and PFW, Vancouver has given us a whole host of micro trends to play with and I might not even wait until spring to get started…

Pixie xo

 

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London Fashion Week SS17

If there’s one Fashion Week that’s associated with new talent and a passion for supporting the underdog, it’s London Fashion Week; and with the likes of Prophetik, Gareth Pugh and Mulberry all showing strong collections, it looks like the bar is set to keep on rising.

I’m headed to London SUPER early in the morning for three jam packed days of shows and events and a special something from one of my all time favourite designers (more on that later).

Stay tuned Voyeurs, after a very mediocre NYFW, I’m predicting big things from London.  BIG things….

Pixie xo

 

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Prophetik presents Nevermore: SS17

London Fashion Week.  The most urban and exciting of all Fashion Weeks and definitely the one most likely to show and breed hot new talent in the fashion industry.  A hotbed for creativity, London is home to some of the best designers in the world, some of whom manage to fly under the radar of most non-fashion folk - Fuggles if you will…

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Step forward Prophetik.  An uber cool brand founded by award-winning designer, Jeff Garner in Tennessee, USA, Prophetik is the sartorial result of Garner’s take on visual art, blended with his  pioneering stance on sustainability. Garner was designated as one of 40 top artists in America, resulting in his work being exhibited in one of the world’s most famous museums, The Smithsonian.

With sustainability at the core of the brand, Prophetik is the fashion label you never knew you knew.  Garner has dressed Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Gisele Bundchen, Miley Cyrus, Cameron Diaz, Livia Firth, Julia Stiles, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas and Kings of Leon; and he has reached into the technological sphere, partnering with Apple and Griffin to create sustainable iPhone cases, which were revealed on the catwalk at London Fashion Week, where Cara Delevingne both opened and closed the show.

Spring forward to today, day 2 of LFW and Garner is back in a big way with his SS17 offering: Nevermore, which took place at the Tower of London.  If the venue conjures up images of gothic romance then you’re definitely on the right track.

Jeff Garner’s spring/summer show, under his label Prophetik, nods to love lost and the notion that in the depths of a shadowy, dark void, light is exposed and wisdom can be found.

Heritage set the foundation of Nevermore. An American archetype – descended from Yorkshire settlers and the Native American Cherokee – Garner and his family have been residing in the state of Tennessee for seven generations, dating back to the land grant from Lord Fairfax. Mary Crane, daughter of chief Whooping Crane of the Cherokee Nation in Tennessee was Garner’s great, great, great grandmother and looking back to this Native American ancestry and its traditional folklore, Garner examined the raven, which featured on this season’s invitation. The raven is a symbol of a light-bringer – one which gifts humanity with understanding and discernment holding the ideal of balance. On the contrary, pulling from the English side of his ancestry, in Celtic lore, the raven was the goddess of war and strife.

“The raven shows us how to go into the dark of our inner self and bring the light of our true self to healing and creation, cultivating renewal, recycling, and reflection.”  - Jeff Garner

Tradition and artisan craftsmanship collide, underwritten in Garner’s signature use of romantic shapes. Working with black and dark navy silhouettes, which he has steered away from in previous spring/summer collections, Nevermore borders on sombre with hints of whimsy and the ethereal. Black, naturally shed duck feathers symbolise raven feathers, while salmon sustainable leather, hemp silk, Tussah (peace silk), and hand-woven Dupioni appear, all of which are hand dyed with plant based hues at the Prophetik studio in Tennessee.

The show opened with Prophetik’s recently launched intimates collection followed by Prêt-à-Porter  and ending with Garner’s statement making ballgowns, designed around the theme of a gothic wedding.

With a live soundtrack provided by Suzy Amis Cameron and Dorado, the show was firmly rooted in Tennessee

“Nevermore is a remembrance and in honour to all of those who have loved and lost.”  - Jeff garner

A collection steeped in tradition, that sticks firmly to its own ethos of ethics and sustainable production while edging towards the dramatic, Prophetik might just be one to watch Voyeurs…

Pixie xo

 

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Kathryn Trueman presents Inbal Dror to the North East

This week Newcastle was treated to a very special bridal couture show, unlike anything the region has seen before and I was there to bring you the scoop….

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Bridal couture is big business and Israeli designer Inbal Dror has been a leader on the scene for some time, slowly amassing a following of fans who appreciate her unique craftsmanship and attention.  A skill that puts Dror one step ahead of the pack when it comes to creating standout bridal couture.  A graduate of The Shenkar Fashion Art Academy in Tel Aviv, Dror is a pioneer when it comes to couture, creating gowns that transcend the bridal genre with Beyonce opting to wear one of the standout pieces from the 2016 collection for The Grammy Awards.

With a focus on accentuating the female form by using soft, moveable materials over more traditional and thicker materials, Inbal Dror’s creations have to be seen and experienced to be believed.  Known for being a little more risqué than the average bridal designer, Dror offers something for those brides who want to feel a little more desirable.

The perfect bridal brand to collaborate with Kathryn Trueman then; Kathryn lends her name to what is probably the North East’s premier bridal boutique.  Nestled in the heart of olde worlde Morpeth with a quaint and understated shop front, an impressive boutique lies beyond with couture and more spread over two floors.  Kathryn has an unparalleled knowledge of bridal couture and can size you up in an instant.  Within five minutes of arriving she’ll have you upstairs and into a gown you never knew you needed - it’s just what she does.  With daughter in law Emily by her side, they are a formidable force on the North East bridal scene and one you need to know about.

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Kathryn Trueman Bridal Boutique, Picture by Adamskii Photography

Hence being the natural choice for the Inbal Dror Trunk Show; left with full creative control over the show, Kathryn and Emily wanted to give revellers the chance to get up close and personal with these show-stopping gowns and so came up with the idea of the #RUNFREE Trunk Show.  (That’s the official hashtag and there are some amazing pictures on social media)

I have to say I was excited about this one, I’ve had my eye on an Inbal Dror gown for a little while now (not for a wedding, just because I can).  Invites stated that guests should arrive at 6.30pm prompt at the Millennium Bridge for a “surprise pre-event” so up I rocked in my half wedding dress, baby pink boots & “Surfboard” tee, right on cue with Miss Durham GB, Taylor Hamilton as my guest for the evening.

The opening act was indeed memorable, a bridal “flash mob” arrived by stretch limousine to the Newcastle Quayside at sunset and with the sidewalk as their runway, five brides strutted to perfection while their audience was left gasping in awe.  Making their way to the centre of the Millennium Bridge - they strutted and the paparazzi followed.   At the Gateshead side, models posed for photographs at The Baltic Mill and literally walked off into the sunset.  As far as flashmobs go this was the most romantic, I fell in love with all five of those girls that night.

after moving up the The Sage, guests were treated to a champagne reception and goodie bags from my bridal publishing home, Belle Bridal before taking their place on the Frow for the show.

Exercise caution Voyeurs, you’re about to see couture so beautiful you’re going to want to down told and propose to the person closest to you….

With a live soundtrack provided by Le Sape Nocturne, a collective of eight musicians from the North East and a little further afield, these guys take infamous musical numbers from all genres and re-spin them with a little Le SAPE magic to create music you’ve never heard before, except you have.  Perfect for a bridal showcase of this calibre.

Models walked the runway in a range of styles from the Inbal Dror 2016 ‘New York’ collection which oozes glamour and decadence.  From the classic full length bridal gown to the shorter, more modern backless gown, the collection drew gasps from the crowd of press and potential brides alike.

Obvs this much concentrated gorgeousness carries a hefty price tag, but not as hefty as you might think.  With Beyonce’s (read ‘my’) gown at £8k that’s pretty affordable, and covetable, couture right there.  Sure you could pick up a car for that price but let’s face it, you won’t look as good in it as you will in this gown.

With gowns this pretty I’m considering taking on a part time second husband, or maybe two….

Pixie xo

The collection can be viewed at Kathryn Trueman Bridal, 42, Bridge Street, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1NL

For appointments call: (01670) 511917

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“See Now, Buy Now” at NYFW

NYFW SS17 has come to a close and I’ve got to be honest Voyeurs, was a little underwhelming *sadface*.  There was a time that NYFW was regaled as the mother of all Fashion Weeks and the barometer for those that follow, but now?  Not so much, and I’m not the only Fashion Influencer to feel this way.

 

I was however, intrigued to hear that Tom Ford would be showing during NYFW this season after a last minute cancellation in February, albeit shunning the traditional and expected format and showing a “See Now, Buy Now” collection during the FW16 season (including cosmetics and skincare).  Let me explain -  The fashion industry is set up to make you feel that there are two seasons: Spring / Summer (SS) February to September,  and Fall / Winter (FW) October to March.  We all know that fashion is cyclical but the idea of funding these multi million dollar campaign is that after one season (6 months) a person will shun the current “trend” and move on to the next season, buying items from the next collection to tap into the next “trend”.  Since the first NYFW in 1943, this has always been the case and designers have shown a season ahead in order to allow time for manufacturing and creating garments to sell “on season.”  Hence, you see the FW collections in February / March and the SS collections in September / October.

With me so far?  Ok, now I’m going to scramble your brain a little more -  I am of course, assuming you don’t already know this, I’ve had a lot of emails over the last two weeks from Voyeurs asking what the difference between “on season” and “off season” shows is, and although I’ve replied to all of them, this might help a little and give you something to refer back to, or even share with your friends and future Voyeurs.

Ok, now you have a very basic concept of Fashion Week as a ‘thing’, let’s fast forward to 2014 - Blogging was becoming serious business for the fashion industry, with Conde Nast representing some of the biggest names at the time including Bryan Boy and Susie Lau and Bloggers were taking their place on the Frows of huge shows.  This is when came the shift; the difference between Blogs and traditional print media is that magazines are also cyclical, printing once per week or once per month meaning you have to wait for your fix, but Bloggers make it instant, with content produced immediately and shared immediately, readers, fans and followers get a glimpse of the collections in real time.  Sure, Fashion Editors of your favourite magazines have been doing this for years, but not everyone follows or even knows who these Fashion Editor are, Bloggers have become known, recognisable and now, marketable.

People often ask me about the difference between blogging and fashion journalism, as you know I do both and there’s one clear difference to me and that’s The Voice.  Let me break it down; when you buy a magazine, you buy a piece of journalism, a feature that someone has written about a topic they’ve been asked to write about, the account is factual, and delivers a point.  Sometimes, in the case of a column, there will be added elements of humour and sometimes not but when you’ve read it, you’ve left with more information than when you started.  Blogging however, is conversational.  Sure we’re sometimes paid to write features but ultimately a blogger writes about whatever they want, they have full creative control over their content and frequency of publication.  When I’m writing for you guys, I’m writing as I would talk, it’s light, it’s fun and it’s sometimes not politically correct but the only person accountable is me.  Remember, it’s immediate and when I’m showing you those covetable items from Fashion Week, they’re not available to view or buy for another six long months.  Got it?

Ok, where were we?  Ah yes, the shift in the fashion industry….

Sooooooo, in February 2015 Burberry announced that it would shift to a “See Now, Buy Now” format which sent ripples across the industry.  The naysayers gasped, saying it would never work and was a crazy idea, and anybody in fashion manufacturing quaked in their leather rider boots at the thought of prepping an entire saleable collection pre-runway show.

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Basically the concept of “See Now, Buy Now” is simple: In September / October when an SS show would normally be shown, Burberry will show a season appropriate collection for FW, the season we’re actually in and the collection will be shoppable immediately.  Simples.  When Tom Ford announced plans to follow suit, people sat up and took notice.  Ford has the ability to pack out a show space like no other, the Grand Master of fashion with a legion of celebrity disciples so this idea must have legs, right?  Sure enough, this season alone Rebecca Minkoff and Vetements  have announced their intention to follow this model along with smaller labels.

Never one to sit quiet on a subject so prickly, Karl Lagerfeld proclaimed “Its a mess, the reality is that you have to give people the time to make their choice, to order the clothes or handbags, and to produce them beautifully so that editors can photograph them. If not, that’s the end of everything.”  Not a supporter of the See Now, Buy Now movement then eh Karl?

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With huge slumps in sales, mega discounts offered in outlet malls and the rise of fast fashion and runway reproduction on the high street, it’s no secret or surprise that the luxury fashion houses have been hit hard.  With ‘micro trends’ (think glitter roots, perspex heels, fur slides) on the rise due to online influencers, we’re seeing a new mini trend every fortnight and as a result, the designers have become the outsiders.  Now that NYFW SS17 is over, it’s time for those fashion houses to take stock; Tom ford showed an awesome See Now Buy Now collection with a whole marketing campaign designed around the very concept.  Although Calvin Klein, didn’t show this season the brand plans to emerge in February under the creative leadership of ex-Dior front man Raf Simons, and Michael Kors has unveiled his plans to show See Now Buy Now in February.

It’s clear that there are huge and exciting changes afoot for the fashion industry and although NYFW SS17 has been mediocre as best, the most memorable shows of the season are the ones which adopted a See Now, Buy Now format (I’m looking at you Tom Ford).

Over to you London….

Pixie xo

 

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A Lesson in Fashion Pronunciation

With New York Fashion Week and the unveiling of next season’s collections a mere three weeks away, I’ve compiled a handy guide to get you though those Fashion Week chats, namely, how to pronounce those tricky designers names.

We’ve all got that one friend who gushes about “Moschino” pronouncing it “Machine-o” and we all turn a blind eye whilst secretly shuddering inside.  Well no more!  Here’s Fashion Voyeur’s guide to nailing Fashion Week chat:

1. Moschino Let’s just dive in and get this one over and done with.  it’s ‘Mos-key-no’ end of.  Move on.

2. Hermes Often pronounced as ‘Her-mez’ Stop it.  It’s ‘Er-mez’ knowing this will score you points at Fashion Week.

3. Givenchy Given that you’re reading this, I’m assuming you have an interest in fashion and therefore know that the G here is not pronounced, if you don’t already know this then shame on you.  Usually pronounced ‘Ji-von-sheee’ Nope.  it’s ‘zji-von-shey’ often followed with ‘bitches’ in fashion circles.

4. Ralph Lauren Should come with a slap warning.  If you’re in the ‘Ralph Lau-REN’camp of pronunciation then unfortunately you’re just not fashion darling. ‘Ralph Lauren’ like it’s spelled, like the girls name. yes Lauren.  Ralph Lauren.  Simple.  like the people in the latter camp.

5. Rodarte why is this so hard? It’s ‘Ro-dar-tay’ easy.

6. Balmain Total. Minefield.  It’s not ‘Bal-main’ or ‘Bal-mine’ or even ‘Bal-man’  it’s resolutely ‘Bahl-mahhn’ and it seems even H&M employees weren’t educated on this, cue eye-roll emoji.

7. Lanvin I kind of get it with this one but let’s iron this out once and for all.  Stop saying ‘Lan-vin’ it’s longer than that ‘Laan-vahn’ then pause for effect and admiration.

8. Loewe One of my bugbears is hearing supposed Fash Folk refer to Loewe as ‘Lo-wey’  Desist immediately.  It’s ‘Lo-wave-ey’ and it’s an essential in the Fashionista’s bible, do not expect praise for getting this right.

9. Sonia Rykiel Totally underrated designer but that’s not why we’re here, often mispronounced as either ‘Sonia Ry-keel’ or ‘Sonia Ry-kel’  Correct pronunciation is ‘Sonia Ry-key-el’ if you learn one thing today, let this be it, it’s somebody’s name goddamn it.

10. Saint Laurent If you’re not au fait with this one then shame on you, its Francais and pronounced ‘San Lau-ront’

11. Balenciaga I’m only including this because of horrific pronunciation overheard by staff in Cruise recently, it’s ‘Bal-en-see-agar’ you know, as it looks.

12. Christian Louboutin If you’re pronouncing this ‘Le-BOOT-in’ then leave this page immediately, we can no longer be friends and there is literally no hope for you.  It’s ‘LOU-buh-ton’ say it, learn it, remember it.

13. Proenza Schouler Hip brand, hipper name, if pronounced correctly. ‘Pro-enza Skool-a’ there’s no ‘sh’ in there, don’t be one of THOSE people.

14. Marchesa Absolutely not ‘March -essa’ or even ‘Mar-kessa’ why would it be?? it’s ‘Mar-kay-za’

15. Hervé Léger I won’t even go into the various mispronunciations of this, people be cray with some of their interpretations of what these two short words say.  If you own a signature Léger bandage dress and have been pronouncing this incorrectly, then promptly but it, you are not fit to wear it.  The correct pronunciation is ‘Air-vay Lay-jah’

And so concludes our lesson today, if you’ve learned something please share this article and your new found knowledge!

See you on the Frow….

Pixie x