Fashion tips for those who want to shine like a star wherever they go, day and night.
By Kornkanok Yongsakul.
Fashion can be difficult to keep up with. In an industry where one color, fabric, or trend can be insanely “hot” one minute and then totally “out” the next second, there is no doubt that keeping up is not that easy.
With the “Fashion Couture Week” kicking off the Spring/Summer 2013 season many high-profile fashion houses, such as Christian Dior, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, and Ellie Saab, have been showing off their very feminine couture collections — with touches of lustrous shinning fabric and details of pretty delicate embellishments to complete the look. This is what makes the fashion houses extraordinary and totally different from the ready-to-wear (RTW) collections.
We must mention the house of Christian Dior with its new head designer Raf Simons who arrived after the disastrous John Galliano scandal. The Dior collections are beautiful creations of layers, bustier, with peplums and jacket on top of another in a lovely yet unconventional color palette of mint, burnt orange, and aubergine. There are ball gowns worn with white veiled faces and ballerina style headdresses.
Dior makes beautiful embroidery details on silk bustier cocktail dresses in midnight blue and pale pink all embellished and inflated in proportion at the back to give off sparkle as the body moves around. These details make the dress formal but with a difference; classy and very feminine, and yet very contemporary.
Another couture house worth mentioning is the house of Chanel, whose chief designer is Karl Lagerfeld. Chanel is well-known in the couture world with their unique, embroidered handmade fabric that is one-of-a-kind, made exclusively for them by the specialty lace/embroidery artisan ‘Lesage” in Paris. Their dresses are made with glass beads, rhinestones, crystal ornaments, sparkling sequins, and metallic threads.
Chanel’s new collection takes us back to the enchanting, magical days of “The Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Their collection consists of their signature tailored tweed suit, with matching skirt in a glittering embroidered white tweed, worn with silver leather and lace boots that either climb up the whole length of the leg or come down as short ankle boots. Their eveningwear is the showstopper, with toppling white feathers, and worn with black patent leather booties. There is also a set of 30s dresses in red and white sequins, which are particularly special, standing out radiantly under the spotlight as in a magical fairy tale.
A couture house which is synonymous to modernity, with a touch of masculinity and striking shimmery, and with clothes that can be worn from day to night is that of Giorgio Armani Prive’. The designer himself is strongly passionate in creating clothes with specialized fabrics that give the most luster, from silk taffeta and layered chiffon to metallic lame, which is the signature of the brand.
The Giorgio Armani Prive’ collection can be likened to a magical carpet with thunder lights to keep your eyes wide open. Emphasis is on the trouser, another major signature of the brand. The trouser comes in cropped shape and slightly flared metallic variations under billowy dresses of jewel shades or little halter neck waistcoat, strung together with beading embellishment, and striking cylindrical shapes. Beading details are a major part for the shining looks from beading and bracelets rattling around waists and wrists in somber color palette such as grey and blue, and a touch of orange, red, and black for Swarovski sparkling column gowns at the end.
But one couture house that we can never miss out on is Elie Saab. This is one of my most favorite Lebanese couture brands because it has its own dominant feminine and pretty look, which if you ask me is every woman’s dream. Saab gowns make the woman stand out and be the star of the night. With their excellent craftsmanship as can be seen on the intricate fine laces, hand-sewn embroidered and crystalized laminated silk, the clothes make their wearer always an eye-stopper, probably a reason why many film stars wear them on the red carpet.
Saab’s collection is all about “shines, shimmers, and sparkles,” and striking silhouette. The clothes — in midi-length — are pretty with their flourish: embroideries and embellishments laid-out across fitted dresses of lavender and white, fuchsia, black, and baby blue. They are structured, with capes and shoulder details, and bustier constructions. Their ball gowns were made of crystals in “coralesque” formations: white lace flower strewn between iridescent silver, head-to-toe embellishment, and blowy circular skirts.
Last but not least is a couture house that can be considered “the new kid on the fashion block” — with designer Giambattista Valli. This couture house has officially been a part of the couture week shows only in the past three seasons. Designers typically get appellation only after they have done the show for five years but with the high standard of Valli’s creation, he became eligible for the honor and is now considered an official couturier.
Valli is a master of beautiful fabrics, exquisite embroidery and details, and sculpted vase silhouettes, which have become his sartorial trademark.
In his recent collection, he brings out not only the bright and shine of the fabrics but also the interesting shapes of modern-day clothing. He invented a new silhouette for the couture world, such as cigarette pants and a bodice top-up with a train cascading behind it. Aside from the sculpted contours and voluminous skirts, there are cape shoulders trailing short at the back in tea roses shades, cinched waists, and lots of embellishment that bloom in a new midi-length.
With understated style of hair and make-up, all the attention and focus of the audience remain on the shapes of the clothes; their embellishments giving them so much traditional luxury style and loads of ladylike elegance.
Besides the sparkling, highly embellished couture clothing, accessories play an important role in having a great style. Who says wearing simple clothes without any accessories is “style”? Well, the idea is neither right nor wrong. Accessories help to build character. It enhances a woman’s looks. As they say: “One woman can never have too many shoes.”
Accessories, such as statement necklaces, metallic chain belts, and perfect heels, can be anything you can put on and have fun with it. They can totally change your look, from day to night, as the emerging Spring/Summer 2013 trend proves. We can spot the shining jewelry that comes in many different designs, variations, and materials.
The new jewelry of the season is the ear cuff. For some time now, there has not been any new cult item in the jewelry world such as the ear-cuff. Ever since the Rodarte brand showed the ear cuff in their Spring/Summer 2013 catwalk, it has become the season’s “must-have” accessory for all. Ear cuffs are easy to wear and basically easy to match with outfits. Plus, ladies do not need a piercing. The ear cuffs are usually made from 18k gold, platinum, Swarovski crystal, or precious stones. It makes your face shine brightly and easily attracts eyes toward you.
Now we go from playful jewelry to the traditional jeweler, Chopard. This is one of the most luxurious jewelers in the world, established in Geneva, Switzerland with its legacy and history dating many decades. They create the most precious, beautiful, fine jewelry. Chopard recently announced a new collaboration with the iconic London luxury store Harrods to create “Haute Joaillerie collection” inspired by Walt’s Disney princesses. This gives women, an opportunity to enjoy sparkling diamonds with the whimsical touch of a Disney childhood.
Chopard has revealed that Disney’s characters have been the source of inspiration long before this collaboration. The collections features famous Disney characters such as Ariel, Belle, and Cinderella. In this collection are 10 design pieces, a selection of bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and hairpiece created and crafted from the briolette-cut paraibas tourmalines, platinum diamonds, emeralds, pearls, sapphires, and aquamarine.
From the world-renowned high-end jeweler, we come to the equally world-famous, mainstream crystal jewelry brand, Swarovski. It is undeniable that rock crystal, which gives a most sparkling effect, has to be Swarovski. Crystal can be noticed easily even from a long-distance. Crystal jewelry is an easy piece that matches with almost any thing.
We all know that Swarovski manufactures crystal materials not only as jewelry but also home décor items. With their latest collaboration for the special edition James Bond collection, one simply must own a piece. Swarovski has commissioned British jewelry designer, Stephen Webster, to create a collection inspired by the iconic James Bond film, and to be worn by the new “Bond Girl,” Berenice Marlohe.
The jewelry collections are made of black crystal stones and white crystal stones as in king cobra pendant necklaces, queen cobra earrings, bamboo bangles, and rings.
The most important thing in the world of accessories is that they have to intensify the looks and bring out the best of their wearer. This is usually achieved by materials that give the most “shine” and “center-of-attention” effect. To achieve this effect, most designers use colors such as gold, rose-gold, silver, metallic hues, and pastels.
Now, to the most common accessory that every girl should own: fabulous shoes and handbags. Just imagine wearing a simple LBD (little black dress) with a pair of killer metallic-gold shoe, and a matching bag. This pairing can elevate a woman to her ultra glamorous in a second.
Perhaps the “hottest” shoe designer at the moment is the amazing British designer Charlotte Olympia. This brand has been established only a few years but has already gained a big reputation worldwide. Olympia has a flamboyant kitschy style, and often uses surrealist- inspired motives as brand signature. The trademark of their high-heel shoes is the metallic gold platform that comes in every height and every material you can imagine. In their new collection, Olympia banks on playful design elements such as the kitty’s face, the all-glittering gold platform heels, and diamonds encrusted on the heels for evening wear.
For complete, shining head-to-toe looks, let’s take a look at the role of handbags. In itself, a woman’s handbag is a statement. It can bring up your mood and your confidence. It portrays who you are and reflects your personality. The best handbags are often made from eye stopping yet practical materials such as metallic leather, and they could be metal studded, PVC leather coated, or something else.
Valentino has been making metal studded bags and putting silver chains on the leather handbag every season, and they are still doing this consistently. Their bags come in every shade and their metal details truly catch the light.
Ralph Lauren’s patented leather doctor bag gives off shining effects throughout day and night. Their gold lame metal jewel box evening clutch is a magnificent piece; it can guarantee you that everyone will stop and stare. Marni gold lame PVC coated shopping bag works like a real mirror reflection. Nothing can beat these materials.
Also, let me mention some high-street brands. Miss Selfridge uses rhinestones diamond embroidered on its clutch. Aase Hopstock has woven gold leather clutch and Anya Hindmarch, the glittery boxy evening clutch.
It is worth emphasizing that the most important thing is our own identity. As I always say, we have to be truly confident about ourselves. Otherwise, no matter how bright and shiny what we wear are, they will not achieve the desired effects: to make us look beautiful, to make us feel beautiful – inside and out.
To shine like a star, one has to feel and act like a star — and that means having not only a keen awareness of fashion trends but also a well-developed taste in choosing what really makes one look good, fashionable and stylish.