Back in February, McQ put on one of the best shows during London Fashion week for AW12. A theatrical performance was delivered with a grand finale set in a winter woodland. It was the brand’s first ever show and the result was a magical encounter between the label’s rich past and exciting future. An experience that broke barriers and succeeded expectations. On the one hand, it was the kind of show that is usually more akin to one found in Paris Fashion Week; and on the other, a diffusion line isn’t really supposed to be given such importance.
It was evident that Alexander McQueen Creative Director Sarah Burton has grandiose plans for the line. It was launched as a denim license in 2006 but had difficulty becoming progressive. Now, however, the direction that McQ seems to be embarking on is one headed towards stardom, away from the shadows to be a standalone brand, a strong link on the Alexander McQueen chain. Burton has taken the line under her reign and is now being produced in-house. The ideas behind this reinvigoration are fairly simple – just because a diffusion line is a lower price point, it doesn’t mean that the clothes will be any less beautiful; accessibility does not mean that the brand should forgo the underlying McQueen aesthetic and should be just as strong as mainline.
Since the first McQ drop instore, it’s obvious that the brands renaissance makes for a striking result. Beautiful intarsia knit and overblown A line dresses, tartan and rich wool detailing, well tailored leather skirts, trousers and jackets, alongside a range of military inspired pieces and natured inspired prints – all this makes for a memorable collection which you’re able to differentiate from mainline but still keeps so close to the quintessential McQueen design. It’s a huge success and we love it. It’s fun, young and wearable.
A couple of weeks ago, the girls from McQ came down to Esher to enlighten us with new information about the brand and they told us all about their favourite pieces, advice on how to style the key pieces in the collection and all sorts of fun McQ-related things. And just FYI, the first flagship store is due to open soon offering four floors of women and men’s wear in a gorgeous Edwardian house. Watch this space for news on this! We’re looking forward to it!
Valentino has always had fashion in his heart and in his mind. The Roman designer’s approach to fashion is incomparable to anyone else’s. It is soft and sensuous, loaded with feminine detail. The Valentino woman is fresh and virginal. He is able to create this magic that most designers just can’t turn out. His determination to keep couture at the forefront makes him a one of a kind visionary in a world of fashion where ready-to-wear is the driving force behind any given collection’s aesthetic. So it comes as no surprise that Somerset House will be setting up an exhibition to celebrate the life and work of Valentino, showcasing 130 haute couture pieces worn by the likes of Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Grace Kelly.
The exhibition is set to give visitors an unprecedented intimate look into the master’s life with exciting installations divided into three sections. The first will give you an insight into his world through a collection of photographs from his personal archive, which then unfolds into a fashion show in which the visitors walk the catwalk amidst the hundreds of couture designs. The last section shows the process of making haute couture – the craft and skill and painstaking hours behind such creations as the wedding dress of Princess Marie Chantal of Greece. This will certainly be a journey you won’t forget.
There will also be a series of talks, special screenings and talks to complement the exhibition, while a special Virtual Museum . This is definitely one not to miss! It runs from 29 November, 2012 to 3 March, 2013. Tickets are £12.50/£9 concessions.
German chancelor Angela Merkel holds the top spot in Forbes Magazine’s World’s 100 Most Powerful Women this year, while stylish first lady Michelle Obama, philanthropist Melinda Gates, and executive editor of the New York Times Jill Abramson (who is the first woman to hold the position) made it to the top 10. The list is donned with the likes of Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Shakira. Oprah came in at number 11 whilst Queen Elizabeth sits at number 26 as the oldest entry.
It’s so wonderful to see these women getting the recognition they deserve. Whether they’re entertainers, politicians, high-flyers in the media or corporate worlds, they’re talented, strong, hard-working and have vision. They are role models who are shaping the future for women everywhere.
Inspired by these women, committed to change the world in their own way, overcoming any limitation and adversity to come their way we compiled an edit of empowering pieces that mean business.
Here at Bernard’s, we love to bring you garments from the most innovative, most acclaimed designers around –la crème de la crème, if you will.
First up, we have the Athens born Central Saint Martins graduate Mary Katrantzou. Not only has she wowed the insatiable world of fashion editors and fashionistas time and time again with her hyperrealist aesthetics, bold graphics and design largely driven by pattern, but she’s been lauded with various coveted fashion awards in the past couple of years. Most recently, Katrantzou partnered up with Vodafone, following in the footsteps of Christopher Kane and Richard Nicholl, to give her fans exclusive access to her shows during London Fashion Week in an effort to “bring them to the front line of fashion week.”
Her A/W 12 collection is inspiring, full of sci-fi references with an industrial feel; rigid peplums, panniers and strong linear graphics are juxtaposed to the fluidity of wide-legged trousers and batwings. Ruffles and constructed panels give depth, while delicate angora details on sleeves and high collars give a nod to the imminent winter months. In the words of Ms. Katrantzou herself, you can’t go wrong with pieces that are “mapped around the female figure.”
If you fancy yourself a wearable object of art, we have her jersey shift and heavy satin dresses for you to indulge in.
Last Friday was the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. Thirty-five years on and he still lives. As thousands flocked to Graceland for a candlelight tribute on August 16th for a special memorial, we commemorate this larger-than-life individual today by tapping our own Blue Suede Shoes. Long live the King of Rock and Roll!
“A curated and emotional view on fashion and culture…”
Vs Magazine, founded in 2005 by Jakob F. Stubkjær and Vibe Dabelsteen, is know for its editorial edge, large format and slick design. It’s a biannual publication and every issue has four different covers, usually featuring the leading ladies and gentlemen of the celebrity world, from Hollywood sweethearts, to prominent supermodels, to the most influential fashion figures.
The covers are enigmatic and arresting, and always in focal black & white. For their next issue Rachel McAdams, Coco Rocha, Amanda Seyfried and Liv Tyler are the chosen four. Shot by Drew Barrymore, amongst other talented and rather unlikely photographers, we can’t wait to get our hands on (at least) one of the mags.
Coco Rocha looks absolutely stunning! We think that’s our favourite, with her sultry eyes and up-do. Which one would you pick?
It has to be said that 2012 has proved to be a phenomenal year for Britain – a year in which the Queen celebrated 60 years of royal reign and gave us a quintessentially British bank holiday; the build-up to the Olympics and the Games themselves provided us and the rest of the world with a myriad of events and spectacles showcasing the best of British talent and culture; and last but not least the Paralympics, which will culminate this historic period in time. It is with this sense of pride that we celebrate British fashion as a troop of born and bred designers displayed such innovation in design, namely Stella McCartney who designed Team GB’s kit.
It’s really no secret that the mastermind behind one of the most respected labels in the world that demands such reverence thanks to impeccable design that time and time again reinvents the ‘Stella McCartney’ woman making her relevant and yet always in touch with the organic concept that has carried the brand all along. For AW12 McCartney has dreamed up and accomplished a beautiful collection which reflects ‘Britishness’ in a subtle and elegant manner. Tweeds, royal blues and baroque touches run through out, making for compelling ready-to-wear. Which is why we have chosen the short Tweed Jacket as our most desired piece this week.
This jacket has us literally swooning. It’s rather sturdy fit and padded shoulders gives it a rather empowering structure, as does the delicate weave of gold, while the black and white jersey varsity styled collar gives it a touch of laid-back appeal making it a versatile piece; a day-to-night piece, if you will. It’s as much a statement jacket as it can be a staple with a twist that will certainly beat any tweed that you may find.
If there’s one trend this season that will take you on to new levels of sartorial experimentation, it’s leather. In all its shapes and forms, it will lead you into a world unknown where pretty much everything goes as it plays to any character you want it to. Leather is a multifaceted and surprisingly functional gem which has quickly become the object of our desires. Although black is an obvious choice, pieces are dipped in the colour of the season: burgundy. The subcultural connotations that this trend alludes to are interesting, at times dark, but never boring. Modern spins, beautiful cuts that are soft-as-butter or sharp and edgy – indulge in leather lust.
The leather jacket has surpassed the test of time, of course, notably as a staple – sometimes perhaps as a statement piece – in our wardrobes. In this season’s leather revival, the leather jacket is no longer a trusty item to fall back on. Let it take centre stage in aviator, biker or oversized styles.
Like the millions of other people around the world, we were glued to our tellies last night watching the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games. It was a time for celebrating the enormous success that the past two weeks have been in a breathtaking performance from Britain’s greatest export over the last 50 years – music legends, living and dead, in addition to the best of British fashion.
From beyond the grave, Freddy Mercury stood tall in a magnificent hologram leading the 80,000 strong crowd in a sing-along, as did Queen guitarist Brian May alongside Jessie J, while John Lennon made an appearance in a previously unseen video of ‘Imagine.’ Rapper Tinie Tempa Monty Python star Eric Idle performed ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ surrounded by a fantastical group of nuns on roller blades, Morris Dancers and a choir of rugby players. And the act that was most anticipated, albeit a bit too short for our liking, was the Spice Girls reunited singing atop of quintessential London black cabs. Fatboy Slim got the party started in a DJ booth that blew up into a giant octopus, Stomp played the capital’s landmarks as instruments and east London’s stadium was turned into a giant catwalk.
A troop of legendary supermodels including the great Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Lily Cole took to the stage for a Midas Touch parade dressed in Burberry, Erdem, Jonathan Saunders, Victoria Beckham, McQueen and Christopher Kane. Jessie J looked stunning in Vivienne Westwood, whilst Emeli Sande opened the act in Alexander McQueen. British fashion could not have made the country more proud thanks to the biggest household names in design. The models looked stunning drenched in gold embroidered gowns.
As the cauldron separated and the Olympic flame dwindled, signalling the official end of the 2012 Olympic games, artists from the Royal Ballet gave a spectacular performance as the Phoenix rose above the audience. We were left in awe of such a fantastic showcase of British talent – from the sport stars that took us on this emotional journey to the glory of gold, silver and bronze; to the thousands of volunteers that made the Olympics possible; to the artistry that made the opening and closing ceremonies the spectacles that they were.