If there's one thing that guaranteed Instagram likes all year thus far, it's hair accessories. Whether giant padded headbands or cutesy diamanté clips, the enthusiasm for this outfit add-on shows no sign of slowing down for autumn/winter and the accompanying party season. We were particularly enamoured with the most outré options, like Simone Rocha's crystal tiaras or Alessandra Rich's marabou halos.
Valentino started his brilliant and admirable career in the world of fashion in 1950 when he moved to Paris to study design. His classically elegant and feminine designs made women look utterly glamorous. The Italian maestro worked at houses Dessus and Laroche before going back to Rome to set up his business in 1959. By the mid-1960s, Valentino was a favorite designer of the world’s best-dressed women, including Jacqueline Kennedy. Among his signatures is a particular fabric shade, known as “Valentino red.”
In fact, Schiaparelli’s designs were often all too simple to copy, unlike the work of her chief rival, Coco Chanel. After World War II, Schiaparelli, who had lived in New York during the war, returned to Paris and found a different sensibility among its people. The post-war desire for simplicity and practicality made the unique embellishments of her designs less popular, and the endless knock-offs also cut into her profits.
In the 60’s, Valentino made a decision that would enhance his reputation; he sent Jacqueline Kennedy, the American First Lady and fashion icon, a series of his pieces to look over. She was enchanted with his designs, and even chose to wear one of his dresses when she married her second husband, Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis: her influence led to greater fame and fortune in North America.
Over in London, things were distinctly more aggressive: Punk and themes of dissonance could be felt strongly (Brexit, much?), with plenty of tartan, more safety pins than even Johnny Rotten could handle and Vivienne Westwood staging an entire protest about climate change for her show. The strong mood could clearly be felt over the Channel, too, as British designer Sarah Burton's vision for Alexander McQueen this coming season established the poshest and most brilliantly executed iteration on punk we've seen in a long, long time. And talking of being combative, if you don't pick up on the "army" theme of many of the season's biggest shows (Bottega Veneta, Chloé, Miu Miu) and end up buying a pair of combat boots, I'll eat my bucket hat.
Until the 1950s, fashion clothing was predominately designed and manufactured on a made-to-measure or haute couture basis (French for high-sewing), with each garment being created for a specific client. A couture garment is made to order for an individual customer, and is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric, sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Look and fit take priority over the cost of materials and the time it takes to make. Due to the high cost of each garment, haute couture makes little direct profit for the fashion houses, but is important for prestige and publicity.
Marine Serre's printed tights have already been a huge smash with retailers and fashion girls over the past year, and we've also witnessed hosiery from Fendi, Balenciaga and other trend-setting luxury brands proving to be a great entry-level purchase for those looking to update their vibe without buying an entirely new outfit. The trend for tights (whether simple black opaques or something more adventurous) is poised to grow even stronger if the A/W 19 shows and my gut feeling are to be trusted. From crystal-dotted party tights to matching your floral dress to your floral hosiery, many brands felt this was the right final flourish to make a get-up catwalk-ready.