Paris Fashion Week: The resurrection of Vionnet

In the 1920's, a young French designer named Madeleine Vionnet created a virtual tornado in the in the fashion industry when she developed the bias cut. By cutting fabric against the grain, she enabled it to cling, drape and give in a way that was flattering to the body. Vionnet went on to build an enviable and innovative business, dressing clients such as Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, and Greta Garbo. The house was shut down during the Second World War, but since then, Vionnet's technique has been widely used by numerous acclaimed designers, including Azzedine Alaia and John Galliano, who has made the bias-cut dress one of his own signatures. Now, almost 70 years after it faded into oblivion, the…

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Paris Fashion Week: 6267 – That dress!

Ever since Roberto Rimondi and Tommaso Aquilano of 6267 sent their S/S 2008 collection down the runway in Milan last week, everyone has been talking about that dress. In her glowing review, Suzy Menkes said the big surprise of the show came "when the models turned to show a wide dress morph into a sinuous shape at the back. It sounds tricky, but the idea worked, offering one of the most intriguing contrasts of the season." Of the show's standout piece, Nicole Phelps of Style.com said that "Rimondi and Aquilano have an untapped avant-garde streak: Coming, the dress looked like a sculptural, full-blown trapeze; going, it revealed itself to be a body-skimming, provocative sheath." (Note: Unfortunately, no photo of that…

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Gentry de Paris: Tapping into the burlesque revival

Sometimes fashion takes you to the most unexpected places. This is what keeps me interested. Last night I found myself in the heart of Paris' red light district -- home to some salacious joints like les Folies Pigalle and le Moulin Rouge. Why would I show up in such a place in the middle of the week? Because when I received an email from Gentry Lane inviting me to her latest event in Paris, I knew I had to attend: Because my brand is associated with all things vintage and glamorous, I decided to bring the best burlesque performers from Europe and the US together along with the amazing electro gypsy jazz band Caravan Palace for a night of burlesque…

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Goyard and Tory Burch: 5th Avenue Styletribe, New York

It is cliche to say that New Yorkers dress in uniform, but as with most cliches, there is a kernel of truth to this one that can't be denied. There is also no denying that New Yorkers are stylish, they just tend to be stylish in easily identifiable groups often associated with the areas in which they live and work, ie. Williamsburg hipsters in skinny jeans and hoodies, Wall Street bankers in Brooks Brothers and 5th Avenue ladies who lunch in Chanel. Sure, you could say the same is true for Londoners as there are trends that seem to capture the imagination of Notting Hillbillies, Sloane Rangers and Hoxtonites alike, but somehow these are executed with individual panache that makes…

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Feting Fetishism, Paris

Last night, legendary Parisian concept store Colette feted London designer Giles Deacon's latest collaboration with Mulberry -- a link to Giles' S/S 07 collection of 'subtle' fetishism. The place was rammed with fashionistas (there were a couple of other events going on). The Parisians are into colour-blocking these days, there was a lot of red, purple and electric blue peaking out of black blazers, leather jackets and dresses. Even the cocktails of the night were electric blue. Collaborations like this are good for emerging designers like Giles because they provide much needed cash to fund the business through working capital crunches, lend credibilty to designer's stature, and raise the profile of the designer on the back of PR events like…

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Luxury Lingerie and Loungewear

How cool does this look? What a creative event. Gentry de Paris is hosting a very special event at next weekend's Salon de la Lingerie. In conjunction with the cult Parisian cabaret MurderSuicidePresents, Monsieur Poudre, our mysterious Master of Ceremonies, will be your guide into the curious and surreal dream of sleeping Joséphine de Beauharnais. Featuring Lady Bird in a silver cage and Miss Morte under a flurry of ostrich feather fans, Joséphine’s strange dream comes alive once an hour through a pink champagne haze provided by to our gracious sponsor Champagne Duval-Leroy Elegant lines and opulent fabrics inspired by the Premier Empire feature heavily in the Winter 2007 collection. Our bra-panty-garter sets in luscious French silk satin jacquards come…

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Kid Luxe?

I am on the Eurostar to Paris and came across an article in the latest edition of TIME - Style and Design on the Paris-based luxury children's brand, Bonpoint. Apparently, the company is actively in play to be acquired (possibly by France's Pinault family) after having been nicely prepped and dressed-up by Edmond de Rothschild Capital Partners, who acquired 70% of the company from its founders in 2003. Since then, the company has grown to almost €43m in annual turnover with about 60 Bonpoint retail stores around the world. This is impressive for a brand that has slowly been building itself in a market that is not very well understood. I have to admit that I have always been sceptical…

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