John Galliano for christian dior 1998
Marchesa Casati, an Italian heiress, with a wardrobe so extravagant and decadent she is the perfect muse to inspire any talented designer. Known for wearing live snakes as jewellery and walking 2 pet cheetahs, this possibilities of creativity are endless. When announced the show would take place at Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris, including renowned Models, Astrid Munoz and Eva Herzigova, this show was not going to be anything of the ordinary.
This collection has been imprinted in my mind. 20 years ago it was created and has influenced so many pieces since. Poetic, alluring and extravagant, featuring mink fur trimmed coats, cinched waists inspired form the 20th century, and stunning silhouettes adding too all things sensual and desirable as a women. The combination, of simple silhouettes and large hoop skirts, created a diverse collection. I cant go without speaking of the tailoring, edwardian inspired buttoned fronts, draped skirts with flamboyant hats. It feels like stepping back in time into a contemporary world. The combination of old and past meeting at the Marble sets of the Opera Garnier was a spectacle going above just a fashion show.
The start, showcasing simple and elegant pieces to then, garish and embellished pieces worked wonders. The hats, a spectacle in their own right, completed each look with draped chiffon intertwined with floral pieces. The detail in the cloth and skill all inspired by Art-nouveau, created a rich and textured line which all lead to the final piece. Worn by model Debbie Dietering, a Marie Antoinette inspired Dress. Large ruffles, and bell shaped skirt with an accentuated waist, followed by an exorbitant train covered in individually sewn yellow butterflies. A big focus of this collection in my opinion, was how each outfit, was not revealing or overly provocative. But, made each women the definition of sensual, glamorous and absolutely beautiful.
Thanks to the wonder that is Instagram, I came across the beautiful and affluent designer that is Cecilie Bahnsen. Renowned model Caroline branch, had in my view, one of the most angelic and serene weddings with bridesmaids and herself all dressed in Cecilie Bahnsen, which completely added to the whole theme of there wedding. Keeping completely unison with the Copenhagen effortless and relaxed approach to style. Danish designer who has worked for Erdem, John Galliano and Christian Dior has showcased her unique style and creativity as well as true originality.
The Danish designer, base in Copenhagen, has embraced traditional technique such as quilting and patchwork, but incorporating it to her contemporary read to wear pieces. Copenhagen has a rich design history, and Bahnsen really embraces that into her pieces. I read a Quote by her in an recent interview
“It’s OK for women to express their femininity in all sorts of ways. Being ‘girly’ or wearing ruffles and bows doesn’t mean you’re frivolous or unsophisticated. Quite the opposite – it shows strong personality and kind of feminine power. I think you can combine girlishness with gravitas to create something really elegant.”
Cecile Bahnsen has carved her name now into the industry, keeping her authenticity, and style. Embracing the delicacy of women and there fragility. Her signature silhouette is recognisable with in an instant. Cecilie Bahnsen’s Sping/Summer 2019 collection was the first collection I saw of hers and Have followed since. Throughout her collections you can see her influence of childlike innocence, with soft draping, and rounded edges. Her use of peplums, and puffed sleeves giving a dream like state to each collection. In her Autumn/winter collection, she used black. A contrast of two inspirations, which added a dark side to her angelic silhouettes.
90s retro style has been seeping back in to society for the last year. From the Spice girls iconic outfits, moonboots, and buffalos. One designer has gone a step further and done a collection with Polly Pocket. Is there anything better? Incapsulating all things from the youth of the 90s. Fresh Water and baroque pearls, silk satin, velvet ribbon and lace, to remind you of the jewellery you would wear playing dress up and racing your mums wardrobe. Calling out , as she said, to the women who are young at heart.
Dresses covered with graphic paintings, snippets of old movies and words that have influenced the designer. That stand out to her, and become and integral part of her designs. Her pieces feminine and girly, but with an underlying twisted essence. Full of character and all things childlike. At just a glimpse, my brain rewires and taps into my memories and I go straight back to my youth. Clip on earrings I would wear as a child, and clip clop shoes, like jellys, with fake jewels and huge beads bigger than my face. Creating a box of pastel pieces ready for women to dive in and became there younger self again.
You can see how Old Vintage Hollywood glamour is influenced across her work, but in a unique way. A huge Influence and main muse for the London based designer, is her Grandmother, a debutant back in the day, her truly epitomises all things glamorous and classic. She poke of her influence with magazine Dazed, saying she taught her to use humour within her work, as for her grandmother it was a coping mechanism. Her pieces now worn by stars such as Lana Del Ray and Adwoah Aboah are giving her huge status, and rightly so. You instantly know that, when you look at a dress, it is her design. She has created a signature brand that can only go up. Her pieces are to give confidence to women, to play a part. Just because you wear pink and frills does not make you weaker or less independent than if you wore trousers and a suit jacket. It is embracing a femininity that perhaps has been lost by making ourselves have a stronger role in society and compromising a natural allure as a women.