The beautiful kitsch of Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2017 Menswear

I’ve been a lifelong fan of Dolce & Gabbana… my folks dressed me in it as a child and it’s among the first labels I remember buying when I started shopping for myself. Their clothes all fit so well and last forever, the excess of embellishment juxtaposing clean, modern silhouettes is exactly my taste and, well, their ad’s are always on point. Furthermore, as a lover of the type of romanticized history the brand bases it’s designs on, I don’t think I’m going to be jumping ship anytime soon.

Following several seasons of in-depth explorations of traditional Italian themes, the Fall 2017 “The New Princes” collection was a slightly more toned down continuation of their recent offerings. Featuring fall’s darker colours, beautifully crafted embellishment and a level of comical kitsch that was on the verge of being too much- but wasn’t. With over 100 looks covering everything from formal, lounge and sportswear to stuffed animal backpacks and embroidered heraldic beasts, there was something for every taste. It was a playful offering, sure to bring out the child in any man.

The overwhelming media attention has focused on the show’s models- superstar millennials Cameron Dallas, Tinie Tempah, Chen Xue Dong, the Stallone sisters, Sofia Richie and others walked among a sprinkling of actual (super)models Lucky Blue Smith, Oliver Cheshire, Aurelien Muller and the like, but for me, the clothes stole the show. True- a good model is entertaining and a star like Naomi Campbell can leave a viewer awestruck, but I look at runway shows so I can see what I want to buy. So, that’s what we’ll be focusing on here.

First of all, I love the embellished metallic suits and coats. The Dolce & Gabbana Alta Sartoria fall 2015 show premiered a literal suit of gold that closed the show in every sense, but this season’s less embellished versions were no less showstopping. The gold, blue and black jacquard suit worn by Tinie Tempah, a gold and red patterned three piece and another in black velvet covered with small golden crowns were my favourites, but really, I like them all. A beautifully tailored gold and black overcoat shown over pinstriped pants and red velvet slippers was another favourite, as was a bronze, gold and black Asian-inspired paisley patterned suit. Yes, they’re not really for regular wear, but I’d definitely wear them to all sorts of parties and club nights as shown, or with other clothing.

Even the darkest non-glittery suits and outerwear were cut of uber luxurious fabrics and were so well tailored that they definitely deserve mention- Cameron Dallas’ show opening deep purple and black number, another of black embriodery, Lucky Blue’s heavy wool coat and all of the looks sent out for the show’s final walk.

Embellished sweaters were another highlight and were definitely where a lot of the show’s kitsch showed up. All manner of snarling beast, heraldic symbols, skeletons, crowned cartoon faces, a ferocious bear sweater with one furry arm and more strutted down the catwalk in Milan. To many, it’s a lot. To me- perfect! I love all the early Renaissance looking animals, Barberini gold bees and endless crowns. Even the pop art caricatures of Domenico and Stefano that were added to a button down jacket were great. True, the stuffed toy looking backpacks and hoodie were too much- and you won’t see them here, but I didn’t mind them on the runway. Though this is coming from someone with closets full of just as kitsch-y clothes, I think Dolce & Gabbana straddled the playful line perfectly.

Printed polo and silk shirts and black ruffle-fronted shirts were also outstanding and beautifully carried the Renaissance theme. The ruffled shirts were mostly shown with embellished suits and somehow didn’t at all seem out of place.

Then there were some pieces that didn’t really fit in, but I very much liked. First was a camel coat that was beautifully tailored and had a pair of embroidered knights in a square off on the chest. The length and fit on this are exceptional. Then there was a beautiful gold edged, oversized black wool tunic that has an intricate coat of arms on the front and wine red quilted lining that I will DEFINITELY be getting. It was shown over a red velvet hoodie with grey pants and looked extremely comfortable. Finally the brilliant yellow blazer and brocade, lion embroidered bomber jacket stood out among the darker shades of the rest of the collection and were definite high points. As were the pants with armor shaped fabric additions at the ankle that were shown in many colours and fabrics throughout the lineup.

Finally, you can’t talk about Dolce & Gabbana and not mention the shoes and accessories. Let’s just say I like all. Shoe wise, the label’s coveted velvet slippers were in full force and were all beautifully detailed, but the simplest boots and formal shoes were just as good. I wish they had sent a good pair of slim toe-d oxfords down the runway because I’m not a fan of boxy, rounded shoes, but even these were of obviously excellent quality. The jewelry and bags shown (minus the animal ones) were great too, and of special note was the style and number of slim bowties that appeared.

Style wise, multiple signet rings and layers of chains turned the models into modern princes and are very easy additions that bring that catwalk style into your personal wardrobe. I’ve been rocking exactly that look for years, but I think I’m going to add a few more. Dolce & Gabbana is all about that lux, so head to toe, the models exuded wealth and a certain polished joie de vivre.

It was great.

Image credits: cover photo- Dolce & Gabbana’s official Instagram page, all others via Vogue.com

My best,

Estevan

We Love: Mayiet S/s 2017

Maiyet Spring 2017. Image MAIYET

Maiyet Spring 2017. Image MAIYET

Designed after creative director Declan Kearney stepped down in June, Maiyet’s Spring 2017 collection is a surprisingly great offering of luxurious, effortlessly elegant clothes that can be worn time and time again with ease.

Maiyet Spring 2017. Image MAIYET

Maiyet Spring 2017. Image MAIYET

This collection stays true to Maiyet’s commitment to celebrate, support and collaborate with artisans from around the world, by creating eye catching and beautiful garments with a global accent. Constructed with embroideries from Mumbai, block prints from Jaipur, knits from Bolivia, cashmere from Mongolia and ethically- sourced Egyptian cotton, the results were unique and beautiful, with sumptuous textures and gorgeously rich colours.

Maiyet Spring 2017. Image MAIYET

Maiyet Spring 2017. Image MAIYET

Designed around a custom made textured fabric from Varanasi, the collection was all about making the act of dressing an enjoyable experience. Body skimming silks, organic cotton and cozy cashmere all played a big part in the offering, which paired comfortable cuts and rich neutral colours, making clothing that customers would kill for.

Maiyet Spring 2017. Image MAIYET

Maiyet Spring 2017. Image MAIYET

The prominent and tactile luxury of the collection, paired with its timeless look, made for an offering that would appeal to those who want elegant, easy- to- wear garments that transition seamlessly from day to night.

Maiyet Spring 2017. Image MAIYET

Maiyet Spring 2017. Image MAIYET

Our favourites: a pink slipdress with an embroidered mesh overlay, a pair of outsize embroidered silk trousers with a draped waistline, a fil coupé column gown with a drawstring waist, a wrap waist jacket in nude silk, a white intarsia cotton and organza shirt, an embroidered organza camisole and a black intarsia silk slipdress.

Xx – Ana

SIDEWALK SAUNTER

Sexy day wear at the Milan s/s 2017 shows. Image - Phil Oh for vogue.com

Sexy club wear at the Milan s/s 2017 shows

It’s the end of the S/S 2017 shows in Milan and apart from all of the mesmerizing fashion that has been seen on the runways, the street style has also been amazing! I’ve said before that you can’t beat Italian style for it’s cool sexiness and this fashion week has proved that.

Chiara Ferragni in an amazing sheer Roberto Cavalli gown, showing it off as something so beautiful should be. She looks amazing.
Image - instagram.com

Chiara Ferragni in Roberto Cavalli.
Image – instagram.com

A pair of great jeans and a well fitting blazer really need to be in every man's wardrobe. The off white shirt works perfectly with the blazer's colour, while this gent's accessories complete his look perfectly.  Image - thesartorealist.com

A pair of great jeans and a well fitting blazer really need to be in every man’s wardrobe. The off white shirt works perfectly with the blazer’s colour, while this gent’s accessories complete his look perfectly.
Image – thesartorealist.com

The ladies definitely won the Milan style game and have taken over this week’s Sidewalk Saunter. From fine gowns to sexy club wear, the women of the Milan s/s 2017 wore them all to perfection and provided excellent style sources for women the world over. Yet it’s their day-wear options that really steal the show- look at the fit and all the little touches throughout so many of these women’s looks… so great.

Carlo Sestini Branca in Loro Piana and Zina Charkoplia in Philosophy. Both look great, but Zina's stealing the limelight in her ruffled blue number.  Image - Instagram.com

Carlo Sestini Branca in Loro Piana and Zina Charkoplia in Philosophy. Both look great, but Zina’s stealing the limelight in her ruffled blue number.
Image – Instagram.com

Black and brown are not supposed to be complimentary colours, but this stylish woman shows how wrong that is.  Image - nymag.com

Black and brown are not supposed to be complimentary colours, but this stylish woman shows how wrong that is.
Image – nymag.com

the colours and patterns in this print are so striking, but her fringed cobalt bag is just as stand-out.  Image - elle.com

the colours and patterns in this print are so striking, but her fringed cobalt bag is just as stand-out.
Image – elle.com

Rising supermodel sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid stroll into a show looking flawless. According to Ana, this is how she and our sister Jacqueline stroll anywhere. It's a sister thing... Anyway, Bella's outfit, on that figure, with that attitude, is where it's at. Image - Phil Oh for vogue.com

Rising supermodel sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid stroll into a show looking flawless. According to Ana, this is how she and our sister Jacqueline stroll anywhere. It’s a sister thing… Anyway, Bella’s outfit, on that figure, with that attitude, is where it’s at.
Image – Phil Oh for vogue.com

I really, really like this gent's look. It's comfortable and stylish and the deep colours and modern cuts are easy to wear from day to night. The round sunglasses are pretty hot too.  Image - thesartorealist.com

I really, really like this gent’s look. It’s comfortable and stylish and the deep colours and modern cuts are easy to wear from day to night. The round sunglasses are pretty hot too.
Image – thesartorealist.com

Bright and colourful with a cool hemline and zipper. She could have done without the t-shirt beneath, but I get it. Cool. Image - nymag.com

Bright and colourful with a cool hemline and zipper. She could have done without the t-shirt beneath, but I get it. Cool.
Image – nymag.com

Black is always classic and can look amazing pretty easily, but this lady's dress has modern silhouettes and proportions while fitting her like a golves- and it looks great! Her minimalist gold necklace and cool haircut elevate the look. Image - nymag.com

Black is always classic and can look amazing pretty easily, but this lady’s dress has modern silhouettes and proportions while fitting her like a golves- and it looks great! Her minimalist gold necklace and cool haircut elevate the look.
Image – nymag.com

Two examples of great ornamentation and I like both equally. The neon lobster on the black dress to the right is cool and modern, and contrasts with the much more traditional embroidered cranes to it's left. Apart from their cool outfits, both if these women look amazing. Image - Phil Oh for vogue.com

Two examples of great ornamentation and I like both equally. The neon lobster on the black dress to the right is cool and modern, and contrasts with the much more traditional embroidered cranes to it’s left. Apart from their cool outfits, both if these women look amazing.
Image – Phil Oh for vogue.com

Wonderful in white with a great colourful bag and the attitude of a star. I'm sure she took the Marni show by storm! Image - nymag.com

Wonderful in white with a great colourful bag and the attitude of a star. I’m sure she took the Marni show by storm!
Image – nymag.com

Supermodel Jourdan Dunn flashing a smile on the way to a show. Beautiful! Image - Phil Oh for vogue.com

Supermodel Jourdan Dunn flashing a smile on the way to a show. Beautiful!
Image – Phil Oh for vogue.com

This woman's blouse is like a painting and I'm here for it. Plus it's plain cool with it's cuffs and voluminous sleeves. That with her very fitted jeans and long 70-s hair is amazing.  Image - nymag.com

This woman’s blouse is like a painting and I’m here for it. Plus it’s plain cool with it’s cuffs and voluminous sleeves. That with her very fitted jeans and long 70-s hair is amazing.
Image – nymag.com

Ok, this woman’s skirt and that bike wheel maybe aren’t the best pairing, but it’s a good image. Image – nymag.com” class=”size-medium” /> Ok, this woman’s skirt and that bike wheel maybe aren’t the best pairing, but it’s a good image.
Image – nymag.com[/caption]

I wish I could find a larger version of this picture because Carlo's wearing the hell out of that denim jumpsuit and leather jacket. Image - instagram.com

I wish I could find a larger version of this picture because Carlo’s wearing the hell out of that denim jumpsuit and leather jacket.
Image – instagram.com

I feel like I could definitely party with them. I love the girl's comfortable hang-out look and great hair and I'd wear everything the fella has on. I'm currently growing out his cool haircut too.  Image - Phil Oh for vogue.com

I feel like I could definitely party with them. I love the girl’s comfortable hang-out look and great hair and I’d wear everything the fella has on. I’m currently growing out his cool haircut too.
Image – Phil Oh for vogue.com

This man's shirt is so great with that pattern that's almost like a book illustration. His sunglasses are great and although I don't usually care for huge monogrammed belt buckles, his works.  Image - nymag.com

This man’s shirt is so great with that pattern that’s almost like a book illustration. His sunglasses are great and although I don’t usually care for huge monogrammed belt buckles, his works.
Image – nymag.com

Overall, the street style this past week was of excellent quality. Whether seen from afar or up close, these looks are all completely on point.

Let's end with Chiara Ferragni killing it again in an oversized silver cable- knit and short shirt. Her look's so simple but effective. Image - elle.com

Let’s end with Chiara Ferragni killing it again in an oversized silver cable- knit and short shirt. Her look’s so simple but effective.
Image – elle.com

My best,

Estevan

The Colourful World Of Printed Men’s Shirts

Dolce & Gabbana. Image - thefashionisto.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image – thefashionisto.com

Gone are the days of only simple patterns and solid colours.

Dolce & Gabbana. Image - theimpression.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image – theimpression.com

A few years ago, we saw the meteoric rise of Florence’s Pitti Uomo menswear shows to the top of the fashion world. Helped in a large part by the colourful outfits worn by show and event attendees, Pitti is and was a breath of fresh air. Called “peacocking”, the world’s dandies strutted for the fashion press in outfits of colours and combinations that dazzled- and helped bring a shift in everyday menswear away from the more sombre tones we’d all gotten accustomed to. As a bit of a dandy myself, I think it’s great!

Prada. Image - cdn-img.instyle.com

Prada. Image – cdn-img.instyle.com

Prada. Image - pinterest.com

Prada. Image – pinterest.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image - daman.co.id

Dolce & Gabbana. Image – daman.co.id

Truthfully, Pitti wasn’t the sole influencer in this shift. The rise of social media and style stars, street and pop art influenced urban wear that saw collaborations with avant-garde artists and top fashion brands (think of the Louis Vuitton/ Takashi Murakami collaboration), the rise in awareness of traditional and non-Western fashions and cultures (especially traditionall Italian and Asian), the constant evolution of fashion as a whole… all helped, but images from Pitti put this change squarely before our eyes. It wasn’t long before beautiful, colourful clothing and patterns appeared on the runways and among the fashion crowd. With the the s/s 2017 shows well underway, I’d say colourful men’s clothing is definitely becoming mainstream, and it’s the bright showstopping shirts that are making the biggest splash.

Dolce & Gabbana. Image - theimpression.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image – theimpression.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image - theimpression.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image – theimpression.com

Prada.  Image - tumblr.com

Prada. Image – tumblr.com

Now there have been labels and collections with amazing printed shirts for ages (Versace, Cavalli and the like), but the first I remember was a Prada offering (above) in a 2012 show. Off white and covered with 50’s-esque illustrations of people doing things, it was fresh, bright and memorable. Now, these themes are all the rage and Prada is still leading the pack with almost kitschy awesomeness in its “Impossible True Love” shirt, where an airman kisses Cleopatra under a starry sky. It’s bright. It’s cool. It’s almost like wearing a fancy comic book page and I really like it.

Prada's Impossible True Love tunic shirt. Image - tumblr.com

Prada’s Impossible True Love tunic shirt. Image – tumblr.com

Jeremy Scott. Image - tumblr.com

Jeremy Scott. Image – tumblr.com

Valentino Cosmos printed shirt. Image - niemanmarcus.com

Valentino Cosmos printed shirt. Image – niemanmarcus.com

Dolce & Gabbana, Tom Ford, Marni, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton… all are presenting amazing pieces. Jeremy Scott and Y-3 have examples with a hot street edge. Versace, Cavalli and Gucci continue with lush Italian designs printed on silk that make you think of party nights in Monaco or Sardenia. Brazilian label Desigual has designs with a tropical, really Brazilian, lightness. Basically… there are amazing examples to be found, so gents, join the trend!

Prada. Image - thesartorealist.com

Prada. Image – thesartorealist.com

Prada. Image - pinterest.com

Prada. Image – pinterest.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image - instagram.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image – instagram.com

My favourites are from Dolce & Gabbana’s collections. Their rich colours, almost over-embellishment and renaissance inspired designs throughout their menswear collections have always appealed to me. I love them. Hell, I’m wearing one of their shirts right now (though it’s just simple black)! Their campaigns are also great style inspirations for the gent looking to try a truly Italian luxury look.

Dolce & Gabbana. Image - thefashionisto.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image – thefashionisto.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image - dolcegabbana.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image – dolcegabbana.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image - pinterest.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image – pinterest.com

Other favourites are the Asian inspired designs and rich colours at Louis Vuitton and the blue and white patterns at Prada that resemble old Dutch tiles. I also like Prada’s tunic-like shapes that look really breezy and comfortable.

Louis Vuitton. Image - tumblr.com

Louis Vuitton. Image – tumblr.com

Louis Vuitton. Image - vogue.com

Louis Vuitton. Image – vogue.com

Prada. Image - tumblr.com

Prada. Image – tumblr.com

If you’re wondering how to wear them, I’d say either go full Pitti- all out with an entire outfit of colours and patterns, or make your shirt the highlight of your look by keeping your trousers and accessories sombre. I usually wear mine with either dark blue or black jeans, trousers or shorts, black shoes and if I’m wearing a jacket, it’ll be black or navy blue.

Marni. Image - thesartorealist.com

Marni. Image – thesartorealist.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image - instagram.com

Dolce & Gabbana. Image – instagram.com

Dolce & Gabbana Alta Sartoria. Image - tumblr.com

Dolce & Gabbana Alta Sartoria. Image – tumblr.com

What do you guys think? Colourful printed shirts- yes or no? I’m certainly enjoying the trend.
My best,

Estevan

Friday Fierceness!

Fan Bingbing in Zuhair Murad Couture at the La Fille de Brest Premiere

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Fan Bingbing attends the premiere of La Fille de Brest during the 2016 San Sebastian International Film Festival at the Kursaal Palace in San Sebastian, Spain. Image GETTY IMAGES

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Her gown was a taubenblau jacquard Zuhair Murad ballgown with an embroidered tattoo effect bodice from the Fall 2016 Couture Collection. Her jewelry was tanzanite and diamond chandelier earrings by Chopard. Image GETTY IMAGES

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Image GETTY IMAGES

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Image GETTY IMAGES

Sidewalk Saunter- Film Festival Edition.

Alicia Vikander & Michael Fassbender. Image- thefix.nine.com.au

These definitely aren’t sidewalks, but a lot of sauntering is going on. From August 31st to September 10th 2016, at the beautiful Lido di Venezia, the 73rd Venice International Film Festival is the highlight of the entertainment world. Organized by La Biennale di Venezia, the Venice Film Festival is the just as white tie- but slightly older, Italian equivalent of the famous Festival de Cannes that’s held in May at the seaside French Riviera town. Some of the world’s most gifted film makers, directors, actors, designers and models have gathered at The Floating City for the event, and they’ve definitely dressed for the occasion.

hhh

Jake Gyllenhaal looking cool and stylish for a daytime premiere.
Image- halboor.com

Whenever stars, media coverage of the highest level and warm European resort spots converge, the fashion is generally top notch. So far, the Venice Film Festival attendees haven’t disappointed, and from the city’s famous canals to the streets, red carpets and parties, the stars are heightening their style game with great looks. Some, like Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jake Gyllenhaal and Barbara Palvin rocked multiple great looks that are on this list, but there’s been a wealth of style inspiration going on- and the festival still runs for some days! Let’s highlight a few standouts.

Diane Kruger in a silver embroidered, ivory white gown.
Image- celebitchy.com

Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams, and Darren Le Gallo arriving at a premiere. I love how 1950’s this image looks.
Image- vanityfair.com

Barbara Palvin arrives at the 73rd Venice Film Festival.
Image- hawtcelebs.com

Director Francesco Carrozzini and his mother Franca Sozzani, Italian Vogue’s editor-in-chief at the premiere of Francesco’s documentary on the extraordinary life of his mother. I think both look amazing… Italian high style at its finest.
Image- wmagazine.com

Model Eva Herzigova at her hotel before the Franca: Chaos and Creations premiere. Not so much a style shot, but I think Eva and this picture are so sexy.
Image- Vanityfair.com

Aaron Taylor-Johnson in one of his cool festival looks. His look is also definitely attainable by most men- it’s just a simple (but very well made) black shirt and pant combo.
Image- laineygossip.com

Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Tom ford at the designer/film maker’s premiere of his second film, ‘Nocturnal Animals’. Taylor-Johnson is also on the film’s cast.
Image- tumblr.com

Director Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor-Johnson with Aaron in great look #3. Beautiful couple.
Image- laineygossip.com

Dakota Fanning looking really great on her arrival to the Festival.
Image- thefix.nine.com.au

Michael Fassbender & Alicia Vikander at The Light Between Oceans’ premiere. Michael’s blue suit and tie are great for this daytime event. Also note the fit of his suit.
Image- glamourmagazine.co.uk

Model Barbara Palvin looks stunning in Philosophy. I love her.
Image- express.co.uk

Andrew Garfield waits on a yacht before a Film Festival event. Great sunglasses.
Image- justjared.com

Tom Ford, Amy Adams & Jake Gyllenhaal at a press event for Tom Ford’s ‘Nocturnal Animals’. All are easy, breezy, coolness for the not too formal event.
Image- celebuzz.com

Designer/ film maker Tom Ford in Tom Ford for his red carpet premiere of ‘Nocturnal Animals’. Tom is always dresses to the nines, but his slightly askew bow tie, jeweled studs and white pocket square are great!
Image- zimbio.com

Paz Vega looking amazing in Ralph & Russo.
Image- stylevitae.com

Emma Stone in Atelier Versace at the ‘La La Land’ premiere.
Image- vanityfair.com

Style star and designer Chiara Ferragni in Philosophy.
Image- zimbio.com

Just one more of Babs because… why not.
Image- tumblr.com

Sonia Rykiel, 1930- 2016

Sonia Rykiel by Dominique Issermann, 1980.  Image GETTY IMAGES

Sonia Rykiel by Dominique Issermann, 1980. Image GETTY IMAGES

It’s truly heartbreaking news when a monumentally talented person passes away. French designer Sonia Rykiel died on the morning of August 25th at her home in Paris from the effects of Parkinson’ Disease. She was 86 years old. She’d been battling with her illness for almost two decades, but it’s still shocking news for me to digest. You just can’t imagine someone like her dying. She was a woman who was always appeared happy, emblematic and full of energy- someone bursting with life- and it’s quite hard to imagine the fashion world without her.

Sonia Rykiel, Polaroid by Andy Warhol, 1986.  Image THEREDLIST.COM

Sonia Rykiel, Polaroid by Andy Warhol, 1986. Image THEREDLIST.COM

Sonia Rykiel was born Sonia Fils in Neuilly-sur-Seine on 25 May 1930. She was raised in a mixed Romanian- Russian Jewish household, and was the eldest of five sisters. She started working in fashion in her teens, when she was hired to dress the windows of a Parisian textile store at the age of 17. In her early 20s, she married Parisian boutique owner Sam Rykiel, with whom she had two children, Nathalie and Jean-Philippe.

Sonia Rykiel, Sam Rykiel and their children in their apartment in the  mid 1960s.  Image PARISMATCH.COM

Sonia Rykiel, Sam Rykiel and their children Nathalie and in the mid 1960s. Image PARISMATCH.COM

While pregnant in 1962, Mrs. Rykiel was unable to find fashionable maternity garments, and resorted to making her own clothes in an attractive style: a long sleeved, slim fitting dress and sweater in knitted jersey that clung to the body like a second skin. Practical and modern, her knits were sexy, stylish, and extremely comfortable, and became an instant hit among her friends. Known as the ‘Poor Boy’ sweater, she began receiving commissions for her designs and soon garnered such interest that her husband began selling her clothes in his shop.

Sonia Rykiel working in her husband's boutique, Laura's, in 1967 (top left, right) and in 1965 (bottom). Images WWD/ROGER VIOLLET

Sonia Rykiel working in her husband’s boutique, Laura’s, in 1967 (top left, right) and in 1965 (bottom). Images WWD/ROGER VIOLLET

Mrs. Rykiel designed all kinds of knitwear between 1962 and 1968: playing with shapes, textures, bright colours and motifs to create daring new looks. She was the first modern designer to incorporate stripes into her designs, a pattern that became one of her signatures because “…on clothing they follow a woman’s movements.” At the time stripes were considered dated and dowdy, but she reinvented them for a younger, more fashionable set by pairing them with modern silhouettes and colouring them in bright rainbow shades. Everything she ever did was about enhancing the beauty of the body in motion, and she was always interested with how unusual fabrics — fur, wool, feathers, etc. — moved with women as they walked.

Sonia Rykiel's experiments with textures and movement playing out on the runway: (clockwise from top left) Spring 2008, Resort 2006, Fall 1998 and Fall 2007.  Images WWD/VOGUE.COM

Sonia Rykiel’s experiments with textures and movement playing out on the runway: (clockwise from top left) Spring 2008, Resort 2006, Fall 1998 and Fall 2007. Images WWD/VOGUE.COM

In December 1963 Mrs. Rykiel made history when Elle magazine featured one of her famous jumpers on it’s cover. It was the first time that a women’s magazine or fashion journal had ever featured prêt-à-porter on it’s cover, and as such it was a big sensation. It was the beginning of the Swinging 60s and the Parisian youth were entranced by the new style that was taking London by storm. The demand for Ms. Rykiel’s designs spread like wildfire across Paris and a younger, more modern clientele began flocking to Sam Rykiel’s boutique. Almost immediately Audrey Hepburn visited the shop and purchased fourteen sweaters in every colour, Brigitte Bardot and Sylvie Vartan were photographed wearing Sonia Rykiel jumpers, and icons like Anouk Aimée, Francoise Hardy, Catherine Deneuve and Lauren Bacall began collecting her work.

Early Sonia Rykiel covers: (from left) her history- making first cover- Francoise Hardy by Marc Hispard for Elle France December 1963, Britt Ekland by Gianni Penati for US Vogue April 1969 and Elle France April 1971 by Tony Kent. Images HOSTORIEDEMODE.ORG/VOGUE.COM/SONIA RYKIEL.COM

Early Sonia Rykiel covers: (from left) her history- making first cover- Francoise Hardy by Marc Hispard for Elle France December 1963, Britt Ekland by Gianni Penati for US Vogue April 1969 and Elle France April 1971 by Tony Kent. Images HOSTORIEDEMODE.ORG/VOGUE.COM/SONIA RYKIEL.COM

Demand for her garments grew so strong that she founded her own fashion house, the Sonia Rykiel Company, in 1965, and opened her first boutique on Paris’ Left Bank in 1968 (the same year that she divorced her husband). Further success followed and her business grew quickly. In 1969 she opened an in-store shop at Galeries Lafayette, and her clothes were soon picked up by Bloomingdale’s and Henri Bendel in New York.

Sonia Rykiel in her atelier in 1968. Image

Sonia Rykiel in her atelier in 1968. Image ROGER VIOLLET

In 1972 Ms. Rykiel was dubbed the “Queen of Knits” by Women’s Wear Daily, a title that was used throughout her career. She was one of the first designers to join the Chambre Syndicale as an exclusively ready- to- wear house and stage prêt-à-porter fashion shows. She was also the first luxury ready-to-wear designer to collaborate with mail order firms, partnering with French company 3 Suisses for a capsule collection in 1977. In time, she went on to collaborate with La Redoute and H&M, and was one of the first major designers to explore the idea of ‘affordable luxury.’

Sonia Rykiel in 1973 (top, right), with Kenzo Takada and Karl Lagerfeld, and in 1984 (bottom, fourth from right), with Jack Lang (seventh on left), French Minister of Culture, and her contemporaries: (from left) Kenzo Takada, Anne-Marie Beretta, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Chantal Thomass, Alix Gres, Yves Saint-Laurent, Sonia Rykiel, Issey Miyake, Pierre Berge and Emanuel Ungaro. Image WWD/CNN.COM/GETTY IMAGES

Sonia Rykiel in 1973 (top, right), with Kenzo Takada and Karl Lagerfeld, and in 1984 (bottom, fourth from right), with Jack Lang (seventh on left), French Minister of Culture, and her contemporaries: (from left) Kenzo Takada, Anne-Marie Beretta, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Chantal Thomass, Alix Gres, Yves Saint-Laurent, Sonia Rykiel, Issey Miyake, Pierre Berge and Emanuel Ungaro. Image WWD/CNN.COM/GETTY IMAGES

Over the next few years, she continued to work with knitwear, developing new techniques like inside-out stitching, no-hem finishings and unlined knits. She started trends that have endured to this very day, like printed slogan sweaters, quilted jackets and cropped knits. She has also been credited with the popularization of wearing black, a colour that she wore everyday. “My color is black,” she once told an American fashion editor, “And black, if it’s worn right, is a scandal…it’s indecent when well worn, intense and disturbing, striking and stops the eye.”

The runway of a 1975 show staged in the Sonia Rykiel atelier (top left), the designer working with a model in 1973 (top right) and 1975 (bottom).  Image JEAN- LUCE HURE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

The runway of a 1975 show staged in the Sonia Rykiel atelier (top left), the designer working with a model in 1973 (top right) and 1975 (bottom). Image JEAN- LUCE HURE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Ms. Rykiel remained creative director of her company until her retirement in 2009. Although her daughter Nathalie replaced her as the company’s director and Julie de Libran became the head designer, Ms. Rykiel maintained an active part of the brand even after her retirement.

Sonia Rykiel taking her bow on the runway for her Spring 2002 (top), her Fall 1994 (centre) and Fall 1984 shows.  Image GETTY IMAGES

Sonia Rykiel taking her bow on her Spring 2002 runway. Image GETTY IMAGES/FRANCOIS GUILLOT/GERARD FOURE/AFP

Throughout her career, Ms. Rykiel experimented with every type of design- branching out into other ventures including children’s clothing, menswear, lingerie, accessories, fragrances, chinaware and chocolates. Along the way she also tried her hand at costume design and interior decorating. She published several books, many about fashion, but also wrote a collection of children’s stories and several novels that explored her thoughts on erotica, philosophy, feminism and life in general.

Sonia Rykiel's various ventures: (clockwise, from top left) Sonia Rykiel makeup by Lancôme, towels from the 2011 home collection, various pieces of costume jewelry, the 2009 Sonia Rykiel Barbie and the famous 'Canard Vibrant' sex toys from her 2011 collection.  Image LANCÔME.COM/STYLEFRIZZ.COM/ELLE UK/1STDIBS/SHOPSTYLE.COM/VESTIARECOLLECTION.COM/MATTEL.COM/DOITINPARIS.COM

Sonia Rykiel’s various ventures: (clockwise, from top left) Sonia Rykiel makeup by Lancôme, towels from the 2011 home collection, various pieces of costume jewelry, the 2009 Sonia Rykiel Barbie and the famous ‘Canard Vibrant’ sex toys from her 2011 collection. Image LANCÔME.COM/STYLEFRIZZ.COM/ELLE UK/1STDIBS/SHOPSTYLE.COM/VESTIARECOLLECTION.COM/MATTEL.COM/DOITINPARIS.COM

Sonia Rykiel was awarded many honours during her lifetime, including being appointed a Commandeur of the Légion d’honneur, a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and a Grand Officer of the National Order of Merit.

Sonia Rykiel with former French Prime Minister Nicholas Sarkozy at the 2009 ceremony where she bacame a Commandeur of the Legion d'Honneur.  Image GETTY IMAGES/FRANCOISE GOIZE

Sonia Rykiel with former French Prime Minister Nicholas Sarkozy at the 2009 ceremony where she bacame a Commandeur of the Legion d’Honneur. Image GETTY IMAGES/FRANCOISE GOIZE

In 2012 Ms. Rykiel revealed that for the previous 15 years, she had been battling Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurological disorder. She had kept her illness a secret- even from her family, until she could no longer hide the symptoms. Her death was directly caused by complications of the disease.

Sonia Rykiel by Elias for Garage Magzine December 2013.  Image GARAGE MAGAZINE

Sonia Rykiel by Elias for Garage Magzine December 2013. Image GARAGE MAGAZINE

Throughout her career Sonia Rykiel was likened to the great Coco Chanel because of her ability to liberate women from the constraints of traditional fashion. Just as Mademoiselle Coco eschewed corsets, high necks and uncomfortable clothing, Ms. Rykiel avoided the restrictive “New Look” style that had become the norm during the 1950s. Lean and sensuous, her garments placed great emphasis on the allure of the female form, bringing attention to natural curves without any excess paddings, linings or fuss. Her designs were practical, but sexy, and were meant to be lived in and worn numerous times. She was one of the few designers who actually understood how women wanted to dress and saw her garments as what they were meant to be- tools that service a woman’s life, not things that defined her. She never took design too seriously, and simply made clothes that she liked and wanted, garments that reflected her daily moods and her ever changing needs.

Looks from the runway: (clockwise from top left) Spring 1994, Spring 1976, Fall 1989, Fall 2007, Spring 2007, Spring 1975.  Image WWD/VOGUE.COM/JEAN- LUCE HURE/DIDIER DESTAL/GETTY IMAGES

Looks from the runway: (clockwise from top left) Spring 1994, Spring 1976, Fall 1989, Fall 2007, Spring 2007, Spring 1975. Image WWD/VOGUE.COM/JEAN- LUCE HURE/DIDIER DESTAL/GETTY IMAGES

Sonia Rykel reshaped women’s perception of luxury and freedom, and introduced an edgier approach to style that was unlike anything ever seen before. Before her, knitwear was usually homemade and was an ugly, chunky, unsexy affair. She introduced the notion of machine produced luxury knits in jersey, lurex and tinsel- blended knits, and she single-handedly transformed them into the fitted, feminine wardrobe staples we know (and love) today.

Rykiel Runways: (top) Spring 1989, (bottom) Spring 2011.  Image GAMMA RAY/VOGUE.COM/GETTY IMAGES

Rykiel Runways: (top) Spring 1989, (bottom) Spring 2011. Image GAMMA RAY/VOGUE.COM/GETTY IMAGES

“First I made a dress because I was pregnant and I wanted to be the most beautiful pregnant woman. Then I made a sweater because I wanted to have one that wasn’t like anyone else’s,” she told an interviewer in 2006s. “I don’t know if I’m perceived as being provocative, I suppose it’s an attitude that I’ve had since Day One. I am not swayed by anybody else. Who cares what they think?…I’m a fashion fraude. I never studied couture, I don’t know how to knit and still I became the queen of knitwear.”

Sonia Rykiel by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, 1990.

Sonia Rykiel by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, 1990. Image THEREDLIST.COM

She was a true individual, and and a living faunt of high design. She will be deeply missed.

Xx – Ana

Friday Fierceness!

“In a Fairy Tale”- Harper’s Bazaar Russia August 2016

Gown: Gucci. Image HARPER’S BAZAAR RUSSIA/RACHELL SMITH

Model: Karen Elson
Photographer: Rachell Smith
Stylist: Anna Katsanis
Hair: Keith Carpenter
Makeup: Niki M’nray

Friday Fierceness!

“Tilda”- Vogue Italia July 2016

Tunic: Chanel, Hat: Maison Michel, Jewelry: Chanel Haute Joaillerie. Image VOGUE ITALIA/YELENA YEMCHUK

Model: Tilda Swinton
Photographer: Yelena Yemchuk
Stylist: Cathy Kasterine
Hair: Odile Gilbert
Makeup: Elsa Durrens

The Allure of Cartier’s Fruity Style

(Clockwise, from bottom left) A rare brooch and pair of ear clips from 1925, and views of an important 1930’s era bracelet. Image CHRISTIE’S/BONHAM’S

Cartier’s vivid Tutti Frutti jewels are undoubtedly some of the crowning designs in the firm’s vast and storied repertoire. Debuting in the early twentieth century, these gems took the world by storm from the moment they were unveiled, quickly becoming some of the most coveted objects on any jewelry collector’s wish list.

An undated 1930’s demi parure (left) and a necklace, circa 1925. Image SOTHEBY’S/CHRISTIE’S

Inspired by Jacques Cartier’s many voyages to India, these jewels were designed in the exuberant Indian style. Bold and creative, they provided a dramatic break from the severe geometries and monochromatic emphasis of Art Deco by utilizing elaborate mounts covered in layers of bright and colorful gemstones. Using vintage stones purchased in India, the jewels combined exotic gems and motifs with traditional European setting techniques to create a look that was entirely new. Large cabochons and carved stones were implemented into traditional Moghul style with new diamond shapes and French mountings to create pieces that injected refined naturalism and color into Art Deco shapes.

Indian heirlooms revamped by Cartier: (top row, from far left) the Patiala Necklace (1928), the 1927 working sketch of the Patiala Necklace, the Maharajah of Nawanagar’s ceremonial emerald necklace (1926), the (now lost) Patiala Ruby Necklace (1926), (bottom row, from far left) the Maharaja of Nawanagar’s “Eye of the Tiger” Aigrette (1934), a drawing of the Maharajah of Nawanagar’s (now lost) ceremonial necklace (1931), the Maharajah of Kapurthala’s Emerald Aigrette (1926) shown with it’s original sketch, the working sketch of the Maharajah of Patna’s diamond bib (1935). Image GETTY/REENAAHLUWALIA.COM/CARTIER ARCHIVES

Although the style was officially unveiled at the 1925 Art Deco exhibition in Paris, Cartier was producing polychromatic “Indian style” jewelry from as early as 1915, with similar commissioned jewels dating as far back as the start of the 20th century. Cartier’s first recorded piece was created in London in 1901 for Queen Alexandra who wanted an elaborate necklace of rubies, emeralds, and sapphires to pair with some gowns made of brightly colored Indian silks.

(Clockwise, from bottom left) a 1925 clip brooch, a 1928 bracelet, a 1929 garland- style brooch, a convertible 1925 brooch and a pair of 1925 drop earrings. Images CHRISTIE’S/SOTHEBY’S/JEWELS DU JOUR

This first commission sparked a new creative direction for Cartier, as well as a long and fruitful relationship with Indian royalty- especially after Jacques Cartier’s first trip to the country in 1911 where he was commissioned by many nobles to reset their family treasures into fashionable “new style” Parisian jewelry. This direct exposure to the details of traditional Indian jewelry such as colorful floral- motif Jaipur enamels, the varying types of carved stones and the elaborate Polki and Meenakari jewelry styles had a profound effect on Cartier’s designs. From there the House began creating custom pieces using stones, embellishments and mounting techniques learned on trips to the East. This influence coupled with a new supply of rare stones and Cartier’s existing knowledge of design and creative mounting techniques would ultimately translate into some of the most important Art Deco jewels ever produced.

(Clockwise from bottom left) a very rare 1925 vase- shaped brooch, a 1934 clip brooch, a segmented bracelet dated 1930, a pair of ear clips circa 1930, an elaborate 1936 necklace with matching 1956 earrings, both belonging to Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. Image JEWELS DU JOUR/CHRISTIE’S/CARTIER

Highly sumptuous, Cartier’s new jewels were presented as vibrant entanglements of diamond foliage studded with leaves, fruits and fluted berries of intricately carved emeralds, sapphires and rubies. These pieces were practically glowing visions and soon popularly became known as “fruit salad” or “tutti frutti”, terms that perfectly described the richness of the gems. Originally known as Cartier’s Pierres de Couleur (colored stones), the style became colloquially known as “Tutti Frutti” sometime in the 1940s, most likely inspired by Carmen Miranda’s popular Bakelite fruit jewelry and tropical hats. Italian for “all fruits”, it was an appropriate name for multicoloured gemstone jewelry, and while it was considered vulgar in the ’40s, “Tutti Frutti” became so widely used that it was accepted as the style’s official name by the start of the 1970s.

(Clockwise, from bottom left) Linda Porter’s convertible 1935 clip brooch and her famous 1929 bracelet, Evelyn Lauder’s record- breaking 1925 bracelet, an unsigned 1930s jabot brooch that made headlines for it’s globally- scrutinized 2014 auction and Inez Chapin’s 1930s bracelet. Image CHRISTIE’S/JEWELS DU JOUR/CARTERS NEWS AGENCY

Although the term “Tutti Frutti” is still occasionally used in reference to colorful jewelry today, it specifically refers to jewelry composed of rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds. Occasionally enamel, natural pearls, jet or onyx accents were included in the the design, but with any other coloured stone inclusion, the piece would be classified under the term “carved stone”. The only exception to this rule is the conch pearl, enamel and diamond Tutti Frutti bracelet made for Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain in the 1920s. An exceptional piece, it’s only colour comes from the pink of the conch pearls and black enamel accents.

Compare: (descending, from top) a 1928 foral- patterned bracelet, a rare 1929 link bracelet, a 1933 bracelet and Queen Victoria Eugenia’s late 1920’s bracelet. Notice the floral pattern remains relatively similar throughout the array with the only major difference being the subdued colour palette of Her Majesty’s piece. The fruiting vine central motif is shared with other highly chromatic ‘tutti frutti’ bracelets designed in the company’s workshops throughout the 1920s and ’30s. Image CHRISTIES/1STDIBS

These jewels reflected the pursuit of the exotic that so captivated the sophisticated European and American collectors of the 1920’s and 1930’s. From the very beginning this new style was a hit with all the fashionable ladies of the day. Avid customers snapped up ear clips, necklaces, brooches, barrettes, powder cases, lapel pins and many other items in the style (there’s even a Tutti Frutti tiara that belonged to Countess Edwina Mountbatten), but bracelets were undoubtedly the most popular items… practically every major jewelry lover had at least one Tutti Frutti bracelet in their collection.

(Clockwise, from left) a 1929 watch, an enamelled 1925 vanity case, a 1925 hair slide and an undated 1930’s platinum money clip. Images SOTHEBY’S/DOVER ANTIQUES/CHRISTIE’S/1STDIBS

However Cartier’s most famous Tutti Frutti jewel is the impressive Collier Hindou necklace created for (eternally stylish) socialite Daisy Fellowes in 1936. Based off the design of a necklace made for the Maharajah of Patna in 1935, this piece took the form of an elaborate bib done in the traditional Indian style. Very similar to the Maharajah’s piece, which incorporated old- cut diamonds, carved rubies and emeralds, the Collier Hindou was a knot of twisted diamond vines studded with emerald leaves and berries of ruby and sapphire. An unlucky stone in Indian tradition, sapphires were obviously not used in the Maharajah’s collar, but this necklace used them in excess, with borders of sapphire beads along the top and bottom edges and an additional fringe of thirteen faceted stones suspended along the front. Originally fastened on a cord of Indian silk, the necklace could be adjusted to be worn at varying lengths along the neck, but this feature was changed in 1963 when Ms. Fellowes’s daughter Emmeline de Casteja had the strings replaced by a continuation of the necklace’s jewelled motif.

The working drawing and detail sketches of the Collair Hindou, along with an archive photograph of the original 1936 piece (top right). Image CARTIER

The Collier Hindou, with a matching pair of carved emerald and diamond earrings, surfaced at auction at Sotheby’s in Geneva in 1991, and was purchased by Cartier for it’s private collection. Sold for $2,655,172.00, the sale set a record price for Cartier’s Tutti Frutti jewels and a price trend that has held on to this very day. Tutti Frutti pieces frequently set records at auction, often surpassing their pre- sale estimates four times over, with bracelet prices exceeding $1 and $2 million mark for notable pieces. Christie’s London has set records twice in the past five years with the sale of two Tutti Frutti bracelets, one going for $1.9 million in 2011 and another for $2.1 million in 2013, while Evelyn Lauder’s famous piece went for over $2.4 million at Sotheby’s in 2014.

The Collair Hindou and a pair of matching earrings (mid- late 1930’s), as it appeared for sale in 1991. Image SOTHEBY’S/CARTIER

Tutti Frutti jewels are at the pinnacle of style, and are so highly valued by jewelry collectors that even tiny brooches in small auctions draw both worldwide interest and bidders. This distinctive style, with its combination of colors and materials, makes these jewels both objects of wonder as well as a vital part of the history of jewelry. They are lavish displays of Cartier’s most emblematic motifs and a lasting symbol of the firm’s ingenuity in design, exploratory spirit and exemplary craftsmanship. These coveted jewels will undoubtedly continue to command worldwide admiration for many years to come.

Xx – Ana