Jantaminiau Couture AW1213

Photo by : Lauren Cashwell

It was a romantic comedia del arte feeling at the Jantaminiau couture show in Paris for the Autumn-Winter 2012-2013 collection. Bold and bright colors, voluminous tulle and geometric patterns that make us think of traditional Italian theater, Comedia del Arte… But isn’t that what couture is all about?!? The theatrics of the creativity of fashion, of couture…?!? This is what couture should do, I believe. It’s a show, a creation, impractical (sometimes) and beautiful, always beautiful always stunning. A piece of art. Like a staged spectacle. Continue reading

Didit Hediprasetyo couture 2012

Coiffed with Philip Treacy custom designed vegetable fibre turbans and hats that hint at the essence of colonial India, the models paraded the India-inspired collection, awash with ostrich leather and elephant prints that are made in collaboration with designer Calla Haynes and illustrator Christophe Lopez-Huici, set to live back ground music of sithars and barrel hand drums.

Photos : © Didit Hediprasetyo

I was somwhat disappointed with the cargo shorts, and felt they were out of place in a couture show, but as outlined in the press release, “for Hediprasetyo, it is of the utmost importance to weave total expression of freedom created by Couture in to the rituals of daily life.” So I suppose this explains the cargo shorts. They appeared in ostrich leather as well, so I felt they were more justified. Full skirts, dresses and tops also appeared in ostrich like this one below all in white.

Photos : © Didit Hediprasetyo

Photo : Prête-Moi Paris

Photo : Prête-Moi Paris

Corseted tops and accentuated hip sillouhettes, that Hediprasetyo calls the ultra feminine silhouette, marked this collection’s line and cut. The India reverie marked it’s spirit.

Photos : © Didit Hediprasetyo

Claudine Ivari SS2012

Set in a sumptuous and historic hôtel particulier at 79 bis avenue Marceau, Claudine Ivari’s showroom looks like something even a princess would daydream about! It is also the setting for her Paris Fashion week debut. And what a place to show the world her talent…


P1110477 The theme of her Spring 2012 collection is “L’Or des Moissons” (Harvest Gold), the golden color of wheat and the weave of its form as well as the graphic silhouette of the Hallgrimur church in Reykjavik, Iceland. The entire collection is rampant with elegance and femininity, enough to make you swoon. The marrying of such a natural element (the golden wheat) and such a human made structure (the church) seems to have brought out a contrast that doesn’t even look like a contrast, it blends together so well. Miss Ivari has an artist’s eye for shape, design, texture and has the ability to put all of these together to create something that accents the feminine form to perfection. These pieces can be worn for decades to come. They are stunning, timeless and sophisticated. In addition to her talent, she also has values. Her work is 100% made in France.

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Between prête-à-porter and couture, Claudine Ivari’s talent for design and her ability to work with noble materials and turn them into what looks easy, classic and simple, yet there is nothing simple about her work. It is finished and polished and has intricate detail (embroidery or weaving),  or a well designed cut for a perfect fit on the body. Frankly every piece looks diving to slip into.



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The show was so beautiful and in such an exquisite setting that it quite literally lifted spirits. Applause at the end was as enthusiastic and sincere as it was exuberant. Spectators had these authentic smiles (a rarity at a Paris fashion week event) on their faces as Claudine took her graceful bow. We were all impressed and exhilarated. Those who wanted to stick around afterwards, were invited to nibble on hors d’oeuvres and sip champagne.

What I found to be an especially warm touch was that her three sisters were so involved in her endeavor. Two of them walked in the show and the other greeted and seated guests. All of them have this incredible glowing beauty and gentle personalities that make you feel drawn into their intimate world of joyful beauty and sisterly support for one another. They are as refreshing to the Parisian fashion week as a golden ray of sunlight on a gray day. I will be following this designer, hopefully for years and years to come!


Claudine, 2nd from the right (in black) with her 3 sisters.

Fashion week Fun!

Half the fun of fashion week is seeing all the fashionistas and cavaliers strutting around. Some take themselves VERY seriously, some don’t have a serious hair on their head, but 100% of them are fabulous to look at. And fashion week is a sort of oggle yourself silly free-for-all, where anything goes!

Jean Paul Cauvin

Jean Paul CAUVIN











Comment if you have names for me!

Tim Van Steenbergen – à la fleur ou à la peau

Tim Van Steenbergen says he’s inspired by the lady gardener in her flower garden at her luxury countryside weekend home with “her boyfriend’s sweater loosely knotted around her waist.” Well I find Steenbergen’s collection inspired me to want to lounge in dark brown leather sofa with dry Manhattan clinking the ice cubes in a heavy crystal glass stained red on the rim from a dainty touch of lipstick, while my ‘boyfriend’ (in France we’d say amant) in the next room taps away at his poetic odes to my beauty and charm on an old type writer while his cigarette smokes curls around his fingers… and then we go out for a Sunday afternoon drive in our 1931 Bugatti, perhaps off to play a double set of tennis… But I digress!

Tim Van Steenbergen SS2011 Paris

Tim Van Steenbergen SS2011 Paris

Tim Van Steenbergen SS2011 Paris

Tim Van Steenbergen SS2011 Paris

Set on Sunday at noon, at the Bataclan, a well known and well frequented Parisian night club and music venue, Tim Van Steenbergen let out his lady gardeners one by one to face the cameras. The sensibility in each piece shows a gracious range of textures and an inherent lightness to their wearing. Lovely folded leathers gleam dully with a comfortable appeal, bright, silky turquoise and bold colored headbands contrasted with the bright red lipstick on the models, airy feather accessories and a little fur add a soft touch, mousseline pieces wafted behind the models like a sweet perfume that one detects as she walks by. Prints and smooth colors like tobacco, gray, greens and beige, crêpe wool, linens all draped on this lady, this muse of flowers and luxury. Sometimes the floral aspect could almost be seen directly in the clothing itself, through amply layered folds and fancy hats with tufts of what could be thoguht of as fauna. Maybe she’s just smelling the flowers and not actually digging in the dirt this SS2011 Steenbergen woman. I imagine she has a gardener to do the planting.

Estrella Archs – prima ballerina’s not prima donas!

Estrella Archs SS2011 Paris

Estrella Archs SS2011 Paris

Estrella Archs, recently emancipated over the past year from directing someone else’s line, is putting all her energy into her own line, and has found a theme for that Spanish passion that drives her : the “liberation of movement” : la danse! Oh libre she is, and is enjoying her freedom in bold pink and better choices for collaboration. Gone are the Lindsey Lohan days of disappointment.

Dancers, real ballerinas, not models took to the catwalk for her show in Paris this afternoon, and the didn’t walk, they danced. Her new line for Spring and Summer 2011, in pinks of all shades, has two very vivid influences to it : Flamenco and ballet. The former expressing force and passion, the latter defining the grace and precision of the line. From barely-there pink to blinding fuchsia in fluid silk crêpes, silk gauze, semi-soft suede to one seamed dresses that created a swirling spiral of feminine beauty and movement.

Italian born Mara Galeazzi the star of Archs’ publicity campaign, is a principal dancer for the Royal Ballet. She and twelve other dancers from the Royal Ballet donned the pink frocks and pranced choreography by Alastair Mariott under the spotlight in heel-less Vicente Rey high heels. They did more than model the line, they gave it life.

Estrella Archs

Estrella Archs SS2011 Paris

Estrella Archs SS2011 Paris

After the show I hung around to snap a few shots of the dancers and the designer

Estrella Archs SS2011 Paris

Estrella Archs SS2011 Paris

Estrella Archs isthe 4th from the left in a bright pink top and  black skirt.

Me & Mara Galeazzi

Mara told me that she was “so nervous” before the show started. Maybe it was the shoes, maybe it was the fear of the flashing cameras (which ballerinas are not used to), maybe it was the pressure of having only ONE show that lasts a mere 15 minutes. But nervous or not, she shined (or glowed pink) like the graceful dancer she is. Mara is no stranger to the fashion runway though, she did the Jenny Packham Collection in February 2004.

Thank you Mara! You were gorgeous in the show!

Estrella Archs SS2011 Paris

The dancers mastered these shoes like no runway model could ever do. It takes well trained muscles and years of point shoes to be able to do this kind of catwalking!

Shoes by Vicente Rey… OMG! Gorgeous!

A stunning show and a beautifully feminine line…

I was ecstatic to see ballerinas take on fashion week.

Bravo Estrella for thinking outside of the catwalk!