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Monday Muse: Iman Inspires Balmain Pre-Fall 2014

Iman by Peter Beard

The fashion calendar is a wily thing — right now, we’ve just finished couture week, which shows just after the menswear collections walk in London, Milan and Paris. Those shows happen in the midst of pre-fall previews, which can have actual runway shows a la Oscar de la Renta or just have press previews, which smaller brands such as Cushnie et Ochs prefer. Big brands sometimes opt for big presentations in lieu of a runway show, however. Kenzo showed a its collection in the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York’s atrium (which resembled a museum) and Olivier Rousteing showed his latest collection for Balmain in a dark gallery space in Paris. Pre-fall shows span the calendar, starting in November and happening as late as January, right on the heels of the fall collections, which show in February and March. Phew.

Now that you’ve got all that straight, you’ll understand just why many designers fill their pre-fall collections with clothes that include everything from light jackets and knits to leather pants and cashmere coats. And for a brand like Balmain, which has fans all over the world (read: fans that live in varied climates) that means offering up something for everyone.  The label’s latest collection was inspired by a series of photos that Peter Beard shot of supermodel Iman during a trip to Africa (some of which appeared in Playboy), bringing together Balmain’s archives and Rousteing’s street style.

Iman by Peter Beard

Peter Beard is no stranger to Africa — his first trip was in 1955 and he’s photographed the continent’s people and animals since the ’70s. The images he shot of Iman are among his most famous, not only because thy feature both stunning vistas and a stunning model, but because they brought together two of Beard’s passions: Africa and beauty. Throughout his career, Beard shot rock stars, supermodels and other aspects of the fashion world, but this project was a great way for him not only to bring together his own loves, but for the general public to see the flora and fauna of Africa.

The Iman images included the model with Africa’s most recognizable residents while wearing traditional African prints and high-fashion animal prints. The collection included traditional photographs as well as Beard’s trademark collages and sepia-toned images. Today, Beard continues to raise awareness for environmental issues in Africa with his work and has shifted his focus from fashion to conservation.

Balmain Pre-Fall 2014

Balmain Pre-Fall 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beard’s photos of Iman were the starting point for Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing for his Pre-fall collection. The most evident influence was in his use of animal prints (zebra dominated, but there were also slashes of leopard). Overall the look was a decidedly more relaxed take on the house’ signatures, with nary a squared off shoulder in sight and an emphasis on more daywear. Rihanna, one of Rousteing’s muses, would no doubt wear a burnout zebra top paired with high-waisted leather pants during the day and then pour her curves into an embroidered midi dress. Rousteing noted that the collection was much more inclusive than past collections, giving girls more to wear than just minidresses and strong-shouldered evening wear.

The Pre-fall collection included an expanded selection of knitwear as well as a huge array of separates (past collection included nothing but cocktail dresses and red carpet gowns). Peter Beard and Iman’s reputations as party-hoppers also influenced the collection. We could picture Iman and Rihanna both wearing a gladiator skirt, studded and split to look like a sort of Roman rah-rah cheerleader. The Balmain archives influenced the shapes, including a safari jacket, as well as a few of the prints. Prepare to see Rihanna herself in a few of the pieces, because she’s the face of the brand for 2014. From Iman to Rihanna, Rousteing is showing that Balmain is indeed including more than just the party girls of the world.

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Monday Muse: Daisy Buchanan Inspires Sass & Bide Pre-Fall 2014

Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan

Call it a comeback, because Daisy Buchanan was the It-girl of 2013. Not only did Baz Luhrmann bring her back to the big screen in his 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby, but she was on the mind of designers at New York Fashion Week, too. Just about every show called out a return to feminine details, including the diaphanous, sheer fabrics that both Mia Farrow and Carey Mulligan wore in their respective films, as well as drop waists (see: Tory Burch and Carolina Herrera) and decadent embellishment. As we see more and more of the Pre-Fall collections, however, we’re noticing that Daisy’s demure, dainty looks are still going strong, especially at Sass & Bide. The Australian label, under the direction of designers Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton, have given Mrs. Buchanan a fresh new wardrobe in their latest collection, keeping the Jazz Age alive and well for 2014.

Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan

In both movies, Daisy Buchanan walks a fine balance between decadence and soign© depression — she is, after all, pining after a lost love and a victim of the social hierarchy of the New York. While Mia Farrow’s Daisy wore pastels and dripped with pearls to emphasize F. Scott Fitzgerald’s fascination with the flapper, there was always an air of upper crust polish and well-heeled modesty to her looks. Fast forward from ’74 to 2013 and we see Daisy decked out in one-of-a-kind Prada creations as well as Tiffany jewels in Baz Luhrmann’s film.

Carey Mulligan played the ill-fated heroine with a sort of sad nonchalance, but what we noticed most was the way that Miucchia played with the flapper’s signatures and brought them to a more modern and unmistakably fashion-forward place. Some of the outfits riffed on Prada’s most memorable collections while others were created from scratch just for Baz — a few might have even been in homage to Farrow’s wardrobe.

No matter which you prefer, the accurate or the avant garde, there’s plenty to take in, because just like Fitzgerald’s novella, Daisy Buchanan is much more than what she seems on the surface.

Sass & Bide Pre-Fall 2014

Sass & Bide Pre-Fall 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a cue from icons of the Jazz Age, such as Art Deco, drop waists and strong, bold patterns, the Sass & Bide Pre-Fall 2014 collection channels the fun and glamour of one of Gatsby’s lavish parties and translates the fun and frivolity into clothes that cool, downtown girls would love to wear. The Australian brand has a huge year in 2013, opening a brand new global flagship in Manhattan as well as coming back to show at New York Fashion Week (Clarke and Middleton had taken a break from the tents for the past few seasons), so when we spied this playful and powerful collection of cocktail dresses, separates and even gowns, we knew that Sass & Bide was making a huge statement. While they were known for beachy, boho looks in the past, they’ve taken that laid-back attitude and changed it up, showing a collection that was just as cosmopolitan as is twas casual.

Shapes such as jackets and sheath dresses normally reserved for 9 to 5 were done up in more casual fabrications and included details such as basketweaving and beading. The pieces that Sass & Bide have built their brand on — the jumpsuit, maxi dress and more — were festooned with big bold crystals (a nod to Prada’s Daisy, perhaps?) and Deco prints that begged for cocktails in hand and after-dark festivities. It wasn’t all throwback, however, because those Art Deco details were also seen on the season’s trend-driven pieces, such as a bomber jacket and trim track pants. If 2013 was a year of big accomplishments for the brand, it looks like 2014 will be all about celebrating.

 

 

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Tie it On: Our Favorite Ankle-Tie Sandals Under $120

We’ve already shown you the season’s hottest flat, but that lace-up detail isn’t just for your low-altitude kicks. For parties and those ladies who just can’t give up their heels, we’ve found tie-detail shoes that blend sexy and subtle.

They’re not the flashiest shoes (you won’t find any jewels or bling here), but thanks to strategic cutouts and that sexy tie detail, you’ll find that these heels are perfect for your LBDs, party frocks and more. So instead of your go-to nude pumps or your wear-everywhere Nudist sandals, try these to amp up even the simplest outfits.