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Ella Emhoff Stars in Balenciaga’s Return to Couture

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Courtesy Balenciaga

Since the devastating effects of the pandemic, the fashion industry responded responsibly, eschewing the fashion calendar, opting for virtual presentations, or hibernating altogether (only to surprise us with an IRL show). But as the world reopens, so too do the runways. Couture fall-winter 2022 marks the first return of fashion week as a whole, with brands, editors, and influencers alike flocking to Paris to take it all in, in person. (Cue dramatic music.) This reentrance is both opulent and optimistic, prepping us for real-life events to come. So far, designers are ticking all the boxes that haute couture is known for: lush textiles, handwoven details, extravagant venues, and wedding gowns with built-in disco balls.

Click ahead for ELLE’s favorite looks from Dior, Chanel, Balenciaga, and more, and make sure to check back as we update our gallery during Couture Week.

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Balenciaga

Since shuttering its couture line 50 years ago, Balenciaga, led by creative director Demna Gvasalia, is bringing it back. “The re-launch of a couture line will offer the highest creative and qualitative level of product for our customer, as well as complete my multi-layered vision for Balenciaga the brand, which ranges all the way up from streetwear into conceptual fashion and wardrobe and ultimately into one-of-a-kind, made-to-measure couture pieces,” Gvasalia stated in the atelier’s collection notes. What we see are delicate nods to Cristobal Balenciaga’s legacy in the form of signature voluptuous gowns and futuristic headwear, married with Gvasalia’s own modern vision of denim-as-couture. Oh, and Ella Emhoff starred in the lookbook. Need we say more?

Fendi

“Rome is a fascinating city because it has so many pasts—and I was drawn to Pasolini because I have always been inspired by his vision of the world,” says Kim Jones about the late Roman poet and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini. “He is something of an outsider in Roman history, but one whose voice remains constant.” The artist’s romanticized version of Rome became a focal point for Jones’s couture collection for Fendi, presented in a video directed by Luca Guadagnino (of Call Me By Your Name fame).

Schiaparelli

It’s safe to rely on Schiaparelli’s Daniel Roseberry to bring opulence to couture. Known for his eccentric hand with garb favored by Gaga and the avant garde ilk, the end result always comes with a side of excitement. Gilded breastplates are contrasted by outrageous accessories, sleeves are bloated with hand-embroidered rosettes, and the closing wedding dress comes with a built-in disco ball.

Chanel

Held at the Palais Galliera, City of Paris Fashion Museum, Chanel’s Virginie Viard took impressionism as inspiration, seen through the lens of vibrant tweed, dresses embroidered with water lilies, and sequins mimicking paint strokes. In true couture fashion, the show closed with a wedding dress. The Chanel twist? Margarat Qualley tossing her bouquet to the crowd.

Dior

Dior’s brand of couture made craftsmanship its main priority. Weaving and embroidery took precedence for Maria Grazia Chirui, seen in her collection as both tweed sets and delicately woven dresses. She continued the thread of Grecian gowns from her previous collections, now reworked in shades of slate and marbled browns.

Azzaro

Olivier Theyskens’ vision of couture is pared back compared to the ballgowns we’re used to associating with the season. Instead, his collection is an intimate night of dressing up, while still upholding all the attention to detail we expect from made-to-measure. Pearl embroidery trim micro dresses, crystal beading accentuate the body and snake outside the edges of suiting, and a surprise of an iridescent gown interrupts the runway.

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22 Hair Masks That Will Give Your Hair a Speedy Recovery

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22 Hair Masks That Will Give Your Hair a Speedy Recovery


Why is it that we use tons of products to treat impurities on our faces, but leave our hair strands deprived of a little TLC? Just as we have quick fixes for acne breakouts and uneven skin, so too should our hair. Yes, we’re talking about hair masks. When your ends are fried, curls are limp, and strands are breaking, hair masks to the rescue! Think of them as a conditioner, but on steroids. Because all of our hair woes can’t be fixed with one product, the hunt to finding the perfect formula often feels never-ending—but these hair masks come pretty close. Meet the 22 best intensive, hydrating, and transformative hair masks your money can buy.

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Chromat Gave Me Permission to Celebrate Myself

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new york, new york   september 12 models walk the runway during the chromat x tourmaline springsummer 2022 runway show at new york fashion week on september 12, 2021 in new york city photo by sean zannigetty images for chromat


We’re by the ocean, but it’s not just any beach. It’s Jacob Riis Park, where queer people flock to get away from city noise and flaunt our bodies, curves, bulges, rolls, scars… everything that makes us beautiful.

“It’s the place where I’ve seen more Chromat in the wild than any place on earth,” says Becca McCharen-Tran, designer of the brand.

Bodies of water have always been a source of power for us. In New York City, those who aren’t at the beach often hang at the piers along the Hudson River. Water is a source of life.

As a model for this collection, I am walking alongside people of different sizes, ancestries, and abilities. We are living embodiments of our lineage carried forward. In these times, colonization has severed us from our past selves, where many of us were spiritual leaders, historians, shamans, mediums—we were respected for the knowledge we brought to our people.

The runway procession at Chromat.

Sean ZanniGetty Images

This collection, titled “Collective Opulence Celebrating Kindred,” demands that the world witness us. We are beautiful and unchanged. We are beautiful in all the ways we seek to transform, too.

“As trans and gender nonconforming, non-binary, intersex people, we deserve to feel pleasure and feel sexy, like hot and delicious, as huge meals and little snacks,” says artist and filmmaker Tourmaline, who collaborated with McCharen-Tran on the spring/summer 2022 collection.

Runway shows have begun to diverge from thin, white, and tall because of the many years activists spent trying to shift entrenched cultural norms. Plus-size models are only sprinkled into runway shows, even though the majority of American women are plus-size in the eyes of the fashion industry. Chromat has consistently showcased the full scope of humanity, in all of our abilities, genders, and body types.

“When we used to ask our friends to model, it was so shocking. Now it’s the bare minimum with brands,” says McCharen-Tran. “With this collection, it’s also a jump forward in how trans bodies can be envisioned.”

new york, new york   september 12 a model walks the runway during the chromat x tourmaline springsummer 2022 runway show at new york fashion week on september 12, 2021 in new york city photo by shannon finneygetty images for chromat

Xoài Pham.

Shannon FinneyGetty Images

“Chromat has consistently showcased the full scope of humanity, in all of our abilities, genders, and body types.”

I have spent years strategizing how to warp my body in a way that creates safety for me. At the beach, especially, where our bodies are on full display, trans women are constantly wracked with danger. What makes it all the more heartbreaking is that my ancestors lived by the Pacific, in central Vietnam. They would greet the day at sunrise to be in the ocean. It was a source of food, play, and solace. The ocean is home. But it was made to be dangerous to me after many centuries of criminalization and targeting of gender-variant people.

What’s remarkable about Chromat’s commitment to showcasing all kinds of bodies is the way it allows us to experience a future we’ve always deserved. For a moment, we are time-traveling together. We are bringing the future to us.

When I nervously slipped on the one-piece, made with a pouch for people who have penises, I thought of all the times I had to hide and pretend that I had a body that wasn’t mine. This time, I was given permission to not only come as I am, but celebrate myself and those who share my experience. I was asked to let myself breathe and take pleasure in just being me, alongside my community.

Hair and makeup was intended to emulate archival photos of Black trans icon Marsha P. Johnson, with heavy blush on her cheeks and flowers throughout her hair.

new york, new york   september 12 models pose with designer becca mccharen tran after the chromat x tourmaline springsummer 2022 runway show at new york fashion week on september 12, 2021 in new york city photo by sean zannigetty images for chromat

Models at Jacob Riis Beach.

Sean ZanniGetty Images

“So much of Marsha’s legacy was around fashion,” says Tourmaline. “Marsha’s actions were in rebellion to the morality of the state, using fashion to control trans bodies, like with the anti-crossdressing laws police enforced to raid Stonewall. Those laws have an aesthetic level of violence.”

The runway show was a ritual in remembrance of the people who led the way for us to be able to be all of who we are.

When we listen to the ocean, we are listening to ourselves. If we listen closely, we can hear the laughs of Marsha P. Johnson, the shouts of Sylvia Rivera in between drags of her cigarette. We can hear the clacking heels of Octavia St. Laurent.

As writer and scholar Alexis Pauline Gumbs teaches us, water holds memories through sound waves that live inside the ebb and flow. All of this history is stored and carried along the Hudson, down to where the river meets the coastline of the Rockaways. And from there, it travels to the oceans that carry our trauma and our lineage. Here we are, unabashed, in each other’s arms, in their name, in their memory.

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Billie Eilish Changed Into a Stunning Red Oscar de la Renta Cape Dress Inside the 2021 Met Gala

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billie eilish at the 2021 met gala in her second dress


Billie Eilish’s nude princess dress just started her night at the Met Gala. While most celebs debuted their second looks at the Met Gala after parties, Eilish changed inside the gala. She switched into a sheer red Oscar de la Renta cape dress.

Kevin Mazur/MG21Getty Images

billie eilish at the 2021 met gala in her second dress

Kevin Mazur/MG21Getty Images

She wore a third look, a lace top and sleeveless black mini dress, at an after party later.

Eilish spoke to The Guardian at the end of July about the pressure some people feel to always look good and how she views it. “Since I was a kid, my dad and I have always talked about a certain type of person who’s so insecure, or hyperaware and self-conscious, that they never move in a weird way, or make a weird face, because they always want to look good,” she started. “I’ve noticed that, and it makes me so sad. If you’re always standing a certain way, walking in a certain way, and always have your hair just so… It’s such a loss to always try to always look good. It’s such a loss of joy and freedom in your body.”

She added that she is not fully immune to the pressures social media or unaffected by the edited photos posted there. “I see people online, looking like I’ve never looked,” she said. “And immediately I am like, oh my God, how do they look like that? I know the ins and outs of this industry, and what people actually use in photos, and I actually know what looks real can be fake. Yet I still see it and go, oh God, that makes me feel really bad. And I mean, I’m very confident in who I am, and I’m very happy with my life.”

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