Give a frock Friday

alai_christy_paolo roversiI think I’m going through a 90s phase. I love finding websites which have picture after picture of classic editorials that someone has lovingly scanned from magazines from the 90s, just like this one. Christy, the most talented and most beautiful, and the one with the most longevity out of all the Supermodels (don’t argue with me on this one, you won’t win) photographed by the great Italian Paolo Roversi, master of the long exposure, for Paris Vogue in 1992. Christy’s frock is by the Tunisian-born Parisian-based couturier and great interpreter of the female form, Azzedine Alaia. All of these elements make up what is the quintessential 90s fashion image for me. Don’t you just love it!?

Have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are!

love & light xo

Give a frock Friday

Photographed in Brazil by Mario Testino for Vogue UK, date unknown.Kate Moss cooling off in a frock by one of my favourite labels, Marni. Actually she’s wearing two frocks by Marni. Italian and boho but incredibly eclectic at the same time, Marni is a label that steps outside the constraints of classic design boundaries. Such as teaming together clashing prints that they look so good together they no longer appear to clash. It’s as if they always were meant to be. I always imagine that designer Consuelo Castiglioni has been playing dress up in her grandmother’s closet as there is always a vintage element to her collections. This picture is my inspiration today to keep cool in the heat that is our Summer here. This image was photographed for Vogue UK in Brazil in 1997 by Mario Testino. Click here for my previous post on Marni.

I’m off to the library to do my yoga teacher training homework in a civilised, air-conditioned environment! Have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are.

love & light xo

Give a frock Friday

 

christy-tulington-wearing-a-strapless-ballgown-with-giant-gold-train-photo-arthur-elgort-1990

 

While searching for images for my Frock Friday posts, sometimes I find pictures of frocks that are just perfect for the season. The giant train on this strapless Dior Haute Couture frock worn here by Christy Turlington reminds me of a Christmas bonbon. Photograph from 1990 by Arthur Elgort.

Today is, according to the Mayan calendar, the end of the world as we know it. It’s funny listening to some people’s take on what this means to them. I am hoping that the world won’t end of course, as I’d like to see my girls grow up! But I do hope it means the end of the dark and the beginning of the light. The past few years have been so very tough, so very challenging, so very dark and I wouldn’t wish them on anyone (well, maybe…) anyway, I know I’m not the only one doing it tough, and so if it is the end of the world as we know it, then I hope that from tomorrow onward, the world is a kinder, happier, more considerate, more gentle and understanding, compassionate and patient place to be.

Enjoy your weekend. xx

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Give a frock Friday

 

“Paris Match”, American soap actress Amelia Heinle stars in this 1999 InStyle magazine editorial photographed by Matthew Rolston. This Emanuel Ungaro Haute Couture chiffon and lace gown is embroidered with multicoloured beads. I remember buying this issue of InStyle because I remember this dress and Amelia’s smile in this particular shot. Such a great shot, especially with the Eiffel Tower behind her.

I also want to share with you that I landed an awesome new job! I started today and I am happy, happy, happy! 🙂

Have a great weekend xx

Give a frock Friday

Kate Moss in Givenchy Haute Couture, photographed by Bruce Weber for “Good Morning Vietnam” editorial in Vogue US June 1996.  This dress actually has an incredibly long train which stretches across a two-page spread in the magazine.

I love going back in time with these images. I know it’s only 1996, but sometimes it feels like it was so long ago with the way fashion changes so rapidly these days. Things seemed so much simpler back then, which is of course because they were!

Have a lovely weekend. x

Give a frock Friday

Linda Evangelista in the “Marilyn” polychrome printed silk with multicoloured rhinestone and glass bead embroidery dress by Gianni Versace, photographed by Irving Penn, 1991.

“You wear Versace: you believe in daring and drama.”  – Andre Leon Talley

Have a great weekend.

Heidi


Alaia: The King of Cling

Alaia with Giselle in his Atelier in Paris.

In Strasbourg, France on April 3 of this year Michelle Obama broke with tradition when she chose to wear a formal black knit sleeveless dress with a ruffled skirt by designer Azzedine Alaia to the NATO dinner. Much like First Lady Jackie Kennedy did when she met President de Gaulle in France in 1961 with her husband President Kennedy, she too suffered the slings and arrows of her country’s media for choosing Givenchy over an American designer. Mrs Kennedy got away with it though as it was excused as a compliment to her French hosts.

First Lady Michelle Obama in her Alaia with President Barack Obama in France.
Alaia is known for his perfectionism and his sexy hourglass creations made supermodels of Naomi Campbell and Stephanie Seymour. The lycra stretch material he used worked as a whole-body corset which gave form to the entire ensemble but allowed freedom of movement at the same time. His true secret lies in his cut and spiral-like stitches which configure and lengthen the legs, elevate the buttocks, restrain the waist and give support to the breasts. His designs transform any woman who wears them into a goddess.

Alaia flanked by models in his Atelier circa 1990.

Azzedine Alaia was born in Tunisia in 1935 and in 1957 moved to Paris to work in fashion design. His study of sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Tunisia gave him important insight into the human form which helped immensly in his designs. After stints at Christian Dior, Guy Laroche and Thierry Mugler, Alaia opened his own atelier in his petit apartment on the rue de Bellechase in the late 1970’s in which he dressed his clients for 20 years.

Spot the supermodels – Carla Bruni and Yasmin Ghauri are there.

His first pret-a-porter collection debuted in 1980  and in 1984 he was voted Best Designer of the Year and Best Collection of the Year at the Oscars de la Mode. He was a massive hit in America where by 1988 he had opened boutiques in New York and Beverly Hills as well as Paris. It was the media who named him “The King of Cling”.

Clients like Madonna, Raquel Welch, Naomi Campbell, Elle McPherson, Stephanie Seymour, Tina Turner and Carine Roitfeld were all devoted to him. Grace Jones was also a devoted fan and wore many of his creations as May Day in the Bond film A View To A Kill.

Alaia fitting Grace Jones.
Alaia all but disappeared from the fashion scene after the death of his twin sister, but he continued to design for a very select clientele. He continues to present his designs when they are ready, not at the biannual events fashion forces dictate.
Alaia in his Paris Atelier with his long-time muse Naomi Campbell.

With the Prada group his financial partner since 2000, and the hiring of 15 staff from the Yves Saint Laurant Couture house (closed after YSL’s retirement in 2002) Alaia is now able to meet the demands of a Pret-a-Porter line, footwear and sunglasses as well as maintaining his distinctive made to measure and in July 2007 he successfully bought back his house and brand name from the Prada Group, his footwear and leather goods division continue to be owned by the group however.

Editorial featuring Naomi, Linda and Yasmin le Bon from American Elle circa 1990.

I remember the above editorial distinctly because I had not seen designs like these anywhere before. The detail and the cut and boy-o-boy, the way they fit! Also I remember being surprised with the frivolity of the models and how Alaia himself was so cute and tiny!

Going through some old magazines got me thinking about my high school graduation formal dress. I spent much of my time designing my dress and scouring magazines to find the perfect look for me.
I knew that I didn’t want to look like anyone else and so that meant wearing something unconventional.

Alaia in his Atelier.

I knew that I had to have an Alaia but short of flying to Paris (an impractical impossibility) I designed a dress based on my favourite silhouette. I found a very talented dressmaker who was as excited as I was to make a pattern and construct my dress, I couldn’t wait! It turned out perfectly and my favourite part was the pleated hem and the sapphire coloured fabric.  The only concession I had to make was that my mother would not let me have it made out of lycra (no cling for moi unfortunately), so I had it made from satin and let me tell you, it may have not been form-fitting back in 1990, but after two babies, not only does it still fit, but it clings like it should now!

Oh how I wish I could show you the dress, but alas I do not have any pictures to show you… I have looked high and low, but to no avail.  Je suis dèsolè!

When my little girls grow up and attend their high school graduation formal, I wonder how far I will have to go to fulfill their couture desires? Will we have to mortgage our retirement fund in order to buy Parisian couture for them?

It would be fun though, wouldn’t it?


Heidi x

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