Fly Like A Butterfly. Collina Strada SS23

At Collina Strada, Hillary Taymour was in a celebratory mood (like many designers in New York seem to be). Hari Nef opened the show, wearing a dainty, lace-trimmed slip over wide-leg plaid trousers, her arms fluttering up and down like so many butterfly wings. Bedazzled on the front was the phrase “Got milkweed?,” an environmentally friendly take on the classic Got Milk? ad campaign of the ’90s, which also happened to be the name of the collection. Milkweed is the only plant monarch caterpillars will eat. Fittingly, the show took place at Brooklyn Greenway, a former cemetery turned monarch butterfly preserve that’s not open to the public. Taymour’s signature playfulness and Y2K influence were certainly present, but there was also a tender touch (some of the models wore extra-long braids that dragged on the floor behind them as they walked, like a Rapunzel that never had to cut her hair off to find freedom) and a mix of romanticism that resulted in some truly elegant eveningwear options. A floral lace–crocheted long-sleeve gown was worn underneath a structured bustier minidress with an exaggerated balloon skirt—a fantastic continuation of the exploration of panniers and bustles that Taymour has embarked on for the past few seasons. “I just feel like now that we’re a ‘trend,’ I really wanted to push it and be like, ‘We’re not just [sportswear],’” said Taymour after the show. “I can make these dresses for you and elevate it.” A carnation pink dress made from deadstock chiffon that hung from bent-wire flowers that attached to matching airbrushed pink breasts and nipples proved she could do both. She added, “I just wanted to push myself to do that.” Big cargos came in hand-drawn floral prints, crushed velvet, and even organza. Decorated jeans were part of a collaboration with Unspun, a company that 3D-scans the body in order to create made-to-order denim. She also debuted a collaboration with Virón featuring shoes made of upcycled materials, including ruffled velvet oxfords and chunky silver metallic boots, and a collaboration with Melissa on supercool and weird puffy sandals, which she paired with tiny satin ballerina-style socks that perfectly encapsulated the spirit of the collection. In the show notes, Taymour describes being inspired by “the butterfly’s symbolic cycle of life, death, and rebirth,” but with clothes like these, Collina Strada will thrive forever.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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The Collinas. Collina Strada AW22

New York Fashion Week would make no sense without the energy of the city’s new-gen designers who fully embrace inclusivity, community and sustainability. This season, Collina Strada‘s Hillary Taymour showcased her exuberant and lively autumn-winter 2022 collection with a digital presentation, inviting the fashion set to experience its version of The Hills, entitled The Collinas. In the spoof, actor Tommy Dorfman makes her fashion week debut playing a twenty-something moving to New York City for a fashion internship at Collina Strada. Dorfman’s star turn was complemented by a large supporting cast: Rowan Blanchard, Marni’s Francesco Risso, Chloe Wise, Lynette Nylander, Jazzelle Zanaughtti, Ruby Aldridge, and Vogue’s Liana Satenstein – all friends of the brand. While the main character is rather clueless on how to actually do her job properly, she’s lovable with great taste – an aspect her peers can’t get enough of. The campy reality-TV pastiche wasn’t only entertaining and hilarious; it was a great background for Strada’s fabulous pleats, crushed velvet and metallic fabrics. Flashy colours and graphics inspired by 1970s psychedelic rock were mixed with genderless prom dresses and cargo pants made from upcycled materials. This season, Taymour evidentely entered her 2000s phase, and it’s working. Some ideas from spring 2022 carry over, like the Angel-printed tee and meshy layering pieces that have long been a staple. There is a low vibrating cake theme as well – Zanaughtti poses in a pageant ribbon top holding a pink cake; a pair of jeans were dyed using melted sprinkles. Chiffon is shredded to evoke feathers and studio detritus is cut into fringe. The eclecticism of Taymour’s earliest collections persists, and here we are with dozens of wearable and wantable garments that reflect the brand’s spirit.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Blooming Queens. Collina Strada SS22

Nature. Sunset. Raving. Queens. Situated on Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop garden in Sunset Park, the Collina Strada show was a vibrant welcome back to physical fashion shows in New York. Hillary Taymour described the scene as following: “We’ve got a farm queen, broken skater queen, prom queen, and a frog princess.” The simple message was that after a year of doldrums, we should all have the freedom to dress up as the queens we are. For spring-summer 2022, the designer has found a happy marriage between the natural world and the world around her. She’s deftly fusing literal garden references with real-world pragmatism: the actress Sasha Frolova walked in a macramé skirt and a hand-beaded bodysuit hand-in-hand with her grandmother, who played the gardener. The voluminous, wafty dresses, mostly layered over pants on the runway, were for those sticky summer days when you feel ick about your body, but you’ve got to go out. A new trouser style had a thong built in, for when you feel hot, and belts were made to look like crystal tramp stamps – for when you feel really hot. There were tons of new layering pieces like upcycled tees, cargo trousers, bias-cut and draped midi skirts, and even swimwear, not to mention the sculpted horse and beetle corsets. Look even closer, and you’ll find dozens of new accessories too, like upcycled raffia bags and necklaces and straps made from studio detritus. The level of handwork in this collection was dialed up exponentially, with hand-beaded pasties and flowers accompanying more producible items like doodle jeans and a new collaboration with Levi’s that birthed star-studded straight legs and classic denim jackets. On the runway Taymour dialed the wackiness of it all up to 11 as well. Models plucked carrots, sprinted down the catwalk, waved, laughed, and hugged while two live performances took place. The front row – composed of Kim Petras, Tommy Dorfman, Hari Nef, Aaron Philip, Camila Mendes, and Ella Emhoff – was eating it up, maybe even literally. An errant carrot on the runway, while rhinestone-studded, would have made a nice snack. In addition to bringing the good vibes and high octane fun to NYFW, Taymour also brings a deep commitment to reducing waste, turning bottle caps into pieces of high fashion jewelry. As we return to Fashion Week “as usual,” more of her peers should consider doing things the Collina Strada way.

Collages by Edward Kanarecki.

Gift Guide for Her – Stay Home Glamour

For the starter: this gorgeous Khaite tulle gown in green!

This year, I’ve to embrace the spirit of coming together this holiday season and decided to create dream gift guides that might make it easier for you to go (and filter) through the festive season. Get ready for a selection of beautiful items that will spark joy and last for years. The ones that will certainly please one’s senses and deliver heavenly feelings. Treat your loved ones and yourself! Here’s the curated edit of the most covetable delights, for her, which are all about stay-at-home glamour!

Festive Red. Is there any other colour that says “It’s Christmas time!” with such confidence as red? As we wrap up 2020, now is the time to celebrate our loved ones and share tokens of gratitude with those who have enriched this tumultous year for us. Red is the colour of love and courage, and noting how difficult this year was, wear this colour and radiate with confidence, boldness and passion!

Simone Rocha asymmetric tulle evening dress, Simone Rocha crystal drop earringsSimone Rocha silk midi skirt, Saint Laurent double-breasted tweed blazer & Prada high-shine headband.

Treasure Chest. Looking for something extra special? Dazzling jewellery coming from hot, young talents will definitely work as a unique, one-of-a-kind gift. Precious!

Sophie Bille Brahe velvet jewellery box in blue, Sophie Bille Brahe velvet jewellery box in red, Mondo Mondo gold oyster earrings, Ashley Williams heart appliqué hair pins & Sunnei rubberized pink and gold earrings.

Cute Things. Sometimes we all want to feel like a child. Go for playful and fun if you feel like someone had an especially stressful time this year!

Erdem silver earrings, Sophie Buhai velvet headband, Molly Goddard ruffled blouse, Molly Goddard knitted flower brooches set, Molly Goddard knitted flower brooches set & Ashley Williams handle bag.

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Princess of Wales Checks. Though her legacy extends far beyond fashion, Princess Diana is arguably the greatest fashion icon of the 20th century. Checks have always been affiliated with festive season, but this year, with The Crown‘s phenomenal fourth season focused on early days of Diana Spencer, I feel like we will all love this pattern even more. Remember, that Diana didn’t wear checks in a boring way, though! The bigger, off-kilter and colourful, the better.

Dries Van Noten crepe de chine and satin top, Dries Van Noten wool tote & Chopova Lowena patchwork pleated skirt.

Be Bold. NET-A-PORTER Global Buying Director Elizabeth von der Goltz says Christopher John Rogers is one of the designers to watch and embrace in 2020, and it’s easy to see why. Since launching his eponymous brand only a few seasons ago, the designer’s voluminous silhouettes, sharp tailoring and unabashed use of color have already earned him a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. Rihanna, Ashley Graham and Michelle Obama are all fans. His clothes are made for wearing and celebrating!

Christopher John Rogers over-sized double-breasted blazer

Quality Time. How about making those holidays the most-pampered time of the year, as you stay at your home-made spa? Relax yourself with the finest skincare, scents and charming bling-blings…

Costa Brazil “Kaya” anti-aging face oil, Panconesi single earring, Mondo Mondo cardinal drop earrings, Diptyque “Feu De Bois” candle, Susanne Kaufmann antioxidant oil, Susanne Kaufmann body butter, Susanne Kaufmann bath oil, Susanne Kaufmann glow mask & Susanne Kaufmann enzyme peel.

Nouvelle Vague. How about a pinch of Parisian chic?

Marc Jacobs shift-style mini dress, Gucci x Liberty floral ballet flat, Saint Laurent gold earrings & Gucci over-sized sunglasses.

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Modern Elegance. Need to set the bar high? Timeless elegance will score instant points with every style maven – whether we’re speaking of Rosie Assoulin‘s multi-functional knitwear or this charming Brock Collection dress. Also, Byredo‘s “Slow Dance” is a can’t-go-wrong gift!

Brock Collection bow-detailed silk-organza dress, Rosie Assoulin “Thousand In One Ways” convertible cable-knit sweater, Sophie Buhai classic earrings, Byredo “Slow Dance” fragrance, Simone Rocha beaded headband & Gucci ankle-strap platform pumps.

Like A Pearl. From top to toe – and waist to wrist – these are the modern-day, royal classics that will keep on giving, every time they are worn.

Simone Rocha beaded tote bag, Marc Jacobs boucle flared coat, Sophie Buhai pearl drop earrings & Simone Rocha pearl-embellished crossover sandals.

 

Miuccia Knows. Pretty much anything coming from Miuccia Prada is an investment pieces that’s always “in”. Prada and Miu Miu got lots to love this festive season for all the fans of quirky, yet feminine essentials!

Miu Miu leopard print skirt, Miu Miu glitter ballerina shoes, Prada oversized shell choker, Miu Miu nappa leather clutch & Prada logo plaque chunky headband.

She Wears Velvet. The 1990s revival means that velvet fashion is back for good. This sumptuous fabric can be elegant and luxurious, but it’s worth giving it a fashionable twist.

Sophie Buhai velvet scrunchie, Collina Strada crushed velvet longline coat, Marine Serre pink gloves,<Paula Canovas Del Vas pumps & Y/Project velvet mini bag.

Refined. Lounging at its most sublime.

Saint Laurent pussy bow sheer blouse, Saint Laurent latex-style pencil skirt, Cire Trudon Christmas scent candle, Saint Laurent pumps & Saint Laurent velvet dress.

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Fashion is Fashion! Go for wild non-chalance to shake 2020’s seriousness off. Play fantastic dress-up, even if the festive evening is spent in your living room. Getting dressed makes such a difference, it’s like an attitude-boost!

Saint Laurent polka-dot skirt, Dries Van Noten cropped jacket, Fornasetti Profumi “Don Giovani” scented candleRoxanne Assoulin earrings,Valentino Garavani floral detail shoulder bag & Manolo Blahnik “Camparicaro” pumps.

Prints Meet Prints.

Khaite zebra-jacquard pants, Gucci horsebit handle bag, Prada intarsia V-neck knitted vest, Christian Louboutin leopard print pumps & Stella Jean pop-art print pleated skirt.

Warm Season. ‘Tis the season for warmth, fine fabrics and a dash of something that makes you feel truly cosseted and cozy. We all deserve to treat ourselves with something relaxing and laid-back.

Marni exposed stitch cardigan, Vilhelm Parfumerie “Do Not Disturb” perfumeSimone Rocha floral jacquard long socks & Isabel Marant oversize hooded poncho.

Neo-Disco. With the rise of modern-day disco – think Róisín Murphy, Kylie Minogue, Jessie Ware and Dua Lipa’s 2020 records – that helped as out during the tough lockdown days, how about having an intimate disco party at your home? Turn on Madonna’s “Confessions On A Dancefloor“, and lose yourself to dance!

Paco Rabanne tie-dye t-shirt, Paco Rabanne chainmail earrings, Paco Rabanne mirror-discs midi skirt, Paco Rabanne chainmail bag & Porte & Paire leather sandals.

Colour Pop. Unpredictable colour combinations always lift the mood. Can’t go wrong with an Extreme Cashmere cardigan in bold orange or the already-cult Bottega Veneta intreciatto-weave cluth in refreshing lime.

Extreme Cashmere orange cardigan, Bottega Veneta leather clutch bag, Assouline “St. Tropez Soleil” by Simon Liberati book, Comme des Garcons skirt & Bea Bongiasca pink ring.

Some more festive gift guides are coming soon! Here are some you might have missed – cozy chic for her and “be bold” for him!

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All collages by Edward Kanarecki.