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khaleej times Friday, March 4, 2011



NAEEM KHAN Designer Naeem Khan always delivers a collection that is elegant and glamour infused. His FW 2011 collection was no exception with many looks that could take a woman from day into evening. A few were even Oscar-worthy, as witnessed by Annette Bening wearing one of his designs to the recent Oscars award show. The line focused on materials and techniques, such as ostrich feathers and laser-cut patent leather flowers, beading and shimmer. The line was very luxe, but understated and seemingly simple from a distance. He infused the fall looks with rich silks, tulle, patent leather, beading, feathers and cut to the body silhouettes that accentuated without being overt. The floor-length gowns with beading and the kaftans are perfect for the UAE audience.

JASON WU You have to love a designer that can take everyday staples and whip them into a frenzy to the point of luxe by putting all the attention and extravagance in the details. Jason Wu did just that by deconstructing pieces and reconstructing them, adding embellishment (a movement on the rise in NYC) and materials, leaving raw edges, creating elegant yet non-precious pieces. Wu’s collection was charming and executed beautifully with lace as his muse, snaking down the length of sleeves on coats and sweatshirts, on the hem of parkas peplum style, along with androgynous silhouettes. The suiting, was cut close to the body, the jackets tailored and mannish, the heels high and the gowns feathered and feminine. The suiting, as well as the gowns, would be at home here in the UAE.

CAROLINA HERRERA Natural elegance with a dose of drama best describes the Herrera FW 2011 show. The collection was scaled back from the decoration of its spring counterpart, yet not skimping on it to the point opulence. The collection provided the must-haves — polished suiting and exquisite day dresses and fur — executed in a sport motif beautifully with double-faced wool, velvet, tweed, flannel and fur. Volume added the dramatic flare to outerwear, notably the caplet and fur chubbies, as well as full skirts composed of generous pleats. The volume offered an alluring contrast to the sleeker skirts, dresses and pant suits. Herrera worked degrade to great effect in sweaters and strapless A-line dresses, pairing the former with a full skirt and a fur collar. The entire collection has the prim and proper balance to wear well here in Dubai.



tale of two cities The NY and London catwalks thus far have provided some of the most ethereal and beautiful looks in many seasons. FW 2011 will be the season of the coat, classic and newer shapes, as well as vivid, saturated colours, maxi dresses and geometric prints. Stephanie Rivers dashed from show to show to seek out what were the best collections and how they translate to the Middle East

DEREK LAM There is rarely any new design per se in fashion but rather new combinations, interpretations and fabrications that keep it modern and interesting. Designer Derek Lam does not reinvent sportswear but is rather adept at tweaking it and reinventing its appeal with newer fabric techniques and luxurious materials. A simple vest is taken to the brink of exotic with the usage of softer alpaca versus shearling. Lam’s fur-sleeved coat, a major trend on almost every runway thus far, takes luxury up a notch by waxing the fur (making it more weather resistant and resilient) and pairing it with a stiff cotton versus a merino wool. His pairing of materials also makes one need another wide-legged trouser, Lam’s done in a twotoned silk-rayon and twill, or yet another tie-front blouse because his is done in a gold lame and pairs effortlessly and beautifully with a flannel blazer. His peacoats are ideal for cooler temps in the UAE, and the jumpsuits, cut away from the body are polished and elegant for day or evening.

BURBERRY PRORSUM Christopher Bailey, like most designers, has a specific point of view each season or muse. For Fall 2011, it was structure, volume, outerwear and Jean Shrimpton. The collection was amazing from beginning to end with a wonderful infusion of hip 1960s London. Outerwear was key here metamorphosing into delectable double faced heritage gabardine structured coats, bubble-back military tunic coats, oversized capes, blanket coats and dropped sleeve sculptured ones. Genius was in the details for outwear as well, not only in the cape backs but in toggle closures, epaulets, pockets, funnel-neck collars and leather piping. The collection had a sporty cum luxe edge with the usage of gabardine, flannel, tweed, lurex jacquard, compacted wool jersey and blanket wool check. The sleek flat front cropped trousers and the cropped jackets and newsboy caps would be edgy and right at home here in UAE.

MICHAEL KORS Michael Kors was another design house that rang in the big 30 this year, the culmination of hard work, personality, grit and great design talent with a consistent point of view. What is that point of view? Timeless chic in its purest form — relaxed elegance with a touch of skin. Kors referenced the best of his past collections, delivering luxe only as he can in the form of lean silhouettes. Working in a palette made up of predominately neutrals, Kors served up structure with skinny trousers under tunic tops, languid with silk pajamas and sexy with jersey jumpsuits. Over the top elegance came in the form of lighterthan-air fox coats and capes, along with Studio 54-worthy embellished jersey mini dresses and beaded gowns. The tunic tops, gowns, pant suits and pajamas are perfect for the fashionistas that prefer relaxed elegance with a dollop of cool.

It was the 30th anniversary for the house of Custo, a considerable feat in an industry that has designers that come and go and labels that fall out of relevance with age. Not Dalmau, who is still head designer for the label he launched. To mark the label’s 30th year, the collection focused on layers and materials that added dimension and interest. There were patchwork quilted dresses, oversized mohair sweaters that seem to be growing hairy appendages with fringe, fur, lace mini dresses, leggings, patterned tights and checked platform boots. Many of the boots as well as the oversized knits atop of leggings and tights will wear well in the UAE, if only for a short while due to the limited cool weather.


STORE INDEX: Derek Lam can be found at Symphony, Dubai Mall; Michael Kors, Dubai Mall; Burberry Prorsum, Fashion Avenue, Dubai Mall; CH Carolina Herrera, Dubai Mall; Jason Wu, Boutique1. com; Custo Barcelona, Dubai Marina Mall and Dubai Mall; Naeem Khan,; Ralph Lauren, Fashion Avenue, Dubai Mall.

The Ralph Lauren FW 2011 collection was an elegant excursion to the Orient by way of Shanghai. Ralph’s China-infused collection echoed David Bowie’s China Girl sound track, with jade and coral earrings, centre-parted hair, red lacquered lips matching the red lacquered heels, with hints of the 1920s in the ornate robes with dragon embroideries. For the most part, the collection was the refined luxury we have come to expect from Lauren, played out in the form of crisp white shirting paired with wool trousers, polished leather halter dresses, mantailored suiting, cashmere skirts, panne velvet jackets, Shetland tweed jackets and Art Deco-inspired flourishes. The man-tailored suiting would be an ideal change of pace for dressing for evening.

NYFW and LFW Coverage  

Collection Reviews from NYFW and LFW

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