And I didn’t even Climax…

Shock and awe isn’t a new tactic in the fashion world. In fact, shock and awe is the axis at which the planet of fashion revolves around. This is especially true concerning the rise and fall of a creative or an artistic director of any well-known establishment, house or label. In the spring of 2011, fashion headlines everywhere ran with the story of Christophe Decarnin parting ways, after only five years, with the luxurious house of Balmain. The aftermath of that colossal earthquake news was his replacement, Olivier Rousteing. A young, fresh faced twenty something year kid who spent a few years assisting Decarnin. A virtual unknown. And the universe buzzed. Would Rousteing triumphantly rise to the occasion or would he fail? Would he push the label farther than Decarnin or send it plummeting to its death? So many questions, doubts and fears. But in his short stint at Balmain, Rousteing has managed to surprisingly prove most of his critics wrong. He not only has kept the label afloat but assisted with its continued rise in popularity with the hot, young and rich crowd. And unlike another young designer*, suddenly thrust into a gigantic pair of shoes at Balenciaga, Rousteing found his footing instantly and silently, gained the necessary momentum needed to push Balmain into a dominating and influential position. His creative approach, a cautious mixture of preserving the house’s decadent aesthetic and Decarnin’s flamboyant exuberance was an instantaneous hit. And like Sarah Burton, Rousteing was unofficially crowned the Midas of fashion, turning everything he touched into gold. (Burton was named creative director at Alexander McQueen in May of 2010, after the designer’s tragic death)

Fast forward to Paris Fashion Week. On September 25, 2014 the fashion crowd and critics gathered, eagerly awaiting the golden boy’s latest sensation, his spring Pret-a-Porter 2015 collection. Heavily influenced by pop culture and the red carpet sirens he frequently dresses, Rousteing‚Äôs most recent work is‚Ķdismal and unoriginal. There was no brilliance. No boldness. No opulence. From the sleek bondage influenced pieces, the overexposed body parts, to the impeccable tailoring, the runway told a tale of an unexcitable story. It read boring, had a sort of rushed assembled-like quality and appeared as though he designed it for a lone individual more or less, not for the masses. He is quoted saying the influential muse behind his spring collection is pop starlet Rihanna and while there is no harm in having an inspirational figure as muse, perhaps Rousteing should have put more thought into using her as a creative point of origin rather than the finality as the birth of his collection. In the September issue of US Harper‚Äôs Bazaar, he said, ‚ÄúI think fashion is like sex‚Ķwhen you do the show, that‚Äôs the orgasm.‚ÄĚ Well sir, if the Paris show was our infamous romp in the sack, I am one (of many) dissatisfied lover.

¬†*Next post, I’ll talk about Alexander Wang’s spring collection¬†at Balenciaga!

 

 

For more of the collection, check out www.style.com!

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Designer Spotlight: Lorena Sarbu

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† sarbu‚ÄúImagine if Zuhair Murad and Marchesa had a baby with a Versace flair? You would get Lorena Sarbu!‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒThe Provocative Eye

Meet the modern Elizabeth Taylor of fashion, Lorena Sarbu. Watching (and tweeting/IG) the live coverage of the Emmy‚Äôs red carpet last week, I caught a glimpse of Lauren Parsekian (Breaking Bad‚Äôs Aaron Paul‚Äôs wife) and immediately l-o-v-e-d her dress. A quick web search led me to the fashion designer‚Äôs personal site. The Romanian born beauty studied design at the Intermational Academy of Design & Technology and at FIDM in Los Angeles. A childhood filled with rich¬†influential European¬†culture, architect and art, Sarbu presented her first collection in 2009 and recently relocated from New York to Los Angeles in 2013.¬†A dressmaker at heart, she began creating designs for her dolls from her mother’s clothing and although we know a doll’s size proportion is not to be compared to women,¬†Sarbu is a master at tailoring and intricate detailing.¬†¬†With exquisite craftsmanship, vibrant colors and beautiful fabrics that pay tribute to old world glamour and elegance,¬†she transforms¬†the ordinary into extraordinary with each design.¬†It’s no surprise Hollywood and musical starlets in the likes of Emma Stone, Hayden Panettiere, Carrie Underwood, Ariel Winter, Britney Spears have all been spotted donning an original couture design of Sarbu. For more of her stunning evening wear, please visit http://www.lorenasarbu.com.

 

Lorena Sarbu is one to watch!

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Designer Spotlight: Norman Ambrose

We live in a time where everything is instantaneous. Quick. The internet serves as grand wizard¬†with social media reporting the latest greatest at the impossible speed as soon as¬†it materializes. We’ve gotten so used to fast that more and more living, doing, creating is taking on this approach, becoming the norm.¬†¬†Artists, at times, can find themselves in the middle of this exact predicament.¬†Creating quickly in order to produce¬†forsaking the very reason¬†for the¬†creation.¬†It is absolutely beautiful when an artist takes the time and opportunity to allow his creations to develop, from seed (thought, inspiration) to full bloom (collection).¬† I knew this was¬†a way of¬†life¬†the first time I laid eyes on Norman Ambrose at Fashion Houston in 2011. Exquisite craftsmanship, luxurious fabrics, handmade embellishments all color a haute couture piece by Ambrose. His designs are dreams of¬†old world aristocrat, assembled, cut and impeccably tailored to gracefully mold the body inside of its masterpiece. Glamour is his specialty, and whether designing for a Baroness, a New York socialite or the modern woman of style and grace, Norman Ambrose is a true atelier and artist. His background education has¬†served him well in¬†the creative arena, he is a¬†graduate of the Academy of Art University of San Francisco,¬†and was¬†bestowed the opportunity to¬†study at the Instituto Europeo di Design in Italy. Ambrose‚Äôs resume is impressive, he was afforded the¬†dream chance to train under a pattern cutter from the prestigious House of Balenciaga and a tailor under the iconic Bill Blass.

 

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I love collections that construct an intriguing narrative, that have the capability to hold a person captive while one stares lustfully at a runway while each piece weaves the completed fairytale.  I love collections that mesmerizes; leaves you desiring more.  It is beautiful to witness a designer takes such pride in his craftsmanship, allowing an inside peek into the vivid inner workings of his mind, blessing you with the opportunity to explore his thoughts or providing a source of inspiration.  I was blessed with the opportunity to meet and interview Mr. Ambrose not once but twice (with Fashionably Houston)!  What a grand break that was in my fashion life at the time.  Soft spoken, gracious and humble, I was impressed even the more by Mr. Ambrose after interviewing him. I simply adore and admire him.

You can follow Norman Ambrose on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for current details from the designer!

 

 

Here is an excerpt of my recap after witnessing his runway show in 2011:

 

The sun.  Brilliant, radiant, magnificent, the perpetual light that ignites the world and prevents eternal darkness from swallowing us whole.  Life would be impossible without it…now imagine sitting in a spacious room with a runway at the center and experiencing the sun…in its entire splendor…from the slow rise out of the east, to the intense luminosity of day, ending with its glorious subdued descent.  On Wednesday night at Fashion Houston 2011, Norman Ambrose delivered the sun.  He  fashioned his S/S 2012 collection to represent the cycles of the sun; carefully choose a color palette to interpret his vision and set ablaze the souls of fashion lovers everywhere.   Vibrant noir…shimmering metallic gold… iridescent silver… pale apricot…lustrous tangelo… to an exuberant then soften coral.  It was sensory overload but in the most marvelous way!  And that was just the color palette.

 

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Designer Profile: Jean Louis Sabaji

jls4      I am in love. With fashion, the possibility of this occurring is often fleeting and not always notable. There are just a hand full of designers I keep close watch on and I have to thank my friend, Cherise, for introducing me to the incredible Jean Louis Sabaji.

Sabaji, a second generation Lebanese¬†designer, debuted his collection at Dubai Fashion Week. this month to a well pleased and admirable audience.¬† The final outcome was clear, he is definitely one to watch, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of him in the upcoming fashion seasons.¬† The collection was well constructed, painstakingly so, with a grand flair of and mother nature.¬† The insect appliques reminded me of Zuhair Murad‘s fall 2014¬†RTW collection which showcased his love¬†for dragonflies and butterflies.¬† Insects never looked so sexy!¬† Please check out¬†the debut¬†collection on his website.

You can follow the designer on Facebook or twitter to keep up with the latest.

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Alexander Wang, H&M and the ghost of Nicolas Ghesquiere

The announcement came early Sunday morning evoking excitement everywhere: Alexander Wang for H&M, coming November 2014. And the masses rejoiced. The internet appeared titillated with the news of¬†Swedish mega¬†retailer, Hennes & Mauritz, a brand synonymous with affordable fashion for the masses with its latest collaboration. But just below the surface of the euphoria lies still, the unexamined story of the silent but deadly departure of Nicolas¬†Ghesqui√®re and the appointment of wonderkid Alexander Wang at the prestigious house of Balenciaga. It was indeed a strange selection, questioned by many of fashion‚Äôs elite. Wang, known for his ultra-modern designs overlaid with youthful freshness, wasn‚Äôt seen as the ideal candidate by outsiders. Would he be able to carry out the vision and produce marketable fashion without losing the Balenciaga touch?¬†Ghesqui√®re exceled at, was a genius at, creating what the public wasn‚Äôt even aware it wanted. He moved the brand into mainstream fashion, increased its visibility, and as sales skyrocketed, he brought a sense of stability and practicality to the label. For 15 years, Balenciaga blossomed under¬†Ghesqui√®re as his designs were critically acclaimed. But behind closed doors, a storm brewed. Constant clashes with management partners and battles to maintain his creative identity without comprising the label ultimately took its toll on the designer. And in November 2012, finally at the end of a journey he saw months in the making concluded and¬†Ghesqui√®re “abruptly”¬†ended his¬†union with Balenciaga. ¬†His appointment at the house of Louis Vuitton¬†in late 2013¬†conveyed the impression that the lengthy chapter of a horrid fairytale had ended.¬†No such luck for¬†the genius designer¬†as a 2014 trial date has been set in the case of Balenciaga Vs Ghesqui√®re. How does all of this tie into the collaboration of Alexander Wang and H&M? One could pounder.¬†My speculation is Wang, quite aware of the enormous shoes he’s ¬†stepped into and the tainted stench of the ugly divorce of¬†his predecessor,¬†may actually¬†be in over his head at Balenciaga. ¬†His¬†acceptance of¬†the contract with H&M is a creative outlet much needed in his world. Make no mistake, on his own, Wang is a dynamic designer. This¬†current partnership will bring his label and name to places unreachable by the prestige of Balenciaga. And It will definitely create more financial freedom, stability¬†and newer, richer¬†ventures for Wang.¬†I believe¬†he needs this collaboration,¬†¬†in order not to sacrifice his gift, his¬†ability to create and career aspirations. The need to keep his identity separate from Balenciaga is a must if he is going to survive.¬† My sincerest hope is¬†Wang doesn‚Äôt suffer the same fate as Ghesqui√®re, because as any artist can attest to, there is no greater fear than being boxed in, closed up into a tiny space and being controlled by¬†invisible strings of a larger than life puppet master. Being instructed on what, how, when and where to create. For a true artist, the freedom to dream, think, process, execute on our own terms is the very purest form of creation, the very breathe of life to our souls. ¬†Good luck and Godspeed Alexander Wang, you will need it in the future.