— March 25, 2015 —

Fall/Winter 2015 Trendspotting: Let Loose

The verdict is in: skinny pants are out and a new looser pant silhouette is in for Fall/Winter 2015.  From culottes to wide-legs to bell-bottoms, designers showed everything but those ubiquitous skinny legged silhouettes this season.  And we're really digging this fresh new direction.  It's about a more laid-back, easy aesthetic, made ultra cool in the way the pieces were styled.  At Ellery, we saw her signature bell-bottom trousers cut slightly looser, worn with a mini skirt layered on top and a skin-tight lace top to finish off the look. sass & bide also showed a bell-bottom style, but cut slimmer, for a very late-60's rock aesthetic.  Camilla & Marc showed multiple pairs of lust-worthy culottes, shown with drape-y tops.  Alexis Mabille gave his wide-legged trousers a sexy twist with a midriff-baring top.  And, finally, both TELA and D.Efect kept the whole silhouette loose for an ultra cool-girl look, paired with an oversized coat or a slouchy sweatshirt.  We seriously can't wait to give our skinny jeans a break and get our hands on these looser trouser styles this fall.

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Left to Right: TELA, Camilla & Marc, Ellery, sass & bide, Alexis Mabille, D.Efect.

— March 24, 2015 —

Talking to TELA at Tranoi in Paris

TELA was all about a nostalgic nod to the 60's for the Fall/Winter 2015 season, updated with feminine silhouettes, set against a colour palette inspired by Russian artist Olitski.  We caught up with the talented Federica Legrenzi, the driving force behind the label, while they were showing at the prestigious Tranoi Louvre trade show in Paris.  We visited them early on a Saturday afternoon to find their booth buzzing with interested buyers.  Born in 2009, TELA has developed a strong brand identity as a label that champions its wearer through its designs.  What does this mean?  They strive to keep their styles simple enough to let the wearer's personality shine through, while also maintaining a balance of both minimalism and femininity in their design.  Federica was inspired to push that femininity a bit further this season, with a larger selection of skirts and dresses, as well as a more feminine take on their classic men's-inspired shirt.  Read on to learn more about Federica's design process and inspiration this season.

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"My favourite piece this season is the one I'm wearing, this jumpsuit.  And the coat.  This fabric is made with a special technique which takes tweed and puts a lamination on top, leaving a foil of gold fabric on it.  Then there is a machine with needles that takes the white wool from the lower tweed fabric and takes it out, that's why you don't see it completely gold, but a mix of gold and the white from the tweed.  It's something very new."

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"These images are a collection of pictures that I like a lot.  Typical, natural gestures.  I like the idea of a hand, coloured; this is the same colour that I put into the collection.  It's something that really expresses touch in a 'colour' way."

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"There are also works by a Russian artist, Olitski.  We started with these two colour groups because we loved this combination. It's like an accent, but at the same time it's very graphic.  This is where we developed the print.  It's what TELA looks like: simple, but very graphic.  So this was the beginning of the collection."

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"For the colour, we started [with Olitski].  But, through this season, we wanted some pieces that were close to the later-60's that's why I looked at Twiggy or other images from that time.  And, in the lookbook, often we put a cap; which was like the beginning of Balenciaga, when it was very feminine, but strong with this accessory."

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"The main texture is the stripe.  They are going straight, horizontal, every kind of stripe.  I think now is the time to play with lines.  It's not something that is just TELA, but I think it's a seasonal mood of many designers.  This is my interpretation.  Dots and stripes are something that will never go out of fashion."

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"The high collar is important for this collection, because normally TELA was recognised only for men's-style shirts and stiff collars; for the first time, I really wanted something more feminine to play with a masculine piece.  This is the kind of shirt that I came up with for this season.  It's simple, the way I cut them, but they have these feminine details that I like a lot.  I wanted to play with ruching, too.  It's feminine, but on a sporty cut, which is the combination I like the most."

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"Trousers, in general, have been selling very well this season.  But, because of the 60's, but also because I think everybody has a nice pair of trousers, the new bottom for me for this season is the skirt.  But not one specifically; all the lengths.  I developed all the lengths; the short mini 60's style, the pencil skirt in cashmere and wool, the huge one with the stripes, the divided skirts with the leather detail."

— March 23, 2015 —

Up Close with sass & bide in Paris

We were so happy to see sass & bide return this Fall/Winter 2015 season to their embellished and artisanal roots.  It was Anthony Cuthbertson's first collection for the brand as Creative Director, and it was clear how much time he had spent going through the archives of the house and really staying true to the core aesthetic of the brand.  Though he paid homage to sass & bide's original brand image, he also managed to push the craft of the brand to a whole new level.  Some of the work that went into the pieces this season was really done at a couture level.  Many of the embellished pieces that were standouts in the collection were hand-sewn, which has really elevated the label's clothes to a much more fashion-forward, luxury place.  There are, however, of course, pieces that are more accessible in terms of their craft, but still all done with that very recognisable sass & bide attitude and aesthetic.  We had a quick chat with the girls at the sass & bide showroom in Paris' Marais district to get up-close-and-personal with the collection.

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"This was Anthony Cuthbertson's inaugural collection for sass & bide.  He's gone back to the real sass & bide identity, with the heavy embellishment and the artisanal quality."

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"We call these our Beyoncé leggings, a few years ago, we actually made a similar pair for her.  And, this, we call our 'warrior' dress!"

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"The gold has also been a really important part of the collection this season."IMG_3226

"With this fabric, the embellishment is beaded on top, again, by hand.  So the amount of work in it is incredible.  You can really see the craft in this piece."

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"This is a great piece, too.  We've actually had a lot of success with this; it's very recognisably sass & bide!"

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"In a lot of the collection, we've got these gorgeous motifs; we've got a little robot and we also have the beetles and the dragonflies.  Some have been embellished, as you can see, and we've also done it in a print."

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"One of the amazing showpieces was the cracked dress.  The mirrored material was spread out on a table and laser cut; then each piece is individually hand-sewn onto the dress.  That's definitely been a key story for us."

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"The cracked pieces come in the mirror and it also comes in a clear plastic and in black plastic, as you can see here."

— March 20, 2015 —

Catching Up with Camilla at Camilla & Marc in Paris

No trip to Paris is complete without catching up with the beautiful and talented Camilla Freeman of - what else - Camilla & Marc. A longtime centrepiece in the landscape of Australian fashion Camilla & Marc is sold around the world at prestigous retailers such as BarneysMatchesHarvey Nichols and Shopbop.  After over a decade in the business, and having established themselves as a top contender in the luxury fashion market, Camilla & Marc are launching a denim capsule line as well as a footwear collection this season.  We caught up with Camilla on her first day in Paris for fashion week at her showroom on the stunning Rue Richelieu (a stones throw away from the historical Palais Royale) to get an up close and personal viewing of her Fall/Winter 2015 collection.  And we've got all the scoop on it, just for you, below!

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Tell us a little bit about this collection.

Camilla: This collection was inspired by fluidity and a series of coincidences; a moment in time when things happen in a series of fluid coincidences.  We’ve got lots of fluid pieces, but they’re contrasted back with the tailoring of the brand that we have every season, so there’s always a moment of military-inspired pieces throughout the collections.  So we still have them, but the way that we styled the collection, for example, is that we’ve got military jackets with really soft fluid pieces underneath.  You can see there’s this fluidity and also this hardness; everything’s got an element of hardness, whether it’s a soft draped piece with a bit of hardware, there’s that contrast and element of surprise.

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Camilla: We started with some very neutral tones, mixed back with black.  We’ve got some beautiful lace pieces, where we appliquéd two different laces together; a heavy guipere style lace with a very soft chantilly, and we’ve wrapped and draped it on the mannequin.  We’ve worked a lot with the mannequin this season; we’ve done lots of draping, lots of wrapping and folding and twisting.  

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Camilla: And then we go into the tortoise print, which we pleated and draped.  We have a few softly pleated pieces, which are a bit more grown up, or you can wear them with a sweater and it can be really cool.   Every season we do a blazer, it’s one of our staples.  We’ve got this military style tailored jumpsuit, which is off-the-hook!  It’s one of my favourite pieces.  We have a lot of jumpsuits this season.  We’ve done some beautiful knitwear for fall, they really suck you in!  We have more evening dresses in the collection, which are really important to us.  We also worked with a beautiful French jacquard fabric, it almost looks like cameo or clouds, it depends which way you look at it; every way is different!  We’ve also got a couple of spotted pieces, as well, which look really great on; it’s one of my favourite looks, it’s very fun.

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What about the fabric development?

We develop all of our prints in-house.  Every print from every collection you’ve seen have all been made in our head office.  They take a long time, as I’m sure you can imagine.  The starting point was something I ripped out of the newspaper that I saw that I liked; it was the corner of a painting that I had seen, it was the strangest thing, and I ripped out the corner of it, and I said, “I just want to start with an idea of working with these two colours together and paint brush over the top of each other,” the colours were the reference point, from the newspaper, and we just developed it from there.  And, literally, it’s a completely different thing; and it always is, we always start with something very random and just work it and work it and develop it.  I really enjoy that process, though it’s sometimes frustrating when you don't know what it’s going to look like in the end.  I feel like I go into a prints with two different minds: I know exactly what it’s going to be or I’m really not sure. There’s never any grey area.  Mostly I have an idea of what it’s going to look like in my mind, but for this I didn’t.  It was an interesting evolution.  When you get where you need to get, you know it immediately.  We just kept working it until I knew it.

And that actually kind of ties in with the whole idea of fluidity and coincidence.

Yes.  It’s fluid, an evolution, a process.  When you know, you know!

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Which pieces are doing well so far?

The tortoise print, the lace styles, the long light pink trench - it’s really flattering on so many different complexions - the tailoring, because that’s a given for us, and the spots are doing really well.  The khaki, it’s always a risk, you never know, but it was done really well this season; that's been really good.

So the dot pieces are your favourite?

I just think it’s really fun, you know?  Often, my favourite pieces are a little bit more tailored, but this season it’s very different for me, which I quite like!

Do you wear most of pieces every day of the week?

Yeah.  The rule of thumb is always, “Would we wear it?”  We always check in, you know?  I would wear pretty much every piece, if it suited me, yes.

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So, since it’s a Fall/Winter collection, can you tell us what are your holiday traditions?

It’s summer in Australia!  Growing up, we actually used to spend most of our holidays - which is our summer holidays but your fall holidays - in the snow in the States or in Canada!  So we would be skiing and having White Christmases and doing all that. 

If you were having a White Christmas, what would you wear from the collection?

I’d probably layer a knit with a blazer over the top and then one of the skirts.  Lots of layers!

Can you tell us a little bit about your own personal style and how that reflects on the brand?

I guess I wear very tailored pieces with very fluid pieces!  It’s kind of an epitome of what this collection is.  I’ve always worn lots of layers, I’m always wearing a tailored jacket with a soft dress or a top and trousers or a skirt.  I tend to like to go for a more elegant, effortless style, rather than edgy.  Timeless!

Those are all words I would use to describe Camilla and Marc!

There you go!  I’m a mum of three, I go to the office and then I go home, so I need to be able to wear something that is practical, as well!

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And tell us about the shoe collection.

Well it’s really like my fourth baby!  I have lots of babies now!  It’s something that’s been very important to us for a very long time.  I studied in Florence, I did my Master’s there 12 years ago, so I knew when I was there that I was going to do something like this at some point.  So Marc and I have spent the last three or four years working to grow a relationship with our factories.  Prior to launching, we’ve actually spent three years building this relationship, they're like family now.  It’s an amazing extension of the brand that has done really, really well in Australia.  It’s very much, like the mainline, the simplicity of the shapes with the hardware; making a statement out of shape and the hardware.  That’s an easy way of describing it!

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