May 23, 2014

MIUNIKU

Designers have shown a recent penchant for busy prints: ones that keep the eye occupied with multitudes of vibrant colors contained within complex, multidimensional patterns. The Spring 2014 runway shows were full of them; bold, art-inspired prints were a major trend

Amidst the popularity of these elaborate prints, Mumbai-based brand MIUNIKU comes as a refreshing addition to the fashion palate. Founded by sisters Tina and Nikita, the brand's name derives from the nicknames their parents gave them: Miu and Niku, respectively. 

After growing up in Mumbai, the sisters studied pattern cutting and womenswear at the London College of Fashion, graduating in June 2013. In July 2013, they received the Fashion Innovation Award from the London College of Fashion. The sisters were semi-finalists for the 2014 H&M Design Awards and were recently named one of 12 finalists for the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers.

The designers describe the brand's aesthetic as "a balance between clean lines and graphic details, mixing minimal and maximal elements." The AW14 collection showcases color blocking on a series of oversized yet structured separates, including a magnificent array of coats.

"Our first collection was mostly monochrome, so we thought we should take a risk and experiment with colour on our next one," Tina stated in an email, referring to the choice to use such bold colors in the AW14 collection. "So this time, we kind of stepped out of our comfort zone and played with colour and it turned out quite well!"

The pieces evoke a fresher, cleaner facet of modern art than that seen in the Chanel and Céline Spring 2014 shows. Although Chanel and Céline's maximalist looks have their own distinct appeal, MIUNIKU's designs, such as an ankle-length coat with a Mondrian-esque color scheme, are attractive because of their restraint. The hues are subtler than those seen in the recent hey-day of color blocking in 2011, and many of the pieces use white in order to soften the bold juxtaposition of brights. The result is far from quiet, but it is calmer than the maximalism to which fashion has recently become accustomed.













All images courtesy of MIUNIKU

To learn more about MIUNIKU, visit miuniku.com.

May 15, 2014

Chanel Resort 2015

It is clear that Chanel revels in the power of the spectacle. When reading reviews for Karl Lagerfeld's latest and greatest show, it is often the show's magnificent locale that occupies the opening paragraph; each season, people are whipped into a frenzy by the newest world that Lagerfeld has fashioned. Yet, as time passes, it seems that Chanel has become tied to the expectations for a presentation even grander than the last.

Indeed for some time now, I have felt that the designs themselves have suffered at the expense of this increasing focus on the spectacle. After all, as an online audience member, I am not inundated by the sets. It is my absence from these spaces that allows me to focus almost exclusively on the clothing. (And it is the clothing that most interests me!)

However, Lagerfeld's Resort 2015 show for Chanel caught me off guard. It is not quite fair of me, but I have cast aside many of his past shows, regarding them as more kitschy than classy - I tend to think of Chanel as synonymous with classy, imagining the iconic black 2.55 bag. It has taken me until now to understand that Lagerfeld just wants to have some fun with the brand; this is because Chanel Resort 2015 perfectly encompasses both classy elegance and Lagerfeld's inclinations toward playful design.

Here in Abu Dhabi, the latest offerings from Lagerfeld juxtapose Western and Eastern influences with modern silhouettes and colorful patterns and embellishments that feel distinctly vintage. Nothing is stuffy or overwhelmingly avant-garde. The use of color is particularly striking: the color schemes are unusual and even somewhat unexpected, such as in an ensemble of teal, orange, and white with dashes of green and purple. Yet they combine in artistic, exotic ways. The pairings are not messy; that is to say, they are not kitschy. Rather, the colorful patterns look as if they were from an elegant printed scarf from the priciest vintage shop in the neighborhood.

Despite the vintage vibe, the collection is not stuck in the past: embellishments, layering, and pattern mixing carry the prints into our modern age. Yet even those pieces that are decidedly less modern are charming, such as a navy floral print cardigan and a similarly printed light teal sweater.

Indeed the collection is tasteful and pleasing to the eye, but it is obvious that Lagerfeld also has his customer in mind. Not only do the aesthetics of the clothing and the locale complement each other well, but setting the Chanel show in Abu Dhabi is certainly a good way of reaching out to a new breed of young clientele; after all, customers of luxury fashion (particularly haute couture) can be increasingly found in the Far East.

Combine these many facets, and it is easy to see why this collection is a successful one.











Images from Style.com

Click here to view the collection in its entirety.

What did you think of Chanel's Resort 2015 show? Leave a comment!