Writing Abaya, Kaftan, or Hijab descriptions is something that I’m all too familiar with. I’ve done this for many companies, so when I read the article on Style.com Arabia about Dolce&Gabbana, I just had to sound off. Dolce&Gabbana has decided to create a collection of Abayas for spring 2016. I’m going to not only review the collection, but also give my opinion on how the collection could inspire other high-end fashion brands to enter the Kaftan arena.
Dolce&Gabbana has always been a brand known for its exceptional quality. The designs are impressive; very creative and sophisticated. They’re Italian designers after all! The “Made in Italy” stamp is one of true significance. It’s interesting how Italian designers would all of a sudden invest in Arabic inspired clothing for women. There’s definitely a market there that’s worth millions, or more! With such stiff competition, will Dolce&Gabbana be able to compete? Let’s review the collection now.
Dolce&Gabbanas’ collection has beautiful lightweight silk, georgette, satin and charmeuse fabric. There’s also sparkling embellishments and intricately sewn lace. The patterns have floral prints like daisies and various quirky elements like lemons. Ah, see THATS where they incorporate their Italian roots. The fusion of Italian and Arabic fashion is so fluid. The color palette is subtle with it’s black, beige and yellow shades. It’s not too showy but ultra sleek. The construction of the garments are lovely too, with its draped and cowl neck looks. Over all I’d say this collection is a hit. It has so much personality to it. I personally love the daisy print piece, and the accessories that go with it. It’s high-end with superb quality…LOVE!
The Dolce&Gabbana Abaya Collection for 2016 could inspire other high-end brands to jump on board. The infusion of the Italian aesthetic is so creative. In a way, the kaftan (or abaya) is like a blank canvas for designers to incorporate their individual brand mark. There’s a risk of over saturation in this market though, and what about the already established Kaftan retailers? How will their business be affected if customers (who already appreciate high quality) start buying from brands that are well known throughout the world not just locally or in Arabic society. It’s a niche’ market really. Right now brands are testing the waters. At Fashion Forward in Dubai attendees were encouraged to support their local designers. Based on my experience, that’s the only way traditional kaftan retailers will stay afloat. It’s all about brand loyalty and excellent customer service.
Miu Mui’s color palette for this Fall 2015-16 instantly caught my attention; mustard yellow, burgundy, pops of bright yellow, etc. It’s a very retro palette, with creative fabric and texture combinations. I thought it was clever how they combined tweed with 3-d snakeskin print on patent leather. The 70’s silhouettes are cute, even the blouse with the huge flounce going across the chest. The shoes were so kitsch and every skirt combination, although “librarian-esque”, had a sexy vibe. I loved the atmosphere too, the location was conservative and creative, which really brought out the nostalgic notes of the designs. The atmosphere wasn’t too distracting, and complimented the overall theme. Overall, the creativity, and the color palette was unique. 4 out of 5 is my rating for Mui Mui this season.
Set in a romantic cathedral in God knows where, Sarah Burton showcased her amazingly romantic and ethereal Fall/Winter 2015-2016 collection. The pieces ranged from leather coats with a sort of lacquered finish, to fluffy ultra feminine pink, red and black frocks. Its interesting how she incorporates pink into her color palette for Fall. It didn’t over power the line up. There were rosy, flouncy, ruffly and flirty dresses, and ooh… pleats! I love the way Sarah Burton still embodies the SPIRIT of the late Alexander Mcqueen, while still representing her point of view quite nicely. Although his legacy has a powerful impact on fashion, her designs can hold her own; Sarah has fierce design aesthetic. It just melds with Alexander Mcqueens style like butter on toast. There’s one thing I have to painfully admit. Sarah’s take on Mcqueen is a lot easier to swallow. Don’t get me wrong, I love Alexander Mcqueen’s hard edginess, but the girly-girl in me loves Sarah’s ultra-feminine vibe. Although some dresses just looked like a revamped version of pieces from her spring 2014 line; I really loved the lines and form flattering silhouettes. I give this a 3 out of 5. I always look forward to her shows, but I think the risk of being “one note” is teetering.
I try not to be bias for designers that have an ultra creative approach, but I couldn’t help it this time, at least it’s warranted though. The minute I saw that “spray can” purse, (looks like a can but made out of patent leather) I was hooked. First off, the 90’s tribute made me nostalgic. Looney Tunes on denim and baseball jerseys…classic! The Teddy Bear jacket was adorable, but the fitted dresses were surprisingly plain to me. He featured Bubble Jackets, which for some reason always seem bulky to me. I like the fact that he bubbled the skirt, and shirt, then combined it with knee high boots…clever. The huge book bags made me smile…cause I want one. The overall energy of the show was electric. Everything flowed nicely…. with that that big ass boom box at the end of the runway. The combination of fabrics was interesting too (gold and denim). The “flava flav-esque” clock was sooooo 80’s and I loved it. The jewelry though, a bit clunky, yet I understood the overall message. There was a sort of grade school essence to it all; my school, old school, new school, whatever it is…I get it. I GET YOU JEREMY!!! I thought this collection was pretty cool, but since I’ve followed Moschino for years, I can honestly say he didn’t bring the “Fire”. With that said…3 out of 5, but I still love you baby! I can’t wait for next season!
Why not start with CHANEL? Overall I felt as though Karl touched on all bases. He put his focus on the classic silhouettes and fabrics that made CHANEL Iconic, but now he transformed her image into something modern and approachable. Honestly I don’t believe Mrs. Coco would approve of her collections new direction. Coco loved the classy sophisticated refined woman. Karl is focused on the modern “edgy” woman. The jackets are amazingly cool. He stayed true to the tweed, silk, and sparkles that is CHANEL, but he steered towards the ever popular bubble jackets with creative sewn quilted detailing. The hiker jackets or windbreakers were my favorite, along with the matching handbags. Maybe last year’s collection had a more humorous note, but it appears this season the collection had a nostalgic approach. Wait, I spoke too soon. I remember seeing a “stack of plates” clutch. And O.K, I get that Fall tends to have a lot of drab colors, but yeesh! More gray and more black? Thank you fashion Gods for inspiring Karl to inject a bit of white, red, pink, purple, burgundy and taupe into the mix. The footwear didn’t impress me too much. Something about it just screamed grand ma ma. I thought the full length full body knit dresses were sexy. I could see myself wearing a couple pieces from this collection. The dresses had a play on textures combining light silk and tweed. The general public fancied many looks from CHANEL this season; he appealed to all age brackets conservative or not. The entire show was impressive. I noticed how more than ever, designers are ditching the sole runway theme and going for a more theatric style; inviting the viewer into the WORLD that resides in the designers head upon creation. Hooray for CHANEL, they get a 3 out of 5!
“Fashion is always pushing forward into the future”. If this statement is true, then why does the most popular collections of the season feature nostalgic elements of the past? Yes, vintage is in, but when is it not? The Fendi 2015 Resort wear collection embodies everything that is trending in ready to wear fashion! It’s absolutely stunning. The color palette is beautiful; pops of orange and that oh so sexy baby blue is just so versatile. The gorgeous feminized suit in the picture below has delicate texture, smooth color, and an obvious playful element! The fuzzy stuffed toy dangling at the handle of the bag is just fab! The designs also have hints of Asian inspired themes through out. The look above has a creative 70’s silhouettes. Culottes are in, and so are sexy polka-dots. The mesh fabric pulls the look together, and it definitely touches on whats trending in ready to wear collections for summer. Of course I’m referring to the Haute Sports look. Humor was the main focus on a lot of collections this summer. It’s nice to see Fendi “lighten up” for the season…Literally!