Thursday, 12 October 2017

Dior does it again

We were in Paris this September attending the fashion fair, where we saw some of the most incredible designs from our favourite designers for our upcoming Spring and Summer collection. As an extra treat and a cultural excursion (as if attending the fair wasn’t enough), we had the opportunity to explore the Dior exhibit at the Louvre which is already a huge hit with locals and foreigners alike and has even been extended from October to next January.

Less of a seasonal showcase and more of a homage to France’s most famous fashion house, the exhibit took us through the seven decades of Dior style.

The exhibit venue - the Louvre - could not be more appropriate. Christian Dior surrounded himself by many great artists despite his family’s disapproval of his desire to attend a fine arts school as it would not help him find a “real job”. He pursued his passion nonetheless and rubbed shoulders with those he considered geniuses of his time such as George Braque, Pablo Picasso, and Jean Cocteau.

He became a gallerist who welcomed all these fine pieces from famous surnames but the economic crisis in 1929 proved a difficult time for sales. From this point Dior continued his passion for painting and design which eventually lead to the unveiling of his first Haute Couture collection in 1947.

Only Dior. Breathtaking, n’est pas?

Dior debuted his collection to the world with a redefinition of the overly masculine way women were dressing in this post-war period. Camel Snow of Harper’s Bazaar even cried out that it was the “New Look”. The term New Look stuck and included the Bar suit pictured below. As a celebration of the curvaceous flower-woman, the name refers to the bar at the Plaza Athénée hotel next to the house of Dior which was his favourite haunt for fashionable women. It marked the spirit of the era full of revitalization and reconstruction.

“The Bar Suit”

“My dresses make a princess of every woman.”
– Christian Dior


The House had the honour to dress many royals such as Lady Diana and Princess Margaret as well as our hollywood royals like Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. Christian Dior was also a visionary who anticipated future development of the luxury and fashion industry and who insisted that everything from jewelry to bags had to play its part in creating meticulous elegance.

Dior placed exceptional importance on the jewelry needed to embellish his haute couture creations. The top jewelry makers of the time would attempt to outdo each other in proposing inventive suggestions as part of the creative process. We wholeheartedly agree on this point which is why we strive to carry the most unique and fascinating pieces from across europe in our store.

A sample of our current collection

Dior’s philosphy on colour was equally as impressive. He saw pink as the “colour of happiness” and red as “the colour that dresses women’s smiles.” As for black, he said once that he “could write an entire book about it”. This really stuck with us and as we returned, we noticed some definite influences that have trickled their way down from haute couture to prêt-a-porter.

See the resemblance?

“True luxury needs good materials and good workmanship; it will never succeed unless its roots are profoundly embedded in sober influences and honest traditions.”
 – Christian Dior

Much like what we like to see with the designers we bring into our store, Dior took immense pride in the workmanship and process that brought his designs to fruition. Part of this process is when he would give his ateliers sketches to make the “toiles” as can be pictured below. The toiles served as test versions of the dresses in white fabric to ensure his vision had been expressed correctly.

A colletion of Dior’s toiles from over the years

All in all the Dior exhibit was a feast for the eyes. The meticulous detail, the vivid colours, and the accentuated shapes all portrayed the timeline of his life as a couturier. This true testament worthy of the House of Dior’s contribution to the world of fashion brought us home looking at the pieces in our store with fresh eyes. If we are able to even represent a small fraction of Dior’s influence in our store, we believe our pieces have the potential to stand the test of time as well.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Pre-fall shopping

We’re about to get into a funny time in the fashion calendar. The experts call it “pre-fall,” and it’s pretty bang on. Warm days and chilly nights. Too sunny for wool and too unpredictable for light silk. We’ve always thought this was the most impossible time of the year to shop for. But then, five years ago or so, we discovered Margitte Schweden, the creative mastermind behind Cologne’s Margittes line.

This year, it’s like she knew about pre-fall in the spring, because of what she’s come up with for this season. We love everything about this German collection, starting with how on-trend she always seems to be.

This year’s three big pre-fall trends are glitter, athleisure and jersey fabric. Surprise, surprise, Ms. Schweden’s right there with all three - in fact, one of our favourite pieces from her 2017 line integrates them all. Check out this glitter-heavy hoodie we have in stock right now. A hoodie’s about as athlete-chic as you can get, but with the shimmering outside and silk-lines inside, it’s less Saturday afternoon in and way more Friday night out.

Another piece we’re really into is this jogging suit. No, you’re not hitting the town in this number, but look at the conscious choice to move the running stripes a bit forward on the leg. We call that a slimming effect, and it’s pretty rare for a jogging suit. Most designers err on the side of comfort across the board in this category - but not Ms. Schweden.

And then there’s her cheeky side, which is probably what she’s known for the most. We talk above about jersey fabrics. Fairly boring, right? Not so when they’re coming out of the Margittes studio. Check out the lipstick and the pug. Not necessarily something you’d expect from the fashion capital of Germany, but then again, neither is Ms. Schweden.

Now, if you’re coming here to augment your kinda boring closet with something, you really should save a spot in your wallet for Margittes. But fair warning: Ms. Schweden’s mind is among the most popular in the store. So if you don't want to find yourself wasting away without Margittes-ville, swing by for pre-fall and let us show you the funkiest German in all her magnificent glory.