Men’s Fashion Week A/W 2016-17

In my previous post on why the fashion industry has increased its runway shows (click here), I pointed out the emergence and growing popularity of Men’s Fashion Week. It got much attention last year, when New York finally joined in and made Men’s Fashion Week and official event on the calendar.

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Looking Into Lesage: Master Embroiders Of Paris

“We are playing our part in the kingdom of the imagination. Embroidery can be a woman’s dream become reality.” -François Lesage.

Last year, I got yet another amazing opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at what goes behind the creation of beautiful French fashion. I got to visit the famous Lesage, which was once a small workshop, and now a booming multinational business specialising in hand-made embroidery mainly used for Haute Couture.

The company has since been taken over Chanel, but continues to provide and work for other designer brands to create one of a kind stunning works and collections.

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A Visit To The House Of Coco Chanel

I had the rare and extremely amazing privilege to visit to the Parisian apartment of the founder and creator of the brand Chanel, Gabrielle Bonheur Coco Chanel!!!

I would never have thought a Cape Town girl like myself, would get THIS opportunity!


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The Runways Of The Year: Why Fashion Needs More

The Pre-collections to pre-collection of pre-collections…it seems there are way more shows and collections being showcased these days! The main Fashion Weeks occur twice a year to debut two important collections for the following seasons.
In high school, I used to go through the glossy fashion magazines to get the lowdown on the latest collections. Today, with the internet and social media, we get a full 360-degree view of the runway, behind the scenes, the campaign teasers and amazing images of the collections at Fashion Week.

So where do all these new and different runways shows come from? Some have existed for some time, but have just never got the coverage or attention, while some have popped up to increase sales and keep buyers interested in both business and public sectors. We now have the pre-fall collection, the Resort collection, the Haute Couture Week and the Men’s Fashion Week. They all precede the main Fashion Weeks.

why have so many new collections risen?

  1. To be honest, since the imminent rise of fast fashion retailers, high-end designer brands have had to keep up with their consumers’ demands, and to stay ahead in the fashion game. Fast fashion retail offers all the latest looks of fashion week to everyone almost immediately. Designer and luxury brands need to be ahead of this game to maintain their status. After all, their costumers don’t want to fall into average.
  2. They also need to meet their profits. From a financial point, the pre-collections keep their clothes in constant demand and helps maintain the brand financially throughout the year. They also need keep up with global competitors .
  3. Some collections create a safety net. Some collections also allow the buyers and public to see what to expect for the upcoming collections and get to gain some value added insight on what’s hot and what’s not from their market.
  4. The never-ending demands of digital media. Digital and social media never stops. It speaks across the globe and let’s everyone know what’s happening in the fashion world allowing more opportunities for big and small fashion brands to be showcased. Designer brands need to keep up with this pace to and keep their market interested.

Let’s see what these collections are really for and why they exist:

  • The Resort Collections

    The Resort Collection was intended to fulfil their customer’s needs for when they go on their upmarket summer holidays, which usually is to the coast. The resort has become more than just that. It also allows designers to showcase previous best-sellers that proved popular in previous collections. They also get to update those looks or items and have more freedom to play with designs. It also makes goods available before the current summer/spring collections hit the stores in the next two months, and keep customers ahead of the rest.


  • The Pre-Fall Collections

    These are showcased before the main A/W collection and after the main summer/spring collections. They fill in the gap for buyers as they await the main A/W collections at fashion week, and allows them to be fitted with the very latest for winter and autumn before the actual A/W Fashion Week debut. They also provide a sneak peak of the upcoming A/W collection for next season.


  • Men’s Fashion Week

    Why is Men’s Fashion Week simply not showcased during the major Fashion weeks? For a long time, Men’s Fashion week has been pretty much underrated. Paris and Milan were the only ones showcasing the men’s collection before Fashion Week, but it was never given much coverage. Since social media, men’s fashion has become just as relevant. In 2012, London also decided to showcase the collections, and last year New York finally jumped on board. The decision to showcase it before was based on timing, as buyers (mainly businesses) prefer to get the men’s collection in before women’s. Budgets for collections are allocated throughout the year for collections to be bought and to be sold in stores. The budget for the men’s collections is made prior to women’s to ensure they don’t over-spend. Men’s collections shown at Fashion Week were irrelevant as they were already debuted to buyers who had bought them and were simply showcased for the public. Now buyers and the public can see the collections timeously and fresh off the runways.


  • Haute Couture Week

    Haute Couture is where designers get to showcase the very best of their work. The items are not necessarily wearable, but that’s because Couture week offers fashion houses to showcase their skill and ability to manipulate and create new designs using new textiles made available on the market. From Chanel’s eco-friendly wearable fashion to over top embroidery work, Haute Couture week shows the latest innovations in textile and fashion design to take fashion into the future through skill, creativity, technology and technique. These shows offer insight to future trends in garment and apparel production and development. It also creates and draws on the world of fantasy through fashion.



Maintaining your position in the fashion market has become even more hard work than before. Designers are obligated to meet the demands of their customers who need to keep up to date with trends and still be leaders of the pack. There’s also the case of money and keeping the business afloat as they outdo their competitors and previous collections. These collections also help strengthen business relations across borders by showcasing the runways in Seoul, Dubai, etc., to gain attention to rising talent in the fashion industry.

Overall, the way we attain our daily information has changed the way businesses market themselves and promote their brands. For fashion, this means it has become a non-stop flow of information and having to constantly keep the dialogue open with its market to stay current and relevant. The old Fashion Week magazine features had limitations and printing budgets, now information is free and openly shared millions of times across the globe. Fast information, fast images, fast fashion requires fast thinking…all the time. Nobody is going to look back at their fashion magazine and look through the same images over and over again. Today, new images are generated every second along with new angles and new messages. The flow of information is constant, and so are the needs of their market.

Models take selfie with mobile phones during the parade at the end of the Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2016 collection during Milan Fashion Week
Dolce & Gabanna’s S/S 16 show included selfies & social media on the runway as part of the show. (image courtesy of

Jean Paul Gaultier’s Stockings & Spinach

For those following Jean-Paul Gaultier, you are sure to have come across his latest and super cute campaign featuring well-loved cartoon strip characters Popeye the sailor and Betty Boop! I absolutely love it!

I personally love fun references to pop culture especially in cartoons from childhood days. Gaultier is also known as the Enfant Terrible in the French fashion world and is well known for making the famous striped tee or mariner a popular staple item in our everyday closets.

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RIP Prince: The Purple One


Another legend lost this year. First we had to deal with the loss of David Bowie, and now Prince. Prince and Bowie were great music legends and also figures that have helped define pop-culture in the 80s and 90s through their art, music and style.

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Farewell Hedi Slimane

hedi_slimane_new_york_m_villalobosRumours already began circulating last month during fashion Week that YSL’s (now branded Saint Laurent) head designer and creative director Hedi Slimane was leaving.

A similar buzz also occurred last year during the exit of Dior’s Raf Simmons. Both designers were a fave of mine, with their collections featuring every season in my top faves list.

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Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016/17

 Finally, we get to see what the latest trends are for next winter. One thing I personally noticed was a sense of opulence this season, and many runways showcased a serious case of over-layering and the mismatching of texture and prints together. Items were styled to purposely clash with each other, while still maintaining strong silhouettes. This was not limited to the clothing, but also for accessories. Models held more than one bag, and clutched matching or non-matching phone cases and bag accessories.

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Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016

Eeek, what a rush it was between the runways this season! In fact, editing them all down to my favorites was quite hard. It was even harder to keep up with all of them. There were more shows, more designers and more fun fashion than last year.

If anything, bigger was better this season, and many pieces sported giant, oversized sleeves in their collections. Casual chic is still a strong theme with many looks donning sneakers on the runways. Bomber jackets are still proving to be well…the BOMB!

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