Dressing for herself

A canny way with colour has the ability to make fashion legends. Dries Van Noten is the master, casting his alchemy to great delight, and further back Elsa Schiaparelli’s “bright, impossible, impudent” pink thrilled audiences. Nearer to now, Sies Marjan and Demna Gvasalia nail the knack for a lesser-known shade, an off-beat gem hiding in the spectrum. But what of the wearer? Well, the right steps can be a style triumph.

For someone like accessories designer Poppy Lissiman, who has made a name for herself with saturated clutches and sunglasses, colour has always led her world, but not always her wardrobe. “It’s exactly half black and half colour, and I would know because I colour-coordinate the whole thing,” she says. The Perth-born, Sydney-based designer says choosing the right shade is important. “You can commit head to toe to one colour – you just have to know if it’s one you feel happy and confident in.”

For her, that’s veering toward the vermillion group on the wheel. “I love to wear head-to-toe red–that’s one of my favourite colours and probably the most heavily featured in my wardrobe after black,” she says, adding orange is another current fix.

The key to wearing it top to toe is all in the approach taken by designers such as Stella McCartney, Fendi and Marc Jacobs this season; nuanced renditions of classic paintbox colours, veering left of the usual spectrum of red, yolk and ocean and intowarm brick, jade and a better, brighter millennial pink. Lissiman advises to choose one hue and approach tonally. “It’s really hard having different pieces from different brands and expecting them to match exactly,” she says, noting the aim is to build around one hue with variations lending intrigue. “I like that they’re all different.”

Growing up in Perth, and saving her money for her first-ever purchase from Louis Vuitton–a set of hair baubles–Lissiman found that ‘different’, to her, was good.“I wore them to school and just got teased because people couldn’t believe that I’d go and buy hair baubles at that price,” she remembers. “I thought they were incredible.”

Beating the standard path into starting a label wasn’t for her either. After launching her own store in Perth, stocking international labels, including her own now obsolete clothing collection, sales of her clutches began to eclipse her entire in-store inventory and so she made the switch to accessories exclusively in 2014. Now her e-boutique stocks her all-vegan, ethically made bags, eyewear and a newly added jewellery line with characteristically offbeat motifs like evil eyes, serpents and shooting stars.

Motifs like these have been drawn from the neon-lit worlds of Asian metropolises–Lissiman has been visiting cities like Hong Kong and Tokyo two to three times a year for the past 10 years for work (to manage production of her pieces) and pleasure–and the pastiche world of the internet. But colourful accessories shouldn’t be about realism, she says. “In this Instagram age, it’s not so much about the practicality, it’s more about being seen in it,” she says, referring to her customer base who are eagerly wait-listing her sunglasses, like the ‘Le Skinny’, which is a favourite of Bella Hadid, before they’re available on her online store. “I think sunglasses really tapped into that [purpose], like getting the ultimate selfie. They’re not blocking out rays, they’re ones that people are wearing out at night,” she says. “It’s over the top, but it’s cool.”

Just like monochrome in the brightest colours, both take a brand of boldness that made Schiaparelli’s shocking pink so compelling. Just channel a school-age Lissiman who stood out on purpose. “I felt like everyone else had the worst style, which sort of reinforced what I was doing was right, or at least in my head it looked good,” she says, laughing. “I just dressed for myself.”Read more at:cocktail dresses | bridesmaid dresses


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Evening for smart fashion

C.L.A.S.S. (Creativity Lifestyle and Sustainable Synergy), an unique multi-platform hub based in Milan, Italy, which specialises in integrating new generation of eco values into fashion and lifestyle brands, is set to host an evening for smart innovation in fashion on March 22, 2018, with support from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

The fashion platform has invited fashion’s industry leaders, designers, and members of the press to celebrate An Evening of Smart Innovation. An exceptional team of artists, filmmakers, food, and textile designers have created an immersive experience that will engage the guests’ senses highlighting that smart innovation is the new standard for fashion.

The experience will examine the four key areas that are vital to C.L.A.S.S.’s business philosophy; heritage, smart innovation, circular economy, and design responsibility.

The March 22, 2018 date is a deliberate choice as it marks International Water Day and serves as a way to advocate for sustainable water management, a key issue in textile manufacturing. Many of C.L.A.S.S.’s partners, such as Ecotec by Marchi & Fildi, Bember, and Roica by Asahi Kasei and Tintex Textiles use technological breakthroughs to offer fashion materials that provide significant reductions in water during the manufacturing process, an important step toward responsible future fashion systems.

Guests can see and feel materials during the event that showcases technological breakthroughs currently available. While C.L.A.S.S. works with leading brands that practice responsible design, the next step is to expand their reach and set a new level of standards that benefit the entire industry. To that end, they have identified C.L.A.S.S. Education, their new division, as an essential learning resource to support fashion schools. The new division was co-founded with James Mendolia, professor in the MFA Fashion Design programme at Fashion Institute of Technology. C.L.A.S.S. will also launch C.L.A.S.S. ecommerce platform, which will sell partner materials to support emerging designers and fashion start-ups.Read more at:marieaustralia | formal dresses 2017


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Wonderful fashion week

After Gucci’s heads and Dolce & Gabbana’s drones, Milan Fashion Week wrapped up Monday on a tranquil note with shows by Japanese designers.

The six days of previews for next fall and winter is likely to be the most talked-about in a long time. Gucci’s Alessandro Michele’s message reverberated well beyond fashion world’s epicenter when on Day 1, he sent out two models carrying replicas of their own heads through a pristine operating room backdrop. And the fashion crowd was awestruck on the penultimate day when Dolce & Gabbana unveiled their latest handbag, flown down the runway by a bunch of drones.

These houses are providing master classes in how to grab the attention of the new consumers. The trick remains to stay true to the brand’s traditions and DNA — something being undertaken by new and new-ish designers at Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli, Marni and Jil Sander.

Highlights from Monday’s shows:


Mitsuru Nishizaki’s latest Ujoh collection combines British-inspired check, plaid and stripe fabrics with his own trademark asymmetrical and layered silhouette. It was the Tokyo-based designer’s third year showing in Milan.

Trousers got an update with mix-matched tapered legs, one in black, one in a red burgundy, with an asymmetrical button closure. The look is layered with a tunic-style sweater.

The attention to detail and workmanship come through in an off-the-shoulder black dress with a ruffled hem decorated with a field of blue embroidered flowers that continue into lacy 3-D adornments.

Nishizaki has tapped the Milan trend of wrapping, with knitwear that bunches and hugs the frame, and large oversized wraps that fasten over the shoulder with a leather strap. One in British plaid is covered with lurex intarsia.


Atsushi Nakashima, who debuted his first collection in Milan last year, sees similarities between Milan and Tokyo, in that both cities cherish and pass on traditions.

He stays close to his native Japan, however, when sourcing textiles. They included a double-face patchwork of panels that read inside and out, including washing instructions and instructions for wearing hoods.

The mixed men’s and women’s collection included a series of trenches, bombers and duffel coats in khaki and olive green, and his-and-hers matching sweatshirts with neon lizards, worn under suspenders.Read more at:cheap formal dresses | vintage formal dresses


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