By Nicola Ferlei-Brown
Designers are weaving dream dresses for the modern day Princess
Mirror, mirror on the wall.. Which is the most beautiful season of them all? Why, winter, of course. And, a winters tale just became even better dressed, because designers are taking their muses from fairy tales at the moment.
Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana didn’t waste any time in dreaming up a divine four day event for their ‘Fabulous Fantasy’ A/W 2016-2017 womenswear fashion show in Naples.
They paraded 99 exquisite Alta Moda outfits, with each model bowing or nodding towards their muse, Sophia Loren, who watched from a red velvet throne. “She’s the inspiration for this whole collection,” says Dolce. “Touch, touch!” he said, showing off the beautiful fabrics with baroque floral blooms. Bustiers dazzled with sparkly gems and there was something a bit Dangerous Liaisons in the mix.
Wowing us with their A/W Ready to Wear collection catwalk design installation, they decorated with a giant book with the words: ‘A Princess was walking in the woods when she met Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana’. There was even a princess carriage, the midnight clock, a moon and models wearing military tailcoat jackets in the style of the toy soldier from The Nutcracker. Dresses with cats and mice were the icing on the cake.
Fendi and the Trevi
Fendi chose Rome, its hometown, to celebrate it’s 90th anniversary and show their spectacular Autumn/Winter 2016 Couture collection, on July 7 2016. The beautiful event took place against the backdrop of the Baroque Trevi Fountain, followed by a dinner at the Terrazza del Pincio in Villa Borghese. Just when you thought Rome couldn’t get any more magnificent, you turn the corner and see the Trevi fountain being used as a catwalk, with models ‘walking on water’, across the glass runway built into the water basin of the fountain.
The design concept behind the show began with an early 20th century edition of East of the Sun, West of the Moon, a Norwegian fairy tale with pictures by the famous children’s book illustrator Kay Nielsen, inspiring Lagerfeld. “This was something from the North, we were making a fur collection, and the pictures were something in between art nouveau and art deco.”
Moved by the fairytale inspired collection, Lagerfeld said “In my wildest imagination, I never thought something like this could exist. To do this on a crystal bridge over the most famous fountain in the world? If that’s not a fairy tale, I don’t know what a fairy tale is.”
The show told the story of a Princess transforming from day to night, the colour palette darkening as she travelled further into the woods. The minute attention to detail was exquisite. Fendi’s extraordinary designs of an insect’s wings illuminated by the Trevi fountains lights, were echoed in a tiny clutch of feathers, and mink petals sewn into the hems of organza dresses.
This is the stuff that dreams are made of.
Fairy Tale Fashion
Fashion and theatre are intertwined. Runway shows are magical, with stories, beautiful dresses and creations, impressive tech and light installations so it makes sense that the world of make believe is merging with world of moda this winter.
Earlier in the year was the “Fairy Tale Fashion” exhibit at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Inspired by classic stories from Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, the installation features over 80 objects that illustrate the characters of 15 different stories through the work of designers such as Alexander McQueen and Marchesa.
‘Children’s Stories’ editorial from Vogue Novias, 2005. Photo © Eugenio Recuenco
What to wear to the winter Ball
There is an 80’s tone, with balloon skirts, bold silhouettes, daring designs and and a dash of shoulder pads. Romance, lace, ruffles, pretty trims and floaty gowns with a lil hint of a glass slipper.
Fendi, Dolce and Gabbana and Giambattista Valli are remaking the high-waisted empire line silhouette for the modern woman.
This is a beautiful white pleated silk mousseline and crepe dress with draped motocross leather sleeves, designed by John Galliano for Maison Margiela.
Both Maison Margiela and Valentino are doing Baroque dramatic drapery fit for a Queen.
Valentino’s collection was both the final showcase for designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccoli’s nearly three decades of collaboration and a tribute to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Their Little Red Riding Hood cape teamed with black biker boots added an edgy twist to the tale.
What is it about the winter and fairy tales that brings out the magic in design?
Dolce&Gabbana just made every woman’s dream come true. Their words: “Who is the most beautiful? You”. But don’t worry about the clock striking midnight and this beautiful moda disappearing. The mega trend will be with us for a while, because Autumn/Winter 2017/18 will be all about the Queen of the night with a dark twist.”
Published in Bello Magazine September 2016 Issue #133