Tag Archives: Paris

Colette Carnaval: Celebrating Colette’s 15th Anniversary in Paris

14 Mar

Trailing the end of Fashion Week, Paris’ elite multi-concept department store Colette celebrated its 15-year anniversary over the weekend of March 10th and 11th in the Jardin de Tuileries.  The highly anticipated Carnaval, a first public event for the Tuileries forum outside of Fashion Week, attracted hefty crowds – many visitors never even got inside the 43,000-square-foot tent, and it’s no surprise.  


For their 15th anniversary Colette’s founder, Sarah Andelman took the initiative to involve the public in a larger than life celebration.  After fashion week, this was an exciting opportunity for adults and children alike to engage in an inaugural cultural epicenter launched in the heart of the city’s first arrondissement. The festival fair, held a stone’s throw away from the boutique’s Saint-Honoré location, boasted a versatile array of interactive fun from the best brands indesign, beauty, technology and food &drink.  Repetto, Kitsuné, Nike, Carven, and Comme des Garcons were among the leadingsartorial rosterthat participatedin the post-fashion week festivities over the two-day celebration, cementing innovative ideas geared towards the multi-concept store.

With many brands debuting new collections, capsule collections and collaborations over Paris Fashion Week, this was a great opportunity to reinforce their launch to a wider audience.  A.P.C., whose recently launched collaboration with Vanessa Seward, first presented in a Paris showroomlast week, secured a space at the Carnaval, as did Nike who celebrated its NIKE Night Track, a modern interpretation of the ‘70s style shoe, in cherry red.  Nike even assembled a basketball court for adults and children alike to practice their skills, as well as a dance workshop in collaboration with I COULD NEVER BE A DANCER.  Shoe brands Solemart and Repetto also used the Carnaval as an interactive marketing opportunity with Repetto’s kid-friendly dance classes, hosted early Sunday afternoon, as a major success withfamily crowds.


For those whose physical forte isn’t basketball or dance, there were many other options tailored to every cultural taste: Le Cooklette offered cooking lessons, Lomography showcased the latestin photography, Edith A. Miller opened a Kissing Booth, andScott Campbell conducted a blind tattoo session. Other highlights includedsome of the gourmet food stalls amidst the 50 plus booths, such as Ladurée’s miniature antique style cart that whipped up cotton candy flavored macarons especially for the event.

Of course, this public milestone had to maintain some sort of exclusivity, so the store celebrated with a private party on Saturday evening for press and VIP guests.   Partygoersdropped beats to a live performance from Kid Cudi(who cancelled his earlier public showscheduled to take place that day at 5:00pm), and noshed on old-fashioned popcorn and cotton candy, while perusing the goods and mingling with designers.  Most popular, was the photobooth situated conveniently next to Laetitia Crahay’s milliner stand, allowing guests to snap a photo clad in the designer’s fancy hats.

Colette’s iconic success continues throughout March, with an illustration exhibit by Australian artist Craig Redman, whose emblematic Darcel Cyclops has been featured on the store’s various decorations and merchandise including everything from balloons and pins, to Haribo gummy bears or iPhone cases designed especially for the event.  In this latest exhibit, entitled ‘150/15,’ Redman’s illustrations will feature fashion’s famous faces such as Bill Cunningham, Lady Gaga, and Coco Chanel – a solid wrap to finalize four weeks of fashion worldwide.


                                                         Article by Ali Leier

Paris Fashion Week AW12 – The Crystal Method

13 Mar

Paris Fashion Week AW12 was a celebration of sorts – anniversaries, departures and inaugural performances, for many designers. Alber Elbaz celebrated his ten-year anniversary at Lanvin, Stefano Pilati solemnly departed YSL after a eight year tenure, Marc Jacobs celebrated his first exposition with Louis Vuitton at Musée Arts Decoratifs, and Manish Aroraand Kanye West both launched second collections for respective lines PacoRabanne and Kanye West.


 Chanel’s AW12 Fashion show

So where did that take the aesthetic direction for fall? Well, one strong theme amongst this season’s chaos culminatedin a fascination with precious stones. While many houses, particularly Chanel, PacoRabanne and Stella McCartneyriffed on prismatic hues and patterns in a literal sense, others, like Balmain, Viktor & Rolf and Givenchy explored a deeper foundation of jeweled metamorphosis. From baroque, opulently embellished garments, or modernist, plasticized evolutions, to subversive rock and roll post-punk glamour, to provocatively dark and fetishistic sexiness, precious stones inspired a diverse array of looks for AW12, a strong departure from spring’s pastel trend.

Arguably the leader of the fashion industry, Karl Lagerfeld turned his biannual bravura performance at the Grand Palais into a crystal concubine this Tuesday, March 6, rendering life-sized plastic manifestations of sapphire and amethyst stones.  His jewel-toned collection echoed the setting with sheer metallic maxi-skirts and pants in gold, sapphire or ruby over skinny black pants, creating a mille feuille of texturized excavation.  Karl didn’t miss a detail – embroidered braid edged suits captured micro-crystals while cold cuffs and necklaces boasted large amethyst stones.  Of course, the iconic quilted Chanel purses in rich purple leather were adorned with crystals too.  And the superlative designer didn’t stop there.  Models’ eyebrows were exaggerated through crystal appliques, and his much anticipated nail polish colors, this season in Blue Satin, Pearl Drop and Vendetta, were distributed to excited guests.


Chanel’s AW12 Fashion show

Lanvin’s show, carried the theme of opulence in a lavish display of goodies for AlberElbaz’ 10th year anniversary at the house.  Sculpted cocktail dresses in solid hues of emerald, sapphire and ruby opened the show, which quickly morphed silky frocks elevated by crystal clustered embellishments or glamorous jeweled bib necklaces.   The overall aesthetic was feminine, fun and audacious – like the sultry, yet lighthearted Lanvin romantic woman.  Even Stella McCartney focused her ordinarily nude color palette around azure.  Elegant sportswear and classic eveningwear found solice through a balance between stark cobalt and soft variations of peach, ecru and nude. Formally closing fashion week at ten am as always, Marc Jacobs exceeded his SS12 carrousel performance with an in-house built steam engine roaring through the Louvre Carrée.  His prohibition exploration focused on metallic jewel embellishments on A-line wool dresses.  Jacobs’ detailed opulence, most notably on the highly lauded accessories, elevated his use of a primarily singular silhouette.   An ornate display, even for a house like Vuitton, which reminded its audience of the evening’s red carpet event at Musée Arts Decoratifs.

Other housesalso took a more subversive approach to the obvious theme of jewel-toned riches through an exposition of curious textures, such as Olivier Roustang’s reworked Balmain blazer embellished with couturier caliber clusters of pearls juxtaposed byvelvetflared trousers in chrysocolla.  The heavily saturated compilations lent a baroque edge to Balmain’s rocker look. Similarly, Manish Arora focused his second collection at PacoRabanne around a shade of azure, offset by micro-chainlink embellished cuffs and dropped embellished waistlines on shifts in place of a belt.  His designs felt fresh and wearable, in the way that Christophe Decarnin reinvented Balmain some five or six years ago.  Riccardo Tisci honed his dark, fetishistic aesthetic that has earnedGivenchythe title of one of the hottest shows in town through rich combinations of black leather and astrakhan.  Bright bursts of ruby and topaz lit up the otherwise anthracite aesthete, bringing a fiery elegance to his models. Viktor & Rolf approached the riches of gemstones from a more abstract perspective.  Their intricate collection, composed primarily of fur, incorporated couturier practices into a RTW collection.  After showing a modest palette of neutral earth tones, the gentleman duo finalized their collection with an artistic backdrop that morphed from black and white into a fiery blazon yellow, exposing the sentiment ‘everything turns to gold.’

After spring’s reigning romance – Karl’s minty sea creatures, Marc’s candy carrousel confections, and Valentino’s lacey feminine frocks, designers looked to a bold direction for fall.  Rocker and fetishistic undertones elevated opulent baroquecollections, with garments undergoing a crystal metamorphosis. Amidst many new departures and directions for designers this season, they needed to look towards something constant to find value.  What better place to go than the core of the earth?


  Chanel’s AW12 Fashion show

                                                      Article by Ali Leier

“Goudemalion: Jean-Paul Goude, a Retrospective”

28 Feb

On Friday February 3rd, our 2011 MBA Fashion Business students were given the opportunity to visit Jean Paul Goude’s first Paris exhibition. Jean-Paul Goude, 71 years old, has worked as an illustrator, graphic designer, photographer and advertising film director and forover 40 years, he’s produced enough intelligent art to earn an exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. Our students were very fascinated and inspired by Goude’s work.

To have a more in-depth read about the exhibition please visit our press release here: http://ifa-edu.cn/ifaen/zldongtaiController/viewNews/741




Press release and photos by Ali Leier

Here are some ads done by Goude that you must have seen in magazines, on billboards in the metro, and in the streets of Paris as well as famous brands such as: Galleries Lafayette and Chanel.


Galleries Lafayette, Model: Laetitia Casta


Chanel, Model: Estella Warren

 “So Goude!”

Homemade/handmade: Biennale International du Lin de Portneuf 2011 – 2012

24 Feb

This is an exhibition about linen as a thread and fabric, how you can use it in different creations, manipulate it and show it in lots of different manners that you can only imagine. The exhibition is held by the city of Paris to promote young designers by using linen as a medium. 


In the framework of the international biennale of Linen de Portneuf, the commissioner has put together 12 designers from France, Quebec and Belgium. They presented their creations using linen as thread or fabric in many ways such as pleating, stamping, embroidery, knitting, etc. In the exhibition, you can see pictures and also the actual garment to feel and touch.

It is an interesting exhibition for aspiring designers to gain knowledge about techniques and linen as fabric but also gain insight that there are plenty of ways to create something beautiful and innovative, just by using linen. The exhibition space is not big, thus it won’t take much time to see it all and it is free of charge. Homemade/handmade is held from 10th of January until 17th of March 2012. It is located at Les ateliers de Paris, 30 rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine. More info at http://www.ateliersdeparis.com

Written by Yasir, Zivan, Alice and Jursy


17 Feb

Oscar Wilde famously said, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”  This statement certainly resonates in an artist’s world, and particularly so during the past haute couture season where the whole concept of competition has radically changed.  Just as Karl Lagerfeld staged what is arguably his greatest catwalk to date by turning a wing of the Grand Palais into an airplane, he also launched his highly anticipated Karl for Net-A-Porter line two days later. Similarly, Donatella Versace made her couture debut after an eight-year hiatus, while only two months before she launched her first low-end collaboration with H&M.


Perhaps the shift in red-carpet glamour this past couture season resulted from a meditation on the current fascination with celebrities – which nowadays includes everyone from Kim Kardashian, to Justin Beiber, to Tilda Swinton.

Celebrity masstige has provided the perfect medium for couture designers to harness their imperfections in a way that translates their poetic vision to the consumer public. From new Hollywood glamour at Versace and Armani Privé; to subversive goth-popincarnations at Gaultier and Givenchy; to Middle Eastern romance at Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad, spring 2012’s couture collections showed a sparkle of light in a new direction the last week of January – one unapologetically candid at that.

Donatella Versace’s haute couture collection opened the season with a glamorously epic return since the house’s 2004 hiatus.  Plastic sparkling bodices and full-length silk skirts in an array of delectable sorbet hues balanced out silver metallic mini dresses and cropped sportswear jackets, achieving overt, yet functional glamour.  Her collection, shamelessly imbued with Versace’s flagrant glitz, successfully personified this season’s celebrity theme, conducted as a presentation, on a red-carpeted stairway enclosed behind a velvet rope.  More celebrity moments endured at Armani Privé minutes before the runway performance commenced when The Help’s Jessica Chastain received an Oscar nomination from the front row.  Not surprisingly, the news instilled excitement from the Grand Palais’ audience, as electric green algae inspired sea creatures sauntered down the runway in a progression of sculpted metallic suits andaudacious evening gowns, playing on innovative fabric and textures throughout.  His bold embellished sea creatures showed a new departure for the silhouette master tailor – evoking visions of eccentrically modern mavens like Cate Blanchett as candidates for this season’s red carpet look.


 Versace’s haute couture collection

Jean Paul-Gaultier and Riccardo Tisci heralded subversive rocker revelations through slightly taboo collections.  Gaultier’s Amy Winehouse homage resonated with this season’s celebration of the contemporary celebrity and fashion muse, commenting on the impact of adversity in personal style. He accessorized his corseted Sixties retro vixens aplomb in pencil skirts and sky-high stilettos with a cigarette and bouffant.  Tisci honed his craft again at Givenchy, proving the importance of ingenuity in longevity as a designer. His current couture collection utilized a strict palette of black, white and sand to emphasize the details of his trade: leather over-the-elbow gloves and ornate nose piercings lent a subtle sadistic twist to combinations of beautifully embroidered maxi skirts and transparent gauzy asymmetrical blouses. Coming on seven years at the French house, Tisci has solidified a harmonious balance between his fascination with the gothic underworld and the pursuit of an ethereal aesthetic.

Chanel’s latest couture collection from the Kaiser himself echoed a handful of decades through zany, windswept airline stewardess silhouettes in periwinkle and azure, including the Twenties , Sixties, and Eighties.  The whirlwind show launched for takeoff in a rarely used wing of the Grand Palais, accommodating the most exclusive crowd to date –a mere 10 members from US press were sat at each show.  While the collection wasn’t Lagerfeld’s most successful to date, his modern vision and grandeur didn’t disappoint.

Middle Eastern romance reigned at Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab where couture candy confections dominatedrunways. Despite the typically Lebanese representation of glamour, the shows succeeded through each designer’s acknowledgement of what they do best: baroqueopulence, replete with sequins and sparkles.  And what’s so difficult about that?  Everyone likes a man who understands the female silhouette and the need to feel comfortable in a dress destined for victory.  Still, men who know themselves like Murad and Saab exude elegance through the delicate details in their work, like Saab’s low cut backs and sporadically short hemlines.  As today’s super gamines paraded down his runway, the lyrics, “What’s so special about me? I’m ordinary,” repeated in the background and sort of defined the profound moment of the season: between celebrity fascination and red-carpet grandeur, we all want to understand the foibles of human nature; we all want a piece of the designer dream.

Which brings us back to Wilde who also famously taught us that, “The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.”  If the modern critic represents the media, and the modern artist represents the designer, where does the celebrity fall?  Today Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld and Cameron Diaz all fit that star-studded bill.  So the current conversation is open.  Applicants welcome.

                                                                                                      By Ali Leier

Prada 24 Hours Museum

10 Feb

Miuccia Prada has always been a master of timing: by drawing on a handful of eras and locations, she continually manages to reinterpret the past without feeling overtly retro, and succeeds instead by maintaining a precocious, modern and relevant approach to history.  From spring 2011s Hawaiian panorama panacheto spring 2012s 1950s swinging sweathearts,the Italian designer has aninnate archival ability to hone in on a zeitgeist before many of her competitors, striking popularity with seasoned fashion editors and the young celebrities alike.

It is only natural then, that her intuitive creativity would spark an artistic collaboration with Milanese artist Francesco Vezzoli, a Central St. Martin’s alum who has collaborated with the likes of Lady Gaga and Frank Ghery, for a fleeting 24 Hours in Paris’ beautiful 16th arrondissement.  Taking place at the historic Palaisd’Iena, an original design by AugustePerret, the classical venue now boasts the CESE and, for anephemeral 24 hours, Vezzoli’s hot pink fluorescently lit galactic installationin its athree-partmuseum space.


Launching on Tuesday, the 24th of January, the inauguration began with an exclusive invite only cocktail, followed by a dinner for close friends, editors and industry elite (hosted inside the museum by Miuccia Prada herself),and ended with an all-night a dance party attended by the likes of Diane Kruger, Salma Hayek, Dita Von Teese and the very best DJ, Kate Moss.  On Wednesday morning the museum opened to the public for a mere five hours, followed by a press walk through and exclusive, invite only guided tours for students: among them was IFA’s Bachelor of Fashion Design and Technology class.  IFA’s Paris location, in the increasingly trendy textiles district of the 10th arrondissement, allowed students the privilege to attend one of fashion and art’s most influential artistic collaborations during the Haute Couture spring shows in the heart of the fashion capital.

The students were pleasantly surprised when the founding artist,Franco Vezzoli personally introduced the IFA class to the 24h concept.“I was absolutely blown away when the artist and creator of the museum, Francesco Vezzoli came over to introduce himself and the concept behind the museum to us.  It was totally unexpected!  The fact that this world renowned artist, who has worked with the likes of Lady Gaga, Helen Mirren and Natalie Portman would take the time to speak with us was enough to make my evening!” exclaimed DaviniaVitrac, a second year Bachelor of Fashion Design and Technology student from New York.  After a brief introduction of the ‘non-existent’ museum concept, he encouraged the group to independently investigate the three areas of space: historic, contemporary and forgotten.


“I found the exhibition exciting. I thought Francesco Vezzoli’s ability to take the structure out of a classic museum is parallel to life, which I found refreshing and original,” says Australian international student Edwina Grace Kent.  And that’s exactly what he did.  While the ‘historic’ theatre played vintage film footage, the focal point of the building was the grand staircase with an angelic cartoonesque diva perched precariously – almost floating – in the center with the Facebook icon ‘Like’ emblazoned across her bust.  Diva like images of modern day muses and celebrities, such as Britney Spears, posted on Roman marble columns in a unique modern threshold of art, architecture and socioeconomics (the current venue exists today as le Conseil Economique, Social et Environnemental) filled the contemporary area of the museum.Vezzoli found a means to engage our society – a people so fascinated with instant gratification through technology – with the idea of a ‘non-existent’ place and time.

The forum was less existential than it sounds, however, as the culmination of its three areas historic, contemporary and forgotten (note: forgoing the labels past, present and future) drew a more cohesive ethos from the artist, as opposed to a cyclical one.  And that particular precipice exemplifies the engaging subject matter that keeps Prada a relevant brand today.  Miucciasees beyond the tangible design of luxury Italian goods and creates a higher artistic, poetic vision.  After attending Prada’s exclusive event, some of the students reflected that, “It makes the visitors feel quite special, if the museum they enter only exists for 24hours.” What an important concept to learn during Haute Couture week. Standing out and taking risks is important sometimes because safe isn’t going to get you talked about, is it?


                                                            Article by Ali Leier

Citroën Visit

7 Feb

On Tuesday the 6th of December, Paris’ IFA Business Management students visited Citroën, Europe’s largest car manufacturer, to see the latest luxury collaboration in Citroën’s auto-atelier: the new DS5 Ultra-Prestige.A hybrid of fashion and function, their latest DS model incorporated a heavy stylisticapproach and was the perfect launch to engage IFA’s postgraduate students in Citroën’s design ethos.


Nearly a century old, the automotive company has built a reputation for its creativity and modernity, better known by their slogan‘CréativeTechnologie,’with a veteran design team at the helm, including Vincent Lobry, former accessories designer at Louis Vuitton.Lobry, Citroën’s Colors and Materials designer, and three other presenters explicated luxury brand management initiatives and communication strategies to an eager IFA team.Students were led through the entire design process from initial research and trend forecasting, to the creation of mood boards and colour palettes, to the final product.

DaviniaVitrac, a second year student in the BA (Honours) Fashion Design and Technology program was “was very impressed by the amount of time that Citroën had dedicated to making our visit an informative and worthwhile morning, and how incredibly well organized it was.”  The intensive morning provided students with exclusive insight into Citroën’s creative marketing and design process, many of which directly correlate with those in fashion.  For example, Prada shoes directly inspired the car’s black and gray colour gradient.

While fashion and luxury hybrids are hardly novel, the automotive industry as a whole has recently seen a greater emphasis on fashion collaborations too. For example, September’s CR-Z re-launch, a partnership by Intersection magazine and Honda, debuted a limited edition automobile designed by Ango-Japanese icon EleyKishimoto.

“The parallels between fashion designandautomotive design really interested me, because the concept and the process are the same, however the medium is different,” says IFA’s post-graduate student YaseerBawazeer. “Citroën aimed to imbue their product line with a greater sense of creativity and fashion for the future, which was evident in the DS models that we saw during our visit.” Particular attention to detail is obvious in the final product as well – from the DS logo embossed leather interior, to the chain-link black and gray leather seat designs that resemble a watchstrap, this luxury vehicle definitely exudes sartorial nuances.

Despite the many conceptual and aesthetic similarities between fashion design and luxury automotives, IFA’s postgraduate students also discovered the fundamental long-term disparities. Fashion design moves at a faster pace than car design: trends can be adopted quicker, products can be reproduced and filtered down to the public more timely, and the dependency on longevity and function has no real necessity in high fashion.  In fashion, aestheticism is enough to catalyze a consumer purchase, but beauty alone isn’t enough to sell luxury vehicles.

Vincent Lobry’s advice particularly resonated with Vitrac, whose background includes a role as Brand Manager in the Wine and Spirits division of LVMH’s New York office.  Though her shift towards fashion design seemed like a tremendous change, the parallels of designing for a luxury label helped Vitrac tremendously, particularly hearing it from a fellow former LVMH employee.  “Vincent shared with us asentiment that every designer must adhere to,” said the IFA student, “being a designer is so much more than having the ability to draw beautiful things, as an artist does; to be a designer you must be able to communicate beautiful things that can most importantly be produced.”

The DS5 hybrid’s sartorial debut even inspired the Citroën 2012 Creative Awards, a reverse design contest that challenged competitors to capture the model’s joie de vivreby designing two outfits (his and hers) suited to young professionals that imbue sleek aesthetic of the aerodynamic DS5. Now equipped with first-hand knowledge from Citroën’s own elite, many of IFA’s Business Management students have entered the style contest.  Winners were announced on the 27th of January, with three potential chances to win and with the first-place prize at €3000.

To view the style contest and the Citroen design winners at their website follow the link here:


                                                                 Article by Ali Leier