Who’s the Sheikh of Chic?

Perhaps no other designer of the last century could be so globally recognizable by a handful of visual cues than the designer nicknamed “The Sheikh of Chic”. In his 45-year career as a Rome-based couturier, he created such an image of romantic excess in his clothes and in his life that he became known professionally by only his first name.

Check out the pictures and guess who it might be!


There is the yacht perpetually moored off of Capri,there is the French-Asian chateau,there are the manicured gardens,the fashion pugs, who enjoy functioning as models( …or not?!)their permanently suntanned lover,with his philosophy of a private world of endless glamour

and then

there is



and .. more RED

So it’s Mr. WHO?

of course..!

When you think of Valentino Garavani, almost immediately the signature crimson red color comes to mind. His legendary crimson gowns are the brand’s trademark and his collections are worn by the world’s wealthiest and most glamorous women including stars like

Jackie Kennedy

Anne Hathaway

Gisele Bündchen


Since October 2008 Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have been appointed Valentino Creative Directors.
The two talented designers worked in close contact with Valentino Garavani for a decade,contributing to the international success of the brands’ accessories

Ever since they express their new vision of the Valentino muse: an extreme elegance that affects her entire way of being.
Fragile and dangerous nature interweaved with a cult of uniqueness and distinction, are all elements captured for their creations.

Their creativity was well-received right from the start, obtaining unanimous approval in the world of fashion.

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli’s strong leadership style, their professional and creative approach -highly characteristic of Valentino’s corporate identity- joined to their extremely talented in-house team of designers, allowed them to make the most of Valentino’s iconic style.

Not excited about  F/W12-13’s new trends yet?

– You should be!


Last look on Prada’s summer 2012

Looking back on Prada's summer 2012

Prada SS12

The glamourouse Hollywood of the 50`s was the leitmotif of Prada`s SS2012 campaign.

Marilyn Monroe`s legendary pleated dress and accessories used in this fashion period found their revival.

Features of Cadillac and Hot Rods could be seen in some of the prints, leather skirts and bandeau`s, dresses and purses which marked the area of Boogie-Woogie and Rock`n` Roll. One of the creations highlights is the “Hot Rod flamed” shoe.

Pink and blue summer coats in crochet or lace were displayed along with signature sunglasses from MM.

All in all a felicitous, feminine clothing line which unveils the diva in women.

Click Here to view the whole collection

David Downton, pourquoi pas?


David Downton

Since 1996 when the Financial Times commissioned David Downton to draw at the couture shows his name has become well known in the world of fashion.

Before entering the market of fashion illustration he worked for 12 years on a wide variety of projects ranging from advertising and packaging to illustrating fiction and cook books.

Besides that, Downton launched the first-ever journal of Fashion Illustration ‘Pourquoi Pas’ in 2007.

*David’s commercial client list includes: Tiffany & Co, Bloomingdales, Barney’s, Harrods, Top Shop, Chanel, Dior, L’Oreal, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, V Magazine and the V&A Museum. Moreover his portfolio includes portraits of models Erin O’Connor, Lily Cole, Linda Evangelista and Carmen.


Cate BlanchettPaloma Picasso

Dita Von Teese

Anna Piaggi


…And God Created Gisele

Gisele on Top

Gisele Bündchen

Gisele Bündchen is a sixth-generation German-Brazilian top model, born on 20.7.1980, in Horizontina, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, where she grew up with her five sisters.

In 1993, 13-year-old Gisele  joined a modeling course with her sisters Patrícia and Gabriela, at their mother’s insistence.

Although Gisele had set her sights on a career as a professional volleyball player or a veterinarian, she was discovered by Brazilian model scouts at the age of 14 while eating a hamburger in a diner during a school trip in Rio de Janiero.

Despite her father’s disagreement with her career choice, Gisele moved to the city. Two years later, she found herself in New York City.

The arrival of Gisele on the international fashion scene, in 1996, was seen by many in the industry as the beginning of a new move away from the look-of-the-moment trend of harsh, edgy images into a softer, sexier phase. Actually, Vogue editor Anna Wintour crowned her the “model of the millennium,” that same year Vogue called her “The return of the sexy model”. Rolling Stone declared her “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” in 2000 and Vanity Fair published an article titled “…And God Created Gisele” in 2009.

In 2000, Bündchen was dubbed the “Boobs from Brazil” for inspiring the 36,000 breast enhancement surgeries performed that year in Brazil.

It was at that time that Bündchen became one of Victoria’s Secret Angels (from2000 until mid-2007)

Besides modeling Gisele is also a very successful business woman. She has her own line of sandals called Ipanema Gisele Bundchen (pair of flip flops sell for as much as 230$) and is also the owner of a hotel in South Brazil, the Palladium Executive.

In July 2007, earning an estimated total of $33 million in the past 12 months, Forbes magazine named her the world’s top-earning model in the list of the World’s 15 Top-Earning Supermodels.

On 26.2.2009, Bündchen married New Englands Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in a small ceremony in California. In December 2009, Bündchen gave birth to a boy, who they named Benjamin Rein Brady.

In 2011, AskMen.com revealed their Annual “Most Desirable Women” list of which Bündchen along with Angelina Jolie and Beyoncé Knowles being the only women to make the list every year for ten years in a row.

In Spring 2012, she won three major spring campaigns – Versace, Givenchy, and Salvatore Ferragamo.

And we all hope that there will be much more to see from our supermodel on top!


The pretty side of Burberry

The pretty side of Burberry = Burberry Prorsum
Personally I’ve never been a great fan of the luxury brand Burberry-
Everyone who is keen on looking super fashionable has to have that purse, scarf or whatever other item that screams: I am damn expensive!- and not because i am actually unique or outrageous, but because I am Burberry!!
Seeing the beige striped pattern printed over and over again in copied and original designs, for me it became boring and most of all the symbol of nouveau riche naff, if you overdo it.
But then the spring 2012 collection of Burberry Prorsum appeared.
Prorsum means ‘to move forward’ in Latin which is basically what this line of Burberry is doing (unlike -Sport, -Brit and -London) . It keeps moving Burberry forward..
Burberry Prorsum is a bit more expensive than the rest of the Burberry brands but it’s at least versatile so the money spent is at least well spent.

Coco Chanel’s life timeline


1883 – Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel is born in Saumur France on 19th August.

1895 – Coco’s mother dies and her father refuses to take care of the 5 children. Therefor Gabrielle (12years) and her older sister Julie are shipped off to an orphanage.

1900 – At age 17 she leaves the orphanage and is sent to a convent in Moulins, France.

1905-1908 – Gabrielle adopted the name Coco during a brief career as a cafe and concert singer at Moulins. There she met the young French wealthy textile heir Etienne Balsan and became his mistress for the next three years. It was a life style of self-indulgence, Balsan lavished Chanel with the beauties of “the rich life”— diamonds, dresses, and pearls. His wealth and leisure allowed Coco the cultivation of a social set in the high society.

1909 – Chanel moves to Paris and starts designing hats for friends. This is when she realises that she belongs in a world of opulence and she makes friends with artists and writers living in Paris. Her hat designs are clean and simple and are favoured among young women who are rejecting the elaborate hats that are in vogue.

“… two gentlemen were outbidding for my hot little body.”

1910 – Now Chanel’s new lover, Boy Chapel a friend of her ex-liaison Balsan throws some money at her and she opens a hat shop on rue Cambon in Paris. She has a crisp white awning out the front of the shop with ‘Coco Chanel’ painted on it in black letters and this marks the beginning of the famous double ‘C’ Chanel logo.

1913 – Again with the help of Boy Chapel, Chanel opens a second store selling sportswear in Deauville France. Women are beginning to despise their restrictive under garments and Chanel begins developing clothing in new shapes that don’t require the re-positioning of a women’s internal organs.

1914 – Chanel uses her business brain to cash in on the war – Realising that women now need to work she designs simple, classic clothes that women can work and play in. She uses men’s designs and adapts them for women. Pullover tops, cardigans and sports jackets are her most popular pieces and modern young women flock to buy her comfortable, practical and stylish designs.

1915 – Chanel opens a third shop this time in Biarritz, a resort town on the coast of France. She recognises that the wealthy vacationers of this town have plenty of money to waste so she creates one-of-a-kind evening dresses that sell for exorbitant amounts. She imports trimmings and fabrics that are not available in France due to the war. The decadence and rarity of her designs are sought after amongst those that can afford them.

1916 – Chanel’s stores are so successful that by the end of the year she has three hundred staff in her employment. Her success means that she is able to pay back her loan from Boy Chapel and becomes totally and completely financially independent. For a woman in 1916, this is a remarkable achievement. Apparently Boy Chapel was surprised to get his money back as loans made to women back then were considered gifts rather than loans. She is the first designer to use jersey in outer garments as well as underwear and is fast developing a radical reputation for herself.

1918 – Chanel is devastated as after an 8 year relationship with Boy Chapel he grows tired of waiting for her to marry him. So he marries the daughter of an English pioneer, Diana Wyndham. Boy Chapel and Chanel remain close friends. Around this time Chanel takes the shape of the chemise undergarment and designs one of the first 1920′s drop-waist ‘sack’ dresses. She is becoming a fashion icon herself and young women are starting to copy her look – slim, elegant and youthful with short, neat hair and bright red lipstick.

1919 – Boy Chapel dies in a car accident.

1921 – Chanel has a new man in her life, Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich. At age thirty-eight Chanel launches her most famous perfume – Chanel No.5

1925 – Chanel meets the Duke of Westminster in Monte Carlo, marking the beginning of their 5 year  relationship.

1929 – Chanel opens a boutique for her accessories and Chanel No.5 is established as the leading scent in the world. She is the first designer to make costume jewelery fashionable, even desirable. Before Chanel it was considered tacky to wear anything other than real gems.

1930 – The Duke leaves Chanel and marries Loelia Mary Ponsonby.

1931 – Chanel begins designing clothes for Hollywood films and signs a lucrative 1 million dollar contract.

1930′s – Chanel’s position as fashion leader is threatened by Italian designer Elsa Schiaperelli. Chanel’s designs are starting to be seen as frumpy and Elsa is cornering the popular youth market. Chanel’s classic designs are seen as boring and the whimsical and worldly ‘Schap’ is taking the fashion world by storm. Chanel becomes romantically involved with artist Paul Iribarnegaray. She also releases a new collection, comfortable in the knowledge that there are elegant and sophisticated women who prefer her designs. Obviously she is correct in this assumption.

1936 – During troubled times in France, Chanel is faced with the strike of at least a hundred of her workers. She fires them, realises she actually needs them and then hires them all back. She reluctantly concedes to their demands but builds herself a reputation as a rogue employer.

1939 – The outbreak of World War II – Chanel declared it was ‘no time for fashion’ and took a fifteen year break from her beloved business. She lives off the royalties of her famous perfume. Chanel closes her fashion houses and starts a relationship with German officer Hans Gunther von Dincklage.

1940′s – Fashion designer Chistian Dior starts to dominate the styles of the time with an exaggerated silhouette and brings back the use of restrictive corsetry. Chanel thought Dior’s New Look was ridiculous and that his large skirted, tiny waisted designs were totally unsuitable for the modern world.

1954 – Chanel, aged seventy, presents a new collection for the first time in 15 years. The reviews are quite critical and many say that Chanel should have stayed in retirement.

1971 – Coco Chanel dies, aged eighty seven.

Interesting detailes:

  •  Chanel sacrificed so much to become the legend that she is today. She had several long love affairs which ended either with the sudden death of her partner or his sudden departure as he found another woman. It’s obvious that her top priority was her business and that she never had the time or desire for marriage and children. Although there have been speculations about her “nephew André Palasse” being Coco’s son from Balsan, it was never proven.
  • Coco considered five to be her lucky number and presented all her collections in fives. Her collections would be shown on the fifth day of the month and her famous perfume is of course, Chanel No.5.
  • Gabrielle’s nickname “Coco” is possibly based on two popular songs with which she became identified (during her short career as a singer) “Ko Ko Ri Ko,” and “Qui qu’a vu Coco,” or it was an allusion to the French word for kept woman :cocotte
  • 1983 – Karl Lagerfeld becomes design director for the House of Chanel and slowly rebuilds the damaged reputation of one of the oldest fashion houses in Paris.

Day dress, ca. 1924

Evening dress, ca. 1926–27
Silk, metallic threads, sequins

Evening coat, ca. 1927
Silk, metallic thread



“God knows I wanted love. But the moment I had to choose between the man I loved and my dresses, I choose the dresses.”

“After fifty you have to deserve your face”

“I never looked so much for someone to love, as for somebody to love me”

Day ensemble- The little black dress, ca. 1927
Silk, wool, metal

Day ensemble, ca. 1927
Silk, wool

Shirt, ca. 1935–37

Evening ensemble, 1936
Ivory silk lace with ivory silk tulle


Top 10 life and style rules from the fashion icon

1. The Little Black Dress is always appropriate. Creating her signature LBD in 1926, it’s a style staple that lives on forever!
2. Find what works: “The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.”
3. If afraid of color go for monochrome: “Women think of all colours except the absence of colour. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.”
4. It must look good on YOU: “A beautiful dress may look beautiful on a hanger, but that means nothing. It must be seen on the shoulders, with the movement of the arms, the legs, and the waist.”
5. Make an effort. Always! “I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness.” So no more hitting the streets in slippers and rollers..
6. Coco favoured classic pearls but less was always more to her: “When accessorising, always take off the last thing you put on.”
7. Be selective with trends: “Fashion changes, but style endures.”
8. Want to get noticed? Play it chic: “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”
9. Everyone should own a tweed box jacket. They even smarten up jeans.
10. Make this your mantra: “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”

Evening dress, 1938
Black silk net with polychrome sequins

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel

Cocktail ensemble, ca. 1964
Black silk and synthetic pile; ivory polyester blend damask with black nylon jersey

Evening ensemble, spring/summer 1992
Karl Lagerfeld (German, born 1938), for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913)
Silk, cotton, metal, wood

Gud Girl Gone Glam – Focus on Rihanna

Gud Girl Gone Glam - Rihanna


Beginning her career as the cute good girl and step by step transforming  into a good girl gone bad, with a different , sexy and unique style singer Robyn ‘Rihanna’ Fenty captured everyone’s attention and made people want more and more of her.

This is exactly what should define a true star and a style icon which is exactly what Rihanna has managed to become.


Mrs. Mary Katrantzou – moodboard

Mrs. Mary Katrantzou - moodboard

“I’m inspired by women who have that travelled, refined eye-

Women who can blur the line between design and art, who collect art to decorate their homes, who merge mismatched objects.”

(Vogue Japan’s editor-at-large Anna Dello Russo in Mary K. dress)

Creating dizzying, fabulous dresses with her unique hyper-real prints the Central Saint Martins graduate eye-catching designs are a must-haves this season.

Good for all of us that, the 28-year-old Greek fashion designer, is bringing them to high street with her amazing collection for Topshop.

Mr. Louboutin : ‘I don’t care if my heels hurt!’

Mr. Louboutin

“I don’t care if my high heels hurt women.

If you can’t walk in them, then don’t wear them.”

French footwear designer Christian Louboutin helped bring stilettos back into fashion in the 1990s and 2000s, designing dozens of styles with heel heights of 120mm and higher.

The designer’s  goal has been to “make a woman look sexy, beautiful, to make her legs look as long as [he] can.” While he does offer some lower-heeled styles, Louboutin is generally associated with his dressier evening-wear designs incorporating jeweled straps, bows, feathers, patent leather, and other similar decorative touches.

Penny Rose


-My August Moodboard inspired by Rose-

Penny Rose

Being one of Hollywood’s most sought after costume designers Penny Rose has credits ranging from Evita to Shadowlands and Mission Impossible.

The film costumes that won the British-born designer particular praise from critics were those for Pirates of the Caribbean (The Curse of the Black Pearl)

-They even sparked a craze for ‘pirate’ on the fashion runways.

Mario Testino

“My pictures are my eyes.

I photograph what I see—and what I want to see.”

Made by his cultural and commercial zeitgeist photographer Testino is known to be a well thought of creative partner in the fashion and beauty industry today. Having his shots published in magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair made him famous and leading photo shoots for many fashion and beauty advertising campaigns, (from Burberry and Gucci to Dolce & Gabbana and Versace) contributed to his clients great success.

As a portrait photographer he captures the actors, beauties and worldwide celebrities of the moment, as well as receiving royal commissions from The Prince of Wales, Prince William, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Diana Princess of Wales, and Her Majesty Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan.

The Coolest Anna

R.I.P.Anna Piaggi you will be missed!

The Vogue Italia editor passed away at the age of 81 and left her mark on fashion eternally.

Piaggi began her career as a journalist in the 1960s at the Italian magazine Arianna, Karl Lagerfeld has sketched her unique ensembles for inspiration and Bill Cunningham dubbed her “a poet with clothes.”

Piaggi’s audacious way with color, proportions and prints proved a studied approach to style that is unmatched. A veritable godmother of the street style age, Anna Piaggi will serve as an inspiration to the adventurous for generations to come.

Fall in love with S/S12’s candy palette

Spring/Summer2012 collections are awash with soft, pastel hues – from blue, pink, lilac, spearmint and yellow.

The most dominant summer trend:

“Sweet-Sugar-Candy” is proof that being pretty can be “cool” again. Our summer muse loves florals and sweetie colours, but never gets a sugar rush, thanks to simple cuts and modern, doyly lace.

Elie Saab


Calvin Klein

Philip Lim







Louis Vuitton

Diane von Furstenberg

Christian Dior


John Galliano

Classifying designers – 7 categories or more?


Alexander McQueen. John Galliano. Jean Paul Gaultier. Vivienne Westwood. Yves Saint Laurent.

These designers treat fashion as theatre – drama or comedy. Their collections tell stories, each with a thrilling climax. Beyond that, their entire careers also read like narrative arcs. They are adventurers, besides being outstanding characters in their own right.



Donna Karan. Thierry Mugler. Gareth Pugh. Christian Lacroix. Valentino. Gianni Versace. Oscar de la Renta. Yohji Yamomoto. Olivier Theyskens. Alexander Wang. Rodarte.

These designers create for a muse, either real or imagined – dressing a distinctive protagonist. Their clothes appeal to people who cast themselves in their own lives – whether Mugler’s pop androids, Wang’s downtown slummers, or Valentino’s romantic heroines.



Tom Ford. Coco Chanel. Marc Jacobs. Halston. Victoria Beckham. Karl Lagerfeld. Betsey Johnson. Gwen Stefani.

These designers use themselves as their own muse. In addition to being talented in design, they are also always articulate communicators in multiple media. Because they also saturate visual, written and audio, their work has a way of seeping through the skin of fashion’s bubble to the larger population. They create vivid brands – though not always brands that outlive their creator.

This group is also adept at something else – personal transformation. Without exception, these are exceptional, rare human beings. They have to work hard to keep up with themselves, and they do.



Michael Kors. Ralph Lauren. Calvin Klein. Giorgio Armani. Phoebe Philo.

These are the zeitgeist sensors. They tap into what people want to, as Calvin Klein puts its, “be”. They design with a lifestyle in mind, not necessarily a realistic or exemplary lifestyle, but the ones that most people want to live. They outfit humanity for its dearest dreams, because sex, money and fame still sells .

Because they flatter universal human desire to be admired, they are brilliant at establishing international brands with longevity.



Maison Martin Margiela. Hussein Chalayan. Viktor & Rolf.

These designers are modern artists. Their work belongs in museums, their shows are statements. They approach disturbing subjects and push the boundaries of what a human body can physically adorn itself with. Their audience are all aficianados – most of them also creators in some capacity. You have to be somewhat literate in history and construction to appreciate a lot of their work, but the barriers to entry are part of what makes these designers so exceptional.



Schiaparelli. Jeremy Scott. Ann-Sofie Back. Walter van Bierendonck. Rudy Gernreich. Henry Holland. Rei Kawukubo.

These designers could also be included with the conceptualists, I think the distinction here is that the work tends to be fashion-referential and often cleverly so. They are the op-ed page of The Fashion Times – as such their work also tends to be of-the-moment and not always enduring. They also demand a bit of pop culture and design intelligence to adequately absorb them.



Christopher Kane. Vionnet. Mark Fast. Issey Miyake. Jeremy Laing.

The technicians starting point is the possibilities of materials. They are innovators, experimenters, the scientists of fashion. They influence the next generation of designers.



Mr. Pearl. Angela Missoni. Paul Smith. Christian Louboutin.

These designers focus on developing a narrow specialization. They maintain tradition and continuity in design and construction. Tailors are the purest form of artisans. Many menswear designers favour a design process based on tradition. Certain brands like Burberry and Hermes demand a designer who can treat the past with respect.


Most designers overlap several categories, so of course these are simplified categories.

They are simply based on the most dominant contemporary design philosophies.

Pick of the the day

McQ Alexander McQueen Nicholas Kirkwood 

Amanda Wakeley Azzaro Narciso Rodriguez 


1) Alexander Mc Queen– ring-embellished leather and suede dress

2) Nicholas Kirkwood– Geometric-heel printed silk-covered leather ankle boots

3) Karl Lagerfeld– Dahli faux leather dress


4) Amanda Wakeley– Asymmetric draped crepe-jersey dress

5) Azzaro– Net-sleeved wool-blend dress

6) Narciso Rodriguez – Leather and crepe dress