Halpern

5 Things To Know About Halpern’s Optimistic SS23 Show And Barbie Collab

5 Things To Know About Halpern’s Optimistic SS23 Show And Barbie Collab

From London’s key workers to the stars of the Royal Opera House’s ballet company, Michael Halpern’s muses are always eclectic. The London-based New Yorker’s latest leading light? Barbie. “I always played with them growing up, but I was more interested in their incredible hair than their clothes,” laughs the designer of the collaborative component to his spring/summer 2023 collection, which brought some ostentatious, optimistic oomph not only to a sombre city, but to Mattel’s Dreamhouse.

The opening look honored the Queen

A couple of years ago, Halpern was lucky enough to speak with Queen Elizabeth II, as part of an audience with London’s most exciting design talent. Halpern divulged his love of ostentation to Her Majesty – an aesthetic evocatively conveyed in the opening commemorative look of his spring/summer 2023 show. The first exit, presented in total silence, featured a breathtaking, floor-trailing cape in cornflower silk taffeta, paired with a mint headscarf. “It was our way of respectfully paying tribute,” Halpern explained.
Home comforts just got glamorous

Halpern is soon to gain his British citizenship and permanent residency in the UK, and he found the process of opening the final box of his belongings shipped to London particularly poignant. Inside, he discovered old photographs of his mother sporting outré house gowns, more suited to chic soirées than slouching on the sofa. A hooded gown in sumptuous leopard print velvet was inspired particularly by a kaftan Halpern’s mother owned, which to his horror, she did not hold on to. “Hosting at home is the most glam thing,” he said. “Growing up I felt completely safe to be creative in my house. There was no restriction.”
Halpern is embracing escapism

The designer has never been one for restriction. “When I see ruffles and texture, it brings me complete joy,” Halpern said with a smile. In idiosyncratic fashion, his spring/summer 2023 collection embraced escapist volumes and unabashed ostentation, from bustiers in pastel “jellyfish” flounces to gowns exploding with cloud-like sleeves, disco flares in hand-painted flocked tulle and minidresses in kaleidoscopic chevron sequins. A series of looks, imagined in blue velvet and embroidered with a sparkling nighttime sky, recalled the neon stars Halpern stuck to his bedroom walls as a child. “They’re about building these worlds, checking out and going to another planet,” he explained. “Fashion being harnessed to create fantasy.”
Accessories went XL

The collection featured super-sized accessories, like huge hoop earrings and “tacky gold” headbands dangling with Hellenic metal leaves. Like other embellishments in the collection – including huge bows swathed in crystals – they were dramatically scaled up. “Doll proportion is a thing!” Halpern laughed.

Barbie took to the catwalk

The Barbie Dreamhouse celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, and its doll residents were keen to celebrate. Barbie has partnered with a host of fashion labels, including Comme des Garçons, Versace and Moschino, and as part of Halpern’s collaboration, a section of his show was inspired by the doll’s decade-spanning archival looks. Think ’80s power gowns and Barbie’s first swimsuit, which debuted in black and white stripes in 1959. Halpern first worked with Mattel in 2019, when he dressed a Barbie Role Model doll made in the likeness of Adwoa Aboah in a sequined minidress and turban. A cascading asymmetric gown in glittering orange polka dots will also be scaled down for the Dreamhouse’s most extravagant occupants.
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk
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Shop the Best of Modest Fashion in This Edit of Local and International Designers Ahead of Ramadan

Shop the Best of Modest Fashion in This Edit of Local and International Designers Ahead of Ramadan

Photo: Courtesy of Net-a-Porter
The month of Ramadan is right around the corner and online luxury fashion retailer, Net-a-Porter, already has your wardrobe sorted. In honor of the sacred month that is rooted in unity and appreciation, Net-a-Porter has brought together the most covetable international and local brands in a wide-scale celebration of modest fashion. Uniting global names with local talent, the fashion retailer has curated a Ramadan Collection that defines traditional modest attire in utmost luxurious fashion.
Photo: Courtesy of Net-a-Porter
Net-a-Porter’s new collection works to satisfy soaring demand for modest apparel in the Middle East, especially around the Holy Month. According to the luxury retailer, searches for maxi and midi dresses increase by a whopping 80% during the Ramadan period alone. Listening to the needs of their local customers, Net-a-Porter has joined Taller Marmo, SemSem, Johanna Ortiz, Reem Acra, Halpern, Louisa Parris, Carolina Herrera, Jenny Packham, Rasario, Alex Perry and more, to craft the ultimate wardrobe for divine demure dressing.
Photo: Courtesy of Net-a-Porter
The Ramadan collection radiates with exciting variety, inspired by a beautiful amalgamation of international and local taste. From the regal elegance crafted locally by SemSem and Halpern, to the understated luxury channeled by global icons Carolina Herrera and Rasario, Net-a-Porter will have you dazzling with modest allure in each and every intimate iftar of the year.
Photo: Courtesy of Net-a-Porter
This collection celebrates the Holy Month of Ramadan with female empowerment and global collaboration at its core. SemSem’s creative director, Abeer al Otaiba, talks through her inspiration for the exclusives on Net-a-Porter, mentioning: “This season, I felt called to focus on the unwavering strength of women. Ramadan is a special time of reflection and self-awareness – an opportunity to hit refresh, embrace our surroundings and give back to others. It is my hope that this collection encourages women to own their strength and approach each day with confidence.”
Photo: Courtesy of Net-a-Porter
The delectable garments make their grand debut in a campaign shot against the historic Arabian landscape of the UAE’s “garden city” – Al Ain.  Nisreen Shocair, CEO of Yoox Net-a-Porter, Middle East accentuates the symbolic significance of the collection and campaign: “Ramadan is a special month for me and this Ramadan collection and campaign feel very close to home.  The collaborative process of working with these amazing local and global designers and shooting the campaign in Al Ain perfectly captures the aesthetic and mood of the collection: beautiful, soothing, grounding yet inspiring; and that’s how we see our customers celebrating Ramadan this year with Net-a-Porter Arabi.”
Photo: Courtesy of Net-a-Porter
Net-a-Porter has become no stranger when it comes to reflecting the fashion-focused needs of the local market. As they move towards greater specialization in personalized merchandising, their new shopping experience is specifically designed for the Middle East, offering customers dual-language searching in their respective local currencies. Supporting regional talent is also at the heart of the luxury retailer, not only in this revolutionary Ramadan collection but also in their commitment to mentoring emerging local designers as a part of their didactic Vanguard Program.
Photo: Courtesy of Net-a-Porter
Traditional Ramadan lanterns are lighting up the runway, as Net-a-Porter makes way for a world of chic modesty and redefines fashion through the lens of unity and empowerment.
Photo: Courtesy of Net-a-Porter
Read Next: Exclusive: Dolce & Gabbana Unveils a Joy-Sparking Collection Ahead of Ramadan

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