SS21

The Summer Party Looks You Need to Invest in Now

The Summer Party Looks You Need to Invest in Now

From Y2K-inspired, low-rise miniskirts and fluorescent-neon flares to the rise of debutante dressing (thanks to Netflix’s Bridgerton), here are five ways to dress for a scorching soiree, via the SS21 catwalks.
Loewe Spring 21. Photo: Courtesy
Summer is around the corner and, with vaccines being rolled out globally, we’re poised to amp up our wardrobes and safely dance the night away (insert dancing flamenco dress emoji).
In 2019, ‘hot girl summer’ went viral thanks to rapper Megan Thee Stallion’s hit single of the same name. Fast forward to today, the sentiment behind the statement still stands, but after more than a year of hibernating in our hoodies, it certainly does not feel the same. The solution? Finding a steady balance between the sensuous and exuberant, with practical ease fit for our times.
Whether it’s layering a luxe silk bralette beneath a sports jacket, towering platform boots with a tough edge, or balloon-sleeved #Regencycore minidresses to effortlessly transition from a day of al fresco frolics to an evening on the dancefloor – here’s the Vogue guide to getting soiree-ready this summer.
A skirt for the summer? Make mine a mini
Miu Miu spring/summer 2021, Chopova Lowena spring/summer 2021. Photo: Courtesy
The miniskirt has been a trusted wardrobe mainstay since its huge popularity in the ’60s. Decades on, it still exudes boldness and remains a symbol of defiance. Opt for a Y2K-inspired textured low-rise ultra-mini to match your accessories, as seen at Miu Miu, or for a day-to-evening take, try pairing a multicolored pleated Chopova Lowena version with printed tights and a crisp white shirt.
If your party pants don’t demand attention, you’re doing it wrong
Chanel spring/summer 2021, Maximilian spring/summer 2021, Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2021.
Who said trousers were boring? It’s high time to spice up your pants game for the dancefloor. Whether it’s a wide-legged pair in fluorescent pink as at Chanel or Maximilian’s immaculately tailored cuts (we’ll take ours in tangerine), the ability to move seamlessly while making a strong statement is absolutely essential. If you’re feeling particularly daring, try a sequinned pair with a matching short sleeve jacket, as per Louis Vuitton.
The higher the platform, the closer to heaven
Valentino Couture spring/summer 2021, Rick Owens spring/summer 2021, Harris Reed x Roker. Photo: Courtesy
Strut into the post-pandemic era with sky-high conviction by wearing this season’s biggest footwear trend: platforms. From the mesmerizing thigh-high metallic pairs at Valentino haute couture and Rick Owens, to a textured ode to ’70s glamour with Harris Reed x Roker, an entire look can be elevated (quite literally) with a striking pair, even if simply wearing with boot-cut flared jeans and a white T-shirt.
E-girl debutante dressing for the win
Valentino spring/summer 2021, Yuhan Wang spring/summer 2021, Khaite spring/summer 2021. Photo: Courtesy
With Instagram and TikTok all over the trend, lest we forget the Bridgerton phenomena from earlier in the year, it’s safe to say that #Regencycore is undoubtedly a popular look of the summer. Whether it’s a floor-length gown in the lightest of chiffons as seen at Valentino and Yuhan Wang or a minidress with voluminous sleeves for dramatic effect à la Khaite and Loewe, live out your period drama fantasy IRL in a Regency-era inspired frock.
A summer coat isn’t so frivolous after all
Simone Rocha spring/summer 2021, Prada spring/summer 2021, Fendi spring/summer 2021. Photo: Courtesy

Inevitably, socializing and dining will still predominantly need to be outdoors, therefore keeping warm in the evening is of utmost importance. How best to effectively do so? That’s right, a light coat for the summer. If you’re channeling a Regency-inspired aesthetic opt for Simone Rocha’s sheer trench in embroidered tulle, or set the tone for a spicy night out in a light, printed-silk Prada opera coat. For optimal snuggliness, Fendi’s oversized quilted version, reminiscent of a luxe duvet, will be sure to do the trick.
Read Next: 10 Pieces to Nail Joyful Dressing for Day This Summer
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk

Couturier Stéphane Rolland on Launching His Long Anticipated Kaftan and Djellaba Collection

Couturier Stéphane Rolland on Launching His Long Anticipated Kaftan and Djellaba Collection

Courtesy of Stéphane Rolland
Haute couture designer Stéphane Rolland presents his debut kaftan collection for SS21 with 11 looks that incorporate djellabas, bisht coats, jumpsuits, and Zouave pants. The collection is made-to-measure in Paris with luxurious fabrics like cotton cashmere, silk damask, velvet, and crepe de chine with hand-embellishment and jewel incrustations. “You could call it Collection Zero,” smiles the couturier in his new Avenue de Villiers, Paris, showroom. “It’s a concept that’s been in the back of my mind for a long time. I have always had a passionate relationship with the Middle East. When I was working for Jean-Louis Scherrer in the Nineties, I insisted on visiting our clients to see them in their own environment. I was the first haute couture designer to visit Riyadh in 1997.” Arabian women have always fascinated him. “Appearance is extremely important, but the elegance in the way that they assimilate their mode of dress, how they sit, how they move, their hand gestures – it’s a ballet. That first visit was a revelation. I began wearing a Bisht coat over my dinner jacket. Everyone found it extremely chic. Women began ordering them from me. My first order was from HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar.”
Courtesy of Stéphane Rolland
The seed for this collection was sown. Rolland now intends for it to become a staple of his eponymous maison. “It marks a real return to elegance with exquisite quality. I wanted to channel the iconic women who began wearing kaftans in the Sixties, like Elizabeth Taylor and Marisa Berenson.” For this collection, Rolland extended his palette with yellow saffron and sand, then earth neutrals, pearl gray, olive-bronze, and oud wood. Pieces are embellished with hand-embroidery, rolled gold chains, gray tanzanite, and crystals by the maison’s Parisian ateliers. It is vital that these French couture skills are kept alive. Then, each design is made-to-measure in Paris for each client. It’s sustainable luxury.” Rolland’s digital show, along with these images, feature his favorite model, Nieves Álvarez, at the Théâtre de la Villette. The two met when they were both 20 and Álvarez was the last muse of Yves Saint Laurent. “She has the most unique way of walking I have ever seen, gliding, with an extreme sensuality,” he comments.
Courtesy of Stéphane Rolland
“She has the Spanish pride and the grace of a toreador, but her elegance and gestures are oriental.” Álvarez attests that Rolland creates for the self-confident, independent woman. “His designs, with their architectural proportions, volume, and movement are pure magic. He creates this beautiful mood that always fills me with light.”
Read Next: This New Personalized Shopping App Aims to Be the Netflix for Fashion
Originally published in the March 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia

You Can Now Shop Manolo Blahniks on a Stylish Bus That Arrives to Your Door

You Can Now Shop Manolo Blahniks on a Stylish Bus That Arrives to Your Door

The Runway On Wheels Manolo Blahnik bus

What will the future of physical retail look like? This question and more (inspired by a pandemic-induced overhaul of how we shop, no doubt), has led to the emergence of forward-thinking initiatives such as the Middle East’s new mobile luxury boutique, The Runway On Wheels (TROW). The concept is simple: a giant coach, decked out in high-spec branded fixtures and furnishings and, of course, the latest collections by its current collaborator, drives to your door to offer a direct-to-consumer shopping experience. No commute, no queues, no fuss.
For its launch, TROW has joined forces with Manolo Blahnik, transforming the interior of the trailer into a visual ode to one of the designer’s statement boutiques, complete with handcrafted German leather and Blahnik’s infamous sketches.
TROW interiors feature Blahnik’s infamous sketches

“Adapting to the post-Covid retail landscape takes a lot of experimentation,” says Samara Punjabi, CEO of Times Square, Manolo Blahnik Middle East. “I feel like this collaboration will be a game changer. The Runway On Wheels concept will upgrade and elevate the customer experience to a whole new level of bespoke service and it may well entice other luxury brands to transform their own retail experiences. We have a lot of clients who live in other parts of the UAE who would be delighted to be able to shop their favorite luxury brands from literally, outside their homes.”
Shop these Manolo Blahnik Kukan suede pumps, and more, from TROW

Regular sanitization of the bus occurs after each home visit and there’s a limit to five shoppers at a time, ensuring all safety measures are in place and the personal experience remains, well, personal. “This collaboration is unique and will change the shopping landscape to a whole new individualized experience,” says Punjabi. “TROW concept is creative and we at Manolo Blahnik are thrilled to be the first brand to collaborate with them.”
The Runway On Wheels launches on March 20 for a seasonal collaboration with Manolo Blahnik. To pre-book, simply head to their Instagram @therunwayonwheels
Read Next: Exclusive: Dolce & Gabbana Unveils a Joy-Sparking Collection Ahead of Ramadan

Exclusive: Azzi & Osta’s SS21 Collection Keeps the Spirit of Jet-Setting Alive

Exclusive: Azzi & Osta’s SS21 Collection Keeps the Spirit of Jet-Setting Alive

Azzi & Osta‘s SS21 collection bursts with color, hope, and optimism for the future as it harkens back to the playful 60s. For this ready-to-wear collection, Lebanese designer duo George Azzi and Assaad Osta looked to the popular vintage American travel magazine Holiday and its golden years in the 60s for inspiration.
Its bold layouts, visually pleasing art direction, and photography that allowed readers to travel within its pages, also motivated the designers to collect them, and later, dream up a 17-piece collection through which the magazines would continue to serve their purpose. “Storytelling with our creations is at the core of what we do,” share the couturiers with Vogue Arabia. “We love history, and the history of art specifically, as it makes us imagine how things were, and challenges us to modernize and bring those moments back in the form of a story that takes our audiences through our journey of escapism.”
The Holiday magazines. Photo: Courtesy of Azzi & Osta

The collection is every bit the holiday wardrobe jet-setters would travel with, had it not been for the global pandemic, and serves as a sartorial antidote after a trying 2020. Speaking of the driving force behind the collection, Azzi and Osta say, “The year 2020 with all its challenges and the devastating explosion in Beirut, triggered more and more our need to escape with our thoughts and just imagine where anyone yearns to be during such times, what they would wear on their holiday, and the carefree spirit that the 60s project.” The result? Silhouettes that are minimalistic with maximalist accents that ensure wearability while still being stand-out pieces in the wardrobe. Light, tailored separates with clean, asymmetric cuts are juxtaposed with billowing cape-like sleeves, long tunic tops are adorned with dramatic ruffles, while eyes are drawn to waistlines and necklines accentuated with flower appliqués, embellishments, straps with sparkling vintage accents, an oversized bow, as well as geometric cut-outs. Dubbed a “gelato-hued collection” by the brand, the color palette is plucked from the pages of the vintage magazine to feature shades like marshmallow pink, sherbet lemon, powder blue and Hamptons white.
The mood board. Photo: Courtesy of Azzi & Osta

Since comfort continues to be predicted as one of the the biggest “fashion trends” this year, the designers have taken it into consideration to deliver just that with the collection that is available to shop from their recently launched e-commerce site. “We adapted the collection for SS21 into a simpler silhouette; looks that are suitable for intimate day events as well as outdoor celebrations,” say Azzi and Osta. “Comfort, effortlessness, minimalism have become more prominent and our SS21 collection reflects that very much.”
George Azzi and Assaad Osta. Photography Myriam Boulos

Azzi and Osta were two of the many designers affected by the explosion in Beirut that destroyed homes and businesses. The duo now strongly feels a responsibility as creatives to offer a much-needed dose of escapism through their work, and their faith in the power of fashion has never been more important. “Fashion projects hope, something to look forward to,” they say. “You look at fashion — how it is always about the upcoming “seasons” and it offers a way of looking at things with a more positive perspective, and the notion that this too shall end. The storytelling that has always been with fashion, is now intensified with all the fashion films and is the means to disconnecting, dreaming, escaping, and living in the story of a collection for a little while.”
Read Next: Celebrity-Loved Lebanese Label Azzi & Osta Launches its Online Store

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