By Asma and Reem

Ingenious Fashion: Viktor and Rolf

With a background of conceptual, high-defining aesthetics, Viktor and Rolf has been regarded as fashion's daring designer duo. Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeder both met at the Arnhem Academy of Art & Design, while studying there in 1993. Although usually showing in Paris Fashion Week, the brand is based in Amsterdam. While we're not fans of their new comeback couture collections, the designers have always fascinated us with their concepts and their design aesthetic. With their S/S 2010 collection, crowds were treated to a set of tulle gowns, that were explicably hacked at with a chainsaw. You can obviously see the effect of this move; the dresses were something out of a fantasy. A powder blue gown was cut in half, with six inches between the upper and lower part. It was as if the model was floating on the runway! "With the credit crunch and everybody cutting back, we decided to cut tulle ball gowns," said Snoeren of the clever move. 

Indeed, the Dutch duo have been famously noted for not playing it safe with their collections, a trait that sets them apart from their counterparts. Before going commercial, critics praised their their very first few collections, like the "Russian Doll". It was back in 1998 when they held an "unauthorised" show during Paris Fashion Week, debuting their F/W 1999 collection. Standing on a moving small pedestal, Maggie Rizer was dressed by the designers themselves throughout the show, layering dress upon dress from their collection. Their approach? Attracting press. What we really loved about the situation was its individuality, uniqueness, and standout ideal. The performance was unlike anything we've ever seen before; not even present designers have come up with anything close to their idea. It was most certainly the highlight of that season. 

"Couture for us, it's really a laboratory: it's total freedom, where we can do whatever we want. Whether it’s dressing one girl, or creating a Zen garden, it's an outlet for our creativity. It’s art for art's sake." -Rolf Snoeren

Olivia Palermo for Aquazurra

We've spotted New York's "It Girl" Olivia Palermo strutting in a pair of Aquazurra's at nearly every red-carpet event, so it's no wonder that the Florence-based label decided to collaborate with the one-time reality star. The label's founder and creative director Edgardo Osorio says of Palermo:

"Olivia and I have a very similar vision of shoes. She is a real style icon and has amazing knowledge about shoes and accessories. We wanted to create a capsule collection of the style every woman needs in her closet, interpreted with the Aquazurra aesthetic and seen through the eyes of Olivia". 

The collection consists of six pieces: suede black boots that go over the knee with a snakeskin heel(our favourite!), metallic leather sandals, grey suede ankle boots, jewelled sandals, lace-up gladiator sandals, and black pumps. This is what Palermo calls "the survival pack", and frankly, we couldn't agree more. It's really important to have shoes that will come in handy with every occasion- ones you can totally depend on. Definitely her best collaboration yet! 

"The Aquazurra aesthetic very much fits my own, so it made sense to collaborate with my good friend Edgardo," said Palermo. "I think it is no secret that I love a good shoe, so I very much enjoyed creating a 'survival pack' for every occasion and women of all ages."

The collection will be available in 12 stores only and on Net-a-Porter. Mark your calendars folks!

Vintage Chanel Ads: Old is Gold

By Reem

Back in the reigning days of the original supermodels, Chanel ads were pretty cool. Not that I'm saying present campaigns are dull or anything, but the past ones were simply avant garde. From the jewellery to the No.5 perfume, each and every image presented vivid colours, and a story. You have Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista, wearing canary-yellow blazers and pitch black sunglasses, maybe having a conversation? These kinds of ads reach out to all women, a relaxed vibe that is relatable. Yet the luxurious quality of Chanel is spectacled around these ads, the small details never losing touch. According to Karl: "Fashion is a language that creates itself in clothes to interpret reality". Indeed, reality was certainly interpreted ever so clearly. The fast paced conversation exchanged between the Chanel ladies is surely endless. Bravo, Kaiser Karl!

Ingenious Fashion: Christophe Josse

It's a fact: the best haute couture designers come from Paris, and only Paris. As lovely as it sounds, these haute couture designers most likely had a jarful of work to get to where they supposedly are now. For Christophe Josse, it took six years until the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture granted him a permanent member status, which enables him to bear the "Haute Couture" label for his eponymous brand. But enough about that, let's talk about the designer's aesthetic. Josse seems to have displayed a tendency to create very feminine dresses, whether it was for the day or the evening. Not to mention, his shows are subtle, yet exciting all the same. For his Autumn 2012-2013 show, he played "Hot Knife" by Fiona Apple and sent models down the runway in flowing gowns or black body-con mini-dresses. One of the latter that caught our eye featured a gold medallion belt and an ostrich feathered skirt. It's safe to say that we were sent into a trance, quiet unsure of ourselves but practically stunned by the sight of those dresses.

The same can be said for the Autumn 2013-2014 show, as the collection began with an ivory palette; a bit of light brown and pale pink here and there. The deep silks were offset by drapes, shawls and intricate floral embroideries. Structures were very similar to Mongolian costumes, paired with long wooden beaded necklaces, or crocheted white beanies. It was, we have to admit, a heavenly affair. Josse was imaginative with his vision for the collection and managed to portray it from an appealing angle. 

It's unfortunate that the Parisian designer isn't getting as much attention like heavy-weights Valentino or Elie Saab. Though the looks from his collections are minimal compared to others, they still maintain beauty. Like they say, quality overrules quantity.