Paris Fashion Week Fall 2015 - Tap into the trends

The frenetic but on-trend to-ing and ‘FROWing’ of this year’s Fashion Weeks continues on a chic European note with Paris Fashion Week Menswear and Haute Couture (June 24 – 28: Menswear Spring Summer 2016, July 05 – 10: Haute Couture Fall Winter 2015/2016). All sartorial eyes shift from the slick stylings of Milan to the classic ‘grande-dame’ that is Paris in Fashion Week season once again.

Before thoughts turn to the boys, and to the lucky few around the world who consider themselves part of the sanctified world of ‘haute’, let’s look back at some highlights of Paris Fashion Week Ready to Wear Fall 2015 to get an idea of what the fashion world will be lusting to add to their wardrobes next season.

Nicolas Ghesquiere at Louis Vuitton was in a futuristic state of mind, with sleek white furs and cool metallic accessories sent down the runway (not to mention lust-worthy Vuitton mini steamer trunk bags, which are sure to be a huge hit in the accessories department).

Alexander McQueen was, at first sight at least, a more backward-looking collection, with Sarah Burton seemingly in a haunted mood. But while the styling of the show saw the models made up in heavy white powder, pursed rosebud lips and backcombed, piled-up hair reminiscent of the French Revolution (fitting given that the show was held in the Hall of the Guards of the Conciergerie where Marie Antoinette was held prisoner), the looks were of course far from old-fashioned. There were super-tight caged leather jackets, body-con bustiers and a highly skilled use of applique which looked as modern as the models looked ghostly.

Saint Laurent’s ‘Pretty Boy’ collection was unadulterated punk, with Hedi Slimane being as unapologetic about purloining from the past this time as he was with last seasons blatant nod to the 70s.

Meanwhile Lagerfeld at Chanel was as Parisian as Café society itself, and in fact this was exactly where he got his inspiration, with the show taking place in the fictitious Brasserie Gabrielle where patrons were served continental breakfast watching stylish confections which could only be Chanel. There was no pushing new boundaries here – look out for tweed, suits, the iconic Camelia flower and Bardot-like 60s styling. But if anyone can revisit classics in Paris Fashion Week and get away with it, surely it’s the house of Chanel.

The prize for the most headline-grabbing show goes to Valentino, if not for the actual clothes. With the movie Zoolander 2 out soon, the runway was graced with the Blue Steel of Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson), proving at long last that the fashion world can laugh at itself. As for the clothes, there was a beautiful and consolidated collection behind the jokes, at times minimal and at others embellished, but always confident and exquisitely crafted.

Those who think a Fall wardrobe means having to ditch the colour and prints of summer will have been heartened to see the cornucopia of brights and varied textures from the Miu Miu show, which closed out the Fall 2015 collections. Miuccia Prada continued on in the ‘more is more’ vein that we’ve come to expect of her lately, with costume jewellery piled on to leopard print and patent. Only Ms Prada could make it look so right.

And for us mere mortals who can’t afford a top-to-toe designer wardrobe this Fall, fear not. It won’t take long for these latest fashions to filter down to the high street so that we can all get involved in this latest treasure trove of trends from the finest creative minds of the designers we love.

Wondering how to make all this work with your existing wardrobe? Then take advantage of our personal shopper services in London and you’ll know you’ve tapped into the latest trends while making it work for the life that you lead.

Shikkuu Guides joins forces with Hilary Alexander and Marks & Spencer for new style sessions

To say that Hilary Alexander has been a definitive style force - and an inspiration to many a personal stylist in London - over the years, is something of an understatement. This is a lady who, over her long tenure as Fashion Director of The Daily Telegraph, from which she retired in 2011, has done everything from serve as an over-50s fashion agony aunt, to appearing regularly on TV, including on GMTV, Lorraine Kelly's show, BBC Breakfast, various BBC and Channel 4 documentaries and BBC2's Style Challenge. Now, most excitingly of all, she's joined forces with Shikkuu Guides!

How so? Well, the New Zealand-born journalist earlier this year became the new Fashion Consultant for the per una range at Marks & Spencer, answering customers' fashion queries on the M&S website in addition to curating special edits of key outfits from the range over the course of the season. 'Hilary's Edit' can be seen and purchased online, as well as in M&S high street stores. Customers can presently ask Hilary for advice when they sign up to per una Privilege, which also enables them to access member-only offers, exclusive news on per una and fashion and beauty inspiration.

The role of your favourite fashion stylists in London, Shikkuu Guides, in all of this is that we'll be joining M&S as they organise style sessions in a number of stores. The aim is to promote the appointment of Hillary, make the most of her fashion credentials, showcase the new per una collections and - of course - make some people feel a little more confident in their fashion choices. Hilary will host the roadshow, while assisting her as co-host will be our very own Priscilla Poon, the owner of Shikkuu Guides.

Showing that the reach of Shikkuu Guides extends far beyond providing the most capable stylists in London, Hilary and Priscilla will be at four locations throughout October: the Braehead store in Renfrew, Scotland on the 17th, the Cheshire Oaks store on the 19th, the Cribbs Causeway store near Bristol on 24th October and the Bluewater store in Kent on the 26th of the month. So why not join us for a style session, and discover how the latest per una lines could flatter your figure, make you bang on trend and find pride of place in your wardrobe... all while being gentle to your wallet?

Alternatively, if you can't make it, feel free to get in touch with Shikkuu Guides in the usual way in the English capital, to find out precisely what a style and image session, wardrobe review, colour consultation or make up lesson could do for your confidence when you next walk down the street. You might even fancy engaging our personal shopper services in London to find the latest and greatest fashions from the per una range, in your local Marks & Spencer store.

The Berkeley relaunches uniforms with a little help from Shikkuu Guides

In the exclusive West London district of Knightsbridge, in Wilton Place, can be found a similarly exclusive establishment, The Berkeley. This five star deluxe hotel began life some 300 years ago as a coffee house on the corner of Piccadilly and Berkeley Street, and moved to its present home in the 1970s. Distinguishing the new building was one of the few rooftop pools in London - which has now been joined by the new Bamford Haybarn spa. This is where the leading provider of personal shopper services in London, Shikkuu Guides, comes in.

Shikkuu Guides owner Priscilla Poon has been working with the prestigious hotel on a relaunch of the uniforms for all of its staff, including therapists and personal trainers as well as food and beverage attendants. The aim is to bring the look in line with that of its brand new spa, for which the partnership with Bamford was struck up. The Berkeley Health Club and Spa is a major development for the luxury hotel, and Bamford treatments - encompassing the likes of body signature treatments, deep tissue massages, de-stress massages, fully body exfoliations and upper body and facial treatments - are at the centre of it.

Certainly, The Berkeley has got used to meeting high expectations over its many generations of operation, from the late Victorian years in which it became popular with debutantes and their beaus, to much more recent years, such as in 1998 when one of the most renowned chefs on the planet, Pierre Koffmann, moved his legendary La Tante Claire restaurant from Chelsea to The Berkeley. Fast-forward to 2011, and the hotel became the home of the Ferrari Atelier, the first standalone atelier outside Italy, enabling customers to design their dream supercar. It soon became clear to our fashion stylists in London, that The Berkeley would prove a demanding customer of its own.

The resultant uniforms more than meet the brief, being organic, yet slightly urban, in line with The Berkeley's status as a city luxury hotel. Every one of our stylists in London who worked on this project is proud of the outcome, and to have served such a prestigious client. But of course, Shikkuu Guides isn't just here to cater for internationally renowned brands and establishments, also helping ordinary people like yourself, male or female, who want to look great and feel more confident as a result of the complete and suitably tailored fashion makeover.

Contact Priscilla or one of her team today, to book your own session from a range including wardrobe reviews, personal shopper trips, colour consultations, make up lessons and more. It's the perfect chance to find out for yourself why Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com) has established such a formidable reputation, among even the most illustrious clients, for the best fashion makeover services in central London.

Pleats, parallel lines and the shirtdress... just some of the highlights of Paris Fashion Week

Now that we've had a good look at the general state of fashion on our own small island for the coming spring/summer season, courtesy of London Fashion Week, let's now turn our attentions to events in the world of style on the other side of the English Channel. Naturally, we're referring to Paris Fashion Week, and there were more than a few hints of what you may don yourself this coming season, when you seek a little assistance from the personal shopper services in London that we offer here at Shikkuu Guides.

Of course, if you just wanted to do some celeb-spotting and marvel at all of the most exotic fashions from labels a long way out of your own budget, Paris was a pretty good place to be. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian turned up to the launch of Givenchy's ready-to-wear collection, while there were also plenty of world-famous fashionistas at the Chanel show, where Miranda Kerr and Cara Delevingne turned heads flaunting a triumphant country chic collection, characterised by powder blues and bluish pinks.

West and Kardashian will no doubt have been wooed by the Givenchy show's outrageous five car pile-up on the catwalk, prior to the emergence of the models in tribal glitter masks made from Swarovski crystals. Jean Paul Gaultier's show wasn't exactly understated either, with the runway turning into a dance floor on which Karlie Kloss and Coco Rocha strutted their stuff. It all left our stylists in London desperate to just see some clothes, and there were some pretty good ones on show from the likes of Dior, Louis Vuitton, Celine, Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney and basically any other internationally renowned fashion label or designer that you may care to mention.

In seeing everything, there were a fair few trends that our fashion stylists in London were able to pick out. First of all, minimalism is out, and the iconic knife-edge pleat of Japanese designer Issey Miyake is definitely in, making an appearance on skirts, gowns and even laser-cut leather, diagonally and vertically as well as paired with silk, in addition to with tulle. Meanwhile, those who want to look skinny with their chosen fashions may just be inspired by the resurgence of the vertical line, with no shortage of athletic and op-art influences apparent in the big, bold stripes pounding Parisian catwalks this autumn.

Nor could any style advisor in London of ours have failed to notice a curious combination of casual fashions and heavy metals like gold, platinum, bronze and copper. Somehow, we doubt that you'll be using a 24-carat dress as a lazy afternoon T-shirt any time soon. A bit more realistic as a fashion piece for Shikkuu Guides clients is surely the shirtdress, which feels akin to a thrown-on shirt from your boyfriend's drawer. It's a little unconventional, a little short and leaves you a little exposed, perhaps showing how buttoned-up isn't always... buttoned-up.

 

Why the ‘80s could be the perfect focus for your next fashion makeover

Let’s face it: when people talk about something being “straight out of the ‘80s”, it isn’t always complementary. Whether they’re referring to your mobile phone or home décor, the decade so often conjures up images of ill-advised brashness and excess. The same has often been said of the fashion of the time – not for no reason was the ‘80s described as the decade that style forgot. In theory, then, does this period offer much hope as a source of inspiration for your fashion makeover, even if you are getting help from Shikkuu Guides?

Actually, our answer would be a resounding yes. This is, after all, a pretty fascinating, if tumultuous decade for prospective clients of stylists in London to study. With Margaret Thatcher in power on this side of the pond and Ronald Reagan seizing the American presidency in ‘81, the free love of the ‘70s was firmly over – hastened by the emergence of AIDS/HIV. Economic policies in major Western nations became laissez-faire once more, while the widespread famine in Ethiopia led to high profile fundraising efforts like the Live Aid concert in 1985.

Indeed, any prospective client of our fashion stylists in London only needs to look at the guest list of that concert to identify a few of the bona fide style icons that emerged in that decade. Among those on stage was Madonna, whose explosion to prominence with hits like “Material Girl” and “Like a Virgin” drew attention to what would become enduring motifs of ‘80s style – from her pink, dyed hair and torn stockings to string vest and multiple bangles. Neon brights, studded jewellery and denim pencil skirts are among the Queen of Pop’s ‘80s fashion staples which have come back into fashion in recent years, albeit withn a suitably early 21st century twist.

Few women could come near Madonna for outrageousness as the ‘80s progressed, but one undoubted rival on that front was Jamaican singer, actress and supermodel Grace Jones, who complemented her prodigious height of almost six feet and razor-sharp cheekbones with a power dressing, giant shoulder pad look that seemed to scream ‘80s. Grace completely fit the bill of the stronger, edgier woman who was emerging at this time, collaborating with some of the greats of art and fashion such as Andy Warhol and Jean Paul Goude, as well as being a suitably villainous Bond girl in A View to a Kill.

Demi Moore, Christy Turlington, Princess Diana and Stephanie Seymour were just some of the many other women proving that the ‘80s were far from a fashion wilderness, and that’s before you consider men like Rick James, Morrissey and the suitably ‘blinged’ BA Baracus, better known as the A-Team’s Mr T. Thankfully, recent reinterpretations of ‘80s styles do tend to be more tasteful than the originals, but the period is nonetheless a rich mine of inspiration for major fashion labels.