Demystifying the fashionable trends of 2006With new labels and products to please entering each ephemeral season, the life of the fashionable and the luxurious seems all too complicated.
Are you undecided between a Mexican satchel and a hemp weekend bag, or should you buy a silver bangle on sale or rather invest in an antique Roman cross? Do you feel somewhat unsure about inviting a very important client to Bali? Or, is it a good time to upgrade your mobile phone? How hip is your favorite wine bar anyway?
Here, our Fashion/Luxury compilation can simplify your choices ― for the fashion/luxury calendar of 2006.
For Gucci’s 2006-2007 ready-to-wear collection, Frida Giannini, who recently took the helm of the company, whetted the appetites of fashionistas for the upcoming look by previewing the latest in “greed-is-good” glamour.
Inspired by her own vintage LP collection and the glitterati of glam-rock fashion, the designer produced a luxurious buffet of outfits. Everyone noticed the mannish suits ― sharply tailored jackets over leggy wide pants ― shining in liquid gold and bronze, as shown above. Vibrant colors ― in red, purple and green ― maxed out in sparkling sequins and metallic beads over graphic and animal patterns ― snake and leopard in particular ― suggest that mainstream fashion will remain, at least for a while, in the 1980s, the era of over-the-top fashion.
Casual chic for everyday consists of full and voluminous blouses (think Victorian fancy) made with ethereally light materials (silk chiffon, viscose jersey or cotton eyelet), while pants remain long and anorexic (John Taylor of Duran Duran in the band’s heyday), as suggested by Dior’s ready-to-wear line, below left. That explains why upscale boutiques and department stores around the world have sold out of the most coveted and pricey jeans ― Superfine, Acne, Sass & Bide, The Habitual ― in small sizes, as well as basic leggings. Skinny jeans, fashion magazines advise, are ideal for women who wear smaller than a size 27. For large framed bodies to achieve the fashionably correct look, dark leggings under skirts and dresses do the trick.
Fashion in 2006 has reached new towering heights ― literally. This year, leading fashion houses, from Christian Louboutin and Lanvin to Prada [above and below], have introduced gaudy platform shoes whose wedge or chunky heels are getting higher each week. They may not be practical on sidewalks or subways but sure can start up interesting conversations.
This season’s concept behind a trendy Amazon’s best friends ― shoes and bags ― is a drag queen’s day out. While shoes are dangerously high, five-inches going on seven, the bag, whether made with eco-friendly hemp or genuine crocodile, should have enough room for an entire make-up and hairstyling set, a change of outfit (or two), comfortable shoes and more. Seriously, a super-trendy woman strutting in her latest $790 platform heels does need a pair of ballet flats stuffed into her bag, just in case she can’t find a taxi home.
Sporting a T-shirt to a red-carpet function used to be a faux pas reserved for lazy jocks or rude rockers. Not anymore.
The latest must-haves that fit the “hip and demure” theme are T-shirts that instantly impart rock-chic cool. T-shirts that ooze attitude are in fact not easy to find, that is, unless you understand the fashion language of today. That’s probably why luxury brands, such as Balenciaga and Dolce & Gabbana, above, got street-wise by showing casual T-shirts against $3,000 suits in their recent runway collections.
Buying designer-label casual is costly, when a keen eye can find sexy cool styles at street vendors, online or at secondhand stores. That’s the reason d’etre (and economics) of fashion. If you don’t understand it, pay the designer to do it for you.
High-fashion designers like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano obviously rejoiced at the return of rock’n’roll and pushed the “badness” further. John Galliano’s Christian Dior Haute Couture show earlier this year, above, was full of dark designs in bloody red and deadly black, set off by big, bold crucifix medallions.
When the actress Halle Berry wore a drop-dead gorgeous gown that strategically covered and uncovered her delicious body to Academy Award events, the dresses got the world talking. The media frenzy on both occasions firmly registered the previously unknown designer Elie Saab from Lebanon in the lexicon of fashion.
Since then, a legion of fashion designers from territories considered far from glamorous have joined the fashion force. Over the past few seasons, New York fashion’s latest flame has been Doo-Ri Chung, a Korean-born designer, above, whose ethereal jersey dresses have graced editorials of major fashion magazines.
In the London Collections, Manish Arora, a native of India, caught the eyes of fashion critics with his sparkling outfits that combined the designer’s Hindu origin and European sentiment.
Be sure to watch also for the future of Rosanda Illincic from Serbia, whose past five elegant collections in London have already placed her in the market’s most prestigious spot, between Lanvin and Viktor & Rolf.
Hair and wallets aside, thin is still in. Not only are Hedi Slimane’s suits getting thinner, but also accessories such as mobile phones. Global producers Motorola and Samsung are perennially neck-and-neck in unveiling the newest “the-thinner-the-better” technology.
Motorola’s Razr is currently slim and sleek, but will soon be topped when Samsung’s brand-new SGH-P300 ― “The Card” ― hits the market in the near future. At just 8.9 mm thick, the phone, shown above, just slightly thicker than a credit card, is a tri-band world phone with a built-in MP3 player and 1.3-megapixel camera with a video-recording function. At around $600-700, the phone is currently available in Europe and will be later this year in the United States and Korea.
Between Seoul and Dubai, the airline’s best offer at the moment is a daily non-stop service from Incheon Airport departing at 23:55 to arrive at Dubai International Airport at 05:10 Korea time, bringing the total flight time to 10 hours and 15 minutes.
Emirates Airlines flies an A340-300 plane with a spacious First Class cabin equipped with just 12 sleeper seats set in a 2-2-2 configuration. The seats are spaced 2.2 meters (86 inches) apart, and can be reclined up to 38 centimeters (18 inches). Seven-course meals, accompanied by an extensive range of award-winning wines, are individually prepared by master chefs, plus entertainment is available through a choice of 15 TV, 22 audio and 18 interactive games channels.
Checking in to Dubai’s famous Burj Al Arab Hotel has also been upgraded ― a helicopter collects guests from the airport’s VIP lounge and drops them on top of the hotel for a fee of 2,337,120 won ($2,450) each way.
The Burj Al Arab Hotel, designed to resemble a billowing sail, above, soars to a height of 321 meters. The 202 hotel suites, arranged over two floors, range from 169 square meters to 780 square meters in size. Each room features floor-to-ceiling glass windows with breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf and includes the services of a private butler to ensure every need is met.
Return flights from Dubai depart daily, with the travel time less than 9 hours. Currently there are no special packages from Seoul to Dubai.
Reporting by Brett Stewart
The reason behind such rarity is simple: Supply is small while demand is high. The good news is that two local importers have brought the wine to Korea. The vintages to look for are the 1999 and 2002. Bourgogne is available in three grades: gran cru, premiere cru and village. A bottle of village costs around 100,000 won, while the premiere cru is over 200,000 won. A bottle of rare Gran Cru cost from 300,000 won to millions.
“Pinot Noir is one of the most difficult [grape] varieties to produce, but when it is done well, it is truly memorable,” said Tom Shelton, the CEO of Joseph Phelps Insignia wines, who visited Seoul for a trade event earlier this month. To Mr. Shelton, a bottle of the 1996 Clos de Tart Pinot Noir exhibits the perfect taste of an exceptional Pinot Noir. Joseph Phelps’ own Pinot Noir, made in Sonoma County, California, is due in 2008.
by Ines Cho