It’s not enough to refer to Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren’s creations as simply fashion. Rather, they undoubtedly produce stunning works of art, and their couture collections often blur the lines between wearable fashion and art. This differentiates the Dutch designers from other prominent fashion houses, as the pieces from their bold collections would not be seen on the typical celebrity at the red carpet.
Every collection has a unique theme that may reflect current events and is completely embodied by the unsubtle designs which never fail to intrigue an audience. For Viktor & Rolf, a jacket is not just a jacket and a dress is not just a dress; they are individual creations of art and nothing less.
I had the pleasure of viewing many of their creations at the Viktor & Rolf exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. It was an insightful display of their work which successfully brings attention to their exciting artistry.
These Dutch designers are proof that fashion can be an art form.
When I was five, my eyes would be glued to the television during the ‘Can’t get you out of my head’ video. I admired Kylie’s array of cheeky outfits (who can forget that white number that resembled a bed sheet) and exciting choreography accompanying the infectious beat. To me she has always appeared as a cool, sexy princess who would know what to do in any situation, and I think that was conveyed through the fabulous costumes she wore while performing.
I was able to see plenty of her incredible costumes at the Melbourne Arts Centre ‘Kylie on Stage’ exhibition where admission is free. It showcased outfits from her first tour in 1989 and until her Kylie Aphrodite Les Folies in 2011 – and it is clear that costumes have been a big thing with Kylie. Every tour had a specific theme, and the gorgeous outfits expressed the theme she wanted to capture with the help of powerhouse designers Jean Paul Gaultier, Dolce and Gabbana, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano and Australian designers Peter Morrissey and Mark Burnett. Some of the costumes were eccentric and loud, others were glamorous and classy, and others resembled an ancient Greek goddess. There is one thing for sure: a pop princess must always have an out-of-this-world wardrobe.
Here are just some of her beautiful and bold outfits featured in chronological order.
When I was enviously staring at these creations, it was like I was a child again. Some of these outfits were constructed out of the most exquisite fabrics and embellished by Swarovski crystals and stunning pearls. I would literally do anything to try on some of these pieces, just so I could feel like a highly successful pop princess. Oh well, maybe in my next life.
The Kylie on Stage exhibition only runs until January 22 at the Arts Centre Melbourne, so make sure you see it before it leaves! x
On a bitterly cold winter’s evening in Melbourne, my family and I attended The Dressmaker 1950’s party at Rippon Lea estate. The Dressmaker is a book-turned-movie starring Kate Winslet and is set in rural Australia in the 1950’s. Its poignant and often unexpected storyline was immensely entertaining, however the costume designs by the award-winning designers Margot Wilson and Marion Boyce truly brought the aesthetic appeal.
The Dressmaker costume exhibition has been on display since April and will continue until 31 July, and it was a real treat to be able to experience it when an exclusive 1950’s pop-up bar evening was hosted. Not only was everyone required to dress in 1950’s attire, but there was even a band playing 50’s music in the ballroom to enhance the old-fashioned setting. The main reason why I wanted to go was to see the breathtaking costumes, of course.
The costumes showcase some of the best design elements of the 1950’s, including plenty of glamour and gorgeous fabrics. If you haven’t yet seen the film I would recommend it purely for the delightful costumes, and if you are in Melbourne I would urge you to see them for yourself! Stay tuned for my next post on what I wore to the event. x
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I was the quintessential wannabe princess in my early years when I would don my princess dresses, tulle skirts and tiaras whilst dancing to the dreamy tunes of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Never mind whether I was playing in my bedroom or walking up to the coffee shop with mum; a full skirt with the corresponding jewellery, bags, wands and glittering tiaras would always be in order. And apparently you can never take the princess out of the girl (minus the magic wand and tiara) as full tulle skirts and fabulous accessories are exactly what I want to be wearing nowadays too.
The tulle skirt has made a comeback since Autumn 2015 on the streets with fabulous results. The femininity of the skirt can be contrasted with leather to create a tough-girl look, matched with wool and knits to cater for winter, and worn with denim to downplay the formality of tulle to offer a day-appropriate outfit. No longer should it be aligned with tiaras and sparkling bodices, because the opportunities for versatility don’t solely resign it for wear at a royal ball. The tulle skirt, as of recently, has been unleashed.
I found a relatively inexpensive one at a chain store and thought ‘why not?’ It resurrected so many childhood memories. On a day out in the city I wore it with a simple black and white stripped sleeveless top, a vintage leather choker and a contemporary clutch bag my sister bought for me on her travels in Europe. Oh, and a new haircut I recently coerced myself into having.
With my newly-short hair, princess skirt and continued love for Disney musical scores, it almost feels like I haven’t grown up. But I suppose my previous career plans to become a princess and marry Aladdin have changed dramatically.
Shoes: Forever New
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It has been a little late, but I just finished watching the entire series of Gossip Girl in the space of about three months. I was pretty into it and not because of the superb acting or completely realistic drama plots, but due to the amazing fashion I was exposed to in every episode. Although they may not have been great people, Serena Van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf were the ultimate style queens who I most definitely bowed down to. With their Chanel this and Prada that, those ladies tossed me into a great big pool of green envy I would never be able to escape from. And there is no doubt that Serena Van der Woodsen was the object of the majority of that envy from girls around the world. So to demonstrate my appreciation of her unwavering beauty and formidable fashion, I compiled a top ten list of my favourite formal fashion she wore through-out the entire series. You may acknowledge that it was not an easy task to undertake. So, in no particular order:
The dress that made Dan Humphrey fall in love with Serena Van der Woodsen. She established herself as the golden girl in Pamela Dennis couture, and undoubtedly the best dressed at that ball.
Looking like an ethereal rockstar with the waist embellishment and tulle skirt with the varied length.
Grecian gowns will always be in fashion, particularly with the modern twist of the thigh split and grey sandal heels. Oh S, why were you such a grecian goddess?
You can never put a foot wrong when wearing a black, sleeveless long gown with a hint of sparkles. Instant class and seduction.
Zuhair Murad created a masterpiece with this transparent grey lace dress. The satin sash provides a unique and elegant touch which perfectly balances out the intricate lace.
Fierce and fresh gown by Jenny Packham. That aquamarine beading is on point. At first I found the peek-a-boo at the front slightly distasteful, but eventually I decided that it compliments the long sleeves and the entire visual of the dress is gorgeous.
Perhaps even overshadowing the bride herself, Serena looked like a high-class couture model in this ivory pink chiffon gown as a maid of honour. That one-shoulder touch practically makes the gown.
Is there a colour she can’t wear? This periwinkle blue gown looks fairytale-esque with the frilled bottom of the transparent skirt and blue flowers decorating the bust and waist area.
So simple, yet so elegant with the subtle lace and faced yellow. The belt offers a modern touch to a feminine gown.
….And she always remained the golden girl in Georges Chakra. It’s only fitting that she married the love of her life in gold, the colour that caught Dan’s heart. Yes that was cringingly corny, but so is the whole of Gossip Girl. After six seasons of fantastically bad drama it was sure to rub off on me. Ahh, that golden train. Probably constructed from real gold, too.
So, what are your thoughts on my top 10? Did I miss any staggeringly gorgeous S moments? Let me know in the comments below!
Making films is an art. Making fashion is an art. Combining the two can often be ground-breaking. The following movies (in no particular order) are some of my favourite costume movies which have drawn out an inaudible sigh from my mouth before I fainted in awe:
In addition to having, in my opinion, one of the best costume designs, it is also one of the best musical movies of all time. Catherine Martin designed the costumes for this dazzling Baz Lurhmann film, so it really was a joint effort in making this film as visually appealing as it is.
There are Can Can skirts, sequinned corsets and magnificent head pieces. There are top hats, tinkerbell, and dangerous absinthe. I would not be able to pinpoint exactly which one of Satine’s outfits (played by Nicole Kidman) I love the most, so please don’t ask. However, if I had to suggest favourites, I would say the silver glittery outfit worn in ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’, and the Hindi wedding dress. Oh, how I long to play dress-ups with her costumes!
I even had a crack at one of her outfits for my last birthday!
The Great Gatsby
Another Baz Luhrmann creation accompanied by the enchanting costume powers of Catherine Martin. The Great Gatsby exudes a tasteful level of flamboyance and class with the amazing costume designs. The men looked dapper and the ladies were flappers, representing the economically prosperous and carefree times of the roaring 20’s.
Like Moulin Rouge, this film was a pleasure to watch for the costumes alone, and not just for Leo D’s breathtaking facial structure. Any costume with a dropped waist and intricate embroidery is a yes from me.
The Devil Wears Prada
The most satisfying part of this film is watching Andrea undergo her style transformation, and it is satisfying for several reasons. First we realise that under her cerulean-jumper-wearing-grandma-skirt-loving self, she finally succumbs to the wraths of the fashion industry and is smart enough to take advantage of the designer-filled wardrobe available to her. She also looks super hot. Then she learns what an eye-lash curler is under embarrassing circumstances, and the audience acknowledges that this is the beginning of some pretty fabulous outfits. Who doesn’t love the scene where it shows her in different outfits as she cooly struts to work in the mornings?
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Set in the London prior to World War II, a somewhat destitute governess, Miss Pettigrew stumbles into the tempestuous world of high society. Wealth, the 1930’s, and romance equals classic fashion. Amy Adams shines in her role as a singer-actress and appears admirably elegant through-out the movie. She showed me that matching hats and gloves are the ultimate way to achieve style.
Unfortunately I wasn’t a fan of the movie itself, but I appreciated the costume designs immensely. It was colourful, flamboyant and exciting to look at. Cate Blanchett looked flawless in every scene and Cinderella’s ball scene almost made me cry with anticipation. The men’s distractingly tight pants brought some giggles. If it wasn’t for the overload of corniness, I would have fallen in love with the film. If I could rock a poofy blue dress as well as she could, I most definitely would.
So, what are you favourite costume movies? I’m really eager to know!