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Dear Coco

But first,

Oh darling-dear Coco, it’s been a while since our thoughts has last intertwined. And by “a while”, I mean a while’s time enhanced by the change of seasons.

Yes, November, the notorious month where fashion tends to steal some of Mother Nature’s finest prints and vibrant colors. Spring once again seizes the imagination of designers with its rich colors and organic shapes hidden in floral silhouettes. With the summer air starting to nibble on the heels of spring, the fashion industry is preparing for its most exciting and festive season. While the rest of us are inhaling spring and preparing for summer’s arrival, the “fashion bee’s” are passionately transforming their spring-inspired ideas into honey-golden garments. Tropical prints, floral patterns, pastel shades and fresh-cut shapes are all being manifested on the pages of newly spring-inspired magazines. Gradually clothing boutiques are stocking up fresh styles and trends born from runway’s spring-revival. I always find it mesmerizing how fashion, season-after-season, never stops creating new possibilities. With autumn’s dazzling presentation of multi-mixed textures and monochrome looks, it seemed impossible to think that spring would be able to top such statement pieces (for instance Giambattista Valli’s puffed-up ombre skirts or Chanel’s preppy palette-fun prints and Haute Couture Silhouettes ), but reflecting on what New York fashion week had to offer, we’re all in for a big surprise.

Chanel A/W Haute Couture Paris Fashion Week 2014

Giambattista Valli A/W Haute Couture Paris Fashion Week

Spring has always been my favorite season. This is not just because of my intense love affair with flowers, but also because of the golden opportunities spring has to offer. Spring, being the season of change where all that was once bare and cold now is blooming in vibrant life, Elle South Africa joins in the purifying process by welcoming the heels of their new editor, Emilie Gambade. At first when the news came to me that my ultimate idol of life, Jackie Burger, were to be leaving her post as Elle editor, I was devastated, doubting the future of Elle, the future of South Africa’s fashion community. But to my surprise, Emilie Gambade seems to have more than just pixie dust up her sleeve. I sense a hint of diamond dust.

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A few days ago, calmly collected within my happy place (the duck-green chair in my room, planted in a spot of sunshine), I repeated my monthly ritual by simpering on a cup of black coffee while inspecting my newest Elle. It was then when the editors’ letter tripped a switch in my brain.  In this particular issue, Emilie Gambade reflected on happiness. It might be slightly clichéd topic as it is one of the many things we daily preach ourselves about, but so there must be reason to all the go-abouts.

In life, everybody, admit it or not, is on a constant search to discovering the ideal of life. This milestone event is partnered with happiness. Once happiness is harvested within one’s soul, it is easier to discover what truly defines one.  This letter left me feeling inspired to embrace all the opportunities spring has to offer. It made me realise once again you are in control of your own destiny. Happiness is not a deserved treat for those who choose work hard and fake love, it is choice ruled by the gift of life. Let no one stand in your way of happiness and let no one ever take it away from you. Your happiness it worth far more than anyone’s opinion. They’ve got nothing on you.

So dear Coco, I challenge you to passionately fall in love with spring. Where you go, wear your soul, what you do, do it spontaneously and what you say, say it with meaning. Don’t be afraid to make impulsive decisions and experimental changes, life’s too precious to  for living in stationary luck. Move to the edge, take a leap of faith and wear that printed dress. Thank your stars for leading the way and thank God for giving you another day. And if you have to wait for something to bloom out of you, then wait patiently. If it never does bloom out of you

then just do something else.

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Fresh off the runway

CHANEL: Report

CHANEL

SPRING/SUMMER 2014-15

from the 

READY-TO-WEAR COLLECTION:

by KARL LAGERFELD

The Spring-Summer 2015 Ready-to-Wear show transported us to a typical Parisian boulevard miraculously erected under the glass dome of the Grand Palais, where 80 models casually strolled past the “boulevard Chanel’s” facades while donning the collection’s myriad looks.

The collection is decidedly optimistic and rich with a variety of propositions that Karl Lagerfeld used to set the tone right from the start: these Chanel women are free-spirited and daring; they progress far beyond mere social norms; they are independent, modern and active, in the very image of Gabrielle Chanel. Firmly rooted in their day and age, they walk the streets of major cities with long, confident strides.

With their tweed pantsuits accessorised by vibrant silk neckties, these professional women are a perfect blend of masculine and feminine. Their elegant, comfortable style is inspired by menswear with double-breasted blazers and boxy jackets, cuffed wide-leg trousers and flat boots. The base remained feminine however, through a palette of vibrant colors (orange, pink, purple, blue, green) and flamboyant prints (florals, watercolor prints) interpreted on blouses, neckties and scarves, as well as boots and loafers. The skirt suit was paired with printed fabric boots; soft, flowing blouses were punctuated with a pointed, elongated collar, and a tennis stripe adorned generous cuffed bermuda shorts to give them an urban flair. Open derby shoes closed by an ankle strap appeared in gold and black leather, black and white leather, as well as black satin versions. Chanel’s iconic colors of black, white and navy served as the foundation of this easy-to-wear wardrobe.

From long tweed coats lined with printed silk to military-inspired khaki suede jumpsuits, a sailor stripe knit that is as fresh a look in the city as it is at the beach, gauzy blouses, lace and dresses embroidered with small scale-like tiles interspersed with tiny flowers, summer of 2015 will focus on the winds of freedom that blew during the years 1968-1970. The whole collection is a play on proportions, layering and transparency. Immaculate white blouses with wide collars are cinched with a gold belt to give the bermuda short a feminine touch.

The collection’s accessories added a whimsical, humorous twist to its message of freedom: clutches were stamped with messages like “Féministe mais Féminine” and “Make Fashion not War.” A new bag incorporating all of the codes of the Chanel jacket (tweed, braid, buttons) made its debut with soft leather handles that allow it to be worn over the shoulder or tied around the waist.

– Francoise-Claire Prodhon

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