The Smalto Suits – Absolute Icons of Cinematographic Elegance

Charles Aznavour dedicated him a couplet in “Je me voyages déja”… Something along the lines of “J’étais certain de conquérir Paris / Chez le tailleur le plus chic j’ai fait faire / Ce complet bleu qu’était du dernier cri” [I was sure of conquering Paris / At the most chic tailor in Paris / This latest blue suit]. Throwback to an icon of the genre. 

Once again, Calabria in Italy was the crib for a talented couturier. If his style is less flashy than Gianni Versace’s, it is because Francesco Smalto was formed at Harris, president Kennedy’s tailor. Discretion and luxury in the details being at the centre point, Smalto would later on inject a high dose of refinement, but just like that as if it were nothing. “My goal was to be a couturier different from the others, which is to say to offer something that can’t be seen anywhere else…”

Settled in Paris, rue de La Boétie, in 1962, Francesco Smalto’s boutique would not take long to attract the eyes of the artists of the time. Claude François and Charles Aznavour appreciated the mastery of the suit to such an extent that he made it an indispensable piece for the chic and  ambitious man just arrived in Paris. In the song “Je me voyages déja” he is referring to a Smalto suit after all!

It must be said that Francesco Smalto works the art of the suit like no one else. Inspired by the sportswear trend which was in vogue in the 80s, Smalto conceived light and flexible suits. Made of jersey or wild silk, these double-breasted suits or suits with flat pockets and sewn flaps would become the symbol of important men. In real life, politicians swore by him. Françoise Sagan also, “He is one of the rare men that is able to mix luxury and sobriety, daily life and brightness. He is an artists and a god”. 

At the cinema, the wildly elegant pieces help the most emblematic of characters like Alan Delon, Jean-Paul Belmondo or even Sean Connery. In Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor” the characters wear Smalto suits – and the play on the brightness of the materials only adds to the fascination!

The Smalto signature? Flower in the button hole, rolled shoulder, Milanese button hole, simplified finishings, lighter lining. The “foulard” tuxedo in crêpe de Chine weighs only 380 grams giving the house a world record…Talking about champions, Smalt is today the official wardrobe for the French football team. Off field, of course. Each of their suits is made under the exact same process as the one invented by Francesco Smalto. The maison details “70 hours of work, 33 steps, 20 artisans are indispensable to create each suit by hand through a traditional technique”. A magnificence  that drives Smalto to receive the title of the label “Entreprise du patrimoine” delivered by the french state. A prodigy both discrete and iconic!

Houndstooth And Tailleur Bar : The Sustainable Vision Of Dior For Spring/Summer 2020

Maria Grazia Chiuri wanted a collection wear creativity and sustainability are fused – Miss Dior and the coupe bar in the forefront! 

From Christian Dior, we know of the femme-fleur, his own love for the rose and the softness of the Miss Dior perfume. What we know less is that Catherine Dior, his sister, was not only a decorated resistante after the Second World War, but also found her reminiscent in botany and gardening. Nature and the beauty of flowers have a resonating effect on this exceptional woman. It is exactly this that Maria Grazia Chiuri wanted to underline for Spring/Summer 2020. 

The result? A plethora of silhouettes inspired by this gardener, but also all the iconic codes of the Dior house injected here and there. The houndstooth motif, present from the very first collections of Monsieur, makes more than apparition – they are interweaved to the H line, tightened by the Bar cut, it gives an unexpected charm to the Spring/Summer 2020 silhouette. Better, it is coiffed with a bob cut reclaiming the mythical carnage of 30 Avenue Montaigne that Maria Grazia Chiuri gains in pertinence!

Created by Stephen Jones, “The hats for Dior this season are made using straw collected in Switzerland, Italy, the Philippines and France. It is the United Nations assembled into a straw hat” jokes the famous hat-maker. An ode to nature, this Spring/Summer 2020 collection from Dior goes outside of the frame of desirability to give to today’s women eternal pieces. A sort of fusion between heritage and future, under the guise of Mother Nature, carrying environmentalist statements. No need to make functional fashion to respect the planet!

See-Through Blouse, Smoking And Hippie Spirit For Saint Laurent’s Spring/Summer 2020

“Saint-Laurent is dangerous elegance” according to the maison’s artistic director Anthony Vaccarello. 

Paris, September 2019. The gardens of the Trocadéro are home once again to the highly scripted runway show of Saint Laurent. There, with the Eiffel Tower as backdrop, the YSL women strut sleekly under a roaring but poetic rain. All in legs, these goddesses of the night wear the iconic gimmicks of Yves Saint Laurent initiated in the last century. The Smoking, of course but also the hippie-glam inspiration!

It must be said that the revolution brought on by Monsieur Yves consisted largely to magnify the fashion-gimmicks of a street that was once brimming with freedom. We find the turbans and the bohemian spirit of the Rive Gauche which were adorned by Loulou de la Falaise. This time, however, it is combined to entirely different key motifs of YSL fashion thought up by Anthony Vaccarello. The bohemian dresses embrace the see-through effect, while the iconic blouse of the house reappears on the shoulder of Freja Beha in a version all close to the original.

The beautiful credit to the seventies opulence carries the very contemporary simplicity of the cut out débardeur when it is made almost transparent! And that is where all the merit of such a house lies – to meddle with elegance and refinement the sulphurous with the distinctive.. but as resumes Anthony Vaccarello, “Saint Laurent is dangerous elegance”. 

The Chanel Lion of Kristen Stewart

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Make up CHANEL : HYDRA BEAUTY Micro Liquid Essence, HYDRA BEAUTY Micro Crème, teint LES BEIGES  Medium Light, on the eyes LES 4 OMBRES Eclat Enigmatique, OMBRE PREMIÈRE Noir Pétrole, STYLO YEUX WATERPROOF Ébène, mascara LE VOLUME DE CHANEL Noir, SIGNATURE DE CHANEL Noir, LE GEL SOURCILS Brun, on the lips ROUGE COCO SHINE Intime.

The Chanel Lion of Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart, Chanel ambassador, face of the Gabrielle Fragrance and memeber of the jury, wore a black silk dress, look 74, from the Fall-Winter 2018/2019 ready-to-wear collection for the opening ceremony of the 71st Cannes festival. Chanel Jewelry. Chanel make-up

The Versus Versace Disco Dress

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After the departure of Anthony Vaccarello for the creative direction of Saint Laurent, Donatella Versace decided to take back the reins of her own brand. Launched by Gianni Versace in 1989 to allow his sister to express her vision for the body and garments, the Versus line has gradually emerged from the shadow of Versace. With her telltale flair, Donatella transformed Versus into a playground for a new generation of designers – Christopher Kane, J.W. Anderson, and Anthony Vaccarello all came through these hallowed gates. But for next season, Donatella opted rather to offer a concentrated vision of everything that defines the essence of Versus: a new take on current streetwear and club ambiance with a touch of attitude.

This is a collection for “a rebellious girl who breaks the rules” in the words of Donatella – a Versus girl who rejects conventional beauty and goes rummaging through her boyfriend’s clothes. A girl a bit like herself in the end – she whose party girl image is perfectly incarnated in this ultra-short glitter dress that’s made for the clubs. Sexy but sporty, cut in silver-colored scales, the piece reminds us of the Versace’s family adoration for sumptuous colors and cuts that are close to the body, all enveloped in an aura of glamour.

Moncler Grenoble Haute Montagne

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The Grenoble Haute Montagne Line is the perfect answer to skiers’ desire to not have their movements slowed by their apparel. Using the name of its natal city in France, the collection has all it takes to appear ambitious. After designing the down jackets for the French team at the 1968 Winter Olympics, shared with a number of co-brands – Chantal Thomass in the 80s, Pharell Williams and Mary Katrantzou most recently -, they’re now continuing to pursue the idea of couture as an athletic credential.

Completely absorbed in their own savoir-faire, Moncler enriched their ski-friendly collection to give us the new “Haute Montagne – Ski Resort Exclusive” line. This capsule collection with upscale accents is only available in a select few ski stations: Gstaad, Megève, Courchevel, St. Moritz, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Courmayeur, Crans Montana, Chamonix, Verbier, Zermatt, Kitzbühel, and Aspen, to give this illusion of this ever rare and sought after freedom at the top of a snowcapped mountain. The design perfectly espouses the idea of a union with nature mixed with a certain stylistic contemporariness. The immaculate or snowy white is interspersed with bright red so that the brand’s modern spirit never falters. Available in a men’s and a women’s version, the release of Ski Resort Exclusive keeps all of its performance-related promises. Oozing in comfort, the nylon is coated with a waterproof resin while the pants are made of 16% spandex. This little slice of freedom is an exclusive one, made for the pleasure of melting into the most grandiose of landscapes to the rhythm of a daredevil’s adrenaline.

Tod’s Italian Dream for Spring/Summer 2018

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The Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea looked like the seaside last week. For their runway, Tod’s brought the scent of days past onto the airy mountainous slopes of the Italian peninsula. Diego Della Valle understands this Italy as being venerated and enchanted, just like the filmmakers and actors that have ceded to its grandeur. The beauties on Tod’s runway almost appeared to have rays of sun on their skin, and in their hair, an ease that only the wind can blow in. Kendall Jenner headed things up by opening the show.

Italy also means an impeccable quality of leathers – and the simple but airy elegance of its style. Tod’s is celebrating  Italian nonchalance for Spring/Summer 2018 and the irreproachable quality of its craftsmanship. Lacking a single creative director, the collection is the collective work of five people. The result? A timeless collection with the colors of the Mediterranean. Leather is evidently at the heart of this line, where the brand’s absolute icon, the moccasin, is reinvented in a myriad of new ways.

Occasionally a hybrid with a sneaker-esque rubber sole, sometimes gypsy-esque with oversized fringe, it also gets dressed up with a denim canvas in its Double T version when not enchanting the steps in its Yorky version. It even brightens up a pair of leather pajamas. This leather is made with brilliant finesse. The new Spring/Summer 2018 collection honors the casual chic that Tod’s is such an expert in. The craftsmanship of their workshops can be perceived in the exquisite finishings. With discreet elegance and eminently desirable looks, next season is marking a return to the brand’s 1978 origins and an intention to definitely anchor Italian heritage into the high fashion sphere.

The Sweatshirt Couture

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With an increasingly haute couture feel, the sweatshirt is quickly climbing the list of most coveted pieces this winter.

At its core, the sweatshirt is the essential starting point for any streetwear ensemble: athletically draped over sporty shoulders, it soaks up all that pesky sweat that comes with a long run in Central Park. And like many a jogger, the sweatshirt is also known to go off the beaten path: graffiti artists have brought the piece to the forefront of the “underground” scene. Usually worn oversized, the sweatshirt is known to accompany street artists on their nocturnal outings.

 Luxury brands are taking the sweatshirt by storm: Balenciaga, Kenzo and its neoprene sweatshirt have already been adopted by Rihanna along with droves of fashionistas. Easy to make… a little less easy to wear! The finishings are getting compressed, the cut is getting larger as the overall shape gets rounder: the sweatshirt is uniting two different universes just for the cold season. Its heritage is hard as rock, underground, and masculine, but this time around the finishing touches have been feminized with a little help from the couture world.

Without betraying its origins, the sweatshirt is becoming more multifaceted: retro-futuristic at the hand of Balenciaga, incorporating images of John Galliano at the designer’s namesake fashion house, owl-printed at Burberry… the award for most rustic creation, however, goes to the romantically tinged Dries Van Noten take on the garment, where embroidered flowers are added as if to bring the pieces’ two parallel dimensions together in harmony. In any case, the sweatshirt is decidedly THE piece to pair with a mini skirt. Flawless!