Getting Animal – Getting Warm

agata-mayer-getting-warm-fendi-furs-staying-warmSpecial Review by Agata Mayer, Editor-in-chief

Fashion Weeks came to an end. It’s been a hectic period jam-packed with exciting activities, business meetings and jet lag feeling. The most prominent fashion weeks are held in the four fashion capitals of the world: Milan, Paris, New York and London. But more often, everybody’s eyes are looking at other corners of the world, where countries like Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, China, South Africa, Russia, Singapore, Mexico are going to set tongues wagging, in a very positive way. Fashion Weeks held several months in advance of the season. From January through April designers showcase their autumn and winter collections. From September through November they present their spring and summer collections. This season, furs and animal prints were a common denominator on the catwalks.



In the 90s, Italian designers celebrated the return of high-voltage fashion. Their fascination with animal skins and luxurious furs evoked an impression of decadent glamour. Leopard, cheetah and zebra prints that have long provided inspiration for fashion designers are back again. In contemporary fashion, wearing animal skin is interpreted as a desire to convey predatory instincts. A spotted woman in a animal coat might represent the archetypal femme fatale. Italy became an international centre of fashion after World War II. During the 1950s, combining traditions of Parisian haute couture with the Italian aesthetic the Fontana Sisters designed clothes for many Hollywood’s world-famous divas, such as Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor or Ava Gardner. They specialized in luxurious evening wear that contrasted perfectly with the softness of the silver fox stole draped around the arms.
In addition to animal prints, real fur had to finally find a way of interpreting it in fashion without compromising ethical concerns, having the animal rights movement from 1980s and the both national and international legislation from 1973 against it. Karl Lagerfeld, which originally specialized in fur and luxury leather goods, being creative consultant to the Italian Fendi modernized the label and changed the perception of fur as a conventional symbol. Nowadays, over 70 % of recent catwalk shows featured fur, from Marc Jacobs or Louis Vuitton to J. Mendel, Max Mara and Marni.
But there are still anti-fur designers such as Stella McCartney. She has never bowed to pressure to use leather or fur in her collections and has even resisted the lure of faux-fur in the past. But suddenly she has created a cruelty-free collection for Autumn/Winter 2015 with faux fur. Being asked why, she answered: “I feel like maybe things have moved on, and it’s time, and we can do fabrics which look like fur, if we take them somewhere else”, adding “Modern fake fur looks so much like real fur, that the moment it leaves the atelier no one can tell it’s not the real thing. And I’ve struggled with that.”


Fur, fake or not and animal motifs played a key role throughout this season. It is said, that in fashion world leopard is a color. Animal prints are timeless, chic and always in style. The leopard trend never fades that easily and can be used in almost any form. This year’s catwalks showed more wildness and savagery than ever. For instance, Raf Simons, Dior’s creative director turned to more raw and primal inspirations for the Autumn/Winter 2015 Dior collection. He pushed fashion boundaries again. From floral, romantic, emotional pieces to swirling psychedelic panther prints and strong, contrasting colors. Christian Dior first offered leopard print in 1947, which was revolutionary at the time. Today, it doesn’t bother anyone anymore. Roberto Cavalli’s ready-to-wear collection displayed an array of ombré dresses, fur coats and iconic animal prints. “Instinct? I like that word,” said Miuccia Prada after her show. Her collection was also full of multi-colored leopard and python prints and dense patterns.
Is the fashion industry trying to force it on us or maybe society is finally ready to embrace fur?
Take a look at some ‘furry’ printed fashion statements.

House of Holland show, Autumn Winter 2015, London Fashion Week, Britain - 21 Feb 2015








































Image source:


Mayla’s show was a highlight of Fashion Week In Stockholm

Special Review by Agata Mayer, Editor-in-chief

Recently, I am intrigued by Mayla’s progress into women’s collection. Marlene Abraham has done an excellent job reanimating the ’60s feeling, doing it in a modern way. I am delighted to see that the mid ’60s and the early ’70s trend we saw this Spring and Summer is continuing through to next season. Mayla is a contemporary ready-to-wear brand dedicated to the beautiful women and style setters of the time. Originally known for luxuriously crafted silk dresses, the popularity of Mayla has allowed the brand to quickly expand into outerwear, knitwear, shoes and accessories. It’s the French luxury combined with Scandinavian simplicity that has found a loyal clientel from around the world including Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.

Agata Mayer: Marlene, looking at your previous collections I get the impression that you were inspired by the most important moments, styles and epochs in fashion history. Your newest collection for Autumn / Winter 2015 again refers to such a point – when for the first time in fashion history youth subcultures openly rebelled against wearing the same clothes as their parents, demanding their own unique identity. What sparked your interest in the Hippie Deluxe era?

Marlene Abraham: I’ve always found this period fascinating, and it’s a source of inspiration that I keep going back to, for music, art and fashion. People explored their creativity were openminded to different lifestyles and it reflected their personal style.

A.M. It was a time of preppy clothing, modern simplicity and “back to the nature” lifestyle underlined by floral and geometric prints, patchworked diverse fabrics, contrasting scales and colors. How would you describe this collection? Any focal points to which we should draw our attention?

M.A. I chose to mix the preppy proper from the mid sixties with the more bohemian feminity of the later part of the decade. I wanted to balance the two styles together. Key items for the collection is the bouclé dungarees, a gun printed layered silk dress and the tight polo neck sweaters.

A.M. Are there any plans to do a men’s collection?

M.A. No.

A.M. Mayla, the brand which you stand behind as a founder and designer, has grown since 2010. How is it received internationally?

M.A. We have a small but loyal following all over the world, especially in Japan. We just recently started to focus on the UK market.

A.M. As a ‘Stockholmare’, how have you perceived the evolution of fashion in recent years and how would you define the contemporary flux of this city?

M.A. Stockholm has changed a lot in the last 10 years and we have seen a few brands strong internationally as well as the Swedish music industry. There’s a kind of creative fashion, music and design movement going on, which is a great growing ground for new brands.

A.M. How much does travel influence your designs?

M.A. I’ve always travelled a lot, so it definitely influences me. I love going to places like London and New York.

A.M. How would you describe your personal style of clothing?

M.A. I’m not an eccentric person, so “show stoppers” are not for me. I would describe my style as feminine with an edge. I like quirky prints and dressing down exclusive pieces. For me it’s all in the mix. Materials and craftsman ship is important.

A.M. What has been the biggest highlight in your career so far?

M.A. I think it’s a mix of different things. I’m happy to been able to open two concept stores within the five years since I started and the fact that we got into the Japanese market almost immediately. Our crown princess has been a loyal supporter since the start of the brand.

A.M. What’s next for you professionally?

M.A. Right now I’m looking to grow the company and my main target is the UK, Scandinavia and Japan.

A.M. Thank you.
Sharp lines and monochromatic meet sheer silks in graphic prints. Glossy leather flat shoes in black. More dimensional dressing with tone down layers of knit. It’s been also exciting to see denim dungarees and culottes:

See some of my favorite pieces from Mayla’s SS 15 and AW15 Collectionagata-mayer-mayla-3agata-mayer-mayla-4agata-mayer-mayla-1
agata-mayer-mayla-2agata-mayer-marlene-abraham-3Agata Mayer (on the left) interviews Marlene Abraham (on the right)



From Paris with love – Parisian Chic

agata-mayer-megan-hess-illustrationIllustration by Megan Hess,

Special Review by Agata Mayer, Editor-in-chief

Paris – the city of love, the cradle of European style and elegance. The city of light has inspired poets and artists for centuries, with its iconic art and architecture, cafe culture and air of romance. Paris is always a good idea in Audrey Hepburn’s opinion.
And whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant – said Honoré de Balzac.
The definition of female elegance differs depending on where you live. For instance, Italians are very fashion-conscious. They follow the trends religiously. The English are more extravagant. Americans are exaggeratedly perfect.
In a book „Paris Street Style: A Guide to Effortless Chic“ by Isabelle Thomas and Frédérique Veysset, French actress and singer Emmanuelle Seigner said: „American women are pulled together perfectly from the moment they wake up in the morning: perfect hair, varnished nails, high heels … as if they were bound for a cocktail party or some red-carpet affair. French women don’t bother their heads so much.“
Parisian style with the image of a tall, aristocratic Inès de la Fressange silhouette, sipping a glass of red Pinot Noir, smoking Gauloises, and walking down the street as if strutting down the catwalk, turned into myth.
Nowadays, French women are very practical. It is all about looking ‘naturelle’. Their golden rule is moderation and minimalism.
As we already know „Only great minds can afford a simple style.“
This rule was noticeable on the Parisian streets during Paris Fashion Week, which has been more of a marathon than a sprint.



Source: Pinterest


This famous quote belonging to Coco Chanel, legendary French fashion designer and style icon who ruled over Parisian haute couture for almost six decades, was perceptible on the catwalk during this year’s Paris Fashion Week SS15.
Chanel was a woman of many wise words and her influential quotes could fill an entire book.
A little more than a decade after her death, designer Karl Lagerfeld took the reins at her company to continue the Chanel legacy.
In the past Lagerfeld has been criticized for his negative comments about women.
He always courts controversy with his fashion shows as well. And he surprised again. Karl Lagerfeld created a fashion demonstration.
Cara Delevingne, Joan Smalls, Kendall Jenner and Georgia May Jagger, as well as the world’s richest model, Gisele Bündchen walked in his show holding a megaphone-wielding and a banner reading Women’s Rights are More than Alright, and a sea of placards reading Ladies First, History is Her Story, We Can Match the Machos and Boys Should Get Pregnant Too?
Media was flooded by titles and headers: Karl Lagerfeld’s new look for Chanel: feminist protest and slogans; Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld turns the Grand Palais into a feminist protest; Lagerfeld under fire after staging mock feminist protest at Paris Fashion Week.
In my opinion Chanel wasn’t making a political statement, especially when the apolitical designer famously said, „I’m in fashion. Politics is not my job.“ It is also worth remembering that one of Lagerfeld’s quotes is: „Everything I say is a joke. I myself am a joke.“ So what was he trying to say? They were just attracting attention by making noise and fuss, shouting about all that what is wrong with the world. Following this scent and continuing Coco Chanel’s quote we all have to admit that „Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.“



Marie-Helene Arnaud with a fish in Paris, 1957. Image credited to: Georges Dambier



Leaving all feministic stuff behind, let’s concentrate on the real Parisian chic. The synonym of timeless classic, elegance and comfort. All this, we could see on the catwalk at the turn of the September and October 2014. The Paris Fashion Week was the finale of the „big four“ fashion weeks. From Louis Vuitton, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Hermès, Dior, Givenchy, Balenciaga to Miu Miu, Avelon, John Galliano, Valentino, Yiqing Yin, Kenzo, Junya Watanabe, Gareth Pugh, Comme des Garcons or Guy Laroche.
The world’s best designers have always operated from Paris, which is currently home to the headquarters of some of them.
It is worth remembering that the concept of Haute Couture (‘high sewing’ | ‘high dressmaking’ | ‘high fashion’) also was invented in Paris and began in the 18th century.
Are you ready to see my favorite Spring / Summer 2015 Ready-To-Wear samples? Enjoy.

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Gareth Pugh Collection, Source:



Ode to the 70s at Milan Fashion Week


Image: Moschino, Backstage,Vogue

Special Review by Agata Mayer, Editor-in-chief

By the early 1970s it was difficult for many people to decide what was in style and what was not. For sure, the 70s were one of the most individualistic decades for fashion ever. People experimented a lot and wore anything that they wanted, combining hippie, ethnic look together with fancy wear such as hot pants, mini skirts, skin-tight t-shirts or fitted blazers in the early 70s, through mid 70s where vintage clothing, kimonos, turbans, puffy skirts, maxi dresses, knee-high boots and platform shoes were worn by women, to the late 70s that became more baggy in style and more conservative. This relaxed look transformed into the disco look, which was mostly inspired by clothing from the early 1960s. A real rollercoaster through “Me Decade”.

agata-mayer-stella-jean-milan-fashion-week-vogueImage: Stella Jean, Backstage, Vogue

Ciao Milano

In the 1950s and 60s the main industrial centre of Italy and one of Europe’s most dynamic cities – Milan – became a world capital of design, architecture and fashion. Today most of the major famous Italian fashion houses and labels are based in Milan. Milan has been home to numerous fashion designers, including Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Miuccia Prada, Moschino, Trussardi, Missoni and Dolce & Gabbana.
Furthermore, the city hosts the Milan Fashion Week. Are you connecting the dots now?

Those 70s shows

The ’70s were a big reference this season. Several of Milan’s most storied design houses decided to put a more wearable spin on their collections by showing jeans with mixed results, billowing maxi dresses, neck scarves, flared trousers, floral and geometric prints and retro accessories.
Last season Frida Giannini captured the 60s. This season she moved on a decade.
Gucci channeled the ’70s in a slightly different manner, diverging from the bohemian vibe with washed out denim to add some glamour and sophistication. She mixed denim with drummer-boy jackets and silk kimono jackets and it worked!
Miuccia Prada also draw inspiration from the 70s. The first few designs that hit the runway were mostly black with very strong brown stitching featured on both dresses and trench coats. We were soon exposed to the amazing color palette that Prada is so adored for with each look completed with calf-length socks featuring blocks of color and patterns.
’70s tailoring, bows and Victoriana collars – Roberto Cavalli’s show was opened with an array of punchy, bright, graphic prints. Loose fitting floor-length pleated looks came cascading out in maxi dresses and tops and skirts – not immediately the vibe that springs to mind when you think of Cavalli.
Sunset colours made for an optimistic and summery palette and the psychedelic collection had a clear ’70s influence with tie-dyed chiffon dresses, suede trousers and coats and crocheted mini and maxi dresses. Pucci’s signature sports aesthetic was translated into easy separates, some slightly more tailored pieces.
Alberta Ferretti made a romantic statement with sheer embroidered dresses, ethereal, romantic and free-spirited. The brand’s spring/summer 2015 collection captured a true essence of the summer of love. Suede vests, fringe edges, denim and laser cut floral ponchos clearly showed what the designer’s muse was for the spring season. The designer was clearly in a ’70s state of mind.
Etro delivered its signature bohemian vibes with the usual dose of psychedelic paisley and fringing. Beads, feathers and amulets hung from the models’ hips, hands and ears. That trademark paisley swirled through movements of blue and red. The New Mexico shaman Pocahontas swaying into Morrison’s „Riders On The Storm“ hit.

Milan Fashion Week brought a diverse range of looks for fashionistas, such as the crafmanshift of the 1970s and did not disappoint. And one thing is sure, since now, denim is no longer just for dress-down Fridays.

agata-mayer-missoni-fashion-week-milan-vogueImage: Missoni, Backstage, Vogue


Image: Emilio Pucci, Backstage, Vogue


Image: Gucci, Backstage, Vogue


Image: Marni, Backstage, Vogue


Image: Roberto Cavalli, Backstage, Vogue

All images are credited to

You don’t have to be in London to witness London Fashion Week


Image: Marques’Almeida SS15 (Daniel Sims, British Fashion Council)

Review by Agata Mayer, Editor-in-chief

As you probably know, London Fashion Week (#LFW) is one of the ‘big four’ international catwalk influencers along with New York Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week, since the first show in 1984.
This high profile fashion event is set within Somerset House, takes place biannually and features some of the world’s leading designers.
The schedule is always packed with amazing shows, installations, showrooms and parties from the brightest names in the industry.
Today, #LFW has become a city-wide celebration, while before it was just a trade event.
This summer, Oxford Street and Regent Street, two of the busiest shopping streets in Europe, joined in #LFW Festivities by hosting educational seminars, displaying architectural installations or supporting architect practices and fashion brands together within London Design Festival.


Source: British Fashion Council

The Hollywood Factor!

World-famous models, the hottest celebrities and Hollywood movie stars who dropped in at this event. Welcome to London Fashion Week SS 15.

Drew Barrymore, Samuel L. Jackson, Mario Testino and Alexa Chung followed Stella McCartney and the cohost Livia Firth at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. All these big names were there to celebrate Stella McCartney’s Green Carpet Collection.
Colin Firth, who no doubt went to the show to support his wife Livia, proud father sir Paul McCartney, Salma Hayek together with her husband François-Henri Pinault, Rita Ora also joined the designer to see the show.

Another day, supermodels Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne took a short break from the runway and arrived to watch the Burberry Prorsum show at Kensington Gardens, snapping ‘selfies’ and giggling on the sidelines.
The same show was closed by Suki Waterhouse, Bradley Cooper’s girlfriend. The Hollywood actor caused a huge stir when he appeared at Tom Ford‘s show the same day. Cooper sat next to Vogue US Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour on the front row.

Another beauty, the stunning blonde Georgia May Jagger (the younger daughter of Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger and model Jerry Hall) opened the Marchesa Spring/Summer 2015 show in Whitehall. The American label celebrated its ten year anniversary in London.


Georgia May Jagger walking for Marchesa SS 15


Image: Margaret Howell SS15 (Shaun James Cox, British Fashion Council)


Image:Erdem SS15 (Shaun James Cox, British Fashion Council)





Imgaes: British Fashion Council

Erïk Bjerkesjö interviewed by Agata Mayer



Stockholm-hailed Erïk Bjerkesjö is making waves on the design and broadly understood fashion scene. Polimoda graduate Bjerkesjö entered the world of fashion with his own personal footwear concept of post-modern craftsmanship for men. Each pair of shoes is produced entirely by hand.

Bjerkesjö also works with production for tailoring menswear at Acne Studios – a luxury fashion house based in Stockholm, Sweden with own-brand retail stores located around the world.

Read the interview