The Driving Forces of Fashion

When browsing through the haute couture collections presented in Paris, it seems most designers are sticking to previously tested formulas. There's a fine line between having a particular style and still push it forward or simply getting sidetracked into a corner. 

The designer has both celebrated and mourned the extraordinary 16-year run as Louis Vuitton creative director with a spectacular show this morning, predominantly black. The darkness of the surroundings and clothes was reminiscent of his first collection for the brand and several details alluded to memorable shows such as the carousel. 

Summer heat is no longer a wish but a reality, Londoners are enjoying an amazing weather, making the most of the beautiful parks and ponds in the city. But this is the time to write about Paris instead, haute couture shows have recently enchanted us with their fairy tale feel. Women have emerged on the catwalk as characters of a novel from a distant past.

If you think fashion is all about frivolous vanity and self-centered attitudes of 'how do I look?' think again. Technology brings the world together and the rise of the conscientious consumer is starting to affect the way fashion works. Much have been written about sustainable fashion but big labels are now stepping up the game.

Stars are definitely the designers' best friends, the latest success story is Rubin Singer, who designed the eye-catching black leather and lace mini dress for the highly acclaimed performance by Beyonce at the Super Bowl. It is thought more than 100 million people would have watched the show which is a dream come true to any designer. 

Paris always becomes brighter during the couture shows, it's interesting to see what fashion can become without any financial constraints. Designers give free reign to their creativity and select the most exquisite fabrics and technical expertise to produce some of the most beautiful clothes in the world.

Why do I want a career in fashion? How did everything started? Maybe I was influenced by glossy French magazines in my teenage years but I remember being unable to sleep with the excitement of imagining clothes to be made by a local dressmaker. My parents were adamant and demanded a 'proper' degree.

Fashion Designers on Film
Costume designers are responsible to create believable characters in different time periods for the film industry. It is a challenging career without much limelight but their role is crucial. Sometimes fashion designers venture into this territory such as Miuccia Prada, who designed the costumes for Baz Luhrmann's big screen adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgeral "The Great Gatsby."

Coco Chanel's Legacy
It's 129 years since the birth of Coco Chanel, a woman who has revolutionised the world of fashion in such a powerful way that we still associate certain clothes with her, such as the little black dress and tailored suits.

International Woolmark Prize
How to reinvent a traditional fabric in order to compete with the allure of the shimmering and hi-tech textiles? This is the challenge embraced by designers across the world, who are creating capsule collections featuring the most beautiful Merino wool.

Top Ten Couture Gowns
Paris couture shows are always delightful, each inch of fabric is worked to perfection in order to create handmade exclusive pieces. I've selected the most beautiful gowns which are more likely to hit the red carpet.

Dolce & Gabbana Couture                         Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana met in 1980 and five years later they would join forces to create one of the most popular Italian brands in the world. Now they embark on a new venture together - couture - presenting their first collection in Taormina, Sicily on July 9.

Top Fashion Emails                                            A wide range of communications from press offices representing different brands and designers reach the e-mailbox of fashion journalists and bloggers on a daily basis. This is a selection of the top fashion emails, featuring in particular on the Autumn-Winter 12/13 collections.

Gucci Severe Look
After New York and London, the fashion week is just starting in Milan but Frida Giannini has already presented her collection for Gucci, an unmistakable display of glamour as you would expect from this brand.

Jonathan Saunders: Fashion Fund Winner
He is this year's lucky winner of the British Fashion Council/Vogue Fashion Fund which aims to assist British designers with the potencial for commercial growth to start making the transition from a developing creative business to a global fashion brand.

Paris Couture: Dream Woman?
When I read the Hollywood exhibition review on Guardian newspaper, I thought why is Brokeback Mountain costume design but not Breakfast at Tiffany's? It's all about dressing a character... But now I get it.

Balenciaga Evening
Balenciaga is one of today's most influential forces in fashion, the mastery of techniques and cut along with the talent of its Creative Director, Nicolas Ghesquière have been instrumental to the House's success.

Valentino Virtual Museum
Valentino was the first of his country designers to see his name quoted on the Italian bourse, his vast fortune was amassed through his consuming passion for Haute Couture.

Yves Saint Laurent: Life, Love and Art
Yves Saint Laurent is a familiar name even for those who are oblivious to fashion. He put women in the elegant le smoking tuxedo suit, bringing them self-assurance, audacity and power while preserving their femininity.

Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston
This is the title of a documentary about the legendary fashion designer, now available on DVD. I've downloaded it to my i-Pad and couldn't be more excited about it! I really admire his work!

Shoot for the Stars! Designers & Showbiz
I was doing an international management course with conventional business speakers when a young economist finished his speech with one of the best pieces of advice I ever got: "Shoot for the f***ing stars!"

Alice in Wonderland
When an Alice Temperley dress became one of the highlights of the Royal Wedding, beautifully worn by Pippa Middleton, the label reached a whole new level as a global empire.

McQueen and Blow immortalised by LaChapelle
Today the National Portrait Gallery is exhibiting for the first time in the UK a portrait of Alexander McQueen and his 'muse' Isabella Blow by David Lachapelle.

Happy Birthday Karl Lagerfeld
Today Karl Lagerfeld is a dominant and iconic figure within the fashion industry. His talent and fierce hard-work made him almost a legend so much so that he once compared himself to the Lacoste crocodile.