29 Nisan 2008 Salı

From Armani street-chic to urban elegance

FINALLY it's time to get rid of heavy coats, welcome the warm sunshine and enjoy the fun parties that follow. Be it huge or small, rave or cocktail, each party has its own dress code.

There is nothing more dreadful than wearing the wrong outfit to a party - don't laugh. Some partygoers in Shanghai still have no idea what "dress code" means. It's not surprising to bump into people in sports wear at luxury fashion parties, and vice versa.

A/X, or Armani Exchange, the accessible line of Italian fashion guru Giorgio Armani, recently held a casual, sensual spring/summer fashion show at nightspot M2, with world-class DJ Tiesto. The late-night fashion bash drew thousands of enthusiastic dancing music lovers.

The collection is inspired by street-chic culture and fashionable DJ dance culture, designed for the young, urban and sexy who want to see and be seen.

The season basics are still whites, pales and neutrals, which are matched by bright, saturated summer shades such as yellow, red, aqua and orchid, giving a feel of coastal chic.

A message of simplicity in both silhouette and style are supported by interesting details such as frayed hems, drawstrings, textured weaves and slightly crumpled fabrics. Thin layers and long dresses hint subtly at bohemian style and relaxed island living. There are complete collections of mini skirts and hot pants perfect for a steamy, roaring night.

For those who go to more sophisticated social events, Hong Kong designer Joel Chan's new store in Xintiandi is worth a check. A renowned stylist in Hong Kong, Chan established his personal brand "Pursue" in 1996, which has attracted many celebrities on the island city as its loyal cult.

In recent years, the designer has changed his focus from ready-to-wear to tailoring service, creating clothes that use "quality fabric, exquisite handicrafts and unique cuts." The style is simple and elegant, featuring abundant details.

Women's cocktail dresses are crafted in a classic palette of black, white and gray, with a flash of magenta and lavender. The lengths vary, but mostly above the knee. The designer has chosen ultra feminine, floating fabrics such as satin, silk, light linen and soft leather.

The silhouettes are basic, but Chan's use of layers, hems and interesting details such as buttons, knots and drawstrings make them appear distinct and also, a little bit avant-garde. The men's suit collection is based on a casual, fit silhouette, featuring mostly light shades and an androgynous style.

Last but not least, a pair of fabulous shoes is essential on any occasion. Leading local shoe manufacturer fed has recently introduced its new collection inspired by the latest apparel fashion trends.

The futuristic trend in apparel fashion has inspired designers to generously adopt metallic hues such as silver, oxidized silver and steel optics, while the use of a fruity palette of candy colors bring about the summer time vacation feel.

To match the exotic African trend this summer, fed has created shoes made of soft wood, bamboo and linen, featuring water-proof wedges or flat heels.

While flats are predicted to be trendy this summer by many fashion publications, a number of innovative heels have been introduced, including hollow wedges and banana heels. The classic Ferragamo-style ballerina made of colorful patent leather is a must-have.