From the 6-8th of July, Monte Carlo fashion week was held. I have previously written about the New Fashion Capitals (read more about that here), and I believe Monte Carlo is a very interesting place for people looking to set up a fashion brand, or simply show the collections.
The thing with the established fashion capitals is that there are already so many great brands. Do you really feel that you have something to add to the Italian fashion scene? Well, at least, I don’t. On the other hand, though, I could see a lot of brands benefitting from showing during Monte Carlo Fashion Week, as well as the marketing opportunity of setting up the actual brand there. Because, no matter how you look at it, Monte Carlo has a fantastic brand value. The DNA is crystal clear, as it’s the epitome of French Rivera, glamour and The Good Life, and no matter how much people say they dislike Monaco, they’re still very curious about it. Therefore showcasing in Monte Carlo is a great way to do something out of the ordinary.
So who shows during Monte Carlo fashion week? 23 brands showed their ss16 collection at the runway show, and most of the designers fell into the following categories:
Historical designers resident in MC. Elizabeth Wessel (picture above) is one of the most historical fashion brands from Monte Carlo, and she offered a collection based on everything a chic woman would need in the arch of a day: from elegant Lunching-Out outfits to dramatic eveningwear. The inspiration was taken from the elegant lines of illustrator Rene Gruau, but what’s remarkable is that she actually remembers the artist – she hasn’t merely Googled his work. Outfits from an era, where you got changed to have a drink before dinner.
Young, local designers. Haveney (picture above) is a new brand from Marseille. The young designer, Laetitia, is as charming as the brand, and photographers have a hard time deciding what to take pictures of: her or the collection. The style is feminine, light and fluid and for a young girl. The strength lies in how the garments are cut, and she balances a beautiful combination of silks and skin revealed. While it may seem overly simple, there’s rather something unpretentious, straightforward and honest about the collection.
Local swimwear brands. Pain de Sucre swimwear with Stardust Monte-Carlo jewellery (picture above) put together a strong collection of just the right combination of fashionable yet wearable swimwear styled with curious jewellery. Monte Carlo is for the eccentric people, who don’t want to pass unobserved – and so is its fashion. Both brands reflect the life on the Cote d’Azur, where life – and its women – are anything but boring.
Russian and East-European designers. As this was the year of the Russians in MC, there was a strong presence of Russian and East-European brands. Pictured above (from the top) is Uzbek Zulfiya Sulton, Russian Mila Yurakova and Sergey Efremov. There’s a lot of interesting things to say about all three designers, and these are people to keep an eye on. Sulton manages a combination of feminine outfits with couture finish and Ikat prints on sporty pieces, Yurakova an all-together beautiful dress collection, which will make you understand that a woman can never have too many dresses, and Efremov sent orange Swakara tops and dresses and fringe details down the catwalk. If you don’t live in Russia, it’s just about waiting until these collections hit the global markets.
Eveningwear, Fur and Jewellery brands with an interest in MC. Pictured above is Portuguese designer Joao Rolo, who put together an astonishing collection of eveningwear dresses in ivory and coral. With more than 30 years of experience, there’s not so much else to say than each dress was just to die for. As simple as that. Every exit was yet another favourite.
Did the very diverse designers confuse the picture? Not really. Just like Monaco boasts more than 120 nationalities, and the world becomes increasingly global, also the Fashion Week offered a variety of creativity and styles. It was evident, how Monaco is beach life as well as elegant dressing, young designers emerging side by side with established ones, and how Russia was given the space, it deserves – not only because of being the R in the BRIC, but also because of an increasingly interesting fashion scene.
If I were a designer setting up a brand today, I would do one of two things: make a mono-product brand and being the best in terms of quality, innovation, branding and price; or set up in a new fashion capital, where the fashion scene is yet to be invented, and there’s the space for new designers. Monaco, from how I see it, offers an excellent opportunity for the last-mentioned.
The program of the entire Monte Carlo fashion week 2015 can be seen here.