" /> Blog - Hannah Almassi


MEN? REAL Men? Wearing pink/short-shorts/skirts/silk-satin/frills/heels/insert other supposedly ultra-fem fashion reference here? I always have a bit of a chuckle reading up on the aftermath that the runways of London Collections: Men generates. I could place a wager each season that there'll be something to outrage the Daily Mail like they've never been outraged before. However, the menswear market is booming and not only in terms of retail - there's an increasing amount of interest and hype in our fair city's very promising young talent and established stalwarts alike, and the actual clothes are looking EXCITING. Preconceptions of what constitutes mens or womenswear is now more fluid than it has been in generations. Blurred Lines was the song of 2013, but blurred lines of the fashion kind have been happening in the industry for quite some time. Not since the 18th Century dandy (save for a few wild ones in the '60s and '70s) have we seen such outrageous statement-making garb for guys. And I love it. Not only because I think chaps should have every right to be as flamboyant or adventurous as their lady counterparts, but because it gives we girls another wardrobe to pick from. Enough is never enough, right? And so, with that in mind I've selected three of my favourite pieces from the A/W'14 menswear shows that'd I'd happily steal now and start wearing right away: Jonathan ...


Erwin Blumenfeld can be credited with some of the fashion world's most iconic images - whether we're talking about his originals or the many many shots that photographers since have paid (fairly literal) homage to. I didn't know a great deal about Blumenfeld's life before getting down to the East Wing of Somerset House for this wonderful exhibition (and it's free, don't you love London?), but upon leaving I felt truly inspired to have seen such a game-changing body of work. OK, so modern fashion photography isn't all down to one man, but his desire to experiment and to capture beauty just as keenly as he'd push an artistic boundary makes him undeniably one of the most influential of the twentieth century. Surreal or supremely serene and chic, what's most intriguing is that Erwin always always considered himself an amateur, enchanted with the mere idea of a camera seizing an image. Don't miss it!


There's no shortage of things-to-fall-in-love-with from Raf Simons' Resort 2014 collection for Christian Dior - but a particular piece really captured my gaze: this printed coat. Look 32. Simons' reliably skillfull juxapositioning - feminine and peachy in colour but sharply tailored and angrily printed in a sci-fi-ish scrawl - also combines two micro coat trends I've been thinking about for a year or so: firstly printed outerwear, and secondly, the new and casual way to wear an cocktail coat. Think of the old fashioned piece no posh lady's dress would've been matched without of a soiree. First sparked by a vintage shopping trawl in Brooklyn this time last year - where I found a stunning candy pink slub-satin '60s coat and matching shift (you can see it here) - then again reinforced after spotting W magazine's Giovanna Battaglia swirling down the Tuileries in Rochas' floral evening A-liner from next season's collection, and once more via Rihanna and her recent on-stage attire: black crop top, sleek pants, over-the-knee boots and a supersized, cocooned cream satin coat from Miu Miu's Spring/Summer 2013 offering. Of course that canny Miuccia Prada - with her knack and love for reiventing the idea of ladylike over and over - cleverely rebalanced hers on the runway with a crumpled mini dress. Whether plain or printed, these coats need to have a dressiness to them: the newness is ...


Givenchy has never had a shortage of high profile customers, but where Hubert de Givenchy was once draping made-to-measure LBDs for Audrey Hepburn, current creative director Riccardo Tisci is now bedecking the world of hip hop, rap and R’n’B in his iconographic t-shirts, cult-followed sweaters, bomber jackets and ferociously studded accessories. What’s the difference? Aside from an obvious divide in terms of genre and style, whether ‘50s starlet or modern popstar, these are the people who help to define an era. Jay Z, Rihanna et al practically govern the entire music industry, and they’re hugely influential within the fashion biz, too. The look is an increasinly major part of the package, right? Rewind six decades, and there’s no denying that Audrey and chums were studied as awesome wardrobe inspiration, even without a constant ‘selfie’ Twitter feed. Riccardo and RiRi’s love-in is well documented via her Instagram: like he did with Madonna in 2008, Tisci sends Rihanna custom-made items and has created part of her current tour wardrobe. She wears the St Martins grad’s extra-popular printed baggy tees on an almost daily basis and will be joining forces tonight with Roc Nation's mama, Queen Beyonce to assist the Italian designer as he hosts the starriest event on the fashion calendar - the Costume Institute’s Met ...


I first met the adorable London-based designer Serafina Sama in Paris two seasons ago when she was presenting her debut collection under her brand, Isa Arfen (see the anagram?). I instantly felt an attachment to her aesthetic, the challenging proportions - like twisted and knotted crop tops with super-wide culottes all rendered in the dressiest of 1960s-style eveningwear-ready silk shantung - struck a chord with me and my already very retro closet. I’ve always thought that there’s a touch of Carven and Miu Miu about her work (two other brands I love) and I know now that Serafina does indeed reference Miuccia Prada as a great influence. The Italian St Martins graduate cut her teeth at Lanvin and Marni and in her first season has already been scooped into the nurturing (and way cool) arms of Opening Ceremony, as well as online at TheCorner.com. Fast forward to Serafina’s second season of Paris appointments and her hotel showroom was heaving – complete with the influential likes of Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani popping in to investigate and industry-adored consultant Yasmin Sewell choosing to wear her statement-making culottes. Good things are a-happening, so before this fresh talent becomes too in demand, here’s a little Q&A to provide swotting-up material…Hannah Almassi: How would you explain your style?Serafina Sama: My ...