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As a nearly 20 year Fashion Industry Vet, I've made TheFE my place to cover and discuss everything fashionable from books, to designer ready-to-wear to couture. All aspects of a fashionable lifestyle are included. BIG NEWS: I'VE MOVED TheFE TO WORDPRESS to take advantage of their superior publishing platform. See you there!!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Ports pre-fall 2011 "l'heure bleue" Collection


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The Pre-Fall Collections used to be a relatively minor affair years ago. Not so anymore. These days, they get their own week in The Fashion Calendar. The most notable one this season is Fiona Cibani’s collection because in it, she proposes a number of trends that we will see in the all-important fall 2011 shows come February.
It’s helpful to get a sneak peek at the coming season’s trends and I enjoy the poetic/artsy references this house always delivers. The drama and the dreaming are part of what transform nice clothes into something else.
If putting on a new dress can make you feel as if you’re part of a Euro fantasy such as “L’Heure Bleue”, I say, “great!” That is WAY more interesting than just being presented with a dozen or so styles and no gilding of the lily. Then again though, I’m one of those who wants more from my clothes other than mere utility. If that were my only goal in dressing, I’d just go to my local tailor an ask her to whip me up a few black pant suits and call it a day.
I’d much rather buy into some romanticism, light a Cyprus Rigaud candle [Jackie O’s fave], tune into some jazz on my Mac book and pretend that I’m part of the tableau Fiona proposed.
I won’t ruin it by chopping it up, and you can read the unabridged version of the Inspirations Statement if you want to put your feet up for just a few.

If so, sit back and fantasize for 5 minutes.
Once you’re in that dreamy headspace, have a look at the images the lovely Tony Alcindor and his Team sent me as I was down South when this chic event was going on.

If you’re feeling rushed and impatient, I’ve bulleted the trends for you at the end and you can read the 1-2-3-trend summation.

Inspiration: "L'Heure Bleue"

"Just before sunrise, just after dusk, there comes a moment known as l’heure bleue; a moment when everything seems to slow down to a heartbeat and everything seems full of possibility. This season Fiona Cibani has distilled the essence of that magic hour in her stunning new collection for Ports 1961. Drawing from memories of blurred twilight and from meditations by iconic modern painters, Fiona has infused her autumn-wear with a tender richness that subtly suggests the infinite. A key inspiration was Gerhard Richter whose photo-paintings of hazy landscapes and delicate still-life often seem to melt before your eyes. This collection pairs the vision of a twentieth-century master with the intuitive elegance of a twenty-first century woman."

Trends on the Horizon for fall 2011:

The use of unique surface treatments.
Fiona uses metallic dusted cotton and wool; “water-coated” stretch jersey, highly reflective silk and optically lustrous lace
The effect= an “almost supernatural aura”

The use of pastels to hint “at a kind of l’heure bleue between the seasons embodying that moment when fall’s fragility breaks and tumbles into tougher winter weather”.
How it’s done – Fiona contrasts subtle shades such as Down White, Rosa Pink, Viola Powder and Cabana Blue with bolder strokes of Hunter Green, Cyan Navy and Umber Brown.
[No Black]
The modern interpretation of classic couture techniques results in a non-literal sense of delicacy = tailoring but with the absence of classic reinforcement resulting in a softer feeling with lots of cascading fabrics
THINK: wispy ostrich feathers worked into knits,
Pattern-work that offers exposed shoulder lines
Pockets that vanish into the fabric that created them
Paneled hourglass silhouettes= a new take on classic draping creates and a modern sense of femininity
It’s this last point that best defines the Ports 1961 aesthetic, and keeps me coming back to see what the Cibani sisters will propose, season after season.

To learn more about Ports1961, visit
To shop for some heaven-scented Rigaud candles, visit

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