Monday, 24 November 2014

Taking Boho chic to the next level

What we know about boho chic? That it is a fashion trend said to have been started by actress Sienna Miller in 2005 after the movie Alfie, where she wore bohemian-style clothing. That it is partly bohemian (alternative, laid-back and chilled) and partly chic, meaning classy, glamorous, not over the top or flashy. 
Simple white Ferre shirt with Afghan kuchi top, Ibiza bag and Indian anklets
It mixes vintage fashion with modern environment. It combines handmade, organic, colourful, folk items with simple, modern items.
Folk motives, maxi skirts, headpieces bring Boho chic on
The point of Boho style is to look looking authentic and natural, alternative yet not trying too hard. Long skirts, baggy tops and accessorizing. Folk motives, Indian, Moroccan, Gypsy, any of them will work.
But how about making it more fun and chic? Combining boho, hippie and rave styles together. Being edgy and cool? Where Burning Man meets Coachella, where your freedom is just limited by following “formalities” of the dress code?
They say to wear a long skirt, here you are:
Vintage Etro maxi dress dress, turban and Le Specs glasses
They say you must wear a hat, here it is: 
Vintage lame maxi prairie dress with Turkmen coined headpiece
Available www.le-lapin-blanc.com
You formally follow the dress code and comply with all imposed norms, however your outfit screams: “Hello, I’m a rebel!”

Boho beaded silk kimono, Uzbek embroidered bag and a Brazil carnival headpiece
Available www.le-lapin-blanc.com 
Both boho and hippie chic are synonymous to accessories.  Headpieces, bracelets, anklets, necklaces, body harnesses, belts. The list is limited only by your imagination.
Boho accessorises 
Boho headpiece
Favourite designers: Mathew Williamson, Missoni, Isabel Marant, Etro, Valentino, Dolce and Gabbana
Favourite colours and fabrics: tie dye, floral, suzani, ikat, earthly colours, orange, magneta, electric blue
Favourite touch: fringed clothing
Favourite trends: ethnic and folk, African, South American, Asian
Favourite jewellery: beaded, sequinned, tasseled and embroidered
Favourite headpieces: turbans, scarfs, bandanas, hats, flowers
Favourite clothes: Caftans, Maxi dresses, Maxi skirts, Cropped tops, Cropped shorts, Boots
Favourite holiday destinations: Ibiza, Tulum, Trancoso




Trancoso

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Eastern treasures. Part 2. Gypsies of Asia

Afghanistan, with its traces of the first human inhabitation found thirty millenniums ago, was the important passage for the human migration in the region on the historic pathway known as “Silk Road”. Throughout centuries the traditional and nomadic life style of the Afghani people has never changed. The main ethnic communities of Afghanistan are Pashtuns , Tajiks,  Hazara and Uzbeks. Kuchi tribes, from the Persian word koch meaning "migration", are Afghan Pashtun nomads. They mostly keep sheep and goats and the produce of the animals (meat, dairy products, hair and wool) is exchanged or sold in order to purchase grain, vegetables, fruit and other products of settled life. In this way an extensive network of exchange has developed along the main routes annually followed by the nomads.

Kuchi nomad tribe

The majority of Afghan clothing found abroad comes from neighbouring Pakistan.  Afghanistan has been at war almost constantly since 1979 and decades of devastation created the need for many to sell their personal jewellery and traditional clothing. UN sanctions in the early 21st century necessitated a lot of cross-border indirect trade. Items are shipped through the bazaars in Pakistan since there was formerly no direct trade with Afghanistan.

Bazaar in Pakistan

 Buying Afghan items may be very tricky. You might be lucky to get some antique silver, but much of the truly older Afghan jewellery is in the hands of private collectors now, although some dealers continue to offer vintage or antique items.
Most tribal clothing and jewellery on the market today is a mix of the old and the new. Displaced Afghanis make belts, for example, by using remnants of vintage embroidered fabric and lining them with new cotton and attaching reproduction pendants and old coins. Some belts are made entirely of reproduction pendants now, newly made copies of traditional nomad designs.
The traditional dress of Afghanistan was very tremendous and elegant; especially the traditional women attire is so unique for its beautiful embroidery, which is mostly handmade. Having a complex and ancient historical background the traditional dress of Afghanistan has also gone through many variations and fashions.

Traditional Afghan dress

The women usually wear a long dress, which is made with cotton fabric with a combination of various colours, however, for preparing the expensive dresses, rugs and carpets, silk was also an important raw material.

The long lasting cultural exchange between Greece, Persia and Turkey resulted in the introduction of Persian, Greek and Islamic symbolism to the designs in weaving, embroidery and woodcarvings. There was also a cultural exchange happening with India. Afghan traders, mercenaries and soldiers traveled there on a regular basis. With close attention, the influence of all these people can be seen in the artistic works created by Afghans today. The carpets woven by the Turkmen, the woodcarvings of the Nuristanis, and the embroidery of the Pushtun and Hazaara women are some examples.
The Scythians men were warriors and craftsmen. The women were weavers and embroider of extreme talent and artistry. They have created magnificent robes and dresses that were embellished with gold studs and silk embroidery. Quite often, these regal dresses were worn for their everyday use. Although, they changed when doing household chores such as building fire to bake breads and cook and wash clothes.
When we speak of traditional Afghan women’s dresses, most often the dress of the Pashtunes comes to mind. But the dresses created by Hazaara, Baluchi, Nuristani and Turkmen women are also of immense beauty and adorned with exquisite embroidery.

Traditional afghan dress
available www.le-lapin-blanc.com

The art of embroidery is almost exclusive domain of the women throughout Afghanistan. Most girls begin learning it at an early age, usually at age five or six. Once they master the basic steps, typically when they are in their teens, the girls spend all their free time embroidering clothes and other textiles in preparation for their dowries.
Embroidery techniques are passed down from mother to daughter. Each dress created by the women can be viewed as a distinctive work of art in which their life stories are told by incorporating personal symbols and elements to the more traditional designs. With the exception of the Nuristani clothes, most women in Afghanistan choose colourful fabrics to make their clothes.

Heavily embroidered afghan kuchi top
Available on www.le-lapin-blanc.com

Clothes are usually stitched by hand. Much care and attention will be give to the men outfit for a neat finish. Women’s dresses are always long and loose with room to grow up, gain weight or get pregnant. Sometime a pleat around skirts and sleeves are sewed for a better fit and opened later needed for the fabric shrinkage or growing taller. Although Afghan women are skilful in embroidery and color coordination, they don’t use matching threads, or even one colour to finish a garment. With limited access in the villages, they have one or two colour threats at home for all their daily use. At times, they tear a piece of the same fabric to pull the threats, twine and sew with it.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Eastern treasures. Part 1

Kaftans have been a part of our fashion for centuries.  Initially worn by men, now it’s one of the favourite items worn by women on the beaches from St Barths to Ibiza. What is kaftan and what it the story behind it?

A kaftan is a coat or overdress, usually reaching to the ankles, with long sleeves, made of wool, cashmere, silk or cotton. It is a variant of the robe or tunic, which have been worn by different cultures around the world, for thousands of years, but predominantly associated with Islamic cultures. In the past kaftans were often worn as court robes. The ones worn by ottoman sultans were lavishly decorated, many were given as rewards to important dignitaries and victorious generals. The decorations, colours, patterns, ribbons, and buttons indicated the rank of the person to whom they were presented.
Kaftan worn by Ottoman Sultan


Chapan, variant of kaftan, is a coat which traditionally worn over clothes, quilted ones usually worn during the cold winter months, while thin ones can be worn any time of the year. In Central Asian countries including Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Tadjikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan they are worn by men. 

Uzbec chapan
available on www.le-lapin-blanc.com


In the western world after American hippie movement of the late 1960s and the 1970s which often drew from ethnic styles, they became very popular also for women.  Lavish kaftans were very popular as hostess gowns for casual at-home entertaining

Elizabeth Taylor wearing a lavish caftan

 Chapan is adorned with intricate threading and come in a variety of colours and patterns.
Uzbek chapan since ancient times was one of the most important articles of Uzbek traditional national clothes. The chapan has a very special value in tradition and culture of Central Asia people and in daily life as well. It was and still is very popular among Uzbek folk of any age. All Uzbek peoples wear robes on celebrations and grand occasions like birthdays or weddings. The chapan gifts are considered very valuable. They have an amazing variety and expressiveness of patterns. Any piece of them looks like a canvas painted by a refined colourist. Uzbek chapans are often made from ikat, fabric dyed with the tie-dyeing method used to give these textiles their unique vibrancy of colour and design.
Uzbek ikat chapan
available on www.le-lapin-blanc.com

The term 'ikat' comes from the Malay word 'mengikat', meaning to tie or to bind..
Ikat employs a resist dyeing process on the warp fibres or the weft fibres, prior to dyeing and weaving.
In ikat, the resist is formed by binding bundles of threads with a tight wrapping applied in the desired pattern. The threads are then dyed. The bindings may then be altered and the thread bundles dyed again with another colour to produce elaborate, multicoloured patterns. When the dyeing is finished the bindings are removed and the threads are woven into cloth. The most known technique, which gives a  in 'hazy' look, is known as "abra", or "cloud" also comes from the dyes bleeding slightly into the resist areas.
Traditional uzbek ikat

Western cultures have embraced ikats for centuries. The technique and textiles first came to Europe via Dutch traders in Southeast Asia, Spanish explorers in South America, and from travellers along the Silk Road, where the Uzbek ikat centres of Samarkand and Bukhara were important stops. In 18th-century France, silk producers seeking an exotic look manufactured an ikat known as chiné à la branche taffeta. The same as kaftans and chapans within the cultures that produced them, ikats were typically status symbols because of the skill and time their production required.


Monday, 10 November 2014

Folk rules

Do you want to find yourself in a fairytail, become one of the heroes of One thousand and one nights?


This season gives you all opportunities. All you need, just to embrace it.. Folk and ethnic influences are everywhere, embroidery, beadings, applique run through collections of Rodarte, Etro, Valentino, Dolce and Gabbana, Ralph Lauren and many others. Feel the magical touch of folk with Le Lapin Blanc Ethnic Collections

Dolce and Gabbana 2014-2015
Vintage Bohemian Jacket (20s)
available www.le-lapin-blanc.com

 
                                       

Detail of embroidery of the Vintage Bohemian Jacket

Dolce and Gabbana 2014-2015
Kuchi Afghan top
available on www.le-lapin-blanc.com
































Dolce and Gabbana 2014-2015

               












Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Halloween in NYC


So.. Is it true that London is taking over NYC for Halloween? Le lapin Blanc crew went to NYC to investigate. 
Wednesday: We started in London with the epic Cuckoo club Wednesday Halloween night with Kerri Chandler.  Each year people in London make more and more effort for Halloween. I didn't see a single person without a costume in the Cuckoo.. 
Wednesday Night Halloween 2014 Cuckoo Club
Halloween 2014 Cuckoo Club
Halloween 2014 Cuckoo club

Thursday: we landed in NYC late evening and went straight to clubs. Provocateur, Up and Down and 1oak. People are much less dressed up than in London, R&B rules, while in London deep house has become a mainstream in most of the clubs. But for us it's Halloween, we  want to express ourselves 
Halloween 2014 NYC 
Halloween 2014 NYC on the way to Provocateur

Friday: after the Halloween parade there are plenty of options. Up and Down with Sheik & Beik party, Boom Boom Room, Marco Carola is playing in Cipriani, Last Ball with Guy Gerber and Cityfox with Tale of us. Of course we can't make them all, so we chose Sheik & Beik, Cipriani and Boom Boom Room. Tonight is the night. Amazing outfits. A lot of headpieces and scary makeup. NYC is still ahead of London, but don't underestimate London. This year Friday night was as hectic as in NYC. Cuckoo club with Mary Jane Cole, Boneca and the party at the Boltons

Cipriani NYC Halloween 2014 Marco Carola Music On
Cipriani NYC Halloween 2014 Marco Carola
Cipriani NYC Halloween 2014 Marco Carola

Saturday: two parties to go. Paul's Baby Grand and of course we can't miss cult Robot Heart. Robot heart always sets a benchmark, costumes are amazing and inspiring.

Paul's Baby Grand Halloween 2014 on the way to Robot Heart
Robot Heart Halloween 2014 NYC

All items and costumes on the pictures are available on www.le-lapin-blanc.com