What is Prêt–à-Couture?

fantasy, Fashion, Fashion Business, Love, Style, Uncategorized

Many of you know that Kiian, the LA based musician, unofficially marked the debut of Avastavé pret-a-couture menswear, in his most recent shoot for Unclear magazine. Now, with special access to a one-of-a-kind image from the shoot, I thought it would be an informative way to explore what makes a custom-made Avastavé piece so special, and what the terminology pret-a-couture really means.

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Naomi Campbell in Christian Dior Haute Couture 97/98 by John Galliano

Firstly, lets identify the fashion terminology: 

Haute Couture: Every bit is constructed by hand and no sewing-machines are involved. Only one piece in the world. Created to follow every line on your body, with any changes you desire to the original style i.e fabric, colour, seams, etc. A typical Haute Couture show displays the height of a brands fashion artistry and opulence, and is best exemplified in the works of designers such as John Galliano for Christian Dior in the past, Atelier Versace and of course, Chanel. Tap here for video.

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Avastavé pret-a-couture is only available to shop exclusively on our website

Pret-a-couture: A term used to describe clothing with couture-esque elements. Born from the traditional term pret-a-porter, meaning ready-to-wear; the typical clothing sold at designer boutiques including spring/summer, fall/winter, pre-fall and cruise collections. Pret-a-couture was formed to address the fast paced consumer need for couture like garments without the exorbitant price tag. Brands like Fausto Puglisi, Iris Van Herpen and the famous, Alexander McQueen are all examples of pret-a-couture.

Differences between Pret-a-couture and Haute Couture:

  • There is only one piece worldwide assembled from a Haute Couture style, but there is a set-stock of pieces for each style in a pret-a-couture collection, depending on the label.
  • All official Haute Couture pieces are 100% hand-made( this includes, the side seams, zippers and overall garment construction, not just the handwork). Pret-a-couture pieces however, are not 100% hand made, they may contain details that reference Haute-Couture garments like expert hand embroidery, one-of-a-kind textiles and unique embellishments, but they are not hand-made as a whole.
  • True Haute Couture pieces can take up to 300 hours per piece to construct, whereas pret-a-couture takes less than half of this time, dependent on the piece and the label.

Avastave Pret-a-couture

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A cascading river of crepe-satin and silk form this sleeveless coat dress that can be worn with trousers or skirts. Available on Avastave.com

  • What makes Avastave pret-a-couture unique? We only have three sizes in one style. For example, the dress above, is only available in UK 8, 10 and 12. If you are lucky enough to purchase a piece in that style, then you will be the only woman(or man) in the world to own it, with the exception of the clients that purchase size 10 & 12. But, there will only be two other people in the world to own the style.
  • Pricing: We are an emerging label, but one that only creates pret-a-couture and custom pieces. Therefore we are expensive, but through extensive market research and customer feedback we’ve created pricing that is every bit worth your dollar. Especially considering you’ll be one of the only people to own the piece. Did I mention we also provide worldwide free shipping?

Kiians Garment:

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Kiian photographed for Unclear Magazine

Kiian’s garment was created three months ago and took about a month to complete,between emails, design changes, textile finalization and shipping. Custom made pieces require more time and attention and as with all aspects of the business, are primarily handled by me. Kiians top, is crafted in opal pink silk/satin and has elasticated ribbing at the collar, cuffs and lower-hem. The back contains a curved seaming, reminiscent of the jackets of 80’s rock-stars and firmly holds two layers of hand-made, hand-dyed fringing in matching opal pink. The back also contains the initials KIIAN.

 

 

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Does It Suit You?

Black Tie, Fashion, Style, Twenties, Uncategorized

There’s nothing like seeing a thought provoking suit style to set your sartorial sensibilities ablaze. Here, is a round-up of some suit styles that I’ve come across which are a constant reminder that formal attire needn’t be a bore.

Alexander McQueen: I adore the styling, the pairing of the earring with the hand painted Mughal prints are extraordinary, while the sculpted shoulders ( a signature McQueen look) offer a glow of incomparable regality.

Alexander McQueen Suit

Tom Ford:I simply can’t get enough of the man’s vision! Bringing sexy-back to suiting is by no means an easy feat and yet Mr.Ford has clearly risen and surpassed the requirements of said challenge. Here an elegant fit, well-proportioned shoulders and a rather unique textile effect on what is presumably jacquard or silk creates a phenomenal evening jacket.

Tom Ford Mens Suit

Ralph Lauren: There’s something rather exquisite about Ralph Lauren’s suit cut that tippy-toes on the fine line between the 1940s and the modern age. The way this sleek suit jacket nips in at the waist framed by the tapered trouser gives me all kinds of glamour. Perfect for weddings and dinners.

Ralph Lauren suit

Dolce&Gabbana: While I’d be damned before purchasing anything from the designers whose opinions on the lgbt community and women’s weight have infuriated a vast majority of people ( myself included) it would be total foolery to not acknowledge the immaculate cut of their suits. Appearing in a wide variety of textiles from damask to satin, the designers fit and structure is like no other. This particular number would be perfect for dinner at Nobu or even the Opera? Knowing me It would even work for the super market!

D&G suit

Balmain: Nicki said it first ‘I make him buy me BALMAIN’, and there’s a reason! Olivier Rousteing does not dress basic whoes* so if you’re looking for conventional – kindly exit the stage. Military details, embellishment, gold and silk. Jackets for everyday and every time!

Balmain mens suit

Formal Attire

Black Tie, Fashion, Fashion Business, formal, Life choices, Style, Twenties, Uncategorized

We’re all familiar with the term ‘classic’, i.e a classic suit, classic style, etc. But, what happens when the need to please society interferes with our ability to pioneer our own style?

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(Image: Alexander McQueen) I’m a firm believer in dressing for the occasion, but I am just as keen on dressing for myself. Let me explain, a black-tie occasion is no place for jeans or tank tops, it is to be met with a certain level of class and dignity. However, in recent times all previous notions of what defines class has been called to question, leaving us with a multitude of confused attendees to said events. I think any dress code should be respected and much like wearing shorts and flip-flops to bars or brunches, I’d say opposing this is not only a sign of disrespect but a blatant disregard to the tradition of fine dressing. There’s a fine art in honoring dress codes while standing out of the crowd, and here’s how you do it.

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(Image: Tom Ford) A black-tie affair to me simply means a suit and tie paired with a great pair of shoes. And on receiving news that a rather exciting family wedding will be taking place this October, I walked into my closet and acknowledged ( to feign surprise would be an outright lie) the lack of suits. You see, to me suits always signaled the triumph of convention, and conventional thinking was always associated with the anti-lgbt movement.. ‘a man must dress like a man’ and so on and so forth. Yes, I own informal jackets but that is about it. As I have always stated that sexual orientation shouldn’t play a part in the way we dress, I admit that my initial thought process was a bit hypocritical, though whether I am convinced on my own stance at this point is yet to be determined. The point remains that suits today are not what they were ten or fifteen years ago. In fact today we have the embellished jacquards of McQueen and the slick velveteen’s of Tom Ford and with the removal of any specific laws of dress we are free to choose any of them for any given occasion. The art however is directly linked with your understanding of ‘black tie’ and any other dress code, ‘formal’ for example will always mean good trousers, covered shoes and no T-shirts, yes we occasionally see that one person who appears to have missed the memo but they do carry it off and so can you.

Tom Ford

(Image Tom Ford) You see, working within the context of a black tie theme gives you plenty of room. No one said you have to look all masc-for-masc in your graduation suit or even stuffy in a sad conventional ( I shuddered again) suit + tie combo. Log onto Pinterest or Vogue.com and you’ll see that sleek evening jackets appear in embellished variations, while exaggerated bow-ties have made a significant come back and in my opinion have made ties seem like the joke by example. There’s also a prism of colour to choose from, why do black when lilac silk emphasizes your toned physique so much better? In fashion as in life, the best thing to do when faced with an obstacle is to take a step back and observe it, in this case staying true to yourself while dressing within a formal dress code might be your Rubix cube but observing that it does not, by any means enforce your choice of suit style, accessories or for that matter even colour is  your solution. So, the next time you’re invited to a special black tie affair, have some fun with colour, choose trousers that have a satin stripe down the side paired with pink Gucci loafers and a Saint Laurent tuxedo blazer or go all-out in a head-to-toe in block colour. There’s always a way to stay true to yourself but it often requires a little compromise. So, am I team suits? As of today, I’m fairly excited for my custom Avastave version, that’s for sure.

The Hermit

Fashion, Life choices, Uncategorized

Hermit; typically a person living in solitude for religious purposes and a word often attributed with people who are antisocial. But when we talk about happiness, who does the hermits antisocial behaviour hurt? The hermit himself or the society he lives in? Let’s explore taking recent occurrences as an example.

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After two years of working at a leading fashion publication in Dubai, I find myself back at the job distillery; an imagined house of endless possibilities, disappointments and opportunities, a place that most of us will inevitably arrive at when playing the work game. If you have never been here, then I would say it is neither a good or a bad thing, because life is about lessons, and lessons often lead to growth. Growth, my friend is everything. Sidestepping or altogether ignoring the many clues you receive on the road to success is a surefire way to lead a stagnant life, and I don’t believe that is what any of us are after. But, how does the hermit relate to all of this?

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Alexander McQueen’s work was often perceived as morbid in the early stages of his career but the beauty of his work shone through to those who saw past the outward design into the intricacy of his ideas.

The hermits state of mind, his happiness and his goals are uninfluenced by the musings and doubts of people who don’t share the same outlook. A person who means well can in some cases do more damage than good; doubt is like a slow-killing poison that spreads through the crystalline waters of your mind to pollute your vision. There is no room for doubt. The hermit knows this, his actions and words are powerful, focused and clear though the perception of his outwardly appearance by society are often misconstrued because people fear what they cannot understand. The natural reaction to losing a job should be outward saddness much like the accepted form of appearance for a grieving widow should be visible sadness or the notion of marriage being solely attributed to a antiquated picture of a man and woman. This is how society has been working for generations. But in a time when we’re questioning everything and finding obvious results, the most pivotal lesson to learn from the hermit is this;

Happiness comes first and foremost from you not from anyone or anything around you.

While I hunt around for a new job, and a new opportunity, it is natural that people who love me will question my outward behaviour. But I am more confident than I have ever been because, I have always had a vision for what my life would become, and I see no sign of that waning because of a small bump on the road.

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Alexander McQueen A/W06