Strong, Modern and In Control – Emilio de la Morena

Emilio de la Morena is a luxury womenswear brand created in 2005. Within just ten years, the brand has built an increasingly commercial customer base resulting in the brand being sold worldwide.

Having just attended the Emilio de la Morena catwalk at London Fashion Week A/W15 (#FROW), I have had the urge to write about this Spanish genius. The cut and silhouette of many garments exemplifies the designers previous studies in sculpture as the garments fall as if they understood the shape of a woman’s body. Truly brilliant.

The A/W’15 Collection had pieces I could only wear in my dreams. The use of material was a pleasure to the eye. The fluidity of the velvet forms juxtaposed with the sharp and clean cut hem lines and silhouette, thus creating a balance and harmony between fluid and solid. During the Renaissance, wearing fabrics, such as velvet, gave a suggestion of power and wealth, accordingly giving a valuable reputation to whoever may be wearing it. Emilio describes his ideal client to be…

IMG_0679“first and foremost strong, modern and in control. She knows her own mind and is not afraid to stand out; nor is she scared of expressing herself in a vibrant and bold way. She loves playing with her personality and uses dress to express the many layers of her character, always managing to strike the right balance between elegantly refined and provokingly sexy. This woman is in control of her life both emotionally and economically, she lives in or close to a major metropolis, spending most if not all her time in the city. It is important that the work she does stimulates her. Whatever her chosen field, it will be one that she can really commit to. She will be at the centre of the work that she does whatever the industry and whatever the level. Don’t mess with this woman; she will have you wrapped around her little finger in no time.”

I cant speak for every woman out there, but I strive to be this woman that is described.

Incorporating velvet and other materials with the same motif puts Emilio’s psychological desires into physical existence. Referring back to his previous studies of sculpture, again, if you look at the renaissance, sculptures such as Michelangelo’s Pieta has draping that resembles the same fluidity as that of velvet.

draping velvet

Michelangelo’s “Pieta” in comparison to draping velvet.

Pieta is classed to be highly respected as it contains themes of religion and therefore linking the importance of flowing and soft material to be of a higher class. Mary is also associated with colours of blue and red. In Emilio de la Morena’s collection, the velvet material contains deep colours, again, associating the garments with high power and importance. The show as a whole was very simplistic and understated with very dominating music, giving the viewers a chance to only focus on the garments and not an overwhelming scenery or performance.

Personally, I think that by the brand displaying this subtle hint to power within their garments, ties in with the current issue of feminism, which is so prominent in todays culture, suggesting this brand supports this movement, thus providing it with a culturally aware and respected forefront.

Emilio de la Morena manages to manufacture clothing that is sensual and sexy, yet giving it a degree of innocence. This balance is hard to achieve, yet is shown to be so effortless.

I recommend watching the finale video on full screen. I apologise for the poor photography and filming skills.

Ella Elysia x

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Dior Impressions

Impressionism was an art movement in the nineteenth century. By painting en plain air, gave the artists the freedom to paint exactly from the scene, providing the idea that the world around them is rapidly changing, consequently contributing to the impasto painting technique. Many artists were inspired by impressionism, thus giving further influence to other designers.

Impressionism emphasises on an accurate depiction of light, nature and its changing qualities, accordingly giving Christian Dior inspiration for many of his designs, especially his Haute Couture spring/summer 1953 collection, named ‘Ligne Tulipe’.
The bunches of wildflowers Christian Dior evoked in his S/S 1953 collection -(figure 1) inspired Raf Simons, who reinterpreted them in his first two haute couture collections (A/W 12 and S/S 13) – ( figure 2). Both collections relate back to Manet’s painting ‘Poppies’, 1873 – (figure 3).


Figure 1 (right). Figure 2 (left).


Figure 3. Manet’s painting ‘Poppies’, 1873.

“ After woman, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world” Christian Dior. 1954.

Christian Dior, attempts to incorporate women and flowers in the same sphere of existence. Due to doing this, beauty is established through the picturesque qualities of nature reflecting on the woman herself. The colours, prints and embroideries of the 1953 collection, evoke the impressionist landscapes and fields of flowers dear to Renoir and Van Gogh.


Figure 4. Christian Dior, 1953


Figure 5. Black tulip dress. Christian Dior. 1953

The complimentary neck line within the collection “Ligne Tulipe”, frames the neck and shoulders leaving the face as the focal part of the body, suggesting the face is, the flower and therefore the beauty within this impressionist inspired line. The Dior silhouette, takes form of the tulip, then curves down into a tiny waist line and stem-straight skirt – (figure 4).

Symbolic to the tulip, the flower is a representation of elegance and grace, much like the depiction of women in which Christian Dior wanted to convey. Christian Dior then began to reverse the flower, where the design would flower out at the feet making an inverted tulip form – (figure 5 ).

This impressionist inspired design also influenced other collections. Dior’s A/W 11 collection by John Galliano (figure 6) is a clear example. The materials that the garments are made from allow the movement and fluidity that is required from the impressionism movement, as if the collection has been designed to be ‘en plain aire’.


Figure 6. Dior’s A/W 11 collection by John Galliano

1953 satin and silk dress

Figure 7. Christian Dior. Autumn/Winter’54

This gold silk garment (Dior A/W 54) exploits the material as it reflects the surroundings, giving the dress a sense of ever changing movement, resulting in the impressionist ideas coming to life. The collar of this dress is also symbolic of the tulip flower as it frames the face to contain the beauty within – (figure 7)

Christian Dior’s classic silhouette, where the waist is narrow and the bust and hips are wide and full, is still present within modern fashion – (figure 8 ). This strapless white garment with a gauzy white skirt is strongly influenced by the impressionist painting by Degas’ ‘The Ballet Class” painted in 1871 – (figure 9)


Figure 9. Degas, “The Ballet Class” 1971

sarah jessica parker 4

Figure 8. Sarah Jessica Parker wearing Dior in 2012.

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Dior constantly references the art movement, impressionism within his brand. Through the use go his A/W’13 campaign gives a strong link to “lunch on the grass” by Edouard Manet (1863).


Christian Dior (left) poses his garden. Claude Monet (right) stands beside his pond of water lilies. These photographs reveal the similarities in mind and beauty within both of their designs.

Christian Dior is such an influential designer that due to his intense relationship with impressionism, many other designers create designs based around this art movement. The colour white appears frequently in this particular art movement, as it references light and movement. White is evident in multiple collections within the Spring/Summer’15 fashion weeks, concluding that an ‘all  white’ trend has stemmed of impressionism.

Ella Elysia x

Christian Dior. Trend: Find the future in the past

Christian Dior’s Spring/Summer’15 collection was a continuation of his previous couture show in which he associated historical clothing with a twenty-first century twist. Raf Simons describes that he was “interested in the process of finding something extremely modern through something very historical” which is evident to see he succeeded in.

“It was an idea of confronting what people now think is an aesthetic that is modern – it felt more modern to go to the far past, not the ‘modernised’ look of the last decade” – Raf Simons.


The traditional ‘Robe a la Française’ and Raf Simon’s reinterpretaton in the Spring/Summer’15 collection

By modernising eighteen century clothing allows the collection to be more accessible to a wider audience than Raf Simons’ previous couture collection, although they had the same notion. Bodices became skirts and jackets converted into blouses to give the formality an additional contemporary feel. Raf Simons took the traditional Robe a la Française, and created a cotton bodice to further modernised historical dress, providing a practical, yet traditional garment, whilst simultaneously keeping the eighteenth century inspired print.


Flight Suit a la Français


Christian Dior by Raf Simons. Spring/Summer’15

Similarly, the ‘Flight Suit a la Français’ uniform from the eighteenth century was refashioned by removing heavy masculine material (washed silk satins and thick calf leather) to light velvet and silks to give a feminine authority amongst the clothing. The coats became minimalistic versions of their former selves with a modicum of embroidered embellishments.The models wore the ‘Court coats’ of the eighteenth century with white skater’s shorts which consequently in turn contributed the historical modern look.

Due to Raf Simons starting this trend in his previous Haute couture collection and continuing the process to the ‘ready-to-wear’ allows the assumption of the ‘Trickle Down’ theory, where couture and expensive garnets influence ready to wear and furthermore high street collections.

Christian Dior was a large supporter of femininity, yet within the eighteenth century, females did not have rights which is so vital to be a female in the modern context. The twenty-first century debate is largely on the topic of feminism, (highlighted by Emma Watson’s speech for the United Nations ‘HeForShe’ campaign, which has brought this topic in to the public’s eye) thus, by clashing together authoritative uniforms of the eighteenth century and reconstructed them to a feminine yet practical design allows the link to be made for authority females within the twenty-first century. Chanel’s Spring/Summer’15 collection also highlights this campaign where the models protested down the catwalk, leaving a large statement within this area of conversation.

“White is pure and simple and matches with everything”
Christian Dior

Keeping to the trend of minimalism, Christian Dior’s collection largely contains clothing of pure white, where the focal point can remain on the cut rather than having a destruction on the print.


All White. Christian Dior by Raf Simons. Spring/Summer’15


All white. Christian Dior by Raf Simons. Spring/Summer’15

This was evident in many Paris Fashion Week collections, where white minimalism is key, such as the Celine and Anya Hindmarch’s collections.


All white. Celine. Spring/Summer’15


All White. Ayna Hindmarch. Spring/Summer’15

Ella Elysia x

Christian Dior – The ‘New look’ to the S/S’15 Collection

“A dress is a piece of ephemeral architecture, designed to enhance the portions of the female body.” Christian Dior.

Christian Dior, Bar Suit. 1947

Figure 1. Christian Dior, Bar Suit. 1947

Christian Dior, from his start collections in 1947 to Christian Dior by Raf Simons collections in the more recent years, all embody the shape and movement of the female body. By embracing and harmonising the shape of the feminine body allows the silhouette to encompass a clear cut ‘classic beauty’ for the body, where the waist is narrow and bust and hips are wide, allowing to conform to the ‘perfect partitions of the idealistic body, dating back to Vitruvius’ ideas from 1st century BC. Christian Dior’s first ground breaking collection in 1947, titled “New Look”- (Figure 1) enabled women to “return to the idea of civilised happiness”(Christian Dior). Due to the war ending in 1945, Dior unequivocally turned the views of rationing, uniforms and restriction to a dress code of lightheartedness and seduction, which Dior was previously familiar with in his childhood. His aim was to extract women out of uniform and ‘practical’ clothing, which was needed in the war period and renew the abandoned traditional dress of elegance.

“I wanted my dresses to be constructed, moulded on the curves of the female body whose contours they would stylise. I accentuated the waist, the volume of the hips, I emphasised the bust. In order to give my model more hold, I had nearly all the fabrics lined with percale or taffeta, renewing a tradition that had long been abandoned”
Christian Dior

At the time, this collection was considered by some controversial as it took back the freedom that women had earned whilst the happenings of the world war were taking place. Women were viewed as equals due to the need of a female to replace a man, and his requirements, however, Dior removed this right when the “New Look’ collection was realised due to his desire to return back to tradition.

The “New Look” innovation proceeds to inspire Raf Simons, as he reinterprets the legendary curves of the clothing in his latest collections, including his Spring/Summer ’15 line.


Christian Dior by Raf Simons. Spring/Summer’15

This dress evokes the traditional silhouette of Dior. Due to the cut of waist provides the emphasises on the width of the bust and hips, creating a feminine form. Raf Simons, has used ideas from Dior with consideration to a modern context as the materials used are more practical to a woman of the twenty-first century. The cut-outs allow for the classic silhouette without using a corset or thick materials such as taffeta, which restrict movement and comfort.


Christian Dior by Raf Simons. Spring/Summer’15

Due to modern technology, a futuristic twist can be presented on a garment of classicality. The shape of the heel demonstrates the advanced modern technology on today, which allows balance and strength on such a curve.


Christian Dior by Raf Simons. Spring/Summer’15

This collection of garment evokes the modern day “bar suit” from the “New Look” collection. The cut of the material is essential in the jacket as the curve isused to accentuate the bust, nip in the waist and heighten the hips. Although being high structure to the form of this suit, the modern day has been taking into consideration as the skirt length is shortened, allowing higher practicality.

Watch the Spring/Summer’15 catwalk below:

Ella Elysia x