So here’s the thing about seasons where designers are of overwhelmingly like mind. In this case it was a full on 1970’s reboot. If you have been looking for a great vintage 1970’s piece or a have been missing that iconic element from your wardrobe, then this is the time to strike. Here you have many of the best designers in the world competing to create the most modern and desirable reinvention of a 1970’s era look. A defining piece – an attempt by some the best design minds out there to evoke the spirit of an era. You can now take your pick of printed miniskirts and flowing floral maxi’s. Don’t get bogged down in the revisitation of a seemingly wrung out moment in our history, (eh hem) shop it instead and move on.
Overall Fall 2015 offered many options for real wearable clothes. And it was these wearable pieces that drew my eye, more so than the flashier artistic fare. Which is so unlike me considering my magpie tendencies. As a result there was a very large pool to choose from and a very diverse final group for this review. It’s always tricky to find a fluid order in which to present our favorites and with all that in mind this season was harder than most. So I went with a cross of casual to formal and good to excellent. I hope that makes sense, there are just so many of them!
Hope you like them as much as we do.
As I was saying, wearable. The styling here is so cool. A little Parisian and a little American art school student. There is a wardrobe of go to pieces here and you gotta love that.
Here’s some of that 1970’s reboot I was talking about up there. The deep V, the Maxi, the Fringe and the gold arm bands. They took the influence and really just updated it and left it alone. This is such a simple looking pair of dresses which is exactly why you could wear them forever and just about anywhere, in any way.
Kors seems to share my affinity for the 1930’s, perhaps because it was a time of such elegance and softness. Looking at these I just think, how charming. I love that Kors always has a little sparkle in there and that the clothes are always feminine. The black beaded frock is oddly slouchy in way that feels modern, if that makes any sense. I suppose that could be the female version of The Slouch that I have been promoting in the menswear collections. Yet here at the end is this very tailored suit dress that I also love because it looks so sharp and sophisticated. I can’t say I really followed the story of this collection – but I do love the pieces.
Without even realizing it I guess I really have jumped on the slouch bandwagon. (Someone more clever than me really needs to coin a proper phrase people, suggestions are welcome!) The exaggerations here don’t stop at the length, if they did you could just call it Maxi. They also have floppy collars, extended sleeves and dropped waists. They are oversized yet slim, not boxy – or else you could call them retro 1980’s. I especially love the soft floral dress but would rather wear it for summer than fall. I wish the plaid coat was solid because the plaid makes it have too much going on. The brown sweater dress with the skinny tie and the military coat with the soft poet shirt underneath are both solid.
I was really taken with this collection. It is indescribably ethnic, which makes it seem mysterious. Therefore the woman wearing the clothes becomes mysterious, where is she from? what does she do? It’s just statement piece after statement piece which is so hard to style all together and not look like its totally overdone. It is a deft hand that can pull off this feat and they have done it marvelously here. I love the draped luxurious velvet with the contrast of the ethnic stripe simple skirt. The severity of the wool cropped jacket with the must be historic costume influenced sleeve detail. Is that two leather jackets or one? I really hope its one because it is so much more interesting. I don’t know very much about this designer but looking back I found looks I’ve pinned here and there over the last few seasons. This is the first season he has really turned my head though and I hope to see more like this going forward.
This collection is ripe in 1980’s references but in such a fresh and totally transformative way. Ackermann is so far ahead of the game when it comes to setting the standard for what is next – what is hip. He has taken the forbidden shoulder pad and make it look strong again. Here it is clean and modern, practically like a dare to be questioned. And he shows how you can take that coat and pair it soft, like with the maxi skirt or sharp with the pant.
As you scroll down notice how he mixes practical and flashy – business with pleasure. He shows you how it’s done because he is the master of styling and leaves it to the customer to choose where she fits into this wardrobe. So many women are present here in various offerings. You could walk the streets of Paris, Rome, Barcelona, New York, Moscow, Madrid, Dublin, etc – it’s all here! If you dissected this collection and looked at it piece by piece you could mix and match so many types of real women – it’s just that good. It’s suddenly so easy to be strong, modern and unabashedly female.
Vivienne Westwood Red Label
Only Westwood can make draping look punk.
Dries Van Noten
I was still hoping to see some Chinoiserie amongst the collections and this season there were some direct influences, which was a treat. Most notably by Dries Van Noten. His take on the Asian influence is so unexpected. There is this ever-present Olive Drab that serves to highlight the beauty of the colors while giving you a clue as to where the shapes are coming from. He takes you back and forth from the extravagance of say, the silk coat and then shows you it in drab. Then turns around and shows you the communist worker (?) uniform at the end but tied with the over the top embellished overskirt. Perhaps he is showing us that he is inspired by the utility, where the opulence perhaps it is to show that each have their beauty?
Whatever the case, you know I am in it for the embellished opulence. The prints are tribute to the Asian art that inspires them. Take a look at the back of the skirt in the last frame – the one with the beaded and sequins trees and pagoda scene. Oh my God I love that.
These two tops are like art in the way the fringe creates the movement of the wind and water. And I had to acknowledge the shoes!
This collection is the next generation version of Jacob’s Louis Vuitton Fall 2013 Collection.
Louis Vuitton Fall 2013
If that was the 1930’s up to the 50’s then this picks right up where he left off in the 50’s and takes us all the way to the 1970’s. He had more of that story to tell and I am so glad that he has brought this look over to his line. After he left Vuitton it went back to being just another label showing nice designer clothes – fine. But Jacobs brought theater to the collections, not just the shows but the story of the clothes. He was selling you a moment in time – our time – through his eyes. This is something he seems to always do for the houses in which he works but never seemed to do for his own brand. I’m so glad to see him putting his full force behind his name where it belongs. No more giving his best to someone else. This group has a similar story to that of the Vuitton in the colors and prints, the furs and the jackets, the treatments with beading, the coats and woolen plaid’s and I love it. I loved it then too – in fact it was my favorite of the season.
I love how these dresses both have insets of sheer netting. It adds so much softness and depth to the story of the dress. These clothes all tell stories of the women who wear them – like they were each designed for just that one woman.
This was one of my favorite collections of the season. This is a departure for Temperly which usually go more, hmm – English? They always seem to be a perfect designer for Kate Middleton – yet this does not work for Kate. So that’s my whole basis of that opinion… Meanwhile, I love the scarves most of all. The rich colored embroidered double faced satin, the sequins with fringe and the silk embroidered are all highly coveted. This is a scarf people – finally! This may be the harbinger of the end of days for that bunchy drape of cotton gauze that’s been wrapping the necks of trendsetters for far too many a season. The choice of this mixture of blues is also wonderful and uplifting. And of course I always love a shit ton of sequins.
I have to admit that I was disappointed with most of the McQueen collection this season. The smocking of the lace over and over was such a turn off, ick. But there were some bits in there that I really liked and the design is always good – just not always successful. The pink and black are classic and have the clash of feminine and dark at its core so what’s not to love in that choice? The Victorian influence is played with very thoughtfully and came to some really interesting conclusions like the peek a boo button front and the tattered layered coat. You can see there is a lot of story here and that’s always hard to resist although it’s not always enough to make you want to be a part of it. (Again that smocking is just – eww.) The pleated skirt is so pretty, and the boots are spectacular. How do I not have these boots?!? The tattered ruffled coat is really a showstopper and I would love to have it and just wear it as a day-to-day cause it just does all the work for you. The last coat too, it’s not really remarkable but I still want it.
So this was a near total departure from what we have seen from the Valentino design team. Where there were once a multitude of peasant style prints and embellishments of hand crafted lace and embroideries there stands neat clean black and white. And I still dig it. They are just so damn good – they took geometric and op art and reinterpreted it to fit their esthetic. It feels like they have reinvented the 1960’s without being derivative. Sure there are these fucking perfect zip front patent go-go boots and a classic retro handbag but really this still looks like the new Valentino more than it does a 1960’s rehash. This is how it’s done. Once again they are making the new vintage collectible clothing without a doubt.
The collection was not without the now signature embellishments despite the whole first act of the show, and we did still see some stunning prints and inspired beaded gowns that defy you to stop looking closer.
Then at the end they wrapped it up with some deceptively simple gowns that I just had to include because they are in arguably chic and indisputably editorial.
The first five looks here are actually from the Men’s Fall 2015 collection. I was so looking forward to what we would see when it came to the women’s collection. This offered a promise of something mysterious and lovely. It is at the heart of gothic, at least where my gothic heart lies. It is dark and feminine which to me suggests the power of the female and I find that so intriguing. The first have some crazy vampire references which I find unnecessary but nonetheless they help to illustrate the point of the feminine being strong and forceful. When the actual women’s collection showed it went more toward a statement on culture and costume which lost some of the previous message that got me so excited. It wasn’t as interesting for me and the facial jewelry was so elaborate that it overshadowed the clothes. A disappointment – but I still have these first 5…
This designer has been one of my favorites for a while now and it’s definitely because he loves color, sparkle and a flowy silhouette. I always look forward to his collections. Now, not all of it is great as sometimes its get a bit pageantry or country music awards show for my taste – but I think that comes with the territory. I love the Indian influence that is ever-present in the colors and embellishments. Here I was really excited to see the lace pant under the sheer skirt. It doesn’t look that great here but I love the idea of it and if it were me I would have repeated the idea in many other looks. How have I not seen this before? The next look is just such a show stopper – c’mon. It’s rock and roll royalty wear. As if Ziggy Stardust and Hollywood had a baby (Ziggy would love Hollywood). The ombre number is just pretty. What can I say? It is fluid and soft and probably feels amazing to wear. All the while doing the figure a huge favor in the cut, who doesn’t want that?? Then the black slit with the embroidered sleeves! So elegant and exotic. I imagine this woman holding a drink at a party and just letting those sleeves billow as she takes a sip. I love the drama. Theater! I love all this wearable costume. It’s dress up for big girls.
Here we have a good old-fashioned 1940’s reference. This collection reads more like the wardrobe for a character in a big Hollywood film set in that era. That’s fine by me. This is at least the third time I have mentioned drama and theater isn’t it? Sometimes when you let yourself get into the costume side of things it makes it fun again – breathes new life into clothes and reminds you that our clothes can be a character – they can be dramatic and curated. Don’t we strive to curate a wardrobe for ourselves? Maybe we aren’t all a 1940’s siren but dressing up is fun. These are some serious fun.
If you wanted to claim these were vintage – it would be no problem. She employs the comfort of new techniques and fabrics with a vintage look.
Dolce & Gabanna
As soon as I saw the rose pattern I flashed on an eagerly anticipated episode of 120 Minutes on MTV hosted by Robert Smith sometime in the early 1990’s. My high school hero wore a black shirt covered in roses that instantly inspired my all black gothic wardrobe to allow for dark and romantic. That shirt is burned on my brain. As it turned out, he had two – a white with roses and the black he wore on that show. I taped it on my VCR that night but god only knows where that tape has gone… a victim of my fathers efficiency I suppose. None the less my memory has held on to it and seeing these roses on the runways of my favorite high school designer is like some sort of cosmic full circle. The parallel universe where my high school self is sitting up late watching MTV and clipping pages from Bazaar is feeling elated upon this marriage. I love these rose dresses. I have been waiting for them.
This is the only image I could find of Mr. Smith in that Rose shirt – I wish it was clearer.
Meanwhile, the rest of the show had a mother/family theme which was charming. Who that has ever been pregnant wouldn’t dream of a Dolce maternity dress???
There are beautiful simple shifts and fitted, sexy buttoned up coats which are paired with incredibly sexy shoes and meticulous accessories. Oh Dolce and Gabanna – how I love you so.
These are just so pretty. I mean really, these are so pretty. The shade of red is perfect. Perfect Red. The placement of the patterns and lace is perfect. They are cut to flatter and they really do. Young Hollywood? Cocktail party? Big date? This is what stunning looks like. Here is that killer dress.
This is not my favorite even though it is at the end. It just seemed to be the most formal. Not that much at first view right? More sheer, more black, more beads, blah blah blah. Except there is a conceptual coolness in that sheer. The first dress has a frenetic Japanese brush painting artistic thing happening that just makes it really unique among the masses of sheer beaded black gowns. The black and white ball gown evokes beauty among chaos, which is pretty provocative for a ball gown. The last one is just so vampy and exotic and sexy and wow. The belt keeps it from being too delicate and makes it more commanding. I dig that. It’s all crafted. They all have a mood and that’s impressive.
So to sum up, the favorites were inspired by the past and the present. There was wearable drama and clothes that beckon you to dress up. To be cool and playful, feminine and strong. Always good things to be. Until next time – Cheers!