This is a crazy time for fashion. Well, it’s a crazy time – so it has to be a crazy time in fashion if fashion is doing its job. I would venture to say that not since the epic revolution of the late 1960’s has the world seen such upheaval and such chaos. Our culture is facing some harsh realities with the MeToo movement, LGBTQ revelations and setbacks, social media domination, the political climate of all out war between Red and Blue, record breaking government shutdowns and Brexit. Fashion has been affected in various ways – as it should be and needs to be, where designers are choosing their topics to tackle on the runways. Some are more literal using phrases and images, some are subtle using silhouette and avant guarde, some are switching gender roles and so forth. The runways have been bananas, who knows where we will land.
Again, not an exciting collection – unless you’re into comfortable, practical, easy to throw on and go clothes. In which case – YES! This will do just fine. I’ve been on an unofficial hunt for a good jumpsuit in the style of the traditional Dickies men’s one piece and this one looks pretty good, not perfect but close and the long lean coats in rich fabrics are divine. These are good solid basics, cut well in high quality fabrics.
I believe that after dominating the bridal market for so many years Wang has been in a position to be more experimental with her design. A few years ago her more commercial ready to wear line took a hard turn into almost avant guarde. Definitely more of a gothic/alternative vibe. The looks had purposely experimental and avant guarde elements like 5″ platforms with 9″ heels, or sleeves that came to the knee. She hasn’t tired of these elements yet either – as they appear in this current season too – but along side these hard to translate to life looks there are items that are easily wearable on the right woman. They speak of confidence and introduce a rare if ever seen before combination of edgy and elegant. Look at these pleated trousers – brilliant.
For Restless Sleepers
I looooove this line. They are doing something so wonderful in fashion. While everyone else seems to be clamoring for exposure, they are quietly creating decadent clothes in rich vibrant colors and sumptuous fabrics for women. Their use of traditional zoological and chinoiserie motifs has become part of their identity and you can count on seeing glorious elaborate prints in jewel tones covering luxe silks and satins. It feels like a banquet for the eyes full of classic elegance with a indulgent helping of eccentricity. I would live in these clothes if I could.
This collection is chocked full of light as air florals accented with delicate embroideries and layered with lovely silk velvets and faux furs. Not exactly screaming modern… not exactly screaming at all. This is in fact a whisper. There is a refreshing delicacy to this that feels like a spring breeze. It evokes a simpler time of beauty and fresh air and it has a kind of literary romance element. I can’t really recall a specific piece or dress that stood out but the feeling of this collection is the takeaway. And it felt good.
Snow Xue Gao
This is the first I’ve seen of this designer and I am intrigued. I tend to gravitate to Asian influence in print and fabrics. The storytelling imagery and heavy jacquard silks in vibrant jeweltones or dusty shades are a long time favorite. I’m always excited to see them pop up on the runway. Here they have made some lovely wearable pieces, especially in the charming day dress and they have done something very interesting with the layering of the jackets. The contrast of the old and new in the plaids over the silks or vice versa. Its very thoughtful and I can’t wait to see more.
Simone Rocha is fearless and concise in her use of texture and embellishments. It shows true talent to be able to push into the territory of over designed but then pulling back at just the right moment. There is so much going on but it all fits together like a 4 dimensional puzzle. In the use of layering sheer with embroidered and sequined and solids she creates complex and multi level looks that are fascinating to behold. Last season I was impressed with the idea of layering over coats and this season seems to be a natural and successful progression of that idea.
This collection was choked full of references to the past. There was 1930’s, 1940’s, glam, country, rock and many more. I for one love any old Hollywood reference so I was happy to see the bias cut floral dresses and embellished cardigans which are reminiscent of the ones I wore when I went through my thrifting phase in High school. It’s not forward or modern nor is it on the cutting edge. What it is, is expressive, playful and lighthearted, things we could all use a bit of right now.
When London solidified it’s standing in the fashion world it did so by bringing the fun. It was the 1960’s and London was the new fashion capitol because they had a point of view that connected with youth, vitality, music – ultimately a feeling of a bright and shiny future. It did this by celebrating color and shape, experimentation and trends. Plastic dresses and go go boots, ultra minis and mod silhouettes. Libertine as a brand seems to honor this legacy of fashion from London in every collection. Often there are direct references to the 1960’s through icons and silhouettes, other times it’s the styling but it is always there and you kinda have to love them for it. This season was no exception.
Is on a roll right now. Between this collection and his most recent for Moschino he is creating political, culture commenting, covetable fashion. When I say Fashion – it is in the most literal sense of the word. These clothes are of this specific moment in time and he’s nailed it. This collection is straight from the headlines that dominate and corrupt our daily lives with their scandals and provocations. It is an overwhelming time and this collection shows how much we all live with it, wear it on our faces and our choices so why not on our clothes. No question this collection will be in a museum someday and if Scott continues on this trajectory he will be celebrated in the Met for his contributions in years to come.
Another new designer this season. I’m not sure who this customer is, perhaps an older lady in her 40’s at least but more like her mid 50’s, 60’s… who wants to be edgy but not look like shes trying to be 20. There is sophistication here for sure and the clothes are cut and proportioned perfectly. There isn’t a lot of variation in color or fabrics here and it could only be better if they offered some option for those who don’t want satin, or red and black. Its almost as if they had collected the most solid looks from the last 20 years as shown by the most forward designers and brought them all to one collection. Here we see that the full (exaggerated) hip, the asymmetric dress and the origami shapes (which are standard edgy fare) are some of the biggest influences.
Dolce & Gabbana
Over 100 looks that are at times retro and whimsical while covered in pattern and trope loi. I love it which is why Dolce & Gabbana have been a favorite of mine since high school when I pasted their advertisements on the walls. I love the world they have created; one full of heroines and theater, romance and glamour. Here they had a bit of a 1930’s – 1940’s old Hollywood element that I find irresistible. Not to mention that they seemed to have gotten the memo that women are wearing their menswear so they have featured some of the menswear on the ladies this season.
Leather and lace, literally and figuratively. The contrast of hard and feminine has been a long running point of inspiration for McQueens’ Burton and she is featuring two extremes in this collection with great success. The addition of the punk element is also a standard but I love how she showed consideration of the movement in her embellishments. Punk invented what we call DYI bedazzling when they painstakingly hand studded cheap upholstery tacks through dense leather – which isn’t easy btw. At times even making clothes entirely with safety pins. She has one jacket in particular where she uses said safety pins to attach and embellish a exquisitely cut blazer with antique buttons. She also uses other “cheap” items as punks would have, like zippers, chains, snaps and hooks with deftness and honor. It is no doubt her respect for the past and her Bristish culture that drives her design forward and it’s just brilliant.