Thursday, April 02, 2015

Fashion Month: A Belated Round Up

With the doors shut on another fashion month, the fashion world is ready to kick off their Louboutins, throw down their Chanel Boy and hang up their Acne biker for another season. 

Marc Jacobs
New York Fashion Week may seem like a distant memory back at the end of January, but its key trends and lust-worthy accessories continue to ring true. With Marc Jacobs starting the never-ending list of questions that often occur after viewing collections at fashion week – why can’t you live your life in a blue technicolour? Why don’t you wear a dramatic yet gorgeous cape with sequins and pair it with knits and ball-gowns? Why can’t you clinch in your waist and wear a fit and flare skirt to create a ladylike silhouette to remind the world that you are a woman, for goodness sake?  But most commonly during Marc Jacobs Fall catwalk, why can’t you design that one dress that you like, continue to like, and have copied the style of countless times? The latter question was answered during Jacobs fall collection – if something ain’t broke, why fix it? With minor tweaks in an ode to ‘live life boldly yet elegantly’ in allover sequins, lace and embellishment, meaning that the collection now allows you, for a brief moment, to be transported back in time to the 1950’s. 
Marc Jacobs

From Jacobs to Klein, it’s always intriguing to see how a man, particularly Calvin Klein’s Francesco Costa, renowned for his minimalism and simplicity in personal dress, will do a retro collection. Most notably was how he took strips of patterned fabric and suede and produced mini dresses with stripes to the front, oozing simplicity, intrigue and coolness. This theme was continued throughout his coats and skirts, all of which incorporate suede, leather and furs whilst his classic ribbed knits were turned into a mini dress with raw hems and leather detailing. 

With Proenza Schouler’s collection boasting both body skimming and oversized shapes, Marchesa oozing old glamour worthy of appearances in the 1920’s or 30’s, Boss’ tailored, masculine and ‘power-dressing-is-an-neccessity’ vibe, New York Fashion Week  was home to wearable, covetable and above all, memorable looks. 

From EST to GMT, London Fashion Week was up next. 

With Christopher Kane dedicating his AW15 collection to his late Mother to Sophia Webster’s fashion week circus, London is always home to the boldest and most original displays of unique fashion. 
Christopher Kane

Amanda Wakeley appeared to do a U-turn for her AW15 show which reverted back to her traditional and modest roots – an unlikely turn of events given her star-studded, glitzy, celebrity laden FROW from her Spring Summer 15 show. Instead for the Autumn season, Wakeley opted for a low-key presentation in her Albermarle Street shop. Was this an attempt to bring the focus back to the beauty of the clothes? If so, it worked. 

Christopher Kane
The intimacy between spectator and model allowed for the beauty of the intricacy and skill to be fully appreciated, particularly in her coats and luxurious knitwear. With only seventeen looks, it allowed for a brief view into the looking glass to begin to get a comprehensive idea of Wakeley’s new season aesthetic, which clearly focuses on craftsmanship. 

From celebrity laden, to celebrity loved, Burberry Prorsum is always one of the most anticipated shows on the fashion week schedule. 

Christopher Bailey’s vision was that of a story in which the first chapter appeared at his mens show at London Collections: Men. His tale of conservative bohemia was full of quirky patterns, patchwork and print, but above all – wearable styles. His mens range boasted pieces that fashion followers begged he would make wearable during his AW15 show, and Bailey did exactly that. From the heavily fringed ponchos, crop tops, folk dresses, patchwork boots, the famous Burberry trench coats and floral jackets, there really was something for every style aesthetic. 
Burberry Prorsum

Much like Bailey’s dark colour palette, Giles introduced a touch of dark wizardry into Somerset House’s showspace. With Erin O’Connor, Jessica Stam, Lily Donaldson and Kendall Jenner his models of choice, Giles’ AW15 offering was more in line with a performance installation than it was catwalk show. With the clothes boasting strict velvet, ruffled collars and bows throughout the collection, Giles was able to combine a gothic vibe with the Victorian era. 

Burberry Prorsum
From the dark to the colourful, Mary Katrantzou’s show was synomonous with creative innovation and opportunity, but most importantly, it was original - something that her late professor, Louise Wilson instilled in her from day one. 

The Central Saint Martins professor who died suddenly last year was honoured at St Paul’s Cathedral during London Fashion Week and during her design reign at the legendary fashion college was renowned for promoting the “Trust your fucking gut . . . Have a fucking concept. Learn to take some fucking criticism. Make me fucking care . . . ” ideal in her students - a mantra that Katrantzou has clearly stuck too in her latest collection. 

The fashion world left their Burberry capes at home and headed to Milan.

Dolce and Gabbana
With Italian men renowned for their love for their mothers, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are no exception. Their collection was lovingly entitled “Viva la Mamma”, and was all about the celebration of motherhood, and aptly a week ahead of International Women’s Day.  Was this a clever attempt to capture the heart’s of homesick journalists, buyers and photographers, most of whom were women away from their families for the third leg of fashion month? This longing for family time only grew amongst the audience, as when the curtains opened, the stage was set with model mothers, each dressed in black silk and lace slips and all cradling their own offspring.

The collection offered lace dresses, skirt suits, fit and flare coats - the trademark Dolce and Gabbana signatures, as well as a recurring red rose motif, sequins on white shift dresses and white silk dresses emblazoned with scribbled Crayola drawings - the type you’d expect to see held up by a fridge magnet. 

Dolce and Gabbana
Much like many siblings, MaxMara and Sportmax are often polar opposites in personality, with many aesthetic similarities. Whilst the sister line, MaxMara opted for a romantic theme, Sportmax took its audience for a stroll through the countryside and made sure that layering was a key trend for the upcoming season - something of which was a recurring theme throughout Milan Fashion Week with Fendi’s puff jackets and Moschino’s collection. 

From cable knit jumpers and skirts with a fringed hem, raw seams and hand stitched blankets, with leather corded details to the bucket bags and shaped tan coats, the Sportmax collection covered all bases for when one does need to leave the house. 

Away from frills and silk, and countryside romance, Milan offered a lesson in fashion geometry with Jil Sander, Prada and Bottege Veneta all boasting harsh lines, meaning that Milan taught all about the shapes of style equations. 

The biggest show at Paris Fashion Week is always Celiné.

Phoebe Philo posed one important philosophical question throughout the latest collection - how do women interpret glamour through clothing? An appropriate question to ask since the audience took their seats on International Women’s Day, and with much of the fashion industry being male run, it was a welcome move away from the much-dreaded miniskirt and into a new era of glamour. 

Philo entitled her latest fashion offering “tattered glamour” which perfectly summed up the line. With washed animal printed silks, wide tunics and frayed applique florals, her looks were intriguing and glamorous without being, or needing to be, overally sexy. 

I mean, was it glamorous? Of course, it was CelinĂ©! With their instantly recognisable leather tote bags, embellished heeled shoes and jumpsuits, it was bound to turn heads. But what was truly fascinating about the collection was its own juxtaposition - aside from the overally feminine floral prints and slightly washed our prints, the models were pacing the catwalk with a sense of power - an aura of command and control. In today’s society, there is nothing more glamorous than a woman that is sure of herself. Especially in a killer coat.

From questioning the glamour of CelinĂ©, to questioning the authenticity of the fur on Stella McCartney’s catwalk, Paris Fashion Week provided the platform for the introduction of faux fur into McCartney’s line. Normally shying away from leather and fur, and opting to stick with her vegan roots, McCartney surprised her guests by sending her models down the catwalk in “fur-free fur”.

McCartney wrote in her show notes: ‘The idea was to take our woman from being precision to being undone.’ So, slouchy knits fell from naked shoulders, corsets sat over sheer blouses, and necklines looked dangerously unchecked.
With Paris shutting the door on fashion month for the Autumn Winter 2015 season, the fashion world is running home to scoop up their families - after all, that Dolce and Gabanna show still resonates.  

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