Wow!! We are here again, another fashion month has come and gone, in reality, it doesn’t feel like the fashion shows have stopped since last season in September and October, what with pre-collections in December, Men's and Couture in January, and of course all the other events that seem to fill our Instagram feeds.
However, the February/March shows are, in my humble opinion, the ones to watch. A/W is my favourite season because there are MORE CLOTHES. Despite a few SNBN (see now buy now) shows, on the whole, this is a presentation of the clothes we will be wearing in 6 months time, and I cannot wait.
This season I have upped my show quota, reviewing my top 6 from each city because this season the shows seemed so much stronger and it was much harder to pick. Starting with Tom Ford way back in February up to Chanel on Tuesday, the shows have offered us a varied selection of things to choose from, so let's get into it…
In the past, I have had mixed feelings about the New York shows, but this season felt like one of the strongest I have seen in a very long time. Overall there was a brave and bold use of colour, strong silhouettes and stong sense of brand identity filtered through the mass of collections. I also think the diversity of casting this season is something that NYFW has really done well this season.
Opening NYFW Ford proved that he is still the original showman, delivering a high octane 80’s themed Beverley Hills show filled with instant sell outs. Sequins on animal prints on fur the list goes on, a great collection filled with what Ford does best- excess and I LOVED it.
The colour palette of this super cool collection is what grabbed my attention on Instagram. Giving me all the AW14 Prada Vibes, this warm autumnal palette is everything that I want to be wearing next autumn. It was also interesting how a different city affected the brand, as Bottega Veneta normally sits in the Milan schedule, in all honesty, it felt cooller and more effortless.
Executive realness was the order of the evening. Set in the now defunct Times Square Vogue Offices, Wang presented a collection that had futuristic boss bitch vibes. With CEO logos all over the collection, this is certainly for the power Wang fans. Strong tailoring meets sharp accessories, this was a great way to redeem himself after last seasons street show affair. Also, a great way to end Wang’s shows at NYFW, as Wang’s collections will now be shown in June and September (traditionally when pre-collections are shown).
Presenting an intimate collection of paired back pieces, Beckham showed her design maturity, with a show that makes her 10th year of collections. A muted warm palette swathed the softly tailored garments, stand out pieces were the covetable oversized totes and the leopard print coat.
Another strong season for Sander Lak at Sies Marjan. A masterclass in bold autumnal colours, this collection was wearable and chic. I loved the continued use of silks, with the addition of shaggy furs and patent leathers, this was a great fifth collection for the new designer.
I loved the bold colour palette at Tibi, pushed through an easy to wear range of separates that a class and elegance to them. Stand out styling was the v-neck over matching roll neck, a new way to layer this Autumn/Winter. Amy Smilovic seems to have a created a brand full of recognisable pieces without having to brand heavily like other labels, which is why this label has a touch of elegance that elevates it so much.
So last season I was really not feeling LFW, and I found it hard to pick shows, well this season I found it hard to narrow it down. I saw more shows than ever, and I was really impressed with the levels of talent that walked down those runways. Quite honestly I had a RuPaul moment and heard myself screaming ‘Tens, tens, tens across the board’ such a good season London.
SHOULDERS. Need I say more? Well in the throes of madness that is the effervescent wordy journalistic style I will say more. This showcase of bold tailoring is the most exciting thing that I have seen from Pugh for a long time. Yes his shows are normally amazing representations of talent, but this collection has a smidge more commerciality, I need all of these pieces and I think that Pugh has cracked the code.
One of thew shows that I was happily in attendance of. Whitney Houston’s ‘I’m every woman’ blasted out at the start of Marta Jakubowski’s AW18 show at the Strand. Setting the tone, this soundtrack revealed Jakubowski’s main inspiration behind the collection, women, all women. It was such a fun collection, with amazing tailoring and such a great vibe.
Mother of Pearl
POLKA DOT REALNESS. Okay so there were other prints, but the Polka dots are my favourites. This was a seriously covetable collection, that I think has elements that would suit everybody, also kudos on the most original version of Prince of Wales this season-in red and white- I really really really liked this collection.
This show weaved a magical tale of exploration “on New Year’s Eve, the Ashley Williams girl made a pact to ditch technology and set about exploring the U.K. and all its monolithic marvels”. The collection embodies this theme of exploration with easy casual pieces, all with a Williams twist; bucket hats, a lavender corduroy suit, and embellished flat sandals. This gave way to a refined elegance as the Williams girl found herself. The casual pieces were replaced with sheer tulle dresses, feather embellishments, bold cocktail earrings and killer heels. This was a darker side to the show that was unmistakably sexy. Also happily seated at this show besides me, was Alexa Chung and the Mayor of London- I had to control myself a lot!!!
Set in the National Portrait Gallery Erdem showed another quiet elegant show, with more refinement than in past seasons. If you had any doubts that Polka Dots were a thing, then Erdem has surely and soundly put them back on the map. I loved the gowns and the separates in elegant suiting. A refined showcase of talent.
Okay, so this was the best show to end the LFW shows, with the 2 Queens of the world in attendance, Anna Wintour and Queen Elizabeth herself. This show was a refined and honed Quinn, with garments that really were some of his best. I have of course chosen the looks that were made entirely of TNS’s (tiny neck scarves) and were a glorious showcase of Quinn’s talent.
Okay, New York and London were the warm-ups for the next two cities, this is where the BLOCKBUSTER brands melt my heart and potentially have the power to bankrupt the world with their collections. Never disappointed by Milan, although Prada wasn’t for me this season, I have pretty much come back to similar shows as last season, but these are the brands I love and love for so…
At this point, Fashion is Gucci and Gucci is fashion. No round up would be complete without Gucci. The set for this show was actually terrifying, a hospital A&E waiting room vibe that felt like it was a horror film. The clothes were classic Gucci, but it felt updated and Michele always brings something new to the shows.
I am a sucker for fur, and Lagerfeld is a wizard at the house of Fendi, similar to Gucci every season feels like a development for the house, but also feels new and completely fresh. I loved the mix of textures that were a play in this show. It seems that prince of Wales check is going nowhere, but I loved that in the Fendi show it felt super modern.
I adored last season, and it feels like Versace has carried on moving forward through looking back. This collection felt full of house references but also felt ready to take on 2018. I loved the full skirts and the bold colour choices, but also the high low feel to the show, mixing t-shirts with corseting.
I know that these days that fur is considered poor taste, but Simonetta Ravizza is a storied house that really creates stunning pieces with fur. The heart wants what the heart wants. This animal print inspired collection was so fun and wearable, I really loved the use of colour and print in a bold and fun modern twist on what could be played out. This collection felt youthful and I want it all.
I love Marni, and this season was strong as ever with a bold and talented use of colour. Blue and Green apparently should never be seen together, but on the Marni runway, it looked incredible. Kudos on the cat prints in the coats- I adored this show so much.
I have given my new 6th show spot to MSGM, I loved the bold use of colour, prints and SCARVES. I loved the styling of this collection so bold and fun. Also, this was a seriously detailed collection. Such a great way to end Milan.
Paris where fashion comes to life. This is also where the fash-pack all begin to exhale a sigh of relief as fashion month draws to a close, all those endless shows and travelling really takes its toll. Also, Paris is synonymous with Fashion, the brands that show in this city are the cornerstones of fashion. Up until very recently this included Dior (and trust me I feel like Miranda Priestly “I need the best team around me for Paris, this no longer included Emily”) I am really not a fan of the direction this esteemed house has been taken in - but that is just one opinion in a million - bring back Galliano is all I have to say about that…
Oh gosh, a lovely way to kick off PFW. Inspired by the Souks of Marrakesh Jacquemus has forecasted a spicy warm winter. I loved the setting of this show, the diverse casting and the rich colour palette. Similar to Seis Marjan in NYC, Jacquemus - a young house- has kept enough of the go-to signatures such as huge hats and tiny bags, but has also injected plenty of new and incredible elements such as those big totes, and high low skirts. Such a great collection.
Yves Saint Laurent
So when designers come and go, so does the fan base. I was never a Heidi Slimane fan, (which means I am worried for Celine) however with the ushering in of Anthony Vaccarello I did a 180 and now I am a full YSL fan. I loved the bold continuation of the success of last season, with legs legs legs on the menu. A series of showstopping garments were showcased but on closer inspection, the collection was super wearable and if it was made in all sizes (come on really why not?) would suit a lot of body shapes and styles. A great season for YSL.
This season at Loewe, JW Anderson's designs seemed to ooze comfort and style. The collection breezed in a succession of elegant designs that felt grounded and covetable all at the same time. The garments were impeccably designed and styled, with a muted colour palette and an array of bag designs that will be going straight on all of our wish lists. Great coats and scarf collar action all get big ticks from me.
I was a huge fan of Clare Waight Keller at Chloé and was incredibly excited to see what the queen of bohemian chic had planned for the storied house of Givenchy. Last season for me was a warm-up, this PFW CWK really came through. I loved the sleek lines and the bold use of colour and print. The signature bow of the house also popped up, giving a nod not only to Hubert Givenchy but also to John Galliano who reworked the bow in the AW96 collection. I also must give a shout out to the show-stopping fur numbers that are faux so no complaints there!!
So I talked to people about this collection and the responces were mixed. However, this is my roundup and I really loved it, the mixture of techniques alone was enough to have me hooked, Burton who has helmed the house since McQueen’s tragic suicide, has surpassed herself and showcased a collection that keeps the label so fresh and relevant just as Lee McQueen did in the late 90’s. I loved the huge bow dress, the bold use of black, suiting and the diverse casting of body size. Such a great collection.
The last Tuesday of fashion Month will always be known as Chanel day to me, I know whatever Karl presents that I will love it. This season Chanel was set in a grand autumnal forest with REAL trees and leaves. Lagerfeld is seemly unshakeable in the fashion industry and the German powerhouse can’t seem to miss. Mixing enough innovation and ‘newness’ the trend machine requires, the staples for the Chanel consumer and some fun extras for the press - see the classic tweed jacket in puffer form- the show was a home run. You cannot beat Chanel when it comes to pure FASHION.
And with that, Fashion Month is over for another season. I feel that Fashion more than ever is a cultural marker, indicating the shifts we are facing in our society. Fashion cannot be non-partisan, and by its very nature reflects a mood and emotion, this season we saw women’s rights explored and pushed. Fashion has a voice and position to change the world, this season showed us that unequivocally, and I am really pleased it has this power. However, we need to push the tokenism that exists in the industry and move this into real change. I will say that AW18 is a step in the right direction, so until next season…