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Ben Pechey

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Fashion Month: SS18

October 3, 2017

 

Another season of shows has come and gone. Spring Summer 2018 for the whole purveyed a sense of optimism in what seems to be an ever darkening future in the world at large. The move towards SNBN (see now buy now) has died down somewhat and designers are making clothes for 6 months ahead again, which emphasises the old stalwart “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’, this signalled the return of Tom Ford to runway presentation which singled a strong New York Fashion Week. London for me both at the shows I attended and at others seemed to be narrow-minded, both in design and the selection of models. Milan and Paris displayed a huge amount of talent and savoir-faire in the collections and rounded off the month beautifully.

 

New York Fashion Week

 

Overall I was very impressed with NYFW, seasons past New York could be a little plain and simple, but it seems that the designers are back with a vengeance. This seems appropriate as old and new created a diverse and vibrant selection of collections that seem to predict and paint an optimism that I think we need so much right now. 

 

Tom Ford

Once King of fashion Tom Ford made a welcome return to the runway, Ford’s latest collection was fun and edgy. Evening-wear meets power dressing in a melange of draped jersey large shouldered gowns. Add to that colour block suiting and some killer shoes- perhaps Tom Ford is ready to take back his crown once more. 

 

Chromat 

Let me start here by saying that I am not massively in love with the garments in this collection. However, what I do love is Chromat’s choice in showcasing diversity from race, size, age and gender stories. Seeing actual relatable models is so liberating, and perhaps more important than the clothes is who can wear them. SUPER RELATABLE CASTING IS THE WAY FORWARD PEOPLE. 

 

Victoria Beckham 

Effortless chic wafted through the show space on the Sunday of NYFW. I loved the flow and simple silhouettes in muted pastels of lilac and mint with lightning bolts of spicy red and hot pink. Once again Beckham has created a collection for women to actually wear and I love it. 

 

Tibi

I am a huge fan of Tibi, see my review of last season. This season seemed to build on the strength of last season, this time looking to the 1980’s for some lessons in chic power dressing. Tailoring was at the fore with some killer suits in denim and Prince of Wales with light column dresses in spring-like colours. 

 

Sies Marjan 

Fast becoming one of my favourite designers at NYFW, this being only Sander Lak’s 4th collection yet it seemed to be stronger than ever. A wonderful mix of colours and silhouettes that Lak has become known for, yet this seemed lighter and fresher than seasons past- appropriate for SS18.

 

London Fashion Week

 

I am going, to be honest, I didn’t love LFW, normally I love London because it's my Fashion Week and the creativity seems fresher and more fun. Yet somehow this season it seemed very flat and a bit dated. I will also add that there was a lack of diversity in the shows, both race and size seemed to be very uniform which sends out all the wrong messages. There were some highlights but even so I had no fervour for the shows, and speaking to others who attended, they too were disappointed. Maybe New York was just better - I don’t know, maybe SS18 is not London’s season. So perhaps the 5 shows I picked could be like Stacey winning the Stroopwafel technical in week 3 of bakeoff- the best of a bad bunch… 

 

Joseph

I love tailoring and when this is done in leather- well I am in love. The buttery texture is heightened by the glorious colour palette that was used. I also loved the oversized feel to the collection, I mean come on look at the length of those sleeves. I know I moaned about London, but this was beautifully simple. 

 

Christopher Kane

It would seem that Kane has continued the domesticity theme from last season- and I am not annoyed about that, I love a theme hun. The styling for some of the looks was a little OTT(see washing machine top complete with pegs), but come on this is fashion and we need our drama. This was watered down with simple wearable pieces. The cherry on the top, the second season of the marmite shoe- CROCS. 

 

Mary Katrantzou

Childhood pastimes were one of the main inspirations behind this collection. Looking at the toys of the 1980’s Katrantzou merged a riot of colour and frivolity. There were some pieces that seemed overblown but for the whole, I like the way the outfits seemed very serrate yet still part of the show.

 

Ports 1961

This collection impresses in a subtle way, the precise nature and clean lines of this collection seem to radiate modern minimalism. Maybe LFW wasn't all that bad? 

 

A.W.A.K.E

Presenting her Debut LFW runway collection Natalia Alaverdian’s A.W.A.K.E seemed to lift the cloud that I felt sat on LFW.  I am a sucker for a statement, and nothing made more of a statement than those HATS. The clothes themselves seemed to riff on men's tailoring but deconstructed, with heavy use of Prince of Wales check which I adore so much. This may have been the best debut of the season. 

 

Milan Fashion Week 

 

 

Okay we are onto Milan, where things officially get FAB-U-LOUS, maybe I am biased but the second half of Fashion month featuring Paris and Milan always excites me more. Well it was a week that impressed, perhaps maybe not in Prada’s case but I always end up falling in love with the collection when Willy Vanderperre shoots it. Anyway back to Milano, I loved the rich optimism and colourful approach used by the designers. Although it may be controversial to some, I loved the rich use of FUR. Milan was probably not the season of the Vegan but hun, I adored it.

 

Gucci

Gucci kicked of Milan fashion week, and I have a massive love for Gucci, so they had to be here. Fashion commentators keep speculating that the romanic optimism that Alessandro Michele employs at Gucci will end, but this how only proves that this is not a choice, but the only way that the house can keep surging forwards. Also Gucci - part of the french luxury conglomerate that owns brands such Alexander McQueen and YSL- made over 60 percent of Kering's profit in the last financial quarter. It seems that nothing can stop Gucci.

 

Fendi 

The logo-mania of the past couple of seasons seems to be carrying rich on into 2018 with Fendi’s use of it’s iconic brown F repeat pattern seen in fur bombers and on accessories. I love the boldness that Lagerfeld treats Fendi with, the use of florals on leathers and furs may not be for everyone (fur activists look away now) but I feel that Karl’s work for Fendi transcends fashion and creates art. 

 

Versace 

This show was Donatella’s touching tribute to her late brother and founder of namesake label, Gianni. With a heavy delve into the archives- with the exception of one look that was an original as there was not enough time to recreate the detail-, Donatella created a show that recreated iconic looks but in a very 2017 feel. If this wasn’t enough the moving finale of the original supers ( Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni, and Helena Christensen) head to toe in gold grecian gowns joint Donatella to George Michael’s Freedom, recreating this CLASSIC finale. It was a truly wonderful show and a brilliant collection.

Marni

I am a new convert to Marni, this makes sense as this is creative director Francesco Risso’s second show. I loved the oversized blown out colours of the collection, also I am a sucker for fur so big tick here. Seemingly oversized proportions that mask the female form seem almost hyper feminine and super sensual. Comfort and ease with a strong aesthetic - this is my kind of fashion.

 

Simonetta Ravizza

A new find for me, but a label that has been in the fur trade for decades, but ready to wear is a relatively new venture for the furriers. I know fur for spring summer seems a little odd, but creative director Simonetta used leathers to create light easy silhouettes. Yes, there is a heavy use of soft rich Mink throughout- but how nice is it in summer anyway. Strong floral motifs in rich bright colours that will suit all skin tones, as well as soft covetable fur accessories that are perfect whatever the weather. It gave me SS13 Prada vibes, which was such a good season.  I am going to keep an eye on Simonetta Ravizza.

 

Paris Fashion Week 

 

If Milan was FAB-U-LOUS then Paris is EVEN better. Fashion’s true heavy hitters reside in this week, and it sure didn’t disappoint. It was hard to narrow it down to 5 but I did it !! Balenciaga missed it by an inch, only because of those horrific crocs. Dior was also disappointing, with Maria Grazia Chiuri’s taste seeming to sit like oil and water with Dior’s history (in my oh so humble opinion). Galliano for Margiela was simply stunning but seemed to be a little unwearable. Paris still remains where some of the best talents lie, and thus the shows were oh so wonderful.

 

Saint Laurent 

Anthony Vaccarello’s main inspiration for this collection was Paris itself. The show set in the shadow of the lit Eiffel Tower you couldn’t fail to feel the magic of Paris (even sat in London!!). The show had emotion value also as it evoked the magic using the history of the house, the emotion was also doubled by the recent passing of Yves Saint Laurent’s business partner, Pierre Bergé. Whatever the motives and reasoning this show felt like real FASHION. Huge puff skirts, feathers, incredible boots and show-stopping ensembles this was YSL at its most recent best.

 

Jacquemus 

After the strong and evocative AW17 collection last season, I knew that this season would be just as good. With a warmth emanating from the collection, the garments feel like they have been sun-kissed by the summer sun already. Sensual silhouettes, HUGE HATS, and tiny bags this show was spectacular. 

 

Celine 

Another season for creative director Phoebe Philo, another strong collection. There is an ease within the volumes that Philo created both in tailoring and styling. Celine is a label that many consider to be the epitome of classic style. I loved the clean and neutral palette of buff, tan, navy and black with rich pops of colour that lit up the runway. 

 

Stella McCartney 

Bold-hued swathed models at Stella McCartney with a mix of Denim, Batik wax prints and Satins. McCartney’s namesake label seems to have amped up the wow factor this season more than ever. By employing head to toe use of colour the garments have a real impact, and the styling was fabulous. Applause all round.

 

Chanel 

It wouldn’t be a Fashion Month round-up without the show of all shows to end the season. I have watched pretty much every Chanel show for the last 5 years, Lagerfeld seems to only get better. No show ever seems to break away from the codes of the house, but always seem to be innovative and fresh. The balance that modern Chanel employs is exquisite. The set was extraordinary -A REAL WATERFALL- this was so beautiful, paired with a elevated runway OVER WATER this was oh so chic. The collection itself was strong, and I'm talking strong in terms of Chanel, so it was SERIOUSLY GOOD. Clear plastic was used in abundance, in hats, rain-macs, boots and bags Karl obviously predicts plenty of April showers. The best way to round off this month.  

Thats it, Fashion Month is over and what a season it has been !! That is all I have for you today - what a post - I will see you on Friday. Until then I will be in a darkened room looking at anything that is NOT fashion !! 

 

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