The month of September is the most spoken about month in Fashion. With fashion week’s beginning in New York and ending in Paris. Ever After takes you through London, Milan and Paris most talked about shows during Fashion Week.
The girls sported second-skin pantsuits with high-waisted, superwide flares, and skirts so short that stockings ended below the hemline. Toward the end there were hip-slung floor-scrapers with only a thin strip of fabric to cover the breasts.
I have been doing this a long time, and the trick is to not make a collection repetitive and boring,” he said backstage. “We have to infuse some freshness in it, and here there are no curveballs, no tricks. This all came straight from the heart.” Williamson is known for his use of tapestry, brocade, embellishment, and embroidery, and he has a keen eye for tailoring. All of that was on display here, as he turned a well-worn travel reference into a strong collection.
Italian fashion’s resident hippie couldn’t let Milan’s ’70s moment happen without him. Roberto Cavalli was back on form with a Just Cavalli collection that simultaneously tapped into his own origins and looked like it will connect with festival types of the 2010s who want a haute bohemian experience of their own. Cavalli’s split-seam, floor-scraper dresses (some slit so high on the thigh they require shorts) would all but guarantee a wild night. And a silk scarf wrapped like a halter top around the torso and worn with low-rider flares had a raw, sexy ‘tude. A master printmaker since the beginning, Cavalli avoided his signature animal spots here, instead using patchworks of chain links, daisies, and overlapping hearts—the better to unleash your inner flower child.
DOLCE & GABBANA
Dolce & Gabbana, Spain is the new Sicily, those two points on the compass share a wealth of inspirations for designers, Domenico and Stefano.The silhouette and embellishment of a matador’s jacket inspired an entire passage of the collection. It was aired with rompers to bring it up to this decade. Then there was the color red: the color of blood in the bullring, the color of the carnations that were Domenico’s mother’s favorite flowers. They were embroidered everywhere, but were most effective as the streamlined adjunct to a body-conscious striped top.
All of Milan seems to be on a 1970s trip, but the fringe, gossamer goddess gowns, and hippie beading we’ve seen on the runways here have been in Peter Dundas’ bag of tricks since the beginning at Emilio Pucci. Slick tailoring provided a strong counterpoint to this season’s artisanship. A tangerine orange flared pantsuit worn with a burgundy crocheted tank will remain seared in our memory for some time. Ultimately, though, Dundas zeroed in on precisely what women come to Pucci for.
Ferretti fell back on the gauzy romance that is her stock-in-trade, with nude-tone chiffons and mousselines cut into filmy jumpsuits, slipdresses, and peignoir-like gowns. There were some undeniable feats of artisanship, like the strapless floor-sweeper woven into a trellis, across which crawled flowered vines arduously composed of paillettes. “Intimate, not for exhibition,” Ferretti said softly. But those pieces needed to speak up if their bland prettiness was going to make an effective stand against the edgier suedes and denims.
Waight Keller herself put it: “The starting point was fabrics that tell stories, particularly ‘folkloric’ textiles like the encrusted birds in cheesecloth, but I wanted honest, direct shapes. I liked the idea of denim, that it can be used raw or washed and it becomes personal to the wearer—it is immediate and honest. I wanted to have an idea of workwear as well as the flou, which was about volume and expanded from that densely packed fabric, crepon georgette. I wanted that one amazing shape that just hung off thin spaghetti straps.”
Alexis Mabille opened and closed his show with two versions of a “boxing dress,” short in satin, long in crepe.Mabille explained how each piece related back to sport in some way, even if obliquely; he added track trim and a hood to a white cotton gabardine trench.
Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing said his starting point this season was last season’s after-party. The issue, in most cases, was the fabric. As eye-catching as allover crystals can be, they’re hard to slink in—harder still, we imagine, to sit down in. And the same goes for Rousteing’s leather. It was most convincing in small portions, like the striped bandeau worn with belted, high-waisted pants. When he balanced his instinct for embellishment with simplicity, things started to click—see the draped white tee tucked into a pencil skirt made from a Mondrian-ish grid of intersecting crystals.
That late-breaking bulletin fitted very well with a show that celebrated the 125th anniversary of the house of Lanvin. Inevitably, such a milestone put Elbaz in mind of the passage of time: from Jeanne Lanvin’s own career as the first lifestyle designer. The show opened with variations on the theme of a jersey T-shirt dress: one-shouldered, side-zipped or -buttoned, looped, snake-belted, each option sported by a model Elbaz had plucked from his past. It was a spectacular start, with a strong, simple, dramatic emphasis on the women who wear Lanvin.
Simons liked what he did in July’s Couture so much that he wanted to extend the experiment into ready-to-wear. Simons made his point much more boldly when color was involved, from the pale pink of a shapely linen coat (the highwayman came to mind again) to the orange satin linen gilet that closed the show. It referenced an 18th-century court coat, which evoked the historicism of Christian Dior’s original Bar silhouette. Fashion present floats on an ocean of fashion past; Simons simply chose to ride the time machine a little further back.
JEAN PAUL GAULTIER
Élection de Miss Jean Paul Gaultier 2015, as it was called, was divided into sections showcasing the designer’s most famous work, along with some questionable outliers. The rhinestones and ravaged denim of Miss Femme de Footballeur and the Mexican wrestling costumes of Miss Lucha Libre aren’t high up in the pantheon of Gaultier’s designs. The Miss Smoking section, on the other hand, demonstrated that Gaultier hasn’t lost his touch when it comes to man-for-woman tailoring; the fact that his double-breasted jacket/cocktail-dress hybrids look so normal now is a testament to how groundbreaking and subversive his talent was.
As usual, Saab’s decorative flourishes and finery were informed by an overarching theme, this time titled “Dive Into the Deep Blue.” There were undulations of encrustations and hemlines that rippled like shorelines. The primary print suggested light reflecting off a koi pond. Lace inserts in blouses and slits in slinky twisted viscose cut the torso like fins.
His couture is an expression of the art of his atelier; his ready-to-wear is industrial craft, as mass as the production of these clothes is ever likely to get. This season he was fascinated by Japan’s postwar Metabolist movement, which balanced industrial and artisanal design, the machine and the hand. Valli was insistent that his new collection expressed that balance. “The silhouette is extremely designed,” he said, “but the materials are industrial.” That wasn’t immediately obvious, given that the fabrics had such a crafted feel, like the dress cut from a macramé lace—it looked like a print from far away—or the floral-printed leather. The cutouts and patchwork also felt very handy.
BLOGGERS’ obsession with street style has reached fever pitch in Paris, and that might have been on Karl Lagerfeld’s mind when he debuted hoardings of a typical Parisian street, “Boulevard Chanel”, inside the Grand Palais at Fashion Week. Models came out en masse, alone or in twos and threes chatting as though they were out for a casual Saturday stroll. The clothes they wore felt like their own, which might have something to do with the familiarity of them. It felt like a heritage collection, exactly the sort of clothes that Chanel’s moneyed customers come to this house for.
Chiuri and Piccioli touched on many of Italy’s patrimonies, from its antiquities all the way down to its kitsch. Centuries-old interiors—the country is cornice heaven—provided blueprints for a series of colorful dresses printed with vivid flowers and arabesque forms. Another group of dresses was patchworked from what could’ve been souvenir scarves.Neapolitan pastel stripes decorated a shrunken sweater and the broderie anglaise skirt it was paired with.
Alexander McQueen often used Asian inspiration in his shows. Sarah Burton, looked back on his interest in kimonos., and led the collection from there. The result took her latest collection in a slightly less theatrical direction, short flared dresses with blown-up floral prints, McQueen signature tailoring , pencil-skirted dresses with leather bra tops. Still, there was plenty of the McQueen flare; hard leather cages for bodices, lashed-up gladiator boots with eyewateringly precarious platforms, and shiny black masks outlining every face. One way or another, the rock chicks of the world are going to be in luck next spring.