The argument for Pre-Spring has been made sound. Practically speaking, it is only beneficial to show at the Resort Collections considering it is more than likely to bring in a majority of your revenue. Aesthetically speaking, there is less pressure to deliver a concept that will blow your mind and more encouragement to simply display your brand DNA that your customer will wear on a regular basis. Needless to say, we still saw some trends amongst that collections that indicated a late sixties slash early seventies fad going on. Considering we saw some tasteful extractions from the groovy era, I’m a fan.
With a grandmother in Palm Springs, it was canny of Alexander Lewis to envision her at Coachella and potentially experimenting with hallucinogens while she’s at it. Pre-Coachella, the southern Californian desert was known for retirement communities enjoying a joint friendly climate by lounging about in pastels. His color pallet and metallic organza usage promises grandma to gain quite a bit of hipster cred at the music festival.
Stephanie Danan of Co gave us a mature sophisticated woman who retained all the best parts of youth. Slight sportiveness, buoyant shapes and a general sense of ease were met with sculpture, solid colors and polish. This understated collection nevertheless made itself known to be noticeably appealing.
Josh Goot‘s rejuvenation has yielded strong results. He dug back into his roots and rediscovered minimalist shapes and fabrics that fall beautifully over the body. His only print was a large-scale, bias cut windowpane that came in either a structured cotton or a flowy organza. This collection had balance and restraint with pieces that work well in many a woman’s wardrobe.
Sustainability and affordability in one collection. Organic by John Patrick has realized this along with unfussy separates that can be combined in multiple ways to give a woman absolute utility and zero environmental guilt. Primarily using japanese cotton and a splash of lamé, Patrick rotated pastels amongst a few striped pieces and metallics. I am by far most interested in incorporating this collection in my own wardrobe, and I can realistically do so.
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne’s Public School womens collections have only recently begun. However, the tomboy counterpart to the Public School man has already made a name for herself on campus. She’s sporty in jumpsuits and track pants, yet wears well tailored button ups and shirt dresses; above all she avoids the fuss. Still acknowledging her femininity, she reveals just enough by wearing some sheer or partially unzipping the bottom half of her coat. If the beginning of the Public School gal is this strong, I can hardly wait to see how she develops.
I couldn’t help but include Tanya Taylor in my highlights simply because of the creative project she made out of presenting this collection. Working with mixed-media artist Kalen Hollomon, Taylor collaged studio shots of the collection against New York City backdrops. The graphic nature of her look book layout was cohesive with the collection in its prints.
Amidst residential and vocational shifts lay the opportunity of escapism via 5 weeks of travelling. Nearly immediately after New York City in the dead of winter came Sydney and Perth, Australia in the heat of summer. Below is a collection of pieces of these places I found beautiful.
The meat in this dish is indeed from a kangaroo.
A visitor from taking a pit stop in Perth the cool off.
Japanese designed and made ceramics in which coffee is served at La Veen in Perth.
The past couple of seasons have brought us a handful of much anticipated debuts, some of which have recently shown for Fall. With the excitement of seeing new talents at the helms of some of the biggest names comes an inevitable and heightened proclivity towards making comparisons between everyone. Here’s who I thought showed us all who’s boss this time around.
Scott Sternberg released the first Band of Outsiders shoe at their soon to open Soho store space in New York; a classic, slim oxford. Speaking of classics, playing with them appeared to be somewhat of a theme. The Band signature bandage skirt came out with a trompe l’oeil effect illustrated on it, and so did a pair of indigo sweat pants. Floating grey-scale raspberry graphics floated down navy tailored office-wear. From a broad point of view, it was a refined and understated collection that couldn’t keep you from taking a closer look and realizing the unexpectedly tweaked nature of it all.
Nicolas Ghesquière kept us on the edge of our seats for long enough, with leaving Balenciaga well over a year ago we’ve immensely anticipated seeing him in action as his career is NOWHERE near over. In what better light to see him than at the helm of Louis Vuitton after Marc Jacobs’ fourteen year tenure? It appears as though Paris was all emotions, to say the least, before, during and after the show. We felt a 60’s vibe with A-line silhouette’s grazing the thighs and prominent zip up point collars. But regardless of how far back in time this collection goes in aesthetic, Ghesquière is consistent with his signature state-of-the-art craft. Animal hides appeared patched together in their various multifaceted forms, whether it was leather, suede or croc. His ability to cohesively pair that black croc zip up bodice with a knit multi-media skirt prevents any hints of trashy. I can’t help but mention I could live in those mahogany croc booties.
In Paris, an alluringly intimidating, mysterious and well-traveled woman walked the catwalk and could feasibly be seen on the streets. Christophe Lemaire kept himself from the trend of experimenting with textiles in order to vamp up the drama via volume, which yielded oxymoronic modest sensuality. Simple fabrics like indigo denim, ribbed knits and felted wools haven’t made a woman look this intriguing in a long while.
Christopher Kane continues to prove that his enhanced budget only provides a means for an even more enhanced amount of creativity, meaning that a pressure to produce more just doesn’t appear to challenge him. His collection shown in London for this Fall was large and filled with new images. In one instance nylon meshed with guipure lace and in another it laid with fur; synthetic and cheap meets delicate and regal. Kane’s imaginative capabilities seemed to peak towards the end with multiple layers of silk organza ruffling like a stack of napkins in the wind.
Finalizing menswear shows for this Fall in New York solidified the incorporation of ladies on the fellas’ catwalk. Some shows were more co-ed than merely featuring women’s looks. What I enjoyed most about the New York collections was how some designers stuck to their guns, aesthetically, yet still brought it on with impressively original ways of executing their themes in a new way.
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne showcased the Public School clique we’d all want to be part of. Holding on to the the multilayered tailoring they’re known and respected for, the duo paired it with loose, bunchy trousers, harnesses, and full-brimmed hats with a woolen cloth head-covering underneath. The motorcycle jackets and chunky wool beanies brought that rebellious student factor in.
For N.Hoolywood, Daisuke Obana managed to express how he felt about the American Prohibition era of the 1920s non-ostentatiously; a generally difficult feat he seemed to have pulled off in the most appealingly subtle way. There were mandarin collars, grey three-piece suits, pea coats, and wool knit caps that represent the bootleggers of that era. However, nothing seemed dated or “period-piece” like. Boot-cut trousers, camel top coats and shawl collars were presented via stylish car thieves.
Tim Coppens blended the modern structure of tech fabrics into a mountaineering theme spectacularly as he asserted his knack for flawless tailoring that incorporates sportiness. Hence we see a plaid work shirt with rounded at the hem worn with a cashmere scarf or a bomber made up of nylon, wool and leather patches.
Once again, an affirmation of where the global capital of menswear really is. As creative and notable as each of the fashion week centers may be, in the French capital we have the most approachable(from the designer’s perspective) of them all. The diversity of aesthetics we see amongst the collections shown in Paris displays a great neutrality in the city as well as a wider array of talent, considering brands with a respected and extensive history also show here. From the best of the oldest to the best of the newest revealing their latest here, nobody would miss Paris Mens Collections.
Kriss Van Assche for Dior Homme expanded his horizon a bit this season by incorporating many fine details that Christian Dior himself focused on. Tie pins, classic pinstripes, a nylon utility jacket over a suit, a denim field jacket zipped up under a shearling interior leather jacket. The sometimes obvious or sometimes subtle combination of pinstripes and polka dots enlivened the true homme Dior.
The man with a casual sense of confidence and soaked in quality. By testing how else she can present beautiful fabrics in a new way, Véronique Nichanian expressed her talent best for Hermès here. The entire collection was nearly monochrome. There was suiting, knits, monochrome, an ounce of the classic Hermès silk, leather, croc, sherpa and parkas. A collection covering all these tones and textures and presenting the profound simplicity we see here takes a very rare skill.
Chitose Abe’s design DNA for Sacai, which was developed early on was on full display once again this time around for this Fall’s menswear. Unexpected mixed media, custom-developed fabrics and a story of deconstruction showed up again in a mind-blowing manner. This collections specific story was about turning things “inside out.” I was particularly impressed by the layering of coats that individually are normally worn in separate contexts. That velvet quilted head to toe look in powder blue was also just sensational.
Alexandre Mattiusi stuck to his guns and shed as little reality as possible for Ami‘s debut show, casting models that look more like the men we see on the street every day and decorating the catwalk as a Parisian sidewalk on a wintry, snowy night. Revisiting the classic man’s wardrobe for this Fall, we saw wool top coats, plaid button ups, chunky turtlenecks (which were the highlight for me), and leather bombers. What a breath of fresh air it was to see real clothes on the catwalk that still made such an impact.
I sensed London practicing a general revisitation to it’s distinctive traditions in tailoring this time around. This isn’t to say there was a lack of innovation, yet a fresh confidence in the classics was what I believe made it’s point most strongly. This city nonetheless remains one of the most inviting places for new talent to flock to.
A more than appropriate case in point of one of London’s pride and joy of tailoring, being listed in the address directory at No. 1 Savile Row, is Gieves & Hawkes. The traditionalism here is interpreted in a modern way that makes it more relatable than some of the neighbors on Savile Row. This welcoming reinvention of rigid English tailoring has the new creative director Jason Basmajian to thank for. Taking the reigns just this past year from Brioni previously, Basmajian has managed to teach this old house new tricks which shapes and textiles that display more versatility for a wider customer base.
Father-son duo Jose and Charlie Casely-Hayford surveyed youth cultures of the past to present the possibilities of what one of the coming future can choose from for inspiration. Sportswear and tailoring are not left out of the mix of punk, skinhead, and grunge kid influences for this collection. I see the dark hawaiian print sweatshirt becoming a fashion staple this coming Fall.
With pragmatism in her brand’s DNA, Margaret Howell brought one of the most wearable and dare say “chill” collections for this coming fall. A purposely disheveled tailored look suggests coming from the countryside to the city in the same clothes, just straight practicality of wardrobe. As the general consensus goes, she truly is more “clothes” than “fashion,” and I couldn’t be more delighted to see that on the runway these days.
Minimalism to the extremes is what Lee Roach shouts time and time again with his collections, this time with complete superfluousness disregarded, such as collars being left out in most jackets and coats. There’s a clear goal here in advancing the way we think about dressing ourselves, and I couldn’t me in more agreement with the notion.