While New York Fashion Week was just over two weeks ago, it feels like I’m already far behind the times posting this review now. But such is the world of fashion, especially during fashion month. It’s an understatement to say things move quickly.
My lateness aside, I wanted to post this to review some pieces and collections that stood out to me, both to highlight clothes I might wear and those few designers that took interesting risks. I have to agree with the top fashion editors that not enough collections felt risky or new this season. I can respect that the world of fashion is undergoing significant changes at the moment — in the social media driven world, everyone wants to have the most Instagramable collection and consumers want what they’re seeing photos of now, which is why many designers are choosing to offer see-now buy-now collections.
A collection that is too risky, that introduces a too-new silhouette, that pushes consumers ideas about what beauty can look like too much is likely to sell less than something that meets existing expectations and comfort zones. And financial risk aside, we’ve seen so much fast change in fashion in the last half-century — from A-lines to miniskirts, from dramatic flares to tight cigarette pants — it can feel like we’ve seen it all already, and that everything new is simply a rehash. Strictly speaking, that is and isn’t true. All art is a reference to previous art; it has to be. In that view, nothing is new and yet, everything is.
During fashion month, many of the cities with smaller fashion weeks get overlooked. While excitement about the rapidly approaching New York Fashion week rises, the collections from Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Kiev have already finished showing.
Below are some of my favorites from each of these four fashion weeks. I would have to say Stockholm and Kiev tie for overall favorite weeks. But the collection from Baum and Pferdgarten (Copenhagen) takes first place for my favorite collection.
Berlin Fashion Week
Fall fashion week in Berlin featured lots of black, which is both the chicest of colors and also an archetype of German fashion. This season in particular designers drew inspiration from the punk styles of the 90s, the new Star Wars film, and fetishwear.
The combination of a blazer, bandeau top, and skinny jeans is a fit we have seen on runways and celebrities for seasons. Even the pairing of socks with pumps, while rare, is not novel. Despite the popularity of this proportion, Teboul has given us a new way to wear it.
Teboul’s collections are influenced by fetishwear, and this fall features a unique way to style fishnets that I personally cannot get enough of. Worn under a skirt or skinny pant and yet over socks and with a high enough waist to show under a crop top, the fishnets give a textural element to a look we’ve now seen a thousand times.
While I love the look of the black fishnets over red socks, I would like to see this done with beige-nude fishnets over black socks, still with black pants and shoes.
As anyone with an internet connection knows, Couture Week in Paris was a little over a week ago. For many years I have followed fashion week after fashion week, experiencing it vicariously through Vogue editors and bloggers reports, occasionally posting exciting looks on twitter and more recently spamming my favorite looks from nearly every collection on tumblr. I’ve decided to start compiling my favorite looks and writing up trends I am excited to be seeing on this blog, and my first attempt is here.
Some Favorite Looks
Why these four looks? To start, I am a sucker for École Polytechnique coats, and Vauthier created three spectacular versions in varying sleeve lengths with subtle tailoring differences. The long sleeved show-opener was my personal favorite, both of the coats and his entire collection.
It was truly challenging to pick only one look from Elie Saab’s collection — the entire thing was nothing short of perfect. Starting with the concept of a young woman traveling on holiday to India, connecting modern silhouettes and themes with timeless Indian ones. Perhaps the best thing about Saab’s collection is that the Neru collars and sari sashes do not cross into costume territories. One of my favorite details are the beige boots and the pants tucked into them, which come as unexpected in such a loose and feminine collection, yet do not feel out of place.
Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Moda collection received a standing ovation when it debuted in Milan. One of my longtime favorite themes in D&G’s collections is their use of catholic imagery. Crosses feature heavily in many of their lines, couture and ready-to-wear alike. The comparative simplicity of the above look is what I like so much. The bright contrast of black and gold, the unusual but familiar silhouette, and the dark red lipstick. It is a vampy look that personally calls to mind what the most fashionable parallel universe version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Drusilla might wear.
As Dolce & Gabbana’s piece reminds me of a vampire princess, Maison Valentino’s is more directly referencing an elvish princess. Barefoot with a floor length gown and decorated with bold jewelry, from literally head to toe.