Proenza Schouler kicked off New York fashion week at the new Whitney Museum in New York’s meatpacking district.
This season Lazaro Hernandez and Jack Mccullough were influenced by the work of American artist Frank Stella who is known for his work specialising in minimalism and post-painterly abstraction.
Hernandez and McCullough sought to take this minimalist and abstractionist inspiration and create a collection that is all about control and release. The result, a cohesive and sophisticated collection that features triangular silhouettes, ribbed knit dresses and tops and tailored asymmetrical jackets. There are dashes of colour throughout the collection however the brand stays true to its roots and a monochromatic colour palette dominates the majority of pieces.
Highlight pieces are long sleeve tops, a skirt and culotte story that features what is fast becoming Proenza Schouler’s iconic lacing details.
Mother of Pearl
Like Pre-Fall’s collection, Mother of Pearl’s Winter Runway show was primarily inspired by a photography study that documented the lives of working class families in England. Using this reference, Creative Director Amy Powney presented a collection filled with dresses, tops, pants and knitwear that reflected the floral prints, chintz and wallpaper patterns from the photographic study’s lives.
Our favourites from the collection are a pair of re-imagined floral printed tracksuit pants in silk and printed blouses with bell sleeves in a variety of different fabrications. The silhouettes maintain Mother of Pearl’s classic design aesthetic, however there are some new and exciting shapes introduced this season as well as fantastic knitwear pieces.
With a collection entitled ‘Interlude’, one would expect muted colours, understated silhouettes and simple patterns from MSGM’s AW16 runway show. This was certainly and unequivocally not the case.
Instead Interlude took the audience on a bright and bold trip back to Massimo’s first collection five years ago. In particular the striking polka dots, stripes and rose prints that feature heavily throughout the Winter collection are revivals from his original collection.
The silhouettes are more avant-garde than previous seasons however there is still MSGM’s signature fun and playful essence that we all know so well and love. In particular we love the embroidered faces that appear on skirts, tops and dresses.
Claire Waight Keller’s inspiration for her AW16 Chloe show was Anne-France Dautheville, the first woman to motorcycle solo around the world. Keller had originally been researching motocross clothing when she came upon Dautheville’s memoir ("Et, j’ai suave le vent" - "And I followed the wind") detailing her travels in the 1970’s.
Using Dautheville as a starting point, Keller has built a collection that moves past Chloe’s classic girly aesthetic to something tougher and with more edge. Backstage Keller told the press, “I was looking to take the Chloe woman somewhere else. Somewhere tougher, more daring, more gritty”.
Models walked the runway with a new Chloe attitude, a highwayman’s swagger. Leather trousers and overalls, oversized knitted kaftans, maxi belted dresses and belted leather biker jackets reflect the new Chloe tough-girl era.
Naturally, there are the classic Chloe silhouettes present in the collection - sheer 1970’s blouses, structured culottes and silk scarves - however there is a distinct shift in feeling for Chloe. The Chloe woman is now cooler and less of the wide-eyed ingenue that is so often associated with the French fashion house. In her place is a well-travelled and adventurous spirit with a deep love for fashion.
The ultimate in ‘cool’ in the fashion world right now is Vetements. Led by Creative Director Demna Gvasalia (formerly of Margiela), the new label has gained cult status in an incredibly short period of time.
Vetements broke onto the scene at a point when the fashion world needed to be shaken up and challenged. With Vetements, Gvasalia re-introduces the idea of intellectual and conceptual fashion and the masses are loving it. The media has even dubbed Vetements as the new fashion religion and it seems to be the case as many of its devotees were spotted at fashion week in head to toe pieces from the collection’s SS16 range.
Held in the American gothic cathedral, the AW16 show is a mash-up of new silhouettes and repeat styles and prints from past-collections, eschewing the traditional fashion show formula. There is a significant focus on oversized Lurch-esque shoulder pads, featuring in everything including blazers, sweatshirts and plaid shirting.
Vetements has also become known for its signature hoodies and this season Demna sent variations of the hoodie down the runway with slogans including “May the bridges I burn light the way” and “Justin4Ever”.
Demna and his Vetements are the new darling of the fashion world. We are excited to see the changes and how the label influences the face of fashion in the seasons to come.
Isabel Marant, like many other Parisians and people all over the world, was deeply affected by the Paris terrorist attacks. In order to move forward from the devastation these attacks had on the Parisian spirit, Marant looked to her own personal memories for guidance.
She sought a happier and more innocent Paris and developed her collection around her memories of Paris in the 1980’s. Marant recalls “it really goes back to when I would sneak out, aged 15, to punk clubs like Le Palace and Les Bains Douches. With all the sadness that has happened in Paris, it felt like the time was right to party and have fun”.
The result is a chic, playful and ultimately wearable collection filled with classic Marant silhouettes. Oversized jackets and coats, skinny leather pants and mini skirts, silk mini-dresses and fantastic knits walked down the runway to a mash up of Toni Basi’s Hey Mickey and Hall & Oates I Can’t Go For That.
The collection’s colour palette is reflective of the punk aesthetic and influence. Bright red as well as black and white play major roles in the collection with hints of futuristic silver and gold highlighted pieces like high waisted skinny pants that are pure 80’s and in that, purely Isabel Marant.
It is to be expected that when you walk into a Junya Watanabe show, you will see the most dedicated of the fashion set. This season was no different and Watanabe devotees arrived at the show in full force to see the AW16 collection.
Watanabe has a reputation for utilising technical and even mathematical approaches to fashion. This season his fascination with geometry shines through in separates that demonstrate his mastery of laser cutting techniques and origami-esque draping.
Our favourites from the runway include origami detailed cotton shirting, an oversized biker jacket in polyurethane (usually found only in interior car lining!) and a cinched jacket with geometric angles.
Another designer that took inspiration from the 80’s punk rock scene is Acne Studios. Creative Director Jonny Johansson has been a long time fan of Californian punk band The Cramps. Famous for songs like Bikini Girls with Machine Guns and being a part of the early punk rock movement and CBGB era, Johannson took this influence and built his winter collection to reflect the frenetic energy and anarchistic aesthetic that was his muse for the season.
This influence is most obvious in many of the gender-fluid silhouettes and shapes that dominate the collection and which were a signature of The Cramps' own personal and on-stage style. Our favourite pieces include\ an oversized long-line biker jacket in suede and shearling and an oversized pant and vest in a futuristic metal-lined leather.
After Alexander Wang’s contract at Balenciaga came to an end last season, the fashion world waited with bated breath for the new Creative Director and designer of Balenciaga to be announced. Various well-known names were thrown back and forth however when Vetements own Demna Gvasalia was announced as the new designer the fashion world were both stunned and excited to see what his tenure would bring for the iconic French fashion house.
Gvasalia did not disappoint. To prepare for his first collection he spent 6 months in the Balenciaga archive immersing himself in order to create his premiere collection. While decades and worlds apart, Cristobal Balenciaga designs were as shocking and extreme as Gvasalia’s are now, so the relationship between the two seems to have begun with a certain sense of simpatico.
Demna sought to create a collection that at its core has all of the elements and structure of classic Balenciaga but with his own aesthetic and attitude towards clothing. The result is an exhilarating and exciting collection that includes structured two piece tweed suits, oversized Vetement-esque floral printed dresses and re-imagined trench-coats with pulled back shoulders.
The masses agree; this show was a sophisticated and ground-breaking entry for Gvasalia into the ranks of Balenciaga.
With all the changes and upheaval in the fashion world recently (Alber Elbaz leaving Lanvin and Raf Simons leaving Dior) there have been rumours circulating about whether Phoebe Philo was happy in her position at Celine. Thankfully the fashion world can breathe a sigh of relief as the house confirmed that Philo will not be going anywhere anytime soon.
For Winter 16, Philo presented a collection that re-visited many of her classic silhouettes and styles and that sought to present a study of “possibilities: the possibilities inherent in the wardrobe, in the woman, and in life”. Essentially Philo wanted to create a collection that explored how a woman can pull different elements from her own existing wardrobe to create new possibilities.
Thus Celine signature wide-leg pants in a range of neutral colours and a pop of standout green feature throughout almost every look. Layering also plays a major role in the collection with dresses, tunics and long line blouses layered over the wide leg pants. Trench coats also play a major role in the collection with both long-sleeve and sleeveless versions in both silk and leather. The runway bags are one of our favourite elements of the collection with small satchel like bags coming down the runway wrapped around the models hands. The next IT bag for sure.
As one of the most outspoken figures on animal cruelty in the fashion industry, Stella Mccartney makes a point to include an animal print in every collection to “give some respect to the fellow creatures”. This season’s animal of the hour was the swan which features on silk blouses, chunky knitwear, jumpsuits and pants and adds a touch of British flair to her very international collections.
McCartney is also known for her fantastic wardrobe essentials. Adding her own masculine tailored touch to pants and blouses, the runway was full of separates that promised wearability and ease while still maintaining a fashion forward aesthetic.
There is also a touch of evening in this winter collection. Beautifully pleated silk camisole dresses in rich navy and emerald then mixed with velvet are a stand-out for us.
One of the last shows on the fashion week schedule is Valentino. Held in the famous Jardin du Tuileries, this season Maria Grazia Chuiri and Pierpaolo Piccolo are inspired by the ballet and work of renowned dancers including Martha Graham, Karole Armitage and Merce Cunningham. You could see the season's influence in the layers of dresses and tutus over sweaters and tights, tulle dresses that looked like they had come straight out of a performance of swan lake and silk ballet slippers that the models wore.
This collection has a more off-duty feel than previous seasons and although is an evening-wear element present, the Valentino AW16 collection surprisingly features more casual and ‘everyday’ wear. Beautifully cut trousers, roll neck knitwear and slouchy coats.
Another fashion house that has been recently plagued with the “will they, won’t they” speculation is Saint Laurent. With Hedi Slimane moving the Men’s Fall show and Women’s Pre-Fall show to Los Angeles in February, rumours were circulating furiously that Hedi was set to leave. And although he is still at the front of Saint Laurent, the mood of his Winter 16 Collection seemed almost like a goodbye to many.
Regardless, the show presented this season had the same shock value as is to be expected with a Saint Laurent show but for very different reasons. Instead of being held in the Grand Palais under strobe lighting and heavy rock music, the show was presented in an 18th century house on Rue de L’Universite in the style of the 1980’s haute couture shows where models walked one by one down stairs as each look was announced.
Along with the 80’s style of presentation, the clothes themselves scream the iconic era. Extreme shoulder pads, plunging necklines paired with tiny hemlines, side bows and puffy sleeves. This was a show that screamed Yves in every look and was essentially a homage to the houses’ roots.
We were excited to close our Paris Fashion Week with the Ellery AW16 show. Held at the amazing Palais du Tokyo museum, this season Kym Ellery was inspired by corsetry and the idea of deconstructing the classic garment and reconstructing it in a modern way.
This theme was conveyed with layered separates that look ‘undone’, oversized coats with cinched waists and belting with most looks. There are of course the classic Ellery silhouettes, including her iconic flared trousers, however it was exciting to see the new directions Ellery is moving. We cannot wait to see what the future holds!