ACNE STUDIOS Creative Director Jonny Johansson was yearning for more innocent times this season, with the artistic reference point derived from Swiss-German artist Paul Klee, who designed homespun finger puppets for his son back in the mid-1910s and 1920s.   BALENCIAGA “At Balenciaga, wearing the clothes inspires new clothes. That’s the way we work here,” Creative Director, Demna Gvasalia explained at the beginning of the show. This season, Balenciaga captured ‘modern sophistication’ with an ease and nonchalance. The AW17 runway is considered one of the shows of the week, commencing with models clutching their voluminous coats, with side swept button fastenings on all outwear from puffer jackets to duffel coats. Demna says “I went through almost 30 years of photographs of Cristóbal’s look books, and in many of them the models were clutching their coats like this.” CELINE When it comes to a Céline show, the models walk with such fast-pace it becomes vital to capture each look, with eyes on the runway at all times! To begin the show, the final line-up of backstage models was visible to guests, behind a backlit screen, their shadows and shapes taking form with final touches being finessed before the show commences. As the first model entered the stage, and with each exit that followed – models were crossing in a circular walk from all angles; it was impossible to look away.   CHLOE Emotions were high for Clare Waight Keller’s final collection for Chloe, after six years at the helm. Whilst referencing the 1960’s and 1970’s (with icons such as Jane Birkin serving as muse) is ingrained in each collection, this AW17 season, Clare Waight Keller looks forward with smart tailoring. Whilst Clare showed interesting new shapes, our favourites of the were dropped waist pleated trousers and impeccable tailored printed shirts with an interesting contrast lapel. A standing ovation was necessary FENDI This season was very grown-up in its ready-to-wear offering, Mr. Lagerfield kept it sharp and smart with opulent touches; a deep blue silk print series captured our attention, which can be worn back with tailored wool pieces. Founded in 1925, Fendi’s birth year appeared in Roman numerals across cuffs on shirts or knits and best of all; slides in shearling and velvet with monogramming. This thoughtful detail was executed to perfection. ISABEL MARANT   This season, the runway oozed the confidence of feeling good in your skin, regardless of age. The show this season served strong and sexy, yet covered up; with the mood of mid-length printed frocks, cinched in with large black belts, leather bolero’s and paired with thigh-high boots.   JACQUEMUS Envelope-pushing Simon Porte, the twenty-six-year-old self-taught designer of Jacquemus referenced the sentiment of naivety for the AW17 collection. Persisting with this vein of innocence (and of course his desire to surprise), the designer issued silhouettes of squares and circles down the runway from pinstripe suits, velvet coats and geometric silhouettes. JUNYA WATANABE Junya Watanabe has always had youth culture in his DNA, essential to the brand. Ahead of the show, unexpectedly, a personal email was shared with his show guests explaining his first collection was made from flea-market fabrics like men’s tweed coats and sofa fabric. Given this background, it was clear to see the label’s choice to revisit this potent recollection from those formative experimental years. As part of the recollection, Junya Watanabe re-worked some of these unconventional fabrics into the collection, but with a modern spin.   JW ANDERSON JW Anderson is making impact in his approach to not only his namesake label, but also to the luxury house of Loewe. A challenging task for a young designer, however it has become an exciting buy and one we enthusiastically await. This AW17 season, JW Anderson’s offering was sophisticated and put-together, or “Über-feminine” as JW Anderson’s team called it. It was all about one look and idea, clearly inked.  While JW Anderson has been experimental on the runway in previous collections, this season felt more focused and confident than ever before. LOEWE JW Anderson presented another highly-acclaimed collection for Loewe this season, many calling it his best collection yet and even a ‘visual feast to inspire endless retail therapy’. Inside the beautifully curated venue of the UNESCO building, guests were seated on concrete and Perspex boxes containing household items; some seats were clear while others, vibrant and colour filled. As an all-embracing theme, curation was an obsession for JW Anderson. From the jewels to the complete environment, each idea was curated.   MSGM The revival of David Lynch’s ground-breaking ‘90’s television series; Twin Peaks has become a huge pop culture phenomenon in the last few months, and served as Massimo Giorgetti’s ultimate inspiration as a devout fan. In developing the AW17 collection, Massimo Giorgetti closely studied the show’s symbols and reproduced many of them in the new collection – some subtle and some more detailed the closer you look or, know about the show. Bright colours suggestive of the era, varsity style looks such as embroidered jackets, puffy sleeves and loose-fit dresses were strategic, but also worked with the MSGM core DNA of modernity. PROENZA SCHOULER Adopting a model like trailblazing label Vetements, Proenza Schouler designers and style leaders Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez headed to Paris instead of their home turf of New York this season. Known for their many ideas, this AW17 collection, the duo featured technical knits, layering in primary colours and polished separates in graphic print. A contoured black draped with white button-work was a classic standout, and a perfect fit for any wardrobe, irrespective of season or occasion.   PUCCI One of the hallmarks of the Pucci label, is not only its sensational prints – but the notion of ‘collecting’ or amassing the diverse prints, selected from different collections over seasons. Instantly recognisable, we immediately fell in love with a printed lounge suit decorated in orange and grey print. Acid bright’s pulled from swatches in the company’s archive we’re bold and unmissable in the showroom. With Giorgetti’s reign, he can incorporate such elements of tradition, although speak to a more modern client with optimistic ideals. SACAI Chitose Abe honed her skills working for Rei Kawakubo and Junya Watanabe of Comme des Garçons for ten years, before starting Sacai in 1998. This season was all about the intricacies and manipulation of fabric, a technique we have come to admire from the label. Fashion met functionality through a continuation of experimental shapes, materials and prints across embroidered parkas, zippers on tweed, lace with pleating and treated denim. SAINT LAURENT Creative Director, Anthony Vaccarello chose to show in the Saint Laurent HQ on Rue de Bellechasse in an enormous amphitheatre with tiered stadium seating. The soundtrack was club music, the louder the better! The young Italian-Belgian designer has made a point of celebrating beauty and sexuality while putting his stamp on the house while striving to stay true to himself.  accarello has said “I always relate YSL to parties, to evening,”. His idea for the AW17 season, to combine the everyday with a romanticism, and a bit of toughness. STELLA MCCARTNEY With models dancing to George Michael’s “Faith” as the finale of the runway show, it is fair to say Stella McCartney brings an element of joy and spirit into her runway shows. Illustrations of horses as a motif on soft denim as an ode to Stella’s life time love of horse-riding. It’s also seen on silk-printed shifts, silk pants and long sleeve tops, appealing in their ease and flow Taking this equestrian theme further are embroidered sweaters, plaid jodhpurs, sweaters and capes – and perhaps best exemplified in a military mini-shirt dress with cowl neck. We’ll couple these looks with tortoise print-heeled strap heels.   VALENTINO If you’re in need of a fantasy dress, Valentino, with its exquisite workmanship and whimsy, is the label. This season, Pier Paolo Piccioli merged two surprising themes; Victoriana and the Memphis Group. Both diverse, but married expertly; only the way a true artist can. The Victoriana theme provided high-waisted, high-necked house signature dresses whereas the Memphis reference led to candy colours and patterns of hands and numerals.  A dress of this nature combined deluxe prints with black and aqua colour blocking on covered up neckline. In other areas, long sleeve V neck dresses which float off the body were completed with neck ties skimming the front. More colour blocking in pleating, frills and those Victorian high buttoned necks appeared in the showroom through evening looks, and beautifully hand loomed knits. Knee-length dresses with swing and volume were shown in several options from print to plain-satin. This could very well be the Valentino dress of the season.

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