Valentino's Retro Futurism

by Linda Bezos

Pierpaolo Piccioli loves the street. Street styles from New York to Rome are his muses. Valentino's foray into its Resort collection is a canvas of eclecticism. It is filled with broody bourgeoise charm of 70's Rome. Art Deco to Baroque styles all invade the visual exploration of Piccioli's work. It is a collection brimming with cool and 'devil may care' sort of clarity. And by incorporating classic Valentino logos almost as a gonzo method, he foretells a future where classic brands like Valentino evolves to move forward, evolves to survive and prosper. Piccioli is a master at predicting where the market is heading and this surely is one of his more astute and nuanced collection within that realm of retro-futurism.  

Tailoring 101 with Victoria Beckham

by Lotus Ladegaard

Victoria Beckham has successfully transitioned from a novelty pop star in the world of fashion into a respected designer, who’s designs has a widespread appeal and is ever evolving. Using herself as an inspiration, she has moved from very fitted pieces to sporting a more relaxed style with loose bodices and oversized pieces. She launched her brand in ten years ago and it has since become a fixture at the prestigious New York Fashion Week. Victoria Beckham favours the wearable and relatable rather than showpieces, which her collections reflect.

For her Resort 2019, Victoria Beckham has returned to the very tailored and feminine pieces. The colour palette ranged from classic black, white and red to coloured prints and knits along with camouflage and beige tones. The oversized and loose pieces have been replaced with feminine, fitted and fierce dresses, suits and outerwear that reflect the designer’s own evolving in taste. It is easy to see Victoria Beckham and her story in this collection that embraces colour, prints and a little bit of rock’n’roll. 

The little pink dress mimicking a two-piece with white and pink shirt and a pink fitted skirt stood out with tons of editorial appeal along with being edgy and fierce. Several of the black looks all stood out such as the little fitted black tuxedo dress and the long A-line dress with brown and it would be easy to imagine the designer in any of these walking the red carpet. The printed pieces felt contemporary, youthful and fun and will undoubtedly win over a younger crowd.

Victoria Beckham presented another interesting and commercially viable Resort Collection and certainly made for a very tasty appetizer ahead of her show in September in London.
 

Underrated Charm of Smarteez

by Linda Bezos

Smarteez is soaked in smart design. A culmination of superfine cotton, silk, nylon, poplin create the main foundational fabrics for Smarteez, which is one of the most exciting yet underrated fashion houses in Italy right now. Marta Forgheiri, the main designer for Smarteez has the credentials (CSM trained) and the talent to consistently produce clothes that stand out. The name itself stems from the ridiculously well dressed Smarteez crew in Post-Apartheid South Africa and does it justice by creating aesthetically pleasing constructs that not only appeal to the visual markers of beauty and elegance but also appeals to the feeling of clothing which is so very important. Smarteez's autumn collection is full of that equipoise between fine fabrics and standout fashion. It is more global than Italian in its aesthetic expression and more Italian than global in its finishing. 

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The Whimsical Blues of Erdem

by Lotus Ladegaard

Established in 2005, Erdem has become synonymous with experimental textiles, vibrant prints, versatile yet powerful femininity that speaks to a variety of women. Behind the brand also known for its detailed craftmanship is Turkish Canadian designer Erdem Moralioglu, who studied at the prestigious Royal College of Art and interned with Vivienne Westwood. Over the years, the talented designer has received many awards and accolades and gained a wide celebrity following. 

Drawing on inspiration from the work of photographers Diana Arbus and William Eggleston, Erdem has created an interesting and bold Resort collection that will charm his fans and intrigue new ones. Bold floral prints, dramatic collars, and vintage elbow-length gloves all culminated in several stand-out looks with tons of editorial appeal. 

Styled with unusual, at times even funny, hats, calf-length stockings and odd loafers, some looks seemed to clash more than match yet still somehow worked together. The colour palette was busy with several floral prints from the darker and dustier tones such as navy blue, black and grey to lighter tones such as pink, white and metallic silver. The Victorian and pipe collars stood out and certainly made a focal point borderlining the avant-garde yet remaining very Erdem-esque. The Turkish and Canadian designer had also played with the silhouettes almost distorting them to mimic a dress that had its lining pulled out without actually distorting them. 

Among the stand-out looks were a couple of sheer chiffon dresses in silver and navy blue with white dots styled with a sass at the waist tied in a bow as well as a pink floral coat with pleting at the back. Many of the floral dresses felt romantic and feminine with a vintage feel that undoubtedly will do well with many fashionistas around the globe. 

Erdem has created a very intriguing Resort 2019 collection with tons of editorial appeal that will only cement him further into the world of fashion.
 

The Rising of Wunderkind

by Lydia Schaff

Wolfgang Joop's Wunderkind has become a german heavy hitter within the industry. With the introduction of the "Berlin spirit" it has slowly but surely moved toward a more cohesive minimalist structure that appeals to the german market. Wunderkind has become sort of a platform as opposed to just a design label for Joop's vision of Berlin as he collaborates with talents all across the creative field. Whether or not this Hugo Boss meets Celine' aesthetics is a sure fire way to consumer's hearts is yet to be tested, but if the current collection is any indication of things to come, then we are seeing a foundation being built for a very successful reboot. 

Jill Sander and the Second Coming of Ultra-Cool

by Linda Bezos 

Jill Sander's design team of Luke and Lucie Meier reconceptualizes the Jill Sander ethos through the aesthetic of polish and symmetry. The resort collection is full of personal fashion with grand ideas. Each individual piece fits nicely into the grand vision of the designers who instill radical and edgy elements to even the most mundane objects. Jill Sander's resort collection is full of grace, glory and outright rebellion but with an understated desire to fit in. It is a collection worth swooning over.    

Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood = VW 2.0

by Naomi Smith

Andreas Kronthaler took over the reigns of Vivienne Westwood few cycles ago. And his bridal collection is not much of a bridal collection but more of a statement of intent. And the intent is to disrupt, the intent is to remain at the helm of avant-garde. The Corset gowns have morphed into a bridal dress of sorts, the suspenders are added into the realm of avant-garde bridal fashion too. A collection full of separates and outright rejection of the bridal philosophy. Ultimately that has always been the foundation of VW's philosophy and Andreas Kronthaler is no mug when it comes to courting the right kind of disruption. 

More than an Attitude with Just Cavalli

by Lotus Ladegaard

When Roberto Cavalli invented and patented a printing procedure on leather and created patchwork of different materials, back in the early 70’s, his fashion career immediately took off with commissions from the likes of Hermès and Pierre Cardin. In 2000, he created a new line; Just Cavalli dedicated to a new generation of free spirits. With a focus fusing innovative materials and graphics with the Cavalli tradition, he created a line that is fashion-forward, edgy and youthful. 

The Just Cavalli Pre Fall 2019 is the first by creative director Paul Surridge, and it has been much anticipated. Paul Surridge’s vision for Just Cavalli, by the looks of the Pre Fall 2019 collection is a wider range with offerings for most body types, flowy as well as fitted pieces. He has also given the brand’s aesthetic a more contemporary wider appealing feel, while utilising the cornerstones of the Just Cavalli; animalier prints, sexy edge and the rock’n’roll attitude cleverly subtle. Gone is the over-embellishment and instead you find bright popping colours and homage to the brand’s heritage. 

For Pre Fall 2019, Paul Surridge had chosen a vibrant colour palette ranging from romantic pinks to bright popping yellow, animalier prints and denim. It offered several stand out pieces and offered different styles with flowy dresses and trench coats for the bohemian fashionistas, the animalier prints had been reworked to mimic abstract graphics that are less ‘in your face’ and thus will appeal to a wider audience. Edgy and funky denim looks, as well as an exquisite yellow suit, shows that Paul Surridge has not forgotten about the Just Cavalli attitude.  
 

The Irrefutable Consistency of Haney

by Samantha Mitten

Mary Alice Haney does not suffer from variability in vision. From day one her label has been a celebration of the female form and the visual joy it brings. Holding on to that vision Haney's AW18 collection brings heavy hitters with ease and poise. From rhinestone studded separates to the high-slit gowns, the delectable minidresses provide wardrobe for a woman who is comfortable with who she is. 

Dolce & Gabbana's This American Life

by Olivia Moreau

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been a constant fixture for the Metropolitan Opera in New York and since both of them share a deep love and nostalgia for the place, it was no surprise to find a D&G show to embrace the atrium of MOH. 

The couture show which had the underlying theme of celebrating America (a hard task in this climate of anti-intellectualism, anti-immigration and anti-facts) touched on some of the political upheavals but not to the point which would upset more illiberal buyers. The clothes were classic Dolce & Gabbana with fine craftsmanship and kitsch playing the central role. Despite the exhaustive number of looks what stood out were the outright homage to Americana. It was an experience as opposed to just a fashion show and that is what D&G offers each cycle with ease.  

                                             Photographs Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana

Ralph Lauren's Subtle Reinvention

By Lotus Ladegaard

Ralph Lauren started his eponymous brand more than 50 years ago with a men’s tie line. Inspired by sports, he named his very first collection ‘Polo’ and since became known for his polo shirts. However, many years have passed since then and, today, Ralph Lauren is much more than a somewhat preppy polo shirt. Over the years, Ralph Lauren has also become known for his take on American sportswear that always offers style with comfort.

Ralph Lauren’s 2018 Prefall collection is rather intriguing. It offered a little bit of everything and takes you on quite the journey. The collection is sleek and elegant, it is minimal yet striking and elegant. The colour palette was kept simple with grey and brown tones ranging from metallic to mat. Several looks stood out such as the champagne coloured sleek dress with low back and the metallic grey dress, they were cleverly understated, elegant and would make an impact at the right occasions. Other stand out pieces were the coats and jackets, in general the suiting was brilliantly executed with several exquisite androgynous suits, jackets and coats, especially the navy shawl tuxedo blazer with casual pants stood out. The pantsuits ranged from classic to contemporary with references to American workwear. A metallic flight suit stood out as did a brown pantsuit with wide legs styled with a cute brown bag. A metallic bomber jacket along with a furry and metallic blush flight suit kept the collection contemporary and youthful.

Looking at the 2018 Prefall collection, one might wonder where the comfort of Ralph Lauren has gone. But do not despair, Ralph Lauren know his strong following and know they value comfort as much as style and elegance and thus the adorable lurex sweaters and pleated skirts come with a soft cashmere lining.

Ralph Lauren has created an intriguing and exciting 2018 Prefall Collection with pieces for any fashionista with a preference for the comfortable.

The Bloodletting before the Rebooting of Burberry

by Linda Bezos

This is not Riccardo Tisci's collection but a curated collection of what has been Burberry's strength..their branding. It is a celebration of what makes Burberry, Burberry. The traditionalism through the means of legacy clothing is fully present in this resort collection. And there is enough reason to believe under Tisci's leadership Burberry might become more avant-garde, more youthful than it ever was. And in that regard, this is more of a swansong or a bookend, to a new chapter that is beginning. 

Too Hot for Couture with Inbal Dror

by Samantha Arnold

Inbal Dror has built up a reputation of outright excellence for her Haute Couture collection. And her current bridal collection stands heavily yet confidently on that reputation. From front slits and plunging necklines to shimmery beads, often tempered by traditional ball skirts and long sleeves, this collection is for the modern bride and on the move celebrity. The details make the collection but it is lines and silhouette that builds the foundation of this wonderfully intricate series of dresses. This collection stands out as not only because of it's exquisite nature but also Inbal's willingness to create something more approachable for the less famous brides. 

Carolina Herrera's Philadelphia Story

by Lucie Niemans

Spring may very well be Carolina Herrera's favorite time of the year as it exudes the same energy CH brings to the cutting board. Wes Gordon's first spring bridal collection is svelte and efficient. The beauty of those strong lines and evocative silhouettes are just part and parcel of a collection that is brimming with youthful nostalgia and traditionalism. Minimalism with something added to it almost like an heirloom is the foundational aesthetics of this collection. Functionality wrapped in a nice little bow of excellence is what makes this collection a favorite of the season. 

Vera Wang's Color Revolution

by Linda Bezos

Vera Wang does Vera Wang like no other does Vera Wang. This collection of bridal wear oozes with class and clarity of a designer who is not too bothered by the restraints of tradition. Vera Wang's collection reformulates the notion of bridal wear and incorporates a different classic...Vermeer. Edgy romanticism with a homage to probably the first painter photographer is a perfect equipoise for this collection as it is steeped in forward-thinking constructs that would stand the test of time. Rebecca Moses did the hand-painted detailing to further substantiate Vera's place on the throne of bridal wear. The beauty of this collection is not only in its uniqueness but also in the fact that despite doing away with some traditions, VW firmly remains grounded on romanticism. And that dance you cannot learn before a wedding, you are born with it.

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Galia Lahav and the Celebration of Exquisite

by Lotus Ladegaard

Design is in the genes of Galia Lahav who grew up in a family of seamstresses in Russia. She launched her brand as an embroidery and knitted applique shop in her very own hometown but quickly began to design for brides. In November 2016, Galia Lahav was granted couture status by the prestigious Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. 

With an eye for beauty, details, and embellishments, Galia Lahav wants to make every bride feel like a superstar on the red carpet. Craftmanship, attention to details and intricacy are within the DNA of the brand, and hours are spent creating one final look. Approx. 1000 embroidery designs are created for just one final look. And the result is exquisite, feminine and fierce, it is easy to see why Galia Lahav is adored by both a strong celebrity following as well as fashion editors alike. 

For Bridal Spring 2019, Galia Lahav presented a charming, feminine and lavish collection that offered everything from feminine grand ballgown to detailed embellished mermaid dresses that would do well on the red carpet as well as down the aisle. 

Galia has an eye for details and the Bridal Spring 2019 collection was no exception. With clever cut-outs, large and luxurious appliques, textile choices and beading, Galia Lahav managed to make every single gown stand out.  The ballgown with a shimmering skirt and floral appliques and a small cut-out and the lace gown with a deep plunging V-neck with beaded straps and bodice were exceptional on so many levels. Her simple ballgown with a bow at the waist is delightful and charming. The lace a line with a deep V-neck embellished with floral appliques are romantic, glamorous and feels like old Hollywood. 

Galia Lahav is a master at her craft. Each passing season that mastery pushes her to a legendary status among the current crop of exceptional designers.
 

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Decked out in Art Deco with Zuhair Murad

by Lotus Ladegaard

In just a few years, Zuhair Murad has conquered the throne of bridal with his unique eye for textiles, embellishments, and details. He has consistently wowed with his bridal collections and it is easy to see why his fans include fashion editors, influencers, celebrities and fashionistas alike.

For Bridal Spring 2019, the Lebanese designer presented an exquisite and beautiful collection that offers everything, we have come to expect; it feels luxurious and looks amazing, it is editorial and will appeal to a wide variety of women. From the soft and feminine to art deco lines with influences from the Chrysler Building in New York, from ballgown to fit and flare, Zuhair Murad do it all fiercely. His collections and design are anything, but simple; they are intricate, detailed and embellished, something not all designers master.

While his inspiration, undoubtedly, was the Art Deco Movement of the 1930s, he did not forget about his followers who adore his floral embroidery, or those who fancy something a little more traditional like a sleeveless applique tulle gown with a bow belt, which really stood out and will excite fashion editors around the globe. Another stand out was the Art Deco inspired slim line dress with a detachable train which gave hints to Old Hollywood. Other pieces and details such as capes, detachable trains, ostrich feathers embellishments and Art Deco embroidery only added to that feeling.

Zuhair Murad delivered a solid and breath-taking Bridal Spring 2019 collection true to his aesthetics. Zuhair Murad brides around the world will undoubtedly line up for one of his creations.

 

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Edeline Lee's Secret Garden

by Lydia Schaff

Edeline Lee ventured inward to find her zen wrapped in traditionalism of the east. Chaos and Clarity is the foundational structure of her new collection. It is hard to ignore the monastic tone of her collection as she imbued her aesthetics with solid palettes and dark floral jacquards which were a nod to the Garden of Eden. While employing technique draping and tassel trimmings that were reminiscent of Ayurvedic robes, she re-conceptualized the collection as a form of protection against the myriad upheaval of the outside world. It is a collection deeply rooted in the sophistication of a designer who embraces her introvert-ness as a form of armor. 

Mary Katrantzou's Rothchild Excursion

by Olivia Moreau 

Mary Katrantzou is a visionary. So was the second Baron Rothchild who invested a substantial amount of his wealth into his interest in zoology, which led to the creation of the national history museum in London. Mary Katranzou was invited by the current heir to the Rothchild name to incorporate her psychedelic prints into the rich tapestry of the museum. And in this resort collection, she does exactly that. Soaked in the patterns of feather and exotic flowers, liberal lashings of lamé, glittering sequins, and multicolored stripes are all part of this visually delectable collection that is bound to grace the many lavish parties and weekends of the world's elites and fashion aficionados.  

Zuhair Murad and the Red Dawn

by Olivia Moreau

Zuhair Murad sits firmly on top of the pile when it comes to the wedding couture market. But his non-wedding clothes has not truly made a mark up until this collection. That in itself is a surprise as Murad's catalog as impressive as almost any living greats at this point. This collection steeped in color and prints provided a fresher, younger and more untamed look to Murad's classic cuts and feminine silhouettes.  The red, the red , the red is almost as iconic looking as Valentino and the frocks and long dresses where his talent truly shines. It is a collection worth a double take.