Antonio Berardi and the Pursuit of Precision

by Lotus Ladegaard

Antonio Berardi was fast-tracked into a fashion career when he studied at the prestigious Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design, meanwhile working as John Galliano’s assistant. He graduated in 1994 with a noticeable collection which attracted London buyers such as Liberty and A La Mode. He launched his first professional collection the following season. Unlike may other fashion houses, Antonio Berardi’s eponymous house is run completely autonomous due to the designer’s sense for not only fashion, but also manufacturing and business. 

Antonio Berardi has become synonymous with sensual figure-hugging dresses and classic silhouettes. He focusses much on the manufacturing techniques and is not afraid to try out new ones, he also works with advanced fabrics and plays with them. Drawing on influences from many different genres and disciplines from arts to his Sicilian heritage, he always manages to create pieces that collaborate with the female form and enhances it. 

For Resort 2019, the UK born designer presented an interesting and fabulous lookbook that is bound to take fashion editors by storm around the world. It might not be the most glamorous, however, it feels fresh, real and each look stands out. The colour palette was vibrant and fresh with multi-coloured prints, stripes, yellow as well as more subdued tones like dusty and dark green, grey and a pale blue. The silhouettes offered a little bit of everything from fitted and tailored dresses to easy-to-wear dresses. 

Antonio Berardi is a master when it comes to cut and precision, he knows how to construct garments to enhance the female form and every single look has been worked to perfection by him. In such a lookbook most looks stand out and make an impact, especially the burnt printed caftan in chiffon and the multi-coloured striped suit. The oversized yellow dress with pleated skirt felt fresh and youthful while still remaining luxurious and glamorous. The grey/white ruffled top with grey skirt was another exquisite look that showcased his eye for details. Another very stylish look was the layered look with grey trousers and tops with extra length and width at the back as well as little bolero jacket in a busy print. 

Antonio Berardi has created a very fresh, relatable and interesting Resort collection that will take fashion editors around the globe by storm. It will appeal to all his fans and might even pull out a few new ones. 
 

The Homecoming of Venus with Francesco Scognamiglio

by Lydia Schaff 

Scognamiglio’s 20-years-long exploration of couture through the prism of whimsy and sex appeal were on full display at his Capri show. His ability to construct the allure of a diva tightly knitted into a ball of sexual energy and elegance enhanced even the most functional of couture pieces. If that wasn't enough his silhouettes were more form fitting than any during the Haute Couture. It is no surprise to see Maison Francesco Scognamiglio thriving for 20 years as a formative experience creator for the exclusive haute couture club.

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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The Rebellious Couture of Viktor & Rolf

by Lotus Ladegaard

The designer duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren have always sought to challenge fashion preconceptions and link fashion and art. In their early beginnings, the world of fashion did not exactly welcome the Dutch duo, however, the world of art responded well and paved way for them. Known for their avant-garde and theatrical silhouettes and references, Viktor & Rolf always puts on a show on the catwalk. Although the bold and extravagant style is not to everyone’s taste, their pieces always manages to make a statement and leave and impression.

For Couture AW 2018, Viktor & Rolf has created an intriguing collection with highlights from the past 25 years all reworked, refreshed and reimagined in all white and Swarovski crystals. The collection was every bit avant-garde, dramatic and theatrical as anyone would expect from the Dutch design duo. It made for quite a spectacular show with so many stand-out pieces that editors will have a hard time choosing one. 

Pieces like the ballgown with corset bodice and tulle skirt with wholes in it and the suit wrapped in Swarovski crystal band stood out as bold and exciting while other pieces like the bed with pillows as collar and duvet off-the-shoulder dress and the NO coat finished with crystals stood out as humoristic and felt fun. A wrap-around dress with crystal splatters and completely open neckline and the ballgown wrapped at one shoulder with the words I love you on it, were feminine and romantic in that Viktor & Rolf way. A few pieces might have been somewhat over the top, however, is that not to be expected from avant-garde haute couture? Viktor & Rolf knows how to breath take an audience and deliver a good show.

The Couture AW 2018 collection is a fantastic and bold even for the avant-garde. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but Viktor & Rolf will always seek to challenge our perspectives and conceptions, whether we like or not. 

Futurism's Siren with Iris van Herpen

by Olivia Moreau

Movement and symmetry govern how we see fashion and fabrics in general. So it would be a bit counter-intuitive if a designer decided to slow down that process and bring rigidity to the conversation as a form of wearable art. But Iris van Herpen does not go by anyone's rules. She is a continent of ideas all by herself and this couture collection is brooding with all shapes and sizes of counter-intuitive prescription for a weary fashion editor. Haute Couture's most formidable futurist weaves a sense of dynamism in this mind-altering collection. 

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. 

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. 

The Origami of Osman

by Lotus Ladegaard

Behind the fashion label known for its architectural and structural aesthetics that flatter and celebrate the female body is British born Osman Yousefzada, who first met the world of fashion through his mother’s couture dressmaking business. After graduating Central Saint Martins, he established his eponymous fashion house, in 2008, and quickly became noticed as one of London’s exciting designer talents. But Osman Yousefzada is much more than a designer, he is an artist who does not settle for a single media, but master quite a few. Each year, the artist publishes the Collective, a cross-disciplinary publication drawing on Osman’s friends, fellow artists and other creatives.

For Resort 2019, Osman has created an exciting and bold collection that will wow his fans and win over new territory. It is fresh, contemporary and features a whole line of stand-out looks. The colour palette had a little bit of everything from black and white to prints, gold and metallic. The silhouettes were interesting and detailed like the tiered ruffled pieces, a little black dress and the outerwear. A silver sequined dress was among the stand-outs as well as a fantastic easy-to-wear coat in gold print. Osman had also made room for some delicate and romantic crepe-de-chine separates that are easy to mix and match like the black and white sheer skirts. Among the more edgier pieces was a black pilot leather jacket with open sleeves for the rock’n’roll fashionista and a great athleisure look with slacks and knitted cardigan that would look great for many occasions. Several of the outerwear was editorial and rather exquisite, it was tailored, feminine and with plenty of movement, it will appeal to many types of women regardless of age and body type.

Osman has created a wonderful Resort 2019 collection and it is easy to spot his talent and unique eye. His designs are relevant, bold and artistic, just like Osman himself.
 

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.