MFW AW17 : The Red Dawn with Fendi

by Bianca Hill

Fendi's take on red boots, red knee high, thigh high boots were the talk of Milan Fashion Week. It felt like a metamorphosis of so many different trends from Donald Trumps ridiculous long red tie to Louboutin's iconic red soles coming into one singular narrative, in one quantum leap the levity and joy of what Fendi. Sure the clothes were amazing. The fur cups, the see through seduction were all there. But the red knee high boots, borrowed from every single shade of red and crafted into a self-sustaining super red made everything dim in comparison. Nothing beats Fendi when it comes to hammering in a tunnel vision with the guile of a ship captain heading out of the abyss of fast fashion and tedious symmetry. Maybe nothing beats Fendi anymore, period.  


Berlin AW17 : Joining Michael Sontag's Big Tent Party

by Lotus Ladegaard 

Michael Sontag already made a name for himself as when he won Textil Innovationspreis as well as being a finalist in international competitions such as Designer for Tomorrow and Beck’s Fashion Experience, in 2009. He was also the youngest designer invited to participate . in the “Dysfashional” in 2009 in Paris. 

Michael Sontag does not like to call his work for collections, but rather sees them as a fluent process and views them as his within the conception of that narrative. He aims to blur the fashion classification and create a narrative detached from fashion parameters such as season and trends. His process is also unconventional as he never draws any of his designs, but instead he uses his superior draping skills on mannequins. Michael Sontag has become known for collections that are all about comfort, construction, draping and timeless elegance. 

Michael Sontag’s AW17 collection is an outstanding body of work. The colour palette is intriguing and intricate. While his colour compositions are not exactly unconventional, they are counter-intuitive. Black, white and grey were the dominant colours with splashes of vibrant oranges and pink tones. Beige, blue and an interesting print also came down the runway. The silhouettes were diverse and spanned from a short and fitted dress to draped and loose fitted jumpsuits. He did not leave anything out making room for a couple of male styles too. It was a collection of diversity and everything for any occasion. 

Michael Sontag is a master at draping and his coats were exquisite. Draped, easy to wear and were fashion forward, they are bound to be a huge favourite, this season and in seasons to come. His tops and pants will appeal to a wide audience and he is offering a wide selection of choices for any body type and any age. A few styles might have been mostly for the runway, but will appeal to his avant-garde followers. 

Regardless of one’s own fashion preferences, Michael Sontag delivered a collection with something for everyone, men and women alike, any body type, any age and any style. And that fully encapsulates fashion and art. It is counter-intuitive, it is diverse and above all it is inclusive. 


NYFW AW17 : Calvin Klein and the Re-Birth of Cool

by Olivia Hastings 

A new era at Calvin Klien may just end up being a new era in American fashion. Raf Simons who by any measure is a master of his domain be it in the form of menswear or womenswear have been teasing a newly minted Calvin Klien with couture appeal. And today watching the new Calvin Klien show suggests that a revival of Americana is in full swing in the hallowed halls of Calvin Klien, one of the most respected and iconic American fashion houses. 


From Sheriff's jackets to Banker coats Raf Simon carved out a form of functional couture that has not been present in American fashion. His own brand's influence was there, so was the influence of Dior and Helmut Lang but to call this collection a synthesis would be to do injustice to it. It is a collection built on a synthesis of years of slaving away in the atelier, a synthesis bloomed into a wonderful form of expression and in many ways the savior of Americana in denim and everything in between. 




MFW AW17 : Versace, a Jolt of Maturity

By Bianca Hill 

Donatella's Versace is no mug when it comes to bringing out the angst and brood but this collection shows a side of Versace which has often been a side act...the act of positivity and maturity. The strong colors are there, the grip and intrigue of silhouettes are there and the swagger of being Versace is as present as ever. What is new though is the transition of colors from red to black, pink to black, green to black. There's an evenness to this presentation, there's a sense of comfort and a sense of comfortable being in one's skin. If Gucci was an exploration of color and Fendi and exploration of tonality, then Versace is a mature synthesis of both. The black long coats, the red fur, the bravado of naval gazing are fully integrated with the collection. But there is nothing and I mean nothing that looks off, or out of place. This is a full collection of what Versace can be, what Versace is. 


NYFW AW17 : On the Prowl with Alexander Wang

by Olivia Moreau

Alexander Wang made RKO Hamilton Theatre the scene of his latest collection. The venue itself is a beautiful wreck that is tailor-made for Wang's vision. From dark brooding dresses to dark catsuits to dark coats on models with boycuts, Wang's AW17 collection proliferated the image of a fashionista out to kick some butt and take some names (so she can call them later). It is a collection of such raw elegance that it would unfair to pigeonhole it into a singular narrative as the variations with the narrative is wildly engaging and can only be compared to a master writing an opera with two notes (due tone in this case). The leather pants, shorts only provide a blank slate for Wang to impose this ethereal influence on staples. And the end product is nothing short of magnificent. The end product is Just Alexander Wang casually dispensing his genius. Of the hundreds of shows across the city this was by far the most doggedly resistant to color and equally stubborn about its genius. 


PFW AW17 : A Different Kind of Blue with Dior

by Olivia Moreau

If ever there was a time blue seemed like the right sidekick for black, this would be it. Maria Grazia Chuiri crafted a masterclass in shades of blue that veered, towed the line into black but never really crossing it. This wasn't the most traditional presentation of the Dior imagery but it was the most traditional presentation of Dior for millennials. The long coats deconstructed and tied in, provided the first glimpse of Maria's vision to bridge the gap between generations. And in a world where big fashion houses have to do more to sell more, this is a purely commercial decision. That does not mean the clothes aren't beautiful it just means that the beauty of these pieces would appeal more to certain age group and to people who think like them. It is truly NEW Dior collection. And the blues are just the colour of it's latest Noir. 


MFW AW17 : Missoni and the Colors of Protest

by Omi 

Angela Missoni is a sincere human being. She is also an exceptionally talented designer heading a fashion house that has endured and prospered through several generations. So when she decided to dedicate her whole collection as a form of resistance against xenophobia and ultra-nationalism, it was not entirely surprising. Her fall collection exuded a sense of quiet rebellion for the unquiet Americans. From multicolor cropped down pantsuits to plaid coats, everything was on point, everything was functional and everything was visually stunning. If you want to burn down patriarchy while looking impeccable then this is the collection for you. Politics aside, the intricacy to which Missoni addresses form and function is a sight to behold. So even for a timid protester or an apolitical person this collection will have the charm and gravitas of an outfit well done.  


NYFW AW17 : Cinq à Sept and the Art of Whimsy

by Olivia Moreau 

Cinq à Sept is a whimsical brand. Ever since it's groundbreaking first show in 2016, Cinq has been living up to the levity and whimsy of its name (5 to 7 pm Parisian time when something magical happens). This current collection of Cinq is a product of a cohesive narrative that borrows from all consequential trends and infusing a little bit of charm to the process.From high slits to overpowering patterns Cinq made sure that it hit all the right notes in the symphony that is this whimsy.  The most impressive part of Cinq is the maturity of the brand as it has carved out a strong following in a very very short time. It seems like Cinq knows what it is doing and we all are grateful for it. 


LFW AW17 : Bora Aksu and the Turkish Delight

by Alexandra Pushkina

Bora Aksu is as british as it gets. He has the lightness about his fashion that really good british fashion designers tend to have. But then there is something more about Bora Aksu that stems from his ability to incorporate patterns and weaving techniques from his native land of Turkey. They pop up when you least expect it. But each London Fashion Week they are there to dazzle you into appreciating his craft and his vision and this fashion week was no different. Bora Aksu's intricate hemlines, couture-esque pattern-ism and embroidery were all on display. If fashion week was a race to the finish line, then Bora Aksu would be a sure bet.  


PFW AW17 : Balancing Levity and Lust of Balenciaga

by Bianca Hill

Demma Gvasalia's first foray with the fabled Balenciaga held onto the belief that introducing a surrealist interpretation of functionality can be a commercially viable endeavor while being artistically exceptional. This fall collection explores that same idea with much more layered complexity. The classic and iconic silhouettes of Balenciaga is still there as a foundational piece of the puzzle to remind us of the lineage of Gvasalia's vision, but what is added on is no less intriguing...from midi skirts inspired by floor mats to clutches that look like side mirrors. All in all, it is an homage to the car culture of the past, while moving forward as a form of fluid art. 


LFW AW17 : British Staple as Pringle of Scotland

by Lotus Ladegaard

Pringle of Scotland is one of the oldest luxury fashion brands in the world. Founded more than a hundred years ago in 1815 by Robert Pringle, the fashion house has always aimed at a modern and relevant style. In the 1920s, the argyle signature print became instantly popular when the Duke of Windsor was seen wearing it. In 1956, Pringle of Scotland received the Royal Warrant awarded by Queen of England. From royalty to celebrities such as Jean Simmons, Brigitte Bardot, Grace Kelly and Jean Crawford, Pringle of Scotland has dressed them all. Ex-Balenciaga designer Alistair Carr was named Design Director in 2011 and the brand continues to do well under his direction. Pringle of Scotland's AW17 collection shows great range and diversity. From fitted luxurious dresses to oversized fuzzy coats, it is relevant, modern, stylish and luxurious, however, at times it fell a little flat and bordered on if not boring, at least somewhat monotone. Knitwear might not be everyone's favorite material or feel limited by it, but Pringle of Scotland knows how to make it interesting, modern and relevant. The collection offers something for women of all shapes, sizes and style preferences, from the avant-garde through classics to the trendy athleisure. The color palette is fairly simple; white, black, gray and darks beige with a few hints of bright cobalt blue, bright orange, the signature argyle design and a designed multicolor knit. The embellishments were kept classic but with a twist such as the black dress with the buttons across. The draped pieces were exquisitely done as were the two coats with capes. The oversized sleeves seams would have been nice in just a few pieces considering its impracticality and became somewhat monotone. Pringle of Scotland delivered a beautiful and interesting collection with some hits and some misses, but their status as a British staple is going to remain.


NYFW AW17 : The Aesthetic of Egalitarianism with Christian Siriano

by Lotus Ladegaard & Olivia Hastings

Christian Siriano is at the forefront of democratizing fashion. His willingness to make luxury accessible and use profits to fund the ACLU is not only commendable but also is providing a new template for designers to remain relevant in an increasingly political world where fashion cannot exist in a vacuum. His AW17 show had all the elements of that accessibility with an added focus on luxury. 

The presence of classically tailored clothes with a twist was the foundational philosophy behind the collection. The silhouettes were classic and timeless while the design often offered a twist. Models of all sizes came down the runway in warm tones, burnt orange, blush, bright orange, pink, bronze, charcoal gray and blacks with some cold silver and an effective print along with fur, gold and glittery embellishments.

The standout printed suit was exquisitely tailored and the print certainly made an impression. The little bronze strapless dress with fringes at the hem line was a stroke of genius; with its illusion waist line, tons of women of all shapes, sizes, styles and ages will fall in love with it. Another favorite was the long orange dress with the cut-outs at the shoulders; it moved beautifully down the runway. The plus size styles were tailored and most of the time, very becoming for a plus size figure. I am not sure that all the styles will be turnover a huge following, but overall, Christian Soriano delivered a luxurious and timeless collection that will excite even the most jaded fashion victims...and midway through the long fashion week, there are many. 


LFW AW17 : Erdem, the Sultan of Print

by Lotus Ladegaard

Behind the ready-to-wear label Erdem is Turkish Canadian Erdem Moralioglu, who founded the brand in 2005. He has a Bachelor degree from Ryerson University in fashion as well as a Master from the Royal College of Art in London. He has won several prestigious fashion awards from the first year of his label through to the most recent in 2015 awarded by the British Fashion Council for Establishment Designer. Erdem is known for use of experimental textiles, vibrant prints, detailed craftsmanship and the versatile yet powerful feminine style. Over the years, Erdem has gained a strong celebrity following and stars such as Cate Blanchett, Michelle Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow, Juliane Moore, Linda Evangelista, Anne Hathaway and Sarah Jessica Parker have worn Erdem styles.

Erdem's AW17 Collection in many ways relied much on the vibrant prints, Erdem has become synonymous with. They were elegant and relevant and ranged from bold and loud multi-coloured pieces to subtle and sophisticated two-coloured pieces. The color palette as the print offered something for most, although collection as a whole lacked that sort of range and was at times overly designed. While Erdem certainly has not lacked ideas or inspiration with references to his heritage, Asia and prior decades, but a bit of editing would have paid off, I am sure. Some of the styles also came off a bit dated and too matronly while the intricate details pulled towards a more contemporary feel. Nevertheless, Erdem remains at the top of the game when it comes to prints and he will undoubtedly excite many bold fashionistas. Erdem delivered a solid AW17 collection with some very memorable stand-out pieces.


PFW AW17 : Lanvin and the History of Luxury

by Bianca Hill

Lanvin is no ordinary fashion house. It is the first and foremost french fashion houses. The history Lanvin carries comes with a sense of pride and gravitas. The beauty of this fall collection was a collaborative projection of trends that may transcend time due to the elegant and classic nature of Lanvin's skillset. From fluid silhouettes to puffy sleeves and tailored pantsuits Lanvin touched off on the major trends of Fall while garnishing it with floral embroidery on blush silk. Lanvin produced a collection that in its entirety a cohesive narrative of what french fashion looks like. Lanvin is not just Paris, Lanvin is fashion.  



PFW AW17 : The End of an Era with Chloé

by Bianca Hill

Claire Waight Keller was destined to be a designer. Everything about her screams fashion. And Chloé, the fashion house she is leaving behind, is a testament of her ability to fuse fantasy and reality through the seamless movements she created as an artist and designer.

Her last collection for Chloé is no different. The Alice in wonderland look, with a sophisticated and functional edge, have become somewhat of a brand benchmark for Cholé and those who follow the brand. So it was bittersweet to see Claire put down a marker for future creative directors to follow and aspire to. The intricacy of the color arrangments and deconstructed jackets provided the last bookmarks to Cholé's CWK era.