Prada SS17 : Futurism Meets Virginia Woolf

by Lucia Barone

Prada's SS17 collected was unveiled in Milan with the usual fanfare today. While you can always count on the fashion house known for it's impeccable italian style to come out swinging, you can never really predict what Prada present. Sometimes that may mean something going horribly wrong but this season, Prada has brought out a collection full of vigor, innovation, strong lines and absolutely delicious futurism. On top of that the models exhibited a hairstyle that can only be labeled as a 20s bob with a hint of Virginia Woolf. In terms the clothes, the futurism is self evident, the strong bespoke lines and patterns are self explanatory and above all, it speaks to many audiences with a sense of universality. What Prada has produced is a collection worth buying, worth wearing and above all worth writing about. 

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Lucia Barone is a Milan based graphic designer and conceptual artist. She routinely writes for Italian newspapers and fashion magazines. 

Miu Miu SS17 : Gateway Drug

by Olivia Moreau

Miu Miu has always been the gateway drug to Prada. It is a wonderful introduction to the world of Prada. As usual Miu Miu produced a collection full of vigor and lightness. It was Party central and model central in Paris for their SS17 collection. The clothes came in hard, came in fast. The collection exuded the youthful functionality that is infused with a certain sense of luxury. From the smallest of hotpants to the multi colored drapes the Miu Miu collection embodied youthful indiscretion as a badge of honor. 

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Olivia Moreau is a Sorbonne educated parisian journalist and blogger. She routinely writes on the history of aesthetics and its impact on fashion

Balenciaga SS17: Kinks and Commerce

by Katherine Thomas

Balenciaga is one of those brand that is evokes obsession to the point of fetish. And rightly so. Balenciaga has been churning out ridiculously creative ideas, art in the form of clothes. Demma Gvasila's first foray with the fabled brand held onto that belief while introducing avant-garde surrealist interpretation with functionality. From kinky printed spandex to  retro flats it was all about the celebration of fashion as a form of artistic expression. But unlike a novice who views fashion as a vehicle of art, this specific Balenciaga collection went all pro and provided an equipoise, a balance to art and commerce. 

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Katherine Thomas is a scottish writer based in Paris.  

Salvatore Ferragamo SS17: Fighting the Good Fight

by Bianca Hill

Salvatore Ferragamo had a rocky few months as a company. Massimilano Giornetti left the company after years overseeing the creative process. So it would have been understandable if the SS17 collection lacked a certain creative imperative amidst the loss. But no such thing was felt mostly because of Fluvio Rigoni's influence. The fusion of femininity into a sporty, functional look evolved into what is so great about past Ferragamo collections....they are Posh! 

The shoes which paid homage to the fantastic fabled history of the House also gave a glimpse of where things are moving within Ferragamo. It is evolving and nothing static is going to remain in its path. 

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Bianca Hill is a Milan based model and a culture writer. 

Lanvin SS17: Blue My Mind

by Olivia Moreau 

Bouchara Jarrar has a tough job. She needs to move Lanvin forward while paying homage to it's substantial history. So when she moved the location of the spring summer collection to the ornate Hotel de Ville we knew that she knew the gravity of her role as the creative machine behind one of France's most iconic fashion houses. Inside the majestic de Ville, Lanvin unleashed a collection worthy of its history and laid a foundation for its future. From feather trimmed jackets to uber-sexy white suits to the signature blue, it all came together as a cohesive, strong collection that suggested Lanvin's appeal evolving to a bigger consumer base. 

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Olivia Moreau is a Sorbonne educated parisian fashion journalist and blogger. She routinely writes on the history of aesthetics and it's relationship to fashion. 

 

Stella McCartney SS17: Pardon the Interruption

By Lotus Ladegaard

It has been 15 years since Stella McCartney launched her first collection under her own name at Paris Fashion Week. After her tenure at Chloe, she partnered with Kering (formerly the Gucci Group) and built a successful brand including women’s ready-to-wear, accessories, lingerie, eyewear, fragrance and children. Stella McCartney is committed to sustainability and aims at being a responsible, honest and modern company. She is also well known for not using any leather or fur.

Stella McCartney describes her signature style as sharp tailoring, natural confidence and sexy femininity, but her SS17 collection failed to live up to those standards. Her colour palette was everywhere, in fact, her collection lacked cohesiveness and felt very much like a reminiscence of the 80’s with large puffed sleeves, shoulder paddings and very androgynous silhouettes. Many of the looks distorted the female figure or exaggerated areas that most women would prefer to slim down. The earthy coloured looks felt very mature and some of the individual pieces like the jackets were beautifully made and could easily be mixed with other business or formal attire, while the printed looks felt very young in comparison. It was almost as if she gave us a collection with garments for a mother and her young teenage daughter. Some of the individual pieces, I am sure, will still be very popular among her loyal following, but when it comes to cohesive expression of an idea this is not her best work. 

 

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Lotus Ladegaard is a Copenhagen based writer and a house model. 

Saint Laurent SS17: The Papacy is in the Details

by Olivia Moreau

The house of Saint Laurent has been in transition. Anthony Vaccarello took on the reigns of the fabled house and this was his first outing as the creative director. He did not disappoint more importantly he did not remove himself from the history of Saint Laurent while trying something new. He took on the classic Saint Laurent aesthetics and went minimalist, geometric on them. Some of the dresses came out raw and in transition just like the house, some of the dresses came out outright trimmed off, but all of them bear the signature of the transition. While this was not the most amazing Saint Laurent show to date, it was was a show that would be the foundation of a lot of amazing things to come from Saint Laurent. This was almost like looking at a creative universe being built piece by piece (and in some cases cut piece by piece). And what artist would not love watching that. By the time Vaccarello gets done with Saint Laurent it may end up being one of the most fashion forward houses on the planet. It has the history and by the looks of it, it also has future. 

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Olivia Moreau is a Sorbonne educated parisian journalist and blogger. She routinely writes on the history of aesthetics and its impact on fashion 

Mugler SS17 : Sharknado

by Olivia Moreau

David Koma loves sharks. Mugler's spring collection paid homage to that obsession by reintroducing Jaws within the creative process and producing a collection that had a "high couture in a wetsuit" feel to it. When Koma wasn't dressing the models as a sleek, deadly alpha predator he was dressing them as Aquaman's female companion. The trend of infusing sporty with couture has become a prevalent theme this year and this Mugler collection emphasized that trend while pushing the envelope.   

 

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Olivia Moreau is a Sorbonne educated parisian journalist and blogger. She routinely writes on the history of aesthetics and its impact on fashion

Burberry SS17 : Go London or Go Home!

By J. Omi Chowdhury

Burberry is quintessentially british. Everything about the brand exudes a sort of refined british-ness in a world of brexit induced racism and soccer hooligans that seem to overshadow a lot of unique british attributes. Burberry came out with it's strongest, loudest collection in recent memory to counter that dizzying low british economy is suffering and social disintegration that is plaguing the fine city of London. With booming Opera sound complemented by classic sculptures,  Burberry came out with all guns blazing. Nothing meek, nothing minimalist about this show. As if the atmosphere wasn't imposing enough, the clothes on show were full of decadence and opulence. Christopher Bailey went beyond the usual traditionalist notion of dividing menswear and womenswear and incorporated a narrative that is not only unified but also post gender. Gender fluidity was the inspiration. And the clothes showed that level of movement to provide a strong foundation to further substantiate that London is still a hub of creativity even if certain parts of the Great Britain is neither great nor britain. 

From ruffled collars to python bags the collection had everything to suggest Burberry's intention to remain a global luxury brand. Their new business model of "see now-buy now" is worth a closer look as large fashion houses like Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren has already adopted that approach. Whether or not that instagram-style consumerism will permeate high fashion is still up for debate and only time will tell if the bottom lines of these fashion houses change because of this model. But business aside, it was still a wonderful show to take in. As london fashion week comes to a close this was probably the most intriguing show on display. 

 

Victoria's Secret and it's Super Model Gatekeepers

On any given year we cover few hundred runway shows in four different continents. So we are more or less used to what is thrown our way. That is why Victoria's Secret shows are so wonderful in breaking out the monotony of fashion weeks and the lull in between. 

And like every year, this year Victoria's Secret provided the highlight of the year in terms of sheer showmanship. Lady Gaga and the Weekend were responsible for the sonic experience through the aesthetic experience of seeing Spanish inspired see through wraps to outright french lace lingerie was overwhelming and worth taking a second look and worth buying into. 

Christian Dior SS17: Feminism, Functionality and Flattery

by Katherine Thomas

Maria Chuiri took on the most prevalent themes of this year and encapsulated them into a single narrative in Dior's SS17 collection. From black to red to sheer the conversation was about feminism and fashion. Dior's collection while at times a bit rough around the edges exuded a sense of invincibility that only a fully established powerhouse can replicate. In many ways that has always been Dior's stronger suit and Maria understands that very well. Behind the delicate sheer, prints and imposing red and black remains a fashion house which for better or for worse refuses to adhere to just trends while digging its heels to counter the vapid world of fashion bloggers and 'influencers'. In many ways Dior surpasses, ignores that reality of fashion commercialization and ultimately leaves it behind by doing what it knows best. 

 

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Katherine Thomas is a scottish writer based in Paris. 

The End is Nigh : A Recap of the Fashion Weeks

by Lotus Ladegaard & Olivia Moreau

With the conclusion of Paris Fashion Week, the Spring / Summer season has come to an end. Unlike prior years we do not have to wait for the SS17 collections to hit the stores, they are already here. Granted not all designers are able to deliver at that speed or would want to, but the major Fashion houses such Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Burberry and many more can and do so. That sort of speculative step puts enormous pressure on an industry that still has to deliver on authenticity, innovation, design, creativity, craftsmanship, artistry while being profitable. So every fashion week from now on is going to be a gamble more so than previously. And in many way this is the first time this gamble has become a trend as opposed to an anomaly. 

In terms of fashion itself we have seen exquisite haute couture collections on the catwalks of London, New York, Milan and Paris. To add to that we have also seen creative avant-garde, edgy street couture, evening wear, sportswear, easy-to-wear on the big four and the smaller markets like Copenhagend, Oslo, Sofia and Berlin.

The notables are the who's who of fashion. First and foremost Chanel went digital and more bespoke. It managed to integrate classic Chanel designs with modern pieces and set classic Chanel suits and drapes into a modern frame. Karl Lagerfeld showed a diverse collection that catered to global women of different shapes and sizes. Balmain, on the other hand, undoubtedly held onto their idea of an ideal figure, but their collection still had a global appeal and likely to be a strong seller. Balenciaga pressed onto its avant-garde surrealist interpretation with functionality and showed a beautiful collection that tows the fine line between art and commerce. Saint Laurent managed to incorporate the Fashion House’s history and aesthetics, but still move towards something innovative by giving the it a minimalistic and geometric twist. Diane von Furstenberg’s SS17 collection was heavily influenced by Jonathan Saunders, who definitely put his touch on DVF and thus giving us a collection with a completely new feel from an old house. Dior had it's moments with its rebel yell. 

While Chanel, Dior, Balmain, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga each managed to embrace the new demands of the fashion industry and integrate it into their brand. Others did so with a touch of humour. Moschino gave us a collection of paper dolls and clothes to match. In a hi-tech world the 2D paper dolls and the 2D clothes were refreshing and as they came down the catwalk like little whimsical dolls. Mugler gave us a sea of sharks with models like Gigi Hadid gliding through the catwalk like an alpha predator. 

Each designer had to tackle the new fashion culture as best they could within their own brand or expand to suit the demands and requirements of an industry that is evolving and sectionalizing rapidly. With all prior dos and don’ts long gone, they are facing a very interesting fashion future. This fashion week was an expression of creativity but also a tentative step towards a more digitized notion of consumerism. It may seen like a no-brainer that these steps of instant fashion was inevitable but for an industry which values decorum and tradition more than it would acknowledge, this has been a new learning experience. And only time would tell the instant runway to store model would work or not. But let us not worry about such things at the closing of what was a fantastic few weeks of celebration of creativity and beauty. 

Moschino SS17 : Peppered with Paper Dolls

By Bianca Hill

In a world overrun with Instagram celebrities and fame induced consumerism not many designers are able to poke fun at the cartoonish culture of excess while selling the same cartoonish culture to the masses as a form of artistic subversion. Moschino tows that line too well and at times to its detriment. The SS17 collection had everything that is good about Moschino. It provided mind blowingly amusing, whimsical clothes and made models like Gigi Hadid, Irina Shyak seem like they are there to plug Moschino not the other way around. That in itself is a testament to the strong collection Moschino produced this collection. Trompe-l'œil prints with paper dolls in 2D waking towards you is visually worthy of the intrigue Moschino always offers and we were intrigued. Ultimately this collection was an emphatic Yes! to Moschi-No ! 

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Bianca Hill is a Milan based model and culture writer.  

 

Tie Your Bows : The Fashion Awards Nominees

British Fashion Council announced today the nominees for the 2016 Fashion Awards. The winners will be announced in Dec.4th in London. Here is a comprehensive list of the emerging talents along with the established heavy hitters.  Our favorite (we gladly voted for her) Molly Goddard is part of the emerging talents. 

British Emerging Talent
Alessandra Rich
Charles Jeffrey
Faustine Steinmetz
Molly Goddard
Self-Portrait

British Menswear Designer
Craig Green for Craig Green
Grace Wales Bonner for Wales Bonner
Jonathan Anderson for J.W.Anderson
Tom Ford for Tom Ford
Dame Vivienne Westwood for Vivienne Westwood

British Womenswear Designer
Christopher Kane for Christopher Kane
Jonathan Anderson for J.W. Anderson
Roksanda Ilincic for Roksanda
Sarah Burton OBE for Alexander McQueen
Simone Rocha for Simone Rocha

British Brand
Alexander McQueen
Burberry
Christopher Kane
Erdem
Stella McCartney

International Business Leader
Adrian Joffe for Comme des Garçons and Dover Street Market
Christopher Bailey MBE for Burberry
Guram Gvasalia for Vetements
Marco Bizzarri for Gucci
Stefano Sassi for Valentino

International Urban Luxury Brand
Adidas
Gosha Rubchinskiy
Off-White
Palace
Vetements

International Model
Adwoa Aboah
Bella Hadid
Gigi Hadid
Kendall Jenner
Lineisy Montero

International Accessories Designer
Alessandro Michele for Gucci
Anya Hindmarch MBE for Anya Hindmarch
Johnny Coca for Mulberry
Jonathan Anderson for Loewe
Stuart Vevers for Coach

International Ready-to-Wear Designer
Alessandro Michele for Gucci
Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga
Donatella Versace for Versace
Jonathan Anderson for Loewe
Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy

Balmain SS17 : Globalization in Haute Couture

by Lotus Ladegaard

With Olivier Rousteing’s arrival at Balmain, the Fashion House once again turned its attention and focus on the actual design rather than the designer. The then young and unknown designer successfully oriented the brand towards finer aspects of French couture, added a men’s line and some Asian influence. He had a fresh take on aesthetics, but still kept it very Balmain. 

Balmain’s SS17 collection was an intriguing duet between beautifully tailored pieces and aetherial flowy pieces for the modern day woman. The colour palette was mostly kept in earth tones, burned oranges and browns, army green and dark khakis with some occasional bright reds and blues and snake prints in various colours. From safari inspired pieces to punjabi inspired looks, the SS17 collection seemed like a cohesive journey around the world with influences from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, America and back to the Parisian catwalk again. without letting us forget, we were in Balmain’s universe. Olivier Rousteing has far from erased the intricate design aesthetics Christophe Decarnin added, but he has improved on it and seamlessly fusioned the classic Balmain silhouette with his take on intricate design featuring cut-outs, drapery, manipulated and braided fabrics. Balmain undoubtedly still favours a tall slim small chested figure and the collections is definitely not for every woman, nonetheless, there were pieces for most sizes and shapes. 

Balmain has always been celebrated the female figure and the SS17 collection is exactly that a celebration of women around the world. 

 

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Lotus Ladegaard is a Copenhagen based writer.