MFW SS18 : Fendi and the Songs of Decadence

Fendi's SS18 collection bore all the watermarks of a brand who is comfortable being utterly exclusive and decadent. If Gucci was an exploration of aesthetic richness then Fendi is the exploration of commercial richness. Lines, sheer, see through all contributed to the clarity of Fendi's vision which provided another solid dissection of the brands visual tapestry and excellence.  

It's 5 o'clock Somewhere with Haney

by Olivia Moreau 

Mary Alice Haney has always been good at figuring out what she does well and stick to that. This SS18 collection is no different in that sense. Haney produces a set of clothes perfect for the evening and utterly imperfect for anything before that (unless you are on vacation in Mykonos and haven't been back to the hotel since last night). Such clarity of purpose and being able to stick to a singular narrative that fits a specific time frame in a woman's life is what makes this collection not only worth of praise but also worthy of investment. Beautiful prints, shimmering blouses, and dresses to die for are the staple of this collection and we are happy to buy into Haney specially after 5pm. 

Christopher Esber and the Fury of Youth

by Lotus Ladegaard

Christopher Esber debuted onto New York Fashion Week in February with his FW17 collection of street couture with detailed and precise tailoring. His eye for tailored relaxed cuts, raw accents and woven and embellished textiles excited the fashion world and much was expected of the young Austrian designer, who launched his eponymous brand in 2010. With a background in tailoring, Christopher Esber creates intriguing and interesting silhouettes with menswear techniques, which can be found in every single piece across his collections. He has become known for his precision tailoring and a purity of expression that allows him to create clothes that whisper rather than shouts.

Christopher Esber’s SS 2018 collection is every bit as fresh and intriguing as his debut FW17 collection. The colour palette was classic and simple with a delicate pink in addition to black and white, while the silhouettes were fresh, intricate and interesting. From tailored pieces with and edge to sleek exquisite dresses, the collection offered it all. Like the long black dress with scarf effect paired with an oversized sports jacket was beautiful and interesting enough not to become just another black dress. The half-jacket in a greyish wool paired with white bottom and white bra had tons of editorial appeal and is bound to excite. The white top with scarf effect paired with a long white wrap skirt was another favourite.

Other pieces like the pink and white dress white black painted stripes felt fresh and youthful and has a lot of commercial appeal. The same goes for the black wrap dress with oversized buttons. The little pink draped dress is another piece that is bound to excite and win over new territory for Christopher Esber.

Christopher Esber delivered an exciting SS18 collection that will excite both his existing following and new fans. The Australian designer has ruled the Australian fashion world for some years now, and if this year’s collections are a sign of what is to come, it is only a matter of time before Christopher Esber conquers New York too.

Co and the Re- Evolution of the 40s

by Linda Bezos

Los Angeles transplant Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern do not adhere to the modern notions of california fashion that is seeped in casual streetwear. Instead, they find their inspiration in the heady glamorous days of the 30s-40s. Co's SS18 collection filled with the joy of movement and elegance perfectly harmonized with the ballet themes of the photographs. What stands out from this wonderfully elegant collection is the way Co approaches sophistication. Instead of throwing everything but the kitchen sink, Co's approach is a more subtle and slow acting dose of beauty. And if you are looking for a sense of femenine mystique with an added layer of class and sophistication, this is the collection for you. 

Dilara Findikoglu and The End of Days

by Cara Livingstone

Turkish born designer Dilara Findikoglu has always been interested in the vision of apocalypse and her previous collections weaved seediness of the underbelly of culture with the aesthetics of an ever-evolving avant-garde movement. This collection does not veer off into unchartered territory but doubles down on the apocalyptic visions of Dilara. Whereas most designers try to sooth the wound of time with visually interesting colors, Dilara goes outright for the jugular. Not only does she not shy away from using color as a form of rebellion against a world burning, but also she uses her considerable talent to create a narrative deeply entrenched in goth meets nihilism. Dilara's work is what underground London is and with each passing cycle, she embraces and pushes that aesthetics in new heady heights of wonderful paranoia, soaked in color and stiched in expert silhouettes. 

Moschino and the Escapism of Levity

by Olivia Moreau

Moschino took a stand last season. Trump-era politics, waste, and outright apathy were the targets of that visually enticing show. This SS18 was Moschino's remedy to those blues, a form of escapism, visually stunning, soaked in the petals of flowers and propped up with the rebellion of biker ballerinas. It was a show for the conscious consumer with the understanding we all need some escapism in the form of levity and positiviy. 

Johanna Ortiz and the United Colors of South America

by Olivia Moreau

Johanna Ortiz has a flair that corresponds more with South American colors and aesthetic than Parisian sensibilities.  So when she reimagined Polynesian beauties of French impressionist Paul Gaugin that flair for the dramatic did not escape her collection but enhanced it. Cropped Tops and evening wear the staple of her collection but what really stood out are not just the silhouettes but the sooting tonality of the clothes, how they moved, how they seamlessly stood out during the fashion week that has produced some excellent collections. 

Richard Malone and a Different Kind of Blue

by Cara Livingstone

Richard Malone opened London Fashion Week in style. His collection came bursting through the runway with vigor and color, with a sense of clarity and deep appreciation for the avant-garde. It was a collection that announced the arrival of a truly special talent in its full flight. From the women weavers in Tamil Nadu to the runways of London Richard's work evokes a sense of integrity and inclusiveness that is rarely on display in a world where activism in fashion equates to printing some social commentary on a t-shirt. This was a collection that hit the right burst color with the right silhouettes. Of all the shows we have seen so far (and we have seen a ton in NYFW and now in LFW), Richard Malone's work has been our favorite. Not because it was sourced with the right intention (it helps) but because as a stand-alone collection it is truly extraordinary without the added knowledge of inclusivity, integrity that seems to be printed all over Richard's clothing. The avant-garde silhouettes and varied shades of blue did not overshadow the fact that Richard's clothes are made for many different shapes and sizes without compromising an inch of the excellent aesthetics.   

Khaite and the Call of the Classic

by Olivia Moreau

Cate Holstein's Khaite is the fashion statement that ends in a revered silence and a dash of clarity. It does not sway with the whims of slogan t-shirts and off the shoulder trends that come and go. Her SS18 collection is deeply rooted in that idea of the classics outliving the short attention span of the trend filled fashion circus. Khaite sticks to its basic form as in classic, understated, fully functional and uber-elegant. To reach this sort of seamless beauty not only requires understanding the foundational aesthetics of western fashion but also requires an exceptional talent at executing a narrative to dizzying perfection.

To gush over this collection is an appropriate reaction.

Tome and Deconstruction of Color

by Cara Livingstone

Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin never bough into the celebrity driven notion of aesthetics. For SS18, the designers chose to stage an intimate dance performance choreographed by one of their longtime muses, Pam Tanowitz who routinely deconstructs the classical ballet to provide a constructivist notion of dance. Almost an a homage to deconstruction of staple ideas, Ryan and Martin disassembled the colors of the rainbow and constructed into something that is equally appealing. 

Gareth Pugh and his Fire Born Blade Runners

By Omi

The way to fully grasp Gareth Pugh's SS18 collection is to view his accompanying film about the collection which is a product of collaboration with Nick Knight, who directed, choreographer Wayne McGregor and artist Olivier De Sagazan among other luminaries to produce a chilling homage to the creative process behind Gareth's wildly avant-garde aesthetics. So to view this collection as a commercial vehicle would not only be incorrect but also disrespectful as it is beyond the realms of conventional fashion in many ways. 

There has always been an edge to Gareth's work and that is expected but this is truly the pinnacle of his avant-garde phase. It is almost a battle cry for a new horizon. Will Gareth remain within the realms of avant-garde fashion or will he cross over into the rarified airs of Tom Ford is the only question that needs answering as the other trivial matter of his genius is fully settled. His sense of fashion rivals a treatise from philosophers like Goodman or Wollheim. It is deeply rooted in constructs empiricists might find troubling and appealing at the same time. Ontological status aside, the collection brims with the brood of fire red and shapes of geometric inclusion and exclusion. Gareth has earned his right to produce something so off the beaten path that any notion of pretension falls away as soon as you realize the authenticity of his work and his process to reach that point of equipoise between what is possible and what is. 

To view Gareth Pugh's collection as a 'collection' does it no justice. So we should view it as a statement of intent on clarity, process and above all aesthetics, clothes in this case are just magnificent vehicles. It will hard for anyone in the industry to come even close to what Gareth has done here. It will be hard for anyone in any industry to come even close to what Gareth has done here. 

The Undying Legacy of Versace

by Linda Bezos

Vogue, Warhol, My Friend Elton, Icons, Baroque, Animalia, Native Americans, Tresor de la Mer, Metal Mesh, and Butterflies are all Gianni Versace's principal contribution to the iconic brand. His genius was overshadowed by his brutal murder and in the 20th anniversary of his death, his sister Donatella merged her sense of ecstatic aesthetic with Gianni's iconic collections. And the end result is not only an homage but also marching call to move forward with history firmly intact, legacy fully realized and no end in sight. Ultimately this was a show of what Versace has done to fashion and what it is capable of doing. The clothes speak for themselves and are etched into our memories. This was sort of like a wedding and a funeral. Both in the minds of the iconic designer would have been a joyous celebration. 

Karen Walker on the Beauty of Escapism

by Olivia Moreau

Karen Walker's SS18 collection is full of deft touches and casual cool. If her previous work has been driven more by the singular narrative of her inspirations (like Marie Antoinette), then this collection is a diversification of aesthetics that is bound to translate well commercially while throwing down the marker for future collections. Karen's strongest point has always been her ability to find whimsy in functionality, and this collection is no different in that sense but the escapism truly lies on the details and the silhouettes.  Beautiful collection all together nicely topped off with wonderful prints. 

Comme des Garçons and the Sound of Settling

by Linda Bezos

Rei Kawakubo’s status as an independent entrepreneur who has radically transformed the runway is not dispute. She is in charge of a significant self-built fashion retail empire, which is also a haven for small avant-garde designers and that is why we love her. She is not bound by trendsetting. Neither is she worried about fashion per se. She unleashes her work through the means of runways but they are mostly pieces of work as opposed to outright clothes to wear every day. Her SS18 collection is not a departure from her previous work. The giant sculptural elements were there, so were the dissection of print and silhouettes. Comme des Garçons is slowly settling into retrospective territory and that is the natural trajectory of all great artists. 

The Re-Birth of Mara Hoffman

by Cara Livingstone

Mara Hoffman is a risk taker. She dismantled her company a year ago to reinvent it from the group up, from the thread to the supply chain to marketing. This SS18 collection stems from that reinvention and the ensuing clarity of Mara's philosophy. The clothes are made through sustainable materials, the designs are equally appealing from red to sky blue, from deconstructed jackets to tailored silhouettes, all the right moves are part of this new narrative Mara has introduced and we love it. 

PFW SS18 : A Memento of Not Fitting In with Kenzo

by Olivia Moreau

The traditional Runway is dying and Kenzo is at the forefront of hammering the nails in that coffin one show at a time. Kenzo's La Memento collection was presented by a traditional Japanese theatre group as  Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, delved deeper into the aesthetics of Japanese fashion and European reinvention. The second Memento collection is an homage to Kenzo Takada's incorporation of denim into couture 40 years ago and by any measure, the collection paid a worthy tribute to that radical step which changed how we view fashion. Palm frond–print maillots, bamboo bikinis, Hawaiian shirts were all part of a grand narrative of Kenzo's vision, and it's admirable inability to just fit in. 

Ryan Lo's Dark Fantasy

By Cara Livingstone

Ryan Lo has always been good at wrapping up his work in technicolor maximalism. So this collection would be a departure from that aesthetics. But the overwhelming sense of intricacy is complemented through the means of black and white and some muted pink colors. This gives the collection verve and clarity. There is no question about Ryan's ability to construct form but this collection further enhances his reputation as a master at his craft as he does to black and white what he has done to red and yellow. It is a collection that would need a bit of time to settle into the minds of the consumer and editors but when it does the genius would come through in spades. 

Veronica Beard and the Mexican Summer

by Lotus Ladegaard

Behind Veronica Beard are sisters-in-law Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard. The Beards launched their eponymous brand back in 2010 with their signature Dickey Jacket. Today, the brand offers cool and sassy American sportswear that is designed to be mixed and matched which has earned the ready-to-wear fashion brand a loyal following. Veronica Beard’s Spring 2018 collection was created drawing on inspiration from Acapulco in the 70’ies. The colour palette is subtle and offers a little bit of everything, although, mostly different prints, stripes, pleats, and florals. The collection is pretty and definitely has a bit of sass, but it is also rather expected and feels very safe and a tad dull. It fails to really wow, nevertheless, if you have an eye for style you can assemble several pieces with an existing wardrobe to make a standout look. Pieces like the Dickey jackets of different styles and textiles are part of Veronica Beard's DNA and can easily be mixed and styled to suit you. Other pieces like some of the crop tops would look great styled with bottoms with less obvious references to the 70's. Veronica Beard presented a Spring 2018 collection that undoubtedly will be a hit with their fans.

LFW SS18 : EDDA and the Levity of Longing

by Omi 

Fashion Scout has a strong history of providing platforms for up and coming designers that want a foothold in London. So new and exciting is nothing new if you are at a fashion scout show. But now and then new and exciting is backed up by substantive and visionary and that is what EDDA is. New, exciting, substantive and a visionary all right now, all in the making. 

EDDA is the brainchild of Norwegian designer Edda Gimnes who by any measure is a prototype of a well to do, design award-winning fashion creative. But that is where any cookie-cutter comparison ends, as unlike a lot of well-to-do-fashion-creatives her work stands out not only as a substantive exploration into the dissection of color but also a general philosophy of levity that is often missing from relatively new designers understanding of functional aesthetics. 

EDDA's presentation during London Fashion Week came with the added blessing of Lanvin's former creative director Alber Elbaz who mentored Edda after presenting her with the German Designer for Tomorrow award last year. So EDDA as a brand had a guiding hand most new designers would love to have as they start off on their journey of world exploration and in Edda's case outright world domination.  

EDDA's SS18 presentation had many elements to swoon over. And there seems to be a natural progression toward what really works for her look from hand-drawn sketches to patterns soaked in color. When she presented her SS17 during Oslo Runway last year her potential was undeniable but there were some polish, some collective narrative missing from the mix. No such assessment can be made about this collection as it takes all the right ideas and aesthetics into one singular narrative and produces a mature, polished yet youthful and casually edgy look. Edda's clothes seem to know that fashion which takes itself too seriously is bound to lose out and that sort of clarity is expected from a Tom Ford but for such a young designer that sort of clarity is both astounding and refreshing. 

EDDA's collection as a whole has some deeply satisfying hues that worked quite well with the patterns and her time with Manuel Vadillo puts her in great company. Patterns complemented by 50s silhouettes is exceptionally well done and worthy of both creative praise and commercial investment. The pantsuit with its delicately soaked colors of the lightest blue is probably the most conventional piece of work in her collection and even that has a deconstructive element attached to it. Taking every variable into account, EDDA's collection is on par with all the heavy hitters we have seen in the last two weeks from New York to London, from Tom Ford to Gareth Pugh.

Visually intoxicating, intellectually present and commercially viable are rarely in the same room together yet during this presentation of EDDA, they were front row. It is a formative collection from a designer who knows her boundaries and pushes them; who knows the levity of fashion and embraces it and provides a narrative like it is an uplifting Norwegian novel. And like an uplifting Norwegian novel, EDDA's presentation is rare, much appreciated and a shot of genius.  




PFW SS18 : Maticevski's Australian Dynasty

by Lisa Lerner 

Toni Maticevski hails from Australia and Australian women love him. Whether or not others outside the continent feels the same way is still up for debate. But his SS18 collection provided ample evidence of his strong following in Australia and why that is the case. From classic silhouettes to avant-garde deconstruction Toni's work evolved from what used to be at time overcomplication into a set of grand visuals.