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.   

Marta Jakubowsky and Everyday Femininity

by Sierra Kaplan

Marta Jakubowsky has her debut runway show today at the LFW. The collection was an exploration of feminity through the prism of perfection and imperfection. From nearly deconstructed dresses to see through evening wear, Marta's collection started off with a bang and became one of the most substantive shows of LFW so far. Her usage of silhouettes as vehicle of non-traditional aesthetics is not only unconventional but also rather brilliant. The light colored dressed complemented the strong color pallets of deconstruction and reconsttruction that came in the form of well tailors skirts and tops. If you are a modern woman with modern needs and a sense of classic, this is the collection for you. 

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.

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. 

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.

Elizabeth Kennedy at the Cusp of Elegance

by Olivia Moreau

As NYFW get into full swing of things, it is hard to often take a step back and fully appreciate the hard work and creativity of smaller houses. Sometimes you need a dose of pure elegance to wake up and smell and proverbial coffee. Elizabeth Kennedy's SS18 collection is one of those collections that inhibit both the intellectual and the irrational appreciation of beauty. From drawn prints of horses to delicious silhouettes her collection brims with elegance and clarity of vision. Elizabeth's work has been evolving since 2012 when she started her brand and 5 years into it, her work is as polished and mature as you can expect it to be. With an added sparkle of genius and a bit of casual charm and you are left with a collection of enormous promise. 

Isa Arfen's Japanese Expedition

by Cara Livingstone

Isa Arfen's Serafina Sama found inspiration for this collection from her first visit to Japan. And it is full of intricate references to the Japanese aesthetics. This very zen collection is a product of a designer completely comfortable with her ability to produce post-cultural trends. The clothes have elements of what Japan is known for...Kabuki theatre, Samurais, Pagoda and inner calm. Trimmed silk suits with magnolia patterns were the standout in this presentation and it is likely to bring in a lot of new admirers into Isa's pagoda. 

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. 

Duro Olowu and the Devils of Details

by Linda Bezos

Duro Olowu's SS18 collection finds inspiration in surrealist muse Lee Miller but it truly creates a more impressionist visual of feminity that goes beyond any surreal notion of such. Olowu's progression as an artist and designer is incremental but yet substantive as he painstakingly adds layers and layers of intricacy into his already well-substantiated template. The prints, the stripes, and the overwhelming colors add a sense of playfulness to silhouettes that are rigid and strong creating a sense of dichotomy both intriguing and visually appealing. 

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. 

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. 

For the Love of Tom Ford

by Cara Livingstone 

Tom Ford has been the savior of many a brand. His stint at Gucci revived a floundering icon, his artistry lit up YSL when it seemed most unlikely. So when he went on to start his own brand no one batted an eye. Well, no one should have as the bloody-minded artistry Tom produces is nothing short of extraordinary. And that bloody-mindedness, that sense of the right aesthetics at the right millisecond were on display at the Park Avenue Armory. He co-opted elements from his much-loved men's collection and installed the same spine into this SS18 collection for women. If you ignore the commerce savvy, celebrity adored aspect of Tom Ford as a brand you are left with just pure artistry from the sheer dresses and elegant and tight silhouettes. It is no surprise that everyone loves Tom Ford, because who does not like Art that sells in while holding on to it's soul.  

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.