LFW SS18 : 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. 

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. 

LFW SS18 : 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. 

PFW SS18 : Jacquemus and the Hallowed Names of Nostalgia

by Linda Bezos

Simon Porte's Jacquemus is the darling of Paris. The self-taught designer has a ton of admirers from every facet of Parisian society and looking at his SS18 collection you would know why, instantly. 

Simon's work is seemingly simple...the holy grail of fashion. From basic silhouettes to the plunging necklines, thigh-split skirts, exposed back are all part of a collective nostalgia Simon translates into wearable art. The brand itself is an homage to his late mother of the same name and in many ways that nostalgia, attachment translates into delicate, moving ethereal elements on each of his looks. Paris loves Jacquermus and unlike many other loves, this one is fully deserved. 

NYFW SS18 : 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.

LFW SS18 : 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. 

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. 

NYFW SS18 : The Casual Romance of the Row

by Olivia Moreau

The Row has always had the aesthetics of lightness and elegance attached to it. For this collection, while other designers were going for templates to fit the upheaval of our time The Row's Asley and Mary-Kate Olson stuck to what they know best. With the feel of comfortable luxury, the silhouettes constructed in this collection bore the signature basic solids with a bit of whimsy. By any measure, this collection has a starkly familiar light look but it is also steeped in the movement of romanticism.  From ultra-feminine pantsuits to belted duster in a crinkled, laminated gray material were all part of a narrative of escapism. And we need that at this point. 

LFW SS18 : 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. 

MFW SS18 : 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. 

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.  

 

 

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PFW SS18 : If Looks Could Kill with Alexandre Vauthier

by Olivia Moreau

Alexandre Vauthier's SS18 collection is oozing with sex. It is a collection with minimalist lines, short and tight silhouettes complemented by razor-sharp aesthetics. If looks could kill Alexandre would be Jason Bourne. His SS18 collection is unapologetically feminine and sexy. It is a collection of 'come hither' skirts and bodysuits complemented by boots that are made to walk all over you. It is a collection built for the woman who knows what she wants.

Photographs Courtesy of Alexandre Vauthier

LFW SS18 : 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. 

MFW SS18 : 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. 

PFW SS18 : 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. 

PFW SS18 : 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. 

PFW SS18 : Mira Mikati's California Dreaming

Mira Mikati dabbles in the world of playfulness with the innocence of a child. Her SS18 collection does not veer away from what has made her successful. The colors, the embroidery, the Adidas like striped pants, the jean onesies are all soaked in the levity of creating a collection for the joy of it. It is an homage to the 60s Venice beach with skater girls bathing in California sun. And while it may be a bit too youthful for a lot of the parisian crowd, this colleciton would find a home in America. 

MFW SS18 : Kicking up a City with Bally

by Cara Livingstone 

Teddy bear shearlings and retro cashmere-blend tracksuits are what makes Bally's SS18 collection one of the most elegant expositions into the modern city life with a twist of whimsy. Pablo Coppola may have left Bally but his team is still churning out clothes that appeal to the city warrior. The muted colors and excellent prints along with fashion-forward sneakers keep Bally moving in the right direction.  

PFW SS18 : Dior's March toward Inclusivity

by Olivia Moreau

Maria Grazia Chiuri puts her designs where her mind is. Under her watch, Dior has slowly but surely become the most feminist of all voices within the bigger brands. This SS18 collection is no different in that sense as the philosophical foundation of the collection remains firmly rooted in MGC's ability to cohabit social commentary and high fashion into a narrative. And that comes with a sense of functionality that is usually missing from the behemoths of ultra-feminine fashion houses like Dior. MGC's influence has also permeated Dior's shoe line as they look modern and entirely accessible to the new generation who does not really wear stilettos like the previous generations.  Dior's SS18 collection is another step towards more egalitarian constructs that are slowly taking over fashion houses that are finally being confronted with the reality on the ground.