The wide range of Paris Fashion Week showcased the infinite possibilities looming in the future of fashion. The inspiration was everything – from punk princess to clean minimalism. However, three main trends stood out in terms of materials, technique and accessories.
Seeing Sequins – If you can think of anything to cover in sequins or mosaic – you’re on the right way to mimic what was presented at Paris Fashion Week. Dresses, cardigans, tops and bottoms were all sparkling. Loewe presented a loose fit pant with big mirror mosaic on them that added another dimension to the trend of sporty chic. Lanvin and Saint Laurent both presented sparkling dresses in combination with something more casual like a bomber jacket. Sonia Rykiel blended in sequins on long sleeved tops with a formation that created the illusion of coordinating jewelry. It was an interesting comment to the evolution of street style: adding something that was once considered appropriate only for partying to the everyday wardrobe is now the fashionable thing to do.
Pleats Please – A popular technique used when playing with shape and volume, pleats were presented at several Parisian runways as a way of adding complexity to something simple, a final extra twist to catch the eye. At Vanessa Seward A-line tops and shift dresses were made more interesting with the addition of pleats, making them stand out instead of blending in the crowd. Vionnet stayed true to its roots and experimented with a somber colour scale – letting pleats and more structured parts intertwine brought the notion of what’s going to be important in 2016. Finally Stella McCartney proved that pleats can be a fun way to play with colour and imposed an ombré effect without actually using ombré, producing, in turn, depth without moving from the surface.
In the Middle – The discussion lingering on after Rick Owens’ fashion show was focused on the human accessories hanging from some of the models, but this functioned as a humoristic or critical accent to leather details other models wore around their waist. A wide or asymmetrical obi-belt was viewed at other runways as well, like, for example, Olympia Le-Tan. At Longchamp they also presented a trompe de l’oeil version by belting a contrasting effect of the coat.
In an unassuming garage in Brompton Design District, sits a room apparently filled with futuristic incongruences. For London Design Festival, Platform 18 – a group of students from the Royal College of Art, led by tutors Sarah van Gameren and Philippe Malouin – presented The Voice of Things, an exhibition exploring the subject of reproduction. The Voice of Things is a celebration of Platform 18′s activity in the Design Products Department and the group of talented designers that it has nurtured. As the platform completed its third and final year, graduates from across the three years come together to complete a common brief for an exhibition curated by platform tutors.
The participating designers have been asked to find a person who can describe a functional object to them solely through spoken word. The designers cannot see, touch, smell or taste the authentic object but are expected to recreate it according to the descriptions received. Visitors to the exhibition had the opportunity to view both the originals and their interpretations, which were be presented side by side – creating unexpected juxtapositions and offering an insight into what reproduction, translation, imagination might mean.
In fact, the Voice of Things is an exhibition about description, translation and interpretation. It also aims to showcase the common qualities developed by graduates of the platform developed through the tutoring by Van Gameren and Malouin, who expected their students to be thinkers and makers; meticulous, methodical, adventurous and fanatical individuals with a sensibility to both artistic and aesthetic values.
Prints in Paris – it almost sounds like the title says it all in itself. There have been a number of prints seen at the Parisian runways that, as expected, we also caught quite a few surprises.
As Clockwork, Orange – Although not a print, this solid colour was seen not only on several runways, but as a fixed feature on several fashion week runways. The Parisian take on orange was a bright shade forming the focal point of the look it was featured in. Whether it was on a jumpsuit, as seen at Mugler, or on a dress, as seen at Roland Mouret and Balmain, orange was definitely the colour of the season. Even though orange may not be the new black – it is still a strong contender.
Monochromatic Peak – Black and white is always right, and the Parisian designers were not about to change that fact for Spring/Summer 2016. Instead, several designers sent out their own versions of prints in black and white to add to the wardrobe repertoire. At Céline the standout piece of the collection was an elusive coat in a black and white print. The silhouette was of itself simple, but was raised to incredibly interesting through its print’s abstract nature. Emanuel Ungaro gave a different element to the floral print when presenting it in black and white as both a stand-alone print and in association with solids and a gated pattern. As if playing with shadows, Ann Demeulemeester revealed an abstract monochromatic look that gave an intricate illusion of fluidity.
Somewhere Over the Rinbow – In tilted or vertical stripes or through the work of color-blocking, an array of colours were present in Paris. The magnificent colour spectrum was a surprising twist to an otherwise low-key colour story when viewing many of the fashion week’s runways. Manish Arora paired a ruffled asymmetrical dress with rainbow stripes infused with some black elements. Chloé gave a dropped waist maxi dress a fun yet romantic quality by adding faded yet colorful rainbow-stripes, and Issey Miyake presented a vibrant look with the effect of a contrast dip dye. Colourful yet pragmatic is the key description.
Milan is continuing its effort to become the new key fashion city for young talents. The recerly held Fashion week and the events held during the week, are just some recent examples of a long mission to draw new talents to the Italian fashion metropolis. So even though the shows have closed for this time and moved on to Paris, we had to summarize the best upcoming designers from the week in Milan before moving on to France.
J Koo, a Korean brand founded by designers Jinwoo Choi and Yeonjoo Koo, presented a Spring collection inspired by the youth culture. They embraced the cool aspects of street wear and combined them with tailoring and lace – an interesting fusion that makes them a brand to look out for in the future.
Aalto, a brand founded by Finish designer Tuomas Merikoski, was also participating in Milan Fashion Week as one of the designers that took part in Italian Vogue’s selection at Palazzo Morando. Finland is not often mentioned alongside other Scandinavian countries such Sweden and Denmark when the topic of Scandinavian fashion is treated. Merikoski proves, on the other hand, that hat is a big shame, since he and many other Finish designers deserve to be included in that discussion. Aalto’s latest collection is inspired by the sun which is shining most of the day and night during Summer in Northern parts Sweden, Finland and Norway. The collection is also a celebration of youth and freedom, a theme that captures his design aesthetic where urban, modern, architectural and international are some of the key words to categorise it.
Daizy Shely, an Israeli designer, is the winner of Italian Vogue’s talent competition ”Who is on next” from 2014. She founded her brand in Milan in 2009 and showed her Spring/Summer 2016 collection at Giorgio Armani’s Armani/Teatro. While her latest collection can be compered to J Koo and Aalto’s, it represents a third, different take on the youth culture theme. Built around colours, patterns and mixing materials, the final result is a collection that succeeds in being both wide and narrow in terms of pieces and concepts, making us wonder whether the future of fashion isn’t indeed in Milan.
An explosion of both colour and creative imaginationa were certainly the expectation for the Milanese fashion shows – and we are happy to say that they were delivered. Three trends in particular stood out as infiltrating and pushing fashion forward, without playing it safe.
Mismatch – Letting pieces as well as styles emerge together to create a perfect unity was represented in many ways during Milan Fashion Week SS16. Blumarine married two different colours of the same print with the top having a much sheerer effect than the bottom or keeping everything exposed and adding a biker jacket to the mix. With an accentuating sash, the effect was much more bold and vivid. Roberto Cavalli and Les Copains both brought together mismatched elements of hard and soft. At Roberto Cavalli a romantic drape or ruffle met more rocker-style pieces which, in unison, created a fetching juxtaposition.
More on less is more – This upcoming season, an extra add-on carries all the weight on how to elevate a look from plain to perfectly fashionable. By starting with a rather simple silhouette, such as a blouse and pants at Gucci, a fashion forward look was thereafter created by adding more and more, such as ruffles on the pant leg and frills on the blouse until the finished product was not just exaggeratedly over the top, but interestingly original. Finding key pieces and adding unexpected elements was also a key trend presented at Fay. For example, a navy blue trench coat with an accompanying piece reminiscent of a corset made it go from safe to exciting. MGSM presented dresses in colour explosions and layered them on top of another piece, bringing a new thought to the concept of not only more colours but more layers.
Oceanic theme – By the ocean or in it, several of the Milanese runways showcased preference for nautical themes from stripes and wide brim hats, as seen at Giorgio Armani to sailor and seashell embellishments showcased at Emilio Pucci. This trend was clearly making a big splash.
At the Milanese runways for the upcoming Spring/Summer season, this year it was all about technique and pushing creative boundaries. The print trends fluctuated, but there were a few standouts – as outlined below.
Feathers – Real or manufactured, this fashion week feathers were used as embellishments producing unique prints, movement and quite imaginative looks. Fashion label Marco de Vincenzo showcased looks where shredded textile in tone with the overall look had been added as a supplement, giving an illusion of feathers. The addition was fascinating and almost created an ombré effect. Emilio Pucci added colorful feathers to cover a pastel pleated dress – with the maison’s know-how, it was pure artistry. Iceberg chose the romantic route, bringing feather details to traditional pastel dresses letting the application move and speak for itself.
Gated Community – A weaving technique that created the pattern evocative of gates and fences was spotted on many Milanese runways. At Fendi, jackets were presented and recognized as instant statement pieces. Fausto Puglisi as well as Moschino, opted for an overlay with big grids generating a similar pattern. Over naked skin it was almost as an expansion of the cut-out trend. At Prada, a netting accessory affirmed the gate print trend as it added a grid to an otherwise finished look.
Spotted – Polka dot as well as eclectic circles were observed at many runways. Emporio Armani showcased a metallic spot that elevated a casual look to pure elegance. Tod’s presented a look where holes had cleverly been punched in a white skirt with a paper bag waist, almost becoming an ironic comment on office attire. Costume National offered a black silk spot that on top of sheer material gave a sporty elegant touch to an otherwise simple look – minimalistic with a twist.
Going from the Summer to Winter mood isn’t always easy, so the best way to do it is in style. Here are some pre-Fall accessories that can ease you in to the change of seasons.
Cap: A.P.C., Shoes: Marsèll, Scarf: Drake’s, Backpack: Tomas Maier
Styling by Vanessa Cocchiaro
London Fashion WeekK has already closed and the Spring 2016 tour has moved on to Italy and Milan, but we can’t completely leave London before summarising its best upcoming designers. The home of the swinging Sixties, punk and maximalism at its finest, London has played an important role in the fashion history and we believe it will continue doing so thanks to its great fashion schools and the unique cultural, creative mix that only can be found there.
Hanger, launched three years ago by London-born designer Claire Davis is a label that focuses on clean silhuettes and textures and produces all its pieces in England. Wearable womenswear with a twist is the word that characterises the brand.
Min Wu is another emerging talent who recently joined the Centre for Fashion Education’s (CFE) Young Pioneer program. Wu is an example of the next generation of fashion designers that create fashion that is seen from different perspectives and angles and she is fond of mixing functional materials with technology and tailoring.
Cassandra Verity Green is a recently launched label with focus on knitwear. After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2013, Cassandra won Grazia’s FashFactor competition in collaboration with Liberty. Personal experiences, emotions and memories inspire her pieces, which are best described as a fresh, crazy fashion air with her fun and creative approach.
Clon8 brings us on a fashion journey through Central Asia, the Adriatic and Russia. Blurring lines is their main characteristic, a concept that has taken them to London’s runways and made them an urban and contemporary brand. Besides mixing cultural references they are also a fan of breaking the boundaries between gender, avant-garde, and social conventions, producing pieces that focus on texture, design and innovative cuts.
A Catalogue of Constant Motion is a 232-page tome collecting the extensive series of Polaroids that Amanda Marsalis shot over the period of eight years. Amanda Marsalis is a LA-based photographer and director whose work captures the subtle intimacy of everyday life. This book catalogues Amanda’s numerous shots of sunsets, palm trees, hotels, exquisite meals, enviable clothes, airports and men. The photographs gathered in this volume show the depth of her obsessions in collecting the same subjects, experiences and memories over long periods of time with the same meticulous, systematic approach.
The visual language of these images – interpreted with a 4-colour Risograph print – makes them particularly special and vulnerable, as they show Amanda’s continuous desire to expose the recurrent themes of her life both in subject and form. Published by Venice-based Automatic Books publishing house, A Catalogue of Constant Motion is both about preserving the most personal and intimate moments, as well as about offering them for public consumption through the very real and material form of the Risograph-printed book.
The Blogazine – Images courtesy of Automatic Books
Trends viewed at London Fashion Week for Spring/Summer of 2016, showcased the strength of the British fashion scens and its designer’s ability to implement change while revering a well-known heritage. In particular, there were three trends for the upcoming season to keep a look out for.
Back in Time – History lovers are going to be pleased. Looking back and taking influence from previous seasons is not a new occurrence in the fashion industry. Looking back several hundred years is however not as common. Several designers presented dresses, shirts and many more items with Victorian or Elizabethan elements. At Erdem long dresses with Victorian collars were seen kept up to date by adding cut outs or modern textiles. Voluminous arms and a sleeker bottom reminiscent of 16th century menswear were seen at several shows, including Giles and David Koma, who kept it within current time by combining the silhouette with a contemporary print or through juxtaposition with other silhouettes.
See-Through – As an extension of the previous seasons, see through materials were also part of the British fashion scene, where the composition of materials created a luminescent conjecture. It is a flirtatious yet simple way of adding edge to a classical element. Be it via a sheer bottom such as lace or mesh skirt, as seen at Burberry Prorsum, or an organza-like pair of pants at Issa, or even mimicking a stained glass window, like at Christopher Kane.
All white – An oldie but goodie: it’s a color that has become as much part of the summer fashion as a floral print. Almost as a continuation of the “see-through” trend, the all-white attire was often accompanied by transparent features, showcased, among others, at Vivienne Westwood Red Label. An update from previous seasons was adding an accent with smart accessories, such as a harness, as seen at 1205, or by positioning two different white materials against each other, as seen at Christopher Raeburn, creating a play on asymmetry.