Welcome to the highlights of New York SS18, a week where Ralph Lauren celebrated his brand’s 50th anniversary, the first fashion week with UK Vogue’s new Editor in Chief Edward Enniful at the helm, Gigi had a stiletto malfunction, and Eckhaus Latta pushed boundaries on sexuality, race, and body shape. Kate Bosworth maintained her reign as one of our favorite fashion heroes and rapper Cardi B was everywhere.
3.1 PHILLIP LIM
As the 3.1 Phillip Lim show commenced in the vast downtown gallery space, the designer let the clothes do the talking. His notes were succinct, not giving too much away, one sentence only read - “When two seemingly disparate elements are imaginatively poised, put in apposition in new and unique ways, startling discoveries often result.”
Those disparate elements were the convergence of his signature minimalism and an Andalusian aesthetic. Function meets fantasy. Strong angular shapes and pinstripes cut through soft frills; simple slip dresses were embellished with lace trim and soft bubble hems to add a delicacy. A sleeveless trench with slit lapels zigzagged down like jagged ruffles. Time after time, outfit after outfit, strength in sleekness, softened by gentle drapery. Bubble hem frills dropped off of the shoulders and enveloped a crisp white shirt, lending a playfulness to the functionality . Silky caramel separates popped against their frilled black counterparts, and practical flats provided the base to it all with striped sock sandals and bags adding a sports-luxe edge. The palette, flame red, white, navy and caramels, warm, simple and wearable.
Make-up artist Francelle Daly described the beauty element as ‘Done Undone,' a theme that perfectly reflected the collection. The dewy low-key application of the makeup left models looking fresh and modern. Natural hair and faces let the clothes shine.
A mixture of fantasy and reality seems perfectly placed in these times of turmoil. Let fashion be bold and beautiful but also grounded. And it’s the forthright functionality of this collection, infused with the soft and fresh accents, that will translate effortlessly from catwalk to wardrobe.
ZADIG & VOLTAIRE
‘Zadig & Voltaire has made an art of combining opposite traits in the same looks, feminine and masculine, edgy and soft, it’s all about balance,' said designer Cecelia Bönström. This season there was a distinct element of reflection, memories and past stories as models marched to Phil Collins ‘In the Air Tonight.' Zadig girls were taking time out from present concerns to look back at what matters most. Rediscovering garments from way back when, old friends, worn in a new way, a mix of patches, sequins, rainbows, and pastels, tie-dye reimagined, all with a simple message ‘let love rule.'
Tough and lightness were in juxtapose. Shiny, leather shorts paired with floaty blouses and soft jumpers. Raw edged wool covered delicate shift dresses. Dainty bralette tops were paired with crumpled leather skirts. Butterflies floated atop of bold camouflage, and sharp blazers jolted against floaty, asymmetric panel dresses.
The collection played with the boundaries of masculinity and femininity, shimmering sandals and glitter softened utility-style dresses, and masculine suits took on pastel hues. Pared down beauty and backcombed bed hair toughened the dainty pieces. For the menswear, raw edges were applied to denim and tie-dye and striking camouflage against soft cashmere. Khaki canvas hobo bags, covered in patches, added to the nostalgia “like the ones we used in high school", they said. Tie-dye and raw edged jumpers, worn yet cherished were reminiscent of treasured eras, love not war meets teen spirit.
The accessories were designed by VK Lillie combining; leather, onyx, quartz and gold-toned metal “talismans to be preserved over time”, accompanying pieces accentuating a collection that may, in turn, provide new treasures for the future.
Again the common thread, bestowing happiness, playfulness, spreading a message of positivity when we all need it most. The ‘Zadig’ girl is described as a ‘punk romantic,' she’s aware of the current climate, but she doesn’t let it deter her. She firmly has her eye on her journey, and she knows her priorities, to stay strong yet playful against adversity, love is what matters most, and clothes of course, we can't wait to get our hands on them!
In the expansive Park Avenue Armory, a speck of colour appeared in silence, drew closer, gaining clarity. An oversized tangerine suit billowed past, enveloping a peach shirt and orange turtleneck, cinched together with a sports lux bumbag. Layers of colours popped, accented with a silk turban and glitter fringed trainers. Silhouettes were voluminous; the palette was vivid. Psychedelic retro botanicals were followed by checks, sequins and opulent beadwork. Sparkling adornments accented a spectrum palette and textures were abound. A lemon-yellow canvas parker draped over opulent sparkling turquoise knit. Shiny plastic macs sat over delicate daisy-chain bracelets. Every piece accented with lux turbans.
The designer described it as “The reimagining of seasons past, somewhere beyond the urban landscape of New York City". There was no soundtrack to this scene. Silence heightened the senses, enhancing every hue, every texture, and silhouette. Speculation was rife, was he trying to say something or not? The show was a kind of silent classic, a hushed retrospective replayed through a fresh lens. A reflection on creations past, the turbans a nod to his Met Ball outfit for Kate, retro coats drawing on distant collections.
The ensembles were as culturally diverse as his cast of models, all nationalities marching to the same muted drum, feet on floorboards reverberated past, delivering amalgamated memories, ideas, cultures, perspectives, fragments in time, coming into focus, reloaded. And then with a burst of sound, the models emerged for the finale, the crowd still wondering, trying to decipher. The show may have been quiet but the applause was rapturous, one thing was for certain, this was a show we would all be talking about for the days, weeks and months to come.
This season Victoria had her slouch on but not in the business sense. She knew what she was doing, with fresh looks that referenced a recurring thread this fashion week. It seems the desire to relax and sooth ran through the minds of many a designer. They aimed to comfort us and then, add a playfulness, exploring brighter, sweeter palettes to distract us from deeper concerns and lighten the mood. Victoria Beckham seemed to have this sentiment in mind.
Boxy shirts were paired with contrasting organza skirts in candy hues. Crisp cotton sat against chiffon. Sharp tailoring with strong shoulders was softened with hip-hugging skirts, pleated, slit and flowing. There was a quiet, confident fluidity in the pieces and checks gave it a current edge, jolting, divergent, peeping through bright turquoise organza pencil skirts. Geometry contrasted sharply to the light, airiness, accented with gelato mint and lilac heels. Modern, boyish femininity at its best.
Victoria has hushed any critics. You can see she means business. The collection is a reflection of her personality; strength and the humor that lies beneath. It is composed, echoing her self-assurance, with a wry smile and it demonstrates the relaxed confidence to experiment and move away from her signature structured pieces. Thanks, VB, mission accomplished, comforted, check, smiling, check, poised to order, yes indeed.
The Row invited their guests to an intimate breakfast at the Carlysle. It seemed like a collection of two parts all with an aim to provide comfort. Long lined coats in browns, caramels, and creams and floor-sweeping voluminous jumpsuits swept past. Soft cashmere and leathers cinched together, and then, as if it could not become more light and comfortable, paper thin separates crinkled past, and confectionary tinted dresses lent a joyful sugar coating to top it all off. The airy and fluid textures were accented with thick cord ties upon shoulders. The Olsens wanted to bring us lightness in challenging times. With this collection, they brought us a soft enveloping haven.
This season at NYFW, whether, in silence, or a few words, designers made us think and reflect. Streaming broke the boundaries and exclusivity of shows; accessibility gave us all a simultaneous first glimpse and more time to ruminate. This season our designers pieced together unimagined elements to challenge and provoke thought. The key looks featured ruffles, modern minimalism, sports luxe, and sequins. A veritable mix with a common thread, take a step back, assess, take comfort and smile.