Paris Fashion Week Spring 2018: The Highlights

 Moncler Gamme Rouge

Giambattista Valli is a powerhouse when it comes to design. His year consists of designing 4 ready to wear collections both of his ready to wear labels, 2 couture collections for his couture house, and 2 collections for Moncler’s couture house. Altogether, that comes out to 8 collections per year. Without counting accessory design and any other creative venture each brand partakes in. It comes without a doubt that the man is astoundingly busy. However, this constant whirlwind of creative design can sometimes lead designers into the realm of reproduction, where minor labels take on the mirror image of their parent brands. But luckily for Valli, his creative spark and talent persevere in even the toughest of situations, creating stunningly unique that differ from one another wildly. This season, his always vibrant and whimsical collection for Moncler (which is always themed after some sort of outdoor sport) took an interesting turn. Rather than continue on the well established outdoorsy path that Moncler Gamme Rouge is known for, Valli decided to base the collection on the rehearsal uniforms of ballet dancers. Kitschy leg warmers and ballet flats stormed the runway whilst simple t-shirts and leotards were accented with tulle skirts (the famed tutu if you will) which created an elegant yet wonderfully young and playful take on on modern luxury athleisure apparel. What definitely stood out from the pack the most had to be the array of down filled jackets and outerwear. Some coming in the form of marshmallow life down puffer coats, while others came in the form of translucent windbreakers and belted coat dresses.

Dries Van Notten

What can you say? The man knows his way around a piece of fabric. Fashion legend Dries Van Notten returns again this season with a stunning collection filled with his signature knack for patterns and stunning silhouette. If there were certain colours destined to be the colours of the season, this collection didn’t focus on just that. It was more concerned with the playfulness of bringing together bright and hardy jewel tones and mixing them in with neutrals and earth tones. Creating a pleasantly warm (but never doughty) collection fit for the modern fashion-forward mogul. The collection, though very rooted in Van Notten’s signature silhouettes, seemed to have a hint of softer feminity to it. The usual suspects were all there. Van Notten’s suits in strong wool plaids and his elegant slips. However, this season Van Notten added the simple yet extremely effective addition of almost-invisible embroidered sheer tunics to cover some of the stronger looks. Giving the collection a soft and ethereal vibe that the designer doesn’t often turn to. Another great aspect of the collection has to be the pieces which featured handkerchief draped scarves adoring various sides of the ensembles. This simple addition the designer not only softens the looks but adds a sense of romance to the designs. Something that has seemed to be really lacking in the fashion industry outside of a few designers still willing to commit to old school romance in favour of harsh contemporary design.

Jacquemus

After flexing his design muscles season after season, what’s a more appropriate term to describe Simon Porte Jacquemus of Jacquemus than fashion wunderkind? His unique ability to fuse haute Parisien design with modern sensuality is something very little designers, French or otherwise, can manage to do within the realm of good taste. However, Monsieur Jacquemus masters the art of balance with a such a keen precision and lust for life that not many designers in today’s industry could touch when it comes to creating a stunning collection. This season, his inspirations were clear. The beauty of south of France, with all of its sunshine, yachts, and toned bodies is paired beautifully with the Spanish flare and Jacquemus always apparent love for Picasso. As per usual, Jacquemus injects his raw feminine sensuality into the collection with the ultra-short hems of his dresses and beautifully body-hugging fabrics that always look as if they’ve sprung to life and wrapped themselves around model’s bodies. Yet for all the Jacquemus go-to’s within the collection, this collection seemed to be a step in a different direction for the designer. Whilst his usual designs often tend to lean towards the more avant-garde and out-of-the-box realm of design. This collection seemed to be a step towards the world of everyday wearability. Which is in no way meant as a negative. Often times designers have to explore the more abstract realm of fashion to create interest in the brand before releasing a tamer and far more commercial collection once the designer has solidified their position in the industry. However, this is where Jacquemus plays his cards differently. Since the humble beginnings of his label. All of his collections have been commercially successful yet wonderfully abstract and unique. Which is wonderful to see in an industry that’s hell-bent on either pumping out trends or creating collections with the sole purpose of selling clothes. Not art. This is clearly not Jacquemus’ view of his brand and it becomes extremely evident when his array of beautiful black models come waltzing down the runway in draped mustard yellow skirts, dresses that resemble tied travellers scarves, his iconic circle and block-heeled sandals and his wonderfully abstract and oversized sunhats. A clear evolution of his previous season’s Provencal farmer hats, which could be spotted at many runway shows around the globe these past few weeks.

Undercover

Undercover‘s Jun Takahashi has solidified himself as one of Paris’ major players when it comes to fashion. After his glorious collection which explored a queen and her court last season. Jun comes back once again with a collection deeply rooted in a larger than life narrative. Dealing with the duality in human nature. Takahashi shows his audience and clientele the light and dark of human nature, the good and bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Which often doesn’t present itself in the world of fashion very often as a comparative. For Takahashi, the vision was clear. Rather than have a linear show that showcased the transition from one point of human nature to the other, the designer opted for a runway show which showcased models in pairs (some of them twins) walking hand in hand on the runway. Each representing the two extremes within a singular person. To put the concept more simply, one model walked onto the runway with a dress that had the nighttime sky printed on it, while the other dress showcased a bright daytime sky on it. the concept was far more visible with the pairs that exhibited extreme differences within their paired looks. The most striking of these was a pair of twins who eerily resembled the two little girls from the Shinning. On one twin, the innocent looking baby blue dress seems familiar and innocent, while on the other, the same dress is strewn in red fringe that resembles blood. Reminding the audience of the poor girls’ fate. The duality may seem a little overdrawn and exaggerated for some, maybe even verging on costume rather than fashion. But what truly makes this collection on the best of the season is Takahashi’s fearlessness when it comes to design and telling a story. There are far too many designers these days that could use a lesson in creating memorable and unique moments from Mr. Takahashi.

5 Designer Instagrams you should be following!

Since the birth of social media, designers have been looking to online communications as one of their most important tools in their arsenal for reaching a desired audience and clientele in real time. Unlike traditional runway and print formats, social media allows fans of the designer and brand to see collections, personal photos, and designer inspirations as they move through their day to day lives, creating the feeling of a more personal experience for the viewer. However, sometimes brands can, unfortunately, fall into the bad habit of using their social media accounts as a static means of showcasing their products and nothing else, taking away from the intimacy and personal connection that apps like Instagram can offer their fans. Luckily, we’ve found 5 designers whose Instagrams go way beyond the realm of merely showcasing their collection and give a glimpse into their lives for all of their fans and followers to admire and partake in. Here are the 5 designer Instagram accounts you need to be following!

Jacquemus

Photo: @jacquemus

If there’s one thing designer Simon Porte Jacquemus does best, is finding beauty in the everyday. With his signature triple posts, this French designer has found the perfect formula for keeping his Instagram account looking sharp, interesting, and personal. Rather than just showcasing images of his collections or celebrities who’ve worn his creations. Jacquemus instead posts triple images all relating to the same thing to achieve one of the most visually appealing Instagram accounts out there. These triptychs range anywhere from posts thanking magazines for using his work in their editorials, branded content, thanking celebrities for wearing his creations, editorial work, collection previews, and best of all, personal images from the designer’s everyday life. Which perfectly showcase the joie de vivre that the south of France (his home and muse) is so well known for.

Christopher Shannon

Photo: @christopher_shannon

Oh, honey! The shade, the shade of it all! Not many designers working in the world’s great fashion capitals are brave enough to call it like it is out of fear of creating negative press. But not Christopher Shannon. The menswear designer’s Instagram account is on one hand, beautiful to look at, chock full of bright images that showcase his creations. But on the other hand, Shannon’s Instagram account has an indiscreet sprinkling of posts where he posts little comments on the fashion industry. Most are up for interpretation because they tastefully comment on current situations without naming names, while some others speak directly about some of the shady and underhanded moments in fashion that we’re all thinking about, yet too scared to talk about. This makes Christopher Shannon’s Instagram the perfect little sip of industry tea that we’ve all been waiting for.

Jonathan Anderson

Photo: @jonathan.anderson

Loaded to the brim with personal influences and inspiration, fashion’s beloved Brit designer, Jonathan Anderson has managed to put together one of the most genuine and pretty to look at social media accounts on the internet to date. Boasting a plethora of soft black and white nude images, vintage photography, art, and work from his J.W Anderson and Loewe collections, Jonathan creates a sensual atmosphere that pulses with raw sexuality, art, and brand content that really is a pleasure to behold. Unfortunately, Mr Anderson rarely posts pictures of himself, but that’s all the more reason to follow his stunning account. You never know when a surprise selfie might pop and sweep you clean off of your feet.

Gareth Pugh

Photo: @garethpughstudio

Gareth Pugh is one of those designers that the fashion industry has sadly typecast. Since his designs are all relatively avant-garde and futuristic and push the limit on what the rest of the fashion industry considers fashion, Pugh has been labelled a “gothic” designer, which is all well and good. But here’s the interesting part. What Pugh presents on the runway is only a facet of who he is as a designer and as a person. A quick look at his Instagram page shows that the dark and serious side of him that’s seen on the London runway is merely one part of who he is as a person. Countless posts about everyday happy moments, life in London, and political protests paint a multifaceted picture of the brilliant designer. Recently, Pugh sent a collection down the runway during London Fashion week which accurately portrayed the current US government as a hellish fascist regime, creating conversation over whether or not designers should take the chance and protest current political climates around the world. But Pugh made it clear, his collection wasn’t merely a stunt to grab attention during fashion week. His feelings toward the US government extended to his personal life and countless of his posts on his Instagram are there to show it.

Mary Kate & Ashley Olson / The Row

Photo: @therow

Twin sisters Mary-Kate & Ashley Olson have had lives completely dominated by the media since their early childhoods and we would imagine that they’ve done everything they humanly can to break free from the image their childhood work has cast on them. Fast forward a decade later and the Olson sisters are now the driving force behind one of New York’s most innovative and well-respected fashion powerhouses. The Row represents artistic simplicity and raw power, all tied neatly into one beautifully designed package. And it’s safe to say that they’re Instagram page is one of the most beautifully curated profiles on the internet. With not a selfie in sight, the Olsons perfectly translate their quiet and put together private lives as designers into the digital world. With a mix of their work sprinkled about countless pieces of artwork and day to day inspiration, The Row’s Instagram page looks as if it could be printed out and hung in the MoMA itself.

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Paris Fashion Week f/w 2017: The Highlights

Paris is widely accepted as the pinnacle of fashion around the world and for good reason. This season seems to be no exception, with designers pulling out all of the stops to present some of their most exciting and iconic collections yet. There were designers who celebrated milestones by walking down memory lane, while others expressed their takes on modern feminism by pulling from the past. There was even a utopia created completely out of fabric that transcended words. With that said, Novella is proud to present the best of Paris Fashion Week!

Photo: Kim Weston Arnold

Dries Van Noten

It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a runway show sport such an outstanding roster that it sends me into a flurry of nostalgia with every passing model that came into the camera’s view, but that’s exactly what Dries Van Noten did for his 100th show in Paris. Models from all over the globe strutted down the runway in his creations for the show (some whom have walked his first shows back in the early 90s) in a show of support for Dries’ 20-year long breadth of work. Apart from having the pleasure of seeing the likes of Nadja Auermann and Malgosia Bela strut down the runway, fans around the world were treated to a whirlwind of prints that came straight from the brand’s archives. Noten’s paisleys and florals were dusted off and brought back as a celebration of the brand and its iconic designer. One interesting (and completely appropriate for our current times) aspect of the show was the heavy emphasis on menswear. Coats and suits carried a masculine air that made each of the runway veterans shine with a sense of feminine empowerment.

Photo: Vera Wang

Vera Wang

Sometimes a collection comes along that is so underlooked by the those in the fashion industry that it’s almost maddening. Such was the case at Vera Wang‘s Paris show. The New York native presented her collection in Paris last week only using model Mariacarla Boscono as her muse and beautiful historic building as her background. The entirety of the collection seems to be inspired by the queens of the world, with a heavy emphasis on Napoleonic-era military and aristocratic garb. The beauty of Vera‘s understanding of the female form and understated elegance is completely evident here in the draping and gold embellishments that hark back to a time when what you wore showed the world who you are. And Vera’s woman is that the top of the echelon. Some of the most stunning pieces that came from the collection are an Edwardian empire waist gown that cleverly comes paired with wool sleeve military jacket sleeves and a beautiful gold dress with shearling outerwear sleeves that exudes a sexiness that commands attention. However, dresses weren’t the only thing Ms. Wang had in store for her collection. Various different aspects commanded equal praise through the collection. One important piece that comes to mind is a beautiful ensemble featuring a delicate blouse with exaggerated proportions topped off with a shearling capelet that was grounded by a beautifully tailored pair of French legion style military pants.

Photo: Kim Weston Arnold

Jacquemus

The new king of Parisian design has once again outdone himself for his fall 2017 collection. I remember when a young Simon Porte Jacquemus began showing his collections in Paris. His designs seemed extremely easy going and effortless in comparison to the taught (and sometimes pretentious) standards that Paris demands of its designers. However, the idea of a young self-taught designer pushing through the fashion status quo to present original and inspired ideas was quite exhilarating. This season, Simon struck gold again with another solid collection based on the love story between a rich Parisian woman and a gypsy man from the south of France. The collection features Jacquemus’s tell-tale simplicity, which, as always, tells a far more interesting story than something with unnecessary glitz and sparkle. The collection is riddled with effortlessly fashionable “French-isms” like the simple Napoleon hats and the large gold brooches, that all bring us back to the iconic houses on Place Vendôme that put Paris on the fashion map. Apart from the all-around well-designed clothing, Jacquemus still manages to add his signature touches to the collection in the form of outstanding tailoring that plays on the brand’s fun-loving take on tailoring. Some of the best looks in this collection are the simplest in terms of design and styling — a black coat with a built-in peplum waist and suit ensemble that slightly twists at the waist.

Photo: Kim Weston Arnold

Off-White

A lot of people (myself included) are beginning to become weary and tired of seeing Vetements-isms riddle the runway. It seems as if every designer and their mother are pumping out their own alternatives to the elongated sleeve, oversized everything, puffer-jackets, oversized logo everything. The list goes on and on at this point. Now Off-White is one of those brands that sprang up with the insurgence of the streetwear dominated industry, so it came as no surprise when the brand had its fair share of Vetements inspired pieces in its collection. Fortunately, this season came with a wonderful surprise, designer Virgil Abloh created a fantasy world that echoed the modern freshness of the Off-White client while standing far enough away from any of the overused trends of the past two seasons. His collection left a lasting impression by just exhibiting well made and well put together ensembles that stay relevant to French design and European trends. Two exciting trend that was easily spotted on the Off-White runway was Prince-of-Wales check and denim; the two was intricately mixed with one another to create a complementing look that nestled somewhere in between casual elegance and sports chic. In the end, some visible Vetements-isms were still in the collection, like the mini puffer and hoodie, but they were toned down and given relevant and refreshing reimaging that made sense with the collection, rather than fighting it.

Photo: Monica Feudi

 Miu Miu

Miuccia Prada never fails to wow me. While some designers opt for taking the ideas they presented for their main brands and just altering them for their side ventures, Miuccia consistently delivers news and separate ideas for Miu Miu that only ever rarely echo what Prada is doing at the time. She understands that Miu Miu girl is not her Prada girl and both women need clothing that best represents them, not a mishmash of “either or“. This season, Miuccia created a candy coloured whirlwind for Miu Miu’s fall 2017 collection. The collection, which showcased fur-clad twenty-somethings flouncing down the runway in 60s inspired outfits (an ode to the ladies that launched the first wave of feminism maybe?) presented an interesting and relevant idea. “I am a woman, a Miu Miu woman, and I’m here to be seen!” As every woman should be, which is refreshing in a moment where women’s empowerment is being expressed by how masculine she can dress. The best examples of the what Miuccia is trying to express with feminine strength come later in the show when silky mini dresses were decorated with 3-D fuzzy flowers, wild 60s prints created a strong and imposing silhouette, and pastel coloured furs left a soft yet dominating impression on the viewer.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos

Undercover

I remember distinctly ranting and raving about this collection to our Editor-in-Chief Drew Brow whilst sipping a beer at Toronto Men’s Fashion week. The exact words I used were “I don’t think I’ve cried watching a runway show in such a long time! I was fanning my eyes Drew, I was so emotional!” And it’s true. It really has been years since a designer’s collection made me feel emotional enough to feel my eyes water, but that was exactly the case at Undercover this season. Designer Jun Takahashi presented what may be his magnum opus for Undercover at Paris fashion week last week. The collection was a cornucopia of beautiful looks that were meant to represent the residents of a kingdom or utopia built on extravagance and elegance. Now, while other designers have been rushing to pump out trend heavy and streetwear relivant collections it seems that Jun is in no way, shape, or form willing to water down his vision to accommodate the status quo. His collection was a remarkable ode to the days of Alexander McQueen, Christian Lacroix, and John Galliano at Dior. Where designers were more interested in telling a story through a collection rather than creating a collection whose sole purpose is to feed the retail industry’s need for new trends every season. But enough about the technicalities of the collection, because the clothing far outshines any written explanation that can be given to describe it. There were knitted gowns with accordion sleeves, and draped and gather military coats, velvet pie crust bomber jackets, oversized cable-knit dresses, beautifully printed opera coats, and a queen wearing and accordion pleated ball gown skirt that outshone anything that has been presented on the runway in the past few years. To be completely honest with everyone, no words I write can express the beauty of this collection in all of its regal glory. I implore you to watch the runway video of the show to see just exactly what I’m talking about. You can thank me later.

 

The 5 Most Satisfying Surprises at Paris Fashion Week

As Paris Fashion Week brings fashion month to a glorious close. The fashion world is faced with a new set of problems. Gone is the buzz and rush of keeping track of all of the shows and presentations and now comes the 4 month wait for next season’s fashion month lineup. For now, all one can do is reminisce over all the beauty and awe-inspiring moments that come with the pinnacle of fashion that is Paris. With over 90 shows scheduled, Paris fashion week is by far the largest effort within the fashion industry to allow emerging talent from all over Europe and France to showcase their collections along side the largest fashion houses in the world. This in turn creates a beautiful atmosphere where new and old collide to create the perfect fashion storm.

Photo: Kim Weston Arnold
Photo: Kim Weston Arnold

Jacquemus

Often times designers go through season after season of perfectly acceptable collections before they hit a monumental moment that solidifies their place as fashion heavy weights. For Simon Porte Jacquemus, this was his burning bush, his revelation, his shining moment where he proved to his audience and industry peers, that he has more than enough talent to sweep Paris by storm. Unlike his previous collections, Jacquemus’ ss17 is a turning point in Simon’s career. He no longer needs to experiment with gimmicks or flashy fashion statements to get his point across. His point has been made and his voice has been heard. The Jacquemus brand is no longer just an indie brand, it’s now in line to be one of the next French fashion powerhouses. Apart from his skill as a designer, Jacquemus has a special talent that many emerging designers lack. Simon is able to see the poetry behind making clothes. His eyes are trained to see a story unravel between every fold of fabric. He’s able to turn a concept into a full-blown collection without losing the purity of his inspiration. Nowhere is this more evident than in the direct inspiration Simon took from the workwear that southern French farmers wore back in times of yonder. His clothing takes the theme and perfectly modernizes the concept and injects it with contemporary design concepts that transform the collection from theatrical, to relevant and on trend. Another part of what makes Jacquemus’ spring 2017 line one of the best this season is the way Simon was able to incorporate one of the most awe-inspiring and poignant runways among the dozens of other designers showcasing that week into his theme. The nod to working on a hot summer day in the south of France was evident, with the orange sun beaming down on the models as they walked the runway. Altogether, Simon’s ss17 collection is currently the the shining jewel set atop Jacquemus’ crown. It showcases Jacquemus humble beginnings as a brand, the simple design gestures that put Simon on the map. His unconventional take on shirting and menswear as womenswear were all there, but this time Simon went further. He showed his audience that his brand is evolving, the quirky nods to menswear are set to evolve and his brand has nowhere to go but up.

Although the entire collection itself is astounding, there are particular looks within the collection that perfectly encompass Jacquemus’ theme and inspiration. The looks serve as a doorway to another world, to the southern french landscape Simon grew up in as a child. Among the various looks seen on the runway, the strongest looks were

A white cotton blouse featuring an oversized lace trimmed bib and high waisted cropped trousers, a long charcoal grey trench coat worn over a pair of oversized wide leg pants, a pair of trousers that can only be described as “maxi Samurai pants” paired with a delicate spaghetti strap top, a wonderfully voluminous pinstripe pants suit, a pair of crisp white trousers with a red belt running through the waistband, and a ruffle sleeved bolero jacket in black.

 

Photo: Kim Weston Arnold
Photo: Kim Weston Arnold

Kenzo

One would never imagine going to a 70’s disco themed summer camp. The two things just don’t seem like they would ever cross paths in day to day life, but at Kenzo, something as ludicrous as a disco camp counsellor is perfectly plausible. This season Humberto Leon and Carol Lim showcased a wonderful collection inspired by the shapes and silhouettes seen during the height of disco in the 70’s, set against an almost utilitarian uniform in shades of olive, khaki and denim. Kenzo’s colour palate was also something to cheer about, with hues covering the broadest spectrum of tastes. Sequins and metallics were paired with neutrals, while patterns jump against patent leather and wonderful iridescent fabrics dance among the runway lights. Despite the surprisingly perfect pairing of themes and fabrics, the real beauty of the collection wasn’t in the details of the clothing themselves, but rather, the collection as a whole. Not only did Humberto and Carol put forth a stupendous theme, they were able to make a wonderfully cohesive collection that embodies what its main theme was. It doesn’t look like clothing that’s trying to mimic the idea that it came from Studio 54, rather, the collection displays a vibrancy and realness that makes appear as if was taken straight from Bianca Jagger or David Bowie’s closets. Another key aspect that places Kenzo’s show on the list of best collections is the atmosphere in which it was presented, rather than using a regular runway, or an extravagant one for that matter, Leon and Lim chose to showcase their show in what would be best described as a human museum. People painted in different shades of alabaster lined the runway, taking on the poses used in classic sculpture. This simple and strange runway choice only added to the surrealness of the show and allowed it to evolve from merely a good collection, to an experience.

With an entirely fresh and outstanding collection, it’s almost too hard to pick the best looks from the show. Luckily, there were a handful of looks that stood out from the already amazing collection. Key pieces include a denim shirt with broad shoulders worn with a pair of matching denim culottes, a black lurex jumpsuit, a printed white t-shirt dress, a shiny lipstick red dress coat, an iridescent mini dress in ice blue, and a silky patterned dress coat that resembles rippling water.

 

anne-sofie-madsen-ss17-01-620x929

Anne Sofie Madsen

Presenting a collection during PFW for the first time can be a daunting experience to say the least. Some put in all their life’s work to just fade into the background, while others explode onto the scene with collections that are sure to leave their audience wanting more. This was in fact the case for Anne Sofie Madsen’s first Paris collection last season. The Danish designer, who originally showed in Copenhagen, showcased her collection on day 2 of Paris fashion week rather than day 1. Now for those in the tune with the way fashion week in Paris works, day 1 is almost always exclusively reserved for up and coming talent. So Anne’s collection being scheduled on day 2 should have been taken as a form of foreshadowing for the raw storm of talent that was to come. The show opened with a shirt strewn with ruffles galore that took on almost deconstructed feel. This theme of deconstruction and fabrication is carried out masterfully throughout the collection. The evolution of seeing outfits that look as if they’ve been picked apart and reassembled evoke images of past designers who have put unconventional and deconstructed design on the map. Another aspect of the collection that allows it to distance itself from the conformity of today’s trends is the fact that the collection may have another underlying theme. When looked at closely, the collection conjures up images of a societal subculture called “steampunk.” Now traditional steampunk attire consists of mixing Victorian or Edwardian clothing with vintage industrial machinery. However, Madsen’s take on steampunk isn’t as literal as mixing ruffled collars with cogs and gears, her interpretation calls for a modern take on the look. Skirts are adorned with metal accents and carabiners, while pants are enveloped in patent leather harnesses and shiny metal buckles. These simple, yet striking details lend a hand a creating a visual twist within the collection, rather than just being a collection based on deconstruction alone, Anne adds simple and amusing flashes of costume that ground the collection, while still keeping it weird and interesting. Another interesting set of details the collection boasts are its incorporation of man made materials; beautifully tailored coats are plastered with images personally drawn by Anne. While other, more intricately cut shirts and skirts, sport pieces of packing tape as applique.

While Anne’s collection isn’t the most street friendly attire one could wear this season, the collection does rely on a few very well made and very wearable pieces to keep it within commercial range. But that isn’t where the fun lies. The real testaments to Madsen’s talent are in her more outlandish designs. An array of ruffled shirts paired with relaxed trousers, a gorgeous leather bolero worn over and embellished hoodie and beige skirt, an off the shoulder fringed patchwork sweater, a pantsuit featuring a taped together blazer, a printed bodysuit worn under and almost tent like poncho, all put emphasis on Madsen’s ability to take the unusual and create something stunning from it.

 

Photo: Marcus Tondo
Photo: Marcus Tondo

Moncler Gamme Rouge

As most fashion aficionados know, Paris fashion week has ended with Miu Miu for a quite a while now and this season was no different. Models strutted down the runway in Miuccia Prada’s designs once again this season to close out fashion month. Unfortunately for the big wigs who plan the entire event. They missed a big opportunity to send fashion week off with a bang. This season at Moncler Gamme Rouge, couturier Giambattista Valli sent a clear and simple message, “Vive la France! Vive la Revolution!” The theme was apparent. This collection was a reinterpretation of times gone by. Models walked the runway in the most adorable hats inspired by the French legions of the days of old. French flags were seen on everything from harnesses, to capes and there wasn’t anything bad about it. Now this collection could have easily wandered into tacky cliche territory, but Valli’s gift for creating youthful and fresh collections keeps the nod to France’s past grounded and steers the collection in quirky territory, rather than tacky. Another aspect that makes this collection one of the most so likeable are the whimsical twists that are laid throughout the collection. Many of the outfits sport sketches of Parisian landmarks and architecture printed on their fabrics, while others sport paisley, floral applique and embroidery. Apart from the fun of the entire show, the collection is still rooted in extremely well-constructed design. The fresh take on sportswear that Valli showcases is not only on trend, but perfectly aligned to Moncler’s legacy of creating luxury sportswear for the masses.

It’s hard to pick key pieces in a collection that’s already so wearable. In reality, there is one look within this collection that can be deemed iffy or bad, which ultimately leaves no room for a select amount of key pieces. The entire collection is something the young fashionista needs in their closet.

 

Photo: Kim Weston Arnold
Photo: Kim Weston Arnold

John Galliano

One of the biggest surprises this season was at John Galliano. After the unfortunate events at Dior and having to sell his namesake brand to LVMH. Iconic designer was left with the job of passing on the torch to a new designer who would take the reigns at his namesake label. The daunting task of steering Galliano’s brand into a new era was ultimately given to Bill Gaytten, who worked under Galliano at Dior for years before his departure. Like most designers who are hired to resume the creative process after a designer has spent years building a brand, Gaytten was faced with harsh criticism and high expectations. At first, his collections seemed underwhelming when placed alongside Galliano’s theatrics, but recently, Bill has finally managed to weave his own personal design aesthetic into a brand that had seemingly been forgotten by the fashion world. This season, Gaytten showcased his strongest collection yet. The inspiration was there, vintage 1930’s silhouettes (a go-to for Galliano) were modernized to appeal to today’s trends, while luxurious naval  influences from the 1700’s and onward were seen throughout. While the house of Galliano will most likely never look the way it used to when John was there, Bill has finally come to a level of understanding on what the brand is and how he can make it his own. The ideas laid out by Galliano are all still there, but Gaytten has evolved them into modern clothing any woman would want, not just the Daphne Guinness’s and Carrie Bradshaw’s of the world.

While some looks in the collection may be a little daring, like the silk and lace knickers worn under sheer dresses. There are still many wearable and sellable garments within the collection itself. Highlights include a beautiful beige coat dyed to look tea stained, an airy pearl white skirt paired with a white bralette and translucent blouse, a pair of long loose fitting trousers worn alongside a knitted black sports bra, a white and black polka dot mini, a black and white polka dot blouse worn over a knitted tank top and striped trousers, and a pretty baby blue dress paired with matching knickers underneath.