Best Spring Campaigns of 2018

The launch of a new campaign for a brand is a very exciting time. Campaigns allow brands to finally express the entirety of their creative vision for the collection. Each campaign is a very interesting look at the collaborative efforts between fashion, cinema, photography, and art. This season, brands stepped away from the traditional ad campaigns to create captivating fashion films and editorial campaigns that feel a lot more personal and in tune with the current media and trend-obsessed fashion industry.

Balenciaga

Photo: Balenciaga

Balenciaga seems to really be pushing further and further away from the brand it used to be. Fresh and millennial driven, Balenciaga’s facelift has taken it from Parisian powerhouse to global heavyweight. These days, Balenciaga dominates the fashion market. Especially in area’s where the majority of fashion buyers are nouveau riche millennials. The new Balenciaga is all about modernity, fusing technology, laid-back casual wear, sportswear, and athletic wear into a mishmash of fashion. Brands like this appeal to the trend-obsessed and social media reliant fashion young fashion consumer. This idea of media awareness and self-indulgence was at the heart of Balenciaga’s latest ad campaign. The campaign, which features various models posing as celebrities being photographed by paparazzi, is a real nod to today’s celebrity and social media obsessed culture. Where information regarding the private lives of those in the spotlight is demanded at a minute by minute rate. Another really interesting level to the campaign is the possibility that Balenciaga is acknowledging that it’s in the spotlight and it’s being watched very closely by the fashion world since Demna stepped in.

Gucci

Photo: Gucci

Gucci has established as the new reigning monarch of the “ism.” Gucci-isms are everywhere these days. Fast fashion brands adore Gucci for making a successful mad dash at attacking millennials with quirky, straight out of your grandma’s closet designs. Every retailer from Zara to Forever 21 and Supreme have all incorporated “Gucci-isms” into their collections. From stripped collar sweaters and pull-overs to butterfly, tiger, and floral print dresses. Gucci has established itself as the go-to house for recognizable design. But Gucci’s newfound success didn’t just come out of thin air. It was Alessandro Michele’s creative genius that turned the brand around and made it the kitschy brand it is today. For its spring campaign, Gucci utilized its love for all things retro and kitschy to collaborate with Ignasi Monreal on their spring 2018 campaign. The Spanish digital artist created stunning works of art that channel the art masters of old. References to Van Eyck, Bosch, Velazquez are easily visible within the paintings created by Monreal and the entire vibe of the campaign falls perfectly in line with Gucci’s creative direction. The campaign itself is brilliant, combining the selling power of top models, an in-demand brand, and eye-catching creativity to create a unique modern fusion of art, commerce, and fashion.

Missoni

Photo: Missoni

Sometimes all it takes to create a stunning campaign is an exceptional photo. For their spring campaign, Missoni teamed up with photographer Harley Weir to create this stunning work of photographic art. The photo has a very 50s-60s quality about it. Harking back the era of Avedon, Beaton, and Newton. The first thing one sees when looking at the campaign is the colour. The photograph is bathed in sharp vertical multicoloured stripes pulled straight from the brand’s pattern repertoire. The picture creates movement, with the sand dunes, mountain peaks, and windswept fabric all creating the illusion that the photo is indeed moving in one’s mind. Often times, brand’s and photographers forget that sometimes, all you need to sell your clothing is a stunning photograph. The Missoni campaign does just that. Fusing high art photography with beautiful styling to create an exceptional work of marketing art.

Dior

Photo: Dior

Whether you love the new Dior or not. You cannot argue that Maria Grazia is trying her best to evolve the brand into a contemporary power seller. One thing Chiuri has managed to do is really push the idea that Dior is a brand by a woman, for women. Her many inspirations, most of them being female artists and women who’ve influenced modern and ancient society. This season’s collection was all about art and the idea is literally translated to the campaign through the use of watercolour paintings riddled throughout. The idea that really comes through with the campaign is the fusion of art and feminine sensuality. And an air of mystery created by the gaze of the model and the mirrored expression seen in the painting below her. The simplicity of the image is what really sells the campaign. It’s stripped, taken down to basics. Which is what Maria Grazia seems to be doing with the brand in general. Taking away all the frills and leaving behind only Dior’s legacy, his woman, and the clothes.

SANDY LIANG SS18 Collection

In her 10th collection, Spring/Summer 2018, designer Sandy Liang continues to approach her brand’s downtown roots with new, playful interpretations of nostalgic narratives and elevated experimentation with shirting and all-year transitional outerwear.

Liang also introduces color-blocked oversize knit polos, floaty eyelet and lace paired with her hallmark statement leather jackets and neck-cozying shearling.

Piece by piece and collection by collection, Liang builds strong thorough lines in her clothes that reveal a consistent understanding of her girl, as well as the riffs and subversions that make her girl reminisce and smirk.

 

 

For more information on Sandy Liang and the designer’s ss18 collection visit WWW.SANDYLIANG.INFO

HERON PRESTON “SHOW HOUSE” SS18 Collection

For Heron Preston’s second collection, the designer developed pieces with a subversive sense of humor. Preston dipped into his personal history to create a graphics-heavy, referential collection inspired by kitsch and fine art, from Jeff Koons’s ceramic sculptures to the designer’s own memories of paintings in display homes in the Northern California suburbs. This season also marks the debut of Heron Preston womenswear, presented alongside the men’s collection.

For more information Heron Preston, please visit the designer’s website here

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.

The Best of Milan Fashion Week Spring 2018

Milan seemed up in its spirits this season. Of all the major fashion cities around the world, Milan has has a harder time with reinventing itself and finding its signature aesthetics. While the city’s designers are still looking for their voices, it seems that the soul-searching has led to a signature Milan-look. The Spring collections were filled with pretty things. Frilly white frocks were cut and sewn into delicate silhouettes, while pops of color and pattern introduced a light dusting of excitement throughout the week. In the end, it’s good to see that Milan is moving in this direction. Here’s hoping Milano sticks to the pristine angelic ensembles that graced the runway this season. Pretty suits the city.

Versace

Versace is an Italian powerhouse and has been for more than two decades. Celebrities and the elite have tripped over their own two feet to wear the iconic Medusa head on their bodies. But it seems that the world craves Versace now more than ever. Which seems like the perfect timing since this year commemorates Gianni Versace, who died in 1997. Donatella created a collection that took the spotlight away from the horrific murder and once again focused on her brother’s designs. The collection celebrated Gianni’s affinity for sexy mini dresses, cropped bolero jackets, gold chains, and seashell motifs. Versace’s designs were never intended to feel serious and uptight; they always felt fun and celebratory, like joy in printed fabric form, which is exactly the kind of carefree joy the world needs right now.

Missoni

Missoni is one of those brands that have become synonymous with Italian fashion. Since its humble beginnings back in 1953, brand has never ceased to surprise with its signature zigzag knits. Now some may think that keeping alive house codes created back in the ’50s is a recipe for disaster, but that isn’t always the case. With so many designers abandoning the things that made their brand famous back in the day, it’s refreshing to see brands like Missoni reinvent itself without throwing away its foundations. This season, Angela Missoni presented a collection with a bohemian flare. But the collection didn’t rely soley on boho-chic to get by — many contemporary trends came into play. Sheer gowns and oversized cardigans looked right at home beside completely on-trend oversized sunhats, giving the collection a vintage yet contemporary feeling.

Elisabetta Franchi

Kudos to Maria Grazia for attempting to pull off a modern western vibe at Dior a few months ago (better luck next time!), but it looks like Elisabetta Franchi has the entire look covered. Franchi, who’s mostly known for dressing Italy’s well-to-do in elegant and refined clothing, often opted for traditional glamour than take the route of over the top fashion designer or high fashion extremes. However, this collection marks a very interesting moment for the designer. Diverging from her usuals, Franchi chose to create a whimsical and very mature take on vintage western clothing. Large black straw hats were paired alongside flirty rompers and micro mini dresses. Long billowing gowns had pretty historic touches sewn throughout — they’re versatile and can be worn as they were seen on the runway or on their own. The accessories used throughout the show also emphasized the old world decorative dressing. The belts had a particular beauty about them, with their strung pearls and gold dangling delicately at the waist.

Prada

Arguably the most important designer in Italy (maybe even the world) Miuccia Prada lives and breathes fashion. Look at the last decade and try to find a collection that wasn’t in one way or another infleuntial, artistic, innovative, and beautiful. It’s likely that you won’t. And that’s what sets Miuccia and Prada apart from the pack. Prada has always been known as the brand that’s years ahead of its time. Elements from collections that Miuccia created years ago continue to pop up in other designers’ collections season after season. Luckily, Madame Prada commands enough respect to never have her designs completely ‘borrowed’. This season’s collection follows suit. Classic, the Prada-ism that put the brand at the top of the fashion game, with touches of forward-thinking design makes for a modern collection fit for fashion’s most progressive dressers. The collection itself was a crossroads of interesting designs, mixing beatnik vests and shirting with flirty in-your-face Prada patterns that the brand is known for. The bright pops of tomato red fit in perfectly with the season’s biggest color trend. And the accessories, as per usual, are simply to die for, with the brand’s signature graphic handbags once again on center stage.

Luisa Beccaria

Ethereal beauty reigned supreme at Luisa Beccaria this season. Everything seemed to be touched by a fairy godmother’s wand. Sheer gowns were strewn in embroidered flowers, eyelet lace, pastels, and fancy little polka dots. The show felt very surreal with models walking through a courtyard dotted with petals to the sound of classical music. The color scheme was very soft and delicate, mirroring the overall feeling of the show. Yet the delicate colors didn’t feel fragile but inviting and warm. Even the cool baby blues somehow managed to come across far more sumptuous and warm than cold and icy. Another major factor that made this collection stand out from the crowd of soft and pretty runway shows was its effortless sexiness. Many of the collection’s looks featured barely-there shorts and almost all of the gowns and dresses that walked the runway displayed various levels of transparency. But the collection never felt like it was trying to look sexy — Beccaria managed to infuse grown-up sexiness into the collection by manipulating the levels of sheerness throughout. It wasn’t about provoking by exposing the models’ breasts through gauzy fabric or by revealing a panty underneath a long gown. It was about dressing a woman in a natural, carefree, and self-loving way.

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