New York Fashion Week Spring 2018: The Highlights

New York seems to be in a peculiar place at the moment. On one hand, you have designers abandoning their spots in the city in exchange for spots in Europe, while other big-name designers have all together left behind the traditional runway shows and opted for lookbooks and presentations, leaving New York in quite the predicament. However, as newcomers flood into New York for a shot at international fame, the electricity that runs through the veins of the city ceases to die out. And in turn, that electricity gives the American fashion community the jolt it’s been needing for the past few seasons.

Cushnie Et Ochs

Cushnie Et Ochs has become a celebrity staple at this point. Every season, Cushnie Et Ochs’s band of loyal silver screen mavens storm red carpets around the globe, showcasing the brand’s body-conscious design. Very rarely will you find someone who can find a fault in the duo’s designs; it’s equal parts delicate and sensual while being headstrong and unapologetically confident. This season was no exception, taking inspiration from Mexican painter Frida Kahlo’s game changing use of gender defiance and self-expression, which fits perfectly with the brand’s narrative: Liberated.

Solace London

When it comes to making a great collection that’s equal parts wearable and artistic, designers should look no further than using texture and movement in their designs. This season, Solace London proved just that, creating multiple shapes out of the sheer movement of the fabric itself. But rather than just relying on soft fabrics to get a point across, Solace London used tougher materials like PVC, leather, and denim to contrast the fluidity of the silkier materials, creating a confident wardrobe that stays perfectly on trend with whats going on in the fashion world these days. Another pleasant aspect of the show was its colour scheme, which can best be described as a dessert lover’s dream with creamy browns and tart pinks and citrus hues catching the eye right away. The ball heeled mules are a fun little addition as well.

Ulla Johnson

There’s beauty in the ethereal, and designer Ulla Johnson knows that. Fashion these days has branched out into a do anything and be anything industry, which is something to celebrate. But sometimes it’s simplicity and light-as-air design that creates a truly beautiful collection. Think of it as a breather from the sensory overload that often accompanies fashion in this day and age. However, delicateness doesn’t mean weakness for the designer. Instead, the lightness and transparency of the ensembles create a strong sense of self-empowerment and self-aware sensuality that gives a modern twist to the traditional notions of femininity.

The Row

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have solidified their brand The Row as one of New York city’s most on trend and important fashion houses of the 21st century. Season after season the twins have pumped out collections that carve out niche spot within the fashion community. Now, clothing from The Row may not be for everyone, and that a good thing. Because The Row was never meant to be a brand that appealed to the mass market. Instead, the brand focuses on amplifying one’s physical beauty with simplicity. Very rarely do you find brands that focus solely on minimalist designs that’s beautiful without the bells and whistles. But that’s exactly what you’ll find at The Row (this season’s collection is no exception) where fluid frocks and coats float across the floor in light and neutral shades, while comfortable silhouettes round out the collection by creating an effortlessness.

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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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Trend Report: New York and London f/w17

New York and London have just finished presenting their takes on fashion’s fastest growing trends. Designers had their hands in everything from florals to plaid, creating a fashion wonderland for all to see and appreciate. However, not every trend was something worth cheering over and not every trend from last year had the staying power to push into this season. In spite of all of that, five trends managed to dominate the runway this season at NYFW and LFW. Some of them are interpretations and modernizations of trends that have been going strong for a little while now, while others are fresh and following the beat of what’s going on around them.

Here are the 5 trends that swept the stage during New York and London fashion weeks:

Modern Plaids

Marc Jacobs, J. JS Lee, Anna Sui, Osman | Photos: Vogue Runway

The staple print of the 1970’s is back again with a vengeance this season. After slowly sneaking into almost every collection under the sun over the past year, this season’s take on the iconic intersecting stripes seems to have a bit more bite to it.

It seems that mustard is the go-to plaid punch colour this season. Designers like Marc Jacobs and Osman have created their own takes on mustard plaid coats that look beautifully modern, yet nostalgically retro.

Now mustard may have been every plaid loving designer’s sweetheart this season, but many other designers opted for more neutral tones instead. At Anna Sui and J. JS. Lee, Prince of Wales check coats and suits came in simple yet punchy neutrals of black and tan that pumped the heritage look of the check with a little youthful pizzazz.

Protest Apparel

Creatures of Comfort, Gareth Pugh, Prabal Gurung, Ashish | Photos: Vogue Runway

Political injustices that have been sweeping across the United States has inspired a plethora of designers and artists to push past what’s been socially acceptable as a collection to create what are now being dubbed “protest collections.

This season has seen countless designers present their personal opinions against the current U.S. presidency by incorporating graphic and stylistic design elements into their collections. For example, graphic tees and sweatshirts were the highlights at Creatures of Comfort, Prabal Gurung, and Ashish. Models strutted down the runway in garments that either directly quoted many of Donald Trump’s ludicrous catchphrases or directly opposed them by sending messages of peace and empowerment.

However, one collection really stood out by breaking down walls and really pushing the boundary of what politically charged fashion can be. This season at Gareth Pugh, models were dressed in military inspired outfits that so closely resembled modern Nazi uniforms that it felt uncomfortable to even watch the show — which was Pugh’s brilliant intention. Model after model stormed the runway in haunting makeup and beautifully tailored military garb that represented Pugh’s vision of what America’s future may look like if a fascist government sinks its teeth into it for too long. The runway music was a cacophonous array of jumbled songs, speeches, and easily recognizable American media that mimicked CIA audios of torture used on prisoners. The collection did not break from a completely black colour scheme, only adding to the doom and gloom that Pugh wanted to express. In the end, the collection is a strong representation of creative visions that designers will start to express as the world around them become little less bright as time goes on.

Alternative Florals

Preen by Thorton Bregazzi, Christopher Kane, Ryan Lo, Erdem | Photos: Vogue Runway

These aren’t your grandma’s delicate peony prints! Fall/Winter 2017 saw some of the most creative and downright unconventional floral prints seen to date. Colours were vibrant and outlandish, designs were ostentatious and gaudy, and the best part was that audiences loved every second of it.

Season after season, designers have slowly built up fashion lover’s appetite for more shocking floral prints. At Preen, one of the last biggest trends, the puffer coat was given a bright injection of watercolour florals. While at Christopher Kane, beautiful budding blooms exploded from simple slip dresses, adding a whimsical fairytale touch to the collection.

At Ryan Lo and Erdem, traditional English florals were spun into unconventional silhouettes to give a modern update to old world Victorian charm.

The Reimagined Suit

Theory, Thom Browne, Delpozo, Mulberry | Photos: Vogue Runway

Gone are the days of the 90’s power suit. Women now have a plethora of unique and interesting styles that are perfect for the boardroom. At Theory, Thom Browne, and Mulberry, plaids dominated. Adding a retro crispness to the modern suit. But the modern suit doesn’t just rely on a fresh print for an updated look.

At Mulberry and Delpozo, silhouettes were given exaggerated proportions to modernize the everyday suit’s silhouette. Broad shoulders and widened flared arms hark back to exaggerated Dynasty power suits, without leaving a tacky taste in your mouth.

However, the real winner has to be Thom Browne. For his fall 2017 collection, the master of suiting once again deconstructed the traditional suit and put it back together. Giving women the option of strong menswear-inspired looks as well as Edwardian era newspaper boy suits in whimsical gingham check. The collection presents an interesting take on the modern women’s suit. It showed that suiting doesn’t necessarily have to be cold and stoic — it can be interesting and even comical without taking away the commanding effect of the suit itself.

The New Trench

Derek Lam, Margaret Howell, The Row, MM6 Maison Margiela | Photos: Vogue Runway

It goes without saying that this season has been the season of the trench coat. Designers in every fashion capital have stormed the runway with their interpretations of floor-length trench coats, giving them modern updates, and unconventional silhouettes for the modern fashion aficionado to enjoy.

The most colourful of the bunch came from Derek Lam, who presented a lovely trench coat in red leather, conjuring up images of 1940’s Dick Tracey zoot suits. Meanwhile, Margaret Howell, The Row, and MM6 all opted for more traditional hues.

The most intriguing part of the modern trench coat is definitely the new proportions designers have given it. At The Row, trench coats were given extremely streamlined silhouettes by going sans buttons. While trenches at MM6, infused with traditional Japanese designs and tied at the waist with a very thin belt, almost resemble an unfinished kimono. Designs like these give the modern trench a fresh and exciting twist. This isn’t just your dad’s old London Fog coat anymore!

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New York Fashion Week f/w 2017: The Highlights

This season, fashion has entered a literal limbo. Many brands opted to show presentations and lookbooks rather than runway shows and others chose to leave their host cities to show elsewhere (we’re looking at you Proenza Schouler and La Perla). Apart from the chaos of fashion week itself, many designers were left with the task of creating collections that are not only relevant to today’s trends, but also relevant in response to the year’s unsteady and frightening beginning. The uncertain future of artistic freedom in the United States has made its impact on artists and designers around the world. Many have chosen to step back and tone down their collections for the sake of letting the important issues rise to the top, while others have stepped up to the task of opposing the current state of affairs in the US through their art. However, even those who’ve taken jabs at the US presidenct have done so in a very minute and almost unnoticeable way. Which has led this season’s collections to come off as more uninspired and, ultimately, underwhelming. Although not very politically charged, there were still a few collections that managed to stand out during New York’s fall 2017 line up. Fashion lovers rejoice, you still have something to cheer about in this sea of uncertainty.

Photo: Inez & Vinoodh

Nili Lotan

Sometimes the cure for a fashion drought is to look toward the brands that mainstream fashion tends to look over. Nili Lotan, a name that I presume only die-hard fashion lovers would recognize, presented a collection this season that would quench the thirst of even the most trained fashion eye. This season sees Lotan visiting extreme proportions with her trousers — think exaggerated palazzo pants. She created a slouchy and relaxed look that mirrors many streetwear trends happening right now, but it doesn’t come with the added overly casual “hype-beast-urban-Instagram-chic” look that seems to be dominating runways everywhere. As a whole, the collection is a smart and elegant reimagining of current trends that are bound to appeal to the most fashion forward millennials and style veterans alike.

Photo: Luca Tombolini

Delpozo

Josep Font has established himself as the new king of architectural design. His work for Delpozo has now solidified his place as one of the most forward thinking and interesting designers in the world right now. For his fall 2017 collection, Font has taken his traditional avant-garde designs and infused them with a 1960’s sense of futuristic space age design. Models walked out in knitted sweaters that continued all the way up to the model’s heads, creating a Jetsons-like space helmet that brought back memories of designers like Pucci and Courreges. Designs that didn’t incorporate Josep’s retro-futurism relied on the refined and modern elegance that brought him so much praise and fame during his introductory seasons at Delpozo. One smart feature was the addition of elegant billowing gowns that are perfect as any last minute award show additions for trendsetting celebs looking for a more forward-thinking silhouette for this year’s awards season.

The Row

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s now iconic house has hit cult status among fashion aficionados. With their staple black and whites, the Olson’s very rarely moved into the realm of colour with the only variance from black and white being a bright lipstick red and a muted mustard yellow. Now one would imagine it would be extremely difficult to create a collection that stands out using only white and black, but the Olsens have turned this into a science. They blended their go-to relaxed silhouettes with a refined tailoring that rivals that of the ateliers employed in Paris’ iconic fashion houses. The overall tone this season seemed to exude a masculinity, with many of the looks employing straight legged trousers and duster coats to give the collection a “harder edge.” Yet the Olsens’ expertise for design fuse what would be an extremely overbearing masculine silhouette with an elegant and refined air of femininity.

Photo: Monica Feudi

Zimmerman

European whimsy can be one of the hardest things to find in New York. The New York woman, more often than not, is a more relaxed and streetwise woman to her European counterpart. However, at this season’s Zimmerman show, the designer showed us that a New Yorker can also paint a fairytale for herself among the towers of steel and glass. Ruffles, a trend that has been dominating the fashion world for a little over a year now, was the grounding feature that pulled the entire collection together. Allowing for the collection to go from outright fantasy to the wearable and reasonable for the everyday woman. One of the most eye-catching and pleasing features of the collection were the additions of stripes, plaids, polka dots, and sequins, which gave the collection a modern and relevant appearance that can quickly be lost when a designer relies solely on romantic designs.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos

Alexander Wang

The Alexander Wang brand has become a go-to for any hip and influential millennial. But in the last few years, Wang’s brand seemed to be losing what made it so interesting and appealing to the youth of the fashion world. Fortunately, Alexander Wang’s fall 2017 collection went back to the brand’s roots and gave fashion lovers around the world exactly what they had been missing from the brand in recent years. His collection felt dark, moody, and modern, alternative, yet completely wearable, which is the perfect mixture for selling clothing in this day and age. Where fashion is more concerned about looking different (in a controlled and uniform way) rather than in a jarring and completely out there way.

Photo: Umberto Fratini

Self-Portrait

“Give the people what they want” seemed to be the direction that Self-Portrait designer Han Chong took this season. Stepping away from his usual lacy dresses and pretty things, Chong presented a collection steeped in New York cool. Plaid coats hit floor length while dresses in denim and Prince-of-Wales check came in ruffled and asymmetrical silhouettes. More whimsical looks were paired with slightly high waisted shorts to give them a more youthful and relevant appearance. Velvet dresses gave the collection its dose of modern and elegant evening wear, which has been a difficult feat for many young designers, especially in today’s street trend-obsessed society. Some looks like the ruffled polka dot and floral print blouses and dresses seemed a little disjointed with the modern edge the collection presented, but not enough to put off potential buyers looking for something a little more street relevant but refined.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos

Cushnie et Ochs

One of the biggest delights during NYFW was Cushnie et Ochs. Now in its 9th year of gracing the runways of New York, designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs have managed to stick to their guns and catapult their namesake brand to cult status among the fashion crowd and celebs alike. This year, the designers once again presented a collection deeply rooted in feminine sexuality and the beauty of the female body. Their staple cocktail length dresses were given a dose of modern minimalism, leaving only the fabric, fit, and models’ natural curves rather than gimmicks to wow onlookers. The ice blues and bold citrus yellows helped add colour to the monotonous black and white of the collection, while surprise pops of sequin paillettes hinted at what the designers may be cooking up for future collections. The most appealing looks came in the form of various decollete-baring dresses and a few two piece pant numbers that were sprinkled throughout the collection.

Photo: Frame

Frame

It’s a tried and tested fact the Swedes are masters at creating minimal and relevant clothing that understands today’s trends but moves to the beat of its own drum. And for designers Erik Torstensson and Jens Grede of Frame, the statement couldn’t be more appropriate. For Frame’s fall 2017 collection, the design duo has created a collection that mirrors this and last season’s most coveted trends — denim, 70’s eclectic rock chic, velvet, leopard print, shirting, androgyny, etc. — and infused them with a nordic sense of stylish ease. For example, rather than creating an outlandish reinterpretation of the Vetements suit that has been dominating the runway, Torstensson and Grede introduced a perfectly relaxed pantsuit that borrowed from last year’s dominating androgynous look and gave a fresh and less gimmicky appeal. Suiting that used 70’s inspired fabrics and prints à la Gucci were designed to stand alone, rather than be direct interpretations. Probably the biggest defining trait that Frame’s fall collection has is the designers’ ability to capture everything that is happening now in fashion in only 13 looks; something that takes even the most seasoned fashion veterans 40 or more looks to achieve. Designers Erik and Jens know exactly what they’re doing. They know who their clients are and how to give them exactly what they want. It’s safe to say that while the Instagram “influencers” will be throwing on the most garish and trend driven designs fashion heavyweights can pump out, the real fashion innovators will be wearing Frame.

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Resort 2017 Report

The resort collection is always connected to the very affluent, to those who can escape any weather for another and thus do not live by the rules of the seasons. As such, these collections leave room for experimentation, or in the cases of the designers this year, room simply to be themselves. Here are three of the stand-out collections.

The Row

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Photo: The Row

For Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, all you need for Resort wear this season is your best trench coat and your negligée. You are a Parisienne. The Row featured models that hover closer to 50 than to young teens, offering a notion of maturity about the brand. A maturity that the clothes in this collection absolute reflect.

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Photo: The Row

Proenza Schouler

proenza-2
Photo: Proenza Schouler

The Proenza Schouler show offered an explorer couple, with one half in refined dresses with elegant prints and the other half of the couple in tailored suits. This is the kind of couple that covers their suitcases in stickers of the places they’ve visited and send their suburban cousins eclectic pottery from around the world, which they only bring out on special occasions.

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Photo: Proenza Schouler

Balenciaga

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Photo: Balengiaga

Demna Gvasalia‘s first resort collection for Balenciaga continues with the Vetements theme of upgrading streetwear. Candy-striped robes paired with baseball hats and elegant slides contrast with oversized leather jackets and exaggerated pant lengths. Whether or not you agree with the Vetements politics within the fashion industry, you cannot deny the appeal of the oversized robes and those market bags! 

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Photo: Balengiaga