By Angelika Bolliger
Summer hasn’t yet closed its doors on us and here we all are desperate to know what we will be wearing next Spring. With NY Fashion Week kicking in in early September we will be preview to some of the best runway shows in the world.
The fashionistas, the music and film stars, bloggers and buyers all dressed extravagantly well will be queuing to see what the designers have to offer. With fashion turning its eye to the streets and to the many talented fashion bloggers and the entertainment world for inspiration we may expect some interesting ideas on the catwalk. In fact the audience is a runway show in itself promoting styles worth copying. One show in particular was highly anticipated. Tom Ford.
It’s been a while since Tom Ford showcased his collection in a full blown way like a proper catwalk on the runway. Gigi Hadid opened the show in a 90s inspired light pink mid length dress reminiscent of a glamorous cocoon. It sported sequinned long and skinny sleeves, wide padded shoulders and a wrap around silhouette. The show was followed by wide shouldered satin blazers in pastel pink, blue and white worn with leather joggers or relaxed shorts. Shirts and blouses were satin or sequin all in pale shades. Aerobic style swimsuits or leotards where seen popping out of loose trousers rouged at the waist or hips. There were some very short mini dresses or tops aspiring to be dresses so short only Karlie Kloss could get away wearing them in the real world. Never the less they were beautiful in its sparkling simplicity. The clothes looked comfortable and light allowing the body to move freely in them. The trousers, coats and blouses looked chic in a modern way even if inspired by the 90s period. The collection was aimed at the younger generation the one that missed Tom Ford’s revolutionary style in the 90s when he worked for Gucci. I can easily see Gigi or Kendall wearing his runway pieces on the streets of NY or LA. It was a well thought out move as Tom Ford’s previous collections were somewhat serious, sophisticated and a little suggestive with small paddle locks attached to stilettos . They were designed for a mature, strong women who knows her sex appeal and is not afraid to use it in all aspects of the word. The latest one is just as glamorous yet sweet, fresh and easy to wear for women of all ages day to night, if they can afford it.
The street smart, urban designer took literally to the streets to showcase his new SS summer collection which he named Wangfest. The show had three venues with the supermodels getting on and off the Wang bus strutting down NY streets ending up in Brooklyn for the last showcase. Public was allowed to see the show which was previously announced in the first two instalments with buyers and editors awaiting the Wangfest in Brooklyn at its final destination. It showed Wang’s initiative to reach out directly to his consumers specially the young once allowing them to take a peek at the actual runway show. Good marketing, yet logistical hustle.
The collection itself was strong, edgy and urban as usual with standard studded pieces. I especially loved the asymmetrical trousers one leg being denim another covered in studs. It looked both rock and roll and chic. There was a bit of layering , back to front, inside out, lingerie over jumpers, off the shoulder, multi shoulders or extra sleeves in unusual places. Cut off shorts were worn over leather leggings for a sexy, off duty kind of cool. He stayed true to his signature palate black, white, metallic, silver and grey. Kaia Gerber Cindy Crawfords daughter made a successful debut at New Yorks fashion week adding fresh innocence to the rock inspired collection. She was amongst other big names like Kendal Jenner and Bella Hadid.The collection is street smart and can be easily worn everyday for the cool, low key, big city girl, off duty kind of look.
It was a big departure for the Calvin Klein we remember with simple, clean lines, nude shades and lolita like sensuality. Raf Simon’s collection was inspired by American pop culture, pop art, horror movies, cheer leaders and prom queens. The designer himself complained that fashion is at a stand still in terms of pushing boundaries and experimenting. His collection was an attempt to move us, not please us. I am not sure that the retro cowboy inspired outfits were revolutionary or life changing,
He used satin like fabric for the bold coloured shirts and trousers sported by Kaia Gerber on her NY runway debut. She made the cowboy inspired outfit look divine. Androgynous looking models wore plastic transparent coats and jackets, others wore dresses and wide capes made of a parachute or army tent material. Some dresses and full skirts were inspired by the 50ties, some felt more contemporary. To me, the show had too many references to the American sub pop culture to become a fashion trend. The collection reminds me of vintage clothing you can find in second hand shops across America. It is a style, but I rather see mostly young people wearing the classic western shirt in a shiny polyester or satin fabric. The collection made me think of LA, maybe because that is where I have seen young actors, photographers, artists wear a lot of vintage clothing and maybe because of the film siren references.
The men’s collection deserves mentioning. Sharply tailored suits are the Belgian designer’s trademark. He has not disappointed us with his cuts and silhouettes. I particularly liked the clear plastic raincoats and a blazer with cardigan worn off the shoulders on top of it. It will be interesting to see where will Raf Simons will take Calvin Klein in the near future.
Like his college designers he also likes to make political statements through fashion. He did not miss an opportunity to address global warming issues which, ironically with hurricane Irma approaching, were very much on everyone’s mind. The show was colourful, featuring a strong sapphire blue, egg yoke yellow and plum pink. Models wore high waisted corsage shorts with gorgeous frilled blouses light as a fader. We saw his signature button around technique of creating a cut out on a desired part of the body by opening some buttons. This was seen on dresses and skirts optionally attached to the shirts.
Beautiful crochet heavy knit jumpers in a variety of colours worn just with underpants on the runway. They could easily become a must-have knit for the spring/summer season with its crochet transparent front cleavage and arms. There was no lack of asymmetrical, off the shoulder, cold shoulder dresses with various cutouts, a global trend we have seen now for a while. I particularly liked the emerald green/ sapphire blue chiffon floor length dress. Ideal for a summer cocktail party. Ashley Graham was one of the models looking beautiful adding a realness to the show, making us see that high fashion is for everyone who is willing to try. The Hadid sisters strutted down the runway wearing shimmering cut out dresses looking fresh and youthful. The show was light, uplifting, optimistic.
Oscar de la Renta
The duo Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim have really injected new life to the the house of Oscar the la Renta. When Sarah Jessica Parker wore a beautiful dress by the designer to the Met gala in 2014 with his signature featured on the back of the dress it sort of came as a shock. Oscar didn’t like it, but she insisted to have it to honour him. Some years later the new design duo decided to take inspiration from that and use the original signature left by the late designer and feature it in a funky way on top of sheer dresses and tops and even a white fur coat. Ironically it looks good, it makes it feel young and fresh and it is a homage to the house of de la Renta.
Models came down the runway wearing denim, yes that’s wright jeans with paint dripping on the sides. The backdrop of the show was a Sotheby’s auction house and the colour dotted shirts, shirt dresses looked very much like live art. The collection was young, fresh and light. A new beginning for a traditional design house who dressed the first ladies over the many years.
I guess the youth is the answer and hope for any positive change in this world which so many of the designers have emphasised and who can
blame them. We need them to pave a more compassionate way for us.