I hate the word and the concept of ‘trends’. It’s mostly a way for editors to make a fabricated story about the current state of fashion and to see fashion as something utterly logical: feminism is ‘in’, and racial diversity too, just as dad sneakers and logomania. But there are definitely visual resemblances and similar concepts to detect from one designer to another, with the same prints, the same cuts, the same inspirational ‘moods’ (#metoo, the current political climate,…) to name a few. This fashion month as well there were certain ‘trends’ to spot – and it wasn’t even difficult to see them.
I thought previous season had already enough checks to begin with. But clearly designers love to use the fabric (mostly tartan and plaid print) in various colours and silhouettes.
For his last show for Burberry, Christopher Bailey obviously integrated checks into the collection. Not a bold move at all, as Burberry’s heritage is for a big part based on the camel coloured print.
The fierceness of Donatella’s show for Versace was for a huge part due to the juxtaposition of coloured checks in bright yellow, purple, blue, red and green.
Even at Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri opted for checks to accentuate the youthful spirit of her collection (inspiration here was the youth revolution of Parisian students and the uproar it caused at the Latin Quarter in 1968). Not as short as the Versace miniskirts and dresses, Chiuri’s version didn’t or barely show the knees and had a more classic touch – or, to put it differently, was more French and less Italian.
Just as checks, leopard is ‘hot’ and has been for several seasons. You can’t blame the designers: a leopard print is never outdated (think about the late Azzedine Alaïa and his empowering use of leopard printed fabrics for his iconic bodycon dresses).
No one who uses leopard in the most glamourous way as Tom Ford. Ford had a particular good season this time, with all-over-the top chicness for both women and men. Leopard as a fabric has the ability to stand out and make an outfit instantly more interesting to look at. In Ford’s womenswear show there were shiny, glittery leopard outfits in eye-catching green, yellow, red and purple, and some even combined with snake prints.
The combination of different leopard prints and ditto colour tones gave a quite interesting result at Max Mara. Styling wise, there were a lot of layers: a skirt got combined over a pants, with a sweater and a coat on top.
Haider Ackermann is a master of colouring and even a well-known print as leopard gets an outstanding and unexpected treatment with the designer. A very sensual result that never gets in the way of the outfit itself, not the in-the-face-treatment as Tom Ford much likes.
Already detectable previous season (the Dries Van Noten spring 2018 show comes to mind), scarves are used not as an accessory but fully integrated as a part of the garment itself.
Upcoming talent Marine Serre‘s sophomore collection integrated scarves with a sustainable purpose in mind: they were the result of upcycling, a technique in which already existing fabrics are re-used into new garments. Especially the bags in the form of boxing balls were interesting – the use of silk made them more approachable, soft and less frightening.
Richard Quinn is becoming a household name in the London fashion scene, the presence of her Majesty the Queen of England as a front rower in his show a case in point. Scarves to fully dress the body, and even the face, came out fresh and arty.
Models are not merely living mannequin dolls who have to opt for the sois-belle-et-tais-toi-treatment. They have a voice too, and it is the designer’s duty to give it to them.
Donatella Versace makes women powerful, mostly when they stroll down the catwalk in pairs or in groups of three.
In Sonia Rykiel’s latest show the models got their smile and nonchalance back, just as in the days of the founder of the brand herself.
Dior’s aforementioned show paid tribute to the courage of young women in the sixties and Prada finally gave the opening look of a show to a black woman again (female empowerment cannot be a privilege of white women only).
If we have to name one ‘trend’ worthy of the name, than this is the one. Outerwear as a protection (used as a sort of metaphor: protection against the current uncertain political and socio-economic climate) was all over the runway, from the fire proof jackets of Calvin Klein to the layers and layers of clothes at Balenciaga. Marine Serre and Richard Quinn both covered up some faces of models with the exuberance of silk and John Galliano mastered again the deconstruction and reconstruction of pieces of garments with the most strong yet delicate clothing at Maison Margiela.
All pictures © Vogue.com