Jonathan Anderson has finally come home at Loewe, delivering one of the best S/S 19 showings of Paris Fashion Week – celebrating all things anti-homogenised and a life lived in the slow lane.
It’s an influence that’s been preoccupying the designer for several seasons. And for S/S 19, he gave full vent to his favoured artisanal and handcrafted looks, which spell the new luxury in today’s over-complicated and fast-paced world.
Andersen’s silhouettes emphasised the mood with easy, elongated shapes built around a template of soft, unstructured layers – think relaxed tunics and shirts, soft pyjama pants, hip-hung wrapped skirts, and dresses with wafting, castellated hemlines. All creating a look of eclectically quiet luxury.
Contrasting textures brought a new dimension into play, with slinky satins sitting alongside butter-soft suedes and leathers, patchworked foulard silks and a flurry of feathers. Covetable, soft-touch brushed knits and blazer-striped linens were also added to the mix – all worked in an understated palette of black and white, manila-toned neutrals and unexpected pops of coral, pale pink, tangerine and jade.
And if the fabrics were luxurious and eclectic, Andersen’s rustic detailing brought them down to earth, with raw frayed edges and traditional smocking trims enhancing the artisanal, homespun feel.
Soft, slouched ankle boots added just the right downplayed look when teamed with ankle-skimming hemlines, while bags came as big totes or casual, cross-body shoppers in everything from luxe suede and leather, to raffia and crochet, to fringing and feathers.
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It was clothes pure and simple at Dries Van Noten’s S/S 19 showing. No throwback vintage references or angsty concepts; just perfectly curated pieces with precisely judged colour and a blend of luxe and technical fabrics – all equalling a collection designed for today’s woman.
Van Noten mixes colour with a painterly hand, and bright optic white threw vibrant yellow, emerald, cobalt and tangerine into sharp modernist relief. Add workaday navy, khaki and black, and the scene was set for a catwalk that flitted magically between tailored workwear and almost couture-ready dresses.
Fabrics were the lynchpin of the designer’s timeless vision – from techno nylons, beaded mesh, sheers and papery silks; to plasticised feathered effects moulded into clinging bodices and below-the-knee pencil skirts. The look was clean and uncomplicated, with effortlessly perfect pantsuits, billowing printed parkas, mid-calf skirts, utility boiler suits rolled down and tied round the waist, simple coats, and semi-sheer knits or sheer tees.
Print and pattern perfectly complemented the simplicity of the look – from smudgy, photoreal motifs and sprigged florals; to vivid painterly splashes, graphic checkerboards and diagonal stripes. All were mixed in a controlled, mismatched way on the bold, blank canvas of white, or a clean fresh bright.
Each piece made its own statement. See the sporty cagoule layered over a feathered skirt; the tailored blazer teamed with a rolled-down boiler suit and the addition of semi-precious trims, like the beaded fringed and feathered harnesses; or the spray of feathers clasping the shoulder of a simple shell top.
And to add to the functional mood, sporty drawstring trims or mountaineering cord belts – contrasted with the fantasy of a brilliantly coloured feathered bag, or must-have striped, peep-toed shoes.
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Anthony Vaccarello didn’t stray far from his signature rock-chic-meets-vintage aesthetic for Saint Laurent’s S/S 19 showing. The designer continued to evolve his thigh-high silhouettes and his penchant for an all-black palette – this season punctuated with rich darks, cobalt blue and a pop of gold.
The silhouettes may have looked familiar, but seemed more approachable this season, with pieces bound to inspire a flurry of high-street lookalikes. From the slickly tailored star-appliqued blazers, through to snakeskin or frayed denim micro shorts, or the chainmail dresses and sassy leopard prints, this was a collection firmly rooted in the vintage archive.
Western details were thrown into the mix with beaded yoke lace shirts and embellished Le Smoking tuxedo suits, alongside the cowboy-style buckled belts cinching high-waisted second-skin jeans or high-cut leather shorts.
And for those signature Saint Laurent rock chicks, boy-band velvet jackets, 70s-style satin blouses, lace camisoles and sequined playsuits. All make for a season-neutral collection with playful party appeal, while a swathe of chiffon goddess gowns gave us a more sophisticated take on the mood.
Riccardo Tisci’s much-anticipated debut collection for Burberry was the highlight of the penultimate day of London Fashion Week (LFW), and saw him sweep away any trace of its beloved ex-creative director, Christopher Bailey.
It might have been the week’s hottest ticket, but the usual excitement and romantic frisson of recent Burberry shows under Bailey’s leadership was missing. Maybe it was the rows of boxy leather armchairs and the backdrop of sliding screens which helped create a slick, no-nonsense atmosphere for a collection that was the sum of many parts – from coolly luxe and elegant, to street-inspired looks which carried the hard-edged signature of Tisci’s days at Givenchy.
An opening sequence of muted café-au-lait tones set the scene for beautifully tailored classics, with multiple variations on the trench, swingy knee-length pleat skirts or tapered pants, feminine blouses and ladylike knits. The looks ticked several of this week’s emerging trend boxes – from the flashes of eau de nil and vermillion, to spots and skin prints, while the iconic house check appeared as a ribbon tweed, or redefined as striped blouse weights.
That quietly refined sense of luxe dressing gave way to something altogether more hardcore and emblematic of Tisci’s signature goth-meets-punk take on badass girls. Here, the silhouette embraced bodycon and casual with a battery of zips and buckled straps, coupled with thigh-high hemlines and leather, slick PVC, pony skin, and a throwback ‘Who Killed Bambi’ logo. And while the opening passage was accessorised with low-key belt bags and grown-up ankle-strap shoes, the more youthful looks were teamed with chunky, childlike patent sandals.
The collection was designed to be all-inclusive, supposedly to draw every age group into the Burberry family. But with 134 looks, the message got slightly lost.
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A historic number of leading fashion publications have chosen black women to appear on the covers of their prestigious September issues, rejecting the notion that diversity hinders sales.
At least eight black women have appeared on the cover of several magazines’ influential September issues so far, marking the first time this many black women have received the honour in the same year.
The individual September covers feature a range of women, from superstars like Beyoncé and Rihanna, to lesser-known comedians, models and musicians like Tiffany Haddish, Issa Rae, Slick Woods and Zendaya.
Musician Rihanna has become the first black woman in British Vogue’s 102-year history to appear on the cover of one of its September issues, while at US Vogue, Beyoncé was given complete creative control over her cover issue. The singer selected 23-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell to shoot her cover story, making the New York native the first black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in the magazine’s 126-year history. Beyoncé also narrated an essay for the issue.
The widespread visibility of black women on this year’s September covers is both timely and necessary; ethically responsible and business-savvy. Not only should brands recognise their responsibility to embrace ethnic diversity across everything they do, they should also acknowledge the cultural influence and spending power of black women – who spend $54m on hair and beauty products in the US alone (Nielson, 2018).
This year’s September issues are a promising start for inclusion in the fashion industry, with US Vogue in particular embracing an inspiring framework that allows diverse groups of people to narrate and visualise their own identities.
Online fashion and beauty retailer Asos is extending its diversity agenda once more with a fashion-forward jumpsuit that’s suitable for wheelchair users, created in collaboration with British Paralympic athlete Chloe Ball-Hopkins.
The waterproof outfit costs £50 and has an adjustable hood, a zip around the waist to make it easier to get in and out of, cuffs that allow the sleeve length to be changed, and a pocket for medical supplies. It’s currently only available in one style – pink tie-dye – but Ball-Hopkins hinted that similar garments could soon be on the way. She also clarified that the jumpsuit can be worn by anyone, not just those with disabilities, highlighting the universality of the design.
The accessible suit is far from the retailer’s first encounter with progressiveness – Asos regularly houses exclusive plus-size collections, carries gender-neutral products, and promotes body positivity through inclusive brand marketing. With consumers increasingly demanding diversity across age, size, race and ability, the project is a good reminder that brands should aim for ultimate inclusivity; those that don’t will be left behind.
Consumer demand for sustainable goods and advanced technology is on the rise. Smart brands and retailers are finding innovative ways to satisfy these environmentally conscious yet stylistically discerning millennials. Here, we take a look at three future-facing fashion projects and innovations for July.
For more on sustainable solutions, see A Sustainable Journey, Fashion’s Sustainability Surge and Sustainability Turns Smart: Manufacturing a Clean Future.
As considerate consumption moves from consumer choice to consumer necessity, brands are shaping up. Game-changing sustainability initiatives seem to be launching almost every week, with big brands surprisingly leading from the front. Here, we take a look at June’s sustainability wins.
Leaving sustainability as an afterthought isn’t good enough. With an increasingly informed and compassionate consumer population, it’s imperative for niche and household brands alike to embrace the change.
The magazine, which is published by luxury fashion e-tailer Net-A-Porter, is dedicating its summer issue to the oceans. It will contain a 63-page “Ocean Portfolio” shot in the Maldives, featuring model and Parley ambassador Anja Rubik. Editorials and interviews will explore the critical issues around ocean plastic and explain how readers can take matters into their own hands.
The two-month campaign will see related content published on Porter.com and on social media under the hashtag #PlasticNotFantastic. Meanwhile, visitors to Net-A-Porter.com will be able to purchase items made from Parley’s own Ocean Plastic material, including an exclusive new eyewear range.
Crucially, the magazine is showing long-term commitment to the cause by pledging to become plastic-free by 2019. It’s already taking steps towards this by dispatching its issues in recyclable paper envelopes, as well as making in-house changes like a ban on disposable plastic in the office and on its photo shoots.
Porter is just one of a number of fashion industry players to collaborate with Parley, with Adidas, Stella McCartney and G-Star Raw all having previously partnered with the eco-warriors. For more, see Upcycling: Adidas x Parley.
For more on the fashion brands embracing sustainability, see Sustainable 360 from our New Fashion Landscape 2017 Update, and look out for A Sustainable Journey, publishing on June 13. To read about more sustainability-focused engagement strategies, see Retail: Reframing Sustainability and Creating Shared Value: Sustainability Marketing.
Alessandro Michele’s Resort 19 showing was a full-blown spectacular with over 100 exits, posing the question: Have pre-season shows become just another RTW opportunity rather than between-season collections?
Alessandro Michele’s idiosyncratic approach to design has true seasonless appeal. Among the many looks were padded puffer jackets, animal print leggings, silky kimonos, floral coats, capes and his signature take on the Chanel-style suit. All worked in iconic print mash-ups and a palette dominated by shades of pink and green teamed with the grounding force of black.
Expect the influence of those pattern mash-ups to hit the high street with full-blown rose motifs, scarf prints, suiting checks and all-over foulards. They worked alongside glittering sequins, plush velvet and crystal trims for anything-goes evening-meets-daywear looks.
Silhouettes veered towards ruffled and tiered maxi and midi lengths, although there were some thigh-high disco-ready mini dresses and one-shouldered goddess looks. Outerwear had an easy vintage appeal with soft, unstructured shapes along with casual puffer and parka styling.
The devil is always in the detail with Michele, who accessorised every look with a battery of overscaled jewelled crosses, crystal-trimmed toques, lace gloves, classic GG-patterned totes and embellished boxy bags.
Footwear came as elevated foot-stomping Goth shoes, double-strapped Velcro sandals, ladylike Mary Janes and buttoned Edwardiana boots, all teamed with vividly coloured lace hosiery.
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Nicolas Ghesquière upped the ante with his Resort 19 show for Louis Vuitton, full of oddball reference points and eclectic styling.
This show, held in the South of France, was a collection of individual pieces, determinedly mismatched to create an eccentric thrown-together look with its roots in the street and vintage-inspired dressing. That vintage was the 80s, an era Ghesquière is often keen to plunder and one with inspiration for the fast fashion and junior markets.
Exaggerated shoulderlines and sleeve detailing dominated the silhouette, with armadillo-style flanges, oversized padding and slashed-open seam details, all oddly teamed with pie-crust ruffles, over-long fluted cuffs, short skater dress proportions and mini wrap and drape skirts.
Contrast trims, peplums, batwing sleeves and wrap and drape tops compounded the 80s theme, along with bum-freezer tuxedos, jacquarded sweaters, cropped bolero jackets and even jodhpurs. For after 6pm there was a change of tack as Ghesquière visited the boudoir with his beaded satin slips and flirty cami-shorts topped with feathered capelets.
There was a play on pattern, too, with mismatched spots and stripes, patchworked florals and an anything-goes medley of treebark plisse, beaded charmeuse and acid-wash denim, leather and feathers, Prince of Wales suiting, LV Damier checks and masculine stripes, all worked in a palette of warm neutrals or black and white, punctuated with lilac, mint, mango and a splash of red.
And if the styling was eccentrically OTT, then watch for the accessorisation of welder eyewear, webbing and leather tie-belts, swinging chain jewellery and fashion’s ubiquitous over-the-knee stocking boots, here on a chunky trainer-style outsole. Not forgetting the collaboration with styling supremo Grace Coddington with her kitsch cat- and dog-shaped bags.
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US department store Nordstrom is upping its size-inclusive strategies – recognising the $22bn spending power of the plus-size market, as well as the need for inclusivity across the board.
US denim brand Good American (co-founded by Khloé Kardashian) acted as the catalyst for the department store. The size-inclusive brand demanded that the retailer picked up every size from US 00-24 (UK 2-28) in order to sell its collections.
Nordstrom’s initiative will focus on size and shape diversity across all of its media, mannequins, marketing and signage, which brands with a limited size range will be excluded from. It’s also adding a size-equalising function to its website in a bid to eliminate vanity sizing. This means that customers who search for a size will be shown what closely resembles that measurement from other brands – even if that size is labelled as something else.
Recognising the need for a size-inclusive and fashion-forward product offering, Nordstrom has started asking brands to increase their sizing ranges. Topshop, Rag & Bone and Madewell have extended their denim sizes in line with the retailer’s request, while athletic brands like Nike, Beyond Yoga and Adidas have added XXL to their product offerings.
With brick-and-mortar stores being Nordstrom’s key draw, the strategy is a shrewd move. As size-diverse customers are often excluded from the in-store experience, stores would do well to lead from the front – tackling limited-size brands to ensure every customer is catered for.
A highly wearable collection of tightly edited silhouettes, a marine-inspired palette and more than a touch of 70s inspiration created a strong commercial template for Pierpaolo Piccioli’s 2019 Resort showing for Valentino.
The designer tapped into the zeitgeist for all things 70s-themed, with his crisp fit-and-flare silhouettes, giant eyewear and scarf-wrapped heads conjuring up images of Antonio Lopez’s iconic illustrations of the era. Boxy Rockstud shoulder bags and tasselled, block-heeled loafers provided the perfect accoutrements to the gamine girl-about-town looks.
A strongly defined palette of red, white and navy was used in clean colour-blocked mixes or as graphic archival prints. These add a new dimension to the ongoing trend for luxury branding – here reworked as all-over scrolling Nouveau-esque patterns, sharp ‘V’ motifs, graphic scale-mixed typographical slogans and beaded trims. For a softer, more feminine look, think sprays of springtime mimosa and delicate poppies or mixed herbaceous all-overs and hibiscus florals on pretty tinted grounds of lemon, pistachio, lilac and sky blue.
Strong linear silhouettes featured crisp pleated skirts and waisted A-line shirt dresses, gold buttoned blazers, classic trench coats and logo-driven V-neck knits, complemented by 70s-style denim flares and micro miniskirts – all accented with topstitching or contrast collar detailing. The house’s signature tiers and ruffles came into play too, with flared floral midi-dresses and chocolate-box broderie maxis, while sequins and floral appliqués added to the more decorative appeal.
It’s not just those colour-blocked tasselled loafers that will have impact on the high street next season. Watch for beaded or sequined western-style shooties hitting the sweet spot, along with printed head wraps and giant hoop earrings.
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Building on the success of her diversity-championing beauty range, Rihanna is launching a body-inclusive lingerie line dubbed Savage x Fenty. Ahead of the May 11 launch, the pop star has taken to social media to tease fans with campaign images and trailers that hint at the line’s focus on body positivity.
Starring plus-size models Audrey Ritchie, Lulu Bonfils and Stella Duval, the images are accompanied by affirmative captions like “Savages come in all shapes and sizes” and “X stands for all”. One video features Ritchie looking confidently at the camera while her voiceover talks positively about her stretchmarks, rolls and cellulite.
The brand’s site indicates that bra sizes will range from 32A to 44DDD, while underwear will be available in sizes XS to 3X.
Rihanna has already proven herself in the inclusivity space, with her cosmetics venture Fenty Beauty receiving a hugely positive reception when it launched in September 2017. Make-up fans and industry insiders alike praised its delivery of high-quality cosmetics for a wide range of skin tones, including foundation in 40 shades. See our blog post for more.
Taking into account her other non-musical endeavours, including her popular Fenty x Puma clothing line, Rihanna has established herself as a strong player across a number of industries. Her success is likely due in part to the amplifying effect of entering a lucrative space where entertainment, product and celebrity intersect.
New York was the location for Miuccia Prada’s latest Resort show, with the buzz of the city that never sleeps mirrored in the collection’s cacophony of noisy print and jarring colour – reading like a fast-paced back catalogue of tried-and-trusted house favourites.
However, those iconic prints and signature off-key colours took on a new youthful vibe when combined with 90s minimalist silhouettes, hip-slung flares and thigh-high minis. Add in sporty zippered polo shirts, colour-blocked tees, giant trapper hats and chunky block-heeled loafers and Prada’s reach suddenly moves out of the luxury sector and into the millennial mainstream.
The mood for layering added to the youthful feel, with jazzy printed polo knits blended with ruffled tank tops and self-belted hipster minis – all worked in a discordant palette of jade, emerald, primrose, cobalt, coral, tan and camel. Lean single-breasted coats and ankle-skimming sheer skirts or slip dresses may have had a timeless appeal, but it’s the retro geo-patterned hip-hanging pants, primary bright ruffle-hemmed wrap minis and frilled colour-blocked polo shirts we’ll see on the high street any day soon.
Fabric choices had a down-to-earth appeal, too, with spongy leathers, sports jersey, granular summer tweeds and opaque sheers all offering a tangible season-neutral stamp. Shimmering metallic brocades or cloques were worked in neat-fit jacket and micro skirt or flared pant combinations.
And those thigh-high gamine miniskirts put renewed emphasis on legs, with paillette-strewn hosiery and printed tights making a statement, offset with logo-stamped loafers or zingy colour-blocked patent sandals. Watch for the influence of those chunky plastic chain necklaces and oversized trapper hats, both replacing bags as the accessories du jour this season.
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