A ’90s nostalgia swirled in the atmosphere of the Vetements show. Sleeves and pant legs dragged behind with their exaggerated length, while sweatshirts and just slightly too big motorcycle jackets gave a laid-back nod to the grunge era. Clear menswear influences emerged in the re-worked button-ups and oversized suit jackets. The direction held steady for a casual, deconstructed vibe that is so true to the DIY-ers with a penchant for lazy looks.
Mouret had a practical and desirable woman in mind for his Spring 2015 collection. With his new Madison Ave store opening up soon, the collection had a Manhattanite ease aimed at a woman whose days consist of power walking. Pretty hibiscus cut-outs and embellishments adorned a summery palette of pinks, lilacs, blues and ivories. To keep the looks from melting into a sugar-rush, Mouret enlisted a womanly hourglass silhouette as his shape of choice.
Tokyo motorcycle drag-racers pop to mind in evaluating Guillaume Henry’s Spring 2015 collection. Sleek ’60s silhouettes “carrying the bag like a helmet” lent to the fantasy. A-line dresses, body hugging racing shorts and loose mod coats came in reds, whites and blacks reminiscent of speeding tracks. Serene Japanese country-side prints in a cartoonish style, a bathhouse scene and snakeskin decorated a slew of later looks, lending a playful tone.
Athletic experimentation reigned for Julien Dossena, the creative force behind Paco Rabanne. We’ve been seeing many interpretations on the sports spirit this season. Dossena, in a brave manner, chose to leave the landlocked sports behind in favor of sea-worthy adventures. Swim-suit dresses, in true beach spirit exposing more than a few flashes of skin, received a laudable pairing with flowing skirt insets. Black metal mesh pieces shimmered with fluid precision as the loose silhouettes swayed with the walk. The looks toward the end of the lineup were a bit too over-wrought with metal accents and disordered details. But that’s a small matter in an overall outstanding collection.
Manish Arora had no interest in dabbling when it comes to a fantastical, heavenly, nirvana-style inspiration. He tackled the subject of hypnotic, ethereal musings with soft airbrushed shade of pink and mint green, embellishments, and frosted 3D roses. Sporty silhouettes in loose shapes paired perfectly with holographic platform boots, while intricate crystal designs shaped up collars, hemlines and hoods. While this is not a collection for everyone, the controlled silhouettes make the pieces more wearable.
Olivier Rousteing’s collection isn’t for just any wealthy and stylish wallflower. The sturdy looks seethed with sensuality and confidence, divulging skin and accentuating curves. The collection indicated super-star divas and powerful, self-assured arm-candy. Rousteing wasn’t afraid to reference the past with many of the looks. Structured shoulders and Givenchy-esque cutaway jackets signaled at timelessness while the primary grid-lock motif highlighted modernity.
It wouldn’t be Ann without a dark alternative edge, and that’s what Sébastian Meunier, Mirjam van den Akker and Patrick van Ommeslaeghe attempted to elicit with their line-up of rock chic apparel. While languid silhouettes and sheer dark layers captured a gloomy mood, the drama Ann herself created was missing from the line-up, leaving a lovely and somber collection in lieu of profound, powerful tragedy.
Sharon Wauchob was an utter romantic this season. The prettiest lingerie-like slips pieces came layered with delicate lace layers. Soft A-line coats reminiscent of the ’60s bore swaying fringe on its collar. And delicate silks draped loosely around bodies in a ’20s inspired fashion. A monochrome palette staved off visions of naivete, instead producing an artistic young woman with an independent spirit.
Peter Copping knows his brand well. Feminine body-skimming silhouettes could have easily found a place on the set of ‘Casablanca’, although the black-and-white film wouldn’t do the stunning color scheme justice. Double faced fabrics provided exciting flash, while warm tones received a jolt from a pairing with an occasional cool color. The show, entitled “Make Do and Mend”, brought us back to the post-WWII era, complete with Madame Ricci and her son Robert’s penchant for making do by utilizing whatever material was available. Leather shoe strap belts and contrasting fabric trims brought the idea of resourcefulness to the forefront. To cap off the ensembles, Copping unleashed a romantic flurry of eveningwear with embellished lace and long chiffon layers.
In this fusion of sporty romanticism, Barbara Bui enlisted the help of metallic foil, bursts of orange, and Indian mirror embroidery. Clever cutouts and loose draping assisted the relaxed silhouettes. The juxtaposition between urban streetwear and tranquility of monk garb resounded a feeling of joy and happiness rather than a clash of worlds.
Rick Owens tackled ethereal beings with his silky translucent layers and loose shapes. Unsettling resemblance to extraterrestrials aside, Ballet Russe served as inspiration for the layers of thin tulle worked into rigidity and structure. Although a monochrome devotee, Owens announced a soft color palette of muted baby pinks and blues. He capped off the show with a number of architectural tubes jutting out of dresses, suggesting organic movement and fluidity of life.
Zadig & Voltaire
The definition of cool sportswear is getting redefined at Zadig & Voltaire. Unraveling crop tops and loose knit pants evoke refined grunge, while loose leather and crop-top paired tuxedos receive an update to up the youth appeal.
Alber Elbaz came to a very enlightening conclusion while designing Lanvin’s 125th anniversary collection. He observed women in the streets for inspiration only to realize that the average woman doesn’t care nearly as much for frou frou fashion as the average designer. Elbaz decided to rise above average to target the day-to-day immersed woman. The emphasis veered away from clothes and focused in on the woman wearing the clothes. Simple jersey dresses kept a languid silhouette and minimal decoration. Halfway through, Elbaz took a turn into artistic expression and ornamental attire. Lace, pearls, colorful prints all simmered together. While the beginning celebrated the woman, toward the end, the woman celebrated the clothes in perfect harmony.
Wijnants expects many April showers next season. Raincoats, rain hats, windbreakers and plenty of latex recurred through the lineup. “The Wild Child” served as inspiration for his collection. Tending to the line between the wild and civilization, he enlisted a play of opposites to deliver a message: contrasting textures, unexpected touches like the crochet gloves, and the pairing of contrasting feelings.