It was a true spectacle at Chanel, complete with a protest and Karl Lagerfeld’s indication he’d rather spread the message on the streets than social media. Running on a campaign message of individuality and being the best you can be (yay!), he sent out groups of girls sporting different segments of the collection’s looks. He also went back to Chanel’s roots, giving tweed a psychedelic update with flowing colors.
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac joined the trend of looking back to project the future. In seeking inspiration for his spring line, he referenced the ’70s and the beginnings of his line, with Farrah Fawcett and Raymond Loewy headlining. Although the silhouettes and his signature colors looked more ’60s, the modern and futuristic effect of the clothes remained on point. Whimsical trompe l’oeil stitching adorned several of the pieces, providing a wearable and playful way to embrace the future.
So what if the stuff wasn’t exactly groundbreaking? These gowns are drop dead gorgeous! Women want to feel beautiful, and Valentin knows how to play up pretty. Aside from his fairytale gowns, Yudashkin took a lighter approach to several looks, giving us every day wearable looks with youth and vigor. Some even bordered on minimalism, like the mint green neoprene dress, which looked so easy to wear that it’s not easy to imagine a horde of tweens requesting it as a gift.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli drew on the themes of Grand Tour, an 18th-century tradition of cultural and geographic exploration of Italy by youth. The results were inspiring, poetic and artistic. Different locations of Italy’s historic past pulled together a solid collection. The show consisted of gentle draping from Rome, strips of pastels reminiscent of Naples streets and an ode to Italy’s beautiful coasts and bodies of water with seaside motifs.
Iris van Herpen
Iris is a master artisan when it comes to sculptural wearables. Her spring collection, titled “Magnetic Motion” unchained fashion into the realm of art, architecture and science. She stated, “motion always is a very important part of my work,” when describing her exploration of the collection’s theme, which included a visit to the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The statement brings to mind her designs for the NYC Ballet Fall Gala in the past, meeting the challenge of a dancer’s free-moving body head on. Iris is an innovator and an avant-garde force.
Japan emerged as a strong point of influence in Sarah Burton’s collection. Clear references to kimonos, brilliant interpretations of cherry blossoms and the discreet aura of Geisha-spirit served as innuendo for quiet and unexpected strength. Running with the theme, Burton enlisted the power of arresting tailoring and exaggerated cuts to unleash the drama. Concealment balanced out with overt sexuality, as seen in her willingness to introduce riqsue cuts with traditional style.
Paul & Joe
Sophie Mechaly, creative director of the line Paul & Joe, tapped into a ’70s understated streetwear vibe when giving her take on the era. Free spirited silhouettes came in mix-and-match prints breezy enough for a seaside escape. Suede, fringe and the obligatory crowned Paul & Joe animal of the season, the barn-owl, added the extra accents that pushed the collection to the next tier.
Jean Touitou cleverly presented Proust’s quote: “Fashion changes, being itself begotten of the desire for change.” Such a strong commitment to change is exactly why Touitou chooses to go against the grain, instead introducing closet essentials. The quiet and well-tailored silhouettes signal timelessness and breaking out of the confines of mere trends.
Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant delivered an aptly tailored and constructed line-up of 3D elements in simple silhouettes. Interlocking strips of fabric on dresses and skirt puffed up just slightly enough to arouse attention. A restrained discretion ruled, sure to please the minimalists with a taste for minute details.
Junichi Abe, the creative force behind Kolor, flaunted a sporty lineup in clever hue combinations. Hunter green and navy looked subtle but punchy alongside blue and orange combos. Silhouettes were loose and young.
Paul Kee’s color palette, monochrome brushstroke print and a fluctuating commitment to masculine-feminine balance were Huelle’s sustenance. The designer wasn’t afraid to play around with textures and fabrics, which at first glance seems overwhelming. Adroit tailoring and a hint of understatement makes the pieces very wearable however.
Serge Cajfinger gave clear reference to the mod ’60s in his final collection for Paule Ka. A-line dresses with chain inset details blocking off shapes, raffia strips swinging loosely, and a loose-flowing long gown silhouette all complemented each other with great ease. A simple silhouette of black, white and yellow added to the wearability and non-fussiness.
Punchy colors and short hemlines all wrapped around to serve at the pleasure of the younger customer. Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia kept an underwater scene in mind when designing his spring line. Coral-like accents and shimmering plissé skirts reminisced of sparkling seas.