In our new Throwback Thursdays video, Tim Blanks remembers Helmut Lang’s Spring 2005 show, a collection that wound up being the Austrian designer’s last for the label he founded. In the clip, Blanks calls Lang “the master of minimalism—possibly the most influential designer of his time, because what he did was such a clear reaction to what had come before. He changed the way clothes looked. He changed the way shows and models looked.” Now, nearly 10 years later, Lang remains a touchstone for a new generation of designers, who look to develop and interpret his ideas in the same way that a previous generation looked to the work of Yves Saint Laurent.
Watch the Throwback Thursday video with Tim Blanks here.
Something old, something new, something Bali, something blue. That was our takeaway from the Spring ’15 bridal collections presented in New York over the last few days. Despite the influx of new labels and big retailers (such as J.Crew and Anthropologie) entering the market in recent years, most women still want a traditional look for their big day, and so there was no shortage of white lace, tulle, beading, and couture-like embellishment on the runways. What has changed is the broader scope of nuptial ceremonies that designers are addressing.
“There are so many different kinds of weddings and so many different types of brides now,” said Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman backstage before her show. “You’ve got classic church weddings, town hall weddings, and destination weddings, but ultimately, the dress should still be beautiful. It should be romantic. It should be ethereal. It should make a bride feel like a princess or a queen for the day.” And so, Marchesa sent out a modern selection of cocktail and tea-length styles in addition to its more familiar confections. Oscar de la Renta also addressed the changing nature of weddings by featuring relatively casual looks, including a cotton eyelet bikini and matching pareo (accessorized with a floral head wreath and lei) that would be ideal for saying “I do” on a beach.
Vera Wang, meanwhile, went unconventional in a different way, debuting her new collection via a short film. No need to be a store buyer or a magazine editor to score a front-row seat. “The opportunity to create a visual and expressive experience of the clothes, as interpreted by my fashion vision, is a whole new way for me to communicate with not only brides, but women everywhere,” Wang said in a statement.
“I am a freak of leopard,” Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele declared in the premiere episode of her hilariously addictive new Web series, J’Adore. Judging by the Fall ’14 collections, CCD isn’t the only one feeling for the fierce print these days. At Gucci, Frida Giannini put a mod sixties spin on the jungle motif, while Chloé’s Clare Waight Keller went craftsy with hers. We also saw spots at Saint Laurent and Tom Ford. But Riccardo Tisci was the man behind our favorite leopard moment of the season. His spotted looks for Givenchy were particularly carnal. In fact, we featured his plush fur coat on a cover of the new issue of Style.com/Print.
Vests. Who needs them? On men, they can look old-fashioned and stuffy. On hipster girls, who tend to wear them with vintage T-shirts and fedoras, they’ve always struck us as a studied affectation. But this season, designers have us rethinking our stance. Newly relevant with tweaked proportions, fall’s elongated vests are more like sleeveless coats to wear layered over sweaters when it’s cold, and then bare-armed long into spring. Dior’s Raf Simons showed a vibrant, ultraviolet style that energized the Dior runway, and we also spotted long vests at Céline, Givenchy, and Victoria Beckham, where they functioned as unexpected, casual alternatives to standard tuxedo jackets and blazers. One thing’s for sure: We won’t be skimping on our chaturanga push-ups in yoga class.
The long and bitter winter we’ve endured has brought out the inner survivalist in we editors at Style.com. And based on the influx of updated utilitarian gear we noticed on the Fall ’14 runways, the extreme conditions got designers thinking more practically, too. Alexander Wang made references to hunting, mountain climbing, and other outdoor sports with his new collection, which featured functional pockets of all sorts. His Brooklyn Navy Yard show was a parade of cargo pants, suede workwear jackets, canteen bags, and efficient shifts featuring individual compartments for Moleskine notebooks, smartphones, lipsticks, and lighters—everything his downtown customer needs to pound the pavement in style. Olivier Rousteing, meanwhile, transported us to a different kind of jungle (one stalked by Amazonian supermodels, no less) with his glam safari-inspired wares at Balmain. Surplus details also turned up at Rag & Bone, Isabel Marant, Acne Studios, and 3.1 Phillip Lim. Elsewhere, Tommy Hilfiger put his own all-American spin on the industrial trend by whipping up a series of raw denim pieces and “Marlboro Man” coats that suggested, as he told Style.com, the “real heartland America.”
These fashion-forward riffs on blue-collar uniforms will appeal to girls who’ve been rocking Carhartt jackets lately. At the very least, the spacious pockets will give us reason to forgo a purse. We’ll be ready to drop everything and run when the zombie apocalypse (or the next Polar Vortex) strikes.