Oversize, architectural shapes have earned quite a bit of attention in recent seasons, but at times it can seem as though designers are trying to mask or resist the female figure rather than embrace it. And so, it was refreshing to witness a return to sensuality on the Fall runways in the form of curve-enhancing, corset-inspired details. Raf Simons led the charge at Dior, sending out tailored sheaths featuring decorative lacing—apparently a nod to the laces of trainers—that traced along the torso and hips. Tough grommets whipstitched in leather turned up on the Balenciaga, Emilio Pucci, and Hood by Air runways, while Dolce & Gabbana took the trend in a more overtly sexy direction with fluttery chiffon dresses boasting built-in bustiers. Its tightly cinched numbers might require a fainting couch. Similarly, there was a slight fetishistic undercurrent about the tall lace-up boots that accessorized key looks at Antonio Berardi and Versace.
Looking to make a high-fashion impact on a shoestring budget? The recent runways stand as proof that all you need to tap into the momentary zeitgeist is a little creativity, not a maxed-out credit card. Take, for example, the pretty young thing caught posing with a McDonald’s cup during Sydney fashion week like it was a piece from Jeremy Scott’s fast-food-inspired collection for Moschino. Meanwhile, Chanel’s supermarket sweep of a Fall show convinced us that even grocery carts can be glamorous (especially if they’re being pushed by Rihanna, Cara Delevingne, and Joan Smalls). Ditto goes for Anya Hindmarch’s luxe “Have a Nice Day” bags modeled after those handed out at convenience stores. Other cheap styling tricks we’re eager to try out soon include pinning a violet to our furs à la Fendi and securing our ponytails with dollar-bin scrunchies like Dree Hemingway did in Trager Delaney’s latest lookbook.
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.