In the age of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and RSS readers, our news feeds are more flooded than ever, and the latest collections gave us even more to process. On the runways, models were transformed into walking billboards with clothes that were quite literally statement-making. Whether the message was political (see: Kenzo’s “No fish, no nothing” manifesto against overfishing) or just plain weird (Jeremy Scott’s “Earth Sucks” transmission), Spring is all about wearing your status update on your sleeve. In the streets, novelty T-shirts splashed with tongue-in-cheek phrases like “Sorry for Partying” or “Bite Me” also commanded attention.
The U.S. Open’s top-tier tennis matches are a chance for the fashion set to celebrate the last days of summer, as we prepare for the month-long marathon of runway shows ahead. Back in June at the Resort collections, we witnessed an uptick in kicky skirts and stretchy sheaths that would fit right in at the tournament. For our date courtside, we’d like to be wearing a deep green pleated leather mini from Alexander Wang or Viktor & Rolf’s flouncy thigh-grazer. As for the courts themselves, we could imagine trendsetting players like the Williams sisters, Ana Ivanovic, or Caroline Wozniacki (sadly, Maria Sharapova withdrew from the tournament last minute due to a shoulder injury) sporting Opening Ceremony’s sporty set or Preen’s fit-and-flare frock during a pre-match warm-up. Positively smashing.
In recent years, fashion designers, casting directors, and model agencies alike have been scrutinized for using underage models. But while the phenomenon is still troublingly widespread, so is a happier trend from the opposite end of the spectrum: the ongoing prominence of the comparatively mature model—which, in the fishbowl of fashion, means north of (gasp!) 29. But beauty, of course, doesn’t end with your twenties. Who can forget the buzz that Naomi Campbell—looking as good as ever at 43—stirred up when she opened and closed Atelier Versace back in July? Throughout the Couture shows were appearances by Yasmin Warsame and Alek Wek at Christian Dior, as well as 30-year-old Chinese super Du Juan closing at Giambattista Valli.
Veteran models fared well at the Fall ’13 shows, too. Carolyn Murphy turned up at Calvin Klein Collection, and Alexander Wang put Malgosia Béla in the lineups for both his namesake collection and his Balenciaga debut. Meanwhile, Tom Ford brought back Liya Kebede and Julia Stegner for his first major runway spectacle, and Miuccia Prada mixed cult favorites—including Kirsten Owen, Liisa Winkler, and Esther de Jong—in with the newcomers at her Fall show. Going into the Spring ’14 season, here’s hoping we’ll see more of these familiar faces return to the runways. At the top of our list is Christy Turlington, who currently stars in Fall ad campaigns for Prada, Calvin Klein, and Jason Wu. Christy, the catwalk is calling you back.
Ask any red-carpet vet or model who knows her way around a pose. Nothing gets the flashbulbs popping quite like peering over the shoulder of a dramatic open-back gown. Lately, designers have been translating that idea to daywear, adding interesting details to the reverse side of looks that are guaranteed to turn heads in the streets. Alexander Wang’s debut Balenciaga collection included a slinky split-back number paired with a sporty bandeau top underneath, and feminine knots adorned the rear views of LBDs in the Resort lineups from Nina Ricci and Burberry Prorsum. On Raf Simons’ Dior Couture catwalk, meanwhile, all eyes lingered on the unexpected, contrasting straps that delicately crisscrossed the models’ jackets as they slunk back down the runway. Talk about a grand exit.
August is the peak of summer, and we’re trying to make the best of it before New York fashion week kicks off in three-and-a-half weeks. That means spending as much time as possible by the water, whether it be a weekend trip to the shore, swimming in a friend’s pool, or even running through sprinklers in the park. Most often, though, we’re parked right here at our Style.com desks, which is why we’re particularly happy about the recent wave of water prints. Dion Lee showed reflective ripples on body-con dresses for Resort, and the Just Cavalli lineup featured an intarsia-knit pullover with a Hokusai-esque rip current. Mary Katrantzou, meanwhile, channeled her inner Bob Ross (The Joy of Painting legend), showing scenic landscape prints, including a river flowing underneath a bridge. Womenswear designers aren’t the only ones taking the plunge. Italo Zucchelli sent oceanic motifs down the Calvin Klein Collection runway, Miuccia Prada put a sinister spin on traditional tropical prints, and the hand-drawn waves that turned up at Kenzo, on button-downs and fold-over bags, will inevitably be popular in the streets.