WHITES AND BRIGHTS
Summer whites are crisp, clean and timeless. Head to toe white is the new summer ‘tuxedo’ and is as dapper as ever. Luckily white pairs effortlessly with nearly every hue under the rainbow. Bold brights aligned next to somber whites are an endearing combination for the season and the perfect staple for warmer weather and late night sunsets.
Intricate detailing stands out best when executed on lighter colours since subtleties are more noticeable than when seen on darker shades. With mass appeal favouring white this season, it’s no surprise designers worked cutout detailing and layered transparencies of chiffon and lace onto the earnest canvas.
Form fitting racer cut silhouettes and racy cut out designs amplify the body conscious side of sport inspired garments and visions of bona fide Bond girls in neoprene suits easily slip to mind. To juxtapose the attention of the female form, also apparent are the slightly boxy, masculine traits of jerseys and power shoulders. Graphic elements such as racing stripes and bold colour blocking add sport fever to even the most basic silhouettes. By no means does this newfound comfort need to undermine great fashion sense. The evolution of technical fabrics such as nylon, mesh and Lycra has resulted in innovative fabric blends that offer durability and ease. Another notable resurrection was the beloved baseball cap!
Strength, power and femininity make up today’s modern warrior. Designers explored hints of warrior inspiration in varying forms. Alexander Wang’s futuristic cyber version not only brought new dimension to his silhouettes but the clothing literally lit up the runway. Garments were treated to be glow-in-the-dark, so when the lights went off at the end of the show, a catwalk of illuminated models beamed through the darkness. Paneled leather pieces held together by hand-sewn sutures were the technical backbone of Wang’s striking collection.
Kimberely Ovitz offered the softest interpretation, channeling a Grecian goddess with simplistic styling, natural make-up and pulled back up-dos. The featured arm cuffs stood out as the only accessory and amplified nods to the warrior theme. Amongst a sea of neutral and blue toned dresses and separates, the earthiness struck chords and it’s no surprise this California native has an eye for natural beauty.
Mugler’s bionic babe was suited out in patent leather that formed rigid shapes, adding relevant structure to most pieces. A dark sense of mystery common to Mugler shows lingered but this collection was hands down one of the most marketable in recent years. The Mugler collection was a collaborative effort by creative director Nicola Formichetti and designer Sébastien Peigné. With Nicola’s recent announcement to leave Mugler, it will be interesting to see who will set out to fill his large shoes. Formichetti mingles with some highly visible supporters such as good friend Lady Gaga. Their friendship has expanded into professional territory with him acting as her personal stylist and he was also responsible for the fashion direction of her Monster World Tour. Social communications are his strength and although he only spent two years at Mugler, he was successful in catapulting the company into the limelight and now he has been acquired by Diesel to motivate international appeal for them.
We can all relish in the easy flow of summertime living and there’s nothing like the gorgeously printed, light and flowing pieces that are available for summer. A natural seventies influence is easily identified, with importance on tiny embellishments, texture and prints. Mix matching of prints can be done with ease and grace, don’t be afraid to embrace the opportunity.
Names and classifications are powerful things. Retro Futurism may strike as broad terminology but remarkably few can convey this message. With successful hints to the past, designers are simultaneously able to label the future. Inventive new fabrics and altered silhouettes are grand contributions, but the strongest appeal stems from pure ingenuity.
Expected by the fashion world to unleash the unexpected, Miuccia Prada is a known trendsetter, often blazing rampant down her own path. With oriental references, dreams of an unknown geisha resonated down the runway. Origami folding and pleating were done in experimental varieties using interfaced satin. Brightly coloured flowers in repetitive pop art fashion carried an undeniable sense of fun. Elements and patterns reminiscent of the sixties barred strong undertones and in a world of Asian disciplines Miuccia surrendered yet another collection of original looks.
There’s always a story and specific time period running along side Marc Jacobs’ collections. He’s not afraid to completely submerse himself in a trend and explore every avenue from head to toe. Granted as one of the most celebrated talents, he can always find refreshing points of view at any challenge. His 60’s op art extravaganza at both Louis Vuitton and his own collection bore heavy historical references yet every piece was refurbished to fresh and of the moment desires.
Rodarte is synonymous with art and dreams. This season, sister duo Laura and Kate Mulleavy combined Victorian ideals alongside strong futuristic visions, exuding smattering of sci fi and steam punk delusions along the way. Strength and femininity work hand in hand. Shield like armour in colourful embossed doses nestled above long gowns of silk charmeuse. Elegant gowns dramatized by waist high slits paired ironically with futuristic footwear and refined punk hairdos. Sixties inspired fabric methods were used as adorned overlays, leather fringing full of eighties appeal stood out amongst diverse themes in a combination that appears pleasingly too cool for our time.
With modern advances and our society moving faster than ever, fashion needs to propagate and not hither in stagnant territory. using history as a backbone it’s essential for designers to predict the future of what women truly covet to wear. Thanks to an array of talent, catwalks are littered with imaginative answers, designers unapologetic for their visions of a quintessential utopia.
By: Janelle Gauthier NICHE Magazine Summer issue 2013