Maison Margiela SPRING 2020 READY-TO-WEAR

Maison Margiela

Lest we forget, John Galliano is a British man living in France. Among all the noise and polarized positions generated by Brexit, one of the slogans frequently voiced by the right is that British independence is “what we fought for in the war”—a trigger phrase which totally ignores the fact that the fight was against the forces of fascism in Europe. His Spring collection was a timely salute to the ordinary young men and women—the nurses and airmen, the army and navy boys—who stepped up to win the victory against Nazism in alliance with the French Resistance in occupied France.

The march of the Margiela liberation army is all about what’s going on today, of course.

“Reverence for the lessons of history and what they taught us,” read a thought line in his press release. “Stories of hope, heroines, and liberation are forgotten as history draws ever closer to repetition.”

Call to witness his first volunteer, a nurse in a navy serge cape, white hospital sleeves, and a gray serge pencil skirt. Second, a girl in a black dress with a veiled hat trimmed with a feather, somewhere out of the ’30s or ‘40s—maybe one of those chic-against-the-odds Frenchwomen of the Resistance who went about their undercover work carrying secrets and explosives in their sensible handbags.

Later on, when a couple of girls came out with poufs of fabric floating behind them, you had to wonder: Were those partial evening dresses or vestiges of the parachutes used by that secret army of female agents who dropped behind enemy lines? Where there was jewelry, it was in the form of decorations, medals, pins, and military stripes.

The fact that Galliano turned to exploring uniform—the ultimate built-to-last clothing—chimed with fashion’s current drive to put forward clothes with substance and value. In recent seasons, his consciousness of the digital world, social media, and what the Gen Z interns bring to his studio has sent him into explorations of creative chaos. This still wasn’t a collection of literal costume narrative—there were layerings of coats with holes—but the feverish fragmentary collaging and back-to-front and upside downness of recent shows were largely gone, replaced by a sense that this is a time for shaping up and showing what you stand for—skills and beliefs included.

What he showed is that he’s a tailor who cuts it with the best, be that in a man’s civvy-street double-breasted pinstriped jacket, or a subverted airman’s uniform, the jacket cropped to the midriff over way-up-high pleated trousers.

Somewhere in the mix too, there was a pure white mackintosh, made-in-Britain trad as its most timelessly classic. There is plenty to be proud of in heritage, he seemed to be saying, but that includes the right to freedom of self-expression, inclusive of defending the LGBTQ+ rights that have been enshrined in law—only very recently—since Europe has been united. It was exuberant; it was fun; it was a celebration of male eroticism—a platform for everyone’s right to camp it up in vertiginous platform knee boots. Somewhere in there too was the hope that all that progress won’t have to be fought over again.

Source: VogueRunway

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No. 21 SPRING 2020 READY-TO-WEAR

No. 21 SPRING 2020 READY-TO-WEAR

If invitations give some hints to a collection’s mood, the one sent by Alessandro Dell’Acqua for his No. 21 Spring show left room for interpretation. A pair of men’s briefs in see-through nude net tulle arrived encased in a clear PVC envelope. Slightly puzzled by the message, I asked the designer backstage to expand on the subject. “It’s just a provocation,” he said. “But it can come across as a not-too politically correct statement. The briefs are masculine but can also be worn by a woman. So what? There’s too much bigotry and moralism around these days. There’s zero tolerance for too many things. I think it’s time to say basta!”

Dell’Acqua rounded the message by referencing the famous collection du scandale, designed by Yves Saint Laurent in 1971—at the time it made waves with its overt erotic tones, while launching the couturier into the fashion stratosphere. “It’s one of my favorite collections of all time,” said Dell’Acqua. Its spirit of sophisticated transgression appealed to the designer, resonating with his penchant for insouciant eroticism.

The coed Spring collection, a first for Dell’Acqua, had un undone, provocative feel, with a certain disheveled polish thrown in for good measure. Flowing dresses in microfloral-printed, washed, sweet-hued chiffon—primrose, candy pink, pea green—looked deceptively demure, but their billowy sleeves were slit to reveal the arms with apparent nonchalance. Pleated skirts were buttoned-unbuttoned askew on one side, exposing the legs. Floral shirtdresses were worn as if they were one-shouldered; diagonal slits on bodices revealed a lingerie top underneath. Even tailored blazers got their dose of unraveling, with sleeves mercilessly cut open. The look felt pretty sensual, confident, and alluringly elegant, without crossing the line into being too obviously, boringly seductive.

Lately Dell’Acqua has introduced an atelier-like feel in his No. 21 collections, working on more substantial volumes with rich, luxurious fabrics like cady, gazar, silk cloqué, and duchesse, yet he has kept the attitude modern, feminine, and unfussy. Here he continued the play on short balloon shapes and abbreviated hourglass silhouettes embroidered with crystal ribbons, nicely contrasting the fluidity of drapings and asymmetries or the playful strictness of tailoring. It made for a convincing exercise in style dynamics.

Menswear was infused with a feminine, nonconformist vibe; suits were cut sharp but softened by micro-floral allover prints and worn with baggy, slouchy Bermudas or overstretched, open-cut-sleeve knits. As for the invitation briefs, they’ve apparently proved a success. “They’re in great demand! People are asking for them,” said Dell’Acqua. “I’ll probably have to start a production.”

Source: VogueRunway

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Assembly New York SPRING 2020 READY-TO WEAR

Making the old feel new again is Greg Armas’s specialty; since he founded Assembly New York, his eye for vintage has largely informed his designs for men and women. Spring 2020 found him thinking about early rave culture, which thrived on reworking 9-to-5 style for after-hours with wild accessories. He interpreted the concept quite literally by mixing his signature suits and shirting with chunky boots and shield sunglasses. There was a new, graphic energy in the zebra stripes and tie-dyed jeans, too, but if you took everything apart, each piece was still inherently wearable. That’s another Armas specialty: clothes that are easy to wear in “real life,” but still feel interesting.

On that note, an oversize, single-sleeved white button-down would pair just as well over a tank and trousers (as shown here) as with jeans. Less intuitive was the abstract bandeau-and-skirt set, but Assembly customers who enjoy layering will get a kick out of Armas’s suggestion to layer a clashing blouse underneath. The designer said he felt he took the biggest risk with color: “I like to challenge myself every season,” he explained. “Aqua and lavender are tones that I’ve never really played with.”

On the men’s side, Armas pointed out a classic blazer embroidered with real keys, a nod to “latchkey kids” who wore house keys around their necks when their parents worked late. He even included one of his own keys, which opens a longtime friend’s house in Los Angeles. “If you were a kid, you may have only had one, but if you’re a bit older, you might have five or six different keys, which are all represented on this special tuxedo jacket,” he said. The concept was mirrored on a pair of jeans as well. Those keys weren’t the central story of Spring, but they added a nice personal touch.

Armas’s love of vintage extends beyond those retro concepts and silhouettes: This season, he reported that 90 percent of the fabrics were upcycled or repurposed. It’s a New Age trend rooted in the past, and it’s gaining popularity this season as fashion attempts to address its massive impact on the environment.

Source: VogueRunway

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Tom Ford NYFW SPRING 2020 READY-TO-WEAR

How many times have you heard that the streets of New York are a runway? Well, the same is true of the subway, only maybe more so. There’s glamour and grit down there, same as above ground, but down below there’s a captive audience.

Tom Ford is the new chairman of the CFDA, and after starting in June his first move was to shorten New York Fashion Week. Simultaneous with the consolidation, designers have been producing more experiential events. We’ve seen bands, modern dancers, and a 75-person choir this week, but only Ford arranged for a private viewing of a disused platform of the Bowery stop on the J/Z line lit an electric pink for the occasion. Many of his 180 guests were surely subway first-timers, but the regular commuters got a big kick out of it too.

What is Mr. Slick doing in the subway? Ford’s notes made mention of the famous shot of Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick emerging out of a manhole cover. The subway also jibes with his new-since-last-season interest in simplicity. “I think that it’s a time for ease,” he wrote, “and in that way a return to the kind of luxurious sportswear that America has become known for all over the world.”

Enter look one: a jersey scoop-neck tee with the short sleeves rolled up to the shoulders and a duchesse satin skirt so white it was beaming. Not exactly subway-safe, it was low-key fabulous and synthesized the compelling high-low essence of the collection. Or consider another example: satin blazers cut characteristically strong and worn with elastic-waist nylon basketball shorts. “These torture me,” Ford wrote of the shorts, pointing out that he doesn’t let his son Jack wear them, even though his classmates do. “I’m always fascinated by things that ‘torture me.’” Ford didn’t play it completely contrary, though. The molded plastic tops were a luscious homage to Yves Saint Laurent’s Lalanne breastplates via Issey Miyake. And Ford’s tailored men’s jackets were typically loud and louche.

Connecting with one of the key messages of the season so far—let’s call it the nearly naked trend, for now—Ford threw a dress coat over a leather bra, cut a jumpsuit so it fell open to expose a strappy bikini top, and sent out a pair of slinky maillots. Of course, the millennial designers doing the same have probably been studying Ford’s old Gucci shows. That legacy of great American sportswear Ford was talking about? He has a stake in it. What’s new is old, that’s just how fashion works. Credit Ford, he’s expanding his vocabulary.

Source: VogueRunway

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Gypsy Sport NYFW SPRING 2020 READY-TO-WEAR

Gypsy-Sport nyfw 2020

Life is not always a beach for young designers trying to make it in fashion, and Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport would know. Over the past six years he’s successfully navigated the changing tides of the industry, running a fully independent business with unwavering commitment. Still, when it’s all work and no play, there’s not much room left for creative daydreaming. Which is why, these days, Uribe is making a conscious effort to make more time for himself. With palms tree lining the runway, that joyous out-of-office attitude was in the air at his show today. Showgoers at the rooftop venue were clearly feeling the vibe, too, and sipped on fruit cocktails in the warm Indian summer evening.

The sunset tangerine and canary yellow palette of the clothes spoke directly to a permanent vacation mood. Shimmying out while covered in sparkling gold body paint, the first model set the tone, flaunting a party-starting halter-neck dress fashioned from hundreds of beaded safety pins. That ingenious approach to chainmail is one Uribe has been evolving for the past few seasons and is proving surprisingly popular despite—or perhaps because of—its unabashed fashion-forward sensibility.

Uribe made sustainability part of his agenda early on and is now focused on honing signature DIY archetypes. An update on the terrific denim he showed for Spring 2019, the new jeans had an appealing tropical look thanks to the appliqué hibiscus flowers. The safety pin-studded Bermuda shorts were a showstopper when they were first worn by rapper Rico Nasty last season and are likely to be a hit in this new one. In a moment when the notion of luxury is being reevaluated altogether, Uribe’s soulful one-of-a-kind pieces are a sunny proposition.

Source: VogueRunway

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3.1 Phillip Lim NYFW SPRING 2020 READY-TO-WEAR

It has been years since Phillip Lim staged a coed show, and he marked the occasion by choosing a new venue for Spring 2020: an open-air warehouse in Greenpoint. Despite the agonizing traffic to and from the Brooklyn neighborhood—this reviewer barely made it in time from the Lower East Side—the vibe mirrored that of his Spring collection: urban yet somehow tranquil. Backstage, Lim was talking about his brand’s values—community, diversity, optimism—and his efforts to pare things back and create items with a clear purpose.

His experiments with tailoring were Spring’s highlights. You won’t find a conventional two-piece suit here; there are enough of those to go around, for starters, and Lim saw an opportunity to create something different for his clients. His most intriguing proposition was a sleeveless, elongated vest with a detachable piece draped around the shoulders, sort of like a scarf; styled with matching trousers or a flow-y midi skirt, the combination was boundary pushing without being too outré for a typical New York office. (Lim knows precisely who his customers are: working women across a variety of fields.) The same was true of an asymmetrical blazer with sleek cutouts and a detachable hood, as well as a jacket shown with a leather bandana—a clever accessory wearers will be happy to play around with.

Earlier this summer, Lim debuted a Resort collection that was 40 percent sustainable thanks to new organic and recycled fabrics. He continued those efforts here, pointing out the compact organic cotton of a chocolate brown jumpsuit and the coated cupro of a navy midi dress. It had a liquid-y gleam from afar, like heavyweight satin, and in photos it reads almost as leather, but cupro is made from upcycled cotton waste. Materials aside, designing with intention is a smaller yet crucial part of the sustainability conversation. By nixing the unnecessary bells and whistles, Lim hopes to create pieces with serious longevity. Any designer can source better fabrics, but few can resist the urge to complicate their clothes. Going forward, it would be great to see Lim become a louder voice in the sustainability conversation; as he enters his 15th year in business, it will be an important part of maintaining his momentum and staying competitive with the very woke new guard.

3.1 Phillip Lim NYFW SPRING 2020 READY-TO-WEAR

Source: VogueRunway

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Helmut Lang NYFW SPRING 2020 READY-TO-WEAR

Helmut Lang NYFW SPRING 2020 READY-TO-WEAR

Not far from where Mark Thomas and Thomas Cawson staged their second runway show for Helmut Lang the brand today, an exhibition of Helmut Lang the man’s latest artwork was opening. Lang walked away from his company 15 years ago, and in the interim, it’s gone through its fair share of incarnations. Perhaps because of the significant amount of time that’s passed or maybe because of the recent success of the reissue concept, Thomas and Cawson are taking a very faithful approach to their reimagining of this famous label.

The reissue is a divisive concept. On the one hand, it’s a clever way to address youthful FOMO, on the other, it’s a design cop-out that doesn’t push the conversation forward. The pros see smart money and the cons insist fashion must reflect the present situation or it risks becoming costume. As with so many things, there’s a generational divide. The olds raise an eyebrow, but the youngs turn up in droves. Today, Jeremy O. Harris, Maisie Williams and her new boyfriend Reuben Selby, Charlie Plummer, Lucky Blue Smith, Selah Marley, and Paloma Elsesser all sat in the front row.

Millennials, it would seem, are the target customers. But in fact, what Thomas and Cawson are up to looks good enough that the Helmut faithful might be intrigued. Absent a few dresses that read too sweet, this was an accurate accounting of Lang’s signatures: the minimal tailoring, the utilitarian parkas, the sheer elements, the chromed leather, the touch of latex kink, the denim shapes. Reproducing the electricity of anticipation that used to course through Lang’s show spaces is a much harder trick to pull off. And it’s probably not fair to ask it of Thomas and Cawson. Lang was an original.

Source: VogueRunway

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