Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Victoria Beckham

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Any woman will tell you that comfort is key when it comes to her wardrobe. And this sentiment is very much what Victoria Beckham had at the forefront of mind for her collection today – a cocooning, comforting and covered-up affair.

“It’s not about one theme – but instead thinking about what women really want to wear and how they want their clothes to make them feel,” said the designer in her notes, later explaining that the longer she’s worked in fashion, the more clothes she seems to wear, the more she covers up. This is how SHE feels. And let’s remember her collections are always very representative of her own wardrobe.

But that didn’t mean covering up in the cloaked, clunky, one-too-many-layers sense; far from it. This was a sexy and sophisticated take that put shape at its centre for soft and womanly silhouettes: curved shoulders on coats whose sleeves went some way into creating the collar; sleeves on navy jumpers that cascaded into oversize; elegant drapes swaying across knits; chunky corduroys that looked heavy and substantial but were actually incredibly light; and a clever take on patchwork for fabrics that felt special and unique.

Because, aside from a new take on sexiness, or rather a return to it (it felt like there were nods to her earlier collections), there was an overall bounce with everything here – the swing in skirts comprised from velvet and chiffon hearts fluttering around the legs; the spring in tweedy wools on coats and dresses elsewhere.

Sculptural and body-conscious (more in feeling than just strict silhouette-defining shape), it was all very wearable just as VB had set out to do and her fashion empathy will no doubt pay off.

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Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Sacai

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How do couture-like silhouettes manifest into something essentially urban and city-ready? Ask Sacai’s Chitose Abe who this season looked to haute couture – volume, panniers and Fortuny pleats included – to stir her no-holds-barred imagination.

This collection proved that there is no end to her ambition; it takes gumption to reimagine those exaggerated volumes and ideas and rework them in heavy – often masculine – fabrics, all the while executing something elegant. An M65 parka was puffed up at the back, pannier hips and tulle padding shaped sweaters and skirts, while herringbone tweeds were elasticised to form womanly hourglass silhouettes. It was about something precious and rarefied applied to the familiar and everyday.

Her series of sweater dresses – if you can call them that, the workday term seems almost insulting – were exceptional. They comprised chunky Aran knits which were peeled away at the shoulder line to reveal crisp white shirting underneath, while flippy skirts kicked out in panels of knit and cotton.
As complicated as that all sounds, the cleverest – and most crucial – fact about these hybrids is that they’re very often the simplest of pieces to wear. Take the show-goers for example, so many of whom were touting the hits of previous seasons, from the leather-perfecto biker jackets to military and guipure lace coats, khaki bombers, floral maxi dresses, even, a sighting of a broderie anglaise full skirt.

There’s something about these designs that tug at the heartstrings.

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Spring/Summer 2015 Whistles

WHAT better way to cement your reputation as the working woman’s go-to brand than to stage your spring/summer 2015 fashion show in an entrance tunnel to Kings Cross tube station? The novel idea came from Whistles, who in doing so cleverly took their customer off the catwalk and put her into context: on-the-go and always looking good. The tight edit of sleeveless jumpsuits, cutout dresses, tactile knits and statement jackets in a limited colour palette of white, black, peach and the palest of blue all emanated the brand’s progressive-but-pared-back mix and will no doubt fly off the shelves when they hit the shop floor next year. A very stylish commute beckons.

 

 


Spring/Summer 2015 Pringle of Scotland

Massimo Nicosia wanted to incorporate plenty of Pringle of Scotland’s almost 200-year history into his Spring ’15 collection. He did it in a very contemporary, perhaps even futuristic way, continuing his experiments in 3-D printing, a technique he first employed (to much acclaim) for Fall. This time around, Nicosia created a nylon-powder chain mail. Assembled with panels of woven cotton and silk, it was used for airy, funky tops and a dress. “I wanted to combine the artificial and the natural,” Nicosia said of the 3-D printed looks. However, the high-tech textile wasn’t the designer’s only forward-thinking interpretation of Pringle’s signature knitwear. 

Leather embellishments on a diaphanous white dress mimicked a cardigan stitch—the tactile effect was slick, and it made more than a few of the audience to do a double take during its trip down the runway. Similarly, traditional pullovers were completely reimagined; in one instance, loosely woven threads were trapped inside a mesh casing. In another, fil coupe fragments in watery hues of green and violet were patched onto a roomy organdy jumper.

Water was a primary point of reference for Nicosia this season. Using Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais and Pablo Picasso’s The Bathers as inspiration, he attempted to translate its lightness, transparency, and reflective properties into fabric. This resulted in a number of sheer silk tops with woven collars and sleeves. A few of them were covered in translucent turquoise triangles that protruded from the chest—they were meant to act as prisms. Elsewhere, silver beads were used sparingly on a honeycomb knit dress to provide just a hint of shimmer. That piece stood out for its serene simplicity.

Returning to Pringle’s heritage, Nicosia played with the idea of lingerie (the house manufactured undergarments back in the day), and turned out hyper-thin silk knit tanks and bodysuits. Pleated and leather-trimmed skirts felt a little stiff and lacked the liquidity of Nicosia’s refreshing dresses and tops, but on the whole, the designer produced an innovative—and versatile—Spring lineup that will appeal to loyal Pringle customers and beyond.

Shop the beautiful and elegant artwork of Pringle of Scotland Spring/Summer 2015 below: