A BOXED Barbie doll (dressed in fuchsia Moschino, of course) on every seat along with a bubblegum pink Disney-style hand mirror that happens to double up as an i-Phone case (the follow-up to last season’s rubberised McDonald’s carton of fries): in his second season at the helm of Moschino, Jeremy Scott shows no signs of toning it down. And really, why should he? The fact is his clothes and accessories are selling like hot cakes, so who can blame him if his taste for pop culture and kitsch is a formula that’s working.
Aqua’s Barbie Girl played out over the sound system – in case his audience was left in any doubt as to where his head was at – and a real life-size Barbie opened the show – in the exact same outfit as the plastic Barbie in the box. More rea- life Barbie dolls followed; every one styled in curled blonde wig. There’s Business Woman Barbie dressed in a sparkling pink skirt suit; Roller Skating Barbie, yes she zoomed out on white roller skates – much to the crowd’s delight; Work Out Barbie, dressed in a pink tracksuit and carrying hand weights; Cowgirl Barbie, in sequined blue jeans, boots and knotted shirt; there’s even Boarding a Plane Barbie, complete with carry-on luggage.
There were other non-pink looks too, like a white terry cloth biker jacket, a riff on a Chanel skirt suit decorated entirely in monochrome sequins, a gold trench coat, sheer black blouses printed in gold chains and many plastic-fantastic handbags – some, seemingly made from blow-up pool toys.
It was madcap, colourful and wild and in essence, everything this house stands for. The finale of dresses – and one white pearlised tuxedo, every look, fit for a beauty queen finale – was like a five-year-old’s dream. And perhaps too, several others in this show space tonight: there wasn’t one face without a smile.
Tory Burch comes across as the sweetest, gentlest soul on Seventh Avenue, but her collections always seem to end up hinting at violent passion. Last season, it was armored medievalism. For Spring, Burch’s muse was Françoise Gilot. “Because she was a strong woman and a great artist,” she said a little testily when asked why. “And she was the only woman who left Picasso.”
Gilot may have left Picasso, but he towered over the rest of her life as heavily as his presence hung here. A tunic top and matching long skirt were cut from a toile de Jouy pattern that depicted the cypress-surrounded villa in Vallauris where the couple lived for years. It was in Vallauris that Picasso developed the fascination with ceramics that would yield his most prodigious body of work. Burch showed pieces in engineered broderie anglaise that duplicated ceramic patterns.
But it was probably Robert Capa’s iconic image of Gilot and Picasso on the beach at Golfe-Juan in 1948 that really shaped the essence of Burch’s new collection. “A play between raw and refined” is the way she herself defined it. The simple sensuality of Capa’s photograph was translated into a silk georgette smock dress, casually tied to one side, or a full-length canvas tank dress, fringed down a side seam. The rawness of the collection was its charm. The refinement, when it came in the form of a metallic jacquarded Grecian key motif, less so.
Raf Simmons showed a thoroughly modern couture collection, employing the luxury techniques of the house alongside his own creative aesthetic. Opening with a transparent printed pale green plastic coat over a short dress, he established the mood of the show which was assured and very much his own.
Printed catsuits were paraded by Dior Ziggy Stardusts to “Moonage Daydream” and interspersed with full-skirted ballerina dresses with cutaway tops. Heavy sequinned sleeves and collars were mixed with wool minidresses. These A-line shapes were teamed with latex legging boots or ankle variations with Perspex heels, while neat ponytails were hung from steel ovals. Stripes were a constant, from technicolour knits to fragile silk ribbons on voluminous skirts falling from a tight bustier.
Simons seemed confident to leave out some of the usual Dior codes here – such as the Bar jacket. It was a very beautiful show held across two levels – the upper supported by white scaffolding so that the clatter of the models’ shoes added to the soundtrack and the surrounds lit with Tweet and Instagram friendliness in mind.
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Embellished concert Ts, suede A-line skirts, stars and metallic stripes, Sergeant Pepper tailoring – it could only add up to one thing: a music festival.
Tommy Hilfiger’s show venue, and if the vinyl record invitation didn’t give it away, then his venue, a custom-built stadium set with a pair of drummers, certainly did. Models paraded around a lawn strewn in gerbers, it was a little bit Woodstock, a little bit Glasto.
The music festival girl – a free-spirited hippy with bandanas streaming from her wrist and a constellation of star tattoos stamped over her limbs – was Hilfiger’s spring muse, and he homed in on a glamorous riff of vintage rock ‘n’ roll (the genre is a personal love of the designer). It felt more British in parts than his usual all-American tendency and the show notes cited a nostalgic King’s Road attitude.
There were many shop-able pieces here; those wafty finale dresses printed in stars and other tattoo graphics commissioned by Fernando Lions were particularly standout, so too Hilfiger’s series of patchwork selvedge denim pieces, inspired by his original Seventies archival pieces.