WOW. And in one fell swoop Raf Simons redefined what modern is. And that didn’t mean sci-fi futuristic or normcore anodyne.
What it meant was an incredible collection that continued on from where his couture show started off in July and gave us historical clothes and references like we’ve never seen them before.
“I started to think ‘What is modern?'” explained Simons in his show notes. “It was an idea of confronting what people now think is an aesthetic that is modern – it felt more modern to go to the far past, not the ‘modernised’ look of the last decade.”
And in doing so he managed to make history look new and modern look old. Never have frock coats or tapestry cuffs and turn-ups looked so appealing, relevant and real.
So he borrowed – and sweetly added a “strict” accuracy disclaimer in the notes – from the Eighteenth century onwards for a collection that somehow managed to combine the French royal court with the uniforms of pilots and astronauts, school girls and skaters and make it all cool, all utterly desirable and leaving the audience, frankly, wanting more.
Court coats in bright cerise or marigold worn with skate shorts; bar jacket dresses punctuated with poppers instead of buttons on the hip; high Edwardian collars that could so easily drift into the realms of scuba wear; vest-top dresses that revived his full skirt and top combinations from his first couture season even; languid night dresses; leather-laced jackets belted on an empire line; flashes of rich embroidery here and there and just when you least expected. This was everything and more, and on paper probably shouldn’t have made sense. Yet it did – it was a revelation.
“The challenge was to bring the attitude of contemporary reality to something very historical; bringing easiness to something that could be perceived as theatrical,” elaborated Simons. “It is the attitude that matters.”
There was drama, there was character and there was fantasy here – a collection that will appeal to Dior customers old and new (everyone’s wearing those bejewelled couture trainers of his right now). And there was tangibility.
Move over normcore, Raf’s ignited a renaissance.
Need some summer inspiration, click below to shop spring/summer 2015 Christian Dior:
THE first show season since Temperley London combined its mainline and ALICE offerings and things are looking strong. That was a good idea – and you could see the balance between the two working all the better for now working as one. It felt fresh, young, clean, tight, modern.
“It was great to focus solely on an amazing show collection with more daywear, core pieces and loads of very versatile separates,” explained Temperley pre-show, singling out again “versatile” and “sexy” as key buzzwords.
“I was inspired by colour and print from very naughty Japanese paintings, woodblock prints, surreal sea creatures and lots of mixing of layers and kimono references with our looks both for day and evening,” she went on. And all of this was entirely evident. Cropped trench jackets, breezy skirts worn over trousers but whose effect was only really felt wafting away as it did at the back, gingham and plaid, pink and black stripes, dense embroideries, stiff A-line silhouettes.
Slouchy-boxy tailoring was given the Temperley edge with lace accents and despite all of these references and layers, it never felt heavy.
“The Temperley girl is more relaxed with a very sexy attitude,” the designer pointed out.
The mood suits her well.
Click below to shop Spring/Summer 2015 Temperley London looks:
WELL, there can’t be many one-year-old babies with their very own front row seat at Paris Fashion Week. The current count tallies to one in fact, at Givenchy, where mademoiselle North West, dressed in a custom-made full-length Givenchy black sheer dress took her seat alongside parents, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, dressed in a plunging, sheer black lace jumpsuit. It was a family affair with Kendall Jenner on the runway.
The family certainly looked the part as the show opened with a series of graphic, sexy black dresses with trussed up corseted bodices and lacy sheer skirts. It was hard-edged and yet… romantic.
It’s an odd parallel but part of Riccardo Tisci’s appeal is in his ability to meld those two disparate worlds so convincingly. These are dresses that are all-out fierce, a little bit slutty (further enhanced by the thigh-high boots they were partnered with) but all of that is counterbalanced by the divine craftsmanship at play. The lace here this evening was so fine it looked like it could have floated right off, up into there air were it not anchored with leather strips spliced into those pleats, or harnessed down with backless waistcoats crafted from stiffened leather with crocodile panels.
Pirate blouses flounced about like ship’s sales, while humbug black and white striped narrow-shouldered jackets festooned with corseted lacing kept the silhouette tight and lean. With legs clad in leather leggings or spray on jeans, the detail was all about up top.
The only sighting of colour amongst this entirely monochrome collection came in the shape of a fleshy pink leather dress, plunging, tight to the body with a pleated and ruffled skirt. Severe, and yet… oh so pretty.
To shop more Givenchy click below to explore the Spring/Summer 2015 Givenchy look:
For those of you who don’t know: JOSEPH modernised women. As the sixties drew to a close, Casablanca-born hairdresser Joseph Ettedgui looked out from his salon, a chic King’s Road focal point, and imagined a revolution in the way we buy fashion. With his keen instincts, Joseph created a boutique that was more magazine than clothes shop – somewhere to discover new ideas, new styles and new designers.
Joseph brought Kenzo and Castelbajac to the world’s attention, then as his influence grew he championed Azzedine Alaia and Yohji Yamamoto, chose Norman Foster to design a store, and was the first in London to sell Prada. Even after his own eponymous label was launched to acclaim, Joseph continued to showcase the designers he had discovered and nurtured.
Just as its original stores were places to meet and share ideas, attracting designers, models, editors and photographers, JOSEPH is once again a focus for creativity, somewhere to find inspiration.
At the same time the JOSEPH collection has entered a new phase, drawing renewed strength from the energy around it. Under the creative direction of Louise Trotter, Joseph presents a high contemporary ready-to-wear collection with a strong core of luxury essentials.
On my first day of interning there is always the worry of what on earth do I wear?! For my first day I decided it was better to be over dressed then underdressed seeing as I really had no idea what I was going to be doing. I chose J-brand black trousers, a cute and smart silk top from Whistles and little heel boots from Top-shop. Easy.
The showroom transformed from this:
My role was Showroom Assistant / Wholesale assistant. In this position I was:
Merchandising and remerchandising the new season collections and essentials
Assisting sellers and buys around the showroom
Front of house showroom assistant: meeting clients, keeping rails in order of looks and collections and maintaining the high standards of the showroom by keeping everything neat and tidy.
Dressing models and maintaining the process and consistency of having each of the looks shown to clients in the correct format.
Of course the clothes and looks were absolutely beautiful. Everything I loved and wish I had. Working with Joseph was truly an amazing experience and has taught me so much more about the way that wholesale and buyers work within the fashion industry as well as an insight into Paris Fashion Week.