Big sleeves and high necks, there was an Edwardian feel to the Fendi collection – even slouchy bombers getting a historical and voluminous revamp with billowing leg-of-mutton sleeve action.
It opened in blocks of colour – red, coral, white, and moved on through to teal and black: a Fendi rainbow proving to best show off all the tactility going on here. Pockets and brace details were thickly stitched into place or appeared stapled (but not); cut-outs flashed flesh so that an expanse of back was revealed behind or at the waist; pieces seemed industrially patched together; thick suede latticework for neat boxy jackets; gleaming petals punctuating bodices; there was a distinct historical feel and an armour quality to the pieces. Those flowers weren’t the traditionally pretty variety – their stems had stealth.
But this toughness, this edge, was counterbalanced by those billowing blouses and gowns that invited a breeze to pass on through them. And as always at a Fendi show, the eye is on the lookout for new-season accessories. Here boxy bags held in the hand with just a hint of a strap to slip your fingers through to keep them close at all times – for, let’s face it, you never really want to let a Fendi bag out of your sight.
Some things are made to go together; gin and tonic, strawberries and cream, salt and vinegar, say, so too Anthony Vaccarello and Versace. He – the master of the slit and slashed minidress and pioneer of all-out sex appeal often delivered on leggy best friend, Anja Rubik; and Versus, the sidekick of Versace, the Italian house that practically invented sex – are a match made in heaven.
Half of the battle of a house producing a winning collection is in the hiring of a designer who just “gets it” and the hiring of the Belgian (of Italian descent) here is not much short of genius. Bravo to whoever cooked up that contract. One can only imagine the fun Vaccarello must have had mining the archives. It must have felt like all his birthdays and Christmases had come at once. Gold! Medusa heads! Bondage strapping! Safety pin dresses! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
All of that was whipped up tonight (even, including BFF Rubik). There were so many brilliant looks here today and here’s the crux of it, and really, where others before him have perhaps failed; he kept it simple. Firstly, it was almost all black with gold accents, well, why over-complicate matters when that will do just nicely? It wasn’t all thigh skimming miniskirts, there were some great low-slung tailored trousers partnered up with bondage-backed bodysuits boasting gold chokers as halter necks, as delicate as fine jewellery, and elsewhere, unbuttoned black silk shirts (sometimes, combining the two into a fierce jumpsuit). He rendered the medusa head into super desirable belts, and re-proposed the safety pin dress into a neat proposition for now.
And even better news: it’s all available to buy online now. One question, what are you still doing reading this?
“To be desirable,” said Roland Mouret backstage before his show – that was the point of the collection. “The meaning of desire. I want women to feel like they want to steal the clothes from the hanger straight away.”
To this end – and with an imminent New York store opening – Mouret was going back to looking at what defined him. And joy and desire was what he concluded – his sculpted silhouettes here softened in colour-blocked pastels to make this a young and fresh collection that in plenty of white, primrose yellow, pink and lilac was the embodiment of spring/summer.
Bold floral appliqués blossomed on tote bags and skirts, dresses too – at the front and as little caped backs; elsewhere came hibiscus prints laser-cut into cotton mesh for jackets and splaying A-line skirts; asymmetric hems were accompanied by injections of grass green; shorts were out in strong force and cemented that youthful sensibility. It was refreshing.
It had all started in the fittings, explained Mouret. His women chiming in with the covetable buzzword and so leading him to develop the Mouret DNA which, while still obviously underpinning the collection today, took on a lighter and relaxed new note this time round. It was refreshing.
“I’m a practical person, a Virgo, so I’m always thinking about what women will live in, trying to anticipate their feelings – people will buy because they desire,” he summed up.
WAKING up in a Haider Ackermann dream must be a wonderful place to be – we stepped inside and caught a glimpse of it for the designer’s spring/summer 2015 collection.
It’s serene, and peaceful, controlled and light as air, which is exactly how the girls took to the catwalk this morning in a palette that wavered from white to pink to lilac but so gently that you would hardly tell.
Everything has a fluidity in the hands of Ackermann – the clothes appear in a perfect state of undress, belted as they are, slouched and ruched at the pocket or at the elbow. Here we got night dress styles – entirely in keeping with our dreamscape scenario – and dressing gown coats, gliding lace slips, plunge-front tuxedos, bare backs framed and exposed. Peplums were created through layers of ruffles that peaked out beneath his signature investment jackets – cinched and belted as always – and sheer chiffon sleeves slid off over hands for oversized, surreal effect.
This was one of Ackermann’s softest and most wistful collections yet but in that same breath he brought a shorter, younger silhouette and it was sharp through its focus, sexy in its subtlety.
Click below to shop Spring/Summer 2015 Haider Ackermann: