Christopher Kane loves the topic of sex in fashion. If you think of some of his previous seasons’ sex-related hits – like the lace, C-string details or the illustrations from ‘Joy of Sex’ book placed all over the dresses – it’s clear that Kane understands sexuality quite differently than majority of other designers. It’s nothing shallow or obvious, that’s for sure. The autumn-winter 2019 collection was about kinky fetishes, of all sorts. Latex, chainmail elements, leather, lace, even fantasies on food and balloons (conveyed in cheeky prints), were intriguingly incorporated into brilliant garments, like a lady-like coat or an evening gown. The fluid-filled plastic details, that appeared on Kane’s runway a couple of years ago, had something slinky about them, but they were far from tacky. However, if you’re not crazy for kink, feel free to pull the theme apart, and here we are with a collection filled with gorgeous daywear (see the cardigans, knee-length skirts and shirting) and equally good eveningwear. But then… why not go a bit down the risky path?
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Riccardo Tisci’s second collection for Burberry left me with the same impression I had after his debut. Too much of content. Again, we’ve got an exhausting line-up of more than 100 looks and some sort of separated themes that relate to British culture. Guests sat in two spaces: one very formal with a 90s rave soundtrack, the other an urban jungle set to the sounds of classical piano. The collection was a matching game of contrasts between street and elegance. While Tisci wants to get as democratic and inclusive with his fashion as possible, it seems like the huge scope of Britishness is just too much for one collection. The second part of the collection, the formal one, was the strongest: we’ve had sharp tailoring, gorgeous, distinctly Burberry trench coats, refined eveningwear. The oyster print was properly posh, while the colour palette – Burb beige and pistachio – looked insanely good. Stella Tennant in a camel total look and a matching beanie was just it. The first part of the collection, the one that’s targeted for younger audience, was like a deja vu from Riccardo’s later Givenchy years, when he went full throttle with printed T-shirts and sweatshirts. Yes, those were bestsellers, but… we’re in 2019. That mould of tartan plaid, Burberry checks, puffers and logos wasn’t neither clubbing fashion, punk or anything close to that. Rather, millennials-minded mumble jumble of references.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Talented women with their distinct style rule in London. There’s Marta Jakubowski and Molly Goddard. There’s Victoria Beckham and Mary Katrantzou. And there’s Simone Rocha, whose autumn-winter 2019 was one of the very best collections I’ve seen this season. Rocha designs for women – and women love her. Seeing her runway graced by women of different ages, colour and body types was a female power moment, yes, but also an ode to the brand’s clients who trust Simone every season. Chloë Sevigny, Tess McMillan, Kristen Owen, Lily Cole, Sara Grace Wallerstedt, Ugbad Abdi… whether models or not, runway veterans or bold newcomers, all those faces are amazing individuals and characters. And, also, it’s an ultimate proof that full-skirted dresses and coats aren’t only meant for 20-somethings, just like organza see-throughs, bras worn over trench coats and opulent headbands. The collection was a study of female eroticism, a debate between being the object of desire and owning it. As the designer put it in her own words, “it was a about intimacy and privacy, security and insecurity”. Rocha looked at Michael Powell’s disturbing films (like ‘Peeping Tom’, the voyeuristic horror), but also returned to her long-time inspiration – Louise Bourgeois. The artist investigates the subject of sex and tenderness in her works, which as well often takes a darker turn. “I found her series of weavings which she’d made with fabric from her own clothes particularly beautiful,” Simone said. The spiderweb embroideries and prints Rocha used for puffball coats and dresses were made in collaboration with the Louise Bourgeois Foundation – could you wish for a more heartwarming artist appreciation moment? Still, while the themes behind the collection might be not exactly joyous and lightweight, the models – we see you, Chloë – were all smiley and visibly proud to be walking that outstanding show.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki, feauturing a painting by Genieve Figgis.
You might know Molly Goddard for her voluminous tulle dresses, but it would be a mistake to say that her brand is nothing more than that. Goddard’s autumn-winter 2019 was one of her best, as it didn’t only demonstrate how she can expand her style, but also, it showed her signature in a new context. “Dressed for the storm” is how the designer describe the look of the season. If knitted balaclavas, utilitarian accessories and weatherproof knee-high boots didn’t exactly ring a bell, then the wind machines installed on the runway were a quite straightforward metaphor. The way Molly’s XXL tulles in green and pink drifted in the abrupt air was so, so beautiful, simply speaking. Rhombus patterned knits, easy-looking frocks and laid-back tailoring were as well something new, a nod to the English countryside style (I’m thinking of Stella Tennant and Isabella Cowdor’s style seen in their Holland & Holland reinvention). Goddard’s shows are always a delight, whether it’s a kitchen after-party, Mediterranean market or an imaginary storm.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki feauturing a painting by Genieve Figgis.