Huge flourishes, bold gestures, broad strokes and silhouettes expressed in rich and gorgeous fabrics from double-faced cahmeres, meltons, and tweeds to failles, moirés, iridescent and flocked taffetas, radzimir (!), velvet and warp print statins. Marc Jacobs‘ autumn-winter 2018 wasn’t just a lesson on fabrics – it was a lesson of fashion. Inspired with the 80s mega-designers – Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, Emanuel Ungaro, Christian Lacroix, Yves Saint Laurent – Marc had the very best to show in his spectacular collection. Polka-dots, big shoulders, XXL bows and ruffles – that’s a wardrobe of Mrs. Glam, who’s wearing a chic bolero hat. Jacobs, whose company is reportedly in a financial crisis, seems to show the middle finger towards commerce, for fashion’s sake. There’s no way you can’t respect that. And who knows – maybe that kind of extravagance will sell better, than any cheaper sister-line filled with sweatshirts? All the hope in the clients.
Undoubtedly, Raf Simons‘ vision at Calvin Klein, which is so well executed (and financed – it’s really pleasing to see how the brand supports him), is something to write and write and write. But in short, that was a collection that accumulates Simons‘ image of contemporary USA. Adoration of the mass media (tons of pop-corn on the venue’s floor suggest the urge for spotlight, eternal love for Hollywood and, maybe, cult of celebrity); anxiety and need for protection (fireman jackets, thigh-length rubber boots; knitted balaclavas – ready and steady for an anti-Trump demonstration); indestructible hope for a better future (purely American-esque prairie skirts and dresses, of course exaggerated in volume and cut). Simons‘ Calvin Klein is not just clothes and fresh, Sterling Ruby filled branding – it’s food for thought, most of all. But also, it’s worth noting that it’s the designer’s third runway collection for Klein, and it seems that Raf’s ideas for the brand continue to accelerate at high-speed – whether we’re speaking of the show venues or the garments (for instance take that incredible fur coat that got deconstructed into a safety jacket).
While for the past seasons, Rosie Assoulin earned a reputation of New York’s best place to shop for unpretentious eveningwear, the designer focused a bit more on daywear this time. And especially, outerwear, which is just a delight.The marble print – Rosie’s current obsession fuelled by a newly found book on marbling techniques – looked equally great on the reversible jackets, as on the pants in scarf-like silk. Tailoring is also a brand new area for Assoulin, but she manages to pull it off in a distinctly bold way (see the blue suit!). Flares are back, stronger than ever. But this wouldn’t be a Rosie Assoulin collection, if there were no dresses. From more day-to-day options to red-carpet spotlight stealers (that sculptural, micro-pleated gown), it’s impossible not to be mesmerised. Or even, enchanted!
Who would have ever, ever thought that Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen will come so far to become the Jil Sander, Helmut Lang and Margiela-at-Hermes of today? Since Phoebe Philo is no longer at Céline, it can be safely said that The Row automatically becomes the official successor label for minimalism (and pure luxury) lovers. I’m writing that ecstatically: the autumn-winter 2018 is undoubtedly the best collection the twins have delivered up to date. Just look at the refined outerwear and khaki raincoats; the delightful, ecru gown with a highlighted waist; masculine blazers – actually, to die for – and knits made of the best possible cashmere (to be worn over and over for ages). Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention, that a selection of rare Isamu Noguchi sculptures were there during the runway show, standing and observing the serene walk of such women as Karen Elson, Ajak Deng or Yasmin Warsame. Although New York fashion week is still on, I think the Olsen’s have. Ultimately. Won. My. Heart.