Carte Blanche. Jil Sander SS18

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Lucie and Luke Meier are an ultimate fashion couple. The first one worked along Serge Ruffieux at Dior for a couple of season’s after Raf Simons’ sudden departure; the latter worked for Supreme and cofounded the menswear label OAMC. Now, they meet proffesionally under one roof – at Jil Sander, the empire of minimalism with German origin. Leading the brand with typically minimal, 90s-inspired aesthetic isn’t as easy as it sounds. Pure simplicity, that seems to be rooted in Jil Sander, isn’t a promise of succes: as Sander exited her label, nobody really came close enough to make it feel relevant (except Raf Simons) and really authentic. But that’s the perk of designing for a brand like Jil Sander – there’s only one master.

The new designers did two things that felt like their personal take on the brand. First, they presented their debut collection not in Jil Sander headquarters, but outdoors at soon-to-open mall with a view on Zaha Hadid-designed tower. A breath of fresh air, an eye-opening perspective. Second, it was their feminine sensivity that appeared throughout the entire show. The Meiers smartly noted that “a lot of the time, the first impression of her (Jil) is cold, sparse, and hard – what she did, was also feminine, light, and sensual; that was the approach for us.” Of course, the brand’s signature white crisp shirts were present, but they looked softer than usual. Romantic, white maxi-dresses swept the runway’s floor. Black coats weren’t that mournful. There was also some craftiness, that unfortunately felt quite inconsistent and unsynchronised with the rest. Still, those big chunky sweaters and knitted dresses looked good, even if they had not much to do with the brand’s founder and her style codes. Debuts are debuts – to get the full picture of Meiers’ Jil Sander, we’ve got to take some time.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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Italian Party. Missoni SS18

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Exactly 20 years ago, Angela Missoni took on the role of creative director at the brand her parents founded. So yes, that’s a reason to do a very festive collection. Pieces from Missoni spring-summer 2018 just beg for an invitation to a garden party, Italian-way of course. Soft and light knits in all shades of aquamarine and covered in signature zig-zag patterns; sheer capes and fleecy cardigans wrapped around the body; big hats ready for sunset-watching. Now, picture this: wearing Missoni, take a sip of red wine and induldge yourself in some sage-flavoured raviolli. Gossip with your Italian friends. I think I’m buying that.

Angela always makes Missoni look contemporary, while relying on unconventional, edgy styling. What’s more, she doesn’t fall too hard into the house’s archives, but goes her own path. Her 20 years of creative direction are success, as she managed to keep Missoni an Italian heritage brand that’s relevant. And what’s this season’s biggest change? The brand’s womenswear and menswear is shown together, a runway-model adapted by many other Italian brands latelt. The boys, wearing their thin knitted scarves and printed shirts are happy to join that party, too.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Gianni. Versace SS18

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Believe it or not, Gianni Versace was murdered 20 years ago, in the front of his Miami mansion. After his death, the fashion world drowned in sadness and grief – that was the end of an era of joy, sex and beauty. But, as its visible in 2017, Gianni’s soul is with us and his aesthetic is as relevant as ever – via Donetella Versace‘s medium. Yesterday was a fashion bomb in Milan, with Versace‘s absolute hits taken out of the archives. ‘Andy Warhol’, ‘My Friend Elton’, ‘Native Americans’, ‘Metal Mesh’, ‘Icons’, ‘Vogue’, ‘Animalia’ – all those wild and opulent prints, that used to explode in iconic ad campaigns by Richard Avedon, are revived. And alive. For good.

It’s hard to review a show like this, because it’s a breathing fashion legacy that has already been discussed from A to Z decades ago. Gianni’s signatures were placed on everything, from leggings to dresses, while some of the pieces that appeared to be too hard to replicate were taken straight out of the archives to the fashion show. But the models were the real stars of the runway: Instagirls (Hadid sisters) and mega-model off-springs (Kasia Gerber) sashayed along such models like Anja Rubik, Doutzen Krous and Mica Arganaraz in regular ready-to-wear; the runway queens, who launched their careers first walking for Gianni, closed the show with a fierce walk to the tune of George Michael’s ‘Freedom’. Naomi, Helena, Claudia, Cindy and Carla, the original muses, were all here (I just missed Linda…). Fashion loves spectacles. But that wasn’t a spectacle – that was an emotional ode to a genius, an icon, and her brother. Bravo, Donatella.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Meet the Heroines. Prada SS18

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That wasn’t a fictional story of one specific superwoman, but an entire cast of heroines, who walked in Miuccia Prada‘s spring-summer 2018 fashion show. For the last few seasons, Prada is keen on portraying different types of women she wholeheartedly admires and respects. And this season, it was a full-celebration of women, who not necessarily have the wallets that afford Prada price-tags. Not only was the styling accessible –  hand-printed coats with safety-pins attached (a funky-punky touch), thrift-store glasses or jacquard dresses worn over masculine shirt – but also the venue had a lot to say to women of all walks of life. The Prada show space featured art by a selection of female graphic artists – Brigid Elva, Joëlle Jones, Stellar Leuna, Giuliana Maldini, Natsume Ono, Emma Rios, Trina Robbins and Fiona Staples – and with the archive of Tarpé Mills, creator of the first female action hero. The comic-style mural presented different aspects of womanhood just as precisely as Miuccia’s new season clothes. From utilitarian nylon vests to collage-themed lady-like dresses, it was all about choices, choices and choices. The soundtrack, which changed its tune nearly every minute, had such unlikely and unexpected musical obsessions like Lana Del Rey, The Cure or Suzanne Vega. Even that aspect perfectly synchronised with the idea of an ever-changing mood –  something Mrs. Prada can definitely admit in her aesthetic sense.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.