In support for the Black community, I continue celebrating and highlighting the talented individuals that shape fashion today. Take notes! Stella Jean, Rome-based designer with Haitian origins, is recognized as the first Black Italian designer. She is considered to be Giorgio Armani’s protégé, and her collections are some of the boldest moments every Milan fashion week. The basis of Jean’s work is multiculturalism applied to fashion, resulting in a cultural fusion of her own métisse identity. Her work often merges classical Italian tailoring with stylistic features of varying cultures, whether its wax prints from Burkina Faso or artisan embroideries made in India. Above is my all-time favourite Stella Jean look from her delightful autumn-winter 2014 collection. For more of the designer, see my previous posts on her or check out her site!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Believe it or not – I can’t! – but we’re heading towards a new millenium. So, how do you choose the most important collections, designers and labels of the decade? The ones that made an actual impact in the 2010s? Well, it’s not an easy task. It all began in September 2009 with New York’s spring-summer 2010 shows and ended when the autumn-winter 2019 haute couture shows wrapped in Paris. Few thousands of shows, by the way. There will be 19 posts (that’s really the only possible minimum!) reminding about the best – and if not the best, then strongly influencing – moments in fashion.
Haider Ackermann‘s AW14 perfection.
Of course, Haider Ackermann has many things to look back at this decade: his Berluti stint, all the custom looks he created for Tilda Swinton and Timothee Chalamet for their red carpet appearances, every single menswear and womenswear collection he presented… but there’s one line-up I will never forget. The autumn-winter 2014 collection. That time, Ackermann utterly seduced with his sensual silhouette, garbed in contrasting cuts and volumes. Some of the garments were built for street (biker jackets, mannish jackets, comfy cardigans, skinny cropped jeans), others were decidedly more refined (floor-sweeping duster coats, oversized trousers, draped jersey dresses, and plunging tops, all sent out in autumn-ish, masculine fabrics – tweeds, plaids, houndstooth, flannel, fur and felt galore). A poised, poetically dark allure.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
December 21: Before, Marc by Marc Jacobs was a sister line of Marc Jacobs which, in reality, needed a boost. Basically, it was boring and ultra-commercial. But since Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley took the label over, it’s so, so BOOM-BOOM-POW.Their AW14 was all about Bolshevik-fonted dresses and skate-girl attitude, while SS15 was all about latex, polka dots and being kawaii. And the famous cornrows used in both collections, give the girls a sharp look.These two Brits feel like at home in New York… BRAVO to the new MBMJ!
December 19: Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida are a lovely couple which makes the most eccentric denim (and not only) fashion in the world. Playing with volumes, colours and vibes, since the beginning Marques Almeida has been acclaimed by fashion editors as the new “go-to” brand of the year. My favourite thing that they did for 2014, was their crazy, very strong AW14 collection, where the designers had fun with fur stoles! Marta and Paulo also created a “spark”, making their signature fabric get really important on the London fashion scene.
December 3: Miuccia Prada owned the AW14 season at Prada with her melancholic collection kept in tune of Barbara Sukova’s orchestra and 70’s nostalgia vibe.
There is something truly unique about MMC Studio, Polish label found and designed by Ilona Majer and Rafal Michalak. They do fashion, or rather an idea of modernistic clothes, made using traditional techniques and materials. Fur and laser-cut lace are just few examples. For AW14 collection, the duo brought to the collection a portion of proportion-fusing silhouttes (thermic scarves vs. over-sized coats) and lovely boots in magnetising white and gold colours. Their attitude and creative approach feels really fresh on the Polish fashion scene, however they already have a strong vision and a fine client base. And just like Phoebe Philo of Celine, Ilona and Rafal are very open-minded influencers of fashion (but so far, only in Poland). Why? Well. Just look at these shearling jackets and fluid-like fluocentic skirts- they are seriously cool, aren’t they? And very wearable and pretty much affordable. Oh, and soon something special is coming up with MMC’s key piece!
The world of denim, you’ve got a problem. I introduce you to Faustine Steinmetz. In her label, each fabric is solely handwoven by one person using one of our traditional handlooms.
And, each piece is meticulously made by hand, with some pieces taking over a week to weave. “In our East London studio we spin, dye and weave all our own fabrics. We reproduce iconic pieces, the kind everyone has or has had in their wardrobe at one stage, except we make them all by hand.” Faustine Steinmetz creates and designs denim which isn’t really denim- it’s a new apparel vision, but on upper level. For AW14, we’ve got trousers which visually look like jeans, tartan dresses and lovely tops. Thoughts?
Svenja Specht is behind the super effortless label, Reality Studio. The German designer observes her reality by investigating the everyday, exploring her surroundings and the interractions of people through clothing. She mixes traditional clothing with modern fabrics, creating seasonless pieces which are real but at the same time sophisticated, not banal. The materials are carefully selected and are uniquely composed. Refined detailing and manufacturing lead to contemporary pieces with a life long value. The resulting collections appear as a contradictory mix of appealing elegance,feminine strength and a delicate sensitivity with the aim to express: `Do what you love and live now´. Also, Reality Studio has in it’s account a lot of beautiful shoes which are all made of leather and and are seriously comfortable. The AW14 look-book made me really fall in love… check it out here!
As you might now, I am really in love with Ania Kuczynska’s designs. Her Warsaw-based label, which is the most coveted in Poland, is a beautiful mixture of nonchalance and minimalism. And, oppositely to other Polish designers, Ania is not concentrating on the so-called “sponsored wall” or stars which should be invited for the show. No. For her, the most important are clothes and atmosphere, which is usually, modern and elegant. This time, for AW14 season (yep, sounds strange while the SS15 collection round have just ended), Kuczynska took us to the iconic Bristol Hotel, where she presented a dark, elusive collection full of sheer dresses and heavy, floor sweeping coats. The clothes, which had feminine, but simple cuts, reminded the Night Porter silhouettes. The name of this mysterious collection, LAVA, was possibly all about the fluid-like heaviness of the dark materials, while the quiet stars felt like a good way of having a dreamy night. Big bravo for this mesmerising collection because it (just like the whole concept of the label) truly out-stands the Polish fashion scene. Backstage photos via i-D Poland.