Identity. Gucci AW18

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 After reading Susannah Frankel’s massive feature on Alessandro Michele in the latest issue of Another, there’s no wonder why Gucci‘s creative director is… the way he is. His mother worked in film industry and was the 50s, Hollywood loving female; his father was a free-spirited, as Michele says, shaman. Such clash of identities had to result in a single mind, as wildly creative as of Alessandro. The autumn-winter 2018 collection is an overdrive of explosive surprises, that convey a message: we all have an identity, whether formed by our surroundings, culture or interests.

The venue looked like a cosmic surgery room, with an operation table standing in the middle. Was it a metaphor that Dr. Alessandro (and Gucci) are here to shape your, who knows, expression? If yes, then it’s quite a struggle to decide which aspect of the collection should we start with. Maybe the models, who carried their heads (!), snakes and baby dragons? Make-up – if you still can call it that shallow way – that consisted of Frida Kahlo uni-brows and cyclop eyes? Or even Pussy Riot balaclavas, manga-inspired prints and velvet burqas? Still, the collection was not only true to Alessandro’s extremely eclectic style, but his Gucci-fiyed reality. Gucci logo is everywhere, from the silk scarf tops to the buttons a tweed jacket. Welcome to the Gucci ‘pluriverse’, where there’s no place for trends, conformity or lethal routine.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Queenie. Richard Quinn AW18

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Some young designers appear on everyone’s lips thanks to their strikingly unique talent. Some luckily get to the mainstream by dressing a celeb, or rather an Insta-girl. Meanwhile, Richard Quinn‘s phenomenon got elevated through an exceptional combination: the guy has the talent. And, the guy had Queen Elisabeth II in his show’s f-row. I suppose the biggest names in the industry would be life-fulfilled after such an honour. For Richard, it’s just the beginning.

Quinn is the first recipient of Her Majesty’s British Design Award that is here to raise and support UK’s emerging fashion stars. With his knack for collage-ing and manufacturing prints in the most fantastic ways, there’s no wonder why the designer won. “It all feels a bit surreal,” Quinn exclaimed backstage of the show. “I only found out a few days ago that I’d won. When I saw the blue cushion on the front row, I knew it was real; I knew she was coming.” The emphasis that Richard puts on prints and patterns is impressive not only because he does wonderful ball gowns with a modern twist or floral-shocker puffas. It’s the sense of unity he builds among young designers and fashion students in London with his print studio in Peckham – it’s there, where he shares and lets for an open-access to printwork. And who would have thought that he has graduated with a master’s from Central Saint Martins just a few years ago? A bright, bright way future is there for Quinn, I believe.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

The Joy of Sex. Christopher Kane AW18

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When everyone’s sensitive towards the topic, Christopher Kane says it out loud: let’s talk about sex. The autumn-winter 2018 collection, similarly to the last season’s domestic kinkiness theme, enters the fields of sensuality like no other. The Joy of Sex, the 1972 illustrated guide of sexual positions and techniques by Alex Comfort, was the starting point for Kane. Some of the most expressive illustrations coming from the original version of the book appeared on the dresses, while mottos – ‘More Joy’, for instance – appeared on black knits and sweatshirts. The collection holds even more of ‘those’ moments, just slightly more subtly. Black leather was used for the coats and mini-skirts with lace inserts. Paneled, zippered dresses let for displaying or concealing different parts of the body – can be worn during the day and the night, how practical! Of course, Kane has in offer some less daring pieces, like chic suites or embellished midi-skirts. Still, the ‘provocative’ pieces are the strongest points of Christopher’s eroticism-in-fashion conversation.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Lady Bird. Molly Goddard AW18

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While looking at Molly Goddard’s autumn-winter 2018 collection, I was just impressed with the way this young designer does everything so effortlessly, with so much joy. And, simultaneously, with success. Although Goddard usually goes for party-themed venues, this season the set was an industrial kitchen, probably inspired with those in hotels. Models stopped for a bottle of wine, casually, or a chat. Was it an unofficial after-party scene we all witness from time to time? “It’s where I always end up at a party,” the designer said. “Usually that’s the best part of the night.” Few seasons ago, Molly stormed the London fashion week with her signature, over-sized tulle dresses and a cool, ‘what a girl likes’ mood. Right now, the designer moves towards new territories of 90s crop-tops and gingham, so that she doesn’t feel trapped in a garment she is known for making so well in her studio. “It gets very boring to be confined to the pretty bracket,” she said. “Being girlie is fine, but I think that girlie is often misinterpreted as wishy-washy or prim. I’m the opposite of prim.

Still, it was the ‘dress’ part of the show that really got everyone talking. The last looks, kept in happy shades of pink and orange, somehow reminded me of Christina from Lady Bird – the main character in Greta Gerwig’s debutant film, starring the phenomenal Saoirse Ronan. Just like Lady Bird, the Molly Goddard girl is a beautiful soul in the middle of a difficult world. Still, she’s got balls to go against the flow. Was that an unintentional tribute to all the Lady Birds out there?

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.