The 2010s / Simone Rocha AW19

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.

Simone Rocha‘s woman-for-women AW19 collection.

Talented women with their distinct style rule in London. There’s Molly Goddard, Victoria Beckham, Mary Katrantzou, Roksanda Ilincic, Surpiya Lele. And there’s Simone Rocha, whose autumn-winter 2019 was one of the very best collections I’ve seen that 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. This line-up could not end up in my 2010s favourites!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki. Chloë Sevigny wearing Simone Rocha AW19, photographed by Harley Weir and styled by Robbie Spencer for Dazed & Confused.

Hi-Tech Minimalism. Coperni SS20

Instead of the standard runway show format, Coperni’s Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant hosted a screening of a short film at the Apple store on the Champs Élysées in Paris. Meyer and Vaillant love doing things with a hi-tech twist, and their minimalist line-ups are as sleek as the recently launched iPhone 11. Their ‘airplane mode’ symbol bag is trending since its debut last season, so there’s no wonder why the couple decided on reproducing the familiar arches in new colours and other leather goods. There was a Bluetooth bow on the waistband of miniskirts. A customer can  scan a jacket’s QR code to find out the fabric’s origins. It’s interesting to see how Coperni plays with technology that surrounds us everyday, even if the result is sometimes too literal. The simplest, least smartphone-inspired pieces impress the most: take the black mini dress with a razor-sharp cut, for instance.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki, photos by Hugo Comte.

Blauer AW19 Campaign

Sawtooth horizons. Snow-covered pine groves. Mining towns buzzing with new resourcefulness. For the fourth leg of American Portraits, the campaign format that presents collections through a road trip across America, Blauer USA heads to Colorado – where the Rocky Mountains echo with myths of the Old West. For the autumn-winter 2019-2020 campaign, James Mollison and his team get back on the road, turning a van into a travelling photo studio. Along panoramic byways they search for men, women and kids who can represent the lesser-known face of America, the authentic spirit of Blauer USA. The people they meet model the garments of the new collection – a mix of technical, performance outerwear including down jackets, parkas and leather jackets. The combination of traditional and cutting-edge materials and the colour palette ranging from khaki to army green, off-white and burgundy, are perfectly in line with the DNA of the brand originally born to supply uniforms to the American armed forces. The resulting portraits were shot between Denver, Boulder and the ski resorts of Colorado. The campaign is completed by an editorial-style catalogue – The Colorado Issue – that takes the reader on the journey to discover the mountainous state and the new collection. A series of videos follows the protagonists behind the scenes of the photo shoots.

About Blauer: Blauer is the fashion brand that treasures and renews the tradition of American outerwear. Founded in Boston in 1936 to provide the police, the navy and other military forces with technical clothing, today it reinterprets the concept of uniform to suit men and women that are independent, cosmopolitan and sensitive to quality, authenticity and performing materials. Blauer is owned by FGF Industry, the Italian fashion company founded by Enzo Fusco.

About James Mollison: James Mollison is a British photographer. His work is defined by original concepts applied to social and cultural themes. In 2015 he published Playground: a series landscape photographs of schoolyards where children are at play. The project followed up Where Children Sleep, an ongoing project displaying stories about children around the world and their bedrooms. Other books published by Mollison are DisciplesThe Memory of Pablo Escobar and James and Other Apes. His work has been published throughout the world including by Colors, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian magazine, The Paris Review, GQ, and Le Monde.

Colmar A.G.E. x Shayne Oliver

The adventure of the designer Shayne Oliver as the guest designer of Colmar A.G.E. ends with the New York based designer and founder of Hood by Air, creating a very personal interpretation of the archives with an inspired collection, that is decidedly less extreme than the previous two. Consisting of a colour palette of black, flame red and electric blue paired with a hi-vis fabric, which is applied both as detailing and as the actual fabrication of the garments. The rubber patches which have been a signature of the designer’s A.G.E. collections are placed on sleeves and the back of pieces, ranging from jackets to trousers, sweatshirts and T-shirts in an underground mood. The a-gender collection references the needs of a style conscious public, with a nod to urban lifestyles.
Within the collection, jackets come in different cuts and lengths. An oversized parka is quilted with a hood, press studs and front zip. A bomber jacket comes with a stretch knit collar, waistband and sleeves, with a light down jacket appearing classic only to reveal that the piece is actually turned inside out, with the seams exposed. Salopette pants are lightweight with a small pocket on the front. A variety of soft fleece sweatshirts, in different silhouettes come with statement hi-vis pockets, with the T-shirts reimagined with the statement applied patch telling the story of the unique collaboration between the two worlds of history (Colmar) and visionary (Oliver). The 14 piece collection will be available from September 2019 through 11 leading stores globally, including Ssense, Luisaviaroma, jofre, Block 60.
For the campaign, Oliver enlisted photographer Jordan Hemingway, who has been responsible for capturing the previous two collections. London based artist Hemingway, has previously collaborated with Emporio Armani, Grace Wales Bonner, Gucci and Roberto Cavalli. For the campaign the designer and photographer street cast models, who they felt embodied the spirit of the collection.