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.
Sébastien Meunier‘s spring-summer 2018 collection for Ann Demeulemeester was a clear message: a romantic ode to Robert Mapplethorpe, the late New York-based photographer. While some designers resign from mood-boards and straight-forward references, Meunier decided to fully convey his respect for the artist. In fact, the forever elusive persona of Mapplethorpe has much to do with Demeulemeester’s house-codes and legacy. For instance, the New Yorker of the 70s and 80s had an intense love relationship with Patti Smith – a muse and long-time friend of the brand’s founder. That’s quite a connection. Then, the dark aesthetic of Robert’s work and his personal style. Probably, if you could pick the best Ann Demeulemeester kind of man, then the choice would be clear. The clothes say it all: loosely-fit black trousers; sheer tank-tops; robes with a poet-like feel. But also, crumpled white shirts and lots of charms and pendants. Although Meunier definitely took the softer image of Mapplethorpe (distant from leather kinkiness), the designer succeeded reaching his goal.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki (backdrop: Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs).
After seasons of contemplating on humanity, Rick Owens looks at the brighter side of things for spring-summer 2017. Nina Simone on the show’s soundtrack (the show-note claimed that the designer listens to her everyday in his studio); joyous colour palette dripped in yellow; models wearing voluminous, extravagant silhouettes. Draping is a keyword for Owens’ latest creations, and this season isn’t an exception. Drifty dresses with fantastically sculpted, furry hems at the front stole the spotlight, just like the ethereal closing looks. For the last few pieces, Owens collaborated with Maison Lemarié, a Parisian atelier specialising in work with feathers and plume. The effect? Three, impressively fluid-like capes covered in ostrich feathers. In the dark world of Owens, it’s rare to say something is fairly tale magnificent: for spring-summer 2017, it’s a must.
Paris Fashion Week is the time of big debuts: Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent and Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior to name the most significant ones. But also, it kicks off with a big return. Olivier Theyskens. The designer who placed little canaries on stilettos back in 2002; the man behind iconic heel-less shoes at Nina Ricci. Prince of avant-garde, who has been sorely missed, surprised everyone when he reappeared in the season’s schedule. However, his spring-summer 2017 collection is far from fuss: intimately presented to a group of 80 editors and fashion industry friends, there were 25 looks. Both numbers seem to be unrealistically small for a fashion show in 2016 – but sometimes, it’s the quality, not quantity, that matters.
Theyskens had an occasion to refresh everybody’s memory with his cult signatures. Python leather leggings and very high heels are still his favourites; blazers with sleekly corseted waists are pure romance; elusive transparency revealed a thing or two. And the all-black colour palette (with minor splashed of red and white). Leave sultry to Olivier, as his love for women’s body is reflected in those sharp mini-dresses and intriguingly cut skirts. To a certain extend, I see some similarities between Theyskens’ latest outing of noir ready-to-wear, and Azzedine Alaia’s chic-defining fashion shows. The mood of privacy, and a kind of luxurious modesty, radiates in work of these two legendary designers. Even though they come from totally different decades, their sophisticated, and somewhat dramatic elegance never goes out of