#2016 – Glenn Martens

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Y/Project is a prove that Paris looks forward to labels found by new-gen talents. Glenn Martens‘ vision blurs between the terms feminine and masculine, but also, reflect on the generations’ love for  pastel-pink trashiness, Cher’s good, old looks and this neo-goth, neo-grunge mood (which appears repeatedly). But you can’t compare Glenn Martens’ label to the fashion collective Vetements – the philosophies of these two brands are totally different, just like the approach. At Y/Project, drama plays a role – bishop sleeves worn loosely with pencil skirts; sheer robes with ruff-like collars ooze with ethereal elegance, but with a modern-day twist. The list of must-haves keeps adding up, and curiosity of what’s to come at Y/Project is absorbing.

While others re-invent heritage, French brands or mess around with underground rave culture, Glenn is somewhere in between reviving Marie Antoinette dresses and developing a 21st century gear for cool women (and men). For spring/summer 2017, the designer nails denim pants, which are very much into elongated silhouettes. Velvet body-con piece or a pony-hair top subvert the term “elegance”, just like unconventional evening wear which focuses on exaggerated, sleeveless parachute dresses. The models wore layers of pearl necklaces, ironically contrasting with the so-in-demand street-wise hoodies. Following the anti-fashion maxim, the uglier the better, Glenn sent out a line of the most trashy mules and stilettos you have ever seen. “They’re from Chinatown,” he said backstage, without an attempt to conceal this fact. I doubt a modern-day princess would immerse herself in those cumbersome clothes – but a Parisian skate-girl, for sure.

Before Y/Project, Glenn had his own, namesake label. According to him, after few seasons he had a feeling he “slightly burned out”. Then in 2013, he came in as creative director of Y/Project, just after the death of the brand’s founder – Yohan Serfaty. Y/Project used to be all about darkness and leather (think Gareth Pugh and Rick Owens aesthetics). Martens’ revamp lead the brand to a new client, and a new image.

It seems that 2016 is the year, when we have all really discovered Glenn. I bet 2017 will be a bomb for the brand, too!

Your wardrobe needs…  Y/Project t-shirtY/Project beltY/Project extended jeans & Y/Project tweed bustier dress.

#2015 – Massimo Giorgetti

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Italian fashion has never been so energetic as it is now! The year of 2015 is definitely the year of youth for Milan. And the most evident prove is the bold revamp at Emilio Pucci, which is directed by the extremely vibrant aesthetic of Massimo Giorgetti, the designer behind MSGM.

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Resort 2016 – I won’t hide it, the Peter Dundas era wasn’t ground-breaking for me at this heritage brand. His super sleek Pucci women felt so unexciting and monotonous that there is no wonder why he left the house for Roberto Cavalli. However, tfirst collection of the new creative director, Massimo Giorgetti, has something that caught my eye. It made me look at Emilio Pucci from a totally new perspective. The designer of ultra-trendy MSGM brought an eccentric vibe into the house of kaleidoscopic prints and luxury goods – multi-colour fringe coats, florals and eye-killing colour combinations. Giorgetti’s side-buttoned blouses – a nod to the signature Pucci silk scarf – sat strangely on the body, while his one-shoulder button-downs featured elongated sleeves. Giorgetti has a sense of measure about eclecticism: his women didn’t look odd, but rather like the Clueless character which suddenly appeared in Milan.

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SS16 – Massimo takes us to a utopian beach-side, where everything is possible. The sailor-girl theme was reflected in various shades of blue and the meticulously embroidered fish motifs ornamented tank-tops and dresses.  Dreamy and romantic, but with a modernistic edge at the same time. The accessories, which caught my eye instantly, made the cut. The colourful, leather bucket bags made every outfit look electrifying, while the feather sandals had a playful twist.  Just like the plexi sunglasses. Giorgetti is the real renaissance at Emilio Pucci, and 2016 already looks like a great year for the house!

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#2015 – Vetements

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Vetements in French means “clothes” – but Vetements goes far beyond the meaning of clothes in today’s fashion industry. It exaggerates clothes. It elongates the sleeves, gives volume to cowboy boots and makes floral grandma dresses look provocative, and kind of sexy. Led by Demna Gvasalia and six other anymous designers, who met while working as design team at Maison (Martin) Margiela, Vetements is the new force which makes fashion rules feel even more useless than ever.

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AW15 – Even their autumn-winter fashion show wasn’t a typical event where clothes were celebrated in a traditional way. But don’t think it was done in a fussy, Chanel way – oh no. The “creative network” of the brand took their guests to Le Depot, a sleazy sex-club, where everybody felt a mood of anti-fashion. At first sight, you might not really understand the collection – but in reality, it is not that deep in its meaning as you might think. These clothes, even though look pretty grotesque, are wearable. Gvasalia claims “as long as we can make clothes that people want to wear and they find them cool and relevant, that’s my understanding of hype”. Although the styling is complicated and well-considered (or not), separately the clothes are easy. Take the over-sized trench coat. You can wear it with everything – even if you might look like a hobo, you look like a anti-fashion person. But the thing about Vetements is, that you need to feel this anti-fashion thing. And live in it, consciously.

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SS16 – For summer, Vetements presented its collection in a tacky Chinese restaurant. But, even though the SS16 mood-board wasn’t focused on China nor on Asia, it reflected the spirit of this place through old-fashioned kitsch. Floral dresses inspired by aprons of Gvasalia’s grandmother, sequined capes, velvet sweatshirts and tunics – and all of that bound up with ultra-long leather belts with Harley-Davidson-style buckles. The eerie soundtrack of the collection perfecly described the new season’s attitude – it began with gentle waltz and then abruptly descended into Mayhem – the Norwegian heavy metal group. The  black hoodies featuring a print based on Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic burst confusion (maybe one of Vetements’ designers loves / hates this film?), however the leather jackets that were constructed to be comfortable when sat on real bikes made much sense. The must-have, best-selling jeans were renewed to be more comfortable and affordable. In other words, the summer version of Vetements  is rather an expansion of the last season’s wardrobe than a new idea. But in reality, it absolutely made the collection feel more desirable, just like the cowboy boots or sock heels.

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2016 will be a very special year for Vetements’ leading designer, Demna, as he is going to take Balenciaga under his creative direction! And basically, I can’t wait to see his debut collection in March.

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Raf Simons Departures Dior

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When this information hit us all yesterday in the evening, there was a “what has just happened” moment. Raf Simons, both spontaneously and officially, said good-bye to Dior, the Parisian mega-house. Simons has revitalised and modernised the brand throughout the three-year tenure, after John Galliano was fired due to his public, anti-semitic affair. The reason of this sudden change is not that surprising, though – Raf Simons leads his own, eponymous label for men and he has always called his journey at Dior as a “temporary, but beautiful adventure, which really lets him discover the feminine part of fashion“. Observing Simons since his first, haute couture collection in 2012, it was clear from the very first moment that the brand will go through a major refreshment – minimal silhouettes, simple forms and mind-blowing, floral show settings accompanied Raf from the beginning. I can’t say that I am super sad about Raf leaving the brand – I must admit, that some of the collections felt monotonous and exhausting (just like his last, spring-summer 2016 show which was presented three weeks ago). However, up to now I am impressed with his Monaco-based resort 2016, historically influenced autumn-winter 2015 couture and abstract spring-summer 2013 – all of them seem to look far into the future of woman’s wardrobe. Certainly, the time spent by Raf Simons at Dior ultimately defined those three years of fashion – “conceptual design” and “futuristic femininity” fit this period well.

The thing is, the new designer of Dior will be named soon – and I hope, that LVMH won’t elect a designer, who will simply not match the codes of Dior. There are some rumours, that the luxury concern can give Alexander Wang a fair chance to take this place – but please, remind yourself the hard times that Wang spent at Balenciaga – his fashion bored everyone and depressed the owners of the brands due to low ready-to-wear incomes. So guys, leave Wang alone. Also, there are high chances for Phoebe Philo and Riccardo Tisci (her contract will soon end at Celine, while his at Givenchy). I see Philo at Dior, but she matches Celine so perfectly… and Tisci will make Dior a 500-euro-t-shirt brand. Personally, I would give a chance to somebody totally unknown – like Gucci did with Alessandro Michele. Sometimes, the most unexpected choice gives the best results. And coming back to Simons, I am happy for him and his decision – I wish him even more successes in expanding his own, eccentric brand!

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Belgian designer Raf Simons appears at the end of his Haute Couture Spring Summer 2015 fashion show for French fashion house Christian Dior in Paris January 26, 2015.      REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Raf Simons, the conceptual, Belgian fashion designer.

Ania Kuczynska at Puro Hotel

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On Saturday, the event of  Ania Kuczynska‘s pop-up store took place, giving Poznan a new fashionable place to visit. In the lobby of the most design-forward hotel in the city, PURO Hotel, Kuczynska is going to sell and exhibit (note the way the products were presented – on copper hangers that look like contemporary art!) her signature, Shanghai bags. The must-have bags, which are the constant best-sellers in Warsaw’s flag-ship store on Mokotowska street, will be available in different sizes and textile varieties. My favourite is the black handbag – the size of it seems to be perfect for more than one occasion, and I can see it worn with both, casual look, and something much more elegant. And of course, meeting Ania for the first life was a pleasure – just like the talk about Milan’s best spots and sharing our “wow’s” and “oh’s” regarding the new designer at Gucci!

Puro Hotel Poznan / ul. Stawna 12 / The pop-up store of Ania Kuczynska is going to be open for one year.

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