The modernist architecture of Maison de la Radio anticipated Natacha Ramsay-Levi‘s contemporary sensuality that the designer implements at Chloé. In her second season for the house, Natacha’s vision becomes even clearer and understandable. Chloé is no longer a label with flowing dresses for running around the fields. It’s a brand for women of profession, culture, life. Vintage lace, tiers of goat hair and knitted ruffles were beautifully combined with earth tones and subtle cuts. Ramsay-Levi’s femininity, however, clashes with something slightly more heavy: think boots with metalwork heels or chain necklaces made of gold pendants, coins and keys. While Chloé seems to be the most realistic and powerful collection of this Paris fashion week up to now, note it’s not a Phoebe Philo clichéd tribute collection. It’s impressive to see, how Natacha builds her own, idiosyncratic language for the females of today.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Colour, Gianni prints, 80s sexiness – this couldn’t be more Versace. After her major spring-summer 2018 tribute collection, something has opened up for Donatella Versace. She seems to feel even more freed. And finally happy, against all the odds the designer met after her brother’s murder. Versace of today is her success, undoubtedly. She understands that the brand’s cult should be embraced – that’s why the Medusa and the brand’s logo are wherever you look. She makes the word VER-SA-CE sound like a vision of delightful, hedonistic and extrenely Italian dolce vita. But at the same time, she smartly injects her style into the house codes. I adore the contemporary sportiness to what she does lately – the eveningwear is glamorous, but comfortable; vintage-y animal spots and Clueless checks land on puffer jackets. Even though I can’t say I’m an ultimate fan of Versace aesthetics, I’m a fan of Donatella. She’s a woman to respect, and love.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Although fashion tends to misinterpret the term feminism, it’s good to know that in London, there are designers who can pull off the topic in the right way. Born and raised in Turkey, Dilara Findikoglu knows what it’s like to live in a place, where political and social stability is constantly on its verge of collapse. The frequently ignored problem of women’s rights, and how they are treated back in her homeland threatens Dilara, and intensely affects her creativity. As a teenager, the to-be designer discovered young John Galliano’s work in one of the glossy magazines – for her, that was the dream. Although the plan of studying at Central Saint Martins wasn’t appreciated by her relatives, Findikoglu already decided what’s good for her. So here she’s today – on everybody lip’s, yet far from mainstream (she dressed Lady Gaga and FKA twigs, yes, however she isn’t into going the easy path).
Findikoglu presented a mind-blowing presentation for her spring-summer 2017 collection back in September. In a very naughtily appropriate place I might say – a neon-lit Soho strip-club. Dilara’s model-friends (like the women’s rights activist, Adwoa Aboah) wore clothes that overlapped different decades and eras of both restraining and liberating womenswear: from Tudor sleeves and terribly tight corsets to very Vivienne Westwood SEX punk garments, this collection isn’t even a bit close to other brands’ outings that we’ve seen before. But the goal behind Findikoglu’s latest line-up wasn’t making a collage-like mix of historically significant clothes. “It’s about how women’s bodies have been treated in different societies – what they were wearing and what they were doing, what the limitations on them were.” While the models wore Victorian collars and PVC boots, it’s quite visible – the set, the one-of-a-kind pieces and the dominant colour of pink (all good girls wear pink, right?) weren’t all here by coincidence. Dilara enjoys messing up with stereotypes, and this brilliant collection suggests it’s the time of women. Make space for female power. These girls don’t care what you think of them, or whether you’re appealed by their feminine / perverse looks. If I would to choose a collection that colloquially ‘slays’, then Findikoglu’s gang tops the list.
Photographs by Frederico Ferrari and Lillie Eiger.