Couture – Giles, Maison Margiela, Valentino AW16

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Giles – If you think of Giles Deacon and his fashion, first thing on your mind is his “fire burnt” gown or Kristen McMenamy in a white dress with extremely big shoulders – in other words, his most fantastic and surreal creations, which are on haute couture level. This season, forget about Giles’ ready-to-wear, as the designer decided not to show during the last London Fashion Week. Instead, he went to Paris for couture week to prove that he’s incredibly good in his love for “big, special pieces for the show“. Because, why not? Life’s too short to do something that bores us.

For his first couture collection, Deacon went eclectic, allowing his imagination take over the control. Voluminous ball dress in hand-painted, palm leaves print; purple mini-dress covered with three-dimensional petals; yellow, jacquard cape-like gown with embellishments. Should I list more? Oh, yes – the stand-out piece, so a regal velvet neckpiece in an Elizabethan style, which is of course detachable. As the queen wearing Giles wishes. There’s also the imperial ‘Faberge’ print gown, all covered in a variety of egg illustrations. Yum. That’s a wardrobe for a modern-day monarch – it’s not over-the-top kitsch, but adequately fancy. It’s visible that Deacon loves seeing his biggest love – couture – become a reality!

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Maison Margiela – I’m again on fence with John Galliano. To me, everything he does at Maison Margiela is haphazard, without any order. It’s not ecleticism. It’s a play with random textiles and textures. But this doesn’t mean that John’s chaos doesn’t have its own appeal – it does, intimately. Wherever you look, autumn-winter 2016 collection focuses on the tiniest detail. The bright yellow, ‘artisanal’ cocoon coat was worn with an embroidered drape at the back, while the dramatic veil on models’ head reminded me of a perfect day-with-the-bees option. There was an adventurous, bared-shoulder dress; a plastic construction layered on a red mini-dress; a show-stopping muslin gown with a red lace boy embroidered on. The attitude of the collection was quite revolutionary, and as the show-notes suggested, French revolution period is the main reference. Anna Cleveland, who wore a Napoleon-esque hat, looked like she was ready for the fight. Still, I doubt wellies and a tweed skirt with feather applications are best choice for a “military” gear.

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Valentino – You surely know that this Valentino show is the last one designed by the duo of Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri. At least, only one half of this pair stays; the latter, Maria Grazia, leaves for Dior. Which is quite unexpected, noting all these great collections (even if there were some ups and downs) and even greater couture presentations they did together. But on the contrary, Dior is really in a need for a designer with a strong vision after Raf Simons’ depature. Chiuri’s feminine point of view will surely match the ‘new look’, while her dresses are going to boost the sales (a new designer is always a gust of fresh air for a brand with heritage). Moreover, with her big step forward, she’s making history – she will become the first female creative director of Christian Dior’s maison.

Time will show what’s coming for Maria – for now, never mind,  let’s take a look at Valentino’s latest outing. An old chapter should be ended with a bit of drama, and this Elizabethan wardrobe of puffed sleeves and clerical robes matches the slightly melancholic mood. The collection was presented on the occasion the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, so no wonder why there was a lot of Renaissance Italy feel in these theatrical clothes, origining from Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice. Richly embroidered and oozing with romance (as hot red as the closing, aristocratic gowns), the designer duo proved once again that they are (or rather were) the masters of elegance. However, ignoring the fact it’s the last collection designed with help of Maria Grazia, I guess it would be simply considered as another beautiful, enchanting, and so on… Valentino couture. I confess – I hoped for something more.

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Elizabeth. Giles SS16

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To understand Giles‘s spring-summer 2016 collection, it’s good to look at the last few outfits. The laser-cut, micro-pleated, satin organza gown was worn by the one and only, red-haired Karen Elson. She emerged, looking at the audience with a royal manner, like the clone of Queen Elizabeth I in some kind of postapocalyptic, futuristic times. The show was set in the Elizabethan-era Banqueting Room in Whitehall, which was booked by Giles Deacon already a year ago – however, the place precisely reflected the collection’s mood. All the historic references played a role in the textile usage – Baroque wallpaper florals and embroideries based on tapestries look stunning on everything. There is no Giles collection without a proper dose of drama, too. The designer indulged himself in voluminous skirts, balloon-shaped sleeves and dresses with parachute hems or underlying layers of tulle. The long, white shirt-dress worn by Natalie Westling is the key piece to look forward next season. And coming back to the model casting, Giles was over-the-top with the hottest faces: Edie Campbell, Erin O’Connor, Molly Bair, Damaris Goddrie, Anna Cleveland and many more walked the runway last night.

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Neo – Gothic

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Blame Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs for introducing one of the most significant trends of autumn-winter 2015 season (remembering, that there as many trends as the number of designers presenting their collections during New York Fashion Week – A LOT.) Goth. Or rather, neo-goth. Wang opened the fashion week, sending his models down the runway wearing chained jackets and skirts,  maxi gowns and the must-have platform boots. The hair was all about a messy, black mullet while the whole atmosphere felt disturbing. The mood-board of the designer had a lot to do with punk and metallica, and surely Goths that we can see on the streets. However, fashion history is scattered with all-black collections – so what is so special about this collection? It translates more than the black colour. It conveys a refreshing, rebellious attitude. But not the Perry Ellis one, though. It didn’t raise that much of scandal and is definitely much more commercial.

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Marc Jacobs also presented his dark side, but in a totally different way. Rather than listening to metallica all day, his woman preferred opera and drama. Marc’s gloomy AW15 was all about Diana Vreeland’s glamour, The Night Porter sex-appeal and every Goths wardrobe essential, a leather choker. Personally, I hate seeing 14-year-old teens wearing those because they all look the same then  – but seeing chokers during Marc Jacobs’ show was absolutely fascinating. And somewhat, chic. Besides chokers, Marc made pleated skirts and brocade jackets have a major style moment.

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The trend for Goths went overseas and landed in London, where Giles Deacon of Giles presented his highly theatrical collection. The season’s hottest face, Molly Bair, wore a long dress and had a black lipstick on. Tim Burton’s model reflection, Esmeralda Seay-Reynolds, killed it while wearing a latex, Victorian-mannered waist jacket. The voluminous ballroom skirts have swept the audience away. Not only Giles presented his best collection to date, but he showed, that gothic fashion can be shady and really all about splendour.

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Alessandro Dell’Acqua reinterpreted the topic of goths in his own, Italian way. Of all mentioned collections, No21 felt the most wearable and minimal – however, the devil is in the details. It was visible, that Dell’Acqua has been thrilled with Alida Valli in Visconti’s Senso. Long lace gloves and over-sized ruffles there-and-there had more to do with the Victorian era than stereotypical Goths, however the collection looked forward in a street-style-wise way. The beautifully embroidered skirts were styled with black, neoprene hoodies, forming new, gender-fusing silhouettes.

The main aim of this post was to show you, that 2015-goths are not only about black, black and black. Well, of course you won’t really see a gothic person wearing bold pink dress, but – the neo-gothic style blurs elegance with extravagance, while it can also be more wearable and boyish. It can start on Victorian references and stop on a more modern-day punk mood. And the season of AW15 definitely proves, that being a stylish neo-goth is totally fine.

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Drama at it’s Best. Giles AW15

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Drama is the thing this season, that’s sure. After Marc Jacobs (the heavy Diana Vreeland boheme), Thomas Tait (elusive horror mood) and Thom Browne (a 19th century hospital vs. mafioso funeral), Giles Deacon shows us that a fashion show is not only a stiff presentation of clothes – it’s a performance. It’s a stage for actors – models – showing emotions through their walk and clothes. And in this statement, I would like to highlight Giles drama the most. The show was just extraordinary – Edie Campbell wore a latex Victorian blazer; Stella Lucia had a pink ribbon tied around her chiffon turtleneck – dress; Anna Cleveland, the star of this show, simply danced in a twirling organza gown. All girls had black lips and something ultra-vivid about them – maybe it’s Katie Grand’s styling? Or the old-fashioned beauty of British fashion shows? I can’t explain. But I am truly seduced by Giles for fall.

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