Grunge Baroque. Paco Rabanne Pre-Fall 2019

Julien Dossena‘s spring-summer 2019 collection for Paco Rabanne was one of the season’s biggest highlights – which was, to be honest, an absolute surprise. With the designer’s equally good pre-fall 2019 look-book, it’s visible that Rabanne is going up, up and up in the ranks. The collection continues the boheme eclecticism from summer, but feels even more confident. It’s a clash of baroque and grunge – think floral tapestry prints and plaid shirts. It’s like the designer invites both Queen Elizabeth and Courtney Love to the table. Equestrian tailoring goes with checked pants, while tank-tops are worn over chainmail dresses (distinctly Rabanne piece, looking as innovative in 2019 as in the 60s). When you take off the tiara and stay with the daywear, this is a very approachable, chic wardrobe. But then, should we part with the tiara?

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Grunge is Back. Marc Jacobs Resort 2019

When Marc Jacobs presented his now iconic collection for Perry Ellis in 1993, he was rather close to being burned at the stake. Unapologetically grunge-isnpired, the collection went down with the leading critics and editors, except for Grace Goddington, who styled that equally (at the time) risky editorial for Vogue, visibly very obsessed with Jacobs’ bold move. Perry Ellis fired the designer right away, and became what it is today – a boring, apparel-focused brand for men. Quite unsurprisingly, the ‘true’ grunge world hated Jacobs for doing this collection, too, with Courtney Love and Curt Kobain reportedly burning the pile of clothing Marc designed with them in mind. But that’s history.

We’re in 2018, and Courtney Love’s daughter – Frances Bean Cobain – is one of the faces of Marc Jacobs, the brand. Even more ironic is the fact that Coco Gordon Moore, the daughter of Kim Gordon (aka grunge godmother) wears Jacobs’ newest collection called, wait for it: Redux Grunge. For resort 2019, the designer brings back 26 looks he designed for the controversial Grunge collection, now with his tag on them. The looks, shot by Juergen Teller (who used to be Marc’s long-time collaborator for years until 2014 – now might be back doing the ad campaigns!), are a testament to the brazenness and timelessness of the designer’s vision. They are as relevant today as they were revolutionary (or even infamous) 25 years ago. Well, that’s true – if not Jacobs, grunge would die with its subculture and never arrive to the mainstream. Crotchet cardigans, a midriff cutout knit dress as seen first on Kristen McMenamy (now on her daughter, Lily McMenamy), rainbow striped beanies, Dr. Martens boots, a cropped blazer baby Kate Moss would wear down the runway, chokers… well, it’s all pretty much identical. I can’t say it looks fresh – it isn’t the collection’s intention in the first place. But somehow, I like it, I like that free-spirited feeling being revived right now, at this moment. Still, it’s such a stark contrast to Jacobs’ saccharine and dramatic spring-summer 2019 collection… that you might really have problems with realising that one person can both do both, rough and sweet.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki, feauturing different visuals by Juergen Teller.

Melting Pot. Alexander Wang SS19

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It seems that the New York fashion calendar is about to break down entirely. Some major designers show in Paris; some are coming back home, and to the regular schedule  (Proenza Schouler is the latest); and some, like Alexander Wang, decide to show ahead of all, in the Big Apple, and persuade us, the confused viewers, not to call it spring-summer 2019 – but rather, the enigmatic ‘season 1’. Yes, I know that might be too much. But surprisingly, all those switches did good to Wang. Not that I adore his latest collection, but it’s so much better than his last seasons. At least, it’s not trying to mean too  much as it did the last time with the Matrix-CEO theme.

The inspiration started with Alexander’s mum and dad taking a trip together, and their immigration to America. Still, the collection wasn’t meant to be overly political, so migration wasn’t the ultimate key here. The designer focused on the notion of more dynamic, risk-involving travelling, or rather riding. Maybe the attitude close to Lana Del Rey’s Ride music video might be a clue. In overall, the collection felt like a creative melting pot shaped from Wang’s experiences, fascinations and aesthetics. We’ve had the Axl Rose bandanas; motocross gears; leather mini skirts and ‘piercing’ tops made of pins; football jerseys. Is that the today’s grunge according to Alex? Who knows. Definitely, Wang felt a lot of joy, while designing the collection, as all of that is truly, but truly him.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

 

Teen Spirit. Miu Miu SS18

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While at her main line in Milan, Miuccia Prada discussed real heroines and the female gaze through comic-like prints, in Paris she sparked the 80s / 90s teen spirit. Ballerina-length lace dresses, checked lumberjack shirts and college sweaters were like the thrift-shop finds of rebellious students, who are about to spend a night playing in their garage band. But a bit more prettier. That’s precisely something a true Miu Miu girl will fall in love with the next season. I also liked the grunge / prairie girl contrast. But the overall effect is not too sophisticated and rather goes back to Miu Miu’s original roots: those are clothes for a younger audience. What really felt like a ‘moment’ this season was the perfectly balanced model casting: over half of the models were non-Caucasian, which tells one simple thing: yes, it’s possible, fashion industry. Please, take notes from Anita Bitton, the brand’s casting director.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.