“I thought, ‘God, I’m getting really earnest,’” Rick Owens explained Dazed & Confused backstage of his autumn-winter 2017 collection. “Instead of whining so much, it has to be about rejecting oppressive, turbulent times and defying it. When I look at the collection, it’s very much about bundling up, it’s about wrapping up. It’s like getting ready for turbulence.” This season, designers openly respond to the current political oppression, which is happening around the globe. From ‘peace scouts’ at Prada to defiant London-based designers, it’s about a modern-day armour. Owens takes part in the rebel, dressing his man in shelter gear: wrapped-around-body duvet jackets, voluminous pants and colossal puffa cocoons. We’re strong.
Marni is like nothing else. Why? Consuelo Castiglioni, same as Miuccia Prada, doesn’t care about others. That’s why collections of these two inspiring, assertive women always feel different from the rest. They are invisibly signed with their own signatures. But exceptionally this season, it’s Consuelo who wins the Italian game: her spring-summer 2017 collection is remarkably beautiful, and I might name it as the most brilliant outing of all Milan-based brands we’ve had an occasion to see. Its drifty, baggy silhouttes in cream white; the “hips don’t lie” pockets on dresses and pantalons; unobvious sexuality concealed in those voluminous, draped pastel-green dresses. I have a soft spot for Marni and its modern concept, but for the last few seasons I had a sense that the ready-to-wear collections were monotonous, and Castiglioni rested on her (well deserved) laurels. Now, it’s different: I’m really into the layered-up looks which reassemble women’s armor for everyday routine. Standing ovations for this one!
Continuing the Mastodon theme from his menswear collection, Rick Owens investigates his “uneasiness about environmental change” in the most elusive, and captivating way in his women’s show. And his response to climate problems, as he explained, is heading straight to his studio and drape. Drape, drape and drape – this word describes the clothes, which look eerie in their Dali-esque volumes, but surprisingly so soft that you want to touch them and wear them. Starting from the simpler white coats and dresses, the collection evolved in to something much more heavy – the duvet coats in chestnut-brown melted on the models’ bodies, while the velvet cape with a menthol green lining had this specific warmth which will appeal to many when the snows come. But the entire mystery behind the show was kept obscured under the surreal, fleecy cocoons, which to me, reminded bee-hives. By coincidence, Owens told the press during his menswear outing that his life-parter, Michele Lamy, kept a bee-hive at the rooftop of their home/office/boutique Palais Bourbon last summer, to help them survive the hottest summer of 2015.
I won’t lie that during Paris Fashion Week I just can’t wait to see my favourite designers’ work. Haider Ackermann tops the list with Phoebe Philo of Celine, and there is a reason why. There is a small group of designers who really do have their signature and can freely have fun with it, in an unconventional way. Haider is the Belgian master of layering – his talent of styling and mixing clothes is unique. And his spring-summer 2016 outing is one of the most intriguing. This season, his woman had a punk attitude, with fluorescent hair and a classic, biker jacket. “There was leather, velvet, silk, a mix of everything in women who were sexual, fighters. But they weren’t warriors, like all women they were in search of something, so they went out and found it.” The collection was rooted in femininity. I thought that Haider Ackermann’s role-model was an imaginary version of Marie Antoinette, who came across Coachella and Glastonbury. Note the shoes – Cubano boots will be strong next season. The ones with zebra print look so good with the decadent, pink slip-dress above. I can say straight- ahead, that this is my favourite look of the season. It’s just perfect in its acid splashed chaos.
Consuelo Castiglioni went samurai this seaon, just like for SS15 – belted vests and sharp, Japanese silhouettes. But this time, Marni sees the world in brown and other warm, earthy colours. A lot of fur was used as application for pockets and stole; the skirts had this “not so perfect” attitude with threads projecting from the surface of wool-blended textile. Textiles. Consuelo mastered layering to perfection – the clothes look so real and casual, that you just start to dream of snowy December mornings. But, you know, the ones like in Milan. The last outfit worn by Julia Nobis, the Victorian blouse with turtleneck and embroidery is everything.