Thoughtful. Jil Sander Resort 2021

If the pandemic has made us consider a more thoughtful, responsible approach to fashion consumption and an appreciation for the consistency of values expressed by a labels’ ethos, then Jil Sander’s Lucie and Luke Meier could find themselves in a good position. “In a certain way, the pandemic has just reaffirmed what we believe in,” they said during their resort presentation, held at the brand’s showroom in Milan. “This tragic situation has made people take a long, hard look at themselves, their habits, their values. It’s what we’ve done. We really still find that our path is a good one; our philosophy hasn’t changed.” The Meiers have built their fashion credentials around a care for quality, creating pieces that stand the test of time while being of the moment, with an emphasis on great execution. The human touch of craftsmanship is paramount to their aesthetic – just take a look at a clean-cut, pleated dress in butter yellow linen with embroidered jacquard inserts appliqued on the peasant sleeves, all woven by a family in Sardinia with traditional local techniques. For resort, the designers favored pure silhouettes, together with their flair for style opposites: strong proportions and sensible fabrics; a masculine sharpness of cut and delicate choice of colors. Shapes were kept sculptural but softer than usual; suiting was given a chic modernist feel, as in a sharp-cut masculine blazer in cream wool silk gazar paired with a circle-cut, cone-shaped asymmetrical matching skirt. Contrasting the restraint the designers favor, a comforting, pillowy padded blanket cape in high-shine white silk satin with baby blue inserts was thrown languidly over a feminine double-cashmere sleeveless dress. Meiers’ conceptual approach to the brand is all about consistency: “We don’t think that the Jil Sander woman really changes,” they said. “She cares about really good design, beautiful fabrics, pieces that are very well made; all these elements are now becoming more important than ever. People will probably consume less but better; they still want to treat themselves to a beautiful piece.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Minimalism With A Feel. Deveaux AW20

When Tommy Ton joined Deveaux as creative director two years ago, this New York-based label was a menswear line. Today, its business is in majority womenswear. All those years shooting street style outside the shows have paid off. Ton says observation is only part of it, though; careful listening to what his friends, customers, and friends who have become customers want is also essential. He hears women ask for sleeves that cover their upper arms, pants without pleats and skirts with specific made-to-be-flattering proportions. That may sound dry, but Ton enthuses about such details. He’s not in this for the runway glory, he seems to truly enjoy the nitty gritty of making clothes. After a couple of seasons of shows in New York, Ton and Deveaux’s designer Andrea Tsao opted for a showroom presentation in Paris (pre-corona times…) for autumn-winter 2020. The attractions of this brand aren’t editorial, their efforts are aimed not at magazine pages, but at women’s everyday wardrobes. As people running a small company, Ton and Tsao are practicing sustainability by using fabrics across categories. This time that means they made a shirt dress and a poncho anorak hybrid in the same khaki shade of water-resistant cotton nylon – pragmatic for the brand and for their often on-the-road customers. The New Yorkers are really good in tactile, soft minimalism: The Row, Gabriela Hearst, Khaite and Deveaux are a gang.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

The Choice: Helmut Lang AW98

A few days ago I asked you on my Instagram stories to pick one of your favourite collections ever and I would make a collage with it. Here’s @readysetfashion’s choice: the forever inspiring autumn-winter 1998 collection by the one and only Helmut Lang. A bit about this ground-breaking, now-cult line-up in the words of mimalism master: “This was at the moment when I moved my company from Europe to the United States. As I was preparing for our next ‘séance de travail,’ which was highly anticipated, I felt that it was in many ways a new beginning for me, and also a new beginning for how to communicate my work. I sensed at the time that the Internet would grow into something much bigger than imaginable, so I thought it was the right moment to challenge the norm and present the collection online. It was a shock to the system, but a beginning of the new normal. In terms of the broader context of the industry, we made in the same season the entire collection available on a public platform, allowing consumers for the first time to get an unfiltered view of my work.” Look back at the entire collection here!

More of your choices are coming in the following days! If you missed the game, you can still write me your favourite collection and I will do the work. Got plenty of time. Culture isn’t cancelled, fashion isn’t cancelled!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Crista Seya’s Summer

Crista Seya is a Paris-based, lifestyle brand which works against the fashion industry’s schedule (probably other brands will follow their lead in the post-pandemy world that hopefully will happen some time soon…). Cristina Casini and Keiko Seya, the founders, both have worked for years as stylists for publications like L’Officiel, Numéro and i-D. In 2013, the duo decided to launch their own label with an aim to release “editions”, not collections, of around 15 items – specifically, one edition per six months. No overproduction, no hurry – just a pure, creative process which combines highest quality craftsmanship with minimal, French attitude. The newest edition – #14 – is now available on their site and is a perfect spring-transits-into-summer wardrobe. The collection consists of a capsule made in collaboration with Salvatore Piccolo (one of Naples’ finest tailors) and pleases with delightful over-sized pink cotton pyjama shirts, striped shirt dresses with fringed collar and comfortable maxi skirts with stretchy waistband. The edition as well has the most beautiful light cotton caftan, linen-ribbed gilet and handwoven fringed poncho. While in the near future we all foresee home confinement, Crista Seya’s garments might serve right now as ultra-chic loungewear. I especially wouldn’t mind this look!

 Collage by Edward Kanarecki, photos via Crista Seya website.

Soft Minimalist Femininity. Jil Sander AW20

Lucie and Luke Meier‘s Jil Sander for autumn-winter 2020 is, simply speaking, beautiful. It’s the peak condensation of the aesthetic they’ve created at the label: soft, minimalist femininity. The knitted dress hug the body, the over-sized tailoring guards the wearer, the blanket-like, fleecy throws bring comfort and warmth… everything’s a delight. The show was staged with wooden chairs arranged in a round-edge rectangle in the center of the runway: the models walked the perimeter and took their seats. Backstage, Lucie and Luke talked about capturing movement and emotion, and the sense of stillness the models inhabited set off both. The Meiers practice a more considered, tranquile sort of fashion, one that puts primacy over noisy Insta-moments. What’s not to love about it?

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Monumental Lightness. The Row AW20

Slajd1

In the sea of meaningless or overly sophisticated (which, in the end, means the same as meaningless…) collections in New York this season, The Row stuns with confidence and actual sense of real desire put upon us, the viewers. As the models skimmed quickly by in flat slippers and boots, the thrill behind Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen’s line-up was in the finesse of the cuts, precise but relaxed, especially with the addition of turtlenecks layered under silk button-downs or worn solo under jackets. The tailoring is refined and subtle in shilhouette, and the outerwear is a sure winner of the season. It’s quite clear that the designers looked at Martin Margiela’s Hermès for inspiration – especially the layered knits and long, grey gloves that seemed to blur with the clothes. But I’m fine with that. An installation of sculptures by Beverly Pepper, an American artist who worked in stone, corten steel, and iron until she was 97, was the centerpiece at The Row’s show. Pepper died just last week, and the New York Times’s obituary described her as a “sculptor of monumental lightness.” The Olsens’ work definitely identifies with that description.

asdfgh

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Refined Classics. The Row Pre-Fall 2020

We try to be thoughtful. It’s everything for every day. There aren’t really tricks,” said Mary-Kate Olsen during The Row‘s pre-fall 2020 presentation in Paris. She and her sister, Ashley, keep on impressing the industry with their sublime, refined, minimalist, yet soft take on everyday classics. There’s an American tradition behind this: The Row stands on the shoulders of what Donna Karan did for second-wave feminist aspirers to boardrooms in the 1980s, and what Calvin Klein contributed to New York minimalism in the 1990s. Add quality that will last for years and years to come, and here’s The Row that keeps on pushing envelope in terms of the luxurious simplicity. The pre-fall line-up is filled with well-cut peacoats and silk robes, as well as business-ready offering: perfect midi pencil skirt with a matching a shirt in the same fabric or fluid trousers and a double-breasted jacket in the creamiest shade of ecru. Delightful.

All collages by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Classics. Lemaire AW20

When in doubt, turn to classic. Specifically, Lemaire’s classic. For their men’s autumn-winter 2020 and women’s pre-fall 2020, Christophe Lemaire and Sarah Linh Tran offer a sober take on masculine wardrobe. A coat with wide shoulders, relaxed wool cardigans you might wear on a bare body, over-sized, thick cotton shirts, black leather pants with a loose fit (they also come in  denim). The workwear-inspired jumpsuit, belted at the waist, is probably one of the best pieces I’ve seen this entire season. The entire collection is kept in warm, earthy colour palette that always works. Just perfect.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.