Detox. Acne Studios AW18

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They come back looking amazing, great skin, relaxed”, is how Jonny Johansson sees his friends and colleagues that have chosen to move away from urban environments to live in the countryside. Airy, light and cozy are the words to describe Acne Studios‘ latest collection – one of the best in a while. What the Scandinavian label has in offer for autumn-winter 2018? Well, everything is lovely, that’s first. Whether we’re speaking of the loosely fit, buttoned maxi-dresses in toned florals or plaid blanket coats, it’s a wardrobe that’s ready to please you in autumn, both in the city or in the forest (mushroom-picking!). Also, I can’t get enough of the colour palette, which reminds me of an idyll, late September rural landscape. You might ask yourself a question, why is the collection presented as early as Vetements or Proenza Schouler? Johansson’s decision for Acne Studios follows a certain ‘detox’ philosophy. Showing earlier, close in time to the menswear presentation, lets Johansson focus creatively on a specific concept and, to some extent, escape the regular Paris fashion week rush for limelight. And now, off to the country.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Majestic. Valentino Haute Couture SS18

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Dear Pierpaolo Piccioli, without any doubts, I’m calling your latest haute couture collection for Valentino the best of the season. It’s so captivating, delightful, grandiose, majestic! So many big words are here to describe every single piece of the show, from the boldly-coloured feather jellyfish headwear by the miliner Philip Treacy to the voluminous, ball gowns in lady-like tulle and pure silk. Pierpaolo reaches the heights of Valentino Garavani, the master, with this incredible collection. It’s a comeback to couture that really looks like couture, updated with very deluxe tank-tops, flares fit for dames and clean-cut outerwear (which makes an entrance – just see that statuesque, yellow coat!). Piccioli combines jewel-toned colours with pastels, and at some points goes for elegant black and white. But what I love the most about this impressive outing is its easiness. It’s fun, its rich, it’s wearable, yet not ordinary. Since Maria Grazia Chiuri’s departure to Dior (duh…), I haven’t seen anything particularly interesting about Piccioli’s solo direction. But now, he seems to blossom, in a good, fashion dream way. Bravo!

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Hi-Tech Magic. Maison Margiela Haute Couture SS18

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When I returned to designing, I was taken aback by how everyone was seeing shows through their phones, John Galliano confessed to the press after the spring-summer 2018 couture show for Maison Margiela. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em? Well, you can say that Galliano found a compromise for his initial frustration with the Insta-phenomen. A very, very innovative one. The audience members were asked to turn their cameras to flash throughout the show, which resulted in a totally unexpected experience. Everyone captured their own images of fabrics of the high-tech garments as the models walked down the runway. “It’s quite scientific,” Galliano continued. “We recorded every moment of what we were making, then looked at the photographs and altered what we were doing according to the photos.” The reaction of polyurethane to camera flash works magic on holographic material that was layered over polka dots and artisanal chinoiserie jacquards. In other words, what you see IRL, looks (and shines) differently, when you compare it to digital shot of the same piece. Fashion, for goodness sake, is a dream! And Galliano knows that. If your pocket isn’t filled with a haute couture budget, it’s just the matter of time when the hi-tech concept hits Maison Margiela’s regular ready-to-wear.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Elegance. Givenchy Haute Couture SS18

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Sublime. Unpretentious. Elegant. Those were the first words that dropped in my mind while watching Clare Waight Keller‘s debut haute couture show for Givenchy. Back in October, I was on fence with her first ready-to-wear collection for the house – it felt like lacking any direction, taking clues from Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent era. But with this simply beautiful couture outing, I’m quite sure that Clare is finding her path at Givenchy. Moving away from her boho Chloé days for good, the designer gracefully revisited Hubert de Givenchy’s archives and delivered a line up of masterfully cut eveningwear. Forget futile venues; focus on the garments. She studied “the structure and graphism Hubert had in his work at the beginning.” And then, she indulged herself fully in it and got on with working with the atelier team in “the complete freedom couture offers.” From all-black looks to very fine-looking latex creations, I think there won’t be much of a problem with selection of the looks for the red carpet goers (think Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara). I really hope to see that orange feather bomb in action, as well.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.