Lets Talk Socks

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Miu Miu pre-fall 2016

You’re about to read this post, but simultaneously you’re an absolute nay-sayer to socks? Better leave, bye.

But if you feel a long-lasting affair with this, somewhat, unconventional topic, then me and you are in the same club. Thick socks are no longer just there, to keep you warm in winter; white socks aren’t reserved for the bald pals from the bloc (or, so-called Gosha boys – a more high-end, fashion term); graphic socks worn with trainers don’t shout, “I’m a hipster” (wait, is somebody still using this word? Take them out of their cave, please!). Sadly, this footwear necessity of every wardrobe used to be laughed at because of all those stereotypes rooted in society’s heads. Fashion industry, fortunately, decided to support those poor, little socks, pimping them up and making a statement – socks are as important in accessories game as your handbag, headband or, yeah, shoes. So, who’s laughing now?

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Lotta Volkova nailing a Soviet, school-girl look / Vetements autumn-winter 2016

Miuccia Prada can be easily called a pioneer of introducing socks to the world of glamorous, high fashion. Last few decades ago, she was brave enough to make them look modern-day elegant and chic on her runway. Today, in both of her brands, Prada and Miu Miu, socks are the best-selling pieces world-wide. For autumn/winter season, Miuccia styled biscuity-brown, up-to-the-knee socks with velvet platforms at Miu; for resort 2017, she pulled off a line of fashionably unfashionable colourful checks and stripes, (not)matching the bricollage ballerina flats. At the main line’s spring/summer 2017 show for men, Prada was into in-land trekking, and – prepare, haters – her models wore bold socks with Teva-like sandals. Ha!

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Prada autumn-winter 2016

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Having fun / Miu Miu resort 2017

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Prada men’s spring-summer 2017

Another socks-loving designer is Alessandro Dell’AcQua, founder of Milan-based No21 and creative director of Rochas, a French couture house. With grace, the designer styles embroidered socks with embellished kitten-heels and satin platforms. In the result, his combinations with colour and texture appear to have a spontanous, soigné manner, oozing with lady-like appeal. Alessandro Michele, the man behind Gucci‘s re-birth, searched deep in British fashion culture for his resort 2017 show. The effect? Deluxe Camden market girls in thrift-shop-like fur coats fancy edgy, very kitschy lace knee-socks in the most vibrant shades.

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Lace socks with studded ruffle elements. Legendary. / Gucci resort 2017

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Rochas + Kappa / Rochas autumn-winter 2016

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Rochas resort 2017

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Rochas resort 2017

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Electric blue, polished burgundy and sweet pastels / Rochas autumn-winter 2016

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No21 pre-fall 2016

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Gucci resort 2017

There is no precise number of socks varieties  – but the season’s most off-kilter version was delivered by Acne Studios. Add ‘body-socks’ to your vocabulary. In other words, this is an extremely intriguing something between skinny pants and sheer tights. If you’re heading for this one, consider experimenting with leopard print (fashion show way).

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Acne Studios autumn-winter 2016

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Acne Studios autumn-winter 2016

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Socks for life! Btw, have you read my short ‘guide’ on tights and hosiery? No? Click here.

Résumé. Balenciaga Pre-Fall’16

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Balenciaga is another label which postpones its pre-collection release, taking Céline‘s and The Row‘s path. Moreover, there’s another reason why this pre-fall 2016 collection is a major highlight for the house. In fact, it was designed between the abrupt period of Alexander Wang’s departure from the maison, and styled during the first days of Demna Gvasalia‘s appearance. The press release informs that the collection wasn’t fully supervised by Demna, so the autumn-winter 2016 can be called his official debut – however, there are distinct twists coming from Balenciaga’s design studio, which will be surely approved by all Vetements fans. From over-sized hoodies to floral dresses, some of the looks could be easily understood as even pricier pieces coming straight from Vetements’ showroom. The next, much more sophisticated, all-black looks worn by Stella Tennant and Julia Nobis aren’t that simple, though, focusing on Cristobal Balenciaga’s famous body-sculpture play. The collection quietly nods to Nicolas Ghesquiere’s era, with this must-have aviator jacket with a shearling collar. Not surprisingly, Alexander Wang’s three-or-so year-long “legacy” is erased utterly, and hopefully, it will never come back.

The idea of photographing the models in a Balenciaga archive warehouse is brilliant, and it shapes an image of a brand, which wisely balances the past and the future. The very commercial, fur stoles with huge BALENCIAGA written all over them will sell immediately, I guess, just like Gvasalia’s vision for the house. Not that this collection is a masterpiece. But still, it builds strong foundation for Demna, makes a résumé of the past, and eventually, might become the season’s best-seller.

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Celinism is Feminism. Celine Pre-Fall’16

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See it, buy it. But in comparison to other houses which sprint in digital fashion era, Céline chooses to chill, rather than sell one-season-only sweatshirts. The house was the first to decide to show its pre-collection just a week or two before the clothes really hit the stores – and many other brands, like The Row or Proenza Schouler adopted this smart and tactile tactic. Phoebe Philo‘s pre-fall 2016 collection is in fact an introduction to autumn-winter 2016 which was presented back in April, filled with a strong layer game and the what-women-want styling. Loden green tunics / dresses are worn over extremely large velour pants, while pillow-soft handbags and totes are carried around loosely, just like the all-time classics suede coats and mackintoshes. Philo plays with volumes in case of smokings, too, delivering a super French  one in a dark burgundy shade. It looks even better on Nirvana Naves, Philo’s currently favourite model.

But when you see the entire collection, you can easily notice that Phoebe is keeping it very settled, even elegant, but with a number of eccentric twists (like the charms and the odd shape of Croissant bag). The reason behind that is not only the fact that this collection will be sold for the next six months in all Céline flagships. It’s also about the woman, who comes back every pre-collection; the pure soul of Céline. Let’s be clear – runways are much more unconventional and edgy, they are the occasions when the designer tries to exceed her comfort zones. But for this, and previous pre-falls, Philo is all about her Célinism – clothes, which are timeless, ageless and are every women’s essentials. Investment pieces, which are empowered by the women who wear them, and likely to be individualised by the way these women love to wear them. Pre-fall is bi-polar, from one side much it’s more feminine, and from the other – masculine. Lastly, it’s full of beauty – from the folklore detailing to the way the leather is stitched and processed in the bags. Perfection?

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Cashmere Drapes, Reconstructed Dutch. The Row Pre-Fall’16

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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen streamed their pre-fall 2016 look-book a week ago, with an over 2 month delay in comparison to other brands. However, it’s just in time before these clothes hit the stores, so on the 1st of May. Breaking news: The Row looks like a brand you will desire this autumn, even though I doubt you’re wondering about the next season knits right now. It’s a multi-layered, cashmere covered wonderland of softness and warmth, draped and reconstructed. Ribbed wool pants and dresses are as usual the The Row’s priority pieces, while the jackets with flowing silhouette look as if they were ripped out of a Dutch still-life portrait. There was a kind of elegant delicacy in this collection, too –  a milk-white slip dress with a ruffle at the hem worn with a button-down shirt, updated with puffed sleeves. Statuesque, yet light. The slouchy suede shopper bag ranks up high, too, as one of the best accessories of the season.

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Cats, cats, CATS!

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La Mania AW16

Some love cats, some hate cats. To be honest, I’m somewhere in between, as I have a dog, and I can openly call him my friend. But “cats” in fashion is a totally different story. They are always associated with cuteness, which often goes in a pair with commercial success. An animal-loving lady with some cash will surely give in for another kitty on a cardigan or a bag. Throughout the latest seasons, we’ve seen kittens and wild cats everywhere, from Miu Miu‘s resort 2016 cowboy boots to knitwear at N21‘s pre-fall collection. At Loewe, Jonathan Anderson presented a “curated like an art exhibition” show, and shocked every editor with his eclectic resin cat necklaces. The biggest cat-lover of the industry, Grace Coddington, was impressed. Next, we had another big cat moments at Stella McCartney and Gucci – the first was absolutely adorable with Lineisy Montero holding a really grumpy, yet sweet kitty; the latter felt like an ode to a nutty granny with a cat-filled flat. But in fact, it was Joanna Przetakiewicz, a Polish designer behind La Mania, who put the most effort in making a cat motif important this season. A result of 90-hour long handwork is an embellished panther detailing on a velvet cape – priceless.

Meow!

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Gucci pre-fall 2016

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Miu Miu vintage flats

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Miu Miu resort 2016

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N21 pre-fall 2016

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N21 pre-fall 2016

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Loewe AW16

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Stella McCartney pre-fall 2016

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Loewe AW16

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Stella McCartney pre-fall 2016

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No21 Pre-Fall’16 RE-SEE

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Alessandro Dell’AcQua, the designer behind Milan’s hottest brand N21, knows what will be strongly desired the next season by his diverse clientele. The Italian designer took an interesting twist for pre-fall 2016, refreshing his house codes and bringing new motifs – like the kitty-kat prints and embroideries on knitted, chunky sweaters and mini-bags. Long, grey coats with strips of velvet, silk dresses in military hues, series of light, masculine shirts with lace sleeves and the flawless, parachute maxi dresses in red and green are the total highlights of the season. Also, the shearling jacket, which reinteprets a classical, leather jacket is a favourite of mine after seeing it on the brand’s re-see a week ago. Just like the bow-top cocktail dress , which is an exaggerated symbol of N21, the collection is full of toned, yet cheerful clothes.

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All photographs courtesy of Design & Culture by Ed

So Miuccia. Miu Miu Pre-Fall’16

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Miuccia Prada is the designer, whose signature is so idiosyncratic and specific that you can’t mistake her designs with anybody’s else. Her use of colours, textures and textiles feels always utterly… Miuccia. So no wonder why Miu Miu‘s pre-fall 2016 collection, silently presented in rue Saint Honore store’s second floor, was filled with lace pencil skirts, socks, jewelled velvet pumps and corduroy jackets. It had the classical, Miu Miu girlie chic, which can’t be compared to “ugly beauty” theme which is constantly reinterpreted and channelled at Prada. If talking of shoes, there was the continuation of spring-summer 2016 footwear line, so the romantic and care-free ballerinas, now detailed with embroideries and buckled straps.

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Fun. Ports 1961 Pre-Fall’16

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Ports 1961 is under a new directorship of Natasa Cagalj, and it seems to move in the right direction. The designer, who started at Stella McCartney and continued her fashion journey at Lanvin is not a stranger to the best quality textiles and interesting colour palettes – her pre-fall 2016 collection, featuring the beautiful Poppy Okotcha, is a great example of a casual, yet slightly edgy wardrobe of a contemporary woman, who is willing to spend her money on the Toronto-raised brand. The new designer played with volumes, giving us those great-looking denim pants and elongated-sleeve tops. Also, I am in love with these little details that make this collection so fun – the cute pompons attached to the Celine-ish white sneakers and zippers on wool-felt skirts deliver a good dose of cool, care-free attitude. Nice!

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