The Finest. The Row Pre-Fall 2019

The Row‘s pre-fall 2019 release came together with the launch of the brand’s on-line shop. Shortly speaking, the collection is as good as the website and the clothes available there – which of course isn’t a surprise, knowing Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen‘s love for refined. The look-book features the most luxe basics out there, from a cotton poplin shirt to virgin wool pants in the most delightful shade of caramel. Maggie Maurer and Małgosia Bela look stunning in those cashmere turtlenecks, without any make-up or accessories. Browsing through the bags and shoes, you will instantly get why The Row won the CFDA Award for best accessories last week. That’s a lot of The Row news for one post. Need more? When you open the Galerie tab on their website, you’re taken a step further into the Olsen’s universe: here, you can buy items from the sisters’ hand-picked, curated antiques collection – Gustave Serrurier-Bovy’s brass chandelier, a vintage Boucheron ring, Georges Jouve’s vase…

All collages by Edward Kanarecki.

Real Life. Balenciaga Pre-Fall 2019

Lately, all designers want to do clothes for ‘real life’. But it’s Demna Gvasalia who actually started that trend-not-trend, first with Vetements, then with time at Balenciaga. The pre-fall 2019 look-book, that sees models walk with their phones in front of their faces or making calls, is all about Gvasalia’s Balenciaga best-selling classics: sharp tailoring, denim, over-sized volumes and exaggerated logos. It doesn’t excite much, as it feels like a transition from the summer show from last October to the winter collection we’ve seen in March. But it’s a pre-collection after all. And it’s hitting stores at this very moment.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

I’ve Seen You Before. Saint Laurent Pre-Fall 2019

Looking at Anthony Vaccarello‘s Saint Laurent through a prism of his delightful campaigns (Juergen Teller’s spring-summer ad shot around Como and the recent Keanu Reeves spread are highlights), his girls gang (Charlotte Gainsbourg, Anja Rubik, Zoë Kravitz, Kate Moss, Mica Arganaraz, need more?) and art projects (production of Gaspar Noé’s latest film that premiered in Cannes, Lux Aeterna, starring Gainsbourg, Beatrice Dalle and Vaccarello’s model muses) and spectacular fashion show venues, you really feel like his work is… major. And, it does sell very well. But since Hedi Slimane is back in fashion with his Celine, you just can’t help but think: I’ve seen that face before. And while the new Celine aggressively hits the stores, and most of the clothes look identical to Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent (crucial note: YSL was actually defibrillated by Slimane some years ago with his slim look aesthetic, new branding and white marble floors), there’s a tension growing on. Do we really need two brands doing the same mini-dresses, boyish tuxedos and traumatically size 0 apparel? Moreover, both designers reintepret their maisons codes for the contemporary times: Anthony keeps on squeezing out Yves’ legendary Le Scandale collection, while Hedi goes for bringing back the old, very old bourgeois style of pre-pre-pre-Phoebe-Philo-era Celine. But somehow, the results are too similar. One thing’s sure: Hedi was first in the game. Still, fashion forgets quickly. Time will show who wins. Or maybe there will be enough customers to push both brands’ turnovers?

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Positive. Marni Pre-Fall 2019

There’s always something very joyous and positive about Francesco Risso‘s approach to designing collections for Marni. For pre-fall 2019, which starts to hit the stores, he crashed prints and textures without much caution, creating a beautifully chaotic wardrobe for an equally unique personality. The utilitarian elegance of uniforms was translated into elongated dusters, sleek car coats and double-breasted peacoats in thick fabrics like felted and pressed bouclé, padded satin, polished leather, shearlings and ponyskins. Psychedelic brocades and Lurex jacquards were used in one blouse, while Inuit-inspired prints were mixed together in opera coats and skirts with half-plissé side panels. The recurring use of natural materials is a nod to the no-waste, responsible approach the designer emphasizes. I think Marni, with Risso’s folksy aesthic, can take a step forward and start making its collections from upcycled materials, too. And incorporate traditional artisans’ work into each collection. This would be a brilliant example for other Italian brands to follow.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Tyrolean Romance. Miu Miu Pre-Fall 2019

I guess only Chanel’s metiers d’art show from 2014 and Miuccia Prada‘s latest Miu Miu look-book make Tyrol style look chic. The pre-fall 2019 collection nailed it with its Tyrolean references – think floral knits borrowed from the granny, corsets, lace collars, ornamented buttons and deep, forest green as the main colour. But when worn with polished, red platforms or a pair of military boots, the reference doesn’t feel too much. It’s a collection for romantics, who eat Mozart chocolates, hike in the mountains while it rains and drink Kirsch in the evening.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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.

Look Your Best. Mugler Pre-Fall 2019

Pre-fall 2019 is Casey Cadwallader‘s fourth season at Mugler, and I’ve finally become convinced that this entire reinvention struggle is worth it. It seems that a house like Mugler is so trapped in its one, distinct, crazy era, that it can’t be possibly taken out to the light in 2019 without being a sort of mock. Nicola Formichetti didn’t succeed, David Koma neither. But Cadwaller, the new creative director coming from the U.S., seems to be taking the right track. “I’m still trying to figure out who my icons are and what people come to the brand for,” said Casey Cadwallader during his presentation. He invited Cardi B to his spring-summer 2019 show, and whether you love her or not, she looked marvelous in that blazer. Pure, powerful confidence. That might be a hint. But it seems that Casey doesn’t want to solely operate on a celebrity customer base. He wants to get to the stores, and dress women, that simply speaking, want to look their best. It’s a style and attitude philosophy close as much to Cardi as to Thierry Mugler. Meaning, very, very close.

Back to this blazer. It comes up for pre-fall, and looks fire. The shoulders are big, the waist is cinched, the sleeves slightly elongated. This strong silhouette can be compared to Mugler’s original creations that were equally statuesque and bold. But it’s not the end of the highlights. A blue body-con dress in synthetic jersey had a wetsuit zip and patches of compression material… this arrangement was external here but applied from inside in other garments. The designer called it his “secret compression corset.” “Compression” leggings were a version of Thierry’s iconic corsetry reimagined for today’s athleisure obsessives. Other than the glamo-sportiness, we’ve got as well some very good denim, patchworked dresses, neons and men’s capsule (which feels a bit pushed). So, Mugler might be the new big thing with Mr. Cadwaller. Please, give this guy time to grow. Just look at the Paco Rabbanne case, where Julien Dossena needed few longer seasons to experiment and to really start bringing the brand to desirable relevance.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.