Hot. Bottega Veneta Pre-Fall 2020

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Maybe Daniel Lee‘s winning of nearly every nomination during the recent British Fashion Awards wasn’t such an exaggeration. His pre-fall 2020 collection for Bottega Veneta is so, so, so hot. First, he let colour in. The splashes of cobalt blue, rubber pink and sun-drenched ochre is a combination that will inject vibrance to your autumn wardrobe on a daily basis. Then, all the leather. Lee proves once again his respect for Bottega Veneta as a leather house, creating wonders. The signature intrecciato weaving goes XXL in coats and bags, the shoes get fun bubble quilts and the polished, over-sized pants have an amazing, butter-y texture. Also, something has shifted in Daniel’s ready-to-wear. Comparing to his last autumn-winter season, this one feels very sensual and body-friendly. Just take a look at the knitted dresses and tops with ankle-lenght fringes or the fluid-like sequinned eveningwear. Not speaking of the tailoring, which gets more and more refined with every season. And Bottega denim? A big yes.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Clothed Bodies. Gucci Pre-Fall 2020

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Alessandro Michele‘s pre-fall 2020 collection for Gucci is the post scriptum of his vision he staged back in September. “It tells the same story about proportion, silhouette, and, above all, the balance between shape and color,” he summed up. Balancing contrasting bearers of meaning in the same outfit has always been a Michele’s skill. He simplified his looks – cleaning it up (aesthetically) definitely works for Alessandro lately. Shapes had clarity, with hints to the elegance of the 1960s (trapeze dresses in solid colors or in black with cutout décolletage; short capes calling to mind Pierre Cardin’s futuristism; bold floral ensembles with boxy-cut little jackets) and to the free-spirited bohemia of the 1970s (gorgeous kaftans in every possible length; flowing feminine chemisier dresses; floor-grazing linen tunics with contrasting macramé appliqués or geometric motifs). Decoration and embellishments, although reduced, were still idiosyncratic and full of appeal. Michele’s knack for cultivated quirk crept up also in his punctuation of lingerie as a subtly sexual message – a theme he introduced in the September show. Logoed brassieres and underwire bras peeked from underneath blouses or crisscrossed open tops, worn under leather blazers.

The lookbook was shot in Rome through the lens of  Bruce Gilden. The cast of characters was as diverse as can be, including model and advocate Bethann Hardison and fashion legend Benedetta Barzini, both fabulous in their age-defying charisma and presence. “At the core [of the collection] remains the relationship between clothing and its wearer, and everything that revolves around these ‘clothed bodies,’” explained Michele. “The set and the photography not only emphasize the look but also the characters, providing a viewpoint to delve into the relationship between empty and full spaces, between clothed bodies and the space around them—and therefore between where we are and what is happening.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Signatures. Batsheva Pre-Fall 2020

The Batsheva dress: high-neck, nipped waist, ruffle sleeve, full skirt. That distinct silhouette made designer Batsheva Hay‘s brand become one of New York’s biggest favourites. And even though season goes, this dress – often made from ornate, vintage textiles – doesn’t get boring. Still, now Batsheva has to move on creatively. And looking at her pre-fall 2020, she thrives. Meet the smock frock, which works as a housecoat in velveteen leopard and crimson moiré. “That’s how I want to dress now,” Hay says. And what Hay wants remains the backbone of Batsheva. New, over-sized shapes and menswear-ish separates (like a Western shirt) make debuts. Hay’s choice of fabrics – a mix of quilting materials and unlikely fashion candidates like burnout velvets and suit linings – keeps a consistency between her circle skirts and more structured day dresses. Get the Batsheva look.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

American Princess. The Marc Jacobs Pre-Fall 2020

The sister line of Marc Jacobs is (finally) what Miu Miu used to be to Prada in the early 2000s – a more accessible, easy and care-free label that isn’t a license trash. The Marc Jacobs (the name is Marc’s actual Instagram handle) is the modern day Marc by Marc Jacobs, which comparing to its predecessor is presice in style and consistently rotates around some of the biggest Jacobs hits: a denim jacket with Victorian puff sleeves; grunge-y baby doll dresses; fun accessorising. The “American Princess” signs all over the belts and 90s mini-bags look like instant best-sellers, just as the colourful tights that will elevate every look or adorable variations of the prairie dress. The cupcake-boob t-shirts are hilarious in a good way. While today’s sister line fashion landscape  – think See by Chloe, Red Valentino, M Missoni… – rarely spark much interest and in general feel sleepy, The Marc Jacobs isn’t trying to be the main line at a lower price point. Instead, it sells great clothes that complete Marc’s brand.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

31 Rue Cambon. Chanel Pre-Fall 2020

Virginie Viard takes Chanel to its (at times clichée) codes. Viard titled her Métiers d’Art show “Paris 31 rue Cambon” for the street where Coco Chanel first set up shop as a milliner in 1910 (“Chanel Modes” at Number 21), and where she later expanded her fashion empire to embrace six additional 18th-century buildings, with her legendary haute couture salons at Number 31. The guests sat inside of Coco’s legendary apartment, XXL-scaled and set up in Grand Palais (there was even the famous mirrored staircase). “I adore the apartment,” Viard said backstage, and she evidently found inspiration in this setting where Chanel retreated from the running of her house and entertained friends. The designer described the collection as “the things we like, a mix of Karl and Chanel—the codes.” Of course, comparing to Lagerfeld’s globe-trotting Méters d’Art fairy-tales – think Moscow, Edinburgh, Texas, the Met in New York – seeing Viard show in Paris felt quite unamusing. Nevertheless, the collection was properly Chanel – elegant, refined, refreshingly minimal, yet far from modesty. The pre-fall collections of Chanel showcase the incredible work of the luxury suppliers of the fashion industry – embroiderers, feather and artificial flower makers, milliners, custom shoemakers – many of which Chanel has acquired to keep them operational and the skills alive. Viard, who directed the Chanel studio under Lagerfeld for decades, has a fine appreciation of what these ateliers are capable of. A bolero jacket with broad feathers overprinted with a shadowy pattern of Chanel’s iconic camellias; a feather blazer worked into a subtle trompe l’oeil plaid; eveningwear kept in the most gorgeous, sorbet ombré colour palette… delightful. Viard proves once again that her Chanel takes a slower approach, one that cherishes the timeless classics and the artisan work. Less Instagram moments, more beauty in the details.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.