Flirting with Fashion. Marni Resort 2019

Marni‘s just-released resort 2019 look-book is so, so good. Francesco Risso‘s pre-collection feels like a remix of fashion history’s key chapters. 1930s dynamism and turn-the-century crinolines where beautifully matched with couture-inspired volumes (see that extraordinary black coat with XXL, round sequins or one of those chic peplum dresses), while contemporary, loosely fitted biker jackets contrasted with corset-like bustiers. Risso loves jumping from one theme to another, somehow pulling harmony out of chaos in his work for the Italian house. The looks, shot by Bibi Cornejo Borthwick, have that ‘realness’ factor – those aren’t pieces for fashion editorials, but for life. A joyful, slightly eccentric kind of life!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Demna Serves Classics. Balenciaga Resort 2019

Balenciaga’s resort 2019 look-book got released this morning, and it couldn’t be more Balenciaga – as we know it from Demna Gvasalia. True, there are less hoodies and much less sneakers (now, replaced by more classic looking black men’s boots). But the hybrid trench coats for him and her, voluminous pussy bow blouses, pleated dresses (in cheesy-chic flag print this season), dad jeans, oversized duvet jackets and XXL bazaar bags are all here. Those are the already-cult pieces that seem to be here with Balenciaga for years, not for a few seasons. Other than new colour combinations and a number of tailoring additions, the pre-collection brings nothing new to the table – except the fact that Gvasalia’s designs have completely synthesised with the maison he designs for. Still, there’s one element that will surely catch your attention if you seek the newness. “The symbol on the bags is the one for transgender.” The arrival of the pink and the blue leather shopping bags printed with the black circle, arrow, and cross couldn’t be better timed. First, they look great, second – they defy Trump’s intention to erase the transgender agenda. “I often try to include some messages that are important to be spread,” Gvasalia says. “It’s almost like advertising an idea, this very strong symbol.” Love it or hate it, he can’t go wrong.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Grunge is Back. Marc Jacobs Resort 2019

When Marc Jacobs presented his now iconic collection for Perry Ellis in 1993, he was rather close to being burned at the stake. Unapologetically grunge-isnpired, the collection went down with the leading critics and editors, except for Grace Goddington, who styled that equally (at the time) risky editorial for Vogue, visibly very obsessed with Jacobs’ bold move. Perry Ellis fired the designer right away, and became what it is today – a boring, apparel-focused brand for men. Quite unsurprisingly, the ‘true’ grunge world hated Jacobs for doing this collection, too, with Courtney Love and Curt Kobain reportedly burning the pile of clothing Marc designed with them in mind. But that’s history.

We’re in 2018, and Courtney Love’s daughter – Frances Bean Cobain – is one of the faces of Marc Jacobs, the brand. Even more ironic is the fact that Coco Gordon Moore, the daughter of Kim Gordon (aka grunge godmother) wears Jacobs’ newest collection called, wait for it: Redux Grunge. For resort 2019, the designer brings back 26 looks he designed for the controversial Grunge collection, now with his tag on them. The looks, shot by Juergen Teller (who used to be Marc’s long-time collaborator for years until 2014 – now might be back doing the ad campaigns!), are a testament to the brazenness and timelessness of the designer’s vision. They are as relevant today as they were revolutionary (or even infamous) 25 years ago. Well, that’s true – if not Jacobs, grunge would die with its subculture and never arrive to the mainstream. Crotchet cardigans, a midriff cutout knit dress as seen first on Kristen McMenamy (now on her daughter, Lily McMenamy), rainbow striped beanies, Dr. Martens boots, a cropped blazer baby Kate Moss would wear down the runway, chokers… well, it’s all pretty much identical. I can’t say it looks fresh – it isn’t the collection’s intention in the first place. But somehow, I like it, I like that free-spirited feeling being revived right now, at this moment. Still, it’s such a stark contrast to Jacobs’ saccharine and dramatic spring-summer 2019 collection… that you might really have problems with realising that one person can both do both, rough and sweet.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki, feauturing different visuals by Juergen Teller.

Fam. The Elder Statesman Resort 2019

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Greg Chait‘s Los Angeles-based label, The Elder Statesman, is where you go for the finest cashmere sweater (and not necessarily in a controlled, classic shade of beige). But for the last few seasons, Chait transforms The Elder Statesman from high price point brand to a lifestyle, that is open to questioning the pretentious term ‘luxury’. The resort 2019 look-book has a message. True, living your life in a Swiss silk knit (!) or a tie-dyed sweater from the softest wool must be a pleasure. But the photographed family (that travels Europe in a lorry truck, selling vintage and surfing where possible) suggests that ultimate luxury is not what you wear. It’s the freedom. And what goes with freedom, being not attached to anything conforming, for example trends or other conventions. Moreover, Chait represents unique style and the practicality of his clothing: how it can be combined, mixed, layred. Love that. Another conclusion: being a dad in those blue overalls or that vintage-y orange-pink jacket must be fun! If I ever enter fatherhood, I will surely look at The Elder Statesman’s collections for day-to-day outfit inspiration. As if I wasn’t peeking at it now…

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That Woman. Hillier Bartley Resort 2019

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What’s Hillier Bartley like for resort 2019? Well, it’s definitely not about one aesthetic or any central idea. Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier chose to play with their signatures (chic loungewear, for instance) this season, adding some very unexpected twists to the collection. Distorted, Saville-Row-esque tailoring styled with thick turtlenecks or coming in emerald silk; equally deconstructed shirts with, what it seems, clashed double sleeves; tie-dyed, high-rise pants. The enormously big taffeta bows on pencil skirts and strapless tops had something of fancy nightclubbing, straight out of the 80s, just like the latex pussy-bow piece. Oh, and of course that suit. “We call it the Brexit—or the anti-Brexit—suit,” said Bartley. “I don’t know where it came from, but it felt right”. Accessories, that are largely Hillier’s job, span from the classic bunny clutch (in new colours) to boxy Cassette, a bag injected with lovely, vintage feeling.

Conclusion: what’s most fascinating about Hillier Bartley – the brand exists for few seasons now – is that the designers created a distinct look that can’t be mistaken with any other brand. You look and you know it’s the Hillier Bartley woman – mature, kind of mysterious, but not taking herself too seriously. She can go for both, a cocktail in the new posh spot, or sip beer in an old school pub.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Colour. Calvin Klein Resort 2019

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Raf Simons’ resort 2019 collection for Calvin Klein 205W93NYC feels like a remix. It’s a smooth continuation from the line’s remarkable autumn-winter 2018 collection (note the fireman jackets and heavy knits), a reminder of the designer’s classics for the brand (polished cowboy boots) and a start of something totally new. Colour blocking! The clingy, maxi-length knitted dresses in bold yellow, pink or blue are feminine, but not banal (and are an echo of Simons’ work for Jil Sander, which makes this addition even more special for the fans). That major play of colours jumped into menswear as well. Other than that, we’ve got America’s most renowned university logos, all over varsity jackets, handbags and pockets of blazers. Personally, I think that’s the weakest point of the collection, but the one that will sell best. Still, it’s consistent to Raf’s thorough examination of the Americana theme he moves every season, in various aspects. Pre-collections are not main collections, so you know, Raf couldn’t go too far. But it’s a proper balance of commercial and daring.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

That’s a Party. Miu Miu Resort 2019

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Back from Italy and back to the journal. Now it’s the time to catch up on all the shows that took place during the end of June / beginning of July couture week in Paris. Miu Miu is first up, and it’s not even couture (although it had more flow and fantasy than some of the biggest haute players – Dior and Chanel, I’m looking at you).

Oh boy, we didn’t have a show like this for a while! Miuccia Prada‘s fashion spectacle was staged in the lobby of The Regina Hotel, and you surely know thanks to Instagram and all that Uma Thurman, Stranger Thing’s Sadie Sink, Chloë Sevigny and Gwendoline Christie all walked the show. But there was Naomi Campbell and Rowan Blanchard too, as well as Miu Miu’s classic pack of models, from Adwoa Aboah to Lily Nova. With Madonna’s sensual Justify My Love as the soundtrack, the collection featured everything that’s glamour: feathers, coat-dresses, leopard spots, chic fluffy flip-flops. But the presence of Roman Polański in the front row suggested also another, darker plot twist behind the collection. Rosemary’s Baby seemed to be written all over the line-up, noting the sheer nursery dresses and Lucan Gillespie’s very Mia Farrow haircut (done spontaneously, just before the show). The collection, in overall, is refined and mysterious, but joyous and carefree. Aren’t those Miu Miu’s all-time credentials?

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Royal. Erdem Resort 2019

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What a collection! Erdem Moralıoğlu‘s resort 2019 collection is about chic royalty at its best. So, what an Erdem woman might want to take from this season? Brocade bustier dress with detachable balloon sleeves (and that pearl necklace), for sure. All those chiffon pieces and feather moments. Not forgetting about the loveliest floral gowns with velvet inserts. Well, I guess the contemporary Marie Antoinette would take it all, without a second thought!

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Re-Invention. Salvatore Ferragamo Resort 2019

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It’s the second season of Salvatore Ferragamo‘s re-invention for Paul Andrew and Guillaume Meilland. The two designers managed to wipe off the dust of the Italian house already back in their brilliant debut collection. Now, the question is – will they thrive? And, will the client return to Ferragamo after the year of oblivion? Well, since Phoebe Philo exited Céline and the customer who wants that kind of luxury won’t stay for Hedi Slimane, they can turn to Andrew and Meilland (as well as to Lemaire and Hermes, but why not give a try to an Italian brand?). Knitwear is offered in the most high quality yarns, meanwhile shirting looks, well, like tailorship perfection. Archival prints were used for plissé silk, and the label’s signature Gancio motif was woven on canvas jacquard. Smart integrity between the past, and now. But, wait – the shoes! That’s Paul’s job mainly. Those burgundy boots in eel skin are gorgeous. “The shoes really dictate a lot at Ferragamo; here they have their own special voice” is how he summed up the footwear line. I think there’s bright future for Ferragamo with these guys.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Mr Porter US