During the Australian Fashion Weeks, I always look forward to Jordan Dalah’s collections. His resort 2023 show was ‘camp’ – not in the Susan Sontag way, but in the literal way. Guests arrived to find comfortable camping chairs instead of the expected benches, while the modern ensembles saw Dalah embrace colour and the beauty of the outdoors. The transparent dress with pegs inside the hems saw an unconventional take on classic Australian backyard imagery, and was a highlight for many. Dalah possesses the distinct ability to combine Australian optimism, raw materials and fearless innovation with European craftsmanship and distinct elevated aesthetic – a skill which can be attributed to his time at Central Saint Martins. The collection saw Dalah expand on his existing vocabulary of voluminous silhouettes, signature hemlines and avant garde expressionism by returning to his Australian roots with designs that are fit for prêt-à-porter release. The collection’s “statement” look came in the form of two ultra-wide, flowing maxi dresses with lengthy trains. It’s delivering nothing short of high-fashion meets grand couturier meets avant garde editorial realness.
For autumn-winter 2022, Magda Butrym delivered a collection that balances her signature, chic finesse with a few delightful nods to her Polish roots. Those references definitely include the cultural legacy of early 20th century Zakopane, where artists created a new aesthetical identity inspired by the regional art of Poland’s highland region known as Podhale. In this “Love Letter” – the collection’s title – Butrym reinterprets the timeless shearling jacket by adding flower-shaped intarsia cut-outs, while the bold red rose print makes me think of Zofia Stryjeńska‘s vibrant depictions of women dressed in traditional highland folklore. Of course, nothing is too literal about this collection, and the knitted cream ensemble with a balaclava hoodie will work both on the slopes of Tatry and Megève. This season, the designer debuts luxe, commanding coats in red patent leather and pink, extra-fluffy jackets, as well as handcrafted details seen in the crochet dress and floral-appliqué mini. Feminine, edgy, distinctly cool and full of bling, Butrym’s eveningwear pieces are unlike anything else. Find them alongside her all-time must-haves – from bustiers with rounded cups to 3D rosettes, and a gray cashmere update to her best-selling long, boxy coat.
This Milan Fashion Week, it’s renaissance time for a number of Italian brands that in recent years fell into oblivion. First was Diesel, where Glenn Martens has his triumphant runway debut. Then, all eyes were on Trussardi – a brand that until Serhat Isik and Benjamin Huseby‘s take-over had pretty much no identity. Isik and Huseby have made their own Berlin-based brand GmbH a platform for commenting on the moral, philosophical, and ethical quandaries of our era, from race to religion, through fashion. Of course, the designers tried to bring some of that to the sleepy Italian label. The designers began by taking Trussardi’s signatures and making them their own. Rugged, embroidered piumino jackets opened the show, a nod to the anonymous but ubiquitous outerwear of European city life. Then the pair cast their eyes back further, to the complexities of Medieval and Renaissance dress, building armor-like shearlings and stuffing bustles under foxy black minidresses. Each garment in their 40-look lineup had either a curiously compelling texture – especially the holey knits that appeared mid-show – or a grand-scale elegance, like the coat-gown hybrids for models of all genders. The emphasis on a mostly black palette, Isik said post-show, was to reinforce the strength of their silhouettes. The sober ambience of the show (co-incidentally) felt humble and respectful towards the protests in support of Ukraine in the piazza just outside. Models did walk outside the show space within a barricade to give the crowd a glimpse of what was happening within fashion’s elite walls. It was the only direct clash of fashion and reality; the only acknowledgement of what is happening in Eastern Europe officially on the Milan calendar, along with Giorgio Armani’s silent show and social media posts published by an outrageously small number of Italian designers.
When Karolina Kurkova opens a show of a young designer, that means that a real talent is nurturing into something much more bigger… Fausto Puglisi, the designer of the moment from Milan, known for checked varsity jackets and gold ornamented skirts, this season had his first ever runway show. For SS14, Fausto not only showed his clothes have their own rock ‘n roll aestethics, but also are very feminine. We could see a Carolina Herrera mixed with Axel Rose in these amazing looks- a maxi blue dress with beautifully embroidered palms tapped with a leather biker jacket. Not only this collections had balls, but it looked real cool and great for Summer strolling somewhere at the Palm Springs… The fav designer of Coco Rocha, is now stealing the spotlight from a bit dusty Milan Fashion Week, but just ended today. Now we head to… Paris!