The Look: Wales Bonner SS19

In support for the Black community, I continue celebrating and highlighting the talented individuals that shape fashion today. Take notes! The main points behind the Grace Wales Bonner‘s spring-summer 2019 collection weres spirituality and the seek for inner peace. Wales Bonner found Ram Dass, one of the first people who brought ideas of yoga and meditation to a Western audience, as the key for that relaxed, yet oozing with mystique line-up. Inspirational texts from the spiritual teacher’s book appear printed on loosely fit t-shirts, cotton shirts and over-sized yoga pants. Some read such profound quotes as: “The stillness. The calmness. The fulfillment. When you make love and experience the ecstasy of unity.” But the collection as well has a less laid-back, more celebratory side. Some of the pieces were hand-embellished with shiny sequins and were a nod to craftsmanship originating from India. More about the collection, click here. For more of the London-based designer, click here!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

The Look(s) – Vera Wang SS19 Bridal

I really don’t care for bridal-wear. Except for Vera Wang‘s. Vera doesn’t play by anyone’s rules. In the world of wedding dresses, white of course predominates. The New York-based designer, however, indulged in vibrant, sumptuous colours for spring-summer 2019. “I wanted to explore translucency and movement, and obviously color, but in a new way,” she explained back then, “in order to ignore certain ‘bridal’ dictums, like white, beading, acres of lace, and traditional ball skirts.” Drawing inspiration from the canvases of Dutch master Johannes Vermeer, she delivered tulle-heavy romanticism with a touch of edge.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

The Want: Bottega Venetta’s Pouch

The Want: It’s one of the first designs by Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta. ‘The Pouch’ is an oversized clutch made with soft folds of the brand’s handwoven intrecciato leather that envelope the bag’s frame and create a voluminous, rounded shape. Bottega Veneta’s heritage of leather craftsmanship, refreshed and revised with modern sensibility. If only the price tag wasn’t that painful…

Photo by Edward Kanarecki.

The Want: Jil Sander’s Sandals

The Want: Lucie and Luke Meier‘s spring-summer 2019 collection for Jil Sander was a subtle nod to Japan’s love for clean lines and minimalism in general. The fusbett slide in super-soft nappa built on an ayous clog lightened with cork might look tricky at a first glance. But imagine how these shoes will elevate every single outfit you wear this summer.

Photo by Edward Kanarecki.

Colour. Valentino Couture SS19

Pierpaolo Piccioli’s couture for Valentino is the only couture that matters. No crazy venues that attempt to distract you from noticing how plain the collection is (I see you, Dior and Chanel). Just pure, joyous, glorious haute couture that enchants and truly impresses. And makes Celine Dion cry. This spring-summer 2019 collection, reserved for the richest and most extravagant women on our planet, was a triumph of audacious colour, beauty and glamour. But also, it was a major model casting breakthrough, with completely diverse models that made the garments even more exquisite. The designer embraced black beauty, having Adut Akech open the show (in a brilliant, pink ensemble) and Naomi Campbell close (in a gown made out of translucent organza in the shade of Chocolate Dahlia). There was Liya Kebede, there was Lineisy Montero, there was Ugbad Abdi. Runway icons, veterans, and newcomers. The entire scene looked like a fairy-tale… that really took place. This couture collection again proved that colour is crucial for Pierpaolo, especially in terms of couture. “You don’t invent beauty, but you can invent new harmonies for colour”, the maestro said backstage. Just read the following: a coral coat worn with a chocolate crepe blouse and emerald gabardine pants. Lilac serape topped a pair of orange pants. Turquoise lace and tangerine silk faille. Green sequins. Pale mauve. Matisse blue. All that worked with voluminous ball gowns that took hundreds of hours to create at Valentino atelier in Rome. Unquestionably, Piccioli is a couturier of Garavani’s heights. And it’s a blessing for today’s fashion to experience his genius.

All collages by Edward Kanarecki.

CFDA 2018 Winners

Pyer Moss SS19

I’m always thrilled to see how talents are finally spotted and then rightly backed up. Congratulations to the 2018 CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund winner, Pyer Moss. Designer Kerby Jean-Raymond accepted the CVFF award (from actress Emily Blunt) yesterday, following a dinner and fashion show held in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York. Pyer Moss has been lauded for its beautiful and intelligent celebration of black culture in America. The designer makes activism a crucial component of his brand, being as well vocal about current problems that America faces today – from the current president to widespread social injustice. Interesting to see how the award helps Pyer Moss expand with its powerful vision. But there isn’t just one winner at CFDA. Taking home one of the two runner-up prizes for this year is Emily Bode of the menswear brand Bode. Last year, Bode became one of the few women to showcase at the sleepy New York Fashion Week: Men’s – because, one could say, she knows what the boys want (think a rugby jacket in the brightest shade of orange; loosely fit vintage-y suits; The Darjeeling Limited inspired, hand-dyed t-shirts). Now in its second year, the label has been praised for its sustainable practices and focus on craft. To be honest, Bode is a brand I wish I had in my wardrobe – just look at the label’s new season offering. The second runner-up prize went to Jonathan Cohen. The designer launched his namesake brand in 2011, and has been steadily gaining recognition for easy-breezy pieces, which makes getting dressed as simple as dipping into one of his feminine dresses with intriguing finishings. From this year’s finalists, I also had major hopes for Batsheva (you might have seen one of those already cult prairie dresses here or there) and Matthew Adams Dolan (the Rihanna and SZA dresser who makes all-American uniforms look fashion). As Anna Wintour summed up this year’s winners, “their work highlights a high degree of creativity and a deep-rooted commitment to the notion of community. They’re not only a credit to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund as it celebrates its 15th anniversary, but also to the optimism and inclusivity of the very best American fashion.” Once again, big congrats!

Pyer Moss SS19

Bode SS19 and AW18

Jonathan Cohen SS19

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

With Respect. Alaïa SS19

The sudden death of Azzedine Alaïa, the master couturier who understood a woman’s body like no one else, hasn’t only deprived the fashion world of an ultimate genius, but as well left his brand in an uncertain position. The spring-summer 2019 look-book that was released last week, however, assures that Alaïa – as a fashion house – isn’t going the wrong path and won’t end its existence as many French houses did after their founders passed away (waiting for years to be bought by a bored millionaire). The Maison Alaïa studio team proves to be loyal to the brand’s codes, and what’s more, isn’t lead by an outside creative director. All the people who work on today’s Alaïa collections were trained by Azzedine himself. Many pieces from the new collection aren’t that new. The offering comprises separate collections, éditions, that consist of archive pieces that have been perfectly replicated as new ready-to-wear and labeled according to original dates. A denim jacket from 1986. The striped dress is from 1990. Another gown saw its runway debut back in 1984. Cotton shirtdresses and woven raffia details were mastered in Azzedine’s last collections to perfection, and they reappear here too, just like python leather garments. The soul of Alaïa is there, in each cut and stitch. The effect is more than beautiful, and you really wish of seeing these clothes in real life. It’s a tribute collection, but not in a Versace spring-summer 2018 way. The studio is expected to rework Alaïa’s original designs in future collections, supplying the stores with the brand’s all-time classics.

Still, there are few new additions that smell with forced commerce: espadrilles made in  collaboration with Castañer (ok, that must be heaven comfort) and a capsule collection of dresses, t-shirts and accessories emblazoned with the words Mon cœur est à papa, the expression of love attributed to Naomi Campbell, who considered the Alaïa her father figure. This isn’t presented in the new season look-book (shot by Karim Sadli and styled by long-time friend of the house, Joe McKenna), but, well, it’s a necessity that just has to be accepted. By the way, for the nay-sayers, Alaïa himself did a capsule collection of logo t-shirts in collaboration with Comme des Garçons back in the 90s (very treasured vintage). No one will return Azzedine. But it’s a great relief that his heritage is in good hands and his fashion continues to be praised with so much grace and respect.

 

Collages by Edward Kanarecki.