New Feminine. Miu Miu SS19

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For Miuccia Prada, femininity isn’t just pretty. At both, Prada and Miu Miu, the designer surprisingly kept the lengths short this season, but not overly saccharine. But it was Miu Miu’s spring-summer 2019 collection that felt not just relevantly feminine, but real. I might even call it my favourite dispatch from the entire Paris fashion week. ‘Cracked’ frocks with exaggerated ribbons; masculine blazers worn over satin shirts and chunky knits; sheer (and faux python leather) pencil skirts combined with below-the-knee stockings; denim shirt-dresses brightened up with rhinestones… each look was a gorgeous styling inspiration. Some of the pieces were very retro – take the Gatsby-esque sequined mini-dress that closed the show – but somehow not pretentious. The model casting was insanely good as well, as the girls’ personal features elevated every single garment. Those aren’t armors, that’s for sure. But also, it would be a mistake to call Miu Miu’s latest offering ‘girly’. Multi-faceted, bold, mature, but not boringly formal or elegant, are closer connotations. Whatever it is, Miu Miu is intriguing, and that’s something I missed from other brands in Paris.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Visible. A.P.C. SS19

A.P.C.

Jean Touitou‘s A.P.C. is around for more than 30 years, but it surprisingly still feels like a young, niche brand – with dozens of stores worldwide. This season it seemed that the brand’s founder wanted do something a bit more mature and visible than an intimate presentation in the headquarters. He came up with quite big offering for women and men, filled with A.P.C. classics (and not only). The colour splash – featuring joyous shades of yellow and pink – were something new to Touitou’s repertoire. While the label’s collections often focus on the visibility of the clothes, I had an impression that this time styling became the key. The models’ rockabilly hair brought some spice to the tres chic shirtdresses and lovely denim pieces. A.P.C. is in expansion mode, fashion- and business-forward. To be honest, I loved it’s off-the-radar nature and I would really, really hate to see it go the, lets say, Zadig & Voltaire way. Well, I’m sure Touitou won’t be risking his loyal fan-base…

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Proper. Givenchy SS19

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Clare Waight Keller gradually finds her grip at Givenchy with very proper ready-to-wear for both, women and men. This season, she proposed a certain toughness – clothes that empower the wearer. Take that look featuring high-waisted pants with a leather jacket tucked in. Doesn’t it make the silhouette stronger and more confident? Military cargo pants and classical trench coats bring even more poise to the line-up. Of course there was evening wear, something Waight Keller evidently feels most comfortable in. We’ve got geometrically cut dress kept in bold colours, but also blazers and gowns plunged in metallic rhinestones, fringed and sequins. Somehow it all looked as light as a feather. It’s a good collection, but as I said earlier, Clare tends to keep Givenchy’s pret-a-porter proper. Would love to see something a bit more surprising for her next season.

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Collage by Edward kanarecki.

Just Gorgeous. Valentino SS19

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The first part of Pierpaolo Piccioli’s spring-summer 2019 offering at Valentino could be read as the designer’s departure from the magnificent, Italian glamour he channeled in the past few seasons. With Kristen McMenamy (scream) and Maria Carla Boscono on the runway, Piccioli sent down an all-black line-up of minimally cut dresses with balloon sleeves, ball skirts and loosely fit suits. It’s been a while since we’ve seen such an impressive use of black, especially for summer. Somehow, the effect was far from solemn. But, if you missed Pierpaolo’s recent fashion galore, here you are: somewhere in the middle of the collection, a colour explosion took place. Valentino red looked less dramatic, but more joyous. Matisse and Gaugin-inspired prints were used for mini-dresses that got as well trimmed with feathers. This season’s use of tulle (delightfully pleated) as well made Valentino’s ready-to-wear top the ranks for the evening occasions. One can’t forget the huge, straw hats that brought even more glory to the collection. Piccioli is growing stronger and stronger as the sole creative director at the house. It’s a pleasure to watch him do wonders.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Suburban Extremes. Thom Browne SS19

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 Thom Browne took suburban, summer garden party style to the extremes. Gingham checks, whale and boats themes, dad ties and ridiculous headwear got exaggerated and couture-ed. Every sleeve is hand embroidered with the season’s motifs (like starfish or bananas), while the masks refer to old-school horrors happening in the calm, silent outskirts. Thom Browne rarely does anything usual and his creativity is far, far from the real world problems. But, noting all the absolutely fantastic craftsmanship involved in this line-up, it’s hard to look at the models struggling in killer heels, tied up with corset-like strings and strangled by all that uncomfortable excess. As Cathy Horyn wrote in her review for The Cut, it’s “silly”. Still, other than that, Browne’s spring-summer 2019 offering is full of fantastic garments to appreciate and cherish.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.