I rarely write such posts (maybe I should change that?), but this is an exception. Taking one last look at my favourite collection of spring-summer 2020 season – the historic Dries Van Noten x Christian Lacroix line-up – and picking the ultimate five things to love from its sale. Why? Well, this collection continues to be my obsession. The details, textures, colours, Dries’ style combined with Christian’s sense of couture… it’s one of the dreamiest collections we’ve seen in years. You might not know that during the lockdown, Dries Van Noten opened two on-line stores, which are the digital versions of the label’s two flagship stores: Quai Malaquais location in Paris and Het Modepaleis in Antwerp. There, you can find nearly every item from this collection, plus get inspired by all the styling tricks from the look-book photos. So, here are my picks (note that a lot of other gems are already sold out!):
Embellished oversized coat with multicoloured sequin detailing thoughout. I had a chance to see it IRL in the Paris store (a week before corona became official in Europe…) and it’s a masterpiece.
Embroidered, cropped bolero jacket in black – it’s so rich! And you can style it in multiple of ways, pretty much with anything. That’s the magic of Dries (with a pinch of Lacroix!).
Love a big polka dot. This mid-rise one (with a foldover waist and grograin tie) is brilliant.
The collection’s signature florals made it to these denim pants. Again, wear them with anything!
Not sure if these boots are made for walking, but platforms and jacquard are always a good idea.
Want more Dries? Click here!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki. Photos from 7-9quaimalaquais.com.
In support for the Black community, I continue celebrating and highlighting the talented individuals that shape fashion today. Take notes! Duro Olowu‘s bold fashion needs no introduction. Born in Lagos to a Nigerian father and Jamaican mother, Duro Olowu spent his childhood travelling between Nigeria and Europe. From an early age, his enthusiasm for fashion was inspired by the unexpected mix of fabrics, textures and draping techniques of the clothing worn by the women that surrounded him. The designer started his eponymous label at the end of 2004, and up to now he’s one of London’s favourite designers with a loyal, art-world-focused clientele (in a way, similar to Mona Kowalska’s now-closed cult A Détacher in New York). Alluring silhouettes, sharp tailoring, original prints juxtaposed with luxurious vintage fabrics in “off beat” yet harmonious combinations are Olowu’s signature. For spring-summer 2020 he drew on the work of Françoise Gilot, who is perhaps most famous for being Picasso’s romantic partner, though the 97-year-old French painter, art critic, and author is a creative force in her own right. Olowu came across a recently reissued collection of her travel sketches, and her colorful impressions of India, Senegal, and Italy from the late 1970s and early ’80s informed his new collection. One particularly eye-catching coat in that series was spliced with panels of pale pink made from vintage interior fabric that Olowu came across on a trip to Lille, in northern France. It was upcycling done with a sophisticated hand. Then, if you look at Olowu’s autumn-winter 2019 line-up, “cosmopolitan”, “chic” and “Afrique” were the three words that the designer used to describe the spirit the collection, which was inspired by Miriam Makeba, the fearless South African singer and civil rights activist. Makeba, who was known as Mama Africa to her fans, possessed a wardrobe that was purpose-built as a celebration of African pride at a time when her country was in the grip of apartheid. You could see her influence right off the bat, in a graphic knit coat with patch pockets and detachable snood (Makeba was rarely seen without a towering head wrap or hat). That motif was repeated to flattering effect on an A-line maxi dress that could have been pulled from her closet. The world of Olowu is eclectic and rich, and each collection tells a unique story. Induldge yourself in his idiosyncratic, feminine and timeless work by browsing his previous collections on his site. And if you’re in London, visit his boutique on 14 Masons Yard!
Collages by Edward Kanarecki, look-book photos from different Duro Olowu‘s collections.
In support for the Black community, I continue celebrating and highlighting the talented individuals that shape fashion today. Take notes! Kerby Jean-Raymond‘s spring-summer 2020 collection, presented in Brooklyn’s Kings Theater in Weeksville and entitled Sister, is the third and final chapter in the Pyer Moss’ “American, Also” trilogy – and it paid homage to Sister Rosetta Tharpe. A singer-songwriter who rose to popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, Tharpe is widely considered to be the godmother of rock & roll, though her legacy has been diminished in music’s history book. “I think relatively few people know that the sound of rock and roll was invented by a queer black woman in a church,” Jean-Raymond told Vogue backstage. “I wanted to explore what that aesthetic might have looked like if her story would have been told.” Sending you to my review of this beautiful collection right here!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
In support for the Black community, I continue celebrating and highlighting the talented individuals that shape fashion today. Take notes! Christopher John Rogers is definitely one of New York’s brightest stars among young and independent designers. Baton Rouge–born, Brooklyn-based designer is known for resurrecting glamour, and his whimsical take on eveningwear (think cascading tulle, slimming taffeta suits, pleated skirts) that got Rihanna, Michelle Obama, Lizzo, Cardi B, SZA and Tracee Ellis Ross obsessed and take it to the red carpet. Moreover, Chistopher became one of the 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists – this only motivated him to buckle down further. His autumn-winter 2020 is the perfect balance between dramatic gowns and statement pieces that you will love in your day-to-day wardrobe. Spanning a full 40 looks, Rogers’s show had his signature silhouettes – there was the bulbous strawberry-shaped waist, which reappeared on the runway in violet, and he worked in some past references, like Pierrots, the French cinematic clowns that informed last season’s ruffled necklines. As for new inspirations, he cited trash bags, of all things – he told Vogue that a curtain brushing the floor in a Renaissance painting has the same energy as a crumpled garbage bag – and mid-century couturier Madame Grès, whose later work skewed more graphic and progressive than the goddess-draped gowns that made her famous. But what really makes the collection stand out is the masterful combination of bold colours and gorgeous fabrics. Whereas before Rogers had to be resourceful with his textiles, often working with deadstock materials, now he’s able to make patterns and sumptuous fabrics factory-made for his brand. “All of the things that my team and I have been dreaming up, we were able to execute on a level that you haven’t seen from us before,” Rogers summed up. The label is now producing on a larger scale thanks to a purchase from Net-a-Porter. In thinking about the potential commercial nature of his work, Rogers cited the popularity of that strawberry silhouette. “For something that morphs the shape so much, which maybe historically hasn’t been seen as flattering, women from a size 0 to a 14 have ordered the dress,” he said. “It goes to show that it’s not about dressing for the world—it’s about dressing for yourself. We’re not out here making 2,000 units of anything. We’re trying to make a few things for the few people who love it, and really make things that will last.” I can’t wait to see what this designer has in store for the upcoming seasons, looking forward to more of his fantastic splendor!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki featuring artworks by the late Christo; selected looks from Christopher John Rogers‘ SS20 and AW20 collections.
In times like this, quarantine and all, I gravitate towards something beautiful, yet profound and calm. Virginie Viard‘s phenomenal spring-summer 2020 haute couture collection for Chanel – inspired by the convent of Aubazine, where Coco Chanel was raised – is an example. For this (another) laid-back Friday evening, I highly recommend you the A to Z video by Loic Prigent which is dedicated to this impressive collection.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.