“I had these china dolls with Victoriana dresses when I was little. I used to send them down the bannisters at home, so they ended up with cracked faces,” Simona Rocha told the press after her spring-summer 2018 fashion show. “But I kept them, and now they’re coming out again for my daughter to play with. I loved unpacking them and looking at their dresses, and the tiny boots and everything.” Rocha’s daughter, Valentine, and motherhood in general, bring a lot of joy and fantasy to the designer’s work lately. The new collection was innocent, playful and naïve – and nearly kept in virginal all-white. Red dolls were embroidered on white poplin dresses and over-sized shirts, while hand-painted flowers decorated the ball-skirts and coats. Little-lady pearls were the key element of the collection, neatly used as the main material for jewellery and embellishments. Although all of the models had girlie blushes and were kinda sweet and adorable, that wasn’t a tale of high-fashion Lolita, as the collection had some more grown-up moments. Elongated bias-cut dresses in funeral black looked serious – was that a glimpse at an alternative wardrobe of Mrs. Haze, the mother of Nabokov’a naughty heroine?
It’s a season of happiness, that’s a sure thing, and you may like it or not. Molly Goddard, who’s devoted to ‘happiness’ since her London fashion week debut, is fully in the game. Edie Campbell with a glass of champagne in one hand and an e-cigarette in the other was the first sign that it’s gonna be fun. The models were spiralling and dancing down the runway, not walking. Well, who wouldn’t want to loose themselves to dance in one of Goddard’s signature tulle dresses? To a surprise of many, though, tulle wasn’t the season’s hero for Molly. And it’s great to see that the designer can pull off a brilliant collection, while emerging into new fields. Smocking jackets; modern day dame ball-gowns; layers of shiny embroidery over frocks; heavy boots worn with the lightest pieces. Those ‘ladies’ have balls. They might go to a Prince Charming’s palace and leave for a pub with pals (maybe Chavs, even?). Erin O’Connor, who closed the show wearing a loosely-fitted skirt underneath a dress, was yet another sign: British fashion, today’s or yesterday’s, adores Goddard and her girl.
Big changes were foreshadowed at J.W. Anderson‘s spring-summer 2018 collection minutes before the show kicked-off. No claustrophobic corridor venue, but a circular runway with an art installation in the heart of it. The clothes’ aesthetic was far different, too. Criss-cross bungee cord and textured linens gave the collection a… leisure-y attitude. Wait, leisure at J.W. Anderson, where it’s always about the explosion of off-beat references, complexity and radiant colours? Yes, that’s happening. Kitchen implements on the catwalk and tablecloth-inspired homespun textiles with the brand’s logo – that was Jonathan Anderson‘s appreciation of ‘at home’ feeling, where everything is intimate and close to your comfort zone. Quite unexpected from a designer, who is known for twisting, collaging and reshaping ideas of fashion, always in a hurry. Just like in case of his last, very laid-back fashion show for men that we’ve seen at Pitti Uomo, Anderson takes a break and wants to clear his (and yours) busy mindset. “Media makes us hysterical. We have to go back to what we know to be humanly grounded,” the designer noted backstage of his show. If you’re still unsure or uneasy with realising Anderson’s new, ‘domesticated’ direction, the Hessian-topped espadrille boots that bottomed nearly every look will get you grounded for summers to come. Or the loose mint-green dress. To my own surprise, I’m really seeing Anderson’s clothes somewhere on a beach or in a well-kept garden of a, let’s say, art-curator (who simply needs to chill sometimes, too).
Glam isn’t dead! And nothing proves that better than Marc Jacobs‘ enchanting spring-summer 2018 collection, the delicious finale of New York fashion week. It was, as Alexander Fury ecstatically wrote on Instagram, stupendous, stupefyingly brilliant, the Yves Saint Laurent haute couture at the gym moment, so up meets down. This can’t be stated in any other way. That was a fabulous explosion of colour, embroidery, prints. And, it was presented with unbelievable modesty – no venue decorations, no music. Just the clothes, the most diverse cast of models, and Jacobs’ affection for fashion. From voluminous coats to evening gowns, from wrapped turbans to fluffy sandals, from mega polka-dots to childish daisies – it’s a rhapsody. If the rumour has it that Marc Jacobs is thinking of leaving his company – and I can’t believe what would Marc Jacobs be without Marc – then he’s really showing a middle finger to corpo-stats of ‘what sells, what doesn’t’ with that collection.
P.s. Days before New York fashion week, I was wondering what will the main subject – fashion – be like among the local designers. Will the political climate have the same, dark effect as last season? With bold collections from such names as Tom Ford, Calvin Klein and Marc, of course, New York’s fashion scene bares it all and says ‘you won’t break us’. Fashion is a happy place, after all, and lets just lose ourselves to it.