Men’s – New Take on Crafts. Dries Van Noten SS17

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Every editor is still highly impressed with Dries Van Noten‘s last season, staged in Palais Garnier opera house. Filled with these jaw-dropping, embellished coats. It’s a rare thing in fashion industry, when a show has such a long-lasting impact and still makes a ‘WOW’ afterwards. I guess that was the top collection of men’s autumn-winter 2016. But, can anybody keep up with such success for longer? Let’s ask each other an honest question – is it possible, to make two, consecutive collections, both just as good as the first one? I really, really doubt. There’s always this “gap” collection, where the genius seems to reflect and save creative energy for the next season.

Spring-summer 2017 wasn’t a ground-breaking moment for Dries’ career, and I’m pretty sure he agrees with that. But this doesn’t mean the collection was bad – oh, no. It surely scored a place on the podium of season’s best, with his “new take on arts and crafts“. While designing the collection, Van Noten wanted to take a rest from embroideries and his old, good colour palettes, searching for inspiration in fabric art and textile artists who were present in the 60s and 70s. The effect? A wide variety of texture and textiles, visible in amazingly great pieces. Silk print coats and jackets were patched together from Enlightment-era botanicals, while arty sweaters looked raw and dilapidated thanks to lovely, yarn finishings. The camouflage print in khaki appeared multiple times, contrasting with peacefully light trench coats and pants. The designer didn’t rest on his laurels, that’s for sure. And the anticipation for the next collection, coming in six month, is already reaching the peak point.

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Draped Zone. Rick Owens AW16

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Continuing the Mastodon theme from his menswear collectionRick Owens investigates his “uneasiness about environmental change” in the most elusive, and captivating way in his women’s show. And his response to climate problems, as he explained, is heading straight to his studio and drape. Drape, drape and drape – this word describes the clothes, which look eerie in their Dali-esque volumes, but surprisingly so soft that you want to touch them and wear them. Starting from the simpler white coats and dresses, the collection evolved in to something much more heavy – the duvet coats in chestnut-brown melted on the models’ bodies, while the velvet cape with a menthol green lining had this specific warmth which will appeal to many when the snows come. But the entire mystery behind the show was kept obscured under the surreal, fleecy cocoons, which to me, reminded bee-hives. By coincidence, Owens told the press during his menswear outing that his life-parter, Michele Lamy, kept a bee-hive at the rooftop of their home/office/boutique Palais Bourbon last summer, to help them survive the hottest summer of 2015.

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Threads Fun. Ace & Jig AW15

Ace & Jig is a brand which looks forward to artisanal threads and interesting textiles. For their AW15 collection, Cary and Jenna collaborated with Caroline Kaufman – bold, knitted scarves with pompons and chunky, fluffy cardigans were introduced, contrasting with delicate cottons. Also, over-sized skirts and coats appeared, creating a pilgrim-like mood, worn with these gorgeous hats. I am happy tis all-American label starts to have it’s signature style on fleek (yes, on FLEEK).