Lady Romance. Altuzarra AW17

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Joseph Altuzarra took a totally different path this season, leaving behind cherry sweetness of last summer. Looking at his autumn-winter 2017 collection, ‘heavy’ is the term that matches best, but not in the negative meaning of this word. In fact, everything was ‘heavy’ about the collection, from the atmosphere to the clothes. Delightful velvets in dark colour palette (except a few yellow ensembles); knee-length, lace-up boots; fur coats and jackets; richness of embroideries and embellishments. The styling of these preciously-looking clothes was made-to-measure for a woman, who loves Altuzarra‘s fashion – she’s both, romantic and sophisticated. As the designer said, his main aim was to build a dialogue between the past and today. However, the past felt more dominant in this conversation. Renaissance motifs were the main inspiration, for a reason.

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Challenging. Victoria Beckham SS17

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Velvet is having its big comeback in fashion, and we’ve seen it in various forms throughout the last few seasons. Spring-summer 2017 is into velvet, too, and Victoria Beckham‘s brilliant collection is a clear evidence for us. Just look at the flowing velvet dresses kept in this fascinating, crushed effect. The silhouettes, kept in aquamarine-blue, lilac-purple and snow-white shades, were liquid-like, nearly dripping down the models’ bodies. But velvet wasn’t the only hot topic during Beckham’s outing. A play with proportions has been visible – Victoria’s high-fashion wellies looked so unnaturally big when styled with slim, ribbed-knit dresses or pencil skirts. A boxy top in floral print over a pleated, turquoise skirt: the volumes were utterly disturbed, and the look is far from banal. But that’s the spark of this collection – it’s intriguingly sophisticated, and nothing seems to be there by coincidence. I might even say that it’s the designers’ most challenging and somewhat uncommercial collection to date. A big thumb up.

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Female Contrast. Hillier Bartley AW16

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Tom Ford might have just started his new retail model – but Hillier Bartley isn’t new in this topic. Entering September, it’s the perfect (and most practical) time to think of refreshing your autumn wardrobe. Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley are here to help, in time, with their see-now, buy-now collection. The British duo has already built a ‘set’ of signatures: banana pants which  do look flattering; top-notch suiting in Savile Row manner; feminine dresses with chic tassell-scarves. Also, Hillier Bartley is recognized for its Anglomania attire: at a first glance, the idea is based on the wardrobe of an English-aristocrat, who belongs to an gentlemen’s club. But then, the elegance blurs with Bowie-esque, out-of-this-world knack. With that said, don’t forget Hillier Bartley is a womenswear label, filled with women’s clothes created by women.

For autumn-winter 2016, the designers went for flea-market cool, which is so timeless and eternally relevant in London. One of the coats virtually looks like a re-cut and re-shaped Persian rug. A satin robe is worn as an evening dress according to the designers, with a pair of moccasins. Icy blue, velvet suit with a black, ribbed turtleneck underneath is a total-look worth investing. The intricately embroidered gown is a cherry on the cake – I’m obsessed with the way the oriental motif contrasts with the entire collection filled with feather elements, leopard spots and romantic, Fleetwood Mac flair. Oh, and the bags line (Hillier’s part) is blooming. From ‘Bunny’ clutches to collar-box bags with lilac tassels, the range is wide and… yummy.

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Brave Velvets. Haider Ackermann AW16

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It’s a tough world outside and I want to have this gracefulness, this brightness, happiness,” Haider Ackermann said afterwards his autumn-winter 2016 show. “To show the other side of what we are confronted with every day.” Ackermann’s brave season is infinitely Haider, as the silhouettes, which continue to evolve from the last spring’s outing, are all about the jaw-dropping varsity jackets, super skinny pants and feminine dresses – and one of them, specifically, was cut up to the hip, looking fierce in velvet red. By coincidence, the Belgian designer moved the topic of the season’s hottest trend, so velvet (seen recently at Rochas and Vetements). It’s virually everywhere in this collection, ranging from dusty pink to emerald green. And it’s even in the hair of the models, tied up in for of colourful, quite abstract dreadlocks. Love it.

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