Colour, Gianni prints, 80s sexiness – this couldn’t be more Versace. After her major spring-summer 2018 tribute collection, something has opened up for Donatella Versace. She seems to feel even more freed. And finally happy, against all the odds the designer met after her brother’s murder. Versace of today is her success, undoubtedly. She understands that the brand’s cult should be embraced – that’s why the Medusa and the brand’s logo are wherever you look. She makes the word VER-SA-CE sound like a vision of delightful, hedonistic and extrenely Italian dolce vita. But at the same time, she smartly injects her style into the house codes. I adore the contemporary sportiness to what she does lately – the eveningwear is glamorous, but comfortable; vintage-y animal spots and Clueless checks land on puffer jackets. Even though I can’t say I’m an ultimate fan of Versace aesthetics, I’m a fan of Donatella. She’s a woman to respect, and love.
As Miuccia Prada told the editors after her autumn-winter 2018 fashion show, she wishes “for the strength of women going out in the violence. My dream is for women to be able to go out in the street and not be afraid. I wanted to have the freedom exaggerated.” Indeed, staged in the still unfinished tower extension of the Fondazione Prada, the venue’s mood (lit with neon signs) felt powerfully cosmopolitan. The colours of the collection’s sequined mini-dresses, Pocono-nylon track pants, rubber boots and corporate jackets were equally joyous. While Prada continues to remix her archives (the brand’s fan will notice many, many references to her past collections…), she keeps it feminine this time around with tulle shawls wrapped around the neck. Utilitarian, but soft. Intelligent.
When everyone’s sensitive towards the topic, Christopher Kane says it out loud: let’s talk about sex. The autumn-winter 2018 collection, similarly to the last season’s domestic kinkiness theme, enters the fields of sensuality like no other. The Joy of Sex, the 1972 illustrated guide of sexual positions and techniques by Alex Comfort, was the starting point for Kane. Some of the most expressive illustrations coming from the original version of the book appeared on the dresses, while mottos – ‘More Joy’, for instance – appeared on black knits and sweatshirts. The collection holds even more of ‘those’ moments, just slightly more subtly. Black leather was used for the coats and mini-skirts with lace inserts. Paneled, zippered dresses let for displaying or concealing different parts of the body – can be worn during the day and the night, how practical! Of course, Kane has in offer some less daring pieces, like chic suites or embellished midi-skirts. Still, the ‘provocative’ pieces are the strongest points of Christopher’s eroticism-in-fashion conversation.
While looking at Molly Goddard’s autumn-winter 2018 collection, I was just impressed with the way this young designer does everything so effortlessly, with so much joy. And, simultaneously, with success. Although Goddard usually goes for party-themed venues, this season the set was an industrial kitchen, probably inspired with those in hotels. Models stopped for a bottle of wine, casually, or a chat. Was it an unofficial after-party scene we all witness from time to time? “It’s where I always end up at a party,” the designer said. “Usually that’s the best part of the night.” Few seasons ago, Molly stormed the London fashion week with her signature, over-sized tulle dresses and a cool, ‘what a girl likes’ mood. Right now, the designer moves towards new territories of 90s crop-tops and gingham, so that she doesn’t feel trapped in a garment she is known for making so well in her studio. “It gets very boring to be confined to the pretty bracket,” she said. “Being girlie is fine, but I think that girlie is often misinterpreted as wishy-washy or prim. I’m the opposite of prim.”
Still, it was the ‘dress’ part of the show that really got everyone talking. The last looks, kept in happy shades of pink and orange, somehow reminded me of Christina from Lady Bird – the main character in Greta Gerwig’s debutant film, starring the phenomenal Saoirse Ronan. Just like Lady Bird, the Molly Goddard girl is a beautiful soul in the middle of a difficult world. Still, she’s got balls to go against the flow. Was that an unintentional tribute to all the Lady Birds out there?