Less Is (Really) More. Victoria Beckham Pre-Fall 2022

It’s no secret that Victoria Beckham‘s brand had some rough time financially. Wisely, the company scaled-down to its main line, at the same time incorporating a lower price point and limiting the range of new products. Looking at Beckham’s pre-fall 2022 offering, this new approach has a positive effect on the designs. Less is really more. We’ve got great, business-ready tailoring, a fine balance of neutrals and neons (Victoria certainly understands that a wardrobe has to offer different attitudes, depending on the wearer’s ever-changing mood), and languid dresses that come with sexy zip details and erotic cut-outs. All the clothes have that kind of smart discipline about them, which makes it additonally appealing for clients who want to finally exit the too-easy comfort zone of dressing caused by months (actually… years) spent in the pandemic world. And even if the pandemic will last forever, at some point we will all want to dress up a bit more demandingly – even if it’s for another Zoom call.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Euphoric Erotic. Saint Laurent Resort 2022

Euphoric” and “erotic” – this is how one might describe Anthony Vaccarello‘s resort 2022 collection for Saint Laurent. It’s not only because you can imagine nearly every “Euphoria” character (have you seen the first episode of season 2? Mind-blowing!) wearing all the YSL feathers and sexy, body-conscious silhouettes to their quite dramatic parties (actually, Maddy would perfectly pull it off to school). The collection is totally hedonist and free-spirited, both wearable and spotlight-stealing. There’s a terrific, go-with-the-flow vibe going on here, all high-waisted, floor-sweeping flares, flower power sequins, and hippie headbands. There’s also a confident, palpable sense of sexual empowerment, with LBDs and not so little LBDs bearing all manner of cut-outs and cut-aways, breast-veiling, and other forms of transparency. The model casting also has a message – how smart of Vaccarello to showcase much of this on his long-time friend and house icon Anja Rubik, who has become a fearless advocate for women’s sexual and reproductive rights back home in her native Poland. The collection also mirrors how much the identity of the YSL women was forged through menswear. There’s definitely a heady whiff of those androgynous days when Yves Saint Laurent and muse Betty Catroux shared the same plunge-front shirted, narrow-hipped tailored approach to getting dressed. That was back in the late ’60s/early ’70s, an era iconic to YSL, in which gender fluidity was just one way the old order was rightly collapsing from the challenges thrown down by emancipation, counter-culture, and more bohemian ways of living. Vaccarello isn’t the type to talk endlessly about politics in his work, if ever, but politics are there, without a doubt. What he’s offering here is a clear and confident vision of dressing for a world today that’s equally in flux.

Collages by Edward Kanarecki.

Zankov Knitwear

Henry Zankov, an experienced, New York-based knitwear designer, concepted his namesake brand to inject a sense of playfulness, freshness and ease into men’s and women’s knitwear. Zankov is a knitwear collection that establishes a new visual and tactile language with a strong emphasis on color, touch, pattern and quality. Exquisite, natural fibers are juxtaposed with technical yarns and knit with a clean, minimal surface using specialist techniques. Luxurious brushed alpaca, high-twist viscose crepe and tubular cashmere blends are key yarns realized in horizontal knitting, intarsias and jacquards.  Quality and finish are paramount: the inside of each garment is just as important as the outside. The core of the brand is very much inspired by art, color, life and the street. Exploring a genderless and an uncomplicated way to wear knitwear, silhouettes are simple yet iconic, to be shared and cherished. Discover this brilliant brand here!

And here are some of my favourite Zankov knits you can get now: Samuel striped knitted cardigan in blue, Dale striped knitted sweater in green, Franken knitted sweater in yellow and Zeke striped sweater in red.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Eclectic Elegance. Jil Sander Pre-Fall 2022

The celebration of individuality is what drives creatively Luke and Lucie Meier at Jil Sander. “For us it’s really important, the idea of working around the character,” they told Vogue during a preview of the pre-fall 2022 line-up. “The person in its humanity and uniqueness is at the center of our creativity.” What the Meiers have brought to Jil Sander is a progressive yet thoughtful approach, articulated with intelligence in a narrative both consistent and nuanced. Their repertoire is expanding; whimsy and eccentric flair now embellish their disciplined, exacting range. “We’re not considering stereotypes, rather multifaceted attitudes and personalities. Human beings are complex animals,” they said, suggesting that inspiration finds its way through a texture of emotions and connections, leaving excessive analyzing in the background. “We’ve been thinking a lot about our friends, people we know, even ourselves, all the different emotions we’ve been through. So it just felt right to be almost more impulsive, to indulge the spur of the moment, enjoying a certain freshness and lightness.” The collection was bookended by two similar looks, both two-piece propositions – a sharp-cut top/skirt ensemble in ivory double-faced matte viscose knit, compact and sculptural; and a turtleneck/skirt combination in off-white ribbed wool. Beautifully embroidered with sequined crochet intarsia at the collar, on the sides, or at the hem, they draw attention to the decorative as a subtext to Jil Sander’s sartorial clarity. “Both looks have a chandelier kind of shape, they look rather decadent. It’s nice to offer something special, less ordinary.” The offering’s standouts exuded the boldness and confidence of one-of-a-kind pieces. Among the noteworthy examples: an exquisite bias-cut evening dress in soft undyed silk in a pearly shade of ivory, its skirt opening up in a corolla shape garlanded with long silky fringes; a cocooning wrap coat in spongy wool in a delicate hue of eau-de-Nil, jacquarded with a curlicued abstract motif, a bavolet at the back sporting twirled fringes made from the yarn; and a sharp-cut skirt suit in black double-faced wool, embroidered with an inserted guipure piece breaking the severity of the design. And of course, lets not forget about the teddy-bear boots. Those will sell out fast. “It’s about eclectic elegance and strong individuality,” is how the designers summed up this brilliant collection.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Suits & Intarsia. Thom Browne Pre-Fall 2022

For pre-fall 2022, Thom Browne‘s models sport inches-long falsies and tote leather lobster bags and backpacks in a display that is so provocatively Surrealist it recalls Elsa Schiaparelli’s daring 1937 dress with a crustacean across the crotch. Browne’s version relies less on the obvious pun of that exoskeletal creature – he says the lobster is just the latest of the animals he has welcomed into his zoo – and more an examination of the beauty of skirting on men. It’s a continuation of ideas he started nearly 20 years ago but have taken hold of late, with Dan Levy and Lee Pace wearing Browne’s skirts on the red carpet. This season he’s constructed half-pleated, half-straight versions of his classic kilt, worn with “one-and-a-half”–breasted blazers with self-tipped seams and covered buttons. Modular dresses in melton wool carry over from the spring 2022 collection, now in warm dove gray and mossy celadon. A selection of slim, sexy black-tie options, from midi-skirts to short suits, close out the collection. Saving the best for last, there are also jade green floral intarsias. Those of us who have followed Browne for the past two decades may think that he’s tapped all his personal references, but a wise designer always leaves himself room for more. Just before the pandemic hit, Browne and his partner, Andrew Bolton, purchased a new home in Manhattan, which they spent two years renovating. This fall they finally moved in, and their central aesthetic compromise was the hand-painted jade green floral wallpaper above their bed. The same flowers are cut in furs and wools, winding up on overcoats and embroidered into jackets. “I don’t think I’ve ever done anything as personal,” Brown summed up. The couple’s home, he says, will be off-limits to design mags, but this simple shared gesture is open to everyone to try on and try out. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that who you spend your life with matters.

Need a quick Thom Browne wardrobe fix? These classics will be it: Thom Browne red & navy wool cardigan, Thom Browne grey car coat, Thom Browne multicolor check miniskirt, Thom Browne grey twill 4-bar blazer & Thom Browne grey waterproof wool derbys.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.