Demna Serves Classics. Balenciaga Resort 2019

Balenciaga’s resort 2019 look-book got released this morning, and it couldn’t be more Balenciaga – as we know it from Demna Gvasalia. True, there are less hoodies and much less sneakers (now, replaced by more classic looking black men’s boots). But the hybrid trench coats for him and her, voluminous pussy bow blouses, pleated dresses (in cheesy-chic flag print this season), dad jeans, oversized duvet jackets and XXL bazaar bags are all here. Those are the already-cult pieces that seem to be here with Balenciaga for years, not for a few seasons. Other than new colour combinations and a number of tailoring additions, the pre-collection brings nothing new to the table – except the fact that Gvasalia’s designs have completely synthesised with the maison he designs for. Still, there’s one element that will surely catch your attention if you seek the newness. “The symbol on the bags is the one for transgender.” The arrival of the pink and the blue leather shopping bags printed with the black circle, arrow, and cross couldn’t be better timed. First, they look great, second – they defy Trump’s intention to erase the transgender agenda. “I often try to include some messages that are important to be spread,” Gvasalia says. “It’s almost like advertising an idea, this very strong symbol.” Love it or hate it, he can’t go wrong.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Grunge is Back. Marc Jacobs Resort 2019

When Marc Jacobs presented his now iconic collection for Perry Ellis in 1993, he was rather close to being burned at the stake. Unapologetically grunge-isnpired, the collection went down with the leading critics and editors, except for Grace Goddington, who styled that equally (at the time) risky editorial for Vogue, visibly very obsessed with Jacobs’ bold move. Perry Ellis fired the designer right away, and became what it is today – a boring, apparel-focused brand for men. Quite unsurprisingly, the ‘true’ grunge world hated Jacobs for doing this collection, too, with Courtney Love and Curt Kobain reportedly burning the pile of clothing Marc designed with them in mind. But that’s history.

We’re in 2018, and Courtney Love’s daughter – Frances Bean Cobain – is one of the faces of Marc Jacobs, the brand. Even more ironic is the fact that Coco Gordon Moore, the daughter of Kim Gordon (aka grunge godmother) wears Jacobs’ newest collection called, wait for it: Redux Grunge. For resort 2019, the designer brings back 26 looks he designed for the controversial Grunge collection, now with his tag on them. The looks, shot by Juergen Teller (who used to be Marc’s long-time collaborator for years until 2014 – now might be back doing the ad campaigns!), are a testament to the brazenness and timelessness of the designer’s vision. They are as relevant today as they were revolutionary (or even infamous) 25 years ago. Well, that’s true – if not Jacobs, grunge would die with its subculture and never arrive to the mainstream. Crotchet cardigans, a midriff cutout knit dress as seen first on Kristen McMenamy (now on her daughter, Lily McMenamy), rainbow striped beanies, Dr. Martens boots, a cropped blazer baby Kate Moss would wear down the runway, chokers… well, it’s all pretty much identical. I can’t say it looks fresh – it isn’t the collection’s intention in the first place. But somehow, I like it, I like that free-spirited feeling being revived right now, at this moment. Still, it’s such a stark contrast to Jacobs’ saccharine and dramatic spring-summer 2019 collection… that you might really have problems with realising that one person can both do both, rough and sweet.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki, feauturing different visuals by Juergen Teller.

CFDA 2018 Winners

Pyer Moss SS19

I’m always thrilled to see how talents are finally spotted and then rightly backed up. Congratulations to the 2018 CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund winner, Pyer Moss. Designer Kerby Jean-Raymond accepted the CVFF award (from actress Emily Blunt) yesterday, following a dinner and fashion show held in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York. Pyer Moss has been lauded for its beautiful and intelligent celebration of black culture in America. The designer makes activism a crucial component of his brand, being as well vocal about current problems that America faces today – from the current president to widespread social injustice. Interesting to see how the award helps Pyer Moss expand with its powerful vision. But there isn’t just one winner at CFDA. Taking home one of the two runner-up prizes for this year is Emily Bode of the menswear brand Bode. Last year, Bode became one of the few women to showcase at the sleepy New York Fashion Week: Men’s – because, one could say, she knows what the boys want (think a rugby jacket in the brightest shade of orange; loosely fit vintage-y suits; The Darjeeling Limited inspired, hand-dyed t-shirts). Now in its second year, the label has been praised for its sustainable practices and focus on craft. To be honest, Bode is a brand I wish I had in my wardrobe – just look at the label’s new season offering. The second runner-up prize went to Jonathan Cohen. The designer launched his namesake brand in 2011, and has been steadily gaining recognition for easy-breezy pieces, which makes getting dressed as simple as dipping into one of his feminine dresses with intriguing finishings. From this year’s finalists, I also had major hopes for Batsheva (you might have seen one of those already cult prairie dresses here or there) and Matthew Adams Dolan (the Rihanna and SZA dresser who makes all-American uniforms look fashion). As Anna Wintour summed up this year’s winners, “their work highlights a high degree of creativity and a deep-rooted commitment to the notion of community. They’re not only a credit to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund as it celebrates its 15th anniversary, but also to the optimism and inclusivity of the very best American fashion.” Once again, big congrats!

Pyer Moss SS19

Bode SS19 and AW18

Jonathan Cohen SS19

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.