The Statements Pieces. Balenciaga Resort 2020

Balenciaga released its resort 2020 look-book just in time when the clothes start to hit the stores. Demna Gvasalia‘s pre-collections for the maison aren’t as spectacular as the main shows (the spring-summer 2020 collection we’ve seen last month was one of his best to date!), but they sum up the label’s statement pieces: Balenciaga wardrobe “basics” (like tailoring with Cristobal Balenciaga’s couture volumes), the best-selling apparel and key bags. What else? Outsize parkas with their cheekbone-grazing collars, easy-wearing printed tea dresses in souvenir prints, XXL pajama sets… all this in the least matching colours you can imagine. But somehow, everything works together more than well. The look-book-opening coat is stamped with the Balenciaga logo in the familiar block print, but even without it one can identify the sloping shoulders, buttoned collar, and boxy, exaggerated fit as signature Gvasalia. And what’s my personal favourite from the line-up? The leather blouson-jacket in bold green, as pictured above.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Razor Sharp. Peter Do SS20

Peter Do SS20 collage

Peter Do‘s name-sake label has been making waves since its very start (which was less than two years ago). The New York-based designer doesn’t do fashion shows and presents his collections off-schedule – those are two factors that could easily make him and his brand an off-the-radar outsider But Peter Do has a consistence in his work that many, much more established brands can envy: very clear, clean and minimal aesthetic that’s as precise as a razor. Do, along with Bottega Veneta’s Daniel Lee and Rokh’s Rok Hwang, shares a very specific alma mater that additionally attracts clients: Phoebe Philo’s Céline. But Philophiles won’t find Céline-like pieces at Peter Do, that’s not the point. Spring-summer 2020’s hero piece is an adjustable jacket that separates into a bolero and a backless waistcoat. Another highlight is the single-button jacket that fastens high and off-center on the torso, producing a nipped-in silhouette. The colour palette, mostly black and white, is beautifully contrasted with shades of ochre and rust. What else is sure about Do? Tailoring is key for the brand. And it definitely stole women’s hearts, if Net-A-Porter is restocking the current collection, and such important retail players as Dover Street Market and Bergdorf Goodman already have the Peter Do classics on their racks.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

The 2010s / Simone Rocha AW19

Believe it or not – I can’t! – but we’re heading towards a new millenium. So, how do you choose the most important collections, designers and labels of the decade? The ones that made an actual impact in the 2010s? Well, it’s not an easy task. It all began in September 2009 with New York’s spring-summer 2010 shows and ended when the autumn-winter 2019 haute couture shows wrapped in Paris. Few thousands of shows, by the way. There will be 19 posts (that’s really the only possible minimum!) reminding about the best – and if not the best, then strongly influencing – moments in fashion.

Simone Rocha‘s woman-for-women AW19 collection.

Talented women with their distinct style rule in London. There’s Molly Goddard, Victoria Beckham, Mary Katrantzou, Roksanda Ilincic, Surpiya Lele. And there’s Simone Rocha, whose autumn-winter 2019 was one of the very best collections I’ve seen that season. Rocha designs for women – and women love her. Seeing her runway graced by women of different ages, colour and body types was a female power moment, yes, but also an ode to the brand’s clients who trust Simone every season. Chloë Sevigny, Tess McMillan, Kristen Owen, Lily Cole, Sara Grace Wallerstedt, Ugbad Abdi… whether models or not, runway veterans or bold newcomers, all those faces are amazing individuals and characters. And, also, it’s an ultimate proof that full-skirted dresses and coats aren’t only meant for 20-somethings, just like organza see-throughs, bras worn over trench coats and opulent headbands. The collection was a study of female eroticism, a debate between being the object of desire and owning it. As the designer put it in her own words, “it was a about intimacy and privacy, security and insecurity”. Rocha looked at Michael Powell’s disturbing films (like ‘Peeping Tom’, the voyeuristic horror), but also returned to her long-time inspiration – Louise Bourgeois. The artist investigates the subject of sex and tenderness in her works, which as well often takes a darker turn. “I found her series of weavings which she’d made with fabric from her own clothes particularly beautiful,” Simone said. The spiderweb embroideries and prints Rocha used for puffball coats and dresses were made in collaboration with the Louise Bourgeois Foundation – could you wish for a more heartwarming artist appreciation moment? Still, while the themes behind the collection might be not exactly joyous and lightweight, the models – we see you, Chloë – were all smiley and visibly proud to be walking that outstanding show. This line-up could not end up in my 2010s favourites!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki. Chloë Sevigny wearing Simone Rocha AW19, photographed by Harley Weir and styled by Robbie Spencer for Dazed & Confused.

Timeless, Artisan and Beautiful. Tuinch SS20

I’ve discovered Veronique Vermussche‘s label Tuinch last season and I tell you, this is love at first sight! Each season, Vermussche travels from Belgium, where she lives, to the mountains of Kashmir and Tibet on to procure world-class cashmere from local artisans she’s built long-standing relationships with. For spring-summer 2020, meet some of the most luxurious knitwear goods you’ve ever seen. The collection brings hand-knitted skirts and dresses to the line-up of timeless sweaters that will serve you for years to come. The open-weave wrap-knit sarong skirt, complete with leather detailing, is the collection’s biggest highlight, just as the tasseled cotton-wool cape. It’s a summer look-book, so no wonder why the designer tries mixing linen and silks with her ribbed cashmere knits and wool maxi dresses. The warm, earthy colour palette is eventually contrasted with pastel shades that pop up in the details. Artisan, top notch quality and seasonless: that’s sustainability, too.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.