Dries Van Noten
Before the show, Dries Van Noten described this collection as 'spontaneous'. He played with new silhouettes and pairing pieces together which, in previous seasons, would not have been styled together. There was a sense of drama to this collection, black gowns and coats were teamed with Edwardian collars with beaded detailing. High octane prints in bold shades of orange, yellow and blue further fueled the dramatic look and had a somewhat Oriental feel to them. This is a lesson in high fashion dressing from the designer who has shunned the more commercial pre-season collections instead focusing on his mainline offerings.
This season Pierpaolo Piccioli delivered his first solo collection for Valentino, after Maria Grazia Chiuri left for Dior. As the first model made her way down the runway I was struck immediately by the print, knowing instantly it was by Zandra Rhodes (having interned at Zandra's design studio I cite her work as one of the main reasons I wanted to work in the fashion/textile industry). It's fair to say I knew at that precise moment I was going to love this collection. Piccioli had been researching medieval art and was particularly taken with The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch. Using this as his starting point he flew to London to meet with Rhodes and asked her to interpret this piece of art in her own iconic way. It was a match made in heaven. Delicately printed handkerchief-hem dresses were beautifully romantic, whilst the brocade coat and trousers were simply divine. Lace, velvet and pleats were also key features. I am smitten with this entire collection!
Given that J.W.Anderson is at the helm of Loewe, it is no wonder this collection made a serious impact on the runway. The silhouettes had nods to the brands Spanish heritage (peasant blouses and shawls), but were modernised by the use of different fabric and textures - Raw edged necklines, ruffled hems, plisse dresses and patchwork coats. The accessories were also extraordinary: sculptural cuffs in leather and metal, tapestry bags with rope handles and oversized architectural leather belts.
Demna Gvasalia's preferred choice of fabric for SS17 was spandex, which was used on skin-tight stirrup pants, shirts and dresses. This being Balenciaga, these were no ordinary garments - rather they were beautifully draped and ruched. Working once again with oversized silhouettes, Gvasalia brought boxy jackets with exaggerated shoulders back to the forefront of fashion with a dazzling display of extreme trenches and coats. Vintage style floral prints were amongst the most memorable of the entire season and came in shocking acidic colours that clashed together to create a high power impact. There were also more market bags, following on from the success of last seasons offering, some of which were printed. Pieces from this collection will easily be some of the most coveted of the season, perfect for editorials or those all important street style shots.
Stella McCartney quite literally practiced what she preached with her SS17 collection, with 'No Fur, No Leather' branded across t-shirts and dresses. It looks like the slogan tee is here to stay for at least another season. Trousers with paper bag waists were teamed with long sleeved tops, oversized cotton shirts and boxy jackets. The cotton and loose denim pieces had a distinct relaxed vibe to them and will make for the ultimate summer wardrobe staples. The large circular motifs also worked well in blue and red.
Phoebe Philo let the clothes do all the talking at the Celine show. Everyday, versatile clothes which were beautifully tailored and draped. The use of colour was similar to Balenciaga in that nonconformist colours were placed side by side but it worked oh so well. Flowy skirts came with soft pleats whilst one had a wonderfully dip-dyed hem. Lacework bra detailing added intrigue to the collection and I also adored the major reference to the work of the artist Yves Klein.
The design team at McQueen descended on the Shetland Isles in Scotland to gather their research for SS17. They photographed wild flowers, landscapes and wildlife, as well as exploring the techniques of traditional crafts. It was a masterclass in how to create a showstopping collection. Traditional Fair Isle sweaters were worn as stand alone separates and also intertwined with lace which created the most stunning floor length gowns. Tartan was given a touch of 'punk spirit' with edgy lace inserts, thistle motifs and worn with crocheted knitwear. Embroidered leather and brocade jackets, and jeans, were the most wearable daywear pieces in the collection. Exquisitely embellished evening dressed closed the show and they were quite simply breathtaking. I must also mention the biker boots - these came with floral prints/metal studs and gave me major shoe envy!
Riccardo Tisci had been thinking "women fighting for power" whilst dreaming up this beautiful collection, for which he associated with the power of mother nature. Cue agate printed silk dresses in fiery rich hues of orange, red and purple. Striped dresses with burnout prints, delicate ruffles and sheer inserts were my favourite pieces in the show. The collection was 'toughened' up with sharp tailored suits that came with plunging necklines and zip details. Whilst this was not as dramatic as previous Givenchy collections, it still delivered many desirable looks.
A sophisticated showing at Louis Vuitton courtesy of Nicolas Ghesquiere. Gone were the bold colours of Resort and in was 80's inspired power dressing. Oversized double breasted jackets were modernised by teaming them with leather skirts. Vuitton collections are often about structure, of which we did see, but this season many of the dresses were loosely draped and sensually cut. The more daring pieces came in the form of lace cigarette pants and metallic jackets. Closing the show were a number of asymmetric evening gowns with geometric panels and embroidered metallic tulle. Showing the relevance of this collection in 2016, many of the models walked the runway clutching iPhones instead of handbags - this was a collection for women on the go!
Clare Waight Keller has the undeniable ability to produce collections which make you lust after every single look. For SS17 Keller wanted to create an urban 'Chloe Girl'. With silhouettes that were inspired by sailors outfits, to the inclusion of ropes as shoulder ties - there was a clear nod to nautical. Of course this wouldn't be Chloe without a flouncy tiered dress with ruffles and lace, these were delivered in soft pastel pink, navy and sunflower yellow. For me the piece de resistance was the graphic floral print, which had a distinct 70's vintage feel to it.
For a more extensive look at all the SS17 runway shows, head over to my Pinterest page (details below).
Over the next few weeks I will be putting together a number of trend posts based on what we have seen on the runway, so stay tuned to my blog for those! I post 3 times a week on a Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
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