John Galliano is still working out a shared vocabulary with Maison Margiela. More and more, however, the emphasis is on Galliano's familiar tropes — his eccentric women rather than Margiela's studied anonymity.
As with the latest couture collection, Artisanal, Galliano cobbled together seemingly found objects and thrift-store detritus to give the appearance of someone who'd gone through a hardscrabble stint, only to emerge victorious. Sound familiar? Colorful bangles, puffy iridescent bits, army-surplus scraps, and assorted knits were fused together in magpie fashion, with a sense of raggedy refinement and willful humor.
A sparkly nightgown attached to the front of a tank? Sure. A white shirt worn backward? Yes, yes, yes. A single puffy glove? Obviously.
Anything is possible in Jacquemus's surreal world, where toying around with perception is always the goal. While not on a par with great shape-shifters of our day, e.g. Viktor & Rolf or Comme des Garçons, Jacquemus' misshapen, mismatched, misbehaved creations can still stand on their own.
Jeremy Scott said his Moschino collection today had to do with medieval Dominican monks who, in their zeal to stop the Renaissance, burned every item of sinful beauty they could get their hands on. As if smoldering dresses weren't enough, he stoked the fiery motif for its full potential — cigarettes, candle chandeliers, and even a bad-girl biker theme. Cartoonish and madcap, sure, but at least he's bringing some high-camp heat to the rather staid Milan shows.
For her women's collection today, Miuccia Prada pursued her fascination with art appropriation, historical ambiguity, and gender swapping.
An avowed patron of the arts, she didn't have to go very far for those fantastic layered landscapes and filmic freeze-frames. The latter, prints by Berlin artist Christophe Chemin, were a carryover from Prada's most recent men’s collection — in the same venue, no less, a custom-built agora.
The mensy looks, too, hailed from the men's side. The sailor caps, the meandering thread, the oversized plaid overcoats all seemed to suggest travel through space and time — a worldly message driven home by charm bracelets and necklaces dangling with little souvenirs and diary books.
Gucci's new creative director Alessandro Michele isn't afraid of a little color, or a lot. Or shapes. Or materials. He utilizes them wildly, boldly, yet judiciously when called for. All of which makes for a sensuous bounty — a pleasure to watch season after season.
Perhaps his largest lineup to date, fall saw more of Michele's eclectic characters: his cocktail-party girls, gala-goers, retro-diggers, and his mousy, studious types. Cascades of rainbow chiffon, piles of brocades, layers of sequins, and a ring on every finger (as the designer himself wears) fit together like pieces from different jigsaw puzzles — mismatched yet so right. This is the art of randomness.
Christopher Kane likes to be boldly unpredictable. In recent seasons he's drawn inspiration from car crashes and outsider art, to name but two of his many creative forays. But he really outdid himself for fall, an unapologetic ode to faded glamour, decayed beauty, the lost and not found.
Here was thrift-store dressing hoarded to its logical conclusion. Corrugated beige leather resembled cardboard boxes; time-lapse photos of decomposing flowers were appliqued throughout; embroideries — some made by the house of Lesage — were piled high; and mink was lined with reflective fabrics. And Stephen Jones whipped up clear plastic headscarves à la Grey Gardens that would give Little Edie pause.
Burberry made headlines a few weeks ago with the announcement that, starting with its September collection, it would become a more consumer-facing brand. Specifically, it would sell pieces to the public immediately following collections.
It'll be a nothing short of an overhaul of its business model, for which Christopher Bailey seemed to prepare in this fall collection. He refrained from grand creative experiments in favor of recent greatest hits. His various influences of seasons past — Bloomsbury Group, Lucian Freud, music festivals, military — came together in a splashy way all but engineered to appeal to everyone.
Coats were paid special attention, coming out as plaid overcoats for men and women, duffles with oversized toggle buttons, exaggerated shearlings, green or yellow python numbers, and furry cocoons.
Sarah Burton's collections for Alexander McQueen have always been dreamy. Fall was dream-like, a sartorial lullaby from which you'll never want to wake.
She started out with hand-painted oneiric objects that seemed to float across their leather surface — clocks, lips, and butterflies evocative of a Dalí painting.
From there Burton went very, very soft with endless chiffon and tulle in countless cream-to-pink shades. Unicorns embroidered across several dresses at show's end beamed the meaning of all this, that McQueen is where the impossible becomes possible.