Another year, and another surprising but unfortunate fact that I failed to make the Time 100 Most Influential People list, again this year. Fingers crossed for next year. Anyway, sorry if you don’t like fashion very much, but it is fashion month, and we’ve got 3 more fashion weeks to go. First up is New York Fashion Week, and usually the most disappointing of all the fashion weeks. Not in a bad way, but it’s a little hard to compete with all the European fashion houses with their like 5-generation artisans that make one specific type of lace that no one else can recreate.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the Dior Artisan showing this week, where we got to meet and ask questions to several artisans who work in various places of the couture house. I met Natalie, and she made a pink crocodile mini Lady Dior handbag, right in front of my eyes. I got to see the patterns for the legendary New Look bar blazer, and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s updated version. I also got to meet a couturier who specializes in embroidery. At the time she was embroidering the front of what will eventually be a blouse, with 24karat gold thread. Did I think about picking up that heavy spool and making a run for it? Yes, yes I did – but then I would never be invited back, so I put my pinchy fingers firmly in my pockets and tried to ask as many questions as I could.
It was the first time that the Dior couture collection has ever been shown outside of Paris, and the first time I’ve ever seen the Dior couture collection up close, where I could touch it and order whatever I want (can you imagine? I’d be working off my Visa bill until I am 50!). Feathers, wool knits, tulle drapery, and sequins galore – I was surprised how light and wearable these pieces were, considering they were weighed down with thousands of feathers and 24karat gold.
Anyway, New York Fashion Week… What were the spoils?
Brandon Maxwell is experimenting with prints, and has gone for the graphic and psychedelic route which is exciting, but a little late as these prints have already been and gone by brands like House of Sunny and Christopher Esber. Nonetheless, there were some great looks, perfect for summer events, and/or nice dinners with friends in summer holiday locations – I’m thinking either St. Barth’s or Jamaica.
Casablanca – my new favourite brand – went for a Japanese-inspired collection. Sticking to their quintessential pastel tones, the collection had a late 60’s, early 70’s feel to it, with mini-skirt co-ords and scalloped mini-dresses with O-rings. Of course, they have their silk shirts – a staple for the brand – but the highlight of the collection was the butterfly skirt with matching halter top.
Proenza Schouler’s usually one for prints, but instead they’re making their mark with solids – and my favourite, fringing! Beading was also a common theme, not only in Proenza, but also appearing in Le Maire, Peter Do, and Rodarte.
Speaking of Peter Do – he’s back, and better than ever. The collection brought Peter’s polished but contemporary modus operandi, with my favourite pistachio and cream tones. He kept his usual structured tailoring, but this time added in long, flowy silk details, creating a more feminine, dynamic character.
Rodarte is reminding me of the Birth of Venus, especially with a reminder to old Céline’s white leather dress from SS2016 (Look 6!) With lace and ruffles evocative of ocean foam and oyster frills, and draped silk and lace evocative of Venus’s hair, Rodarte SS22 is Picasso’s painting in a clothing collection. The last 36 looks are all variations of the same draped silk dress. Simple, elegant, and perfect for flowing from work to a lunch date, and back again.
I’ll leave you with my favourite collection – Paco Rabanne. Free, wild, and 70’s festival, Paco Rabanne brought their usual eclecticism to the table, with every outfit perfect for either Burning Man, or Mykonos’s iconic Skorpios. With tunics and dresses worn over matching trousers, the wild prints and fringing raises the holiday party clothes to boho chic. Head-coverings, Paco Rabanne’s classic metal fabric, and chunky wooden sandals stormed the runway, to create my perfect festival look for when I finally figure out how to time travel, and I can head back to Woodstock. A girl can dream…