Ralph & Russo
Ralph and Russo made the transition from couture to RTW this season and the dynamic duo of Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo got it spot on. Tailored pencil skirts, sexy button up dresses and cropped jackets in bold metallic colours, asymmetric silhouettes and jumpsuits which just hug the feminine curves – all just the day time looks! Ralph and Russo carried through the elegant and luxuriant attributes synonymous in their couture lines that won them client base which include the likes of Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence and Rihanna. This is not your typical everyday wear. Rose gold trench coats and structured jackets, these outfits were made for the imposing personalities of the world – the most fashionable and commanding women.
For the evening looks, elements of the couture house seeped through. Soft pastel hues and elegant cuts in the fabrics portrayed the models wearing the outfits in the most elegant demeanour that graces the Ralph and Russo name. Dresses and skirts were tailored and structured to perfection, accentuating rather than imposing. Fabrics were beautifully manipulated, pleats and ruffles graced sheer, chiffon dresses, intricate beading that slightly opened up the fabric and flower motifs printed on silk, there was a coherent theme of elegance through the collection.
Pringle of Scotland
Creative director Fran Stringe is on her third season at Pringle of Scotland, the worlds oldest fashion houses founded in 1815. It was un fussy and wild – or wild by Pringle of Scotland’s standards. “We’re challenging the perception that knitwear is just for winter,” Stringer said. Simple and uncomplicated silhouettes, frayed hems and trailing yarns, Stringe de neatened the image and presented a more edgy, exciting meaning to wearing knitwear during spring/summer, a clear indication knitwear will be cool to wear again.
Her take on the classic matching twin sets offered sheer, lightweight cable knitted fabrics, layered underneath cardigans draped around the neck and waist. Stringe worked with photographer Harley Weir, to pay homage to Scotland in a more creative fashion. Images of the country’s landscape were printed on a sheer, free flowing fabrics. Dresses fell to the ankles, smocked at the neck and manipulated gathers in all directions gave a modern updated definition to Pringle of Scotland’s prior style.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, they say. At Fyodor Golan, this goes beyond a saying and is the mantra for their Spring Summer 2018 collection. The disposability of a Chuppa-Chupps (shaped cut-outs) wrapper is dissected and transformed into a bright Californian sport-chic event where the flavourful Tutti Frutti and Strawberries and Cream (print) lead the show. Tinfoiled and sequined lycra hoddy and jogging trousers adorned with laced sides combo, windbreaker with drawstring cuffs, the bright orange belted pouch, and the satin purple heavily manipulated minidress with a cheerleader v-neck, balance out the sculputral asymetrical ruffled and waterfall hems. The multitude of curls, ripples, creasing and the acid-trip rainbow colours, styled with colour block footwear and lollipop plastic themed accessories makes us wonder about the possibility of an all plastic fantastic future.
This collection was created with the working woman in mind. Said Marta Jakubowski: “Most of my friends are career women and this is what they feel comfortable wearing”. This was reimagined upscale office wardrobe – power-dressing, modernised – with colourful everyday wear emitting a classic femininity mixed with ease and comfort; long gone are the days when ‘androgynous’ was synonymous with ‘women’s workwear’. Versatility was key, with pieces able to be worn 9 to 5 as well as on the weekends. Looks were tailored, luxe and sophisticated, yet laidback and cool: denim-effect fern-green top with a diagonal split, loosely tied in a sash at the hip, with a coordinating mini-skirt and violet pumps; blazer and high-waisted culottes in peacock-green; inspired by the timeless chambray summer dress, a lilac, sleeveless, collared wrap-top with a matching wrap midi-skirt and silver strappy heels. There was also a seamless day-to-night feel throughout the looks: slim-fit bright red halterneck jumpsuit with black patent pumps; oversized, shamrock-green leatherette trench with black calf-length boots; navy and black sheer shirtdress with a plunging neckline and ankle-tied suede pumps. Outfits for lounging on the beach and leisure-time were abound: fuschia ruffled, high-cut bodysuit, reminiscent of the ‘80s and ‘Baywatch’; hot-pink and white polka dot sheer top and bottoms with black sandals; lavender trench with oversized lapels. Lots of cut-out featured, with suggestive slits and panelling, proving something as dull as a suit can still be sexy, freeing, and without constraints.
At first glance, the bonnet hats, drapey white material, ruffles, silken camisoles and négligée-esque slip on dresses might be the epitome of a dreamy, free desirable woman. But for designers Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton, their two daughters aged 4 and 8 were a big inspiration in their design process. The history and future of woman, have been on their minds and Preen have designed a collection that epitomises the power and ethereal beauty of women. “We continually want to give our daughters the message that they can have the future they want. . . They can do what they want, wear whatever they want, and nothing can alter the power of who they are.”
Skimpy, barely-there dresses, slips, lace edged silk and asymmetrical silhouettes paired off with bonnet hats is quite the juxtaposition between historical fashion and the freedom and liberation women are beginning to experience. “I love the idea of a woman being able to stand up and deliver a lecture in front of a room full of men while wearing a beautiful floaty dress if she wants to. Why not?” And why not indeed. There was a feeling of anarchy and rebellion that ran through the clothes. The embroidered ‘A’ a nod to the Hester Prynne and the Scarlet letter, initially a symbol of humiliation and sin, Hester reclaims it and her identity. There is no shame in your past and its part of who you are today.
Femininity was at the heart of this collection. “We’re living in an anarchy time when people have lost faith in leaders and lost faith in society,” Thornton said. “Everyone feels a little bit disjointed and unclear about the future.” – Accentuated using deconstruction, Cut out jumper with lace inserts, lace and silk dresses with skewed lines and multiple colours sewn together as if a mismatched jigsaw. Unambiguous contrasts of white and red, pastel hues and silky slip-ons without undergarments are all insinuations of progressive, free thinking, modern women.
As a Slovenian designer at a British fashion house, Natasa Cagalj devotes Ports 1961’s Spring Summer 2018 collection to the 21st century workingwomen. The masculine blazer and bespoke trousers may be the secret to the traditional power suit, but the new sleek, sophisticated and customisable primary coloured numbers are the ones under the spotlight – the bright yellow buttoned dress or blouse with knife pleated skirt hybrid, the black shirt dress with a high slit and a statement detachable bow. Diving into innovation, the brand has developed a fabric with metal, perfect for scrunching the ends introducing a bit of casual that holds throughout the day. Smart casual dresses exemplify European culture to its very core – the cricket sweater inspired knitted topwith a ribbed waist, the blue hankerchief inspired prints, checkers and dainty floret embroidery.
Christopher Kane presented his latest collection for SS18 in London which was inspired by what she called as a “domestic goddess.” According to Kane, his muse is “a real strong, perfect woman but she is slowly breaking inside. Like all of us.” The models who walked down the runway wearing dresses with silk fringe, floral suits and skirts full of frills. Different textures were added and mixed to the collection by incorporating ruffles, sequins, lace, leather, and checks to create many different looks of the muse. The final looks of the collection created a lasting impression on the audience as evening dresses covered in crystals and captured into cage-like structures were considered by many as the highlight of the show. Christopher Kane came up with a unique concept and created a collection with a different air that spoke of everyday women – women who re found everywhere around us.
Donatella Versace describes the 21st century younger crowd to be daring and eager to stand out, and she didn’t hesitate to go through the archives to make a whole Spring Summer 2018 collection of streetwear collage with them. Contrary to past decades, styling tips won’t be necessary; if anything, the clothes should be worn with fierceness and confidence. With the future generations in mind, this co-ed season is about promoting sustainbility and classic hearitage of style. The iconic red and yellow Prince of Wales check, red and blue jeans, red-fringed Western, graphic tees, chain-belt print make their appearance through swimwear under elongating tailoring, stweatshirts and dresses, casual slip-on flats, ankle-strapped high heels and fringed cowboy boots, paired with either a big canvas bag or a small crossbody. The visual wow factor carries on through pops of red, pistachio and neon green and metallic cutouts and finally the chunky accessories, with a slim glimmer of the consistent tie cord.
Eudon Choi has carried on his architectural journey – being inspired by Adolf Loos for his AW17, and has turned to the architectural aesthetic of Eileen Gray, an Irish architect and furniture designer. A collection of stunning – yet wearable clothes, merged minimalistic lines and laid back cotton with clean no fuss architectural silhouettes, taking on men’s tailoring and exhibiting a feminine edge with structural ruffles and frills.
Unpretentious prints of monochrome, checkered prints and nautical stipes were prevalent through the collection, gave a distinguished air of relaxation in form and fit, given life by colour block bags. While colour and print were minimal, his tailoring sensibilities is second to none. The architectural craftsmanship that produced some of his best looks, trousers diagonally cut and tapered at the ankles, asymmetric cut lines with gathered ruffles and sleeves cut to mimic waves.
The evening glove made a return at the Erdem SS18 show, using her Majesty’s 1950s wardrobe as inspiration for this sophisticated, yet sexy – by Erdem’s means. High neck collars, below the knee frocks and tulle underskirts graced the Erdem runway alongside a more updated version of the Queen’s wardrobe – pencil skirts with slits, sweetheart necklines and high neck sheer ruffle dresses. Erdem Moralıoğlu explained backstage, “The Queen Elizabeth had gone to New York. Or, what if Dorothy Dandridge had come to Buckingham Palace? I mean, what might she have worn?”. And so, we have it. The runway was transformed into a 1950 jazz bar, alluding the fantasy of a young royal who wore a silk printed ruffle dress and beaded gloves to the cotton club and spent the night listening to Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.
Moralıoğlu spent countless months researching the royal collection at Windsor castle, articulating and fine detailing every aspect that were synonymous with royal style. So how did they translate into his SS18 collection?
Heavy on brocade and rich tweed suiting. Flower motifs which adorned dresses and evening coats. Ribbon, used as detailing on the dresses, in position of what would be the queen’s brooch, as well as on the strap and as decorative fastenings to hold low necklines together and sequins, pearls and intricate beading embellished the collection for a regal touch. It was a collection which merged worlds of fantasy together and one truly fit for a royal.
Tulle princess Molly Goddard debuted her first ever collection for SS15 and the young talent radiated nothing but positive energy in sequins, pleated dresses and a line silhouettes. While she played to her strengths, her collection is more experimental than previous, a dominant use of manipulated fabrics gathered down the sleeves and dresses and on necklines. She kept the volume commonly provided through layers on tulle. Amongst the strongest looks, lines were loose and relaxed, whimsical in a sense. An orange cropped jacket paired with a grey pinstripe pleated skirt, a yellow blazer with a a-line sequin skirt, while girls trotted walked the runway in riding boots or bare foot, there was a mischievous attitude in the air. Models danced and posed, walking down the runway clutching champagne and cigarettes, the personality of the show reflected the clothes. “I keep using the drug analogy, which is probably a bit inappropriate – but I wanted this collection to feel less Nineties coke-y, fashion, more giggly, stoner-y fashion,” she laughed.
When supersonic exhaust meets punk rock, you’ve got Pam Hogg’s Spring Summer 2018 collection of sexy dolls and astronauts. By revisiting her 2009 come-back designs – including her memorable PVC catsuits – this season wavers between innocence of tulle and sexiness and fetishism of PVC, rounded by the theatrical borderline Venetian masks and platform boots. The creamy apricot orange, lemon yellow, turkish delight pink, sky blue and mint green tulle make sheer look cute – the fluffy little 3D petal details, the accordion-pleated bandeau and skirt barely take away the fact that the garment still shows a lot. The infamous plastic bright catsuit gets a space age make-over with metallic blocks and stars. PVC is further experimented with when printed lace invades the trench and bodysuit.