Sies Marjan

Sies Marjan yet again put together a colour-coded Spring Summer 2018 collection. This season is more about the craft than the trends. Sander Lak the colourist makes this crystal clear, by taking us to “where the magic happens”, the workshop where all pieces are conceived and polished, A-to-Z style. From suspiciously free-form garments to the tailored silhouettes, it’s all about soft and bold colours with a hint of metallic and interesting washes.

Don’t be fooled by the silhouette’s simplicity from afar, small details such as stitches, belts and straps, are sown to control shape, movement and layering; take the strapped “peeling” white shirt, or even the light blue and blush coloured long-sleeve striped maxi dress with small creases from under the chest to the level of the hips.

If the peacefulness and casual air of the juxtaposed lilac and green outfit is too subdued for the occasion, the oversized orange belted mac with a pair of cropped and flared same-tone orange peeking through, flashing just enough skin before the eyes meet the orange lace up peep-toe platforms. If you’re still looking for that extra layer of “va-va-voom”, why not even look out for the blue fur coat wrapped around a soft and silky metallic blue ensemble that screams confidence.

If an outfit ever attempts to mimic a layered canvas, no one else does it better than Lak. Different shades of pink and different textures combined into one look, or layering different colours in the same silky material sure proves to be Sies’ forte. There’s no better way to make the crowd chant to an ode to colours by the organs of his workshop – the many rolls of fabrics – that echo the craft.

Brandon Maxwell

Brandon Marxwell’s show-stopping Spring Summer 2018 collection puts the women behind the fame up on a pedastal, from the office to the ballroom; the manipulated halter-necks, elongating silhouettes and the high-waisted belts with statetment earrings, classic stilletos and boxy handbags. Despite the softness of the creams and pastels, Marxwell generously used primary and bright tones to make the wearer stand out. Colour blocks grew bigger as the show progresses; denim softens into satin, skin makes its appearance, the trails become more and more prominent, the animal prints emerge and the everyday skinny denims are slowly replaced by voluminous gowns. Apart from the gowns that close the show, all pieces are stage-worthy, yet wearable for the evergrowing empowered young female fan base.

Helmut Lang

Since the re-brand, people have been longing for the Spring Summer 2018 collection. Shayne Oliver revisits Lang’s sensual minimalism to deal with gender identity matters, in order to appeal to the new generation. 50% bondage and 50% workwear, the statement-making show naturally takes place in the infamous SoHo in New York, with a theme-appropriate casting.

Brights and pastels, even metallics, may be the 2018 trends we look forward to, but the focal point is the black and white palette. How would one marry the career-woman to the BDSM fantasy character?
The stiff red gold leather nightgown ensemble and head-to-tow white satin and sheer chiffon structure make you wonder.

Bondage lingerie makes a confident statement of off-set asymmetry in the cape, the light sensual a-line skirt that is a few hooks away from falling off, combined with a pair of architectural leather open-toe.

The gender-neutral look experiments with traditionally gender classed garments. Think about the menswear essential black suit with a naughty twist. The blazer becomes a belted dress-like coat, accompanied by a clear acrylic case.

Zero + Maria Cornejo

The sculptural drape dresses and indigo jeans that express easy-going elegance, combined with a flexible serenity that asserts confidence, Zero by Maria Cornejo celebrates its 20th anniversary. Looking back on the journey, this collection is much more about diving into the brand’s identity. The show undoubtedly revisits a few signature pieces to bring out the core concepts that put its name in fashion week in the first place. The iconic bright pinks and reds boldly opened the catwalk. Tonality is then introduced and blues come into play. Despite the hints of her past, the designer undeniably prepares the guidelines for the future, illustrated in the revival of scattered poetry by Maria’s husband, her patchwork-style ribbon jacquard and her asymmetrical use of stripes and pull-cords (reminiscent of her early days when she was working with John Richmond in the 80’s). The absence of accessories purely put the round and soft silhouettes on a pedestal, highlighting every detail from the discreet neckline variations to the vibrancy created by layered fabrics and prints, even the dominance of flats. Against the soft fabrics of pliant linen and silk for example, scuba outerwear and tops, frayed and cropped palazzo denim bottoms, the alter ego bounces off between bright and serene, easy-going and confident. Although, creatives are very often told that “nothing is set in stone” when it comes to the design process, one thing is certain about Zero + Maria Cornejo. The ageless and classic ensemble closes the show: the symbolic asymmetrical easy-going elegant look, draped on the silver mane goddess.

Anna Sui

With a big embroidered piece of the sun, the clouds and the sea against a black background, Anna Sui seems to be contextualising her Spring Summer 2018 show that exhibit pure other-worldness. As a historian, Sui’s nostalgic collage of celestial treasures parade down the stage, flaunting great astronomical illustrations and psychedlic prints with a bohemian flare and whimsical sexiness. Silhouettes are rather loose and forgiving with an overall wash of blues and neutrals – prairie skirts, empire waists, layered sleeves – making plenty of fabric surface to show off the layered – graphic, “happy” and tie-tyed – prints, floral embroidery and glistening metallics. The fresh skin and let down hair are compensated by denim, long handmade-feel necklaces and adorned high-knee combat boots. The airiness of the sheer mesh, lace and satin with accents of fringe, tinsels and tulle gradually build up a subtle sexual tension in the background – think about the high-leg bodysuits, printed light-denier thights and shortest shorts. Anna Sui’s prismatic story understands the need for escape to serenity and joy, and will make you put on sunglasses to transport yourself elsewhere.

Kaimin

Kaimin’s concoction for their Spring Summer 2018 collection consists of futuristic motorcycle gear, drag queens, BDSM references and partygoers, presented at the top of the Standard, under the provocative name of ‘Slut from the Future’. The venue was surrounded by glass, providing New York’s nightscape as a phenomenal background to showcase her progressive style, synchronising with Brooke Candy’s performance. As the designer firmly believes in being comfortable and vocal about the instinctiveness of sexuality and expression, her clothes unquestionably will reflect her burning desire to give the audience a glimpse of a futuristic society where gender is not emphasised and sexual stigma is history, through sharp and bold shapes and innovative materials, such as irridescent PVC and liquid fabrics. From the bright neon shibari rope bondage asymmetrically married to punkish Tron-like deconstructed leather gear, to the gigantic pleated tulle features and crystallised PVC structures, skin is always fiercely on show. The graphic eyes, techno-style headgear and eccentric hairstyles only further feed into the implicit message of conveying inclusivity.

The Row

Built on lofty cashmeres and mink-lined shoes, the Row’s designers have always had a soft spot for sophisticated comfort. For the lady who strives to be chic as soon as she opens her eyes in the morning, this Spring Sumper 2018 collection perfectly embodies this character. The show takes place during a breakfast presentation at Carlyle Hotel, another good reason to get out of bed.

This season, the sisters have decided to focus on the soft and romantic. Against the dark carpets of the restaurant, dreamy and flowy outfits emerge. Although the silhouettes are often vertical and ground-sweeping, and the fabrics are light and loose, a variety of romantic and sensual necklines (breath-taking plunging V-necks to modest and innocent round necks), minor accents around the waist, drapy details and organic shapes (waterfall-like cuttings and folds, rope-like knot) take the collection form majestic to romantic. Sleeves go from effortlessly non-existent to cozy bell ones.

Given that this is a transitional wardrobe, layers and coat choices are not lacking. Lapels, no lapels. Collar, no collar. Wrap coats. Open trenchcoats. You name it. Silky soft layered under thick wool, satin on top of cotton, satin under vinyl, silver-bead mesh on wet black, skin under frilly mesh… Taking into account the office outfit, the smart casual look (even slightly masculine), and eveningwear, the sofisticated collides with the comfort of Ked’s. Simple and casual, a mix of different types of romance.

Of course the colour palette evokes the seasonal theme through rosy and violet pastels, reds, creams and dark neutrals, and shades of light. Pops of dark blue and silver add depth and dimension to this delicate yet rich portrait.

Prabal Gurung

As an open political advocate, Prabal Gurung’s no stranger to change, and is not afraid to promote it, especially through his expertise. This Spring Summer 2018 collection is no different. From blues and pinks, to the brighter yellows and florals, and to the closing dark colours, a diverse casting parade in tailored jackets and coats, leg and shoudler bearing dresses, a variety of sleeves and periodic ruffles, paired with sporty-chic heels. The twisted dark pink and rose sheer maxi gown with a thigh high slit, that display divine elegance, the long corset-like khaki coat with oversized shoulders give the women’s figure more authority. The uncanny mix-and-match of sheer and wet-looking materials and hefty fabrics are all strategically selected and shaped to flatter the feminine figure, such as the blue chiffon excessively ruffled collar with fabric cascading down the sides of the arms, on top of an off-white high-waisted patent shorts. Needless to say, some things never change, like Gurung’s signature cut-outs with rouleau buttons featured on many of his pieces this season.

Creatures of the Wind

Spring cleaning takes a different turn at Creatures of the Wind. Upcycling your wradrobe in a Seventies mood makes up the brand’s Spring Summer 2018 collection. In a time of reflection on where the house stands in the market, the designers take a more hands-on approach on patchwork colour-blocking and repurposed leather trenchcoats. Boots, long-strapped purses and string to block belts accessorise feminine leathertunics over trousers, dresses over trousers, dresses over skirts. The fresh faced beauties alternately shift from soft to hard fabrics. The variety of checkers, sheer paisley, red jacquard, graphic floral embellishment, distinctive fur number and the occasional printed t-shirts animate the neutral colour scheme, and redefine their classicism.

Sketches Bibhu Mohapalra
Image Jeremy Scott