Images via Editorial mag
I can’t even deal with the hotness. Chloë Sevigny looking stunning and stylish in the current issue of The Edit, Net-a-Porter’s web magazine. I especially love all of the denim pieces, including the Sonia Rykiel denim overalls and the light denim culottes.
Fashion week is exhausting. OK, so I haven’t actually attended any shows yet and all I’ve had to do so far is keep up with the media coverage, but trust me, looking at collection after collection in my web browser gets very tiring after the 50th collection. I am excited to switch things up and see some clothes in person tonight, as I will be attending Toronto’s pre-fashion week show, The Collections, highlighting the best in up-and-coming Canadian designers. If I’m being honest, both the intimate setting and the quality of the designers make the Collections far more exciting to me than fashion week itself. Stay tuned for coverage from the shows in the next few days.
Until then, check out my picks for some of the best Autumn Winter 2015 collections from London Fashion Week. As a sidenote: London has become the fashion week each season that I look forward to the most. In many ways, the subversiveness and innovation of the designers who show here are comparable to what I’ve seen in Paris, but with more youthfulness and I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude. As such, I also find the collections in London to be the most polarizing. Let us know which collections you liked/disliked the most!
Caitlin Price for Fashion East
There is something deliciously perverse about thick layers of knit stripped away to reveal naked, alabaster skin. Perhaps it’s because sweaters have never been thought of as a particularly sexy garment. They’re that thick and nubby outer layer your mom made you wear in the weeks after October hit, likely embroidered with an unsightly print.
Of course, thoughtful styling and beautiful editorials are impactful because they subvert our expectations, and the way designers and stylists are using sweaters this season is a long way from how your mom dressed you in them when you were a kid. The sweater dressing of now, as seen in this recent editorial from Tank magazine, and on the runways of The Row, Edun, and Calvin Klein, are elegant, dramatic, and usually monochrome. No longer interested in merely knitting tops, designers are going all sorts of wacky and applying the cozy texture to everything from skirts to dresses to pants. Us Northerners with the insane winters couldn’t be happier about it.
Something I’ve had to come to terms with in recent years: when your wardrobe consists of primarily blacks, whites, and neutrals, you have to get a little creative when injecting your winter wardrobe with a lil’ zest. You can wear comically large pants with tiny tops. You can channel Lenny Kravitz and wear a scarf that’s dangerously close to swallowing you whole. Or you can opt for a subtler technique and play with contrasting textures in your ensembles.
There probably isn’t a texture more different from the cozy knitwear than the decidedly un-cozy, industrial polyethylene. While the sweater is essential for colder seasons, experts aren’t quite sure what seasons polyethylene, otherwise known as the common plastic, is most suitable for. What is known is that polyethylene looks dope when draped effortlessly, its sheen both delightfully tacky and attention grabbing. If you’re into fashion trolling the public with your outfits, try pairing a luxurious cashmere cardigan with a dress that looks suspiciously like a garbage bag.
This mini editorial, also copped from Tank, reminded me of a summertime favourite, my Jeremy Laing polyethylene dress. I will report back with pics once I figure out an elegant way of wearing shower curtains in November.
Images via Tank
Above: No. 21 A/W 2014
Above: Christopher Kane A/W 2014
It’s Fall! Everyone’s favourite cozy layering season and fashion media’s cue to dig deep, back into its collective memory to try and remember what went down the Autumn/Winter 2014 runways way back in early Spring. It used to make sense for the fashion-concerned to take care to follow trends, find It-pieces, and look forward to runway influences eventually trickling down to mass market retailers once the seasons had lapsed. I can remember a time not so long ago when fashion was slower and toed the line of designers’ visions and editors’ seasonal picks. Especially vivid is the stranglehold boho-chic’s particular vapidity had on the fashion industry — I remember it so well because it coincided with the year I started my first real adult job. I saved a lot of disposable income steering clear of shop after shop filled with the same bland faux-hippie offerings. I remember wishing I had bought more basics during the seasons previous when mod reigned supreme at Club Monaco and on the sales racks at Holt Renfrew Last Call, worrying about the scarcity of miniskirts and turtlenecks in the brave new boho world.
Above: Sharon Wauchob A/W 2014
Then the recession happened and the fashion industry catapulted into a fevered pitch of consumerism. Fast fashion picked up speed, online retailers started making their presence known, streetstyle photography and the proliferation of fashion blogs satiated the fashion-hungry masses, events called Fashion’s Night Out spread across big shopping cities around the globe, and all these moving parts contributed to the massive, churning contemporary fashion industry and what is too often coined its “democratization.”
Above: Emilio de la Morena A/W 2014
Ceding power to mass retailers and hobbyist fashion enthusiasts did not bode well with industry insiders until they learnt to use amateurs to their advantage and made aspects of accessibility through social media and designer collaborations incredibly lucrative. At the height of recession panic, designers were interested in reforming the established fashion week schedule and the timing of retail clothing delivery to better coincide with consumers’ pace of consumption of not only goods, but also information about fashion.
Above: Marchesa A/W 2014
Now half a decade since Donna Karan heralded the fashion industry’s own demise, you can really see the incredible changes that mass retailers have wrought on an unresponsive fashion establishment. Just today, November 12, 2014, I received an email (that went straight to spam, mind you) from Style.com entitled “45 of Spring’s Best Accessories!” Ok, that exclamation was my own addition, but, seriously. 45 accessories for Spring [!]. Are there even enough days in Spring to wear all of the featured accessories? Do readers have enough untold millions to spend on them? Furthermore, unless the accessories you’re trying to hock via email in mid-autumn are keeping my cheeks from getting frostbitten, your content is utterly irrelevant and will be completely forgotten by Spring.
Above: Tod’s A/W 2014
While the fashion industry continues its loopy scheduling, it risks being completely overshadowed by a maniacally efficient fast fashion industry that regurgitates runway looks and has garments in consumers’ hands before designers might even begin mass-producing pieces they’ve just shown. Zara stands out as the most monstrously zealous of all the fast fashion companies – it designs 40,000 new products annually and produces about 10,000 of those in a plethora of colours and sizes. While the fashion chain keeps prices relatively accessible, its constant pushing and pulling of products encourages impulse purchases and drives a kind of exclusivity — shoppers know items won’t be there long and opt to buy runway looks long before their mimicked original even gets to luxury department stores. The pace of fast fashion is what has perhaps most influenced fashion media and the inane “45 Best Summer Heels that go with the Season’s Hottest Hemline” listicles we read in the dead of winter.
Above: Christian Dior A/W 2014
As a result of not only the current over-saturation of fashion marketing and commerce, but also the incredible lag in time between the presentation of designers’ lines and the seasons they’re meant to be worn in, the idea of any kind of definitive guide to fashion seasons has become obsolete. In my own attempt to look back at my meticulously plotted out Excel spreadsheets tracking trends from A/W 2014 fashion weeks, my efforts to put forth any kind of guide were quashed by fuzzy memories of lines I was surprised to revisit, it’d felt so long ago. Among my neatly kept list of favourites (all of which I’ve captured pictorially in this post) there is no real abiding trend or style. Bulky coats in every fabric under the rainbow is the closest I could come up with. How about “45 Bulky Coats in Every Fabric under the Rainbow for Fall” – damn, I could write content for Style.com!
Above: Anthony Vaccarello A/W 2014
Ultimately, in attempting to survey Fall trends we’ve ended up taking stock of the utter dysfunction embedded in an industry that attempts to court artists, but lets corporations get away with the merciless over-production of copied goods. And ultimately, I’ve surrendered: this Fall (and every season after), wear anything!
Above: Honor A/W 2014
Credit: If you’re interested in the business side of fashion (as well as the history, culture, and theory that envelopes fashion), you would do well to subscribe to Jason Hirschhorn’s FashionREDEF daily newsletter. The impeccably curated links come to your inbox every morning and broach a range of subjects that inspired this post.
Above: Zimmermann A/W 2014
Filigree design motifs mostly conjure up thoughts of trompe-l’oeil stencil sponge painted designs in small town cafes or Web1.0 custom website flourishes, but these graphic trimmings were elevated to the status of micro trend on the AW 2014 runways. Raf adorned dresses with crystal floral filigree details for Christian Dior. Similar jeweled appliqués were show stoppers at Francesco Scognamiglio and crept all over sheer pieces at Alexis Mabille. Temperley London and and Andrew Gn bore the trend boldly and at Christopher Kane filigree embroidery engulfed a number of his dresses proving this mini trend is hot.
Every fashion week has seen strong vinyl looks this season, but none have been quite as expertly sleazy as London’s. Christopher Kane dominated with the majority of his matte nylon dresses contrasting subtly with ruched and baggy PVC overcoats. Disheveled models in slick vinyl skirt suits sauntered down a runway perfectly located in a deserted London office building. The cavernous space provided a sterile backdrop for beyond 9-5 dressing. At Fyodor Golan, the scene was decidedly after-hours, where severe head-to-toe vinyl outfits shone holographic in the spotlights. Set atop plush pink astroturf the carnal stylings juxtaposed a sense of pleasure and pain. In contrast, the a-line vinyl pieces at Erdem and the midi PVC circle skirts at Emilio de la Morena look as if they were made for the madam.