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
J.W. Anderson Phoebe English
Fashion industry people must be pleased turtlenecks layered under everything is so trendy right now. Save for the perfectly-styled nut in the first shot, almost every person in these street style photos is sporting a turtleneck. Even with drivers and cabs at their disposal, the weather for the past month has been no joke. Perhaps in London, it’s the same 10 degree weather they have all year round. That would probably explain the open-fur-and-crop-top combo on our bold first showgoer. But in NYC, it was frozen-snot levels of frigid all of last week.
If I’m being totally honest, I’d have to admit that a part of me feels immense satisfaction in seeing some of the most powerful, not to mention wealthy, women of fashion bow down to old man winter. If part of street style’s function is to inspire a love of clothes in its everyday readers who probably take public transit and walk outside like normal people, I can’t say it’d be very realistic to see bare legs and no scarf in the middle of February. Plus, no one wants to be reminded that they don’t have a personal driver, OK?
As nice as it is to think of fashion as fantasy, most of the time we need clothes that actually work. We have jobs and social lives and side hustles—do we gotta worry about being comfortable and warm in our clothes too? I’m gonna go ahead and say “nah” and present to you some of my favourite street style looks—featuring some stellar outerwear—from New York Fashion Week, and a few from London too. Out of respect for our readers, these shots were selected based on both style and functionality. Bonus points for the most brightly coloured because matching your clothes to the weather is a little depressing. So sorry, Olivia Palermo. Your bare legs with the nude pumps didn’t make the cut. Better luck next year!
Simone Rocha always brings it. Her SS15 collection was one of my favourites from the now-finished London Fashion Week because it made me question my strictly monochrome, aggressively plain personal style. The Simone Rocha woman is feminine and wants to be dressed in beautiful things. Simone has successfully delivered this every season since her debut in 2010. Born to renowned Irish designer John Rocha, Simone has carved her own uniquely romantic space in women’s ready-to-wear, and the fashion world took notice. Early this year, she was nominated and considered a front-runner for the LVMH Prize. Although the prize eventually went to the equally-uncompromising Thomas Tait, the loss did little to slow her rise. Hugely influential players in the industry, including Suzy Menkes and Karl Lagerfeld, have since come out in support of her designs, and her collections have found more and more buyers like Colette in Paris and 10 Corso Como in Milan, Seoul, and Shanghai.
Her new collection, like much of her previous work, reflects a deep sense of romance with a touch of the erotic. Curly-tressed Victorian babes shuffled softly but not without purpose down the catwalk, dressed in various boudoir-like textiles like brocade, embroidered mesh, even marabou fur. Every piece is undeniably pretty, but never boring or wimpy. There’s power and grit in an all over gaudy red floral print, and similarly, in a woman who isn’t afraid to wear a completely see-through outfit. In fact, what makes these looks so memorable is their lack of restraint—why send down just one piece of transparent pink mesh when you can show an entire three-piece suit with the same fabric?
When I read that a major source of inspiration for this collection was Wong Kar Wai’s films and Hong Kong, it made total sense to me why I couldn’t get these designs out of my mind. Wong is the master of romance done thoughtfully, and one of my favourite filmmakers. Every single one of his movies (In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express), from the cinematography to the costumes, from the music to the set design, have been artfully constructed to evoke love and longing and loss between the characters. I found that the red floral looks and the rose-embroidered mesh pieces, in particular, recalled the intricate, vibrant qipao dresses worn by Maggie Cheung in In the Mood for Love. Rocha’s grandmother is from Hong Kong and the designer visits the island every year. How lovely to see traces of her past in the beautiful clothes she makes.
All images via style.com
Fashion month is only halfway through and already the amount of shows to take in is starting to overwhelm. With hundreds of designers unveiling their Spring Summer 2015 collections during this short month, all of the new trends, textiles and colour combos to keep track of adds a sense of chaos to my normally simple fashion life. For times like these, a visual palate cleanser is your new BFF, and what makes a better visual palate cleanser than the freshest, most elegantly minimal colour to wrap yourself in?
The answer to that obviously rhetorical question is nothing. Nothing looks better and is more idiot-proof than wearing head to toe white (except for maybe head-to-toe black). And judging by the SS15 collections, this isn’t a trend that’ll die any time soon. Its aggressive simplicity makes it almost anti-trend, as timeless as a little black dress but just a touch more daring and prone-to-spills. It ruled the runways of New York and London and dominated the street style scene outside of the shows as well.
As the only colour in nature defined by an absence of pigment, white gives designers a blank canvas upon which they can demonstrate their skill in fabric manipulation, experimenting with shapes, and creating unexpected textures. Runway looks in New York and London ran the gamut from distressed denim workwear to tissue-thin haute rags. My favourite look? A pristine white shell paired with high waisted short shorts by Lisa Perry, the innocence of the vintage bathing suit silhouette is spiced up by the high hemline of the shorts and the completely see-through PVC skirt layered on top.
Images via style.com and Dazed digital
New York and London Fashion Weeks have come and gone and Milan Fashion Week ends today. I’ve had the opportunity to view and obsess over a ton of exciting and truly beautiful collections, as well as some uninspired and poorly-executed ones. An attempt was made to cull the most fashion forward and personally appealing looks from the shows so far and present them to you here.
The looks seen above were chosen from one of my favourite collections from NYFW, by American designer Jeremy Scott. Tapping into the as-popular-as-ever sportswear trend and infusing it with his trademark tongue-in-cheek style, the collection is varied texturally and looks super fun to wear, even for the non-Kpop star crowd. Cozy is the name of the game this season and I’ve yet to see anything I’d rather drape myself with than those bomb-ass fuzzy sports jersey knits.