It feels like I haven’t blogged in forever and that’s because I haven’t. It’s been exactly one month. I could blame this negligence on a lot of things but the truth is I just haven’t felt that inspired lately. But, there’s nothing better to get my sartorially obsessed mind back into gear than fashion season, which ended in Paris last Wednesday.
Almost nothing makes me happier than mulling over the collections. I love discovering the trends that will take over once autumn and winter arrive, thinking about new ways to wear pieces I already own and, more than anything, I love seeing the creativity and talent that exists in the world we live in.
Each season, the likes of Vogue and Elle present their “Top 10 Collections of [insert city name here] Fashion Week” and I’ve decided to do something similar. My choices aren’t necessarily the collections that have heralded the most acclaim or attention but rather those that stole my heart and brought me joy and inspiration when I first saw them.
Alexander Wang, New York, December 2, 2018
Alexander Wang’s AW19 collection was reported to be inspired by his upbringing. He grew up as a private school kid in San Francisco, a radically different experience than that of his siblings. As a result, Wang says “There was always a question of where I fit in.”
This played out on the runway as a fusion of uptown and downtown elements: sherbert-coloured tweed suit jackets accompanied by black leather apron skirts, camel coats paired with boxer shorts and icons of the upper crust such as tennis jumpers and rugby shirts were customised with asymmetric hems and unlikely embellishments like safety pins.
I found pleasure in the juxtaposition of uptown and downtown pieces because, as I’ve previously mentioned, I consider my personal style to merge designer and high street, avant garde and classic basics to create an individual look.
Zadig & Voltaire, New York, February 12, 2019
I think Zadig & Voltaire produced a collection that will influence my actual wardrobe come autumn. Creative director, Cecilia Bönström, took inspiration from the off-duty style of models and athletes and their ability to pull off distinctive fashion choices in a collection that placed versions of NBA team logos on a series of unexpected items.
The collection is what a high-fashion-meets-sport collaboration should look like and the further the pieces moved away from typical NBA merchandise, the better they worked. However, my favourite looks included glamorous shimmering mini dresses and coordinates paired with combat boots, puffer jackets and casual hats.
Christian Dior, Paris, February 26, 2019
Strong messages of feminism were clear from the outset of Dior’s AW19 show when creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, turned the mic over to Italian conceptual artist, Tomaso Bingo, who read a poem about the promise of a feminist victory over the patriarchy. Feminism has always been a part of Chiuri’s Dior but the rallying cry of this show in particular felt insistent and personal and it’s always wonderful to witness a woman in power make a case for feminism just because she can.
Chiuri took inspiration from Britain’s post-war teddy girls, who hit the streets in a mix of men’s Edwardian jackets, full skirts, blue jeans, leather and velvet – all elements present throughout the collection. It’s both playful and elegant and I’m particularly enamoured by the heavy use of plaid and leather – two staples in my winter wardrobe. Dior under Chiuri has season after season produced some of the favourite collections of mine but the silhouettes and fabric choices of AW19 make it almost relatable, even for a student like myself.
Balmain, Paris, March 1, 2019
Olivier Rousteing’s AW19 collection for Balmain explored the articulation of the modern Balmain women: “She’s got attitude; she’s a troublemaker and she doesn’t care. She’s defiant but she is a paradox: she can be sweet and romantic too; she can be an angel or she can be a devil. She cannot be categorised.”
This soft vs hard, princess vs rebel juxtaposition saw bouclé and evening dresses against punk rock anarchic pieces and thousands of studs featured on blazers, vests, bags and practically every other piece in the collection. I’m particularly a fan of the transparent trench and sandals combination seen above. And, as always, any collection featuring headbands is sure to speak to my soul.
Miu Miu, Paris, March 5, 2019
Another brand whose collection I always look forward to seeing, Miu Miu’s AW19 show was a bewitching mash-up of innocence and perversion that has often defined the stubborn, soulful, yet partial to sparkle Miu Miu girl. This particular collection felt almost like a gothic Lolita and I love it.
It was eclectic and youthful and covered heritage, utility (my favourite spring trend), artisans and evening wear. It featured floral backpacks, cherry blossom baby doll dresses, chainmail collars and boots with the most incredible mountain of tread and sole.
There were also elements of classic Miu Miu in accessories that spoke to my inner magpie: tights decorated with jewels and flowers, glittery heels and velvet flats. The overall feeling was clever, romantic and seriously lustworthy.
Chanel, Paris, March 5, 2019
Chanel AW19 was sombre yet serene. The farewell to the genius of Karl Lagerfeld took its audience to a snow-bound haven high in the Alpine mountains. It was the perfect send off for Lagerfeld who was famously non-sentimental. He loved his job and always regarded it as a task of continually living in the present. And that’s how it went. There was a minute’s silence in honour of the late designer before the show began. Nothing fussy and sentimental. Just respect to his wishes.
The tailoring was as stunning as ever but what touched me the most was the theming. As an avid skier and lover of the mountains, it was simply dreamy and the alpine influences in some of the pieces filled my heart with a bittersweet joy while the fashion industry mourns a legend.
While the collection was undeniably beautiful, it was the show itself that portrayed Lagerfeld at its best. Clothing is one thing but the stunning shows and immersive experiences he brought to life were also gifts he gave to the world. It will provide a truly unforgettable memory of Karl Lagerfeld, of classic elegance, of frivolous fun, of a true genius. Rest in peace.
*I claim no credit for the images used in this post. They were all found on Vogue Runway and edited accordingly.*
Peace and love, Bec