Valentinoesque Volume sweeps the Runway in London
Who’d ever think that a flyer for discount furniture could inspire a fashion collection. Hear what designer Matty Bovan had to say about it: “It had this headline, ‘In Uncertain Times, This Is a Cert!’ which I thought was so disgusting and perverse and hilarious, I had to use it for this collection.” He added, “It’s an ode to England, really,” harking back to the superstitious days of the 17th century.
Today, there are known to be 92 naturally occurring elements. In the days of the Greeks there were only four: Earth, Air, Fire and Water, all of which Mary Katrantzou uses as inspiration for her collection, “The Elemental, ” which reflects the creation of the universe.
A few quotes from Mary Katrantzou’s website help describe this stunning collection: “Clothes consume the body, fusing form with fabric, the woman with the elements.” Some look like “nebulous supernovae” surrounding the woman in “balls of energy.” “Ombré effects romantically evoke dawn and dusk, the shifting of the moon and sun, a shimmering horizon . . . compressed into tailoring and expanded into cumulus gowns.” “Hyper-real collages, combining flora and fauna” remind us of the creation of the earth. “Ostrich-feather appliqué like comets’ tails trailing away from the body . . .vaporous trails of organza that frame the form shaded with an aurora borealis of rainbow hues, and finally the subdued shades of midnight black and a twilight grey,” bring to mind “the quintessential beauty of celestial bodies divine.”
Principessa Orietta Doria Pamphilj (1920–2000) inspired this collection by Erdem Moralioglu. He was deeply moved by the story of her family, who stood against Mussolini in the days of Italian fascism and paid dearly for it. After visiting the Principessa’s Palazzo in Rome, one of the three largest palaces in the Eternal City, he studied its beautiful furnishings, paintings and wall coverings, rich with brocades and florals, and drew from them when creating his designs.
Think florals, think England. Think corsets, think Dior of old. Add these two to latex body suits, tights and opera gloves and you must be thinking: Richard Quinn.
Once an intern at Dior in Paris, Quinn tells about how that influenced his designs: “A lot of the Dior archive pieces had a corset within the dress. All of our dresses have a corset, so you really get the extreme waist.” He goes on to say, “We wanted to keep it classic, but with a darker element, and we wanted to be more extreme this time, and more elevated with location and atmosphere. We wanted to have a world.”
Toss in some marabou feathers, tulip-covered jackets, and maxi dresses, and you’ve got quite a world.
In this season’s collection, Roksanda Ilinčić aims at contrast, saying, “We live in a time that plays on contrast and I’m sure I’m not the only designer who is addressing this. There’s a sort of anxiety we are all feeling about the time that we are living in. That’s why there’s a contrast at the beginning of the show, which is more sober and minimal, and the end, which is more dreamy.” Her evening dresses are opulent, yet modern.
“Even though you’re entering this fantasy world, it should be wearable,” remarks Emilia Wickstead on her Fall collection. Inspiring her fantasy was Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy, which, among other things, was filled with marriage celebrations, tragic deaths and family reunions. “I wanted to draw people into the nostalgia of that world,” she says. In doing so, she creates voluptuous designs, glorious gowns of scarlet, black and white, many with a couture-like finish.
Set against Ryan Driscoll’s backdrop portraying the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology, Hannah Weiland’s girls walked out, as Weiland says, “looking like myths.” Such was her inspiration for Shrimp’s fall collection.
Molly Goddard describes her new collection as “Dressed For The Storm.” And so it was, with wind machines blasting at gorgeous tulle dresses covering gray trousers and feet shod with knee-high walking boots.
Designer David Koma draws on Shakespeare in his latest collection. “The narrative in Shakespeare embraces power and regalness,” he says. “I wanted to communicate the same sense of confidence in this collection.” And so he does, drawing on designs from the Edwardian period to create a series of gorgeous dresses, some of which were embellished with snakes and butterflies of real silver threads and beads.
Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos found their print inspiration for this season’s designs in the iridescent ceramic creations of Zsolnay. A series of gorgeous metallic plissé maxi dresses added to the sparkle.
Victoria Beckham calls her latest fall collection “an A-Z of a woman’s life. She’s a lady, but she’s not ladylike. She’s proper, but she’s not prim.” Here we see small, snug argyle sweaters undergirded with blouses having big pointed collars. And chain prints. And pencil skirts. And not to forget, the Beckham dresses, which pop with vermillion and 40s to 70s silhouettes.
Meaning to reflect “contrasts in British culture and weather,” Riccardo Tisci aptly calls his second collection for Burberry, “Tempest.” Nevertheless, Tisci aims his designs toward Burberry’s international market, stating his intention to be “including, not excluding.”