Top Collections from London Fashion Week

It’s that time of year again; prestigious fashion houses from all over the world are dropping their latest collections in tandem with all the other designers in their particular cities. The latest fashion week to wrap was in London and I have the highlights.

What would London Fashion Week be without an amazing new Topshop Unique collection?

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For spring and summer 2018, Topshop Unique dropped these Old Hollywood influenced designs. That means you can look but you can’t touch; these pieces will be in stores when the snow melts. For those of you who don’t have snow yet, sorry for reminding you.

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This collection is right on trend. There’s no shortage of millennial pink, marvellous embroidery, and magnificent party frocks. The pastel blues and pinks are perfect for spring.

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These finale dresses also happen to be slip dresses. That says it loud and clear; Topshop has no intention of relinquishing the Instagram throne.

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The retro feels continued on strong at Temperley London. The high waists and cute head scarves were accentuated with pops of red and black.

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I’m a little partial towards vintage vibes, but even from a modern stance, it’s hard to deny the awesomeness of this collection. I love the pastel tones for spring and summer, especially the mint green. Not to mention that sparkly sequin dress on the end. What is going on over there? I do not know, but I sure want to find out. And one thing is for certain; the pale pink trend won’t be going anywhere next spring.

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Eveningwear sure doesn’t fly off the shelves like streetwear does, but the minds behind Temperley London are confident in these designs; and rightfully so. Each of these gowns is a pure work of art.

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Christopher Kane dropped his interpretation of SS18, and as with everything, he did it with style. The pastel tones continued here but with some bold black contrast – in the details, and as statement pieces alike. These unique fabrics and interesting reworkings make this collection a memorable one for me.

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I think I can safely predict that pale pink, vintage vibes, and frilly white frocks will be big for SS18. Especially when paired with a punky leather jacket.

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Just look at these. I can’t believe the details and the layering here. Decadent, and perfect for spring. I usually go for gold jewelry over silver, but I love the silver accents here. It goes so well with the black, white, and pink.

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I can dig this interpretation of the slip dress trend. I like the deconstructed cardigans too.

If all these slip dresses have you double checking that you’re not watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, just wait until you see the latest Julien Macdonald collection.

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For spring and summer 2018, Julien Macdonald fully endorses wearing less and going out more. It’ll be warm, so you won’t need to wear as much; hell, leave as little to the imagination as possible. Make a game out of it! Then make it fashion. That’s what this Julien Macdonald collection is to me.

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All jokes aside, this is better than the last few Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows. Just hear me out; there’s significantly less Instagram models, the vibe is old school sexy like VS was back in the good old days, and there’s serious bombshells walking in this show. Get these girls some wings and we’re good to go.

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You can’t tell me these outfits aren’t better than most Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show outfits these days.

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If Victoria’s Secret made gowns maybe this is what they would look like. Then again, if this lingerie is better than VS, who’s to say the VS gowns would be better than this?

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Ralph and Russo had Instagram completely shook with these flirty, floral designs. And the colour palette is perfect for spring; I’m loving how Ralph and Russo does baby blue for spring 2018.

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They do pastel pink pretty well too. And they took a risk and made a bright yellow dress and a black floor-length gown for spring and summer; but it works.

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Even these dark blue hues work for spring. I love the hemlines and the fabric.

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I don’t know if I’d wear these darker designs during the spring or summer, but I still like them.

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Peep these finale gowns though. I have no words.

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I’m not sure if Thornton Bregazzi took a cue from Fendi’s red boots for FW17 but I’m digging this anyway. I love the embroidered red A on the outfits For those of you who haven’t seen Easy A, it’s a reference to The Scarlet Letter which is a really old book. A lady is ordered to stitch an A on all her clothes to indicate that she is an adulterer. In Easy A, a teenager does the same thing to prove a point. I love the idea behind it, and the designs are great-looking too.

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I’m wild about these dreamy dresses, but I’m not sure if I’m wild about the hair. Sometimes it works, but other times it looks like the model just got out of the pool. Either way, I really like the hats here too.

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The finale drew back to the Scarlet Letter theme. I love how the A is incorporated subtly in the finale dresses, instead of being obnoxiously stitched on. I also love this red for spring. So beautiful.

Well, next up is Milan Fashion Week. Stay tuned for my next recap!

 

 

 

 

What You Missed at NYFW SS18

If you’re like me, you’ve been enjoying the first week of fashion month watching the shows on your computer from the comfort of your own home. Turns out you can’t just show them how many Instagram followers you have and get let in! Since I ditched the commute, I actually had the time to look through all the shows and pick out my favourite looks. You can keep scrolling to see them all, but for now; Spring 2018 seems like a long way away, so lets look at something a little more appropriate for this season.

 

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It might look like a fall collection, but this is Coach SS18. With ’30s and ’70s vibes, this collection was dropped on a runway of glitter in a New York alleyway. Coach has been represented by some major celebrities as of late, going with subtle Old Hollywood underpinnings this season is an obvious, yet appealing choice.

A little something else I like for SS18 that also happens to be fall-appropriate is Wendy Nichol.

 

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There are plenty of pieces I really like from this collection, but these two dresses really stand out. Here they are in all their glory. It looks like something from the 1800’s but edgier. Can you say Westworld?

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You could certainly wear these hoodies and pants for fall, but this collection is Rihanna’s latest interpretation of spring and summer fashion. She just dropped Fenty Beauty, but that doesn’t mean FentyxPuma is going anywhere. With Motocross racers jumping and flipping in the background, it’s hard to imagine this brand slowing down any time soon.

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This designer might be from Moscow, but that didn’t stop her from taking cultural motifs from all over the world and showing them in New York; and she did it all in a refreshing way. Alena Akhmadullina knows what the Game of Thrones ladies would be wearing if there were Instagram in Westeros.

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Speaking of Insta-ready evening wear, my explore page was completely flooded with the designs from this Rodarte collection for the first day or so after it dropped. And why wouldn’t it be; these looks are delicate, feminine, and spring-appropriate.

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Rodarte has been slaying the game for years now, but people really started taking recognition after this show. The models look like queens.

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This Reem Acra collection was chock-full of stuffy evening wear, but included a few desirable pieces for millennial Instagram queens too.

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The creative geniuses at Marchesa know that evening wear is going out, and street style is in. They blended the best of both worlds and out came these decadent design. I can’t wait to see these dresses in editorials.

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Each of these gowns is a complete work of art. I can’t imagine how many thousands of hours New York interns spent putting this all together; and you can bet they’ve already got a start on next season.

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The second red dress is like the 2017 version of my grad dress. I also love the ’20s style feathers and bling on the second-last dress.

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Can you tell I really like all of these Marchesa dresses?

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Anna Sui, who usually makes decadent, high-end evening gowns, toned it down for SS18. These indie boho designs will no doubt become all the rage by the time festival season rolls around again.

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Some of you might know this show as the show where Gigi lost a shoe and Bella helped her down the runway for the finale; how cute is that.

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Among some of the cutest streetwear this NYFW was delivered by Alexander Wang at #WangFest; his rock-star-reminiscent show where models began their walks by stepping out of a giant tour bus. The slip-style party frocks donned by Kaia Gerber, Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner were all over Instagram for days.

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Alice + Olivia are known for making hype-worthy streetwear without all the gimmicks. The designers behind this brand are ahead of the Instagram curve, and in more ways than one. Not only do they have a solid handle on the budding bell-bottom trend, but they’re proving that no one else does ’60s and ’70s style better. Not in New York, anyways.

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By the looks of it, the floral and the festival chic trends aren’t going anywhere this spring.

All the looks I’ve discussed so far have received major hype, deservingly so. Here are some looks it seems like no one’s talking about.

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People can’t get enough of Alexander Wang, and I’m here showing this Vetements collection to anyone who will listen like “THIS is fashion! Can you believe this is fashion? I’m a fashion blogger and I can hardly believe this is fashion.” I’ve been talking about this, but why aren’t we talking about this?

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This deserves to get talked about. What did the director say to these models before these were taken? I can hardly imagine. “Nuclear family with 2.5 kids but then make it fashion”.

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Some of these looks are genuinely good. I love that red duster on the bottom row here. But the shoes… and the pose and the expression of the two guys on either side of her… Vetements, what are you doing to me?

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For those of you who do not know, vetements is a French word that means “clothes”. The French brand, Vetements, have based their brand off this; making just clothes.

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It might be “just clothes” to them, but to me, any one of these items of clothing could pay my mortgage for three months. And are those knife boots? Those sure look like Balenciaga knife boots.

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There’s a lot more that went down at NYFW for SS18, and many more collections I absolutely love and can’t wait to share… stay tuned for more!

 

3 Shows During the First Fashion Month of 2017 that Reminded Me of my Childhood

Fashion week isn’t something that normally comes to mind when we think about our childhoods; nevertheless, these three designer collections reminded me of mine. From bunny rabbit motifs to soft pastels to playful vibes on set, they took a more lighthearted approach to the first fashion month of 2017.

At London Fashion Week, Peter Jensen delivered this quirky collection of desirable basics and preppy pantsuits.

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This collection not only represents the perfect mix of slouchy and structure, but a few key pieces deliver a certain sense of nostalgia. I don’t know about you, but in the ’90s before I had reached double digits, wearing capri-cut leggings and dresses were my jam.

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Peter Jensen has been around designing innovative fashion for about fifteen years. This collection is like the “Greatest Hits” of his run. What can be expected from the designer in years to come? Stay tuned for more.

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Between the cute leggings and boxy silhouettes, this is giving me all kinds of ’90s vibes.

During Paris Fashion Week, Mira Mikati dropped this lookbook instead of hosting a traditional runway presentation.

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It looks like summer camp memories at first, but there’s a story behind these designs. The militaristic motifs pay homage to a recent showdown between protesting dentists and cops (that’s right – if you want to know more, head over to the Mira Mikati coverage at Vogue).

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This season, Acne Studios went with a traditional runway presentation despite this trend changing for most other designers. This collection is about imperfect femininity, and a yearning for innocent times.

The patchwork motifs hint towards a larger narrative behind these designs. According to the designer, this collection was inspired by a culture of homemade finger puppets for children that were popular in Europe from the mid 1910’s to the early 1920’s.

Four Designers at NYFW Who Were Inspired by Modern Art

During the first fashion month of 2017, plenty of designers debuted artistic collections; from gowns that look like they belong in renaissance paintings to edgy avante garde experiments, the influence of the art world is still very much alive in high fashion. This season, four designers at New York Fashion Week debuted collections that were inspired by modern art.

The designers at the helm of PH5 opted to drop this lookbook instead of a traditional runway presentation.

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PH5 are known for their exuberant knitwear, and this season they proved complete mastery over the tricky fabric. It's about post-structuralism – taking something symmetrical and structured and making it into something new.

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Lisa Perry delivered this lookbook that is chock full of crisp lines and primary colours. I think when most people think of modern art, oversized shapes in the primary colours come to mind.

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Perry took it a step further by creating some really interesting Kandinsky-like marks all over both silky separates and bouncing ballgowns. According to the designer, this collection is about creating happiness in the face of despair; in this unpredictable post-election political climate, enormous swaths of non-white, non-male, and/or non-cisgender individuals are feeling more hopeless than ever.

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This season, 3.1 Phillip Lim was flamboyant, fanciful, and for the woman who visits art galleries.

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This Pamella Roland collection is all about – and this is a direct quote from the designer – "superhero chic". To those not familiar with the intricacies of this genre, this looks more like frothy evening wear than something a modern-day heroine might don.

That ’70s Blog

Several weeks ago, I blogged about decade fashion and delivered examples of some of the best collections inspired by particular decades. I had no problem picking out examples for each decade; the ’20’, ’30’, ’40s… but the ’70s? So many designers dropped ’70s inspired collections during the first fashion month of 2017 that I could hardly keep up. As promised, here are all the FW17 collections from Milan, New York, Paris, and London that were inspired by the grooviest decade of all.

During Paris Fashion Week, Vika Gazinskaya debuted this lookbook instead of a traditional runway presentation.

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This collection is mainly ’70s influenced but with early ’80s undertones. Paris Fashion Week is known for avante garde designs, and these are no exception.

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The creative geniuses at the helm of Redemption dropped this tongue-in-cheek collection that was inspired by the punk scene in London during the 1970s. If this show was in London, it might have looked slightly less avante garde, but this is Paris Fashion Week baby. Even the punky getups you wish you owned in the 8th grade are glamorous.

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Like many designers at NYFW, this designer has recently become disenchanted with the American government. These designs are slightly politically driven, but have no direct focus – not unlike many collections this season.

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But Redemption isn’t about mindless rebellion; according to the designer, this is about activism. I guess it’s hard not to take center stage in one of these shimmery gowns. Are we all getting the memo about plunging necklines this season?

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Miu Miu was not only one of my favourite ’70s inspired shows this season, but it was one of my favourite shows in general. In case you’re wondering, no, that’s not real fur; this Old Hollywood inspired collection features lots of cheesy fake fur and motifs from the ’70s and ’40s alike.

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According to the designers at the helm of Miu Miu, we face an unpredictable future in our current political climate. This is about prepping ourselves glamorously for whatever is to come. Also, peep Kiki Williams on the far left in the fuzzy hat; I can’t help but be reminded of a certain Mario Bros. character.

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If you recognize this collection, that’s because it’s been everywhere. From the cover of September American Vogue to a glamorous campaign starring Kate Moss, Miu Miu are a force to be reckoned with this season.

During NYFW, which takes place before Paris Fashion Week, Rachel Zoe debuted her FW17 collection in LA. Why LA and not New York? In the world of fashion, some might argue that rules were meant to be broken.

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According to Rachel Zoe, LA was the obvious option as it “feels like home”. Home was part of the conceptualization behind these designs as well; like Miu Miu, Rachel Zoe is returning to glamour in the face of an unpredictable future.

Back at New York Fashion Week, the Chloe team debuted See FW17.

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In the fashion world, Chloe are known for their Instagram-savvy tactics and a lead designer who retired shortly after this show. This company might be in store for a period of change and turbulence, much like the political stage in the country it calls home.

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See by Chloe FW17 is exactly what you’d expect from a dedicated team of trend-watchers. From combat boots, to cute floral print, to handy fanny packs, this team is proving it has what it takes to remain a mainstay in the fashion industry.

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Instead of putting on a traditional runway presentation, Raquel Allegra dropped this truly unique lookbook. It’s not as politically driven as some of the collections I’ve described so far; instead, the creative geniuses at Raquel Allegra drew their inspiration from Japanese animation. You could say the muse this season is the Belladonna of Sadness – a character archetype among many others in anime.

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BY. Bonnie Young delivered this grungey take on the ’70s trend. This season, grunge meets the 1970s meets post-apocalypse meets avante garde.

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According to the designer, the actual aesthetic behind this is wet surfaces and puddles in decayed places.

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Collections like this have me begging one question; is orange the new black? This season, Katie Eary strictly investigated all shades of what I like to call ’70s orange. Whether it be burnt umber, autumn leaf orange, dusty beige, or neon orange silk, it’s like Katie Eary travelled back in time and picked her palette from a 1970’s Home Depot.

All jokes aside, according to the designer this is about feminism and glamorous strip clubs.

Rebecca Minkoff took a less kitschy and more contemporary approach to the ’70s trend.

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Like Chloe, Rebecca Minkoff is known for being consistently ahead of the Instagram curve. And by investing heavily in the street style trend this season, this brand proves it’ll do what it takes to stay ahead.

The Best Italian Streetwear for FW17

I know what you’re thinking; but this blog isn’t about what today’s street style starlets are wearing to fashion week. It’s about the runway looks you’ll be seeing on stars next season. During the first Milan Fashion Week of 2017, these designers released the following streetwear-inspired collections for the upcoming fall and winter season.

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This collection of structured eveningwear and streetwear is the latest ready-to-wear from Fendi, an Italian mainstay on the runway. The pieces dropped in January, but the ad campaign just came out in July. Featuring oversized metal Fendi logos, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Karl Lagerfeld, it was apparent that this brand isn’t stopping it’s aggressive Instagram campaign anytime soon. And why should it? The red boots on this runway are the summertime version of sugarplums dancing in my head.

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According to the designers, this collection is all about old-school glamour unrooted in gimmicks. The clothes certainly do speak for themselves, but the Fendi squad has clearly invested a few million dollars in gimmicks as well.

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Plenty of designers took the political route this fashion month, but Fendi kept it classic. The idea is to defend what we already have when we’re in turmoil; instead of making an aloof fashion statement, Fendi have stuck to desirable streetwear and eveningwear this season.

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In contrast, the designers at the helm of Au Jour Le Jour decided now is the time for a statement to be made. This avante garde collection is full of cute costumey coats and frilly frocks alike.

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Everything in this collection is super cute; from the cursive detailing on the dress on the far left, to the cutout on the coat next to it, to the campus and pajama inspired separates that follow.

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Not only can they do cute, but they make incredible eveningwear as well. Not to mention the blue pajama set under the faux Mongolian fur stole. Who knew that being comfortable could also look so classy?

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In my opinion, there’s nothing cuter than sustainable fur and pretty party frocks.

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Instead of putting on a traditional runway presentation, Brunello Cucinelli debuted this lookbook during Milan Fashion Week. I have two words for you: chic af.

This collection is extra cute because Brunello Cucinelli believes in ethical employment. In this day and age of a rapidly changing fashion industry, designers are getting hired and axed within several months of each other. At Brunello Cucinelli, employees experience a low turnover rate and ideal conditions for creating these luxury garments. Not many clothing companies treat their employees this way, which begs the question: what is in store for the future of fashion?

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The comfort continued and the pajama-like pieces re-emerged at Emporio Armani. I know these Armani suits are worth an arm and a leg, so I can only imagine how much the pajamas alongside them are. Or how soft they must be.

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Milan Fashion Week is among one of my favourite fashion weeks because these designers know how to pick good fabric. They know good fabrics are the foundation of any collection. I guarantee you that all of these fabrics feel softer than a baby’s bottom.

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At Attico, the vibe was also that of a high society couture girl. But the Attico girl is a rebel. And her street style rocks.

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Diesel collections are usually futuristic, but the designers took a different turn for these upcoming fall and winter seasons. This collection was inspired by the grunge and romance of the 1990s; to read more about vintage-inspired collections from this season, check out my Evolution of Fashion blog.

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Tod’s was all about bold contrast. This runway presentation featured luxurious leathers, cozy cashmeres, and soft wool.

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Fall is all about layering and texture – and having a chic autumn wardrobe.

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In contrast to all these layers and textures, there was a nude model posing as if she were a sculpture in the middle of this runway presentation. I always say I miss the runway antics of the ’90s, but I wish they made it into Vogue a little more often.

These collections are chock full of desireables for any fall wardrobe. There’s nothing I’d trust more to keep me warm through a long winter than a couture coat fresh off the Italian catwalks. Streetwear is all about what you wear outside – supposedly running errands and other daytime tasks a socialite might complete – but in my country, I need to first focus on warmth. Good thing most of the Italian collections include at least one luxurious winter coat. Too bad I can’t afford any of them!

What is Industry Standard, Anyways?

New York Fashion Week was more political than ever this year; thanks to the Trump presidency. Some designers expressed their anger at the system, and some asked themselves what they could do about it. The fashion industry is notoriously problematic, mostly for arguments related to body image and representation. Four designers at NYFW took this opportunity to ask themselves, “what is industry standard, anyways?”

Vetements are known for pushing the boundaries, aesthetically and otherwise. This year at New York Fashion Week, the prestigious fashion house took on the issue of ageism in the fashion industry.

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The first word that comes to my mind is “wacky”, but it’s good for the fashion industry that they did this. In a time that seems to call for one, this is most definitely a fashion statement.

Nomia took a more minimal approach and used friends and Instagrammers instead of models.

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Most Instagrammers are at least model-like, but the standard for high fashion is more rigid than that. Most designers won’t hire women who are shorter than 5’9″, or have a waist that is larger than 25″. For reference, the average height of a North American woman is reported to be between 5’3″ and 5’5″, and their average waist size is 38″. So not only must you be freakishly tall if you want to be a model, but you should also have nearly half the girth of the average woman. It’s great that the average body shape and size is making it’s way into the fashion industry, but what does it mean for the future of fashion? Will we be seeing less industry standard models on the runway and more regular people, or will this trend die out with the season? Only time will tell.

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The designers at the helm of Rag + Bone took a unique approach to their presentation this year. Instead of shooting a lookbook or holding a runway show, the designers threw a party with their favorite friends, Instagrammers, and a boatload of instant cameras.

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Erin Fetherstone didn’t stray far from the traditional runway presentation, but she did hire ladies of a certain age to walk for her. In addition to being impossibly tall and thin, the ideal  high fashion model is underage or at least looks like it. Tackling ageism in the industry is no small task, but Fetherstone and the rest of the designers I’ve discussed here are off to a great start.

Oscar de la Renta Appreciation Post

Whether you follow high fashion or not, you’ve probably heard of Oscar de la Renta. Known for their opulent gowns and decadent perfumes, this house is a mainstay at Fashion Week. During the first fashion month of 2017, Oscar de la Renta and associated brands released the following collections.

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Monse is known as yet another label by Oscar de la Renta designers, but this collection is deserving of much more recognition. The asymmetrical, avante garde designs cling to the antiquity that la Renta is known for, but reconcile this with a certain modernity.

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Here at Girl in the Arena, we like Oscar de la Renta, but we love Monse. This collection is all kinds of fall fashion goals.

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Proenza Shouler has been at the helm of her own line for a while now, but hardcore Oscar de la Renta fans will remember her from those days with one of the most prestigious houses in the industry. This collection is not as outspoken as some of the other collections presented by Oscar de la Renta alum; it’s vague, timid, and inspired by modern art.

This season, Shouler sure looks like Vetements. Why not try to be a little more like Vetements? In today’s streetwear-saturated market, more and more designers are taking a turn towards a more casual aesthetic. So much so that this Spring 2017 Couture collection looks more like one meant for fall and/or winter.

These restructured and repurposed fabrics beg the question: “what exactly is the future of fashion?” A decade ago, it was clear that designers were trying everything and anything to break the rigid mold of runway fashion. But what would constitute a fashion statement now, in a time which seemingly calls for one?

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Instead of fixating itself on this existential crisis, the Oscar de la Renta line itself stuck to structured silhouettes and shied away from taking any bold risks. Some critics were bored by the designs and a curtain failed to open at the actual presentation, resulting in an unfavorable review from Vogue.

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Regardless, this collection is perfectly classic and fits in well with the brand. No doubt most of these dresses will make an appearance on the red carpet this fall.

Avante Garde at Paris Fashion Week

Between haute couture and avante garde, the French are known for innovation in the fashion industry. Haute couture simply means “high fashion”, but avante garde is a style of dress, architecture, art, and design that can be better understood through example. During the first fashion month of 2017, the following designers debuted these designs for FW17 at Paris Fashion Week.

eachxother
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Each x Other took some bold risks that paid off for a ready-to-wear collection without relying on gimmicks. These crisp lines and structured designs are perfectly avante garde without being too over-the-top.

According to this designer, we need to stick together if we want to change the status quo. The idea behind this collection is no man is an island. Collectives create things; and we need togetherness more than ever in these politically divisive times.

hermes
All rights reserved by Hermes

Hermes delivered this luxurious collection of preppy essentials. The exaggerated and oversized elements of these designs reconciles their preppiness with current trends.

esteban-cortazar
All rights reserved by Esteban Cortazar

At Esteban Cortazar, the oversized trend continued. This comfortable-looking collection is chock full of rich patterns. This avante garde designer is originally from Britain, but now resides and delivers his collections in Paris.

jacquemus
All rights reserved by Jacquemus

This Jacquemus collection is about a Parisian couture girl who falls in love with a gypsy in Southern France. It’s classically preppy, but also comfortable and hinged on the aesthetic principles of avante garde.

veronique-leroy
All rights reserved by Veronique Leroy

Veronique Leroy stood out from the crowd by delivering luxe crushed velvet and high end craftsmanship in his designs. This avante garde collection is such because of the often oversized sleeves and the blingy belts.

junya-watanabe
All rights reserved by Junya Watanabe

This Junya Watanabe collection is all about 1970’s punk. If you’re thinking it’s a little out there, that’s because it is; that’s kind of the point of avante garde. This collection is great because of all of the creative fabric mash-ups and the andogynous aesthetic.

talbot-runhof
All rights reserved by Talbot Runhof

Talbot Runhof once worked for the pentagon, and perhaps that’s why his latest collection is all about the post-truth era. The knit sweaters reading “un-presi-dent-ed” and “lie to me” are a direct criticism of the country which Runhof once called home.

As with most American-turned-Parisian designers, most of these designs borrow from modern streetwear trends. Although Runhof has designed some of the nicest lampshades of the season, he has not compromised on the rich fabrics and textures for which European fashion is renowned.

reem-acra
All rights reserved by Reem Acra

I’d hate to reduce this Reem Acra collection to simply stuffy evening wear, but it kind of is. Ten years ago, most of the stuff you would see on the runway would be eveningwear. Then, designers started taking risks by throwing sweatpants on their models and the streetwear trend was born. Perhaps streetwear sells because it’s relateable and wearable for more than one occasion, but either way, eveningwear collections are diminishing every season.

According to the designer, this collection is about “be[ing] yourself” and saying “yes I can”. Whereas the designs might not be so relateable, the philosophy behind them is; perhaps we would all feel like “yes I can” if we wore decadent gowns like these on the daily.

valentin-yudashkin1
All rights reserved by Valentin Yudashkin

This Valentin Yudashkin collection is also fraught with eveningwear, but these designs rely on structure and solids instead of exaggeration and pattern. They might be red carpet ready, but they’re street ready too.

valentin-yudashkin2
All rights reserved by Valentin Yudashkin

These opulent designs are the perfect marriage between eveningwear and streetwear.

john-galliano1
All rights reserved by John Galliano

At John Galliano, these structured designs made their debut.

john-galliano2
All rights reserved by John Galliano

This collection is a great example of the avante garde aesthetic because of the boxy silhouettes, plunging necklines, and cool hats.

anrealage1
All rights reserved by Anrealage

The FW17 Anrealage runway presentation was anything but conventional, and so were the designs. This collection is markedly post-structuralist; the designer has taken traditional silhouettes and warped them into something new.

anrealage2
All rights reserved by Anrealage

It might be avante garde, but it still looks quite wearable for the catwalk or the sidewalk.

For contrast, let’s have a look at Comme des Garcons FW17. And yes, this is still a ready-to-wear collection.

comme-des-garcons
All rights reserved by Comme des Garcons

If you look up Parisian avante garde in the dictionary, you’ll find Comme des Garcons. The brand was recently noted at the Met Gala; for those of you who don’t know, every year the Met Gala is designated a particular theme by a board of celebrities. This year, Tom Brady, Gisele et. al. chose Comme des Garcons as the theme.

Most of their guests came under fire for not adhering to this theme at all, and instead arriving in trendy, blingy, clingy gowns. Several notables arrived in Comme des Garcons, but it is kind of like cheating to wear something from the actual designer being honoured at the Gala. If I were invited I would have at least stuck with a notable French post-structuralist designer.

rick-owens1
All rights reserved by Rick Owens

Rick Owens would have been more than a suitable choice for the Met Gala this year because it’s over the top, it’s avante garde, and it’s post-structuralism all in one. Avante garde is about experimentation and boundary-pushing, even if it means putting wacky hats on your models every now and again.

rick-owens2
All rights reserved by Rick Owens

The inspiration behind this runway presentation were the ideations of a distracting royal ceremony. It’s distracting all right; but that’s what avante garde is all about.