Wednesday, 8 October 2014

the best of fashion month (part 2)

Fendi SS15: MFW

Rome was the inspiration for Fendi’s Spring/Summer ’15 collection. Models walked down straight Roman roads whilst classical piano music played underneath the sound of frequent cars speeding past. Silvia Venturini Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld delivered a show with a modern cosmopolitan buzz, simultaneously paying homage to a city so steeped in historical heritage. The looks themselves suggested streetwise sophistication, with an exotic, European twist.

Fendi and Lagerfeld encapsulated a vibrant city, rich with culture but not afraid of propelling itself into modernity. Cara Delevigne who, love her or loathe her, is undeniably the most recognisable model in the fashion industry right now, opened the show, demonstrating that the designers wanted Fendi to be commercially appealing- even allowing denim to grace the Fendi catwalk for the first ever time.

The collection itself consisted of pretty blue floral prints, delicate sandals and a colour palette that shifted between feminine pastels and contemporary monochrome. Lagerfeld and Fendi showed a diverse range of fabrics throughout, with materials from shimmery to sheer, PVC to clear plastic.The most iconic looks, however, came in the form of the feathered mini dresses. One was paraded on model of the moment Binx Walton. Another, worn by Joan Smalls.

At Fendi it is always impossible not to note the accessories as a fundamental element of the overall look. Strappy sandals, cat-eye sunglasses and embellished handbags brought a luxurious '60s vibe to the collection, drawing on a collective nostalgia for the aesthetics of that era that is so prevalent amongst young people today. Dramatic blue eye-makeup was a consistent feature that flowed through every look, making the collection more cohesive.

Fendi's SS15 collection encapsulated Rome as a modern city. Taking somewhere with traditionally strong ties to religion and history and merging it with the fact that it is situated in a country that plays a vital role in the global fashion industry, Lagerfeld and Fendi have reacted to the effect of globalisation on such an historic city and they could not have gone about it in a more chic way. Now pass the pizza, but don't spill it on your crisp, white Fendi dress.

Versace SS15: MFW

The collection got off to a surprising start. The glamour and sexuality of Versace was cast aside for a a sleek, modest black set. The slit up the leg, bare stomach and the subtle logo embellishments are the only nods towards classic Donatella. The opening looks all presented an elegant modesty. Undeniably, Spring/Summer ’15 Versace introduced a fresh, clean look that presented mesh and glitter as classy fashion choices. It was the simplistic charm of the looks that made it such an effective collection. It was bold and straightforward, encapsulating a modern sophistication.

The collection consisted of sharp tailoring, shiny pastel tones and embellished leather details. The looks were sexy in an understated way. They were aesthetically appealing in an artful way. Even the Versace-esque mesh gelled cohesively with the uptown vibes of the rest of the collection.

Each look reconceptionalised the Versace logo, creating an image that was less logomania and more millennial. The shine on the pastel coloured dresses, added to the atmosphere of newness that infiltrates the collection. The set had a powerful influence too, with the runway reflecting the pink logo, creating an aesthetic paradise. 

There is no theme that runs through Versace's SS15 collection. However, it has been noted on social media that it has many similarities with tumblr art blogs, such as 122x, fkatwigs and ppolishprincess. The clean, unembellished aesthetic does match the mindset of many young people when it comes to fashion. It is stylish without trying too hard to be. names this Versace's "strongest collection in a long time." This is a bold yet incredibly accurate statement. Donatella abandoned the brand's usual overt sexiness in favour for something a little more covert, more refined, sleeker. SS15 will always be one of Versace's strongest collections.

Gareth Pugh SS15: PFW

Gareth Pugh's Spring/Summer '15 collection appeared as if from a dystopian dream or perhaps a bizarre nightmare. In reality, Pugh was inspired by much more earthly elements. Collaborating with the Museum of British Folklore to perfect the collection, Pugh titled the look "frayed luxury." Some elements leant more in one direction or the other. The first half of the collection is pretty and feminine and much of it is created using more generic materials. However, the "frayed" outfits are to follow, with dresses resembling potato sacks, made from the same sackcloth used to make scarecrows. Conceptually, this part of the collection is flawless. The looks are artfully tailored, especially considering the tough fabrics that were being worked with. 

Floral embellishments and delicate materials showed how expertly made even the wearable pieces are. However, the most iconic looks were those that stood out amongst the others. The papier-mache skulls, wacky headpieces, complete scarecrow looks and, probably most unforgettably, the all engulfing silhouette of the look inspired by Padstow Obby Oss stole the attention away from the tamer looks.

The sheer originality of this collection makes it a visionary and unforgettable season for Gareth Pugh. However, the fact that it was shown in a showroom in New York during Paris Fashion Week instead of at a show in Paris, as Pugh usually shows his collections, may mean that it is unjustly overlooked.The showroom was an "immersive presentation" but few got to attend, leaving the Paris shows inspiring the headlines and social media discussions.

Designers often draw inspiration from folklore in the form of chunky ponchos or boho prints, but Pugh took that idea and shaped it into something more idiosyncratic, more sensational. Gareth Pugh SS15 is one of those collections that it is difficult to get out of your mind; whether in puzzlement over that Padstow Obby Oss inspired outfit or in awe at the beauty of the flower embellished bodysuit. 

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