[FASHION REVIEW] London Fashion Week Mens FW17 Roundup

text by Adam Lehrer

London Fashion Week Men’s, formerly London Collections Men’s aka LCM, was reenergized for the Fall-Winter 2017 season. Chalk it up to Brexit or Trump or all the existential uncertainty that arises in the wake of political devastation, designers are innovating once more. I was happy to see fashion designers starting to mess around with silhouettes again, no longer content to ape the oversized everything innovations of Demna Gvasalia; the London collections featured a plethora of big, small, skinny, baggy, tailored, sharp, clean, jagged, and everything in between set of shapes. There was less emphasis on sportswear and streetwear, with designers even finding new life and new ideas in the most traditional of menswear garb: the shirt, tie and trousers look. The message seemed to be that the creative class needs to be taken seriously, but we must also find ways to maintain our individuality in this conservative coup. Designers seamlessly blended the bizarre with the traditional, the maximal with the minimal, and the suit with the sporty.

Martine Rose Fall-Winter 2017

British menswear designer Martine Rose has had a subtle but profound impact on the introduction of underground sub-cultures to the palette of menswear design over the last 10 years. She has referenced the style and sexuality of Robert Mapplethorpe, the poetic genius and masculinity of The Fall’s Mark E. Smith, and the liberated glory of ‘90s ravers in her own collections, located the sub-cultural importance of workwear labels like CAT and Timberland in collaborations, worked extensively with the now defunct streetwear/music project Been Trill, and even consulted on Demna Gvasalia’s now iconic Balenciaga menswear debut. The Balenciaga consultancy manifested slightly in Martine Rose’s Fall-Winter 2017 menswear presentation, the designer’s first catwalk since 2013 and her first to heavily feature tailoring (right down to the neck tie). Rose has always had an ability to slightly alter staple menswear pieces to hint at punk undertones and sexual subversion. The collection dealt with everyday workers: the bus driver, the real estate agent, the banker, and the office worker among them. The collection’s central question was, “How does a man hold on to his individuality when entering the professional world?” That is why this collection connected so deeply. That is the most resonant clothing concept in the modern world. Every day, we have to dress in accordance with our institutions’ dress laws while holding onto icons of our selves. The collection offered simple shirt and tie looks in shiny and ostentatious silks and beautiful/ugly colors of orange and baby blue. The tailored jackets clung loose to the frames of the models, but not to the point of making a statement, seemingly more concerned with nonchalance and comfort. The nylon jackets and coats in the collection often concealed the restrictive office wear in youthful nylons, sometimes with the sleeves hanging off the shoulders nearly unattached. The collection was exceedingly sensible. I’d wear just about all of it. This is how you conform to standards without losing you sense of identity.

Craig Green Fall-Winter 2017

As brands grow and gain success, it is typical for them to start introducing more palatable and accessible elements to their collections. These are the products that can be repurposed and resold each season: Vetements and its now staple reassembled jeans, Raf Simons and his Adidas Stan Smith sneakers, Hood By Air and its branded t-shirts. Craig Green’s brand is undeniably growing; selling like crazy and earning Green a CFDA award for menswear design in the process. But almost like noise rock band Royal Trux did by signing to Virgin Records in the ‘90s and using the major label money to create highly iconoclastic and idiosyncratic rock records, Green has been using the freedom success has brought him to introduce more ideas, concepts and radical aesthetic gestures into his brand. In my opinion, his Fall-Winter 2017 collection is the best damn collection he’s had so far. Introducing heavy tweeds, Green used the durable fabric for severe all-over looks: statuesque jackets with ropes tied around the waist, wide leg trousers, scarves coiling around the neck, and a waist piece that could possibly be a bag, a cape or both. See, with Green fashion is about subverting the “form follows function” rule. For Green, form IS the function. Everything is designed for multiple uses and styles of wear, and the clothing takes on the form of its very purpose. That is at the essence of Green’s avant-garde sculpture. Padded satin looks (also head to toe) are topped off by a vest with belts wrapping around it, allowing the vest to take on a mass of potential ways to wear it. The most remembered looks of the collection will undeniably be the embroidered cloaks that resembled a monk wearing ornamental Korean carpets as religious garb.


Vivienne Westwood Fall-Winter 2017

Ever the political firebrand, Vivienne Westwood used her Fall-Winter 2017 collection, Westwood’s first show on the menswear schedule comprising both menswear and womenswear lines, to further illuminate on the imminent disaster of global warming and corporate culture’s blatant disregard for it. Though it’s not what draws me to Westwood’s output, I firmly disagree with people questioning Westwood’s environmental intentions. Like any creative discipline, fashion can’t alter the political landscape so much as it can provide a conduit for awareness. Pushing awareness is beyond reproach. It’s a good thing to do. But at the end of the day, activism isn’t going to convince me or anyone else to buy any clothes, and Westwood’s collections for a few years seem to have missed the mark. But this collection hit the mark. Like Vivienne’s best output, it balanced the torn and tied together messiness that she got known for alongside some fantastic, wearable, and excellent quality traditional pieces. For every see through sweater dress was a sensible tailored double breasted blazer (made rocker cool with extensive finger rings and black leather boots). Women in baggy plaid suits, embroidered nutcracker jackets, stitched together pants and shirts, and abstract crowns made this a decidedly classic Westwood collection polished with a Victorian sheen. I quite liked the all-over camel early 20th century stage coach looks of a cashmere cape over a three piece suit styled with polished leather boots. the 50th look in the show, a patchwork crewneck sweatshirt with matching pants and black boots, is a rare runway look that I would wear head to toe. Daily. For years.


Kiko Kostadinov Fall-Winter 2017

Kiko Kostadinov is a rare designer on the London circuit. Instead of finding his inspiration in raves and clubs and sub-cultures, Kostadinov seeks to elevate uniform garb. His brand is for men that work, technicians and craftsman if you will. But instead of plumbers and custodians, Kostadinov seeks to give the comfort of uniformity to the world’s painters, sculptors, photographers, jazz musicians, and poets. There are very few designers elevating simplistic and clean silhouettes like Kostadinov is. The FW 2017 collection was minimal and expensive. Military sweaters in jet black came with wide legged wool trousers fitted with a tool belt, double breasted coats clung tight to the body refined and polished to a sheen, and jumpsuits were replete with multiple pockets in light wool fabric. Kostadinov discusses his desire to create a classless vision in his collection. Let’s face it, that is impossible. His high fashion price points ensure that working class people will never wear his clothes. But he is designing clothes that can be work through the bulk of life. Can’t wait to see the work Kiko does as creative director for Mackintosh coats.


JW Anderson Fall-Winter 2017

It gets hard writing about designers as they achieve stratospheric success. JW Anderson is certainly one such designer with his domination of CFDA womenswear and menswear awards and not to mention his total rebranding of Loewe that resulted in the brand becoming as associated with conceptual architecture and poetic appropriation as heritage Spanish luxury under his reign as creative director. But his collections are exciting no doubt, and he benefits from being able to tap into that “of the moment” resonance in his work. As per usual, the knits were beautiful and bountiful and the flares were wide and fey. But there was something palatably arcane within the collection, perhaps inspired by contemporary culture swaying back towards the bad ol’ days? Anderson also has a knack for finding the most overdone menswear looks and repurposing them for a taste of the uncanny. The 12th look in the show was sans description the minimal skinhead look: bomber, button down, and jeans. The kind of look that Raf made high fashion almost 20 years ago and Jerry Lorenzo made look tired and lazy with his overpriced philistine brand Fear of God. But JW makes his satin bomber fitted and sharp and adorns it with knit graphic patches and pairs it with a pair of jeans beautifully hand painted with a heaping of religious imagery and then decides the look works best with flip flops that look like flippers. And you know what? He was right.



Xander Zhou Fall-Winter 2017

Beijing-based designer Xander Zhou’s talent for utterly fucking with menswear proportions and silhouettes is vastly underrated. Like many designers of his age group, he wears his Raf Simons influence rather proudly and like the great Belgian has an obsession with youth culture that informs his designs. But Zhou’s collections are wild, dirty, and untamed in a way that Simons and his fellow intellectual Belgian designers aren’t. His Fall-Winter 2017 collection was his best outing yet, displaying his seamless hybrid of luxury and streetwear and drawing in all sorts of outer limits influences. Zhou displayed a fetish for misbehaved prep school boys in his first couple looks: models wore cropped vests over cropped button downs with ties resembling trash bags worn over the shoulder (dress codes can be fun when you know how to fuck with them). Those tailored looks continued with the addition of leather duster coats (the ones favored by Robert Mapplethorpe who is having a major fashion reincarnation this year). But Zhou’s true nastiness lies in his disregard for menswear rules. The double breasted blazer is turned into a biker dude leather daddy jacket. Denim jackets are elongated and contorted into deconstructed overcoats. The workman staple that is the jumpsuit is trimmed at the waist and given a day-goo dye job and another connotation rises to the surface. Zhou has eluded the press raves that so many of his contemporaries on the London schedule are lavished with on a regular basis. That needs to change; his clothes look like nothing else out there at the moment. That’s not easy in this hyper-saturated market.



A-Cold-Wall Fall-Winter 2017

I’ve been thoroughly taken with British designer Samuel Ross’ brand A-Cold-Wall since first coming into contact with it a couple years ago mindlessly browsing the Hypebeast website (a bad habit I’m happy so say I’m fully detoxed from). The brand functions as a conceptual art project cum streetwear brand from which Ross examines the disparities between working class culture and high fashion. Using a minimalist color palette informed by the dreary buildings and walls of low income London neighborhoods, Ross has introduced a surprisingly striking body of products ranging from French terry graphic hoodies to Nylon ponchos to tote bags. It’d be easy to dismiss an elevation of working class garb as well, a dismissal, but Ross has located something beautiful and pure in this style of dress. His Fall-Winter 2017 presentation was his first show using a cat walk. Ross celebrated the occasion by stepping well outside his comfort zone presenting both men’s and women’s collections, adding tailoring into the mix, and introducing some bold fabric pairings. Collection stand-outs included a technical satin overcoat, a wool sweatsuit, a leather t-shirt paired with wide legged trousers, and a white mesh suit and the whole collection was paired with Ross’ simplistic Nike Air Force 1 collaboration. 


Cottweiler Fall-Winter 2017

The design duo of Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell have been hard at work, introducing this Fall-Winter 2017 collection just days before their much anticipated collaborative line with Reebok debuted at Pitti Uomo. The conceptual sportswear brand seems to be evolving past its minimalist beginning into something more vibrant, ostentatious, and showy. Cottweiler has always been about the fetishization of sportswear and the duo nailed its approach in its early seasons. Now, they are embellishing that fetishization. Cottrell cited an “apocalyptic” vibe to this collection but honestly, that tag could apply to just about anything and has become a near unbearable fashion design cliche. What I saw in this collection was flash. The satin tracksuits were richer in color, the sports designs were over-emphasized (a sleeping bag worn as a cape, for instance), and the accessories were plentiful (electronic navel piercings and handblown UV glass pendants). Cottweiler obsesses over dual nature of sportswear: good for playing sports, better for dancing your nut off. This was the comfortable, breathable club wear that a luxury price tag offers.
 


MAN Show (Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Feng Chen Wang, and Per Götesson Fall-Winter 2017)

Must make mention of another excellent Top Man sponsored MAN Show event that demonstrated the talents of three designers, all of whom have shown collections at the event previously. All three collections demonstrated an escalation in the clarity of the participating designers’ visions. All three designers fall firmly into the category of avant-garde fashion and occasionally into the field of nonsensical inscrutability, but appear to be trying to push their concept into wearable products. Swedish designer Per Götesson presented his collection almost entirely in denim and introduced a multitude of silhouettes that you’ve surely never seen that tried and true fabric take form in prior. London designer Fang Chen Wang used leather and foil to drape all manner of architectural fuckeries over the bodies of a diverse cast of models. But the big story here was the British raving wunderkind Charles Jeffrey and his Loverboy label. Jeffrey is tapping into the late ‘90s rave fueled moment of madly inspired fashion design, but somehow makes his collections more contemporary by reaching for the antiquated. For every super cool looking oversized thrashed Freddy Krueger sweater, there are ten looks that look like ecstasy fairyland versions of Victorian London suits. Fueling the macabre strangeness of the presentation was not only Jeffrey’s wild club kid friends dancing in the background but the incorporation of several fine art sculpture pieces that surely can’t be expected to be sold by any reputable retailer. One looked like a gigantic American flag themed cone head and one was the grim reaper. I mean that in the literal sense. 

[FASHION REVIEW] London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2016

by Adam Lehrer

London Collections. The young creative one. The cool one. All that. God it can be boring how the entire fashion industry jumps on the same narrative train. But it’s true at its core: London is the best city for emerging fashion talent. Of course much of the designers that helped put London on the map as a hotbed of radical fashion thought, like JW Anderson and Gareth Pugh, are in their ‘30s now and are entering into mature phases of their brands. Or if not more mature, at least older. Then you have someone like Molly Goddard who three seasons in already seems to be tapping into something that actually does seem to be missing from fashion, and not just in a stock quote, “I became a designer because I felt it was missing something,” kind of statement (usually that means there’s a rip in a shirt or something). Claire Barrow seems to use fashion more as a means to show her art, which is very cool and different and radical and I love her for it. And then Marques ‘ Almeida, fresh of its LVMH prize, is still nothing approaching commercial but still cranking out clothes that a specific customer can’t get enough of. So, as much as I hate these pre-written narratives, I’m in agreement with the fashion consensus: London rocks.

Marques Almeida

Designers Marta Marques and Pablo Almeida prefer a frayed and lived-in quality to their clothes. Less we forget the heavily treated and distressed denim pieces that the label made its bones with. And while their line of products has grown exponentially, the label remains intimately aware of its customer. That lived-in quality was all over the FW 2016 show. Watching it, I envisioned a strong and self-assured woman who had just finished a near-degenerate night of partying but finds herself not on a walk of shame, but a walk of triumph. The clothes, while gorgeous, make the wearer look incredibly self-assured. Not quite a “don’t give a fuck” vibe, but a confidence it one’s own beauty. With a perfect party soundtrack of contemporary hits by Beyoncé and Rihanna (two stars arguably at the zenith of their powers and making the best music of their lives), the pieces came in metallic leather and featured over-the-knee boots, corseted bustiers, distressed and fucked up looking bags, and so much denim. Blue denim dresses, blue denim hoodies, pink denim, and more all tied the collection together into the Marques ‘ Almeida world. This is the best the label has ever been.

Anya Hindmarch

Designer Anya Hindmarch locked her models inside a retro arcade game and it worked wonders. The garments while ostensibly minimal appeared retroactively maximal. A trench coat and a bag were emblazoned with visions of Tetris and creepy digital animated graphics were used as continuing motifs throughout the collection. Hindmarch’s customers are going to love this stuff regardless, but she really gives to the fashion press with awesome presentation. As someone who is more an appreciator of aesthetics than anything else, I must give Kudos to how thoroughly Hindmarch brings her ideas to life. The set, the lighting, the color-blocked garments, all of it made for something a little more special.

Gareth Pugh

I pretty much always include Gareth Pugh on my favorites list, but it’s clear to me now that he has softened his aesthetic approach and that is in no way a bad thing. He was once a disciple of Rick Owens and Michelle Lamy, and his clothes were fittingly brutal and architectural. He’s still conceptual, but his SS 2016 collection and his similar FW 2016 collection seem to have a sense of humor about themselves. For FW 2016, Pugh was playing with the idea of female authority; he examined the ways in which a woman commands the respect of everyone around them. The collection featured Pugh’s magnificently sculpted take on the female power suit alongside power suit glitzed up with star prints. I loved the masks clearly rendered from Hannibal Lecter’s infamous mouth guard, there was something very Margiela about them in a collection that was by most standards one of the most conventional that Pugh has ever designed. Pugh has struggled with money, even having had to squat for a period of time to make ends meet. He seems ready to make clothes that sell, but not ready to give up on his ideas. That’s a good thing.

Claire Barrow

Does showing 12 looks qualify as a “fashion show?” I don’t know and I don’t care. Unlike almost every other designer in the world, I can truly say that there is no one on Earth doing what Claire Barrow does. Into punk rock, the occult, and historical gangs, Barrow applies her illustrations to near every garment she produces. A pink tye-dye dress came blazoned with vague and slightly demonic faces, there were wide leg trousers with a dragon motif, and outerwear accessories like gloves and scarves were etched with patchwork graphics. Barrow truly uses her brand as a way to express herself and her interests, and her taste is so succinct that she is still able to find her customer. People want her outlook.

Molly Goddard

Molly Goddard gets talked about for designing party clothes. That is true, but she also seems to be designing party clothes for specific woman, maybe we could use Broad City’s Ilana Glazer as that ideal woman. The woman emanates a specific cuteness derived out of an immense comfort inside her body. She’s free. That party DNA is carried through the shows, which as planned by Molly’s friends and casted with women off the street that all seem to have that Molly Goddard vibe. On a set inspired by Tokyo Drifter, Goddard indulged her very pronounced for making dresses. Those dresses came in magnificent proportions, all ruffled at the hem of the skirt emanating playfulness ad seduction. Also of note were the sliced to almost nothing leggings that literally revealed half the model’s leg. Goddard at three seasons in has already carved out her fantasy woman: this woman might hate dressing up, but if she has to she is going to have some fun with it.

Simone Rocha

Simone Rocha just had a baby. With that, numerous fashion medias have tried to find a matronly theme in Rocha’s FW 2016 collection. But Rocha’s clothes, to me, are far too austere to draw upon any single narrative. Her presentations evoke a feeling, maybe a message, much more than they do a clear storyline. Like poetry. This collection shifted between romantic hues of white and sharp dashes of black, ending with a pink robe coat and a blood red dress. Romance was optimal here, with the knits and the dresses both winking seduction.

Alexander McQueen

Sometimes it feels like Alexander McQueen is still alive, and that is largely due to his protégé Sarah Burton’s unbridled dedication to keeping the conceptual approach of her mentor alive. Case in point, Burton’s FW 2016 Alexander McQueen collection. As the label should be, the clothes were opulent but simultaneously macabre. Describing the collection as a world between reality and dreams, the clothes honed in on something mystical. Evening gowns came with the metallic butterfly motifts, a dress exposed half the female form, and my favorite piece was a lace dress that had a unicorn graphic cover half the body. The clothes were so utterly beautiful it was hard to imagine them as corporeal, and that was probably the point.


Text by Adam Lehrer. Follow @AUTREMAGAZINE to stay up-to-date on the latest fashion.

[FASHION REVIEW] The Best of London Fashion Week

Photo by Jason Lloyd-Evans

London Fashion is Autre Fashion - if that makes any sense. Basically, the fashion coming out of London is on-brand with the message that we are trying to set forth at Autre: the contrast of high and low culture, freedom, expression, sexuality, and you know, being fucking weird. It’s been a pleasure to watch these young designers grow into their roles as international arbiters of taste. It’s not hard to imagine JW Anderson’s brand growing into Yves Saint Laurent levels of label endurance while he simultaneously re-brands Loewe into an ultra desirable fashion label. Simone Rocha is bringing a romance back to fancy clothing that has been missing for some time. KTZ is still killing it. Burberry puts on a very fun show for a juggernaut mega money brand. And the best part is, there is always a new crop of Central Saint Martin’s graduates looking to enter the fashion system and re-shape it in their visions.

So, yeah we love London. Obviously we get excited about Paris, too, but there is such a youthful vitality going on in London fashion at the moment made all the more exciting by its defiance of the city’s astronomical living rates and housing costs. These designers express their creativity in any way they can or they starve trying. Literally. So, I (Adam Lehrer, fashion editor at Autre Magazine) teamed up with new fashion correspondent Julianna Vezzetti to discuss the SS 2016 London collections.

Christopher Kane

I dress pretty minimally. I like tight jeans, big shirts/t-shirts/knits, boots or sneakers, and a cool coat. It’s easy, and it’s a look that I’ve committed to. It makes me feel good. Imagine then the esteem that I have for Christopher Kane as a designer that he makes me want to change my whole thing up and maximize my shit. He makes intricate patterns and colorful prints feel very effortless, and yes, luxurious.

Kane is the type of designer who is able to hold together ideas in continuity in both his men’s and women’s collections while keeping his menswear masculine and his womenswear feminine. The colorful near-painted on looking graphics could be the visual representation of walking on cloud 9, and Kane looks as confident in his concepts as he ever has, maybe more so. The show introduced some classy uses of bumblebee yellow, such as a dress underneath an over-sized grungy cardigan (boyfriend cardigan to be sure), before introducing some black and white monochrome looks, and then he manages to brilliantly fuse the yellow with the black. So many of Kane’s choices feel like they should be tacky, but they always look great.

Claire Barrow

There is so much innovative and genius fashion coming out of London right now. Even the biggest and most publicized young designers (JW Anderson, Marques Almeida, Simone Rocha) feel firmly anti-establishment in a way. That might be why a truly underground designer like Claire Barrow might not be getting the write-ups that she deserves. Her SS 2016 collection felt like a maturation of her palette.

Barrow is one of the few designers who also might not take issue with being described as an artist. She has gained fame for her dark and striking illustrations emblazoned onto beautifully made leathers and dresses. SS 2016 had illustrations in spades, but the clothes that they are printed on have grown more elevated. There are printed skin-tight leather dresses, jacquard power suits, shredded white knits, etc.. I think what is great about the prints is that they don’t look immediately “fashion,” they look very authentic. I think Barrow’s design philosophy is as fresh as anyone’s. She’s also unapologetically political, which I appreciate.  SHOWstudio agrees: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ha_em0YFx54

KTZ

I’ve been finding designer Marjan Pejoski’s KTZ collections pretty dull for some time. His trek to New York for the FW 2015 collection possibly led to him re-grouping, because the KTZ SS 2016 collection, while not terribly original, is everything that people dig about KTZ. Pejoski, as always, references the club cultures that he loves, but there is some seriously apocalyptic urban warrior vibes here too. Maybe this is a bit of a hackneyed observation, but I can’t help but think that Pejoski was really really into Mad Max: Fury Road (that film is easily the fashion moment of 2015).  Part of the collection feels like the warriors were left on Earth to fend for themselves: beige colored trenches and military-inspired tops with these sort of futuristic kneepad shoes. The other part of the collection looks like the haute people who were able to secure a spot on the space ship: mega expensive black leathers and linen with cyberpunk styling. Another film reference that comes to mind is Snowpiercer, where the rich live on the opulent front of the train and the poor are forced to starve in the back of the train. Sorry, I’m writing this late. Bear with me.

MM6 Maison Margiela

Every part of me wants to hate what John Galliano is doing at Margiela. Margiela is one of those brands that is hard to accept now that it is no longer designed by its namesake. It’s the same with something like Raf Simons. Who the fuck could design Raf Simons other than Raf Simons? But Galliano’s penchant towards extremism in couture has proved not only right for the house, but also has taken Margiela towards its future.

That injection of vitality that Galliano brought to Maison Margiela couture is perhaps even more on display in the brand’s offshoot, MM6 Maison Margiela. Showing both men’s and women’s looks, Galliano elevated gender-bending street looks to the umpteenth degree and did so with his ever-present sly sense of humor. Who else would send his first model down the runway in a baggy lime green t-shirt, arm-length silver gloves, with a bra over the t-shirt? Not many, and Galliano makes this stuff look good. The red, thigh-high socks were absolutely decadent, and the space dresses and coats were detailed just so.

It’s interesting that Galliano has actually adhered to the Margiela ethos, remaining relatively quiet in his public persona. Of course this could be a PR strategy so that he doesn’t say something disgusting again, but it is very exciting to see him take on this house and touch it up in his own image. It shows humbling. Martin might be nodding in approval at this one. Great show.

Thomas Tait

There are few garments more satisfying to wear than a pair of denim pants with tastefully applied knee slits. Thomas Tait appears to agree in his SS 2016 collection, which debuted some fantastic new jeans with the knees removed and replaced with a see-through grid structure of sorts. Details like these are what make Tait fun to watch. His clothes seem kind of boring at first, but as the models make their way down the runway your eyes find themselves glued to myriad design flourishes.

Tait won the first LVMH prize last year and had his brand injected with a cool $300,000 euros in capital. That capital looks like it’s paying off: the clothes in Thomas Tait SS 2016 look quality. The looks in the show define a powerful woman that will be noticed. Though the style of the clothing could be defined as masculine, these clothes aren’t at all masculine. They radiate a tough femininity, such as the elongated printed knit over a white shirt and orange and black trousers. However, Tait’s SS 2016 collection is not for women who demand attention, but rather for women who command presence. Tait is minimal only when he’s not.

JW Anderson

J.W. Anderson took the viewer to another planet of dream-like ambiguity. He playfully used lines and textures to convey an alternate universe. This female odyssey shined light on the right areas of the body to express. Using expressive lines to contour the neck and collarbone, the knotted ties on the ankles created a seal of design. This woman jumps from galaxy to galaxy while making a statement with Keith Harring-esque prints and linear lines. J.W. has the ability to create living illustrations with emphasis on modular inspiration.

Mary Katrantzou

 

Mary Katrantzou has the ability to dance between everyday beauty and nighttime glamour. Her products can be intimidating visually but are balanced by lightweight mobility. She opens up dialog about construction and the layers of content we use to articulate ourselves. The volume is seen in the tooled Spanish ruffles, ribbed sweaters, and quilted sweater dress paired with a snakeskin ankle boot to create an ensemble defined by context. The sequined pieces are subdued but casually tactful. The Kantranzou girl is beautiful but approachable. The enchantment between the client and the designer is an integral one that you observe in Mary’s work and the presentation.

Gareth Pugh

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What’s black and white and red all over? Gareth Pugh’s SS 2016 presentation took eccentric glamour to task. The combination of fish scale sequins and leather corset dresses mark this collection as something of performance via dressing. These garments present a stage for you to make every moment monumental. The tone was set with the Leigh Bowery-esque masks with makeup design akin to the classic ‘80s film Liquid Sky. The swooping collars were accented by luxurious Himalayan sheepskin. Pay attention to the high necklines contrasting with deep necklines standing in as metaphor for the range of radical desire. There are secrets in this collection, but Gareth’s message is loud and right there for the interpreting. It’s a glamour circus and anyone fabulous enough is invited if one woman can perform her best sideshow.

Joseph

Uniformly speaking, Joseph has a way of creating a lasting impression without overtly yelling it out. The subtle tones of yellows, creams and whites allow the viewers to comfortably envision themselves in the clothes. The elongated silhouettes direct the eye to the right frame of focus: the subject. The knotting of the skirts and shirts create a point of reference and texture. The artful stripes feel very on-trend. The finely tailored dress shirts are minimalist with a direct agenda: everyday to evening. The subtle metallic colors communicate that this Joseph woman is mysterious and aware of herself. Smart accessories like white paper bag-like clutches and vinyl-wrapped belts speak to this woman being able to go from the office to the dojo and battle anything that comes into her protected sphere.

Simone Rocha

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What a dream it would be to live in the world of Simone Rocha. Something like a Sci-Fi version of Alice in Wonderland. The clothing is ethereal and whimsical as if the Rocha girl is restrained in an alternate universe and all she has to ponder is freedom. The cross-body roping and textural accessories offer weight to this point. The fantasy of glitter tights and candy-coated strappy heels bring imagination to the Rocha girl. She has a casualty to her; the layering of dresses on top of pants allow her to be multi-faceted and dimensional.  The billowing sleeves and skirts create a volume of intent and dexterity of the manufacturing. The earthly tones and playful floral patterns extenuate the aspiration for freedom. Truly a dream within a dream.


Text by Adam Lehrer and Julianna Vezzetti. Follow Autre on Instagram: @AUTREMAGAZINE