My Fall 2017 Aesthetic- 1920s Dark Indulgent Midnight Witch with a dash of cosmic space priestess, a spoonful of occult, dusky florals galore, and velvet everywhere!
*All descriptions of the collections taken from VogueRunway.com
The Names of the Collections are my own.
Aries- Alexander McQueen- Warrior Witch
This season, she took her team to Cornwall, the southernmost county of the United Kingdom. It’s a landscape which inspired the sculptor Barbara Hepworth, and has ancient stone circles, medieval churches and—if you look hard enough—a surviving subculture of paganism and healing witchcraft.
Discovering a Cloutie tree, on which people tie rags and ribbons as wishes and mementoes, triggered the beginning of the collection. Back in London, where Burton works in seclusion with the couture-level team which made Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, imagination took flight. Evolving ideas with the incredible hand-embroidery and textiles teams, they wove ideas from the memento ribbons into tweeds, and thought about self-determining women, women who sewed messages into samplers centuries ago.
The result was a show which staggered the audience with its dense imagery—dresses beaded with silvery trees; white lace figured with kissing doves, medieval tapestries of flora and fauna, trailing threads, witchy symbols of stars and suns traced in jet. Still, the thing which really made it was the believable youthfulness: long, tendrilly “undone” hair by Guido Palau, and flat studded bootees or McQueen trainers.
Taurus- Miu Miu- Mad Bull
Bringing down the curtain on Fall 2017 (the fashion shows have been running through the weirdest, most conflict-ridden political four weeks since the late 1960s), Miuccia Prada knew exactly what advice to offer the Miu Miu girls of the world: “It’s about the madness of glamour, in front of an uncertain future,” she said, and then added, “and I am getting really interested in so many kinds of beauty.” In other words? Face it down, glam it out, and represent!
Gemini- Giambattista Valli- Cafe Society
There’s no denying the beauty of Paris, even in the pouring rain—and there’s been plenty of miserable weather to go around these past few days. Giambattista Valli appreciates the melancholic allure of the city, and more importantly, the women who inhabit it. His latest collection was, in essence, a love letter to French girl style of the most romantic and soigné kind. La petite robe noire, or the little black dress in English, has been a linchpin of a Parisian wardrobe for more than half a century, and it’s one that’s close to Valli’s heart. He reimagined that look with his trademark, ultra-feminine flair and most of the dresses came with buoyant, peplum ruffles that either swished at the knee or swept the floor.
*The French cafe society vibe is perfect for intellectual Gemini.
Cancer- Elisabetta Franchi- Femme Selene
The collection was a hyper-feminine ode to throwback glamour. There were high-waisted, Hepburn-esque pants and embroidered blouses; a pajama/smoking jacket jumpsuit with a fur collar; embroidered tie-neck blouses with tight pencil skirts under glammed-up furs; lots of Chinoiserie references, as well as campy hats, leather opera gloves and fur stoles that looked like opera gloves. Styled to the nines, the look came across as costumey, but judging from Franchi’s front row, there’s clearly a market for her over-the-top drama.
Leo- Alberta Ferretti- Leolines
On the first day of Milan Fashion Week, Alberta Ferretti took us on a side trip to Venice, complete with Grand Canal–print chiffon dresses, gondolier stripes on everything from sweaters to an astrakhan jacket, velvets embroidered with the Piazza San Marco’s famous lion, and hooded capes and masks out of Carnival via Eyes Wide Shut. The Young Pope’s saturno hats got a nod, too.
Virgo- Red Valentino- Purity
Amish country is home to, well, the Amish, who generally reject alcohol, driving vehicles with motors, even cell phones. “There’s something that fascinates me about the Amish community,” said Piccioli is who he is, a dressmaker, and so in the end, this collection didn’t differ as much from the last as its origin story suggested it might. Red Valentino has all the hallmarks of its big-sister line—the embroideries, the floral prints, the demure, covered-up silhouettes—only at a nicer price. This time, scrolling black embroidery looked like it could’ve been lifted from the hex signs painted on barns; other dresses were stitched with hand and eye motifs, symbolizing charity and protection. Quilting techniques associated with the Amish culture were reproduced on a tweed A-line skirt a little on the rigid side, and wool sweaters were designed to look homespun. The brand codes and Amish codes came together best on smock-shouldered, ribbon-belted silk dresses with delicate floral prints that looked painted on.
Libra- Alice & Olivia- I’m Your Venus
Last year on her birthday, Stacey Bendet received a very special gift. Salman Rushdie gave her a miniature copy of his novel The Enchantress of Florence and, in turn, inspired her to create a Fall collection filled with nods to Indian emperors and the Italian Renaissance. The story is about a woman forging her own way in a man’s world, a theme that’s been underscored at nearly every show this week. Bendet, however put her own peppy, funky spin on the topic, showing cute and colorful wares that would befit a modern-day maharani or Botticelli chick. She also offered up a slogan tee with the phrase Be the change you want to see in the world.
Bendet made it clear that this wasn’t about forcing a political conversation. “It’s about taking everything you’re seeing and hearing and interpreting it as your own,” the designer said. That’s precisely what she did with Rushdie’s vibrant tale, turning her covetable party dresses and evening gowns into glittering versions of the author’s Akbar empire. Bendet created a special print based on the artwork mentioned in Rushdie’s novel and borrowed from Botticelli’s Primavera painting. Aside from the literal artistic references to The Enchantress of Florence, the rest of the collection linked back to the narrative only in the colors and embellishment of the separates. To wit, camo print pants expressed the battles that took place in the book, while bright pinks washed over suits and silver sequined miniskirts alluded to the richness of India’s royal palaces and lush landscapes.
Scorpio- Reem Acra- Gothic Gorgeous
With this collection, she says she closed her eyes and asked herself, “Who am I?” The answer: a strong, modern, global nomad, with a lashing of Edwardiana for good measure. No stranger to embroidery, the designer offered up lavish “tattoo” tops with heart, eye, and Fatima hand motifs. Asymmetrical peplums, a bronze bomber, and a black sweatshirt embroidered with hearts made a case for fusing evening and day. A transparent black bodice sewn with green crystals evoked the Pre-Fall gown Jennifer Lopez wore to the People’s Choice Awards in January, but with a lighter touch.
Sagittarius- Elie Saab- Purple Reign
“dark, romantic stuff,” is what Mr. Saab calls it.
The collection was inspired by Giselle and did indeed contain many looks highly suitable for dancing and entrancing errant males to their doubtlessly richly deserved demise. Layers of tulle and ruffle were heaped to whirl dervish-ly around their wearers as they walked. Marabou danced down necklines. Lily-etched lace bled into lily-embroidered velvets. A one-armed opera cloak swooshed above a lily-print chiffon skirt with velvet detail on the bodice. Full tulle skirts patterned with polka dots were worn below bikers etched in gold-studded lily silhouettes. There were some non-dresses here, including a fitted black pant-and-jacket, whose outlines were traced by stitches of thick silk ribbon, but they were asides rather than points of focus.
Purple is ruled by Sag……perfect don’t cha think?
Capricorn- Antonio Marras- Practical ‘N’ Pretty
The clothes for men and women shared the same fabrications, prints, and brocades. Both men and women wore new-condition vintage tailored herringbone and tweed jackets that Marras said he had sourced from Prato and then Marras-ized by cutting them up and rebuilding them again with extra panels of fabric and added bolsters of embroidery. There was a little bit of contemporary streetwear—parkas and tracksuits—and some wonderfully ruched yet angular velvet dresses in yellow and teal (in which one could imagine Katharine Hepburn leaning on a piano and singing bewitchingly). Out on the runway, the looks unfolded as usual—until a couple started dramatically throwing each other this way and that. Throughout the show, performers from Milan’s Teatro della Danza exercised anguished and passionate articulations of human emotion and desire. One dancer was not a professional, gallerist Pasquale Leccese, who (along with critic Cristina Morozzi) was one of the more mature members of this inspiring ensemble. At the finale, the cast, designer, and the designer’s dog, Pierivo, raced around the runway—great, joyful stuff.
Aquarius- Chanel- Space Gang
Lagerfeld is never one for gloom and despondency, and he resolutely hates looking back. Logical, then, to go forward—to the Chanel universe and beyond! The starship Chanel crew will be wearing glittery lunar boots with co-respondent black tips, tweed tunics with standaway collars, Bermuda shorts, “insulated” silver leather suits, and metallic padded space stoles. When the craft navigates to the dark side of the moon (perhaps), eveningwear will consist of black-and-white chiffon “space person” prints and garments embroidered in constellations of Chanel pearls. Satellite bags will be carried.
Pisces- Dior- Blue Skies
Chirui’s deeper overarching theme was a meditation on the color blue. She’d started in the Dior archive with a navy belted skirt suit from 1951 and gone from there. A version of it appeared in silk taffeta with a hooded top, surprisingly contemporary-looking in translation. Blue in all its nuances formed a link between her thoughts about World War II women’s uniforms, factory-worker utilitywear, the blue paintings of Picasso and Chagall, jazz blues and the spiritual meanings humanity finds in contemplating the universe. It allowed her to explore the feminine nature of Dior with a continuation of the pretty tulle bustier dresses and astrology-embroideries she’d begun with her haute couture collection, adding midnight blue velvet minidresses to the constellation of the house eveningwear.