Just two days in NYFW and it’s already proven miracles can happen when you leave a brand (a Japanese brand, no less) in the talented hands of a Japan based design team. ICB, a brand I had no idea existed until I saw the F/W 2015 collection by Makoto Takada last year, actually launched in 1995 with Michael Kors as head designer(!) and then shut down in 2002, only to be resurrected 10 years later with Prabal Gurung as the creative director. Now you can say they went through A LOT of transitions, but I have to admit none of those big names and their collections excite me as much as this last one. Created with a woman “taking a stroll on a cold midnight in winter in New York City.” in mind; the absurd lengths and proportions, oversized shapes and furry details are all win-win.
Copenhagen Fashion Week, also known as the last major stop before the big fashion month, has silently come and gone in the shadow of first ever NY Men’s fashion week but it doesn’t mean the collections should go unnoticed. A strong and feminine By Malene Birger took the clear spotlight but Baum und Pferdgarten’s fun collection was a strong challenger. Having said that, I must admit my favorite of all was Tonsure’s carpet inspired menswear collection (surprise, surprise).
AltewaiSaome is what makes Stockholm Fashion Week interesting for me (no offense to brands like Stand or Mini Market but the designers who always come through season after season are Natalia Altewai and Randa Saome) and this Japonisme themed fall/winter collection is, again, share worthy. Even though it didn’t excite me as much as the s/s 16 collection (which is weird as I always prefer f/w to s/s no matter the brand) stylings, whimsical details like button necklaces and the black borders managed to put a smile on my face.
Couture collections usually do nothing for me besides a little game of “who would wear which dress to what award show” but every now and then, one collection comes and you can’t resist its utterly ethereal aesthetic. Amid the “Africa themed S/S 16 collection showed by white models in African-American hair” controversy (amid because they used the same models with same hair even in the campaign shots), designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli managed to shift the focus away from that flop to an amazingly executed, very literally Roman, timelessly simple and yet youthfully modern couture collection. Side note: hundred bucks on that snake headpieces and metal harnesses being the “thing” of this summer.
Lately, one of the best ways to understand if a designer is strong enough to leave a mark on the fashion landscape is to look at the Pre-Fall and Resort collections, the mid-seasons without runway shows, directly targeted to the fashion savvy, buyers and the end consumer rather than a focus on the element of shock. To that end, if the toned-down, more wearable version of a style is still relevant, influential and distinctive, you can count on that designer. As if you needed an explanation to worship Consuelo Castiglioni.