LONDON, MILAN AND PARIS: FASHION WEEK SPRING/SUMMER 2016 HIGHLIGHTS

Loewe RTW Spring 2016| Image: WWD
Loewe RTW Spring/Summer 2016.  Image: WWD

SHEER CHÉRI

The Untitled Magazine takes a look at the Spring / Summer 2016 runways from London, Paris and Milan and the trends that stood out. One of the most, or rather least visible trends was transparent, sheer fabrics. Transparency is key, in chiffon, voile, lace and plastic. So, get those gams stair stepping and those La Perla’s prepped for next spring’s most venturesome trend, super sheer or for the more technical, lingerie dressing. Balenciaga’s departing Alexander Wang birthed a collection of ivory pajama pants, silk boyfriend button-ups, lace slip dresses and sculptural bustier tops. Fuss free and casually sexy.

A much more embellished take on the barely there came via the fanciful noggin of Dries Van Noten. His film noir forties looks shimmered and shined with sequined winged paillettes from red to baby blue. They were sewn and printed onto fringy flapper skirts, checked blazers, peplum suiting and most interestingly, paper thin, laser cut patterned turtlenecks that seemed to tattoo the body. A most revealing look contrasted a pink bullet bra. He credited Madonna as muse.

Yet, nothing sang sheer aesthetic bliss than J.W. Anderson’s collection for Loewe. A raging disco ball of fun, crotch exposing- plastic wrap pants wearing- fun. One guarantee, the girl who dons those wears is surely no wallflower.

EXAGGERATED SLEEVES

J.W. Anderson RTW Spring/Summer 2016. Image: WWD
J.W. Anderson RTW Spring/Summer 2016. Image: WWD

For those of us who wear our hearts on our sleeves next season they’ll be plenty of room. Puffed sleeves seem to be the 80’s redux that European designers are worshipping at the altar of. At his namesake label, somewhere between fashion instillation and fashion matriarch lies the wearer of the J.W. Anderson sleeve, Keith Haring squigglies and all.

French maid meets stylish granny was the style ethos at Miu Miu. A more is more is more collection but from Miuccia Prada what more can you expect? Sleeves came in either, sheer chiffon or linebacker. Perhaps, it was a dress rehearsal for a “Who Wore It Better?” between Cinderella and her evil stepmother.

Karl Lagerfeld and Alber Ebaz offered a tougher puff sleeve, transitioning it from prom to Rosy the Riveter with white shirting and a belted midriff paired with trousers or a skirt, preferably in army green.

RUFF GALS

Balmain RTW Spring/Summer 2016. Image: WWD
Balmain RTW Spring/Summer 2016. Image: WWD

The accoutrement of unabashed femininity this season was the ruffle and on the runways of Paris (it also made a cameo in London at Mary Katrantzou), it was not shy. At its most feline was under the tutelage of Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing. How he took something as traditional as the ruffle and made it so overtly bad ass in tangerine, beige, teal, khaki, green, white and of course black, still remains as elusive as does his continued penchant for making a once staid couture house an Instagram celebrity and an It-girl rite of passage.

Sarah Burton took a more Gothic approach at Alexander McQueen. Why are we not surprised? The collection’s most ruff-tastic look— a layered cake of a dress so frilly the vampire Lestat could inhabit it. While the Victorian musings might have seemed more in tune with a costume exhibition than a 21st century fashion show, going against the proverbial grain has always been and continues to be very McQueen.

STILL ROCK N’, STILL ROLL N’

Louis Vuitton RTW Spring/Summer 2016. Image: WWD
Louis Vuitton RTW Spring/Summer 2016. Image: WWD

The most expected rocker looks this season came once again from the house of Saint Laurent. High slit lamé, lace, silk and leather dresses, covetable biker jackets, boho furs, feathers, a leopard print bodycon and a few denim jackets stomped down the catwalk.

Something fresh— these same codes translated by Nicholas Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton. Except in his world the punk looks were evocative of where we are today— the cohesion of cyberspace and reality. The coolest looks: a robotic printed suit, a tie dye leather jacket and chain-mail mesh tops.

At Gucci, Saint Laurent’s newly minted Milanese adversary à la Alessandro Michele— a Janis Joplin take, beetle sized eyewear and all. Oh and about a smorgasbord of other details like lace and earthy prints in a kaleidoscope of wonderful colors, and gasp, there was hardly any black!

The most exhilarating collection danced literally to the beat of its own heel via Lady Gaga’s rendition of seventies boogie, I Want Your Love, a backdrop for Tom Ford’s music video vis a vis runway show. Beautiful people (Aymeline Valade, Lexi Boling and Lucky Blue Smith) in equally beautiful clothes: metallic silver jackets, animal skin skirts, zebra print jumpsuits and disco- to- go embellished shifts. Reason enough to party.

EXCESSIVE ACCESSORIES:

The neck-bow:

Lanvin RTW Spring/Summer 2016. Image: WWD
Lanvin RTW Spring/Summer 2016. Image: WWD

Meet spring’s most tangible accessory: the neck bow. It’s easy, DIY and economical for those of us whose budgets are as short as our patience. It was beatnik and skinny (mostly), at Gucci in red and pale pink (among other variations), delicate at Lanvin, in white, black, red and grey and ruffled at Haider Ackermann, in yellow, mustard, teal and even polka dot.

Moschino’s “Do Not Enter” and “One Way” Bags:

Moschino Spring/Summer 2016 RTW "Do Not Enter" bag. Image: WWD
Moschino’s Spring/Summer 2016 RTW “Do Not Enter” bag. Image: WWD

Loud. Highlighter color palettes of tangerine and green-yellows assaulted the senses at Moschino. A retro tribute to the car wash. Clever phrases like “Slippery When Wet” and “Caution: Couture Ahead” were imprinted on yet another whacky Jeremy Scott collection. Even kookier were the bags. A stop sign shaped “Do Not Enter” handbag and a rectangular “One Way” bag are sure to be street style stars on the arms of Moschino-ites come next September.

Prada’s bauble earrings:

Prada's RTW Spring/Summer 2016 bauble earrings. Image: WWD
Prada’s RTW Spring/Summer 2016 bauble earrings. Image: WWD

Another slam dunk for Miuccia Prada, while she wasn’t in attendance her collection spoke volumes in ladylike suiting and sequin infested duster coats. To take home an easier to digest piece of the collection the bauble earrings are a must. You can bet many a discerning earlobe or two will be decorated with these mod, soccer ball sized, spheres next season. Side Note: They’d also make great Christmas ornaments.

Chanel’s light up sandals:

Chanel's RTW Spring/Summer 2016 light up sandals. Image: WWD
Chanel’s RTW Spring/Summer 2016 light up sandals. Image: WWD

Sure, maybe you’ve flown first class, perhaps, you’ve even flown private but chances are you’ve never flown Chanel. The most delectable, bourgeois and haute show of the season took place at a makeshift Chanel airport terminal at the Grand Palais in Paris. Complete with blue blood pilots, airline agents, carry- on luggage and bouclé suiting, Mr. Lagerfeld’s collection took off but not quite like the frenzy the Chanel runway- landing light sandals will have once they hit the racks.

 – Article by Malcolm Thomas for The Untitled Magazine

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