When you think of New York, London, Milan, Paris and Tokyo, you can’t help but think about the one thing that brings them all together: fashion. Every September October, fashion’s elite flock to these cities’ runways to see “ready-to-wear” collections intended for the spring of the following year. Here’s a recap of what we’ve witnessed so far from New York, London, Milan and Paris.
In New York, designers on the rise took the city by storm. Eckhaus Latta, for example, made themselves known through serious tailoring and abstract shapes; they also featured a pregnant model on the catwalk. There was punctuality in their pieces that were dressed-down and formalwear that was polished. A surprising no-show from Kanye West and his Yeezy label drew a lot of attention and headlines guessing what his future plans may be. Big names like Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein didn’t disappoint, either, and diversity in age, gender and size was better than ever in the Big Apple.
London, on the other hand, still believes in the “thin girl,” as Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour explains. “Designers need to have more responsibility about the image of the woman that they’re projecting out there, especially to young girls” she adds. The shows consisted of romantic ruffles and frills from Christopher Kane and Simone Rocha, classic Burberry tartan and plaid on loosely-draped coats, and Italian influence from Versus Versace and Giorgio Armani. There was also homage to the Queen in Erdem’s show, where Queen Elizabeth II’s signature ribbons, bows and brooches were combined with light and dainty 1950’s era dresses.
Last week in Milan marked the 20th anniversary of the murder of Gianni Versace, and as tribute to her brother creative director, Donatella Versace, pulled prints and pieces from Gianni’s most iconic collections in the 90’s and reinterpreted blouses, corsets and trenches, to name a few, in combination with jeweled stiletto boots and high- waisted jeans. A house known for its daring beauty in vulgarity, Donatella went above and beyond to continue her brother’s legacy.
Dolce & Gabbana also had a strong show, intertwining their deep connection to their Italian roots with the theme of love, titling their runway “Queen of Hearts.” “You can find love wherever,” Gabbana says: and find it they did. The face cards of a 52-card deck were interspersed throughout articles in the show, but what really made heads turn was their lingerie-exposing, hourglass corseted black dresses that are a staple of the brand and continue to be revived in new perspectives time and time again.
The first day of Paris Fashion Week started off strong. Maria Grazia Chiuri’s collection for Dior had pieces that celebrated women in the arts, challenged the status quo and statement graphic T-shirts that, without a doubt, will be a big hit come springtime. Past shirts have read “We Should All Be Feminists” and this season sticks to the theme with the quote “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” in reference to a 1971 essay on art in the patriarchal world. Patterned handbags, stacked bracelets and tinted aviators gave Dior’s short and sheer dresses real “cool girl” vibes. The venue was also quite memorable, with 80,000 pieces of mirror coating the gardens of the Rodin Museum. Paris Fashion week has more to look forward to as it wraps up later this week.
Tomorrow begins Bridal Fashion Week for the spring 18 collections, while Oct. 16 will be the kickoff date for Tokyo. This two month-long period of Fashion Week after Fashion Week can be dizzying, but each city has made it clear that it is just as influential as the next. If what we’ve seen so far is any clue, there is a bright future ahead for fashion’s role in our society because of its efforts to speak out, diversify and, as always, be ahead of the times.