As Dior’s first female creative director, Maria Grazia Churi had the models dramatically tightly laced and buckled up in whiter-than-white fencing jackets, black leather body armour and corseted bustiers. Logo straps and slogan tees proclaiming ‘Dio(R)evolution’ and ‘We should all be feminists’ created a bold, progressive statement – yet a softer side was brought out in acres of tulle, chiffon textures and corseted Victorian silhouettes. Dior’s new head is definitely one to watch.
- Alexander Mcqueen
Packed off to the northernmost tip of the British Isles to prepare for this season’s collection, research was the aim for McQueen’s creative team. Sharp tartan tailoring and chunky knitwear in eclectic patterns marked a homage to the brand’s Scottish roots, while diaphanous chiffon, shaped to evoke cascading waves, and embroidery echoing the Shetland Islands’ wildflowers clashed with black leather jackets, bralets and knee-high studded boots; an epic battle between barely-there and most-definitely-there.
Inspired by the 1967 film Valley of the Dolls, creative director Jeremy Scott emphasised its themes of voracious addiction, immediate gratification and yes, dolls, in a highly unusual offering of pill-printed rucksacks and t-shirts printed with the slogan: ‘just say Moschi-NO.’ Nevertheless, the most striking feature was the trompe-l’oeil prints of outfits on his clothes, the wigs and folding white card tabs rendering the models two-dimensional paper dolls, an extremely effective and ingenious illusion.
The brand’s last show was set in a mock atelier, and showcased seamstresses painstakingly stitching and embroidering in celebration of the hand-made artistry for which Chanel is renowned. In a dramatic show forecasting fashion in the digital age, the latest collection featured artificial lighting, cables, wiring, geometric stitching, and even robots. Complete with lacquer full-face helmets and Stormtrooper-esque gloves and boots, the model-robots were dressed in elegant bouclé tweed suits.
- Alexander Wang
Beachy hair and tanned skin lent a casual, surfer vibe to Spring/Summer ’17 Alexander Wang collection. Crisp white and pinstriped shirting came undone in the form of cropped hemlines, cami tops, and floaty shorts, while pyjama style silk edged with lace featured in eye-catching shades of acid yellow and pastel pinks and purples. Male and female models walked indiscriminately in this unisex collection.
Citing sportswear as ‘the future of fashion’, Donatella Versace explored athletic silhouettes and functional fabric in an eighties colour palette of black, purple, lilac and green artfully swirled together. While form-fitting lycra jumpsuits, zip-up sports tops and waterproof trousers abounded, an element of luxury still shone through in billowy anoraks, while nylon was reworked into expensive-looking ruched mini dresses.
- Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton led the charge for the long, flouncy, elongated silhouette, complete with asymmetric hemlines that also featured on catwalks such as Victoria Beckham and Valentino. Fluid draped jersey, fastened with thick black straps and peppered with cut outs, was designed to echo the free, easy movement of French women and effortlessly elegant Parisian style.
- Marc Jacobs
High-octane nineties nightclub glamour showed itself in all its many forms at Marc Jacobs, where silver snakeskin, shiny plastic dresses, day-glo shirts, hotpants and tiny suede skirts were mixed together atop skyscraper platform boots. The clothes were, however, overshadowed by the controversy provoked by the multi-coloured dreadlocks piled up on the heads of predominantly white models, raising questions about cultural appropriation and the lack of diversity in the line-up.
- Dolce and Gabbana
More of the same came in the Italian fashion house’s latest offering, featuring the rich embroidery and embellishments in jewel tones synonymous with the name of the brand. Only by looking closely could one see the kitschy, updated symbols were in fact adorning low-slung denim and oversized hoodies as well as the Mediterranean glamour of black lace and full-skirted prints, a breath of fresh air in an otherwise predictable offering.
Fittingly set in the grounds of Paris’ Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, the exhibits seemed to walk straight off the walls onto the mirrored runway in the form of kaleidoscope gemstone print slip dresses and metallic foils. Oversized jewel pendants and jagged tailoring embellished with mirrored shards and precious stones then highlighted the continuation of a theme that, while eye-catching and unusual, seemed a little simple and one-dimensional.