Bringing another serving of her design trademarks in her Wigmore flagship, Margaret Howell’s Spring Summer ‘14 collection was British summer in a bottle. Crisp cotton shirts, gabardine raincoats, light blazers and cream knitted jumpers, all put together with an easy, schoolboy vibe; just add scabbed knees and elbows.
Read more ...
If last season J.W. Anderson accentuated male thighs in ways seldom seen before, this time around the spotlight was on male shoulders. Clearly working in the avant-garde mold, Anderson went one step further in the experimental realm with sculptural sleeveless tunics (or LBDs) worn over slouchy pants, halterneck tops, male clutches and sheer half-aprons. Twisting female wardrobe classics into menswear with a more confident sleigh of hand, the young designer has developed a corresponding sharpness and (a word not usually associated with his work before) maturity that truly served his design approach.
Read more ...
A designer rarely associated with an affinity to black, Richard Nicoll took us by surprise with a series of sporty leather-heavy basics that opened his SS14 show. While still marked by the alluring clarity of his point view, these sportswear separates had an added bite and sex appeal; think high school jock meets the vampire Lestat (especially as incarnated by Stuart Townsend).
Read more ...
Set in a dimmed underground room at the London Film Museum, Saunders’ menswear presentation was a fluorescent, neo-noir affair. With bold arrows marking the floor and neon Lynch-esque city images flickering on alternate walls, the atmosphere perfectly captured this Saunders’ latest protagonist: a restless, sharply-dressed city slicker taking on the hyper mediated metropolis; “Patrick Bateman in Tokyo” in the words of the designer.
Read more ...
Taking us 39 floors up in the heart of The City, Hardy Amies held a super-stylish champagne-filled presentation at The Gherkin. Lined on little pedestals with the breathtaking view of the cityscape at their feet, Hardy Amies’ boys showed off design director Mehmet Ali’s crisp, perfectly proportioned ensembles in what made an overall striking installation. Staying true to the rules of the game as they play it on Saville Row, he showed precise, impeccably crafted tailoring, each piece constituting an indisputable wardrobe classic. Even though defined by simplicity, each look was cinematically arresting, testifying to the brand’s razor-sharp attention to detail.
Read more ...
Topman returned to the third installment of London Collections: Men with quite a change in tone; with a much smaller than usual collection of 20 looks, and more uniform in its approach, it marked a new direction for menswear in SS14. In lieu of the brand’s signature urban vibe were strong Western influences, shot through with oriental-like floral embroidery. Hoodies and sweatpants are a thing of the past; the new (top)man is all about intricately stitched silk shirts and soft pullovers tucked inside fluid belted trousers. The Wild West undertones were punctured by metallic shots of colour in shoes and belts and even one full-on golden gilet, raising the experimental bar all round.
Read more ...
Lou Dalton, the opening act of London Collections: Men since its inception last June, once again set the scene flawlessly for what we are to expect over the next three days. Polished, sharp-hemmed crowds: check; classic tailoring updated with a subtle edge: check; and of course, in the vein of her signature aesthetic, clothes conjuring unusual yet enigmatic sartorial characters.
This season there was a feel of disillusioned, dislocated youth in a nomadic search for identity with slightly boxier tailored jackets falling lightly down the shoulders and cotton-linen duster coats (updated version of Dalton’s MA1) reminiscent of artist’s scrubs. With functional gilets, quilted liners and worn out Royal Air Force-emblazoned T-shirts and trousers mixed with silk brocade sets of zip-up jackets and pleated shorts, it was 400 Blows meets The Little Prince. The distinctly lighter materials, as well as the mint green and pale pink pops amid the utilitarian palette uplifted the otherwise raw, darker edge that Dalton always seems to capture with her blunt eye for simplicity.
Venice’s most striking feature may never have been its intriguing architecture and distinctive canals, but rather its relationship to light, from Canaletto to engineer-turned-designer Mariano Fortuny. Opening on the same day as the Preview Days of Venice’s 55th edition of the Art Biennale, fashion brand Aganovich embodied this idea through the Camera oBscura installation in the bridge room of the Bauer hotel, thriving and thrilling epicenter of the art glitterati during the fair and whose bar was taken over by fresh-from-Cannes Parisian club Le Baron.
Guided into a pitch black room that is usually the bridge room by the soon-vanished torchlight of the exhibition’s ushers, the viewer is left with the sound of fluttering wings and eyes gradually adjusting to the darkness of the room. On the walls, slightly disquieting masks hold a silent and near-unseen vigil. Wooden shutters slide back, revealing a visual slice of the garment encased within. Rubbernecking around the opening is the only way to appraise garments in their entirety. Light itself becomes part of the garments, transforming colors even without movement, which made immortalizing this work through photography somewhat of a challenge, requiring a sure hand to truly bring out the colorful shades of dark.
Finally, the pièce de résistance reveals itself, the ghostly image of the final dress and a 16th century grate behind it, projected through a lens. The natural variations of lighting bring different elements of the tableau into focus: the now-classic Aganovich coat-dress, the delicate palette of “blacks”, the richness of Rubelli’s jacquard and damask fabrics, all artfully brought out by a reconstructed chiaroscuro in front of an intricately ornate window.
To mid-wife their installation into existence, Nana Aganovich and Brooke Taylor worked with German-born artist and “camera oscura” expert Fritz Stolberg and Venetian atelier Setecento whose mission is the preservation and promotion of the city’s rich fabric heritage. After discovering several historic fabric manufactures, Aganovich chose Rubelli, founded in 1858 and now one of the world’s leading luxury furnishing fabric makers. Taylor describes the garment capsule as “articulating around ways to dominate this powerful Venetian fabric and recreate it into outfits. The multi-step dying process applied to intricate fabrics brings out more mystery to the work than in their original, immaculate versions.” A further development is planned, involving avant-garde body-scanning technologies to take would-be customer’s measures.
At the inauguration, French politician Segolène Royale praised not only the innovative talent of the fashion duo, but also their French ateliers of Bocage Avenir Couture in her Poitou-Charentes jurisdiction, which were saved from bankruptcy when its employees rallied together to save the ailing sixty-year-old company in 2003, and weather both mass delocalizations and credit crunch.
Light and fabric still hold their place as essential tenets of Venetian heritage and the visit of couture designer Yiqing Yin provided a sense of delightful kismet, in an imaginary reconciliation between the heavy regal outer robes reinvented by Aganovich and the delicately organic pleating Yin and forebearer Fortuny both showcased so artfully in their works.
The Camera oBscura, a device for bringing to light fashion’s artists?
Camera oBscura, a project by Aganovich for Setecento with Fritz Stolberg will be on display in the bridge room of the Bauer hotel until the 14th of june 2013.
- Lily Templeton
All Is Lost (USA) [Not in Competition]
Read more ...
NOWFASHION is the first live streaming fashion photography site covering the most important fashion runways in the world. If you are a fashion addict, you can't miss the opportunity to get fashion shows right at home. Have a look at our fashion photo gallery and create your favorite lookbook! In the fashion events calendar you will discover the next high fashion photo shoot will be able to enjoy a live fashion show and read all fashion show reviews.