Rick Owens has established himself as a sort of magician, who looks into his crystal ball and shows us glimpses into the future of womenswear. For spring, he said he thought it was time to lighten up, and that he wanted to show a pretty collection. There was an easiness and a lightness to the show that was new for Owens, as he has proven that he can design hard, extreme clothes. The collection felt strong and confident due to an easiness and lightness in the clothes. It seemed that he had landed back in the now, having explored another time, and it showed his progress as a designer, and just how wide his fashion vocabulary can be.
Sheer asymmetrical baby doll dresses and tanks were worn under angular biker jackets with a single oversized, pointy lapel that crossed over the chest. There were shorts, a major trend this season, with a single panel of white or black chiffon cascading down the front. Light, transparent blouses were nipped in at the waist with what looked like bunches of oversized laces, and the effect was a sort of abstract flower. Duchesse satin sleeveless tops had pointy, oversized collars that sat on the model’s shoulder. Owens didn’t go near the nude colour that has been present on the runways this season, but why should he? Cream and beige were applied on cocoon shaped vests and high necked dresses. White day dresses were folded and pleated to look like origami sculptures, and looked as though they could have been made of tissue paper.
Owens’s singular vision was all there, but it was incredibly wearable and romantic, even. For now, he’s done away with his crystal ball and seems content to be in the present. Welcome, please stay awhile, Mr. Owens. Oh, and if this is what love looks like, I’ll take it.
Top picks from the S/S 2010 runways
At Fendi this season, the mood was joyous and carefree. Backstage, Karl Lagerfeld said this collection was a poetic approach to sexiness that was unrelated to a past. It’s the dawn of a new decade and we should celebrate this.
Indeed, the pieces were frothy, weightless and exhibited the standout trends of the season to a tee-transparency and underwear as outerwear. Sheer, barely visible classic blouses with frayed edges exposed the models’ bras and sweet, ruffled silk, chiffon and linen dresses and sarongs wrapped around the body. Some of the pieces, in a palette of pinks, reds, blues, creams and blacks, looked delicate, as though they would fall apart to the touch, and were grounded with plexiglass platforms.
The ideas of effortless ease translated well into relaxed and chic day clothes, but it seemed something was lost in translation for evening. Mr. Lagerfeld’s true talent was on display, his innate ability to mix classic elegance with a serious edge, to dress a woman and then undress her a little bit, to make something precious feel less precious and wearable.
The bags, too, were about lightness, in the way of the cutting of the linen and the evening bags which, like the shoes, were plexiglass. Many of the bags were made using Fendi’s signature selleria leathers, and there were needlepoint bags which felt new again. At Fendi there seems to always be a soft sexiness matched with aggressive, seductive elements, and this season it was apparent in every piece.
Pringle of Scotland S/S 2010 short film starring Tilda Swinton
Directed by the scrumptious Ryan Mcginley
Stella McCartney has come to epitomize a sort of easy, relaxed modernity in womenswear. For spring 2010, the show was like a trip to the candy store and seemed to define what happy, joyful clothes look like, clothes that women are always in the mood for – rich, lively pieces in a palette of electrifying oranges, pinks and blues. Backstage, she said the collection is about women taking control of their clothes, and, she seemed to imply, their lives. It was a grand statement, but an appropriate one to describe a collection that was, in a word, liberating.
The show began with high waisted, tapered pants worn with barely-there lace and chiffon camisoles worn with men’s blazers, as were white, sheer, classic blouses tucked into sensible denim skirts. Sober brown, white and green day dresses, tanks and shorts followed but were lost amongst the vibrant, colourful pieces that were the standouts of this collection.
Oversized ruffles and frills were everywhere, exploding on shoulders and lapels of women’s jackets, on chiffon drop-waist party dresses in computer generated floral prints. There were off the shoulder blouses which were dominated by ruffles, giving the model the look of being completely wrapped in red and blue frills and pleats. There was lightness and movement in the collection, too, seen in long dresses that were impossibly light and flowed behind the models and in the bouncing of frills everywhere.
The mixing of elements of men’s suiting and frivolity had a flamenco dancer meets 80s power dressing feeling, as though a powerful woman had run away to Spain to go dancing and fall in love, but hadn’t shed her office wear.
It would seem that Marc Jacobs has signed a deal with the devil, to be the king of the New York fashion scene. For his delightful spring show, he was dreaming of a girl who is in love and loves the theatre, drama, and attention. He often feels nostalgic for a time in New York when it was important and fun to dress up and go out, and this season, he makes us want to have fun again.
Kamila Filipcikova closed the show wearing a sheer, ruffled dress whose edges were outlined in black. It looked like the ruffles were drawn on, and the dress was so light it appeared to hover just above her skin.
While many designers push a hard as nails, black aesthetic, this show remained carefree and cheeky, with Marc Jacobs’ usual love of youth. At times, it is as though he is a stylist, rather than a designer, the way he throws together pieces from every era and mood, creating the cool girl uniform. To own a piece of Marc Jacobs has always been nirvana, but this season, the girls might literally float away on a ruffled cloud.
For spring, Alexander Wang’s girl looked like she was ready to hit the football field, or the after party. She has stolen her boyfriend’s football shoulder pads and applied toffee coloured leather and black and white shiny tinsel. Wang is experimenting with new fabric combinations, a sign that his design sensibility is progressing. The collection, an interpretation of an all-american girl who loves football, showed his signature affinity for putting together easy, relaxed pieces with sharp tailoring and creating an effortless look.
Wang fused raglan-cut grey sweatshirts with sheer fabrics, which might sound questionable, but actually became quite “downtown cool”. Striped sweaters that a rugby player might wear were met with high waisted, lace-up leather shorts. Hooded nylon and army canvas jackets were followed by sweaters with extended shoulders, mimicking the football shoulder pads quite literally. The bags were backpacks and clutches that looked like deflated footballs.
It was supremely functional, with Wang doing what he does best – twisting basic pieces and making them cool once again. As he said backstage, he’s not looking to reinvent the wheel. He has, however, made americana chic.
Diane Von Furstenberg, his design mentor, has said that he “…is a star that will shine very long”. Indeed, when asked about his astronomical rise to superstardom (the company began in 2007 in his dorm room with his brother and sister), Wang shyly says he still can’t grasp the success. With the “it” crowd always in his front row – Terry Richardson, Kim Gordon, and Julia Restoin Roitfeld, who wouldn’t feel downtown cool?
It has been four very long years, which is about 20 years in fashion years, since we’ve seen Phoebe Philo at work for Chloe. She is back to doing what she does best; re-invigorating brands and making them cool once again, and this time it is for Celine.
Her debut collection seemed to illustrate exactly what every young woman wants to be – cool, effortless, with a quiet, sophisticated confidence. The collection was pure, focused, a single minimal vision that was razor sharp. The skirts and wide-leg pants were high waisted, with sheer, tight, flesh coloured long sleeved tees or loose, fine leather tees in black, white and camel. There were flesh-coloured chiffon blouses with epaulettes that gave them a tough, serious edge.The trench and army jacket were reworked and shown alongside cement-grey coat-dresses that laced up with thick black leather in the front. Indeed, the collection, predominantly daytime looks, had a feeling of softness, but with a tough edge.
These are rich, daytime clothes that women crave right now. Phoebe Philo’s girl always seems to know something we don’t, but this season, she’ll be that woman we all want to know while doing it.
The name Guy Bourdin evokes images of sexuality, abstract beauty and, at times, violence. His work, always an intense narrative, portrays a sort of absurd glamour and eccentricity in a world shrouded by mystery. He seemed to explore what it means to be a woman, but one can see that he viewed women as extreme, sexual and dangerous creatures.
His work for French Vogue and ad campaigns for Chanel and Emanuel Ungaro revolutionized fashion photography and its influence can be seen today in the work of photographers such as Juergen Teller and Nick Knight, among others.
Here, a sampling of the wildly beautiful and dangerous world of Guy Bourdin
Video of a fabulous retrospective of the work of Guy Bourdin