Certain designers relish playing with big ideas and avant shapes, and they did so for fall, with varying degrees of success.
Hussein Chalayan: Fashion loves themes — but can anyone think of a designer who has tackled the evolution of humanity? It would seem that no concept is too big for Hussein Chalayan, he of the esoteric tricks, from dresses that double as chairs to disappearing mechanical gowns. As with any proper story, Chalayan divided his narrative into chapters. First came nonexistence, conveyed in draped, textured and printed dresses and tailored jackets worn with slim trousers. Nice, approachable fare with a modern allure.
Next he explored the creation of life on earth up to the Stone Age, with a series of black dresses with monkeys sculpted from the fabric. They looked straight out of a PBS science-education program. A Flintstone moment ensued with dresses decorated with primitive stone tools (any sexy paleontologists out there?). And man's trek toward civilization was completed with flowing silk dresses printed with a gun surrounded by a cornucopia of abundance.
Then the lights dropped, and out trotted two dresses of moving lights. Spacey? Of course. But having just signed a lucrative deal with Puma to sell his company and serve as creative director for the German sports giant, Chalayan proved his own evolution is totally grounded.
Giambattista Valli: Between the Moncler puffer jackets he'll unveil this evening and the wildly exaggerated poufs that populated his own fall collection, there's no such thing as too much puff for Giambattista Valli. Here's betting his loyal socials and swanky starlets disagree. While Valli's party frocks have never been the stuff of safe, snooze-worthy celebrity dressing, the extreme egg-shaped cocktail dresses, many of them too eggy in stiff ivory fabrics, and the overblown balloon gowns he showed on Thursday afternoon bordered on the absurd.
White, red and pink coats and dresses were pouffed and padded in the most unlikely places — at the thighs, hips and shoulders. The designer used fur to create a humpback on one skintight dress and a kangaroo pouch on another. Some dresses curved in the back for an effect not unlike that of a turtle shell. And when he didn't run amok in extreme architectural volume, ridiculous decoration, as in bulbous bunches of ruffles that hung off a body-skimming dress like a fuchsia topiary, sufficed. There were a few subtler moments in some deflated dresses, but not nearly enough. If Valli hoped this would be a collection of influential, directional clothes — well, not to burst his bubble, but he has a way to go.Celine: Now well into her tenure at Celine, Ivana Omazic should have a firm hand on the rudder. But judging by her fall collection, the designer's still struggling to unfurl the sails in her quest to give the brand a modern resonance. Balancing techno elements with more feminine shapes was one of Omazic's themes. A fuzzy fur coat, for example, came with a hood, while slouchy trousers had sporty ankle tabs. Long satin dresses were accessorized with short techno-silk boleros. And one long gown was worn with a leather backpack (perfect, of course, for a glamour puss on the run). While examining an active woman's needs may be a noble pursuit, Omazic's results largely looked overwrought and unflattering. Proportions on the asymmetric folded skirts, for instance, were awkward and the chunky knit dresses with wave-like folds needed a lighter hand. In the notes, she said she wanted to design a collection for "here and now." That's what Celine needs.
Anne Valérie Hash: Picking up where her January couture show left off, Anne Valérie Hash mused on geometrics. Consider her first look out: a sapphire blue top with sheer paneling and boxy, faceted sleeves. The motif found its way, as the show rolled on, onto everything from blazers with angular 3-D lapels to bustier frocks with curious protrusions jutting out above the hips. The former proved weirdly intriguing; the latter, seriously awkward. But this was only the beginning of Hash's rather eclectic affair. She did her part for fall's plaid movement — Prince of Wales checks aplenty — as well as the vibrant color trend, which was tempered by doses of gentle degradés. Fur? It came sleek and thin, not beastly, as with one body-skimming turtleneck. She also offered up her signature tailored onesies, printed, plain and all-out sequined. And, yes, the lineup looked as busy as this sounds. Exploring ideas is a good thing for a designer like Hash, but it's best when they're not overwhelmingly served up all at once.
Sophia Kokosalaki: Sophia Kokosalaki has a way of avoiding the obvious when it comes to her signature pleating and draping techniques. There wasn't a sweeping Grecian-goddess gown, rope detail or origami-style pleat in her fall collection. In fact, she practically eschewed the motif entirely in the black dresses, unfettered aside from a curving strap at the neck that opened her darkly romantic lineup. For the most part, silhouettes were slim, as in subsequent plain black dresses that worked as backdrops for curlicues and the scalloped edges decorating necks and backs. Where she pleated, she did so subtly on lantern sleeves, or short, sexy party dresses that swirled like a cloud around the body. Restraint pairs nicely with Kokosalaki's style — something she should keep in mind when the temptation to experiment, as in the show-closing bunchy, hulking coats, strikes.more from the shows…
Veronique Branquinho: Known for her user-friendly chic, Veronique Branquinho concentrated on basics with a twist — a camel coat with a squared shoulder or a long wool blue dress with gray stripes — that were proper but lacked an original flavor.
Haider Ackermann: Draped and wrapped, Haider Ackermann's collection offered sure-handed standouts that included feather-trimmed coats, romantic dresses and jackets that laced up the back.
Jasmine di Milo: Ultrabaggy gold lamé pants as well as a high-waisted wool minidress with peaked shoulders and a sweet allover heart print made for fun elements in Jasmine Al Fayed's lineup, which ranged from fluid jersey pantsuits to high-octane gowns.
Leonard: Véronique Leroy's wilder looks, such as the designer's airy gowns doused in blown-out animal prints in eye-popping combos of vivid pinks and reds, worked best for her fall lineup for Leonard — a pretty affair.
Bernhard Willhelm: The scarlet-and-gold tunics worn by the Beefeater guards at the Tower of London formed the basis of Bernhard Willhelm's typically esoteric collection, translated into roomy felt baby-doll smocks and slim coats.
PHOTOS BY GIOVANNI GIANNONI, DOMINIQUE MAITRE AND FRANCK MURA
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye