At its best, fashion triggers emotion, whether on a deep, visceral level, or with the superficial glee brought on by looking at and perhaps acquiring something pretty. At its worst — come show time at least — fashion can exhaust and frustrate.A typical season offers the possibility of both, the downside oh-so palpable for spring 2018, particularly in New York, with its considerable imbalance between the number of shows (and often hideous logistics) and its fashion return. Yet with benefit of hindsight (read: emotional distance and time to de-grump), the irritations of the season congealed into a big, vague blob while the special moments continue to resonate as distinct and powerful. There was plenty to love. Here, my highlights (and one lowlight).1. Guy Talk: In emotional backstage conversations, both Brandon Maxwell and Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing credited their families as sources of ongoing encouragement. Maxwell cited his mother, sisters and recently deceased grandmother, “all strong, independent women,” as ongoing sources of inspiration, and traced his ample showing of denim back to his Texas roots. Rousteing noted that showing at Paris’ Palais Garnier brought to fruition a 20-year dream triggered when he first visited the glorious theater at age 10, for a ballet performance with his family. “I was with my grandma and I said, that’s what I want in my life,” he said. “That’s what I feel [is] la splendeur parisienne.”2. Speaking of Splendeur Parisienne: The Eiffel Tower at night is a tough setting to live up to. With his high-tone, leggy lineup, Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello did so beautifully.3. The Power of Positive: Numerous designers, including Anna Sui, Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton and Dries Van Noten, invoked fashion’s power to provide essential diversion from our tumultuous, depressing times. Van Noten invoked the e-word. “We always say fashion can be a reflection of what’s happening in the world. But fashion can also be escapism,” he said. Noted Sui, “I think we have to focus on the beautiful, the positive — glitter and sparkles and being happy.”4. Everybody’s Welcomed: Two statements on inclusivity could not have been more different. Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne showed at Five Points in Chinatown and were inspired by the humble plastic deli bag of the sort used by small, often immigrant-owned businesses. Thom Browne created a mesmerizing dreamscape where everyone is perceived as beautiful. “The fantasy is where it needs to start,” he said.5. Fellini Fantastic: Fashion’s master of theatrical whimsy, Antonio Marras, celebrated the love story of the great director and Giulietta Masina with a high-flying reverie and fabulous clothes.6. Ralph in Bedford: The personification of living the life — smart clothes, fast cars and gracious hospitality.7. Water, Water Everywhere: Karl Lagerfeld has an uncanny knack for cultural currency. His waterfall extravaganza delivered a wide array of always-savvy Chanel clothes in a lyrical context.8. Art and Comme: In a brilliant display of artful appropriation, Rei Kawakubo had her way with the works spanning half a millennium.9. Glamour on the Go: At Maison Margiela, John Galliano imagined a chic woman dressing in haste to imperfect perfection.10. Somewhere Here: Of his ebullient, frenetic fashion, Marc Jacobs said, it’s “not about any [particular] landscape. It’s somewhere; I’m not sure where.”11. Somewhere There: Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli offered an exquisite collection derived from musings on the moon.12. Surface Smarts: At Loewe, Jonathan Anderson delivered high-interest clothes with a casual attitude and a nod to Isak Dinesen.13. Heaven Sent: The private, after-hours viewing of "The Last Supper" following the Vionnet show — glorious.14. Back to the Future: At Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière may be mused on the word “anachronism,” but his powerful infusion of street attitude and grandeur pulsed with currency while recalling the height of his tenure at Balenciaga.15. Only Human: To the person who found and kept the jewel of a handbag I left in the lady’s room at Giorgio Armani, may the fashion gods repay you in kind.
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Dan Doperalski)
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)