Dark Visions and Bright Ideas – Sophia Kokosalaki, Giles, Clements Ribeiro, Gibo, Nicole Farhi and Paul Smith
This isn’t a season for wimps. Hunters and warriors stalked the catwalks at London Fashion Week, which began Saturday and ends Thursday. Dark, tough and often styled to death, many of these shows are getting people talking. But there have also...
Sophia Kokosalaki: Gone are the days of twisty fabrics, spiderweb knits and impossibly transparent fabrics. Kokosalaki has taken on a more subtle, chic and refined mantle as her collection proved Tuesday night. The knits were almost weightless, draping across arms and torsos or gathered into a few narrow pleats across the front of loose-fitting dresses and turtleneck sweaters. Gossamer skirts were folded into small pleats, while coppery dresses hugged the body and draped downward from the waist. “I wanted to keep this collection wearable,” said Kokosalaki backstage after the show. “This season I saw a positive, optimistic woman, strong but not aggressive.” And who wouldn’t feel strong wearing a cropped vest lined with black fur and covered in flower-shaped metal buttons? Who wouldn’t walk with a certain swagger after tossing a shrunken sailor jacket over a lightweight knit dress?
Giles: Giles Deacon, the man responsible for launching Bottega Veneta’s hard-edged ready-to-wear in the pre-Gucci Group days, is back on the fashion front. Deacon is a hometown boy and returned to the runway with his 80-piece Giles collection, which showed Monday evening in the Great Hall — now the dining room— of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. Citing Bill Blass and Ziggy Stardust as inspiration, he started with strong tailoring. A silvery gray tweed dress and trumpet skirt were jazzed up with silver leather piping and kick pleats, the latter topped by a satin bow blouse in deep amethyst. Soft gray cashmere was cut into sharp peplum jackets with exaggerated lapels, and paired with either softly pleated silk skirts or wide-legged trousers — just the kind of thing a lady would love to lunch in. A black Art Deco-inspired dress with kimono sleeves and heavy gold trim and a cashmere trompel’oeil dress were equally stunning.
It’s when Deacon turned to evening, though, that things got trickier. Pretty abstract flora and fauna prints were made up into blousy high-necked dresses, which were too sack-like to sizzle, and one ultra-Gothic cape had menacing crystal spikes adorning its shoulders. “This collection is not about a stick-thin, 17-year-old girl,” said Deacon last Saturday night during an interview in his studio in the East End. “I can really imagine women wearing it.” And so can we, especially if Deacon starts exercising some restraint, and learns to emphasize his softer side.Clements Ribeiro: The best thing about London designers is the way they can channel the city’s eccentric style in their collections, and Suzanne Clementgs and Inacio Ribeiro are no exceptions. After a couple of seasons of playing it safe yet pretty, they took us to a madcap Forties circus for fall that thrilled. It was all in the mix, a polkadot and floral patchwork slipdress with a fox wrap; a circus-print skirt with a skeleton intarsia sweater; a fluffy citrus fox jacket belted over a skirt appliquéd with pearly buttons. For the diva, a pintucked dress with floral lamé panels sparkled, and the ingenue wore a pale chiffon ballerina dress with little patches she might have sewed in herself. Striped knit dresses, a coat with huge ribbon-embroidered flowers, and a leopard-printed circle skirt were also fun under the big top.
Gibo: At last Julie Verhoeven has left behind the eye-searing colors and often heavy-handed motifs of seasons past and turned out a whimsical — and more sophisticated — collection. There were fluttery silk dresses covered in violins and girlie face prints drawn in Verhoeven’s own deft hand, as well as draped and cutout jersey dresses, some suspended from butterfly-winged harnesses. Neat riding jackets and gold velvet coats gave the girlie collection a tailored edge.
Meanwhile, in other news, Gibo’s eponymous parent company will be opening a 32,400-square-foot showroom in Milan on via Ortles, starting with the spring 2005 season. The showroom will house the lines manufactured by Gibo and also serve as a venue for runway shows.
Nicole Farhi: For every warrior out there, there’s a damsel in distress — and Nicole Farhi knows just where to find her. The designer sent out an ultrafeminine collection of sexy satin dresses with scooped backs and flower-petal details, all in a jewel-toned palette. “I was feeling very romantic, and wanted something seductive,” said Farhi after the show. “I wanted to play around with rose petals, chiffon and wanted a burst of color to wake us all up in winter.” Indeed, the wool raspberry trenchcoat would take the edge off any dark London day, while Farhi’s bright green and pink tourmaline velvet skirts are bound to make a gal want to kick up her heels.Paul Smith: “The show is about clothes people can wear — not just catwalk looks,” said Paul Smith backstage at the Royal Horticultural Halls. “In the past, we’ve been criticized for putting too many ideas out there, so we decided to do one strong look this season.” So the designer pared down his runway show to just a basic idea. The collection, inspired by a seaport teeming with sailors, maritime masters and commanders— and the occasional Siren — was full of straightforward, wearable and highly commercial peacoats, navy blue sweater jackets, swingy car wash skirts and fluttery black silk dresses printed with red and yellow. Meanwhile, Smith’s spring sales are roaring ahead, with January sell-throughs at 10 percent and reorder requests already in the hopper.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)