PARIS — As American as apple pie; as Chanel as a quilted handbag.
Vivid similes are pay dirt for fashion brands, which is why so many of them are revisiting their roots and trumpeting their DNA.
Following is a sampling of some of the most evocative examples this season:
Dolce & Gabbana: What could be more Italian than Sophia Loren, a former Miss Italia? Or pasta? Or tomatoes? Each of those elements figured into this transporting show — as the soundtrack, earrings and novelty fabrics, respectively. Add street-carnival lights and a new fine jewelry collection dangling with religious charms, and you get to the molto Italiano heart of this powerful label.
Versace: Back to showing on the Via Gesú, Donatella Versace cranked up the Billy Idol and laid out an illuminated runway for her undersea goddesses. They tottered on towering Lucite platforms, wearing studded leather, printed silks and sexy dresses with sparkling starfish embroideries. “This is a Versace moment,” the designer said during a preview, pointing to a print depicting a mermaid wearing sunglasses. Very Versace, indeed. Balenciaga: Like house founder Cristóbal Balenciaga, Nicolas Ghesquière explored the space between the body and the fabric, producing fashion fireworks galore. There were broad-shoulder jackets in glossy, light-as-air fabrics; futuristic pleated jeans; long collage dresses; teeny-tiny shorts with matching blouses, and new versions of the slope-brimmed fisherman hats from 1967 that telegraph lethal Darth Vader chic.
Chalayan: London-based, Cyprus-born Hussein Chalayan shortened his signature label to one word, but his spring show was an exhilarating ode to an impressive fashion vocabulary built up over 17 years — minus the head-scratching conceptualism. Deep armholes, futuristic porthole cutouts, folkloric flourishes and airplane references were sketched out in minimalist, infinitely wearable garments. Burberry: Holograms are swell, but so is hand-beading. Easing up on his high-tech ways, Christopher Bailey paid homage to old-fashioned craftsmanship faithful to the luxury brand’s heritage. Trenchcoats had detachable crocheted collars, chunky bits of mismatched colored wood or raffia flourishes. “I love the contradiction between this idea of artisanal hand skills, things that take time to make, and digital speed,” Bailey said. “They can coexist.”
Nina Ricci: If the gentle floral prints telegraphed the Thirties, that’s because their designer, Zina de Plagny, made them for Ricci in that era. “Very chic, very French,” was how Peter Copping described his fetchingly feminine spring collection, whose nods to Sixties couture, lingerie touches and ladylike fabrics—laces, cloqués and printed jacquards—were all faithful to the brand ethos. Emanuel Ungaro: Having explored several dubious rejuvenation methods, this storied Paris house now boasts teams “aligned by their devotion to the distinct, rich and timeless heritage Mr. Ungaro established over the course of almost a half a century and which, in recent years, had become obscured,” according to Ungaro chief executive officer Jeffry Aronsson. Chief designer Jeanne Labib-Lamour led the way with draped jersey, colorful prints and subtle sexiness.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty