The inspiration. It’s the starting point for most collections, the seed that germinates into a designer’s creative direction for the season. It’s also a way to peek into the designer’s mind and work process, a point made effectively by the “Dries Van Noten: Inspirations” exhibition, which opened to rave reviews at Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs during Paris Fashion Week.
Fashion history is filled with fascinating examples, both literal—like Yves Saint Laurent’s 1965 Mondrian day dress—and more abstract in the designer’s execution, as in Marc Jacobs’ memorable fall 2005 collection, dark and brooding and loosely inspired by Violet Parr of Disney’s The Incredibles.
Here, three of fall’s more interesting designer journeys.
Inspiration: Sixties German minimalism, the graphic bronze sculptures of Lynn Chadwick, plus the book cover of Jessie Dumont’s I Prefer Girls, a work of Sixties lesbian pulp fiction, featuring an image of two women in a suggestive, if not risqué, pose—one in a body-hugging red dress with matching lipstick. “I found this cover in a vintage archive and loved every aspect of it, most of all, how bold she looked in red and how shapely her silhouette was,” says Rodriguez.
Execution: The first three looks—including the sleek red coat that opened the show—“embody that silhouette and shapeliness, even though they are a bit more relaxed,” Rodriguez explains. They were indeed vampish, though more subtly so.
VALENTINO Inspiration: Women of the late-Sixties Roman art scene, including Carol Rama, Carla Accardi and Giosetta Fioroni. “We are Roman. To us, the city is a consistent source of inspiration,” says Maria Grazia Chiuri. “This season, our inspiration came from the unconventional women whose works were deeply rooted in a moment of great change, a revolution in the Italian culture…these women, these artists, they were rule-breakers. They expressed their need to exist and not just appear.”
Execution: Pop Art patterns, including the colorful optical dot in vertical patterns on a slim leather jacket, for example, as well as oversize floral prints, commedia dell’arte diamond patterns, stripes and other geometric shapes. “The unique images of these artists and their enduring, significant and universal themes gave us an essence of purity, the pleasure of change, and we tried to create each outfit as a work of art, timeless,” Pierpaolo Piccioli adds. “The textured surfaces—printed, decorated with intarsia and embellished—express the collection’s kaleidoscopic character and vital unpredictability.”
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @@Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.
@beyonce chose a custom gown by @falgunishanepeacockindia for mother @mstinalawson 's second annual Wearable Art Gala last night. The gown, which took 10 days to make, was inspired by Nubian warrior queen Amanishakheto. Reporting by @hernameislex . #wwdeye 👑 🐝#beyonce
After dressing @justintimberlake for his Super Bowl halftime performance last month, @stellamccartney has designed the star’s "Man of the Woods" tour wardrobe. Timberlake will be wearing a mix of pieces from McCartney’s fall men's collection as well as custom designs and items from his own closet. #wwdfashion