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.”
@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)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia