Fashion is a world of extremes, this season with two of the dominant moods coming from opposites ends of the spectrum.
On one hand, there was minimalism—its crisp, clean, purist parameters defined collections by Jason Wu, Proenza Schouler, Narciso Rodriguez and J.W. Anderson. Rodriguez’s aesthetic has always been one of linear precision, which he’s rendered with a lightness and modernity that have made his collections snap the past few seasons. As for Wu, Anderson and Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough of Proenza Schouler, they’ve dabbled in the minimal, drawing on references for spring that seemed to include Calvin Klein, Comme des Garçons and Phoebe Philo at Céline, respectively.
Speaking of Philo—she leads to the season’s counterpoint: the unabashedly maximal. Philo’s work at Céline has been considered a driving force in the resurgence of the minimal for several seasons strong, yet for spring, she defied her own credo, channeling tribal and artisinal concepts into brash colors, bold graffiti graphics and other surface adornments.
Philo was not alone in scaling up. Some of the season’s most memorable shows came from designers who chose to embrace exaggeration and flamboyance from completely different angles.
Like Philo, Francisco Costa is known as a master of the spare at Calvin Klein, the house that made minimalism famous. It was a surprise, then, that Costa marked a decade at Calvin by breaking code, branching out of the purist realm with tribal references, such as fringe and colorful snakeskin strips pieced together to make a coat. This daring experiment with splashy color and exotica came from today’s global reality. “I felt like this patchwork of cultures and ideas was relevant to emphasize globalization, exactly what we’re living,” said Costa. “Our world is so contradictory today. There’s so much happening. That’s what was behind that sort of unleashing of cultural references that one can’t ignore.”
In his fabulously complex swirl of Victorian decadence and modern sport, Marc Jacobs worked opulent riffs on officers’ jackets with lowrider board shorts and intricately embroidered gowns with everything—all the accessories—decorated to the extreme.
In Milan, Miuccia Prada celebrated a New Age power woman with an audacious collection that could be described as in-your-face. She commissioned portraits of women by six artists and used them as colorful, outsize motifs on dresses, coats and skirts that came printed, bejeweled, in color-blocking and fur intarsias. The lineup exemplified fearless overstatement yet was remarkably controlled.
There was nothing subtle about Fausto Puglisi’s jewel-encrusted biker jackets worn with evening gowns, which he filed under “Carolina Herrera meets Axl Rose.” Meanwhile, Olivier Rousteing continued to carry the torch for hyperluxed nostalgia at Balmain. His collection was a cartoonish send-up of early Nineties uberfashion before minimalism extinguished the excess—Chanel, Versace, Gaultier—in its proliferation of the big gold buttons, blown-up houndstooth and gingham, and winks at suiting à la Coco.
Strong women were also on Sarah Burton’s mind at Alexander McQueen, where she worked a flapper reference into modern warriors with fierce feathers, primary colors and exquisite leather work. Likewise Prabal Gurung, who outfitted his hyper-feminine, Fifties glamour girls with architectural bustlines and plastic harnesses.
Then, from the iconoclastic imagination of Rei Kawakubo came a Comme des Garçons collection of twisted noncomformity. In other words, it was direct from the canon of Kawakubo. The mostly black collection could hardly be described as ready-to-wear—rather fantastic creations, many of which were suspended around the body in giant asymmetrical forms. “The only way to create something new was to start without the intention of making clothes,” Kawakubo said.
Maybe they weren’t “clothes,” but the collection was a big statement.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews