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.
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