Womanly. The word means different things to different people. In fashion it’s usually code for clothes for a mature audience in silhouettes that stem from the traditional. Proper wife, mother and lady stuff, but with a tinge of desire.
Riccardo Tisci redefined this premise with his incredible fall collection, amplifying the sensuality and subverting the traditional while layering on fantasy, modernity and loads of luxury. There were furs and they were fabulous.
“The collection is about celebrating femininity and the rock woman,” said Tisci after the show. “I’ve been doing the kind of young and more street look for so long, and I wanted to experiment with this woman who is feeling more like a woman.”
He created a tension between rich romance and powerful tailoring, opening with the former on wispy, buttoned-up silk blouses and skirts with soft pleats and tucks. Increasingly dreamy incarnations of that silhouette came in a leopard-print dress with beautiful butterfly wing motifs on the bust, and a butterfly print blouse with a ruffle in the outline of a heart on the chest.
As an aggressive contrast to the flou, many of the soft blouses had stark, linear strips across the shoulder blades. Similar strips and panels — Bauhaus-inspired, according to Tisci — recurred throughout the show, adding potent strokes of color and geometry to his modernist riffs on knit twinsets and tailoring cut with a Forties masculine allure. For example, pale pink strips flanked the hips of charcoal high-waisted trousers worn with a cropped double-breasted jacket.
The palette deepened and brightened throughout the show on abstract butterfly and snake motifs, leathers and opulent furs which included stunning blonds, deep browns and extravagant printed leopard spots. The show culminated on a darkly seductive note: lean gowns with fitted shell-like tops and black pleated skirts. Mariacarla Boscono’s bodice was fully embroidered in a rainbow of three-dimensional crystals and paillettes; Kendall Jenner’s was molded in purple snakeskin with a butterfly crystal neckline. She looked all grown-up.