The future is old news. Exaggerated shapes, supertechy fabrics and digital prints aren’t quite the novelty they once were. So for spring, designers infused a careful mix of unique textiles and treatments into their collections to show a softer side of modern.
Miuccia Prada described her Milan showing as “archaic and primitive,” but the fabrics she used for her asymmetrical shifts—a cotton and metal blend—were anything but. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana threw recession woes aside with their ultraluxe silk taffeta and duchesse brocades, fashioned into geometric jackets and skirts.
In New York, Diane von Furstenberg executed a few of her signature prints in beads and sequins as a structural element to shore up her fluid fabrics. Marc Jacobs delivered plenty of shimmer, most notably with a Strawberry Brocade and Leopard Lurex developed with Synergies Textiles. And at Tuleh, an ombré number with a treeprint overlay was a favorite of designer Bryan Bradley. While the piece read like abstract art wrapped into a suit for a future first lady, it was actually an homage to mid–20th century environmentalist Rachel Carson and was among many nods to Mother Earth.
Innovation took on an airy quality on London’s runways, with Roksanda Ilincic playing with gold and silver coatings on soft organzas and chiffons, while Louise Goldin tapped into Japanese technology with a superfine lightweight organza to create pale knit dresses. Five meters of Goldin’s material weighed less than a single egg.
In Paris, digitally engineered prints abounded at Alexander McQueen— perhaps the most startling, a stained glass–like design based on a blown-up photograph of crystals, their facets warped and tinted in four different colorways. The print was then engineered to fit the forms of a dressmaker’s dummy before being applied to fabrics such as jerseys, knits and silks. Elsewhere, McQueen’s natural history lesson centered on fusions of natural and man-made elements, while stunning, lab specimen–like frocks featured loose silk flowers trapped under tulle netting. And at Balenciaga, sequins and embroideries, such as pleated ribbons coated with shimmery films, were dazzling, and Nicholas Ghesquière took things even further with his use of bonded suede and gabardine paper. The matte fabrics absorbed and deflected light, providing a welcome contrast to the metallic sheen typical of all those futurists from yesteryear.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)