This fall's crop of runway fabrics channeled past moments of uncertainty.Astrakhan topcoats referenced the Russian Revolution and World War II, while corduroy blazers mimicked the U.S.-manufactured, mass-produced variety popular with the working class in the late 1800s during the Long Depression. “People want that security right now,” said Gilded Age designer Stefan Miljanic. “Corduroy sparks emotions. It’s the warm, soft but gutsy feel that makes it an essential fall fabric.”
Miljanic drew from images of sport coats with leather patched-elbows, worn by pipe-smoking Harvard professors in the Sixties for a rustic feel. “I love the thicker cord blazer,” he said. For a more sophisticated look, a burgundy stretch corduroy hunter jacket had an iridescent sheen. Band of Outsiders took a similar approach, with designer Scott Sternberg choosing a waxed treatment for a stiff construction and a memory for wear. “It’s a suit for now, for a guy like me,” he said. “I’ve done corduroy before, but now I’m doing it in a better, in a fresher, more confident way, like including Ultrasuede elbow patches.” In Paris, Junya Watanabe kept his corduroy pants short and relaxed, paired with puffy vests and brown suede-pocketed tweed jackets for a taste of pure Americana.
Scarlet-hued corduroy created the ultimate juxtaposition on the Paris runway with an Armand Basi suit, its narrow wales resembling velvet from afar. The interpretation was more in tune with the defi nition coined in 1700s France, corde du roi, or “cord of the king.” At that time the fabric was woven of silk and used for royal servants (although some surmised a British manufacturer was just trying to glamorize his fabric with a fancy name). Hermès had its own take on brazen red in a blazer paired with simple black accents, simply crisp and luxurious.
For outerwear, sophisticated pieces on the runway came in the form of astrakhan, a heavy, curly textile that can either represent karakul lamb fur or piled mohair yarn and a combination of cotton or wool for the ground warp. Thom Browne chose a gray variety for his top hats. “The gray is quite handsome. I’d love to see this old man kind of hat on a young guy,” he said. Confessing to not really being a fur kind of fellow, Browne chose to use it sparingly as an accent piece on a utilitarian jumpsuit. “Astrakhan adds a couture feeling in a masculine way. Anyone can wear it that has the confidence to pull it off,” he added. The roots of astrakhan hats delineate to Soviet officers in WWII.
D&G kept the Russian theme alive in Milan with an ode to Dr. Zhivago and the Russian Revolution that took the form of a long brass-buttoned peacoat and black astrakhan lapel. Juun.J dressed a scrumptious leather bomber with astrakhan lining peeking from beneath. Ungaro kept it short and casual, while Wintle dressed it up as a tuxedo with fancy piping.
Going all out were Ferragamo and Hugo Boss, sending long black astrakhan car coats down the runway. Gianfranco Ferré one-upped the group in Milan, adding a funnel-neck for a modern edge. Giuliano Fujiwara took it full throttle, pairing an epaulet-adorned coat with black astrakhan pants for a full body look, surely not for the timid. Even more shocking was a shorter version in sunshine yellow. Hardly a recession hue.
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast