From Roksanda’s luxurious woollen throws to Prada’s wisps of neon tulle, this is my edit of the season’s standout collections.
The beadles of Burlington Arcade were ready to turn away Sunday shoppers, as the luxury retail destination prepared to unveil Rejina Pyo's AW18 collection. For a label fast becoming known for its graphic silhouettes, abstract flourishes and modern colour palettes, this 199-year old shopping arcade was the perfect contradiction. Pyo spoke of how the show consisted of 'pieces that one might find in the wardrobe of their parents, grandparents and charity shops - only to be reimagined in a thoroughly modern and distinctive way'. This translated into the unfinished just-frayed-hems, heritage textiles, olive macs, ruffled silks and deconstructed, lived in feel.
Drop waists, shimmering satins, duck-egg and powder blues, creamy beige, checked woollen throws, knotted silk belts & protective outerwear. Prints were inspired by the abstract tapestries of the modern architect Le Corbusier- adding a graphic touch to the relaxed, slouchy silhouettes. A luxurious collection as covetable as it was cosy.
A dystopian scene was set by the abandoned barn, metal scaffolding, balaclavas, fireman's jackets, foil survival blankets and rubber hazmat boots. You may be forgiven for overlooking the relevance of popcorn in this scenario, a symbol traditionally associated with entertainment and spectatorship. With 5000 gallons scattered underfoot and models clutching paper bags of popcorn it was hard to ignore such a dominant motif. It connected this hazard zone with the prairie style dresses and patchwork textures to reconcile the American heartland with today's chaotic world. Salty, no?
OSCAR DE LA RENTA
A collection guaranteed to feed your inner Carrie Bradshaw. AW18 at de la Renta was a spectacle of heavily saturated colours (reds, pinks, oranges), botanical prints, crystals, floral embroidery, sheer lace bodices and fabrics lighter than air. This was the third runway go-round for creative directors Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia- who are fast reinventing signature de la Renta for the millennial generation.
Bringing back the claw clip and silver paper bag clutch for the finishing touches at Alexander Wang. #thisisnotapaperbag #moveoverscrunchie
New York’s Masonic Hall was reimagined as a country music hall straight out of Nashville, Tennessee. But it was the Micro pinstripes and broiderie blouses taking centre stage. Shades of the blues were offset by the richest burgundy leather (the kind that could be straight off a horse saddle). With an extremely saleable puffa jacket and baseball cap also on the playbill, this was Nashville reincarnate for the 21st century urbanite.
The intricate botanical print dominating Burch's collection was inspired by Lee Radziwill (sister of former First Lady Jackie Onassis) and her memoir Happy Times. Speaking at the show Burch told Vogue Magazine that she admired Radziwill for "her character, her wit and her resilience". The feminine and whimsy aesthetic of the print was perfectly matched to the flowing georgette silk gowns. Happy Times indeed.
PHILOSOPHY DI LORENZO SERAFINI
Dua Lipa’s favourite designer showcased a collection full of 80s flourishes. In addition to the charcoal ribbed knit jumpsuits (read: the onesie is finally having its moment), there was taffeta galore, pink lace, and translucent polka-dotted tulle. Margaux Hemingway, granddaughter to Ernest Hemingway, was the collection’s muse which accounted for the notable American spirit channelled by this Italian fashion house.
Major blade runner vibes for Prada’s AW18 collection full of fluoro accents and wisps of neon tulle. This futuristic aesthetic was juxtaposed with knitted ski jumpers and voluminous outwear in checked tweed.
Chitose Abe’s latest collection was replete with the classics- think menswear tweeds, school-blazer stripes, knee-high socks, banker-stripe shirting, and down jackets. However, in keeping with the label’s penchant for hybrid design, all of these garments were fused into one. The resulting collection was far from traditional- coats were part striped school blazer, part military flight jacket, with a frisson of quilted liner just visible. Denim jackets merged into tuxedos and parkas were half-transformed into tailored macs. The general effect was half-and-half, with Abe talking of using garments like Lego blocks, mixing them up and stitching them together to create something unexpected.