For Fall 2016, the creative minds behind the label WOOYOUNGMI, Madame Woo and her daughter Katie Chung, drew inspiration from their personal garden, where unique elements of delicacy and the harsh fates of nature appeared balanced in perfect harmony. In reflection, Woo and Chung embraced a sense of fresh eclecticism, exploring ways to make each piece look original and yet – when browsed side by side with the rest of the collection – in complete harmony.
The elegant simplicity of rural clothes came to life in Isabel Benenato’s collection for Fall/Winter 2016. Simply called “Darkwood,” this collection was far from simple. Through the presentation, Benenato combined her natural design instincts with elements sourced from the traditional homespun workwear worn by generations of men in the Japanese countryside from the early 20th century to 1960, as documented by the rare photographic essay, “Yokohama – Shashin.”
Fashion Week can be a time of excited discovery or, on the other side of the spectrum, a saddening expression of misled inspirations. Every show poses the equal chance for an innovation-induced high or a long-awaited rush for the exit. This season I returned to Paris Fashion Week for a closer look at the latest designer collections; and here are my notes on the ones I loved the most from the Spring/Summer 2016 runway.
Since launching in 2012, Gauchère has transitioned from being a label to watch into the consistent tastemaker they are today. With German designer Marie-Christine Statz at the helm, each collection maintains a distinctly fresh-French aesthetic, in a way that’s both natural and effortlessly elegant. For her Spring/Summer 2016 collection, Statz incorporated masculine elements into a range of soft, feminine prints and fabrics for a smart lineup of light-meets-heavy looks with a hint of sportswear.
The Fall-Winter 2015 season proved quite dramatic for Paris Haute Couture Week, where couturiers gathered to send out detailed look after detailed look onto the catwalk. Mastering the balance between classic refinement and assertive luxury, the collections of Georges Hobeika, Ralph & Russo, Tony Ward, Rami Al Ali and Yiqing Yin continue to stand firmly as this season’s highlights, as I reminisce on my favourite collections.
For Spring/Summer 2016, the designers at Paris Men’s Fashion Week have combined utilitarian fashion with editorial aesthetics, blending artistic interpretations with sportswear accessibility. I teamed up with London-based fashion illustrator Megan St. Clair Morgan to highlight a few of my favourite collections.
The mistress of lace, Sharon Wauchob, continues to translate the delicate fabric into an array of intriguing creations that face ageless beauty. Within Wauchob’s fall-winter collection, she presented sparkling numbers with floral patterns and an inconspicuous sex appeal, incorporating a subtle blush pink and silver gray into a lineup of covetable dresses.
If lacework were the only trade at hand, we would certainly remain at awe with Wauchob’s textural workmanship; however, this season she included embroideries so fine as to represent the same patterns found on exotic skins. The same motif was carried over onto ponyskin car coats, encouraging a major fur moment this season, as well as several statement looks to come.
Rich, vibrant and textural. Three of the many classic descriptions used to describe Dries Van Noten’s aesthetics. But what he presented for his fall-winter collection was borderline eccentric with a passionate femininity and raw glamour.
Where most designers would undoubtedly clash, Van Noten placed a somber red and grey look alongside utilitarian khaki or golden jacquard, with an alluring spectrum of jewels, embroideries, quilting and a plethora of exquisite detailing that remained editorial yet wearable, unconventional yet spectacularly comfortable to the eye.