Fashion Faves from Paris – SS18
VIVISXN keeps you up to scratch from PFW.
Comme’s cartoonish and kitsched-out candy confections
Comme des Garçons’ conceptual crackerjack Rei Kawakubo combined kawaii kiddie toys, anime and digital themes into a groundbreaking collection full of deconstructed patchwork, spray-painted graffiti art, cool ruffles, contoured red PVC raincoats, and Hello Kitty charms that were eye-popping, insane and basically the best fashion ever made. Mentioning “multidimensional graffiti” and “childhood nostalgia” in the show notes, this collection teemed with teenage innocence, angsty expressions, voluminous proportions, hypnagogic Manga and flowery Dada-inspired dresses. Soundtracked to Andre Previn’s sombre Adagio for Strings and channeling otaku culture like never before, this was fashion week’s most stimulating, breathtaking and fascinating spectacle!
Rick Owens – Apocalypse Soon
Mr Owens leveraged a gothic, surreal sensibility with socio-political motifs and post-modern angst. Once again he collided classical influences with Brutalist design, ascetic tribalism and the specter of ecological and nuclear annihilation. The SS18 range featured asymmetrical tunic things, Rick Owens-emblazoned ponchos, elongated T-shirts, abstract skirts, clunky-cool sandals, and wry, warped ensembles inspired by hyperbolic forms and existential fuss (think climate change, terrorism, populism, social strife and nuclear proliferation). It was at once ancient and futuristic, alarmist and alluring, stoic and seductive. Michèle Lamy — his partner in crime who recently formed an experimental sound group, ‘Lavascar’ — did the soundtrack. It was fucking weird!
Junya Watanabe – Way too cool!
Contemplating Kim Jung-un’s dangerous missile trajectories and the region’s escalating geopolitical drama, the Japanese designer sent out wrapped, circular-cut, sometimes 3-D toga-cum-cocoon pieces with punk-y pizzazz, hybrid camouflage and anti-totalitarian tinctures (a happy, last-ditch hedge against impending doom, perhaps). Always innovative and distinctly avant-garde, Junya’s technically brilliant looks were hardcore, fun, playful and positive, despite the apocalyptic themes courtesy of ‘Little Rocket Man.’ Straddling both the worlds of streetwear and luxury fashion, Junya’s experimental designs boast artisanal quality, premium textiles and titillating prints. This collection was epic! We love the elongated, Victorian-inspired skirts, sculptural checkered tops and manic Soo Catwoman-esque makeup. The weaponized chokers were sexy, too!
Yang Li – Lovely Androgyny
Yang Li showed a rebellious yet ravishing range of vibrant youth culture fused with couture codes, dark romance and pretty androgyny. The Raf Simons protégé pushed 90’s minimalism and clean construction marinated in a punk and grunge zest. We loved the heavily lipsticked models with Demeulemeester-ish hair sporting floral jacquards, flashes of red and fuchsia, cigarette-to-tongue prints, skewed zippers and sinister spikes. The black skirt with tactical cargo pockets was a slick standout along with the blood-red overcoat.
Maison Margiela – Mad Rushed
Radical transformation and deconstruction were at the heart of John Galliano’s SS18 collection for Margiela, where he re-purposed everything into an explosive, incomprehensible and madly rushed aesthetic. Evidently he was at the airport observing peeved passengers in transit, and got inspired by their state of flux and sense of disarray when going through security, etc…Hmm, maybe that’s why this collection was hyper-skewed and jam-packed with utterly random stuff: arbitrary mackintoshes mashed-up with rodeo boots, outlandish leather outerwear, luggage-tags, transparent trenches, far-fetched thingamabobs with feathers and in-flight neck pillows. “I set out to propose and further explore the idea of a new glamour that seduces us in our everyday lives,” John explained. “The idea of dressing in haste! Unconscious glamour.” Focus John, focus! (We loooved the pink/white partitioned lipstick look and that sparkly gold dress below!).
Noir Kei Ninomiya – ♥
Kei Ninomiya crushes the competition with the element of surprise and immaculate, otherwordly construction. The former Comme designer and kingpin patternmaker started his womenswear line back in 2012, focusing on a sole color: black. This time around he added some white/gray accents and warped our minds with laser cuts, metal hardware, dramatic pleating, experimental 3-D knits, and DIY-inspired clothes fabricated from tulle, leather, pearls, and jersey. His PVC tutus, ruffled gauze get-ups, harness accents and biker jackets were impossibly perfect. VIVISXN’s X-mas wish list is comprised of this entire collection and nothing else!
Balenciaga – Sartorial Simulacra + Fake News
Under the creative direction of Demna Gvasalia since 2015, the house of Balenciaga continues the tradition of experimentation and quirky innovation. Polished fabrics, systematic appropriation, and a balance of tradition and futurism define the Balenciaga look. Demna delivered punk tartans, unisex striped tops, pencil skirts, sporty utility jackets, and negligees. Copying Christopher Kane and borrowing concepts from global consumer brands, he implemented his own version of Crocs — the totally fugly comfort shoe seen on suburban soccer moms and sold at Walmart — to make a line of towering daffy platforms. He also riffed on ‘Fake News’ themes with trite, digitally printed headlines/text splashed over his looks along with one dollar bill logos. But the best bit was the cargo pocket denim worn with dangerously decked out spikes on the footwear. Spanish haute couturier Cristòbal Balenciaga would be twirling in his grave. Nevertheless, the fashion set went bananas and the critics were seen frothing at the mouth.
Marcelo Burlon – County of Milan
Designer, DJ, Argentinian-born Milan resident, and cultural impresario Marcelo Burlon launched his County of Milan label back in 2012. His ethos: ‘Think Local, Act Global.’ What started with a line of printed T-shirts has since exploded into a streetwear line closely connected to his nightlife roots. For SS18 he brought out cyber-goth and 90s high-BPM concepts: sportswear mixed with animalia-printed T-shirts, bumbags, denim gear and his signature pixelated diamond logo. In cahoots with Kappa, he converted tracksuits into nightwear by cropping the tops and turning them into high ponchos. The styling and curation were super-cool! We love!
Off-White – Politicizing Fashion
Conceived of as a bridge between the worlds of streetwear, high fashion and pop culture, designer Virgil Abloh’s Off-White explored Princess Diana’s weirdly cool 80s and 90s wardrobe. Collaborating with Jimmy Choo and combining youth culture with the zeitgeist (and a provocative dash of politics), Virgil made a version Princess Di’s deep-V dress (the one she wore while dancing with John Travolta way back when) and T-shirts featuring the Red Cross logo — a tribute to the monarch’s persistent humanitarian work. It didn’t suck at all! At the end the designer ‘took a knee’ in solidarity with various NFL players who have been politicizing things during the national anthem at American football games. Colin Kaepernick & Co. probably rejoiced. Naomi Campbell wore the label and closed the show with a bang. Go Virgil!
Phoebe Philo’s Optimism at Celine
At Celine, Phoebe Philo finessed us with lovely leather ponchos, extra-voluminous trenches and ultra-elegant tabard dresses — one indigo, one ivory — that made the crowd go koo-koo. The range also featured happy, boxy floral shirts, asymmetrical pink pleated skirts, lambskin tops and amazing, hybridized outdoor gear. This collection oozed optimism all around!
Images via WHATEVER MEDIA
VIVISXN – Fashion + Art + SS18 Trends