For Fall 2016 – Winter 2017 Vanessa Seward delivered soft, sophisticated looks with just the right pops of flash and sheen. Silhouettes were long and lean, from tailored coats to midi skirts to jumpsuits. Colors were warm and soothing. Denim was dressed up a bit in shirts and rolled-up jeans. Long Lurex dresses and shiny velvet suits amped up the glam factor. For a more casual read, Seward created a floor length shearling, beautifully tailored to fit the female figure it defined easy chic.
The Valentino show opened with a dark and somber mood. Mannish coats of ample size and chunky military boats suggested a grungy streetwear vibe. But suddenly the clouds seemed to break and cute little tutu dresses, ethereal draped jerseys with Grecian pleating, metallic pleated skirts and delicate embroidered tulle dresses seemed to float down the runway. A silver fringe sweater over a gold fringe skirt moved seductively as the model walked. Designer duo team Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli used subtle blush tones in graceful feminine silhouettes for eveningwear. Fox patchwork served to add an edge to the collection in a street-length opera coat or capelet and a multi-hued coat worn over a blush pleated skirt. Long fox boas belted under coats gave a cool layering effect. Another patchwork fox treatment, this time in a pastel blockwork capelet, reminded us exactly what Valentino stands for- ladylike elegance.
Pretty cool, yet entirely impractical, the Iris Van Herpen collection for fall RTW was made up largely of little dresses. Most looked like they were made from bubble wrap or chicken wire or stiff accordion pleats, far more fun to look at than to wear. The forms were body hugging, shapely silhouettes for the young and tiny. We do appreciate Van Herpen’s artistic approach and fresh vision. It shows designers are still reaching into the future to come up with trend setting ideas.
The Shiatzy Chen fall RTW 2016 show delivered a little bit of Geisha, some anime, and even an S and M reference or two. Bright yellow silk kimono coats trimmed in light brown mink were wearable and chic. Touches of Victorian lace added an unexpected twist and a little British colony throw back. Shiny leather pants and a crackled leather shearling jacket had a more modern edge. Pretty prints and ruffles contrasted with leather corsets. Pink fox trimmed an exquisite coat of lace and beading. A fox vest in rich hues of brown and orange was paired with a black lace and beaded dress. Overall, an eclectic blend of old and new, delicate and bold that harmonized beautifully on the runway.
The Paul and Joe fall RTW presentation reverberates with youthful vitality and lifeblood force of fashion. The muted patterns and ruffled silhouettes suggested a sweet and causal collegiate style with a cool vibe. A key accessory is the added curly lamb detachable collar with silver chain. Oversized caricature sweaters paired with circle skirts had a school girl charm. For the girl who gets a little more dressed up there were tailored pantsuits, dresses and skirts made of tiled sequins, Mongolian lamb jackets and a striking horizontal striped lamb coat. When the buy now, wear now concept catches up with fashion week, Paul and Joe will be hot commodities.
Modern elegance comes forth from the house of Ellery this fall RTW. There was something worth noting in every look. The contrasting stitching on a dramatic black coat. The overblown proportion of a mannish navy coat softened with a plush cranberry fox collar. The flamenco flare on a pant. The flouncy hem of a skirt. The puffy sleeves of a blouse. The list goes on. Kym Ellery delivered a collection that was full of great surprises and special wardrobe additions. Who else would have thought of a heart-shaped fox collar? Plush dyed SAGA fox was sewn in strips to create textural coats that screamed luxury.