CONFUSION, COMPLEXITY AND COUTURE AT PFW A/W 16

It was Diorxit for Raf Simons in October last year and it has taken the French house more than six months to find a replacement. How long will it take England to find a new prime minister? Taking into consideration that: two of the runners up are against same-sex marriage and were all pro the Syria airstrikes vote.

Seeing as both parties IN and LEAVE are suffering from Brexit and the fall of the cowards: Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. It is no doubt that the next London Fashion Week will be a protest of emotions or in this case: anger. London has become an island within an island, the Midlands and Wales are what the coal mines were to Thatcher.

What is the future of LFW? Will there be one less fashion city? New York and London in recent years seem to have become all about stitching logos onto bomber jackets and sending down nepotism down runways. It’s not to say London is missing talent, but it’s lacking the fierceness of a country that’s known to have seized, nearly, every country and continent.

Not being exiled from the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, Ralph & Russo will continue to be part of the official couture calendar with other EU/international fashion houses such as Versace, Elie Saab, Ulyana Sergeenko and etc. Something Britain could learn from, we are stronger together, not when we are closing ourselves to the rest of the world. Where would Givenchy be without Riccardo Tisci, an Italian? Chanel without Karl Lagerfeld, a German? Or Saint Laurent without Hedi Slimane, a French-Tunisian?

Sergeenko is lost in translation as she debuted a Russian and Parisian love affair. Fur coats, jackets, jumpers to trimmings on a cropped Harrington. Lurex jumpsuits, sweatshirts and bodysuits (like the one Julie Newmar wore as Catwoman) paired with suspenders and SSh-68 helmets shimmering the runway. A collection suited for the cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in Russia. 

Department stores are like pick ‘n mix candy stalls at the cinema, you’re watching one film with a selection of 10 flavours. A bit like the Vetements show held at Galeries Lafayette to showcase the house’s first couture collection in collaboration with 17 other brands.
“A shift is happening,” said Simons of his first couture collection back in 2012. Now, Demna Gvasalia of Vetements has set out to create, “a modern idea of couture.” Gvasalia has brought back the Juicy Couture tracksuits you would see on MTV and the forgotten socialites of the noughties. And the Reebok’s of the 90s that have now transgressed into music subcultures: “we get inspired by our everyday life.” Only time can tell of the success of Vetements couture, are the likes of Mouna Ayoub and Sheikha Mozah ready for zipped hoodies and velvet tracksuits?

The calm before the new creative director. Speculations have been floating that Maria Grazia Chiuri of Valentino will be joining Christian Dior filling Simons’ position. Chiuri will be the first woman at the head of Dior. For their last collection before Chiuri’s welcome, Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux took Dior through a monochromatic stroll reminding us what the house is best known for: bar jackets, trapeze shapes and fine embroideries of flowers in the Dior DNA. 

An invitation into the Chanel studio at the Grand Palais, Lagerfeld celebrated Coco Chanel and the team of 200 who put the collections together. Think tweed: blazers, square shoulders, wide-leg trousers and dresses with black thigh-high hugging boots under and arm-length gloves with cropped fingers. A Chanelian take on Black Widow’s outfit. 
This is Lagerfeld’s second show (not counting resort in Cuba) where the focus is on the clothes and detail. Could this be his way out? Or is there something bigger coming?