Vivetta has created a technicolor dream for its SS19 collection, pastel tones with fairytale, visionary fantasy, infused with an eccentric and enchanting glamour, painted in delicate hues with irony and grace.Candid swans rest on small tunics in painted inlay macramé, or on long romantic crocheted dresses; knots of blackberries in Swarovski crystals, glisten on impalpable cape dresses like clouds of degradé tulle; pretty butterflies seem to palpitate on fragile tulle bodices embroidered by hand with fringes of beads and feathers, which bloom on taffeta skirts thickly pleated as corollas of flowers grown in a fabulous greenhouse, or accompany denim trousers richly decorated with precious jewel-like embroidery.A pop rainbow, inspired by Peter Max’s 70s psychedelic graphics, illuminates suits in Nappa leather, inlaid with eccentrically Western flavour; wide skirts in sumptuous taffeta or dust coats with Elizabethan sleeves veiled by a puff of tulle are studded with magical galaxies of shiny stars.Bouquets of hydrangeas bloom on mini-dresses draped in technical organza with a liquid effect, enriched with frills and rosettes, seducing in their theatrical yet simultaneously naive glamour; fanciful blooms decorate fluffy pouf skirts worn with candid poplin shirts or balloon dresses light like meringues.
This collection is an invitation to play together - says Vivetta Ponti, founder and designer of the brand - In my illusory and smiling world grace and fantasy triumph. As if a spell transfigured the reality, making it magical. A surreal short film that never fails the happy ending.A warm, childish sense of humour lies like a breath on the striped poplin dresses in sweet macaron shades; draped tunics are created by transforming classic men’s shirts, whose sleeves become pleated skirts or whose cuffs are wrapped around necklines - as well as contrasting bows on clean poplin blouses or cut-out inlays on palazzo trousers revealing the outline of a face.Vivetta invites us to take part in this game of illusions and smiles, in this world where grace and fantasy triumph, in a reality that, transfigured in some spell, becomes magical and surreal as in a film with a happy ending.
Styling by Georgia Tal
Production & Direction by RANDOM
Casting by Caterina Matteucci @CM Casting
Hair by Beppe D’Elia using l’Oreal Professional for Beautick
Make up by Beautick
Nails by MH artist
Music by Dorian Grey
Sunglasses by Poppy Lissiman
Miuccia Prada wanted to represent the clash between these two opposites. That’s what’s happening in the reality out there.” She may have had to rejig a few proposals in recent seasons to get her company’s growth back in the game. A few reissued classics. Banana shirts everyone’s wearing. Something for the fans. Now she’s up by nine percent compared to three last year, but her time in the spotlight is never going to be about that. Mrs Prada is at heart a tastemaker, but her ambitions reach much further than influencing what handbag you might want to buy next season. This collection was pure politics. She detected the cliché codes of the left and the right. Tie dye vs. crystal embellishment. Swimsuit tops vs. chiffon blouses. Miniskirts vs. tennis skirts. T-shirts vs. duchess silk skirts.
The latter combo made up her favourite looks in the collection: a literal meeting between casual and formal, or liberal and conservative. “I tried to break the rules,” she said, and she wasn’t simply referring to formal codes. “When it’s too much no one will embrace it: too much fantasy, too much craziness…” It made for a certain drabness, no doubt influenced by Mrs Prada’s political mood. Sometimes she doubled up on the same codes – classic with classic, irreverent with irreverent – in the search of “something new,” a key objective in the challenge of retaining the revenue that’s back on track for her company. The dainty nylon cabans, swimwear-style cut-out knitwear, or the somewhat heart-shaped red handbags were all viable contenders for next-season big sellers, while Prada’s prints tend to hit a homerun with existing fan bases. She introduced tie dye and psychedelic motifs on skirts and minidresses, alongside a vintage print with silhouettes of women and men. And there was a fair amount of youth to the affair, in cutesy baby doll dresses, Alice bands, and tops cut like swimsuits; not to mention the branding that makes millennial hearts grow fonder.
Fendi is one of the houses to flex its visual brand value in a major way over recent seasons, catering to young generations’ thirst for prized possessions like branded bags, trainers and even socks. Logos that used to belong mainly on accessories and the odd T-shirt are now sprinkled over everything from hoodies to skirts by the bucket load, effectively making garments hot commodities on par with leather goods, price tags very much in tow. This season Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi took that development one step further. Instead of letting the clothes inform the bags, they worked the other way around, “looking at things from a different perspective,” as Silvia said.“We wanted to have functional clothing. Not just for occasion. We wanted something for everyday life: the normal woman, the active woman. A real wardrobe,” she explained. Adwoa opened the show in a transparent coat with bonded brown leather panels and pockets, which was literally the garment take on the bag she was holding. Edie modelled a tan leather coat with multi pockets moulded into the leather as if it were a utility bag. And Kendall sported the Gen Z trend for wearing a bum bag over the shoulder, pairing it with an oversized white utility jacket with massive pockets embossed with Fendi’s double-F logo. “It’s very much about real life. As women we have these big bags and you can’t find your phone and it’s ringing,” Silvia illustrated, giving particular attention to all the mobile phone and key sized pockets that appeared on garments, belts and bags. The idea might be universally appealing but the clothes seemed aimed at no one more than the young generations and their love of branded accessories.
The British creative director at Max Mara had been reading retellings of ancient Greek mythology, told from the perspective of the previously marginalised or maligned women in the tales. Classics rewritten - that’s Griffiths’ task every season. This was a study in shades of brown and beige, a big colour card for spring, not least due to Riccardo Tisci’s slate-cleaning exercise at Burberry. “She’s one part amazon, one part ocean goddess,” said Griffiths, of his Max Mara woman. He talked backstage of “arming her” for the city with one-shouldered silhouettes, vinyl pencil skirts and sheath dresses, and bags slung decisively across the body. Also enlisted were curious snap-fastened leg-warmers and chic headscarves paired with bug-eyed sunglasses. He was thinking, too, about the weather, “because it’s so unpredictable. England had a hot summer but we had rain every day in July in Italy.” Today’s women need an arsenal of coats: a trench, in polka-dotted gabardine, perhaps; a parka, daffodil yellow (inspired by Mediterranean sunshine); a pea coat, in biscuity wool. But this collection’s Golden Fleece? A buttery soft leather trench in conker brown or rich olive.
The Ferretti woman has got a jumbo crochet rucksack slung over her lemon-hued, broderie anglaise jumpsuit. There’s are some cargo pants in a hyper-flattering shade of khaki stashed in there, too, plus a pair of pink dungarees, to be worn strictly over a bikini. For nights sampling the local cocktails, she’s got a rainbow plissé chiffon maxi dress on standby, with a pale peach slip dress also in the running. Days hiking through lush landscapes will be spent in flight pants and T-shirts; lazy beach afternoons will culminate in crochet leggings and pastel-hued crop tops. If the mood takes her, she might pull on a pale orange suit in a mannish cut or a smart pair of trousers with a paper-bag waist. But she’ll be saving that for the city - these are clothes to holiday in, have fun in, really live in.
That texture clash produced some compelling results that looked to comprise what the front row is calling “the Phoebe audition” - a bid to capture the hearts and wallets of Philo’s acolytes. There were indeed several looks that wouldn’t have looked out of place on a Céline catwalk: a beautifully cut black jumpsuit, a crochet dress with a fringed wool trim, generously cut, wide-leg trousers in slightly awkward shades.
But that would be a reductive way to sum up a collection that was exacting in its attempt to major in elegant wearability. The Meiers have been gently pushing the boundaries of the stiff, sober, intellectual Jil Sander woman since they started, turning out beautifully made clothes that possess a quiet femininity, what Lucie, with her Dior couture house training, calls “warmth”. Their starting point was uniforms, which led to thoughts of boxers and ballerinas, “people who are wearing the same clothes every day to focus on getting better at something,” explained Luke. “We were interested in the moment when all that training and rigidity goes out the window, the moment when they have to perform. Boxing and ballet are both rigid, sober disciplines, but in the moment of performance there’s a release - they’re very free.” Thus, strict boxy jackets were paired with short plissé skirts; crisp coated cotton market dresses with soft leather boxing boots. Straight shirts with chunky cuffs, a slinky navy tabard worn over wide-legged trousers, a black origami-crisp satin wrap dress all looked delightfully easy to pull off. Equally appealing were the chic boxy patent bags that looked like briefcases .
It was an interesting point of departure for a fashion institution of a country so rooted in classes and subcultures that those of us, who emigrated here basically needed a handbook to understand them all upon arrival. Posh, middle-class, "chav" and all those terms have esoterically British definitions, and often sensitive ownerships. In that sense, Tisci’s ambitions were very much in keeping with contemporary waves around the world seeking to unify us all across cultures and identities. But it’s a strategy that’s also undeniably focused on markets, something to which Tisci has to cater way more at a major brand like Burberry than in his former career at Givenchy. In his final collections for Burberry, Christopher Bailey increasingly zoned in on the streetwear that gets the millennial credit cards going. Tisci wanted more than that.
“I was the first one to bring streetwear into fashion,” he said, referring to Givenchy. “Now I think fashion has gone too street. You can dress the mother, dress the daughter. Why have just one entity when you can propose for every age, every culture; different lifestyles?” His philosophy generated a something-for-everyone collection of 133 exits, stretching from professional uniforms for the bourgeois executive to directional statement dressing and streetwear for the new generations, and sophisticated glamour for those with glitz in the diary.
The designer liked “the idea of people in a very conservative time, dressing to be who they were,” noting that Fanny and Stella weren’t actually convicted. “They were acquitted.” It reminded him of the Victorians’ fascination with the unusual: the things that contradicted the buttoned-up austerity of their time. Enticed, he visited the National Portrait Gallery – where his show also took place – to look at its photography collection of cross-dressers in the 19th century. His research informed a collection of Victorian extremes: the really, really feminine contrasted by the tall, dark and masculine. “I loved the idea of taking these Victorian proportions and blowing them up. I wondered what Stella and Fanny would be like if they lived today; if they lived near King’s Cross,” he said. He reflected the notion in set-in puff sleeves and an acute sense of flouncy, bow-y prettification of dresses, juxtaposed by double-breasted tailoring and men’s coats (or at least what that meant before the ongoing evolution of gender codes and pronouns). On the backdrop of the National Portrait Gallery, the collection made you feel like you were living inside those paintings on the wall. “You couldn’t quite tell if some of the girls were boys and some of the boys were girls,” he said of the show, even if that wasn’t totally the case.
Like the other queen of England, she is the institution and the institution is her. Superstars have commissioned their own clothes through the ages, but no one quite to the degree of Beckham. The last decade has been an educational expedition for her own identity, and for the fans she now calls customers. She has taken her original followers with her on a modern-day grand tour from brand obsessive to fashion fan and now industry insider; her references have evolved from “some great dresses” to “these are our codes” and now find themselves connected to the art world, ooh la-la. “I stumbled upon a few pieces of her work,” Beckham said casually in a preview, referring to Nicola Tyson, whose painting Blue Knickers from 2008 informed the palette of her anniversary collection this Sunday morning, Back to Life on the sound system.
But that’s just one example. Early this summer, she hosted an Old Masters exhibition in her Dover Street Store, and today’s show took place in the gallery next door. 10 and 20 years ago, we would have laughed at that prospect, but Beckham did it: she mutated from segment to segment, keeping her personality intact. She’s got self-irony. She’s in touch with her past. Not ashamed, but celebratory. And this Holland Park gallery-goer is no snob. “It’s not a retrospective of the last 10 years. In any way,” Beckham asserted. “There’s no particular season that has inspired the collection. What we realised looking back on the last 10 years is that we’ve established some really strong codes. So, what you see in the collection is masculine/feminine, celebration of the female form, colour; strong codes,” she said. “But definitely not a retrospective.” Alright, then! No looking back! Point taken! And full steam ahead has kind of been Beckham’s motto in life, even if she embraces her former lives.
Woven crochet dresses with beaded details were crying out for Ibizan shores; sharply tailored suiting - a Natasa Cagalj specialty - demanded Speedy Boarding. Also tempting were the jersey dresses, ruched at the hips, and the floor-skimming slips overlaid with a network of woven cords, left to fly loose from the bust down.The Philo-shaped gap in fashion’s current line-up has created an opportunity for minimalists with a crafty bent, and Cagalj staked her claim on the territory convincingly. Utilitarian coats in navy, khaki and sand looked ideal city cover-ups, while sharp blazers in placid blues and pebbly greys, and gently oversized cuts, were serious contenders for this season’s go-anywhere jacket. Lots to like here.
That feeling, of course, was only backed up by the pitch-black venue, that massive dystopian dinosaur, and Vevers’ ghostlike floor-length prairie skirts, unravelling dresses, heavily but hardily embellished tops, almost horror-like Disney motifs on sweatshirts, and hyper-aged leather coats and mountaineering jackets. He’d found inspiration for his scavengers on a 24-hour trip to Santa Fe where he visited Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch, walked the Turquoise Trail and became fascinated with the middle-of-nowhere abandonment of its tiny clusters of houses. “An aeroplane wing is propping up half of the house and half of the tiles of the roof are some salvaged thing, and all the post boxes are painted and patched together. It almost feels commune-y,” Vevers gushed. “It almost feels like an alien planet. Weird rock formations and the sky. Nothing. Really in the middle of nowhere.”
His whirlwind inspiration jaunt ended in a downstairs dive bar called El Matador. “It was probably one of the best nights out I’ve ever had. The music was amazing; had that early '80s vibe to it. Bit sci-fi-y, quite pop-y, bit off and random. I don’t think there was anyone over 25 in there. And people were wearing things from that area, I guess: bits of western, a cool T-shirt. It always felt to me a bit New Romantic. A bit punk, a bit New Wave. But I’ve probably over-fantasised it,” he smiled. You can’t accuse Vevers of not establishing a clear aesthetic at Coach. From the garments to the show experience itself, you know what world you’re in and what you’re getting, and that familiarity no doubt appeals to the brand’s young customer base to whom these elements probably read like girl gang rather than desert cult.
Simons’ collection was uncomplicated, influenced to literal degree by The Graduate and Jaws, which we all know so well and which are both “important movies in my memory,” he said. “We are attracted to things that are dangerous. We can’t stay away from it.” That sentiment applied to both films, one interpreted in decorative mortarboards, the other in wetsuits that felt indefinitely made for the runway. “It can stand for protection, for sex, for different things,” he said of the scuba pieces. “It’s not as complicated as I wanted it to look.” True to his newfound merchandising ways – not unlike those of contemporary pop stars, who sell hoodies with their portraits on them – Simons set his eyes on that most universal of film posters, Jaws, and transformed it into the kind of T-shirts he, when branded with the CK seal of popular coolness, sells like hot cakes. “I’m fascinated with how something can be a masterpiece, no matter if it’s underground or commercial, or if it’s for a big or small audience,” he said of the film.
More than I find it stubborn, there’s something incredibly romantic about how much Jacobs believes that creativity, glamour and fabulousness will save us all; or maybe it’s just his refusal to give into commercialism. Whatever it is, he continued in stride on Wednesday night, in runway looks that sure brightened the fluorescent ambience in the JFK lounge an hour later. This was dress-up bordering on fancy dress – or perhaps those ballrooms of Pose some of us keep going on about – with all the clown ruffles, pussy bows, cascading flounces and supersized corsages it could take. Socialites gone mad, or crazies playing socialites? Either which way, Jacobs made his point and ran with it. Maybe not to the bank, but in these youth-fuelled times of defiance when conformist rules are rewritten and new perspectives are gained, talking sales seems a little bit square anyway. Season after season, Jacobs is making it clear: he’s a showman who won’t sacrifice his stage time for anything, like Ewan McGregor’s 19th century poet in Moulin Rouge!, believing in beauty and living for love, above all. If that’s the kind of show Jacobs wants to put on every season, who are we to decline an invitation? If only he’d stuck to his usually so punctual ways and we could all have stayed to see the theatre unfold.
“I feel that fashion has somehow lost its way a bit, and it is easy for all of us to be swept up in trends that have lost touch with what women and men want to actually wear,” Ford stated. “So, I did not want to make clothes that were ironic or clever, but simply clothes that were beautiful.” If the breakdown mid-show, after which frilly floor-length gowns emerged, signified a page-turn between day and eveningwear, you’d have to be a pretty bold day-dresser to embrace the patent crocodile skirt-suits and lace bodies Ford proposed in the first half of the collection. But perhaps that’s what it was all about: a departure from marketeer-manipulated, trend-driven, something-for-everyone fashion and runway commerciality, and instead a return to the authentic vision of a designer, whose very same vision changed the face of fashion twenty years ago. “I decided to take some time to think about why I wanted to become a fashion designer and what it was that I loved doing, and consequently what I feel men and women really want in their lives,” Ford said.
“I became a fashion designer because I wanted to make men and women feel more beautiful and to empower them with a feeling of confidence. A feeling of knowing that they looked their best and could then present their best selves to the world. I wanted to make clothes that were flattering; that make one look taller and slimmer and more beautiful or more handsome.”
It was these trinkets from another universe, worlds away from her American childhood in Valley Forge, that inspired Burch’s spring/summer 2019 garments. And you could imagine what the rich embroideries, lace and jingle-jangle must have looked like through child eyes. She referred to the look as “laidback” and it ticked many of the boxes known from the gap-year category: poplin and gauze caftans, twill and silk tunics, embellished chiffon, safari shirts, and flared denim trousers, each piece jazzed up either by way of rustling strands of coins, intricate crochet or the delicate lace panels, which Burch interweaved with words like “integrity,” “passion,” and “excellence.”
Those words served as reminders that even upbringings as casual and alternative as that of this designer can create a fashion mogul like Burch. And in these woke times when all aspects of the way we lead and shape our lives – and the lives of our children – are being revaluated, it was a nice homage to 1970s’ values and the wardrobe that came with them. Asked if her parents really never took her with them on holiday, Burch laughed. “Never! They had this expression, which sounds awful: ‘Children should be seen and not heard.’ They actually didn’t believe that, but they liked to travel and they had this serious romance.” For her finale, Burch played Simon & Garf