Since it’s the week of fashion in Nigeria thanks to the Arise Magazine Fashion Week (AMFW), we’re allowing ourselves indulge, just a little. So here goes!
It has been one crazy season in the fashion world. Stefano Pilati showed his last collection for the YSL fashion house, there are constant contemplations on who to head the Christian Dior brand, Alexander Wang ditched sexy for prim, the Asian influence was a big trend, designers are constantly being shuffled.
The news just keeps coming. From New-York and London, to Milan and Paris, the top 10 collections have been rounded off below:
1. HAIDER ACKERMANN
His color sense is unmatched. So is his tailoring. After masculinising femininity last season (see Tilda Swinton at this year’s Golden Globes), he celebrated the female form this season with peplums and waist-cinching leather belts. Whether he’d be Karl Lagerfeld’s successor at Chanel, or Bill Gaytten’s replacement at Dior, Ackermann remains a fashion force to be reckoned with.
Alber Elbaz’ tenth year anniversary collection for lanvin saw him play with all his strengths. Economy of cut and design, check. Precise tailoring, check that too. Embellishments and ruffles, double check. His usual aim in every season is to design what women truly want. This season, he definitely knocked it out of the park.
3. MARC JACOBS
Rachel Feinstein’s backdrop, rightly titled “Marie Antoinette’s version of ruins” couldn’t have done a better job of syncing with marc Jacobs’ inspiration, the fashion eccentrics “Anna Piaggi & Lynn Yaeger”, any better. Dr Suess hats, pilgrim shoes, wool coats, patch-worked skirts and cropped pants were the magic formula for his winning collection.
4. JIL SANDER
Why Raf Simons saved his best collection for his swan song show is still a mystery, but with an absolutely gentle and sublime show (models clutched button-less coats in their hands), filled with his brand of thoughtful and pragmatic minimalism, it is no surprise that the majority of his fans were moved to tears. Wherever he goes from here, we’d be watching.
5. ALEXANDER MCQUEEN
Sarah Burton has proved that there is such a thing as a woman’s touch. Unlike her late mentor, lee, who thrived on hard-edged dark beauty, her forecast of the future is “optimistic, positive & light”. Interpreted into clothes, it means the piecing together of different kinds of fur in layered confections of beauty, so that the dresses seemed so light, weightless, and appeared to be “hovering”. Superb.
The fact that Alicia Keys, Kanye West, and Sean “diddy” Combs were at the Givenchy front row shouldn’t come as a surprise. Riccardo Tisci is one of the most influential contemporary designers of our time. Case in point:- his big news for spring, peplums, are other designer’s big news for this season. He has moved on from that phase, presenting a leather-abundant equestrian-inspired collection. Just wait six months to confirm his ubiquity.
Fact: Phoebe Philo is expecting her third child. But does that stop her from working? Her presentation for this season was understandably intimate, understandably small, and in a short while, would be understandably everywhere. Another fact:- her brand of minimalism is the most copied, the most influential, and the most worn. Even Kanye west couldn’t resist a print blouse from her spring 2011 collection. Enough said.
8. DONNA KARAN
With queen of androgyny, Marlene Dietrich, as inspiration, Donna Karan presented a polished collection using menswear pinstripe fabric in the best way she knows how. Draping. There were suits aplenty, but leave it to Karan to make the most obscure materials seem like jersey (her signature and most-loved fabric). She draped, pinned, and tucked it into fabulous cocktail dresses, jumpsuits (yes), and fabulous evening wear. Talk about being a true woman.
“Everyone has a theory about their collections these days, but I’m sick of theory. This collection is about the pleasure of fashion”. Watch out folks. Miuccia Prada has spoken. When she “theorised” her collections, trends were birthed. For instance, lace had always been an existent material, but when she fell for the stuff in the fall of 2008, the fashion world, till today, hasn’t had enough of it. Now that she claims to be “sick of theory”, she cleverly paraded Prada’s signature hits: pajama dressing, tweaked menswear, embellishments, and ugly-looking jacquards. Be her guest and take a seat.
It is safe to say that Frida Giannini truly birthed the color-blocking trend. (see her spring 2010 collection for confirmation). For a relatively young designer to accomplish such a feat(she’s just 40), her efforts should indeed be applauded. For this season, she prepared a sumptuous (but dark) dish of in-your-face glamour. In her own words, “not cute-romantic; it has a confidence”. That means rich jacquards, fine velvets, and embellished silk-tulle dresses with up-to-there slits were fully in abundance. Bravo.