Third and last part of the tour that brought us to know the most avant-garde trends seen at latest Fashion Weeks for next spring/summer 2018
Next season will be really strange, not in the sense of the shapes or decorations or of particular extravagances seen in the catwalks. Except some more cutting-edge designers (brand-new or old strongholds of avant-garde fashion) we haven’t seen flights of fancy or a clear visionarity of possible future worlds.
In the past, when fashion evolution was slower than now, the trends were outlined more clearly and was more easy to understand what was really out-of-the-box, what could be appreciate as new enough, what were the benchmarks of classic and what was inevitably old, cheap, kitch or too commercial (ephemeral as a breath of wind). But this is a subject that should deserve further considerations.
Probably thanks to the uncertain boundaries of our times, which allow everything and its opposite, for the next spring/summer 2018 there are not a few handful of trends but many different tendencies apparently far apart. As we have seen in the previous two part of this trip around the capitals of fashion (here the first part and here the second) during the latest Fashion Weeks, Minimalism lives with the taste of excess, black&white with pastel or bright colors, ethnic with street wear and so on.
The trench coat has come a long way since its early days in the far 19th century and 1st World War. No more used only by soldiers, trench has become one of the most loved coat for the mid-seasons, proposed every year in so many versions of fabrics, lenghts and ornaments that’s is almost impossible to count. Next season it will undergo further changes. With oversize shoulders or sleeves for Y PROJECT, LUTZ HUELLE and KENAXLUNG at FASHION GUERRILLA show. It’s bright in leather for CYNTHIA & XIAO or in vinyl for PAM HOGG, in simple cotton with embroidered initials by MOON YOUNG HEE, pink and decorated with bows for XIAO LI. The major transformations anyway are made cutting and assembling its elements to form other shapes. BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, ASAI at FASHION EAST and UNRAVEL mixes the trench’s silhouettes with other clothes, transforming it in new dresses, while John Galliano for MAISON MARGIELA makes more and use the trench coat manipulated in many ways as leitmotiv of his collection. YOHJI YAMAMOTO and FAUSTINE STEINMETZ instead prefer to cut it and leave pendant parts of cloth for a deconstructed effect.
Like in a Lucio Fontana’s painting that shows us what is undefined and unknown in our reality, in their next spring/summer creations the designers have made hundreds of cuts in unexpected places, to show what is under the simple surface of fabrics. Inside there’s the body, which inexorably demonstrate all its infinite state of grace, regardless of the passing of the age, its imperfections, the sex or the colors of our skin. This cuts are concepts, not only a simple trend. That reveals different parts of our nudity. Exposed humeri for HAIDER ACKERMANN, V-FILES, NEHERA, YANG LI. Wide holes on the human vulnerability for YOHJI YAMAMOTO, LRS, DAVID KOMA and CLAUDIA LI. Small windows on the linearity of fabric surface, rounded or thin as blades, for FAUSTINE STEINMETZ, CHRISTOPHER KANE, JAMIE WEI HUANG, PUBLIC SCHOOL and AMANDA BROWN (from Parsons School of Fashion). Focus on the legs that appears from cuts on skirts and trousers in the fashion shows of ESTEBAN CORTAZAR, FASHION GUERRILLA, THOM BROWNE and LUTZ HUELLE, while at Y-PROJECT appears only the inner shirt. The perfect perception of the body, real or not, we have it in the collections of NAMILIA (that generously shows abundant parts of a shameless and hyper-sexy body) and TONI MATICEVKI, who creates the illusion of a naked backside using skin-tone fabrics matched to voluminous drapes for an theatrical effect.
Once upon a time there was the blazer, a simple male jacket invented in the mid 19th century for the countrylife. A clean line, single or double breasted, two pockets. A few simple ingredients for a successfull jacket, that however over time had undergone many transformations, depending on the seasonal trends. This is one of those occasion. Blazer jacket has been enlongated and modernized (RICK OWENS), has big proportions and destructured shapes (RICHARD QUINN, AALTO) or pointy edges (YOHJI YAMAMOTO), it matches two different colors and fabrics (ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, WENDY & JIM), is asymmetrical (YANG LI, MATICEVSKI), draped (CHALAYAN), separated and transformable (GRINKO), mixed with a hooded sweatshirt (UNRAVEL). Or long, double breasted and with very wide sleeves, it become a dress as by ANDREAS KRONTHALER FOR VIVIENNE WESTWOOD.
Andy Warhol & Co., bright and neon colors, a great sense of irony and a certain bad taste that becomes beautiful, a sure sign of our times. Pop art and culture, even though it’s been decades from its great period of fortune, still influences modern fashion designers, who may not waive to a joyful and ironic vision of life. I’m not so sure that the today spirit is carefree just as in the Sixties or in the early Eighties, looking at the facial expressions of the fashion models and the general athmosphere of this last runways, but anyway the colors and the prints are the same, ultra-bright and really strong. LISELORE FROWIJIN and ESTEBAN CORTAZAR propose psychedelic prints, while big faces appear on the dresses by PAULA KNORR, UNDERCOVER (which use also surreal and pop padded lips) or ZOE CHAMPION (student of Parsons School of Fashion) and cartoon characters and imaginary on the creations by COMME DES GARçONS, ANGEL CHEN, SHRIMPS and FILLES A’ PAPA. Keith Haring instead inspires the young designers of CFDA, Roy Lichtenstein the modern prints by FAITH CONNEXION and MATTY BOVAN, while the graffiti signs are in the colorful prints of JUNKO SHIMADA and ANDREAS KRONTHALER FOR VIVIENNE WESTWOOD. The excess of the 80s are in all the collection of THE BLONDS, while we have seen a joyful mood in those of TSUMORI CHISATO, who uses postage stamp edges and bright plain colors (as LRS).
The DIY trend is continuing. Maybe for the catastrophic informations about climate changes, maybe for the new consciousness of all the problems linked to waste accumulation, or for the desire of a return to ancient values of sobrity and respect for artisanal techniques. Maybe for all these reasons, or just for an artistic exercise of assemblage and collage. We will see clothes made with parts of other clothes, like as if we had done a list of all the garments in our wardrobe recovering what is still beautiful and precious and had decided to create other stories. The mixes seen on catwalks are of two kinds. On one side the assemblage of different parts of clothes or vintage fabrics to create dresses, skirts or trousers (BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, MAISON MARGIELA, SACAI, MATTY BOVAN, NATASHA ZINKO, LRS, ANTONIO MARRAS, DAIZY SHELY, LUJIN ZHANG). On the other side we have a conceptual projection of garments or of their sewing patterns on other garments (AALTO, ZOE CHAMPION and TUNGYUE JIANG, talented young designers both from Parsons School of Fashion).
Between two opposites ther’s always the half way. That in this case is really real. Everything is separated into two parts, one is left over the body, the other is throw away. For example SSHEENA and STEVIE BOI use only the leg parts of the trousers, while BABYGHOST and PAULA KNORR prefer a leg rather than another. LUCIO VANOTTI creates an half dress for contemporary vestal virgins and the blazer jacket of UNRAVEL is only the right half sewn over a short black dress. Jackets and cardigans lose their shoulders and remains only the sleeves or little bit more in the collections of SANDY LIANG, CALVIN LUO and CHRISTOPHER KANE. Cutted at half are the crop tops of HERON PRESTON and GIPSY SPORT. Or the two sides of a dress are perfectly divided into two contrasting colors, like the ancient uniforms of Guelphs nad Ghibellines, for HAIDER ACKERMANN, A.W.A.K.E. and PASKAL.
Woohoo plastic! Ultra-bright, hyper-sexy and bold, vinyl is always connected with avant-garde imaginary. We will be bad girls next summer, sure of our sexuality and our strong character. Black and red the best colors, but there’s also the lunar example of MOON YOUNG HEE. Black has many aspects: vintage laces or denime renewed with PVC by CHRISTOPHER KANE and NATASHA ZINKO; 80’s revival and mix with white and nude color for the glamorous girl by PAM HOGG; contemporary and street style for BABYGHOST; futuristic for A.F. VANDEVORST and the Matrix inspired girl of STEVIE BOI. Red can appear anything but not vulgar. Indeed, it becomes the perfect color for the pioneering fashion experiments of COMME DES GARçONS and GARETH PUGH, while it has the bittersweet taste of glam rock and underground music for WENDY & JIM and DUMITRASCU.