This Fashion month felt a bit different, quite uncomfortable and as if it should maybe not even be happening. As the situation in Ukraine worsens, Palestine, Afghanistan, Yemen, Lebanon…still have little to no solutions in sight. We can’t help but wonder if reviewing fashion still makes sense but as Demna Gvasalia put it in his show notes, giving up would be surrendering to the oppressor.
The Fashion sphere delivered yet another season full of innovation and style, from Matthieu Blazy’s first Bottega Veneta show as a Creative Director, The Row showing for the first time in Paris, Loewe leading a futuristic symphony or Valentino announcing next Winter monochromatically.
Here’s a quick round-up of what truly made our hearts beat this February-March and most importantly, now that we have you here, we listed some links you can visit to donate to different associations around the globe that are working hard on bringing some relief to children, refugees and people in need.
Starting with the city who showed last but wowed the most, Paris, and the Coperni show who truly confirmed the brand’s current status of hottest in town. Silhouettes offer well balanced proportions, a lot of romance – we see you Gigi Hadid in a blush pink romantic flowwy dress – some worn-over-head tailored jackets that say “don’t invade my privacy” and a particularly exciting robe-coat in a dreamy blue that we will want to be cozying up in all Winter long.
Now onto the highly anticipated Balenciaga show, that was announced epic once again, starting by its invitation – a smashed Iphone 6s used as a statement about neglect and waste in this day and age – but that almost never happened. Demna Gvasalia, creative director, wrote in his show notes that working on the show “was extremely hard” and that Fashion Week “feels like some kind of an absurdity,” referring to showing in this time of crisis that triggered past trauma for him who’s a “forever refugee“. The show, which, “needs no explanation” is a “dedication to fearlessness, to resistance, and to the victory of love and peace.” An atrium in which blasted a snow storm was the decor to this collection which was as Balenciaga by Demna as ever- understand big silhouettes, determined models, sweaters and boots that only the daredevils among us will wear. A very iconic Kim Kardashian arrived wrapped in yellow Balenciaga tape and we can’t help but wonder if 1-she could breathe 2-Fashion has (definitely) lost its mind 3-it was kinda brilliant?
We shall now take a small detour by Milan where Matthieu Blazy showed his first collection as the Creative Director of Bottega Veneta after Daniel Lee’s sudden – and still unclear – exit from the brand. Well we were not mad at all. It was beautiful, the assignment was understood, the references to Blazy’s mentors were present – the tailoring à la Raf – the mix of textures and fabrics made the whole thing very desirable. In the accessory category however, we’ll be waiting for season 2 to decide what we truly think but the mega platform with buckle let us hope that we certainly won’t be disappointed.
Well since we’re in Milan, let’s stay here for another hot minute and discuss how Prada once again single-handedly dictated who’s the woman we need and want to be. Talk about perfection, this collection had it all: a play on volumes, the incorporation of a basic tank top that suddenly becomes the one thing we’ll wanna wear day-in day-out, tailored jackets with exaggerated shoulders, embroidered oversized bombers balancing the subtleness of a sheer straight, midi skirt. Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons confirm they’re a match made in heaven from their common harmonious choice of knitwear to flower placements, prints and to-die-for footwear. It’s a huge yes.
And we’re quickly back to Paris to witness the beauty of the Valentino show, a monochromatic Fushia heaven. Why Pink you ask? the tone appeared to have been used as a “manifestation of the unconscious and a liberation from the need for realism.” Bows, ruffles, embroideries, big volumes, no doubt we’re at PPP’s Valentino who beyond fashion itself this season decided to push boundaries and keeps on confirming Valentino’s sustainable implication through the show’s set up that helped “give back, recycle, re-use and re-utilize.“
For example, the Maison is giving back and recycling by donating the scenography sheets of the venue post show to La Reserve des Arts, a France based association who works closely with art schools and will give a second life to the venue’s dressing room carpet and floor carpeting.
London Fashion Week this February was marked by us attendees sprinting around London in layers, avoiding being swept away by Storm Eunice. From the Newgen space at Selfridges to a series of hotels along the Thames, the collections and presentations this season were awe-inspiring. We attended 10 shows, seeing the next generation of shoes, menswear, and womenswear. Two collections stood out as the best of the week: Feng Chen Wang and Noon by Noor.
Noon by Noor held their AW22 presentation at the RIBA Library, featuring a number of models under a large tent, surrounded by racks of the new pieces. Established in 2008 as a luxury womenswear brand created by cousins Shaikha Noor Al Khalifa and Shaikha Haya Al Khalifa, their latest collection builds on the label’s modern, minimalist aesthetic with unique, relaxed silhouettes and intricate details.
‘Texture’ and ‘touch’ were the keywords Noor and Haya considered when constructing the collection, and the pieces make this evident. From short furs to small detailed embroidery to satin sheens, the pieces beg for a supple reach and touch. A highlight of the collection included metal woven denim, a silver glimmer that added contrast to the otherwise muted color palette. We particularly loved the structured tops, from practical jackets and outerwear to regal blouses.
The Feng Chen Wang exhibition was equally as powerful. In the lower gallery space of Unit London, the presentation featured a number of models standing and rotating around wonderful pieces of art, a mixture of mediums that highlighted the artistic quality of Feng Chen Wang.
The collection was inspired by bodiless lacquerware, a 700-year old tradition native to Feng’s hometown of Fuzhou, China. This tradition is emulated by combining many types of techniques or fabrics, in knitwear by bringing together two weaving techniques and in denim by imbricating two different fabrics. This intermixing was everywhere in the presentation: from a structured blue shirt to layered puffer coats.
Flashes of orange and green penetrated the otherwise muted color scheme of the AW22 collection, employing colorful simplicity in favor of highly textured and complex cuts and fabrics. In a bid to promote sustainability, the collection uses plant dyes and features pieces that can be worn multiple ways. Feng Chen Wang’s presentation features both autumnal elements and a complex, slightly psychedelic, textural scheme that draws the collection together.
We would love it if you could take a moment to take a look at these fundraising platforms and consider donating to some of these associations as they need our help more than ever:
Donate today to help families displaced by military action in Ukraine
Support Palestinian refugees in Gaza
Donate to the Children Cancer Center of Beirut
Donate to help the Children of Yemen
Donate to help children and refugees in Afghanistan