PFW | Autumn Winter 17 | Day 2

PFW | Autumn Winter 17 | Day 2

| Maison Margiela |

Creative director John Galliano described it as a reducing garments to their core. And so a deconstruction and rebuild of familiar staples – from t-shirts to trouser suits and polo necks – followed. This is Maison Margiela and things are never quite that simple (the unzipped bags decorated in plumes, tipped upside down and worn as hats were testament to that). The opening looks of the trench coat, and a black roll neck sweater dress both are core items of the MM wardrobe. Paying homage to Marilyn Monroe and the iconic images of her wearing those classics. There were also references to Americana; that trench had the Statue of Liberty on the back and there was also a patchworked Americana coat. But cleverly, amongst some of the delightful madcap there were plenty of commercial hits to be found here, including an utterly beautiful polka dot ruched dress.
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| Rodarte |

Having celebrated their 10th anniversary last year, Rodarte designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy are marking another milestone in the brand’s history. The collection was impressive with an asymmetrical French lace dress that was compressed to look like disintegrating cobwebs, while the glinting holographic sequins on a tulle pussy-bow blouse recalled morning dew glistening on a freshly spun spider’s web. Rodarte has built its brand on that kind of ethereal, irregular beauty. They chose to revisit the knits for perhaps the first time in over a decade, and the golden floor-length knit showpiece in the collection proved that the look is still totally spellbinding. Many of their more down-to-earth signatures were remixed this time as well, including oversize leather jackets peppered with handfuls of jumbo studs. Indeed, the collection managed to pick up the thread on the wondrous storylines they’ve told in the past in a real-world way.

Those fanatical fashion narratives will, of course, be sorely missed in New York. Beyond offering a new creative platform, the shift to Paris does have some pretty important practical advantages, too, specifically with regard to production and delivering collections to stores. In an age when many clothes are made at fast-food speed, Rodarte’s commitment to time-honored practices and truly fairy-tale-worthy fashion is more important than ever. It will be exciting to see how their next chapter will unfold.
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| Lanvin |

Bouchra Jarrar sent a message of “tender and strong femininity. It’s not a political act, but in the world we live in today, it’s important to give beauty and love.”
The collection was stocked with beauty, full of gentle romance and confidence expressed through a look that veered from full blush femininity to a tougher, practical womanliness. 
She moved the needle in a more delicate, dreamy direction, taking inspiration from couture, the opera and exotic birds, including birds-of-paradise, swans and phoenixes worked on accessories and scenic prints. The newest dresses had a graceful ballerina quality, such as a powder-pink style with a twisted halter neck, lace sleeves and a skirt done in swishing layers of shiny mousseline that fell above the ankle. Romantic blouses curled around the shoulders and neck in short lace ruffles and were worn with high-waisted trousers and neat, tailored black leather pants that were more power bourgeois than edgy or biker.
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| Dries Van Noten |

Feminism expressed via fashion. Dries Van Noten didn’t articulate consciousness of the political moment as a foundation of his collection. Van Noten chose to celebrate not with a party or a bells-and-whistles set, but with the clothes and the women who have telegraphed their power from the beginning — literally generations of runway models.

Van Noten dressed them to play up their strength, both as individuals and as a gender. He made the clothes manifestations of that message rather the message itself, a bold decision. Designers often say their clothes should project the women wearing them, but more often than not, the runway doesn’t afford that chance. Here it did, always powerfully, if not always easily. Van Noten crossed traditional masculine and feminine elements on his runway. He favored the former in strong-shouldered, amply cut tailoring, delivered both unfettered and with significant zhushing up: the addition of colorful fake fur sleeves to one black coat, and big, graphic embroidered discs to the hem of another, both great-looking.
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| Rochas |

Pretty dresses, pretty shoes. That's the cocktail dressing formula at Rochas, and Alessandro Dell'Acqua is sticking to it for autumn. There were some lovely vintage-looking numbers here, in dusky Fifties hues: sage green, pale clementine, rose and burnt orange, all of which were given a wiggle by the pale grey bejewelled velvet court shoes, their ankle straps gently lapping at nylon-clad shins. The opening dresses had puffed backs and bow-bedecked necks and sleeves reminiscent of the ballooning shapes of Cristóbal Balenciaga, and looked pulled straight out of the archive. Wrists were embellished with crystals and necks adorned with ruffles as the collection segued into ditsy florals and black lace. But what the collection lacked in adventure, it made up for in charm.
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| Kenzo |

Where in the world was the Kenzo girl this season? 
It was a bold, energetic collection, every look a try-anything-once outfit for the die-hard fashion lover. She tackles every adventure with an open mind and with respect for where she has previously tread. The first handful of navy and gray tailored duffle coats with abstracted sailor details were sedate compared to what followed. A long navy Victorian nightshirt dress with a high ruffled collar, smocked bodice and empire waist was layered over a white shirt with exaggerated ruffled sleeves. Similar shirts with giant ruffs and cuffs were done in plaid and layered under a tiger print cropped top or a tailored gray dress embellished with purple irises, like a funhouse version of a schoolgirl uniform.
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PFW | Autumn Winter 17 | Day 3

PFW | Autumn Winter 17 | Day 3

PFW | Autumn Winter 17 | Day 1

PFW | Autumn Winter 17 | Day 1