PFW | Autumn Winter 17 | Day 4
| Vanessa Seward |
Vanessa Seward issued an earnest ode to the Seventies based on her own personal style. The collection is a time capsule from the Seventies, earnestly retro with its disco soundtrack and Guy Bourdin-inspired makeup of shiny red lips and pink eyeshadow up to the brow line. The models sauntered around in sassy bourgeois attire, such as a lean, tawny brown leather dress with a tasseled zipper unzipped to reveal an ivory turtleneck underneath; and a trench over a purple and blue leopard-print shirt and matching fluid pants worn with a headscarf and white shoes.
The printed dresses with keyhole necks; mossy green fur cape worn with a headscarf, and a white tuxedo-jacket dress with sheer black tights and white open-toe shoes were so unironically retro, they felt more like paper doll clothes based on Seward’s own vintage wardrobe than designs for today. And there’s a market for that. Seward has five stores, and just before she opened her London location, Kate Middleton bought a dress and was photographed wearing it.
| Issey Miyake |
Yoshiyuki Miyamae cast his eye skyward for the theme of his fall collection — aurora borealis, or in Issey Miyake speak, “chromatic fantasia.” The designer was fascinated by effects of the Northern lights, which overlap, intertwine, ripple and change.
The fabrics used were the embodiment of this, not only because of their incandescent colors of blues, purples, reds, greens and oranges. Always searching for new techniques, Miyamae, for instance, presented 10 looks that pulsed with grooved. These were made of raw wool from Shetland sheep raised on fields in a part of Scotland touched by the Northern Lights. It was dyed in five hues and combed into a thread before being woven into the aurora’s colors, which change depending on the angle from which they’re seen.
| Christian Dior |
Maria Grazia Chiuri's unified her wide-ranging sophomore collection for Dior with a focus on blue. Immediately upon her arrival at Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri set about tackling what has long been a challenge for the house: daywear. She undertook that task at a politically charged moment in the culture, a moment that spurred her to include her now-famous “We should all be feminists” T-shirts in her debut collection last season.
Chiuri used the word “genderless” as part of the appeal of the color blue, on which she built her fall collection.
“Among all the colors, navy blue is the only one which can ever compete with black, it has all the same qualities.” - House Founder. These words spoke to Chiuri as a member of a generation drawn to black; she thought that focusing on blue, rich with natural and cultural symbolism, would facilitate a fusion between the house creative ethos and her own.
Chiuri listed uniform dressing among her references, and leather berets and cross-bodies slung with the bags in back imposed a militaristic ardor on some of the dark, unfussy clothes.
Evening proved interesting, as Chiuri’s models wore her moody, ethereal tulles and embroideries with relaxed attitudes. Yet the biggest stars weren’t the dresses that sparkled, but a trio in deep blue velvet, as intriguing as the midnight sky.
| Zuhair Murad |
Sixties icons — Françoise Hardy, Brigitte Bardot and Marianne Faithfull were the inspiration for this carefree mood of Zuhair Murad’s fall collection. There were flirty mini dresses in chiffon and sequins, gauzy floral skirts and sheer blouses, as well as dramatic capes and fur coats with graphic color patterns adorning the front.
Murad wants daytime options to incorporated elements of his couture line. The main challenge, he faced, was translating his ornamentation techniques — the embroideries and crystal work he is prized for into versions, like fabric overlays, more suited to ready-to-wear.
| Yohji Yamamoto |
Life isn’t always easy on a living legend, and not because the world expects too much of you. Sometimes, the world is all too ready to give you a pass. Just ask Yohji Yamamoto. “I felt I needed to change. After more than 40 years, I became too famous. People normally respect me without any reason. Like a legend, I don’t like it. I want to make people surprised or inspired. I needed real creation.” - Yohji Yamamoto
This was Yamamoto’s most abundant collection in some time, and his most lyrical, his past two more austere and tougher in attitude. As he’s done sometimes in the past, Yamamoto featured his own guitar playing on the soundtrack, this time reciting lyrics as well.