SS18 The Glass Round-Up – London, Milan, Paris

GLASS rounds up the highlights from the recent SS18 fashion weeks in fashion capitals – Paris, Milan and London.

In tribute with a capital T to the true Yves Saint Laurent girl, Anthony Vaccarello’s SS18 collection felt touched by the spirit of the recently departed Pierre Bergé. This was the first show the long-time business partner and at one point life partner of Saint Laurent will have missed since meeting his kindred spirit in 1958 and was it ever a show.

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A total of 91 looks were shown on a runway cast in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower which gave street attitude and a youth fix that fits to foundations already very well laid.

by Livia Feltham

This lush setting Chosen by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel referenced Gorges du Verdon, which is somewhat of a French version of the Grand Canyon. Lagerfeld’s muse who opened the show (Kaia Gerber, of course, has anyone else opened a show this month?) was naturally dressed for a fieldtrip with the class of SS18. Well-prepared for any showers that might occur, she marched out in a look that could best be described as ‘“plastic fantastic á la Chanel’”.  Classic Karl, another concept of mixing the slightly vulgar with the highly sophisticated.

Although the thigh-high transparent boots lost out on their originality to Yeezy’s versions from last season, the rest of the offering (little wide-brim hats, capes, fingerless gloves and ankle rain-boots) felt fresh, spring-y and, dare I say it, relevant to the London weather. The signature tweed bouclé flowed through in aquatic tones while shimmering lurex and “liquid sequins” resembled the light-play occurring on the surface of Parisian street puddles after a night of rain. 

by Anna Madsen

At Balenciaga tight Tees, lightweight scarves and waterproof shirts appeared on the runway emblazoned with the recently revealed contemporary logo contrasted alongside retro influences in the form of yellow tartans and leopard prints. Demna Gvasalia sets himself the unspoken task of taking inspiration from outmoded trends and giving them the Balenciaga treatment to reveal a revitalized version for a fresh audience.

Balenciaga SS18
Although the classic coats draped only from the neck, the spiked heels or the use of the Union Jack might have made for the most eye-catching looks at the Paris fashion week show, Glass draws attention to the oversized leather fringed bags appearing in an assortment of summery hues. These luxury accessories are sure to be one of the most hyped pieces from the Spanish fashion house during the next year.

by Joseph Furness

Another fashion house hosting a designer debut this season was Chloé, joining Jil Sander, Givenchy where Chloé’s former creative director Clare Waight Keller is premiering, and Lanvin. Natacha Ramsay-Levi, the former right-hand woman of Nicolas Ghesquière at both Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton, took on a gig of her own as the creative director of the brand founded by Gaby Aghion, by a woman for women.
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Ramsay-Levi’s background was apparent in the SS18 collection as edgy boots, cropped jeans with white-thread stitching and structured looks reminiscent of Ghesquière’s style and silhouette at Vuitton were mixed in with soft feminine designs as Victorian tops transformed into long flowy dresses as well as bohemian aesthetic, both being the brand’s signatures, as ivory frilled folklore dresses and tops with symbolic watercolour-like paintings of eyes and florals were the most stand-out pieces.

by Sara Hesikova

With only 40 days to create his collection, Olivier Lapidus showed at Paris Fashion week as the new creative director of Lanvin. Expectations were high for Lapidus, after the departure from two other creative directors since 2015.

The show began with some signature looks straight from the Lanvin archives, including tulle, cigarette pants and flats, bows and woven jacquards. Then came cocktail dresses, and delicate backless tops, with pleated skirts.

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Followed by cocoon-styled coats, and tuxedo jackets. Paired with sheer camisoles, all falling into a palette of black, white, pinks and blues. Then came logos, all across dresses and skirts and neck-scarves, which proved that Lapidus is planning on taking the usually non-commercial fashion house in a new direction.

by Jessica Graham

One year after Maria Grazia Chiuri showed her first collection at Dior, the fashion house started PFW with a triumph. Chiuri created her own It girl image in 2017 at Dior with her We Should All Be Feminists t-shirts, as well as the leather berets and infamous tulle skirts with bodysuits in her second. And for SS18 she continued the feminist theme, asking this time, perhaps ironically, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”.

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Not to mention that Chiuri is the brand’s first female creative director – and that she has managed to bring a youthful yet elegant image to Christian Dior, making it one of the most coveted labels of the moment. With such high expectations for the SS18 show, Chiuri exceeded them all, proving that she makes the rules over at the historic Parisian fashion house. The show referenced and explored the work of French-American (female) artist Niki de Saint Phalle who was known for her vivid coloured huge sculptures.

by Jessica Graham

In Milan Fendi presented a show jam-packed with candy stripes, chocolate browns and toffee wrapper materials in a sickly-sweet pastel setting. As models such as Kaia Gerber and Bella Hadid sported mermaid blue hair contrasting with looks of orange sorbet skirts and circle sunglasses, the show turned into a carnival of pastels and a juxtaposition of shapes.

Fendi SS18

Fendi reinterpreted urban pinstripes, oversized key-rings and tartan trends for the upcoming year by shaking them up with Caribbean blues and cherry reds creating a cocktail of colours. Reinventing denim by adding green stitching and updating coconut brown furs with the Fendi logo shows how Karl Lagerfeld can take classic styles and add his own twist to each, breathing new life into popular ready-to-wear pieces.

by Joseph Furness

At Prada the message was empowerment which is very topical as women continue to fight for equal pay and absolute equality with men globally. There was mixing of the typically feminine and typically masculine as buttoned-up shirts were worn with straight leg trousers with the same illustrated effect as Grikaite’s coat and floral jacquard dress or bustier top over them.

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One could also notice a nod to the 1940s in reference to Mills again as her comics were published mainly in this era and her heroines always displayed an excellent example of the time’s fashion. Hence, pencil skirts paraded down the runway paired with sleeveless shirts and knit one-shoulder vests and tailored shorts were paired with blazers and coats with rolled-up sleeves and knee-high socks. An elegant handbag always in hand, sometimes covered in comics drawings.

by Sara Hesikova

A Freudian acid trip provoking the uncanny and creating feelings of the sublime, Gucci present their perplexing SS18 collection at Milan Fashion Week in a sci-fi, crystal maze like setting. From the detailing of the invitations to the theatrical stylizing of the hair, set, make-up and costuming, chief creative Alessandro Michele took a cinematic approach that communicated ideas of the supernatural. As the use of the Gucci name and stripe was subtler this time round, the logo was instead exploited and decorated items such as suede tote bags, fanny packs and waist belts.

Gucci SS18

by Joseph Furness

Colour. Bottega Veneta is renowned for its rather dark colour palette and if there are any bright colours involved they usually have a sombre aura. However, for SS18 creative director, Tomas Maier, used a warmer and happier yet subtle palette.

Bottega Veneta SS18

Both men’s and women’s collection were shown at the Palazza Archinto. “It’s very playful … it reflects the mood of the collection,” Maier said about the former house built in 1830 which now is a boarding school for girls. “It’s all these easy pieces,” he continued referring to the silhouettes and design of the collection. It was a very polished and wearable collection indeed.

by Amrit Chana

The year 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of Gianni Versace, his sister, Donatella, has remembered her beloved brother in different ways throughout the year. Bringing back memorable designs and styles with her “homecoming” collection at MFW this year and announcing the Gianni Versace scholarship at CSM, London, Donatella honoured him in with a very personal show. Debuting the collection at the Triennale museum in Milan, she said, “This is a celebration of a genius, this is a celebration of an icon, this is a celebration of my brother.”

Versace SS18

With an ongoing monologue about Gianni playing in the background, which transitioned into music, the models walked out in fierce packs as well as individually, showcasing 70-plus garments. From the famous silky gold and black chain design to bright shell designs to Versace brand t-shirts and bold Pop Art prints the collection looked back at the brand’s best years.

by Amrit Chana

In London a TOMMY Hilfiger rock circus at the Camden Roundhouse was bound to feature a plethora of tartans, metal fonts and punk stripes, of course saturated in the brand’s signature red and blue hues. Heavy materials, heavy outerwear, heavy padlock chains and heavy metal, ironically set against a ‘90s soundtrack made for a spectacle not to be missed.

Tommy Hilfigher SS18

Tommy’s recent revival supported by the Hadids is appropriately far from the earthy shades that have dominated the past decade as all-American patriotism influences fashion once again. Patches and varsity jackets are reinvented by fusing such silhouettes with fingerless gloves and and mesh tops to become hardcore.

by Joseph Furness

The Emporio Armani SS18 show featured a vast selection of womenswear, menswear and accessories to commemorate the opening of their new store on Bond Street. The collection reflected the seething hot-pot of culture and fashion of not just Europe, but London too. An array of mirrored sunglasses, colourful sequins and elegantly placed berets added to the mixture of looks at the show held at London’s Tobacco Dock.

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A sea of pastel, yet vibrant, womenswear with intermissions of dark tailored menswear made up the collection.

by Emily Harris

Neo-victorian met PVC at Christopher Kane’s mesmerising SS18 catwalk. Featuring a symphony of dramatic jewellery and dark florals creating a concept of aspiring for our ancestor’s attire. Remixing knitted cardigans with transparent materials, oversized ties with racy prints and completing such looks with ruffles upon ruffles and tartan footwear made for a bedazzling line-up of garments

Christopher Kane SS18

The devil is in the detail as Christopher Kane keeps far from quiet with antique looks reimagined with black plastics and neoprene materials. Slick hair and eccentric accessories made sense when combined with the clashing of spring prints and colours, demonstates Kane is a daring designer.

by Joseph Furness

Hussein Chalayan used the concept of the digital age to create the theme for his SS18 collection believing the sense of entitlement that the social media user has contradicts with their measuring of self-worth, also through social media. This creates a despairing individual who relies upon the digital world for confidence while it contributes to their own decline in self-esteem. This rather large, philosophical enquiry was pursued by Chalayan in this collection.

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The collection begins with abstract cuts, a muted colour palette – grey, white and beige – and flowing materials. Headscarves cover not just the hair, but the models faces too with dark sunglasses crowning the look.

by Emily Harris

Taking place at the Old Sessions House in Clerkenwell, London, one had to walk through a crowd of vociferous anti-fur protesters flanking the entrance to get into the venue for the British uber-brand Burberry SS18 show this evening which was quite the frisson.

Voguishly departing from elevated catwalk model, the show wended its way through two floors, up and down the stairs and linked rooms of the recently renovated venue. The collection (of mens and womenswear) was a chav-chic mash up celebrating British craftsmenship and eclectism – apparently Christopher Bailey sought the models’ views on their outfits – with Burberry reclaiming its classic print, shown here notably on baseball caps (as well as tartan too) and outsized reversible totes in tartan again: outdoing Balenciaga in the gigantic covetable cool bag stakes this season.Burberry LFW SS18

Traditional livery in red was seen in jackets, and boys were in skirts too, wearing dangly crystal chandelier earrings as well did the girls.

by Caroline Simpson

Images courtesy of respective fashion houses