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It always amazes me how Milan can produce collections as diverse as this sophisticated one from No. 21 and more kitsch examples that are regularly shown at houses like Moschino and Versace. Here, designer Alessandro Dell'Acqua showed an elegant take on sensuality. The collection was ladylike with an edge, and while subtlety was key this should not be mistaken for simplicity or a lack of imagination. He featured double-breasted coats slashed with metallics or with unfinished hems, shift dresses with careful pleating and tucks, many of which were layered over trousers. Even the colour palette reinforced the chic, considered vibe.


Stark, utilitarian looks softened by the use of floral printed satin and three-dimensional flower appliqués equals a romanic horror show or a rough amalgamation of two genres. Miuccia Prada's show for Fall was entitled Anatomy of a Romance and it was a direct reflection of her world view today, divided as she sees it between extremes. The models appeared to be styled after Wednesday Addams and Prada used images of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and his bride on the clothes. Dresses were paired with thick, lug-soled boots and shoes or dainty pumps. Coats were beautifully fitted with elongated patch pockets. She showed off-the-shoulder party dresses in wool with a curvaceous skirts, slouchy black trouser suits and military jackets with lace sleeves and lace cloaks.


The women's side of this line was designed by Veronica Leoni who reinterpreted the Moncler code by  layering materials and shapes including bouclé wools, fishnets, pale tartans, fur, and knits mixed with nylon. These were accessorised with standout bags that were created in collaboration with Valextra.


New girl guiding. This show was all about nature, and Rocha's models strolled through a forest of silver birch trees. As before, Rocha’s collection closely followed her own aesthetic with tent capes, frills and florals in monochromatic colours. The models wore thick soled shoes and the patches on the sleeves were only obvious nod to Moncler. Her balaclavas had pearl embellishment around the opening - proof clothes can be functional and feminine too.


Probably the collection that got the most inches in terms of reporting last season, Pierpaolo Piccioli's previous collaboration with Moncler Genius received an additional boost when one of the looks was worn by Ezra Miller at the French premiere of Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald late last year. Movie stars aside, this season Piccioli sought to maintain this momentum by showing padded gowns with voluminous skirts and hoods. He drafted former model turned designer Liya Kebede to add Ethiopian-inspired colours, patterns and embellishments to the garments creating a collaboration within a collaboration. The result was a striking show and despite the volume and material, the dresses managed a certain grace and elegance that was no doubt helped by the setting. 


A new addition to the Moncler Genius stable, designer of the moment Richard Quinn (remember when the Queen graced his show with her presence?) showed his hyper floral take on the brand's outwear combined with his usual helmet schtick. Some aspects of his London show like the fastenings were repurposed here for continuity. 


One of the more successful collaborations to have come out of Milan recently has been that of Moncler Genius and its coterie of designers, each of whom are tasked with putting their own spin on the company's products. This season, Craig Green showed sleeping bag chic with looks that cycled through the colour wheel. Each piece was two-toned, front and back in complementary colours and like a sleeping bag, each one can be packed away into small, portable cubes. 



We are wrapping up London with a look at a new (to us at least) name, Huishan Zhang who showed a pretty and feminine collection which contained several references to major European design houses. The result? A pretty but not completely derivative collection.


Shrimps' bread and butter remain their accessories, particularly the faux furs and beaded Antonia bag which made their name a few years ago, so it's no surprise to see newer versions of both on the runways for Fall. The fur this time was so light as to mimic the feathers that have proved to be incredibly popular this season. Oversized and floor sweeping in length, designer Hannah Weiland's coats and capes were bright checked or covered in mythological prints of Weiland's own design. Apart from the bags and the fun furs, Weiland has also attempted to diversify into clothing with varying results. Using the Grecian goddess Athena as her muse, she showed ruffled and puff-sleeved satin dresses trimmed with lace, covered with spots all in cheery colours. Belts were raffia sashes with embellished Greek wreath buckles and models wore pearl Alice bands, lace gloves and chunky soled sandals, paired with socks.  


There have been many variations of brown on the runways for Fall 2019; from camel to tobacco to the version found here at Emilia Wickstead - a rich nut brown. We are not convinced that it is the most flattering colour for everyone, but there's no denying its popularity at the moment. Wickstead, who was inspired by Mary Corleone, Sofia Coppola’s character in The Godfather trilogy, interspaced long, masculine coats and suits with pretty floral patterned dresses and bright splashes of colour. She used pleating to great effect on trousers, tops and dresses to create pattern or a lightness of drape from empire waists. The unifying silhouette was one of rounded shoulders and balloon sleeves. We were most fond of the stunning final gowns that managed to be both dramatic and monastic in equal parts.


Fascinated with mystics and the unknown, Erdem Moralioğlu drew inspiration for this show from the story of Princess Orietta Doria Pamphilj, the real-life Roman aristocrat who died in 2000 at the age of 78. Entitled “The Legacy of Inheritance”, the designer imagined the princess’ life shortly after her father died and she inherited his estate in the 1960s. He was curious about the way in which she would have adapted to life in Rome after the relative freedom she would have enjoyed in London. Textiles were the star of the show and Moralioğlu included brocades, lace, and intricate prints. The designer also stuck to the voluminous shapes for which he is best known.


A striking collection from JW Anderson where the models walked on cloud-like carpet on a runway set among skyscrapers which created the impression that they were traipsing through the heavens. Anderson draped with abandon and clothes were cut to ensure maximum flow. There were balloon-sleeved raincoats and caped tweed coats, taffeta bubble dresses styled with oversized gold chokers and a wide black canvas belt. Many models wore black heels to which ribbons of tulle were affixed, all adding to the dreamy, floaty effect.



Sometimes you just want classic pieces that are well made and Margaret Howell satisfies that need in spades with this collection. A modern take on an English country look, she layered sleeveless vests over crisp white shirts and paired them with cropped, wide-legged trousers and skirts that were cinched at the waist. A muted colour palette and lack of embellishment or frippery meant many of the pieces are unisex. Traditional fabrics like cotton drill, corduroy, tweed were deployed wonderfully in a collection that speaks to heritage, craft and utility.


We are falling slightly behind with our review of the shows as usually happens around this time, but we promise to forge ahead with coverage on the weekend and through the week. 

The next show to be featured here is Christopher Kane's. Some fetishise rubber but Kane seems to have taken it in another direction. Transparent, coloured, gel-filled plastic (ruminate on that if you will) in rounded shapes formed bags and collars on the dresses. These were outlined with  crystal diamanté chains which also added sparkle to oversized cardigans and asymmetrical dresses. The fluid-filled touches reminded us of lava lamps or those jelly bracelets we played with as children. The different colours of the container and fluid combined to create a third contrasting colour that was quite fun. Similar amorphous prints could be found on jumpsuits and dresses. 

But rubber was definitely the star of the show and balloons in particular. The rounded shape turned up on skirts, sleeves and frilled layers and more literally as a colourful print, and as slogans on tops.  One coat was entirely made of black rubber and this was also deployed less liberally on lapels, scarves and elbow patches.


Under Christopher Bailey, Burberry tried long and hard to rid itself of its "chav" associations. The collection of 106 looks (although we are only featuring the women's looks here) was aptly entitled "Tempest" given the firestorm one sweatshirt complete with attached noose caused, but more likely in reference to the political storm that is fast approaching and the uncertainty it will bring on all sectors of the British economy including fashion and design.

Nevertheless, Burberry are touting their Britishness proudly in the face of the country's imminent separation from the rest of Europe, and there can be no doubt where their loyalties lie. The house under Riccardo Tisci - who is known for his fondness of streetwear - has decided to embrace, if somewhat tongue in cheek or nosltalgicly, their previous popularity with this 1990s inspired collection. With its greasy, slicked down hair and extravagant baby curls, Tisci showed layered rugby t-shirts with coded anti-establishment references, corseted tops worn over polo shirts (it is the 1990s after all), and a nod to athleisure with tracksuit bottoms. Short slip dresses were covered in embellished buttons that declared their love of London, and there was a definite edge and whiff of street around the collection which looked south of the river for its inspiration. The infamous Burberry check was unapologetically resurrected and placed front and centre of the collection, used on trench coats, jumpers and padded jackets, and dresses. There were gorgeous shearling coats and jackets, track suits, pea coats, fur collars and muffs. Bags were casually slung across the body and worn as harnesses. We loved the duvet-like statement coat in liquid silver. Ostrich feathers made an appearance on short camel coat. 

The streetwear latterly morphed into more sophisticated fare which is generally our preference. Elegant suits, beautiful day dresses and separates (although the colours were to our mind slightly drab) closed the show. Poncho-like capes, coats with wide, sailor collars and lapels, we wished the entire collection could have been this section but clearly Burberry are looking at diversifying their offering in the face of a rather uncertain future for Britain.



Vivid, acid bright, blocked colours from Roksanda Ilinčić and as always there was movement and flow. It seems as though every collection in London has featured feathered details of some sort and Ilinčić's was no exception. Models walked down a sand-covered runway wearing yellow taffeta gowns with feather details (perhaps one of her least effective pieces as it evoked a plucked and naked Big Bird), billowing tiers in mustard stripe or dark camel, a colour that continues to make a strong showing on the runways. We loved the long, trapeze shaped dresses that shone like liquid metal and were topped off with contrasting neck ruffles. 

Ilinčić also showed some wonderful outerwear including silk-printed scarves that were worn over jackets and parkas that were cinched at the waist with a belt.


Victoria Beckham's collections continue to go from strength to strength and gain in popularity. With this her second show held back in her homeland and her family out in force to support her (including her daughter Harper who almost beat Anna Wintour at her own hair game), rumours of the financial problems that have plagued the brand in the last few months were largely forgotten. Instead, Beckham focused on what she does best: chic, flattering clothes that are perfectly suited to the modern woman, with just the right about of interest to keep things from getting boring. Judicious use of windowpane checks on suits and separates, as well as chain prints, pencil skirts and argyle sweaters combined with long, pointed collars and high-waisted flared trousers gave more than a passing nod to 1970s influences. We are seeing a lot of red this season - which is to be expected as it is an autumnal colour - and Beckham uses it both to create an uplifting effect and also as a perfect punctuation to the colour-blocked accessories she showed.

 

Mary Katrantzou showed Volume with a capital V. With a full, rounded shape similar to the ruffles and feathers we saw at rising star Tomo Koizumi's show in New York last week, the dresses here were heavily beaded and featured a sort of swirling, mystical landscape, a direct reference to the theme of the natural elements - earth, air, fire and water - that were central to this collection. One dress featured scale-like pailettes which shimmered like water, others wore pieces that referenced the parched, cracked earth on coats and boots. The lightness of air was in all probability evoked by the ostrich feather coats and dresses and flames were rendered by the exuberant neck ruffles and asymmetrical ruffled scarves that trailed down the models bodies. Katrantzou also showed wide, shawl-like collars, leggings under skirts.


Simone Rocha, one of our most anticipated shows of the London calendar, did not disappoint. Taking the lines of a Louise Bourgeois poem as a starting point, the clothes in this collection were as intricate as ever. The overarching silhouette was the same: rounded shoulders, full skirts, double-breasted coats and dresses, but Rocha kept things interesting with her use of fabric of different weights and transparencies. She mixed heavier tapestry-like fabrics and embroidery with lighter organza layers, within which could be found spiderwebs, flowers and phallic shapes. One of the major tropes of the collection was her use of underwear as outerwear and cropped bustiers were worn on top of coats, blouses and dresses offering a hint voyeurism. The dichotomy between the fabrics and imagery of the collection reflect Rocha's own conflict with representations of tenderness and sexuality. 


There is a certain amount of exuberance in fashion at the moment which is perfectly encapsulated by this collection from Michael Halpern. 

Some delicious 1970s styling inspired by the legendary Studio 54 nightclub came sauntering down the runway which was housed in the opulent Deco ballroom of a Park Lane hotel. Swaths of draped fabric and beautiful bright patterns were all hallmarks of this collection which was inspired by Erté's illustrations. The eponymous designer showed gloriously sequinned short dresses (sparkle and shine seems to be a persistent trend for the upcoming season) some with asymmetric skirts, voluminous hooded opera coats, richly beaded floor-length halters with crystal chokers, lamé tissue Deco prints cut on the bias, a gold and black embroidered ’20s pyjama suit. Gone was the favoured suit of previous seasons, and instead he showed a silver two-piece consisting of an off-the-shoulder top with matching trousers.


A collection of cozy knits and florals in strong, but limited hues is how this collection can be summed up. 

It is a shift for Lupfer who sought to simplify his line in the hopes that it will generate interest from new quarters. He showed long pleated skirts, ribbed Italian cashmere sweaters, and parka and duffle wool coats made of material from heritage brand AW Hainsworth of West Yorkshire, as well as in leopard faux fur or with faux fur trims. The clothes were accessorised with fur trapper hats and oversized faux fur mittens, fringed scarves, more sweaters, and hiking sneakers. Some embellishment was held over from previous collections including crystal and enamel accoutrements. Lupfer could not get rid of his signature lips either, although they were rendered monochromatically in black-on-black so as to be an unobtrusive as possible. 


There was an overdose of sophistication at Reem Acra this season. While this was not the most breathtaking of her shows, the clothes were stunning nevertheless and, with the Academy Awards fast approaching, well-timed to take advantage of some old-fashioned Hollywood glamour.

Gone for the most part were the favoured floral elements of past seasons and instead Acra embraced a softer version of the militarised looks with Joan of Arc as her muse and inspiration. Beading was used to convey armour: one gold gown had metal spangles that looked as though it was pouring off of the model, while another dress featured a confection of red and blue sequins and had tiny chains strung across it. Separates were few and far between. Although the focus was on gowns and dresses, Acra did show a cropped top with an open back and beaded push-up tanks with corset-style boning.


Always a highly anticipated show, this time Marc Jacobs  can claim his collection to be a real feather in his cap, both literally and figuratively. 

The last few months have seen a renewed interest in the iconic Spring 1993 grunge collection Jacobs designed for Perry Ellis, and there was some thought that he might incorporate a reference into his next collection, but Jacobs veered as far away from flannel as possible instead showing a collection that was refined and elegant and had more in common with that of Tomo Koizumi, the protégé he and his stylist Katie Grand helped launch earlier in the week: volume.

Rounded, dropped shoulders and a wide silhouette helped to mask the natural proportions of the models. While other designers this season have seemed to focus on lines that skim and elongate the body, Jacobs played with proportion and girth. He showed cloth coats and capes, shredded tulle party dresses, A-line skirts and crewnecks. Feathers were used to add heft but maintain lightness. Hats designed by milliner Stephen Jones also had an ornitho theme, and were perched on the top of most models' heads.   

The overall result was a collection that was wearable and pretty which hasn't always been the case.

Jacobs' one reference to that Perry Ellis collection came at the very end when Christy Turlington, who had walked for him all those years ago, closed this show in an off-the-shoulder, nipped in party dress embroidered with glossy feathers. 


Vera Wang has been fixated on a certain type of elongated silhouette for a number of seasons now, and with this collection for Fall 2019, that silhouette shows no sign of losing its popularity with the designer even as she prepares for her 30th anniversary runway show after a two year absence.

That’s not to say that the looks in the collection weren't stunningly beautiful. While black also retained its popularity with the designer, her copious use of plaid marked a clear Celtic influence as did her use of the tonnag - a traditional sash-like garment - that appeared draped or folded. Wang showed precision checked suiting which included trousers overlaid with a pleated or lace aprons. Hints of lace bodysuit were also evident, and we loved the sequinned party dress complete with oversized grey faux-fur coat that revealed a lining of giant silver sequins. Shine on.


Given the season, we guess it’s only to be expected that we are seeing a lot of emphasis on outerwear and this collection from Gabriela Hearst is no exception. Like Tory Burch’s collection, Hearst showed coats with military overtones. Many were double-breasted or cutaway to display the fact that they were lined with quilted fabric.

Her knit dresses and separates were also noteworthy. Hearst was inspired by Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya and her influence could be seen in the way the knits clung to the body and revealed a balletic elegance. The dresses were striped and featured vertical ribbing down the body, while the separates mainly consisted of turtlenecks and floor-length skirts. She included a personal touch by including replica Uruguayan coins from the year in which she was born on chain belts or as buttons. Other standout pieces included a gown with delicate pleating and the Grecian-styled one-shouldered gown with woven black nappa leather bustier that closed the show.

This was Hearst's first collection since gaining investment from LVMH’s Luxury Ventures, the arm of the conglomerate launched in 2017 to focus on emerging brands. 


An uneven collection from Self-Portrait. We loved the checked pieces enough to feature the entire collection here, but were less enamoured by the combined lace pieces with the uneven hems that harked back to the original aesthetics of the line. Designer Han Chong offers some streamlined shapes including a simple, one-shouldered jumpsuit trimmed in crystals and tuxedo-style dresses and jumpsuits.  Similar to Greta Constantine's collection, Chong layered shiny, lurex bodysuits and knits under dresses to create a glamorous, yet modest effect.


We love a good pattern and so apparently do the duo behind the popular 90s staple, the velour tracksuit. Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor stuck with their signature coordinated looks (remember how easy it was to get dressed when two pieces were all you had to think about?) and have included every current print trend in this collection namely camouflage, animal print, snakeskin and even a repeated logo in the form of their own interlocking symbol. 

Some of the stripes and patterns come a little too close to that of another Italian brand's, but the easiness of the matching sets from years ago have been updated and modernised. Cropped, boot-legged trousers with button flies or bicycle shorts were combined with fur coats. Only a few dresses in a similar sporty styles were shown: short, tight, high necked with short zippered or buttoned openings. Most looks were paired with pointy-toed, boots but the bags included slouchy drawstring packs, tactile, fur-covered totes and mini waist or cross-body bags.


While a certain refinement remained, exuberance underlined much of Tory Burch’s collection for autumn 2019. Burch took her inspiration from Black  Mountain College, a liberal arts college that schooled several of the 20th century's influential American artists such as Willem de Kooning and Robert Rauschenberg. This creativity took the form of eclectic exuberance and Burch's runway was full of extreme pattern- and textile-mixing. She also showed sleek outerwear including slim, militaristic wool coats with smart metal fasteners.


Brandon Maxwell has settled into his role as a designer and showed a certain amount of maturity with this collection of tightly tailored separates and body-con dresses. A largely monochromatic palette was broken up with splashes of acid green, powder blue and bright persimmon. The silhouette was slightly more relaxed for evening with voluminous skirts and gowns that were largely free of embellishment although the waist was made the focal point. 


Dubai in the United Arab Emirates provided the inspiration for Greta Constantine designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong who used traditional textiles In unconventional ways. Because of their muse, modest dressing was key but the designers found ways to add glamour to the looks with shimmering, sequinned bodysuits layered beneath rich, luxurious fabrics.

Cole Haan Pig Sneakers
Cole Haan
Cole Haan has designed a pretty literal take on the theme. 
Vans

Shoes seem to be really popular way of commemorating the Year of the Pig.  We have two to feature here: up first is this piglet pink, mixed-textured the old school style sneaker from Vans.
Pigzby App


With the year of the pig upon us, we thought we’d take a tongue-in-cheek look at some pig-themed fashion and design over the next few days. With all the talk of bitcoin and cryptocurrency floating around these days, Pigzbe has set its mark on a younger crowd with a virtual take on the traditional piggy-bank. The two-part system includes a toy and related app and children can receive, save and spend cryptocurrency they earn while practicing financial responsibility. 

Pigzby


We featured the first part of this property last week and now we’re ready getting ready to take you to the other side. Literally.

If you're of the opinion that The Ocean View Club offers too many creature comforts or you're more interested in putting an eco-friendly spin on your vacation, the second part of this gorgeous property may be more to your liking. Consisting of caravans and tents, The Other Side is the counterpoint to The Ocean Club's refined looks and atmosphere.

The Other Side is a solar powered "glamping" site situated on a small, secluded beach, populated only by swaying palms, tents, shacks and a salad garden. The property provides privacy and seclusion, but is conveniently close to the quaint town of Harbour Island. The concept behind the idea is a blend of home-meets-safari, tempered with a few conventional hotel amenities. There are seven tents on property: four are communal tents and have a designated purpose such as reading, drinking, eating and playing. The sleeping tents are nestled along the property's private beach and are spacious but with understated grandeur. Each tent has hardwood floors, a four poster bed, two benches, an outdoor bathtub, a walk in shower, his-and-her sinks, WiFi and air-conditioning.

Three additional shacks sit on a rise overlooking the main site. They are modest in size and designed simply. Each shack has a large sundeck, a king-sized four poster bed, air conditioning, his-and-her sinks, WiFi and a stunning view. Amenities at The Other Side include yoga by the stunning pool nestled at the edge of the waters edge, paddle boarding and spa treatments.

Rishai, Meredith Andrews
'Rishai' by Meredith Andrews

Bermudian photographer Meredith Andrews' portrait entitled Rishai from her series 'After School' was recently on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, 2018.

As the leading international photography competition of its kind, the Taylor Wessing Prize celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary portrait photography from around the world, showcasing talented photographers, gifted amateurs and established professionals, the competition brings together a diverse range of images and tells the often fascinating stories behind the creation of the works, from formal commissioned portraits to more spontaneous and intimate moments capturing friends and family.