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We love these moulded rubber bags from the Spring 2018 collection of Xiao Li.

Ece Ege’s collection for Dice Kayek stood out most for the volume of its pieces. The clothes, which included dresses and trouser separates, were rendered in silk fabric. Skirts were generally short - hitting above the knee - and were full and layered.  Elsewhere it was all about proportion with short peplum tops worn over ankle length trousers. Volume was also evident in the massive shoulders of the blouses and jackets. Along with Delpozo, Dice Kayek is fast becoming one of our favourite contemporary lines. 

A sophisticated, monochromatic collection from Aquilano.Rimondi who looked to painter and sculptor Joan Miró for inspiration for the colours used. There was an abundance of tailored pieces and an interesting use of topstitching and texture whether it be via the loose knit layers draped over a dress or dresses in pleated patent leather. Torsos were defined by huge, cinched belts at the waist or hip.

We hesitated to feature this collection but something about it drew us in. Perhaps it was the fact that Bermudian model Lily Lightbourne headlined the show or maybe that her flower of choice was the distinctly tropical Hibiscus, one that doesn't often appear in high fashion circles. In any event, we loved the juxtaposition of the island flower on the thick coats and jackets or the fur pouches that were slung around the models' waists. It was a pretty heavy collection - literally and figuratively - for Spring that featured pretty patterns and a judicious use of fur.

We aren't into whimsy or overt femininity, but something about the freshness of Luisa Beccaria's collection really drew us in. She showed breezy printed chiffon dresses, embroidered tulle  and flowing skirts in stretch cotton ticking stripe. The fact that the feminine silhouettes were combined with masculine influences might have helped. Here, floral patterns were tempered with graphic dots and stripes all of which helped to moderate what could have otherwise been an overwhelmingly saccharine collection.

Sportmax has been doing athletic wear long before it became ubiquitous. As the more relaxed, diffusion branch of Max Mara, this history was still very evident and for Spring 2018 they saw no need to deviate showing dresses and separates in technical fabrics combined with a ribbed knit. Parkas, shorts and flowing skirts were paired with sweaters and leather bombers with striped, elasticated ribbed cuffs and hems. Skirts were split or raised for better mobility and we particularly loved the sheer dresses lined with floral prints. 

Poolside lounging from Pucci which featured their trademark print on flowing caftans, maillots, trousers and separates as well as a gorgeous dress with feathered sleeves.

We have a love-hate relationship with Prada. While we recognise the importance of the brand and its role as a trendsetter, we are often left underwhelmed by the actual collections. Sacrilege we know. 

This collection honoured the militant woman, and therefore it made sense that the tailoring - in the form of beautifully cut jackets and coats - took centre stage. These were shown with or without sleeves and in double- or single-breasted versions and included a gorgeous tweed coat with embellishments across the chest and on the shoulders. We also took note of the shiny plastic polka dotted Macintoshes. Arachnids crawled over chests and could be found on jumpers and vests. One obvious recurring theme was the use of cartoons and manga by female artists that were screen printed over shirts, some of which were worn backward or buttoned up the back. As with all of her collections, there was a lot to unpack from her use of textures to prints (be they zebra or leopard spot) to embellishments, none of which in theory should go together, but by some form of strange alchemy managed to.

In return to the 1980s and the days of power dressing, stripes met sheer layers in this exuberant collection from Fendi. A few of the dresses featured a rambling, abstract floral but most mixed bold lines and layering. For the most part, the looks had cutouts at shoulder and chest. There was also a return to the days of conspicuous consumption with the prominent placement of the Fendi logo on coats and bags.  If this collection is anything to go by, come Spring the Fendi woman will be ready for business.

Alberta Ferretti opened the show with maillots in unassuming black. The bodysuits were an inauspicious start to a fairly expected collection that consisted of draped dresses with Grecian influences, but deep cut necklines and exposed torsos provided these floor-length gowns with a modicum of interest. Slouchy knit dresses and separates followed, but the real showstoppers consisting of subtly coloured chiffon dresses embellished with feathers, evening separates (shorts provide the most comfort without sacrificing style) and lamé trousers brought up the rear. The looks were completed by lightweight nylon windbreakers - the perfect thing to stave off those Spring showers.
We were early fans of Mary Katrantzou who generated so much excitement when she debuted. Her designs were noteworthy if not groundbreaking at the time and when a new designer emerges that strongly off the block with an identity that is fully-realised, they can run the risk of becoming cliché. For several seasons we feared this was the route Katrantzou was taking, but recently she appears to be making a concerted effort to move out of the comfort zone that saw her repeating her mirror-image digital prints in various permutations. She has course-corrected, bringing a freshness and new direction to her collections which were previously heavily reliant on her old tropes.

For Spring 2018, Katrantzou opened with voluminous dresses and skirts and then moved on to woven column dresses with fringed hems. In a collection that referenced air and lightness (bags were inflatables) and was inspired by childhood, these silky parachute skirts and dresses were not short on volume. There were still some digital prints, but they were countered by the use of stripes which, together with her choice of technical fabrics and the use of bungee cord fixtures at the neck and waist, added athletic touches. In addition to the paint-by-numbers prints, Katrantzou's standout pieces included neoprene dresses that were embellished with tiny, plastic Hama beads. The beads provided texture and interest and proved to be a more clever way of creating the check pattern that is being evoked everywhere this season. The show closed with pretty dresses in oversized broderie anglaise.

This deceptively simple collection of ombré layered, hand-tied and draped pieces was presented by Phoebe English for Spring 2018. The limited collection consisted of monochrome wrapped tulle and cotton clothes that were tucked and folded.

This far-from-basic black, gender-fluid collection from Neo Design was saved from boredom by the use of layering, cutouts, and tonal textural elements such as the rope-like embellishments that wound their way around the body.

Hands as a motif showed up in a number of collections leading us to believe this micro trend may become a macro one over the next few months. Nowhere was this theme more obvious than at the Triinu Pungits show where models were literally enveloped in arms and hands bestowing on them virtual hugs as they navigated the runway. Using a strictly monochromatic palette ensured continuity between the different looks which veered from printed bodysuits to open fronted, relaxed coats, to slouchy sweaters with ubiquitous frills on the sleeve. 

Edeline Lee stuck to a limited palette of neutral beiges, greys and a pink just a shade darker than the ubiquitous millennial. Frills, which have been so popular this season, graced the shoulders of sweaters and sleeves. The collection was unadorned for the most part, so these textural elements were an important way of adding interest. There were a few structural and tailored pieces including a double-breasted jacket and trench coat. Buttons, another feature that keep reoccurring in the Spring collections, also provided some colour contrast and embellishment on an otherwise unadorned collection that included simple shirt dresses, flutter sleeves and flared skirts as well as delicate smocking on blouses and dresses. Our favourite looks included long trousers tied at the ankle that were paired with a sweater with oversized bows on the shoulders.

Pretty volume in coats and dresses embellished with floaty feathers and pleated hems were the theme at Sharon Wauchob who went big for Spring. Cocoon-shaped dresses and coats in gabardine and metallic fabrics were the standout items as were prettily toile printed and pleated dresses. Asymmetry was also prevalent with off-centred coat openings and a scarf-like element that turned out to be an exaggerated collar. Feathers were used often, either exuberantly covering dresses or more subtly peeking from hems. 

A largely impractical but visually stunning collection from Gareth Pugh that was more sculpture than fashion. Presented as part of a movie screening, Pugh showed a series of blood red, ink black and brilliant gold pieces that were structurally severe and very powerful. 

This was an unexpectedly favourite collection from the London shows. We all know Spring weather can be variable and unpredictable, and this indecision was embodied perfectly here. Sweaters were paired with almost-there lace trousers and skirts, the latter of which were overlaid with black organza.  Lupfer also showed boldly patterned pieces: trousers and skirts were teamed with graphic sweaters, and big pants with cardigans. Structured shirt dresses in pinks, blues and oranges were covered with silhouetted monkeys and shared space with pretty embellished floral dresses. The result was a collection that perfectly matched whimsy and wearability.

Temperley made her name with dresses and continues here with what she knows. This unabashedly feminine collection felt more like a resort collection as models walked the runway with turbans covering their hair and oversized sunglasses evocative of holiday destinations. Flowing, patterned dresses were cinched at the waist with leather belts. Tiers, ruffles and some embroidery added texture and interest. The only evidence of any intention to evolve and move in a new direction were the trousers that were shown as evening wear.

The movie The Royal Tannenbaums entered the cultural lexicon years ago and the look and feel of that movie has inspired many imitators and not just in fashion. Holly Fulton's presentation of highly patterned botanical prints were mixed with graphic checks and animal prints with the zebra being the natural choice and its image showed up on sweaters, skirts, dresses and bags.  

We love David Koma for his minimalist take on fashion that still manages to be glamorous and not dowdy. This collection follows his usual methodology: simple, streamlined and often body-conscious shapes. Any patterns are kept to a minimum and consisted of classic vertical stripes. Koma also mixed his trademark monochrome with primary colours and yet the clothes are far from boring.

In a time where fashion-mad sportsmen can command hundreds of millions of dollars, it is no wonder that fashion has looked to return the interest.  Cut-outs, ruffles and sequins ensured a lively collection. Ruffles flowed asymmetrically from shoulder or hip. Some of the more striking pieces included a frilled leather skirt, a bomber jacket with lace sleeves and a lace sweatshirt with matching trousers. The mix of technical fabrics with luxurious ones worked well.

It was the bright, sherbet colours of this collection that initially caught our eye, but we stayed for the simple geometry and shapes, such as the scalloping bodice paired that was paired with flowing pleated skirt, the hooded sweatshirt that was elevated with ruffles on the sleeves and pearl toggles. Wide-legged trousers with deep turn ups and contrasting cuffs also held in place by large pearl buttons were a nice touch. Drama could be found in the form of wide, pleated sleeves made convertible by the use of drawstrings. There was some shine and glamour in the collection in the form of a feathered cape and sequinned skirt. The mix of athleisure and glamour paired nicely together and nothing was too precious or unforgiving here.

Flowing cotton brings this easy and wearable collection to life, the twisted, angular shapes of which were inspired by the architecture of Eileen Grey. Solid colours and stripes were juxtaposed with mixed check patterns. Choi stuck to what is current but put his own elegant spin on it. He showed suiting and button-down shirts, apron dresses, boxy mock double-breasted jackets. Oversized buttons accentuated waists and ankles and ran down the sides of trousers. Undulating sleeves, slashed hems and ribbon that trailed from waists and shoulders added to the fluidity of the collection.

We are going to be slightly out of sync with our reviews and will return to complete our look at New York's Fashion Week at a later date. Right now, we are hopping across the Atlantic to view London's offerings starting with a look at Orla Kiely's presentation. 

We have long loved her retro aesthetic and once again this trope has served her well. This time Kiely mines from the 1970s with loud, patterned colourways of earthy green, brown and white on a 1940s silhouette. The whimsical collection featured adorable mini frilled two-pieces and highly patterned dresses. Her trademark abstract daisy flower pattern turned up as the pattern on tone-on-tone-lace and as the focus of a checked pattern on her knitwear. We also loved the round bags - a trend that shows no signs of dying - made of woven hessian raffia playfully embroidered with insects, a great counterpoint to her florals. Yellow, the colour of the season, turned up in the form of a covetable, lightweight coat that will be perfect for the season.

Josep Font has found a winning formula and has managed a feat that is difficult, if not nearly impossible, to replicate. He has devised an aesthetic for his design house: one that is authentic, non-derivative and effective but remains undeniably Delpozo. There are certain tropes - be they colours or silhouettes - that are often repeated from season to season, but this fact stems more from Font's love of architectural silhouettes and his mid-modern sensibilities and do not detract from the real issue; that the clothes continue to be beautiful, striking and well-made. Perhaps this latter fact is the most important criterion attributable to the success of the revamped house. Certainly no one can accuse Font of not having impeccably finished pieces. 

The details stand out and this upcoming season is no different. Wide, pleated trousers were paired with cape-like jackets, one-shouldered dresses with ruffles cascaded from the waist down to the floor or showed up as corsages, on shoulders or fins on trousers that still managed to flatter the body. Cropped tops were knotted with a superfluous expanse of fabric. There were bright neon touches and abstract patterns of leaves and flowers. A dotted, floral paisley pattern was scattered across a high-waisted skirt paired with an embellished sweater. Speaking of which, Delpozo's trademark embellishments were toned down and used judiciously. Just a few paillettes turned up scattered across a shoulder or on a jacket.

The clothes this season were accessorised with oversized raffia bows, turbans and sandals. 

A relaxed collection from Tomas Maier who gave a nod to athleticism with his floral tracksuits, belted bodysuits and relaxed pyjama dressing. Simple, cotton poplin dresses had roomy patch pockets and graphic block prints while black denim separates were enlivened with multi-coloured grommets and oversized buttons.

Simple, uncomplicated and elegant are the perfect descriptors for this small collection from Narciso Rodriguez who opted not to have a show this season. Instead he focused on producing thoughtfully made dresses and separates in flattering shapes and heavy fabrics that draped beautifully. With a limited palette of black, white and red, his standout piece was a gorgeous knit column dress with a softly flared skirt and open-worked stitches. 

We saw exaggerated shapes and relaxed silhouettes from Australian-American designer Matthew Adams Dolan whose take on a twisted sort of preppy paired knitwear, khaki, denim and cotton in a modern way. Models sported a-line mini skirts with inverted kick pleats, button-down shirts that were left flapping at the cuff and loose cable knits that were draped off shoulders or showed up as turtlenecks or skirts. Clothing was artfully askew: a single collar left out, shirts pulled off shoulders and asymmetrical knitwear combined with wide-legged, flowing trousers with multiple inverted pleats. This lover of oversized clothing has stayed true to form for Spring.

A balletic collection (although this reference was denied by the designer) from Katie Gallagher that used the bodysuit as its foundation over which layers of sheer fabrics dotted with pearls to mimic droplets were draped. The presentation called 'Rain' was meant capture the feeling of a chilly Spring day. The largely black collection of sheer or pleated dresses, tunics and shirts paired with slim-cut, cropped trousers was interspersed with a few pale blue and soft pink pieces. Colours were used tonally and worn from head-to-toe.

Layers over a lightly constructed and a body-conscious silhouette is what Bibhu Mohapatra showed for Spring. The dresses in this collection that celebrated women explorers and travellers, were formed from beautiful striped silks, lace and ramie linens over which were layered bustiers which referenced obi belts and featured bodices with flared skirts, trimmed in lace. Almost all of the dresses had modest hemlines and had straps that cris-crossed the body. Sleeves and shoulders were left exposed or covered in the sheerest lace. The collection ended with a series of heavily beaded and embellished gowns, all subtly sexy and certainly very elegant. 

We have been absent for a while - apologies for that off the bat. We have been working on some new and exciting projects that we hope we will be able to share will you soon, but as a result our work here has had to be sidelined. It has been difficult; we have missed posting regularly and fashion week has always been one of our busiest times. This year, it has also been the impetus to get back into writing again. As such, we are taking a running jump to catch up with the weeks and shows that have already taken place in New York, London and now Milan. Hopefully by the end of Fashion Month we will be back to our regularly scheduled programme, but in order to do so, please brace yourself for a veritable tidal wave of posts over the next few days. 

First up is Tibi, where designer Amy Smilovic showed tailoring and suiting in a light grey Prince of Wales check that was modernised with the use of vinyl corsets. She showed a number of pantsuits, some with short trousers and often low-slung that, as with the corsets, appeared designed to emphasise the waist. The 1980s influences were clearly seen in the loose shoulders and paper bag trousers. There were tailored jumpsuits and a few denim pieces with perpendicular fastenings. The collection closed with a series of Spring-like fluid dresses with high necklines in lilac, chartreuse and navy.

We don't love everything Simone Rocha does, but her collections are always breathtakingly beautiful and we feel it would be remiss if we failed to feature her.