Bruno Sialelli, Creative Director at Lanvin, finally shook off the Loewe imprinting that was blurring his vision and delivered a Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese inspired collection marking a substantial design switch from the previous ones, that somewhat resembled his past job at the Spanish brand. Sialelli continued the collaboration with cartoonists, started when he first took the helm of the Maison, and his exegesis was meticulous and not literal quoting all the seaman codes. He dissected the looks of the character and reassembled them in a precise way, all the sailor's iconic items were there between past and present, but highly refined. The peacoat, the stripes, the detachable shirt collars, the white wide pants - all remixed in a palette, not navy obvious. Maltese was a traveller and adventurer and in his journeys, he met different types of people, so skater boys with huge sneakers, native Americans details on the coat and cowboys denim were all present. It takes time to swap two creative jobs and get in tune, but it seems that Sialelli finally well tuned in.
Craig Green landed in Paris for his first show in the French capital, leaving his hometown London. Maybe it's a big loss for the fashion week beyond the English Channel, but Paris, still crowded, has become even more popular. The new location made him keep his signature codes: the panelled construction, the drawstrings shaping method and the tech fabrics. This season, the utilitarian approach merged with a nomadic mood where layers of padded soft boards and pockets built the looks resembling them to wearable cocoons where to hide and protect. The trip continued with quilted tribal motifs and ripstop (interesting because it looked like canvas) white loose outfits with big flower printed in the front. The end of the show was scenic with colourful kite dresses combinations that architecturally covered the body. Green language has become extremely well known and recognizable, it would be interesting to see a wider mix with the real products that will go in the stores on the catwalk, as the show is always very exciting but it runs the risk of becoming a bit repetitive in the long run.
Half a century of fashion is something that doesn't happen every day. Sir Paul Smith (awarded a knighthood in 2000) celebrates 50 years of his fashion adventure this year, started in Nottingham in 1970. A long time ago, but he is still there. His personal point of view, his ability in tailoring and his always being out of the crowd and not being obsessed with fashion trends made him an icon and not just in fashion. In the rise of the formalwear we saw this season, he kept his effortless elegance with a series of elongated low buttoned double-breasted suits and coats with very fluid silhouettes, both for men and women. The denim part was interesting and the classic denim jacket became a passe-partout used as a shirt or alone. The message was very sharp and precise and the looks were cool. The big knitwear with spaghetti, a reinterpretation of his 1995 archive print, started a more leisure and sporty part of the collection. Actually, even though it's still an important commercial matter, it weakened a bit the idea of fresh tailoring for every gender and age that was at the beginning of the show. Paul Smith is one of those players in fashion who could affirm that you can be elegant or more relaxed without wearing tracksuits or other sporty stuff. And he should do it not caring about the sportswear commercial needs.
Jonny Johansson's experiment, Creative Director at Acne Studios, is very interesting: essentially, he is trying to understand how the time can be divided into past and future, in order to obtain the present. So, the venue was separated into two sectors: one for the female show and the other for men. The music was the same, they started simultaneously but the facing audiences were isolated by a wooden wall. It was the audience's choice: men or women? Future or past? Overall, a very interesting topic. I can't tell you about the women's collection as, for men's fashion week, I went with men's, but the future imagined for the guys had a rétro flair – even if the garments were designed like after a conversation with the highly automated Artificial Intelligence. The looks described a perfect future where unexpected layers and silhouettes took inspiration from the Star Wars costumes, one of the most desirable visions of the future. Wools with a matte look, synthetic fabrics, classic jackets redesigned or kept in their original shape and knits all merged with space suit look-alike inserts. The result was a romantic concept of tomorrow, maybe the one we always dream about: cosy and reassuring, not wildly technological and cold. Learn from the past to better the future.
ALYX's Creative Director Matthew Williams reflected on the dualism between real and unreal, what has to come versus what has gone. His vision is about a world of a blended reality made from what exists and what is part of our imagination. So, he conceived the necessary wardrobe to face these times. In a coed show, the designer explored the utilitarian glamour where sparking crystals transformed Mackintosh overcoats (one of the collaborations together with Nike and Bose), denim jackets, jeans and shirts into precious items. On the other side, the women's looks included evening dresses paired with voluminous padded jackets. The show in its entirety looked glamorous and strict with desirable pieces, even if the Prada and the Helmut Lang comparison immediately popped up. The nylon chic aesthetic is a Miuccia signature, the office style with a white shirt, black tie and trousers look worn with big parka or overalls and the white tank top and trousers can be easily reconnected to the unforgettable Helmut style.