Whether you are keen on fashion industry happenings or not, chances are you have caught wind in some way or another that it is indeed fashion week. New York City’s designated week is soon coming to a close — with London, Milan and Paris to immediately follow.
In essence, twice per year anyone who holds any weight in the industry will spend a month seeing shows from designers in each of the fashion capitals. If that seems excessive, be aware that this only includes ready-to-wear collections — excluding separate scheduled weeks for menswear, couture and resort.
So if you’re new to the business, or you’re looking for a streamlined approach to the heavy lineup, here are the five shows that deserve your attention this fashion month.
Oscar de la Renta
After the unfortunate death of Oscar de la Renta this fall, Peter Copping debuted his interpretation of the Oscar girl last Tuesday. Personally selected by de la Renta, Copping was respectful of the legend’s trademarks including: extreme all-American femininity, grownup tailoring and luxurious eveningwear.
Although he was intentionally respectful of the vision provided by de la Renta, Copping told vogue.com the goals in place for his first collection as creative director that “fashion moves quickly, so you have to state your intentions from the word go. It couldn’t just be an homage.”
In another less tragic creative directorship shift, Alessandro Michele will present his first collection as head designer of Gucci in the upcoming weeks in Milan. Hand-selected by predecessor Frida Giannini, the pair has worked side-by-side since 2002 when Michele filled the head accessories designer position.
Giannini’s sudden departure from the brand occurred over a month ago during the heart of men’s fashion week. A variety of top-notch replacements were speculated by the fashion community, including the likes of Tom Ford and others. But according to Vogue UK, Michele’s promotion came as no surprise.
The time-crunched men’s collection Michele produced for the brand was well received. It will be fascinating to find out whether Michele continues with the heavy ’70s references appearing in previous women’s ready-to-wear collections or if he will take an entirely new direction.
Kanye West x Adidas Originals
Personally, I did not enjoy this collection. Reportedly, the collaboration took the rapper 18 months to design, but the lackluster finished product would normally tell viewers otherwise. The excessive layering of neutral nylons, and the inclusion of a wildly diverse selection of models felt contrived.
But simply because it wasn’t an effective show doesn’t mean it should divert your attention; both good and bad collections create cultural moments. West should keep his focus on music, yet the support for his design career is intriguing from industry regulars.
One designer who steals my heart season after season would be the 2014 Council of Fashion Designers of America winner Thom Browne. His men’s and womenswear collections coincide thematically; Fall 2015 is based off the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Death Becomes Her.”
“Three girls were dying of a broken heart, and the surgeons were trying to bring them back to life but couldn’t, so they turned into angels and brought them to heaven. Then came all their friends, mourning their beautiful lives,” said Browne, describing the narrative behind the show, according to vogue.com.
The omission of color led to heavy reliance on luxe fabrics and details particularly in the menswear collection, which presented an enthralling variance on topcoat cuts and veiled hats.
Arguably, Céline’s creative director Phoebe Philo is queen of Parisian cool. The French are annoyingly notorious for a sense of unattainable effortlessness, and the rest of us are left making our best copied attempts.
It’s hard to predict what Philo has up her sleeve from season to season, but her influence on commercialized trends in the past is enough reason to pay attention. Severe minimalism, trainers + socks paired with everything and stark metal chokers and bangles with geometric detailing started on the Céline runway – and found its way to our closets.
There you have it, a minuscule look into the overall grandeur that is fashion month. Remember, the shows may tell you what to buy, but the street style will teach you what to wear.