As the summer heat gives way to cooler temperatures, the world’s leading haute couture brands have served up some truly arresting designs. Drawing inspiration from every imaginable arena and era, they’ve left no pattern unused, no material unsewn and no texture untouched in their celebration of the modern woman and all her charming complexities. Whether you want to cover up with androgynous overcoats or make a statement in fluorescent hues and striking prints, there’s something here for every fashion-forward lady. Onwards, then, to Part One of our Autumn-Winter 2018 fashion extravaganza…
This season, Tomas Maier celebrates the fearless individualism of the citizens of New York, paying tribute to those who express themselves in a bold manner with a selection of unexpected textures and a vast palette of unique colours. Exploring the various facets of city life, the collection also includes floral pyjamas and soft evening dresses that can be equally worn at home or at the a soirée. This season’s vision, however, is the cube motif. Weaving its way throughout, it represents Maier’s passion for architecture.
Karl Lagerfield showcases the grace of nature this season with a palette of russets, reds and oranges, dark browns and pretty prints of foliage. Adding a touch of its own, the French label marries the ensembles with branch-like braids, sautoirs of beads and pastel-hued glass paste, as well as necklaces and bracelets interlaced with chains and beads. Classic tweeds feature in frayed and woven versions in a variety of materials, while modern accessories include thigh boots, fingerless gloves and colourful scarves. Strong yet fragile, the silhouettes remind us that nature is constantly reborn.
50 years after the Paris student protests of 1968, Maria Grazia Chiuri uses reinvention and re-imagination to bring the Autumn-Winter 2018 collection to life. Taking clothes from the late ’60s, Chiuri recreates them through the eyes of Dior’s luxury lens. Patchworks are pieced from reproductions of archival Dior prints, while uniform jackets and kilts are in sheer tulle. Chiuri counterbalances the return of the uniform to bring us back to what it signifies: the individual taking precedence over gender and the equality of rights and roles which was the great victory of the time.
Dolce & Gabbana
Labelled as the Fashion Devotion collection, this season’s ensembles are wholly defined by contrasts and personalities. From crafted Vatican City vestment brocades and sumptuous embroidery to profane T-shirts, this collection is a blend of elegance and sportiness. Attending enthusiastically to the tastes of millennials, the designers deliver a range of hip-hop inspired gold chains and blingy sunglasses. In contrast come the ’80s, with diamonds, stones, sacred hearts and angels. Creating timeless creations, each is the result of a contemporary re-elaboration of cult pieces from the brand’s DNA.
Mirroring softness and strength, this season’s Fendi is a romantic uniform for a woman’s world. Neat boxy shoulders, capes and tailored suits are intertwined with pleated silk dresses and scalloped blouses, adorned by needlepoint collars and encrusted lace. Adding a touch of playful modernity, the FENDI/FILA logo, a diamond motif and the Fendi double-F beige brown logo patterns, deployed over everything from tights to the Peekaboo X-Lite bag. Skillfully, the Autumn-Winter 2018 collection not only appeals to the super-wealthy, but also young fashion fanatics, with a lot to see and aspire to.
As a reaction to the times, Giorgio Armani has “imagined a rich, boundless collection, inspired by many cultures as an ode to coexistence as opposed to exclusion”. True to his word, the collection embraces elements of different cultures, adapting them into diverse elegant abstractions. Merging Armani tailoring and glam, the designer invents an alternative for a non-girly, power-woman on the red carpet. Using a palette of black and neutral tones – uplifted with bright tinges of red and metallic flashes – this collection blends various elements into a harmonious whole, free from constrictions.
With asymmetry and button embellishments, bows and fringing of cocktail dresses, Claire Waight Keller’s latest Autumn-Winter 2018 collection is not only a nod to the French house’s codes, but also evokes the eveningwear of Hubert de Givenchy, morphing with the look created by the sub-cultural appropriation of the designer’s legacy from the ’80s nightlife. That energy is recreated in rigidly ruffled plissé soleil dresses and in bold and dense faux furs. Sock and zip boots, micro strap sandals and graphic pumps offer a metropolitan fusion of glamour and functionality.
Text: Hira Desai and Tenzing Thondup