• MM6 Maison Margiela Plies Backwards, Reversible Garments for Fall 2021 – WWD

    You can make an entrance and an exit declaring the same fashion statement with this MM6 Maison Margiela collection, which often exalts the back of garments by duplicating them in the front. A cape-backed and cape-fronted trench coat, get it? Naturally the show video – charming with its Parisian cabaret setting, circa the 1920s – started with the finale, the silver confetti rising to the ceiling.

    The look: Conceptual chic, with dashes of glamour and grit. Looks ranged from soigné blouses in fuchsia satin with narrow skirts to tattered cable-knit sweaters and inside-out biker jackets. Invisible side zippers allow the wearer to enter a pinstriped jacket with two backs, and jeans with back pockets on both sides.

    Quote of note: “Revolved inside out, upside down and back-to-front, traditional pieces reveal new design dimensions for a reborn wardrobe inspired by these topsy-turvy times,” the press notes said. (MM6 is credited to a design collective.)

    Standout pieces: A brilliant collaboration with Eastpak sees backpacks sprouting straps from both sides, and even fanny packs come fully reversible: The white membrane inside will crackle over time like the white paint synonymous with the Paris house. In clothing, you’ve got to love the long shearling in the shape of a lab coat, and white jeans with rips on the back of the knees. Ha-ha!

    Takeaway: This label skews closely to the original spirit of the Belgian founder, and has found a compelling groove with an added couture touch. The garments are loaded with personality, distinctive details and subtle humor.

  • Gabriele Colangelo RTW Fall 2021 – WWD

    On his birthday, Gabriele Colangelo opened his Milan headquarters for private appointments. Getting a closer look at his chic, crafty fall collection – and all the intricate techniques he deployed to elevate his lean silhouettes – did even more justice to his work than the emotional video starring Malgosia Bela. This season, Colangelo twisted and thermally fixed fabrics for textured surfaces evoking natural elements on the minimal range.

    The look: Polished tailoring with a twist – literally. Twists, braids, long tassels and geometric cutouts are part of Colangelo’s vocabulary and these added dynamism to precise shapes. Soutache-embroidered embellishments and vibrant shades of blue and apricot made his aesthetic resonate louder.

    Quote of note: “In twisting fabrics, I was inspired by the work of Jorge Eielson, a contemporary artist who created similar movements on canvas, making flat surfaces three-dimensional,” said Colangelo.

    Standout pieces: A camel double cashmere and wool coat embellished with a soutache-embroidered, scalloped panel. The same motif was introduced in cut-out shirts, straight pants and pleated dresses. In addition, a lavender pleated silk blouse and matching skirt that had a sculptural flavor; a cobalt blue, double wool jacket with vertical bands in crushed velvet; and a pleated devoré satin slip dress with ombré overprinted motifs.

    The takeaway: Reflecting his discreet and gentle manners, Colangelo’s fashion aren’t flashy, but command attention for quality, craftsmanship and interesting experimentations that never compromise wearability.

  • Salvatore Ferragamo Embraces a Younger Spirit for Fall 2021 – WWD

    In recent years, Salvatore Ferragamo has become synonymous with elegant yet conservative collections, often with a bourgeois spirit.

    However, that type of attitude doesn’t really reflect the vision of Salvatore Ferragamo himself. The founder was a visionary from a humble background who plied a forward-thinking, revolutionary and highly creative approach to fashion.

    For fall, creative director Paul Andrew got into that experimental mindset, presenting a young and imaginative collection.

    “We pushed boundaries forward in a big way,” the designer said during a preview. He referred not only to the big production behind the digital showcase, which combined virtual realty techniques and physical filming, but also to the lineup itself.

    In keeping with the brand’s core business, leather played a major role, but Andrew used it in a range of fluorescent and bold colors, including green and orange, which gave shorts suits and unfussy coats an eye-catching, irreverent look.

    The video depicted models striding through a futuristic New York City before entering a tunnel that transported them into the present: in this case, the show space of Milan’s Rotonda della Besana venue. Military references and sporty accents combined in the futuristic lineup, bringing to mind movies such as “Matrix” and “Gattaca.” But it felt positive and optimistic.

    Capes, pants and jackets in bright, biodegradable PVC were paired with technical tops and bodysuits with graphic intarsias, while knitted catsuits and dresses, featuring see-through effects, offered a new take on camouflage.

    The high-tech, sci-fi vibe was warmed up by fluid draped dresses, soft tailoring and the artisanal knitted sets and dresses with cascading fringes. 

    Leather goods included young and fun mini top-handle bags and soft hobos in candy colors, while shoes spanned from Space Age biker boots and scuba sneakers to more feminine styles with the brand’ archival F heel sparkling with rhinestones.

    With this collection, Andrew projected the Salvatore Ferragamo brand in a more fashionable and younger dimension, reacquainting the Florentine fashion house with its original spirit. 

  • Laura Biagiotti RTW Fall 2021 – WWD

    Lavinia Biagiotti chose another landmark location in Rome to stage Laura Biagiotti’s fall collection: the Ara Pacis, a symbol of peace and prosperity, and where the company in 2009 presented an exhibition of Giacomo Balla artworks belonging to the Biagiotti family’s collection. Partnering once again with Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, the designer asked ballet dancer and director of the theater Eleonora Abbagnato to perform with a group of six dancers wearing gowns in pastel colors as modern day Vestals.

    The look: Wearable, comfortable everyday looks, and there’s often a dreamy element throughout Lavinia Biagiotti’s designs.

    Quote of note: “The Ara Pacis is strongly evocative and is a symbol of the beginning of a new era of prosperity,” said Biagiotti. “I called the collection ‘Age of Women,’ suggesting the start of a golden age and for women in particular, expressing themselves in the best possible way, whatever their role, in a new balance. I was always fascinated by this storied monument in a contemporary display, with a perspective that looks into the infinite.”

    Standout pieces: Lavinia Biagiotti’s mother, Laura, was known as the “Queen of Cashmere” and the company’s expertise with this precious fabric stood out throughout the video presentation, as models paraded long and fluid dresses and cardigans in cashmere, in some cases with braids or embellished with a cascade of pearls and sequins. Belted coats begged to be touched, looking cozy yet luxurious as were the alpaca capes. The color palette was inspired by the floral friezes on the monument- marble white, which is also a signature color for the brand; the lotus flower, also a symbol of rebirth; the pink shades of the acanthus or iris purple – as seen in a demure blazer without lapels, vest and soft carrot pants. The new bridal collection was beautiful, with a stunning and precious lace gown, for example.

    Takeaway: The dancing helped convey the softness and fluidity of the lineup. The storied landmark was also chosen by the designer to telegraph durability –  and there’s no expiration date on cashmere coats and dresses.

     

  • Onitsuka Tiger RTW Fall 2021 – WWD

    Fresh off the opening of a new flagship store in Milan, Onitsuka Tiger decamped to the city’s digital fashion week. Building a bridge between the Italian city and Tokyo, where the brand is based, creative director Andrea Pompilio conscripted three Milan-based creatives to star in it, doing dance and art performances. They included Myss Keta, a local rap diva, performance artist and LGBTQ icon who rose to fame for her provocative lyrics and daring looks, always accessorized with black sunglasses and face masks, even pre-pandemic.

    The look: Activewear-influenced attire referencing ‘70s trekking uniforms alongside coats and suits in a technical fabrics that had a minimal, ninja-style edge.

    Quote of note: “Over the past eight years, I’ve tried to add a fashionable bent to this heritage sportswear brand,” said Pompilio. “These are not intended as commercial pieces, but rather as fashion options for everyday use.”

    Standout pieces: Pinstriped pantsuits in a technical jersey fabric that had a gangster-cool flavor; an all-black minimal look featuring a padded duster coat, short pants, shirt and tuxedo belt; floral printed puffer jackets with matching shorts accessorized with a fake fur trapper hat; plenty of polo-shirt dresses in neon hues.

    Takeaway: While many looks were a redux of successful Onitsuka Tiger commercial pieces, Pompilio managed to throw some cool and edgy outfits into the mix.

  • Salvatore Ferragamo Blends Physical and Virtual for Fall 2021 – WWD

    HAPPY FUTURE: After developing a video set in Milan and filmed by Luca Guadagnino to present its spring 2021 collection, Salvatore Ferragamo imagined a city of the future for its fall 2021 digital showcase, to be unveiled today at 2 p.m. CET.

    Actually, the brand, for the “Future Positive” event, combined virtual reality and the physical experience of today’s real world for a ground-breaking project creating a conjunction between present and future.

    “I’m very passionate about sci-fi movies, I grew up with pre-Millennium films like ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Matrix’ and ‘Gattaca,’ that we subtly referenced,” said Salvatore Ferragamo creative director Paul Andrew, explaining the concept behind the presentation on the set of the video a few days ahead of the official unveiling.

    The set of the Salvatore Ferragamo Fall 2021 digital showcase

    The set of the Salvatore Ferragamo fall 2021 digital showcase. 
    Courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo

    Suggesting an optimistic idea of a positive change ahead of us, Andrew designed a New York of the future with new buildings meeting the already existing ones, space ships, as well as a clear sky and chirping birds. If the city is rendered in virtual reality, the models populating it are real and, through the portal of a building designed in the shape of the brand’s Gancini logo, they enter a tunnel. Like in the “Gattaca” movie, this acts like a portal that brings the models back to the present, in Milan’s Rotonda della Besana location.

    Here, they walk the circular space, covered in a black fabric and featuring at its center a sculptural transparent pyramid, which, hit by the rays of light, as in a prism, projects a rainbow.

    “The rainbow is a positive symbol of many things, such as joy, inclusivity, diversity,” Andrew said. “In these unsettling times, we really wanted to push the boundaries, envisioning a future full of hope.”

    See also: 

    A Midsummer Day’s Set With Salvatore Ferragamo

    Salvatore Ferragamo Pre-Fall 2021

    Salvatore Ferragamo Shares Climb After Governance News, Rumors of C-suite Changes

     

  • Swarovski Reboots With First ‘Instant Wonder’ Store, Collection I – WWD

    NEW FACETS: Swarovski has launched its reboot, boasting prominent jewelry styles, a tweaked swan logo and the first “Instant Wonder” store in Milan.

    “I wanted to explore the fundamental geometry of crystal and its potential as a material,” said Giovanna Engelbert, creative director of Swarovski. As outlined by chief executive officer Robert Buchbauer last year, Engelbert held a key role in the overhaul of the brand’s products and image. This has involved shifting toward families of products and more color, seeking a more timeless approach.

    New necklaces, earrings and bracelets in Collection I emphasize crystal cuts and large, chunky stones — like the Harmonia bracelet, which features oversize, cushion-cut stones with a suspended setting — while other focus on colors, like the bright, candy-colored Lucent rings.

    In sync with moving the corporate branding away from the traditional blue, the label’s first Instant Wonder store opened in Milan this week, awash in yellow. Further highlighting the crystal shapes, the store was plastered with octagonal-shaped compartments and stuffed with jewelry and figurines, meant to invite exploration.

    Swarovski plans to open 27 more Instant Wonder stores, including Paris in March and SoHo in New York in late April. The temporary spaces, which will feature both live and digital events, were designed in partnership with Villa Eugenie, the fashion events firm founded by Etienne Russo.

    The swan logo, meanwhile, has an elongated neck and slightly lifts its wings, symbolizing the new direction.

    As the brand seeks to meet the needs of an evolving world, the moves are intended to mark the company as a “true crystal lifestyle for the future,” noted Buchbauer.

    The label, which has workshops in Wattens, Austria, marks its 125th anniversary this year.

  • Ten Models to Watch From the American Collections – WWD

    Freshly named the American Collections this season, what was formerly known as New York Fashion Week reimagined how we experience fashion shows. Many, if not all, of the shows were viewed from the comfort of our homes, whether it be via a fashion film, digital look or in some cases both. The long-established fashion show, with a packed audience of editors, stylists, retailers, influencers and celebrities, appears to be a thing of the past — at least for the time being.

    One factor that has remained constant are models, but even they have had to adapt to the changes. Before, all it took was one stellar show season to put a model on the map, but with COVID-19 travel restrictions still in place for many countries, casting of fashion films and look books has begun to evolve as well, opening up a channel of possibilities for other talent to shine and be noticed, and not just relying on the traditional sea of talent of supermodels.

    The fall 2019 season saw the biggest jump ever in terms of racial diversity, and with NYFW being one of the most diverse when it comes to casting. That trend has fortunately continued, with models of different race, ethnicity and body shapes walking the New York runways this season.

    Below, we round up the top newcomers making their mark and to keep an eye out for:

    1. Alexis Brookins

    Age: 23

    Hometown: Taylor, Mich.

    Agency: Supreme

    Still fairly new to the New York runway scene, Alexis walked for Gabriela Hearst’s fall 2021 show. Previous runway stints include Ulla Johnson’s spring 2021 show, Theory and Private Policy’s fall 2020 shows.

    Gabriela Hearst RTW Fall 2021

    Gabriela Hearst RTW Fall 2021 
    Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst

    2. LouLou Westlake

    Age: 18

    Hometown: Manhattan, N.Y.

    Agency: Heroes

    LouLou made her official debut last year for Nike’s 2020 forum show, as well as Ulla Johnson’s spring 2021 show. She returned this season to walk once again for Ulla Johnson’s fall show.

    Ulla Johnson RTW Fall 2021

    Ulla Johnson RTW Fall 2021 
    Courtesy of Ulla Johnson

    3. Olivia Novak

    Age: 19

    Hometown: Houston

    Agency: The Society Management

    The Houston-native returns to walk once again for Proenza Schouler’s fall 2021 show (her debut for the brand was for their fall 2020 show), one of the most sought after bookings of any model. Previous appearances include walking for the likes of Tory Burch, JW Anderson and Off-White during her debut in fall 2020.

    Proenza Schouler RTW Fall 2021

    Proenza Schouler RTW Fall 2021 
    Courtesy of Proenza Schouler

    4. Ling Bol

    Age: 21

    Hometown: Windham, Maine

    Agency: State Management

    Ling made her New York debut for Jason Wu’s fall show (one of only two shows that had a physical audience). Ling has also appeared in Carolina Herrera’s pre-fall 2021 look book and a special project for Proenza Schouler’s white label social media campaign, shot by Lazaro Hernandez.

    Jason Wu RTW Fall 2021

    Jason Wu RTW Fall 2021 
    Masato Onoda/WWD

    5. Katie Johnson

    Age: 21

    Hometown: Thousand Oaks, Calif.

    Agency: State Management

    Katie has been in the fashion lens since 2019, walking almost exclusively for every single Gucci show since spring 2020, as well as various Gucci eyewear ad campaigns, pre-fall look books and most recently, Gucci’s collaboration with The North Face’s ad campaign. For her New York debut, she walked for Gabriela Hearst.

    Gabriela Hearst RTW Fall 2021

    Gabriela Hearst RTW Fall 2021 
    Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst

    6. Lisa Han

    Age: 21

    Hometown: Shymkent, Kazakhstan

    Agency: The Lions

    New to the NYFW runway scene, Han walked for Jason Wu’s socially distanced show. Some other notable shows under her belt include Dolce & Gabbana’s spring 2020 show, as well as their Alta Moda spring 2021 show and Ambush’s spring 2021 look book.

    Jason Wu RTW Fall 2021

    Jason Wu RTW Fall 2021 
    Masato Onoda/WWD

    7. Lya Quinones

    Age: 17

    Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.

    Agency: IMG

    A true local talent, Lya marked her runway debut in her hometown for power brands, including Jason Wu’s socially distanced runway show and Khaite’s fall fashion film.

    Jason Wu RTW Fall 2021

    Jason Wu RTW Fall 2021 
    Masato Onoda/WWD

    8. Emmie Nielsen

    Age: 19

    Hometown: San Diego

    Agency: IMG

    The young model made her first step onto the New York runway scene by walking Jason Wu’s fall show and was featured in Sandy Liang’s fall 2021 look book.

    Jason Wu RTW Fall 2021

    Jason Wu RTW Fall 2021 
    Masato Onoda/WWD

    9. Jayden Jackson

    Age: 19

    Hometown: Hudson, N.Y.

    Agency: IMG

    Jackson made his NYFW debut for Prabal Gurung’s fall look book.

    Prabal Gurung RTW Fall 2021

    Prabal Gurung RTW Fall 2021 
    Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

    10. Ella Emhoff

    Age: 21

    Hometown: New York, N.Y.

    Agency: IMG

    Her name has resonated with the fashion industry since her appearance at the presidential inauguration. The stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris, she donned a Miu Miu tartan coat with crystal-encrusted shoulders and a dramatic pilgrim collar over a burgundy dress by New York designer Batsheva at the big event, making her the biggest surprise debut. Emhoff was featured as an exclusive for Proenza Schouler’s fall collection. The Parsons student also appeared on the cover of Dust Magazine’s latest issue, shot by Collier Schorr, which was released during NYFW.

    Proenza Schouler RTW Fall 2021

    Proenza Schouler RTW Fall 2021 
    Courtesy of Proenza Schouler

    But models weren’t the only one to partake in the fashion festivities, as we also took notice of a handful of new and familiar celebrity faces, including Dorinda Medley (a former cast member of The Real Housewives of New York City), singer Justine Skye and Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman of “Saturday Night Live,” who were spotlighted in Christian Cowan’s fall designs.

    Other notable appearances included plus-size model and sustainability advocate, Paloma Elsesser or Gabriela Hearst, and Tavi Gevinson and Megan Thee Stallion partook in Stuart Vevers’ second “Coach Forever” effort, which also included more than 18 additional personalities including Jennifer Lopez, Michael B. Jordan and Kaia Gerber.

    Christian Cowan RTW Fall 2021

    Justine Skye for Christian Cowan RTW Fall 2021 
    Adrienne Raquel/Courtesy of Chri

     

    Christian Cowan RTW Fall 2021

    Dorinda Medley for Christian Cowan RTW Fall 2021 
    Adrienne Raquel/Courtesy of Chri

     

    Christian Cowan RTW Fall 2021

    Bowen Yang for Christian Cowan RTW Fall 2021 
    Adrienne Raquel/Courtesy of Chri

     

    Christian Cowan RTW Fall 2021

    Chloe Fineman for Christian Cowan RTW Fall 2021 
    Adrienne Raquel/Courtesy of Chri

     

    Gabriela Hearst RTW Fall 2021

    Paloma Elsesser for Gabriela Hearst RTW Fall 2021 
    Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst

     

    Coach RTW Fall 2021

    Megan Thee Stallion for Coach RTW Fall 2021 

     

     

  • JW Anderson RTW Fall 2021 – WWD

    Blankets have been blanketing the virtual catwalks this season as designers tap into a craving for comfort in these strange, and often brutal times. So many designers have done them (along with hefty knits and enveloping coats) and the latest is Jonathan Anderson who collaborated with two artist friends, Dame Magdalene Odundo and Shawanda Corbett, on a series of limited-edition blankets based on three works from each artist.

    They’ll be sold alongside his fall-winter 2021 collection, which was all about form, silhouette and the body as a vessel, something to be adorned or wrapped up, which is a familiar theme in Anderson’s work.

    Anderson’s exaggerated volumes – the bulbous knit dresses; folded, rippling trench coats; and chunky, sparkly glam rock boots – all mimicked the inviting curves, colors and organic shapes of the artists’ ceramics. How to fit them into suitcase might be problematic, but with few people traveling now, who cares? Geometric cutout sweaters; thick ribbed knits; and oversized boiler suits took up less space, and offered up the sort of chic-edged comfort a homebound woman – no matter what shape or size she happens to be – needs right now.

    Anderson said he wanted to do something “cleaner and more curatorial, with a focus on the silhouette, in this incredibly difficult, and complex season” of full lockdown in the U.K. Once again, he presented the collection in the form of posters, which he sent to press, buyers and clients. The images, which show the artists, their ceramics, and models wearing the blankets and the fall collection, were shot by Juergen Teller.

    The designer has also been taking these months to work out how fashion should be showcased during – and after – the pandemic, and says there is no going back. “You cannot re-create what used to happen; you are never going to get a solution from imitating the past, and I’m enjoying exploring what the future could be.”

    Anderson also pointed out – rightly – that it’s difficult for him and other designers to convey “a tactile message.” Few people can feel the fabrics, and nearly everything is being done on the screen, so the silhouettes have to speak for themselves. They certainly spoke loudly and proudly about diversity, inclusivity – and the undeniable luxury of hiding under a warm blanket.

  • Parsons Paris, L’Officiel Magazine Team Up to Celebrate Centennials – WWD

    The New School’s Parsons Paris will mark its 100th anniversary this year with a full slate of exhibitions, talks, collaborations and partnerships — along with a new MFA program and a sprawling project with L’Officiel magazine, also marking its centennial.

    The L’Officiel initiative gave digitally native Parsons MA students the chance to explore almost 900 issues and delve into issues of gender, national identity and aesthetic subversion, and witness how the fashion industry’s shift from haute couture to ready-to-wear was documented by the magazine.

    Some of the research is to be referenced during the annual Printing Fashion festival on March 12 and 13, organized by the master’s program in fashion studies at Parsons Paris. It marks the first time L’Officiel has opened its physical and digital archive for academic study.

    “What we want to show this year is a multitude of super interesting collaborations and projects that are happening at the student level, with our partners, and our board members to really showcase the richness of the school and what we do,” said Florence Leclerc-Dickler, dean of Parsons Paris.

    While not all anniversary celebrations have been nailed down given the uncertainties wrought by the pandemic, among the mix of virtual and physical elements are:

    • Exhibitions at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the American Center for Art and Culture in Paris, plus the Fondation Fiminco in Romainville

    • Partnerships with The Kooples on gender fluidity, the Fondation Azzedine Alaïa on cultural heritage, and with children’s brand Jacadi and Deutsche Telekom on individuality

    • Fireside chats with advisory board members including Philippe Schaus, chief executive officer of of Moët Hennessy; Sibylle Scherer, president of Chandon; Jimmy Chan, founder and chairman of Semeiotics, and Gay Gassmann, contributing editor at Architectural Digest

    • A collection of hoodies to raise money for a mental health charity spearheaded by advisory board member Alisa Volskaya of communications agency Avec

    For the L’Officiel project, 16 first-year students in the master’s program got to flip through issues from the 1920s through to today.

    “They were very moved as they were not so used to go through magazines,” said Marco Pecorari, the director of fashion studies at Parsons Paris. “There is also a print culture in fashion that’s redesigning itself because of digital.”

    Two students were invited to help L’Officiel launch a new retrospective section that will debut in the February issues in its American, French and Italian editions, he noted.

    Pecorari said that the magazine and the school share a critical perspective on the industry, following and adapting to changes in the system.

    Stefano Tonchi, consulting global chief creative officer at L’Officiel, said the collaboration with Parsons Paris would climax with a new book, documentary and traveling exhibition.

    Meanwhile, the new Master of Fine Arts degree in fashion design and the arts is to launch this fall, teaming students with guest designers and artists as they explore the intersection of fashion design, visual arts, performing arts and the humanities.

    Billed as a first of its kind in Europe and developed by Dr. Leyla Neri, director of fashion design at Parsons Paris, the MFA program is to take an anthropological approach to research, and a change-oriented approach as fashion’s cycles and systems are being questioned and reexamined.

    “It responds to not only a need in the fashion industry, but the reality: It’s not an industry that lives on its own separated from the rest of the arts,” Leclerc-Dickler said.

    The anniversary of Parsons Paris coincides with the 125th anniversary of Parsons School of Design in New York City.