The 2008 Met Gala theme was “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy”. I remember loving it, though honestly all I can recall at the moment is Naomi Watts in Thierry Mugler and this fantastic photo shoot for Vogue by Craig McDean featuring wonder poser Coco Rocha dressed as various fashion warriors. Dig Coco as a Nici Ricci clad Poison Ivy and a perfect Catwoman in a Dolce & Gabbana molded corset, Swarovski crystal studded mask, and Christian Louboutin for Rodarte spiked heels that will SLAY ALL. Marvel at Coco as Gaultier’s Little Mermaid, the fiercest Batman in Rick Owens cashmere, and an angelic retro glam Dawnstar in Dior Haute Couture.
At last, it’s time for the bold originality from two brands that never disappoint. Comme’s designer Rei Kawakubo is the definition of original. She takes ever convention about fashion, every cliche, every expectation and obliterates it. Completely dismissing things like references or influences or call back, she creates structural pieces of wearable art that are gorgeous in their inscrutability. This collection is a tight sixteen looks, that defy definition. Yohji Yamamoto is much the same. These Victorian goth punk looks, complete with over sized black parasols, hoop skirts, loose bustiers and petticoats, ending with a Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice red wedding dress.
Comme Des Garçons
It’s almost a sense of relief to know that John Galliano is designing again and has a collection showing during Paris Fashion Week. The time where he was gone, a vitality felt lacking. His constant waves of innovation, he’s references and inspirations, his aesethetic is one of the things that brings a season to life, and makes it memorable. His ready to wear collection for Maison Margiela is the perfect example of that. Full of touches that are distinctly Galliano, punk reference like fishnets, some under dresses, other pulled over heels, are blended beautifully with homages to the house’s past, with the cracked, white paint over fabric and layered, unusual silhouettes. He also finds inspiration in Asian cultures, as he did in past collections for Dior, with kimono style ties on the dresses. Also apparently back packs are in again? The Vionnet Spring 2016 collection is also a beautiful salute to this vintage label’s trademark, the long, lean lines. Dresses that could have draped themselves over Katherine Hepburn’s slim form in an old movie here are modernized with a sheath, over the whole body, of gauzy sheerness, making the lines of this dresses soften.
London Fashion Week is, for me, the most underwhelming of all the fashion weeks. I know that there are some strong, big names that show collections, but because the bland sameness of Burberry and the like do little for me, there is very little that registers as new and exciting. Two brands who I always can count on showing something wearable, daring and fun are Ashish and Philipp Plein. Ashish is responsible for those rainbow sequined ripped jeans that were so popular last year as well as helping to make the creeper shoe popular again. There is always a positivity to the creativeness at Ashish, and embracing diversity and uniqueness with a joyful openness. This season was no different, blurring gender norms and literally covering the models in multicolored confetti, making the show feel like being at an awesome birthday party. Philipp Plein is a weakness of mine – I know that it’s a little one note, but as a recovering goth, I respond to the punky couture-ness of it all.
I knew that these two collections were amazing when I saw all of the horrid, hateful bitches on The Fashion Spot freak out about how ugly they are. These two collections are ugly. They’re unsettling and disturbing, and that’s what makes them fantastic. Both Gareth Pugh and John Galliano (who designs the couture collection for Margiela but not this ready to wear line) have revolutionized fashion during their long careers by refusing to repeat established silhouettes with acceptable materials. Both of them have taken the human body and distorted it in a variety of ways. This wearable sculpture does what art is supposed to do – create a reaction. Pugh uses face masks to turn his models into anime characters and puts them into bold colors. This RTW collection is very much in keeping with Galliano’s spirit, using bin liners and great 90’s rave culture references to make a collection to appeal to the IDGAF kids. I love both of these collections ever so much.
MM6 Maison Margiela