The top ten moments of the fashion season from New York to London, Milan to Paris, delivered shows that put diversity and creativity back in style. Past shows featured outfits that were only fit for the runway but this year designers got in touch with their true feelings and let their passion for fashion shine through. While the source of this change is highly speculative the results have yielded some Spring / Summer 2016 collections that put a real world perspective on today’s apparel.
In New York, newcomer Riccardo Tisci’s debut of his Spring 2016 Ready to Wear collection that took fashion house Givenchy from haute couture to looks that allure. This powerful and attractive line full of lace, satin and silk brought a new level of sexy to the game with camisole blouses, tuxedo style pants and a men’s wear collection suited for the confident man. This Italian Leo designer’s collection is as diverse as his “pride” of friends who attended the show.
Marc Jacobs, DKNY and Ralph Lauren presented dresses that were jazzy, glamorous and sophisticated enough to go from the yacht club to the board room without changing a beat. But the rookies have it for bringing creativity back to the apparel game.
Designers at London Fashion Week brought plenty of personality to the show but it was Jasper Conran’s SS 16 collection that brought the concept of nature home. Light breezy dresses with coral shaped, sea grass and leaf print designs done in seafoam green will make any woman dive into this collection. The emerald green strapless jumper was only one of the highlights of the show that moved this veteran fashion designer from British tradition to downtown chic.
In Milan it was Donatella Versace who branched out this season and gave her collection a makeover that included several options for the everyday woman. Her signature style of sexed-up rock n’ roll dresses still had their place in the show but it was her SS16 line dedicated to “women everywhere” that gave her over 34 thousand thumbs up. The collection featured animal prints and camouflage in acid greens and yellows that were catwalk and college campus ready.
Roberto Cavalli’s creative director Peter Dundas took the youthful approach for his FW debut with a SS16 women’s collection that knocked the dust off of denim and put a breath of fresh air back into Cavalli’s day-wear line. The collection featured a great washed out denim jacket with over-sized baseball style stitching and a stonewashed mini dress paired with a wide brown belt that took everyone back to the 80’s. But it was his tie-die animal print that gave Dundas the welcome home applause in Milan. From tank top dresses and high waist jeans Peter came back to Italian fashion house strong.
In Paris Vêtements represented for the working man and stepped away from their cult collective look to bring a little anti-fashion with their Summer RTW 2016 show. The one year old design house featured familiar garments over cosmic styles with novelty t-shirts, trenches, jeans and blue-collar work uniforms that can transition from work to play.
The Christian Dior Spring / Summer RTW 2016 collection brought things down to earth with a few clever cuts on short sets, skirts and dresses as Dior’s creative director Raf Simons stated that he didn’t want to overdo the collection so he toned things down a bit from previous shows. Each ensemble was paired with ankle flats that can go from the picnic to the party in style. The white midriff short set was the most versatile of the collection as it appeared in 19 of the 51 Looks for the show. Paired up with everything from a poofy sweater to a long sleeved jacket Dior spoke to the wallets of every fashionista that loves versatility. Well done Raf for delivering styles everyone can relate to!!
Chanel put on a great show that spoke to the traveling masses as their Spring 2016 collection displayed airport friendly designs that made world travelers feel comfortable in coach and business class. The Chanel Airlines show carried an array pants suits, dresses, halter tops and playful airplane PJ’s in red, white and blue that got the show off to a great start. The collection screamed comfortable and classy. Even the shoes looked comfortable enough to run to a departure gate in, but they would still have to come off for airport security. This collect was truly an example of art imitating life… real life.
Last but not least, Kanye West gets an “un-honorable” mention with his line cutting antics that set designer Anne Bowen off when he dropped in on her spot at the NYFW show with his Yeezy Season 2 collection at the last minute.
With designs that look like they can go from a size six to a sixteen, designers dung into their creativity boxes and came up with collections full of diversity for everyday people. It’s amazing what can be done when hearts are put into it. Let’s hope these changes finally put an end to the whole sagging swag era. Salute to change!