Everything you need to know about International Fall Fashion Month
Welcome to your very own seat at the big kid table of fashion.
From brushing shoulders with Lagerfeld to Hadid-clad admissions of Tommy Hilfiger love, breathing the same air as Oliver Rousteing and a godlike reverence for a singular fringe, bob and a sleek black pair of sunglasses; Fashion month is a mere mortal’s sneak peek into the life and times of luxury and high fashion.
The showcase spanning over four weeks and four countries produces the most original and inspired styles from New York, London, Milan and Paris; solidifying the industry’s latest trends and transforming clothing into a living breathing, immersive work of art. This year’s Fall 2018 collections did not disappoint. Nor did the hysteria and action surrounding them. With Paris closing the month’s to-dos only a handful of days ago, and with Fashion Weekend and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week shaping up in our very own backyards, we’ve wrangled all the greatest moments and styles from Fall Fashion Month to keep your best foot (and sneaker) forward.
New York Fashion Week: 8th-16th February
Back to the 80’s with Marc Jacobs
Notorious for his eclectic style and outlandish homages to the past, Marc Jacobs’ inspired interpretation of power suits, bold colours and broad shoulders was the kind of old school creativity needed to lift New York Fashion week from its slump – giving Fashion Month the kick-start it truly deserved. Playing on his love for all things Saint Laurent and closing the week as the final show, Jacobs gifted what he describes as “Jewel tones. Sumptuous fabrics. Eye makeup and nail polish that match. Incredible hats by Stephen Jones. Accessorized from the top of the head to the bottom of the foot”. Put aptly, “These are runway clothes”. With an almost ‘Prince’-like suave and sophistication, the clothes engulfed the models with coats draping amongst scarves, large, embellished flowers, pleated pants and structured skirts.
Let there be cake!
Although runway aesthetics are enough to quell the hungers of some, Derek Lam should be rewarded for inviting guests for a ‘casual’ pre-show lobster roll before taking their seats. This offstage addition spurred on a string of other wine and dines including Rosie Assoulin who hired a food artist and chef to create actual installations on her audience’s food, to Gabriella Hurst and Kenzo whose shows incorporated a sit-down meal as the main event.
London Fashion Week: 15th-20th February
Royally Richard Quinn
The heads of two religions side by side. Queen Elizabeth II joined Dame Anna Wintour, seated front row at Richard Quinn for her first London Fashion Week. Serving up vibrant, flowy, florals; at times covering the whole face, Richard Quinn walks the line between comfortable familiarity and forward thinking with a unique ease and sensibility. After creating a print studio available for students and new designers alike, he was awarded the first ever ‘Award for British Design’ – a recognition of emerging designers whose stylistic promise is matched in value by their contribution to the community and environment. The award stands as the Crown’s recognition of fashion’s place amongst diplomacy and society. The Queen, who presented the award, and whose presence was kept secret to Quinn, donned a duck-egg blue Angela Kelly tweed dress and followed the Duchess of Cambridge who hosted the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at Buckingham Palace days before.
Identity is Fashion
In his final show, CEO of Burberry Christopher Bailey paid tribute to what he coins the “best and brightest organisations supporting LGBTQ+ youth around the world”. After seventeen years of service, his final curation was a new variation of Burberry’s unmistakably English check print by incorporating a rainbow. The campaign which initially began on Instagram showcasing a tote, scarf and hat, is now a fully-fledged line whose proceeds go specifically to the Albert Kennedy Trust, Trevor Project and ILGA. Scored in collaboration with Apple Music, the invite-only show was closed by Cara Delevingne who wore a rainbow fur rainbow coat lined with Bailey’s tartan.
Milan Fashion Week: 20th-26th February
Drone & Gabanna
Household names Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabanna showcased a new range of quilted ‘Devotion’ bags, hoisted and airborne down the catwalk by eight drones to open the show. The three-minute display was unfortunately offset by forty-five minutes worth of technical difficulties prior, as well as a bid to all audience members to disable wifi on their phones. The display however, as the first of its kind, was more than well received and played upon the omnipotence and beauty of Dolce & Gabanna’s prolific references to religion in high fashion.
Opening fashion week from their Milan headquarters, Gucci’s peculiar exterior asked audiences to take a seat for the weird and wonderful. The ‘hospital green’ walled room lit clinically, featured an operating chair that was circled by the models, who carried anything from miniature dragons, to lizards, to moulds of their own heads; moving to the sound of a live heart monitor. The ‘Cyborg Gucci’ is an assortment of velvets, symbolism, balaclavas and third eyes attempting to bring what creative director Alessandro Michele suggests is a somewhat “scientific clarity” that inherently supplements the imaginative calamity of working in fashion.
Paris Fashion Week: 26th February-6th March
Following a visually enchanting transformation of the Grand Palais into a woodsy wonderland and a literal tribute to Fall fashion, audiences were in awe of Chanel. Yet again another astonishing collection incorporating fingerless gloves, folded over clutches, gowns in lace and the always loved Chanel tweed; overall showcasing 80 ready to wear looks for the season.
However, Lagerfeld received slack from French environmentalist groups as it was discovered the over a dozen trees used to dress the set, were hundred year olds plucked from Perche – a region about a hundred and sixty kilometres out of Paris. This is a mere addition to the criticism he’s received in previous years including 2010 when he transported eighteen trucks of Swedish glacier ice to his show which addressed global warming. Similarly he copped flack for the irony of proposing a fight for feminism in his 2014 show with expensive clothing at the root of its success. Chanel responded, remarking the plucking of said trees was in accordance with a pre-planned cut. Nevertheless, the brand will be planting a hundred new oak trees in Perche.
Louis in the Louvre
Pulling the luxurious strings in their phone book, Louis Vuitton closed fashion month with yet another show in the unrivalled setting of Lefuel Courtyard at the Louvre. Following their recent artist inspired collection that saw painters like Matisse and Monet on their bags, including a dinner to promote inside the museum after hours, it seems the bond between the brand and landmark is stronger than ever.
The show itself focussed on cautioning the pitfalls of presupposing that androgyny is fashion’s answer to gender equality. Instead, creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere delivered feminine power through structured jackets, leather, peplums, sleek trousers and separates. Following the show, Ghesquiere commented, “The women I dress don’t dress for men and they don’t dress like men. They dress for themselves and like themselves”.
One for the visuals? Here are our top style picks from Fashion Month…