Fashion Week Spring 2015
While we struggled in Green Library during finals week, memorizing the conditions for gradients, eigenvectors, and level sets, fashionistas from around the globe convened in New York City, Paris, London, and Milan for Fashion Week 2015. Both renowned fashion houses and up-and-coming designers debuted their collections for Fall 2015, transforming their artistic visions into something tangible. While runway shows are the main spectacle, the growth of Instagram and other forms of social media has popularized the act of documenting what attendees are wearing. As I sat in Lane, my Instagram feed was overwhelmed by fashion bloggers taking photos in their fabulous ensembles and documenting their chic adventures. I became quite jealous as off-duty models posed and mingled with celebrity friends backstage at these extravagant gatherings.
Although Fashion Week occurs around the globe, many similar trends arose regardless of location. 70s looks dominated the runway in the form of dramatic sleeves, silhouettes, suede, fur and leather. Michael Kors, Chloe, and Balmain mastered the 70s vibes whereas Lanvin and Dolce & Gabbana exuded timeless 60’s staples. Designers injected color and liveliness into the runway, even incorporating colored fur into a couple of collections. A trend that I am looking forward to, partially because of practicality and comfort, is the revival of capes and ponchos. I am guilty of sporting the ugly poncho look in my middle school days, but I can’t wait to resurrect my favorite cape from a few seasons ago. Attempting to introduce more style into my college wardrobe, which is unfortunately dominated by Lululemon apparel, I brought my cape to school last quarter, but I never had the opportunity (or occasion) to wear it. While capes and ponchos are fantastic for bundling up on a brisk fall day, many designers incorporated scandalous slits and dramatic necklines on skirts, dresses, and blouses.
While I dream of attending fashion week, I live vicariously through videos of the shows and reviews posted by my favorite bloggers. I live streamed the Givenchy show, partially because of the front row celeb sightings, but also because Riccardo Tisci consistently produces collections characterized by pristine craftsmanship and engaging showmanship. He is an expert storyteller, and he projected a Victorian-esque theme. I was initially taken aback, though, when his models strutted down the runway wearing septum rings and elaborate gem face designs. Tisci characterizes the look as “Victorian-chola girl.” The gothic and Victorian influences are by no means new to Givenchy, but a staple of Tisci. He revamped and included familiar details, such as corsets, dresses over pants, and the subdued cross symbol stitched onto many outfits. However, the collection did not feel redundant, but even more dramatic and fabulous than anything before. Tisci finished off the show debuting gorgeous jeweled and embroidered gowns.
The award for most entertaining show, however, naturally goes to Valentino. Fans of Zoolander were pleasantly surprised as Hansel and Derek Zoolander strutted their stuff down the runway to close the show. As Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson each flaunted their on point “Blue Steel” faces, the crowd erupted in cheers and laughter. Their cameo served as confirmation of the second installment of Zoolander, projected to premiere in February 2016. Despite the duo’s hilarious appearance, the Valentino show was quite exquisite, with inspiration from Emilie Flöge and Celia Birtwell. Artistically inclined, both Flöge and Birtwell have served as inspiration to famous and creative men. Birtwell was the muse for husband and designer Ossie Clark as well as David Hockney, whereas Flöge influenced Gustav Klimt. Valentino’s creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli incorporated loose silhouettes and gilded features in honor of Flöge. The designers alluded to Birtwell in the form of a dramatic dragon design on the back of a few dresses. Chiuri and Piccioli gravitated towards relaxed, menswear shapes and showcased culottes.
Fashion Week 2015 did not fail to disappoint, and it most definitely injected some life and fun into my pre-finals preparation. It consistently confirms the beauty and art of fashion design. While many of the looks and collections are quite avant-garde and somewhat impractical, I always enjoy seeing how ready-to-wear brands infuse the aforementioned trends, making couture labels more accessible to consumers.