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.