The Big Round Up Womenswear SS 2014 Part 1
Against the chaotic backdrop of modern times we witness more extreme fashion scenarios this season. After a rather calm start in New York, with safe recycling of the successful and proven of previous seasons, creative energy was unleashed in Milan and a more dynamic spirit came to full strength arriving in Paris. There we experienced a mind-blowing climax during a happening loaded with raging energy staged by Rick Owens.
We sense the spirit of activism. Obvious in all quotes and messages boldly embedded in clothes that are both dynamic and wearable. Fashion used as a billboard for rage, concern, care, as well as joy. Designers tend to dive deeper into the context of their collections, want to give meaning to their actions and draw strong narratives that speak to the imagination.
Empowerment is one of the more politically driven manifestos. Women in general, women in Africa – from Alexander McQueen, Lanvin, Céline and most obvious at Prada – and there are more…
A booming interest in art conveys a sense of unbridled energy and optimism. Paint is dragged, dabbed, pulled and splattered across garments. Clothes are used as a canvas and art on stage is used as a backdrop for calm and beautiful clothes.
Africa provides key inspiration, fringe and a tribal beat as the theme of the season. The echo of Africa is omnipresent. As mentioned above, reflecting on the fate of women, but also on its cultural vibrancy, its folklore and rich aesthetics – designers place it in a new context and translate it into high fashion looks. Let’s hope the interest is sustained, translated into positive action and that something is in it for Africa….
We are entering a brave new world in which science and technology are the driving forces behind new innovation across the design industry. Balmain and Céline are among the designers who show impressive examples of technical fashion textile innovation. With hypermodern materials and an energetic attitude, sport was one of the stories that engulfed the runways.
We listed 9 strong influences straight off the international catwalks in New York, London, Milan and Paris.
ARTWORKS, FIRE BRIGADE, GRAPHIC AND SPORTY, SHINE AND SHAPE, SHOWGIRLS, THE FLORIST 0.1, THE FLORIST 0.2, TRIBAL, UNDERSTATED.
Let’s start with the first three.
A fest of art processes and a good portion of fashion activism generates primary, urgent expressionism in giant strokes and squiggles. A one off sprayed couture canvas energizes the plain range of Victor & Rolf; slaps of primary colors like tribal brushwork and big, bold, bright tunics and skirts wild with fringe frame the power of women at Céline; artful ocean drawings point out the cause of overfishing at Kenzo where Chanel poses its products of crafts and artisanship against the backdrop of an art gallery.
From left to right: Undercover, Emilio Pucci, Hermès, Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior
We signal an alarming portion of red. Walking billboards shout the revival of logo mania during the show of Undercover – showing impressive activism and manifestos in vibrant fierce red; Emilio Pucci chooses red for streetwise gym clothes to express extreme body confidence; Hermès shows red in a rendezvous with romance resonating the faint echoes of Africa; generic version of diflucanAt Alexander McQueen power women are painted in dazzlingly tribal red; Where Christian Dior paints poisonous red to stress the harder attitude. Fashion is politicized and shades have a meaning.
GRAPHIC & SPORTY
From left to right: Viktor & Rolf, Victoria Beckham, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Céline, Ports 1961
Sport proves to be one of the big drivers this season. Viktor & Rolf dress dolls and play sporty tailoring games with knife pleats and sharp crested blazers; Shape, leggy and cling where the buzzwords for Victoria Beckhams crisp line up showing athletic body-harness dresses; City smart sports layers make easy outfits that are cut with efficiency by 3.1 Philip Lim; Céline goes ragga style in this elongated string vest look, layered with a yellow jumper tied around the waist; Where Ports 1961 shows sports clean and sharp, matching bold boxy tops with generous drapes in full swing.
Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam