Words by Hannah Rose Prendergast
Eudon Choi named his Spring 2019 collection after the Indian palace “Manik Bagh.” The Art Deco architecture with carpeting to match moved Choi to create linen and khaki enriched looks with pops of orange, red, yellow, blue, and plaid. Things were kept conservative; no plunging necklines or mini skirts but this left room for things like button curvatures, detachable waistbands, and rectangular leather bags to draw the eye. Also, the shirt dress and draped skirt find themselves in their natural habitat.
Ryan Lo presented “Saturn Returns” this season: his coming to terms with tulle. More specifically, that there should be a lot of it to accompany ruffles, bows, puff sleeves, and scalloped edges. The dainty florals, crochet tops, and slouched boots feel very prairie while babydoll dresses and tiered skirts maintained maximum level girliness. Lo set out to make things about ‘getting the guy’ and by the looks of the princess bride and her knight, he’s done just that (with help from Stephen Jones on hats.)
Faithfully, to the goths, club kids, and London creatives on the fringe, Gareth Pugh’s latest is for you—and Judy Blame. The late punk stylist’s tribute was fit with chap trousers, wrap coats, and wide all-powerful shoulders set to metallic pink leather, pinstripes, and a hypnotic red and black archival print. Upping the drama were vogueing choreography, platform buckle boots, and nods to bondage culture: essentials for striking any pose.
Alexa Chung debuted “Arrivals and Departures” replete with workwear, pyjama dressing, and beachside looks. Utilitarian came in the form of overalls, a striped jumpsuit, a zippered boiler suit, a safari jacket, vests, and trench coats, of which the cape and vinyl variety were a little less so. These were coupled with lace paneled dresses, sheer ruffled nightgowns, satin slip dresses, and florals to fulfill Chung’s trademark femininity and finally, crochet swimwear, shell necklaces, straw bags and jelly sandals with crystal buckles were rooted in the waterfront.
Ashish Gupta wanted his models to appear sweat-drenched as they stamped down the runway to house music being spun by a DJ. The glitz and high shine that is Ashish were in full force with sequin hoodies, shirts, bikinis, dresses, mini skirts, and trenches. Never blinding, partygoers wore gender fluid pieces that packed sex appeal. Standout looks included anything with that sequin print camo, a plunging orange shift dress, and a “Send Nudes” hoodie that couldn’t just be left on ‘read.’
At Toga, Yasuko Furuta stayed true to her avant-garde vision while venturing into arts and crafts territory and incorporating sportive elements. Bike shorts, rubberized shoes, bungee cord and scuba detailing owe themselves to the athlétisme of the collection while clashing rococo and floral prints, pleated asymmetrical skirts, ruff-style trim, and cutouts kept things feeling experimental but ladylike when set to draped satin and shimmery organza. Throw some bolo ties and Western belt buckles in the mix and it’s a wrap.
The Maison Margiela diffusion line, MM6, is for the type of girl that swings from a chandelier, then strikes a pose after it falls. She wears satin coats, ruffled blouses, pleated shift dresses, logo hoodies, distressed denim, and spliced shoulders accessorized with opera gloves, sashes, fishnets, and large crystal jewels. Hot pink, lavender, mint, and cobalt blue pop up in this sea of soft subversion as well as the reworked slogan from 1994: “There is more action to be done to fight AIDS than to wear this T-shirt but it’s a good start.”
Mother of Pearl
Mother of Pearl’s Amy Powney drew inspiration from Netherlandish painter Jan van Eyck this season. The artist’s intensity of color and tone was imbued to create a luxurious, full-bodied collection of florals (with features from a strawberry print, a gilded lion print, and polka dots for good measure.) Silky separates, midi dresses, military trench coats, and bow-tied heeled mules boasted puff sleeves, and of course, pearl buttoning. The result? Feminine, playful, and effortless.