This season’s Alexander McQueen collection was a love letter to women, showcasing this in a celebration of power and love. The show took place on the typical McQueen stripped back wooden floorboards, with the models powerfully stomping along to a contrasting idyllic birdsong, simultaneously showing the strength and the gentleness of femininity. Designer Sarah Burton was also inspired by the warmth of Welsh culture, using traditional motifs and items to celebrate this idea of women. She was inspired by Welsh love spoons, items traditionally given to someone to show one’s affection, Burton used the shapes of these objects in the pieces for this collection. As seen in the bold heart shaped ruffles pictured on the blazer dress above, this reflects the bold and powerful nature of women Burton wanted to put across as well as celebrating the warmth and affection of femininity. In using the Welsh love spoons’ shaping she too is creating a physical object of her affection, presenting her affection in a celebration of women.
Androgynous tailoring was displayed at Valentin Yudashkin, displaying masculine tailoring and patterns with feminised silhouettes and detailing. The look above showcases a feminised take on the waistcoat with a corseted shape and sweetheart neckline and a feminised take on the tie with a pussy bow tied scarf instead. These all still work to create powerful looks, further strengthened with the strong black and white pinstriped material.
Kwaidan Editions presented the ‘Performer’ collection, themed around the woman taking centre stage. They modernised and made excitement traditional tailoring, creating a modernised woman on the streets. The tinfoil trench coat above is sleek and sophisticated, yet modern and exciting with its space age reflective colouring. The look is kept simple with tailored trousers and heels, as if worn by a woman on her way to work, yet a woman with a bit of edge and difference to her.
Miu Miu’s collection titled ‘Toying with Elegance’ celebrated the playful joy of getting dressed up. Miu Miu’s aesthetic has long been fun childlike quaintness but made for the modern woman. The look above appears similar to a child’s outfit, the knitted material and the baby grow like shape, yet it is made sleek with the cinched in leather belted waist and a sophisticated structured bag. It’s fun with its baby blue colouring, yet polished and flattering.
Nina Ricci’s designers, Herreburgh and Botter are new to womenswear, owning their own menswear label they utilised the Nina Ricci heritage of soft femininity, following already in place templates from the brand’s collections. They then mixed this with their knowledge of masculine tailoring, maintaining these strong silhouettes. The look above places a cute knitted jumper over a structured shirt and silky tailored blazer and trousers, creating a new take on androgyny. They took their colour inspiration from artist Kees van Donger, who used soft colours and paired them with stronger ones, allowing them to lean into the feminine lilac and pair it with their comfortable masculine black.
I love an 80s prom moment; the extreme ruffles and brash colouring seems questionable and distasteful, but Elie Saab works it into their well-known elegant aesthetic. The odd purple/blue colouring almost appears mellow and dainty when spun into such an intricately detailed ruffled dress. The added train to the miniskirt dress perfectly encompasses this elegant fun too.
Y Project, normally known for crossing the boundaries between good taste and bad taste, seemed to stay firmly rooted in elegant traditional good taste with this look. Using the inspiration of Elizabethan silhouettes to create the deep V-neck expanding into a huge velvety ruffle, Y Project creates the perfect beautiful gown. It maintains a modern touch, essential to the brand’s aesthetic with its jarring golden accessories that almost appear to be growing out of the model’s face to create a startling but beautiful effect.
Chloe collaborated with artist Rita Ackermann to place drawings of women on some of their pieces to create an idea of contemporary womanhood. Chloe celebrates creative modern women, playing into their long-standing aesthetic of free-flowing independence through their clothes. They riff between the angelic hippie and the strong tailored working woman, giving the wearers of their clothes a sense of independence, they can utilise Chloe’s clothes to be whomever they want to be in any way they choose. Designer Ramsay-Levi said, ‘Chloe doesn’t stand for any one thing… [it’s an] open identity, something for the woman who wears it to define it’.