If one day, I should ever become Queen/Ruler of the world (hey, who knows!) I think I will wear Prabal Gurung to work. I’m pretty sure that if you are wearing leather body armour and you’re dressed for war not that many people are going to challenge what you say. That is the vibe that I got from his Autumn/ Winter collection at least. The contrast between silky, soft luxury and leather harnesses, military structure and brass buttons made Beyonce’s ever relevant song ‘Who run the world girls, GIRLS’ go through my head on repeat.
It’s nice to see such a strong military theme back on the runway in colour, cut and accessories giving a whole new meaning to power dressing, (don’t dress as if you can run a business, dress as if you can run an army). There are leather and buckles featured from head to toe, literally. As well as body harnesses there are leg harnesses (which personally bring back not so fond memories of knee braces from my knee dislocation, but that’s just me!) and shoes that look like weapons. Nevertheless, for all the intimidating hardware and power dressing this collection features, there is always an emphasis on the feminine shape with peplums in the jackets, the harnesses emphasising the waists of the model or the thigh high splits in the gowns. Thus Gurung’s objective is clear “I wanted to look at the idea of the empowerment of women”
Throughout theres is a mix of hard and soft e.g. leather vs fur or silk, light vs dark, structure of leather body harnessing vs the billowing movement of a silk gown. Therefore I see this collection as embracing both sides of the femme, power vs elegance. As Gurung states: “I always feel the biggest tool women have is their femininity, it doesn’t have to be all about physical strength. I wanted to show both sides.”
And so the time as come again, for the fashionista elite to risk life, limb and Louboutins in the New York snow in the name of fashion week. Like many of us, I too have been perusing the collections so far and a current front runner for me was the Jason Wu show! Despite the complete shut down of New York transport and the post-apocolyptic blizzards that have descended on the city, the fashion elite tottered they’re way into the Jason Wu, thank god they made it.
For me, I thought this collection epitomises all I love about the fashion of the female New Yorker, 70% hard ass with a 30% flirty edge. The colour palette was kept strict and minimal so that we could focus on the amazing patterns and emphasise the juxtaposition between harsh and soft with white feminine pleated skirts teamed with harsh black leather jackets (one of my favourite looks by the way). Other things that excited me were the assurance that both peplums and statement trousers are here to stay (both of which feature heavily in my wardrobe so FEW. Dodged a financial bullet). Also check out Jason Wu’s sexed-up/x-ray take on the humble rain coat (above) with its floral pattern and suggestive translucency, practical clothes never looked to so sexy. I think the essence of this collection is badass sexy. Yes, there may be a bit of leg on show although you might not normally expect the white button up collars to get anyone hot and flustered but teamed with the light weight fabric skirts, the structured peplum emphasising feminine curves or the belts that sinch in at the waist … it just works.
Raquel Zimmermann in the McQueen Campaign Photographed by David Sims
We all do it, fantasize about what exactly we would do if we were to be so burdened (ha!) to have an outrageous amount of money at our disposal. I do this frankly too often, it’s embarrassing really. When this recurring dream strikes me, I suddenly picture myself standing, smiling in Bond Street ready to be laden down with glorious shopping bags and thinking ‘where would I like to blow this money most?’ The first place that springs to mind is McQueen, one of my favorite fashion houses and probably one of my first discoveries that really ignited my appetite for all things pertaining to fashion. Although the brand may have changed slightly since my first McQueen moment, and the genius whose name the brand bears is no longer with us, I still think that Sarah Burton has managed the impossible job of taking up the mantle that McQueen left behind. This year’s spring summer collection is yet another example of this being true.
Burton has yet again found something new and interesting to put on the catwalk with out compromising the identity of the brand as this collection explores “femininity […] and the idealization of the female form.” through looking at corsets and cages however I think the outcome this time is slightly different. There is a sense of female empowerment as Burton uses the oldest natural metaphor for this in the book, the idea of ‘Queen Bee’ where power and femininity can be embraced together. The strong structure of the clothes that emphasize the feminine form married with the theme of wasps, bees and hives can be seen throughout in the prints, caramelized honey–like accessories and the caging which makes bee-keeper the new sexy.