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Fashion Week's nod to sportswear, romance, high-wattage metallics, and Southern chic |


Fashion Week's nod to sportswear, romance, high-wattage metallics, and Southern chic

- Ria de Borja - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Tales of Fashion Week are upon us — from London, Milan and Paris come the future of fashion, at least for next season. Our favorite traveling circus of long-legged creatures in designer garb once again has us counting the days till springtime comes.


Backstage after the show, Jasper Conran said his show was about all things “Americana.” The most obvious touches were seen in denim embroidered with patches, cropped motocycle jackets and long, perforated dresses perfect for a summer stroll on New England grounds. A large cherry on a mini circle skirt brought to mind the peppy, preppy ’50s while patchwork dresses and skirts were the perfect sophisto-prarie look.

At Acne, rubber cowboy hats, lizard-leather-trimmed suits and a cow-print dress reminded one of the Western and Southern parts of the US. The words “MUSIC” and “COLLAGE” were written in bold letters on shirts; the collection was apparently inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball” album. If nothing else, the colors red, blue and white spoke loud and clear. And then there were the ruffled cuffs in romantic deconstructed-Harlequin looks, and long, flowing shifts; even if we didn’t know the designer Johnny Johannson’s inspirations, we’d wear these beautiful clothes styled clothes any time.

The Rochas

We thought we’d note a separate trend altogether for designers John Rocha and his daughter Simone Rocha, both infinitely talented designers. John’s use of the color black, this season, is pretty and light, replete with ruffl-y chiffons and feminine jacquards. Creamy pink and yellow transparent pieces, constructed yet soft by sheer virtue of being transparent, are matched with full shaped skirts that utilize a complicated techinique that he seems to be fond of. Simone, meanwhile, focused equally on fabric first, and showed pretty perforated cotton separates, tailored and neat. Infinitely wearable, and cut to perfection in girlish leather separates, the designer’s flouncy-hemmed skirts and perspex-soled shoes were a blend of lightness and chic. Simone is one of the nominees of the British Fashion Council’s Emerging Talents Award to be given in November, and we hope she wins.


Floral prints and long, flowy dresses

Speaking of lightess, it was all light in the Temperley London show –– a different kind: feminine, floral. A long shift dress with transparent panels looked as if a gust of wind was permanently passing through, while the floral prints on the sheer blouses were gorgeous and soft. The collection was focused on elegance: swingy-skirts and neat blouses in light blue-lavender; long, lean panstuits matched with large hats; sheer gloves. At Issa London, the front row was laden with elegant guests, including the brand’s owners (the Al-Fayeds) and famous personalities. The elegance in this show was of a different (although no less elegant) kind: orchids adorned the head, and when matched with bright-colored deep-v jersey pantsuits looked like a tropical version of elegance. The tropical/jungle theme was also seen in pelican-printed and floral-printed fabrics. We almost expected a lounge chair with a mai-tai to appear nearby.

Metallics, stripes and texture

In the Milan fashion shows we went to, the spring/summer feel was not so focused on beach relaxation but on summer sports. At Emporio Armani, striped shorts and blazers gave way to gradiated-pastel woven jackets. The hazy metallic prints and shiny fabrics were matched with either a textured bucket bag that looked woven as well, or with a simple clutch. In the Giorgio Armani show, the printed separates began with lighter chiffons and ended in printed ensembles reminiscent of the galaxy in the night sky. Milky Ways and stars were seen on the simple, elegant silhouettes; fully beaded knee-length dresses felt like a perfect evening dress in warm weather. Pants included wide-legged styles with large vertical stripes. The shine in the Burberry show, meanwhile, was full-on. From our seats, the metallic trenches looked like heavy tinfoil, but that same gradation in fabric was done beautifully, pleated and shaped on a corset (and on a trenchcoat, no less). The feminine, curvy cocktail ensembles at the show’s end rounded out the brand’s desire to be slightly more vampish next season. Christopher Bailey said in interviews backstage that he had been looking through archives and was inspired by corsetry, to give next season a “sexy” feeling. If see-through can be considered sexy, Milan had lots of it. In the Bally presentation, perforated dresses matched the perforated bag trends of next season, while the leather jacket, in a simple white trench style, was devoid of all texture. Stripes, apparently big for spring/summer, were also seen in Veronique Branquinho’s Paris show, in navy blue on white. Pleats were used on dresses and fell with an expert tailor’s skill on the hems of jackets; as though, even were you to be active in it, its perfect lines would not go away.

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