If you’ve stayed tuned to Savoir Flair’s coverage of the Spring/Summer 2017 collections, you’ve no doubt discovered the best accessories, best street-style looks, biggest runway trends, and coolest set designs of Fashion Month. However, you may also have noticed that SS17 highlighted a shift – several brands are now tackling a new retail model that places an emphasis on consumer-favoring and consumer-facing shows that result in instant access to collections.
At times, this monumental restructuring of the Fashion Month calendar caused a bit of a headache as most brands were showing Spring/Summer 2017 collections, while a select few forerunners were testing the waters with the “See Now, Buy Now” formula. These Fall/Winter 2016-oriented collections were made directly available to consumers via the brands’ online boutiques as well as brick-and-mortar locations.
Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Thakoon, Rebecca Minkoff, and other New York-based designers were the first into the fray, and the sales results (so far) have been surprisingly good for some brands. Tommy Hilfiger’s highly anticipated collaboration with Gigi Hadid is almost entirely sold out on Tommy.com already, while Rebecca Minkoff’s co-founder and CEO Uri Minkoff reported similar news to Business of Fashion. “We beat our best day ever by about 25 percent, and we were only open for half of the day,” he said, referring to when the collection was made available for purchase.
While the resulting collections tended toward a kind of homogeneity that was intended to appeal to the masses and speak more directly to the consumer, creativity was sacrificed in the name of commercialism in some cases. It’s no coincidence that Paris – the city that declined to participate in the “See Now, Buy Now” frenzy – offered the best, most creative collections for SS17.
Not only did rising talents like Rick Owens, Sacai, Jacquemus, and Lemaire showcase their best presentations to date, but there were also thoughtful, future-facing designs at established brands like Commes des Garçons, Céline, Balenciaga, Roland Mouret, and Dries Van Noten. For insight into the ten best collections from all of Fashion Month – spanning New York, London, Milan, and Paris – continue reading below.
Blame the U.S. presidential race in which a woman is a nominee for the first time in the country’s history, but it seems like feminism was on everyone’s minds throughout the Spring/Summer 2017 presentations. Of all the designers making use of the buzzword, Prabal Gurung did it best, with a gorgeous, fluid collection that paid homage to Gloria Steinem and the quiet rebellion of affirming one’s femininity with über-feminine styles. Also, the sleeves on his closing looks were absolutely the best sleeves of Fashion Month. Period.
Read Savoir Flair’s review of Prabal Gurung Spring/Summer 2017, here.
From the floral, shoulder-grazing ear cuffs to the architecturally sculpted silhouettes that practically defied description, Delpozo claimed the high prize of having the absolute best collection of New York Fashion Week. The magnificent bespoke textiles, luxurious patterns, and magically engineered shapes left jaws dropping, but it was the myriad of little details – from tiny, see-through totes and funky footwear to those amazing earrings – that made the deepest impression.
Read Savoir Flair’s review of Delpozo Spring/Summer 2017, here.
The tremendous care and thought that went into the creation of Christopher Kane’s tenth-anniversary collection made for an emotional show. Kane threw it back to his earliest design days, when he and his sister (and current business partner) Tammy would dig through bins to find bits and bobs to craft clothing out of. The “make do and mend” mentality of his collection was not without truly stupefying moments that proved Kane’s evolution as a designer and innate genius, like the way he pieced together scraps of fabric into elegant, black evening looks or or like the kitschy, irreverent Saint Christopher tees held together with punky, metal rings.
Read Savoir Flair’s review of Christopher Kane Spring/Summer 2017, here.
Erdem Moralioglu has been designing for over a decade, keeping his brand healthy and growing without the aid of outside investment. Not only is Moralioglu an uncompromising businessman, but he is also one of fashion’s best storytellers – he takes a truly professorial approach to each of his collections, which aim to somehow reflect history. For Spring/Summer 2017, he presented his most exciting backstory yet, with Erdem’s presentation echoing the true story of a shipwrecked spy who was on her way to sell crown jewels on behalf of King Charles I. A trunk at the site of the shipwreck in the Wadden sea was recently recovered, revealing well-preserved contents like a silk-damask gown. Moralioglu injected his Victorian drama with shots of romantic textiles and gorgeous embroidery, but it was the imaginative tale told by the clothes that compelled the most.
Read Savoir Flair’s review of Erdem Spring/Summer 2017, here.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
We’re still not over the beauty look at Preen this season, which featured tiny braids and a mesmerizing application of flattened flora and fauna that melded with the models’ flesh. It was an especially enticing look when the models were decorated with flowers both across their lips and along their spines. Not only did Preen have one of the best beauty displays of Fashion Month, but it also showcased a truly gorgeous collection of whimsical clothing that offered pentagrams laced with flowers, candy-colored party dresses in chiffon, and Edwardian ruffle-front dresses.
Almost every single season, Fendi manages to be cool, thought-provoking, and deserving of the “best of” title – but there was something especially lurid and alluring about the way Karl Lagerfeld juxtaposed baroque textiles and an anime aesthetic for Spring/Summer 2017. It may sound weird, but it really works, especially when you get nearer to the clothes. Indeed, a closer look reveals how finely spun they are, as if from a magical spindle that creates 3D appliqués along the arms of a jacket, laser-cuts soft, suede leather into an old-fashioned lattice, and embroiders sheer, scalloped dresses with gilded scenery. The details were gorgeous, the beauty look was on point, and the accessories were distractingly excellent.
Read Savoir Flair’s review of Fendi Spring/Summer 2017, here.
Consuelo Castiglioni, Creative Director at Marni, is one of the few in the industry to simultaneously bear the titles “true artist” and “successful designer”. She carries the mantle well, activating pioneering collection after pioneering collection, and has no trouble toying with proportions, silhouettes, fabrics, and other minute details. For Spring/Summer 2017, the bulging pockets, sloping shoulders, and ruched accents made for some truly unusual, original looks on the runway. By adding pull-cords and drawstrings to the ensembles, Castiglioni also managed to make sizing democratic since the wearer is able to pull and tie the clothes around her body at her discretion. Not only was the collection progressive, artistic, and thoughtful, but it also displayed a must-have range of accessories, including sculptural earrings and chunky, chic footwear.
Read Savoir Flair’s review of Marni Spring/Summer 2017, here.
Jonathan Anderson has been absolutely slaying it with his designs for Loewe, with Fall/Winter 2016 and Spring/Summer 2017 displaying his best creations to date. Each season, Anderson focuses his set-design skills on the avant-garde, creating bespoke interiors for the Loewe woman. She is a posh sort, but this season, she fell hard for raw, coarse fabrics and the imaginative ways that Anderson could work them. The Loewe woman also draped herself in multiple accessories ranging from sculpted leather corsets with peplum accents and enormous, ceramic-bat necklaces to gilded Calla-lily cuffs.
Read Savoir Flair’s review of Loewe Spring/Summer 2017, here.
All eyes were on Bouchra Jarrar’s official ready-to-wear debut at Lanvin for Spring/Summer 2017, and she did not disappoint. There have been two extremes with new designer takeovers at major labels: either the designer establishes an entirely new aesthetic (à la Alessandro Michele at Gucci or Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga) or continues to toe the party line, like Anthony Vaccarello did at Saint Laurent. Instead of doing either, Jarrar focused on tailoring, creating a collection so beautiful, so airy, and so elegant that it had to be seen in person to be believed. She wasn’t trying to be Alber Elbaz 2.o, but she wasn’t completely upending the brand’s aesthetic either. Jarrar was simply designing to her strengths and, fortunately for Lanvin fans, her talent for tailoring is legion.
Read Savoir Flair’s review of Lanvin Spring/Summer 2017 here.
This Fashion Features Editor would argue that Nicolas Ghesquière is one of the most talented designers of the 21st century, but since taking over as Creative Director of Louis Vuitton, his conceptual side has all but disappeared. Although he looked to the future to inform his work, he tended to play it safe with his designs and increased his focus on accessories – which are the brand’s biggest point of sales and therefore a smart-bet avenue for pursuit. However, Spring/Summer 2017 saw something of the former, experimental Ghesquière aesthetic re-emerge, and it was truly refreshing to see. His designs were complex, beautiful, and intelligent, offering a range of practical but unique daywear with cutout, drawstring, and sash details, as well as unbelievably gorgeous eveningwear made from sheer overlays with tiny metal pinpricks over cutout bodysuits with shoulder pads. It was a little left of center, and we absolutely loved it.
Read Savoir Flair’s review of Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2017, here.