Sofia Barattieri’s Best of Fashion Month
September is the start of the fashion year. Showcasing the looks for summer is seen as somewhat of a clean slate, a way to introduce new and fresh trends and put convention to one side. The very different identities of the four fashion weeks were intensified over the last month. New York focused on ease of wear, London was light hearted and experimental, Milan swam with luxurious fabrics and rich textures and Paris was filled with forward-thinking awe-inspiring greatness. Despite hundreds of works of genius, here are some of my favourite collections.
Urban, utilitarian shapes and colours were seen throughout New York. Proenza Schouler surprised me with their daring prints. I loved the final look, 37, with the digital photo of the crowd, scattered with pink dots and revealing grommets; a stark contrast to the strict monochrome of Marc Jacobs, with his bold stripes adding a fun retro feel. I adored look 45, with the bold graphic checks and stripes juxtaposing the delicacy of the sheer. As for a collection that impressed me with a balance of functionality and poise, it has to be Victoria Beckham’s darkly sexy body-cons, with transparent panelling.
Living in London is never more exciting than during London Fashion Week. The sheer colour and energy of the city during this time is intoxicating, and the prominence of the London style scene is gathering strength with every season. Marios Schwab’s collection moved and flowed like something from another age, especially with his dramatic Ancient Greek Sandals collaboration. I loved the addition of that hot and spicy paprika colour, a great shade to pair with black in the sun. Peter Pilotto was another joy to behold, and has fuelled my desire to mix print on print, and match peplum with pants. Finally, after months of hard work, Motilo and Jonathan Saunders pulled together to create a truly stunning show. I could see myself buying and wearing every single look, but one of my favourites was the irreverent but sophisticated dress in look 10, that shiny teardrop print is mesmerising. Luckily I can pre-order some Saunders on Motilo… I’m not sure I can wait until next year.
The quality of the shows in Milan surpassed the norm, as every single designer pushed their limits in terms of cut, shape, colour and substance. Prada’s Oriental theme caught my imagination, and I loved the injection of ‘60s shapes and minimalism. Pucci’s dainty but sexy use of white, with their semi-sheer trousers, was unique and undefeated. One of the most versatile collections was the ultra-sensual Bottega Veneta, I admired look 21, a peachy dress with Roman inspiration, and metallic studded structured pleats.
Finally, Paris is renowned for being the place where the biggest and the best come to showcase their collections. I have to say; it was tough to choose with so many amazing looks from Celine to Stella McCartney. However, I was immediately charmed by the dark splendour of Givenchy, the cut and movement of the silks and duchess satins and the layering of dresses over trousers was a daring but delicious departure for the brand. I was also pleased to see Alexander McQueen embracing new unknown territory. The drama of Sarah Burton’s honeycomb structures was breathtaking, and look 10 had a wonderful armour aura to it. Finally, Karl Lagerfeld has done it again. Chanel bolstered out over 80 looks and almost every single one was a work of genius. My favourite had to be look 35, a geometric mini dress, with shots of zingy cobalt blue and oversized spherical jewellery.
Paris saw some sartorial shake-ups with Hedi Slimane debuting his Saint Laurent Paris collection, and Raf Simons introductory ready-to-wear collection for Christian Dior. Saint Laurent, for me, seemed more suited for the Autumn Winter months, with all the heavy, dark materials and layering. Simons played it very safe with Dior, but I did love his final looks and their homage to Audrey Hepburn.
- Sofia Barattieri