A TONGUE-IN-CHEEK (AND FASHIONABLE) ANSWER TO SOCIAL DISTANCING: SPRING/SUMMER 2020’S RUNWAY PIECES THAT ARE AS MAXIMALIST IN DIMENSIONS AS THEY ARE IN STYLE.
MARC JACOBS’ “BUBBLE-RELLA” MINI DRESS
The collections of this New York Fashion Week torchbearer have become increasingly joyous in recent years, but this season’s topped them all with its array of OTT colours, prints, embellishments and ruffle-y silhouettes. It was made all the sweeter with its numerous references to late icons such as Karl Lagerfeld, Lee Radziwill and Doris Day; a love letter to their larger-than-life idiosyncrasies as well as Jacobs’ irrepressible antidote to the “endless sea of digital influencers”. This vinyl number conjures up what Jane Fonda wore in Barbarella (1968) – had Jacobs been in charge of costumes. The width of its shoulders? Approximately 90cm.
MOSCHINO’S “SELF-PORTRAIT” DRESS
Creative director Jeremy Scott – fashion’s sharpest satirist – has sent paper dolls and alien first ladies down the runway, and this season he riffs on the works and life of Picasso. Harlequin and bull-fighting costumes (the artist had a lifelong obsession with the sport) as well as flamenco ballgowns were among the most eye-catching looks. The best magic trick however had to be this 1.3m-wide trompe l’oeil dress/painting/frame. There’s something to be said about inception here, but we’ll leave it to your imagination. (PS. It’s been adapted into a shift dress for retail.)
THOM BROWNE’S BIG, BADASS “BRIDAL GOWN”
If there was a whiff of Marie Antoinette – fashion’s favourite real-life drama queen – this season (see Loewe, Comme des Garcons and Rick Owens), Mr Browne took it to the nth degree with his elaborate show that came complete with corsets, powdered wigs and all. Case in point: his closing look, a wedding number comprising a wool cashmere cardigan, seersucker shirt and volumnious matching skirt that was propped up by panniers and measures about 1.3m at its widest.
BALENCIAGA’S “BELL DE JOUR” BALLGOWN
Sure, we’ve seen plenty of innovative street gear and an increased focus on tailoring from Demna Gvasalia. The sculptural ballgowns that capped the brand’s show were another revelation though. Held up by removable crinolines underneath, their bell-shaped skirts were so big, they bounced with every step. Next month’s Haute Couture Week – when Gvasalia was supposed to reveal the brand’s return to couture – has been cancelled, but if this was meant to be a stunning preview, the man looks set to revolutionise it.
MOLLY GODDARD’S POWER PUFF FROCK
The goal for this London Fashion Week darling this season was to have her signature frothy tulle silhouettes blown up – literally. This custard yellow number was constructed using a whopping 58m of the gauzy fabric over five days and features 18 hand-smocked panels. The result: the dress with the biggest skirt in the whole collection, its airy volume achieved not with hoops or an inner skirt, but clever layering and pattern-cutting techniques.
NOIR KEI NINOMIYA’S WILD THING OF A DRESS
The Rei Kawakubo protege continues to prove himself every bit the magician. His last few shows have referenced florals, but this season saw him take his brand of big dress energy into jungle territory. Fantastical headdresses crafted out of real palms and fronds created by floral artist/regular collaborator Azuma Makoto complemented his sculptural designs that resemble anything from clouds to a chandelier this season. Our favourite: This shaggy one-piece that could be part bird; is certainly not plain; and every bit super.