1 RESTRAIN & RELEASE
Miuccia Prada is a bellwether of the fashion industry; her every move has editors and buyers alike sitting up to take notice and rethinking their fashion trajectories. Her radical idea this season was simplicity and as our pandemic-ravaged world grows ever more chaotic, this concept has in turn become increasingly reassuring and resonant. While past seasons have seen her proposing beefed-up Day-Glo nylon sportswear and zany Instagram-bait graphics, for spring/summer 2020, she had timelessness and elegance on her mind. Of course, Prada being Prada, simplicity wasn’t as simple as it sounded. Her vision of timelessness was rooted in times gone past. As we enter a new ’20s, she looked back to the old ’20s; dresses were elongated and waistless, but unlike the beaded extravagance of last century’s flapper frocks, Prada’s had a distinctly humble quality—rendered in gauzy fabrics such as linen and muslin. The accessories added to the homespun vibe, with cloche hats pieced together from scraps of leather and python skin, and necklaces strung together from seashells. She tempered the ’20s flavor with a strictness and minimalism borrowed respectively from the ’40s and ’90s. And then because Prada never does the literal and the expected, she electrified the whole thing with occasional flashes of richness in the form of emerald velvet, gold leather and decadent Art Deco flourishes. The result was a new kind of glamour with roots in the past but an eye firmly on the future.
2 PICTURE PERFECT
The opening of its Rive Droite stores has given Saint Laurent the opportunity and creative outlet to work with a whole spectrum of unexpected brands on objects and collectibles—some practical, some purely whimsical, but all stamped with Saint Laurent’s brand of subversive chic. Its latest partner is camera manufacturer Lomography, indulging the current collective nostalgia for analogue photography. The partnership has yielded two models—the one with star prints comes preloaded with colour film while the monochrome chequered version shoots in black and white.
3 THE LAST STRAW
In a season rife with nostalgia and longing for the pleasures of simpler times, there has been a proliferation of materials derived from the natural world and a sense of rawness in luxury fashion. Designers as diverse as Hedi Slimane and Miuccia Prada have turned to straw, wicker and raffia to fashion pieces that immediately transport one into a dreamy summertime daze—think Jane Birkin and her brand of effortless Gallic chic. From Dior’s garden hats to CELINE’s bucket bags, these are the pieces bringing bohemian 1970s glamour into a new context for today.
From top: Straw hat, $1,450, Dior. Hobo bag, $2,360, Prada. Sandal, $1,500, Gianvito Rossi
4 FIT TO PRINT
In his two short years helming Dior Men, Kim Jones has made full use of the House’s extensive archives, excavating decades of history with a fresh perspective. Having already introduced John Galliano’s Saddle bag to a whole new generation of consumers, he’s now doing the same for the designer’s newspaper print— first introduced for spring/summer 2000 haute couture. The 2020 version is reworked with American artist Daniel Arsham, his collaborative partner for the season. The refreshed print comprises press releases written by Monsieur Dior himself, as well as the words “Collection Ete 3020”—a nod to Arsham’s process of creating future relics.
From left: Sneaker, $1,600; phone holder, $920; Dior. John Galliano’s Saddle bag and newspaper print as reinterpreted by Kim Jones
5 DREAM WEAVER
The Fendi Peekaboo was an instant hit from its debut 12 years ago and is updated each season to maintain its popularity. This season’s refresh puts craft front and centre. Silvia Venturini Fendi’s first solo ready-to-wear outing emphasised intricate embroideries, quilting and weaving, which crossed over into her accessories. The Peekaboo now comes in an Interlace version, where traditional craftsmanship meets modern technology. In this iteration, the leather is first cut into strips with mathematical precision, and then assembled and woven by hand—giving a tactile new look and feel to a house icon.
The iconic Fendi Peekaboo is updated this season with the Interlace technique of handwoven leather strips
6 SOFTLY DOES IT
The Givenchy Antigona was introduced almost a decade ago and since then, has been spotted in the crook of many an It girl’s arm. This season, Clare Waight Keller gives it a makeover via a soft new structure and a supersized silhouette that is a defiant riposte to all the micro and nano bags flooding our Instagram feeds. In this reboot, the signature geometry and triangular patch are maintained but imbued with a new slouchiness, inspired by the idea of a time-worn leather jacket, that allows the bag to be hugged under the arms like a beloved security pillow.
From left: Large Antigona Soft bag, $3,650; large Antigona Soft bag, $4,190; medium Antigona Soft bag, $3,150, Givenchy
7 LEVEL UP
In recent years, both Moncler and RIMOWA have made ultra-hyped collaborations a cornerstone of their brands. Now, the two powerhouses come together with the limited-edition Moncler RIMOWA Reflection capsule. Based on the RIMOWA Original Cabin, the suitcase is made in high-shine mirrored aluminium as a nod to the lacquered effect on Moncler’s signature down jackets and embedded with a metal Moncler plaque. The capsule also includes travel accessories such as a silver packing cube made from Moncler’s iconic padded nylon, a luggage tag and a suitcase belt.
The Moncler RIMOWA Reflection presentation at the recent Milan Fashion Week
8 PAY IT FORWARD
The past year has seen Sarah Burton engage actively with the subject of sustainability, upcycling old fabrics to fashion poetic new creations at Alexander McQueen. She has also made nurturing the next generation a key focus, beginning with the opening of an immersive education and exhibition space on the top floor of the brand’s London flagship store. Now, she takes both initiatives one step further by donating surplus fabrics to students of fashion institutions in the UK. Pictured here, a collection by Steven Stokey-Daley of the University of Westminster, whose dressing gown utilised 120m of three different McQueen silks.
Steven Stokey-Daley’s graduate collection made from fabrics donated by the House of McQueen
9 THE FUTURE OF CRAFT
One of Jonathan Anderson’s master strokes at Loewe has been to tie the House to the idea of artisanship and the pinnacle of that vision is the launch of the Loewe Craft Prize, which celebrates all manners of craft and handiwork from across the globe. Now in its fourth year, the Loewe Craft Prize is more diverse than ever, with the 2020 edition showcasing 30 finalists from 18 countries. The key takeaway from this year’s batch, shortlisted from almost 3,000 submissions, is a heightened focus on upcycled and repurposed materials as well as a renewed emphasis on organic forms. All 30 finalists will have their works exhibited at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris from 21 May to 12 July. The winner will be announced on 19 May and will take home a prize of €50,000 (about S$79,000).
Clockwise from top: Works by Hyejeong Kim, Jack Doherty, David Corvalán and Takayuki Sakiyama
BY JEFFREY YAN