ALL THE BUZZ IN FASHION
1 RIGHT HERE, BRIGHT NOW
Alessandro Michele carried into pre-fall 2020 the restraint he had applied to decorative flourishes in Gucci’s spring/ summer 2020 collection, shining the spotlight instead on his mastery of colour and silhouette. As always, the collection was a glorious technicolour mash-up of gender and generational codes, with the clean, abbreviated lines of the 1960s sitting alongside the flowy, flared shapes of the ’70s; ’50s primness juxtaposed with a ’90s kind of sexual charge. The look may have been refined a little, but the message remained the same: Michele’s focus was still on the power of individuality and the beauty that comes from a myriad of identities. This message was amplified even further by his envelope-pushing casting. His usual crew of eccentric magpies, new romantics, art geeks and neo-punks were all present, but this season saw even more striking additions to the Gucci gang: Two stunning, accomplished women in their 70s. There was Benedetta Barzini (left), a model who worked with Irving Penn and Richard Avedon in their heyday before becoming a political activist, professor and author; as well as Bethann Hardison, a supermodel turned relentless advocate of diversity and inclusivity in fashion—values fiercely championed by Michele as well.
2 HOUSE PARTY
Now that we’re all spending more time than ever at home, why not treat yourself to things that spark joy and make your personal space that much more delightful? Fashion brands have been increasingly expanding into the lifestyle arena for a while now. With nowhere to go, let objects for the home take precedence. Whether it’s a luxurious suede sleeping eye mask for lounging or a chic cocktail shaker for those Zoom happy hours, the smallest things can spell a big difference in mood.
From top: Ping-pong set, $3,350, Louis Vuitton. Coffee mug, about $100, Saint Laurent Rive Droite. Cocktail shaker, $1,300, Louis Vuitton. Pool float; sleeping mask, about $242, Saint Laurent Rive Droite
3 THE CALL OF NATURE
While most other brands are shooting socially distanced campaigns via FaceTime, Alexander McQueen is putting out the call to take this forced slowdown in our lives to stop and smell the roses. The natural world has always been at the heart of the Alexander McQueen universe, whether it’s the petal dresses of recent seasons or McQueen’s fantasies of birds and underwater life. To celebrate and reconnect with nature, the House commissioned a diverse group of creatives to capture the beauty of their surroundings, and along the way, created its own version of a viral Instagram challenge.
From far left: Nature as seen by Chloé Le Drezen, Luis Alberto Rodriguez and Alice Schillaci
4 BUCKLE UP
In 1965, Roger Vivier created a shoe inspired by those worn by old European nobility. With its low block heel and pronounced rectangular buckle, it captured the ’60s mod spirit perfectly and was soon immortalised on the feet of Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour. Fifty-five years on, the Belle Vivier remains a key pillar of the House. Current Creative Director Gherardo Felloni updated it by exaggerating the rounded curves of the buckle and adding variations in heel heights. In true 21st-century style, he even transplanted the iconic buckle onto sneakers. To mark the anniversary this year, Felloni reimagined the buckle in leather-covered versions, polished metal and encrusted with crystals.
Spring/ summer 2020 Belle Vivier styles
5 HAVE A NICE DAY
From its inception in 2017, the annual LOEWE Paula’s Ibiza capsule has always been engineered for maximum pleasure and delight—clothes to put a smile on your face. This year, it takes that concept literally via a collaboration with the simplest and most enduring icon of positivity: The Smiley. The distinctive yellow face is splashed across a range of ready-to-wear and accessories. Not just a feel-good, look-good collection, the brand aims for the capsule to do good as well, with €40 from the sale of each LOEWE Paula’s Ibiza product going to the aid of socially vulnerable children in Spain who are impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
From top: Woven tote, $1,550; half-moon messenger bag, $1,400; coin purse, LOEWE Paula’s Ibiza 2020.
6 THREE TIMES A LADY
After countless seasons dominated by streetwear and Instagram statements, ladylike polish has circled its way back into fashion, along with a predilection for classics that can stand the test of time. And when it comes to the classics, nothing beats neat tailoring in tried-and-tested monochromes and neutrals. The newness that designers have injected into this aesthetic is the sense of ease with which these pieces are worn and the little subtle quirks they are paired with—whether in the form of Dior’s fishnet socks or Fendi’s trompe-l’oeil graphics.
From top: Dior pre-fall 2020; Thom Browne pre-fall 2020; Fendi California Sky
7 TAG TEAM
In a bid to boost the circular economy in fashion and to heighten conscious consumption, ZALORA has partnered with Vestiaire Collective, making the resale platform’s wares available on one of the region’s biggest fashion e-commerce destinations. As the industry grapples with questions of how to sustainably move forward, lengthening the lifespan of beautifully made goods already in circulation is definitely a step in the right direction.
A selection of Balenciaga bags now available at ZALORA through Vestiaire Collective
8 WALKING ON SUNSHINE
As a tribute to Christian Dior’s first vocation as a gallerist, Kim Jones has continued celebrating artists through Dior Men, partnering with a different creative each season. His latest collaborator is Daniel Arsham, the American artist who often blurs the line between art and architecture. For this partnership, the starting point was Arsham’s Future Relics series, in which everyday objects are reimagined as archaeological discoveries from a distant future. The resulting CD1 sneakers are embossed and have transparent details to mimic the erosion of time, while the brilliant gradient colours speak of the House’s savoir faire.
From top: CD1 sneaker in gradient pink; tie-dye, $1,750 each, Dior Men
9 ECO CHIC
The launch of the ReBurberry Edit capsule marks a milestone in that two-thirds of all Burberry products are now made in a socially conscious manner. Each product in the 26-piece collection comes with a special pistachio-coloured label that spells out the sustainability efforts that have gone into its making—be it the usage of organic or recycled materials, the offset of carbon emissions involved, or the social initiatives behind it such as paying the workers involved a minimum living wage. Most of the pieces are made using recycled textiles or bio-based materials that involve reduced water and energy usage. The trench coats, parkas, capes and some of the accessories, for example, are produced from ECONYL—nylon recycled from fishing nets, fabric scraps and industrial plastics.
ReBurberry Edit ECONYL cross-body bag, $1,520, Burberry
10 MOVE YOUR BODY
Activewear has gone beyond its intended role as purpose-oriented garments to become everyday wardrobe-building blocks—a look even more prevalent in these times. Retailers are responding by ramping up their offerings. COS has just launched activewear, serving up functionality and ease in its minimalist style. Made with recycled polyester and nylon as well as organic cottons, the collection is also sustainability minded. Net-a-Porter has also doubled down on activewear, with luxe basics by the likes of Reebok x Victoria Beckham selling like hot cakes. One of the retailer’s more interesting brands include Ernest Leoty, a corset-maker turned activewear purveyor.
From top: COS Active collection. Top, about $100, Ernest Leoty at Net-a-Porter. Hoodie, about $400, Reebok x Victoria Beckham at Net-a-Porter. Shorts, about $145, Ernest Leoty at Net-a-Porter
11 SPIRIT ANIMAL
Take a cue from the inescapable Tiger King and heed the call of the wild. A leopard-print trench coat is an instant solution to dressing up stay-home sweats. A little also goes a long way when it comes to injecting a spot of glamour into the everyday—a statement hat, glasses in big-cat prints or a bag in snakeskin adds instant allure effortlessly.
Clockwise from far right: R13 pre-fall 2020. Bag, $8,380, Gucci. Shoes, $1,370, Bottega Veneta. Hat, $1,090, Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello. Sunglasses, $490, CELINE by Hedi Slimane
BY JEFFREY YAN