When I was planning the theme for the October issue over six months ago, the idea of bravery came to mind. It emerged after watching the fall/ winter 2019 shows in Milan where I began to see distinct military tribes and warring themes alongside their exact opposite: Miuccia Prada’s warrior women and Bottega Veneta’s new militaristic oeuvre under Daniel Lee provided a captivating contrast to the punk eccentricity of Gucci and the hippie romance of Etro. It was the divide of the guerilla militant versus the bohemian dreamer. Paris further reinforced these two distinct camps: Under Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s charge, Chloé was all ’70s peace, love and boho-chic, while Rick Owens went post-apocalyptic for his eponymous line. Political clashes are making daily headlines with protests taking place from Hong Kong right through to UK and Brexit. With such turmoil happening globally, do you show your stance by donning tough battle gear to face the concrete jungle or you go all hippy peace, love and joy? Whether it’s to fight or take flight, our “War and Peace” feature on page 72 presents the designers’ cause célèbre, so to speak.
Which brings me to my next point—where does the politics end and fashion take over? I’ve noticed that women designers such as Marine Serre, Gabriela Hearst and Simone Rocha are making powerful statements of their own. Serre constructs her demi-couture pieces with upcycled and repurposed fabrics while Rocha embraces a multigenerational casting pool. Hearst built her first store without synthetics or chemicals—quite a feat in today’s heavily synthesised industry. These brave women designers have admirable work ethics, and are making their mark on their own terms, as Jeffrey Yan details in “Women’s March” on page 76.
Of course, no big fashion issue is complete without an extensive display of the season’s biggest, baddest and boldest accessories. Logos, hardware and bag sizes are larger than life, bright, brassy and gold. Fleece makes a cosy return with après ski, and anything furry or fluffy guarantees a snuggle fest fit for autumn. Candy colours look ultra-chic for ladies-who-lunch with their top handle bags and kitten heels. Silvers and whites take away the drab of winter blacks while light neutral is painted, embossed and sequinned for textural interest. Turn to page 92 to see our edits of the must-haves. And of course, nothing beats the bragging rights that comes with snagging the season’s It bag. Read Jiawa Liu’s (@beigerenegade) “Bagging Rights” piece on page 108 on how the whole allure of the most sought-after bag happened and the cultural, political and sartorial commentary it makes. The fact that a humble bag can be considered as a weapon of mass disruption says a lot about a vessel hanging from our hands, no? Finally, a power bag that serves and protects—how’s that for chic?