Paris is abuzz with life and energy during fashion week and no one experiences it quite like the models who walk the shows. After four weeks of traveling around the world and bringing the finest designs to life the girls are ready for one last hurrah and the calm the follows the storm. Photographer Daniella Rech captured the season’s most fashionable stars – Karlie, Magdalena, Daphne, Daria and more – during those precious minutes of downtime between shows. Enjoy this candid and strikingly beautiful look into the moments behind the glamour.
As the last show on NY fashion week calendar, Marc Jacobs was given the arduous task of ending things with a bang. No easy feat, given the jaded editors filling the seats of the Armory, but Jacobs managed to move his audience by showing one of his best collections to date. Staged with theatricality worthy of a Broadway Fosse revival, the collection was a thoughtful melange of influences past, present and future. Everything from cashmere sweatshirts, Stephen Jones crafted lamé du-rags and silicone dresses appeared on Jacobs’ runway. In the hands of a lesser designer these quirky touches might seem haphazard, but Marc managed to create a cohesive look. Somewhere between futuristic flapper and urbane fashionista lies the Jacobs girl: this season there are no literal references, and as such each piece took on a life of its own. Clothing with personality is what Marc Jacobs is all about and spring’s offerings are filled with the charm, grace and wit we’ve come to expect from America’s current fashion king.
Francisco Costa’s look for Calvin has always been about the juxtaposition between elegance and minimalism, embracing simplicity without resorting to starkness. Spring finds Costa in a muted mood, focusing on a restrained palette of neutrals and earth tones in luxurious fabrics. Delicate tulle slip-dresses called to mind those classic spaghetti strap numbers the house’s founder used to put on the runways in the mid-nineties, but the shapes have been modernized. Waists were more defined, metallic accents added interest and sheer overlays provided a hint of sexiness. With the brand’s face Lara Stone taking her place in the front row instead of the catwalk, all doses of sensuality were deeply appreciated. Costa’s airy, elegant pieces felt fresh, especially after a season dominated by prints and color – once again, the Calvin standards prove their worth in gold.
Preen never fails to deliver, with each collection Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi expand the horizon of their brand with a fresh round of creativity. Spring finds the duo in a feminine mood, with soft colors and sculpted shapes combining to create a refined yet daring look. Pastels and prints are de rigueur on the runways this season, but no one is doing them like Preen. Their mix of pixels and hand drawn patterns is completely original and after a seemingly endless stream of NYFW shows that felt culled from the ghosts of collections past, it is nice to see designers who value uniqueness over familiarity.
For all the uniqueness there are a few historical allusions – Thornton and Bregazzi were inspired by The Bloomsbury set, an English group of intellectuals that included Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster. Rather than making their literary reference overt, they let the artistic spirit of that group’s dynamic influence things subtly. As we all know, Preen is a thinking woman’s fashion line, as pretty as things get on the runway it is the substance and skillful technique found in each piece that keeps fans coming back for more.
If there are two buzzwords to associate with Alexander Wang’s Spring show they would be “effortless” and “technical”. The Wang girls sported fresh from the shower hair, minimal makeup and a series of sporty looks that wouldn’t seem out of place at the local Equinox. One might assume that all this downtown chic is just the natural vibe of the cooler than cool cast, but that is where the technical bit comes in. Wang’s runway was filled with pieces that were laser cut, laden with exotic materials and styled within an inch of their lives by Karl Templer. The perfection on the catwalk is no happy accident, even though the line remains a favorite of girls who want the “just rolled out of bed” mystique. What Wang does best is tread the line between calculated and cool, his girls may look like they don’t care but rest assured that they do. Everything about this collection was on trend, right down to the runway return of Elise Crombez.
For a young designer being labeled, “the next so and so” is a gift and a curse: on the one hand comparisons to the greats are always complimentary, on the other hand in order to achieve true lasting power, your name has to stand on its own. In the case of Joseph Altuzarra we have all heard the words “Tom Ford” whispered in reference to his first few collections, but for Spring it’s out with the Ford, in with the florals. Altuzarra eschews the in your face sexiness in favor of a more conceptual look. Sections of black and white play up the house’s signature body conscious aesthetic, while prints that look culled from an art exhibit provide a jolt of playfulness. After all, what is Spring without a little fun? The upbeat vibe of the collection had a surprising effect on the audience, at times you could even see the most stony editors smiling. When a designer can win a grin from La Wintour you know they’ve made an impact. Altuzarra’s fashion offerings this season need no comparison to the past, they stand on their own as a stunning contribution to modern glamour.
Take away the airbrushing, the makeup team, the hair-stylists, the fancy clothes and what are you left with: just a model, a photographer and the power of an image. Viva London gets down to the nitty gritty, showing their superstars and fresh faces in unretouched portraits by Scott Trindle. Untouched, a refreshing exhibit, which opens tonight in London at Rochelle School of Art gives viewers an intimate look at girls like Natalia, Raquel, Edita and Kim Noorda. Trindle’s striking black and white photos are sure to get people talking. Take a look at our exclusive preview of the accompanying film and new never before seen images.
The Valentino brand has always understood femininity, but under the direction of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, that means something very different than it did when the legendary Garavani was at the helm. Chiuri and Piccioli favor a light and almost demure look that skews girly with touches of lace and sheer detailing, but never looks immature. This season featured the gauzy dresses the duo have become known for, but expanded the airy look to include structured separates for day, floral printed gowns and a lineup of on trend python accessories. No matter the look, an ethereal feel ran through the entire showing; even the thick fur worn by Patricia Van Der Vliet and the laser cut leather skirt on Daphne Groeneveld seemed to float. When designers can take materials that dense and imbue them with lightness it shows not only talent, but the power of a compelling design signature.
Francisco Costa has mastered the art of minimalism without repetition. Season after season he turns out thoughtful collections for Calvin Klein, subtly updating the brand’s vision of luxe austerity while providing his own take on modern elegance. Fall brings Costa into fresh territory with plays on texture and shape. The restrained color palette might not stray far from the neutral zone, but the array of finishes keeps things compelling. Bonded alpaca, cashmere, jersey, flannel, leather, lambskin; just an assortment of the materials Costa utilizes to great effect. It takes a moment to notice such an understated use of sumptuous textiles, but that is part of the magic. No matter how many hours of blood, sweat and tears were poured into the collection, it always looks effortless. Simplicity is the most difficult thing a designer can accomplish and it is the crux of true luxury. When Lara Stone glides down the runway in Costa’s metallic shift looking like she was born to wear it, you begin to understand the diligence and commitment to artistry that has come to define the Calvin brand.