Friday, 25 September 2015

New York Fashion Week SS16 – Runway Highlights

Yes, it's that time again already... another month of bi-annual fashion madness is well underway, and seeing as we are two weeks in, I decided it was about time I started compiling my runway highlights. First stop New York.

One thing that pleased me about the New York shows was the amount of monochrome, navy and grey on the runways. Plenty of designers gracefully sidestepped the spring cliches and should be applauded for that! Don't get me wrong, if florals and pastels are your thing there were certainly designers that catered for you, but I was very impressed with the amount of labels that included quintessentially autumnal palettes and fabrics in what are undisputed spring styles.

Enough of my rambling, here are are a few of my highlights from the New York Fashion Week runways....

Diesel Black Gold SS16  –  ©

Andreas Melbostad's latest Diesel Black Gold collection was definitely not filled with cliched spring/summer looks. The use of white fabrics, particularly broderie anglaise, left you with no doubt that this was indeed a spring/summer collection, but the predominantly black and navy colour palette (not to mention the use of studs and leather) gave the pieces an edgier feel. Let's face it, any designer who works boots and biker jackets into their summer looks is always going to have my vote...

Jeremy Scott SS16  –  ©Yannis Vlamos/

There are collections that look like they could legitimately fit straight into your wardrobe (see Diesel Black Gold) and others that make you lust after things you never even knew you wanted. Jeremy Scott is just that kind of designer. The Creative Director for Moschino has the ability to make the outlandish desirable. (Remember that McDonald's collection? How the heck do you take an icon synonymous with all things cheap and tacky and make me want to dress in it from head to toe?!)

The spring SS16 collection had a definite sixties feel to the styling – beehives, winged liner, matte orange lips – but the prints were what really caught my eye. According to Scott, the ray-guns and a-line shapes were a homage to sixties B-movies and sci-fi.

This was by no means as outlandish as some of his Moschino offerings – when you break the collection down the individual pieces are actually very wearable – but they are certainly just as much fun. And true to form, he has left me lusting after the unexpected. Who could have predicted that a ray-gun print dress and whale net tights would be at the top of my wish list!

DKNY SS16  –   ©Marcus Tondo/

From the bizarre to the classic.... the DKNY collection really tapped into my love of pinstripes. Right from label's inception, Donna Karen's classic aesthetic has always been geared towards providing long-lasting wardrobe staples rather than 'throw-away' fashion. For the SS16 collection, designers Dao Yi-Chow and Maxwell Osborne have drawn inspiration from the early 90s pin-stripe power suit. The result is a collection that references the aesthetic and utilises the fabrics to create new shapes that are far more exciting than the original suit itself.

Givenchy SS16  –  ©Monica Feudi/

My first glimpse of the Givenchy SS16 collection came via makeup artist Pat McGrath's Instagram feed... and what a memorable look! She used lace applique and masks to create striking looks for selected models that were unique and fiercely tribal.

Celebrating his tenth year at the helm, Creative Director Ricardo Tisci explained that the show was "a celebration of life, pure love, different religions and all people." Showing in New York for the first time (to coincide with the opening of a New York Givenchy store) the show also coincided with the 14th anniversary of 9/11, and tastefully acknowledged the event with a rendition of Ave Maria whilst Ground Zero was lit up.

This was another largely monochromatic collection and ranged from every day pieces to classic gowns. The theme of 'pure love' translated into several dresses (such as the one above) that felt almost bridal. Despite all the beautiful clothes it was probably the boots (above left) that really stole my heart.

Overall it was a beautiful collection, and in an era when Givenchy is now so frequently uttered in the same sentence as 'Kim Kardashian', it is reassuring to know that this allegiance has done nothing to diminish the integrity of the Parisian brand. Elegant and timeless – long may Givenchy remain synonymous with its true ambassador... Audrey Hepburn.

Marc Jacobs SS16  –  ©Gianni Pucci/

I'm going to bring this post to a close on a lighter note, with the show that closed New York Fashion Week – Marc  Jacobs. If Jeremy Scott paid unquestionable homage to the sixties and DKNY to the 90s power suit, the inspirations here were a little less clear. From Americana (plenty of red white and blue) to movies, Jacobs certainly indulged in his taste for the nostalgic. Personally my favourite look was the one above featuring the swans - an inspired mashup between Sgt Pepper style military and air hostess chic. Letterman jackets also appeared with a nod to pop culture through the incorporation of the Playboy bunny logo, and gowns were given a unique twist with pop art style prints.

Located at the Ziegfield, this definitely sounded like a show to experience, with popcorn, cigarette girls selling candy and ushers handing out Playbills. The models walked a red carpet half a block long before entering the theatre where the outside events were viewed on the big screen. A memorable close to the week!
Next up, London....

You can find more images from all the shows at


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Sophia Webster meets Barbie...

I think it's pretty safe to say that I have never been a Barbie girl (in fact if we are referring to the childhood years I was definitely more of a dinosuars and Transformers kind of girl), but leave it to Sophia Webster to make me want to live life in plastic.

Her collaboration with Barbie makes complete sense – the resultant shoes are effortlessly true to both icons. The are instantly recognisable as Webster's designs, yet the plethora of pink and use of perspex are unquestionably Barbie. Pink high heels not your thing? No problem. The collection comprises nine pairs of shoes – three of which are heels – but there are also two pairs of trainers, one pair of flat sandals and three children's pairs.

"Creating a shoe collection for Barbie has always been my dream project, but getting to be a part of her embracing flats for the first time made it extra exciting, and deeply personal," Webster has said to Vogue. "I love that this concept strikes a balance between dreams and reality - the idea of getting Barbie in some hi-tops and setting her loose in East London instantly appealed."

Available from Selfridges worldwide and

© Rock & Runway

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