well my darlings, fashion month is done. i started with a certain amount of meh-y-ness. most days the collections and even the street style had me like “meh” peppered in with the occasional “oh shit” moment and then back to meh-ing it out. in the middle of milan, after finding myself whole heartedly wowing at fendi and shrugging indifferently through dolce/prada and some usual fave young designers, i decided to take a deep breath and make “let the collections take you where they will” be my mantra. once it hit paris, i felt a serious shift. shit got real, as they say. this season my favorite collections were by new/young designers (maticevski, vejas, alessandra rich, loewe, j.js lee, natasha zinko, ashley williams), ones that i haven’t typically loved (fendi, christopher kane, & my new favorite nina ricci), and what felt like comebacks from a few old faves (dries van noten, norma kamali, and the amazing raf simons for calvin klein). i was surprised to find myself less than inspired by my usual favorites with balenciaga & celine being the exceptions.
i tend to wind down fashion month by looking back at commonality, and of course there were threads. to begin i must mention that hyper cropped/bolero/shrug jackets popped up in multiple collections, which means that the early oughts have officially come back (actual yikes). fringe is back for fall but in lengthy collars or at hems like crazy hair. mustard yellow/saffron fun fur coats showed up often, in fact fur e’erywhere in trims and bear sleeved jackets. contrast sleeves (including weird detached sweater sleeves) abound. demna gvasalia’s check suiting was in probably 90% of collections for fall. rockabilly denim (another demna inspired item) and canadian tuxedos (ahem) are coming for you. there were also loads of mixed prints (while there’s some demna there too, nobody does it better than print master dries van noten & the amazing jw anderson at loewe), and sheer everything (even more demna!).
at a certain point i had to tell myself to stop calling out rips or references to demna gvasalia and just take it all in, but i realize that you really can’t separate demna gvasalia from fashion month because it’s so glaringly clear how on everyone’s mind demna gvasalia is. there were the obvious references, but when it came time for heavy hitters like gucci, fendi and lemaire i started to notice something different. it wasn’t until celine showed that i realized just how influential demna is. last season there were synchronistic moments between balenciaga and celine, and as i watched celine’s fall collection i felt almost as if phoebe philo was riffing on demna. for fall vetements showed a “survey of social uniforms” (a re-occurring theme of the label): that of a soldier, a delivery man, a punk, a homeless person (with sleeping bags), a bride, and a couple of women in business skirt sets. to me celine’s collection felt similar, but through the eyes of the celine woman: hardworking women who are navigating incredibly busy lives in bustling cities. celine’s collection felt almost like another piece of the conversation. a nod. from a woman who up until now has stood alone. what feels different this season is that demna’s presence has lost the sort of buzz of a hot new trend. over the last couple of seasons it has felt like the changing of the guard, and it feels now like the shiny newness of vetements is mellowing into what is shaping up to be the new normal: comment on the political climate, whether literal or metaphorical is omnipresent, gender lines are blurring and personal style (styling) reigns supreme.