Dior's New Look, J.W.Anderson's Loewe Win And Isabel Marant's Cool Femininity

Let's talk PFW day three...


1) J.W.Anderson's Deconstruction

‘Experimentation pervades', read the press notes for Jonathan Anderson’s impressive line-up of deconstructed dresses and separates for Loewe. This, a day after the CFDA and Boston Consulting Group released the findings of their report on the ‘broken’ fashion system, advising that the industry was on the cusp of a ‘seismic shift’ and needed to change. So perhaps more experimentation is needed off the runway too. We’re now more than three weeks into a month of shows and the sense of uncertainty about the future of fashion seems to have reached its peak. There’s a quiet sense of hysteria in the air and showgoers - a mix of editors, buyers, stylists and bloggers - are getting reflective. In fact, talk about the industry's future has largely overshadowed the actual fashion.


But that wasn’t the case here, where Anderson’s collection made us all stop and look up from our phones for a moment, and really appreciate the clothing. Shown against a backdrop of Joan Miró paintings, his dresses came with nipped - and sometimes corseted - waists and full skirts that danced around the models' legs.


And, like much of the clothing we’ve seen this season, the dresses were heavy on ornamentation - in this case, gold hardware and silver balls and rings. Unlike others, Anderson had the good sense to exercise restraint, using just enough without sacrificing the wearability of the clothes. And as the fashion rumor mill continues to spin out of control with daily reports of big, sweeping changes and hirings and firings, restraint is starting to sound very appealing right now. 

2) Dior’s <I>New<I> New Look

When a woman walks into a luxury store, is she there to buy into the brand or the vision of the A-list designer currently working for it? It can’t be easy, having to design a collection for a house as storied as Dior, in the aftermath of a split as publicised as former Creative Director Raf Simons’ surprise departure. But the design studio, led by Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux, deserve credit for reminding us that behind the musical chairs of headline-making designers, is an atelier of craftsmen and women quietly lifting them up.


The dresses on show today didn’t signal a grand new vision for the brand - and with an announcement about a new creative director seemingly nowhere in sight, surely they weren’t meant to.Instead, the collection hit the right note as a chic and considered display of the technical skill one looks to Dior for. There were chic reimaginings of the wardrobe building blocks a Dior woman might rely on: a trim skirt suit, complete with its instantly recognisable bar jacket, in a range of colourways; a dressy winter coat in a variety of lengths (thigh-skimming to ankle-grazing), silhouettes (oversized and trim) and finishes (shiny leather and matte cashmere). 


So while the editors in the room continue to wait to find out who the next starry creative director will be, the Dior woman can continue to update her wardrobe interrupted.


3) Frills, Thrills And Femininity At Isabel Marant

The sexed up girlie girl we saw at Philosophy in Milan has a Parisian cousin at Isabel Marant. The common thread: ruffles and frills toughened up with leather and other rocker references. At Marant, the mood was young, totally Eighties and fun, with leather- and knit-based separates giving way to ruffled and gathered catsuits and teeny mini dresses that were the stuff of old-school club scene dreams.  

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