Koonhor designers Koon Lim and Catrine Thé, born and raised in Singapore and Indonesia, respectively, highlighted daring masculine qualities with a modern spin in their Fall/Winter 2014 Collection. Inspired by the sexually ambiguous work of photographer Emil Cadoo, Koonhor featured metallic coated blazers, glazed wool dresses, and organza skirts. As simple floral motifs contrasted strict silhouettes, Koonhor celebrated the modern woman who is both tough and nurturing.
Leather harness expert Zana Bayne premiered her very first ready-to-wear collection on the runway at New York Fashion Week. Titled “The Ornamentalist,” Bayne’s new collection included brilliant crocodile embossed belts, leather chokers, and bustiers fit for a Dominant goddess. The impressive bustle skirts accentuated shapely hips, and buckle bras acted as armour. Bayne harnessed seduction with her leather accessories, but kept the entire show sophisticated by placing her adornments over silky underthings. The designs were amplified as high lace-up boots and cascading gold tassels entered the scene. To put the cherry on top of the deliciously enticing cake, Bayne’s bride completed the show in a dress made out of nothing but pure, white leather.
Monique Lhuillier combined structure and fluidity this season. She gave soft tulle a modern twist by adding skeletal embroidery and implemented waist defining belts to straight silhouettes. This collection showcased a large variety of shiny latticework eveningwear and cocktail dresses. One of the highlights of the show was a trench coat that resembled cobwebs of cotton lace.
This season, Lacoste explored an outdoorsy trend seen at others like at Nicholas K and Nautica, ditching their leisure-class tennis roots for a tougher, more masculine aesthetic. With favourites like Fernando Cabral walking out backlit by a modern LED screen of waving white dots, the recurring inclination seemed to be full monochrome looks: burgundy red, beige, and split-pea-soup green.
Kaelen conceptualised fur, soft ruffles, and silk in her minimalist collection. Canadian designer Kaelen Haworth elongated the torso of garments and played with colours such as fuchsia, ash grey, powder pink, and poppy red. She experimented with stretch wool in large volumes and how a slight wave in fabric could completely feminise a silhouette. Overall, Kaelen’s collection was fresh and innovative in the way she made wool skirts sway with ease and how she skillfully combined various textures.
Known for their crazy Fashion Week ‘happenings’, Moncler Grenoble did not disappoint with another breath-taking spectacle. This season, a chorus of opera singers in black quilted formal overcoats belted out Swiss-inspired harmonies while strapped to moving mechanical arms. Their collective bodies resembled a blooming flower as they were controlled by a strange, almost sinister machine, flanked from behind by a veritable army of models in puffy ski attire. A typical Moncler smorgasbord of luxurious fur-trimmed down jackets and modish goggles completely the bizarre and wonderful juxtaposition.
It seemed Alexandre Herchcovitch has been reading Charles Dickens, with each look this season a modernised incarnation of Great Expectations’ Miss Havisham. Frizzy hair and falling shoulder straps artfully dishevelled his vision of creamy fine-laced wayside-fallen glamour, topped with innovations like open, billowing wool sleeves, subverting Victoriana for a new generation.
Artfully balancing simplicity with innovation, Hanako Maeda’s Adeam stood out for it’s quiet sophistication. A seemingly unnoticeable fold of leather on the corner of a purse – like an earmark on a book – perfectly reflected the strength of the designs: subtle, unassuming details, like a the pleats of a black skirt, which were lined with silky black, to be revealed upon motion. This unconventional use of fur – not as a symbol of extravagance, but simply as a material, seamlessly integrated with the rest – marks a unique new perspective in simple luxury.
Words / Seymour Glass