Alice + Olivia Spring 2018

The line to get into Alice + Olivia’s show was so hectic, a bystander who knew nothing about fashion would walk by and think that free money was being given away. But, alas, there was no free cash; however, but was a spring 2018 collection rich in patterns, bold statements, femininity, and style.      

Stacey Bendet, the creative brain behind Alice + Olivia, was inspired by the Chelsea Hotel and all its iconic Rock n’ Roll history for this spring 2018 outing. Bendet attempted to create collection that projected what the Chelsea Hotel’s iconic female guests would wear now if they were still residents of the Chelsea Hotel. (Think Nancy of the tragic rock couple Sid and Nancy alive and updated.)Bendet’s friend, the artist Lola Schnabel, daughter of downtown iconic artist Julian Schnabel, lived in the Chelsea Hotel at one point. After some extensive research, Bendet invited eight other artists to design rooms for the presentation based on what their rooms would look like if they currently lived in the Chelsea Hotel.     

The collections was a unique blend an homage to the worlds of art and fashion The collection could be described as the late punk 1970s shares a bed with with a contemporary art.     

The collection featured beautiful, bold colors, but there were so many messages lying underneath gorgeous layers of fabric, some more blatant than others. Subtle statements were done in a kitschy way, such as a tee shirt in rainbow sequin letters that said “The World Needs More Sparkle.” Still, other messages were more blatant, such as a backdrop that had the word “FEMINIST” scribbled all over it as two models dressed in pure white perched against the backdrop.     

                                                    Images courtesy of Alice + Olivia

A creative reinterpretation of a hotel turned into a story about women, the power of fashion and American cultural motifs. Here in Bendet’s world, women thrive and survive in bright, colorful prints, pussy bows, and ruffle-tiered dresses. Bendet’s talent should be most admired for her ability to bring together eight different artistic visions and create one cohesive collection with cultural and political messages.

In summary, the collection was a mix of rock ‘n roll, color explosion, modern feminism, and art. This cornucopia of boldness, vibrancy and design, all message driven leave a fashion audience wanting more.

—Kristopher Fraser

Laurence & Chico Spring 2018

New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) (there are two each year not the one the name implies) was created in 1944 by Eleanor Lambert—the first American fashion publicist, and an iconic figure in American fashion— to showcase American fashion designers because the American press could not get to Europe to see the couture shows due to World War II; thus, the original name of fashion week, Press Week.

While that does remain a function of Fashion Week, the seven-day event has grown into something so much bigger. In its current incarnation, NYFWS, simply presenting collections in the traditional way isn’t enough; it must come with great spectacle to grab attention from editors, bloggers, social media influencers and other industry professionals. The big danger in spectacle presentation is the clothes getting lost in the shuffle.

Laurence & Chico, met while students Parsons School of Design. They both later worked at several luxury houses, launching their own line in 2016. The results of their spring 2018 collection were mind blowing, walking a fine line between eye popping and eye gouging.

The show was a presentation rather than a traditional runway with models perched in a pre-ordained tableau. The venue was heady with an earthy green smell that came from the live moss that covered the stage, interspersed with sparkling brightly colored gravel with eerie atmospheric music by Zeng Bohao reminiscent of recently revived Twin Peaks.

                                                 Images courtesy of Fashion Reverie

Laurence & Chico’s spring 2018 collection immediately caused the eye to peruse the wild styling. Models wore hat/wigs 2 ft. high, weighing excess of maybe 20 pounds. Some of the wigs were accessorized with gigantic candy wrapper bows. The makeup considered of feathers glued to lips, pearls glued to eyebrows and yarn around the eyes that rendered up images of textured tears. There were also metallic ruched elbow gloves.

It’s easy to see how a collection might get lost in all that theater; however, the garments stood out enough because of their own brilliance. There were unique silhouettes of oversized bomber jackets made entirely of metallic ruffles worn over dresses interwoven with pearls, floral embroidery, and feathers. Jackets and skirts made of metallic candy wrap interwoven with pearl embellishments. Another great look was a full-length vest made of red and dark denim tweed with front ties, over a pair of navy skinny jeans that would look great on Miley Cyrus. Once you look past the eye-popping styling, the outfits were avant- garde and playful, bursting with color and personality. Even the blazer and skinny pants with their traditional silhouettes were created with fun cartoon prints.

Some of the clothes did look like they might be difficult or uncomfortable to wear, but worth the discomfort. Keep your eye on Laurence & Chico; Fashion Reverie suspects they may become the next big fashion superstars!

—Cameron Rose Gray

Givenchy Resort 2018

 

Givenchy_Resort_2018_lesfaconsYou know that you are living in unwieldy times when housing projects become front-page news. First, there is HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson who plans on shuttering all US public housing. Then on June 14 London’s Grenfell Tower, a housing project, erupted in flames, killing 79 people. Add to that Givenchy’s Resort 2018 collection that used the Corviale, an imposing Brutalist housing project southwest of Rome, as one of the backdrops.

In these very uncertain times, artists are looking to juxtapose their creative vision against political unrest and societal change. No brand this season does this any better than Givenchy.

Collages1324This interesting perspective may be a continuing aesthetic of Givenchy under its new creative director Clare Waight Keller. Keller has a history of redefining iconic fashion houses. From Pringle of Scotland, where Keller served as creative director, to Chloe, where Keller assumed the helm in 2011, Keller has demonstrated an adept ability of reinventing iconic fashion design aesthetic and adding a modern sensibility that sits well with contemporary audiences.

For Givenchy’s Resort 2018 collection Keller utilized the architectural backdrops of an Italian housing project and Rome’s Museum of Modern Civilization to contrast static, overwhelming structures as the collections updated classics. The Museum of

Images courtesy of lesfacons.com

Images courtesy of lesfacons.com

Modern Civilization with its mid-19th century modernist peristyle provided and interesting juxtaposition to a resort collection that emphasized suiting in gauzy tulle and the total lace look comprised of a cape top and ample pleated lace trouser.  Additionally, the Museum of Modern Civilization’s white colonnade perfectly complimented the monochromatic all-white pieces in the collection. In comparison the Corviale project was an unusual contrast to a rich blue flounced work wear parka and filmy organza utility-pocket jumpsuit. Add to that fuchsia pieces presented within the dark, Gothic interior of the Palestra del Duce, which seemed to influenced some of garments that were a luxurious panoply of asymmetrical cuts, lace, and diaphanous fabrics, and you have a collection that found that delicate balance between post-modern influences and classic looks.

—William S. Gooch

Yolancris Haute Couture Bridal Spring 2018

Yolancrs_Bridal_Spring_2018When it comes to bridal haute couture with a fashion-forward sensibility, no one does it better than Yolancris. The Madrid-based bridal brand does not create bridal gowns for consumers who just want a pretty bridal gown. (If that is you, step to the left.)

These bridal gowns are magnificent bridal creations are statement bridal gowns that will keep your bridal ceremony guests talking about your gown for eons. And isn’t that what a lot of brides want?

Collages1312For spring 2018, Yolancris looked to the paintings of Van Dyck, Delacroix, and Rubens and how those paintings might look in the iconic Casa de la Llotja de Mar juxtaposed against Victorian era influences. Interestingly, the Casa de la Llotja de Mar is one of the most tranquil and non-assuming architectural wonders in Spain. (Well, non-assuming on the outside; that is.)

That said; the Casa de la Llotja de Mar that was built in the 14th century is a jewel of Civil Gothic architecture. And though solemn, the Gothic interior has texture and dark romance. And that can definitely be said of this bridal collection from Yolancris.

Collages1313Though this collection is steeped in a couture vintage aesthetic, texture, nuance and luxury, there is a modernity in the clothes that elevates this collection a current dissertation on where couture can and should go. This particular direction is aided by some the trends included in this outing; statement sleeves, ruffles, and diaphanous manifestations.. And by including a red bridal gown, the Yolancris design team demonstrated that they understand that modern bridal collections are global and Asian points of view should be included

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

One would hope, that American consumers might start to embrace Yolancris. The brand had their American debut last October. The media response was extremely, now the hope is that consumers will come on board.

—William S. Gooch

Naeem Khan Bridal Spring 2018

Collages1293Naeem Khan has set a name for himself as a designer that is extremely adept at bringing couture-like creations to the ready-to-wear market. For over three decades, Naeem Khan has brought his wealth of knowledge about design, construction and fabrication to his collections.  (Remember, Khan got his start in the US designing for Halston.) And season after season Naeem Khan’s collections reflect his treasure trove of fashion sensibility, sophistication and elegance. Khan’s cornucopia of talents also applies to his bridal collections.

Naeem Khan’s spring 2018 bridal collection is truly for the international bride. Khan does not buck American bridal trends, but from this spring 2018 collection Khan demonstrates that is audience goes beyond US bridal markets and that his appeal is global, more centered in bridal markets where there is more risks and consumers think more out of the box.

Collages1292Naeem Khan is appealing to that consumer who is more of a world traveler, and wants an unforgettable bridal garment that is reminiscent of want one would see in couture shows in international fashion markets. That said; there were some bridal garments that would appeal to an American consumer.

There was a lot of variety in Khan’s spring 2018 collection, from beaded jumpsuits to feathered mermaid silhouettes to more classic romantic gowns with statement sleeves. All these variations were embellished with lots pearl necklaces ingeniously wrapped around the garments. And that one embellishment alone helped elevate this spring 2018 bridal collection beyond just beautiful bridal garments that might be romantic or sexy.

Images courtesy of vogue.com

Images courtesy of vogue.com

Khan’s bridal garments reflected a sensibility that encompasses lots of points of view and lots of cultural references, from 70’s–inspired garments to classically romantic garments. And in that Naeem Khan displays his genius and in an odd way the cohesiveness of this collection.

—William S. Gooch

Ines Di Santo Bridal Spring 2018

Ines_Di_Santo_Bridal_Spring_2018If you are Ines di Santo, less is more. Particularly when comes to Di Santo’s spring 2018 bridal collection.

“This season became a dance with the artist and the editor in my mind. Not a stitch more than what was needed, yet full license to push a design that was simply more,” said di Santo in the collections program notes.

Collages1274Ines di Santo is known for her couture-like bridal gowns that employ exquisite embellishments and floral appliques and cutouts. That said; the bridal spring 2018 collection is a redirection of the brand to go for simplicity or the less is more design concept. However, when a designer has the craftsmanship that Ines di Santo possesses, changing brand direction does not diminish the beauty and sophistication of the collection, but only serves to prove the design dexterity of a true master.

And though the theatricality of Ines di Santo’s designs has been a mainstay of her collections, exciting bridal editors and consumers alike, the theatricality of her bridal garments did not distract from the attention to detail and di Santo’s mastery of technique. That mastery of technique is what stood out in this ‘less is more’ spring 2018 collection.

Collages1275Though this somewhat restrained collection did not contain some of the elements that has marked di Santo’s design aesthetic, there were new trends and continuing trends in place. Some of the bridal gowns gave a nod to the continuing ruffle trend. Add to that some very large bows in the front and back of the gowns, as well as lots of halter and spaghetti strap bodices that accentuated the sexiness of this fashion outing.

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Standout looks in this bridal spring 2018 collection were di Santo’s sleeveless plunging sweetheart illusion sheath gown with front slit accent and dramatic lace insert with detachable train, sleeveless wide square-neck dropped waist ball gown with contoured seaming, hidden pockets, embroidered lingerie bodice sheath with sweetheart neck, low V-back and signature side hidden zipper, floral embellished sleeveless sweetheart ball gown with inverted apron skirt, illusion back and dramatic cathedral train. Giving a nod to Asian weddings were brides wear red, the bridal showpiece of the collection was a halter neck sweetheart corset modified trumpet gown with asymmetrical pleated skirt and exaggerated dramatic bow back detail.

—William S. Gooch

 

Mira Zwillinger Bridal Spring 2018

Mira_Zwillinger_Bridal_Spring_2018“Some where over the rainbow, skies are blue. And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”—Yip Harburg

For spring 2018 the design duo of Mira and Lihi Zwillinger brought bridal fantasy back into the conversation. For the last couple of seasons some bridal designers, responding to a retracting market, have infused their collections with bridal wear that brides that are looking for utilitarian gowns that can have more than one purpose of gowns that don’t push the proverbial bridal envelope. Though these creations are still for that very special day in a bride’s life, unfortunately, the gowns for the last couple of seasons have not been that special.

Collages1304Mira and Lihi Zwillinger have gone against this trend for spring 2018. The design duo pulled out all the stops with sequins, feathers, beading and Swarovski crystals in their “Over the Rainbow” collection. But this collection was so much than embellishments. What stood out most about this collection was the infusion of charm, fantasy and functional whimsy. And young brides will definitely feel special in this spring 2018 collection.

Like some other bridal brands this season, Mira and Lihi Zwillinger employed some variations on aqua blue. Pale or aqua blue has been used in bridal collections since the mid-1950s, and as a bridal color had its heyday in the 1960s. Zwillinger brought back this bridal color this season and this expansive bridal color palette fit in beautifully in this whimsical collection.

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Though this collection had a couture-like fairytale reference, many of the gowns will work best on a slimmer frame. There were a few bridal gowns in the collection that will appeal to the brand’s curvier demographic; however, in this outing, the more svelte bridal consumer was definitely front and center in the design duo’s thought process.

—William S. Gooch

Kelly Faetanini Bridal Spring 2018

Downloads378How do you keep bridal collections interesting and fresh each bridal season? In the past, bridal designers has tried a range of things, from non-traditional fabrics to bridal garments that can be re-purposed for other occasions to looks to go outside of the spectrum of what most editors or consumers would consider as bridal wear.

In a retracting market, established bridal designers are trying none-of-the-above gimmicks. Why primed the pump when the pump isn’t gushing?

 Kelly_Faetanini_Spring_2017What some bridal designers are attempting to inject subtle hints of color into their bridal collections. Now, I am not talking about pink blush or hints of rose gold. One of trends that could be seen prominently during New York International Bridal Week was a white or off-white gown with detachable and/or non-detachable colorful underlays. And no one did these underlays better than Kelly Faetanini.

Entitled ‘black romance,” Faetanini was inspired by Shakespeare and the innocent feelings of seduction of some very inexperienced young brides. Hmm, the bigger question to ask if in modern times are there any inexperienced young brides? Not many!!

Collages1278 That said; when you examine some of Shakespeare’s virginal heroines—Juliet, Portia, Ophelia, Hermia, and Miranda—innocent seduction does come to mind. The mixture of floral details and tulle paired with corsetry, black lace and feathers yields images of innocence and conquest. And Faetanini’s combination of these contrasting fabrications will aptly make brides feel both salacious and pristine. And both adjectives at the same time!!

Images courtesy of Kelly Faetanini

Images courtesy of Kelly Faetanini

Standout looks in the collection include Kelly Faetanini’s jersey slim gown with embroidered lace bodice, barely blush V-neck fit-to-flare with beaded embroidery, illusion beaded embroidered V-neck ball gown with Mikado skirt, and silk Mikado seamed bodice with black ostrich feather ball gown skirt.

—William S. Gooch

 

 

Francesca Miranda Bridal Spring 2018

Francesca_Miranda_Bridal_Spring_2017The awakening of spring and the abundance of pink foliage that for Francesca Miranda represents femininity, individuality, and romance inspired Colombian-based designer. This unapologetically “girly” bridal collection included 17 bridal styles in a wide range of silhouettes that featured handmade floral appliques, custom laces, Swarovski and Murano crystal embellishments, silk jacquard, and layers of tulle.

The “girly” and over-embellished design aesthetic in this collection in an organic response to bridal that many South American bridal designers easily employ. The “less is more” design aesthetic is a design motif that sits more comfortably with Northern European and some American bridal designers. Mediterranean and warmer climate designers tend to find their oeuvre in a bridal aesthetic that embraces more of an explosion of ideas.

Collages1308Interestingly, Miranda is kind of in the middle of the bridal design spectrum. Though there were the more classic, traditional silhouettes—trumpet, tea-length, mermaid, and empire—Miranda also pushed the bridal silhouette envelope to include a caftan silhouette, A-line silhouette, and a loose organza top with cropped pants.

Collages1309And these 17 bridal styles, though beautiful and are much needed, fashion-forward additions, for most bridal consumers will remain fantasy considerations, ending up mostly in bridal editorials. Still, the bridal market needs these bridal out-of-the-box inclusions in order to keep the bridal market from stagnating; something that unfortunately has happened in the ready-to-wear market.

Images courtesy of Dan Lecca

Images courtesy of Dan Lecca

Of the 17 bridal styles in Miranda’s spring 2018 bridal collection there were some standouts. These standouts included Miranda’s long sleeve A-line gown with lace bodice and silk organza skirt featuring hand-embroidered floral appliques, long sleeve Guipure lace V-neck caftan embellished with Murano crystals, pleated blush organza midi dress with illusion neckline and hand-embroidered organza flowers, tulle trumpet gown featuring hand-embroidered lace appliques and Swarovski crystals and organza cape, and strapless tea-length ball gown in unique silk jacquard win a Lurex metallic finish.

—William S. Gooch

THEIA Bridal Spring 2018

Theia_Spring_2018For THEIA Bridal’s spring 2018 collection, pearls were the focal point for creative director Don O’Neill.  “We are mixing cotton Guipures over nude silk charmeuse linings and adding in hints of color, a whisper of blush and breath of blue,” says Theia’s creative director Don O’Neill. “Our elegant beaded gowns continue to be a focus, featuring lots of pearl details.”

Pearls have a unique property, symbolizing strength of spirit, integrity and purity, along with the calming effect of balancing karma. This very sublime and spiritually focused inspiration very much correlates the design DNA of THEIA. THEIA in Greek mythology was the goddess of light and pearls reflect light in a unique way. With the variety of pearls that are found on the planet, from white sea pearls to grey, black, grey blue to blush pink pearls, this treasured gem has its own candescence that separates it from other gems.

Collages1258For the last couple of seasons, THEIA has moved away from the out-of-the box, avant-garde bridal designs that set the brand apart from other brands on the market. THEIA, in an attempt, to have more market viability in a very crowded market has gone back to its core DNA, creating bridal garments that are light, accessible and luminous. Some may not think this is a good thing; however, market dictates are forcing more bridal brands to readjust their creative projects to reflect a stagnating market.

 Collages1260Giving a nod to brides that want more options, for spring 2018 Don O’Neill is giving his bridal customer more options. Several of the gowns in this collection had interchangeable slip linings, allowing his customer to choose ivory, blush, cloud blue, or nude.

 

Standout looks in the collection included the alabaster crepe gown with cold shoulder sleeves, white Alencon lace off-the-shoulder gown with bell sleeves, ivory slip gown hand-embroidered with pearls and Swarovski crystals, and smoke crystal and pearl hand-embroidered V-neck gown.

—William S. Gooch

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