Jaktgatan 11 in Norra Djurgårdsstaden, Stockholm
Hermès closed the season for the second time in a row. The show was staged in the Palais Brongniart. Christophe Lemaire envisions his women a little bit mysterious, a little bit exotic, and fiercely independent. He tipped his cap to trends—lush knitwear, oversize coats—but the slightly exaggerated proportions of his jackets and pants once again seemed more of a reference to Martin Margiela’s tenure at Hermès.
Prada said the collection was “about no useless design,” adding that the intention was “to be more real.” Everything was highly wearable, utilitarian even, when it came to the long raincoats that came in clear plastic or traced with bright graphic stripes, and flat rubber rain boots. The designs come in combinations of sweet pastels — white with pale pink, sea-foam green and baby blue — and classic bolds — gray with royal blue, kelly green and yellow — that were eventually gussied up with foiled brocades and chunky embroideries.
Designer Giambattista Valli went straight for the pre- and après-Soul Cycle set with a sporty, city-minded collection of outerwear for women and men. The show unfurled in three vignettes as floor-to-ceiling screens ringing the runway broadcast urban sprawl, collapsing icebergs and such.
It was the most anticipated show of the season, and it marked a sea change: whimsical romance out; chic pragmatism in. As Louis Vuitton’s creative mantle passed to Nicolas Ghesquière from Marc Jacobs, the difference came into sharp focus. Jacobs is an emotional designer, Ghesquière, a cerebral one — a distinction very evident in their work.
"Wild beauty" was Sarah Burton’s inspiration. She insisted she was over construction, corseting, control. "I wanted to see the woman’s face again," she said. "Free her a bit, touch her, feel her." There was something feral in what she showed. One model was owl-like in a swooping fur cape. Another was swathed in skunk, with fiercely feathered eyes.
Sophie Albou-Mechaly had been thinking about the legendary seventeenth-century fairy-tale author Charles Perrault and his lesser-known fable, Peau d’Âne (The Magic Donkey). The artisanal coolness that she may have been seeking was best captured by the reversible shearling Perfecto paired with guipure lace knee-length shorts.
As part of her second women’s ready-to-wear presentation, Iris van Herpen delivered a selection of shimmering silver and black dresses that gracefully pooled like liquid around the body. Artist Lawrence Malstaf encased three living, breathing women in super size vacuum-sealed bags, shrink-wrapped as to suggest suspended embryonic states.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli were looking at Italian Pop art from the sixties and seventies. The work of female artists Giosetta Fioroni, Carol Rama, and Carla Accardi decorated their mood boards. The runway proved a broad thematic umbrella. It covered both schools of Pop as well as the idea of the individualist spirits of the artists and a whiff of Sixties Mod. Butterflies from the Haute Couture collection multiplied all over long dresses, but so did roses and birds.
Karl Lagerfeld turned his venue into a big supermarket.The labels of at least five hundred everyday products had been re-coded in Chanelspeak, from the Coco flakes, the Tagliatelle mademoiselle and the Eau de Chanel to the shopping carts. He built a collection from the ground up on the footwear. So the Chanel catwalk accommodated an unusual variety of silhouettes and a massive range of options, from Cara Delevingne’s raggy workout-wear to the sheath of clotted flowers that emerged at show’s end.