A Primer Before Paris Fashion Week: ICYMI

Looking Back at London and Milan: A Primer Before Paris

By Rachel Godfrey and Jordan Johnson / Edited by Niko Pifferetti

Emilio Pucci
A glorified kaleidoscope of colors mesmerized the runway and revived the iconic Pucci print. Designer Peter Dundas embraced the legacy of Emilio Pucci with his fall collection. Swirls of orange, pink and white coalesced into paisley galaxies speckled with a constellation of studs.
The meek shall inherit the Earth and the bold shall wear Pucci. Dundas dressed his daring darlings in frocks for every occasion. With Native American influences, each mini dress, jumpsuit and gown was built to turn heads.  As the brand that invented the Capri pant, Pucci modernized its aesthetic with high-waisted cropped leather pants in olive and brown.
Intricate webs of embellishment spun around short hemlines, reveling in each curve. Fur vests topped silken tunic dresses and deerskin print boots. Velvet enrobed models in suits of emerald and red.  Knit turtleneck ponchos shredded into fringe.
A yellow jumpsuit draped exquisitely like liquid gold, melting around the body.  Sunset hues morphed into a subdued palette of olive, black and grey. Gleaming silver cutouts lay over sheer chiffon gowns, with every detail popping against the skin.

Roberto Cavalli
Roberto Cavalli set the runway ablaze in a ring of fire. Femme fatales ignited the catwalk in luxe furs and fringe straight out of the ‘20s. Oversized tassel necklaces sat atop beaded bodices and feathered hemlines reminiscent of Gatsby.
Monochromatic looks were a staple of the collection in black and white. Cavalli teased with a sultry smolder of charcoal. A plush fur vest cloaked a black leather trench coat seemingly plucked from the Matrix with black tuxedo pants.  Intricate geometric prints poured across ponchos and jersey trousers.
The slow burn was quickly engulfed in flames. A red fur collar hung like phoenix feathers around a silken black dress with flames licking up its hemline. Rows of magma darted across a black turtleneck. Massive fur coats in bands of orange and red swathed the sizzling sirens.
The inferno was extinguished faster than it began, leaving scorched earth in its wake.  A parade of grey and black closed the show like ashen remains. The collection bordered on costume at times, but what ringmaster can resist a firestorm?

Dolce & Gabbana
Once upon a time in a land far, far away, Dolce & Gabbana penned a tale of fashion fantasies. We relished the plunge down the rabbit hole as fairy tales were conjured off pages and down the runway.
Embroidered poison apples and woodland creatures clung to cloaks. Foxes nipped at heels. Swans waited to be transformed. Keys to unlock doors to worlds unknown saturated the collection in prints from head to toe. Chiffon dresses in plum and red boasted caplet sleeves and corset lacing that are sure to catch Prince Charming’s eye. Tweeds and heavy textures abounded to keep cozy in the dark forest.
Little Red Riding Hood was swallowed in a massive fur coat. It’s a built-in defense mechanism – what wolf craves a hairball? Swirls of intricate stitching stretched across swing coats and mini dresses. Scores of encrusted balaclavas enveloped models in the Evil Queen’s signature headpiece.   
An enchanted armory descended in shimmering silver chainmail. Metal boots were fit for white knights. Long gone are the days of damsels in distress, these heroines were suited to fight for their kingdom.

Philipp Plein
Never one to shy away from a spectacle, Philipp Plein fixated audiences with a kitschy display of leather and lace. “Hotter than a fever, can’t stay still,” crooned Rita Ora as she fired up the audience with a rendition of her hit, “Facemelt.” She donned a black cowboy hat, asymmetrical ruffled skirt and cowboy boots, an appetizer of what was to come.
A massive brass knuckle hung in the middle of the room as models navigated around an El Camino perched on the runway.  The legendary Naomi Campbell opened the show in leather pants held up by a gargantuan belt buckle.
Plastered upon turtlenecks and peppered across bodices, a sea of gilded studs adorned nearly every look. A black fur jacket was sliced by rows of the shining staple and polished with quilted leather sleeves. Black consumed the show in leather mini dresses, dusters and chunky cable knit sweaters. Plein’s technical skill shined in leather pants laced through golden grommets.
A never-ending stream of red and black tartan injected the show with color. Models devolved into naughty schoolgirls in cinched mini skirts and plaid trench coats with tufted leather lapels. Star cutouts and racy lace overlay accented a plaid full-length pleated ball gown. Plein’s taste level was questionable as every look reeked of overwrought conception.
In denim tuxedos and studded bandanas, outlaws strutted down the catwalk. Hemlines receded and tops ceased to exist at all as models wore a leather strap with ‘COWGIRL’ sprawled across it as tops. Naomi Campbell opted for a bandeau under hers as she closed out the show with as much fierceness as she came in with.


The stunning and modern collection from the iconic fashion house iterated two basic designs: the trench coat and the A-line dress. Trenches hung on the models in a fit form that either appeared as a dress or was worn over a blouse and pants. Hints of leather, jewels or large buttons glamorized the A-line dresses.
Soft greens, pinks and blues, mustard yellows and burgundies comprised the atelier’s fall palette, injecting a little bit of spring mainstays into a conventionally darker and richer color story.  Offering an edgier take on a definite fall fur trend, Gucci used leopard print onto many of the pieces, providing just enough edge to the overall sophisticated collection.
Accessory wise, all of the Gucci models wore knee-high boots and over sized totes.  The leather boots were beige, black or patterned, and truly gave each outfit the final touch of style. 

Fendi’s collection in the Milan Fashion Show, so unique and interesting, was definitely something that couldn’t be overlooked.  Fur- the most prominent aspect of the show- covered the jackets, dresses and coats that hung on the models.  The pieces were either completely covered in fur, or had embellishments of it throughout the clothing.  Long skirts and dresses remained consistent throughout the entire collection, with only a few looks exposing the knees with high-waisted shorts and skirts. 
The colors ranged from navy blues to deep browns and greens, with pops of white.  An intricate pattern appears on some of the clothing, and pink even graces itself on a few items.  The models wore high top boots in mostly white, with some just at the ankle and others surpassing the knee. 
Though sheer tops and skirts were prevalent in the collection, each outfit seemed to emphasize only one area of bare skin.  If it was the chest, the legs were covered, and if the legs showed, then the chest was hidden with a coat.  And then in some cases, every inch of skin remained unseen to the viewers adding that atmosphere of mystery. 


Look Back at London Fashion Week: Favorites for Fall 2014

By Rachel Godfrey

Burberry Prorsum
Burberry Prorsum awakened its inner hippie with a nod to bohemian chic. Aptly titled The Bloomsbury Girls, the collection was fashioned as a love letter to the brilliant minds of London’s past. Designer Christopher Bailey immersed each piece in heart and soul.
“Basically, walls, furniture, fabric, anything that moved, they painted it!” he said.
Following suit, trench coats and handbags were hand painted like canvas. Scrolls of flowers cascaded down the flanks of countless layers that would put Jason and his Technicolor Dream Coat to shame. No two pieces were alike.
Heavy shearling jackets cloaked delicate billowing dresses. The collection was a flurry of artistry and romanticism. Luxurious graphic prints looked like paintings ripped off the wall, belted and worn straight down the runway. Bold monogrammed ponchos wrapped up the standout show and were released for sale immediately after the lights dimmed.

Christopher Kane
Christopher Kane is a maestro of texture, composing pleats of fabric to flutter across dresses like book pages in the wind. The prodigal designer presented an evolutionary collection, as old school grunge and classic silhouettes metamorphosed into futuristic frames and innovative techniques.
Models were sleek from head-to-toe, donning slicked middle parts and streamlined menswear shapes. Trench coats with oversized lapels covered utilitarian slacks adorned with pockets. Cropped quilted leather vests topped hooded sweatshirts and voluminous dresses. Suits encrusted with gems glittered down the runway. Kane stuck with a muted color scheme embracing black, brown and grey.
Kane ruched nylon with elastic, creating radical hemlines that looked like wadded up trash bags. Fur trimmed leather skirts are perfect if Mrs. Claus ever joins a biker gang. The juxtaposition of patent leather and cable knit turtlenecks created unique looks as Kane played with frills in every medium. It’s an irresistible collection that leaves you dying to run your hands through.

Peter Pilotto
Unafraid to mix bold prints, vibrant colors and lavish accents, Peter Pilotto is a fashion daredevil. Necklines stretched halfway up models’ faces. Plush blue fur rimmed turtlenecks as a welcome sanctuary from winter’s chilling caress. Graphic contrasting patterns were fluidly entwined. Pilotto’s aesthetic is unapologetically ostentatious.
A true illusionist, Pilotto’s use of color blocking breaks up the body in groundbreaking shapes. Sharp lines darted across each look, creating silhouettes of his own making. Scenes of mountains and expansive valleys unfurled across fabrics like stories untold.  
Pilotto embraced winter and spring as cocktail dresses and heavy overcoats alike made their way down the catwalk. The collection embodied architecture, as precise lines sprawled across coats like blueprints. Lengths reflected a demure sophistication, but intermingled with prints only fit for a brazen woman.

Tom Ford
With tongue in cheek, Tom Ford presented an array of boisterous garments. As Jay Z’s enduring muse, Ford crafted orange and black sequined jersey dresses with his name at the top and ‘MOLLY’ crossed out at the bottom. Models don’t pop molly; they rock Tom Ford. A massive ‘61’ dead center represented Ford’s birth year.
The heart of the collection embodied the understated woman who walks with an air of chicness at all times. Suit separates were constructed for the modern day woman who wants to look effortlessly put together. Monochromatic looks in black and red were given depth with contrasting textures from fur to leather. Ford experimented with lengths, as mini leather skirts grew into full-length velvet gowns, but sleek silhouettes remained a constant.
Ford’s clothes have a sense of humor, a refreshing change from the deadly serious aura of fashion week. Animal print dominated the runway in every form from leopard boots, jackets and skirts to a scorching red snakeskin top, skirt and boots. Hoodies, beanies and turtlenecks were staples of the show, giving a youthful feel. With fishnets in tow, models looked like motocross chicks you wouldn’t want to mess with.