By: Catarina Vasques Rito
From the 1920s to the 1940s, from the ‘50s to the ‘70s, from the ‘80s to the 21st century – the current trend is to challenge and explore the creative capacity of the consumer. Whether it’s Italian, English or French style (ever-more diluted concepts thanks to globalisation and the need to do business), taste can be seen in the interpretation of the current trends, adjusted to each body and to the look that you want to put together.
Summer is the perfect excuse for bolder, more exposed fashion. Among the brands chosen to inspire this season’s picks are some of the most talked about in recent weeks to design the dress of the new royal bride, Meghan Markle: Ralph&Russo or Erdem. British royal weddings aside, the pieces presented by labels such as Céline differ in the response they give to their clients – everyday pieces that can be office or leisurewear. “It’s personal. I wanted to be optimistic. It was just this sense of joy and life force. If there’s anything to say at the moment, let it be with love, and let it be joyful,” said the brand’s designer Phoebe Philo. Aesthetically speaking, comfort is one of the biggest concerts of this fashion authority, who wants the Céline woman to feel “beautiful and comfortable” using ideas inspired by the ‘70s and ‘80s.
The ‘love’ theme was also the choice of Italian Dolce&Gabbana, a feeling that can be found “anywhere”, as the brand’s designers state. “I think now is the time for fashion to change something to reach consumers,” highlights Stefano Gabbana. Leather was the favoured material of another Italian brand, Tod’s, whose expertise are shoes but which has invested in a clothing line, which is structured and representative of the “Italian style”. The collection is inspired by the film The Talented Mr Ripley (1999), with Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon and Jude Law, which takes place in sunny Italy during the 1950s, a setting that the brand wants to emulate.
In the case of Ralph Lauren, inspiration comes from Jamaica, with its white sandy beaches and mystical blue mountains, its beauty and its joie de vivre, which contrast with the uncertain times that can be felt at the moment. The collection speaks to both anonymous women and celebrities such as Katie Holmes, Blake Lively and Melania Trump, who are front-row regulars at the American designer’s shows.
Balenciaga proposes slightly more daring and bolder pieces, perhaps to be expected considering that the creative director is the young Demna Gvasalia, a designer who wants to experiment with other approaches within a brand that has very well-established lines. “I feel like we need to experiment and that the collections should also reflect my vision, without ever disrespecting the brand’s DNA.” Balenciaga’s SS2018 collection is fun and plays with a more conservative style versus eclectic to create a dynamic of “awe” for the traditional consumer, which is still not completely receptive to the change of ideas or concepts within the brands that were founded on more traditional styles and a more conventional beauty. In short: just have fun!