“Fashion Month” finally comes to a close, and with it comes the need for a candid illustration of the intriguing innovations (or lack thereof) that the fashion industry’s gentry have had the opportunity of showcasing. To aid in that, our Daily Style writers compiled their raves and critiques (and everything else in between) of some of more noteworthy showings this month in fashion.
For her inaugural collection at Christian Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri reminded the fashion world of what put her on the map during her nine years at Valentino: dainty embellishments, billowing fabrics in soft neutrals and a sense of whimsy that may only be matched by her craftsmanship. However, Grazia Chiuri did not merely capitalize on her strengths. Dior’s spring 2017 collection is as “Maria” as it is classic, yet sellable, Dior. Tailored trousers are paired with blouses reminiscent of fencing gear. Elastics emblazoned with “J’ADIOR,” a spin on the classic slogan “J’Adore Dior,” are attached to visible undergarments and ballgowns alike. Kitten heels and flashes of bright cherry red ruled the runway, as Monsieur Dior surely would have hoped. And yet so did tee shirts, high-waisted panties and monogrammed slide sandals. Both millennials and lifelong devotees could rejoice.
Grazia Chiuri’s collection perfectly combined more masculine, contemporary touches — fencers were a muse, remember — with the feminine flair she is so known and admired for. She is also the first woman ever to take the helm at Dior, making a graphic tee that read “WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS” (paired, of course, with a beautifully embroidered maxi skirt) feel all the more special. Lest you forget, Dior will let you know: girls run the world, Paris Fashion Week included. — Tess Garcia
Dolce & Gabbana
No matter the season, Dolce & Gabbana knows their customer and their brand. Looking through the designs, the collection feels like something I’ve seen before, but not in the tired way trends can lean towards. I loved the lace dresses and high-waisted two piece sets of heavy embroidered jackets paired with short shorts. With over 90 looks and patterns ranging from fish and roses to pizza sauce, one would expect to feel overwhelmed, but it rings cohesive: Italian, bold and chic. — Emma Kinery
Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing has been riding the coattails of his supermodel army, his label’s legacy and the Kardashians for far too long. His spring 2017 collection is rich in tacky jewel tones and snakeskin textiles in shapes that your great-aunt would call “darling.” In other words, supermodel Jourdan Dunn looked like a tent, and not in a cool way. Each model’s sharply contoured cheeks and smoldering scowl felt alarmingly reminiscent of the designer himself, who seems more concerned about his Instagram following than he does about increasing sales.
As I watched footage from the show, even Gigi Hadid’s famous stagger-walk couldn’t keep me from coming to one clear conclusion: Rousteing’s Balmain looked cheap. Really cheap. Shimmery striped dresses with cutouts and sheer panels? Hasn’t Forever21 been doing that since the beginning of time? A pink and purple satin kimono? I have no witty response for that level of atrocity. Though once known for its innovation and shameless sex appeal, Balmain’s current “aesthetic” feels like a sad mixture of gaudy fabrics and trends that originated on Instagram. The show’s dimly-lit tropical backdrop reinforced that the world of Balmain is one seriously chaotic jungle. If it’s survival of the fittest, I’m not sure this collection will make it out alive. — Tess Garcia
Puma x Fenty
Before it even debuted, Puma and Fenty’s collaboration was already adored by practically every rabid Rihanna fan, and her sway as a popstar could easily carry most collections to stardom. That being said, Puma and Fenty’s latest iteration spoke for itself — the collection combined romantic lingerie, vintage French elegance and loose, subversive streetwear (slightly reminiscent of Yeezy’s latest collection). Some models wore bare heads, but most were covered in caps and hoods. Satin lingerie and corset shapes were paired with dainty hoodies and floor length jackets. Mesh detailing softened baggier shapes while maintaining the clothing’s trendy street chic attitude, and a color palette of pastels (especially soft pink), off-white and olive green permeated much of the lineup. The line’s penchant for juxtaposing elegant pearl jewelry with Rihanna’s signature rugged attitude (and her influence over Fenty) asserted an elegant contrast, subtly channeling romantic aspects of 17th century France while still maintaining a signature sense of individuality. — Sarah Agnone
The collection was very hit or miss, but nevertheless one which made a statement. Some pieces I absolutely loved — the first four white baby doll pleated ensembles with orange and blue watercolor-esque circles. Others went too far — the layered cropped argyle was a lot. Nevertheless, the collection felt cohesive in its universal noise with loud patterns, structures and colors. It was fresh, and very spring. — Emma Kinery