With Christmas about to come knocking at your door and undoubtedly the entire contents of your advent calendar completely devoured within the first three days of December; it only seems appropriate to pin down the key trends for the festive season and the New Year. It almost seems fitting that for the spring 2014 collections in September, designers offered looks and emerging trends that felt like a departure from fall, a nod to winter and a farewell to 2013.
New York saw candy cane stripes, London said hello to sorbet pastels whilst Milan and Paris turned out crystal whites and embellishments in droves. What seemed like a tribute to the greatest fashion hits of 2013 played out in the spring collections, these clothes are meant for the year after the present yet this felt like something for past, present and future. Party dresses for Christmas; stand out pieces for the New Year and brand new trends for a brand new year. Most convincing of this annual festive climax message was Altuzarra in New York, Christopher Kane in London, Prada in Milan and finally Lanvin in Paris
For the spring 2014 Joseph Altuzarra collection in New York there was a definite feeling of letting go and an altogether more freeing voice behind the clothes. Silk button down shirts, knee high slit skirts and cropped jackets worn over slim silk skirts made for the majority of the collection. The metallic slinky silk numbers at the end proved to be the shows showstoppers, pair this with the tuxedo jackets held together at the waist with a crystal studded strap and the collection elevated above expectations. The metallic threads used in the silk lame evening dresses looked like everything you expect visually when you imagine the Altuzarra expense; what gave this collection the tran-seasonal and all year round feel was the ease behind every look. Whether it was the fringing on some of the jackets or the red and black pinstripes on the blouses; its clear Altuzarra was thinking of how to wrap the year up. Quite literally.
London saw Christopher Kane turn over a new leaf. The saying has never seemed so true until his collection for spring 2014. Petals, flowers, pollen, fertilisation, science; all subjects Kane explored and ultimately translated into the freshest clothes London fashion week had seen that season. The inspiration is said to have come from Kane’s interest in sexual education in school and how it is similar to how you are taught the fertilisation of flowers. How this materialised into desirable and intrinsically interesting clothes was down to Christopher Kane’s ability to take his idea and turn into another one that works amongst fashion context. The flower stem diagraph that fronted oversized boyfriend jumpers and petal shape cut-outs on silk dresses represented the notion of a blossoming idea; or rather the juxtaposition between sexual and sweetness. The sweetness came in the quality street wrapper type colour ways and fabrics, the sexuality came in the sliced shoulders and metal teardrop cuts in mint green slip dresses. So fresh, so cool, so un-pretentious. The collection felt like the epitome of a Christmas wardrobe; and one that will easily move over to spring.
For the fashion finale in Paris, Alber Elbaz gave his customer just about everything they could ever want for the end of the year and the beginning of next. You name it, it was there; party dresses, jackets, day wear and irresistible investment bags. Lame upon lame upon a tonne of silk lame; all that sparkle and shine could have blinded some and their understand of the collection but trust Elbaz to come up trumps with visually and physically enchanting clothes. The spangled flapper dresses and floor length shirt dresses proved to the be the collections shining stars; wearable and believable yet undeniably irresistible. A clear message from spring to fall, perhaps all that glitters is in fact gold.