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Getting Animal – Getting Warm

agata-mayer-getting-warm-fendi-furs-staying-warmSpecial Review by Agata Mayer, Editor-in-chief

Fashion Weeks came to an end. It’s been a hectic period jam-packed with exciting activities, business meetings and jet lag feeling. The most prominent fashion weeks are held in the four fashion capitals of the world: Milan, Paris, New York and London. But more often, everybody’s eyes are looking at other corners of the world, where countries like Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, China, South Africa, Russia, Singapore, Mexico are going to set tongues wagging, in a very positive way. Fashion Weeks held several months in advance of the season. From January through April designers showcase their autumn and winter collections. From September through November they present their spring and summer collections. This season, furs and animal prints were a common denominator on the catwalks.

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KEEP CALM & LOVE FUR

In the 90s, Italian designers celebrated the return of high-voltage fashion. Their fascination with animal skins and luxurious furs evoked an impression of decadent glamour. Leopard, cheetah and zebra prints that have long provided inspiration for fashion designers are back again. In contemporary fashion, wearing animal skin is interpreted as a desire to convey predatory instincts. A spotted woman in a animal coat might represent the archetypal femme fatale. Italy became an international centre of fashion after World War II. During the 1950s, combining traditions of Parisian haute couture with the Italian aesthetic the Fontana Sisters designed clothes for many Hollywood’s world-famous divas, such as Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor or Ava Gardner. They specialized in luxurious evening wear that contrasted perfectly with the softness of the silver fox stole draped around the arms.
In addition to animal prints, real fur had to finally find a way of interpreting it in fashion without compromising ethical concerns, having the animal rights movement from 1980s and the both national and international legislation from 1973 against it. Karl Lagerfeld, which originally specialized in fur and luxury leather goods, being creative consultant to the Italian Fendi modernized the label and changed the perception of fur as a conventional symbol. Nowadays, over 70 % of recent catwalk shows featured fur, from Marc Jacobs or Louis Vuitton to J. Mendel, Max Mara and Marni.
But there are still anti-fur designers such as Stella McCartney. She has never bowed to pressure to use leather or fur in her collections and has even resisted the lure of faux-fur in the past. But suddenly she has created a cruelty-free collection for Autumn/Winter 2015 with faux fur. Being asked why, she answered: “I feel like maybe things have moved on, and it’s time, and we can do fabrics which look like fur, if we take them somewhere else”, adding “Modern fake fur looks so much like real fur, that the moment it leaves the atelier no one can tell it’s not the real thing. And I’ve struggled with that.”

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Fur, fake or not and animal motifs played a key role throughout this season. It is said, that in fashion world leopard is a color. Animal prints are timeless, chic and always in style. The leopard trend never fades that easily and can be used in almost any form. This year’s catwalks showed more wildness and savagery than ever. For instance, Raf Simons, Dior’s creative director turned to more raw and primal inspirations for the Autumn/Winter 2015 Dior collection. He pushed fashion boundaries again. From floral, romantic, emotional pieces to swirling psychedelic panther prints and strong, contrasting colors. Christian Dior first offered leopard print in 1947, which was revolutionary at the time. Today, it doesn’t bother anyone anymore. Roberto Cavalli’s ready-to-wear collection displayed an array of ombré dresses, fur coats and iconic animal prints. “Instinct? I like that word,” said Miuccia Prada after her show. Her collection was also full of multi-colored leopard and python prints and dense patterns.
Is the fashion industry trying to force it on us or maybe society is finally ready to embrace fur?
Take a look at some ‘furry’ printed fashion statements.

House of Holland show, Autumn Winter 2015, London Fashion Week, Britain - 21 Feb 2015

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Image source: www.vogue.co.uk

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Ode to the 70s at Milan Fashion Week

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Image: Moschino, Backstage,Vogue

Special Review by Agata Mayer, Editor-in-chief

By the early 1970s it was difficult for many people to decide what was in style and what was not. For sure, the 70s were one of the most individualistic decades for fashion ever. People experimented a lot and wore anything that they wanted, combining hippie, ethnic look together with fancy wear such as hot pants, mini skirts, skin-tight t-shirts or fitted blazers in the early 70s, through mid 70s where vintage clothing, kimonos, turbans, puffy skirts, maxi dresses, knee-high boots and platform shoes were worn by women, to the late 70s that became more baggy in style and more conservative. This relaxed look transformed into the disco look, which was mostly inspired by clothing from the early 1960s. A real rollercoaster through “Me Decade”.

agata-mayer-stella-jean-milan-fashion-week-vogueImage: Stella Jean, Backstage, Vogue

Ciao Milano

In the 1950s and 60s the main industrial centre of Italy and one of Europe’s most dynamic cities – Milan – became a world capital of design, architecture and fashion. Today most of the major famous Italian fashion houses and labels are based in Milan. Milan has been home to numerous fashion designers, including Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Miuccia Prada, Moschino, Trussardi, Missoni and Dolce & Gabbana.
Furthermore, the city hosts the Milan Fashion Week. Are you connecting the dots now?

Those 70s shows

The ’70s were a big reference this season. Several of Milan’s most storied design houses decided to put a more wearable spin on their collections by showing jeans with mixed results, billowing maxi dresses, neck scarves, flared trousers, floral and geometric prints and retro accessories.
Last season Frida Giannini captured the 60s. This season she moved on a decade.
Gucci channeled the ’70s in a slightly different manner, diverging from the bohemian vibe with washed out denim to add some glamour and sophistication. She mixed denim with drummer-boy jackets and silk kimono jackets and it worked!
Miuccia Prada also draw inspiration from the 70s. The first few designs that hit the runway were mostly black with very strong brown stitching featured on both dresses and trench coats. We were soon exposed to the amazing color palette that Prada is so adored for with each look completed with calf-length socks featuring blocks of color and patterns.
’70s tailoring, bows and Victoriana collars – Roberto Cavalli’s show was opened with an array of punchy, bright, graphic prints. Loose fitting floor-length pleated looks came cascading out in maxi dresses and tops and skirts – not immediately the vibe that springs to mind when you think of Cavalli.
Sunset colours made for an optimistic and summery palette and the psychedelic collection had a clear ’70s influence with tie-dyed chiffon dresses, suede trousers and coats and crocheted mini and maxi dresses. Pucci’s signature sports aesthetic was translated into easy separates, some slightly more tailored pieces.
Alberta Ferretti made a romantic statement with sheer embroidered dresses, ethereal, romantic and free-spirited. The brand’s spring/summer 2015 collection captured a true essence of the summer of love. Suede vests, fringe edges, denim and laser cut floral ponchos clearly showed what the designer’s muse was for the spring season. The designer was clearly in a ’70s state of mind.
Etro delivered its signature bohemian vibes with the usual dose of psychedelic paisley and fringing. Beads, feathers and amulets hung from the models’ hips, hands and ears. That trademark paisley swirled through movements of blue and red. The New Mexico shaman Pocahontas swaying into Morrison’s „Riders On The Storm“ hit.

Milan Fashion Week brought a diverse range of looks for fashionistas, such as the crafmanshift of the 1970s and did not disappoint. And one thing is sure, since now, denim is no longer just for dress-down Fridays.

agata-mayer-missoni-fashion-week-milan-vogueImage: Missoni, Backstage, Vogue

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Image: Emilio Pucci, Backstage, Vogue

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Image: Gucci, Backstage, Vogue

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Image: Marni, Backstage, Vogue

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Image: Roberto Cavalli, Backstage, Vogue

All images are credited to www.vogue.com