Yesterday, New York officially kick started the new SS14 womenswear collections. If the SS14 menswear shows in June were any indication, then this season we’re in for even more unexpected, surreal and otherworldly moments. As the circus begins once again in New York, we look back at the stand out moments of menswear – Rick Owens’ Winny Puhh performance included – plus the happenings we can’t forget from the most recent seasons and predict the pivotal moments that will shape the SS14 womenswear shows. Watch out - things will be going viral.
Who will be the cult collaborators for SS14?
At the Givenchy AW13 show, Riccardo Tisci delved into his own archives to present a new femininity: tough, yet still raw, and never sweet. Placing the collection in context, an excerpt of Antony Hegarty Future Feminism manifesto was placed on show-goers seats. As Hegarty performed hauntingly true verse – “If there is to be a future on earth that includes us, it will be feminine” – the power and place for intellectual collaboration in fashion became apparent. Gender politics and monologues aside, unexpected collaborations can take an art form: for Louis Vuitton AW13 menswear, Kim Jones and the Chapman brothers riffed on the phrase ‘Garden in Hell’ to produce talismanic animal prints and otherworldly baroque florals.
Each season, international socio-political and cultural talking points are reflected upon designers’ collections. Suzy Menkes has a habit of stirring the mood, and last month she directed sharp words at the high-end designers who produce fashion at a dizzying rate. The endless churn of collections, from RTW to menswear, resort and couture for some, results in a turnover of trends that the consumer can’t keep up with. Pieces don’t sell; labels crash and burn.
Such socio-political talking points are reflected along the fashion chain, right down to you; the clotheshorse. We are conducting a social experiment in response to the current zeitgeist; examining the fashion aftermath. Look out for it during New York fashion week.
LET THE RUNWAY REVERBERATE
Seasons past are constantly reaffirming that, whilst the clothes should hit the mark on visual pleasure, there’s got to be something else to get us going: noise! That’s what, at first, the death metal band dangling from the ceiling at Rick Owens menswear SS14 felt like. However, Winny Puhh – a 3 part Estonian contender for the Eurovision song contest – added a real context and atmosphere to Owens’ dark collection, or as the designer himself put it a “cheerful aggression”. Including an incredible performance in a show is by no means a revolutionary concept, although, it’s becoming a somewhat pivotal one. Soundtrack collaborations, like that of REM with Louis Vuitton for mens SS14, can leave an equally significant imprint.
As FKA Twigs is conveniently launching her EP2 mid Fashion Week our fingers are crossed that her melancholic, melodic voice and those big eyes might make an appearance somewhere too…
NEW ERA OF WANG
Alexander Wang has been firmly on our radars since taking the helm of Balenciaga just a year ago. In a piece featured in this month’s issue of Dazed & Confused the designer mentions, “I’ll bring myself into it but the first two seasons (womenswear AW13 and resort 2014) really were about paying homage to the archive.” As the upcoming SS14 will be his third season, we are truly looking forward to an injection of that cult Wang aesthetic into the Parisian fashion house, as well as a full dose from his own line in New York just a few weeks before.
With the Club to Catwalk takeover at the V&A now in full swing, will womenswear make the shift to outlandish eighties clubland - like the Leigh Bowery feel at Maison Martin Margeila Couture AW13? Or will we see a new pop culture clash?
Cover illustration by Liana Sophia Ever