A IS FOR THE ANTI-FASHION FORMAT
If there’s one person to bring fashion's egotism firmly back to Earth it’s Raf Simons. For SS15, showgoers found themselves standing on the edge of a makeshift, winding path, marked out with tape where a runway and seating ‘should’ be. For Simons, he was breaking down the hierarchy through memories of his youth – “I was thinking about my early days when I was always clubbing,” he revealed backstage after the show. “I liked the fact that we were all standing. Everyone was on the same level and there was no hierarchy”. Simons’s SS15 was about forcing the audience to put down their phones, forget about snapping photos and just immerse themselves in the magic of Raf. Relive the moment here.
B IS FOR BRITPOP REVIVAL
Topman Design gave the all clear for a britpop revival when they charged the runway with an imagining of what would happen if bands like Blur married into Jefferson Airplane. The lovechild? An amalgamation of boys dripping in 90s attitude, dreamy colours, sunflower shirts and 70s flares. Looking back on the era that gave us everything from Richard Ashcroft to Liam Gallagher, we selected the ultimate in 90s britpop babes. Get your nostalgia fix here.
C IS FOR CULT DENIM
Paris is officially championing double, triple, quadruple denim for a comeback, with Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto and Dior Homme all sending out models swathed in the societal staple. While the fashion favourite’s past hasn’t always been so applauded (think Britney and Justin circa AMA’s 2001), there’s no denying it’s been nothing short of iconic. In order to celebrate its rebirth, we charted the ten most iconic denim moments – from James Dean to Clarissa Darling. Get your dose here.
D IS FOR DECONSTRUCTING MENSWEAR WITH BEGÜM BORÉ
Pushing forward new dialogues in fashion, Belgian-born, Paris-based visual artist and writer Begüm Boré has been dissecting the SS15 collections through the likes of contemporary art and culture. For London Collections: Men, it was designers Astrid Andersen and Craig Green who evoked the work of Yves Klein. Whereas in Milan, it was through a collaboration between BMW and Kvadrat called ‘The Dwelling Lab’, and on menswear’s third stop in Paris, it was via man's best friend, the dog.
E IS FOR EMOTIONS AT CRAIG GREEN
Stepping out on his own after three seasons at MAN, Craig Green went above and beyond expectations – even reducing a hardened fashion crowd to sobs. Describing the show backstage as a “silent protest”, Green sent models barefoot down the runway in pure whites, aqua blues and deep blacks – a stripping back from previous seasons which have seen Green go all-out with hand painted tapestry prints and wooden sculptural masks. Experience the emotion here.
F IS FOR FAUN MASTURBATION AND FUN COLOURS AT RICK OWENS
Since Rick Owens’ anti-authoritarian parade marched on Paris’s AW14 season it was anyone’s guess as to what he would do next. But surely no one imagined that the Californian-born designer would find himself inspired by a faun masturbating and paint his usual monochromatic palette with colour – literally – as models descended on the runway, slathered head-to-toe in chalk white, green and pink body paint. Owens told us backstage, “I was thinking about the ballet Afternoon of a Faun, choreographed by Nijinsky. It basically all culminates with this faun masturbating on a nymph’s scarf, so everybody in the audience, with all their jewels, are just waiting for this guy to hump the scarf. I love that!”. Click here to see the full show report.
G IS FOR GIFS FROM PAUL WAGENBLAST
Paul Wagenblast has been transforming all things fashion into flash-happy GIFs for the SS15 season. Tracing Givenchy through “flattened maximalism” and post-conceptual American artist Wade Guyton, and the likes of Gucci through “rendered stripes from the sea” with Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft – take a trip through SS15 with Wagenblast’s visions here.
H IS FOR HYPER-NORMAL
Pushing boundaries by continuing to redefine men’s fashion: in London, J.W. Anderson elevated the banal by cutting away at traditional masculine shapes, like box-cut jackets and boiled woolen sweaters, to reveal peeping shoulder blades and – what’s typically women’s territory – midriffs. While in Paris, Dries Van Noten sent out a love-letter to Soviet-born ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev. “I was thinking about a sensual man,” mused Van Noten, which came in the form of scoop necks and prints of naked dancers, courtesy of illustrator and collaborator Richard Haines.
I IS FOR IN OUR HEARTS
As Wooyoungmi took the heartbreaker to the catwalk for SS15 – in the form of bucket hats, baggy jeans and parachute pants – it got us thinking about the ultimate on-screen heartbreakers. A list of boys who we wouldn’t mind suffering through a bit of pain for, think Sebastian Valmont from Cruel Intentions and Trip Fontaine from The Virgin Suicides. See who made the cut here.
Long time hair stylist extraordinaire and collaborator Julien d’ys has worked alongside Rei Kawakubo and her cult brand Comme des Garçons for over decade. Interpreting the house's codes through hair, d’ys has fashioned wigs and styles with everything from oil, shredded fabric and paint stripper. While last season models' hair was slicked over faces – reminiscent of gas masks – this season, it was jet black, Teddy Boy coifs which took the hair rebel’s fancy. Witness the genius of d’ys here.
K IS FOR KATIE DOES DALLAS
When Katie Eary sent out quiff-rocking cowboys in an Americana mash-up of rodeo-worthy denim, kitsch cacti and peace sign prints, it felt like a tribute to 70s psychedelia and porn (what’s better?). The girls got a peep in too, as glitter-faced, Texan-style housewives, taking the sides of their bison-belt-buckled men. The cherry on top? The show was styled by Dazed fashion editor Elizabeth Fraser-Bell. Relive the retro here.
L IS FOR LEATHER AND SWEATPANTS
Martine Rose’s return to Fashion East came shrouded in mystery when she unveiled just one look from her SS15 collection. A lone model draped in the deliberately awkward pairing of leather and sweatpants standing over a peppering of Mapplethorpe-inspired flyers – courtesy of Steve Terry. Not one to be restricted by the fashion schedule, the designer will reveal the rest of the collection come September. Inspired by the underground S&M scene that Mapplethorpe famously captured, Rose explained, “I was really interested in the risk, you know? It was illegal to be gay then, so there was this whole scene happening and I just found it really, really inspiring”. See the full show report here.
M IS MILESTONES FOR GIVENCHY
Riccardo Tisci evoked his dark side for SS15 (“I always come back to the dark side,” he explained backstage) in a celebration of his five years at the Givenchy helm. The collection came complete with knee high, leather lace-up boots and floral embellishments – a marriage of severity and romanticism. But it was Tisci’s casting that had us falling over ourselves, with Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel and Irina Shayk all holding their own against the boys. Backstage, Tisci spoke to us about his casting choices and why he prefers to go off the model grid. Click here to read his reasons why.
N IS FOR NEW ERA AT LOEWE
We’ve been privy to a selection of Instagram and Facebook posts that have strayed on both the architectural and heritage side of things at Loewe in the run up to J.W. Anderson’s debut as creative director (we took a guess here about what it might all mean). As the moment arrived, we were treated to a J.W. tinged new direction as the designer stripped the house back to its Spanish codes. In the days that followed, the brand also unveiled a new campaign shot by iconic fashion photographer Steven Meisel – take a look here.
O IS FOR O.M.G! FASHION INTERN PROBLEMS
The original fashion intern was back on the scene and ready to report on all the menswear happenings from the frontline. From OMG to WTF: daytime drinking in Milan, hot street boys in London at Nasir Mazhar and unexpected downpours at Kenzo in Paris, Antonio Pignone was there to document it all through his GIF-tinted lens. Get to grips with all the drama here.
P IS FOR POOLSIDE POP CULTURE
Miuccia Prada went poolside for SS15 with her gang of cowboys prowling around this season’s set: dodgy golden-brown carpeted bleachers extended over a sparkling blue Yves Klein pool. While the magical world of Prada’s show productions (in collaboration with her longstanding partnership with the architects OMA and their creative think-tank AMO) have taken us from street art to Prada pit, it was this season’s water world that got us thinking about the ultimate in pop culture’s poolside moments. From Neve Campbell and Denise Richards in Wild Things to pool parties in Boogie Nights, we charted the definitive guide to splashing out.
Q IS FOR QUEUE THE RUSSIAN TAKEOVER
When Gosha Rubchinskiy took Paris in his first ever show, the occasion might have been intimate but the impact was monumental. While Rubchinskiy’s lifeblood remained true to the streets the collection felt established and developed, with his signature Russian name print t-shirts (Гоша Рубчинский) and a recurring theme of aliens that mixed amongst leathers in different colours and textures. If this is just the beginning then we can’t wait to see what’s next, read the full SS15 show report here.
R IS FOR RADICALISING MENSWEAR
Was this the most radical menswear season ever? As Raf Simons, Craig Green and Rick Owens all shook the fashion crowd to their cores, Dazed contributor Al Mulhall was asking that very question. Click here to read why.
For SS15, Nasir Mazhar teamed up with legendary MC Skepta to create an exclusive one-off soundtrack for his show. The result was a grime-heavy beat with lashings of Mazhar’s signature name dropping as the track boomed “Nasir Mazhar” on loop. While the music was in your face, the collection was stripped back, “A big thing I wanted to do this season was to tone it down, so it’s not so mental," revealed Mazhar backstage. “I want to make clear that this is the wardrobe. These pieces are always going to be in the collections forever. It’s about making people know that’s our image, that’s what we do”. Witness Mazhar’s army out in full force here.
T IS FOR TIME WARP AT SAINT LAURENT
For SS15, Hedi Slimane took Saint Laurent on a trip where cult casting, cowboy boots and caped crusaders were straight out of 70s California. However, it wouldn’t have been a Saint Laurent/Slimane show without a big chunk of rock n’ roll, which came in the form of band members – turned models for the night – from Swim Deep, Skinnybones, White Room, Froth, The Invaders, Psychic Warden and Los Rips, taking to the catwalk.
U IS FOR UNDONE BOYS
Menswear’s penchant for the undone was palpable this season. From early days with Astrid Andersen’s sumo-style kimonos, Craig Green’s “silent protest” – ties trailing behind white-sheeted sculptures – and Haider Ackermann’s print and leathered dandies. As silks slipped from shoulders and ties unbound at waists, menswear shed its macho masculinity and instead gained a confident sexuality, free from the pounding chests and Hollywood heartthrobs of old. To celebrate, we unpicked London's SS15 collections via the legendary homoerotic magazine, ‘After Dark’. See the spread for yourself here.
V IS FOR VIDEO GAMING FARMERS
Vivienne Westwood is an old-school revolutionary that’s never been shy about speaking out for those with voices (like fracking victims) and those without – just as she did for SS15. Bringing awareness to the horrors of industrial farming, Westwood and partner Andreas Kronthaler gave a shoutout to farmsnotfactories.org with farmhand denim, frayed hems and oversize straw top hats. Using the pig as their symbol for the season, Westwood and Kronthaler mixed snout-nosed models with a pumped-up yet lo-fi 80s mood of pixelated video game graphics and grids. See Westwood’s protest here.
W IS FOR WARHOL MUSE JOE DALLESANDRO
Whether intentionally or not, London Collections: Men went heavy on the Joe Dallesandro references – from Katie Eary’s glitter-speckled cowboys to Sibling’s wild child – this season awoke a nostalgic obsession with the underground icon. In a much-needed charting of the Warhol-star’s secret history, we looked back at his iconic career here.
X IS FOR X-CESS AT PHILIPP PLEIN
Philipp Plein went seaside rock n’ roll at the Botta baths and Caimi pool with a group of synchronised swimmers in Swarovski-studded swimming caps. But it was rapper Theophilus London performing from the seat of a jet ski that had us all gasping, “Only in Milan”. Click here to relive Plein’s water theatrics.
Y IS FOR YOUTH CULTURE AT MOSCHINO
London got lucky when Jeremy Scott brought his pop-culture soaked world to the capital, courtesy of his SS15 Moschino menswear debut. With disco treats in the form of Lily McMenamy and Rob Evans, this season was all about Scott‘s ‘fauxchino’ – AKA Moschino logo-mania. “Everyone’s logo is getting bastardised and played with, so why not play with our own and have fun with it?” Scott told us backstage. Whether the Moschino madness will return to the UK capital next season is still unknown, but for now, you can watch the brand's SS15 magic here.
Z IS FOR ZEBRA HYBRIDS AT WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK
Walter Van Beirendonck’s “WHAMBAM” SS15 show had us from the word go. With colourful, double-sided beaks – created by longterm collaborator and Antwerp alumni Inge Grognard – with tripped out patterns and prints that married zebra, avian and feline in a frenzy of fun signature Walter style. The Belgian designer also shot some exclusive backstage Polaroids for us which you can experience here, as well as catching up with the SS15 show report here.
Follow Ashleigh Kane on Twitter here @ashleighkane