From cult model comebacks to Chanel's surprise 'feminist' protest – relive the most iconic moments of the season in our alphabetical guide
A IS FOR ALTER EGOS
"Humberto is one of the least neurotic, insecure people I know, which pisses me off to no end," says Spike Jonze of Opening Ceremony designer and long term friend Humberto Leon. To take revenge on Leon's good nature, Jonze created his alter ego to be "the biggest neurotic asshole in the world" for the one-act play he co-wrote with Jonah Hill to present OC’s SS15 collection. Shaking up the usual show format, characters based on designers Leon and Carol Lim starred alongside Elle Fanning and Karlie Kloss in a tale of fashion industry highs and lows.
B IS FOR #BALMAINIACS
Just one day after presenting his fetishistic SS15 collection for Balmain, creative director Olivier Rousteing took to our Facebook page to answer questions from #Balmainiacs around the world. In a series of hashtag-happy responses, the 28-year-old creative director told us that the collection was inspired by the designs people have to use to self-censor naked selfies on Instagram, and that if he wasn't in fashion his dream job would be as a music producer. Rousteing producing a track for Balmain campaign girl Rihanna? It could totally happen.
C IS FOR CULT MODEL COMEBACKS
After a six-year hiatus from fashion, the doll-faced Australian model and actress Gemma Ward made a spectacular comeback, stalking through a psychedelic landscape of purple sand dunes to open the Prada SS15 show. Then Jessica Stam walked at Bottega Veneta in Milan and Jessica Miller – once a favourite of Carine Roitfeld – appeared at Balmain. At Lanvin, Alber Elbaz brought a whole roster of late nineties names to the runway, including Kirsten Owen, who also walked for Rick Owens and Rochas.
D IS FOR DREAMING OF CHLOË
To celebrate Chloë Sevigny's latest collection for Opening Ceremony, we charted her illustrious style history. From transcending her intern position by featuring in the July 1992 issue of Sassy magazine, to her Kids-era Dazed cover story "Who's that girl?" and our "Falling for Chloë" editorial just last year, her fashion evolution has traced the same stellar trajectory as her career. Her fashionable film roles – as well as her appearance in a Sonic Youth video and a Miu Miu campaign – cemented her status as our ultimate and enduring girl crush.
E IS FOR END OF AN ERA
Jean Paul Gaultier bid farewell to ready-to-wear with a retrospective collection of beauty queens, bikers, boxers and businesswomen. Ironically, the original enfant terrible paid homage to the fashion establishment, with catwalk versions of fashion editors Grace Coddington, Emmanuelle Alt, Carine Roitfeld and Suzy Menkes. The show concluded with a beauty pageant, won by Coco Rocha, who fainted as she was crowned "Miss Jean Paul Gaultier 2015". The French designer will retire his pret-a-porter line in order to focus on couture.
F IS FOR FREE THE NIPPLE
In New York, the press release at Eckhaus Latta informed us that "no two nipples are the same distance apart" and the collection demonstrated this, showing them peeking through sheer white organza tabards and ultrafine knits. In London, at Helen Lawrence nips weren't exposed, but marked with hand stitched Xs on pastel pink tank tops, and at Acne in Paris they appeared in abstract pornographic prints by Portuguese artist Raquel Dias. They also showed up at Saint Laurent, Topshop Unique, Meadham Kirchhoff and Christopher Kane, to name a few.
G IS FOR GIF ME A JOB
Antonio Pignone of Fashion Intern Problems gave us a GIF-shaped breakdown of all the delights and dramas from fashion's front lines, from spotting Anna Wintour running out at the end of Proenza Schouler in New York to navigating the tampon tree at Meadham Kirchhoff in London. They say a GIF can say a thousand words...
H IS FOR HOOD BY AIR
Shayne Oliver premiered his sexed-up suiting on a diverse range of models including Hari Nef and boychild (with Great Dane in tow) in a catwalk setting in New York, before messing with fashion tradition and showing again in Paris. HBA Part II took place in an abandoned office space, lit by red strip lights with a live soundtrack by GHE20GOTH1K founder Venus X and Future Brown's Fatima Al Qadiri. Keep an eye in Oliver’s direction – Part III is still to come.
I IS FOR INSIDE THE MAISON
In anticipation of their Paris show, we teamed up with the enigmatic Maison Martin Margiela to produce a series of short films about daily life inside their whitewashed HQ. Ever wondered what a meeting looks like in the Maison, how many cups of coffee the team drink or the sort of post they receive? Each film gives us an intriguing glimpse into MMM's mysterious world, but you may be left with more questions than answers. Will things change when Galliano is in charge? Time will tell...
A 1950s brutalist building in Paris with cold concrete seating blocks was the setting for J.W. Anderson's hotly anticipated debut womenswear collection for Spanish luxury fashion house Loewe. But in contrast with the severity of the surroundings, the collection was characterised by softness and fluidity. Anderson attempted to overcome "the biggest problem in fashion" (boredom) with a seating arrangement and lighting that gave each person a different viewpoint.
K IS FOR KEEPING UP WITH KENDALL
Having made her big-time catwalk debut last season, Kendall Jenner took SS15 by storm, walking at Chanel, Balmain, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi and more. She was watched from the sidelines at several of the shows by her half-sister Kim Kardashian and her husband Kanye West, and even, at one show, their baby North. Kendall has said that her Kardashian family ties actually made it harder for her to break into modelling, but now she’s a fashion force to be reckoned with.
L IS FOR LIFE IN PLASTIC IS FANTASTIC
She may not be your typical style icon, but Barbie has been ubiquitous throughout the SS season. In New York, the impossibly proportioned, mute, blonde figurine hosted a Fashion Lounge alongside the CFDA. In Milan, Jeremy Scott presented a pink army of Barbies for his second womenswear collection at Moschino, with a laugh to the critics who panned his debut as "brainless". She will even be reinvented in the monochrome image of Karl Lagerfeld, as part of Mattel's Barbie Collector series. It's a Barbie world, we're just living in it.
M IS FOR MULTIETHNIC CASTING
“What makes the world beautiful today is THE DIVERSITY”, Olivier Rousteing told us during a Q&A on our Facebook page, and indeed he has become known for the strength and diversity of his casting for Balmain. In London, Ashish cast an entire line up of black models, disproving the claim by some designers that although they would like to have more diversity on their catwalk, there simply aren’t enough models to choose from.
N IS FOR NOT ON TINDER
For his debut womenswear collection, Christopher Shannon knew he didn't want to rehash his latest menswear offering. Changing the colours and shrinking the sizes just wasn't going to cut it, so he imagined the girl and told us all about her world. She covers the white walls of her bedroom in photocopies of her favourite images, listens to Neneh Cherry's Homebrew when she's blue and no, she isn't on Tinder, "she wouldn’t touch it, not her scene".
O IS FOR OUTSIDERS
Filmmaker Salome Oggenfuss kicked off the season by giving us a sneak peek at her documentary The Other Side of Fashion Week, which follows a group of men who travel to fashion weeks around the world to photograph models, despite having no connection to the industry. Or rather, no collection based on employment; what they do have is an overwhelming passion and compulsion that drives them to document the most beautiful women in the world season after season.
P IS FOR Ps AND Qs
Last year, showgoers were so eager to update their social media that they failed to applaud at the end of a show. This season, people are running from their seats before the models have even finished their lap of honour. Is this the Hyperlapse effect, where Instagram’s new app has accelerated the final walk out to a 15 second blur, cramming more looks in but seriously diminishing our ability to actually see them. All this prompted our guide to fashion week DO's and DON'Ts from top fashion insiders including Tommy Ton, Vanessa Friedman and Tim Blanks. DO: Be polite! DON'T: Push!
Q IS FOR QUEEN OF KITSCH
Miley Cyrus has been wearing Jeremy Scott's bright, brash designs for a while now, but for his SS15 show she took on the role of collaborator, creating an accessories collection to compliment his psychedelic 60s surfers and their slogan tees. Plastic toys, fuzzy pompoms and googly eyes were threaded together into necklaces, bracelets and headdresses, mirroring Cyrus's recently exhibited sculptures made out of trinkets thrown on stage by fans. She also attended Alexander Wang's after party wearing ice cream graphic pasties and sunglasses decorated with colourful pills. Of course.
R IS FOR REJECT EVERYTHING
Inspired by the underground feminist punk movement of riot grrrl, Meadham Kirchhoff created a 90s-style zine to replace their show notes. Instead of the usual dry PR-speak and sponsor lists, the hand-drawn and collaged photocopies listed their loves (Kathleen Hanna, Lydia Lunch, Leigh Bowery, Michael Clarke) and hates (Terry Richardson, men who drive white vans, Paul Hollywood, model agents). Celebrating a diverse range of bodies, genders and ethnicities, their street cast models were led by feminist artist Arvida Byström.
S IS FOR SEEING THINGS DIFFERENTLY
We're used to all the usual tropes of catwalk reportage, those "pops of colour" and "sculptural shapes" that crop up several times a day during fashion month. Helping us to see things a little differently, visual artist Begüm Sekendiz Boré deconstructed the shows through a prism of European art and design history. In Milan, Versace and Fendi were reinterpreted alongside mid-century French designer Jean Royère and in London, Christopher Raeburn and Paul Smith were seen through the lens of German artist Andreas Gursky, whilst Paris's shows were viewed against the sculptures of Carlie Trosclair.
T IS FOR THE CITY AFTER DARK
From shooting the breeze with Sky Ferreira at a Calvin Klein launch in the World Trade Center to taking selfies with models and getting kicked out of the VIP area at Opening Ceremony's after party for smoking, Hari Nef took us on an after dark tour of New York fashion week. The actress, writer and founding member of collective Chez Deep was the perfect tour guide, walking straight off the runways at Hood by Air and Eckhaus Latta onto the party circuit, sipping champagne with Nicola Formichetti and schooling the fash pack in drag queen tipping etiquette.
U IS FOR ULTIMATE 70s GROUPIES
Fur coats, micro mini skirts and leopard print biker jackets in candy colours created the groupie-chic aesthetic at Coach SS15. In search of the women who inspired Stuart Vevers' second collection for the brand, we looked back at the ultimate groupies of the 60s and 70s. From Bebe Buell in silver lurex and furs and Anita Pallenberg's bohemian floppy hats to the almost mythical beauty of Bianca Jagger and her iconic white Yves Saint Laurent wedding suit, it’s no wonder these women seduced some of rock ‘n’ roll’s most notorious bachelors.
V IS FOR VAMPIRE CLUB KIDS
Ed Marler's street-cast crew of club-kids-cum-vampires stalked the runway at his first outing under the Fashion East banner during London Fashion Week. Pursuing the maximalist, narrative style of his graduate collection, Marler played with themes of gender and historic dress in an opulent collection of lace-trimmed slips, tied tabard tops, brocade jackets and snakeskin pants. Looks were accessorised with jewelled sunglasses, red velvet crowns and ornate gold crosses held around the neck by black ribbon chokers.
W IS FOR WOMEN’S LIB
Karl Lagerfeld conjured the insurrectionary spirit of Paris’s May 1968 student protests, which temporarily brought France's capitalist economy to its knees, in order to present his SS15 collection. Riding the wave of mainstream feminism that has gained pace since Emma Watson's speech at the UN, Lagerfeld had models march the runway with placards that read "History is Herstory", "Ladies First", "Feministe Mais Feminine" ("Feminist But Feminine") and "Make Fashion Not War".
X IS FOR GEN X
This season, designers delighted in resurrecting the so-called fashion faux pas of our teenage years. Bandana bandeau tops at MM6 and Jean Paul Gaultier looked borrowed from an early Britney Spears tour wardrobe, and the shimmering mermaid dresses at Rodarte were luxe versions of the glittering, spaghetti strap gowns you’d see in a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie. Proenza referenced school uniforms and the designers at Marques’Almeida and Opening Ceremony all said they were influenced by their youth.
Y IS FOR YOU WANNA BE IN MY GANG?
SS15 was the season of the girl gang, with writer Al Mulhall charting them all. In Milan, Moschino presented a conveyor belt of Barbies, at Prada, Miuccia gave us folksy nomads travelling through the violet desert and at Versace, Donatella’s tribe were the party girls, as ever. In London, Marques'Almeida's moody teenagers wore heavy eyeliner and the brand's signature frayed-edge denim, inspired by the designers' youthful PJ Harvey obsessions.
Z IS FOR ZEN AT DRIES
Fashion week can be full on, with press and buyers racing between catwalks, presentations and launch parties, but if it all gets a bit much, Dries Van Noten has the answer: take a lie down. In the most unexpected finale of any show this season, rather than simply marching out in a line, Van Noten's hippie nymphs lounged on the runway's mossy forest floor in dappled morning light, signalling a return to a pre-smartphone Eden.