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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

#SuzyPFW: Swinging London Obsessions — Ungaro and Galliano

5 Октября 2015


Emanuel Ungaro


An A-line, short-skirted silhouette from the 1960s — but with intense decoration and craftsmanship — has been a recurring theme for summer 2016.

Why this fascination with Swinging London, half a century ago, along with the silhouette of Courrèges and other houses which are being dusted down and relaunched? I asked Fausto Puglisi, the designer who has taken the helm at Emanuel Ungaro, a designer who was famous for his intense patterns and body twists and drapes.
 
Fausto channelled frills, mostly running from shoulder to wrist on a decorative blouse above a miniskirt with a fancy hem.

 
"The ruffles — I wanted it to feel young," said the designer backstage. "Paris is the DNA of the maison, not London, but because I am obsessed with that kind of vibe, I added some injections of floral and pink."

Fausto went on to define other influences: Argentina for his version of the horse-riding gaucho, which included tailored jackets with long skirts or a streamlined onesie of checked silk, inevitably in the colour pink.
 
Anything else? He told me about "a touch of romantic bondage - but not too aggressive, playful and feminine".
 
The show was not as confused as it might sound, with pretty pieces from white thigh-high boots appliquéd with flowers, to a streamlined pantsuit with a touch of embroidered flower decoration at the collar, waistband and running down the side of the pants.

 
What was missing amid this obsession with lacy frills, flowers and the colour PINK was any vision of what Ungaro stands for today. Shouldn't the brand be targeting international women in their early 30s who want to look streamlined and dynamic, rather than like baby dolls?
 
Fausto could have edited the collection to give it a different vibe, focusing on the long skirts, sleek trousers and smart jackets — rather than rerunning those Sixties which are not so relevant today. There were fine pieces in the collection, but they were drowned out by the frills.




John Galliano: Twist and Shout

Music from the Beatles blared so loudly at the John Galliano show that it seemed as though designer Bill Gaytten was going to send out another show inspired by the 1960s.

But the designer is tasked with making this line credible and saleable. To that criteria, the collection was well done. Working with art director Franck Durand, the idea was to keep the spirit of the house but to accentuate the style.

 
The focus was firstly on lace, which is now a summer staple. But as well as semi-transparent tops and brief skirts (topped with metallic Buckingham Palace guard caps), Gaytten took the lace to longer lengths. That decorative fabric might be swapped with chiffon, perhaps with graphic dots. The designer was in favour of the long and streamlined as much as the short and girly.
The John Galliano heritage includes tailoring, at which Gaytten excels, and his jackets with trousers seemed more for the real world than a buttercup chiffon dress, however much it might be a midsummer night's dream.


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