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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.

When The Founder Has Left The House

Westwood, Ungaro, Galliano and Mugler find new designers to shape the future

11 Апреля 2016

Vivienne Westwood, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Vivienne Westwood, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Vivienne Westwood: (Partly) Passing The Torch 

Andreas Kronthaler, the long-term husband of Vivienne Westwood, stood backstage working on the models’ outfits. Nothing novel about that. Except for the first time, Vivienne, forever famous for her “Punk goes Pop” creations, is passing the torch to Andreas. Well, part of it. Although Vivienne, 75 this year, was at the show, she said that it was all a formality to regularise the many Westwood collections and that Andreas was “more in tune with cosmic sources”. This admission marks the beginning of the end of the era.

Vivienne Westwood, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Vivienne Westwood, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Andreas fitted the show to the millennial trend of “gender neutral”, although that does not really describe the colourful clothes, wrapped round the body and worn by both sexes with the signature Westwood platform boots. (Naomi Campbell famously fell down in them on the catwalk.) Strong pieces included “scarlet woman” outfits (for both genders), a man’s coat shimmering with digital printing, and a charming checked dress, rich with embroidered roses. This season’s title was “Sexercise”, which sounded much like good ol’ Viv.

Vivienne Westwood, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Vivienne Westwood, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Emanuel Ungaro: Sharp But Needing

A Specific Identity The essence of the original Emanuel Ungaro shows was exuberance, just as it is for Fausto Puglisi and his own brief-skirted Roman Legion look that he presents in Italy. But for his latest show for Ungaro, the designer zoned out of mini and into maxi, showing mid-calf skirts that were somewhere between the languid 1970s and the edgy 1980s.

Ungaro, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Ungaro, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Add a single leg covered in mesh hose, emerging from the side-slit dresses, and you had an uncertain mix of sober and sexy. With so many shows using inter-twining runways, which often give the audience a second view, the Ungaro presentation was just too briefly in the light, though there were some fine, flat, flower prints that might have been a digital interpretation of Klimt.

Ungaro, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Ungaro, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

I am all in favour of showing a range of grown-up clothes, with Fausto’s swooping long coats and forward-stride culottes looking like strong power-women creations. But their connection to Emanuel Ungaro’s legacy? Hard to know. I remember how proud Emanuel Ungaro was, and no doubt still is, of his three-year period working with Balenciaga. With that name now in the forefront of fashion, Puglisi might have dug more deeply into the heritage of the brand he is charged with reviving.

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Ungaro, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Ungaro, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Ungaro, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Ungaro, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Ungaro, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Ungaro, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


John Galliano: Waving the Flag

Cut, shape and drape is key to the work of Bill Gaytten - and has been since his earliest days working with John Galliano. Now that he has taken over the name of the house, Bill keeps on waving the flag, and does so with ease. With a touch of irony about Dickensian England and a stirring sexuality when a military top had a semi-transparent lace bottom-half, the designer introduced effortless keynotes to the Autumn/Winter 2016-17 season.

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John Galliano, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

John Galliano, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

John Galliano, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

John Galliano, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


To be a pro in fashion is no bad thing, and Bill’s ability to handle both hard and soft, tailoring and fluidity, is a master class. Stand-out pieces - and there were many - included a military coat, its cut softened with silk lapels; a Victorian lacy, white shirt with a pair of mannish pants; the same innocent white lacing for a dress; and a not-so-innocent black lace skirt. Add skills honed with Galliano and perfected at Dior, like a bias-cut dress, and you realise that the show’s “watches on a chain” might look Victorian, but Bill Gaytten’s time at Galliano is now.

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John Galliano, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

John Galliano, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

John Galliano, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

John Galliano, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


Mugler: Finding His Second Skin 

David Koma took over at Mugler little more than two years ago and has succeeded in keeping it rolling along, fuelled on sex, metallic, and black leather. Koma has a clear vision of Mugler the brand, which is built on the continuing success of the fragrances inspired by Thierry Mugler, the founder who was known for his edgy, forward-looking design. To the current designer, cold, sharp, and hard is the message, and with that he creates a clear fashion look, built on black leather.

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Mugler, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Mugler, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Mugler, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Mugler, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


With a space-age moon as the backdrop, the models walked out, trussed into their second skin, but finding movement when ticker tape-style strips opened up the body. The story continued with silvered strings forming shapes on the surface of a black dress. There were plenty of sharp and sleek clothes, with splashes of yellow and orange. But it is difficult not to see the fashion enterprise as an adjunct to the hugely successful Mugler fragrance business owned by the Clarins skincare group.

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Mugler, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Mugler, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Mugler, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Mugler, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Mugler, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Mugler, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


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