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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.

With a Tale to Tell

Simone Rocha and JW Anderson cover the catwalk in clovers

22 Февраля 2016

Simone Rocha, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Simone Rocha, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Is there any surprise that the London Fashion Week designers who have a story to tell might come from the green fields of Ireland? 

Simone Rocha: Baby Love

Even if you knew nothing of the life of Simone Rocha - from an Irish/Asian family steeped in fashion - you could feel the tension in her post-baby period. There were white or baby pink dresses with a virginal innocence and protective rural coats, ankle-length tweed above the designer's kookie shoes.

The dresses became light, lacy, almost transparent with tiny imbedded flowers. Backstage in the gilded royal palace, Simone, rejoicing in her baby of three months, said she had tried to explore the emotional tension of becoming a mother. It was expressed on the runway as black lace, with suggestions of mantillas as inspiration. 

Simone Rocha, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Simone Rocha, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

"Baptism, birth, re-birth, Victorian dress, mess, unravelling, re-weaving, restrain, restricting, strict, swaddled, enveloping, mothering," read the show notes, as the clothes became increasingly dark and lacy - with breasts lightly veiled and embroidered with four leaf clovers.

There was something raw and rustic about this show. Its intimacy might occasionally have been unsettling - but it was also poetry in motion on the runway.

из
Simone Rocha, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Simone Rocha, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Simone Rocha, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Simone Rocha, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Simone Rocha, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Simone Rocha, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


JW Anderson: Irish Modernity

Just imagine this scenario: Pierre Cardin, now age 93, is invited by Jonathan Anderson to visit the Emerald Isle. Together, using new 21st-century fabrics and a computer, they draw, design and meld skirts and dresses that hold their wavy, upturned hemlines, even if the rest of the short skirts are inset with silvered zippers. 

JW Anderson, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
JW Anderson, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

This is entirely my own fantasy dreamed up from the JW Anderson runway. In fact, the designer quoted a completely different and rather obscure statement from British mid-century modernist interior designer, David Hicks. The Hicks statement was laid out on the chairs in long, narrow corridors - the better to concentrate on the clothes, JW said.

"The excitement of today is the freedom of the individual to make his own choice and the vast range of possibilities from which he may choose," were the words of David Hicks. Sorry, but l don't get this, because JW sent out a focused, modernist collection that is one of the most coherent he has ever made.

JW Anderson, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
JW Anderson, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

The bright colours - tinged by the 1960s and shown at skirt hems - were just some of the intriguing ways that he embraced the earlier space age and brought it up to date. Where was the Irish effect of JW's country of origin?

Just in case we had forgotten it, now he has become an international star designing for the Spanish house of Loewe, giant shamrocks were used as decoration. The impressive part of JW is his energy and imagination.

JW Anderson, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
JW Anderson, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Even his shoes were bold and original. And whether or not Pierre Cardin was on his agenda, the clothes looked powerfully modern.

The impressive part of JW is his energy and imagination. Even his shoes were bold and original. And whether or not Pierre Cardin was on his agenda, the clothes looked powerfully modern.

из
JW Anderson, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

JW Anderson, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

JW Anderson, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

JW Anderson, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

JW Anderson, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

JW Anderson, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

JW Anderson, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

JW Anderson, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


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