Tom Ford called his F13 Collection, “Cross Cultural Multi Ethnic” because, he told Women’s Wear Daily, “That’s what the world is”. In turn WWD described it as “A parade of clothes that were loud and proud,” which could also be said for several of the other London designer collections.
Graphic stripes and other geometric prints and patterns in colorful hues were rendered in a variety of fabrics including leather and fur. Fashion seems to revel in contradiction, especially on the runway. Minimalism (Calvin Klein, Jil Sander, Chloe) and maximalism (Versace, Roberto Cavalli) happily co-exist every season but now more and more we see it not only within the same Collection (Prada) but even within the same look. At Ashish for example, the F13 offering is “based on a construction worker’s wardrobe” that of “hardworking, protective, and durable gear” and yes, there were orange cargo pants with padded knees, but sequined and teamed with a fringed houndstooth blouse.
“Color-drenched and brash” said WWD of Paul Smith, “Graphic stripes and gleaming metallics in offbeat combinations of colors.”
Geometrics were employed here too, notably in a coat of black and blue pieced-in color-blocks.
Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos are well known for their “signature maximal-print aesthetic” and this season is no exception. They showed incredible combinations of signal color again in “confrontationally” graphic prints.
In a time when a fascination with all that is organic and found in nature is paramount, there’s an obsession with ourselves as well. Style.com reports that the designers of Sass & Bide, Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton said their F13 offering entitled, Wintergate, was “born from a curiosity about man-made objects. We wanted to study the internal mechanics of them.” This has resulted in a series of optical prints, graphic lines in black, white and elemental grays punctuated with a searing shade of yellow) and a sort of strictness also present at Temperley London
Which brings us back to Tom Ford’s show and a crescendo of color, print and texture. But as in so many of the other collections this season, graphically pieced-in mink and leather plus geometric patterns proved an interesting sub-text that indicates a current desire for control, even in the most-maximalist of designs.
Sass & Bide