Tommy Hilfiger’s much anticipated collaboration with the eminent Gigi Hadid finally made its public debut at his show during New York Fashion Week 2016. Instead of simply incorporating Hadid into an ad campaign, Hilfiger told Vogue that he wanted to do “something really, really meaningful and unique, so I invited her to design this collection with me.” In particular, I like that Hadid stayed true to her personal style when designing this collection and as she explained she “started to make different pieces based on different parts of her style,” giving their collective audience a real insight and a first-hand look into the supermodel’s fashion sense. Hilfiger showcased the collection along the pier at South Street Seaport, orchestrating a carnival which included a Ferris wheel, an old-school arcade, multiple rides and much more for their guests to enjoy post-show. The nautical-themed setting was also visible in the collection, which drew on Hilfiger’s preppy classics. This collection has the potential to be very successful, not just because it was designed by one of the most current and well-known models of our time, but because the variety in the collection appeals to both the more extravagant and practical fashionista alike.
Another female designer, Mary Katrantzou, presented her spring 2017 collection during London Fashion Week 2016. Katrantzou takes inspiration from her own heritage, adding a personal touch to the collection, as she looks back at her time in Greece and the historical significance the destination holds. Ancient Greece is well-known for its beautiful artefacts and Katrantzou particularly focused on the Minoan culture, as she states that she “was looking at the Minoan civilisation and doing it in a way that I feel is very genuine to me - not to shy away from print, not to shy away from graphics, nor from silhouettes I’ve done before. I wanted to keep it very true to what it is.” So using this angle, Katrantzou incorporates aspects found in ancient paintings and artefacts onto her designs, showing that as we evolve, we must still look back and learn from our history, even in the fashion world. Her use of bright, bold colours and geometric shapes gives off a 1960/1970’s vibe, yet it seems to work well with the Greek incorporation, keeping Katrantzou firmly within the leading young British designer group.
For her debut at the Christian Dior show during Paris Fashion Week, Maria Grazia Chiuri presented her bold and feminist collection, with the intention of conveying her own personal vision of what femininity can look like. As Chiuri declared, “The message, really, is that there is not one kind of woman” - perhaps her intention for the collection was to elaborate on the view that women are all unique and beautiful in their own way. The show opened with model Ruth Bell wearing a white fencing jacket; the incorporation of fencing attire throughout the collection, I personally think, is daring, yet brilliant and adds an edge to the feminine portrayal. According to Chiuri, the art of fencing “involves mind and heart at the same time, which women always need if they are to realize themselves.” This definitely corresponds with the rest of the collection, in particular a t-shirt which read, “We should all be feminist,” a statement which encourages the empowerment of women. This is made even more significant as Chiuri is the first ever female creative director of Dior, and her bold stance in making such a collection will definitely appeal to a modern audience.