Runway Report: The Modern Muse

Fashion labels are harking to the future and redefining “au courant.” Here we digest the patterns, motifs and hues of the Fall/Winter 2019 collections.

Words by ALISON EDMOND

 

Fashion often reaches back into the past for inspiration, and there are many beautiful retro references reinvented to beautiful new effect in the Fall/Winter 2019 collections. But there are also designs that could only speak to the current day, with modernity and freshness that move fashion forward yet again.

The juxtaposition of mixed styling is always what’s new: tux jackets over metallics with punk icing (Altuzarra); the prettiest slips over men’s shirts with glittery accessories (Alexander Wang); and twisted knits over leather separates with brass fittings (Bottega Veneta). No research into past ready-to-wear will come up with any of these Fall/Winter 2019 style staples to come — and so we are assured the future will be just as exciting as it will be ultra-shoppable.

Citrus Hues Add Zest to Every Occasion
From the juiciest tangerine to apricot and peach, these citrus tones were everywhere this season. Mixed with black accents, they looked cool and edgy. We saw modern knits with leather at Bottega Veneta and Proenza Schouler; languid velvet for drop-dead-gorgeous evening gowns at Oscar de la Renta; masculine, brightened-up suits at Salvatore Ferragamo; structure and elegance at Givenchy. Proud pinks and screaming yellows also made cameo appearances. But the oranges stole the moment.

Rural Flair Fit for the Country Club
Hedi Slimane’s turnabout at Celine — from rock ’n’ roll to early ’80s rural-chic — was a huge statement that sent ripples across the shows. Checked tweeds and neck scarves, knee boots and beanies, pussy-bow and ruffle-neck blouses — all the touches were there to take us back to a time when country styles were worn with confidence while one marched into town, with every look magically brought up to trend by Slimane’s futuristic wand.

The Enduring Influence of Coco and Karl
Karl Lagerfeld may have left this world, but the classic monochrome signature he so successfully continued after Coco Chanel’s initial invention seems as though it will never ever fade away. The chicness of the white collars, the black ties, the masculine/feminine edge, was everywhere to be found, with the cleverest designers like Thom Browne, Michael Kors and Olivier Rousteing owning their different individual and confident interpretations.

Take a Shine to Striking Metallics
Metals are always present on the catwalk — guaranteed for a dazzling and exciting finale — and Fall 2019 complied with clean-looking combinations. Mixed with black and, occasionally, white, the golds, bronzes and pewters looked more subtle and architectural. Sculptural shapes at Saint Laurent and graphic play at Halpern added even more power to already head-turning outfits.

 

Feature image: SAINT LAURENT, OSCAR DE LA RENTA, CHANEL and MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION. All Fall/Winter 2019.

 

This story originally appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of C Magazine.

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