Minnie Muse Spring 2019 Fashion Awards
As yet another fashion show season has come and gone, see which shoes, handbags, headpieces, unique trends, Kaia Gerber looks, runway show sets and collection highlights excited us most about spring/summer 2019.
The fashion world loves a statement piece, or statement shoe, for that matter. For spring/summer 2019 designers focused their creative powers on showing WOW-footwear. From Tabitha Simmons’ feathery mules paired with antique-y fabrics for American brand Brock, and Marc Jacobs’ Cinderella-inspired, transparent footwear, to Prada’s classic yet sporty evening heels, Louis Vuitton’s Fabrizzio Viti-designed white snakeskin lace-up boots and John Galliano’s colorful platforms for Maison Margiela – accessorized with complimentary painted socks – statement shoes were on every designer’s mind this season. Still, it was Marni’s wrap-around multimedia kitten heel sandals that left our feet most excited for spring!
The spring/summer 2019 collections had a handbag to satisfy any accessory appetite. While New York-based designer Rosie Assoulin showed colorful, Memphis-inspired bucket bags, perfect for a summer day at the beach, English designer Erdem accessorized his romantic collection with delicately embroidered, Victorian evening bags, while Gucci’s Alessandro Michele built upon his obsession with pop iconography through the inclusion of Mickey Mouse lunch boxes on the Italian brand’s spring runway. In Paris, French fashion houses focused on updating classic shapes and materials; Chanel’s iconic quilted bags were covered with bright shades of terrycloth while Hermès showed masterfully constructed bucket bags with rich leather detailing. After seasons of riding the success of their ‘Petite Malle’, introducing countless variations of the style each collection, Louis Vuitton’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere conjured up a new, highly covetable egg-shaped bag, shown in a variety of textures, skins, and colors; this miniature, top-handle evening bag will be the perfect compliment to any spring time look.
A summer hat, or headpiece, can be a beautiful thing. From Simone Rocha’s feathered sun hats with elaborately embroidered veils and Valentino’s couture-level creations with larger-than-life brims, to Louis Vuitton’s handmaid’s tale-esque white backwards bonnets, Issey Miyake’s clouds of fabric topping models’ heads, and Chanel’s branded ‘deerstalker’ hats, the variations were endless. No designer, however, showed a more interesting take on a summer headpiece than Miuccia Prada; her parade of Prada girls were each accessorized with colorful, studded and bejeweled headbands, which emulated pillbox hats typically worn by women in the 1960s.
What would springtime be without flowers and what would the spring collections be without florals? Whether black and white or colorful, printed or embroidered, new age and old fashion florals covered daytime looks, outerwear and formal attire throughout the spring 2019 collections. The most innovative of such examples being John Galliano’s abstract, transparent floral ‘armor’ at Margiela, presented over a delicate lace under-dress. A standout instance of botanical decoration made ultra modern and highly alluring.
Supermodel wunderkind Kaia Gerber, the genetically blessed offspring of fashion world icon Cindy Crawford and husband Randy Gerber, found her stride, quite literally, this season during the spring/summer 2019 collection circuit. One year after making her runway debut, the 17 year old, Malibu-native walked nearly every major show of the season in New York, Milan and Paris. From her Jaws-inspired ensemble accessorized with a graduation cap at Calvin Klein, and a 1950s era bright yellow overcoat and matching headscarf at Marc Jacobs, to Moschino’s colorful ‘fashion sketch’ garments, Prada’s utilitarian Bermuda shorts, oversized headband and makeshift pixie cut, and Gerber’s ultra 80s, black and white ensemble at Chanel, search no further than Kaia’s petite, elongated frame for the standout looks from the spring 2019 collections. The best, however, was saved for the last day of fashion month; Kaia’s crushed black micro-short ensemble at Miu Miu, accessorized with sky-high platforms and an exaggerated, baby doll hairstyle perfectly showcased the model’s striking look and all of her best, longer-than-life assets.
Just as the fashion show cycle repeats itself, trends come and go, and undoubtedly come back again. While the spring collections saw the reemergence of tie-dye, and denim elevated as formalwear, there was also a movement towards the inclusivity of age brackets, seen the presence of ‘advanced in years’ models on the runways in New York, London, Milan and Paris. From Calvin Klein’s Jaws-themed collection and Michael Kors’ scuba looks, to Thom Browne’s aquatic face masks and Chanel’s jaw-dropping seaside set, the beach was on everyone’s mind by season’s end. An unexpected movement that emerged for spring was the presence S&M accoutrements on the runway, rendered in various forms at Alexander Wang, Vetements, Gareth Pugh, Thom Brown and Gucci, while the most unique trend that surfaced was the presence of food and beverages in handbags. From the models at Brandon Maxwell carrying champagne vitrines, and Peter Pilotto’s bejeweled, pearl evening bags holding oranges and lemons, to Marco de Vincenzo’s fruit-filled transparent picnic baskets and Marine Serre’s plastic bags housing fresh produce, designers have taken spring fashion a step further, suggesting not only which handbag you should carry, but WHAT should be inside.
As fashion month progressed, WHO was going to be walking in each collection became the season’s operative pre-show question, with countless surprise appearances by all-star guests and throwback models. From New York-based artist Olympia Scarry at Proenza Schouler, and Freja Beha Erichsen at Calvin Klein, Stella Tennant opening Victoria Beckham’s 10th anniversary show, Shalom Harlow closing Versace and Gemma Ward at Alexander McQueen, each collection’s casting was full of excitable surprises. Out of all the big names reappearing on the runways this season, it was Kristen McMenamy opening Valentino in a billowing black evening gown with her shiny white hair and bleached eyebrows that left use truly speechless.
The fashion industry loves a reference. Each season designers make creative nods to collections past, some successful, some less so successful. Spring 2019 saw the debut of Hedi Slimane at Celine, and with it, 96 self-referential looks to his days as creative director of Saint Laurent. Tom Ford showed a safe collection of primarily eveningwear, incorporating shiny, bubbly moc croc, akin to a trademark material used by Azzedine Alaia, while Simone Rocha presented floral-embroidered tulle dresses, an obvious nod to mid-90s Comme des Garçons. Virgil Abloh showed a track and field collection sprinkled with patchwork garments made of Nike socks, an interesting evolution of his creative partnership with the sportswear giant and an unmistakable citation to Martin Margiela’s sock sweater from 1991. This season’s standout reference was Vetement’s tattoo tops, which were first seen on the spring 1994 runway of Parisian couturier Jean Paul Gaultier.
Each season designers conjure up artistically influenced environments as creative compliments to their latest collections, some wildly expensive, some less elaborate but equally impactful. For spring/summer 2019 we saw an installation by artist Isa Genzken at Proenza Schouler, an Anish Kapoor-esque reflective skyscape at Hermès and scattered beds at Marni, akin to artist Tracey Emin’s seminal work ‘My Bed’. None, however, was more thought provoking and impressively on brand than Demna Gvasalia’s creative partnership with immersive, digital artist Jon Rafman. Together, the duo crafted a powerful, unique environment that served as the perfect backdrop for Gvasalia’s spring/summer 2019 collection for Balenciaga.
After analyzing dozens of impressive collections from New York, London, Milan and Paris, it’s hard to nail down a ‘best in show’ at seasons end. While Nicolas Ghesquiere took exciting new strides at Louis Vuitton, Miuccia Prada reminded us why she STILL rules fashion and Karl Lagerfeld presented his best ready-to-wear collection for Chanel in years. Jonathan Anderson nailed relaxed spring dressing at Loewe and Marni’s creative director Francesco Risso showed his strongest collection yet for the Italian house, but it was Julien Dossena’s perfectly styled show for Paco Rabanne that stood far above the rest. An impressive collection that made us most excited for the forthcoming spring season.