Trend observations with a sociological eye from afar...
by DSWarren in Vancouver
And there was a lot to look at as some were quite sizeable.
If the devil is in the details then the devil was very busy. Chanel Diesel Black Gold and Bottega Venetta both featured a lot of crafty detailing in the intricate workmanship. For Chanel and Bottega Venetta, the detailing came in the execution. There were layers cobbled on top of each other artfully, and layers painstakingly painted in strategic places, bringing a controlled form of decay into the process without giving actual wear. Christian Dior cobbled the varied textured and textiles more asymmetrically, playing with chiffons and strategic material placement amidst layers where lace and zips offered more than one way of pouring through. The artful details assembled on top of existing layers at Diesel Black Gold were more structured and masculine, mixing the biker/motocross chic on lean lines. And strategic slashing and textile placement on the body was heavily established for the Versus Versace J.W. Anderson Collection.
The hard masculinity that has been consistently pervasive for several collections and expressed in the details has not left, but the layers of detail are now fused on top rather that loosely applied. If we had complexity to examine before, there is more cohesion in the elements. In fact, if there was one thread of commonality, it was about merging. It was the merging of workwear details for Diesel; the merging of craft and polish at Bottega Venetta and Chanel; the merging of restraint and freedom at Dior; and the merging of perspective collaboratively between Donatella Versace and J.W. Anderson for the Versus line.
And maybe, in the times that we have now where uncertainty and fear provides a backdrop for expression I our arts and entertainment these days, the natural reaction is to come together. It will be interesting to see how many designers share this sentiment in the coming weeks.
Part of this is fear of our own making. Our technology informs us in more detail with greater volume and immediacy than what could have ever been imagined last century and our lives have yet to match that level of information processing. Some have opted out of attempting to keep up, instead choosing to select what is available and tailoring it to personal preference. Fashion reacts accordingly, mirroring this sentiment by allowing multiple trends and permutations. The trends are no longer clear cut, even though there are still preferable threads of recognizable prominence to denote remaining current, such as those discussed in pervious articles.
But the pioneer of modern fashion from the last century, Gabriel “Coco” Chanel, was correct in what she observed, quoted as saying “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” And whether we like the interpretations before us, they are there nonetheless. Fashion ultimately fights to go forward, even if it respects our more current pressing desire to look back.
Recently, the UK Telegraph drew comparisons of a recent exhibit at The Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace with high fashion from collections such as Gareth Pugh and Alexander McQueen, designers who inhabit the appreciation of more envelope-pushing edges of society while still participating in the mainstream fashion culture, albeit in a more economically exclusive vein. The Telegraph rightly pointed out much what this blog had in prior articles concerning our collective reluctance to let go of the past fully. In fact, the fetishing of bringing fashion back to allow participants to inhabit earlier periods. The New York Times’ Bill Cunningham captured this observation during the cold snaps of Manhattan when men were wearing layers of shorts over tights with top-heavy coats that seemed to streamline the Tudor look.
Indeed, our technology also joins in on the need to return to so-called better days. Some efforts indicated by Fast Company, such as Beck’s recent musical crowdsourcing effort and subsequent concert or the Secret Cinema film gatherings complete with dress codes for more immersive experiences sought to bring people back to a time when events were more something to attend and remember without technology capturing every moment. Others, like The Rumpus look to bring back the join of receiving physical mail through a service where subscribers get letters from authors. This desire isn’t entirely new, as a look through the internet shows that there have been suggestions amongst authors to bring back the joy of writing letters for the past few years and there was a suggestion last year to establish postal banking to preserve the postal service while meeting needs with underserved rural areas.
The popularity of services such as Ancestry.com or the app Historypin supports our need to remember and encourage our nostalgia, and fashion happily dresses this desire further. In the past few years the tweed rides with the Velo trend, Gatsby garden parties, and festival dressing all seek to immerse the wearer in a successful escape, all the while fine-tuned by the very technological world that made its existence and accuracy possible.
But again, through all this referencing and looking back designers still adhere to the future, be it in materials or execution. Eventually the attention span that fashion mirrors in all of us will bring us around to that mysterious and frighteningly alluring vision of our inevitable future. It will be interesting to see what designers bring forward when the next round of collections come. Given that resort collections are coming out as you read this, the answer will come soon as we see if they, and we, are ready to step forward and to what degree.
Designs meant to be retro 60s during the 80s did not have the 60s cut because there were still actual clothes from that period in second-hand shops and mirroring cuts exactly would have been a bad business decision; why buy current retro styles when the real thing is still in consignment shops? While it was a choice at the time primarily for trendy college students to wear, you could be sure that the first decent paycheck saw those pieces lingering in the closet over more current incarnations. Likewise, when the 70s made resurgence in the 90s, reimaginings of pieces inspired from that decade had a different colour palette and, of course, better quality fabrics. While the fit plus the harmonization of inspiration did allow for vintage to work with these pieces, there wasn’t as much vintage 70s fashion around that didn’t look more of that decade and so it wasn’t as incorporated much into one’s wardrobe.
Now that time has passed and most vintage pieces have been picked clean during the previous decades, fashion is able to lift pieces from other decades with more authenticity. Looking at some aspects of collections the items seem to be transported from the decades that inspired them. As the frenzy for clothes harmonizing with the soon to be released film “The Great Gatsby” competes with BoHo 70s infused festival wear, 80s punk revivalism and postwar ladylike attire meets with reduced production output lead times. This means more clothes tailored to at-the-moment trends form a variety of points of view are accessible to consumers. We see our decade dressing to best reflect our state of mind and seem to be experiencing a form of anachronistic saudade.
Every language has their limits regarding accurate expression and fortunately the word in one language is not solely the domain of its originating point. “Saudade” is actually Portuguese and is a bit difficult to explain because there is no actual equivalent in the English language. It’s best described as a state of knowing sadness one has when thinking about the loss of something (or someone) one loved that you know will not return. And this sentiment is rooted in what many are going through today.
While clever designers have found inspiration in various points of history similar to our current state of mind, many in the general public are not so aware of the connections that more informed minds recognize and may not necessarily “get” the reference’s intent or conection with what is happening today. But many can identify with a longing for “the good old days” that we cannot ever truly return to (or that some can only imagine via romanticized entertainment). The subjectiveness of this nostalgia is what makes it difficult to narrowly focus on any specific retro trend, unlike in post-war 20th century decades. As we become more connected and informed via our technology and as our technology allows more internal customization of our choices, our personal affinities with various references becomes more divergent.
Thus the variety of various decades are seen in collections nowadays, But the current fondness for these, spurred by the accelerated pace of technological revolution stressing our ability to adapt to societal change, is encouraging a personal hesitation best validated by our personal wardrobe choices. Clothes are our armour, our security, and badge of conformity. Above all, they are our extension of identity and for the moment not everyone is ready to move on.
Will this change? We have no choice and not everyone is sentimental nor nostalgic. The future is coming and quite quickly and fashion is making way for the new. For now, though, there are enough people around making purchase decisions who are asking for just a little bit more time. Letting go, even in fashion, is not an act but a process and for us in the midst of great change it seems to be a long one.
Now we have the ability to see progress made on bringing subjects to light due to this never-ending superstream of information. If individuals are concerned about lack of privacy they should know that organizations are also subject to this new evolution within the information age that brings accountability into the public eye. And as dollars tend to be connected with this resurgence of responsible consciousness, more and more companies are making the effort to come clean so as to keep public trust.
Oddly enough, this trend was anticipated by many trending organizations and, in particular, expects this to be a major aspect this year; the subject of transparency certainly was noticed by PositiveLuxury.com during the World Economic Forum at Davos-Klosters, Switzerland back in January, especially as it was a component of many speeches and seminars during this convention. In fact, last month, H & M took to disclosing their supplier factory lists in order to demonstrate their willingness to be transparent about their sourcing as they aim to keep their word about supporting sustainability. It was a bold move not normally done in an industry that carefully guards its resources and was well-noted within the industry.
UK trending organization Mudpie covered this topic back in 2011 when discussion how transparency would become a component of our image as a commodity. Designers are no stranger to all this information; not a brand name exists that doesn’t have services with trending organizations, especially if one wants to be part of the global language and aims to be ahead of the curve. So it makes sense that this focus gets the literal treatment, something well-noticed in the spring-summer collections that will appear in stores this year and again later in the fall.
Interesting to note is how much sheer has been a staple in fashion over the decades and how aspects of our intellectual illumination have coincides with this use of sheer. The breaking of convention and frankness of dialogue between the sexes in the 20s contrasted with the looking beyond the surface in the 40s and 50s and use of sheer contrasted appropriately. Increased demand for disclosure and accountability in the 80s and increase of being informed each decade after saw more sheer being used in strategic ways that reflected how we seek for and get our information, handily interpreted by savvy designers who treated their designs as a canvas of expression.
How interesting that there has been recent exploration by Dutch inventors at Studio Roosegaarde into the utilization of technology to make clothing transparent based on physiological expressions such as heart rate and body temperature connected to our telling the truth. Our quest for transparency certainly is a literal one in more than one manner. Only time will tell whether we see life matching the fashion concept but if H & M’s move is any indication this trend is making itself clear.
The world is full of genuinely stressful events that threaten our personal security. Proliferation of random violence, threat of political instability mixed with nuclear warfare and economic destabilization amidst increasingly divided classes have all contributed to a stress load already taxed with work conditions requiring many to work more than ever before. Business Insider recently reported that such stress was reaching an epidemic level affecting our lives and even increasing propensity for mental illness in society. Countless studies have also shown that the increasing economic divide coupled with instability enhances social instability that translates to higher incidences of crime and social outbursts, something being reports in media more recently.
With a threshold regarding coping mechanisms distractions can be very valuable, and in our society fashion, normally viewed as a representation of everything frivolous, has become a grand and strangely welcoming distraction. The anticipation of the upcoming release of The Great Gatsby has been so fully embraced by fashion that recent events such as Tiffany’s Bluer Book Ball in Manhattan have rivaled the excess the period it’s set in was once known for. But for those not following such high end events are just as distracted in other areas once thought devoid of such interests, and another recent event showed not only how hungry we are for distraction, but also the degree of which fashion has permeated our culture to provide such interest.
The passing of Margaret Thatcher was noted to evoke polarized opinions on her and her policies during her record tenure as Prime Minister for The UK. Reactions were strong on both sides and there was no shortage of touching on both of those. But when the actual funeral came to pass it were not her policies that we in media focus. In fact, it was primarily about the attire of the attendees, given substantial media attention, which was noticeable.
It’s not the first time fashion was a component of interest in such an unlikely setting. The passing of the late Alexander McQueen was a fashion moment where the wardrobes of attendees were closely scrutinized by every major fashion media outlet in every fashion capital. However, interest in the fashions was not as mainstream; the interest was more confined to those within cities where fashion held more relevance. Given that it was the death of a major player in the fashion industry it made sense that cities where fashion acts as a major contribution to its industrial makeup would care more. But Margaret Thatcher’s funeral was not the most likely place for fashion to have such a strong presence, and the interest in funerary fashions was a bit more mainstream.
One would think that politicians are not normally looked to for their fashion choices. Then again, the continuous attention garnered by the Obamas for their wardrobe choices do tell us where society is at. When nuclear stress was felt in the 60s during the Cuban missile crisis, the Kennedys’ wardrobe, especially Jacqueline’s garnered a lot of attention. And fashion certainly worked its way into the culture’s focus during that period; the freedom from convention that fashion displayed helped define the decade. It’s no wonder some designers gravitated to the 60s in their designs while those more Euro-based (especially in the UK) picked up on the exuberant impracticality of 80s clubwear, picking up on our need to lighten up somehow.
Our cultivated fascination with celebrity works well with our current need for frivolity, especially if we are looking in unlikely avenues to distract us from the largess of the world and give weight to things previous generations would have deemed inappropriate. But superficial entertainment only holds so much staying power, and there are other things happening that indicate our attention is showing signs of sobering up our perspective, perhaps in order to make this a better world that requires less distraction in the first place.
In some years the change is small or negligible, and in some years it is immense. But nobody, especially those born in the 20th century, could ever quite detail the immense changes that have manifested in our culture today. The arrival of the computer and internet into mainstream society has transformed our lives and is serving as the foundation of the 21st century.
If the last century allowed us to be nocturnal, to connect with more people intimately, and increase choices and experiences, this one magnifies the possibilities of what we can do and who we can be. Not only is the knowledge of the world at our fingertips in real time, but we also have progressed to the power of consensus. This means we not only can receive opinion but can also collaborate on large scales without having to physically amass elements together in one place. We can solicit and accumulate funds to initiate projects, access programs to better manage our resources and enjoy channels towards actualization once limited to those with better means.
Furthermore, the system allows for better autonomy to support individual actions while simultaneously catering to homogenized tastes, and thus has potential to radically transform traditions in various industries. And if there is any industry that is sensitive to change, it is the fashion industry. For instance, fashion editors have realized that the landscape for showing collections no longer needs to be neither within physical confines nor within organized calendars, especially as fast fashion has opened the doors to ongoing production versus segmented presentation.
As well, emerging talent no longer has to follow once-established structures to be part of the industry. They can garner attention through self-directed PR efforts through social media, form relationships with independent media channels such as bloggers, and present their collections online through live-streaming or easily accessible video hosting sites such as the ever-popular YouTube.
The collaborative landscape can also hold a double-edge sword as the advent of social media puts designers (and subsequently the public) in a creative bind. With popular opinion and approval being more directly sought, designers have unwittingly had to sacrifice a degree of individuality in their processes as recent collections can attest.
The immediacy of such broad influential interaction is unwittingly placing designers in a precarious position where the drive to remain successfully competitive, so hinged on the access and attention to such broad-based and immediately expressed needs, has resulted in increased homogeneity of the collections. It’s as if the checklist of requisite trend items has become more mechanical. The danger is that, if every house produces the same items they may put each other out of business, especially as fast fashion houses, more able to easily turn out copies in rapid succession, undercut their competition.
Contrasting this is the capacity to customize items in production. The bespoke movement over the last few years to offer well-made quality garments opened the door to individual tailoring that was once exclusive to high-end clients. More recently, 3D printing has not only brought an immediacy to manufacturing that is harmonious with other aspects of our culture under technology’s presence, but more so provides the possibility of incorporating customization at the manufacturing level for a wider range of products that normally wouldn’t be possible without a sizeable budget. The possibilities of this are more dynamic, as it allows design influence to come from the masses and reach in a more immediate manner, allowing innovators to share the stage with more established experts and thus impact fashion and our broader cultural expression.
The immediacy of our social media plus the easily accessible and real-time manufacturing landscape are setting us up for a new world that do more than break traditions. It will create a cultural dichotomy where one will have the impact on many, and many will define the individual. It is then only a matter of time before we realize the concept of trends as we know it will be outmoded and will take on a new way of expression that balances the immediacy with frequency of output. Perhaps it is this new approach to how we think that will need to be sorted out in order to help us define who we are and consequently what we wear to express this in the coming century. It will take someone with fresh eyes unconnected to everything that has been to break from past conventions and successfully create under these new emerging conditions. It certainly happened last century.
The impending collapse of great nations is nothing new in mankind’s history. We have seen great empires grow and expand only to succumb to collapse over time. The ruins of the world are the vestiges of once great civilizations that would never have imagined their demise at the time of their greatness. And, despite the increased understanding and knowledge of how these societies rose and fell, we somehow seem to miss out on the lessons and repeat ourselves.
What we take away from these cultures more often is the romanticized views of these cultures during their heyday. Sometimes it is the rediscovery of their grandeur that captures us, such as the influence of ancient Egyptian culture during the early Art Deco period when Howard Carter discovered King Tutankhamen’s intact tomb. The specialness of this influence was due to the rarity and timing of the discovery. The impact of such a find was historic, and thus made a more lasting influence for the 20s where economics allowed to mirroring of such opulence and the appreciation of geometric forms in harmony with modern aesthetics that were developing at that time. Its appreciation returned in the 70s when the collection went on a global tour, allowing many who never would be able to travel to marvel at such historic grandeur and thus influenced fashion , albeit less so than before. Only when the exhibit was anticipated to return to the US did it make another appearance, most noticeably in the Dior 2004 collection at a time where the price of gold was more newsworthy.
Depending on what is happening in current events can help shape its reappearance. Of course Slavic influence is here with the impending winter Olympics in Russia, but some Mediterranean design aspects , in keeping with the Olympics’ historical roots. For instance, Greco-Roman details appear every few years when the Olympics are about to be hosted. Sometimes its in the pleating of fabric, or the goddess one-shoulder gowns, or in footwear such as sandals. It can be in armour-inspired construction much like in the 80s when classical elements came into collections during the resurgence in the interest in the arts.
The question to poise this time is whether the upcoming Olympic events are the source, or whether the anticipated fall of the Western civilization brings to mind another once-great civilization: The Roman Empire. And some designers may have found dual purpose in this reference…or trio if you include the return of the warrior mentality as women rediscover their strength in fighting for equality.
Belstaff, for example, had a grometed skirt pleated that was quite Romanesque. Naeem Khan had a few items had Romanesque touches like metal pinnings holding together slashed sleeves, one-shoulder garments with much embellishments on textile or the capes that seemed Olympic, and a girdle-like corset with a layer of chiffon that was bunched to the degree it was almost rusched, in a way somewhat like Grecian pleating. How interesting is where these influences, in the few collections it did show, appeared. If Europe had disintegration in the cracks and frayed edges more prominently than in US collections, it was in the reverse that the Greco-Roman elements appeared. And how telling is it that references to a lost empire appear during a time when the entertainment of current superpower that is looking to be on the wane in our 21st century incorporates planning for impending cultural demise in their entertainment? Only time will tell whether it is foreshadowing, or a sport or of a darker future.
Fighting our capacity to thrive in a group is the need for introspection. The stress of living in close quarters with volumes of people can sometimes be too much, and our technology has worked towards not only the improvement of our standard of living but the evolution of our spiritual cocoon. Now more than ever before do we have the ability to simultaneously be part of everything and yet be removed from all that is before us. We can be informed and entertained yet left alone.
Oddly enough, this has fostered a sense of isolation and growing disconnect from our fellow man, more recently illustrated in a film aptly titled “Disconnect”. The subject resonates as we concede that our technology is taking us away from the human experience. And yet we have, within our isolating technology, new ways to connect and it is resulting in a form of tribalization. Whereas before it was based on geography, this type is based on beliefs and values alone while transcending borders. These virtual tribes fortify confidence in our interests and in our sense of selves as we learn how, despite being physically isolated, we are in another way more intimately connected. As we find expression for this tribalism, artists may repurpose inspiration that would have resulted from different sources to produce similar effects.
Early exploration of our globe brought forth exposure to other cultural treasures and, from this, inspired our culture more broadly. For example, excavations in Egypt and continental exploration of places such as Africa and Asia heavily influenced art and fashion of the early twentieth century. The romance and exoticism of travel resulted in the incorporating of animal print and tribal print into fashion, especially in the mid twentieth century. The increased accessibility of global travel that brought out our inner explorer in the 70s and 80s brought safari wear and animal print back into fashion. Some prints, such as zebra and leopard, have become classics as a result.
But if the lure of the unknown was impetus for inspiration before, our wild and crazy jungle of a world and the tribes that are forming online resonate more this time around. When factoring in the economic interest in rising economies, Asia isn’t the only place people are looking. The uncharted hunger for luxury in Africa has caught the attention of the fashion world. And if any place comes to mind when thinking of tribes, Africa places high here. However it degrees of one or the other, when the individual inspirations come together there is no missing them. Some designers such as Donna Karan, Libertine, Skaist-Taylor, Peter Pilotto, Tom Ford, and Roberto Cavalli have incorporated more exotic touches such as tribal prints within their Fall/Winter collections while some, such as Peter Som, Versace, Sacai, Roland Mouret and Veronique Branquinho incorporated animal print in their collections. Mary Kantranzou had one long leather dress embossed with a pattern; the effect seemed almost archeological.
What will cultural anthropologists make of our social habits in the years to come? Or will there be anything for them to find? Or will they have only physical remnants to speculate on? In that case, they may not know exactly what tom make of where our minds arte at especially given that the tribes within fashion are of many thoughts and this aspect is but part of a larger, more international dialogue.
For all the progress our civilizations have made, the success we have achieved and the technological advancement we take for granted, we are a fairly pessimistic lot. Our entertainment has programming devoted to examining warning signs of impending apocalypses and more recent reality programming of people preparing for the expected dissolution of society. Some television programming in the US currently features dystopian scenarios while reconstituted fairy tales in film feature far grittier and grimmer environments. And as detailed in a previous article (“From Honest Abe To Mad Max”, November 25, 2012) our pop culture is looking to further explore post-apocalyptic setups for entertainment. How fitting that fashion should have something to say about this subject matter.
Given that the recovery is not unanimous for many countries and that the existing recovery is tenuous at best, not everyone who participates in the industry has the rosiest expectations, nor do they see these within their clientele. The artful execution of such cultural decomposition that was seen last year has not abated. Rather, it is interesting to note that some of the heavyweights included some elements within their creative dialogue and even renowned UK trending organization Mudpie took note of it as of recent, admiring the textural detail that this article will touch on. As detailed in another previous article (“Threadbare” March 18th, 2012) fashion gives the impression of exploring the anticipated crumbling of society in fashion through the execution of deconstruction and the dialogue that was noticed last year seems to be continuing.
Custo Barcelona had some fur that seemed more barbaric in rough panels compared to what most have on their collections. Frayed edges came from a few designers. Central St. Martens’ Marie Rydland’s men’s caftans all had rough unfinished edges, Haider Ackerman had some frayed edges on military tweed with more raw edges in later pieces, Vivienne Westwood had some deconstructed fraying of edges on some pieces and Lanvin had a laser raw edged 40s militaristic sleeveless jacket amidst the more ladylike fare. Meanwhile, Christopher Kane had feather as distressed fringe on seams in more oversized structured 90s stuff like suits, dresses and coats.
If some had fraying, others went towards even more pronounced states of decay. Chanel had some hyper textural layers topping some rather hyper-destroyed distressed jeans towards the latter portion of its collections. Chalayan had some items towards the end of his collections featuring a textile that had a texture like shredded paper on dress, as if a layer is cracking up and peeling up on itself. Johan Ku also had some distressed shredding in a few gown while Balenciaga, now headed by Alexander Wang, had mohair knits that were coated with a lacquered surface that gave the appearance of cracking paint and pants that had an unusual devore with subtle amorphic patterning and only in places showed skin as if the material was in a gradual state of dissolution.
Some went a more literal state of being in midst of repair. For instance, Anne-Sofie Back Atelje had an unusual line with some literal construction site elements while Ashish had construction tape in places. The line also featured patchwork denim in various states of wear but not in a random careless application but more like Bauhaus abstract assembly. Junya Watanabe as well had patchwork on a lot of worn denim. Viktor & Rolf may not have used actual worn textiles but opted out for trompe l’oeil fraying and holes. And Jay Arh had string fringe pouring from aggressively scratched out silver spots in random excess on a few items.
If the previous death of this creative design aesthetic was due to too close of association with poverty, these incarnations seem to address that to some degree. The materials are luxe, the implementation is more artful and more sophisticated and, while representational of decay, may not be as easily replicated nor may be actual decay upon closer inspection. Our technology may have found a way to allow us to play apocalypse without having to lose the societal segregation markers such as class distinction. It’s a shame that barriers to unity couldn’t be subjected to decay but the irony is that our insistence of maintaining separation could be our ultimate undoing, represented in the finest textiles and techniques available and delivered via some of the most astute minds in an industry.
Comedians can make some rather interesting observations about the human condition as they make us laugh at some rather uncomfortable truths about us. For example, it is only in the throes of tragedy and upheavals do so many “find” religion. If this is true, religion certainly must be on the minds of many these days.
Along with that is the recent change of Popes within the Catholic church, the first resignation in hundreds of years fuels speculation over relevance and scandal as it enters public dialogue. It may not normally be the acceptable topic at the dinner table, but all the scenarios make it hard for us not to do so. Although the resignation of the pope did not occur at the time, the other matters that precipitated it along with the worlds woes did, and some designers responded in the best language they have: interpretive design.
In particular, Alexander McQueen made clams to derive inspiration from religion and catholic excess, and the show made clear references to the hierarchy within that religion as it took inspiration from formal ceremonial gowns in their designs. The ascent from priest went up to heaven ending with angels.
Others were inspired in a different direction: mecca. Some of the graduates from the bastion of design education, Central St. Martins, looked more to the Middle East in the execution of their designs as they incorporated the volume play that is currently being explored in collections. Asaaf Reeb, for example, incorporated a prayer rug into a shirt design. Others were more general in looking towards the Middle East while keeping the looks minimal and monastic. Marie Rydald and Jessica Fawcett worked with cartans. Nicomede Talavera did so as well with more Aarbesque/Moroccan flourishes while Nayoung Moon added a pop art edge to his caftans.
And beyond Central St. Martins, J. Crew had some Moroccan elements while Marios Schwab had some arabesque elements in the cacophony of hybrid references in his design. Meanwhile, Jean-Pierre Braganza seemed to be channeling the darker religion with some more Wiccan sidgal symbolism incorporated in his designs.
This appearance of religious reference, defined or vague, carries forward from collections that did so in earlier seasons. And as those woes have yet to fade, so have yet our glance for help from the heavens. Can we find happiness in our beliefs? That is a deeper question that time can only help along, and if it makes any impact you can be sure that more observant eyes will communicate that in collections to come.