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T Picks: The Looks That Defined Fashion Week 2020

By T: The New York Times Style Magazine Singapore

From left: Bottega Veneta, Givenchy, Richard Quinn, Arena, Salvatore Ferragamo.
 
From left: Bottega Veneta, Givenchy, Richard Quinn, Arena, Salvatore Ferragamo.

Twice a year, the luxury fashion of the world houses present their ready-to-wear clothing for the coming season. This February and March, shows for the Fall/Winter ’20 collections took place in the four fashion capitals. From New York to Paris, the sharpest designers — forward-thinkers of their own rights — had shown eerie prescience, presenting garments that were somehow apt to the apocalyptic onset, a cohort of radical looks that become a cultural riposte to the zeitgeist.

Here, in partnership with UOB Cards and NET-A-PORTER, T sieves five of them and shows where you can shop them now.

Dystopian Black

It’s the end of the world as we know it. Renditions of a wardrobe primed for doomsday run aplenty and, this time, most of them come awash in black. At Balenciaga — where a tempest raged indoors in the form of a flooded runway and furious grey storm clouds and thunders clashed across an LED screen on the ceiling — swathes of black strode in: long black robes and leather outerwear with sinister shoulder pads that jutted up unnaturally. The kind of clothing scavenged from the remnants of a society past — and rebuilt. While at Marine Serre, utopian modesty meant jewelled face masks paired with all-black coverings that included suits with louche trousers. 

From left: Marine Serre, Balenciaga (2).
From left: Marine Serre, Balenciaga (2).
 

Try: Peter Do’s convertible faux leather blazer and pleated faux leather straight-leg pants.

A Patchwork of Influence

Dries Van Noten found harmony in opposition, made clashing prints into kissing cousins. Likewise at Marni, where craps of leathers and suedes were patchworked together in a rough series of sleeveless minidresses and billowing greatcoats; tunics and trousers, and princess chemises held together by a big silk bow at the breast. And again at Marine Serre, the past and present were chopped up — often literally: half of her fabrics are now upcycled — to create a visible future. It was about not just looking at where we have been, or even where we are, but where this all might lead. 

From left: Dries Van Noten, Marni, Marine Serre.
From left: Dries Van Noten, Marni, Marine Serre.
 

Try: Aaizél’s layered mini skirt, Sacai’s panelled pants, Vetements’s draped midi dress.

Tactile Comfort

Cocoon-like plushness. Enveloping outerwear. Chunky cashmere. It’s official: Extreme comfort dressing is in favour. But perhaps most visibly at Bottega Veneta, where shearling coats and bags trailing fringe-fashioned tentacles were so squishably soft, you wanted to either reach out and pet them or cuddle up inside one. In that warm, wiggling swaddle, what could possibly go wrong?

From left: Bottega Veneta, Prada, Marc Jacobs.
From left: Bottega Veneta, Prada, Marc Jacobs.
 

Try: Sacai’s turtleneck sweater, Max Mara’s ‘Teddy Icon’ faux fur coat, Loewe’s ‘Gate’ mini fringed leather bag, Johnstons of Elgin’s cashmere cape.

Tonalwear

Vacillating from bright and bold to deep and earthy, tonal dressing has adopted a spectrum of colourways, an imagining of the world through the lens of a child-like optimist. At Marc Jacobs, silken tailoring gleams in purple with pearly undertones, cinched at the waist with wide belts of the same hue. At Ferragamo, shades of brown tinge beneath layers, from outerwear to corset-like bodices.

From left: Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry, Marc Jacobs.
From left: Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry, Marc Jacobs.
 

Try: Salvatore Ferragamo’s belted blazer and straight-leg pants, Christopher John Rogers’s oversized shirt dress and asymmetric pleated skirt.

Extreme Proportions

In turbulent times, turbulent clothes. In fashion, as in politics and the environment at large, extreme is the posture of the moment. On the runways, dramatic silhouettes become both a comment on and an antidote to the world around them. The experimental designers at London Fashion Week the likes of Richard Quinn, Molly Goddard and Simone Rocha lead the pack, where shapes of clothing varied from bulbous to hyper-fitted, and garments heavily tactile: diamante-festooned bodysuit, delicate tulle, tiered or contrasted with heavier brocade fabrics.

From left: Molly Goddard, Richard Quinn, Simone Rocha.
From left: Molly Goddard, Richard Quinn, Simone Rocha.
 

Try: Molly Goddard’s ‘Jamila’ oversized tulle dress, Christopher John Rogers’s peplum blouseRichard Quinn’s cape-effect gown.

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