ELIE SAAB SS2016 Haute Couture Enter India Collection

ELIE SAAB SS2016 Haute Couture Collection takes you to India. The setting for silhouettes in transition. At a time when the strict codes of Victorian fashion shift into the Edwardian era, a young English adventuress travels abroad. She stands at the crux of different worlds. India is her backdrop and her inspiration for a new blend of formalism and ease, opulence and elementary lines.

The context of adventure in a vast, multi-coloured landscape leads restraint into increasing informality. At first encounter, fabrics adapt to the change in climate, shifting to silk chiffon and crêpe georgette, relaxing within their new and expansive environment. Linear panels flow from a softly defined waistline, recalling the volumes of a Victorian bustle. Columnar silhouettes are adapted by asymmetry and draping.

This journey and contrast of worlds draws inspiration from the journals of Anglo-Irish noblewoman Lilah Wingfield. They recount her travels to India to witness the ceremonial splendour of the 1911 Delhi Durbar, celebrating the succession of King George V. She describes a garden party held for the occasion at the Red Fort, near Delhi : “English ladies in exquisite hats and jewels which shone in the sun… Maharanis and Indian ladies in saris of every hue, all making a great glittering melee in the wonderful old buildings and exquisitely carved white marble of the Diwan-i-Khas.”

Adventuring deeper into the heart of the country, in Udaipur she witnesses, “the dazzling purity and symmetry of the white marble pillars on the paved courtyards interspersed with graceful palm trees, through which the glorious vista of the blue sky and lake was visible…” Patterns of fine lace, embroidery and beading throughout the collection suggest elaborate architectural motifs and the bougainvillea, jasmine and palm tree foliage of an airy royal palace she might find. They uplift the muted tones and predominantly sporty silhouettes into the domain of the exquisite.

From the bustling markets of Bombay to ancient city capitals and great expanses of countryside a colour palette emerges in hues of argile, grey, English Rose, tundra and blue. Accessories reflect an explorer’s spirit in flat, worked-leather shoes and detailed metal jewellery. Satchel bags and ornamented headpieces are appropriated from her new environment. Through the perspective of the adventuress lies the intersection of convention and daring, new horizons and cultural encounter.

Emporio Armani SS2016 Summer Breeze Women Collection

 A gentle breeze. Air blows gently, moving lines and shadows. Subtle casualness runs through the new Emporio Armani SS2016 Women Collection, making it look as spontaneous as the simple act of tying a neck scarf.

A new feminine figure emerges: breaking out of the mould, she explores new ways of being and attitudes, using each outfit to express a different mood, shifting from the classic interplay of masculine and feminine towards a subtle yet determined form of grace.

Silhouettes are fluid and impalpable. She shows her legs, or reveals them through veils and transparencies. Small jackets are paired with Bermuda and cut-off shorts, boyfriend-fit duster coats and blazers with cigarette trousers.

Volumes are airy – see the soft, wide-legged trousers cropped at the calf. Tops, jackets and dresses are accented by asymmetrical cuts to create a sense of movement. Eveningwear features diaphanous, overlapping layers of different lengths. Surfaces come to life with dense patterns of hot-fix appliqué in the shape of flowers, branches and petals.

Fabrics have a firm yet light handle: cady, muslin, technical organza, and neoprene. The colour palette ranges from urban grey tones through to an organic array of natural, pale, and sunburnt shades, including flesh pink, cinnamon and peach. Metallic accents of pink gold punctuate and add a spirit of strength to the collection.

Accessories give an on-the-road feel: small and large bowling bags, backpacks, hobo bags, and peep-toe booties.

ETRO SS2016 Women Collection

 Veronica Etro plants her SS2016 Women Collection in a Nomadic secret garden where the lineage of rich cultures freely mingle and intertwine to form new creations. Drawing upon the bohemian craft found in the South of France, and the exquisite workmanship in antique clothing from the Eastern Europe, the collection scatters fresh seeds, blooming a springtime playground that pulses with new folk florals and a carefree, feminine allure.

The graceful world of ballet informs the muted palette of dusty roses, the fluent silhouettes and the wrap-like constructions of the clothes that follow the movement of the body.

Long fluid reversible silk robes, plissé skirts hitting below the knee and fluttering dresses with tiered skirts, folk-like flounces or caplettes, all float with a dance-like, summery ease. Bomber jackets in a haberdashery mix of ribbons and bias cut silk georgette jogging pants, cut the romanticism with an edge.

Fabrics are elaborate and rich; but washed, frayed and imperfect to create a relaxed attitude. Floral printed borders, intricate lacing and ornate embroidered ribbons all create luxurious trimmings on peplum jackets and sophisticated dresses with scalloped-stitched hems.

Ribbons run throughout the collection; from thick hand painted bands used as belts and entwined through snug knitwear, to silver lace bands sewn over a floral printed plissé skirt. The focus is on sleeves: embellished or fluttering with layers of lace and tied with thin ribbons.

Floral embroideries are hand-stitched on silk tulle, creating a whispering, feminine tattoo effect. Pattern this season is layered and multi-dimensional. Etro’s signature Paisley blossoms into florals. Scattered potpourri prints, printed ribbon stripes and floral paisley borders melt into more blooms, creating collages of inventive pattern.

The colour palette moves from ivory to muted pinks, apricot, mauve, to taupe, black, midnight blue and prune printed silks. The elaborate, yet functional details of a dancer’s wardrobe make their way onto flat, easy footwear. Embroidered satin ballerina flats are tied up with laces, embroidered leather slippers have ankle straps, while flat boots lace up the front of the leg.

Unconstructed drawstring pouches and shoulder bags come painted or embroidered with flowers, while ears jingle with enamel floral charms and necks are wrapped with hand painted ribbon chokers, all creating a magical trail of garden gypsies.