Christopher Kane’s Sheer Layering, Prints, Pleats and Embroidery

Christopher Kane's Sheer Layering, Prints, Pleats and Embroidery | The Cutting Class. Christopher Kane, RST15, London.

Christopher Kane, RST15, London.

There is never a shortage of ideas at play in a Christopher Kane collection. In fact, the Autumn-Winter 2014 collection could have been split into about 9 different mini collections. For the recent Christopher Kane pre-collection the garments showed experiments with sheer and printed fabrics, clever pattern cutting details and a reappearance of some signature neon and lace as well.

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Watching Details Move Through Time at Anrealage

Watching Details Move Through Time at Anrealage | The Cutting Class. Anrealage, AW12, Tokyo.

Anrealage, AW12, Tokyo.

In the same way that some of the Futurist artists used stuttering lines to indicate speed and movement, Japanese label Anrealage was able to give the impression of blurry human movements, seen as though captured through the passing of time for the Autumn-Winter 2012 collection.

At first some of the garments trick the viewer into believing the photos are out of focus, with exaggerated silhouettes enhanced using prints and patterns that blur on the edges. However the effect is created through carefully considered print placements and precise pattern cutting.

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Lurid Prints and Sweaty Silks at Prada


Prada, Menswear, SS14, Milan.

In the recent Prada Menswear show for Spring-Summer 2014, Miuccia reworked florals in lurid colour combinations, pairing the patterns with wet look silk textures and pinstriped suiting.

The collection aimed to subvert traditional ideas of summer and our ideas of the exotic and central to this was a reworking of the aloha shirt or hawaiian shirt. The shirt shapes were often panelled with contrasting striped trim and sometimes styled as a base layer underneath a shorter sleeve knitwear piece in a contrasting floral.

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Cosmetics and Surgery at Antipodium

Antipodium, SS13, London.

The Spring-Summer 2013 collection by Antipodium referenced cosmetic surgery and fleshy skin tones through creepy placement prints and a variety of textures that worked with the curves of the body. The placement prints came in the form of single colour line work that was reminiscent of cosmetic surgery markings.

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Experiments in the 2nd Dimension at Comme des Garcons


Comme des Garçons, AW12, Paris.

For her Autumn-Winter 2012 collection for Comme des Garçons, Rei Kawakubo presented a very flat collection that called into question the very nature of the way we view fashion. As a comment on the way that we generally view collections as endless catwalk thumbnail images the garments were made out of very thick felt, giving the appearance of paperdolls playing dress-up, and making the garments perfectly suited to only being viewed front on.

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Painterly Details at Rodarte

Rodarte, SS12, New York.

The Spring-Summer 2012 collection from Rodarte centered around the colours and textures that Vincent van Gogh used to great effect in his oil paintings. The tones were at times as vibrant as van Gogh’s depiction of sunflowers, while in other garments the tones were muted and murky as in Starry Night Over the Rhone (1888).

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Grown-up Subcultures at Danielle Scutt

Danielle Scutt, SS12, London.

There was an interesting mix of high end / lo-fi street references in the recent Danielle Scutt collection for Spring-Summer 2012. On the one hand there was a certain youthful quality to the vibrant polka dots and disjointed checks and on the other hand this was balanced out by the more conservative monochrome tailoring.

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Eccentric and Bedazzled at Prada Menswear

Prada, Menswear, SS12, Milan.

Fashion has had it’s fair share of block colours and clean lines of late with designers experimenting with their own versions of minimalist aesthetics, simplified forms and graphic silhouettes. But at the end of the day, aesthetics that disciplined aren’t necessarily particularly fun and in some of the recent Resort and Menswear collections designers are breaking out of the minimal mould.

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Panels, Pleats and Florals at Celine

Céline, RST12, Paris.

Phoebe Philo’s Resort 2012 collection for Céline has proved to be a nice extension of some of the ideas that she presented in the Autumn-Winter 2011 collection. The rounded leather shapes, reminiscent of automotive upholstery, are remixed with brighter colours, while the multiple panels used in AW11 are given a new dynamic with the addition of diagonal lines and the addition of sheer fabric panels.

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Hibiscus Tailoring at Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney, RST12, New York.

The recent Stella McCartney Resort collection for 2012 contains a vibrant mix of beautiful tailored details and vibrant holidays prints. Palm tree brooches adorn neat blazers, while long length dresses and oversize tops and skirts provide the perfect canvas for symmetrical hibiscus scenes, ocean prints, and bold beach chair stripes. 

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Parisian Resort Wear at Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton, RST12, Paris.

The recent Resort 2012 collection from Louis Vuitton featured Parisian details and prints in tones of mid blues and raspberry reds. The collection pieces are the result of a collaboration between Sophia Coppola and the Louis Vuitton Studio Design Director, Julie de Libran.

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Interior Swatch Book at Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs, RST12, New York.

You would be forgiven for thinking that the fabrics above look like something out of an interiors showroom swatch book or a home wares magazine but in fact they are the latest wallpaper inspired prints and floral textures for the Marc Jacobs Resort collection 2012.

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Placement and Repeat Prints at Jean-Charles de Castelbajac

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, AW11, Paris.

When it comes to print designs they generally fall into one of two categories. The first is what is known as a placement print. These are prints which are a stand alone designs such as a single image or block of text. This is what is most commonly used on graphic t-shirts.

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Mary Katrantzou’s Detailed Prints

Mary Katrantzou, AW11, London.

It’s always good to revisit collections when you’ve got more time to appreciate the work that has gone into the details and the fabrics, and some collections stand out because they have the depth to withstand deeper scrutiny. The bright colours and lampshade silhouettes used for the recent Mary Katrantzou collection help to dazzle from far away, but the fact that the prints hold so many stories gives the collection a more interesting dynamic. 

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How Many Fabrics in the Dries Van Noten Show?

Dries Van Noten, AW11, Paris.

Considering how many designers have been successfully combining unbelievable print combinations this season, it was time to abstract the textiles away from the clothes to see how many prints and textures and colours they really are using.

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