The blog has left to fester for a bit but I promise I haven't just been spending my time in New York scoffing cronuts, noodles and drinking too many One Lucky Duck juices (ok, there was quite a bit of scoffing and juicing). In fact, a round-up of the proceedings of NY (minus Marc – bummed that I will forevermore watch Marc Jacobs on live stream only because I have to go back to London) not will be up on the Independent soon.
Casting a critical eye on all the catwalk biggies is all very well but where does that leave the designers that whilst don't necessarily garner newspaper critic column inches are still turning out the sort of clothes that I'd personally wear. Time for some "Me" indulgence then. Which means prints, colour and all round happiness. Overanalysing them would be pointless.
Look at Calla Haynes. She looked to Beverly Hills 90210, Baywatch and Clueless for references to her surf-steeped collection. Nothing fraught or complex there. It's how she filters through those references to create original fabrics. Alcantara is digitally printed and perma-crinkled. Her ongoing tweed obsession gets even more textural with paper and scuba-inspired plastic yarns. Cher Horowitz would certainly look on and approve at the flirty dresses, natty jackets and cropped top combos. Calla's work has previous veered on the saccharine side so a good dose of surf has certainly toughened things up a touch.
Louise Amstrup also looked at the bright side with her interpretation of looking under the boardwalks of California. It's in her collage print work where this collection really soars. There's something sinister about the plant melding with the Birth of Venus and seashells, echoed by the photographic lips and sexual looking flowers stuck onto the mannequins. Items that might have fallen through the cracks of boardwalk such as a diamond ring, a pineapple and a palm frond form part of a cute embroidery motif. Again, Amstrup isn't messing with the status quo but still manages to bring something fresh to the table.
Finally we have your's and everybody's favourite is Ostwald Helgason. Invgar Helgason and Susanne Ostwald now have a collective language to call upon – cute prints, sweatshirts and luxurious fabrics used on casual shapes. They've garnered a lot of retail loving' from that consistency and so it is that we're served up with yet more sweatshirts, button-downs and cute n' prim skirts with the addition of a very fine collaboration with Aldo on the shoes and bag front. And yet, serving up the same doesn't spell out dull. They've amped up the colours and been even more diligent in developing their fabrics. They exaggerated their William Morris-esque florals and drawn out a Jeff Koons-esque balloon animal as their central motif. In a static presentation, it's the collective effect of having all the ensembles grouped up where you feel the collection's impact.
As brilliant as a show is, Milk Studio's Made presentations do seem to be ripe for social media fodder. A quick search of Ostwald Helgason reveals a fair number of #obsessed comments. They'll be making their mark tomorrow at London Fashion Week where there will be a redux of their S/S 14 presentation. Cue more swooning then.