Technically, it may have been men’s fashion month, but it seems more and more brands are combing their men’s and womens’ shows. We look at two such unified runway events that delivered exciting women’s spring/summer 2020 collections.
An Unapologetic ‘Mad Max’ Attitude at Philipp Plein
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Philipp Plein returned to Milan with a mega show where the free, fresh and loud ruled in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Featuring almost 100 men’s and women’s looks on over 80 models, the show confirmed the DNA of the brand is still as dynamic as ever.
Music was an important tool while showcasing the brave new world of Philipp Plein spring/summer 2020. The Entire Universe opened the show performing on a truck with fire and sparkles, while DJ Black Coffee closed the night with his set. A thunderous rock soundtrack played throughout the show as the Plein punk rebels were hitting the runway.
While they were on their wild ride, the free-wheeling female road warriors rocked lightning bolt metallic dresses with exaggerated shoulders and biker jackets, which were worn with floor-length flowing gowns.
They were also fully charged in rock T-shirts and mini-skirt suits. Other models looked like glam metal queens in studded corsets, multi-layers of heavy jewellery, thigh-high buckled boots and chainmail mesh.
An exclusive collaboration with the legendary stars of shock rock, KISS, added even more power watts. The band’s official logo appeared throughout on patches, T-shirts, suits and dresses.
For the ultimate high-volume accessory to accompany one of the women’s looks, a model held onto a guitar, rather than a bag.
Japan’s Last Mermaids at Kenzo
Some of the Inspiration for KENZO’s spring/summer 2020 collection came from the home of the label’s founder, Kenzo Takada. For their final collection for the brand, which was showcased in Paris, Co-Creative Directors Humberto Leon and Carol Limwill were also inspired by the seas surrounding Japan and the groups of strong and tenacious female free divers who plunge in daily to retrieve seafood and treasures like pearls from the bottom of the ocean. The Ama, who start training when they are teenagers and keep diving well into their 70s, have been visiting the ocean floor for over 2,000 years. Unfortunately, the women who can withstand harsh and sometimes freezing temperatures, can now only be found sporadically in pockets along the Japanese coastline.
Like the men’s collection, the women’s one was a tapestry of elements combining traditional marine-associated garments with modern and technical diving gear. Neoprene suiting in orange, violet and black was juxtaposed against crushed wet-look jersey tops and dresses.
Additionally, skirts in mermaid jacquard linens were decorated with pearl buttons, while nylon tops came in vivid pops of corals. Then there was the transparent suiting that complemented prints featuring shrimps, mermaids and sea lilies.
When it came to the high-waisted trousers, Leon and Limwell, who are the founders of store and brand Opening Ceremony, opted for an assembly of embroideries that resonated with deep sea treasures. Their farewell to Kenzo after eight years at the helm also featured woven ikats on dresses and tops and tailoring in liquid viscose, sun-bleached denims and ikat prints.
The creative duo, who now want to focus on Opening Ceremony again after regaining full control, revisited the Tali bag for next spring. They updated it within the themes of the new collection and introduced a mini version. Viper snakeskin resembles fish scales, while the dégradés recalls the approaching light seen from the bottom of the ocean floor.
Additionally, net straps and bumbags mirrored the belt pouches used by the Ama to retrieve their rewards, and the high performance sunglasses had solarised lenses to protect. Footwear included traditional Japanese Okobo sandals with a sea-lily print, scuba sock sandals and a new unisex sneaker, the scuba inspired K-Wave.