In the final analysis

It was a season that saw some designers saying a new hello to the fashion pack (Peter Copping’s debut as creative director at Oscar de la Renta), some bidding adieu (Alexander Wang at Balenciaga) and some forgoing the catwalk completely in favour of fashion films with famous faces and fabulous soundtracks (Tom Ford, Lady Gaga and ShowStudio) for SS16.

Elsewhere, model behaviour included Aggy Deyn making a catwalk comeback at Saint Laurent, celebrity status yet again authorising a gaggle of reality TV stars to ascend the runway ranks and the world’s press just about making it through a season that felt like it might never come to an end.

But for the most part, SS16 left us in awe after a number of creative directors took lead with aplomb and left us pining after some ravishing pieces. Let Glass guide you through the highs, the middle ground and then give you the lowdown on what you should be taking note of in the lead-up to next summer; which quite frankly can’t come soon enough now that the chill is beginning to take hold here in London.

New York, New York


Left to right: Diane von Furstenberg, Jason Wu, Tom Ford, Givenchy

In the big apple this season many of the city’s biggest, best and most unexpected to jump on the schedule, ahem, Givenchy, stuck to what they do best. Diane von Furstenberg did her most to show that her designs can still be a force to be reckoned with, revisiting a flurry of the point-blank-glam boho-luxe codes that she championed in the seventies, but giving each piece a modern and entirely exotic pick me up.

Jason Wu presented a mature approach to intricately constructed garments, devoting his latest collection of beautiful gowns to exploring the possibilities of frayed ruffles, elegant two-piece separates that structured lithe figures of models sternly and the ladylike gentility for the woman of the upper east that he isn’t afraid of going to town with.

America’s great Tom Ford emerged as the baddest boy of them all, going off schedule and catwalk instead opting for the cinema-cum-discotheque to display his lively collection. Finally, throwing caution to the wind in the face of the fabled and time-honoured international fashion week schedule by high-tailing it across the Atlantic Ocean and setting up shop in NY, leaving Paris in the dust, Riccardo Tisci pulled out all the stops this season to ensure an all-eyes-on Givenchy spectacular.


London calling


Left to right: Bora Aksu, J. JS Lee, Issa, Judy Wu

London made a good effort of answering to its usual call this season, but unfortunately, not all that many designers answered and the innovation and intrigue that our capital city’s fashion scene is famed for was left in the runway dust. That being said, highlights included Issa and their latest creative director Jamie O’Hare coming out on top on day three of London Fashion Week with a lot of signature design sass. O’Hare’s second major catwalk collection, following an entirely on point resort offering, saw spring / summer revel in repeating motifs found in nature.

Young designer Judy Wu in her sophomore solo catwalk outing christened her SS16 collection #FeminineStrengthJudyWu, and even appliquéing this onto one typically Judy-esque deconstructed slip dress, exceptional in its solitude, successfully mastering the concept of adding a notable thematic thread to an range of garments.

At Bora Aksu a powerful, nostalgic image led to a supreme collection for the designer lauded for his cocktail offerings, with SS16 seeing him play to his strengths throughout a collection loaded with sweet citrus froth, frills, and flirty appeal.

And in conclusion, though she cemented herself as the designer that kicked of fashion week in London, J.JS Lee started off with birds chirping this season, soaring with freedom and carefreeness on her mind for her SS16 collection, featuring a motif of birds and models with intricate laser cut applique that in movement looked like hummingbirds’ wings fluttering in the air, and stripes, lots of lovely stripes.

Milano is as Milano does


Left to right: Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Fendi, Versace

In Milan this season Alessandro Michele’s Gucci was the hands down the standout. From the seventies-esque meets nineties-esque, actually – let’s stop ageing the pieces from here on in – flurry of Gucci-coloured kaleidoscopic frills, Michele made Gucci evolve into something Italy hasn’t seen on the fashion scene since, since… the Renaissance, dare we say it.

At Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld celebrated his 50th anniversary at the helm of the storied house, but kept SS16 as fresh as ever with a focus on supreme fabrics including leather so supremely soft it flowed like syrup and gossamer-fine silks that floated as if they were weightless. As ever, the workmanship was remarkable.

For Donatella at Versace it was simple, with opening looks confirming the continuation of AW15’s utility trend with a procession of neatly belted, khaki-hued dresses and blazers, all sliced and tucked to fit the sexed-up Versace blueprint. Paired simply with tough-luxe boots – no trousers, of course, they were the epitome of contemporary power dressing. Eventually, Bottega ended Milan on a slightly different note.

For Bottega’s sake Tomas Maier let loose this SS16 and yearned for freedom, basing his latest collection around all things elegantly wild, carefree and uninhibited by a brand synonymous with premier luxury fashion, Maier putting himself to the test and ensuring technique was tantamount to its result – grace.

Paris is burning


Left to right: Chanel, Chloé, Lanvin, Saint Laurent

Of course, Chanel ventured to new heights this season with Lagerfeld taking audiences at Chanel on a soaring style pleasure trip, destination somewhere within the realm of unmistakably extravagant takes on the classic formula. This saw the iconic creative director lapping up the intense intarsia effects, tweed and neat grids of the ironically taut leisure jackets, but diverting onto an unfamiliar flight path with a bevy of aviation – appropriated accessories.

At Chloe, Karl’s previous stomping ground, the girly romantic softness that we are used to from the house was mixed with some rather unexpected pieces. Cue the track suits dedicated to the ‘90s icons such as Corinne Day, Kate Moss and Cecilia Chancellor, featuring track suits worn either together as a whole look or separately, contrasting long flowy skirts or breezy silk chiffon Bardot blouses allowing the Chloé girl to embrace her athletic sporty side.

Alber Elbaz took it upon himself to question what it takes to put together a collection of “trend” lead pieces dictated by more-ish marketability at Lanvin. The dynamic design force thrust 68 immaculately timeless pieces into the limelight of the Lanvin runway and utilised a number of complicated elements, including frayed lace, sheer silks and trunks of snakeskin boots and that was that.

Finally, Saint Laurent went ahead this season with generally the same Hedi Slimane founded formula – beautiful clothing on fashion bemused punk nymphettes with pallid skin. With Betty, Bergé and Catherine positioned as ever on the front row, the power three indeed had the best view of the bias-cut wonders in glittery flowing sequins that were worn with harsh leathers, furs and denim in a triumph of detached glamour.

Prioritise and accessorise 

And to summarise, if you are after the look this upcoming summer season, here are the essential six go-to trends:

  1. The Chanel jetsetter line, because what’s travelling if it’s not in style?



  1. The sparkles at Saint Laurent, Jasper Conran and Ashish because sparkles.


Left to right: Ashish, Saint Laurent, Jasper Conran

  1. The hometown glory at Dolce & Gabbana, because we’re all probably going to visit somewhere on Italy’s ever popular Amalfi coast next summer, so why not dress with patriotism in mind?



  1. The almost pre-Raphaelite-like delicacy of the floral lace at Balenciaga, Etro and mad leather-and-lace of Roberto Cavalli by Peter Dundas, because as much as a little floral touch for spring is utterly banal, it can also be beautiful, if rendered correctly.


Left to right: Etro, Balenciaga, Roberto Cavalli

  1. In direct contrast to number four, the militant maven styling that took charge at Mugler and Balmain.


Left to right: Mugler and Balmain

  1. And last but not least, the elegance at Akris and Giorgio Armani, because can you ever go wrong with the ease of suited-and-booted smart luxury that just doesn’t beat around the bush, and doesn’t involve a designer exerting himself beyond the point of no return? Cool considered construction, that’s the one.


Left to right: Akris and Giorgio Armani

by Liam Feltham

Images courtesy of respective brands