There has been a lot of self-referencing going on this week, which is totally Phoebe Philo’s fault for showing a brown knit dress for this fall season last February in Paris which implicitly mirrored a very similar dress that was released for the previous Pre-Fall. In New York, Altuzarra, for all its newness, showed gingham that harkened back to Spring 2014; Alexander Wang showed striped poplin sleepwear, as though it was Spring 2013 again; and the list goes but I’m tired and you’re bored, so! Here’s your segue: Rosie Assoulin and Proenza Schouler were quite self-referential, too.
Assoulin has a way with clothes, because I don’t think she considers them clothes so much as she does the friends you get to keep in your closet with you. The collection read like an homage to a lazy beach town summer wherein you have nothing to do but get dressed. There were vintage-looking bright floral prints offset by the same prints in more muted colors (brown, green, white); high waist, full-length pants made entirely from grosgrain; and some bowling shirts and gowns — motifs that may as well smack you back to the Jersey Shore. Silhouettes (cargo pants, flare legs) carried over from previous seasons, but didn’t feel empty or misplaced.
This was the case at Proenza Schouler, too, with shoes that reminded me of Spring 2013 and so many of the knits and prints that come and go. But there was an eclecticism about today’s bright Lego colors, uneven hemlines (sometimes rendered in stripes) and completely sequined closing skirts. Never mind the full-length minks belted by sweaters tied around the model’s waist. Some of the strong looks included boxy coats, like a red patent leather one shown with an orange skirt set.
But I wonder, you know, if self reference is a bad thing. Or does it just make us human. In the rapid-fire age of new, new, new there is something quite satisfying to be said of shouting hold up, I’m not done. And crafting as one pleases. — Leandra
In theme of self-referential design, 3.1 Phillip Lim brought back a floral pattern for Spring ’17 similar to that of his Spring 2013 collection. (Maybe all of these designers knew that this fashion week would fall right in the middle of Mercury’s retrograde.) This go-around, the collection was just a little bit country Western circa 1960: Patsy Cline played over the speakers; there was denim, there were short shorts and, just like at Rosie, bowling shirts. The crowd pleaser was a pair of knit yellow capris with flared ruffles, which sounds like…what?? But it makes a lot of sense when you consider that what Phillip Lim does best is take a reference — Western, mod, rock & roll or himself — and turn it into individual, cool-for-the-closet pieces. — Amelia
Photographs via Vogue Runway and Getty Images; feature collages by Emily Zirimis.