The mood coming from most sectors of the Fashion world at the start of 2016 has been cautious and careful to say the least. After a year that saw sales end on a flat note, it seems the world of the well heeled has shifted much of their focus to interior design and all things home. Designer fashion is still coveted, but somehow not as cool or relevant as that new stove or sofa. It doesn't help that the dedicated fashion fans have been left feeling a bit leaderless as many creative directors (as they are so often titled now) are jumping ship or being walked off the gang plank at some of the biggest fashion houses. Alber at Lanvin, Raf at Dior, with new rumors Phoebe will be out at Celine. At the same time Nicolas at Louis Vuitton, Allesandro at Gucci, and Demna at Balenciaga are steering newly helmed ships themselves. Not to mention the public Plug Pulling of Donna Karen's namesake line by LVMH. It wasn't that shocking.. but still speaks volumes about the speculation of certain brands and POP of the bubbles built around a brand. Of course, Donna's story is classic - it's challenging to run a company once it's sold to a conglomerate, when the designer is still living, and involved - even if she or he is their own worst enemy. Mr. Valentino has created more than one PR snafu for the House of Valentino since he sold the brand - but just won't fade into the sunlight.
I've been working in the industry for over 20 years and I don't remember a time when so many designers have left and switched positions so often. The bigger picture most will argue is that fast fashion has put the designer world on the ropes. Pushed by deadlines and knock-offs for fractions of the price and beating the luxury houses on deliveries. It is a race to the bottom to some extent and the truth is that some blame is on the luxury houses themselves for adding deliveries to compete with the likes of Zara and H&M. Granted, it's hard to stick to your ideals when the world is screaming about profit margin - especially if you are a public company. Why so many are public in the first place is another question.
A wise writer once said about LA culture that "every 10 years the universe flushes the toilet" - I'm paraphrasing, but you get the point. Let's hold our nose a bit longer and hopefully by the end of 2016, one big FLUSH will bring a crisper, brighter, and luxurious industry.
Spring 2016 has several big trends. I'd be lying to only write about BLACK & WHITE as "the look" of the season, but it is interesting to see so many influential houses chose to have optic opposites share the runway with a kaleidoscope of color. Typically the drama of black and white is saved for Fall - but this year.. maybe we all needed a palette cleanser to start with. These pieces go with everything - so you really can't go wrong.. Click the images to visit these luxurious looks in their own environment.