Iris Van Herpen Couture Spring 2017

It’s the end of February and you know what that means: [retail bytes] dives into London Fashion Week,
hunting for the latest tech and wearable developments

No glitches in Iris’s system: Glitch fashion in Paris made waves at Iris Van Herpen’s show. Her 3D-printed Digital Glitch dresses, inspired by optic art from the early 1930s, were a breath of fresh air in an otherwise pretty predictable Paris season. Iris’s optical manipulation within the garments is based on hypnotic repetitive patterns in a minimal palette of black and white, which creates a playful and surprising visual experience. The soft 3D hand-casted PU fabrics, hand-painted through injection molding, and the fine expandable laser-cut Mylar fabrics delivered a unique and sensual style. Genius.

Fashion week goes Greek: London Fashion Week continued in the name of innovation with Mary Katrantzou’s mix of Greek and optical illusion. Optic art – or creating visual illusions for artistic purposes – has been around since Picabia and, in the era of alternative facts, playing with perception is fashion saying ‘everything is relative’ – and the eye is easily deceived so beware. Mary, a Greek citizen living in the UK, is standing up for migrants with her tribute to ancient Athens mixed with suspended belief and optical play on geometric motives.

Vogue vs. the rest of the world: No love lost between Vogue fashion writers and grassroots bloggers, as this year feelings were running high again. Traditional brands and fashion journalists want to see the catwalks and take time to see the photos, develop consensus and help the trade buyers to get the right orders for next season. The fashionista bloggers have other ideas – pressing the big fashion houses to sell their new creations right off the runway. Topshop live-streams their Unique show and invites shoppers to buy a selection online – threading a fine line between Vogue view and customer view. We know who will win that battle as millennials live in the now and hate waiting for anything, but well done Topshop for finding a ‘third way’.

Gigi x Tommy? Only straight from the catwalk: Taking the bull by the horns was Tommy Hilfiger, with the brand selling most of their New York fashion show collection straight from the catwalk. Intimacy with the fans requires immediacy, according to the brand director, and forcing Gigi Hadid’s fans to wait six months for the clothes she modelled to arrive at the store was never going to work. Good call and kudos on the feat of logistics that see-now-buy-now demands. The Rubicon is crossed, and Vogue journalists have to lump it.

#Illuminate your life: Making cycling clothes safer is vital and we welcome the fabrics from Firefly, which helps designers to incorporate light streams into their clothing. Being visible on your bike means staying safe, so kudos to the Sri Lanka-based textile innovation company for developing a new type of fabric that includes lights but is also washable. We’re hoping to see it on the streets of London this summer!

Tip of the week: NY and Washington are all aflutter about the new social media platform for the grown ups. The encrypted Confide app is akin to Snapchat for adults, as the messages are protected and disappear after 24 hours. Well worth a try to ensure your privacy is well kept.