Jill Stuart’s Victorian Vamps
by Ian Laughead
ApparelMagic client Jill Stuart cast a spell with her fall presentation at New York Fashion Week. Like red-lipped, retro witches, the models stood in pointed shoes on platforms above the crowd, looking down imposingly. Swathed in voluminous velvets and heavy melton wool, they were femme fatales with a flair for the seventies.
A heavy Victorian undercurrent ran through the collection, with high, often tied or ruffled necklines and sleeves ranging in shape from bishop to leg-o-mutton and back again. These high-coverage looks were often cut with transparent fabrics or even mesh, making them more Biba than prairie wife. A number of the looks went full-on YSL with throwback riffs on his famous Le Smoking tuxedo jacket and tiered taffeta skirts.
The stars of the show, however, were the wide black belts with huge brass buckles cinching in the closing looks. While they could equally well be sitting undiscovered in a thrift store since the 1970s, suddenly they look absolutely of the moment for 2017.