Unlike the haphazard strolls of the flâneur or the pure vanity of the dandy, the contemporary woman, or girl about town, is more than likely to have her calendar filled with a to-do list she is eager to fulfill. As such, a wardrobe that reflects her agenda, values and principles is of the essence; coupled, of course, with silhouettes which meet her aesthetic sensibilities. From Ganni and Paskal to Courrèges and Stella McCartney, the best designers today are those who are privy to the defining characteristics of the contemporary woman, offering a wardrobe that is an eloquent combination of realism and theatricality. Read on to browse and shop our favourite looks from the season that embody a contemporary cool.
3.1 Phillip Lim
Evolving the dialogue lies at the very heart of the 3.1 Phillip Lim Autumn/Winter 2019 collection, which continues to explore personal nuance and align contradictions: elevated utility, elegant sportswear, youthful tailoring. This is achieved by playing with silhouette and pushing the confines of expected proportion. Volume is exaggerated – rounded cocoon coats in double-faced wool, oversized capes with cinched waistbands, and extra wide-legged pants with nipped-in waists and matching belted utility jackets in wool denim. The goal is to expand contemporary women's daily possibilities, while never removing the poetry.
Available in store and online
Credited for introducing mini skirts, PVC and a space-age style into the vocabulary of modern fashion, André Courrèges is similarly held in regard for marrying haute couture with youth culture, realising the modern woman’s desire for freedom and experimentation when it comes to their wardrobe. Courrèges’ current Creative Director, Yolanza Zobel, has reintroduced the house’s anti-conformism and avant-garde spirit with PVC mini skirts, knit vests and space-age silver pouches in her latest collection for the iconic French label. Available in-store at Club 21 X PLAY Comme des Garçons
Aside from offering women some of the most electric, wearable and relatively affordable pieces, Ganni has also successfully placed an entire city and a global community of women on the map through the label’s shared ideals, made a phenomenon through the hashtag #GanniGirls. Through their humble campaign, the world has gradually witnessed Ganni Girls taking over not only our streets, but our phone’s screens, by storm.
The label is consistently “inspired by the city's cool girls,” whom the Ganni team are “immensely proud to spot in bars, grabbing coffee or dashing to work wearing our creations.” As Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup, the couple behind the brand, expressed: “The Ganni Girl isn’t one perfectly polished persona, but a concoction of all the fiercely independent girls we see and admire everyday. They are playful, free-spirited and uncomplicated. Instinctively, they know that fashion is about discovering one’s own style, and finding pieces that you love to wear, because they make you feel amazing, regardless of current season dictates.”
Sensuality and practicality — who says you can’t have both? The N°21woman, according to Alessandro Dell’Acqua, knows she is able to combine both without compromise. Everything from his dresses to his accessories characterise a formal and mature nature, but not without edge and a whimsical playfulness.
This season at Paskal, nature takes centrestage. Intricate pieces of fabric are carefully cut into floral-like shapes, while some entire garments are constructed by combining a series of such shapes, giving each silhouette a decidedly feminine touch.
Stella McCartney’s Autumn/Winter 2019 Ad Campaign makes a call for climate action with a cast of inspiring change agents like Amber Valetta and members of activist group Extinction Rebellion. Captured by British photographer Johnny Dufort, the striking campaign was shot on the idyllic Welsh coast, encapsulating the stark beauty of nature and celebrating the activism taking place to protect it. Stella has been fighting for greener fashion with her sustainably-led label since its launch and through this campaign focuses on the importance of taking action. The collection itself upholds the campaign message with sustainable pieces, including an upcycled, rainbow-coloured dress made from pieces of archival fabric and a range of organic cotton utilitarian pieces. The horse jacquard dresses are made with sustainable viscose, and all jersey and denim in the collection is made with organic cotton. Sculptural textile adornments by artist Sheila Hicks are worn by Amber in the campaign, with other accessories including functional logo mini bags in ECONYL® regenerated nylon, sleek Alter-Nappa leather backpacks, and updates on the iconic circular logo bag. Modern sunglasses made from the brand’s biodegradable bio-acetate also feature.