A SS17 Diary

Backstage at Ryan LO; photography by Andrea Galassi

Backstage at Ryan LO; photography by Andrea Galassi

SS17 has been a highly anticipated season and one that will undoubtedly go down as a particularly significant moment in fashion history. With brands such as Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger announcing earlier in 2016 that they'd be changing their retail calendar, opting for a 'See Now, Buy Now' approach where consumers can buy their line immediately after the show, news of this change shook the industry, with many speculating over whether this method could become a sustainable business strategy. Designers such as Claire Barrow have opted out of a fashion calendar altogether, choosing to launch a collection when it's ready. Is the traditional calendar becoming outdated? It's been a year of monumental changes for fashion – Raf Simons' departure from Dior brought to the forefront questions that he had been asking during his short tenure at the fashion house. Is fashion going too fast? Is this pace sustainable? And yet this season was just the beginning of fashion pushing the button to hit a breakneck speed. Great fashion houses have ushered in different creative directors for this season's showcase – Maria Grazia Chiuri was confirmed for Dior, Anthony Vaccarello for Yves Saint Laurent, and Bouchra Jarrar for Lanvin. With all eyes on the fashion heavyweights, we decided to take a look at some of the best designers from both on and off-schedule diaries for SS17. Check out some of the best design talent below.

Manuel Facchini; photography by Andrea Galassi

Manuel Facchini; photography by Andrea Galassi

Backstage at Angel Chen; photography by Andrea Galassi

Backstage at Angel Chen; photography by Andrea Galassi

Faustine Steinmetz; photography by Irina Chira

Faustine Steinmetz; photography by Irina Chira

Sustainability and eco-friendly are often viewed as rather dreary words in the industry. But as fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, it's becoming increasingly more relevant to our generation of designers that the cycle of sartorial consumerism is sustainable. Fashion is slowly, but surely, starting to listen to designers who opt for sustainability, and Faustine Steinmetz is one designer at the forefront of London's scene of creatives who pride their designs on being good to the environment – style is never sacrificed with Faustine's designs and use of recycled materials. As evident in the photos, there's an emphasis on textures, palpable with the surface and hems of the garments.

Peter Jensen; photography by Andrea Galassi

Peter Jensen; photography by Andrea Galassi

Markus Lupfer; photography by Irina Chira

Markus Lupfer; photography by Irina Chira

Backstage at Fei Fei Cicada; photography by Irina Chira

Backstage at Fei Fei Cicada; photography by Irina Chira

In the run up to her show, Fei presented the audience with a Chinese quote: "Broaden the mind to make it inclusive; humble the mind to make it tolerant; rest the mind to make it recognise the natural law; present the mind to make it manage the changes in the world". For SS17, her collection intertwines the themes of man and nature in harmony, and reality with fantasy. Imagining a palace that transcends earth, time or space, the garments translate the recent graduate's vision of a utopian world with a handmade collection from champagne-hued satins, coffee-coloured tulles and antique gold embellishments. The last look was a show stopper with a large black parasol (that was more like the size of a small tent) delicately covering the model, bringing Fei's dark and idyllic fantasy to life at the V&A.

Marta Jakubowski; courtesy of Ella Dror PR, photography by Morgan O'Donovan

Marta Jakubowski; courtesy of Ella Dror PR, photography by Morgan O'Donovan

Dilara Findikoglu; courtesy of Ella Dror PR, photography by Federico Ferrari

Dilara Findikoglu; courtesy of Ella Dror PR, photography by Federico Ferrari

Previously featured in our AW16 diary, Dilara Findikoglu is a ZERO favourite. After staging a guerrilla fashion show at Central Saint Martins, her first off-schedule show for AW16 was a gothic, rebellious vision of models dining at the altar in a church and walking the aisle in red PVC and band tees. SS17 brings her first official on-schedule debut to London with a collection that honours the sacrifices and struggles of women throughout history. The title 'Dear Past, Thanks For All The Lessons' reflects the slogan on Çilem Doğan's shirt worn on the day of her sensational release from jail; Çilem had previously been convicted for killing her husband who had tried to sell her into prostitution. Inspired by women in Middle Eastern cultures, the feminist graphics on Dilara's collection are a contrasting mix of symbols depicting pain and female power. References to a Shakespearian England can also be seen – a time when female roles would be acted out by men on stage. 

Words by Vivian Yeung