If there’s one thing this Milan Fashion Week is proving to be true, it’s the fashion industry’s ability to reinvent and change itself thanks to its creative artists that are always ready to call themselves into question. Surprisingly, John Richmond has come out on top as one of these artists, showing off his spring/summer 2016 collection in the Italian city. Richmond, who was born in England but is now based in Italy, has produced under his own name three different clothing lines (Richmond X is his second line, Richmond Denim is his third one), and has had close ties with the rock music industry since his very first beginning. Many musicians, like Axl Rose, Madonna, David Bowie and Britney Spears, have chosen John Richmond as their personal fashion designer, and Richmond himself has always enjoyed this role, spearheading Milan’s catwalks since the late ‘90s. However, next summer we are going to see a not-so-typical-of-Richmond clothing line, which is closer to the Roaring Twenties rather than to the music industry, and only has a few Sixties and Seventies influences.
For the John Richmond spring 2016 collection, the designer got overwhelmed by Art Déco – the artistic movement that occurred between the smoke of World War I and the Great Depression. Marked by the women’s liberation movement, prosperity and improvements in technology, this artistic movement is a reflection of its time, and it’s all about modernity, nonconformity and leisure. As already seen with Sportmax, Richmond embraced a new sort of retro-futurism, giving his personal perception of the Twenties as if they were stuck into 2100.
One of the first things that become immediately evident is Richmond’s great usage of retrò prints and graphics that, with their geometrical perfection, could enhance everyone’s beauty. When he is not playing with all that geometrical camouflage, he is either using rebrodé embroidery designs or macramé embroideries, which basically give the same effect but in a more delicate way. For these patterns he particularly enjoyed playing with contrasts, taking great advantage of complementary colors like red and green or canary yellow/orange and blue.
See-through tulle and silky fabrics take the Roaring Twenties to their extreme, giving a sensual version of what it must have been like when Fitzgerald and Hemingway were throwing a party in Paris. Even some of Richmond’s latest pieces, which are surely meant to have a more rock ‘n’ roll attitude, can’t help but resemble a futuristic version of the Jazz Age with their Swarovski crystal applications and leather jackets. Digital printed blouses, sweaters and casual jeans are a good meeting point between that decade and our decade, and show the designer’s unconditional love for pop culture, from which he has always took great inspiration. Strategic cut-outs re-mark Richmond’s desire to celebrate the feminine beauty, giving to each body shape its chance to shine on a daily basis.
Structured sandals made with Perspex and adorned with studs, as well as big solid-colored tote and handbags, gave the John Richmond spring 2016 line-up even more dynamism, increasing the vast majority of colors included in this collection.
For those who like the old Richmond more, he also put some black, bright blue, bright yellow and mint green maxi dresses, the delicacy of which stands out with all the other side slit skirts and short shorts. Tubular silhouettes, geometric, angular shapes and designs as well as streamlined pieces: these are Richmond’s 2016 dictats, and they surely will give femininity a new, unconventional, turn.
Photos courtesy of Vogue