ICYMI: Alessandro Michele’s WhatsApp voice messages, Chanel and Prada cancel fashion shows over COVID-19, A.F. Vandevorst closes down

ICYMI: Alessandro Michele’s WhatsApp voice messages, Chanel and Prada cancel fashion shows over COVID-19, A.F. Vandevorst closes down

Fashion by the ‘gram

Text: Gordon Ng

Alighieri wins the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design.

British jewellery designer Rosh Mahtani recently took home this year's Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design for her work at her label Alighieri. The prize counts Richard Quinn and Bethany Williams as previous winners, and this year Mahtani received it from Princess Anne in St Etheldreda's Crypt in London. Fairly fitting for a label that draws its name from the Divine Comedy.


A.F. Vandevorst is shutting down.

After 22 years in business, the Belgian label A.F. Vandevorst is closing shop. An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx, the founders of the brand, cited changing industry dynamics and an inability to maintain their creative focus as reasons for the brand's closure. Their spring/summer 2020 collection will be their last, and the brand will host a farewell come Paris Fashion Week.


COVID-19: Chanel postponing its Beijing show, Prada its Japan one.

Fashion is feeling the effects of the current COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. Chanel has cancelled a Metiers d'Art show in Beijing previously planned for March, and Prada, too, has called off its resort show which had been scheduled to be shown in Japan in May. It remains to be seen how long before the crisis gets solved, but until then fashion brands — which are largely reliant on Asian markets for revenue — will have to gird their loins.


MM6 Maison Margiela x The North Face.

MM6, the contemporary offshoot label of Maison Margiela, unveiled a surprise collaboration with The North Face when it showed its fall/winter 2020 collection in London. The collection naturally comprises a lot of technical fabrics, but there's a lot of the Margiela wit and humour to go around, too, for some levity.


Alessandro Michele sends WhatsApp voice messages to the fashion industry.

Alessandro Michele's latest show for Gucci was a cheeky one, subverting the backstage ritual of show preparation and putting it out front as the main spectacle. The invitations sent out ahead were just as quirky: WhatsApp voice messages from Michele himself, finished with a sweet kiss. That's one way to lessen the environmental damage of printing physical invites.

Victoria's Secret is in trouble again.

Troubled lingerie brand Victoria's Secret can't seem to catch a break. Just this week, hundreds of its bras were found thrown in a bin near one of its closed branches in Colorado. The brand has said that those were written off sample pieces from their fitting rooms, but one has to wonder if there's a better way those could have been reused or recycled beyond landing in landfills.


Etro and LEGO come together.

Here's an unlikely pair-up: Etro and Lego recently collaborated on a special window display at the Piazza San Babila Lego store to celebrate Milan Fashion Week. The pirate island set-up contains paisley print Etro trunks refashioned as hidden treasure chests and exotic animals — built from Lego bricks, of course — wearing pieces from Etro's spring/summer 2020 collection.


Richard Malone wins the International Woolmark Prize 2020.

The Woolmark Prize, one of fashion's longest-running and most prestigious competitions, has a sustainable focus these days. The finalists were tasked to use fully-traceable Merino wool fabrics, and Richard Malone won with a collection that utilised recyclable handwoven fabrics. He is the eighth winner of the prize, joining a roster of Woolmark Prize winners such as the late Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent.


Coach and Bape announces a collaboration.

Coach and Bape announced a limited edition collaborative collection on a number of leather goods and ready-to-wear. These pieces will combine the American leatherwork heritage of Coach and the pioneering Japanese streetwear edge of Bape, celebrating the unique attitudes of both brands' hometowns. The Coach canvas pattern is reinterpreted with the Ape Head logo, and will come in camouflage, khaki, and rainbow jacquard variants. There will also be location-exclusive T-shirts in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, and London - but the rest of the collection will be available in Singapore all the same from 22 February 2020 at the Coach store at Wisma Atria.