Rick Owens is the sartorial pioneer that wins this year’s Wallpaper* Design Award for Best Women’s Fashion Collection (A/W18). Peruse the rest of the Judges’ Awards winners here.

Rick Owens

Rick Owens was preoccupied with the physical trappings of human adornment, considering the physical impact of bustles, panniers and exaggerated garments of the past. This fascination translated into padded and bulbous silhouettes in neutral tones and yellow-and-brown check, including tunics in camel hair and linen felt, bum bag-like pillows, jackets with puffy extrusions, and oversized parkas with swaddling sleeves. Owens offset his avant-garde silhouettes against more wearable items, including deconstructed coats with frayed panels, cashmere running shorts, draped tops and sock boots with curving wedged heels.

Creative director: Rick Owens
Based: Paris
Key features: bulbous silhouettes, futuristic footwear, padding

BEST WOMEN’S FASHION COLLECTION A/W19 SHORTLIST

Balenciaga

balenciaga a/w 2018 collection

Streetwear silhouettes and the haute-couture tradition synonymous with Cristóbal Balenciaga were brought together in Demna Gvasalia’s offering for the Parisian maison. He was inspired by the volume-focused and innovative codes of the house, using 3D-scanning technology to fit shell-like velvet and houndstooth jackets to models’ bodies. Elegant bourgeois silhouettes, including diaphanous oral dresses, silk headscarves and tweed pencil skirts, were off set by snowboarding-inspired staples, such as hoodies and bum bags. The brand’s signature cocoon silhouette was also reimagined, with waterproof outerwear and neon fleeces layered onto the body for voluminous effect.

Creative director: Demna Gvasalia
Based: Paris
Key features: 3D-scanned suiting, snowboarding staples and elegant evening wear

Chloé

Chloe catwalk a/w2018

For her second collection for the Parisian house, creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi brought the graphic edge she honed while working under Nicolas Ghesquiére at Balenciaga to the brand’s more typically feminine and insouciant heritage. She offered marabou-trimmed Jodhpur trousers and horse-motif blazers, exquisite tailoring and trench coats, disco-centric jumpsuits and delicate lace-trim dresses. Cut-outs were a defining element of the collection, revealing unexpected erogenous zones, such as the top of the stomach, the hip and the shoulders. Bohemian élan was offset with accessories such as chunky boots with metal heels and sporty logo socks.

Creative director: Natacha Ramsay-Levi
Based: Paris
Key features: lace-trim dresses, equestrian silhouettes, unexpected cut-outs

Loewe

loewe a/w 2018

Creative director Jonathan Anderson has brought craft to the fore at the Spanish house. The distinct silhouettes in his collection were rich in detail and material palette: there were concertina-pleated and leather-trimmed shirt dresses, chevron-striped or ballooning puff-sleeved coats, snug shearling outerwear, cape-sleeve tweed suiting and sports-striped trousers. Anderson has imbued the house with calm and relaxed bohemianism, and a kind of shore-lapping serenity was evoked with long dresses with cut-outs, their edges wrapped with colourful lengths of thread; buttery-leather oversized backpacks; and hippyish hoodies with blanket-stitch detailing.

Creative director: Jonathan Anderson
Based: Madrid and Paris
Key features: tweed suits, artisanal details, concertina-pleat dresses

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton a/w 2018

An interstellar show set inspired by Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon was erected in the 19th-century Cour Lefuel of the Louvre. The location was a nod to the blend of past and present in Nicolas Ghesquiére’s collection, which offered up a mix of historical opposites, such as chic Parisian staples (silk shirts, bicolour tuxedo jackets and cashmere coats) and futuristic corsets, space-age miniskirts and spaceship uniform blouses. Ghesquiére has always had a penchant for historical costume and futuristic air, and Edwardian coats were offset against accessories with electronic-chip prints and capsule-like clutches.

Creative director: Nicolas Ghesquiére
Based: Paris
Key features: space-age style, hybrid silhouettes, edwardian outerwear. §