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  • Monumental Magazine

SS20 Superlatives

By Emma Wickey

Spring/Summer 2020 runway delivered some new surprises and interesting trends. Filled with latex, neon, and silk, here are just a few notable collections from the season. 

Most Surprising: Gucci

Under creative direction of Alessandro Michele, Gucci became associated with 70s and flower-child inspired looks. Over the past few years, Gucci has consistently produced beautiful collections, however, the ‘groovy’ trend is old and Michele's collections have not been particularly groundbreaking -- that is, until this season. 

Branching out from retro prints, color blocking, and over-the-top sequins, Michele produced a gorgeous collection with a hint of sex appeal. The last time Gucci produced a collection with a similar motif was the early 2000s when Tom Ford served as Creative Director. Following Ford’s departure, the label focused on developing its branding and logo, losing sight of the sensual semblance that Ford gave Gucci. 

Featuring sheer dresses, silk slip dresses, plunging necklines, and over the elbow gloves, the SS20 collection was a step out of Michele’s comfort zone. While the collection was different from his usual I took this from my grandma’s closet aesthetic -- it still exuded the vintage feel Michele is known and loved for. 

Though the collection had tinges of sex, some garments, such as white oversized straightjackets, served as contradictory pieces. Resembling a dystopian uniform, the all white uniforms were foreboding. In these jackets, one model made headlines by writing, “mental health is not fashion,” on her palms. Michele said he is “afraid of getting bored” and I think this collection is a jump in the right direction for Gucci and its clientele. 

Most Potential: Laquan Smith

It was hard to look away, even blink, as each look walked down the runway at Laquan Smith’s Spring/Summer collection. The daring leopard printed and translucent latex pieces instilled intrigue and innovation on the runway. Particularly, zebra print, ruched dresses captivated the audience.

This collection truly gave recognition to Laquan Smith and the creative potential he holds. Already being worn by the likes of celebrities from Barbie Ferreira to Alexa Demie from “Euphoria,” even Khloe Kardashian, Smith is commanding the interest of celebrities. I’m sure people are already looking forward to see what Smith designs for his next collection

Most Consistent: Valentino

Pierpaulo Piccioli has done it again. Receiving yet another standing ovation at the end of his collection, Valentino under Piccioli’s creative direction is unstoppable. The collection encompasses everything Valentino is known for: beautiful silhouettes, impeccable tailoring, luxurious prints, and perfect coloring. Exhibiting Piccioli’s flair of haute couture, there were feathers, sequins, and tulle. 

Although it is easy to identify Piccioli’s Valentino, he manages to give each collection something new and exciting. This season, he focused on white, pure, Catholic-inspired themes, accompanied with pops of neon and tropical prints - something never seen at Valentino. The beauty and elegance of Valentino lies in how Piccioli crafts elongated silhouettes and gowns to look wearable to the everyday person. 

Piccioli has yet to disappoint since he was appointed sole Creative Director at Valentino in 2016 and I do not see him falling short anytime soon.

Best Message: Marine Serre

Marine Serre showed her collection on an outdoor runway, and though rain would be deemed detrimental to most designers, this happenstance was only fitting for this particular collection. The show opened with all black looks, setting an eerie tone for the show’s theme - climate change. The French designer named her collection “Maree Noire” translating to “oil spill” in English. The runway appropriately resembled an oil spill, with some models sporting medical masks and recycled fabrics.

Serre explained the show was meant to convey a post-apocalyptic society where, due to  climate change, only some survived - represented by the models who walked the show. Some models walked the runway wearing headphones, possibly suggesting how many of us do not focus on the destruction happening around us.


The collection debuted in Paris shortly after France’s President Emmanuel Macron signed the “fashion pact” in which Macron promises to work with as many fashion companies as possible to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in the fashion industry. Serre’s collection is just one of many brands starting to recognize the glaring impact the fashion industry is contributing to climate change and her statement definitely made an impact.

Best Collection: Pyer Moss

After taking a season-long hiatus, critics were skeptical as to whether Pyer Moss would perform as he had in the past. On the contrary, Pyer Moss outdid itself at its Spring/Summer show in Brooklyn. With a total of 69 ready-to-wear looks, the show was incredible. Titled “American, Also,” the collection focused on African American influence in American pop culture, particularly music.

Featuring diverse silhouettes and tailoring, longline silk jackets with ribboning, pleated silk skirts, and instruments interwoven into the garments, the clothing tells a story for itself. The intent behind every detail and look was carefully thought out and expressed through each garment’s construction. Creative Director and Founder of Pyer Moss, Kerby Jean-Raymond represents the future of fashion. His creativity and passion for his work is truly expressed in every stitch. 

Addressing social issues in every collection contributes to what makes him and his clothing so special; he embraces being one of the few independent African American designers and one who speaks up for his beliefs. This collection was the debut of his new partnership with popular sneaker brand Reebok. Chunky sneakers and fashion-forward tracksuits bearing the Reebok and Pyer Moss logo hit the runway bridging the gap between past and present. Pyer Moss continues to prove itself to be a competitor amongst established fashion houses and labels, and is setting precedence for a new wave of designers.

Photos courtesy of Vogue Runway. Click on each image to view full collection.

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