Astrid Andersen’s S/S 17 collection couldn’t have been more in line with the spirit of the times and the current conversations going on, in, and around fashion - does it make sense to have separate fashion weeks for menswear and womenswear? Are the traditional Spring/Summer Autumn/Winter seasons still relevant? Is the current pace of showing and consumption maintainable? They’re troubles on everyone’s mind, but Andersen tried to ponder them this season through design and new additions. Firstly, she’d added womenswear to her offering (the garments will be available to retailers within the pre-collection buying and delivery windows, but will be shown only at LC:M rather than again in September at the women’s shows). Pieces did not so much compliment the menswear range as mimic it - there were long line tunics, the usual mash-ups of lace and sporty fabrics and the branded separates that appear every season. Her notes detailed that this new foray was a ‘testament to demand from consumers and industry.’ That showed in the design - one didn’t get the sense that Andersen had any urgent propositions to add to the womenswear conversation, rather that she worked to a clear brief of making ‘Astrid Andersen’ styles that could be worn on girls and sold by retailers. The pieces were fine, but lacked the strong viewpoint and subtle irreverence of her menswear. After all, lace is expected on a woman.
Andersen was also musing on climate and seasonality, or as she put it 'the push and pull of schedules and calendars.' This resulted in a wintery palette of nudes, browns and black being worked into more summery styles. It makes sense for designers, especially those beginning their careers, to ignore the pressure to shape their collection’s aesthetic to vague, antiquated notions of European weather. After all, Andersen is truly a global designer. Her work is adored in Asia and other international emerging fashion markets. To progress and move forward, it makes sense for her to work instinctively rather than play by the book. It’s that instinct that has served her well so far - her understanding that definitions of luxury are changing came long before the big brands cottoned on to sporty shapes and casual styles. This season she’d enlivened tracksuits with snakeskin and gold. Elsewhere, what could have felt gimmicky, here on Andersen’s runway it felt easy and fresh.