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A 5-Minute Guide To Fashion Week Fall/Winter '19 — From Bottega's New Blood To Karl Lagerfeld's Bow

CliffsNotes to the Fall/Winter '19 shows.
Singapore Model Renaissance
In the past two seasons, the number of Singapore models who appear on the Fashion Week runways have got us thinking if the heyday of top international models from +65 like Ethel Fong, Hanis Hussey, et al is upon us again. Two-time Female cover star Layla Ong of Basic Models is arguably the most successful new gen model we have, having walked for Gucci for three of its shows and even appearing on its e-commerce site. In New York, she walked for five brands including Rodarte and Adeam. Meanwhile, curly-haired Looque model Diya Prabhakar landed gigs at 3.1 Phillip Lim, Area and Oscar de la Renta among others.   Now Model Management reveals that its model Jean Yong, who walked for Antonio Marras’ F/W ’18 show, is headed to Paris for castings. Basic’s Ong is headed for castings in Milan and two other girls from the agency are headed for London Fashion Week for open calls. With three cities beckoning, we reckon this Singapore model renaissance is only getting started. Real World-To-Runway
Speaking of amazing castings, is the anti-model phenomenon becoming a new normal in fashion? If it is, then this real world-to-runway movement is about to get more inclusive, woke, and weirdly wonderful. At Gypsy Sport (left), a brand known for its outre designs, the band of models include transgender models and plus-sized girls — a study in what it means to assert one’s identity. At knit specialist Ryan Roche, an elderly male model (right) with a shock of white wavy hair stole the show in an ecru suit. The Best Is Yet To Be At Bottega Veneta
After teasing us with his Spring/Summer ’19 and Pre-Fall ’19 (above) collections, Bottega Veneta’s new man at the helm Daniel Lee (in white T-shirt) will debut his first runway show for the brand on Feb 22. The Milan show is bound to be something, partly because this former Celine, Maison Margiela, Balenciaga and Donna Karan alumnus knows exactly what women want: unpretentious, beautiful and intelligent clothes. If you find fashion getting too overwrought these days, Lee’s your man. And also because we remembered a quote he once gave in an interview about how Bottega Veneta is “a bit of a sleeping giant…  the ready-to-wear and the shoes and the jewellery are categories that are very exciting to me, and they never have been fully exploited.” We’re intrigued.   Karl Lagerfeld's Bow
The question on everyone’s mind going to the Chanel show? Will the Kaiser take his bow at the end of the show or will it just be his studio head Virginie Viard (pictured with him)? After all, the 85-year-old designer skipped the bow at the Chanel couture show last month because he “was feeling tired”. Frou-Frou Wave
Not every woman finds the idea of dressing up like a doll or princess on a daily basis as a practical idea. But the onslaught of frou-frou and ruffles that we saw in New York by brands like Batsheva (above), Rodarte and Prabal Gurung is a litmus test of this wave. With the London pack like Matty Bovan, Simone Rocha and Richard Quinn showing their looks next, our bets are that we’ve only skimmed the surface. Helmut Lang Makes American Fashion Great Again
Okay, so Raf Simons has… end scene… from the New York Fashion Week shows now that he’s no longer designing for Calvin Klein. Boo hoo. But the respite from that void of the intellectual and fashion-forward school of design comes in the form of Mark Thomas and Thomas Cawson, the new creative directors of Helmut Lang. This duo who cut their teeth at brands like Joseph and Givenchy parlayed their tailoring background and their deep understanding of Langism in the form of seductively tailored dresses, tuxedos and jeans suits, showing that American fashion can be great again.