The Eye: Best of 2017

From the runways to the walkways, here are the best things in style this year


Louis Vuitton x Supreme
Earlier this year, Louis Vuitton broke the internet by launching its Supreme collaboration during its Fall 2017 show. The collection showcased several pieces from skateboards and fanny packs to phone cases decorated with a blend of colors and logos from both brands which where once feuding. This collaboration has garnered an insane amount of attention from fans and celebrities that caused pop-ups all over the world to be canceled as pieces were sold out in a matter of days.

Gosha Rubchinskiy x Burberry
Gosha Rubchinskiy, known for his post-Soviet take on streetwear, continued to take fashion where we’ve never seen it before by way of collaborating with Burberry, an old English house. This has caused confusion to many as Burberry previously spent a good amount of years shedding off their association to chavs (a derogatory term referring to low-class people with bad behavior who wear real or fake designer clothes. British white trash, if you will.) According to the designer, he looked to his skate friends back home for inspiration who wore Burberry mainly from vintage shops. As part of the rave-themed collection, he put a subversive spin on the heritage brand by sending down models wearing his take on Burberry’s classic trenchcoats and jackets, receiving praise from fans and Christopher Bailey who said: “To take something familiar and reinterpret it to make it feel relevant and contemporary, to feel right and appropriate for a certain moment and time? That’s a real skill.” Поздравляю.

Junya Watanabe Man x The North Face
For his Fall 2017 collection, Comme des Garçons alum Junya Watanabe worked with several brands which included Levi’s, Carhartt and Vans, among others. But on top of the list was American utility brand The North Face. Watanabe presented a selection of outerwear with parts made from dismantled The North Face bags, some featuring bag handles repurposed as straps (so you can sling it off when not in use) and big zippered pockets for storage. At first glance, these are the kinds of pieces you’ll find in any cool guy’s wardrobe. But this collection, however small, further proves that he’s one of the best designers of his generation.

Balenciaga Triple S
Balenciaga’s sock-like Speed Trainers might be this year’s most wanted sneakers but nothing has upped the high-fashion sneaker game like the Triple S’ hard-to-ignore aesthetic. It features a colorful design molded from running, track and basketball soles stacked together, a cross between familiar and unfamiliar things. True to its massive form, the Triple S quickly sold out upon release cementing its position in the sneaker competition.

COMME des GARÇONS x NikeLab Air Vapormax
Released earlier this year, the futuristic pair from COMME des GARÇONS and Nike perfectly mixes the former’s taste for modernism and the latter’s shoe technology, proving to be a hit with customers all over the world, selling out immediately despite its price. It features a laceless flyknit body and an updated VaporMax Air bubble look at the sole in a dope triple black colorway that has become highly coveted that Dover Street Market had to restock it shortly after its release.

No ‘‘2017 best list’’ is complete without this Nike and Off-White sneaker collaboration. Virgil Abloh has been pouring most of his creative energy on his brand Off-White, designing ten (TEN!!!) different pairs this year, reinterpretations (and deconstructions) of Nike’s most iconic kicks like the Air Jordan 1s, Prestos, Air Force, and more, with written description elements that are undeniably Off-White such as “AIR” and “FOAM” on the soles. Needless to say, it’s very hard to pick the best of the lot, causing it to be one of the most hyped releases of the year with celebs and fans alike trying to cop a pair (and trying to get it signed by Abloh himself).

Ever since Raf Simons was reported to take over as chief creative officer at Calvin Klein, chatters have been made as to where he would take the brand. We had our first peek during his debut collection with a show that touched on things distinctly American such as cowboy boots, sheriff jackets and plastic covers he put on coats reminiscent of covers we see on couches. In true Raf Simons fashion, he also brought his vision and love for art in the forefront which we saw in the ad campaigns consequently released, portraying models in front of artworks by artists like Andy Warhol and Sterling Ruby, showing the effect he has on the brand’s image. Raf Simons now overlooks the men’s and women’s line, jeans, underwear, and fragrances, a huge responsibility no one has handled ever since Calvin Klein himself left in the early aughts. With just one collection, it was clear where the Belgian designer would take the American brand. Needless to say, Calvin Klein is in good hands.

For its SS18 Menswear show this year, the Italian fashion house once again did a social media influencer-heavy fashion show but that’s not why it made headlines. Dolce & Gabbana has been receiving criticisms because of their statements on political issues like gay parenthood and Trump, making the designers mock the criticisms by launching a tongue-in-cheek campaign called “Boycott Dolce & Gabbana.” For one of its shows this year, they cast American musician Raury as one of the models who decided to do his own protest by taking off his D&G hoodie during the finale, showing words all over his body: “PROTEST”, “DG GIVE ME FREEDOM” and “I AM NOT YOUR SCAPEGOAT.” When asked about it, Raury said “I felt like Dolce & Gabbana was literally trying to use the youth to wash their hands of any sort of heat from anyone who wants to protest against them.” Talk about showstopping.

In a sea of shows each trying to one-up the other with their grandiosity, it’s very rare to witness a show as quiet and straightforward as Gosha Rubchinskiy’s FW17 presentation which was held in Russian exclave Kaliningrad. The cast was composed of young men, mostly teenagers, who marched to a soundtrack of them talking about their personal lives. “My big dream is to live my life with harmony within my soul,” one boy said. Another one said, “I don’t have a dream, I live my life day by day.” Some talked about their hobbies, others talked about their future. At face value, the show feels almost similar to any Gosha Rubchinskiy show, but a closer look reveals a current portrait of young Russia, different from what we see online or in the news. Is it theater? Is it political? Is it both? One thing’s for sure, it was memorable.

‘EXTRA’ might be 2017’s unofficial catch phrase and Gucci definitely brought it with its Spring Summer 2017 ad campaign. The collection’s inspiration was the dream of travel either through a book, a film, or just plain imagination. The campaign however, brought the actuality of it. Shot in Rome by Glen Luchford, it featured a quirky juxtaposition of Alessandro Michele’s designs with a selection of diverse models in Roman landmarks with a bunch of wild animals. Once again, Gucci owns the surreal game.

“I rarely step in front of the camera, but when I do, it’s for Prada.” Pedro Almodóvar might or might not have said this with regards to this project. The Willy Vanderperre-lensed Prada FW17 ad campaign featured the legendary director using wide shots that almost look like stills from his films. In an accompanying video, Almodóvar is seen wandering around Prada’s HQ perfectly merging both the fashion and film worlds.

Balenciaga goes corporate for its FW17 ad campaign that features models Jarno Parkkima and Erwin Weder lounging on office furniture. In the lo-fi photos shot by Johnny Dufort, the models are seen wearing Balenciaga’s business-themed collection full of oversized jackets and coats intended for office wear but with Demna Gvasalia’s usual subversive spin. The images also went big on the Triple-S which was bound to make major waves in the sneaker competition. Balenciaga, evidently seen in this campaign, means business. ‘Please advise.’