Since launching in 2013, Self-Portrait has rescued us more times than we’d like to admit. Designer Han Chong’s elegant, yet modern approach to occasionwear has become a mainstay of many fashionable women’s wardrobes, including the likes of Beyonce, Kristen Stewart, Miranda Kerr and the Duchess of Cambridge. One glance at Chong’s spring summer 18 collection, which was shown this morning at New York Fashion Week, and it looks like the Malaysian-born designer has done it again. For spring, Self-Portrait introduced stripes, of both the deck chair and pinstripe variety, as well as polka dots, stars and citronella florals into its design vocabulary. The silhouettes flowed either loose and long, swishing to the floor with shoulder-baring cut-outs, or were designed to fit close to the form with ruffles for embellishment. As ever, Chong’s use of lace lent itself to romancing the more difficult designs. One white gown with thigh-high slits, lace inserts and bell sleeves, which was worn with a bright red leather beret, has the alternative bride written all over it. The introduction of functional, yet fanciful ties became a running motif throughout the collection. Bowed for a girlish flair or worn undone - depending on the wearer's mood - gives garments like one asymmetric lemon gown an insouciant edge. According to the press release, the Self-Portrait woman, ‘projects ebullience, and, in the face of a troubled world, seeks to convey positivity and optimism with every turn.’ This surely was the case with the Beetlejuice tailoring and joyful flared fire-engine red dungarees that came with winged shoulders. While the label may be seeking to widen its already cult following with this notable move into daywear and its debut footwear designs, it’s still the dresses that will keep the customers happy.
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