At Full Gallop

Equestrian fashion always looks right, and the design world has long been inspired by the majestic horse; there’s certainly nothing new about that. That being said, the world has come down with horse fever as of late, and horses, (especially one horse in particular), seem to be on everyone’s minds these days following American Pharoah’s amazing record breaking Triple Crown win for the ages at Belmont on Saturday.

Stella McCartney Resort 2016

On Monday, just days after The Race, Stella McCartney showed her Cuba inspired resort 2016 collection, and included in the garden party style presentation (held at the Elizabeth Street Gardens in Nolita), were several designs featuring a galloping horse print. A black & white horse print was used for a top and wide legged pant as well as a shirt, which was shown beneath a short black jumper dress. And one long black dress had a wide sheer white hem, which was decorated with large black horses. Stella obviously began working on this collection months ago, so while the timing was perfect, it was obviously quite coincidental.

Horse Head Wicker Marcus Brothers Bag

Also quite timely and coincidental, are the sighting of two 1950’s Marcus Brothers horse head wicker purses which are being offered for sale on Ebay (one is actually in the shape of a horse’s head and features marble eyes). I have mentioned them in a previous article, and noted that they are indeed quite rare.

Horse printed toile rouge Kelly bag

Even rarer is a 32 cm toile rouge Hermes Kelly bag printed with a horse (it even features a horseshoe). Offered by Jane Finds on its price is $26,000. Other equine inspired pieces include Luxdluxde Vintage’s Christian Dior aubergine ostrich skin “saddle” bag ($1313.26); a 20th century German rocking horse offered by Reza’s Rug Gallery, $1250 and a wooden horse tricycle from the later 1800’s ($3910, offered by Bliss Home & Design).

Gucci Resort 2016

In the meanwhile, it’s almost impossible to talk about equestrian related fashion, or horses for that matter, without thinking of Gucci, a house that was founded on its rich equestrian history. But that was then and this is now, and these days, Alessandro Michele, the new creative director at the helm, is going “at full gallop” in a completely new direction. He presented his resort collection last Thursday (his second women’s ready-to-wear collection), closing down 22nd Street in the process, before a crowd that included every major fashion editor (Anna Wintour included), and from all indications, he is continuing on with an aesthetic that can best be described as eccentric, eclectic, offbeat, vintage inspired, and both romantic and androgynous.

Gucci Resort 2016

While he did use the house’s signature horse bit hardware on a few belts and loafers (both his and hers), there was not one horse print in sight. But there were snakes, birds, tigers, dragonflies, and flowers, within his colorful, nature themed line. He even put flowers in the hair, and around the neck of some of his 62 models, and it had me thinking about Frida Kahlo, who’s enjoying her moment in the sun thanks to the new exhibition at the New York Botanical Gardens.

FYI, while I was a bit critical after seeing his women’s fall 2015 collection (because it was such a departure from the house), I must admit that he is beginning to grow on me.

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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