Tony Ward wanted his S/S 2017 couture collection to be different this time around by giving the audience a direct theme and reference, merging it with modern, slick, and high fashion structures, cuts, and silhouettes. In his collection, he pays homage to Aelia Eudocia, a key historical figure in the Byzantine empire, who was the the Greek wife of Emperor Theodosius II. Often under-appreciated by modern scholars and writers, Aelia Eudocia’s impact on modern day social activism, especially when it comes to women’s rights, is highlighted by Ward. When asked about the reason behind his Eudocia inspiration, he says, “People often talk to me about men’s rights, not women’s rights… The urge to open the discussion inspired me, I thought it was important to develop it through my art and designs, and I looked into what the history behind women’s rights is, and discovered that there was someone by the name of Aelia Eudocia who had already started this in the Byzantium times, and it was beautiful to honor her work, which was larger than life, through a collection.”
The collection included a number of gorgeous pieces:
A knee-length white dress embroidered with beautiful silk detail with gathered sleeves that spread out like clouds hugging the model’s shoulders, creating a beautiful picture of divine royalty.
A gorgeous strapless lace dress with flowers blossoming over the torso in the Byzantium colors of blue and red, mixed with pink and beige over an embroidered tulle skirt, with a silhouette created by the overlaid capelet that oozes confidence and power, creating a noble sovereign stature.
An almost mermaid-silhouette evening dress in soft powder pink created from macramé and organza, with sheer sides to it that mix the beautiful sensuality of womanhood with the power of a resilient woman in the almost shield-like intricate design on the front of the dress.
A beautiful black gown that drips with elegance, made of crepe with a beautifully beaded bodice fading from silver to black, with a modernly laser cut-out cape, merging modernity and regal style seamlessly. A wonderful web of silver and black jacquard flowing in an A-line strapless gown, with a depth that shows ageless magnificence.
A macramé evening dress in red, embroidered with silk delicately budding over the bust, with a beautiful pleated waist that screams femininity. A gorgeously dimensioned red gown, given depth by jacquard silk embroidery, transforming the fabric into a work of art, with a side-slit amplifying the full skirt and the detail put into every inch of the gown.
An exquisite A-line strapless gown that fades from blue to gold in an embroidered majestic pattern of ancient days, looking like clear blue ocean waves crashing onto a golden shore.
A dress that screams power and dominance, a sturdy embroidered bodysuit with a short bottom that gives the model stature and accentuates her body, overlaid by a Lurex cloqué that looks like liquid gold trailing behind the model.
Crystal embroideries shine on every hem of this lavishly embroidered golden mermaid dress that features a V-line dipping into an intricate pattern of crystal embroidery. Lace, silk, and crystals cover the ¾ sleeves and bodice of this beautifully draped dress that fades between gold and beige, with a slit highlighting the flow and movement of the fabric.
A wonderfully structured off-the-shoulder grey gown in satin crepe and organza cloqué, with cutouts on the front under an overskirt alluding to days long gone of elegance. A regal grey gown in fil coupé with short puff sleeves, and a square neckline embroidered with crystals. The gown almost speaks of the royal elegance of the Byzantium courts, and the women who were gorgeously draped in silks, much similar to this gown.
Crystal embroideries climb up the bottom of a striking white mermaid dress in shades of black and silver, and the dress is partnered with the beautiful capelet over the deep cut of the v-neckline, creates both a sensual and commanding dress. A white mermaid gown dotted with red flowers growing among the branches of golden silk thread embroideries, accompanied with a capelet with the same flowers, showing off the stunning curves of the body without losing any sense of grandeur or power.
An off the shoulder Couture Wedding gown fit for a queen, with a fitted bustier overflowing with silk and crystal embroideries, with the satin crepe of the dress breaking back through towards the full skirt of the dress, still embroidered with a more dispersed pattern, with a graceful veil embroidered only at its hems to perfectly frame the figure.