We’re on our third day of Paris Fashion Week today. I’ve been anxiously anticipating trends in this particular geographical space. Paris provides force and self-assuredness, so it’s no wonder that the trends here will inspire a global frenzy for the next hot thing.
So far, I’ve been noticing a lot of sheer fabric and sheer layering. Laser-cut pieces are making a big headway as well as frayed hems. Individual elements aside, the overall motif trends toward futuristic endeavors fusing our technological obsession with sleek design.
Christophe Lemaire provided a quiet presentation of muted color worthy of a secretary or librarian’s wardrobe. This wasn’t about flashiness and trends; rather the motif appealed to an intelligent woman focused on her career without abandoning style. Loose layering in light cotton blends and sharply angled cuts refused to sacrifice comfort and ease. The presentation hinged on functionality, with uncomplicated layers making the play at excitement.
Charlier chose to unfold a storyline that peeked into his creative process with this lineup. He set the stage with color-blocking, exposed stitching in a plethora of lengths, zig-zags, and fringed hems. He then moved on to a sleeker finish with similar loose shapes while retaining elements from the introduction. The wide horizontal stripes became layered loose dresses, each longer hemline a different color. The outlined stitches advanced to precise and clean tailoring. The humble beginnings of the frayed hem transformed into a wild multi-colored fringe serving as embellishment. The show remained a captivating story beginning to end.
A sense of feminine structure accompanied looks that reminisced of a tomboy spirit and casual dress. It’s not surprising that this collection roused a feeling of tug between two sexes. The ensembles consisted of careful laser-cut shirt dresses, above the knee structured coat dresses and plenty of bandeau tops. In fact, the entire collection consisted primarily of girly dresses. So why did I get the feeling that underneath the girly disguise there was a tomboy waiting to get out? Perhaps Marcel Marongiu understands his inspiration, Claire McCardell, more than anyone realizes. He evoked a perfect feeling of rejection of norms to provide the free loose spirit without sacrificing feminine power.
Despite the ‘BORE’ statements, there was nothing boring about Yang Li’s collection. Classic tailored ensembles received a jolt with sheer panels and explosions of tulle from unexpected places. Fluid, sheer dresses paired well with stark white t-shirts and flowy button-ups. Fallen angels came to mind as the models flowed by with a soft but stern attitude.
Casual and athletic appeal provided mass-market opportunities at Damir Doma. The sleek beginnings nodded to evening walks by the shore while subsequent looks progressively shaped out for city evenings and casual dinners. The silhouettes moved with the body, providing just enough room to be at ease. The colors were practical and earthy, with the occasional orange burst. But, it wasn’t all about the colors and silhouettes. Instead, the collection highlighted the accents that elevated it from predictable to exciting. Mesh insets decorated a dresses and separates; subtle fil coupe patterns swirled on skirts and pantsuits, and zippers lined up the front of dress and jacket combos.
Dries Van Noten
A dreamy moss runner served as the runway at Dries Van Noten, hinting at a peaceful forest environment. With the sound of silence playing in the background, the models sauntered down the grassy path in an immeasurable number of color and pattern combinations. The understated, yet bright colors shimmered as if hit through the tree branches with sunlight. Romantic patterns swirled on jacquard pieces and chiffon fluttered romantically in loose layers. The shapes varied from pajama-cut pants to kimono inspired jackets and loose tunics. The hints of a fairytale dream played perfectly into Van Noten’s inspirations: Pre-Raphaelite painting “Ophelia” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
Alessandro Dell’Acqua boldly stepped up in his attempts to inspire movement into somewhat frozen-in-time Rochas line. Although the results were mixed, utility belts cinched dresses above the bust and Varsity inspired R’s stamped unto otherwise romantic dresses, the enthusiasm to move things forward emerged. Sheer layers built up full skirts and the innocence and naivete he aspired to capture successfully materialized in bows, lace, and slip-dresses in a subdued palette.
The athletic trend made a brief impression on Alexis Mabillle, who fused hooded silk boxer robes with a bedroom vibe. Languid asymmetric hems and shapes flowed effortlessly alongside body-skimming silhouettes comprised of polished separates. Silk elastic waistbands adorned pants and skirts, while beaded cuffs and belts indicated decorated luxury rather than sporty ensembles. The sheer mesh numbers, while somewhat fascinating to admire, only contributed to a seedier vibe.
Sonia by Sonia Rykiel
This is the line’s last impression before the new artistic director, Julie de Libran, takes over. Unfortunately, it’s not a lasting impression. The jarring color combinations provided playfulness but lacked a certain street-ready appeal. Almost purely athletic in nature, the looks attempt to define themselves with a bold graphic whimsy. The most successfully executed turn out to be more subdued, such as mesh striped dress over a SONIA stamped multi-color slip. The all-sequin jersey dress provides an amped up version of athletic inspiration for the night, while a pink sweatshirt printed simply with a green banana is enough of a color pop without resorting to more busy ventures.
Alexander Wang isn’t a person to go up against in the battle of laid-back luxury and sleek high-fashion aesthetic. He perfectly fused traditional Balenciaga elements of clean cuts and opulence with cool-girl chic vibes reminiscent of New York City nights. Keeping with the theme of speeding forward and maintaining sleek integrity, Wang referenced Tour de France cyclists when approaching the silhouettes and mesh fabrics. In a competitive spirit, the collection emerged as a clear winner of perfectly tailored luxury athleticism.
Nana Aganovich and Brooke Taylor are fascinated with romantic structure. Asymmetric cuts, voluminous angles and high necklines accompanied a feeling of kabuki theatre. Black, white and red were key players in the colors department, while silks stepped up as the choice material.
The beauty of an impeccably draped Grecian dress isn’t lost on Vionnet’s creative director Goga Ashkenazi. A soft palette of cream and white tones bore elements of a dancer’s fluidity and a goddesses’ elegance. The acrylic belts seemed unnecessary, and a lingerie sub-theme highlighted parts too bawdy to bare in public. Those elements aside, the careful construction and fusion of classic and modern silhouettes inspired a desire to see more of such romantic beauty.
Marie-Chsristine Statz wasn’t afraid to fuse a patchwork of materials and colors together in this season’s collection. Color blocking and clever pattern placement inspired by artist Duilio Barnabé adorned loose, sporty silhouettes with a casual vibe.