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News Fashion Weeks
Paris Fashion Week: A TribaSpace Review
giovedì, nov 25, 2010, 15:35 / Paris, France
Paris Fashion Week is still a huge barometer for the industry, and an ongoing attraction for international designers, famous buyers, important press and contemporary clothing brands. This season, there was a feeling that things were finally picking up and some of the best shows and collections celebrated ease, colour and craft. A new kind of glamour was in the air, without the usual clichés. Trade fairs were busy – particularly Tranoï – and a sense of lightness and optimism could be felt in several showrooms and catwalk venues.
The best collections were the ones focusing on simple ideas, beautiful execution and timeless appeal. One of the dominant stories of the week was a big menswear trend, inspiring Dries Van Noten, Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga, Viktor & Rolf and Jean-Paul Gaultier at Hermès. Van Noten used oversized masculine shapes and pastel colours, as well as faded floral prints, ombré effects and lots of sequins. There was, in fact, nothing androgynous about his show, as it presented a powerful and strong woman who did not need to renounce her femininity. The Belgian master focused on ease and comfort, with wider trousers and loose shirt dresses, one of the key items for next year. At Balenciaga, rockabilly tomboys with messy, spiky hair, were walking down the runway in flat buckled shoes. A similar punk vibe ruled at Balmain, where Christophe Decarnin’s safety-pinned biker jackets, naughty mini-shorts and bleached American flags screamed Sid Vicious. At Cerruti, Richard Nicoll put on a great presentation, where menswear accents mixed with feminine tones and delicate shapes.
At Viktor & Rolf, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren dedicated their whole collection to shirts, using the ubiquitous menswear staple in unexpected ways. Huge cuffs were added on dresses and tops, as well as on the hem of narrow trousers. They went for classical striping to great effect, particularly on djellaba-inspired, long silk shirt dresses, which were tucked into pleated shorts. The first silhouettes of the show were particularly strong and proved that they are capable of making stylish and essential items for everyday wear. This sense of reality – mixed with a romantic wedding theme – made for an excellent show.
At Hermès, Jean-Paul Gaultier went out with a bang for his farewell show, using live horses and incredible textures. Only Hermès could come up with transparent crocodile, which looked as fantastic as it sounds. The Frenchman focused on sharp tailoring in neutral tones, as well as an equestrian theme and gorgeous skins. It was a deeply moving presentation and a real performance, oozing with energy and style. Next season, Christophe Lemaire takes over the house and will present his first womenswear collection in March.
Colour and shine were important in Paris. Saturated tones were everywhere, from fluorescent yellows and pinks to turquoise and orange. Marc Jacobs went camp at Louis Vuitton, with zebra-printed silks, multicoloured satin suits and matching clutches in patent leather. Many designers went for colour clashes this season, mixing hot and cold to awaken the senses. In fact, the influence of Raf Simons' stunning last show for Jil Sander was everywhere, with intense hues on accessory and footwear lines. At Tranoï Bourse, Icelandic footwear brand Kron by KRONKRON came up with ravishing styles, mixing different kind of leathers and colours for one of a kind shoes, made by artisans in Spain. Think Victorian Minnie Mouse on Icelandic mushrooms.
One of the biggest discussions during the week was the lack of support young French designers seem to get from the government and institutional bodies. The ANDAM prize – one of the most prestigious awards in the country – was awarded to London-based, Turkish designer Hakaan this year and many insiders deplored the fact that Paris does not have exciting initiatives to promote local names, like the New Gen programme in London or Vogue Italia’s Who Is On Next event in Milan. The CFDA in New York also helped promising talents grow, encouraging them to set up their own businesses in the United States. Alexander Wang’s growing success is a great example of such support. In fact, there are many hip, talented French designers around, which attract press and buyers. Thierry Colson, who graduated from prestigious Studio Berçot and works as a stylist, too, delivered a beautiful collection inspired by pre-revolutionary elegance and exoticism. His long, sheer caftans worn with flats, stripy, draped dresses and romantic separates were right on trend. Vive la France!
Philippe Pourhashemi | TribaSpace
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