There are lots of gray areas in the tension between menswear and womenswear, and for Fall 2013, Ann Demeulemeester explored that tension using only black and white fabrics.
Alexander Wang presented his much-anticipated Fall 2013 collection for Balenciaga in Paris on Thursday. Wang has been lauded by critics and editors for paying homage to the Balenciaga archives while making the clothes feel modern, and for his use of texture. Read through some of the reactions to the collection below, and see every look here in the gallery.
Anna Wintour: "I'm very proud. I thought it was a very smart way to start, by not giving us too many fireworks."
Cathy Horyn: "If he continues to strike that modern balance between couture and the street, he will renew a great name — and win over doubters."
Lorraine Candy: "This was a strong, elegant, and feminine debut collection, which gives us hope of even greater things to come from Alex."
At the Grand Palais, against the backdrop of six old cars, Guillaume Henry sent out a Fall 2013 collection filled with pastel hues and supertactile wools. Silhouettes were less buttoned-up than we've seen from the designer in recent seasons, with jumbo coats (some with huge collars and swing backs), cutout necklines, and A-line skirts dominating most looks.
Who other than Gareth Pugh could make dark futurism look so good? For his Fall 2013 collection, Pugh abandoned the brief flirtation with the Middle Ages he showed last season and went back to basics — or at least back to his basics. The clothing here was sculptural, dark, and edgy, and it ran the gamut from minimally decorated to extremely ornate.
The show went from light to dark, starting with a series of white pieces — gowns, or floor-length skirts paired with jackets — with golden branches snaking up from the hems. Then black made its way in, as did gray and a deep, moody blue. Many of the garments featured necklines that stood up on their own, as if Pugh wanted the audience to focus on his models' faces and wild hair instead of on his clothing. But any competition those hairdos might have offered couldn't hold a candle to the black masterworks that ended the show.
Paris Fashion Week is in full swing, but the beautiful garments shown there aren't the only things we're looking forward to from the next eight days. From the food to the shopping to the art exhibits currently on view, take a look at what our editors in the City of Light will be watching for on the runways — and what they'll be doing when they're off the clock.
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Marco Zanini clearly had volume and proportion on his mind when he designed Rochas's Fall 2013 collection. The offering, which came down a staircase and then down a runway in Paris on Wednesday, was filled with generous circle skirts, oversize outerwear, and jackets so big they had to be cinched in with wide belts to create a waist.
Everyone knows the coolest girls are those that can layer seemingly incongruous pieces in such a way that the total look feels perfectly meant to be. For Fall 2013, Dries Van Noten riffed on that idea, mixing and matching classically femme elements with traditionally male pieces for a gender-bending romp that felt fresh, youthful, and very, very chic. Floral-printed chiffon, shiny jacquard, and marabou feathers decorated shift dresses, tiered A-line skirts, and belted coats. They were often paired with slouchy boyfriend sweaters, crisp button-up work shirts, heavy wool trousers, and rugby striped tops for the ultimate just-threw-this-on look.
After four years of drawing shoppers out of their homes and into stores all over the country, the American edition of Fashion's Night Out is going on hiatus in 2013.
WWD reports that select cities across the globe will still observe the annual shopping holiday in September, and Thailand and the Ukraine will celebrate FNO for the first time this year. But here in the States, retailers and brands that participated in the past will instead "focus their budgets on projects that are more in line with their specific objectives."
FNO, which started in 2009 as a way to kick-start lackluster retail sales, quickly accomplished what it set out to do: get people in stores. The CFDA's CEO Steven Kolb told WWD that the event got way bigger than its organizers expected it would get. But in some cases, retailers didn't see big returns on their investments. After the 2011 event, Nicole Miller CEO Bud Konheim said, "FNO is a hype where anybody can go and get a free drink in any store in New York. What does it do for business? Nothing." Another unnamed CEO said, "If Anna [Wintour] takes a year off with this, I wouldn't complain."
Kolb maintains FNO wasn't simply a moneymaker, "but was really about engagement," he said. "Everyone feels we had a great four years. It brought a lot of attention to retail, to fashion's important place in retail."
Still, it's not known yet whether the event will come back in 2014. Which begs the question: