For Spring 2013, designer Stuart Vevers was all about sporty luxe. Chic leather pencil skirts were juxtaposed with varsity jackets that came in a variety of colors and prints. Hoods also gave dresses and coats a seriously sporty feel. Safari-inspired pieces, like a cargo vest and dress with oversize pockets, were also sprinkled throughout the show for variety. Thigh-high slits, sheer fabrics, and crop tops gave Loewe's latest line a sexy undertone, while the olive green, bright red, black, and yellow color scheme was serious-slash-spunky.
Posts for September 29th 2012
There's no shortage of designers who have referenced the '80s in their Spring 2013 collections, but so far, Jean Paul Gaultier is the only one who's sent models down the runway dressed as a selection of the decade's greatest stars.
Ajak Deng adopted the hair and fierce presence of Grace Jones in a sleeveless black tuxedo. Hannelore Knuts was a dead ringer for Annie Lennox in short, cropped hot-pink hair and a double-breasted pinstripe suit (the jacket cleverly slashed apart to create a bolero and strapless vest). Then came Jessica Stam as the Material Girl herself, all black lace and mesh, with a bow in her hair. Karlie Kloss, in a kimono jacket and printed trousers, looked like Boy George. Sessilee Lopez, in a black motorcycle jacket and a black fedora, gave her very best Michael Jackson. And Frankie Mueller? Pure Ziggy Stardust in a one-legged, one-sleeved bodysuit made of an open-weave crochet. (Off the runway, Gaultier put four models dressed as KISS in the front row.)
These pieces were a fun dash of frivolity in a week that's shown some serious fashion. But Gaultier showed some strong and marketable contenders, too, among them a black gown with sheer triangular panels, some fun metallic baseball jackets, and a charming selection of denim pieces that went from short shorts to a duster jacket.
"Crush," said Rei Kawakubo of her Spring 2013 collection for Comme des Garcons. "Energy explosion."
The show — and the clothes themselves — seemed like a reaction to Kawakubo's last collection, which flattened its pieces to two dimensions. This season compressed different bits of clothing together to create a multilayered effect. The first looks that came down the runway were made of white muslin, at times resembling different design-room patterns for jackets stacked one on top of the other. The models — all of whom wore sculptural headpieces that appeared to be made from found objects and crushed bits of metal — in this first section of the show came down the runway at a snail's pace.
Kawakubo's energy shifted (or exploded, to use her terminology) when models wearing black dresses came down the runway at a quick trot. These pieces subscribed to the same everything-but-the-kitchen-sink mentality as the preceding garb, but here there were shots of red or purple velvet throughout the looks. The show ended in white-clad models walking slowly once more, but these looks had a more striking energy: the bodice of one dress seemed to be a historical survey of women's sleeves.
Everything about Vivienne Westwood's Spring 2013 collection — from its setting at the British ambassador's residence to the crowns some of the models wore down the runway — brought a celebration of English greatness to Paris Fashion Week.
Westwood called this show Climate Revolution, though it wasn't as heavy on sending a political message as her Red Label show was during London Fashion Week. Instead, this offering took Westwood's signature tricks (draping, ruching, corsetry, and the like) and refreshed them with lighter fabrics and whimsical decorative treatments. A rose taffeta gown featured a side cutout, a bow tied at the waist, and a few sparkly brooches for good measure; later in the show, a strapless, patterned bodysuit acted as the vehicle for three oversize butterfly appliqués.
For all that glittering refinement, there was lots of punk attitude in this show. Some looks were paired with sheer leggings and boots or sneakers, and all the models had heart shapes painted onto their faces.
Designing duo Ling Liu and Dawei Sun showed an exuberant collection of florals for Spring 2013. The sweet print made its way onto everything from minidresses to Bermuda shorts to swing coats to sheer shirtdresses. Continuing the ultrafeminine theme were dresses with poufy skirts and ruffle details. The color scheme was mostly white, blue, and orange with a couple soft-pink pieces. A few printed pants and oversize blouses made more boyish cameos on the Cacharel catwalk.
Working in a palette of black, brown, gray, and white, Haider Ackermann channeled his great talent for combining colors into something much more subdued for Spring 2013 — and the results were no less powerful. The designer's signature layered silhouettes were in full effect; at their best, they came in richly textured tiers that were sculpted beautifully at the shoulders, tucked and belted at the waist, and then left to ruffle out and flow languidly from hip to ankle. In dotted chiffon, leather, textured wool, and geometrically patterned silk, they were so artfully compiled that you almost didn't miss Ackermann's usual riot of color.
There's something to be said for a designer who makes beautiful clothes for the sake of making beautiful clothes. Martin Grant's Spring 2013 collection was full of strong, well-tailored dresses, coats, and separates that, while perhaps not as effusively fawned over as some of the other clothing shown in Paris this week, are nonetheless the kinds of garments that women will want to wear.
Take, for example, a dress that combined a deep-blue silk shirt with a pleated tweed skirt, or the handful of shirts and dresses that playfully employed the bishop's sleeve. Evening looks came with a straightforward glamour, like a gently tiered black cocktail dress or a blue gown with a layer of chiffon that moved to let the light shine through as its model came down the runway.
Speaking of models, Grant had one of the most diverse casts of any show we've seen in Paris. Perhaps that's this designer's way of saying his dresses are for everyone.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, whose Spring 2013 collection was most surprising of all? Could it be Viktor & Rolf? Just maybe. On a fragmented checkerboard runway backed by a glass staircase and giant framed mirror, the duo sent out a collection that was romantic, drapey, and even classically pretty. Grecian gowns in softly pleated panels of black, white, silver, and soft peach were lovely; some came topped with flowing duster coats or fuzzy fur sweaters. There were also loosely tailored trousers adorned with giant bows, silk varsity jackets, and sharp-cut blazers trimmed with strips of embellished metallics. It was all very "fairy-tale princess goes Hollywood" — and also a little disconcertingly out of character. That is, of course, until the cheeky peplum-ruffled moto vests, rose-emblazoned fur maxi skirts, and power-shouldered draped lamé jumpsuits started to appear. Those were pure, unadulterated Viktor & Rolf.
Tsumori Chisato's happy riot of color and print continued for Spring 2013. This time around, it came with a vaguely Southwest theme: cartoon cacti, antelope skulls, and vibrant desert-sunset hues. But for all its whimsy and sparkle, there were still wearable pieces on offer: a white silk t-shirt dress adorned with a watery zigzag print, a flowing maxi dress in printed chiffon, and a sharply cut pantsuit in bold cherry red.
Talk about sportif: Junya Watanabe's collaboration with Puma has clearly had an impact on his main collection for Spring 2013 — so much so that he put pieces from that collaboration on the runway.
While the capsule collection, with its high-top sneakers and garments made from tech fabrics, was appropriately athletic, the collection itself imagined the very distant future of sportswear. Garments of all kinds had mesh inserts in a variety of colors, and sportswear fabrics were made chic and forward-thinking with sheer overlays and inventive, body-skimming cuts. There were a few moments when Watanabe didn't dote on track and field: two little black dresses toward the end of the show were among the most chic variations on the wardrobe staple we've seen all week.