Sometimes a hard-working girl just needs to get on a plane and spend a few days underneath a palm tree in Mustique, and from the looks of things that's exactly the girl Vanessa Bruno was thinking of when she designed her Spring 2013 collection. The suiting was professional and appropriately androgynous, but what got tongues wagging were the day dresses. A restrained palette of rose, beige, and cream dominated in these pieces, and a few were accented with silvery sequins or ostrich feathers that exaggerated movement. But the cuts were body conscious in a languid way — almost as languid as a well-deserved vacation.
Posts for September 2012
Belgian husband-wife duo An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx brought major drama to the Parisian runway with their Spring 2013 collection. All their models strutted with either black or white sheer hats that were tilted to the side, covering their faces. Some even had their faces painted gold. Leather, asymmetrical hemlines, and fringe were standouts in the show. Black, white, red, turquoise, and gold were the colors of choice, while fabrics ranged from leather and satin to silk and cotton. The most controversial moment happened when a model walked down the runway wearing nothing but white trousers and peep-toe boots — up top, her chest was painted gold in the shape of a strapless top.
The space where Maison Martin Margiela showed its Spring 2013 collection was made to look like a typically luxurious Paris salon, fireplaces and wainscoting included, all of which was covered up with white plastic sheeting. Only the ornate chandeliers hung from the ceiling poked through the material. The clothes themselves were a bit more direct, and almost simplistic save for a few jarring pieces and treatments designed, perhaps, to remind the audience that it was at a Margiela show. An oversize gray t-shirt, for example, skimmed the ground in the gown section of the show, following some elegant black exercises in evening dresses. The show's straightforward bent might have something to do with its much-anticipated collaboration with H&M, but whether the capsule will contain any cape-like navy blue dresses made of crinoline remains to be seen.
Isabel Marant is a designer with a sense of humor. When asked about her Spring 2013 collection a few days ago, she exclaimed "It's ugly!" before launching into a hearty chuckle. It was a disarming outburst, one that left this reporter totally taken aback and, to be honest, totally charmed.
"No no, it's a bit of Elvis in Hawaii, and a bit of Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot in St.-Tropez around the late '60s and early '70s," Marant reassured. A few days later as the first model took to the runway and Elvis blared from the speakers at the actual show, those references were utterly clear.
A tropical leaf print in graphic black and white dominated the first looks. It decorated vacation-ready silhouettes such as one-shouldered minidresses, tie-front rompers, and '50s-shaped bandeau swimsuits. A bit of red embroidery helped the pieces to really pop. Then it was on to a boho paisley print in purple, red, and blue; that turned up on bandeau dresses, lace-up peasant tops, and flared trousers. There was also plenty of that modern Western thing that the designer is wont to do and does so well: on first glance, a series of scallop-hemmed tunics and tiered ruffled skirts appeared to be done in a down-home cotton eyelet; on closer inspection, those eyelet dots were actually mini bronze studs. All said and done, it was a lineup that's sure to keep Marant's legion of fans well-outfitted next season — and there was nothing ugly about it.
By all accounts, the best party of Paris Fashion Week so far wasn't thrown by a luxury brand: it was the fete Anna Dello Russo hosted to celebrate her accessories collaboration with H&M on Thursday night. Everyone from Olivier Theyskens and Peter Dundas to Karlie Kloss and Isabeli Fontana made their way to the Paradis Latin nightclub in Paris for the event, where they snacked on chocolates adorned with Dello Russo's face and took in a performance from Azealia Banks. And while Dello Russo walked the red carpet with other guests, she also made a proper entrance inside the party, descending from the ceiling in a chair decorated with oversize roses.
"We created an amusing cabaret show that, while being pure Parisian entertainment, could also function as a metaphor of the carousel of fashion," Dello Russo said. "Excess for me means success."
A look at the excessive, successful party in the video below, and here in the gallery.
No one ever said ushering in a new era would be easy. But at Thursday's Spring 2013 Christian Dior show in Paris, Raf Simons made it look nearly effortless. And after 18 months of scandal, drama, and anticipation, that's really no small feat. Just imagine the pressure Simons must have felt.
Not that it showed. Simons is a designer who knows himself and trusts his aesthetic, so this was a collection that felt confident, elegant, and controlled. Blazers, dresses, and even ball gowns came in shapes that were pared-down and wearable, while fabrics like iridescent nylon and tech lace-mesh added just a hint of futurism. But for all his modern minimalism, Simons is also a designer who possesses a remarkable ability for exploring and reworking the past. His understanding of Dior's archives was obvious in July with his initial Couture offering, and, let's face it, it was obvious last season with his breathtaking swan song at Jil Sander, too. "People think Christian Dior was about constriction, and technically, with the New Look's corseting, it was," Simons said backstage. "But in a psychological sense, it was about liberating women, allowing them to be romantic again, and to fantasize about their image." With Simons at the helm, it's safe to say that Dior is well on track to being liberated too.
Who — or what — creates the female form: the woman herself or the designer who's dressing her? Hussein Chalayan toyed with that idea in his Spring 2013 collection, showing looks that were alternately boxed in, formfitting, or had the shape of a woman's body literally drawn on.
The foundation here was Chalayan's customarily sharp stable of basics, rendered this season in fabrics that were for the most part light in color and in weight. Two boxy coat dresses opened the show (one with sleeves, one without), followed immediately by square shirts and culottes. The pieces that followed — mostly shirts and skirts, some adorned with ruffles and pleats — sucked the waist back in and gave their wearers shape for a time, then came rectangular dresses with column shapes that either had an hourglass figure gently colored on or sheer rectangular shapes over printed dresses that hugged the body. All Chalayan's customers will have to do is decide which method for showing off or concealing their assets works for them.
Yoshiyuki Miyamae's Spring 2013 show for Issey Miyake brought us something we haven't seen very much in Paris this week: models smiling. Whether their grins came from the brightly colored and patterned dresses they were wearing or the entertaining zigzag pattern Miyamae asked them to walk in remains unclear. What we do know is that this offering is among the most vibrant we've seen all week, combining loud blocks of color with diagonal stripes for an effect that even the most stalwart minimalists would find eye-catching. Buyers no doubt appreciated how Miyamae's use of color created different feelings: blue trousers with white tuxedo stripes looked very sportif, while the black and white pieces were plenty trendy and plenty sophisticated.
Everything in Anne Valerie Hash's Spring 2013 collection illuminated the Parisian catwalk. Satin draped trousers and pencil skirts, as well as metallic tops, jackets, and gowns — all in soft blush tones — made the room glow. On the opposite end of the spectrum were shocking-yellow looks that brought a more obvious glow to the collection. Black satin pieces counterbalanced all the color and luminous fabrics, while white dresses, boxy coats, printed jumpsuits, strapless bustier tops, and ruffle hemlines were also noteworthy for Spring 2013.
Roland Mouret was in his 20s in the '80s, the decade to which he turned to find inspiration for his Spring 2013 collection. "It's weird, the collection, this year," Mouret said. "As a designer you're asked to predict the future and you have to have a sense of honesty. I went back to a troubled period, the '80s, when I was younger, when you believed in the future because you had to."
Lots of that '80s optimism crept into this collection. Shoulder pads, those old bastions of power dressing, were applied to most of the jackets in the collection, and architectural folds and pleats offered not-so-subtle pleas for attention on dresses and a few sleeveless shirts. Suiting here was strong and practical, but there was a lot of quiet flair in other pieces. For example, Mouret answered the season's call for leather by using mud silk and was sure to include plenty of midriff-baring pieces. They're just as on trend for Spring as they were in the '80s.