Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Paris Roundup

Paris S/S Fashion Week came and went, but the strongest looks of the season made a lasting impression.

The husband and wife team behind AF Vandevorst created a collection that is both timeless and on point with current trends.  Androgynous suiting juxtaposed with delicate lace and peeks of underpinnings made the collection both sexy and professional. Sexy secretary anyone?  
The use of color also didn't disappoint.  The Belgian design duo created the perfect balance of playful spring colors and the more sober season-less colors favored by the designers. 
Quilted shirt dresses looked young and effortless paired with tailored jackets. Small doses of chinoiserie motifs brought freshness to the black and white deconstructed ensembles the duo is famous for. Overall the collection offered something for everyone, from the sultry seductress to the fierce go-getter.

Ann Demeulemeester visited familiar and new territory with her beautiful collection of draped and relaxed pieces. The controlled order of stripes grounded the billowy volume of draped dresses and skirts that resembled here and there monks cloaks and Grecian goddesses.  The colors where also reminiscent of the Buddhist postulants; saffron orange and red mixed in a rich feast for the eyes that evoked exotic hot summer nights.  Even the more somber pieces appeared more relaxed than what you would expect out  Ann's box of tricks.  Skirts where short, jackets soft and flowy, and the embroidery was almost more characteristic of Dries Van Noten than Ann Demeulemeester.  This rounded up to a beautiful, less stark approach to her generally severe look. This new approachability will perhaps bring her to be a broader audience; maybe it will make her name easier to pronounce in the future.

For Marin Margiela's 20th anniversary you could not get any more avant-garde than this.  The evasive man behind the ever growing, ever popular line has taken it to the next extreme; at least until his next collection.  Expanding on an evolving fashion narrative, Margiela explored new concepts of concealing, revealing, shredding and deconstructing.  The collection consisted mostly of body-suits, deconstructed jackets, asymmetrical dresses and the occasional garment that doesn't fall in any existing category.  After the incognito shades that were the rage last summer, a play on the concept was to be expected, but who knew it would be so.... can I say loopy?  Sections of fabric stretched to cover faces, wigs where combed forward to create the same concealing effect and straps of iridescent fabric wrapped around bodies. The silhouettes where familiar but strikingly avant-garde and as groundbreaking as ever. Strong shoulders emphasized long, narrow legs exposed by drastic asymmetrical hems or the total lack of pants.  Over all the collection was both inspiring and entreating, it will be interesting, however, to see how many editors will sport the three headed monster suit come spring time.

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