The Paris Fashion Week shows are certainly shaping up to have a tinge of melancholy. Perhaps these collections like many a French movie just can’t be the standard fashion regalia.
Take for example Gareth Pugh whose show was reminiscent of aTim Burton movie from the neck up but from the neck down the collection was pure couturier bliss… Nay for a few fringy frocks at the end. Though I cant imagine the gothic pale makeup catching on with the fashion set, the gorgeous gowns were cut to perfection time and time again boasting full skirting that lent a Victorian feeling to juxtapose the modern more edgy details.
After a dalliance with ruffles and gossamer fabrics last season, the English designer was back to his sculptural, futuristic ways. Employing heavy couture silks, bonded leather and sturdy canvas the color of cement, he crafted coats and jackets with hunched, sloping shoulders and raised necklines which elongated the body. They flared open over stiff, jutting skirts that picked up the dust from the point de Hongrie parquet.
Forgetting the caught-in-a-hurricane hairdos and the heavy Goth styling, this collection was really about statement coats with demonstrative, face-framing collars — some jutting dramatically, others crumpling romantically.
The finale looks were over-the-top, with black plastic strips employed as fringe on silvery tweed gowns, or shaved like a hedge into bulging atomic-bomb silhouettes. Deflating the apocalyptic mood, a few editors couldn’t resist copping a feel of the swollen dresses as they passed by to see if they might be made of garbage bags.
On the other hand there is Dries Van Noten a line I generally love, but this collection had me mildly stumped. While some pieces were flowy and feminine other were so exaggerated that even the models looked full figured… Which always begs the question… Who wants to dress heavier?
WWD reported this about the collection
Van Noten decided to focus on mannish tailoring in precise cuts, outsized proportions and traditional fabrics.
“And what’s really the opposite of men’s wear is the exaggerated women’s wear,” he said during a preview. “For me, I think about ice-skating. The diamond embellishment is there, the stones are always just a little bit bigger, the decoration is often feathers and fringes. It’s kind of the women’s wear invading the men’s elements in the collection.”
Van Noten announced said invasion from the first look out, an amply proportioned coat with explosive red and gold embroidery down one side, belted in a skinny strip of crystals and worn over gray trousers. He continued on with the tailoring — a twist on the three-piece suit, here a jacket over skirt over pants; trompe l’oeil dresses that appeared to be layered pieces. With the British wools as his base, the designer sometimes introduced rich, pale brocades into the mix. Almost every look bore some fusion of masculine and feminine: the austerity of a jacket and pants interrupted by an all-over fringed chemise; the collegiate dash of a big, striped sweater countered with an embroidered velvet skirt. Another sweater look — slouchy dark gray knit over a tiered, tailored skirt — got its girly glow from a giant “diamond” brooch placed on the hip.