Paris Fashion week, Fall 2013 Ready to Wear: The Good

YEAH! Fashion that doesn’t suck!

For the first time ever, I think, the good outweigh the bad. Let’s hope this trend continues. The less terrible clothes there are in the world, the better!

Now, I didn’t purposely go with such dark and somber choices, this is just what was available. The entire season – NY to Paris – felt dark and cozy. I’m not complaining though. I like color, but sometimes it’s nice to have it all grounded for fall.

As always, comments follow pictures.


Veronique Branquinho

Veronique Branquino. I’m a sucker for a clean skirt suit and Branquino delivered with aplomb this season. The jacket is sexy enough to go without a shirt but clean enough to pair with a smart blouse. I’m digging this new length too, when worked onto a beautifully fitted skirt, and the gold leather shawl collar gives a stayed tradition a modern feel.

Yohji Yamamoto

Yoji Yamamoto. KIMONO SLEEVES!!! OK, I’m calm now. I have a soft spot in the lump of coal I call my heart for kimono suits. They have been done before, but this is the only one I saw this season that made me happy. This entire collection was fantastic. Yamamoto said he wanted to return to the roots of construction and workmanship and boy, did he come through on that!

Zuhair Murad

Zuhair Murad. I have nothing witty to say about this dress. It’s just beautiful. The entire collection was beautiful, but then again, I’d expect nothing less from a designer who is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

Christian Dior, Ready to Wear, Fall Winter, 2013, Paris

Dior. UUUUGH! Seriously, Raf Simons, please get it together and EVOLVE already!! He cannot, nay, REFUSES to make clothes that push that house even one iota forward. This collection was the same as the last collection and the same as the one before it. Seriously, BORING!  But… there was a glimmer of hope in the monotony. This dress is so clean and pretty, I had to acknowledge it. The illustration on the peplum is by Warhol and the model wore it very well. So I guess there is a shred of hope for the house, but really Raf, MOVE ON ALREADY!

AF Vanderhorst

AF Vanderhorst. Ignore the hair. I have to say, I really did like this collection a lot. There were the usual goofy suitings that they are known for, but this piece was what struck me. It’s sort of urban elegance and reminds me of a collapsed ball gown that a rocker chick grabbed out of the laundry basket and made her own.

Ann Demeulemeester

Ann Demeulemeester. You really can’t go wrong with Demelu… Demuele… Demeeela… Ann. She has been making her kind of poetic tailoring for years now and has an insanely loyal following. This season was no exception to the languid clothes she normally makes, but for some reason this look, with its polished leather accessories, made otherwise obvious clothes seem fresh and modern.


Balmain. This collection was TERRIBLE. It was an unapologetic throwback to the 80’s and made me wonder who the target audience was. Then I saw this skirt and jacket. Maybe it’s the contrast of leather and satin. Maybe it’s the intense red. Maybe I’m drunk. Who knows, but I love this look. Mind you it was the only look in this collection I DID love, but still, it’s worth mentioning. I KNOW! I don’t get it either!


Chanel. As always, there was tweed. As always, there was plenty of texture. As always, there was lots of black fabric. But, within the dark galaxy of this show, there was this look. This dress, with its clean neckline and perfect length sleeve could easily have been overlooked. Frankly, I blame my fascination with it on the fact that Stella Tennant is modeling it. Of course, the boots and gloves don’t hurt. Oh and the necklace, I like that too. Also the negative space created by her legs works for it too. Did I mention the boots? I did… oh… So the model is Stella Tennant… oh I mentioned that too… huh, well, IT BARES REPEATING!

Comme Des Garcons

Comme Des Garcons. I NEVER look at the bulk of the Comme collection. Frankly, it is always way too cerebral for me. I don’t like assigning too much meaning to clothes, because, well, they are just clothes, but his collection did something for me. Rei Kawakubo really focused on cut this season by building details, like bows and little donut shapes, into the actual cut of the garments. It was remarkable, especially when she did the dimensional flowers. This look is the tamest of the lot, but still a remarkable exercise in the power of skill and workmanship.

Elie Saab, Ready to Wear, Fall Winter, 2013, Paris

Elie Saab. Drool. Me likey. Me likey A LOT! Really, a fantastic collection from a designer that really knows what his customer wants. The sheer was elegant. The lace was classy. The tailoring was perfect.  I fell in love with this particular dress. I guess it was pretty obvious when I started applauding at my desk while watching the show online.

Issey Miyake, Ready to Wear, Fall Winter, 2013, Paris

Issey Miyake. Since Issey retired, this house has kind of floundered between artys and fartsy. I’ve lost count of the designers that have headed it since Miyake left and frankly, I ignore this collection most of the time. I checked it out this season and fell in love with this jacket. In and of itself, it’s pretty innocuous, but the inclusion of the contrast fabric and volume of the pants  made this image stand out for me. I would never have guesses it was Miyake because of its simplicity, but I suppose every fashion house deserves a few grounding looks.

Jitrois, Ready to Wear, Fall Winter, 2013, Paris

Jitrois. When I saw the house of Jitrois was returning to the runway, my eyes instinctively rolled. This house had its heyday in the 80’s with its use of stretch leather. The pieces were well made and stylish, but that was then. I thought some punk would be designing for the house and take it in a new direction, but alas, Jean Claude Jitrois himself was designing the line and produced a beautiful collection that completely modernized his aesthetic. I don’t know many women who can rock this dress, but damn, I’d like to meet them. This is one of the sexiest dresses I have ever seen. The fringe is balanced perfectly with the sheer and leather cut-outs and the color is just enough for the woman to stand out in a crowd without being garish. I love this dress.

Leonard, Ready to Wear, Fall Winter, Paris, 2013

Leonard. The house of Leonard is known for its painted/printed knits- typically in floral designs. The house makes beautiful clothes and this dress is no exception. You have to be rather confident to get away with it, but I love the spray of flowers that follow the curves of the woman’s body. Grounding all of that embroidery with a black base makes the flowers pop out of the darkness. This dress is a brilliant tribute to the floral legacy of Leonard and a great step forward in its modernization.

And with that, Fall 2013 is done. Well, there is Tokyo and Sydney, I think, but I don’t cover those cities, but I’ll check them out in case there are some stars or stinkers floating around.

My studio is up and running and my next post will be sewing related. I’m working on a few things right now, so I should have some pics of works in progress soon.

As a special bonus, I present two of the goofiest runway moments from Paris.

Jean-Charles-De-Castelbajac, Ready to Wear, Fall Winter, 2013, Paris

Well hey there, foxy lady!

I wish it was a bit more tailored, but I can’t help but think there is a germ of an idea here. Leave it to Jean-Charles De Castlebajac to make me smile.


This collection was a bit heavy on the fur… and furries apparently. This lasting image comes from from the house of Moncler Gamme Rouge. They are a really forward thinking sportswear line that focuses on outer/ski wear. Giambattista Valli designs this line. The collection leaned a bit too “Sherpa on the mountain” for my tastes, but  who can resist a fuzzy polar bear and a fashion model walking arm in arm down a runway!?!



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