See, there were some rays of sunshine that poked through the clouds of monotony at the Paris shows. Here are my favorites looks and collections of the season.
Comments follow pictures.
McQueen. Since Burton took over the McQueen label, I haven’t been in love with a lot of her stuff – It’s all seemed so show-y and over-the-top. Alexander McQueen was always able to bridge the gap between showpieces and wearable clothes so well, that at one point, you couldn’t tell where one ended and the other began. This season, Burton stepped out a bit closer towards wearability and managed to hit it home with this look. It is a perfect blending of the house’s traditions and her modern interpretation of them. It’s edgy, but easily assimilated into the customer’s wardrobe. I hope she continues with this trend. It would be nice to see more direct translations from the runway to the store.
Jean Paul Gaultier. It seems that it was a make or break season with a lot of designers and Gaultier was definitely falling squarely in the former. I thought last season’s history of dance show was a blast, but this season’s show proved it was on equal footing. Entitled “Punks in Space,” the collection pulled the best of Gaultier’s vocabulary out in the open and turned it on its collective ear. This season reached back to another Gautier classic collection from the early 90’s called “Forbidden Gaultier,” and modernized it with plenty of tongue-in-cheek wit. Hell, even the over-blown quilted pants worked. Kilts, mohawks, street-cast models – this show had it all and made me happy for fashion.
Iris Van Herpen. She is the textile manipulator/mad scientist of the haute couture world and I never thought her mad-cap sensibilities would translate into anything wearable for the ready to wear, but this season proved me terribly wrong. This was probably one of the most tightly edited shows of the season. It had a clear direction and used the core elements of her vocabulary while adding fresh approaches to traditional cutting. The textures begged to be touched. Even the accessories, while a bit esoteric, were paired down versions of her eccentric, made to measure wares. It was a brilliant show and I look forward to next season.
Gareth Pugh. He seems to be inching, ever slowly, towards wearability with each passing season. This collection seemed to be just a broad extension of last season, which could be his comeuppance in the end. He really needs to capture the joie de vivre that began his career while still maintaining a high sell-through. How any designer is supposed to do that, season after season is beyond me, but I think Pugh could pull it off. This look was my favorite of the collection for it’s simplicity and direct lines. I don’t know how the stores will handle it, but I kinda want the jacket in my size.
Balmain. Look, they made the good list this season. What more do you want from me??? I have to say, the workmanship that the house produces is really amazing. I rarely like the finished products, but the expertise of the atelier is evident in every stitch. This season was tougher than the last, but I kind of fell in love with the way they split the motorcycle jackets at the peplum. It’s a smart innovation for such a venerable house and one that kinda has me wanting to see what they are going to do next season. I SAID KINDA!!!
Ann Demeulemeester. One of her best collections in years! It was pure Demeulemeester. Lots of designers were dusting off pieces from the archives this season and you could tell there was a hint of nostalgia with Ann’s collection, but nothing felt retro or dated. It was probably my favorite collection of the Paris runways. This look is but one of the collection’s highlights.
Zuhair Murad. This guy makes some of the most amazing haute couture evening wear in Paris, so it’s with no surprise that his ready to wear collections are just as classy and elegant. There is a rich simplicity to his work and this dress defines his aesthetic perfectly. Many designers work in black and white, but few make it look this effortless.
(Disclaimer: After reviewing this post, realized I chose pieces that were all in black and white. This was not intentional, it’s just a coincidence.These pieces just best reflect the overall moods of the selected collections)
Alright, get ready for a barrage of pocket posts.
I’ll try to have the first one up on Monday, but I promise nothing.