Runway

Paris Fall 2014: Christian Dior, Issey Miyake, Roland Mouret, Isabel Marant

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(NEW YORK) Christian Dior 
Yet another ravishing collection from Raf Simons chez Dior! Simons had city girls in mind this season. There were sharply tailored single and double-breasted pantsuits in burgundy and emerald green, blazers thrown over simple silk cocktail dresses, and overcoats came either in astrakhan or wool with sleeves that clocked in slightly shorter than three-quarter-length. A peachy pink overcoat had white crisscross lacing like a corset up each side of the waist. The lacing was a theme that ran throughout the collection. It added major sex appeal to a black knee-length off the shoulder cocktail dress where it snaked down the models’ left side, accentuating the hips and waistline. Color popped on this runway and some of the most stunning looks came in this category of two-toned dresses. A short red velvet dress came with a cerulean deep-v overlay, finished off with a paneled swing skirt that revealed hints of red beneath as the model walked. A bright green cocktail dress came with a magenta deep-v overlay slit up one side to reveal more of the dress beneath the dress. Texture was another big theme, done in quilted materials like a quilted lipstick red asymmetrical tulip skirt and bubblegum pink sleeveless top. Other iterations came in looks like a voluminously-skirted black dress whose skirt looked not unlike sleeping bag material. A material only Simons’ hands could turn into the height of chic without consuming the female figure. For eveningwear, the show closed with a white confetti sequined T shirt dress and sheer black confetti gowns worn over short white sleeveless t-shirt dresses. These were an ode to some of Simons’ casual notions this year, not unlike the sneakers that accompanied his couture show last month. Designers always reference the modern woman, but Simons is one that is actually taking that notion and running with it.

Issey Miyake
Tired of the backstage frenzy at runway shows? Just make like Issey Miyake and have your mods get gussied up on the runway. Even more mesmerizing a spectacle if the big, geometric purses actually become frocks. Needless to say, pleats abounded, often in riveting prismatic patterns. Where there weren’t pleats, there were cool-toned stripes, and lots of them, in hues of aqua, olive, and ocean splashed kaleidoscopically across cocooned turtlenecks and sensibly knee-length day dresses. Later on, cape-like tunics and midi skirts pleated in undulating formations and done in russet, silver, and navy looked richly multidimensional (somewhat resembling the soft flaps of wild mushrooms when done in a deep shade of brown). A V-necked navy dress with a billowy, voluminous shape and flouncy hem was a highlight of the curvy take on pleating. But back to those carryalls-cum-dresses: Magical, non?

Roland Mouret
Billed as a reflection of sorts, Roland Mouret’s Fall collection took a peek at the designer’s past, but regardless, the wares were decidedly futuristic. The use of geometric shapes, which has become a signature for Mouret, was in full swing, and was highlighted by juxtaposing hues: black on white, red on grey, and green on purple. While this is not often the case, the edgier details performed best in this collection, most notably a sheer fishnet layering top and a barcode-esque stripe. The abstract leather collars that accompanied each look worked better in some situations versus others. When paired with a white halter tunic, it seamlessly flowed with the neckline, but it took away from the fastidious construction of a red one shouldered dress. The last few looks in the collection had the most texture, turning them into the most striking pieces shown. Featuring delicate feathers woven into simple fabric, this should win some sort of award as the most elegant usage of plumage! 

Isabel Marant 
What does the perennial purveyor of cool have up her sleeve this season? Shaggy cream fur vests and toppers paired with loosely-cut pants in roughed-up satin or plaid, plus teeny-tiny minis splashed with dark watercolor-esque prints, hiked up in the center to ramp up the sex appeal in the most insouciant of manners. Given Marant’s knack for creating trends that ricochet through the fast fashion sphere fast as anything, you’ll soon be snapping up (or, at least, spotting left and right) furry booties, blazers that marry moto, anorak, and boxy suit jacket cues, and subtle washed-out patterns. Expect to toss mid-width black leather belts, looped jauntily to the left, over everything, from those spiffed-up cargo-inspired pants to the sheepdog-esque belts. Metallic pieces, used in moderation, lit up the fairly dark slew of looks. So, which of the aforementioned Fall ’14 Marant touches will be the next wedge sneaker? Time will tell…

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